The Mosque At Ground Zero
My first instinct re the Ground Zero Mosque was: not all Muslims are terrorists, I don't equate Islam with Jihad. So at first I felt the Mosque should be built. Ironically, it's the Lying Leftists deriding Mosque opponents who convinced me we should not allow the Mosque. I'll explain.
I certainly will not slander all Muslims as terrorists. I don't suspect that any Muslim I meet is a terrorist. In fact, I assume that any Muslim I meet is almost certainly not a terrorist. I support terrorist profiling, not ethnic profiling at airports. (It's proven that Jihadists try to exploit clumsy ethnic profiling in their tactics.)
Nevertheless, the relationship between Islam and Radical Islam is not simple. Of course there is a connection, that's why we call it Radical Islam. We draw a distinction between Islam and Radical Islam, but does Al Qaida see that distinction? Does Bin Laden claim to worship a different Allah than the Mosque builders? In this 2006 e-mail, Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad speaks much more of Ummah--the global Muslim community--than of Al Qaida:
"Can you tell me a way to save the oppressed? And a way to fight back when rockets are fired at us and Muslim blood flows? ... My beloved and peaceful Ummah majority of us think that we are too weak against the west and foreign forces ... So strive my peaceful Ummah." [emphasis added]
That doesn't sound like a separatist mentality. In Shahzad's mind, he's not a Radical, he's an Islamic Hawk entreating Islamic Doves--his people!--to join Jihad.
We can't be simple-minded in the war against terrorism. Shahzad attacked us on behalf of his 'beloved and peaceful Ummah', not on behalf of a separate radical faith. Al Qaida kills on behalf of peaceful Muslims. And we are still killing peaceful members of Ummah, out of tragic necessity, in our war against Al Qaida. Plopping a Mosque two blocks from Ground Zero in the name of religious tolerance--as if religious tolerance were the only issue--is simple-minded.
NYC Mayor Bloomberg supports the Mosque at Ground Zero. Before Shahzad's capture, Bloomberg said he'd bet the bomb was planted by a Tea Party type opposed to Obamacare. What an astonishing statement! The Tea Party does not advocate violence and has no violent history. Radical Islam preaches ultra-violence, has perpetuated cataclysmic violence, and had recently attempted mass murder on Christmas. I can see the Mayor saying "We don't know who did it yet." But no, the Mayor implicated the Tea Party and virtually absolved ultra-violent Jihad of suspicion--based on what, PC? As we know, the bomber indeed turned out to be a Jihadist who proudly wished he could plead guilty a hundred times to murdering Americans. Given the infathomable stupidity of Bloomberg's statement, I'm inclined to oppose the Ground Zero Mosque solely on the grounds that Bloomberg supports it. I don't care if he is a billionaire, in the WOT, Bloomberg is a s___head.
I'm not anti-PC at all. But PC is too simple-minded a concept to guide us in wartime. So let's talk about some non-simple-minded non-s___heads. Two of the greatest liberals in history, FDR and Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, were also bipartisan architects of the Japanese internment policy (Warren as Republican Attorney General of California). Again, that's Earl Warren, the author of Miranda, and New Deal champion FDR.
Most of us know the U.S. imprisoned Americans of Japanese ancestry during WWII, not on suspicion of treason, or even a pretext of treason, but as a blanket race-based policy to make Japanese sabotage/espionage virtually impossible. (You have to do a little research to find that we also interned German-Americans in both World Wars. Oh, did I say research? Actually, I learned that watching Glen Beck.) Today, the consensus is that the Alien Enemies Act was a stain on our history, a 'fundamental injustice' for which President Reagan and Congress apologized 40 years later by statute. And yet there we were, doing the same thing after 9/11. What does it mean to say internment was a 'stain' - that Earl Warren and FDR were not aware of the moral difficulties when they did it? No, it means we're not proud that we had to resort to such awful measures in wartime. I hope we're not proud of atom-bombing Hiroshima either. Internment was not the policy of right-wing extremists or men who didn't respect the Constitution. These were iconic liberals with zenith reputations for upholding liberty. Yet to the end of his life, Earl Warren never backed off from his decision to intern.
Then there was President Truman, a great man, liberal Democrat, who came down on Communists in the Cold War like the falling debris of the WTC. Truman imprisoned domestic Reds, not for trying to overthrow America, but just for holding Marxist study groups. The Supreme Court upheld Truman's Iron Fist in Dennis vs. U.S. Among the Justices upholding Truman were Felix Frankfurter and Robert Jackson, both FDR appointees, both passionate advocates for individual rights. Today, Leftists will claim Dennis was just the product of McCarthy-era hysteria. Why say McCarthy-era, why not Truman-era? McCarthy just tried to smoke out Soviet spies. Truman--that's President Truman--busted Red eggheads simply for teaching Karl Marx. McCarthy never tried to round up all Russian immigrants in camps just for being Russian. Hollywood Blacklist? Truman threw the Reds in jail! Compared to FDR and Truman, McCarthy was Mr. Softy.
Again, these weren't fascists. FDR/Truman led the war against fascism. Jackson was our Chief Nuremburg Prosecutor. Frankfurter was a founder of the ACLU. Who would presume to lecture Earl Warren on the Constitution? These were great liberals, accomplished defenders of liberty. They did not take a simple-minded approach to liberty in wartime. Jackson wrote in Dennis: "This prosecution is the latest of never-ending, because never successful, quests ... to strike a balance between authority and liberty." Never-ending, never-successful. In other words, not simple at all.
To this day, Dennis is a problem for Radical Leftists because of its liberal authors. And though Earl Warren would later reinforce the First Amendment (in a non-war context!) against Dennis' undoubtedly problematic legacy, Warren never over-ruled Dennis or the Smith Act under which Communists were convicted. How could he? Having executed the imprisonment of an entire race of Americans, Earl Warren knew about making tough calls in wartime. To this day, the Smith Act is still on the books as a security tool if the government ever needs it. Admitting that Jackson/Frankfurter were 'sophisticated jurists' --ya think?!--Professor Wiecek claims that Red Scare demonization by J. Edgar Hoover 'anethetized' these honored liberals to the deprivation of rights. No, no. Jackson's opinion reads as informed, anticipatory analysis of Bolshevik history, strategy and tactics. It's imaginary to suggest Jackson was manipulated by right-wingers. This was a deeply liberal man facing the f_____ facts.
Fact: Al Qaida's primary weapon is propaganda/psychology. The only reason we're still screwing around with these psychopaths 10 years later is that their infrastructure is ephemeral. Jihad is a state of mind, we just can't drop a bomb on Jihad. Re the Mosque, the national security question is "what is the symbolism?" Again, whatever Michael Bloomberg thinks is almost certainly wrong and we should do the opposite. Remember, this man bet the Tea Party was more likely responsible for the Time Square bomb plot than Al Qaida. Bloomberg says the Mosque symbolizes American values. No, that's just his interpretation. There is no single interpretation of any symbol. Good God! We saw the Towers as symbols of American values! Al Qaida saw the Towers as symbols of evil. So how will AQ's mind-control subjects interpet the Mosque? No Jihadi will view the Mosque as a symbol of American goodwill while our army is in Afghanistan. Sadly we're still there and Petraeus says, sadly, we must stay indefinitely. So forget about some Hallmark photograph on AlJazeera.net swaying Jihad in our favor. Jihadist recruiters will interpret the Mosque as an Islamic flag flying over the site of Islam's greatest triumph. It's just like this, but for Jihad!
Look back at Shahzad's email: "My beloved and peaceful Ummah majority of us think that we are too weak against the west ..." Shahzad believes the majority of Muslims are peaceful because they think they are weak. To counter, he conjures images of ancient Muslim men of strength: "Then our Prophet PBUH wouldn't have fought Badar or Uhad ... Isn't that an excellent example for Muslims?"
"Isn't that an excellent example for Muslims?" Images portraying Al Qaida as triumphant over the U.S. will help Bin Laden convert peaceful Muslims into terrorists like Shahzad. Using photoshop, replace the American marines in that mythic WWII photograph with Jihadists hoisting the Flag of Quraish over Ground Zero. That is the Hallmark card Bloomberg wants to send to Al Qaida for Christmas.
Brutal Fact: U.S. troops are killing Muslims in Afghanistan. We face extremely tough choices in our rules of engagement between minimizing civilian casualties and protecting our troops. Simple-minded PC cannot give us the answer to that call. And we may face far tougher choices regarding Muslim lives in the future, if Al Qaida ever succeeds in a WMD attack. Given the brutal realities Petraeus faces, and potentially far more brutal realities a President may face one day, overlaying some simple-ass Hallmark photo over the War Against Radical Islam is offensive. It's hypocrisy. It makes no sense to me at all.
This is no way near as tough a call as rules of engagement or profiling at airports. We can find other symbolic goodwill gestures, non-problematic gestures, to make to our honored, peace-loving Muslim friends. Let Obama make another speech--what's the downside to that? But a Mosque at Ground Zero? That's a simple-minded, simple-ass Pollyana concept, quite fantastical and wrong.
And if Michael Bloomberg can't see that, that pretty much proves that I'm right. I repeat: This man bet the Time Square plot to shred American citizens with glass and metal was more likely an attack by the Tea Party than by Radical Islam. Take his advice on the stock market, but go short on Michael Bloomberg in the WOT.