Opinion

Opinion

Terrorist ties to Islam can’t be ignored

July 2, 2010

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The Fort Hood shooter, the Christmas Day bomber, the Times Square attacker. On May 13, the following exchange occurred at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee:

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas: Do you feel that these individuals might have been incited to take the actions that they did because of radical Islam?

Attorney General Eric Holder: There are a variety of reasons why I think people have taken these actions. ...

Smith: OK, but radical Islam could have been one of the reasons?

Holder: There are a variety of reasons why people —

Smith: But was radical Islam one of them?

Holder: There are a variety of reasons why people do these things. Some of them are potentially religious-based.

Potentially, mind you. This went on until the questioner gave up in exasperation.

A similar question arose last week in U.S. District Court when Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square attacker, pleaded guilty. Explained Shahzad:

“One has to understand where I’m coming from ... I consider myself a mujahid, a Muslim soldier.”

Well, that is clarifying. As was the self-printed business card of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, identifying himself as SoA: Soldier of Allah.

Holder’s avoidance of the obvious continues the absurd and embarrassing refusal of the Obama administration to acknowledge who out there is trying to kill Americans and why. In fact, it has banned from its official vocabulary the terms jihadist, Islamist and Islamic terrorism.

Instead, President Obama’s National Security Strategy insists on calling the enemy — how else do you define those seeking your destruction? — “a loose network of violent extremists.” But this is utterly meaningless. This is not an anger-management therapy group gone rogue. These are people professing a powerful ideology rooted in a radical interpretation of Islam, in whose name they propagandize, proselytize, terrorize and kill.

Why is this important? Because the first rule of war is to know your enemy. If you don’t, you wander into intellectual cul-de-sacs and ignore the real causes that might allow you to prevent recurrences.

The Pentagon report on the Fort Hood shooter runs 86 pages with not a single mention of Hasan’s Islamism. It contains such politically correct inanities as “religious fundamentalism alone is not a risk factor.”

Of course it is. Indeed, Islamist fundamentalism is not only a risk factor. It is the risk factor, the common denominator linking all the great terror attacks of this century — from 9/11 to Mumbai, from Fort Hood to Times Square, from London to Madrid to Bali. The attackers were of various national origin, occupation, age, social class, native tongue and race. The one thing that united them was the jihadist vision in whose name they acted.

To deny this undeniable truth leads to further absurdities. Remember the wave of speculation about Hasan’s supposed secondary post-traumatic stress disorder — that he was so deeply affected by the heart-rending stories of his war-traumatized patients that he became radicalized? On the contrary. He was moved not by their suffering but by the suffering they (and the rest of the U.S. military) inflicted on Hasan’s fellow Muslims, in whose name he gunned down 12 American soldiers while shouting “Allahu Akbar.”

With Shahzad, we find the equivalent ridiculous — and exculpating — speculation that perhaps he was driven over the edge by the foreclosure of his home. Good grief. Of course his home went into foreclosure — so would yours if you voluntarily quit your job and stopped house payments to go to Pakistan for jihadist training. As The Washington Post’s Charles Lane pointed out, foreclosure was a result of Shahzad’s radicalism, not the cause.

There’s a final reason why the administration’s cowardice about identifying those trying to kill us cannot be allowed to pass. It is demoralizing. It trivializes the war between jihadi barbarism and Western decency, and diminishes the memory of those (including thousands of brave Muslims — Iraqi, Pakistani, Afghan and Western) who have died fighting it.

Churchill famously mobilized the English language and sent it into battle. But his greatness lay not just in eloquence but in his appeal to the moral core of a decent people to rise against an ideology the nature of which Churchill never hesitated to define and describe — and to pronounce (“Nahhhhzzzzi”) in an accent dripping with loathing and contempt.

No one is asking Obama or Holder to match Churchill’s rhetoric — just Shahzad’s candor.

— Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group. letters@charleskrauthammer.com

Comments

Mixolydian 5 years, 1 month ago

Once again, right on point. Krauthammer summed it up nicely..the administration's cowardice.

I'm sure he'll be rebutted with:

  1. Sourkrauthammer
  2. But...but... but, the inquisition.
  3. Brownback's taliban is more to fear.
  4. It's not their religion, it's America's fault that they try to kill us.

fester0420 5 years, 1 month ago

then i guess we should blame Christianity for the KKK with this logic

Mixolydian 5 years, 1 month ago

Someone please call him Sourkrauthammer so I can be batting a 1000.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

So by that logic, Tim McVeigh's "links to Christianity" can't be ignored, either.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

What motivates people to commit heinous acts of violence, whether on their own initiative, or whether as part of an organization such as the US government or Al Qaeda, can never be simplified down to one or two easily identified characteristics.

But regardless of their particular motivations, almost all violent people see their actions as justified, however they go about justifying it.

Majestic42 5 years, 1 month ago

What if the people doing the acts simplify down to one or two easily identified characteristics? Like Shahzad himself did?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

So what if they do? He said he was trying to kill American citizens because the US military is killing Pakistani civilians. He happens to be right about that.

But not all Americans, nor Pakistans, are motivated to engage in this tat-for-tat murder fest.

So, why do some Americans, many of whom are well represented on this forum, and some Pakistanis, such as Shahzad, relish engaging in this death spiral, while others don't?

What's the simple explanation for why some people are motivated to either commit or advocate for cold-blooded murder, and others aren't?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"And your farcical attempt to label all of Christianity as radical "

I made no such attempt. I merely pointed out that Chuck's attempts to do so with Islam is equally farcical.

In my opinion, Christianity and Islam are nothing more than organized superstitions which have provided cover to its professed adherents for lots of objectionable behavior, over many centuries. But among the vast majority of adherents of these and other religions, that behavior does not rise to the level of "terrorism."

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 1 month ago

"if by "links to Christianity" you mean a radical brand of religion that seeks to subjugate woman by using violence, keeping them covered from head to toe, and denying them education.."
Hmm, kind of like the FLDS?

"And your farcical attempt to label all of Christianity as radical because of the disparate acts of a demented few demsontrates your inability to think logically.." I think this illustrates more your fuzzy logic and most probably racism than anything else. You may be a Navy vet but I doubt you have ever served in the Middle East. You seem to have no understanding of the differences between Shi'a and Sunni or that the vast majority of Muslims in the world are peaceful people with no desire to kill anybody. Let's take this sentence and turn it around, m'kay? "But there are many factors that distiguish idiots like Bin Laden and those of his ilk from illogical, idiotic Christian zealots. And your farcical attempt to label all of Islam as radical because of the disparate acts of a demented few...." This is just as true as your assertion. I urge you to do some research on Islam AND the Middle East. It's a bit of an eye opener.

Majestic42 5 years, 1 month ago

LOL. Of course Krauthammer isn't referring to every Muslim ever. He states many times that it's a radical interpretation of Islam that motivated many recent terrorists. That is undeniable, and rather silly that the administration refuses to admit that. It is a few radicals. Within the religion as a whole. If I was a Muslim, I'd be superpissed at those idiot.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

In other news: "We've heard from multiple sources today that Ohio Homeland Security multicultural relations director Omar Alomari has been fired as a result of our exclusive Jawa Report investigation into his extremist ties and lying on his resume (omitting he had been fired from a local college for sexual harassment of a student). We reported two weeks ago that he was under investigation..." Read the rest at http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/203159.php

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

Are you saying that the unemployed are better able to find work if they have no money in the bank, can't pay their house or car payments, are possibly pushed into homelessness?

My guess is you are barrypenders. Same type of one-line, completely ignorant attacks. Only thing missing is the "Darwin Bless You" closing, which even a dork like barryp was probably getting tired of.

Majestic42 5 years, 1 month ago

Does not relate, therefore does not make sense.

BorderRuffian 5 years, 1 month ago

Heck - I think that if we are to be truly sensitive to the feelings and needs of the chronically unemployed, we should all quit our jobs - every last one of us - and join them in the unemployment lines. Then things would all be equal and the government could just pay us all and we'd all be equal and happy and sensitive.

Cut the legs out from under those who choose to remain on unemployment because it pays better than lower level jobs. Make them actually work for their income. Wait, that can't be right - that'd make them Republicans.

Isn't it amazing - America, the greatest democracy on the earth, the country who fights terrorists and dictators in order to offer democracy to other nations, is turning downright Communist. But then, everyone would be equal and things would be nice.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Maybe the lower level job wages are too low to live on.

If that were improved, maybe more people would be working - oh, if the jobs were actually there, of course.

BorderRuffian 5 years ago

Jafs - raising the minimum wage will not accomplish a thing. The economy is relative. Raise the minimum wage and the cost of the product or the expense of completing a task or service MUST raise proportionately. Raise the wage of an automaker and somewhere the price of the car MUST go up. Who pays the prices of the new car? Us! And since it costs us more for the cost of living, eventually our wages must proportionately increase.

The only way to effectively raise the wages of a worker is to make said worker more valuable or more cost effective - ultimately more profitable to his/her employer. That can only be done by training or educating cooperative, motivated workers, so that they CAN rise above the minimum wage. Simply giving them more than what they are worth in market value won't solve anything. Unless they are democrats and dedicated to a life of unemployment, welfare, and handouts. Get a job, gain experience, training, and education. Oops, that'd make them Republicans

jafs 5 years ago

Untrue.

Those at the top can easily and simply make less, in order to distribute the profits more fairly, without suffering at all - the average salary of CEO's is in the $7 million/year range.

And, let's assume for a moment that everyone can/does get more training, etc. Who would do the menial, bottom rung jobs then?

And, you do know that average productivity has gone up, while average wages have declined, don't you?

artlover 5 years, 1 month ago

When the alarm goes off you can't hit snooze forever....time to WAKE UP!

ivalueamerica 5 years, 1 month ago

Shouldn't this opportunity be used to list the bombings, shootings, violence all done in the name of Christianity?

The people making the anti-Islam comments, blaming the religion for the violence are usually the same that say people are responsible for their own actions and should not try to blame someone or something else for their failures. But if it gives them excuses to be racists of bigots, that value goes out the door.

Majestic42 5 years ago

Ah, shut up. There's been zero violence in the name of TRUE Christianity. Since you seem to be very misinformed, please tell me what you believe Christianity is.

jafs 5 years ago

So, are you the decider of which is "true" Christianity?

I'm sure there are many Muslims who believe that the violence being done in the name of Islam is not being done in the name of "true" Islam.

Majestic42 5 years ago

Lol. It's called logic. Read the Bible, and tell me what True Christianity is.

jafs 5 years ago

Oh, you've got to be kidding.

If it were that simple, we'd have one Christian denomination, instead of many.

And, if you think logic plays much of a role in religion, I think you're quite mistaken.

Majestic42 5 years ago

So I'm guessing you've just never read the Bible. makes sense. I won't hold it against you, then.

jafs 5 years ago

I majored in religious studies.

jafs 5 years ago

If you think that the Bible is obvious and consistent, and allows for no variety of selection and interpretation, then I suspect you've never actually read it.

Majestic42 5 years ago

1 Corinthians 1:23 Studying "religion" is not the same as knowing what Christianity is all about. Christianity is not a religion.

jafs 5 years ago

Well, I can't follow you off the deep end there.

It seems you have some very personal definitions and realities going on.

Majestic42 4 years, 4 months ago

Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, not a religion. Religion=doing stuff for God so God owes you one. That's not a personal definition at all. That's exactly what He says in the Bible.

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

What the heck is education and understanding, Paul? What if the education is that Islam is primal and that all others are infidels? That is the education of fundamental Islam.


So, you want to "re-educate" Islam? Then you will die, because the worst thing you could is try to change the faith of a Muslim. It is the most sinful thing you could do.

Therefor, your words regarding education and understanding are quite intellectual, erudite, and useless. Limp-wrist-ed, linguine-spined and that of acedemia.

Try again.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Christianity also holds that Christians are right and all other are wrong, that Christians are going to heaven and others to hell, etc. In fact, Christianity has been used as the basis for horrific violence as well.

The basic tenets of Islam are strikingly similar to the basic tenets of Judaism and Christianity.

Radicals in all 3 groups are dangerous.

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

Lemme try again, Paul. The man in front of you and your daughter has a crazed look in his eye. He wants your daughter and he looks like a backwoods hillbilly right out of Deliverance. You talk to him. He ain't listenen. Whatcha gonna do Paul? Whatcha gonna do?

Educate him? Try to make him understand? You are a smart and sensitive man, Paul. You understand him, doncha? He wants, and you can't stop.

There, did I educate you Paul?

Radical Islam wants your soul, Paul. You must be a Muslim, or you are nothing. They will take you, your wife, your kids and everything else in order to fulfill the promise of the Prophet. Nothing less, Paul.

Deal with it.

That's what C. Krauthammer is exposing. Islam has picked a fight. A fight for you soul. They won't quit until they are defeated. The only solution is to beat them.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Another possibility is to look into why many are attracted to the radical version of Islam.

For example, it seems when conditions were terrible, in post-war Afghanistan, and America turned away from the idea of helping them rebuild, although they had defeated the Soviet Union and lost many lives in the process, that became fertile ground for the rise of the Taliban.

And, America continues to operate as if we have the right to occupy other nations, and supports Israel somewhat blindly.

It seems to me if we improved our functioning as a nation and reduced our occupation and violence, that would reduce the adherents of radical Islam.

Many of the young men who join are uneducated and poor, living in wretched conditions - why not help them find a better life?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Of course, we need to defend our country as well.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 1 month ago

American media wants us all to become comparable to the co-dependent woman who looks for fault in everything to justify her husband's behavior but fails to see her own role in the whole destruction.

Terror is to Islam as Tim McVeigh is to Christ. Terror is to Islam as the KKK is to Christianity. Terror is to Islam as rape it to Catholicism.

Read "Why do people hate America" It's an excellent book.

Peter Macfarlane 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually most who hate America do so because we are the biggest and consume the most on the block; we attempt to tell everyone how to live their lives because we fail to understand their cultural and social value systems; we support regimes that are typically dictatorial and right-wing; and we can not seem to understand why standing by Israel, right or wrong, might upset its neighbors.

And that is just the short list!

Stanley Rasmussen 5 years, 1 month ago

Tim McVeigh did NOT consider himself a soldier of Jesus. His terrorist acts were as equally heinous as Islamic terrorist acts but they were not committed with religion used as justification. KKK is a better example as they tried to hide behind Christianity (albeit in a roundabout way). As for geek in topeka"s comment about rape and Catholicism, it just reveals your true ignorance. Yes, some Priests use their position of power to be perverts, but they are not claiming that they were carrying out God's wishes as justification for their heinous acts.

John Hamm 5 years, 1 month ago

Charles Krauthammer hits the nail directly on its head. Not all "terrorists" are Muslims nor are all Muslims terrorists but to deny an obvious link is asinine!

Orwell 5 years ago

Not all domestic terrorists are right-wing extremists, nor are all right wing extremists domestic terrorists, but to deny that obvious link is equally asinine.

Majestic42 5 years ago

yes, and there have been NO left-wing terrorists.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

Just look at all the beheading videos Methodists have posted on the internet in the last few years....

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

Methodist (and Baptists, etc.) don't use knives to decapitate-- they obliterate using F-18's, Black Hawks, drones, with large caliber machine guns, missiles and 500-lb bombs. There's little left to video once the job is done.

But you can see an example of this on a recently released video from Wikileaks.

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

So, the bombing by drones and such in Pakistan right now is a result of a Christian impetus to kill infidels? Is that it Bozo?

Is Obama engaged right now in a Christian crusade? Is the death and destruction being laid down on Afghanistan and northern Pakistan because Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Holder, et. al. are KKK members?

Huh?

Or is it oil.

Huh?

Maybe the Taliban and Al Queda are an existential threat to America. Timothy McVeigh did great harm to many people in OKC. He posed no further threat and is today dead. Radical Islam is an existential threat. There are millions of followers of radical Islam. There are millions of people lost in a world of fundamentalism which teaches martyrdom.

The goal is Islam for all. Not only that, but particular types of Islam. So Muslims are killing each other regularly because they don't belong to the right sect. They are a far greater threat to the world than Christianity.

Nope, the reason the world hates America and is threatened by us is Freedom. Individual responsibility and morality based upon things like telling the truth are a threat to Egyptians. They lie. It is part of their culture. It is expected. I know many Egyptians named Mohamed. Everything is a negotiation. Everything is weaselly. It is sad. They are kind, intelligent and soft hearted. They lie. Freedom, and especially the responsibility that comes with freedom, is a major threat to Islam.

Is Freedom a threat to you too, bozo?

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Actually, America used the Afghans to defeat the Soviets, and then turned their back on helping them rebuild their country.

That's what helped cause the rise of the Taliban.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

"Nope, the reason the world hates America and is threatened by us is Freedom."

I disagree with you on most things, Devo, but I could rarely label one of your posts stupid.

But that statement is one of stupidest made on this forum all day. (and that's pretty stupid.)

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

definition of stupid:

lacking or marked by lack of intellectual acuity

dazed: in a state of mental numbness especially as resulting from shock; "he had a dazed expression on his face"; "lay semiconscious, stunned (or stupefied) by the blow"; "was stupid from fatigue"

a person who is not very bright; "The economy, stupid!"

unintelligent: lacking intelligence; "a dull job with lazy and unintelligent co-workers"

The people of the world who seek freedom come to America. Is that a stupid statement? I think it is demonstrable and obvious. Now for the punch line: The people of the world who stay in their little hell hole of a country do so because they are afraid. They are afraid of leaving family, friends, the comfort of the familiar. And America represents a freedom that is particularly uncomfortable. Not just different, but demanding of their ability to adapt. That's scary.

How 'bout freedom in their own country? Never happens. What happens instead is Rwanda. Or Mexico right now (another 21 down yesterday).

Freedom is the scariest thing, bozo. It means that you must survive in a world where you make the decisions. It means that if you fail, you pay the consequences. This doesn't happen in the tribal council meetings.

It doesn't happen in the politburo. You can hide in the massive bureaucracy of a land determined by a vast collection of ministries whose function is to make decisions for you. Yet...bozo, yet....people yearn for freedom. Some become disenchanted with the result. Some find the liberating feeling to be inspiring and they become great. But it is the scariest thing in the world.

People hate to be scared.

Do you hate to be scared, bozo? Do want a daddy to tell you what is true and false? Do want a government telling the people what to think and how to behave? Is that comfort desirable to you, bozo?

Stupid, bozo? Thoughtless, bozo? Perhaps you are the one who has been blind-sided here. Maybe you must come to grips with a disconnection from the concept of freedom.

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

I am commenting thoughtfully about the motivation of people who don't seek freedom, bozo. If you have a disagreement with an assertion, state it. If you have a logical point to make, state that. If you say "stupid".....well, what.....have another beer? My comment above is an attack on your ability to evaluate freedom. It suggests that you don't know anything about freedom or what it represents to most people of the world. Including you. Stupid is responding without addressing the issue. The issue is that Islam, and most of the rest of the world are slaves to their religion, culture, locale and all things comfortable. They learn to hate change, or the questioning of authority, or any personal decision making. Thus radical Islam. Thus, fear of freedom. Thus, collectivism, and a fear of being without a leader.

Again, bozo, are you afraid of being free?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

You've done nothing but post simplistic drivel about their hating freedom and your loving it, all the while ignoring the long track of history that created the disparities in wealth and power in this world that are precisely what's driving terrorism, whether it's committed by clandestine operations or the Pentagon.

Religion is merely superstitious window dressing for theft and mass murder. And you're nothing but a window dresser.

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

I never said that I love freedom.
You inferred it. Drivel is a dismissive word that relegates conversation to arguments over stupidity.

Disparities between wealth, power, and those who have not are directly related to their level of individual freedom and their level of acquiescence to authority. Read Hayak, Bastiat, Furedi. We disagree on philosophy, bozo.


I have no religion, bozo. I reject religion, bozo. I have no use for religion, bozo.

That is the most stupid thing said on the blog so far.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

So being "kind, intelligent and soft-hearted" is a bad thing?

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

bozo's still bucking for his Order of Lenin.

Majestic42 5 years, 1 month ago

They still give those out? I'm guessing it's an Order of Putin now. And your reward is Putin not killing you while you're awake.

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

So the Krauten heimer should stop being a Jew? How's he gonna do that? So he should reject Israel and become Muslim? That would satisfy radical Islam, and nothing less.
Since this won't happen, what should he do when he looks in the mirror, tange? How should he react when missiles come flying into Israel from Gaza? Lie down with the lions? If Israel dropped its military, they would cease to exist. So would old Chuck.

Is that the plan tange?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

Gettin' an early start on Independence Day celebrations, Devo?

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

Bozo, you brought up the word "stupid" earlier. Defend your last entry. Tange can't defend itself, maybe you should.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

I live in Arizona, and I can assure you clowny, you do not speak for me.

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

Nobody speaks for bea, folks. She is singularly unique.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

Connections to radical Islam should not be ignored. I agree. However, as soon as you claim that this is the one thing linking all these attackers you will miss another possible connection. Recognize the role of radical Islam, but don't start and end there. Too much will be missed otherwise.

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

Not bad bea. I agree that there are other reasons for Muslims killing each other and us and anybody who angers them. However, Iranians and Wahhabi Muslims hate each other as much as they hate us. While its a complicated world, the tie that links radical Islam is hatred.

So it is hatred that is fomenting in Islam. Just plain hatred. Miserable, loathsome, hatred. Hatred of freedom, wealth, the west. Hatred of their lives living in some version of poor, destitute, squalor and all they have to look forward to is the discipline of Islam. They'll have fun if they die a martyr. So here we go.....racing through the street with 35 pounds of C-4 strapped to our back.....Off to the see virgins, the wonderful virgins of Allah. Because because because because because.....because of the wonderul god that he is....

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

A very abridged and selective history, according to Devo.

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

History is what has happened. Future is what one predicts. The present, the now, is what is happening. As the now happens, bozo will be flummoxed by the hatred descending upon him. Terrorism will occur. It might happen to bozo. I hope it doesn't, but when it does, Krautster will be verified, and bozo will not.

Sorry bozo, you are wrong. Islam will kill again. Here in the U.S. And the Kraut will be right and you will be wrong.

Think about it. How will you respond?

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

And I should add, that I am only talking about radical Islamics, not the absolute vast majority. It would be like saying the Pred Fhelps represents Christians. That would just be wrong.

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

Interesting devo, but I really don't agree. I don't think it is hatred as much as it is the strong belief that their way of seeing things, that their way of life is the one and only way. Other ways are against Allah and must be crushed. It is a love of self and the god they choose to believe in more than it is hatred of others, as far as I read it.

Have you seen Bill Maher talking about the 72 virgins being proof that they live in a barter system? I mean, nobody starts at 72. Make it 100. No, no, no, 100 is too many, so lets say 50. 50? You must be kidding. 80! 64! 75! 72 -- Deal!

Religions are funny things.

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

Religions are insipid things. Religions are incipient things. Religions are excuses.

Excuses for fear, loathing, hatred, and terror.

They allow people to impose their will on others.

So, is Freedom a religion? Because it is freedom that scares the rest of the world most. If GW Bush invades Iraq and Ascanistan because he wants to promulgate freedom, is he engaged in religious evangelism? Is spreading freedom a crusade and to be rejected as hegemony, religiosity?

The statue of liberty was given to the U.S. as a symbol of freedom by France. It was given as a token of the French people's desire to have the U.S. spread freedom over the world. The symbol of freedom (not peace) to be spread outward toward the rest of the world.

Sobering, given the general attitude of current intelligentsia regarding freedom.

Are you afraid to be free?

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

We will spread freedom around the world, even if we have to kill every last person to do it!

"freedom" is a concept that isn't a reality. George Bush's invasion of Iraq was to find WMDs, remember? Only after they weren't found did it become a war for "liberation."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

"So, is Freedom a religion?"

The way you use it, yes.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes, I think the terrible poverty and squalor in many of these countries is a driving factor in radical Islam.

So why not help them improve their lives instead of waiting for them to be radicalized and then killing them?

beatrice 5 years, 1 month ago

Why? Defense contracts. You can't sell billions and billions of dollars in military equipment if you don't have a reason to use them. Millions on books wouldn't be practicle to an economy driven on keeping an empire going.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

Sounds to me more like you need someone to hate, and the simplest of rationales will do, accurate or not.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

So, if he had waited until they were, say, 16 years old, 9/11 would have been OK by you?

At the time of the founding fathers, it wasn't uncommon for girls to be married at 13 years of age. Were our ancestors pedophiles, too?

notaubermime 5 years, 1 month ago

One could just as easily state that Christians started it through centuries of crusades, genocides and forced evacuations. Separating religion from Fort Hood is no easier than separating religion from the Yelwa massacre or the Srebrenica massacre. The trick isn't in whether or not to separate religion from these events, but in understanding that concepts like 'Muslim' and 'Christian' are so broad as to be pointless.

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

Anybody else finding tange obtuse here?

ivalueamerica 5 years, 1 month ago

If the right accepts this, then why do they not accept headlines like:

The connection between racists and teabaggers can not be ignored

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

And the obfuscation persists. They? The right? Wrong? Consistent? Wow, tange, spin off into the ozone.

When the energy drink wears off, define some terms. Define some concepts, communicate, please. You might be correct, or not. Who can tell?

Majestic42 5 years ago

Or how about this one, value: "The connection between ignorance and the left cannot be ignored"

independant1 5 years, 1 month ago

Another good Krauthammer read, he's an intellectual giant.

One wonders why the usual suspects here never criticize/attack islamic terrorists/ism?

jafs 5 years ago

The violence being done by Islamic terrorists is wrong.

mdrndgtl 5 years, 1 month ago

"Just a man with nothing to lose, slightly bored and severely confused."

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

Independent1, the reason is that they hate. They hate capitalism and the freedom which is required for its manifestation.

If you hate capitalism, then you are on a slippery slope toward dismissing freedom. This is a difficult thing for ex-hippies because freedom is the fundamental right of all hippies. Free love, free drugs, freedom, freedom, freedom as Richie Havens shouted. Freedom is a paradox for ancient hippies. On one hand, they want the freedom to smoke dope. On the other hand, they want to tell people that they can't smoke tobacco.

What to do? How do we acknowledge the existence of Israel and Palestine at the same time? How do we manage disparate philosophies?

We vote for the Democrats. And leave it up to them. And when they continue wars in Ashcanistan and Iraq.....we behave just like the Republicans and do a twirl, pirouette, and thank a women.
Obama is killing progressive thought. He can't be the leader and continue the wars in the middle east and be a progressive. If he DCs the wars, then the economy really tanks. If the economy gets any worse, no money comes in to the government via taxes. If taxes dry up.......no more progressive programs.

And then the decision comes to all of us. Are we really going to be a socialist country? Are we really going to nationalize industry?

We might have to.....to pay for the government promissory notes.

But the Islamists will still hate us.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

So you equate capitalism with freedom.

What about a society that elects a socialist government in free and fair elections?

And, by the way, the thing that liberals don't like about our version of capitalism is that the rich and powerful have taken more control of our government than they should and, thus, the government is no longer "of the people".

devobrun 5 years, 1 month ago

"If it's not fair to judge or label all members of one religion because of a few crackpot extremists ... why should the standard be any different for other religions?"

Well, it isn't applied differently, Ag. Just watched "To Kill a Mockingbird" again.

Atticus is a saint, and backwoods hillbillies are daughter rapers. It is the most revered book and movie of all time. 50 year old liberal sniping at a group of people. Do they deserve it? Yes, and so do the radical Muslims who hate and kill.

Are they all bad. Krauthammer didn't say so. But should we watch out for a lot of people who are hateful and ignorant? Yep, just like we need to watch out for Bob Ewell.

Islam demands obedience to Allah and the teachings of the Prophet. Interpretations come with those teachings and when those interpretations conflict....kill the infidel.

I call that dangerous and worthy of close scrutiny. Krauthammer does to.

jafs 5 years, 1 month ago

Christianity demands obedience to God and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Interpretations differ, and some have interpreted the teachings to allow/promote violence, even though this seems like a great stretch to me.

BorderRuffian 5 years, 1 month ago

Why bother with the labels and associations, anyway? After all, according to the current administration and to Fearless Leader, it's just all Bush's fault, anyway.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

If terrorists are a concern why did the USA government hire Blackwater/Z and other private mercenary USA corporations?

The CIA is considered a terrorist organization. They wonder around the world assassinating people and subvert existing dictatorships to install new dictatorships.

Islam is not a terrorist organization. Islam may well be the oldest religion in the world.

Bush/Cheney are violent fundamentalist christians who decided that killing thousands upon thousands upon thousands of innocent men,women and children abroad would be okay so long as their war for oil control mission moved forward. How does this approach win friends around the globe?

The USA once armed the Taliban when Russia was invading Afghanistan. So why was not okay for Russia to wage war on nations of oil but it is okay for the USA to wage war and occupy nations of oil?

When did GOD say war and killing was okay?

Mixolydian 5 years, 1 month ago

"Islam may well be the oldest religion in the world."

That is just ignorant. Stick with spam botting your Reagan S&L scandal links.

On second thought....stop that too.

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

Didn't Iran get onto some UN committee overseeing women's right not long ago? Maybe more people should read this: http://www.iran-e-azad.org/stoning/women.html

tunahelper 5 years ago

radical islamic terrorists suck.

independant1 5 years ago

Not all Muslim are terrorists. Muslims around the world are not denouncing terrorism loud enough to be heard. Most terrorists today are Muslim. Most in the media are afraid of Islam, there is a double standard here in USA. Pop culture, celebrity political prognosticators and comedians walk a wide path around poking fun or denigrating islam/muslims but find christianity an easy target.

Where I come from that's called chicken $h1t behavior.

and to get back on topic K is correct terrorist ties to islam cannot be ignored. It's too obvious there is a direct tie to islam and terrorism. Terrorism is islamic politics.

Majestic42 5 years ago

Right on, right on, man. Good stuff.

jafs 5 years ago

There is certainly a tie between radical Islam and terrorists.

But we need to look at why many are attracted to radical Islam, and do what we can to minimize that attraction.

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