CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Why We Are Losing to the Terrorists

Mar 17, 2007

If militant Islam ends up taking over Australia and the West; if freedom and democracy give way to sharia law and dhimmitude; and if America ceases to be the world leader in the fight against terrorism, we will only have ourselves to blame.

Or more specifically, we will in large measure have certain segments of Australian and Western society to blame. That is, while Islamic terrorism and the war against a free West is a major concern, perhaps of even more concern are those in the West who are effectively taking their side, blaming the West in general and the US in particular for all the world’s ills, while excusing the terrorists.

This has been described in various ways: appeasement, moral myopia, the plague of anti-Americanism, the great liberal death wish, Western self-loathing, and so on. It is a repellent and ultimately dead-end mindset. But unfortunately it characterises way too much of the leftwing intelligentsia.

There was a great – or appalling – example of this in today’s Melbourne Age. This is arguably one of the nation’s most leftist newspapers. (Mind you, if the Age were in a competition with the Sydney Morning Herald and the Canberra Times as to which was the worst of the leftist rags, it would be hard to pick a clear-cut winner.)

Its selection of news coverage, the way it covers stories, and its editorial policies, are all decidedly left of centre, pro-Labor and anti-American. And so too are the bulk of its letter writers. It is an unpleasant task to have to wade through these left-wing rants each day.

In order not to make my breakfast experience too unpleasant, I tend to gloss over the Age letters’ page. Yet I risked spilling my corn flakes this morning by checking out today’s selection. It was a big mistake. A pleasant morning became an occasion of rage, bewilderment and disappointment.

There leading the way were five letters on the issue of the recent confession of terrorist mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. He has said in US detention that he was the architect of the 9/11 attacks, the Bali bombings, and numerous other atrocities committed by Islamic extremists.

Yet what did these five letter writers have to say about it? Well, they basically made jokes about it. They said that he must be responsible for all the other ills in the world as well, such as, the Titanic. Ha Ha.

They simply made light of his claims, and suggested instead that the real moral atrocity was that the US probably tortured him, and that is why he said such things. And almost all of them brought up the subject of David Hicks.

On and on it went. It was as appalling as it was disappointing. Here were five Australians who seem to think they are experts in geopolitics and international affairs, all snidely attacking the US, and siding with the terrorists. America is the real enemy, in their darkened minds, and a terrorist mastermind is somehow to be excused, exonerated or turned into a martyr.

The Age was quite happy to give these moral pygmies pride of place in the letters’ page. And of course it did not print one countervailing viewpoint. This is so typical of the Age. Simply run with one side of an issue, and censure out the other side. (Of course this is the same paper that also today featured a story about Donald Trump calling George W. Bush the “worst president ever”. Why am I not surprised to see this story there?)

Now to be honest, I don’t know all the exact details of the Khalid story. I am not an authority on this particular issue. I do not know how the confessions came about, and how much of what he said is true and how much isn’t. But neither do these letter writers. Yet they act as if they were there, and have first-hand experience. They are so smug in their anti-Americanism, that they simply assume that if America said something or did something, it has to be wrong.

And worse, they simply presume that the terrorists are somehow the good guys in this situation. They are happy to give amoral mass-murderers the benefit of the doubt, while putting the worst possible spin on anything the American government has to say.

Such intellectually juvenile and morally distorted views tell us just how far down the tubes we as a nation have gone. If this is the view of the average Australian intellectualoid, then we are much further out to sea than I had feared. And of course this is all aided and abetted by the Melbourne Age. Its letter pages have become a gathering point for every discontented lefty, secularist and America-hater.

Every day it prints dozens of such foolish and vacuous letters. And unfortunately, those for whom the Age is the main source of news and opinion end up being fed this steady diet of leftist distortion, without any balance.

Thus my breakfast has been well and truly ruined. Obviously the mainstream media has long ago lost the plot. But I will keep writing posts for the alternative media. I will keep letting those who are interested know that there are other viewpoints around than what one finds in a morally moribund and logically lax MSM.

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23 Responses to Why We Are Losing to the Terrorists

  • Bill, I have to confess that I stopped reading the letters of such newspapers long ago. I know what’s there and I believe that I have nothing to gain by hearing the viewpoints of intellectually-challenged sheep. These are people who haven’t even bothered to read up anything that would amount to a serious rebuttal of what they are so determined to believe. At least the journalists themselves have to research their stories even if they add their own spin.
    And you know, as sure as there is a sun in the sky, the Age is never going to publish anything you or I say as a serious rebuttal, so there it is. Although they’re basically a large propaganda pamphlet, they unfortunately have a large readership and the undeserved credibility of being a news supplier to the general public of Australia. Most people who disagree with their views would probably have jumped ship long ago and stopped buying it. However, I applaud your fighting instincts and completely understand your frustrations. It all sounds so familiar and I similarly had my day ruined for a while last Saturday reading the marketing spin that has been foisted on the Australian public over David Hicks and how the public just keeps swallowing it but I got payback at the computer in my blog that evening!
    Dee Graf

  • Thanks Dee

    There was a great line earlier this month by Victorian Liberal MP Bernie Finn as recorded in the Herald Sun (but not the Age):

    “I must offer a word of caution to those seeking to elevate Hicks to national hero status. David Hicks was not in Afghanistan to judge the Kabul beach babe contest. He was there fighting for one of the most oppressive regimes on earth, which is and was a supporter and promoter of terrorism both locally and internationally. He was there in Afghanistan to kill Australians and its allies. To those who say give David Hicks a fair go, I say give our Aussie military a fair go.”

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill

    Great article. I too have had a gutfull of the America bashes. Who live in such a cultural relativistic world that they can’t possibly see anything wrong with the Islamofascist behaviour. Cultural relativist Lefties are not so much for cultural equality as they are for anti-westernism.

    Keep up the good work and BTW that quote was great.

    Damien Spillane

  • Yeah, people think David Hicks should be innocent until proven guilty by a fair trial. What crazy thoughts they possess.
    Chris Mayer

  • Thanks Chris

    Most people would think that if someone is caught behind enemy lines, training with, and offering material support for, the Taliban and its al-Qaida allies against Australian and American troops, the evidence is pretty clear. But Finn’s main point is why are we trying to turn such a guy into a national hero?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill, sorry about your corn flakes, and I know that reading newspapers is part of your job description, but the letter writers of the modern left are the true inheritors of the left of the 1930s, who were the prime abbettors of appeasement of Hitler. Governments of the time listened to them, because they were strident and noisy. Result: a bloodbath that could have and should have been avoided if governments then had shown some spine. I fear we are simply repeating history.

    I sit bemused at the MSM constantly telling out the line that “in any war truth is the first casualty”. It sure is! In this “war on terror” the MSM are prime culprits! All this intellectual bile is simply testimony to that fact, and this came out most prominently in the whole “fauxtography” scandal in the Lebanon war last year: the doctored photos, the stage-managed photos (especially the ambulance one), the self-serving reports from Hezbollah, all of which the MSM gullibly ran with, and then refused to stand corrected.

    Murray Adamthwaite

  • Hi Bill
    I follow American politics very closely on American television, via satellite. I am amazed at how the Australian media distorts “news” from America. For example, contrary to Austrlian leftist reports about Guantanamo Bay Prison, a number of independent European officials have visited the prison and declared that the conditions there were far better than in European jails. Prisoners receive three excellent meals a day. The food is better than what is given to the military guards. They are given time to pray and are supplied with prayer mats.

    They are also supplied with high quality medical attention.
    I wonder how many of the amateur commentators of the Age letters’ page (probably Labor branch hacks) are aware that the Red Cross has a permanently staffed office there?

    British PM Blair somewhat foolishly requested that some prisoners, captured by the British, be released. A number of them have been recaptured on the battlefield and have been found to have committed more murders.

    One commentator, who should know, expressed the opinion that Khalid knows that he’s going nowhere and in an effort to be a big hero amongst other terrorists, has confessed to those high profile crimes. It was stated that his latest outburst would have nothing to do with having been tortured.

    Your analysis of the problems in western society was spot-on. These secular humanist apologists for terror have dispensed with the 10 commandments, or alternatively have never been a party to them anyway, consequently they have no guidance. They have substituted the real 10 commandments, with their own 10 commandments, based on ridiculous politically correct codswallop. Consequently they do not know the difference between right and wrong, wise and unwise.

    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  • Bill said:

    “Most people would think that if someone is caught behind enemy lines, training with, and offering material support for, the Taliban and its al-Qaida allies against Australian and American troops, the evidence is pretty clear. But Finn’s main point is why are we trying to turn such a guy into a national hero?”

    So let me get this straight Bill you are saying for some people (in this case Hicks), we do away with the courts and just give say they are guilty with no trial. Who decides this guilt, you? The media, who? I am left extremely confused by the ramifications of what you say.

    I don’t see anyone trying to make him a hero, just give him the trial that *anyone* deserves. When we start treating the ‘worst’ badly it is the innocent who will eventually suffer. We must maintain our high standards od justice for all, no matter what the crime, or we all lose in the end.

    I also note, apparently the evidence is clear, but he has already had one charge (attempted murder) dropped, I guess it wasnt so clear in that case.

    Chris Mayer

  • Bill, you have to be kidding. Similar letters were published in that bastion of the right-wing, The Australian, and questions have been asked about this alleged confession by other media around the world. It just seems too good to be true that after 4 years in Guantanamo, this guy claims responsibility for just about every terrorist act in the world for the last 30 years. It also seems that he has a history of exaggerating his role in the terrorist movement.

    e.g. The New York Times:
    www.nytimes.com/2007/03/15/us/15gitmo.html
    Suspected Leader of 9/11 Attacks Is Said to Confess
    “It is not clear how many of Mr. Mohammed’s expansive claims were legitimate. In 2005, the Sept. 11 commission said that Mr. Mohammed was noted for his extravagant ambitions, and, using his initials, described his vision as “theater, a spectacle of destruction with KSM as the self-cast star, the superterrorist.”

    Furthermore, you can’t blame people for being suspicious about propaganda from the US military machine. We’ve been lied to from the start of the Iraq conflict, and even the American people have lost all confidence in the Bush administration.

    It’s quite wrong to suggest that questioning the claims of the US Government, or being sceptical about this alleged confession, means hating America or siding with terrorists. Surely the very essence of Western democracy is that it allows robust debate, disagreement and criticism. How else are we to discern the truth but by casting off our gullibility?

    Tom Andrews, Lilydale Vic.

  • Frank Bellet is certainly right. There would be an uproar if they were treated like airline passengers. They have to stand in line for ages after extreme sleep deprivation, thirst and hunger, and are subject to arbitrary searches of their person and luggage, because of a stupid refusal to differentiate between those who fit the terrorist profile and little old grandmothers. And of course there is arbitrary confiscation of harmless liquids and nail clippers by little men with power, trying to foil the previous terrorist attack.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Thanks again Chris

    It appears that his trial will be forthcoming, perhaps in a matter of months. I have nowhere said he should be exempt from such a trial. Hicks has pretty much damned himself through the verbal and written admissions he has already made, but his day in court will come. What Finn and I are concerned about is the double standards of the Left. They are concerned about justice for Hicks, but did not seem interested in the lack of justice for those living under the Taliban, for those killed by Al-Qaeda, the victims of Islamic terrorism, and so on. The silence from the radical left on these issues has been deafening, and their concerns about justice seem highly selective.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Tom

    But unlike the totally one-sided collection of letters in the Age, there was a genuine mix of opinion in the letters on the subject in the Weekend Australian.

    And I did say in my article that one cannot be certain of all of the claims made by Mohammed.

    And yes, I am all in favour of robust debate, which is exactly why I wrote this piece, because such fair and balanced debate is what is so often missing in the Age.

    Finally, you sound like the typical Age letter writer. Instead of dealing with the evidence, you just throw out unsupported generalities (“We’ve been lied to from the start of the Iraq conflict”). This is typical of the Left and the blame-America-first crowd.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Sorry Bill, this turned into a long response

    Chris Mayer 18.3.07 / 9pm said:

    Bill said:
    “Most people would think that if someone is caught behind enemy lines, training with, and offering material support for, the Taliban and its al-Qaida allies against Australian and American troops, the evidence is pretty clear. But Finn’s main point is why are we trying to turn such a guy into a national hero?”

    ‘So let me get this straight Bill you are saying for some people (in this case Hicks), we do away with the courts and just give say they are guilty with no trial. Who decides this guilt, you? The media, who? I am left extremely confused by the ramifications of what you say.’

    Chris, I would support Bill’s general thrust by referring to the line from the Dirty Harry movie (without condoning the character),
    “If I see a half-naked man wielding a meat-cleaver, chasing a woman down the street, I do not assume he’s collecting for Red Cross!”

    The general principle is that a person’s overt actions put them into a particular context where certain theoretical possibilities are ipso facto removed from consideration. In the case of David Hicks, he put himself into a position of knowingly turning his back on this country, and thus I believe he forfeited most, if not all, of the normal civil rights of an Australian citizen.

    ‘”I don’t see anyone trying to make him a hero, just give him the trial that *anyone* deserves. ‘

    I see a lot of that hero-making on some of the other blogs I visit. Many are not pretty. I’ve been on the internet and in email from the beginning, and those kinds of comments have long been treated with disdain. Those kinds are usually called ‘flamers’ or ‘trolls’ and everyone is advised to avoid them like the plague they are.

    ‘When we start treating the ‘worst’ badly it is the innocent who will eventually suffer. We must maintain our high standards od justice for all, no matter what the crime, or we all lose in the end.’

    However, the opposite problem also rears its head: if we fail to exercise God’s judgement via the Biblically delegated processes of civil government, we allow sin to flourish.

    Too many of our judicial processes these days suffer from a weak, humanist sentimentalism (totally inconsistent with the world-view of those humanists) and, as a community, we therefore fail to punish evil.

    For instance, Biblically we should have a death penalty, but we don’t because as a community we fail to recognise sin and the incorrigible heart of rebellious humanity.

    Isaiah 5:20 warns us
    Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;

    ‘I also note, apparently the evidence is clear, but he has already had one charge (attempted murder) dropped, I guess it wasn’t so clear in that case.’

    There have been many legal manouverings in this protracted affair, most instigated by the defence, which has had the result that the trial has been delayed time and again. Some points may be valid, but all of us in Australia are too far away from the case, and unqualified in law, and our comments should be cautious, rather than strident, as many of David Hicks’ supporters are.

    It’s only by God’s grace that David Hicks did not receive the natural consequences of his choices out on the battlefield.

    John Angelico

  • Tom Andrews 19.3.07 / 12am said:

    ‘Bill, you have to be kidding. Similar letters were published in that bastion of the right-wing, The Australian, and questions have been asked about this alleged confession by other media around the world. It just seems too good to be true that after 4 years in Guantanamo, this guy claims responsibility for just about every terrorist act in the world for the last 30 years. It also seems that he has a history of exaggerating his role in the terrorist movement.’

    Tom, this guy is no 3 in the tree!
    So he could be stroking his ego yes, but myths take hold most strongly when there is a kernel of truth at the base. He may well have had “senior command”-level involvement in all those things without being directly “hands-on” at the time, without totally invalidating his grand claims.

    It’s the same principle as is used by opponents of the war to ascribe blame and responsibility to George W Bush, even though nobody has seen him personally fire a gun at anyone in Iraq.

    So I would say, if this terrorist wants to take the credit, fine – let’s put him on trial for the lot, and accept his confession immediately.

    John Angelico

  • The point that both you and Bill seemed to miss is *where* are you getting you evidence to pass judgement on Hicks from? As fas as I can assertain it is the media. The same media that Bill often writes articles about biases and innacuracies in. I am just totally confused as to how you can hold *any* judgement guilty or not, about *anyone* based soley on the media’s reporting of a case. The consequences of that scare me greatly.

    John said:

    “Some points may be valid, but all of us in Australia are too far away from the case, and unqualified in law, and our comments should be cautious, rather than strident, as many of David Hicks’ supporters are.”

    You think Bill saying:

    “the evidence is pretty clear”

    Is a cautious, non strident statement?

    In cases like this I am constatly reminded of the story of Jean Charles De Menezes, the person shot by police in London after the terrorist bombings. The media, and many others got the initial story *totally* wrong, yet many people were ready to pass judgement on his stupid behviour, and how he got himself killed.

    If you both think relying on the media as our source of evidence in chosing the life changing path of a person’s guilt or innocence, I amd truly scared about the world you want us to inhabit.

    Chris Mayer

  • Thanks Chris

    The issue is not the media here. The issue is this: we already have enough comments – both spoken and written – made by Hicks that he pretty well has condemned himself.

    But I remind folks that Hicks is not the original subject of this post, so we are straying from the topic at hand.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Chris says: “So let me get this straight Bill you are saying for some people (in this case Hicks), we do away with the courts and just give say they are guilty with no trial. Who decides this guilt, you? The media, who? I am left extremely confused by the ramifications of what you say.”

    Actually Chris, when you’re in the middle of a combat zone during time of war, it’s the guy who’s pointing a gun at you who decides your guilt or innocence. As an enemy combatant, out of uniform, without proper Geneva Convention Identification, Hicks could have been shot on the spot. He and his supporters should be greatful that at least one side of this conflict voluntarily chooses to take the moral high-ground, even though it puts our own troops at risk.

    Having been in both Afghanistan and Iraq, I can tell you from first-hand experience that the enemy has no rules. They intentionally initiate firefights from inside civilian populated structures, knowing that our response will be delayed and that we will be reluctant to fire back for fear of harming innocent civilians. If civilians are injured or killed, it becomes the fault of the “Americans” or “Allies” for protecting their own lives against attack. The media circus begins, and everyone forgets that the reason we are there to begin with is because these counries harbor a large percentage of savages willing to kill anyone and everyone who they don’t agree with from a religious perspective.

    Hell, Muslims have killed more Muslims over petty disagreements in the chain of succession, than have ever been killed by outside forces. Contrary to popular belief, Islam is a violent, repressive political and religious system bent on imposing it’s will on the entire planet. I for one will not allow it, and I’m willing to take away the “rights” of a million “David Hicks” to keep it from happening.

    Inter arma silent leges: in time of war the law is silent.

    Get over it.

    Angry American

  • Thanks AA

    I ask commentators to provide their full name, and I tried – but failed – to contact you about this. But this time I have made an exception, as it is good to get some non-Australian feedback on occasion, and it is good to hear from someone who has been in the military and has faced these situations first hand.

    Of course Chris or others will reply, “you are willing to sacrifice freedom in the name of freedom”. Well not quite. It is true that in times of war, all the niceties of civilized society may not be possible, and a temporary suspension of some legal procedures may be necessary. But these are the exceptions to the rule.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill,
    As it can sometimes be unhealthy to identify one’s self when making negative comments about Islamic terrorists, I prefer to not use my name or email address. As we all know, a simple cartoon is enough to warrant rioting and death threats from these savages.

    I’m certain, were Chris to see with his own eyes the attrocities committed by these terrorists, he would change his opinion in a matter of seconds.

    Chris, imagine that you are an Iraqi or Afghan civilian. You have just driven your family to market to pick up some drinkable water or fresh vegetables, and are returning home. As you near your home, you come across a roadblock manned by armed men. You are stopped, pulled from your vehicle, beaten and shot in front of your wife and children, simply because you are either Shite or Sunni Muslim and your attackers are not. Or imagine being kidnapped, made to call your family, and then have holes drilled into your skull and major joints with a power tool as your family listens to you begging and screaming for your life. These things happen regularly, sometimes many times a day, throughout Iraq and Afghanistan.

    There is only one reason this same thing is not happening throughout Australia or The United States, and that is because our governments, through use of military force, have taken the fight elsewhere. If you choose to bring these people to your homeland and treat them as criminals with the same rights as a vandal or petty thief, they will use the legal system to legitimize terrorism and torture as a means to bring about social change. Make no mistake: Their goal is to impose Sharia law and Islam throughout the World. This is not speculation; it is their own words. Their initial goal is to use the legal system to make it a “hate crime” or “discrimination” or “racial profiling” (as if Islam were a race) to even speak out about their nefarious activities. They hope to have it so that the common citizen is afraid to report suspicious activity, or the newspaper is afraid to publish stories pertaining to Islamic terrorists for fear of legal action.

    Angry American

  • Thanks AA

    I will give you this last chance, but remind you of the rules. The truth is, sometimes we need to make a stand, and face the consequences. There is obviously much here which I have written which some Muslims will not like. But I must be willing to stand up for what is right, even if it means possible reprisal.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • The difference between you and I is that I’ll be in Afghanistan next month…
    Angry American

  • Fair enough, AA.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill, I am with you 100%. If we are to die for what we believe in then so be it. I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in, for as the bible says, do not fear he who destroys the body, but fear he who can destroy the soul as well.
    Remember Jesus said for what does it profit a man to gain the whole world only to lose his life. This isnt the first time I hear of these things happening in places like Afganastan.
    Do people ever consider what the holocaust was even like? This kind of murderous behaviour has been around since the beginning of mankind.
    For those out there reading this, I urge you all to stand up for your rights and your truth, before its too late.
    Fivos Panayiotou

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