Category Archives: The World

Nothing to Do with Islam, Part 2

by Bruce Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

To read Part I, click here.

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

In his comments on the jihad being waged by the Islamic State in northern Iraq (ISIL), President Obama recycled yet again the shopworn false knowledge about Islam that continues to compromise our response to Muslim violence: “So ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day.”

Over at the New York Post, a columnist rightly took the president to task by saying, “You can’t divorce the Islamic State from religion.” Unfortunately, the column is full of numerous misstatements that perpetuate the illusion that there is some peaceful, tolerant version of Islam that has been distorted and twisted by “extremists” or “fundamentalists.”

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Sherman in Gaza

His march through Georgia has been gravely misunderstood ― as has Israel’s strategy in Gaza.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Nothing to Do With Islam

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

The war against jihadism has been chronically misunderstood because of our failure to acknowledge the religious motives of Muslim jihadists. This failure began in 1979 with the Iranian revolution. Trapped in our Western secularist paradigms, we interpreted the uprising against the Shah as an anti-colonial revolt against a “brutal” autocrat propped up by the West for its own exploitative economic and geostrategic purposes. The aim of the revolution, the argument went, was to create a government more sympathetic to national sovereignty and Western pluralistic government. However, it soon became clear with the political triumph of the Ayatollah Khomeini that the revolution was in the main a religious one, inspired in part by anger at the Shah’s secularization, modernization, and liberalization policies. As Khomeini said in 1962, the Shah’s regime was “fundamentally opposed to Islam itself and the existence of a religious class.”

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On Cyprus, the World Is Silent

Because Turkey is not Israel.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

The Un-Midas Touch

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJMedia

Photo via PJMedia

Photo via PJMedia

Everything that Barack Obama touches seems to turn to dross. Think of it for a minute. He inherited a quiet Iraq [1] (no American combat deaths at all in December 2009 [2]). Joe Biden bragged of the calm that it would be the administration’s“greatest achievement.” [3] But by pulling out all U.S. peacekeepers — mostly for a 2012 reelection talking point [4] — Obama ensured an ISIS wasteland [5]. He put his promised eye on Afghanistan at last, and we have lost more soldiers there than during the Bush administration and a Taliban victory seems likely after more than a decade of lost American blood and treasure. The message seems to be that it is better for Obama to have his eye off something than on it.

Remember those threats to Syria? After the U.S. threatened and backed off, the violence only escalated and spilled into Iraq.

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The Failure of the E.U.

by Bruce S. Thornton // Defining Ideas

Image credit: Barbara Kelley

Image credit: Barbara Kelley

The European Union has long excited American progressives, who want the United States to model itself after the European body. As each year passes, it has become difficult to understand this admiration. These days the E.U. acts more and more like a bloated bureaucracy staffed with elites armed with intrusive regulatory power and insulated from citizen accountability. The success of Euroskeptic parties in this spring’s European Parliament elections casts doubt on the whole E.U. project.

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The End of NATO?

Major existential problems mean the organization may soon unravel.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

A Stronger Israel?

Elite opinion believes Israel will lose “long-term” whatever happens in the next weeks. Not necessarily.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Obama and the U.N.’s Alternate Universe

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Barack Obama has managed to push American foreign policy into an alternate universe in which everything the human race has learned over the past 2500 years about human nature, aggression, and its deterrence has been stood on its head. He is not solely to blame for this. For 150 years the West had indulged the illusion that human nature is progressing away from our violent past toward a world of reason in which conflict can be resolved and negotiated away without force or the credible threat of force. But Obama and his foreign policy team have completely detached this idea, serially mugged by the violent reality of the last century, from any recognition of morality or even fact. The result is the disastrous decline in American global authority and influence.

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The Cost of American Indifference

By continually taking the path of least short-term trouble, the U.S. ensures long-term hardship.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online