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Another Nervous Sept. 11

Today is September 11, and it seems as good a time as any to assess how America and the rest of Western Civilization are faring in the 1,400-year-old onslaught by the more bellicose adherents of Islam. We note with great relief and considerable nervousness that the west has suffered no attacks as deadly as the one that occurred in New York City and Washington, D.C., and over the skies of western Pennsylvania 14 years ago today, and hope and pray this will remain true throughout the day, but otherwise it doesn’t seem to be going very well for our side.
Smaller-scale but still horrific attacks on America and its allies have since become so commonplace they are largely forgotten after a 24-hour news cycle, and the ones in faraway places of which we know little, such as Mumbai and Moscow and Paris and London and Moore, Oklahoma, barely make an impression through the day. Each story comes carefully packaged with caveats about how it would be wrong to draw any conclusions about anybody but the particular individuals responsible for the carnage, who probably had legitimate grievances, not at all like the more infrequent stories about crazed white guys with guns who might have been listening to talk radio, and the cumulative death count is never mentioned. Although the death count is troublesome enough, the West’s instinct to ignore it is all the more so.
Meanwhile, the more bellicose adherents of Islam are rapidly gaining power in ever larger swaths of the religion’s Middle Eastern birthplace. A self-proclaimed Islamic State is imposing the most brutal and barbaric version of Sunni Islam in a growing portion of what was once Iraq and Syria, and the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism on behalf of Shiite Islam’s most murderous manifestation is about to get a $150 billion signing bonus from the West for a treaty that won’t prevent from them from acquiring nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them to Western targets and implicitly acknowledges their rightful role to regional hegemony. Such assertiveness by the most bellicose adherents of both branches of Islam is troubling enough, but the West’s passivity is all the more so.
The head-chopping, crucifying, burning-at-the-stake depravity of the Islamic State has occasionally forced its way onto the otherwise pristine pages of America’s newspapers, but even the most stomach-turning stories always end with assurances from the administration that the Islamic State remains a “jayvee team” of terror and that the coalition of unaccountably moderate amateurs that has been assembled is somehow is not only holding its own against them but also the Syrian Assad regime’s professional Iranian-supported troops and the crack Russian soldiers that have lately been showing up in the middle of this convoluted conflict. This happy talk has lately been undermined by an Inspector General’s report, prompted by the complaints of more than 50 intelligence analysts working for the military’s Central Command, alleging that frank talk about the Islamic State’s worrisome gains have been censored. This seems all the more plausible given the administration’s determination to describe the Fort Hood, Texas, massacre as “Workplace violence” rather than Islamic terrorism, despite the culprit’s self-status status as as “Soldier of Allah” and his chants of “Alahu Akbar” as he gunned his victims down, or use any other explanation that will subtract from that troublesome death count of small-scale yet horrific terror attacks on American soil.
The same administration assures us that the deal delivering $150 billion and free reign to pursue intercontinental ballistic missiles and all sorts of ways to get nuclear warhead is the only alternative to what would surely be an unwindable war against the same Iran that president in his first successful campaign called a “tiny country” that “doesn’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union did.” There are still plausible options available to the Republicans and their more level-headed Democratic allies to scuttle the deal, but it remains to be seen if they’ll be willing to hold that crucial line. At this point, the best hope is that the deal will go down as an executive treaty that can be undone more a rock-ribbed president early in 2017.
Most of the rest of Western Civilization and its media seem to be on board, and only France, of all people, seem to have put much of a fight about it, and that this is not at all surprising is the most disturbing news of all. Europe’s government, if not its people, seem intent on welcoming what will eventually be millions of new arrivals from the lands where the most bellicose adherents of Islam predominate. A long-shot candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination thinks it plays well with his party to advocate that America take in at least a few hundred thousand, the same front-runner for the Republican nomination who’s grabbed the lead by talking tough about Mexican Catholics takes the same position as that Democrat regarding Islamic Syrians, and nobody seems to be insisting on the democratic and republican and unabashedly Judeo-Christian yet rigorously secular values that have Western Civilization during its 1,400-year onslaught by the more bellicose adherents of Islam. So far the West has ceded to demands that there be no criticism of Islam, that even the most belligerent emigres to the west be afford their right to undermine the hosting civilization, and that western culpability always be presumed.
That Republican front-runner has admitted that he can’t think of any favorite passages from the Bible, and we’re sure that all the Democratic contenders will think of something about greed and covetousness in the unlikely event they’re ever asked the same question, but on this day we’re reminded of of the book of Jeremiah, chapter six and verse 14: “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”

— Bud Norman

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