Saturday, November 20, 2004

"Whose side are you on?!"

Commentary by Robin G. Jordan

On NPR's Friday evening All Things Considered Daniel Zwerdling gave a report on the negotion of a peace deal between the central government of Sudan and the Sudanese Liberation Army. At one point in the report Zwerdling referred to the Sudanese Liberation Army as "Christian". He paused as if to emphasize what he was going to say and then said "Christian" in a very incredulous tone of voice. The report itself was so worded that it it seemed to suggest that the central Sudanese government is the wronged party in this struggle. The report even suggested that the Sudanese Liberation Army in requiring a strict accounting of the revenues that the central government had obtained from the oil wells in southern Sudan was quibbling over some insignificant detail. The report failed to mention that the Arab Muslim central government used these revenues to finance its genocidal campaign against the predominately black south of Sudan, the population of which is largely Christian or animist. On NPR I have never heard any sympathy expressed for the black Sudanese killed, raped, tortured, sold into slavery, and driven into exile by the radical Islamic central government and the Muslim Arab tribes that it armed to conduct its genocidal campaign in the black south--except for the black population of Dufour, which is Muslim.

In the wake of the recent presidential election and the adoption of eleven state constitutional marriage amendments I expect the tone of the NPR's news reports to become more stridently anti-Christian because of the obvious sympathy of the NPR editors and news staff for the "gay rights" movement and "gay marriage". Conservative Christians have been leading the backlash against "gay marriage" and a number of NPR's reporters have barely concealed their animosity toward conservative Christians over this issue. Their hostility can be explained in part by by the liberal views of the NPR editors. A number of NPR's news staff are themselves gay. The days of impartial journalism are long past.

Like many liberal intellectuals on university campuses, the liberal media shows a tendency to be pro-Palestinian, pro-Iraqi, and pro-Muslim. This arises from the tendency on the part of liberals to support those they view as the underdog. Once they pick an underdog to champion, they selectively ignore or minimize the dark side of the group or movement that they are championing. At the same time they exaggerate the actions of those they view as oppressing this underdog. They display a great deal of naivety in their choice of those whom they choose to champion. The Iraqi insurgents are made up of elements of the Sadaam Hussain's intelligence service, Republican Guard, and Baathist Party. They are seeking to restore the oppressive Baathist regime in Iraq. This regime showed no sympathy for liberalism or liberal causes. The Islamic jihadists fighting in Iraq, like the Afghan Taliban, are not know for their tolerance of liberal views or homosexuality. If the jihadists succeed in establishing a radical Islamic state in Iraq, that state is not likely to tolerate liberalism or gays. This is an underdog that can be expected to turn around and bite them. In their opposition to the US pacification of Iraq US and European liberals, if successful, may help bring about the establishment of such a state.

Liberals react to the presence of US troops in Iraq, the collateral casualties from the fighting--those caused by the US forces and their allies and not by the Iraqi insurgents and the Islamic jihadists--the occasional failure of discipline among US troops--not uncommon in war, and the samll number of US casualties. They seem unable to think ahead to what would follow a US withdrawal if Iraq has not been pacified, a stable government has not been established, and economic reconstruction is not underway at the time of the withdrawal. We can debate until doomsday whether the US should have intervened militarily in Iraq. The fact remains that the US did and we must deal with the consequences of that intervention. We cannot simply "bug out". We live in a shrinking world and a policy of isolationism is no longer a realistic option. If the jihadists succeed in Iraq, they will grow bolder.

The jihadist movement in Islam is not going to disappear. Indeed we can expect Islam to become more radical and more militant in the 21st century. The 21st century is likely to see more armed conflicts which have a decided religious dimension, enough of a religious dimension where it may be possible to characterize the 21st century as "a century of religious wars". We have only to look at the religious wars of the past to know how bloody these conflicts can be.

Islamic militancy is already generating something of a backlash in Europre against Muslims. Liberals in their indiscriminate siding with Muslim groups may find themselves the object of that backlash. If such a backlash gains momentum both in North America and Europe, liberals may find themselves being asked, "Whose side are you on?!"

Whatever liberals may think of Christianity, the Christian religion in its teaching is much less oppressive than Islam or Hinduism. In many Muslim countries a woman cannot go outside unless she is wearing a burka and is accompanied by a male relative.In India widows were burned alive with the corpse of their husband until the 19th century. While the practice or custom of suttee has been outlawed, Indian widows are treated by their families as if they were dead. They are denied food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. Their children, their relatives, and Indian society will have nothing to do with them. The Judeo-Christian Bible does not confine women to the home even though some readers of the Bible have misinterpreted it to do so. The Judeo-Christian Bible encourages children, relatives, and the community to take care of widows. Much of the freedoms that we take for granted have their roots in our Juedeo-Christian heritage. In rejecting that heritage for greater "diversity", liberals may be actually undermining those freedoms.

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