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Political Judgments, Not Abstract “Hate,” Cause Terrorism

June 16 2016

R. R. Reno responds to the familiar platitudes offered by American politicians in the wake of the murderous attack in Orlando:

Radical Islam’s political judgment—that America is the world’s preeminent source of moral and spiritual corruption—was articulated once by Sayyid Qutb of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who was executed in 1966. . . . [H]aving reached this conclusion, [Qutb argued], any responsible person—especially any Muslim seeing himself privileged to have an empowering faith in the one God—should logically fight against America’s global preeminence. Indeed, insofar as such a person cares for those of us living in the United States, he should wish to liberate us from our perverse culture.

The violence [such a person] will commit is properly called terrorism. . . . It is fundamentally different from incidents in which the perpetrator is deranged by some strong emotion—“hate”—as were Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. We don’t call the Columbine massacre “terrorism.” . . . So why do our leaders, when speaking of the Orlando shooting, have recourse to “hate”?

Because our leaders cannot imagine a rational anti-Americanism. This is due in part to the narrowing effect of multiculturalism. Paradoxically, instead of broadening our capacity to entertain ways of thinking not our own, multiculturalism has made us parochial. We compliment ourselves endlessly for our tolerance, inclusiveness, and diversity. Since we are so tolerant of others, we assume, there is no reason others shouldn’t tolerate us. Since we are never offended, we must be inoffensive.

When Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton say that history is on our side, this is what they mean: there is no valid argument against our ascendancy or our way of thinking. Our multicultural leaders are incapable of seeing the world through the eyes of a conservative Muslim, or of any religiously conservative person.

Read more at First Things

More about: anti-Americanism, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Multiculturalism, Muslim Brotherhood, Politics & Current Affairs, Terrorism

Toward an Iran Policy That Looks at the Big Picture

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech outlining a new U.S. approach to the Islamic Republic. Ray Takeyh and Mark Dubowitz explain why it constitutes an important and much-needed rejection of past errors:

For too long, a peculiar consensus has suggested that it is possible to isolate the nuclear issue from all other areas of contention and resolve it in a satisfactory manner. The subsidiary [assumption] embedded in this logic is that despite the bluster of Iran’s rulers, it is governed by cautious men, who if offered sufficient incentives and soothing language would respond with pragmatism. No one embraced this notion more ardently than the former secretary of state, John Kerry, who crafted an accord whose deficiencies are apparent to all but the most hardened partisans. . . .

A regime as dangerous as the Iranian one requires no less than a comprehensive strategy to counter it. This means exploiting all of its vulnerabilities, increasing the costs of its foreign adventures, draining its economy, and aiding our allies. Most importantly, the United States must find a way of connecting itself to domestic opposition that continuously haunts the mullahs.

Washington should no longer settle for an arms-control agreement that paves Iran’s path to a bomb but rather a restrictive accord that ends its nuclear aspirations. The United States should not implore its allies to share the Middle East with Iran, as Barack Obama did, but partner with them in defeating the clerical imperialists. And most importantly, the United States should never forget that its most indispensable ally is the Iranian people.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Iran, Iran nuclear program, Mike Pompeo, U.S. Foreign policy