Saturday, September 23, 2006

Kissinger...The Pope...And Why It IS High-Time To Fight The War As A War...

"...Today, the West's struggle to resist radical Islamic aggression (both cultural and terroristic) is still in that early phase of moral confusion and limited tactics. Thus, we continue to debate the ethical merits of minor intrusions into American civil liberties (such as National Security Agency surveillance of some phone calls from foreign suspects), and even serious and patriotic men such as Sen. McCain and Gen. Powell challenge the need to permit psychologically rough -- but nonviolent -- interrogation of captured terrorists.

But there are some signs that the early stage of moral confusion is beginning to give way to greater clarity. Last week, two towering intellects -- Pope Benedict XVI and Henry Kissinger -- began to offer clarity. On Tuesday, the pope gave his now famous, but still misunderstood, lecture at the University of Regensburg. And on Wednesday, Kissinger published a half-page seminal article on the risk of civilizational war in The Washington Post.

Any fair and careful reading of the pope's lecture must conclude that it was not an inadvertent insult to Islam. Rather, it was a firm assertion that the Judeo-Christian God acts in accordance with reason ("In the beginning was the logos" -- word and reason), and thus Christians and Jews can undertake a rational debate about the morality of violence. He quotes, now famously, Emperor Manuel II's assertion in 1391 that Islam spreads its faith through violence -- which, he says, is unreasonable and incompatible with the nature of God. He then cites an 11th century Arab Muslim theologian, Ibn Hazn, who argued that Allah is transcendent of reason.

After criticizing secular Christians for not giving reason its proper place in understanding faith and God, he concludes his lecture by again quoting the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II on his same criticism of Islam. Then, the pope finishes his lecture with the following words: "It is to this great logos, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures. To rediscover it constantly is the great task of the university."

In other words, he is inviting Islam to explain whether their God is like ours -- inherently understandable by reason (and thus, is their God opposed to violence, as ours is?) .

He was also, I strongly suspect, speaking to his own flock, both to return to proper Christianity and to consider the nature of Islam. And, I suspect, the pope did not inadvertently quote the now inflammatory passage. If he had not included that quote, the world would not now be debating his lecture. While the pope surely did not want to see violence, he just as surely wanted to engage the world in this vital search for clarity.

While not the pope, Henry Kissinger is the world's premier practitioner and scholar of realpolitik. So it is consequential that in his article last week, he warned the world that "we are witnessing a carefully conceived assault, not isolated terrorist attacks, on the international system of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. The creation of organizations such as Hezbollah and al-Qaida symbolizes the fact that transnational loyalties are replacing national ones. The driving force behind this challenge is the jihadist conviction that it is the existing order that is illegitimate."

He went on to warn: "The debate sparked by the Iraq war over American rashness vs. European escapism is dwarfed by what the world now faces ... the common danger of a wider war merging into a war of civilizations against the backdrop of a nuclear-armed Middle East. ... We now know that we face the imperative of building a new world order or potential global catastrophe."

These are shocking words coming from the verbally impeccably careful diplomatist.
So, within 24 hours the pope raises the question of whether Islam is inherently violent and unreasonable, while Kissinger warns of a possible emerging nuclear clash of civilizations.

Moral clarity, anyone?"

Yes, we remain in the early stages of girding our loins in order to declare war. A real war. Disbelief, appeasment, hand-wringing. And a call to be careful not to lump all madmen together. They tried it with Hitler. They are trying it with islam. In the thousands of years of recorded history, it has never, ever, worked.

Mainstream islam MUST divorce itself from the moslem propensity to kill at a moments notice. ALL German and Japanese people were not Hitler's or Tojo's. But they all suffered the consequence of what their militant leaders wrought.

Islam denounces militancy, or we go to war. They seperate themselves from the bin Laden's, et al, or fight us. Down to the wire. No holds barred.

No comments: