Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tony Blair: "I regularly read the Koran, practically every day"

Tony Blair recently proclaimed, "I regularly read the Koran, practically every day." He further opined that the Islamic prophet Mohammed had been "an enormously civilizing force."

What to make of this? Getting beyond the knee-jerk revulsion to such comments, it may on balance be a good thing that Blair is apparently studying up on Islam. After all, many of our current problems can be traced to a failure of Western policy makers to grasp the basic tenets of Islam. For example, in explaining US support for jihadis in Afghanistan against the Soviets, Zbigniew Brzezinski (Carter's National Security Advisor), poo-pooed any suggestion that Islamic fundamentalism poses a threat to the West:

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

Similarly, Israel supported Hamas in its early days, in an ill-advised attempt to create a counterweight to Arafat and the PLO.

Underlying these boneheaded decisions was a total failure to understand that Islam is not merely a religion in the Western sense, but rather an all-encompassing belief system that divides the world into two "Houses" -- the House of Islam and the House of Unbelievers -- and requires Muslims to wage an ongoing jihad against the unbelievers until they either convert to Islam or submit to Islamic law. While not all Muslims subscribe to these principles, the jihadis surely do, and their position is not without support in Islam. So when a fellow as bright as Tony Blair tell us he reads the Koran every day, it is logical to expect that he may be getting a clue.

But the smart money is otherwise. Not only is Blair's description of Mohammed as "an enormously civilizing force" something of a bad sign, but so is Blair's ardently pro-Palestinian wife, Cherrie Blair, who undoubtedly influences him. But probably the most sure-fire sign that Blair's study of Islam will not lead him to speak more plainly about its fundamentally militaristic nature is that, as Middle Envoy for the UN, Blair is now increasingly traveling in "internationalist" circles, which almost inevitably leads individuals to toe the Saudi-funded line on the nature of Islam and its attendant real-world implications.

What is the long-term solution? It's a cliche, but the obvious point is that we need to end our (and therefore the world's) dependence on oil. Until that happens, the discourse on Islam, and the policies we puruse with Muslim nations, can never be disentangled from the fact that Muslims control the global supply of energy.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Surprise, Surprise: Bush Is a Voracious Reader

In a WSJ column, Karl Rove reports that President Bush has read an astounding 186 books in the last three years. That translates to well over one book per week. I don't read nearly as much, and just in case you didn't know, I am not President.

Rove's column concludes with the following:

In the 35 years I've known George W. Bush, he's always had a book nearby. He plays up being a good ol' boy from Midland, Texas, but he was a history major at Yale and graduated from Harvard Business School. You don't make it through either unless you are a reader.

There is a myth perpetuated by Bush critics that he would rather burn a book than read one. Like so many caricatures of the past eight years, this one is not only wrong, but also the opposite of the truth and evidence that bitterness can devour a small-minded critic. Mr. Bush loves books, learns from them, and is intellectually engaged by them.

That's pretty interesting. Of course, the Left will claim that Rove made it all up.

Friday, December 19, 2008

He Gropes and He Can Write Good Speeches

This is hysterical. The WSJ's Best of the Web is reporting that the same kid (ok, 27-year-old) who got flack for groping Hillary Clinton's cut-out is none other than the same high-level Obama speechwriter who penned O's speech on race back in April. This was the speech where O threw his grandmother under the bus and stood by Jeremiah Wright, despite all the trash that came out of his mouth. I think these two should go to Hollywood. O is obviously better than Denzel and the speechwriter could be the next star scriptwriter!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Needed: Mass Demonstrations of Freedom-Loving Muslims

Today’s NY Post had a piece by Phil Mushnick that resonated with me. In it, he recalls the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai that left 200 dead and more than 300 injured and asks a tough question. If it is true that Muslims condemn such senseless carnage against innocent civilians, why is there greater evidence to the contrary?

Mushnick asks, if Muslims are truly up in arms about the violence caused by terrorists in the name of their God, why don’t they get out there and show their anger at the terrorists? Why is it that the only demonstrations for which Muslims turn out in force “call for more blood, more murder, ‘Death to the Infidels!’ and the sustained cry for jihad, the world over?”

Good question, Phil. Now if only the people who make up our free press asked the same question of the next Muslim organization that "condemns" the next Muslim terrorist act.