May 24, 2007
The Mickey Martyr ClubBy James Lewis
Hamas, the Islamofascist party that now controls half the Palestinian population, is giving the world an important object lesson on civilization; or rather, on the crucial difference between civilization and barbarism. In a West that has dulled the edge of its moral sense after years of "all cultures are equal" propaganda, it is high time for us to learn again what seemed so simple and obvious to previous generations: That civilization is better than bloody, vengeful barbarism, both in war and peace.
If we fail to understand the morality of our cause with the greatest intellectual clarity, we will not have the psychic strength to win this struggle. The moral lessons of what we see in the news every day must be pointed out, over and over again. In a previous age, the mainstream media did that job. Today, only the new media are willing to do it.
Annette Funicello wouldn't approve, and neither would Walt Disney, but nonetheless the world has been introduced to the Mickey Martyr Club (Music please, Maestro!). Here come the kids marching in. Palestinian toddlers are being taught the glories of suicide-killing the Jews of Israel, using a Mickey Mouse rip-off on Hamas TV. Walt Disney's cartoon mouse is now Mickey Martyr, on his way to paradise-after-death in a thousand bloody shreds. This is not the wholesome land of Disney.
So far, the Disney Company isn't suing to protect its copyright, simply just hoping that this insanity will go away.
Now in a sane and decent country this sort of brainwashing of innocents would be called child abuse. If American liberals knew about little kids being told to commit suicide-murder anywhere in the United States, wouldn't they explode with righteous rage? So ... where is their moral outrage?
In fact, where is the whole Left on the Islamofascist abuse of kids, women, and innocent civilians? Why do liberals mostly ignore mass-casualty Al Qaeda car bombs exploded in the outdoor markets in Baghdad to kill and maim as many civilians as possible? Because that, of course, is the crux of terrorism: It fails any civilized moral test because it aims to kill innocents as a desired goal of war. Emotionally, it is sadistic vengeance as a tactic of war. Once you decide that is justified, what isn't?
Western conduct in war has long been governed by Just War doctrine, worked out in great detail by first-rate thinkers, from the Roman philosopher Cicero to Christian theologians like Augustine and Aquinas, and the Dutch legal scholar De Grotius.
Today our moral and legal understanding of war has been kidnapped by the peacenik Left, which don't know nuthin' about history, geography, or the realities of conflict over the ages. Just War doctrine is based on the elementary difference between an accident and murder most foul, planned and executed with malice aforethought. It is the clear morality of human beings in extremis, confronted with choices most of us would rather avoid.
In Western moral and legal thought, murder is sharply differentiated from unavoidable casualties. Just War codes of conduct arose at a time when soldiers wore gaudy red and blue uniforms with shiny brass helmets, precisely to differentiate themselves from innocent bystanders. To them it was honorable to stand up to deadly enemy fire in the most visible way: The British Redcoats, the Scots with their kilts and pipes, Napoleon's Hussars, the gaudy Royal Household Cavalry. Those soldiers despised irregulars, like the Cossacks, who avoided equal battle and sought out the most helpless victims to kill, rob and rape.
Today, the media, the UN, the Left, and Islamic fascists have all regressed to a more primitive standard of conduct, an uncivilized morality, doing their damndest to skate over the fundamental distinction between murder and accidental death. "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter," they say. Yes: but only if your freedom fighter is a murderer in the first degree. That is not our concept of a freedom fighter in the West.
If you can't tell the difference between the two, you probably don't care whether you deliberately try to kill a pedestrian on a crosswalk, or whether you accidentally happen to harm someone, in the most agonized and guilt-stricken way. Now imagine actually trying to teach young children to go out and kill themselves and others. In Western thought that is tantamount to murder. It is morally and psychologically regressive. The fat and self-indulgent West is risking its own demise if it allows war as vendetta to become acceptable. But that is precisely what's happening today among all the high-minded moral preeners of the Left.
People die in war. It's horrible. But war in defense of decency is sometimes unavoidable. Lincoln freed the slaves after our worst war; it could not have happened peacefully. Peaceful solutions were tried for more than half a century before the War Between the States forced the issue. FDR and Churchill went to war to liberate much of Europe and Asia, because they realized that no one would ever be safe with a victorious Hitler, Tojo and Mussolini rampant over the world.
The evidence for that proposition was plain for all to see, though even then the likes of Joseph Kennedy and Charles Lindbergh urged peace. At least until war broke out, when they dutifully supported the war effort, to their credit.
The Cold War was again waged to defeat the likes of Stalin, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot. Those necessary wars were understood by most to be acts of profound morality and self-sacrifice, because the alternative would doom civilization. Under those circumstances, loud-mouthed pacifists were recognized to be moral cowards, with certain rare, honorable exceptions. Some pacifists volunteered to be battlefield medics. In contrast, today, morally lazy pacifism is the last resort of a scoundrel. We have an entire political party dedicated to a coward's morality.
It all comes down to basic decency. A young (and foolish) woman I know said last week that there is no such thing as a moral war. On the contrary, war raises the most agonizing moral questions, starting with the decision to kill, because other options have simply run out. Clear thinking about morality is the essence of civilized warfare, and civilized warfare is the only justifiable kind.
Given these considerations, what are we to make of the Mickey Martyr Club on Hamas TV? Has any cause ever discredited itself so completely?
What makes Hamas TV indoctrination of the very young even worse is that Hamas could have a peace agreement with Israel tomorrow. Don't believe that Hamas doesn't know that. They know perfectly well that the great majority of Israelis aspire to peace, and they despise them for it. Hamas represents a profoundly reactionary, fanatical, religious martyrdom creed, straight from the clan vendettas of the desert, twelve centuries ago.
Those tiny kids on Hamas TV could have a good life. They could grow and thrive, if only they were taught to accept their neighbors. All it takes is a decision by the adults, their mothers and fathers.
For Westerners who fastidiously turn their eyes away from Islamic primitivism, the time to take a stand is coming. Soon, no one will have the luxury of sitting this one out, and acting snooty to boot. Even Europe is beginning to stir - witness the election of Sarkozy in France and Merkel in Germany, the gutsy Aussies, the admirable Danish stand on the "cartoon jihad," the Dutch reaction to the murder of Van Gogh, and the political clarity of the Poles, Czechs and Bulgarians. All in defiance of the old media monopoly of the peacenik Left.
These nations have not forgotten the past. Make no mistake --- they all hope that this will pass them by, or that Uncle Sam will take care of it. But ordinary people in those countries are increasingly seeing moral torpor as a dead end.
It's about time.
James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/