Friday, September 30, 2011

Did Anwar al-Awlaki Deserve Due Process?

Today we killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen by birth. Even as the news flashes around the globe, liberal hand-wringers are agonizing over the idea that the US Government sanctioned and executed a targeted assassination of an American citizen without due process. One such example of this kind of fuzzy thinking can be found here. Even presidential-hopeful foreign policy nutbag Ron Paul is weighing in against this. The case of the hand-wringers is based on the fact that he was not indicted, that his fifth amendment rights were violated ("No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law"), that there was no due process.

Where the hand-wringers on the left don’t get it is that this animal was only technically an American citizen, by accident of birth. He had de facto rejected allegiance to America, scorned American law, and had engaged in an active campaign against the United States. The fact that he hadn’t filed the correct paperwork with the State Department renouncing his American citizenship spoke more for his disdain for the American rule of law than it did for any technicalities of his loyalties.

Anwar al-Awlaki was in fact an enemy combatant. On October 27, 2008, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon ruled that an enemy combatant is anyone who directly supports al Qaeda, the Taliban or an associated group involved in hostile acts against the United States or its allies. This certainly applies to al-Awlaki, inasmuch as he was involved with the planning of the 9/11 attack, and was a mentor and spiritual advisor to Nidal Malik Hasan. He frequently published incendiary sermons on the internet, and espoused armed jihad against America. The FBI considered him one of Al Qaida’s top recruiters.

Is it the position of the hand-wringers that the US justice department obtain an indictment against every member of Al Qaida before allowing the military to strike? Or only the members of Al Qaida who are high ranking and have the media spotlight? Is it the position of the hand-wringers that US soldiers request ID and confirm the legal case for detaining and/or executing members of Al Qaida on the battlefield? Are we living in a Victorian age where commanders refrain from engaging their counterparts in decapitation operations because it isn’t honorable? How do the hand-wringers feel about the fact that the enemy will operate under no such restrictions?

What would the net effect be of having provided al-Awlaki the due process of law? Do the hand-wringers have any doubt that he was a major figure in the global jihadist network of which Al Qaida is a part? Do the hand-wringers have any doubt about al-Awakis very public exhortations to Muslims to take up arms and wage violent war against the United States? Does anybody think for a second that this guy would turn himself in if there was a warrant for his arrest, or that he would be extradited? Yemen is nominally an ally in the War on Terror, albeit not one I would turn my back on, so our forces are limited to playing by their rules in their country. This means we have no military presence there and operate in the grey area of unmanned drones that characterizes 21st century warfare.

This war is not your grandfather’s war, with neatly drawn divisions of Us and Them. It’s not confined to a location or specific battlefield or even a recognizable theater of operations. With modern communications and technology, one man in a mountain redoubt in a backwater country like Yemen could command a worldwide network for jihadists. It’s only fitting that he met his demise at the hands of a pilot sitting in Missouri or New Jersey, playing the World’s Greatest Video Game. The battles of the 21st century come in two flavors, the short meeting actions that are decisively over in minutes or hours, and the slow dance of counter-terrorist operations, where armies move at a seeming glacial pace in the dark, in cyberspace and on the airwaves, in a techno-dance of hide and seek, waiting for the moment to strike. This is the battlefield where al-Awlaki was acting as a commander, and in the heat of battle was located and terminated, as we would do to any high ranking enemy commander.

Does the rule of law, the rights conferred by that law, and the due process safeguards built into that law apply to people who actively seek to abolish that law? The law was designed to protect the individual from government abuse. By what twisted logic do we pervert the intent of that law to protect the enemies of that law?

The hand-wringers make the assertion that the law must apply to everyone equally (although I find that these same people are the first to propose to limit the constitutional rights of their political opponents). I contend that this is only true and possible when everyone accepts the rule of that law, and has pledged to abide by it. Those that scorn the law, reject the law, and indeed seek to replace that law with a theocratic tyranny have no business being afforded the protections of that law. The laws upon which Western Civilization are based should not become a suicide pact that prevent us from defending Western Civilization against the well armed and fanatic forces of ignorance and chaos.

This doesn’t mean that the US government has shredded the constitution and that the black helicopters will come and fast roping commandos will start assassinating normal law-abiding citizens with impunity. Although, to listen to the rhetoric, I can’t help but wonder if the hand-wringers would happily endorse this action if it were taken against elements of the TEA party, who have done nothing unconstitutional; but have the temerity to disagree with the liberal policies of the left.

Al-Awlaki stepped out from under the protection of the law of his land of birth, and proceeded to wage war on that land and the laws for which it stands. He got what was coming to him. Good job and good riddance.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Christian Values - 10 years after 9/11

Last Sunday was the tenth anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.  At Mass that morning we were called both by the scripture and from the homily to forgiveness and called to live by our Christian standards. Unfortunately, I feel our parish priest is not a student of Islam or Islamic history

Let’s reflect on a few things here before we go rushing off to embrace our Muslim brethren in a spirit of unrestrained forgiveness.

Throughout scripture there’s a general theme regarding forgiveness – that forgiveness must be sought before it’s granted.  The offender must acknowledge his sin and seek reconciliation in a spirit of penitence. We have been repeatedly taught by Jesus that faith saves the sinner from his sins, and this theme was reinforced in Paul’s letters. Even on the cross, Jesus did not explicitly forgive his tormentors, but interceded on their behalf for God to forgive them due to their ignorance. 

Where are the penitent Muslims?  Who has sought reconciliation with Western Civilization to atone for the grievous sin that has been committed against us?  As Christians, our hearts are open to forgiveness and reconciliation, but we wait – seemingly in vain – for someone to step forward and seek that forgiveness that we so desperately want to give.  Instead, we are informed by the enemies of Western Civilization that we are hated.  The rank and file Muslim in Islamic nations hates Americans.  This is what they’re taught from birth, and they are quite frank and honest about it when the question comes up.  This is not a result of American interventionism, this sentiment was dominant in 2001.  Throughout the 20th century, the leaders of the Islamic world have been impoverishing their people under totalitarian regimes and laying the blame on Israel, the USA and Western Civilization for their own sins.  The result are whole nations made up of credulous conspiracy theorists. And these people are more than willing to act on their hatred, as evidenced in thousands of terrorist attacks worldwide since 9/11 (17744 such attacks at the time of this writing).

Yes, Father, we can and will forgive these people.  When they seek it.  For now, all I see is enmity and hatred and the desire to kill us.

We were also informed that as Christians who espouse the uniquely American concept of freedom of religion, we should not be protesting the construction of mosques in our communities.

I’m sorry, Father, but you’re dead wrong on this point.  The mistake you make is assuming that Islam is a religion in the pattern of all others, and should therefore be accorded the respect for its tenets and beliefs that we accord to other non-Christian religions.  Islam is not a religion.  It’s a fascist, totalitarian political construct wrapped in a veneer of sanctity by justifying its actions on the satanic utterances of its founder.

Islam is a belief system that is diametrically opposed to the values we hold dear as Judeo-Christians living in the Western Civilization.  It’s irresponsible to tolerate the presence of Islam, when Islam explicitly refuses to tolerate other beliefs. Islam’s tolerance of other belief systems is inversely proportional to the percentage of population that are Muslim in any group.  Tolerance and accommodation of a small group of Muslims inevitably leads to larger groups of Muslims, who use our Western values of free speech and freedom of religion to protect them in an ongoing campaign to extinguish free speech and free religion and replace them with Islamic sharia law.  If you think this is overly alarmist, then look at the problems that are being faced by the UK and France and other European countries as their Muslim population grows.  This is happening today, exactly as I project.

Moreover, as a Christian I have no problem tolerating the existence of other beliefs systems who do not acknowledge my faith in Christ.  Islam however, does acknowledge it, and roundly condemns it!  Islam specifically denies the crucifixion, states unequivocally that it never happened ( Quran 4:157).  It denies the holy trinity and the divinity of Christ (Quran 4:171).  And it brands me a heretic or infidel for believing these things and instructs its followers to persecute me on that basis (Quran 9:29). As a Christian, I can tolerate even this intolerance, but that does not mean I have to accommodate these beliefs and make room for them in my community.  Having read the Quran, I am aware of its Satanic origin, and as a responsible Christian, it’s my duty to repudiate this belief system.

Let’s suppose that Adolf Hitler justified his actions on the basis that he was in direct communication with the One God, Creator of the Universe, and that he was only doing what God told him was right and proper.  And he explicitly stated that God instructed him to assassinate his detractors, drive the Jews out of his land and murder them and wage war throughout the world to subject the entire planet to his authority. Would we provide a place for such Nazi believers to build their sanctuaries in our country?  Especially when those sanctuaries have been repeatedly proven to be headquarters, fund raisers and recruiting grounds in an ongoing battle to conquer Western Civilization?  Would we make a place for them and accommodate their peculiar Nazi requirements in our society?  In the interest of tolerance and religious diversity would we include Nazi studies in our universities, and invite Nazis to speak in our churches and synagogues so that we can better understand their beliefs?

Of course not, because we understand Nazism and what it stands for.  The problem is that no one has bothered to take the time to learn and understand Islam and what it stands for. Islam has in fact done all of the things I accuse the Nazis of doing, right from its inception. The parallels between Hitler and Muhammad are astonishing. They both established cult-like followers. They both believed their race was the superior race. Neither one tolerated dissension, and had dissenters killed.  Both assassinated their political opponents.  Both exterminated Jews and other undesirables. Both were ascetics. The difference is that Hitler never claimed to be speaking on behalf of God Almighty.

If I would not tolerate fascism and Nazi party beliefs to be accepted in this country, why would I accept those same practices and beliefs merely because the founder of the cult claimed to be talking to God?