This is the first of my daily reading/writing journals, a new routine of season 2 of the 13 Weeks Radical Reading Reading Regimen. Each morning I will juxtapose two book excerpts with the day’s headlines and try in the afternoon to make sense of the chaos of the day’s news.
Dawn Book Reading
On Mondays I try and read books about Marxism and Islam. This week I got back to two books by PJM contributors Robert Spencer and Ion Mihai Pacepa.
Quote of the day #1: “… Allah says that he actually created some people (as well as the mysterious spirit beings known as jinn) for hell–a doctrine that is hard to reconcile with the idea of a just and loving God.” — Robert Spencer
From page 47 of Red Horizons:
Quote of the day #2: “Marx and Lenin have taught us that anything is ethical, so long as it is in the interest of the proletarian class and its world revolution.” — Nicolae Ceausescu
Morning News Round Up
Lead PJM Stories Today
Victor Davis Hanson: Nemesis, After All
The young, inexperienced, but haughty Obama is a stereotypical figure right out of Greek mythology. Sometimes he is poor arrogant Icarus — flying too high on his frail and melting waxen wings. Or is he arrogant young Phaethon? The latter demanded the reins of his father’s sun chariot — only to end up in flames as his out-of-control divine car scorched the earth (unfortunately we are the earth). Often Obama seems a know-it-all Oedipus who believed that he was so smart that the far older world of chance and fate had to yield to his superior reason. Or is he vain Narcissus, so taken with his image in the reflecting pool that Nemesis allowed him to stare forever transfixed at himself?
Do we remember the bloody battle over health care in 2009: the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, the war against Catholic institutions, the advice to pass the bill unconditionally to learn what was in it — all at a time of massive deficits and high unemployment, when we could ill afford such a divisive and costly boondoggle?
Obama in hubristic fashion got his wish, as he sought his own “legacy” or “signature achievement” over what was good for the country. Obamacare became the law of the land. Its freebies of wider coverage supposedly at first came at no cost.
Roger Kimball: World Order and Islamism
Hopeful Westerners cherish the consoling thought that we can distinguish effectively between moderate Islam, which deserves, and which wishes to have, a place at the table of modern states, and the other sort of Islam — radical Islam, jihadist Islam, extremist Islam, etc. — which takes the Qutb line and rejects statehood as the work of the devil. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister of Turkey, doesn’t like such distinctions. They are, he says, “offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam, and that’s it.” Is he right?
Claudia Rosett: The Airbrushing of Egypt’s Mohamed ElBaradei
Bridget Johnson: Kerry, White House Try to Beat Back Belief That They’re Rooting for Muslim Brotherhood
According to Bloomberg News:
Two U.S. officials who asked not to be identified commenting on [Obama's] private communications said the administration is concerned that some in the military may want to provoke the violence and provide a rationale for crushing the movement once and for all.
Then, the critical statement that explains Obama’s Middle East policy. Pay close attention:
Such a move would fail and probably prompt a shift to al-Qaeda-type terrorist tactics by extremists in the Islamist movement in Egypt and elsewhere, the U.S. officials said.
What is this statement implying? Remember this is a White House policy statement. It clearly notes that the White House believes that if the Muslim Brotherhood or perhaps the Salafists are denied power in Muslim-majority countries, theycannot be defeated, and further, will be radicalized to pursue September 11-style attacks on America.
In other words, the United States must surrender and betray its allies or else it faces disaster.
This is called surrender and appeasement. And, besides, such a move would fail.
But: we now have a public statement describing a coherent Obama policy. Inquire no more, this is it.
This is why, for example, Obama wants the Turkish and Egyptian armies to accept an Islamist regime, why he is for Syria getting one too, and why he wants Israel to accept whatever risks and to make whatever concessions are required to end the conflict right away no matter what the consequences. (Though American officials say that the demographic issue — which is simply nonsense — means that Israel better make the best deal possible now.)
American allies cannot win, and if they try, they’ll just make the Islamists angrier.
Therefore, to Ellsberg, any nation Snowden goes to is worse than the two regimes that have offered him sanctuary, and he advises him not to return to the United States. After all, to Ellsberg, who freely speaks out as he wishes, we are living in the equivalent of a totalitarian system as bad as Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. So if that is true, living in Chavezista Venezuela or Daniel Ortega’s Nicaragua means living in relative freedom. Viewing Snowden as a protector of the First, Fourth and Fifth amendments to the Constitution, he warns that Snowden even faces assassination from U.S. Special Forces
Daniel Ellsberg’s defense of Edward Snowden reveals more about Ellsberg’s frame of mind than it is a compelling defense of Snowden’s treachery. Daniel Ellsberg reveals himself to be a man who has moved from acting out of conscience – as he did decades ago – to becoming just another far leftist conspiracy monger, who believes our nation to be close to totalitarianism and run by monsters. He has no faith in the people and its institutions, which have served us well since our Founding. He believes that those who seek to keep our nation safe are our enemies, and that our real enemies are our friends.
Today’s PJ Lifestyle Stories:
Robert Spencer: 5 Books That Will Get You Banned From Britain
Duane Lester: How to Raise Superheroes in a World Gone Gotham
Paula Bolyard: Will Your Kids Grow Up to Be Weird If You Homeschool Them?
A Few Relevant News Headlines From Around the Web:
Three via Drudge:
At least 42 people were killed on Monday when Islamist demonstrators enraged by the military overthrow of Egypt’s elected President Mohamed Mursi said the army opened fire during morning prayers at the Cairo barracks where he is being held.
But the military said “a terrorist group” tried to storm the Republican Guard compound and one army officer had been killed and 40 wounded. Soldiers returned fire when they were attacked by armed assailants, a military source said.
Charles C. Johnson at the Daily Caller: U.S. Embassy official in Guyana removed in alleged sex-for-visas scandal
A State Department officer has been accused of selling visas for sex and money in what may have been a massive human trafficking operation, The Daily Caller has learned.
The State Department acknowledged last week that one of its officials is the target of a probe over “allegations of improprieties relating to a Consular Officer formerly assigned to Georgetown, Guyana” without providing further details. Local media are also claiming the official, who was recently withdrawn from normal duties pending completion of an official investigation, associated with drug lords as part of his visa scam.
The scandal began when executives and tourists complained that their visa applications were being held up, and local media began reporting that a visa official was demanding bribes and sex in exchange for visas.
The $1.5 billion in U.S. foreign aid slated for Egypt next year is in jeopardy after the Egyptian army deposed democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday.
Section 508 of the decades-old Foreign Assistance Act stipulates that “none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by a military coup or decree.”
A clause in the 2011 omnibus bill strengthens the provision, excluding from American aid any nation experiencing a “coup d’etat or decree in which the military plays a decisive role.”
And Some Headlines from the World of Entertainment, Arts, Technology and Culture:
City Journal Book Review of Big Data, Hat tip Instapundit: Every Breath You Take The age of all-seeing, all-knowing information analytics is nearly upon us.
Related: Don’t forget last week’s Spengler: The Zombie Apocalypse — Ours and Theirs:
Dying cultures are the living dead. Half of the world’s 6,000 languages will disappear by the end of this century. They are zombie cultures. But we Americans are gestating a zombie culture inside what used to be a “country with the soul of a church,” as G.K. Chesterton put it. The hedonistic narcissism that took over popular culture during the 1960s produced a spiritual deadening like nothing in American history. That’s why we are so fascinated with zombies. We identify with them.
Speaking of Zombies…
At Slate by Matthew Yglesias: Eliot Spitzer Never Should Have Resigned In The First Place
At Acculturated by Abby W. Schachter: Have They No Shame? The Disgrace of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer
A Great New video Out Today From the team at Prager University Featuring Dr. Stephen Marmer: What is Forgiveness and How Do We Implement It?
It’s understandable to get worked about about these two facts, to even get very angry at those who point them out:
1. The Koran states that Allah created some beings specifically so they could spend eternity being tortured in hell. Devout Muslims believe this and then act on its implications. If Allah has created some humans who are destined for eternal damnation then what difference does it make if they are treated like meat? Warning, Graphic…
2. Marx and Lenin advocated that anything was ethical so long as it furthered the interests of the proletariat revolution.
You watched the Stephen Marmer, Prager University video on forgiveness, right? That third category of forgiveness is applicable here for tempering the sting of that anger…