Saturday, October 22, 2011

Muammar, Dead at Last

By Alan Caruba

There were at last count at least 643 ways to spell Muammar Gaddafi and I for one am very happy he is dead for that reason alone. The fact that he was the dictator of Libya for over forty years, funded the Lockerbie bombing of a Pan Am airliner and other terrorist acts also contributes to the good news.

These are proving to be bad times for dictators and it is easy to suggest that Basher Assad, a second generation dictator of Syria, will likely come to an equally bad end. So far this year the former dictator of Tunisia had to flee. Egypt’s Mubarack had to step aside, and both Syria's and Yemen’s presidents are under seige. Nobody knows who’s in charge of Somalia.

As I watched President Obama take a victory lap when he announced Gaddafi’s death, my thoughts turned to what Ted Belman, a widely-read blogger called the Israpundit, had to say. “Gaddafi wasn’t any worse than the barbarians that killed him and will replace him. There are no freedom-loving democrats in the entire Muslim world which consists of seventh century-minded brutes.”

The Israelis have had the misfortune of having had to fight off Muslims not only for the past sixty-plus years of statehood, but in the decades leading up to it. Unlike those of us in the West, they understand them in terms of the insane, fanatical hatred they have for Jews, Christians, and all other “infidels”, unbelievers.

“The way the jihadist-enabling mainstream media is reporting the death of Gaddafi,” observed Belman, “you would think that Libya will become some sort of western-style democracy rather than a sharia-ruled hell-hole that will become the latest haven for al Qaeda. So why are the same people who condemned Bush’s overthrow of Saddam Hussein celebrating this?”

Good question.

Simply put, Muslims—particularly those in the Middle East—see the world in a way that is totally the reverse of how Westerners do. Ours is a pluralistic society. Theirs is a tribal society. We practice tolerance for other religions. They not only seek to drive out unbelievers, they regard apostasy as a death sentence for anyone who wants to leave Islam. Many have.

As Raymond Ibrahim, an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum, noted in a recent book review, “Last week Saudi Arabia’s religious police arrested an Indonesian housemaid for casting a magic spell on a local family and turning its life upside down. The maid ‘confessed’ to using sorcery and commission experts took the magic items to their office and managed to dismantle and stop the spell.” In the West we celebrate Halloween once a year. In the Middle East, it’s every day.

The book by Robert Reilly, “The Closing of the Muslim Mind”, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, makes clear that such beliefs are common; magic spells, jins and genies. Reilly wrote of the different schools of Islam, showing how, by the 10th century, three hundred years after the death of Muhammad, the fatalistic schools had triumphed. The giants of Muslim philosphy, Ghazali and Ashari, “concluded that knowledge was unknowable, that moral truths can only be ascertained through revelation.”

This explains why so much of what occurs in the Middle East seems to defy logic to the Western mind. As Reilly noted about Islam, “All acts are in themselves morally neutral” and “Allah does not command certain behavior because it is good; it is good behavior because he commands it. Likewise, he does not forbid murder because it is bad; it is bad because he forbids it.”

The Ten Commandments forbid murder, adultery, and other acts because the acts themselves are bad, not simply because God instructed Moses that they were. The logic of good and evil is embedded in Judaism and its offshoot, Christianity. In Islam, any act can be justified if one can find a surah in the Koran and there is always one that will. Indeed, the Koran commands Muslims to kill for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is to extend Islam and to punish “insults” to it..

Any negative reference to Muhammad is enough to cause riotiing in the streets and acts of retribution. It is very intimidating and the West is easily intimidated, unless, of course, you fly jet airliners into our skyscrapers and the Pentagon. Then, however, within a few years they begin to debate the probity of building a mosque within a block or two of where the Twin Towers once stood.

While the Western world is defined by the spirit of inquiry, Islam is indifferent to it. Reilly notes that, for Muslims, “the only thing worth knowing is whether a specific action is, according to Sharia: obligatory, recommended, permitted, discouraged, or forbidden. The rest is irrelevant.”

This suggests that the last ten years since 9/11 (and all that preceeded it) have had a brief saluatory effect on Middle Eastern and North African Muslims only because they know with some certainty that we shall kill them if we must.

When Arabs took hostages and demanded ransom during the administration of Thomas Jefferson he called on Congress to authorize a Marine Corps and warships. The first Barbary War (1801-5) was also known as the Tripolitan War, as in Tripoli, Libya; the same Libya that just rid itself of the most recent dictator after a long succession of comparable dictators stretching back forever.

At some point an American President is going to have to authorize a major, preemptive attack on Iran, a Shiite nation whose lunatic ayatollahs see themselves as preparing the way for the return of the Twelfth Imam, a mythical figure who lives at the bottom of a well. They will use nuclear weapons, i.e., weapons of mass destruction, to achieve this unless we stop them first.

As the Israelis keep telling us, these people are nuts.

© Alan Caruba, 2011


Lime Lite said...

Well said Alan. The ME is filled with backward tribalist religious fanatics, and to think that the West applauds getting rid of one so that another more fanatical dictator can be inserted is just mind blowing. Just what did England and France have to gain out of deposing Gaddaffi? Was it all just about oil? The Rebels had to kill him - I'm sure it was one of the conditions that NATO intervened. They did not want him alive to tell all his little secrets. Blair is probably still dancing with joy. In any case, Libya - as all the Arab Spring countries - can now look forward to becoming a Sharia hell hole, and the West have another country to keep in line. When will we learn that these people are culturally very different to our Western democracies and as has happened in Africa, will never join our world? We need to leave them alone to kill and rule each other - just like what happened for centuries when we didn't know better. The only time to intervene is when they step out of line and hurt us directly. If we keep our noses out of their business then they will focus on their neighbours.

Rich Kozlovich said...

Yes, now that Daffy Duck is dead the desert will bloom, gas will be 90 cents a gallon, American style democracy will flourish and spread throughout Islam, corruption will end and peace will reign all over northern Africa. Unless you are a black African, a Jew or a Christian! Or just someone from another tribe, or another Muslim sect, or you look at someone’s wife, or your wife looks at someone else, or you ….oh, well you get it.

Ok…ok…I know, I know….I’m being picky? I mean you gotta love them right? After all, McCain said so, and we know for sure that he is the brightest pebble in the brook! Right? After all…he was a prisoner of war so he is the final arbitrator of … well …let me think …. ok….let’s forget McCain and go with Rodney King….”Can’t we all just get along”?

Ronbo said...

Islam is a political ideology dressed up as a religion founded by a psychopath murderer, child rapist and thief named Mohammad to empower like minded criminals in an endless war against the human race.

The lesson of history is that Western Civilization and Islam cannot not exist in the same nation, or on the same planet in peace.

TexasFred said...

With Gadaffy Duck gone Libya may get worse...

NTC chief says Islamic law to prevail in Libya

Alan Caruba said...

Fred et All: Yes, the news on Sunday is that the provisional government sasys that Sharia law will be the law of the land. At this point I hold out no great hope that Libya, Tunisia or any of the other ME countries can ever become actual democratic republics.