Profiles in Cowardice

By | February 19, 2015 | 3 Comments

John Kennedy published a book titled “Profiles in Courage.” He told the stories of people who acted courageously in the face of danger and turmoil. But if he were alive today, I believe he might write another book, describing what he would see around him. The title: “Profiles in Cowardice.”
“Randomly shoot a bunch of folks.”
Recently, extremist Muslim fanatics shot up the offices of “Charlie Hebdo” magazine in Paris because of cartoons of Muhammad. They also shot up a kosher market, killing four Jews. It was perfectly obvious to everyone why a kosher market was chosen – it was full of Jews, preparing for the Sabbath next day.
Correction: It was obvious to everyone except President Obama and his staff. Obama declared that what had happened was to “…randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.” When this weasel-worded statement was challenged by an atypically alert press, administration officials blandly asserted that non-Jews were also present in the market. This was literally true – indeed, a Muslim employee hid 15 customers in a cold-storage room.
But the statement was also the worst kind of lie – a half-truth designed to obscure the full truth. And the full truth is that Islamist fanatics want to murder every Jew on Earth. President Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He clearly is intelligent enough to understand this fact.
Anyone who claimed that slave traders “randomly enslaved a bunch of folks” would correctly be called a racist who was denying the evils of enslaving blacks. So what do you call someone who talks like that about the attack on the kosher market? A coward who was afraid to face the motive for the attack, or a racist who agreed with the motive? I don’t know which is worse.
“A sociopath with a toothache.”
Discussing the attack on Fort Hood in which an Army psychiatrist killed 14 Americans, Geraldo Rivera belittled the possibility of Islamist terrorism, even going so far as to suggest that Major Hasan was a sociopath who may have been set off by a “toothache.” This desperate attempt to cling to the liberal world-view goes beyond the ludicrous and reaches the delusional.
Hasan is not a sociopath. Far from being a habitual criminal, he had no criminal record. Giving something a scientific name does not mean that we understand it, much less that we know how to deal with it. Giving something an incorrect scientific name proves that we do not understand it, and that we are not even trying to find out how to deal with it.
Hasan went through medical school, a psychiatry residency, and a master’s program in public health. He was observed daily by mental-health professionals. They reported no signs of a mental disorder. They did, however, complain about his radical Islamic beliefs and his anti-American rants. But little attention was paid to these complaints.
Whatever Hasan’s problems were, they involved not his psychological functioning but his belief system. His problems involved not his mental health, and certainly not his dental health, but his spiritual health − something not on the liberal radar.
President Obama warned, “We don’t know all the answers yet, and I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.” General Casey, Army Chief of Staff, echoed the president’s warning. He went on to declare, “And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.
No, General, 14 dead Americans on a stateside Army post are a lot worse. Troops sometimes must die to defend our freedom, but never to satisfy the liberal agenda. A soldier would know that, but a bureaucrat might not. Which are you?
“Man-caused disasters.”
The Obama administration has sunk so deeply into political correctness that it insists on referring to terrorist attacks as “man-caused disasters,” and to the war on terror as “overseas contingency operations.” The problem is that in addition to being revoltingly weak, these terms are inaccurate. As the Fort Hood attack showed all too clearly, when we no longer know we are in a war on terror, the operations are no longer overseas.
The president claims that terrorism is, in reality, “man-caused disasters.” Such thinking demotes 9/11 from an act of war to an ordinary crime, and Fort Hood from an act of terrorism to “workplace violence.” We are reverting to a 9/10 mindset. If the president curtails surveillance of suspected terrorists, and this results in more attacks, some people might conclude that he is the man who caused the disaster.
Now ISIS allies in Libya have beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians for “spreading the illusion of the cross.” Beyond a certain point – which this may be – even cowards may be forced to face an all-too-obvious reality. Or not. We’ll see.
The antidote.
There are only so many mealy-mouthed excuses for inaction and passivity that I can take before my mind, my heart, and even my stomach react. Just as the body throws up rotten food, the spirit throws up rotten ideas.
The Bible says it best: “So because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” As John Kennedy put it, “Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” And Brad Thor remarked, “Sheep have only two speeds − graze and stampede.” If we spend our time grazing, we are sure to stampede − when it is too late.
As an antidote to disgusting cowardice, I offer these examples of courage. Go to this link. Look at the faces of 16 heroes who earned the Medal of Honor in Afghanistan and Iraq, seven posthumously. Read their stories. Do you remember Todd Beamer? You should. Courage is not restricted to a combat zone. It may be needed anywhere − an airliner, for example.
But if you say that physical courage is for the young, think of Rick Rescorla. He was no longer young and fit. In fact, he was old, fat, and sick. But he got almost all 2700 employees of Morgan Stanley out of the World Trade Center on 9/11, before he went back to be sure they were all safe − and was never seen again. Courage resides in the spirit, not the body.
And lest you think that America has a monopoly of courage today, read about three Brits and four Aussies who earned the Victoria Cross, their highest award for valor, whom we are proud to call brothers. If you want to see how courage should be honored, watch the last part of the video clip on Mark Donaldson. We honor heroes not so much for their sakes − it embarrasses them. We honor them for our sakes, to remind ourselves of the high price of the freedoms we so easily take for granted.
Physical courage is admirable. But too often, it becomes necessary only because other people lacked moral and intellectual courage, and were unwilling to confront evil before it grew too strong. That is where we find ourselves today. President Obama and his top advisors are reluctant even to use the word “terrorism.”
Our nation and our civilization depend on people with moral, intellectual, and physical courage. Do we have enough of them to counterbalance the cowards who do not dare to name the enemy, much less to combat it? Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, all the rest of us can try to demonstrate at least a spark of courage. We can elect leaders capable of confronting reality. We can speak up. It’s our duty.

Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.
www.stolinsky.com

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