Monday, January 24, 2005

Is Villanova a <i>Catholic </i>School?

A popular teacher at Villanova University, a professor of Islamic studies, dies in 2003 and the University seeks to memorialize her life by dedicating a new section of their library to her. Nothing odd about that except that Villanova is putatively a Catholic University. And the teacher, one Mine Ener, died in jail. By her own hand. She was in jail because she'd killed her daughter by slashing her throat with a knife. The daughter was a Down's Syndrome child.

Even so, the University officials say, Dr. Ener made many valuable contributions to the life of the school and was much loved by her students. She was suffering from post-partum depression, which, as everyone knows, makes women want to kill their babies, and so her tragic end shouldn't detract from the good that she did.

Well, perhaps not, but we thought infanticide and suicide were frowned on by Catholics, and so we were a little surprised that Villanova had chosen to honor this woman by naming part of the library after her, as opposed, say, to establishing some sort of endowment for troubled mothers.

It's too bad that the guy who tried a couple of decades ago to assassinate the pope wasn't on the Villanova faculty. They would've named the football stadium after him.

Ugly American

American troops are charged with committing yet another savage atrocity against the Iraqi people. This one will turn your stomach as you read the Washington Post's dramatic telling of American cruelty and brutality. Many more instances of this sort of thing and Americans will be ashamed to show their faces anywhere in the world, at least that's what the Post presumably thinks. Why else would they print it?

See Tim Blair for line by line deconstruction of the Post's article. In fact, you can read the Post's whole piece just by going to Blair's site and reading his analysis.

Thanks to Power Line for the tip. As Hindrocket at Power Line says, if this story is true, American troops must be about the best behaved occupation troops in history. They're certainly better behaved than the Iraqi whose home they entered.

UPDATE: Little Green Footballs has uncovered more material on this story that the WaPo columnist, for reasons that aren't clear, chose not to use. Perhaps she felt that although unmasking American soldiers' barbarism is a desideratum of liberal journalism, one can have too much of a good thing. In any event, as a public service, LGF is publicizing this sordid evidence. The stories of how American troops have turned young Iraqi men into radical jihadis is tragic, but our readers are urged to read it for their edification nonetheless.

Ambushing a President, Destroying a Nation

The premier journal of far-left opinion in this country, The Nation, offers insight into the Left's current strategy to ambush a president and extinguish American influence in the world. They urge that:

[F]or the sake of Iraq's future and the safety of our young men and women, the United States must begin an orderly withdrawal, coordinated with stepped-up US and international economic assistance. We recognize that further violence and internal fighting among Iraqis may follow, but to believe that a continuing US military presence can prevent this is naïve or disingenuous; it will, rather, contribute to the instability. The best long-term outcome is for Iraqis to regain control of their own country and sort out their own future.

This is a solution that could only be advanced for the purposes of discrediting the president, destroying American credibility around the world, and devastating American morale here at home.

As soon as the United States announced an intent to withdraw, the Left would raise deafening howls of derision at the American failure to defeat a rag-tag band of insurgents, and excoriate the president for getting us involved there in the first place. If George Bush were to follow The Nation's advice he would succeed in humiliating both himself and the country, and no one would participate in that humiliation more gleefully than the good folks at The Nation.

If we were to begin to withdraw now, the al Zarqawis of the region would commence a nightmarish purge of all those who collaborated with the coalition that would result in the brutal murders of many thousands of Iraqis. Our withdrawal would constitute an unconscionable betrayal of trust that disturbs the editors of The Nation not at all.

Moreover, Iraq would be plunged into civil war as the Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds all vied to fill the power vacuum left by our withdrawal. Such a war would result in the deaths of tens of thousands more from violence and pestilence. Iran, Turkey, and perhaps Syria which have all long lusted after the Iraqi oil-wealth and the sweeter pleasures of revenge for the Iran/Iraq war of the eighties would doubtless seize the opportunity to grab what they can while a weak, debilitated Iraq thrashes about in the throes of civil strife.

As the conflict widened, even more carnage would result. Any more hopeful view is naive, and The Nation's cavalier remark that "the best long-term outcome is for Iraqis to regain control of their own country and sort out their own future," is simply reprehensible. The best way to regain control of their own country and sort out their own future is at the ballot box and in democratic debate. This may not happen if we stay, but it will surely not happen if we leave.

Once we withdrew Americans and Iraqis alike would ask what was the point of the sacrifice made by our troops and their people? A withdrawal would shatter our confidence in ourselves, and destroy the confidence of the world in our resolve. It would be generations before Americans would ever be able to muster the will to help anyone in any way. Withdrawal would vindicate Osama bin Laden who attacked us on 9/11 because he was convinced that as soon as the fight got tough we'd pull out just like we did in Lebanon and just like we did in Somalia. Not only would bin Laden be seen as an infallible prophet of Islamo-fascism, but radical Islamists all over the world would redouble their efforts to destroy us, convinced that we were low-hanging fruit delivered into their hands by a vengeful Allah.

Further, an American retreat from Iraq would make an attack on Israel virtually inevitable. The Arab world would be rightly convinced that we had lost our appetite for conflict. They would sense weakness and exploit it, assured that we would betray Israel like we betrayed the Iraqis. And what of Taiwan and South Korea? A withdrawal from Iraq would be an invitation for China to invade Taiwan and for North Korea to attack the South. An irresolute, defeated, humiliated America would be expected to do little more than complain in the U.N.

The United States abandoned the Cubans at the Bay of Pigs, we abandoned the Vietnamese in the 1970s, we abandoned the Kurds in the early '90s, we stood by and did nothing while a million or so Africans were slaughtered in Rwanda, and now The Nation urges us to add to this record of shame with yet another ignominious act of treachery.

Their proposal is a recipe, in effect, for Europeanizing the United States. We need to keep in mind that the first consideration of any Leftist when he or she offers a policy proposal is not whether it is the right thing, or the best thing, to do, but rather whether it is the course of action most likely to disgrace the United States. The paramount goal of the Left is to emasculate and cripple America. Seen through this interpretive lens their proposal makes perfect sense.