Tuesday, January 24, 2006
A Challenge to Digby
I have found the Leftist blogger Digby to be an unrepresentatively decent correspondent. Some samples of our past exchanges may be found here and here. I have forwarded him the following, to which I await his sure-to-be feeble reply:
It is true that my many attempts to instruct Leftists such as yourself have, to my every perception, fallen on deaf ears. And indeed, grown tiresome to pursue.
However, we on the Right are nothing if not charitable. We still see a flickering flame of sense in you and your ilk. A flame that, with a little self-imposed humility and silent contemplation of the correct, Conservative positions on your part, may someday in the far-off future become a full blaze. Then, and only then, should you be allowed back into the realm of adult political discourse.
Thus, against my better judgment, I shall make another attempt to show you the error of your ways, little though the reward may have been for all my past efforts at same. I urge you to pay heed, for growing weary of the parlor game, I fear this may be my last attempt to aid you in your thinking.
As has been ably chronicled by many in Conservative circles, the recent audio tape from Osama bin Laden features talking points that essentially echo the words of the Hate America Left. As you know, we on the Right are diligent and close readers of political language. After an amazingly steadfast effort to overcome Mainstream Media bias and make our points heard, now even Liberals such as Chris Matthews cannot avoid the obvious: That Michael Moore, Howard Dean, John Kerry et. al. are objectively allies of Osama bin Laden against America.
Here is the full text of bin Laden’s latest bromide … in which speech the Terror Master panders to his Liberal base with such red meat as this:
“… your polls … show an overwhelming majority of you want the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq …”
“… I say that results of polls please those who are sensible, and Bush's opposition to them is a mistake. …”
“There is no shame in this solution [a truce with al Qaeda], which prevents the wasting of billions of dollars that have gone to those with influence and merchants of war in America who have supported Bush's election campaign with billions of dollars - which lets us understand the insistence by Bush and his gang to carry on with war.”
But these are only the obvious indicators of who bin Laden’s allies in this country truly are. Indictment enough, I should say, of the Fifth Column of deadly, camouflaged vipers who (to quote the Bard in Richard II): “Live like venom where no venom dwells.”
As I said earlier, others have done the yeoman’s work of exposing this serpent’s nest. However, I would like to delve deeper into the alliance between bin Laden and the traitors in our midst.
It must be said that whenever bin Laden states a position on an issue, we would be terribly irresponsible if we did not look to see who else in the world holds a similar position on that issue. Then, when we discover such a person or group of persons, we can reasonably conclude that he (or she or they) and bin Laden are, in fact, allies seeking the total destruction of our nation and its values.
What are we to make, then, of some other, less publicized statements in last week’s bin Laden tape? Statements such as this:
“Only metal breaks metal, and our situation, thank God, is only getting better and better, while your situation is the opposite of that.”
“A swimmer in the ocean does not fear the rain.”
Let me be blunt. To claim - despite the existence of tempered ceramics and other modern synthetics - that, “Only metal breaks metal,” and to further evoke watery images of swimmers, oceans and rain, is to reveal oneself as fundamentally poetic in outlook. I must stress that this is not some small detail that we can overlook when assessing bin Laden’s worldview, and those amongst us (i.e. you and your readers) who share it.
The only question is what this insight might yield in the War on Terror. One suggestion, just off the top of my head, is that the government immediately seize library and bookseller databases to look for patterns in purchases of poetic works.
I submit that, given that such a search would surely produce multiple concrete leads on terrorist sympathizers, anybody who opposes such measures simply cannot be trusted with our national security.
(Per the first quotation, we might also look into those with a vested interest in furthering the illusion of metal’s hardness; to wit: the socialist UMWA.)
Later in the audio tape, we find an even more vexing statement from bin Laden:
“The mujahideen, thank God, are increasing in number and strength - so much so that reports point to the ultimate failure and defeat of the unlucky quartet of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz.” (My emphasis.)
In this citation, bin Laden introduces a 'quartet' – in fact, 'an unlucky quartet' – which is to say, 'a set comprising four things'. Nothing particularly worrisome there. But then he goes on to list precisely four things as belonging to the 'quartet': To wit, the four names, “Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz.”
Non-rhetoricians are to be excused if they do not follow what bin Laden is saying here. But by distilling the language, we can make it plain the monstrous notion he is trying to slip past us. Simply, by introducing a 'set of four things' and then scrupulously filling that set with four actual things, bin Laden, pared down to his essentials, is proposing that 4 = 4!
And how does he come to prove this conclusion? He doesn’t! He simply assumes that in all cases, regardless of omnipotent metaphysical intervention, '4' will equal '4' forever and ever and into the long night of eternity.
Let me be clear: '4 = 4' is a handy conceit, of practical use in many circumstances. But it does not tell the whole story, or even much of the story at all. In its hubris it assumes a static, logical reality … one whose governing laws cannot be altered – ever! – by even the All-Powerful Maker so beloved by millions of faith … a Creator whose existence, to carry the argument to its conclusion, bin Laden must finally deny.
Where have we seen this denial of God before, Digby? Who, if we conclude that bin Laden has placed 'reality' on a pedestal above God, are his colleagues in such perfidy?
Or, to be more pointed, perhaps I should ask why you and your colleagues on the Left have seen fit to advertise yourselves as “members of the reality-based community”?!?
And answering that, I further inquire: Why should it come as a surprise that this “reality-based community” has sought to thwart our President’s efforts to defeat terrorism at every turn?
The American voter has had the onions peeled back from his eyes on this matter. I urge you, while there is still time, to consider how you might do likewise.
Cordially yours, &cetera,
William G. Henders