Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Operation Steel Curtain Continues

The Fourth Rail has the latest on Operation Steel Curtain and the fighting in Ubaydi. The insurgency has less and less room to maneuver and they're finding that there are more and more competent Iraqi forces with which to contend. The dilemma they face is this: They cannot afford to drain their forces out of Iraq and relocate elsewhere because to lose Iraq is to lose not only a base of operations but also to suffer a psychological defeat in the minds of all Arab people. Arabs will run with the strong horse. A defeat in Iraq means that that horse isn't them.

On the other hand, they cannot afford to stay and fight because they're simply not winning. They're losing militarily and the only thing they're gaining is the everlasting enmity of the Iraqi people. Their only chance is that the Americans will weary of the fight and withdraw. They can hope that the "useful idiots" among the American political Left and media can somehow weaken George Bush to the point where he cannot continue the war. If so, the insurgents will snatch victory from defeat and Iraq will be theirs.

If Bush prevails against his domestic foes, however, then al Qaida will probably seek to set up shop in a nearby country from which they can continue to conduct a low-level insurgency in Iraq and Jordan. Their problem is that there aren't any obvious havens for them anymore. Syria and Iran might have welcomed them in the past but to do so now is to invite an unpleasant visit from the United States Air Force and there's no reason why either of those countries would want that. Iran, in particular, will be very reluctant to give our bombers an excuse to raid their airspace and an opportunity to drop an extra bunker buster or two on their nuclear facilities.

It's looking bleak indeed for the jihadis. On the bright side, though, they can anticipate a delightful sojourn shortly with their seventy two virgins.

The Cheeseheads Proliferate

A friend of mine who himself served relatively recently as a Resident Assistant on a University of Wisconsin campus was moved by Real Wisconsin Cheeseheads to relate his own remarkable experience at UW. It's a disturbing tale of inexcusable intolerance toward anyone who has the courage to dissent from the politically correct orthodoxy established by left-wing bureaucrats in contemporary universities:

Well, I read your blog titled "Real Wisconsin Cheeseheads" and I started to have flashbacks. Recall that I was an RA (or as they call it at UW-Madison, "House Fellow") from 2000-2002. In addition to dating the woman who would become my wife, at that time I was also a member of the UW-Madison College Republicans and part of the Knights of Columbus. At first I was quite excited when I found out that I got the House Fellow position. The post paid for my university housing, provided a food stipend, and also provided a nice paycheck for an out-of-state undergrad.

One of our principal responsibilities as House Fellows, according to our training (or as I called it the second time around - indoctrination) and official handbook, was to "promote an inclusive community" among the students living in the residence halls. I witnessed the ugly reality of that phrase throughout much of my junior year in 2001.

It turns out an "inclusive community" is only one that supports and promotes a homosexual lifestyle. One afternoon after class I returned to my dorm, but I first decided to go to check my House Fellow mail in our office for Tripp-Adams-Slichter Halls. Upon walking into the office, I immediately noticed what appeared to be a campaign button in my mailbox. There were actually two buttons - one with a rainbow on it, the other black with a pink triangle on it - both promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered (LGBT) activities and lifestyle.

I was informed by a letter in my mailbox that I was supposed to display these buttons prominently, either on my person, on my hall door, or on my backpack. I noticed that my immediate supervisor (or "Residence Life Coordinator") was in her office. I asked simply "do we have to wear these, are we required to wear these?" She responded no, but that we would have to talk about why at a later time. In her plain view, I put the buttons back in the bag that had at least 25 others and walked out of the office.

To make a long story short, that decision quickly made the rest of my year a personal living hell. I filed a discrimination complaint against a female co-worker (who happened to live directly above me in our dorm), citing her private and public displays of making me feel uncomfortable due to my race (Caucasian), gender (male), sexual orientation (heterosexual), religion (Roman Catholic), as well as political affiliation (conservative Republican).

Turns out that she was in the office with my supervisor when I asked about the buttons, and she took offense to my (in)action. Residence hall leaders surprisingly took my complaint seriously enough to hold a series of small, closed door meetings. The meetings at points got quite uncomfortable, as my co-worker submitted testimony that I later found out she gained by listening through the floor vents of her room. She found instances of my disciplining my own residents "disturbing displays of domineering, masculine power."

One incident in question? It was about 3:30am on a Thursday evening, a couple of my male residents were screaming drunk down the hall after returning from a night on the town. In response I just opened my door and stood there in my boxer shorts and muscle t-shirt. I said nothing, only stood there. They looked at my face and my bed hair, immediately apologized, and went to their room. We spoke the next morning on the incident when I returned from lecture, and they apologized again. I commented in my testimony that I thought it was a sign of "powerful, mutual respect" that I had built with my residences. It seems all my co-worker caught was the "powerful" part and took it from there.

That whole year I prayed a lot, and thank God I got through it. There were moments, though, when I actually called home to Pennsylvania fearful that I would lose my job. I kept my mouth shut about the situation around my non-House Fellow friends because most of them lived in the dorms. I could not tell my girlfriend anything, because she, too, lived in the same dorms that I did. My House Fellows, friends who I worked with, behind the scenes confided in me that I was right, but they did not feel comfortable sticking their necks out like they thought I was.

To make a long story short, the co-worker was politely asked to leave at the end of the year. I got transfered to another building with increased responsibilities, meaning instead of 50 residents the following year I had over 100 and the second largest student/House Fellow ratio on campus. By luck my immediate supervisor was moving to another residence hall location on campus.

I found over the deliberations, however, I had "gained a name" for myself among the residence hall leadership. One administrator in particular later made it his mission to provoke me into a fireable offense. After letting a trouble-making resident of mine off the hook for "only smoking marijuana," he admonished me for disciplining my residents according to "my conservative beliefs." He informed me that I "should have been doing better things like busting people for drinking" rather than "imposing my values" on my resident.

After informing him that marijuana possession is not just against housing regulations but also federal law, I asked him to explain to me what he meant by "conservative beliefs." Turns out that as an openly-gay activist, he considered conservatives hateful homophobes. I immediately informed him that my own beliefs did not reflect that characteristic, citing John Paul II "condemn the sin, not the sinner." I then went on for the next five minutes outlining my personal worldview, supporting my view with the words of such notables as Ronald Reagan, C.S. Lewis, St. Augustine, even G.K. Chesterton (although I doubted he ever heard of him).

I noticed that he increasingly blanched throughout, then turned very red in anger. He told me that the meeting was over. I ended the meeting by telling him that I guess I was not what he defined as his average "token conservative."

You know that I read Viewpoint on the rare occasion that I have time to separate myself from my Ph.D. work. This blog just spoke to me deeply. I felt that someone else needed to know the truth. You have my permission to post portions of this message if you would like.

One gets the feeling reading this sort of thing that if conservatives choose to attend a school like the University of Wisconsin they better either keep their mouth shut or have a parent who's a lawyer. It's deeply distressing that the very institutions which are supposed to be bastions of free speech and independent thinking are actually training grounds for censorship and petty tyranny. What kind of nation will our children inherit if people like some of those mentioned above ever ascend in large numbers to positions of political leadership?

Racial Suicide

Matt Rosenberg at City Journal shines a bright light on the failure of white liberals and black leadership to speak out against the pathological embrace of the Thug culture among black youth. His whole column is worth reading. Here's an excerpt:

[T]he black gangsta identity-the glorification of drug-dealing, crime, and serial sexual conquest, coupled with a blithe rationalization of fatherless black children-is what really deserves condemnation and concern, and not just in black barbershops, churches, and homes. Bill Cosby excepted, however, few have raised public concerns when blacks outfit themselves in the sartorial and ethical drapery of common street hustlers. Many young blacks walk around saying n**** this, n**** that, but then take offense when others borrow the attendant stylistic signifiers, which our culture foolishly condones and celebrates as black authenticity.

One would think that of all people it would be those most concerned about erasing the stereotypes of blacks as stupid and thuggish who would be most outraged by what regularly appears in our entertainment venues as typifying the black "experience." Young blacks who dress and speak as though they are proud of being inarticulate dopes, or who wish to project a menacing image, simply ratify the convictions of whites, who may know few blacks personally, that these are not people they particularly care to know or care to have living in their neighborhoods.

The silence of black leaders on the glorification of misogyny, criminality, and sexual licentiousness in black culture is doing both black society and the cause of racial harmony tremendous harm. They stand by while their young commit slow-motion suicide. Young people think this is the persona they should adopt in order to be authentically black, but that persona imprisons them in the dysfunctional ghetto of black failure. The road out of poverty is paved with the bricks of personal virtue and those bricks are not much in evidence in a lot of what is held up for young blacks to emulate today.