All terrorism is a hate crime.

GWOTOnce again we are faced with a tragedy born of hate perpetrated by an Islamic extremist terrorist.  Many have said that since the shooting early Sunday morning took place at a gay club it was a hate crime.  It was, but then every single act committed in the name of ISIS and their like is a hate crime, be it against gays, Christians, Jews, heavy metal fans, or soccer fans, or anybody else not exactly like them.  The fact that the terrorist’s targets were gay in this instance is irrelevant in the big picture.  This particular murderer just picked the group he hated the most to massacre, as if picking from some twisted, macabre menu.

It is not who he decided to massacre that should disturb or enrage us, it is that there is an entire self-proclaimed nation of extremists out there that has convinced themselves and their followers that the value of  human life is negotiable, worth much in the case of some, worth nothing at all in the case of others, many others.  Like the NAZI’s before them, they revel in having enemies that all their woes can be blamed on.  Scapegoats to blame for their failures and those of their bankrupt ideology.  They lie to themselves that their deeds serve a higher purpose.  They dehumanize others in order to kill them without remorse.  What eventually ended the NAZI’s reign of terror against the weak and the defenseless was a sustained and coordinated effort by the strong– not to reach an accommodation or accord with them, but to destroy them in detail on every battlefront.  What’s more, we and others who shared the means to do so made an irreversible decision to defeat the enemy and never give anything less than our utmost to do so.

We have heard a lot of strong talk after Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, and the rest.  Each time we resolved not to be cowed or give in to terror.  We vowed to take the fight to the enemy, attack them with every means at our disposal. Indeed, we have taken action, we’ve killed them, captured them, taken away their money.  We’ve done so for years, but for all of those things we’ve done, there is still one thing that remains to do before we can end the terror.  We have to make that same public, non-negotiable, irrevocable pact with ourselves and our allies to win this war as we did the one three-quarters of a century ago against a similar foe.

With the military victory, we must strive for the moral victory. We have to win this fight staying true to our values.  We have to do it while preserving the rights to free speech, religion and peaceful assembly, the right to be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects, the right to bear arms.  We have to respect and morn all who have been lost in this struggle, be they gay, straight, Christian, Jew, cop, soldier, or innocent bystander.  We have to understand what our enemy does not– that every human life is sacred, not just those we approve of, or those we can relate to, but all lives.  The reason is simple, because all of what we call civilization is hateful to them and thus a potential target for their militant extremism.  Every act of terror by definition is a hate crime, it’s not them victims that determines this, it is the terrorist.

 

 

 

 

 

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Memorial Days of our Possible Future

Memorial day 2016 has passed.  The picnics and barbecues are over.  The wreath laying ceremonies have been completed.    Many Americans, perhaps more in recent years keep Memorial Day sacred, and well they should.  Many, many American heroes left their homes for war and never returned.  They gave the ultimate sacrifice.  The loved ones they left behind morn their loss.  From that darkest day, and especially on Memorial Day, they are reminded that their loved ones gave their lives that we could be free. Our freedom, liberty, democracy are those ideals that they gave their lives for.  Their deaths are not considered in vain, we say, because of these gifts their sacrifice has secured for us.  In many ways, this is a distinction not shared by all fallen warriors throughout history, as not all of the fallen died for these things.  They fought for king and country, maybe to protect their families, but nothing more noble than that. Will they day ever come that Americans of some future era, in some future conflict fight for little more?

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Victory in WWII

The NAZI’s did not fight for freedom, quite the opposite.  The Russians fought for Rodina, the motherland and their comrades.  Napoleon won scores of battles, his soldiers won victory after victory for the glory of France all across Europe, and freed nary a soul from oppression in the process.  Japan spent a century at war during the middle ages, the samurai fought for honor and for their lord, but never for liberty.  What of the next generation of Americans?  Will the era of fighting for real freedom have ended?

One by one our liberties have fallen or are in danger of falling by the wayside—our right to privacy traded for security, our right to free speech ceded to militant progressives at the college campus, the rights of the states to self-governance ground into nothingness by an overbearing federal government.  The courts now dictate which religious customs we are free to follow.  Likewise, the Supreme Court has determined that Americans don’t have the right to choose their own healthcare, or none at all.  Thanks to EPA regulations, farmers and ranchers are not free to manage their land as they see fit.  The examples go on and on.  If this is where we are now at this rate, imagine how little liberty there will be left for our brave service members serving in the not-so-distant future will actually to give their lives for.

What then will we tell the families of future fallen warriors?  Will they be told their loved ones died for freedom?  Perhaps, if the enemy they fought against has markedly less freedom even then us.  It certainly wouldn’t, couldn’t be said that they died for the same freedom our Revolutionary War, Civil War Union soldiers, or WWII heroes did.  The surviving family members might be consoled by the fact that their loved ones died for their county, for honor, even to protect them, but not freedom as once existed on this continent.  On that sad day, our fallen will make the ultimate sacrifice in the name of nationalism, the homeland, perhaps even Socialism.  On that day, may it never come, our war dead will have given their last breath for no more a cause than a piece of land, some natural resources, or a border on a map.  Memorial Day will be a much different day, a day to mourn more than the loss of American heroes, but of a free country that once existed that was worthy of their sacrifice.

70th anniversary of VE Day Remembered

Victory in WWII
Victory in WWII

Seventy years ago today, the Allies emerged victorious against the Nazi/Fascist war machine in Europe.  We won because we put aside our differences to fight a homicidal and genocidal evil regime.  Today, most of those veterans are in their 90’s.  Soon, there will be few who remember first-hand how prescient and dangerous the Fascist threat to our liberty and democracy really was. We should remember and honor those who fought from that Greatest Generation.  We should remember also how close we came to being enslaved by an odioius ideology.

We wake up today at risk again from fascism, not the secular kind we fought in WWII, but one driven by a twisted version of Islam.  These fascist too are homicidal and genocidal.  They too want to replace our liberty and democracy with totalitarianism.  Unfortunately, like in WWII, we in the West are slow to take up arms against this threat.  Maybe because this one comes from a different part of the world, do we think we can take our time forming a cohesive resistance.  Perhaps it is because of the pace at wich our enemy attacks us; there is no blitzkrieg that quickly brings a constant threat to our doorstep.

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WWII Memorial, Washington, D.C.

This enemy hits our homeland not daily or hourly, but at a pace all their own.  New York, London, Madrid, Paris and others all hit– just not in a quick succession of strikes but spread out over a period of months and years.  Perhaps that explains our lack of urgency, the memory of the last strike fades before the next.

It’s not this way for our allies in the middle east, it is already October 1939 for them.  Now, no longer being able to wait for the West to rescue them, they’ve engaged the enemy on their own, with but token help from Europe and America.  This war will not be won quickly, if at all with this sense of urgency on our parts.  Like America in WWII, the war will eventually get here to a degree that it becomes the constant, immediate threat to the homeland, impossible to ignore.  We wait for the blitz, but so far we have only delayed it, not prevented it.  We’ll have to learn this the hard way the price of waiting…again.