Monday, February 13, 2006

Islamic Opinion Be Damned! by Richard Winkler

This opinion piece was first published in on February 12, 2006 and is being reprinted here.

When a person is physically threatened for expressing an opinion the police should be called in to arrest those issuing the threat. When a nation or group threatens another nation or group with physical violence for having expressed an opinion, then the very principle of freedom of speech is threatened. The first amendment was designed to protect that very thing – the right of any individual to express an opinion without fear of physical retaliation. That freedom of speech forms the cornerstone of any civilized society should hardly be a matter of debate anymore.

If the issue holds any confusion for anyone, it is due to multiculturalism (or simple cowardice), the idea that all cultures are equal and all ideas, including the murderous ideas behind the Islamist’s death threats, should be respected equally. The Islamists certainly have no confusion on the subject; these threats show their ideas for what they are (as if that was in any doubt after the Salmon Rushdie death edict and the regular beheadings, and worse, of “non-believers” by the Islamists).

Multiculturalism is completely at odds with the U.S. constitution, which is a political statement of principles or ideas that apply to all men anywhere and at any time. “All men are created equal” does not include the caveat, “except if they run afoul of Islamist dogma”.

For the U.S. government to uphold freedom of speech against Islamists who are threatening to kill anyone who prints the Muhammad cartoons, and in the same breath to reproach those who print the cartoons, pleading with them to respect religion, is such an abject and transparent surrender of principle that it is difficult to call it anything less then cowardice. It places the right of free speech on par with the “right” to murder, and abandons those brave souls that print the cartoons.

There is a clear clash of principles here that cannot be evaded. Islamist’s believe that reproducing the likeness of their prophet is a blasphemy, punishable by death. Freedom of speech is the principle that ideas are protected against physical retaliation. There is no reconciling these principles; a stand has to be taken. After all, the principle of freedom of speech was not created to protect speech that does not offend anyone. Its purpose is precisely to defend the type of speech represented in those cartoons.

Moral Self Confidence – Have We Lost It?

The following was written on August 13, 2005 and is being reprinted here from

The man who refuses to judge, who neither agrees nor disagrees, who declares that there are no absolutes and believes that he escapes responsibility, is the man responsible for all the blood that is now spilled in the world. Reality is an absolute, existence is an absolute, a speck of dust is an absolute and so is a human life….(Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged).

Hand wringing and mea culpas abound on this the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Buy why do we cry? We are cozy in our beds at night, with tummy full and a roof that does not leak. We did not cry or hand wring in 1945 as this 21 year old second Lieutenant related: “We learned to our astonishment that we would not be obliged in a few months to rush up the beaches near Tokyo assault-firing while being machine-gunned, mortared, and shelled, and for all the practiced phlegm of our tough facades we broke down and cried with relief and joy. We were going to live.”

“We were going to live”. Powerful words coming from a boy who knew that the Japanese were expected to fight to the death. Lives did not mean much by the Japanese moral code of the day as it hadn’t for centuries. Pride and victory were everything for these aggressors.

So Fat Man and Little Boy ended the Japanese dreams of conquest by terrorism and death. They surrendered unconditionally – Hirohito was allowed to remain a figurehead emperor. General Douglas MacArthur proceeded to institute democratic reforms and wrote their constitution. He was the boss in Japan and made sure that the people were westernized. What were the results of MacArthur’s tough guy stance and demands? Prosperity and peace for the Japanese for the past 60 years!

We have this very important lesson reminding us every anniversary, if nothing else that the good (the West for all you peaceniks) can only triumph over evil (Japan and Germany in 1945) if the good is willing to go all the way – no compromises and mealy mouth begging.

Some people decry the bomb as an evil thing. False! It is a good thing if it keeps America safe. Oh – some will say – the atom bomb kills hundreds of thousands in an instant and more die later of radiation. Yes true. But is that worse than a million of our 18-25 year olds dying and maimed over 5 years with bullets and explosives? I don’t see the difference. There is no contest. The 2 bombs were a good that allowed boys to return home, Japan to prosper and become a member of the community of free nations and eventually for the evil empire, the Soviet Union, to die.

Evil nations exist because they are populated by enough evil people or at least many people who hold the wrong ideas. The Japanese are a prime example of a people that wholeheartedly took up the nihilistic cause of expansionism and subjugation at whatever cost.

Wrong ideas lead me to the present. With the Islamo-terrorists, if we do not revisit WWII and relearn those lessons – the main one being that the west possessed moral self-confidence that we somehow lost over the past 60 years, we will be doomed to failure and an atomic bomb will one day and soon - devastate us. Do we deserve to be bombed? I don’t think so.

We must as a nation and individually decide whether we are the good. And if we are then we will maybe regain our moral self-confidence. With confidence in our being on the right side we will do the right thing concerning the Islamo-terrorists – annihilate them by doing whatever it takes. If that means dropping a bomb on Iran then so be it.

The following is a quote from Ayn Rand in Galt’s Speech in Atlas Shrugged and reprinted in “For the New Intellectual”.

There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist.

Right now President Bush and Prime Minister Blair are the men in the middle. They are blanking out the truth that we are fighting rabid religious terrorists and they mean what they say and aim to get what they want: A paradise of Islamic fundamentalism on earth.

Clouds gather while the West fiddles with evasions and half truths. Just as the Japanese understood moral courage and certainty and not bargains and appeasement, so we should deal with these nihilists for whom death is everything. We are a culture of life and goodness on earth. Our continued existence depends upon our regaining our moral self-confidence and recognizing evil for what it is and wherever it is.