- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 24, 2004

The fanatics

The more recent outbreak of Islamist mass murder and mayhem should stir us to remember the real enemy. Here’s a posting from a Web site allegedly celebrating the latest murders in Saudi Arabia. Cited in a terrific column by Aussie Andrew Bolt, it purports to be written by one Fawwaz bin Muhammad al-Nashami, a jihadist who escaped. Its details comport with what we know happened.

Mr. Al-Nashami says he and his “brothers” shot their way into an oil company compound, where, as police confirm, they killed a British worker and tied his body to their car. He says they drove on until “the infidel’s clothing was torn to shreds and he was naked in the street … and everyone watched the infidel being dragged, praise and gratitude be to Allah.” The terrorists then stormed a second compound and found an “American infidel.” “I shot him in the head, and his head exploded. We entered another office and found one infidel from South Africa, and our brother Hussein slit his throat. We asked Allah to accept (these pious acts) from us, and from him.” The terrorists then killed guards at a third compound, where al-Nashami says they found Johansson: “Brother Nimr cut off his head and put it at the gate, so that it would be seen by all.” They caught other workers and checked their religion. “We found Filipino Christians. We cut their throats and dedicated them to our brothers the Mujahideen in the Philippines. We found Hindu engineers and we cut their throats, too, Allah be praised … We utilized the time for (teaching) the Koran to the Muslims who remained.”

Please don’t tell me that this is not religiously inspired terrorism. And these people, according to the September 11 commission, remain “extremely interested in conducting chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks.” We are absolutely right to hold Western governments to account for failures, abuses and incompetence. But the government is not the enemy. Neither is John Kerry. And the enemy is still out there.

Bush conservatism

Here’s a revealing quote from the president on his political philosophy, from the New York Times: “[T]he role of government is to stand there and say, ‘We’re going to help you.’ The job of the federal government is to fund the providers who are actually making a difference.” He’s referring to a government-funded attempt to help people in troubled marriages. It would be hard to think of a realm more private than a marriage, but the president believes that the government has a role there. I’m sure his motives are genuine and sincere. But anyone still deluded in thinking that Bush conservatism means limited government should open their eyes. President Bush believes in big government. He just believes it should be funded by borrowing other people’s money.

Let the people vote

This has been the rallying cry for many social conservatives, outraged that courts might uphold minority rights on the issue of marriage. So what are they proposing this summer in the House? Because they apparently lack the votes to pass a constitutional amendment banning marriage rights (or any other legal protections) for gay couples, they are considering other options. According to Amy Fagan, in this newspaper yesterday, such options “include … a measure that would define marriage in the District of Columbia as being between a man and a woman.” How about the voters in the District of Columbia? The D.C. Council has a majority that would support equal marriage rights for homosexuals. Voters probably agree. So why should congressmen from other states dictate social policy for the District? As Bill Clinton might put it, because they can. Just please don’t tell me that the campaign to prevent gay couples from marrying has anything to do with genuine concern for democracy. In the District, it’s the opposite.

Quote for the week I

“I have not yet read Mr. Clinton’s book, but you can bet that my Judicial Watch attorneys will. I have learned that Bill Clinton has repeated his lies about me, and I am sickened by his continued disregard for the truth. Bill Clinton pretends to be contrite, but he continues to bear false witness against his neighbor. He is a national disgrace.” — Gennifer Flowers, Bill Clinton’s former long-term mistress.

Quote of the week II

“I am not new to my conservative principles. No one has ever tried to accuse me of being a liberal Republican or a moderate Republican; I have only been a conservative Republican. And, as a conservative Republican, I have never compromised my basic principles — limited government, the free market, steadfast adherence to civil liberties including the right to keep and bear arms and the rights of the states — in the search for higher office. I appear before you today in that spirit of consistency with conservative ideals … I, along with many other conservative opinion leaders and lawmakers, strongly oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment for three main reasons. First, by moving what has traditionally been a state prerogative — local marriage laws — to the federal government, it is in direct violation of the principles of federalism. Second, in treating the Constitution as an appropriate place to impose publicly contested social policies, it would cheapen the sacrosanct nature of that document, opening the door to future meddling by liberals and conservatives. Third, it is unnecessary so long as DOMA is in force.” — former congressman Bob Barr, author of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, testifying on the Hill earlier this week against the Federal Marriage Amendment.

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