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Political Devotions - Conservative Alerts, News and Commentary
Wednesday, September 1, 2004
On Goodness and Ingratitude
Topic: Quality Punditry
[Important Notice: The Political Devotions Weblog has moved to]

(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

The unparalleled moral clarity of Dennis Prager is again displayed in his most recent column:
Of all the ugly human traits, ingratitude -- the refusal to acknowledge the good that has been done for us -- is probably the ugliest.

Yet its awfulness is only exceeded by its ubiquity. In fact, it is ingratitude that characterizes much of the world's -- including many Americans' -- attitude toward the United States.

Think about it. Without America:

The world would collapse into economic and moral chaos. Cruelty and economic depression would dominate the planet. Vast unemployment and social dislocation would ensue, followed by various forms of secular and religious totalitarianism.

No one would stop the Chinese from conquering Taiwan.

No one would come to Israel's aid when Iran and other Muslim states attempted to destroy that country.

No one would come to South Korea's aid as North Korea invaded and probably prevailed over South Korea, making it a formidable Stalinist force in East Asia.

Japan would rearm and probably seek nuclear weapons to counter emboldened Korea and China.

Russia would probably recommence imposing its will on its neighbors.

Islamic terrorism would increase exponentially -- everywhere, including inside Europe -- as its only real opposition disappeared.

It is American idealism coupled with its dominant economic and military power that alone prevents evil from drowning the world. The many fools of the Left who devote their lives to curbing American power -- from those who manage editorial pages and the news media, to the academics who warn generations of students against American power, to leftist billionaires like George Soros -- do not understand this.

The world's nations should be thanking God or whatever they believe in for America. Instead, most of them celebrate the United Nations, which actually abets evil and increases human suffering.

. . .

One great lesson of American history is that one does good in this world because it is right to do good, not because the recipients will be grateful. We Americans must therefore never judge the rightness of our actions on how much gratitude or censure we receive. So long as we remain the most blessed country on earth, it is our duty to do as much good as we can. In fact, if we don't, we will cease to be blessed.

But the ingrates still deserve the contempt of decent people.
Read it all to discover to whom Dennis presents this year's Ingrate of the Year Award.

Posted by Tim at 11:45 AM EDT
Friday, June 25, 2004
From Solid Citizens to Spoiled Brats
Topic: Quality Punditry
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

In her most recent column, Michelle Malkin muses on how far Hollywood has fallen:
Once upon a time, there were people in Hollywood who loved America. And when America came under attack from enemies abroad, these actors, producers, screenwriters and directors put aside their partisan differences and created movies that -- unlike Michael Moore's new schlockumentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11" -- made all moviegoers proud to be Americans.

During World War II, Tinseltown roused the country's fighting spirit instead of trying to stifle it. In February 1941, the entertainment industry convened an extraordinary Academy Awards ceremony. The president of the Motion Picture Association, independent movie mogul and World War I pilot and intelligence officer Walter Wanger, went out of his way to use the Academy Award ceremony to support the war effort. Wanger invited President Roosevelt to address the crowd.

In an unprecedented radio speech simulcast on all three major networks at the time, FDR praised Hollywood for its wartime fundraising efforts and thanked filmmakers for "sanctifying the American way of life."

Can you imagine Hollywood extending such an invitation to President Bush today? Can you imagine CBS, ABC and NBC agreeing to simulcast such an event? And can you imagine the howling from the ACLU, ethnic groups, Barbra Streisand and Sean Penn if President Bush were allowed to appear at the Academy Awards to speak in support of "sanctifying the American way of life"?

Posted by Tim at 3:35 PM EDT
Thursday, June 24, 2004
At War With Western Civilization
Topic: Quality Punditry
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

A brave and perceptive column from Walter E. Williams: Will The West Survive?
The Muslim world is at war with Western civilization. We have the military might to thwart them. The question is: Do we have the intelligence to recognize the attack and the will to defend ourselves from annihilation?

. . .

History never repeats itself exactly, but we might benefit from the knowledge of factors leading to the decline of past great civilizations. Rome was one of those advanced civilizations. Rome was so caught up in "bread and circuses" and moral decline that it couldn't manage to defend itself from invading barbaric hordes who ultimately plunged Europe into the Dark Ages. The sooner we recognize the West is in a war for survival, the more likely we'll be able to escape the fate that befell the Roman Empire.

Posted by Tim at 2:37 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Topic: Quality Punditry
(What are "political devotions"? Click here.)

In his recent FrontPage Magazine piece, Defeating Global Jihad: Reagan Showed the Way, Robert Spencer, an author and director of Jihad Watch, ponders how Ronald Reagan might have fought World War IV:
"How do you tell a Communist?" Reagan asked in 1987. "Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin." How do you tell a jihadist? Well, a contemporary Reagan might say, it's someone who reads the Qur'an and Sunnah. How do you tell an anti-jihadist? It's someone who understands how these Islamic texts are used to recruit and motivate terrorists -- and who is willing to call upon self-proclaimed moderate Muslims to face this fact and initiate an honest, definitive and thoroughgoing reform. And if they will not? Then at least they should know that the lines have been drawn, and that the lovers of freedom are not going to stand for more mayhem wrought by those who would enclose non-Muslims and women behind a wall of oppression.

If Islam is no part of the problem, such reform cannot be part of the solution. By vilifying and attempting to marginalize those who dare tell the truth about Islamic radicalism as Reagan did about Communism, today's intelligentsia provides ample cover to radical Islamic terrorists, allowing them to operate under the radar screen of media scrutiny and even law enforcement.

Freedom is under attack by the warriors of jihad; the battle lines do indeed resemble those of the Cold War. "There are very useful analogies to be drawn between communism and Islam," says Ibn Warraq. "Communism has been defeated, at least for the moment; Islamism has not, and unless a reformed, tolerant, liberal kind of Islam emerges soon, perhaps the final battle will be between Islam and Western democracy."

This is the war we're in now. If only we had a Reagan to fight it.

Posted by Tim at 12:16 AM EDT
Friday, June 4, 2004

Topic: Quality Punditry

From the holy city of Selma, California, Victor Davis Hanson muses on The New Defeatism:
. . . This present generation of leaders at home would never have made it to Normandy Beach. They would instead have called off the advance to hold hearings on Pearl Harbor, cast around blame for the Japanese internment, sued over the light armor and guns of Sherman tanks, apologized for bombing German civilians, and recalled General Eisenhower to Washington to explain the rough treatment of Axis prisoners.

We are becoming a crazed culture of cheap criticism and pious moralizing, and in our self- absorption may well lose what we inherited from a better generation. Our groaning and hissing elite indulges itself, while better but forgotten folks risk their lives on our behalf in pretty horrible places.

. . . Our very success after September 11 -- perhaps because of the Patriot Act, the vigilance of domestic-security agencies, and the global reach of our military -- has prevented another catastrophe of mass murder, but also allowed us to become complacent, and thus once more cynical and near suicidal.

Posted by Tim at 3:32 PM EDT

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