Mar 30, 2008

"The Dreadful Curses of Mohammedanism"

Will anyone listen? One hundred and nine years ago, Sir Winston Churchill wrote the following. And yet, here we are.

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.

Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity.

The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property - either as a child, a wife, or a concubine - must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science - the science against which it had vainly struggled - the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome."

-Sir Winston Churchill (The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-50 (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899).



Mar 23, 2008

Resurrection - Can Christianity Arise Anew to Save the West?

“In history every nation that watered-down it’s Judeo-Christian heritage was taken over by Islam. Every single one.”
-Walid Shoebat, former Islamic terrorist, on The Gathering Storm Report 3/14/08

Christendom - the concept of nations or families of nations united through their mutual devotion to the teachings of Christ and thus comprising a formidable foe to the forces of evil - is a concept which no doubt strikes terror in the hearts and minds of secularists and multi-culturalists presently at the helm of Western Civilization (and driving it straight into the wall.) For to them, if “evil” exists at all, it comes in no greater form than Christianity. In part, we feel their pain. The prevailing caricature of Christianity is that of a vapid, bubbleiscious, painted-smile cult offering all the spiritual depth of an Osmond family reunion on the Lawrence Welk show. To this we would most assuredly say, "no thank you." We would also say to secularists as well as to Christians who have helped facilitate this caricature, this is NOT Christianity.

Even more terrifying for non-believers are proposals for the formation of some kind of structured world body defining and defending an official Christendom. "The Global Christian Alliance" as illustrated by Mr. Timothy Furnish, or the "Shire Strategy" of Mr. James Pinkerton. Both strategies, these gentlemen propose, would redefine the Judeo-Christian heritage shared by the vast majority of the free world and better enable it to defend itself against enemies of that heritage, most particularly Islam.

Again, unfortunately, we must side with skeptics and withhold our support for these proposals. Our parrot-senses are always set a-tingling when e’er such “organizing structures” are conceived on so massive a scale, for it is our experience that such efforts, no matter how well-intentioned, are doomed to balloon into behemoth, ineffectual, ripe-for-abuse bureaucracies which at present are far more problem than solution (i.e. The United Nations, The European Union, NATO et al.). Besides, for Christianity, such an organizing structure already exists: it’s called The Church.

The world seems possessed of a kind of redefinition fever at present. In Britain we are redefining “Citizenship.” In America we are redefining “Conservatism.” And here we are, in effect, seeking to redefine the Church in terms of Her role of checking evil in the world. In all cases, we would argue, what is called for is not redefinition, but rediscovery.

At one time, not very long ago, men could write passages in regards to Christianity, such as the following by Sir Winston Churchill, and not be the laughing stock of the literary world nor required to spend the remainder of his career apologizing for his “unfortunate remarks”:

“And wherever men are fighting against barbarism, tyranny, and massacre, for freedom, law, and honour, let them remember that the fame of their deeds, even though they themselves be exterminated, may perhaps be celebrated as long as the world rolls round. Let us then declare that King Arthur and his noble knights, guarding the Sacred Flame of Christianity and the theme of a world order, sustained by valour, physical strength, and good horses and armour, slaughtered innumerable hosts of foul barbarians and set decent folk an example for all time.”

How did we get from “guarding the Sacred Flame of Christianity and the theme of a world order” to the Archbishop of Canterbury? How did we get from “slaughtered innumerable hosts of foul barbarians and set decent folk an example for all time” to “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”

This question was answered thoroughly and eloquently by Pope Benedict the XVI in his address at the University of Regensburg on 12 September, 2006. In short, the Pope explained that what is weakening Christianity and so perverts Islam is the degree to which both have divorced Faith from Reason.

Islam by its foundational theology, the Pope points out, has never claimed nor desired a relationship with rationality.

“But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazm went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God's will, we would even have to practise idolatry.”

Islam is pure passion and, as such, subject to all the perversions man is capable of when not obedient to Reason.

By contrast, Pope Benedict instructs, Christianity is literally founded upon Reason.

“Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, the first verse of the whole Bible, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: 'In the beginning was the λόγος'. (In the beginning was the Logos, the Word.) God acts, σὺν λόγω, with logos. Logos means both reason and word - a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason. John thus spoke the final word on the biblical concept of God, and in this word all the often toilsome and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and synthesis. In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God, says the Evangelist.”

Now is that not something one can sink one’s beak into? Is this not the “Sacred Flame of Christianity and the theme of a world order” of which Sir Winston spoke; which motivated men to fight “against barbarism, tyranny, and massacre, for freedom, law, and honour?” What need have we of a “Global Christian Alliance” or a “Shire Strategy” when for the better part of 2000 years this has been the essence and motivation of Christianity: Logos – the communion of Faith and Reason?

Western Civilization owes its all to this communion. The faith that there exists a Logos, an Absolute Reason (God) which precedes everything, transcends personal interpretation, is accessible to and comprehensible by all, and to which all are morally and practically beholden, has enlightened the foundations of Western Civilization from Magna Carta through the Declaration of Independence. Indeed is not the history-altering power of the latter drawn from its authors' defiant appeal to truths endowed by the Creator which they declare to be “self-evident?”

But the Lefterly winds of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have worn down our understanding of Reason and reduced its scope in our eyes. As a result, the Church and Western Civilization are weaker for it. Founded as we are, where Reason retreats, evil advances.

“This is a dangerous state of affairs for humanity, as we see from the disturbing pathologies of religion and reason which necessarily erupt when reason is so reduced that questions of religion and ethics no longer concern it. Attempts to construct an ethic from the rules of evolution or from psychology and sociology, end up being simply inadequate.”

For the survival of Western Civilization, a rediscovery is needed; a rediscovery of the Church’s original mission to spread and defend the Word of God, the Logos.

“The courage to engage the whole breadth of reason, and not the denial of its grandeur – this is the programme with which theology grounded in Biblical faith enters into the debates of our time. ‘Not to act reasonably, not to act with logos, is contrary to the nature of God,’ said Manuel II (14 century Byzantine emperor), according to his Christian understanding of God, in response to his Persian (Islamic) interlocutor. It is to this great logos, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures.”

But, of course, as you may recall, instead of dialogue, this invitation compelled practitioners of the Religion of Peace to hold massive protest rallies across Indonesia and Iran, force the closure of Christian seminaries, attack seven churches in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and shoot an Italian nun to death in Somalia. The Pope – and thus the Church’s - response? Complete and utter surrender.

What hope can there be for a civilization whose very foundational institutions have not faith in its reason for existing? Little. On this Easter day, however, let us hope and pray for the wisdom and courage to witness the resurrection of Logos from the midst of this cowardly, souless, bureaucracy we have made of the West, so that we might restore her to honor and resume our duty as guardians of the Sacred Flame.

A blessed Easter to all!



Mar 16, 2008

The Weakest Possible Position

Unrivalled Churchill biographer and dear friend, Sir Martin Gilbert got it wrong in a recent interview with the Jerusalem Post. In it he elaborates upon parallels between the free world’s appeasement of Iran and the free world’s appeasement of Nazi Germany seventy years ago. Sir Martin notes that by the time Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, it became plain to even the most devoted members of that era’s peace movement that the preceding years’ Appeasement directives had greatly facilitated Germany’s meteoric military escalation while enfeebling Britain and France’s defences so as to place them in “the weakest possible position.”

"You'd lost your allies, you'd lost territory, you'd lost raw materials. You were in the weakest possible position," he explains.

As a result, Sir Martin points out, the Second World War was prolonged into a "a six-year war rather than a six-month war," producing worldwide death destruction and destitution the likes of which mankind had never known.

We submit however, that it could have been worse. We could have lost. Yet we didn’t. How? Because we were not actually in the weakest position possible.

For in fact, despite reckless under-funding of the military and suicidal rationalizations of bald-faced evil, the free world’s Arsenal of the Will was well-stocked and in fine repair. Faith, patriotism, honor, loyalty, commitment, work ethic … all were in abundance in the hearts and minds of virtually every man, woman, and child. Thus comprised the indomitable spirit of Judeo-Christian Civilization, resulting in the ultimate victory of Good over Evil.

In the decades since, however, we have witnessed the pell-mell depletion and desecration of that Arsenal of the Will. We have made a mockery of Faith; a joke of patriotism; a dishonor of honor; and a sin of loyalty, commitment, and work ethic. This spiritual disarmament has precipitated a number of practical arrangements which lend themselves handily to our eventual destruction.

Europe, having completed the sale of its soul and signed its contract with the devil (a.k.a. "The Lisbon Treaty") now wonders why it is powerless to stop even the “Soft Jihad” within its ever-fading borders.

Britain, only just now realizing it may well be too late, is scrambling to re-discover its essence after having denied it for sixty plus years, while flirting with throwing in the towel of sovereignty altogether and leaping into the void that is the European Union.

And America appears increasingly anxious to join the game, gleefully marching in step and chanting “O-BA-MA” like hearing-impaired Congolese kindergartners on their way to re-education camp.

This all in addition, mind you, to a present day neglect and under-funding of tactical military resources in Britain rivaling that of their Appeasing predecessors seventy years ago; with America – again – poised to follow suit.

Behold – THE weakest possible position: a civilization hollowed out from the core, comprehending little value in defending itself, primed to implode upon the slightest external pressure. Say, for instance, a nuclear Iran. How do you say “slam dunk” in Arabic?

Given this, Sir Martin’s gentlemanly caution waxes considerably more ominous.

"A grave mistake was made in the 1930s in finding all sorts of reasons for not regarding the Nazi threat as being a serious threat. Therefore, when you're working out your thoughts on the current situation, about fundamentalism, just remember that it is very easy for highly competent, educated, civilized, sophisticated people to find excuses and benign explanations for everything that happens."

Of this, we are painfully aware. Yet, Sir Martin remains hopeful.

“Do I have faith that the leaders know what the situation (with Iran) is? Yes. If they don’t then we’re in real trouble.”

Western Civilization, and indeed the world, cannot endure another dalliance with such “real trouble” Therefore let us do more than hope. Let us educate. Let us see to it that our leaders do, in fact, know the situation and act now, before it is too late; lest the dismal lesson Sir Winston Churchill draws from the disaster of Appeasement prove appallingly prophetic.

“Here is a line of milestones to disaster. Here is a catalogue of surrenders, at first when all was easy and later when things were harder, to the ever-growing German power. But now at last was the end of British and French submission. Here was decision at last, taken at the worst possible moment and on the least satisfactory ground, which must surely lead to the slaughter of tens of millions of people. Here was the righteous cause deliberately and with a refinement of inverted artistry committed to mortal battle after its assets and advantages had been so improvidently squandered.

Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.”

There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves.”

- Sir Winston Churchill, The Second World War.



Mar 14, 2008

BBC Blames Iraq Archbishop Murder on U.S. Invasion

Of all the convolutions of logic the Left has performed in its passion to blame all that is wrong with the world on the United States, this one is perhaps the most breathtaking. In reaction to reports of the murder of Archbishop Rahho in Iraq, the BBC saw fit to post the following:

"The BBC's Hugh Sykes in Baghdad says centuries of peaceful coexistence between Muslims and the small Christian community in Iraq were shattered by the US-led invasion of 2003. "

What hope can there be for a people of whom far too large a majority think this way?
We pray for the soul of Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, the Iraqi people, and what remains of Western Civilization!

In the meantime - we invite all readers to take part in our Churchill's Parrot Iraq Invasion Online Refresher Course. Written last March upon the fourth anniversary, the course remains - sadly - every bit as necessary today as previously ... as the above account makes so painfully clear!



Mar 8, 2008

What’s Ailing Maggie?

The House of Commons betrays British democracy. A day and a half later, The Baroness Thatcher has been hospitalized. Coincidence? We think not. For what true champion of liberty could not be traumatized by this government’s escalating abuse of Britain’s political legacy?

“Yesterday will go down in history as the day our politicians surrendered most of what was left of Britain's sovereignty and trusted the nation's future to a European superstate,” writes a commenter in Britain’s Daily Mail . “What we witnessed last night was the political class ganging up against the voters who gave them power. … The result - barring a miracle - is that Britain will now surrender its veto over 60 important areas of policy to the unelected bureaucracy in Brussels.”

What sounds hyperbolic is, sadly, plain fact. Our good friends at Brits at Their Best have revealed this little morsel of treachery:

“We have just learned that forty-eight members of the House of Commons voted 'aye' on a little-remarked motion during the ‘momentous’ referendum vote. This was the motion that the United Kingdom's Parliament and its laws take precedent over any others, including EuropeanUnion laws.

Clause 9 – ‘Notwithstanding any provision of the European Communities Act 1972, nothing in this Act shall affect or be construed by any court in the United Kingdom as affecting the supremacy of the United Kingdom Parliament.’ It was brought forward by Bill Cash.

This simple affirmation of sovereignty, which has been a long-accepted constitutional principle, was rejected, with only 48 sterling members voting for it.
(emphasis added.)

It is a shocking insight into the thinking of Parliament as it is presently constituted. Those who are leading us have admitted that they are led. By voting no they are stating that our independence as a sovereign nation - with all that implies - does not exist."

That heavy sucking feeling in your bowels right now? That’s what Maggie felt at first too.

Mind you this entire fiasco has taken place against the will of the vast majority of the British people. The subtlely monikered I WANT A REFERENDUM.COM held private referendums on the issue which produce rather clear results:

* This is the highest ever turnout in such an unofficial ballot.

* With the 36.2% voter turnout, more voters turned out for this unofficial referendum than do for “real elections” which average 35.4%. for local elections not held with general elections.

* Voters were asked two questions:
1. Should the UK hold a national referendum on the EU's Treaty? 88% voted yes and 12% voted no. Less than 1% did not answer.

2. Should the UK approve the EU's Treaty? 89% voted against the Treaty and 8% voted in favour. 3% did not answer.

* In eight of the ten seats a greater proportion of people voted for a referendum than voted for the sitting MP.

Naturally the House of Commons paid no mind to this. After all they know what’s best for the people. And what’s best for the people of Britain is complete allegiance to Brussels! More hyperbole? We fear not. For consider these minor trappings of sovereignty I WANT A REFERENDUM.COM has revealed were NOT debated in the EU Referendum/Lisbon Treaty “debate":

* No amendments on borders, immigration or asylum were debated

* No discussion of the extension of The European Court of Justice (ECJ) jurisdiction over this area

* No defence amendments were debated

* No discussion of the creation of the 60,000 strong new EU army (known as permanent structured cooperation), the new commitment to a common defence, the defence solidarity clause, nor the European Defence Agency.

This is problematic to say the least. Nauseating even. Enough to land one in the hospital.

“As the pettifogging regulations flood in from Brussels over the years ahead, there will be absolutely nothing we can do about it,” concludes the Daily Mail comment. “And all because, on Wednesday March 5, 2008, British MPs decided en masse to break their word to the people - and surrendered the national independence for which their forefathers laid down their lives. Is it any wonder that more and more Britons are losing their faith in the political process?"

We are happy to report that Maggie appears to be on the mend. Would that we could say the same for the government she once led.

And to our brethren throughout the Anglosphere, we advise you pay close attention to this issue. Britain is again your canary in the coal mine. This is the trajectory of creeping socialism. Guard jealously your sovereignty and the principles that have made your nations great. For once they are lost, they may never be recovered.



Mar 6, 2008

Good Bye Free World!

The House of Commons voted last night to remove Britain from the happy family of representative democracies. We are as yet speechless. More to come. For now, we give you this.

MPs reject referendum on EU treaty


Mar 1, 2008

Captain O My Captain

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head
It is some dream that on the deck
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
- Walt Whitman

Try as we might, even the finest brandies and most sublime of cigars are not enough to conjure the ghost of our dear friend for just one more chat. So be it, for his is a well-earned respite. And the occasion of Mr. Buckley’s passing has given us cause to review our vast store of his genius, and delight yet again in its inspiration.

The eulogies have and are being made. Well intentioned but none so profound as his own would be. But alas, he is not here to compose it. Let then his life and words be his eulogy here, for even we can add little to them.

In our reminiscing, we have come across a favorite bit of Bill’s which we share with you now, his chapter in the Heritage Foundation's publication, The March of Freedom: Modern Classics in Conservative Thought. Entitled The Conservative Framework and Modern Realities, Mr. Buckley's essay articulates - as only he can - the distinction between Liberalism and Conservatism in this modern era.

He challenges readers with questions such as, “Can one make homemade freedom, under the eyes of an omnipotent state that has no notion of or tolerance for, the flavor of freedom?” And dishes up such delicious Buckley-isms as, “Subsidies are the form that modern circuses tend to take, and, as ever, the people are unaware that it is they who pay for the circuses.”

Most valuable, perhaps, in this essay, however, is Mr. Buckley’s masterful illustration of the distinctions between liberalism and conservatism. He writes:

“It is the chronic failure of liberalism that it obliges circumstance--because it has an inadequate discriminatory apparatus which might cause it to take any other course. There are unemployed in Harlan County? Rush them aid. New Yorkers do not want to pay the cost of subways? Get someone else to pay it. Farmers do not want to leave the land? Let them till it, buy and destroy the produce. Labor unions demand the closed shop? It is theirs. Inflation goes forward in all industrial societies? We will have continued inflation. Communism is in control behind the Iron Curtain? Coexist with it. The tidal wave of industrialism will sweep in the welfare state? Pull down the sea walls.”

What then ought be the conservative response?

“The direction we must travel requires a broadmindedness that, in the modulated age, strikes us as antiquarian and callous. As I write there is mass suffering in Harlan County, Kentucky, where coal mining has become unprofitable, and a whole community is desolate. The liberal solution is: immediate and sustained federal subsidies. The conservative, breasting the emotional surf, will begin by saying that it was many years ago foreseeable that coal mining in Harlan County was becoming unprofitable, that the humane course would have been to face up to that realism by permitting the marketplace, through the exertion of economic pressures of mounting intensity, to require resettlement that was not done for the coal miners (they were shielded from reality by a combination of state and union aid)--any more than it is now being done for marginal farmers; so that we are face-to-face with an acute emergency for which there is admittedly no thinkable alternative to immediate relief--if necessary (though it is not) by the federal government; otherwise, by the surrounding communities, or the state of Kentucky. But having made arrangements for relief, what then? Will the grandsons of the Harlan coal miners be mining coal, to be sold to the government at a pegged price, all this to spare today's coal miners the ordeal of looking for other occupations?”

The failure to employ this seemingly “antiquarian and callous” broadmindedness, grossly lacking in present Western leadership, produces consequences predictable and tragic.

“Deal highhandedly as he (Galbraith) would have us do with the mechanisms of the marketplace, and the mechanisms will bind. Preempt the surplus of the people, and surpluses will dwindle. Direct politically the economic activity of a nation, and the economy will lose its capacity for that infinite responsiveness to individual tastes that gives concrete expression to the individual will in material matters. Centralize the political function, and you will lose touch with reality, for the reality is an intimate and individual relationship between individuals and those among whom they live; and the abstractions of widescreen social draftsmen will not substitute for it. Stifle the economic sovereignty of the individual by spending his dollars for him, and you stifle his freedom. Socialize the individual's surplus and you socialize his spirit and creativeness; you cannot paint the Mona Lisa by assigning one dab each to a thousand painters.”

We would add that the consequences of liberalism are equally dismal for national security. As this essay was written in 1994, however, American interests, and Mr. Buckley’s, were at the time primarily economic.

But Mr. Buckley leaves us here as always, not wanting, but wiser, for he provides direction to his shipmen, keeping us on course in ever turbulent seas.

“What then is the indicated course of action? It is to maintain and wherever possible enhance the freedom of the individual to acquire property and dispose of that property in ways that he decides on. To deal with unemployment by eliminating monopoly unionism, featherbedding, and inflexibilities in the labor market, and be prepared, where residual unemployment persists, to cope with it locally, placing the political and humanitarian responsibility on the lowest feasible political unit. … Let the two localities experiment with different solutions, and let the natural desire of the individual for more goods, and better education, and more leisure, find satisfaction in individual encounters with the marketplace, in the growth of private schools, in the myriad economic and charitable activities which, because they took root in the individual imagination and impulse, take organic form, And then let us see whether we are better off than we would be living by decisions made between nine and five in Washington office rooms, where the oligarchs of the Affluent Society sit, allocating complaints and solutions to communities represented by pins on the map.”

And, as ever, he inspires; lancing the bureaucratic knight of Do-Nothing with the Shakespearean verve of his mighty pen!

“I will not cede more power to the state. I will not willingly cede more power to anyone, not to the state, not to General Motors, not to the CIO. I will hoard my power like a miser, resisting every effort to drain it away from me. I will then use my power, as I see fit. I mean to live my life an obedient man, but obedient to God, subservient to the wisdom of my ancestors; never to the authority of political truths arrived at yesterday at the voting booth. That is a program of sorts, is it not?

It is certainly program enough to keep conservatives busy, and liberals at bay. And the nation free.”

To carry on without such a master of language and thought is a daunting prospect to be sure. But we must. Indeed it is the value of Mr. Buckley's life and words that they have made us all wiser, and stronger, and better able to carry out what is right and necessary for the free world to remain thus.

We shall miss you my friend, my Captain. But we are so much wealthier for having known you, and for the words you have graciously condescended to leave behind amongst we mere mortals. Honor points the path of duty, and our path is all the clearer for the light you have given. Well done Bill Buckley. Rest well my friend.



P.S. Heritage Foundation President Edwin J Feulner Jr.’s magnificent forward to The Conservative Framework and Modern Realities is a fitting tribute to Mr. Buckley and an excellent read in its own right!