Our Freedom Siren Song
By Selwyn Duke
While most platitudes become tiresome, there’s one in use currently that irks me more than any other. It’s not the nauseatingly ubiquitous “Our strength lies in our diversity,” although, admittedly, that is vying for the top position. No, what animates my pen this fine evening was spawned by 9/11 and has finally assaulted my neurons to a point of critical mass. What has me so exercised? It’s the tripe that the Islamo-imperialists in whose crosshairs we find ourselves target us because, mercy me and get the Digitalis, Ma, they hate our freedom.
I heard this sentiment uttered just recently by Martin Gross, one of the chief shysters in our most powerful home-grown terrorist organization, the American Criminal Liberties Union. And if you believe it, I have some land in the Whitewater Development to sell you.
But since free-association derived geopolitical explanations seem to be all the rage, allow me to join the fray. I submit the following possible explanations for why the modern-day Moors loathe us so:
1. We’re too chaste.
2. Our government is too small.
3. We’re too tough on criminals.
4. Our taxes are too low and our tax code too simple.
5. We eat too little.
6. We’re working too aggressively to infuse our public square with religion.
7. Our lifestyles are too ascetic.
8. Our kids are too well behaved.
9. Our politicians are too honest.
10. We don’t give homosexuals enough TV airtime.
Now, I don’t expect the pundits who could double their IQs with one serving of fish to start parroting my top ten list like they do the freedom fiction, but they might as well. It makes just about as much sense.
For starters, Islam has a history of consistent use of aggression that dates back to shortly after its inception around 610 A.D. [ACLU, that means “Anno Domini”; take note], a time that greatly predated the ascendancy of what we loosely call “free nations.” And the Muslim hordes used that aggression to great effect. Palestine, Syria and Egypt all fell before their onslaught. During the ensuing three centuries they were followed by North Africa, Spain, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) and most of the Byzantine Empire (the remnant of the Roman Empire). Of course, despite the fact that all those areas had been ruled by potentates, I assume that they were free regions that Muslims hated because of their freedom, too. Hey, you learn something new every day.
Pay attention, though, class is not yet dismissed. Since Muslims are or have recently been on the warpath in places like the Phillippines, Nigeria, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kashmir, India, Indonesia, the Middle East and Sudan, by the same logic they must be lands where liberty reigns supreme as well. Funny, though, not too many made it onto Freedom House’s list of free nations/regions. But, hey, most of those areas have non-white populations. Must be discrimination.
Then, I can just envision the momentous day when the Islamo-imperialists finally became fed up with our being a free nation. Perhaps Osama bin Laden was sitting at table with his inner circle and the exchange went something like the following.
bin Laden: “I have gathered you here today, Brethren, to address a problem that Allah the Beneficent can no longer abide. We must take action against the Great Satan.”
Almost in unison they chant: “The Great Satan! The Great Satan will taste the steel of the sword of Islam! Allah Akbar!”
Omar: “Elder Brother, What has Allah the Beneficent so incensed? Is it the Great Satan’s support of Israel?”
bin Laden: “No”
Abdul: “Elder Brother, is Allah the Beneficent calling on us to vanquish the Great Satan because she has come to our lands?”
bin Laden: “No”
Mahsoud: “Elder Brother, is Allah the Beneficent displeased with the Great Satan’s decadence?”
bin Laden: “No”
Farooq: “Elder Brother, then why does Allah the Beneficent want us to now utterly destroy the Great Satan, rend the flesh from the bones of her women and children, scorch her earth and leave no remnant of her existence?”
bin Laden: “It is because she is free.”
Awad jumps up and exclaims with unbridled passion: “Yes! Yes!! I’ve always hated that freedom, Elder Brother!”
Overcome by the infectious exuberance, the others jump up and join in the revelry. And from the cabal can be heard: “My father used to warn me about freedom!” And, “Freedom, death to freedom!” and other such exclamations. Then they all commence a chant, “Freedom bad, tyranny good! Freedom bad, tyranny good! Freedom bad, tyranny good . . . free . . . do . . .”
Their voices trail away and they quickly fall silent, as they notice that bin Laden is still sitting placidly and studying them with a supercilious, contemptuous stare. They quickly take their seats. There are some uncomfortable moments of silence.
Farooq: “Pass the hummus.”
All in unison once again: “Allah Akbar!”
And the rest, I suppose, is history.
Now, in the words of Richard Nixon, let me make myself . . . perfectly clear. I can’t disprove scientifically the thesis that the Islamo-imperialists despise us because we’re free. I suppose that coming from a frontal-lobotomy, I-just-checked-my-brain-at-the-door-of-PC-University perspective, it’s a possibility that while they have attacked all the peoples previously mentioned for other reasons, we Americans are singular in that they hate us because ostensibly we’re free. Hey, coming from that perspective it’s possible that they hate us because our teenage girls dress too modestly. So, no, I can’t disprove it like a mathematical equation.
But I can say this: it’s stupid.
You see, when analyzing such a situation with an eye toward actually understanding it, those who don’t want to bury their heads in Mideast sand look for patterns, for common threads. There is no pattern of attacking only “free” nations. But here’s one pattern that does exist: most all the victims have been non-Muslim. Here’s another pattern: most all the victimizers have been quite Muslim.
Another crucial element of your analysis is recognition of your enemy’s stated beliefs. In traditional Islam two realms exist: the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. And guess what? If you ain’t in one, you’re in the other. Non-Muslim states are to be destroyed and brought under Muslim dominion.
This all reminds me of a MAD Magazine comic strip I saw as a boy. Two men were standing next to each other, while behind them was an octopus-like monster. One man said to the other (I’m paraphrasing), “What makes you think this creature intends to eat Dr. Malcolm?” The humor lay in the fact that the behemoth held the doctor suspended in midair in one tentacle, held a fork and knife in two others, while it seasoned him with huge salt and pepper shakers it held over his head. Those who don’t perceive what confronts us have to be like the three monkeys who hear, speak and see no evil.
Lest you think that mere caprice has me unsheathing my literary saber, let me assure you that there’s method to my madness. There are three reasons why I take exception to the freedom nonsense. Firstly, it’s motivated by political-correctness, cowardice and intellectual laziness.
You see, attributing terrorism to hatred of freedom is a nice, tidy, non-offensive, universally acceptable explanation that helps you avoid dealing with or even acknowledging the real issues. Speak the truth and say that we’re being targeted largely because we’re non-Muslim and someone just might get the idea that Muslims are an intolerant lot. Why, the Machiavellian media and pandering politicians can’t have that. But say that our adversaries are dastardly “freedom-haters” and that’s okay. We’re free to hate freedom-haters.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention something that dovetails with the above. Do you think that the media would have their whitewashing crew pulling double-shifts if virtually all the terrorists targeting the civilized world were Christian? The initiated might believe that – the folks who are content to remain deaf, dumb and blind monkeys. As far as everyone else goes, though, I’d like to share a little more history.
You might remember that I mentioned Palestine, Syria, Egypt, North Africa, Spain, Asia Minor and most of the Byzantine Empire. I told you that they were the first non-Muslim lands to fall to the sword of Islam, and that is one way to say it. Another way to say it is that they were largely Christian lands that fell to the sword of Islam. Yet another way of saying it is that they were largely Christian lands that fell to the sword of Islam while most of Christendom turned the other cheek for four-hundred years, taking it on the chin until they finally mounted a major response. What was that response? The Crusades.
But I guess no good deed goes unpunished. For having the unmitigated gall to put their lives on the line to save Western Civilization (ACLU, that means our civilization; take note) from extinction, those Medieval Christians are painted as naked aggressors and barbarians. But again, the politically-correct crowd can’t have it any other way. Teach real history and people might get the fanciful idea that embracing different religions – which espouse different values – might actually have a bearing on the values of civilizations.
The second problem with the freedom thesis smokescreen concerns knowing thy enemy. How can we feel overly sanguine about prevailing in the so-called war on terror – which is actually a war against Islamo-imperialists – when we won’t even be honest with ourselves about what our enemy’s true motivation is? It blinds us to our foe’s true nature.
Then, too, and this is what bothers me most, the freedom thesis blinds us to our true nature. Sure, it may feel great to pound our chests and deliver pep talks in which we wax proud about our freedom; it makes us feel all the more like a gallant knight on a white steed. But the reality of the matter, as I discuss in detail in my piece The Barometer of Freedom, is that we’re not nearly as free as we might fancy. And we’re losing more freedom all the time.
In a nutshell, a law by definition is the removal of a freedom because it states that there’s something you must or must not do. Thus, the more laws we have the less free we are. And every year in our nation we enact a multitude more laws while rescinding hardly any. This means that as time marches forward we become progressively less free.
Don’t get me wrong, we still have some important freedoms left – the fact that I can write this piece bears witness to that. So I know the press is free, even free to spoon-feed the monkeys the latest propaganda. And I know that we’ll probably retain our main freedom for some time: the freedom to choose the next statist who’ll oversee our gravitation toward tyranny. But, I’m sorry, when I see the walls closing in around us, when I know that we have more than 250,000 laws in our nation, enough to ensure that every American is a criminal, posturing about how “they hate us because we’re free” is going to stick in my craw.