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Thursday, June 26, 2008



July 21, 2006
Good friend of Horsefeathers, Richard Munro, sent the following response to the Spanish PM Zapatero's donning of a kaffiyeh to show solidarity with the Hamas terrorists seeking to destroy the Jewish homeland.
In these disturbed days I am spending many hours reading and studying Greek and Roman books; books so profound that I am almost ashamed to say I still do not understand them but I know I can learn from them. Aristotle, Plato, Cicero. When I read them I still think these are permanent books.
I love the feeling and passion and genuineness and sweet melodies of the Big Songs as we call them and their successors but I know that these cannot teach more than simple things. They recall, after all, a way of life that has virtually passed away.
I am neither a Greek nor a Roman and I am an American by choice but I feel deep gratitude and reverence for the Great Americans.
I am really much more interested in Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln than William Wallace or Robert the Bruce or even Mary Queen of Scots about whom I have written a play which in a way was an elegy.
When I was much younger I loved Caesar and Thucydides and dreamed of finding Trajan’s lost commentaries of which only a single line survives. I wrote an article for MILITARY HISTORY based on my fascination for this lost book.
But I suppose I have always had it in my mind that all glory is fleeting and that man’s nature is to desire to struggle and gain dominion and when this is not possible to hate, brood and burn with envy.
Men love honor and they love glory. There are many manifestations of this passion.
When I think I cannot learn any more or think I have no answers I always return to the Auld Book a great Gift of the Jews and so beloved to Paul and the Great Teacher.
I think of the Sabbath in every Jewish synagogue in which a handwritten copy of the Torah, the first books of the Hebrew Scriptures, is taken out from its special place.
After a reading, the book is carried through the congregation (I have seen this myself) before it is returned to the ark and every pious Jews kisses it.
The Torah is always handwritten in the ancient style with a quill pen. It is always in the form of a parchment roll.
I have seen fragments from synagogues destroyed by the Nazis but meticulously preserved to be relics of a “vanished race”.
The text is always the same. I am told the very letters are counted so that they may not vary even an iota.
This reminds the Jews, perhaps, that the wisdom of the God Almighty does not vary and is eternal.
By doing homage to a book this way, the Jews express their devotion to the Creator but also by implication they express reverence not only for GOD but also TRADITION, their splendid ancient heritage, and one of the greatest inventions of history: the book.
I am not a Jew but I feel a deep gratitude for the wisdom of Abraham who did not kill his son Isaac in sacrifice.
Abraham’s reverence for God was great –he proved that he feared God- but he sacrificed the ram as a burnt offering instead of his son.
Perhaps I think the Jews were the first to decide that human sacrifice was cruel, unnecessary and WRONG.
It is said that Islam, like Buddhism, has also been free from human sacrifice.
I know my pagan ancestors were Gaels of the Isles, Picts and Lochlanachs -the barbarians of the Fjords (Northmen or Sutherlanders they were also called).
They came very late to letters and Christianity and had been blood thirsty killers, raiders and slavers. Somehow I know the Aztecs had nothing on these people, from whom I am descended, called the Last White Barbarians (or Savages) of Western Europe by Toynbee. So I know my own ancestors were not free of man’s darkest passions and most evil moments even perhaps cannibalism.
Some of this ferocity and passion lingers on to this day and the knowledge of this is found in Adam Ferguson's ESSAY ON CIVIL SOCIETY and this quality made his work unique, I think, in the Scottish Enlightenment which never romanticized human nature as something always tending toward the good.
So I feel in a very real sense a great gratitude for the virtues and godliness taught from the Judeo-Christian tradition which teaches above all THAT HUMAN LIFE IS a BLESSED THING AND A SACRED THING. That OUR LIVES OUR NOT FOR OURSELVES ALONE BUT FOR GOD AND FOR OUR FELLOWS.
I try to understand hatred. The hatred of the Jews.
Part of this hatred is hatred for the Other.
Part of it is hatred fueled by envy.
But a great part of it is hatred fueled by PRIDE.
THIS PRIDE makes it impossible for ARABS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE TERRIBLE TRUTH of the terrible hatred and murderous cult-like idolatry running through THEIR OWN CIVILIZATION!
“Some people say ‘we saw you beheading, kidnappings and killing. In the end we even started kidnapping women who are our honor,’” good Muslims say. “These acts are not the work of Arabs. I am sure that he who does this is a Jew and the son of a Jew.”
The fact that Israel exists is painful to Arabs.
They think that anything that happens to the Jews is what they deserve.
They are fixated on the existence of Israel but never mention their own ferocious hatred which led to the expulsion of all the large Jewish minorities in more than 20 Arab countries.
They embrace a fantasy that somehow all the Jews will move to Brooklyn when in fact more Jews are leaving America for Israel than Israelis for America. Most Jews in Israel were born in Israel or are descended from Jewish refugees from Arab or Muslim countries.
The Israelites are not going anywhere. Israel is the last citadel of their faith and culture. It is their New Masada and they are the New Spartans. They will not yield.
If the Muslim extremists do succeed in “wiping out Israel” then surely they will destroy themselves in the process. But they cling to the delusion that the Israelis will be demoralized in the end and flee as Jews have always fled.
I humbly admire the good things English people have done, the Jews have done, the Romans have done the Greeks have done and others have done such as the Chinese and the Arabs too.
I know the part my own people have contributed to the world is small and really just an accessory to the great achievements of other greater more unified people.
I know my contributions to the world are small but I think I have done more good than evil in this world and this gives me some comfort. I have taught with sense of humility and have tried to DO NO HARM.
I know the better life I have, the more secure life politically and materially is based upon the achievements and inventions of many others.
This does not disturb me. It fills me with awe the way I am filled with awe when a woman gives birth to new life or can tame a man.
I try to think how Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah or Bin Laden are different from me.
I have had bad experiences with Jews but bad experiences with three people out of a 100 or hundreds does not make me hate “all the Jews”.
In fact meeting Jews through books and in person and studying Israel I cannot have anything but admiration so great that I probably wish I were a Jew.
I know I cannot be one but I have great love for the Chosen People whom I think have done well, upon the whole and it is upon the whole such things must be based.
I can honestly say I have known more cruel, inhuman and rapacious Scots than I have ever known, personally, cruel, rapacious and inhuman Germans.
So If I dislike the Germans more than Scots, which I do, this is due to acquired prejudice. I KNOW I HAVE A DEEP PREJUDICE, for example, against Germans and I know this is a vice so I try to control this feeling.
I know this hatred is a noxious weed AND CONTAMINATES my thought and I try to prune or overcome this hatred.
But I know I can never quite get over it. Others I know hate Mexicans or hate Blacks or hate Catholics. Some people hate rich people. Everyone has their prejudices.
I do not think Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and Bin Laden are like this. In their pride their hatred for the Jews –and their American and British friends- grows. They refresh themselves by feasting upon their own passions and prejudices, and doing so their hatred and pride and their prejudices grow.
I read what the Prime Minister of Spain said with deep concern and shame. After all, my wife is a Spanish national and all my children and nieces and nephews are Spanish nationals.
According to Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero Hezbullah and Israel are MORALLY EQUIVALENT! He made no criticism whatsoever of the Hezbullah terrorists.
Then Zapatero topped off his disgusting appeasement by wearing the Palestinian kaffiyah. INCREDIBLE. But of course he is a Spanish Socialist so what can you expect from such a man.
Why didn’t he put on a Nazi arm band while he was at it? This was a cowardly and disgraceful act! But of course it would take courage to support Israel or offer the slightest criticism of Al Qaida or Arab terrorists.
The reality is that if there had been no terrorist attacks and no kidnappings there would be peace now. If they want a ceasefire all they need do is return the kidnapped Israeli soldiers and stop shooting rockets at defenseless civilians. As long as Arab Muslim terrorists intentionally target innocent civilians with terrorist bombs or showers of rockets there can be no peace.
If the Israelis did disarm there would be another Holocaust. Wise Israelis know this. This is why 85% of the Israeli people support their Armed Forces and hope against hope the day of reckoning can be postponed.
Arab news media say:
"In Madrid , Spanish Prime Minister Jose' Luis Rodriguez Zapatero renewed his condemnation of the Israeli brutal aggression on Lebanon, saying that " human rights must be above all considerations ." Yeah that’s a laugh; as if human rights get much consideration in Syria, Iran etc.
Brutal aggression? One would think the Israelis fought back just for fun. They are fighting for their very lives and they know it.
The reality for Israelis is that their WAY OF LIFE IS UNDER THE SHADOW OF THIS NEW ROCKET JIHAD whose rockets are ever bigger and longer in range.
The logical conclusion is that these new Vengeance Rockets will be tipped with nuclear war heads so that ISRAEL COULD BE ERADICATED- the PROFESSED GOAL of the Islamofascists.
I am not making this up. THIS IS WHAT THEY SAY. OVER AND OVER AGAIN. They say they WANT WORLD WAR III !!!
It has been said that Islam is free from human sacrifice but reading the twenty second chapter of Genesis again I think that something is terribly wrong. What is happening today seems to be a strange manifestation in Islam of a return to MOLOCH the god of the Ammonites and Phoenicians TO WHOM CHILDREN WERE SACRIFICED.
Cannibals they say always elect cannibal kings.
This new Islamofascism seems to me to be a regressive form of idolatry, something terrible, possessing the power to exact horrible sacrifices. This is very anti-human and nothing good and no peace can ever come from such fanaticism.
As long as these people hate the Jews and their American friends more than they love their own children they will want to kill and destroy.
There can be, in my view, no parley with this wicked murder cult.
I think that Israel and its citizens, however imperfect, are noble and good. They deserve our admiration and our friendship and support.
But the Islamofascists hate Israel and say THEY WANT TO WIPE ISRAEL OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH.
Why? Because they fear the existence of Israel just as they fear the existence of America.
The mad Mullahs and Ayatollahs want to destroy, ultimately because they fear that their traditions and cultures will be washed away by the West.
Ironically their new nationalism and their new Islamofascism is totally Western in origin.
So I return to the miracle of the preservation of thought.
What is the difference between Israel and its enemies?
Israel has God but also a lot of Rome, Athens and America.
Israel is not a utopia but a humane country where human rights, rule of law, culture and civilization count for something. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.
The Islamofascists in their pride want nothing but one people, one law, one book.
In their shame they want to destroy what they are afraid to understand.
Europeans thought they would be safe when they sacrificed Czechoslovakia to appease Hitler.
Now they rush to see who can denounce Israel the most so they might be safe. They even dress like terrorists. Disgusting.
But feeding crocodiles only has one result. They grow in size and gain a taste for blood and human flesh.
Moloch will claim more blood.
The only way to stop a man-eating dragon is to kill it.
We are living in dangerous times. Very dangerous times.
Our way of life is very fragile and will not hold without strength, courage and sacrifice.
We will know, I am thinking, new horrors, hunger, thirst and hardship.
Innocent young, old and sick will suffer and die and not in one place but in many.
We must above all, think of how we will preserve thought, faith in God and freedom.
The greatest miracle of all will be the preservation of thought, not of one book but of many books.
This is what I think under the stars of the still summer night.
And I thank God for the Psalms…..and the wisdom and comfort of the Auld last reading of the night...and my first reading of the morning….
ISI Renshaw Fellow UVA 2004
Teacher of English, history and Spanish
Former Mentor Teacher, Kern HS District
Master Catechist Diocese of Fresno (New Wine Certificate)
Posted at 09:48 PM by Stephen

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