Monday, April 30, 2007

No Time to Leave

An Iraqi pleads for us to stay:

Instead of coming up with ideas to help the U.S., Democrats are trying to stop the effort to stabilize Iraq and rescue the Middle East from a catastrophe.

I am an Iraqi. To me the possible consequences of this vote [to withdraw our troops from Iraq] are terrifying. Just as we began to see signs of progress in my country the Democrats come and say, 'Well, it's not worth it. Time to leave'.

To the Democrats my life and the lives of twenty-five million other Iraqis are evidently not worth trying for. They shouldn't expect us to be grateful for this.

For four years everybody made mistakes. The administration made mistakes and admitted them. My people and leaders made mistakes as well and we regret them.

But now, in the last two months, we have had a fresh start; a new strategy with new ideas and tactics. These were reached after studying previous mistakes and were designed to reverse the setbacks we witnessed in the course of this war.

This strategy, although its tools are not yet even fully deployed, is showing promising signs of progress.

We must give this effort the chance it deserves. We should provide all the support necessary. We should heed constructive criticism, not the empty rhetoric that the 'war is lost.'

It is not lost. Quitting is not an option we can afford-not in America and definitely not in Iraq.

I said it before and I say it again; this war must be won. If it is not the world as you in the United States know it today (and as we here in Iraq dream for it to become) will exist only in books of history. The forces of extremism that we confront today are more determined, more resourceful, and more barbaric than the Nazi or the communists of the past.

Add to that the weapons they can improvise or acquire through their unholy alliance with rogue regimes, combined with their fluid structure and mobility ... well, they can be more deadly than any forces we have faced in the past. Much more.

Read the rest of this impassioned plea at the link.

The lives of twenty five million Iraqis hang in the balance not to mention the fate of the rest of the Middle East and our security here at home. Nevertheless, Harry Reid and John Murtha don't seem to think that any of that is worth staying and fighting for.


Ideas Have Consequences

Mike Metzger of the Clapham Commentary writes an insightful piece on the connection between one's philosophical worldview and one's way of life. Here are the first couple of paragraphs:

...Today also marks the anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler in 1899. Hitler, Columbine and Virginia Tech share a common ancestor - Friedrich Nietzsche. But who cares what a German philosopher said?

We're like Andy Sachs, the young assistant to Miranda Priestley in The Devil Wears Prada. Skeptical that Paris fashion trends dictate her wardrobe choices, Andy smirks at the fancy belts that "all look the same to me." Miranda, one of New York's biggest fashion magazine editors, overhears the remark and wheels around to Andy who backpedals by saying she's "still learning about this stuff." Oops. "This... "stuff?" asks Miranda, "Stuff?" "Oh ... okay. You think this "stuff" has nothing to do with you. You ... go to your closet and select - I don't know - that lumpy blue sweater for instance because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that sweater is not just blue, its not turquoise ... it's not lapis ... it's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002 Oscar De la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Eves Saint Laurent who showed cerulean military gowns ... and then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it filtered down through the department stores ... and then trickled on down to some tragic Casual Corner where you no doubt fished it out of some clearance bin. However that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs ... and its sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of ... stuff."

Too many Christians dismiss Nietzsche because he wrote "stuff." We see no connection between philosophy and terrorism - between worldview and way of life. Yet Nietzsche predicted unending horrors like Hitler and Columbine and Virginia Tech. He said people cannot believe in moral codes without simultaneously believing in a God who points at us with his fearsome forefinger and says "Thou shalt" or "Thou shalt not." Yet God is dead, Nietzsche said. Our problem is not seeing the inevitable consequences. Without God, life has no meaning or morality. Might makes right. Whoever has the biggest gun wins.

Metzger is exactly right except I think he might include Darwin's influence along with that of Nietzsche. Darwin saw the biological world as one vast, pululating struggle for survival where the fittest squeeze out the less fit in the battle for resources.

Stir together Darwin's concept of survival of the fittest with a dose of Nietszche's atheism and his might makes right ethic, and the toxic vapors of Nazism and nihilistic killers like Cho Seung-Hui quickly condense in the flask of our culture.

Read Metzger's entire essay. It's very good.