Category Archives: Bruce S. Thornton

The Incoherent Excuses for Hating Israel

by Bruce S. Thorton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via www.marketoracle.co.uk

Photo via www.marketoracle.co.uk

Israel’s military operation to degrade Hamas’ ability to rain rockets down on Israeli cities has stirred up the usual noisy and nasty protests in Europe. We need not dwell on demonstrations by Muslim immigrants, whose genocidal Jew-hatred has been an Islamic tradition for 14 centuries. More revealing is the hatred of Israel by so many Europeans, ranging from leftover leftists and idealizers of the dark-skinned “other,” to far-right xenophobes and morally addled Christians. Whatever its origins, one thing their bitter hatred of Israel does not have is any foundation in coherent principle.

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Inventing Freedom. How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World

by Bruce Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

9780062231734_p0_v5_s260x420-231x350The fundamental incoherence of multiculturalism comes from its cultural relativism that posits no one way of life is better than another, but then singles out the West as a uniquely oppressive global villain. Even more contradictory, at the same time that multiculturalists slander the West for its alleged crimes, they praise and promote political and social ideals––democracy, freedom, equality, and law-based justice–– that flourish only in the West. This cognitive dissonance is made possible by massive historical ignorance of just where such ideas originated and developed. The great value of Daniel Hannan’s Inventing Freedom lies in its recovery of that history, and the role that the “Anglosphere,” the English-speaking countries, played in recognizing and nurturing those ideals for over 1500 years.

Hannan is a writer, blogger, and currently the Conservative representative of Southeast England in the European Parliament, where he vigorously monitors and battles the dirigiste excesses and autocratic impulses of the European Union functionaries. He is also a stalwart friend of the U.S., a throwback to the days when the “special relationship” between Britain and the U.S. was instrumental in turning back the fascist, Nazi, and communist assault on everything that comprises the liberal democratic ideals universally admired and imitated, even by those illiberal regimes who must pay lip-service to democracy and freedom even as they work to subvert them. Readers will find in Inventing Freedom an immensely readable, clearly argued survey of those ideals, the history in which they struggled to survive, and the great heroes whose sacrifice and commitment to them ensured that we enjoy them today.

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Moral Equivalence, Moral Idiocy

by Bruce Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Image by © marco bottelli/Demotix/Corbis

Image by © marco bottelli/Demotix/Corbis

Scenes all too familiar from the Arab conflict with Israel have followed the murder last Wednesday of a 16-year-old Palestinian, Mohammed Abu Khdeir. Mourners at his funeral chanting the Muslim war-cry “Allahu Akbar” as they carry the boy’s open coffin, the crowd shouting slogans like “Intifada rise up” and “America and Israel are the terrorists,” banners representing terrorist organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad waving above the crowd, gangs of “youths” attacking Israeli police throughout East Jerusalem, barrages of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel, and the usual condemnations of Israel and calls for “restraint” from the “international community” – all sadly are business as usual. And the “business” is the demonization of Israel and the obscene double standards indulged by too many in the West.

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The Progressive Assault on the Legacy of Independence Day

by Bruce Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via Flickr

Photo via Flickr

Independence Day is a good time to revisit the foundations of our political order, especially given the long record of Barack Obama and the Democrats’ disregard for the Constitution. The members of the Continental Congress who met in Philadelphia in July 1776 sought their independence from England in order to recover their rights that had been violated by a tyrant, and to establish political freedom and autonomy so that those rights could be protected from further erosion. For a century now the Progressive ideology has insidiously undermined that legacy of autonomy in a slow-motion revolution that aims to “fundamentally transform America.”

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The Language of Despotism

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Long before 1984 gave us the adjective “Orwellian” to describe the political corruption of language and thought, Thucydides observed how factional struggles for power make words their first victims. Describing the horrors of civil war on the island of Corcyra during the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides wrote, “Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them.” Orwell explains the reason for such degradation of language in his essay “Politics and the English Language”: “Political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.”

Tyrannical power and its abuses comprise the “indefensible” that must be verbally disguised. The gulags, engineered famines, show trials, and mass murder of the Soviet Union required that it be a “regime of lies,” as the disillusioned admirer of Soviet communism Pierre Pascal put it in 1927.

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Melancholy Lessons from Iraq

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via Wikicommons

Photo via Wikicommons

The unfolding collapse of Iraq’s government before the legions of al Qaeda jihadists is the capstone of Barack Obama’s incompetent and politicized foreign policy. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), armed with plundered American weapons and flush with stolen money, is consolidating a Sunni terrorist state in eastern Syria and northern Iraq, replete with mass executions, sharia law, and the beheading of violators. With revered Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani calling the Shia faithful to arms, a vicious civil war between Shia and Sunnis will likely intensify in the coming days. But whoever wins, the fallout for our security will be disastrous – a Shiite “crescent” from Aleppo to Mosul allied with Iran, which looks ever more likely to be nuclear armed, and a safe haven for terrorist training camps to prepare “martyrs” for attacks against the West. And our allies Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel all will to various degrees find their own security and interests impacted by this administration’s criminal foreign policy negligence.

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Immigration and America’s Failure of Nerve

by Bruce Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

The number of unaccompanied children from Central America into the U.S. has reached 47,000 since October, and may hit 90,000 by the end of this year. The official story is that they are fleeing drug-gang mayhem and political violence in their home countries, and so are refugees and asylum-seekers. But the Guatemalan ambassador has said they are seeking economic opportunity and the “American dream.” It’s hard, however, not to see a connection with Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Arrivals Program, which defers deportation for illegal aliens who are minors. Obama enacted by executive fiat––and just recently extended for 2 years––this open invitation to illegal minors when Congress proved unwilling to pass the Dream Act legislation.

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The Progressive Gitmo Myth

by Bruce Thornton// FrontPage Magazine

Photo of Amnesty International Protest via FrontPage Magazine

Photo of Amnesty International Protest via FrontPage Magazine

The swap of probable deserter Bowe Bergdahl for 5 “high-risk” Guantánamo detainees is about more than political public relations. By releasing some of the worst murderers, this deal prepares the ground for Obama’s long-term goal of shutting down the Guantánamo Bay detention facility and releasing the remaining detainees. According to Britain’s Daily Mail, a senior Pentagon official claims Obama nixed plans to rescue Bergdahl because “the president wanted a diplomatic scenario that would establish a precedent for repatriating detainees from Gitmo.”  Given that on his second day in office Obama issued an executive order shutting Gitmo down, and as recently as this year’s State of the Union speech repeated this pledge, his failure to do so has aroused serial complaints from his progressive base. With his reelection behind him, Obama may now think he can fulfill this promise, no matter the danger to our efforts to protect ourselves against terrorism.

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Partisan Politics, Bad Ideas & the Bergdahl Swap

The Tailban 5 and Obama Photo via tpnn.com

The Tailban 5 and Obama Photo via tpnn.com

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

President Obama’s exchange of 5 high-ranking Taliban murderers for a soldier who possibly was a deserter and collaborator encapsulates everything that is wrong with this administration’s foreign policy. The serial failures of the past 5 years reflect a toxic brew of partisan politics and naïve ideology.

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Our Bad Habit of Negotiating with Terrorists

by Bruce Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via Wikicommons By Chris Brown

Photo via Wikicommons By Chris Brown

 

Every parent should be happy for the Bergdahl family, whose son was returned to them after five years of captivity among the Taliban. But every parent is not the president of the United States, whose primary responsibility is to protect the security and interests of all Americans, both now and in the long-term. The release of 5 “high-risk”––a phrase meaning they’re eager to kill Americans–– Taliban jihadists held in Guantanamo Bay is nothing more than ransom paid to kidnappers, and an invitation to the enemy to take more Americans captive and to hold them as bargaining chips for more concessions. And the release of hardened, high-ranking Taliban terrorists means there will be more dead Americans after theses soldiers of Allah return to the battlefield.

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