Sunday, May 28, 2006

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I have spent a significant portion of my adult life around children. Most of the time, the things that children say and do are necessarily childish. But every now and then a child will say something that is very adult in its significance, or a child will say something or perceive something in a way that we adults do not because of our own arrogance and self importance. The letter President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran sent on May 8, 2006 to U.S. President George Bush reminded me that the ignorant and childish can see things the learned and enlightened fail to see (this letter can be found in its entirety here).
Ahmadinejad, as a Muslim, is a child in regards to his understanding of God. Islam is heresy, containing some elements of the Truth mixed in with many lies, deceptions, and purposeful misinterpretations. But just because he is a Muslim does not mean Ahmadinejad cannot teach us Christians a thing or two.

Ahmadinejad writes “Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ (PBUH), the great Messenger of God, feel obliged to respect human rights, present liberalism as a civilization model… but at the same time, have countries attacked. [sic]” What he is referring to is the invasion of Iraq. As a Christian leader, one can be a follower of Christ and have countries attacked, as long as such an attack conforms to the Catholic Church’s just war doctrine (I must note here that the invasion of Iraq did not conform to the Church’s just war doctrine, as we were told by Pope John Paul II, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, and Pio Cardinal Laghi). Let us continue with the letter:

Or because of the possibility of the existence of WMDs in one country, it is occupied, around one hundred thousand people killed, its water sources, agriculture and industry destroyed, close to 180,000 foreign troops put on the ground, sanctity of private homes of citizens broken, and the country pushed back perhaps fifty years. At what price? Hundreds of billions of dollars spent from the treasury of one country and certain other countries and tens of thousands of young men and women – as occupation troops – put in harms way, taken away from family and loved ones, their hands stained with the blood of others, subjected to so much psychological pressure that everyday some commit suicide and those returning home suffer depression, become sickly and grapple with all sorts of ailments; while some are killed and their bodies handed to their families.

On the pretext of the existence of WMDs, this great tragedy came to engulf both the peoples of the occupied and the occupying country. Later it was revealed that no WMDs existed to begin with.

Ahmedinejad has a very good point here. On the supposition that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. and the “Coalition of the Willing” invaded Iraq. But there were no WMDs. So our entire justification for war proved unfounded in fact. What happened then? Our justification transformed into invading Iraq because Saddam Hussein was supporting al-Qaeda. This too has proven groundless in fact; there is no evidence of pre-war, post-9/11 collaboration or support between Saddam and al-Qaeda. So what is our justification now? Saddam was a brutal tyrant, and by invading Iraq we freed the Iraqi people from his dictatorship, all while spreading freedom and democracy. Justifying a deed based on the outcome of that deed is faulty justification. The ends do not justify the means. We went to war for a reason, a reason that turned out to be false and groundless.

But what about the fact that Saddam Hussein was a brutal tyrant? Surely the world is better off without him in power. Here is what Ahmadinejad has to say about that:

Of course Saddam was a murderous dictator. But the war was not waged to topple him, the announced goal of the war was to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction. He was toppled along the way towards another goal; nevertheless the people of the region are happy about it. I point out that throughout the many years of the imposed war on Iran, Saddam was supported but the West.

Sounds to me like Ahmadinejad is right on target: our war was not waged to topple Saddam, but to find and destroy WMDs. Even he can see the faulty logic that the Bush Administration and neo-conservatives use to justify the war in Iraq. He also points out that we supported Saddam when it was politically expedient for us to do so. Perhaps we should be more forward thinking when we start our international political maneuvering.

Perhaps the most moving and profound part of Ahmadinejad’s letter is this: “Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the Liberal democratic systems.” I do not think I could agree with him more. Who would have ever thought that a Muslim “extremist” from Iran could have so much to teach us “enlightened” Christians? I think all monarchists owe him a debt of gratitude for his letter.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Yesterday's Post
I've been thinking about the situation with illegal aliens in this nation and my post yesterday. Perhaps I've been approaching this from the wrong perspective. Do I think that the presence of illegal aliens who refuse to assimilate to the American way of life fragment and divide our culture and society? Yes, I do. Most of the illegal aliens here are Hispanics, which I have said before means that most are Catholic. Perhaps the presence and refusal of Catholic illegal aliens here in this nation will change our nation for the better. Will the Hispanic illegal aliens convert our nation to the true faith? Perhaps so. So instead of saying as I did before "Deport them all" I should be saying "Welcome to America."

Monday, May 01, 2006

"A Day Without Immigrants"...If Only

Today was the “big day” of illegal alien protests, with the intention of shutting down the American economy. Did it work? No, it did not. To be sure, some areas of the country and some specific industries were affected (i.e. southern California and the produce industry), but by and large it looks as if most Americans experienced life as usual today. What does a monarchist (or specifically this monarchist) think of the illegal alien problem this country now faces?

First of all, it would be my wish for the majority of the world (at least the West) to adopt an immigration and economic policy similar to that which existed in Europe before the First World War. During this time, people and goods could travel from one end of the European continent to the other (ending at the start of the Ottoman Empire) without much governmental restrictions. As long as a man had the money and language skills necessary, he could travel from, say England to Germany, without as much as a passport. This would be great for Americans who are tired of living in this country and would make it possible for them to emigrate to better nations (let’s just pretend for the sake of argument that Europe wasn’t full of welfare-states just like ours and the move to Europe would increase the standard of living rather than be the same or worse). As good as the immigration policies of the 19th century were, there are certain societal and political realities existent now that were not then (i.e. terrorism, welfare-statism, etc.). So now that we are in the 21st century, how should we deal with the immigration problem in America?

First and foremost, a government must have borders, and thus it must have immigration policies. The current immigration laws in America are such that a man can enter and stay in the U.S. only with the permission of the government. If such a man overstays his welcome (visa) or comes here without permission, he is here illegally. We could argue about the morality of such laws, but to do so would be to ignore the present problem. We have millions of illegal (I stress once more, ILLEGAL) aliens in this nation. They are a drain on the American taxpayer (immigrants, legal or otherwise, are more likely to receive government support in the form of welfare, food stamps, etc.), and are likely not to learn the English language or adopt the American culture. This creates a second culture within the nation, further fragmenting our already fragmented and divided culture. The presence of these millions of illegal aliens drives down our wages (illegal aliens are more willing to work for less than citizens are). It seems to me that illegal aliens create more problems than they benefit this nation.

Now let me return to the morality of America’s immigration laws (even though I appeared to disregard it above). The U.S. bishops with Roger Cardinal Mahoney at the forefront (as Cardinal-Archbishop of Los Angeles) fully support the illegal immigrants (perhaps even amnesty). This would tend to make one think that America’s immigration laws are immoral and unjust, requiring Catholics (and all men of conscience) to oppose these unjust and immoral laws. But let us take a step backwards and look at the motives of the bishops. The leadership (political as well as spiritual) of America’s Catholic bishops is abysmal. Rarely do these supposed shepherds shepherd their flocks along the paths to Heaven. Most are unwilling to stand up for the truth against powerful interest groups and lobbies (i.e. homosexuals, feminists, the Democratic Party), and thus most bishops have little if not no credibility (but I must add that we Catholics are still bound to obey them to a certain extent in spiritual and moral matters, as long as they teach the Truth as revealed by the Magisterium). It is my belief that the U.S. bishops are behind the illegal immigrants because they are thinking of one thing and one thing only—money. The vast majority of illegal aliens present in this nation are Hispanic. Hispanic = Catholic = more people in the pews = more money. Therefore illegal aliens = money. As sad as this is, I believe that this is the underlying motive behind the U.S. bishops’ support and solidarity with the illegal aliens.

So exactly what do I propose in this situation? My gut tells me to deport all of the illegal aliens present (or at least as many as possible) and then positively and certainly secure our borders. My head tells me that our nation is shot politically, culturally, socially, and morally as it is and our present immigration problem has little relevance. America is doomed to fail, so perhaps the illegal aliens will only help speed up the process. Maybe I should be grateful to them.