Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Apathetic America: To Be Continued

America’s Apathetic Slide: To Be Continued

Do political prognosticators really understand the reason Nancy Pelosi finds herself two heart beats from the Presidency come January? Do the editors at major media outlets really know how to decipher the reasons behind the slide in Iraq? Why the findings of the Iraq Study Group are grossly embedded with assumptions and faulty logic? The mystery to these questions is no mystery at all and the truth begs to be told. America no longer maintains the intestinal fortitude to hear the truth and act accordingly. We grudgingly tromp about in our tiny circles with little interest devoted to what matters and no desire to productively contribute to the future of our country and its founding principles and values. We simply do not care anymore and the future repercussions cast the dimmest glow on the horizon.

Pelosi and other recently elected Democrats rejoice in America’s “decisive” voice in effectuating change in America. But just how decisive was the vote? I am not talking about canvassed votes and the squeakiest of margins in Democratic victories in Virginia and Montana, but rather what did voters really know or care to research? The sad commentary simply reveals that after left-leaning print, network, and cable news organizations whipped the administration and the viewing public to death with negativity, scandal coverage, and unbalanced reporting, we bought it. The voting public or what there is of it, simply sat in living rooms awash in the negativity being broadcast night and day, hour by hour, and collectively fell prey to every word of it. Is Iraq the land of apple pie and hot dogs? No. Is there a need for a major policy shift and possible redeployment of our troops? The most probable answer is yes. Did the Democrats take control of Congress because a truly informed electorate weighed the tactical issues in Iraq against the actions of their representation or was it just easier to put faith in the networks, let them do the “work”, and believe cuddly politicians had the answer to Middle Eastern aggression and American troop deaths? I think the latter applies.

Pelosi’s motives adhere themselves to the most radical ideologies in the Democratic Party. Did the American people really weigh enough of what matters when a San Francisco liberal that supports abortion, alternative life styles, judicial activism, and dialogue with rogue states like North Korea now finds herself within arm’s reach of the United States presidency? Oh, yeah that is right. America woke up election morning with a fresh perspective on what is right and what is wrong on the American value scale and Nancy Pelosi is the clear winner. That is ridiculous. The “informed electorate” is not very informed at all. But what do we expect? When seniors in high school cannot pass the verbal and reading portions of their SAT’s and few of the registered voters know the capital of their own state or the names of more than five of our past presidents, what does the future hold?

What about the findings of the blue ribbon fact-combing commission known as the Iraq Study Group? (I thought blue ribbons went to 4-H kids with a champion steer, I digress) I generally maintain a favorable impression of James Baker as do I with the accomplishments and vision of the Reagan Administration. However, during the group’s press conference and subsequent interviews, James Baker and Lee Hamilton stressed the importance of dialogue with Muslim states in the region including Syria and Iran. That is comforting. Let us review lest we distract ourselves. As I pen this article the Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is passing tea and pastries around the table at a conference intended to deny the Holocaust as a historical event.

Oh, did I mention that he calls for the eradication of Israel? Yes, by all means let’s have a summit with someone possessing these maniacal tendencies for genocide and world domination. Elite Iranian military personnel provide weapons and training to Shiite militia. Syria remains a bed partner with the insurgency and provides money, weapons, training, and porous border control to fuel sectarian bloodletting in Iraq. Our “ally” Saudi Arabia allows its citizens and members within the royal family to funnel money to the Sunni death squads in Iraq. The Taliban resurfaces like dead carp from the deep as Afghanistan continues to wobble on its weak knees. Osama Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri probably reside in the tribal regions of Pakistan. I guarantee if they resided in the tribal regions of Nevada they would be captured or better yet dead.

The point is this. There never has been peace between the West and Middle East. There has never been peace between the Middle East and the Middle East. Do you ever wonder why countries with billions of dollars in resources and assets continue to trudge along in the Stone Age? Why do religious zealots control the populace like puppet masters and make semi-elected Muslim government officials fearful of them and those willing to carry out their bidding? (The rest of Muslim countries have dictatorships that literally can kill for sport) Do you really think the Israeli conflict with the Palestinians is over borders and a Palestinian state? It is about a state alright. It is about the elimination of the Israeli state. Do people understand that most of these countries still cut off hands, legs, and heads as punishment for crimes like petty theft and less? These are state laws but based on interpretation of Islamic law. Now we are getting to where the rubber meets the road.

We are not at war with terrorists; their actions are incidental believe it or not. We are at war with an ideology that manifests itself through violent extremism but whose roots lie within Muslim tradition and culture. Yes sir, a racist and bigoted statement until the reality presents itself. One question solves the quandary. Where is the moderate Muslim outrage? Do Christians in Davenport jump up and down when Ahmadinejad threatens harm and death to America and Israel? Do Christians jump in their cars and travel to Chicago or New York to blow up a mosque or detonate a car bomb on the streets while innocents go about the business of daily life? No they do not. Do you remember watching news footage of rabid crowds chanting in unison, firing weapons in the air, and burning the likenesses of American leaders in effigy? Uncontrolled emotional reactions based on daily choices not influenced but dictated by religion. Every response whether viewed in a conservative, moderate, or extremist light is based on adherence at one level or another to Islamic law. We worship privately but have vocal stalwarts whose lives are dedicated to preventing the melding of church and state. In Muslim cultures, the state is the most vocal proponent of religion and religious ideology controls the state’s activities. Hamas, Hezbollah, and even Al-Qaeda are not politically motivated but dominated and indoctrinated by supposed and sometimes imposed religious edict. How can the American government legitimate them as functioning government and political entities when they are driven by a religious ideology that promotes eradication and domination?

In America, even as morally unfit as we are, if Catholic or Protestant death squads roamed the streets in their relatively small numbers the “sectarian” violence would end in short order. Value based outrage here would lead to their throats being cut in their sleep. That is the difference. We are fighting in Iraq for people that are so addicted to their religion that peace cannot be achieved. Modern values and principles like the separation of church and state that have evolved over centuries, wars, and bloodshed never moved beyond the 15th century in the Middle East. Even if the entire globe converted to Islam, the battle for power among sects of the same religion would thrust the entire planet into war forever. We are at war with a culture that cannot stand peace. How can the Iraq Study Group call for multilateral dialogue with states that cannot adhere to the modern principles of peace through the separation of church and state? I stand for Christian principles and values but I don’t expect Washington to force them as law on the populace and punish those who privately disagree.

I am so disappointed that we are such obtuse purveyors of modern history. Adolph Hitler did not saunter from his suite in a bath robe one cool morning in 1940 and decide over breakfast and Eva Braun to destroy the Jews. The beginnings of Mein Kampf seethed with hatred and evil nearly twenty years prior to the invasion of Poland. History is repeating itself with Ahmadinejad right before our eyes and no one does a thing. On a cheerier note, he is aligned with Putin and Russia as well. That should make everyone sleep a little sounder tonight.

When it is all boiled down to gravy our own moral decline certainly weakens our position when we need strong resolve as a nation to deal with the growing global manifestations of extremism. We cannot hold our marriages together, keep unborn children from homicide, nor can we understand the complexity multicultural interactions and the inherent challenges of surviving on this planet. A political leader stands high atop his podium crashing his fist and denigrating a sovereign country and preaching genocide. Our response is to grab a pizza, watch the King of Queens, and hope the media and Nancy Pelosi’s track record on foreign policy keeps us from harm.

Our apathy is rotting us from the inside out. We have little control over our own lives and certainly our ability to prioritize what is critical from what is trivial has been lost. We are obsessed with vanity and material wealth and accumulation. We won’t sacrifice enough to save our families anymore much less consider sacrificing for our country. Why is Nancy Pelosi on the beltway’s fast track? She is where she is because no one took the time to give a damn. This country obviously weakened itself with the November elections and we should be afraid. Regardless of the election results, the world got what it wanted. The world received a pacifist response from a nation of “do-nothings” and “care-lessers”. The piper will be paid. The anti-conservative media rails against the death of American troops yet will spend segments three and four times as long on Tom Cruise’s baby and George Clooney’s face. That’s what America wants. What America gets will be far darker and more dismal than even World War Two.

Montana Conservative