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Understanding Our Foes, Past and Present

Updated on May 2, 2016

Obey Stop Signs

A viable comparison can be made between Nazi Germany and Radical Islam. In fact, from a certain perspective, they comprise two parts of a two-pronged attack. Leave it to a Catholic scholar of Jewish descent to bring out a rather curious event. Whether or not it can be verified, I lack the means to determine. But toward the middle of WWII, Hitler was willing (or, half-willing) to let 400,000 Hungarian Jews go. Naturally, Europe, being what it was, some of the liberated would invariably have migrated to Palestine. In fact, not some, but many. As a result, an influential Muslim from Jerusalem strenuously objected. The Grand Mufti al-Husseini convinced Hitler to reconsider, with the inevitable result, well-known and -documented. Hence, there are limits when it comes to understanding. Instead, absolute rights and wrongs, especially when it comes to terrorism, intervene. It is even more definitely the case if what is being weighed on the scales of blind justice is directly or indirectly linked to the Final Solution. How nice it is to be an intellectual in addition to tolerant. How nice indeed and how impractical.

Probably the greatest beneficiary of this dark chapter in history is the NRA. Comes a time when one must either fight back or die. No one knows in advance. Hence, at least a few, solid citizens must be armed, in addition to the police, who are not always available. It is not a perfect world. Why is this? It can only be because people are evil. Or, at best, there is evil in them. The more angelic, too, can be compelled to collaborate. The appeasement of Hitler has often been used to explain how, by incremental stages, the unthinkable took place. How many times could he have been stopped? Numerous times, by any calculation. But it was miscalculation alone that carried the day. How long was Hitler allowed to rant and rave until the first blitzkrieg rolled into Poland? From 1923 to 1939. Sufficient time to put a stop to the madness.

Escape from Germany 1940

Tel Aviv Beach
Tel Aviv Beach | Source

Raise Red Flags for Total Nonsense

One cannot help but think of Beethoven's Ninth. All the rejoicing imaginable for brotherhood, friendship, and our one true Father. But the beauty of this wonderful piece of art contradicts brutal reality. Try, if you will, to understand the Nazi vision, as it is explained, in terms of Aryanism, National Socialism, racial purity, master race theology, a hierarchy based on ethnicity, an economy linked to conquest, as well as enslavement. It is incomprehensible. Christian holidays transformed to incorporate German mythological creatures? Neither do current versions of radical Islam compute. There is little point in trying to come to grips with "what it is", and somehow graft it onto our overall multi-featured, multi-faceted, multi-cultural better nature.

When an enemy of mankind rises up and spouts pure rubbish at rallies and excitable gatherings, these are signs that cannot be ignored. Sometimes the enemy is within. At a time when it seems relatively clear that terrorism is the biggest threat to freedom, we are anguishing over climate change and the Zika virus. These matters, however, are somewhat different in that they are characteristic of the era in which we live. There is money, popularity, and careers on the line. One wonders, if a survey had been taken, what percentage of German youth, being primed for war, understood what their Furher was saying. It has been remarked upon how so as not to break his momentum, Hitler would occasionally go on speaking incoherently. Today, one might hypothesize, a "death to America" chant would suffice.

Dome of the Rock Mosque

Inside, according to legend, is the rock to which Abraham tied Isaac.
Inside, according to legend, is the rock to which Abraham tied Isaac. | Source

The Waiting Game is Not Worth the Risk

All Americans should be aware of worldwide anti-Americanism. It is not the same as political analysis on the news that is often impolite. Naturally, Catholic scholarship does not take as much account of this phenomenon as it does Armageddon. However, it does, in this particular case, cite many Koranic passages as well clerical speeches, all of which serve to warn not just Americans, nor Jews, but Christians, too. The context for these comments is salvation history and theory. One wonders if our bodily existence is not given short shrift in the attempt by the religious to gain a good berth upon entry into the Next World. Nevertheless, what is said about the world-to-come impacts the one in which we inhabit, too. Thus, across the board, according to radical Islam, whatever Muslims do to us is automatically forgiven. We are infidels and, despite their violence, they always go to heaven.

Theology aside, America has lost a great deal of prestige abroad. If our friendship is being courted at all, it is in regard to expectations that, as we have shown, are not always fulfilled. Talks with Iran is merely one example. The current administration meant well, but many objections surfaced that were not adequately met. In a previous hub, I have already asserted the illogical exaggeration of a war over Jerusalem, which cannot be taken quite as seriously as evangelical sermons on The Book of Revelation suggest. The ancient, walled city is small and its meaning is largely symbolic. Nevertheless, its inhabitants must survive. America cannot allow a bloodbath. Jihadists want the holy city to be their very own without having to share it. They could care less how ownership if transferred. The last-minute arrival of Jesus Christ can only be a chimerical vision cooked up by the over-dramatic brain. In real life, future conflicts are apt to be different than how they are pre-conceived. It might be that all of a sudden Christ will be received into the hearts of those who oppose one another in a state of war. In addition to the dramatic mind, a more realistic one sketches out another scenario -- a sensible, forceful, capable defense. Let us not forget that Christ is or was a model for flesh and blood, not invincible body armor. God created man in His own image, yes, but also subject to pain and mortality.

Chinese Munitions 2013

Ready for Action.
Ready for Action. | Source

A Hard Lesson From China

Ah, the East! How inscrutable are its thoughts! According to a pair of Chinese colonels, who wrote a book that contemplates the ruin of the U.S., weapons, not reasons, determine warfare. The Chinese will have to explain it. But one can see the point that as swords turned into repeating rifles, then cannons, followed by tanks, and B-52s, wars changed dramatically. But they seem to be saying something else, that these things actually cause men to make war, again and again. Then, owing to what they can do, weapons shape strategies that virtually change the world. All one can say is that it looks as if storm clouds are in the sky. War will either become an eventuality or not, to be decided by how powerful men and women think and feel, as the ultimate weapons of mass destruction remain, close at hand, in the background.

Well, we know that terrorists, like drug cartels, are well-armed, -equipped, and capable of inflicting great harm. We can also say that they will not stop accumulating weapons and making use of them in the near future. What, thinking back on Chinese wisdom, can terrorists do with such deadly matériel? For one thing, they can force the U.S. into a war of extermination. They are uncannily adept at guiding local populations to danger. Heartbreaking fatalities can, at some undetermined point in the future, turn the propaganda machine, or world opinion, around, 180 degrees. As fighters, terrorists persevere, because they have found a way to fight, having failed at the more conventional forms, and are now the absolute masters of martial horror.

Russia's powerful non-nuclear bomb

An Even Harder Lesson From Russia

While China talks, Russia acts. The latest issue of Foreign Affairs indicates how Russia restored its military from a shambles into a force to reckon with. The Russian military can multi-task. It dealt handily with Ukraine and the Crimea. It went to Syria and established a base to which it can return. It successfully opposed NATO, preventing it from encroaching upon what it considers Russian sovereignty. The best defense the United States has had today against the Russian Bear is the fact that the beast controls its own aggression. The fear of another Afghanistan probably also lurks about. But in terms of world politics, Russia is still able to exert itself in places where we have no power whatsoever. Russia is also hard to figure. It cannot be said with total assurance that it is even a foe -- not yet, at any rate. Yes, its planes and ships get in our way. But it is careful not to escalate. It deals with anti-Russian Chechens, who employ terrorist tactics against Moscow. It is engaged in a war with Georgia. These long-term conflicts will either wear the Russian military down, or, in the Nietzschean sense, make it stronger.

Tower of Lights

The City That Never Sleeps and Never Dies.
The City That Never Sleeps and Never Dies. | Source

An Element of Mystery

We were unprepared for the attack of 2001 and still do not know precisely how it came about so that we were caught unawares. By the same token, we do not know where terrorism is taking us. Catholic theology already had an answer prior to these events and maintains the same ethereal position. It will never back down from the claim to universality. However, its world view involves at least two variables that are difficult to imagine. One is the conversion of Jews, another has to do with Islam, and a subtle, argumentative contention over its legitimacy as an Abrahamic religion. To be sure, countless differences of opinions when it comes to religion pull us apart. Some are internal, others external. No sweeping generalization is likely to be correct. My concern deals strictly with the irrational use of violence, which should be condemned by all, regardless of denomination.


Tallest building under construction.
Tallest building under construction. | Source

Post Nine Eleven

This gets to me. We lost two towers at the World Trade Center, then, a few years later, Dubai began construction on the tallest structure ever built. Well, I do not know exactly where Osama Bin Laden came from, but the Saudi's capital, Riyadh, is 500 miles from Dubai. Does this architectural wonder really mean anything? All I know is the two events, probably not connected, but taken together, seem awfully "funny".

Khamenei, a Year Ago

The Deal Breaker That Wasn't

It would seem that to negotiate with a foreign nation while its people scream for the death of Americans would warrant at least a re-evaluation. Not so. The administration went for its paper deal head over heels. There is lots to worry about in the Middle East, so our unpopularity is only one more obstacle. They chanted then; they chant now. No matter. We are dealing exceptionally well with Iran, having intercepted its armament shipments to Yemen. We also maintain our own beliefs and convictions, unimpacted by Iran's vocal hysteria. But eventually, the rogue nation will be nuclear armed.


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