Speak Truth to Weakness

By | August 10, 2015 | 0 Comments

Iran deal

Who is smiling and who is not?

Iran says U.S. is barred from knowing details of the U.N. inspection regime, and the top U.S. negotiator admits she never saw them. Moreover, Americans are barred from participating in the U.N. inspection teams.
News report

I thank the Iranian diplomats, lawyers, and nuclear scientists whose extraordinary efforts have brought about this victory.
Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran

The expression “Speak truth to power” is attributed to an old Quaker principle. Speaking truth to powerful people may be difficult, even dangerous. But suppose those in control are weak. What then? Weak leaders need to learn the truth just as much as do powerful leaders. And they are just as reluctant to hear it. The truth would shatter their childish illusions and threaten their narcissistic self-righteousness.
The current deal gives Iran what it wants – relief from economic sanctions. But in return, we get less than nothing. We get inspections that (1) require at least 24 days’ notice, (2) cannot include American inspectors, (3) for practical purposes give Iran a veto over where inspectors can go, and (4) include side-deals that we are forbidden to see. To assert that such a deal portrays us in a position of strength, or makes America safer, is dishonest if not delusional.
In addition, President Obama wants to rid the world of nuclear weapons. He declared, “Countries with nuclear weapons will move toward disarmament.” Of course, that means the United States, the only country over which he has control. Whether others will disarm is another matter entirely.
Obama warned that countries that break the rules will face immediate consequences, including referral to the U.N. Security Council. What a frightening prospect! When ethnic cleansing was going on in Bosnia and Kosovo, the U.N. passed resolutions; the U.S. acted, and ethnic cleansing stopped. When mass murder and slavery went on in Sudan, the U.N. passed resolutions; the U.S. did not act, and nothing changed.
When North Korea fired a missile over Japan, the U.N. could not even agree on a resolution. North Korea continues to develop nuclear weapons and the missiles with which to deliver them. But all this does not shake the faith of President Obama. He still trusts the U.N. to prevent a nuclear Iran – by passing resolutions.
All this might be called malignant naiveté – a stubborn, willful refusal to accept unpleasant reality. Other examples include pacifism and strict gun control.
Adults, especially citizens of a free country, see themselves as bearing the primary responsibility for protecting themselves and their families. But children – or subjects of an authoritarian regime – see themselves as powerless. They feel little responsibility for defending themselves or their families. This responsibility, and the rights that go with it, are assumed by adults in the case of children, and by the government in the case of those who infantilize themselves.
Do those who want to ban guns weigh the relative risks and benefits of guns? This would require studying the data of Prof. Gary Kleck (“Point Blank”), showing that guns are used much more often to prevent crimes than to commit them.
It would require reading the studies of Dr. John Lott (“More Guns, Less Crime” and “The Bias Against Guns”), revealing that where law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry guns, violent crime falls.
Instead, liberals thoughtlessly assume that weapons are always bad. They divest themselves of all responsibility and fob it off onto Big Brother. And all the while they feel self-righteous, while accomplishing nothing useful.
They believe that if they imagine something good, they have actually done something good. This confusion of good motives with good results is typical of modern liberalism.
If defense of our own family is not our responsibility, defense of our nation is even more dubious. Do rogue states like Iran and North Korea test missiles and build nuclear weapons? Don’t worry − if we just “sit down and talk,” all will be well. Pieces of paper will protect us. That’s what we were taught in law school.
When Hitler was on the rise, pacifists opposed rearmament, claiming that no Genghis Khan was at the gates. When the communist empire was expanding, pacifists opposed rearmament, claiming there was no Hitler on the horizon. Now that Islamist terrorism is a threat, they still oppose rearmament, claiming the Soviet Union is no more.
Pacifists recognize evil only in retrospect, when it is no longer a threat – because other people risked their lives to defeat it.
Of course, if one doesn’t share American values, there is no reason to defend them. Instead, one can be a “citizen of the world,” which carries no obligation except breathing. How effortless for the lazy. How safe for the cowardly. How gratifying for the self-satisfied. How non-involving for the alienated. But how utterly useless for everyone.
Those who believe their motives are “good” may feel that others can sense this – as if they walked around with haloes over their heads. They believe their hearts are “pure,” so nobody will attack them – not muggers, not terrorists.
This is a form of blame-the-victim: If I don’t own a gun, I won’t be robbed. If we don’t build a missile defense, we won’t be attacked. If I advocate for peace, peace will result. Such thinking is emotional, not logical. And it is deeply narcissistic – who would want to harm wonderful, marvelous me?
Pacifism is a luxury. Like a Mercedes, it can be enjoyed by a fortunate few, while the majority must deal with a harsher reality. Those who live in upscale suburbs often have no empathy for those − often minorities − who must live or work in high-crime areas. They feel no need for self-defense, so they can’t understand why others might. Lack of empathy for the poor and minorities is an odd trait for a liberal.
Gun-control zealots sleep more safely because others own guns. Burglars avoid occupied dwellings for fear of being shot, because gun ownership is still common in America. In nations where gun ownership is rare, over half of burglaries occur when people are home, greatly increasing the risk of death or injury to occupants. In the U.S., only about 13% of burglaries are “hot.”
Even anti-gun zealots tacitly recognize this fact by never posting signs saying, “There are no guns in this home.” If they really believed that weapons increase danger, such signs would be common.
Pacifists sleep more safely, dreaming peaceful dreams, because the troops they hold in contempt are on guard through the night, armed with the modern weapons they opposed. Others fight and die, while they bask in the narcissistic comfort of pacifism. Children have a right to sleep peacefully, secure in the knowledge that others will protect them. Adults, especially citizens of a free nation, have no such luxury.
We now call terrorist attacks “man-caused disasters.” We now call the former global war on terror “overseas contingency operations.” We now call an Islamist terrorist attack at an army post “workplace violence.” We now call the international agreement to do next-to-nothing about Iran developing nukes “a joint, comprehensive plan of action.” This neutered terminology reveals a neutered defense policy that evokes contempt, not fear, in our enemies. But it will evoke anxiety in our friends − if we still have any.
The “joint, comprehensive plan of action” bears a worrisome resemblance to the “no guns” sticker on the door of the theater in Colorado where 12 moviegoers were murdered. The sticker was useless because there were no metal detectors to find violators. The Iran deal will prove useless for the same reason – there is no “anywhere, anytime” inspection.
No, the sticker was worse than useless. It inhibited law-abiding citizens from carrying guns. They could have stopped the murderer before he killed so many. The Iran deal will prove worse than useless for the same reason – the U.S. and other Western nations have in effect taken military action off the table.

no guns

The Century 16 Theater in Aurora, Colorado, where James Holmes murdered 12 and wounded 70, was a “gun-free zone.” In one sentence, that sums up the mentality of those who believe, against all evidence, that disarming the peaceful will pacify criminal individuals or criminal states. We didn’t know that Holmes was intent on mass murder. But we do know that Iranian “Supreme Leader” (Führer) Khamenei nods approvingly as the crowd chants “Death to America.” So now what’s our excuse?
Those who stubbornly refuse to recognize unpleasant facts can’t handle the truth. But we are obligated to continue speaking it as loudly as we can. Weak leaders need to hear it most of all.
Freedom of speech isn’t just about our freedom to speak if we wish. It’s also about our obligation to speak if we must.

 freedomofspeech

Freedom of Speech
Norman Rockwell

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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