- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 18, 2005

Grasping fear

“Why do [terrorists in Iraq] revel in killing civilians? I think they are exploiting a cultural obsession with death that has its origins very much in the West. Indeed, they seem to define themselves in direct opposition to what they perceive as a cowardly Coalition. The Coalition tries to avoid risky operations; the insurgents take outrageous risks. The Coalition promises to avoid taking casualties; the insurgents kill as many as they can. The Coalition suppresses images of the dead; the insurgents kill their victims for the cameras.

“This insurgency is best understood, not as a band of freedom fighters or evil incarnate, but as a movement with an intuitive grasp of the West’s fearful psychology.

“Insurgents who pay attention to our debates about the war will notice one thing: We are terrified by death.”

— Brendan O’Neill, writing on “Is Our Empathy Killing Us?” Dec. 9 in Reason Online at www.reason.com

Kristallnacht II

“[After] Europeans stopped going to church, they stopped having children, having lost the spiritual impetus for procreation. Demographic winter set in. Then the Muslims moved in. … A glimpse of Europe’s future may be seen in the recent Muslim riots around Paris. Besides burning cars, the rioters firebombed churches and synagogues.

For the past five years, Europe has experienced a wave of anti-Semitism not seen since the Second World War. It’s not evangelicals beating Jews in the streets of Paris, attacking Jewish day schools and kosher restaurants, and vandalizing Jewish cemeteries. (Christian conservatives like Gary Bauer are among the loudest voices speaking out against Kristallnacht, Part II.)

“Twenty years ago, Joshua O. Haberman, a reform rabbi, wrote an article entitled, ‘The Bible Belt Is America’s Safety Belt.’ It’s what keeps us from careening into a moral abyss of death-on-demand, sex divorced from values, a Roman orgy and demolition derby passing as entertainment, drugs used to fill lives devoid of meaning, and a generation of strutting savages in Calvin Kleins.”

— Don Feder, writing on “The Anti-Christian League,” Dec. 13 in frontpagemagazine.com

Hollywood hero

“According to recent showbiz news, jailed murderer Jack Kevorkian may soon be the subject of a laudatory movie biopic. … Stars touted as potentially playing the lead include Ben Kingsley and Daniel Day Lewis. …

“Any thought that the movie might be an accurate portrayal vanished when [producer Steve] Jones claimed in a press release that Kevorkian ‘walks in the footsteps of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.’ …

“In reality, Kevorkian’s notorious assisted-suicide campaign, which dominated the headlines throughout most of the 1990s, was driven by a ghoulish desire to conduct human vivisection. …

“[C]ontrary to the usual media descriptions, most of Kevorkian’s victims were not terminally ill. Of the known 130 or so suicides that Kevorkian facilitated, about 70 percent of the people involved were disabled and depressed, the majority of them women. This is not surprising given Kevorkian’s disdain for disabled people. He once called quadriplegics and paraplegics who were not suicidal ‘pathological,’ and exposed his sympathy for eugenics in a court document.”

— Wesley J. Smith, writing on “A View to a Kill,” Wednesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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