Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why We Fight

We’re the good guys. They’re the bad guys. It’s that simple really, but Americans don’t know it and that’s why we’re in danger of losing this war. Many hear that we’re the bad guys and our enemies are justified. Most recently it was Barack Obama’s minister, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright preaching “White America” got what it deserved on September 11th. Before him, it was former University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill who called the 3000 victims “Little Eichmans” after the Nazi murderer. Before him, University of New Mexico Professor Richard Berthold taught that: "Anyone who can bomb the Pentagon has my vote."

Others scoff at my good guys/bad guys synopsis, insisting it’s not that simple. There’s no good/bad, right/wrong. Everything is gray. Everything is relative. Anyone who sees this war as I do is unintelligent at best and a warmonger at worst.

Still others insist that, while it may seem wrong that radical Muslims want to kill us, they’re following the dictates of their culture and we cannot condemn them because all cultures are equal. Ours is no better than theirs. When we fight back, we make Islamofascists angrier, producing more terrorists.

Then there are the pacifists with bumper stickers professing: “War is Not the Answer” no matter what the question - even if it should be “How can we stop those proclaiming ‘Death to America’ from killing us?”

The Democrat Party is largely comprised of people who embrace some combination of the above, constantly reinforced by a Mainstream Media reporting only when the war is going badly for us. It’s no wonder America is divided. Clearly we’re losing the propaganda war, which is becoming the most important theater in our struggle against Radical Islam. We haven’t even begun to fight it.

Soldiers think propaganda isn’t as important as winning battles on the ground, but our reasons for fighting are vital to civilians who sustain the war. Soldiers offer themselves to be killed as sacrifices because they believe our country is more important than they are. Their home, family, land, and way of life are worth dying for. They know enemy soldiers think this way too but our soldiers must be ready to kill them because they would impose their way of life on us. American soldiers and the people back home must both believe our way of life is better than our enemy’s. We must believe it so strongly that we’re willing to kill and die for it, but too many Americans don’t - not because it isn’t true, but because they don’t know what’s at stake.

Our enemy is winning the war of ideas because they have no opposition. Propagandizing doesn’t have to be lying the way our enemy uses it, it’s making our case. It’s teaching Americans what our enemies want to do to us. It’s outlining the choices all the world has to make, including people in Iran and Syria and every other country supporting terrorism. Do you want to live under Sharia Law or not? Do you want schools teaching your children to become suicide bombers? Decide. Then take a side. There’s no middle ground.

We fought an effective propaganda battle during World War II when General George C. Marshal asked Hollywood Director Frank Capra to make propaganda films, Capra hesitated because he made comedies and dramas. Could he make a documentary? Should he? Capra saw Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will” as a brilliant Nazi propaganda film and wondered, “How can I possibly top that?” Well he did. used our enemy’s own propaganda to show American soldiers and civilians what we were up against. We need to do exactly what Capra did and use Islamofascist propaganda against them. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) collects Islamofascist films from the Palestinian Authority, Iran and the terrorist groups it supports like Hamas and Hezbollah that is used to brainwash children into becoming suicide bombers We must saturate the world with these films to shine light on what Islamofascists are: a megalomaniacial death cult. Perhaps it will shame moderate Muslims enough that they will summon the courage to publicly condemn the radicals perverting their religion.

Our enemies propagandize so effectively that, although they shoot rockets into Israel every single day, the world sees them as victims. Hamas terrorists know Israel must kill civilians to take out their rocket launchers and this generates more grist for the propaganda mill. When it threatens to stop supplying electricity, fuel and water to the very people trying to kill them, Israel is condemned! Can propaganda be any more effective than that? I don’t see how.

“Obsession” is a terrific, privately-produced example of what could be done if our government ever gets serious about fighting the propaganda war. They better not wait much longer or the good guys will indeed finish last.


Anonymous said...

Right on again, Tom. The Koran ought to be required reading for all. "Kill the infidel and the Jew where you find them. If you are too weak to kill the infidel, accept all the help you can get from him and when you become strong, then kill him." We can not democratize Moslem countries. The Koran will not allow that. We must open our eyes and recognize what is happening in this world! Look at England and France.

Harvey in North Baldwin

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your interesting column today. May I suggest that you go to the dictionary and look up the word MANICHEAN? Yours is a worldview of black and white, us vs. them and countenances no nuance. Also, your entire posture is one of a defensive crouch - the GOP philosophy when it comes to dealing with the very real threat from radical Islam is one of fear. In fact, the Bush Administration has successfully translated this fear into a national policy. You merely continue this drumbeat. Finally, if the struggle against 'Islamofascism' (whatever that means) is the essential fight of our generation, then shouldn't we institute a draft, raise (rather than lower) taxes to fund this, and ask a semblance of sacrifice from the American public?

Tom McLaughlin said...

Where's the nuance in beheading hostages, "honor-killing" rape victims, stoning homosexuals, recruiting children for suicide bombings, and imposing Sharia on the world? Guess I'm just not sophisticated enough to perceive it.

As to mobilizing for a greater effort - that would be politically impossible without a propaganda surge - which is the point of the piece.

SeanPatrick said...

Dear Diane,

What you mean is dichotomous or dichotomy, not necessarily Manichean. "Manichean" comes from Manicheism, a dualistic perversion of Christianity that was popular in the 4th century A.D. Manicheans believed that there are two gods, one a good god, and one an evil "demiurge" god, and these two gods are equal in power, and in an eternal struggle for the souls of humankind. The material world is evil, and the spirit world is good. True Christianity teaches that spirit and material are both good, both creations of God, but of course we must control and harness our bodies by living good lives. True Christianity says there is only one God, a good God, and evil is less powerful than good, not good's equal. If Tom were really manichean, he would believe good and evil are equal, and I do not believe that is Tom's belief.

St. Augustine actually fell into Manicheism for awhile before he finally converted to Christianity and became a great saint.

Anyway, sorry for veering off topic. Just wanted to point out that what you should call Tom is "dualistic," not "manichean." Just like all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares, all manicheans may be dualists, but not all dualists fit the definition of manichean.

That said, I don't think your criticism of Tom holds. Pointing out that one side is bad and the other is good doesn't make one dualistic if it is true. And, while I have my issues with the war (I am not sure we can actually win it), Tom is right; the radical muslims are the bad guys. Whether or not we must go after every bad guy--whether we can go after every bad guy--is a matter of prudence and a judgment call. But the radical muslims are bad guys.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your note, but I most certainly do mean to characterize Tom's worldview as Manichean. It's the same as The Decider's. I, nonetheless, appreciate your taking the time to comment.


SeanPatrick said...

you know what? I come off kind of pompous with my comment. I still disagree with diane, but I could have just said that instead of doing the "show-offy" explanation of manicheism.

Sorry about that. Although it does bring to mind a webpage I recently discovered, a website that mocks the educated liberal snobby white person attitude, an attitude I occassionally fall into, even though I am kind of conservative, probably becuase i went through the whole grad school experience, and this run-on sentence is long enough.

Anyway, the webpage is (and its not my own, i wouldnt plug my own stuff):

and, the full list of stuff:

Tom, I think you will like this, since it skewers the type of people you criticize in this blog.

Anonymous said...

Seanpatrick: FWIW, I didn't take your comment as pompous. You have your view which - I suspect - isn't shared by me, but you're certainly entitled to it. Also, your comment (to me) demonstrated the thoughts of someone who considers what he's writing. This, sir, is what we call 'dialogue'! I welcome it and your views.

SeanPatrick said...

Thank you for your comments, Diane. I guess what I don't like is the dichotomy (yes) of Iraq war supporters all being us vs. them black and white thinkers versus war opponents being relativists. There are plenty of war opponents out there who recognize right and wrong, who recognize that the radical muslims are bad, but still aren't confident that president bush's approach is best. Likewise, not all war supporters are black and white thinkers. many recognize shades of gray, but still believe that war is the right choice in this situation

Tom McLaughlin said...

I'd seen a little of "Stuff White People Like" last week, but I've just perused it more and it's brilliant. Many of the brand names, musical groups and movies were unfamiliar, but the sardonic tone was brilliant. So was the choice of topics. Yes, they are the kind of people I like to tease. They're so easy.

No. Good and evil are not equal. Once I asked a minister friend if he believed in Satan. "No," he said. "I know he exists, but I believe in God."

Another friend said the other day: "I'm waiting for a political cartoon depicting a multicultural liberal trying to hug a suicide bomber."

SeanPatrick said...

Hey Tom,

I don't think I was implying that good and evil are equal. They are not. Satan is not God's rival, only St. Michael's rival.

It's the manicheans who said God and the devil are two equal gods. I said Diane was wrong to call you manichean; manichean/dualistic people believe good and evil are equal, whereas unfortunately too many people today equate the recognition of good and evil as a sign of dualism.

People don't really understand dualism. people use it as a pejorative to throw at anyone who is not a moral relativist, as if we can't see shades of gray. we can--there are million shades of gray for all sorts of things; there is no black and white right and wrong answer for the qestion of, say, what is the right college to go to or what flavor of ice cream to buy. But some things, such as whether or not to fly an airplane into a building, are matters of black and white. there is no gray area there.


Anonymous said...

Tom, Your commentary "Why We Fight" is spot on! Americans are becoming more polarized and divided by 3-5 minute sound bites they hear from the mainstream media and the Anti-American rhetoric from our universities and our public educators. What the misguided does not get is exactly what you stated..Appeasement to our enemies shows weakness and no resolve to fight for our way of life and the freedoms we dearly treasure. The world should be put on notice and understand that if America falls so goes the rest of the free world. The United States has been more of beacon of light and hope in this world than any other country and it's sad that we haven't taught that to our youth. It is a sad day when there is this belief that America has done more harm than good in the world. Americans are too caught up in living the good life to care or pay any attention to their freedoms that are at stake when they vote for misguided leftest politicians into government. If the media was doing their job they would be looking at all the candidates including Obama and Hilary under a microscope because the next president will be one of if not the most powerful leader in the world. Doesn't it make sense that if we spend so much time and evaluation whenever we make an important decision albeit a career change, make a capital investment, decide to get married we give it much thought and research before making those choices. How much more important than to research the candidates and not make our decision solely based on what main stream media is telling and printing for us. I believe The Democratic Party has been hijacked by the far left and unfortunately moderate and conservative Democrats have no representation from their party leaders. We live in perilous times and we need a president who will lead our country with resolve against Islamo-fascism, understands that the private business sector and corporations are the bread and butter of America not bigger government, and our laws and Constitution is sovereign. I did not and do not see that in any of the Democratic candidates.

God Bless America
Greg Johns

4/4/08 1:03 PM

Unknown said...

...there are no absolutes. None, none whatsoever.

Absolutely none. No. None.

So there, now, got that off my chest, I can think clearly now.

I love airhead leftist thinking.

Unknown said...

What's with the water out there?,2933,351624,00.html

A Maine college student has caused a firestorm after plastering the floor of a campus building with American flags to see if anyone would trample Old Glory.

Susan Crane, a student at the University of Maine, Farmington, placed hundreds of flags on the floor of the school's student center Tuesday for an art class assignment. She set down the flags in a maze-like pattern to document whether students and staff would step on them.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Tom: I saw that as a link from "Hot Air," with a little video. UMF's lesbian president and scrotally challenged provost were discussing the "art" with the older veteran. He handled himself well. They were obsequious in his presence.

That's how it is out here these days. I'm definitely an anomaly in this very blue state.