July 31, 2006

Surrender or Fight

If we had fought World War II the way we are fighting the war against Islamic fascism we would have lost in 1942. The world as we know it would have never come to be. All today would be a dark night of totalitarianism. Western Civilization would exist only in history books---or perhaps it would have simply been sent down the memory hole. The survivors would exist as slaves to Hitler's descendants. Those who survived the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere would be slaves to the new samurai.

Had we lost---surrendered is the proper word---America would have a Vichy government paying tribute both to Germany and Japan. The Jews would be no more.

But we won that war. We won it by being more terrifying than the Germans and Japanese could imagine. Even as we met their soldiers on the battlefield and annihilated them we firebombed their cities. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were incinerated. And still we bombed. We became as death, the destroyer of worlds, to win the war as fast as we could. The war cost 60,000,000 lives, most of whom were civilians.

It has been the same in every war since the building of the Sumerian city-states.

There is this charming belief that in war only soldiers should slaughter each other, that non-combatants should be immune. But in which war has this been the case? Pick up any book on military history and open it to any page. Or simply begin with ancient warfare. Look up Melos. Carthage. Corinth. Numantia. Alesia. Persepolis.

In Medieval Warfare we find: Nika Riots, Viking raids, Mongol empires, Timur the Lame, Hundred Years War, Crusades, sieges of Constantinople, civil wars all around.

At the beginning of our era we find Conquistadors, sacks of Rome, Wars of Roses, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

And our own time has been incarnadined: colonial wars, the Boer War, the Rape of Nanking, the World Wars, the Great Leap Forward, Indo-Pakistani Wars.

In all of these civilians perished, usually as an act of policy. Such is war. It is Hell and you cannot change it. To avoid closing with an enemy out of fear of civilian deaths is to surrender.

It is our enemies who force us to fight among their women and children and in their mosques, for there is where they hide.

We are now engaged in a great conflict, greater than any we have fought. Defeat would mean dhimmitude. If you do not know this word you had best study it well. For much of what we call the West has already capitulated. Belgium, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Spain are lost. Within five years France and England will be lost. In our own nation many movers and shakers---the New York Times, the Democrat Party, Hollywood---have simply capitulated. They have become the enemy and perform the proper obeisance to their new masters.

You do not believe me? I can handle that. For it matters not at all what you think---or what I think. It matters a great deal what the terror masters in Iran and Syria think. And right now as I write these words they are absolutely convinced they can defeat us. Their every word and deed point to this.

They have ample reasons for their belief. Recall the day after September 11, 2001. Bush went to a mosque and proclaimed Islam a religion of peace. Now think of December 8, 1941. What if FDR had gone to a Sushi bar and stated how the Japanese were really nice folks?

We would have lost that war. We are losing this war.

Oh, our military is invincible. When we meet the enemy we destroy him. But he will not meet us. He hides among women and children. When we go after him the media and the Democrats shriek, "We are killing civilians! Stop this war! Negotiate! Cease fire! Send in the UN!" Think of Baghdad. Think of Abu Ghraib. Think of Fallujah. Think of Muqtada al-Sadr. Think of Israel in Lebanon.

How can it be that our war against Iraq---a cheap, third-rate power whose army wrote the book on military incompetence---is still going on? It now has lasted longer than our part in World War II. It should have ended in the summer of 2003. If we cannot force our will upon the barbarians in Iraq, how can we possibly do it in Iran, a nation far more powerful and murderous?

What the Hell?

It is not as if Americans have no experience in occupying a defeated nation. That is exactly what we did to Germany and Japan. That is exactly the model we should be using now for Iraq. Instead we refuse to declare war against Iran and Syria. We allow them to re-supply our enemies in Iraq and Lebanon. We look the other way when they murder our soldiers and bomb our embassies. We ignore their spittle-flecked Jew hatred. We treat captured killers with Geneva Convention niceties though these monsters wear no uniform, salute no flag and terrorize populations. We should have treated those in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib  the way we treated captured SS---interrogated them and shot them. That should have been Saddam's fate hours after we captured him.

How is it that Iranian proxy Hezbollah---a terror group responsible for murdering hundreds of Americans---can rain fire and death upon Israeli civilians for years and the world says nothing, yet when Israel responds with a campaign to minimize civilian deaths the world screams?

How is it that Islamic nations like Syria and Iran can slaughter Americans---to say nothing of their own citizens---yet America refuses to declare war and end these thuggish regimes?

What is going on here? Some kind of slow-motion dhimmitude?

If we want to survive as a civilization we must come to terms with the nature of the ghoulish barbarians of Islamic fascism. They have been at war with us since the 1960s. If they win it will be nothing like the era after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Then the barbarians desired to share the bounty of civilization.

Today's barbarians know nothing of humanity, of civilization. They speak the language of apocalypse. They treat their Islamic fellows horrifically. Their specialties are chopping off heads on camera and suicide bombings of civilians. They praise the honor killing and sexual mutilation of their own daughters.

An Islamic victory would mean the end of our civilization.

There was no reasoning with the barbarians of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. We waged total war and forced them to submit to our will. There is no reasoning with the barbarians of Islamic fascism. They must be hunted down and killed. For they are most certainly hunting us.

If you wish to imagine what a world ruled by Islam would look like, read this. Here is a sample of the types of people killed and types of things destroyed by Islam just in the last five years:

[Islam] murders Jews and Christians and Hindus and Buddhists and agnostics and surfers and disco habitués and businessman and children and guards and pizza lovers and airline passengers and diplomats and diplomats' wives and diplomats' children and teachers and writers and missionaries and stewardesses and professors and journalists and free thinkers. Islam builds nothing yet blows to smithereens busses and schools and synagogues and churches and skyscrapers and houses and buildings and embassies and cemeteries and cars and ships and planes.

Ladies and gentlemen, these people are coming to kill us. They already have, thousands of us. And they will continue killing us until the Islamic flag is placed over Jerusalem and the White House. They have made this as plain and as clear as words and deeds allow. Why will you not believe? Would a mushroom cloud over Boston and 200,000 dead Americans make you believe?

The fact of the matter is that we as a society and culture must wage total war against the sponsors of world-wide murder and terror in Syria and Iran. Iraq is only a beginning. Imagine stopping World War II after Midway or D-Day. Hitler and Tojo would have been left in power, to wage yet another ghastly war.

And yes, civilians will die. Either we kill theirs and end the war or they will kill ours until we submit. They have left us no other choice.

This war is not about mercy. No war is. War is about victory. Mercy will come later, after the US flag is raised over whatever parts of Damascus and Tehran are still standing.

The killers in Syria and Iran believe themselves masters at the game of terror. We need to show them otherwise.


July 28, 2006

Wild Thing Redux

Well I'll be snookered---and I was. Yesterday's bear tale turned out to be---well, a story. According to Snopes the bear weighed not 1600 pounds but between 1000 and 1200. It stood not over 12 feet but less than 11. Its killer used not a 7 mm Magnum semi-automatic but a .338 Winchester Magnum. The shootist was not a Forest Service employee but an airman stationed at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska. And no human remains were found in the stomach of the dead ursine. My bad, alas.

Yet none of this contradicts the moral of the story, which is: When you go into the wilds, carry a weapon that will bring down any animal you are likely to encounter. If you choose not to do this, at least have the foresight to make out a life insurance policy so that your widow and orphan can sustain themselves after you disappear in the wilds.

These photos are accurate, according to Snopes. And check there for the full story.

And there is more: Yesterday a friend and I went to a gun shop to look around. There was enough weaponry in the place to outfit a decent terrorist cell. The guy behind the counter was named Leroy---remember, this is Oklahoma. I told him that was interested in a gun that would take out a Grizzly. And I told Leroy that I was a solo backpacker; thus my possible gun choices were limited. Any gun must be light yet deadly, and easy to get to while carrying a heavy backpack. A rifle would probably be out of the question.

Leroy understood. In fact he himself had been attacked by a bear in Montana. Leroy was fishing. He was wearing waders in water up to his hips. A black bear appeared 50 feet away and charged. Unknown to Leroy the bear had been guarding her two cubs. As the bear ran into the water Leroy swung his shotgun off his shoulder and fired two deer slugs into the beast, killing her.

I asked him about my choice of pistol, the Smith and Wesson 329PD. He thought it an excellent choice, but he also showed me a number of other pistols, all .44 Magnums. Anything smaller would simply not be enough to kill a Grizzly.

Leroy was as amused---if that be the right word---as I was about those who go out into the wilds armed with nothing but the latest gear from REI and propaganda from animal rights activists. He could not fathom such attitudes. Of course, few in Oklahoma can.

The gun will wait until I know about next summer, whether I will head to Peru or Wyoming. If Peru, then no gun. If Wyoming, then a gun. And lots of ammo. And of course the latest REI gear too.


July 27, 2006

Wild Thing

An acquaintance of mine heads out today for backpacking in Wyoming. Ok, I am a bit jealous: I have long wanted to do a walkabout in Wyoming. Time has been a factor why I have yet to make it out that way---and out Idaho and Montana way as well. And as long as there are still jungles and Andean peaks that have not felt the tread of my boots, my thoughts always wander toward Central and South America.

But there is yet another reason why I have not yet walked out in the American wilds. That reason has four legs and goes by the name Ursus arctos horribilis. Its common name is Grizzly. I have no intention of walking about where Grizzlies roam unless I am armed---well-armed.

I was reminded of this today. Over the internet came news of the largest Grizzly bear ever recorded. It weighed more than 1600 pounds and stood 14 feet high. To put this in perspective:

If you are an average size man; you would be level with the bear's navel when he stood upright. The bear would look you in the eye when it walked on all fours!

To give additional perspective, consider that this particular bear, standing on its hind legs, could walk up to an average single story house and look over the roof. It could walk up to a two story house and look in the bedroom windows.

How we came to know about this monster is itself a terrifying tale. A US Forest Service worker was out hunting deer in Alaska. A grizzly charged from 150 feet away. Such an animal can move at more than 30 feet per second, which gave the guy less than 5 seconds to observe the threat, consider counter-measures, choose one and implement it. He had a 7 mm magnum semi-automatic rifle with him---a very good thing. He emptied the rifle into the bear, and the beast dropped nearly at his feet, though still very much alive. The man re-loaded and blasted away point blank at the bear's head, which finished off the creature.

But now comes this horror:

Based on the contents of the bear's stomach, it was established that the bear had killed at least two humans in the 72 hours before its demise which included a missing hiker.

The U.S. Forest Service, backtracking from where the bear had originated, found the hiker's 38 caliber pistol emptied. Not far from the pistol were the remains of the hiker. The other body has not been found.

Although the hiker fired six shots and managed to hit the bear with four of those shots (the Service ultimately found four 38 caliber slugs along with twelve 7mm slugs inside the bear's body), it only wounded the bear and probably angered it immediately.

The bear was a man-killer. He would have killed again had not the Forest Service worker shot him---12 times.

And herein lies a lesson. If you go into the wild, bring along the means to protect yourself against bears. I am not talking about the usual ridiculous 'advice' given by any number of books on bears---advice about pepper spray, playing dead, making noise and so on. Such things might work. If they do not then you will not see home again.

I am talking about carrying a weapon that will kill anything you might encounter. For Grizzly this means at least a .357 Magnum pistol, but a .44 Magnum would be better. Here is the real McCoy:

This is a Smith and Wesson 329PD. It will destroy a mountain lion as well as a Grizzly. Had that hiker had this rather than that absurdly underpowered .38 he would be alive this day.

Some advice from an Alaskan native:

I love bears, and not just to eat. I used to study them. I have friends who have spent all their professional lives studying them. You can't spend time around bears and not admire them. But none of us go into bear country without the means to protect ourselves.

Grizzlies once roamed far a field but now are concentrated mostly in Alaska and Canada.

A list of fatal bear attacks can be found here.

But some guys are lucky. Here is one fellow who avoided the fate of that hiker above. A sample:

A man stabbed a black bear to death with a 15-cm hunting knife, saying he knew he would otherwise become “lunch” after it attacked him and his dog on a canoeing portage in northern Ontario.

Those who venture into the wilderness must never forget that Mother Nature is a bitch with no pity. Her children are 'red in tooth and claw'. You ignore this at your peril---and that of your children.


July 24, 2006

The Return of the Native

Well, I am not really an Oklahoma native, but I sure feel like one. Especially after my sojourn in Oregon. I thank God for my family there, a small island of light, humanity and decency among the slouching barbarians of Portland.

Yes, Oregon has trees and flowers and chirping birds and all that---and also the lowest church attendance in our nation. It shows in the politics and culture, especially in that  Babylon on the Willamette called Portland. One can observe on its streets the full spectrum of human depravity. I thank God for Oklahoma---the 'Buckle of the Bible Belt'---and for states like it. They are part and parcel of God's country.

Plans for backpacking along the Pacific Crest Trail did not turn out well. North of Crater Lake experienced the greatest snow pack in 20 years. All sorts of hikers were stranded because of it. All trails eventually ended in this:

Here is snow around Crater Lake:

There was no going around the snow as it extended for 100 miles northward. And with the snow came mosquitoes---hordes of them in my eyes, in my food, in my mouth, in my nose, in my ears, in my toothpaste. These pesky vampires were in greater number than I had ever witnessed in the jungles of Central America. Around mid-August they die but I was there in June. I camped right beneath the snowline and tried to find a way through. This proved impossible.

The trails below were pleasant enough:

And so I did not get quite the 'wild' experience for which I had hoped. But it was not just because of the snow. There was something missing in all of this---something missing in all of my backpacking in the US. I cannot as of yet quite put my finger on it. It might be due to my woeful lack of experience solo backpacking in God's country. Or---more likely---it might be that Central and South America reflect more surely than my own nation exactly what I search for when I head for 'wild, weird climes, out of space, out of time.' As far as I am concerned there are no such places in the US. (But there might be such in Wyoming and Montana.)

Yes, I have not seen much, but I cannot go everywhere and see everything in one lifetime. I am now 53, and backpacking by myself takes its toll on my body. Simply stated: I cannot do this forever, perhaps 10-12 years more before bones and muscles become weary. And there are yet many places in Latin America where I wish to tread. I am beginning to piece together a list of them with photos and commentary. A very basic form of it can be found here. This will be an on-going project over the next few months.

Which will keep me busy indeed. And school begins again August 16. And so will begin another year of my God-given vocation.

And of course my regular commentary on 'Life, the Universe and Everything' will commence shortly.

There are other projects in store as well---but more about these in due course. Can we say 'Guatemala for Christmas?' Yes, we can.

Be well.


July 14, 2006

Israel Under David. Israel Today. Israel Forever.

As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old--
Salvation From our enemies,
And from the hand of all who hate us...
The oath which He swore to Abraham our father,
To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.

---Luke 1:70-75

America is a great nation because she protects Israel. When she ceases to protect God's Chosen she will cease to be great.



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