The roots of terror
Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen mislead readers by selectively pinpointing recent historical realities that they believe lead up to the increasingly lethal “global jihadist movement” (“Egyptian roots of hatred,” Op-Ed, Friday).
They accurately identified the “mentally deranged Australian Christian fundamentalist” who “tried to set fire to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem” as the spark leading to the establishment of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. They go on to accurately identify “petrodollars” as the predominant source of money “spawning every Islamic terrorist group operating today.” Miss Ehrenfeld and Miss Lappen also usefully quote the Muslim Brotherhood’s “motto” of “God is our purpose, the profit our leader, the Qur’an our constitution, jihad our way and dying for God our supreme objective.”
But then Miss Ehrenfeld and Miss Lappen try to blend these facts together and suggest that the creation of Israel and Israeli policy over the last 50 years had nothing to do with the “reason for the decades-long regional violence.” Ignoring the multitude of Western errors that resulted in the repression, death and suffering of hundreds of millions of Muslims virtually ignores the real “roots” behind the “genesis of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
I’m sure there are members of the Muslim Brotherhood who want to become suicide bombers and smash “Western Civilization” to replace it with Islam, “which will dominate the world,” but similar sweeping statements are also made by select fundamentalist Christian leaders and faithful free-market capitalist authorities.
Believing these two columnists’ statement that the “goal” of the Muslim Brotherhood is to “kill as many infidels” as possible and that negotiating with the Muslim Brotherhood is futile, the only logical solution appears to be an accelerated “war” against them. Killing them first with pre-emptive strikes will also, it goes without saying, unfortunately kill innocent Muslim bystanders.
This current and failed strategy against the real and growing threat of terrorism only feeds the jihadist marketing scheme that Osama bin Laden and other radicals use to recruit their mass murdering minions. Since the unwarranted lethal U.S. invasion and military occupation of the Muslim state of Iraq, terrorist attacks around the world have soared nearly a hundredfold, and that doesn’t include attacks against U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
Waging war against all radical Muslims only validates their self-proclaimed “warrior” status while increasing their lethal ranks. Accelerating our kinetic war against “them” in general will also bring the various competing radical Muslim groups closer together. More devastating acts of terrorism against the “lawless” infidels will be justified as they maintain their Koranic “constitution” while we abandon our U.S. Constitution to root them out.
There are radical Muslims who believe that war is not the answer. We will need them to defeat the lethally minded radical Muslims. Creating and enforcing a global rule of law where Muslims have the same rights and protections as Christians and Jews is the only sane path to peace. War is the path to Armageddon. Some believe that’s what the Christian Bible says.
The Clinton record
When President Bush commuted the sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr., it caused quite a stir (“Bush commutes Libby’s prison sentence,” Page 1, Tuesday). Strangely enough, the people who had the biggest problem with it were Hillary and Bill Clinton, along with Sens. Charles E. Schumer, Harry Reid, Richard J. Durbin and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. We can all look back at the Clinton years in some disgust because almost everyone in America was insulted in some way.
I have memories of the campaign finance controversy starring Johnny Chung, John Huang, Charlie Trie and the sensitive transfer of missile and nuclear technology to China’s military — all for campaign cash. That same technology has ended up in Pakistan and Iran. Then-President Clinton allowed nuclear reactors into North Korea for a promise of good behavior from a communist dictator. He obstructed justice, suborned and committed perjury in the Oval Office. Who can forget Monica’s blue dress, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Gennifer Flowers and the many others involved in controversy under the Clintons’ watch? Who could forget all the U.S. embassy bombings and the attack on the USS Cole?
During Mr. Clinton’s term, 47 individuals or businesses connected with the Clintons were convicted, 14 persons were convicted and imprisoned while working for the Clintons (remember Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell?) and 45 witnesses or critics were subjected to IRS audits.
Eight years of nonstop corruption was the benchmark of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton. They are upset that Mr. Bush commuted the sentence of a man who did not leak CIA employee Valerie Plame’s name. “Scooter” Libby was charged and convicted of false statements under oath. Are we to believe that those opposed to his commutation now feel that a perjurer should go to jail for making false statements under oath? It is stunning how America has forgotten the absolute moral depravity of the Clinton years.
Tufts and free speech
The editorial on free speech at Tufts University — unsigned, of course — put forth an argument that the university should propagate free speech and remove restrictions on the Primary Source, the university’s conservative publication (“Collegiate speech,” Thursday).
While the Source may not be crossing any legal boundaries with its eyebrow-raising satire, it regularly crosses ethical lines by printing material that is divisive, insensitive and sometimes blatantly inaccurate. For a publication that prides itself on representing conservative values, the Primary Source rarely follows through on that goal. Instead, the magazine too often concerns itself with personal attacks against minority groups rather than cogent political commentary.
In a letter to the current staff, Primary Source co-founder Brian Kelley condemned the publication as a monster and encouraged the editors to consider a truly conservative idea: return to the roots and approach on which your paper was founded.
The sensible solution for the Source is not to continue lamenting its lack of free speech or for the university to clamp down on its freedom, but to work responsibly within the realm of its constitutional liberties. A conservative voice is sorely needed in a cuddly, non-confrontational school atmosphere like the one at Tufts, but it needs to be a serious and reasoned one capable of mature discussion.
Editor Emeritus of the Tufts Observer
No merger needed
The editorial endorsing the proposed XM-Sirius merger (“A good merger,” Friday) mischaracterizes the market for satellite radio and is inconsistent with what both firms have been telling the public and federal officials.
The fact that many more people listen to terrestrial radio, Internet radio and MP3 players than subscribe to XM or Sirius does not mean these modes would prevent the merged company from raising prices (or reducing service) a significant amount for a significant period of time (the conventional test used by antitrust authorities). The mere fact that people pay for XM and Sirius despite the availability of free alternatives demonstrates that satellite services are different.
The suggestion that if the merger is not approved, today’s duopoly in satellite radio could disappear altogether directly contradicts what both firms have told the public, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. If XM or Sirius presented evidence the merger is needed for either or both of them to survive, a different antitrust standard (the failing firm defense) would apply. But both companies say they will do just fine if the merger is not approved, and markets seem to agree.
JAMES C. MILLER III
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