“The Only Divine Light is a Burning Church.”
Well, I’ll finish the Deerfield thing later, I don’t have it in me today. Benoni and his friends and family will be OK, sort of. Today I’m inspired to comment on current events, especially the plan to burn Korans on 9/11. My first thought is that I’m with Perroquet, if you’re gonna burn one “holy” book, why stop at the Koran, why not burn them all? Sigh. I’m a little unclear on what the honourable Pastor Ted Jones’ motives are, but talk about being inflammatory. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.) He claims this is about “standing up terrorism.” Um, how is inflaming hatred standing up to anything?
For the record, despicable as it may be, I do support the pastor’s right to burn Korans or anything else he might want to burn. Freedom of speech means just that, if someone wants to burn an American flag I support their right to do so. In either case if actually confronted with such behaviour I would exercise my freedom of speech and tell them exactly what I thought of them. It wouldn’t be pretty. Sadly, book burning has a long tradition in the world and in the USA, so Mr. Jones has lots of company.
Moving right along, there’s two points I wanted to make here. Well, three. The first seems obvious to me, even Obama mentioned it. It’s a little unclear how Mr Jones thinks that he is “confronting terrorism” when images of his book burning will be instantly posted on every Jihadist site in the world and will be some of the best propaganda that Al Qaeda ever had. Enraging America’s enemies and insulting America’s friends, not to mention insulting 3 million American Muslims, sounds like inciting terrorism, not confronting it. Maybe Mr. Jones is an Al Qaeda sleeper agent?
Which brings us to my second point, could this trigger the flashpoint that starts the Big War? It’s been my contention for some years now, since the invasion of Iraq actually, that the USA and others are lurching towards the next Big War, an inexorable process similar to the run ups to World War One and Two. Like watching herds of dinosaurs on a collision course, sooner or later it’s gonna get ugly. And God only knows what sort of nonsense Mr Jones’ offensive little BBQ could trigger. If it triggers serious riots somewhere or inspires some hideous act of terror in the USA, hysterical overreaction is America’s watchword these days. There’s been way to much gasoline poured on the ground the past decade, sooner or later someone is going to toss a match in the wrong place.
As a codicil to this, America’s spreading war in Asia is almost certainly going to trigger terrorist attacks inside the USA sooner or later. Taking on groups inside Pakistan is, well, insane. Some of these groups are large, well armed, and are far more worldly than Al Qaeda. Maybe the USA’s goal is to turn the Muslim world into a vast sea of failed states, if so our foreign policy is making great progress. Turning a country into a failed state is like refilling a swamp, it’s gonna breed a lot of mosquitoes.
And as a final point, I’m scared what this might lead to domestically. War is one thing, but I’m seeing a lot of anti-Muslim talk that is disturbingly similar to episodes in the past. Politicians love to blame some minority for a nation’s ills, be it Jews, Blacks, Indians, Catholics, Communists, immigrants, what have you. Usually it doesn’t get too ugly, but sometimes these things spiral out of control. I don’t want to live through a McCarthy era, or worse, but I fear it’s one possible near future in the USA. Too many people have decided that Muslims aren’t really human beings, and once you decide someone isn’t really human, any sort of atrocity can be perpetuated against them. And one doesn’t have to look too far back in US history to see egregious cases of just that. Our treatment of native Americans ranged between genocide and forced assimilation for much of US history, and blacks have been lynched in living memory.
Is the next great persecution of Americans going to target Muslims? I dunno, but there are some bad signs. This video is one of those signs, it’s titled “Three Things About Islam.” It gives “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” a run for its money. I do recommend watching it, even just as an exercise in spotting bad logic and false arguments. And hey, if you’ve already decided that Muslims aren’t really like other people, and that they are all engaged in a vast secret conspiracy to rule the world and convert us all into Muslims, you’re gonna love this video. Jesus wept.
Tomorrow I will get back to our trapped colonists. I think future historical stories I will fit on one post, even if it’s a long post. And since I plan on writing a lot of these stories, there may be fewer posts in the future. The world is full of pundits who can sagely comment on current events, no need to add my voice to the din. At least most of the time, this Koran burning nonsense and the Muslims video got my goat. I’ll be posting about Mary Bale too, who discovered that it is possible to become world famous by dropping a cat in a trash bin. Who knew? I ran out and dropped the first dozen I could find into trash bins, but alas fame still eluded me.
(The above image is Public domain under US copyright law. It’s about a society in the nineteenth century that went around burning books they considered obscene. They achieved great success, as they got Congress to pass laws against mailing and distributing obscene material. Yes, American’s tradition of getting their own personal moral prejudices enshrined in Federal Law goes back to the founding of the republic. Apparently for many, the freedom to impose their own personal foibles on the rest of us is their most cherished freedom. I don’t know who the quote I used in the title is by, sounds like Oscar Wilde or H. L. Mencken.)