Sunday, May 22, 2005



Today I stumbled across what must clearly have been a very dedicated effort in the form of Bill Whittle's Sanctuary essay.

Bill is a fine writer, and his thoughts broad and deep on the struggle against Islamic Terrorists and Anti-Iraqi Forces, all centering around the military notion of Sanctuary. The term Sanctuary, for those not familiar, refers to the lynchpin of the Laws of War (and every protocol attempted since the dawn of civilization straight through the Geneva Conventions), namely that there is a distinction between combatants and non-combatants. This distinction, though greatly abused at times in all conflicts, is a non-trivial appeal to humanity even in the midst of our most brutal and violent practices, War.

And it is this appeal, this distinction, that our enemies in the Global War on Terror are determined to obliterate. They actively seek to kill civilians, they target non-combatants such as medical personnel, they make military use of Mosques, they pretend to surrender, they appeal for help and then detonate explosives. And our forces respond overwhelmingly with supreme restraint, compassion, and humanity, even to the risk and loss of their lives.

If you still are unsure what is meant by Sanctuary -- which Bill has made transcendant in the grand purpose of America itself I think -- think of the most durable civilizing influences in ours or any society. Think that place where we are better than we imagine. Think about the ideals and credo of America. Remember that you live in freedom and (relative) prosperity.

So, here's just a small sample of Bill's work:
Our soldiers are fighting and dying to install what any sane person can see is a widely-representative democracy, heroically elected at great personal risk. Opposing them are a shadow army of former secret policemen, state torturers, and foreign invaders of every stripe who kill Iraqi policemen, behead innocent Iraqi cabdrivers, and detonate car bombs at the opening of new schools and children’s centers. There may be an explanation for this support I am not seeing. I, for one, can not get past the idea that millions of Western Progressives would rather see a nation re-enslaved, or erupt in civil war, or have twenty thousand of their countrymen come home in boxes than admit that they were wrong.

And they have the audacity, the unmitigated gall, to claim the moral high ground?

I am trying my level best to understand how and why someone who professes to be for freedom for artists, homosexuals and women – not to mention unlimited personal expression of every stripe -- can take the side of 8th Century religious fanatics who brag about murdering writers, stoning women, beheading homosexuals and instituting moral policemen at every street corner with unquestioned authority to beat, jail or execute anyone suspected of being insufficiently pious.

I used to wonder why civilizations fell. No longer. I see it now before my eyes, every day. Civilizations do not fall because the Barbarians storm the walls. The forces of civilization are far too powerful, and those of barbarism far too weak, for that to happen.

Civilizations fall because the people inside the Sanctuary throw open the gates.
In another segment, Bill is in Aspen and happens upon the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. And he picks up a program to discover that this year's recipient of the Annual Freedom of Speech Award is Garry Trudeau.

My readers may remember my recent complaint against the clueless Trudeau (clueless to Military, clueless to blogs, clueless to MILBLOGGERS needless to say, but also clueless to our efforts in Iraq). So I am certainly no (longer) a fan of Trudeau or his reactionary "Doonesbury." But Bill, he nails Trudeau dead to rights.
Now I had met Muhammad and Omar, two of the brothers from Iraq the Model when they appeared at Roger L. Simon’s house in Los Angeles. These two ordinary men faced murder and beheading in their defense of freedom in Iraq, a nation awash in Ba’athist murderers, Al Qaeda savages and former Saddam secret policemen. These men stood openly for democracy in a land where simply being a policeman is likely to get you killed. Of course, this is merely physical and moral courage; the sort of thing easily dismissed in the sanctuary of Aspen, Colorado. No, real courage is awarded to the man who has taken the biggest pay cut in defense of free speech, and so the real honor must of necessity flow to Garry Trudeau -- a man who has dared criticize the President of the United States! A man whose endlessly repeated panels of the White House antenna farm reminds us of the true meaning of freedom and courage, for he, supported only by tens of millions, the entire celebrity universe of stars, the mainstream media and his multi-millionaire TV star wife, has selflessly risked …

I’m sorry, I drew a blank – I completely spaced!

Oh! I remember. A man who courageously allowed his secretary to selflessly risk irate e-mails in order to attack Chimpy McHitler, and who asked for nothing in return but a few tens of millions of dollars… that, my friends, is the standard-bearer for the modern liberal’s idea of courage.
You need to set aside an hour and read Sanctuary in its entirety, both parts. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

Part One
Part Two

[NOTE: Previous reference to Bill being a contributor to Winds of Change was in error and has been deleted. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.]

My readers know I share some of Bill's passion and grave concern, but Bill, I couldn't have said it better. I likely couldn't have said even a fraction of the excellent work you've done here.

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