1. Gitmo Works.
We learned today that Paris barbarian Cherif Kouachi was sentenced some time ago in France for terrorist recruitment. He got a whopping three years, and all but 18 months were suspended. It seems the Gitmo model is the better model. Not surprisingly, President Obama is obsessed with shutting it down. Indefinite detention or life detention without any chance of release seem the better punishments for terrorists. The recidivism rate among these young male jihadists is beyond our measures. It’s time that they are put behind bars, forever, when they are caught.
2. Islamic Evil Is Rising.
Barbarians who believe they are acting consistent with Islamic teaching are an existential threat to civilization now and in the foreseeable future. We’ve heard this so often since September 11, that it is easy to lose sight of the civilizational struggle that reawakened in Iran in 1979.
Are the barbarians in Paris acting in accordance with Islam, or contrary to Islam? Does it really matter? They will tell you they are acting in accordance with Islam. They will mouth prayers from that religion as they kill.
Unfortunately, this civilizational friction between the west and Islam has ebbed and flowed across the centuries. It is nothing new. Islam threatened the gates of Vienna and the Crusades reached the Holy Land. Anyone who thinks history stops is delusional.
There is one and only one answer to this: reformation. Islam must reform the same way Christianity reformed and matured centuries ago. The strained attempts by some to claim Christians have a similar theological justification for violence against non-Christians are purely delusional. King John does not represent Christian theology of the last few centuries (not that anyone on the left understands this).
3. Evil Is Rising and the Alarm Is Ignored.
It is natural to downplay any gathering storm. Nobody wants to believe the future could be bloodier than the past. The future is always under control, until it isn’t.
How many more beheadings, schoolhouse massacres, exploding airplanes, exploding cafes, threats, stabbings, mutilations, vengeance murders and bloodbaths will it take to awaken the good and mighty in our civilization? Will the cold-blooded execution of a Paris policeman do it? I doubt it. Nothing else has.
Churchill experienced the frustration of having a decade of warnings ignored by the media, the British public and even his own Tory party. It took a calamity for the alarm to be heard. In the West in 2015, even calamity seems inadequate.
4. Where Are the T-Shirts?
Someone asked me where they can get a t-shirt with the Kurt Westergaard Mohammed cartoon. If you want to sell one to him and probably others, direct us in the comment section below.
5. Jihadists Play the Long Game.
The jihadists are playing the long game against the West. They think this struggle is merely the latest chapter in a struggle that goes back centuries, and not without some merit (see, #2 above). The jihadists think the long game favors them because they are having many more babies than Westerners — particularly more than Europeans and American liberals. Jihadists delight when Western leaders criticize Charlie Hebdo‘s satire. They see Western media cower and tremble and refuse to republish a cartoon in a news story. The jihadists think they enjoy a cultural and moral tailwind, and they are probably right.
Meanwhile, it is fashionable in Hollywood and in the elite corners of the country to mock Christians. Yet Episcopalians aren’t blowing up CBS.
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6. Homework: Watch an Evening of Al-Jazeera.
If you want to understand the long game, watch an evening of Al-Jazeera America. I did over Christmas, catching the three-part documentary “World War One Through Arab Eyes.” When I got done, even I started feeling anger at the English, and my grandfather was born in England!
If you don’t catch this historical documentary, you can feast on other Al-Jazeera grievance-fare such as how elections are being rigged to shaft blacks, how American law enforcement represents structural racism or any potpourri of gripes about America’s hostility toward non-Anglos. Naturally, Israel has a place at the network even lower than America. Al-Jazeera is usually more subtle, though, in sowing the seeds of discontent with the West. Watch one evening of programing. Better yet, watch one evening with your kids and teach them how to separate fact from opinion, and propaganda from news. Unfortunately, they’ll probably be dealing with this in ways worse than you will.
7. Where Is Our Churchill to Confront this Gathering Storm?
The story of the West has been that great figures rise to the times. Washington, Walesa, Lincoln, Thatcher, and lesser known foot soldiers against evil appeared at just the right moment. So far, the burden has fallen on the disparate shoulders of the common warriors of NATO, first responders in major western cities, Israel and the massacred Christians across the Middle East.
But who can lead? For now, there is perhaps only one course of action: pray . . . pray to a God that doesn’t have a bloodthirsty streak.