Published on April 11th, 2015 | by John Locke0
COMMON SENSE & THE MIDDLE EAST: Written To the Inhabitants of America
“How can [a Muslim] possibly accept humiliation and inferiority when he knows his nation was created to stand at the center of leadership,…hegemony and rule…; that the entire earth must be subject to the religion of Allah…to no ideology and to no path except for the path of Allah?”
– Suleiman Abu Gheith, al-Qaeda Spokesman
“We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in.”
– Thomas Paine, Founding Father, Common Sense, January 10, 1776
In 1776, an unknown immigrant, Thomas Paine, seeing Americans hopelessly divided in their budding revolution against the British Empire, knew that short of unity in the War of Independence, America would go down in defeat. Beaten by Britain’s dictator-king, Thomas Paine had the vision to see that America’s failure and subjugation would also doom the world to centuries of tyranny and oppression.
Before the birth of the United States of America, the hope of liberty, built upon the revolutionary concept of natural, God-given law for all mankind, could not be found on the earth. “…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (The Declaration of Independence).
This uniquely American notion of liberty is a universal, divinely appointed gift, meant for all mankind. It is revolutionary, and in 1776, was a radical concept. None dared whisper such “extremism” in any land. But a new age was dawning, and America would, as it has so many times since, pay the price and lead the way.
“O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose…the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the Old World is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia and Africa have long expelled her—Europe regards her like a stranger, and…hath given her warning to depart. O! (America) receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.”
– Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine’s “asylum,” meaning “safe haven,” the seedbed of world freedom he foresaw, is America. Today has anything changed? Should America bring liberty to lands that have never before known it? Is such a goal right and true?
It’s a universal truth, that free people will always be the mortal enemy of dictators, each endangering the other’s existence. Another truth: Tyranny and terror are blood brothers, born of the same womb and equally evil. And finally, the ultimate truth for our time: We are fools to make nice with evil as some have suggested we do.
In 1774, a little over a year before publishing his history-changing Common Sense, Thomas Paine arrived in Philadelphia delirious with fever and dying, but carrying letters of recommendation from a powerful American, Benjamin Franklin, who he had befriended in London. Those letters probably saved Paine’s life, for a doctor, John Kearsley, read them and had the young man placed on his personal skiff, removing him from the disease-ridden, quarantined ship and spiriting Paine to the doctor’s own home to nurse back to health. Thomas Paine’s recovery took six weeks. He barely survived.
Dr. Kearsley’s little-known act of mercy could be argued was the most important in the history of the American Republic. For Thomas Paine would help empower the world’s long struggle for freedom, which began in the American colonies and continues today. Thomas Paine, among other things, was a writer, a gifted writer. And he would, at the encouragement of other Patriots in The Cause, put to pen a short work of extraordinary insight, depth, and impact.
Paine’s booklet, Common Sense: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America, so moved George Washington that he had copies distributed to his officers and men. Passages were read to his soldiers as they suffered those dark, frozen days at Valley Forge. Earlier, when the Continental Army crossed the Delaware River the night of December 25, 1776, American soldiers carried Paine’s writings, even shouting verses as they defeated the British and their Hessian mercenaries at the Battle of Trenton. Some historians believe an unprecedented 500,000 copies were eventually published, distributed among about three million American colonists! Nearly every household would have had access to at least one copy.
The historian, Scott Liell, in his excellent (2003) book 46 Pages, Thomas Paine, Common Sense, and the Turning Point to Independence, wrote: “One of the main obstacles to the colonies pursuing a path that would end in independence was their political, cultural, and economic fragmentation. Paine recognized that in order to become free the colonies would first need to be united” (emphasis added).Mr. Liell’s historical perspective in this matter is second to none, his book highly recommended.
TEARING AMERICA TO PIECES
“Our struggle is not about land or water. It is about bringing, by force if necessary, the whole of mankind onto the right path (Islam).”
– Ayatollah Khomeini (1980)
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet…the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
– Thomas Paine (1776)
Today, the American people are anything but united in our war with tyranny and oppression. The Middle East, as a haven for terrorism, is tearing America apart politically, even morally. Some, including our own President, fail to see the strategic importance of resisting the threat from Jihad (Holy War)-inspired militant Islam. Many more cannot see why keeping Iraq—especially—a free and prosperous ally is essential to long-term victory over ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Iranian-backed terror.
Most Americans (according to recent polls) fail to understand that this is, at its root, a war of freedom verses despotism, and that everything dear to us is on the line. The ISIS enemy is driven by a hatred few Americans even comprehend, a culture of murder and cruelty which pre-dates the United States, even Europe, by centuries; a culture of martyrdom in Allah’s (God’s) name, a culture of raiding, raping, and plundering the non-Muslim enemy. We face a merciless force of pure evil, which stands darkly on our doorstep. We dare not ignore it.
“I dwell not upon the vapors of the imagination…I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as A,B, C, hold up truth to your eyes.”
– Thomas Paine
THIS IS NOT A WAR AGAINST ISLAM
Americans must understand not only the reality and depth of the challenge, but the sacrifice required to prevail, a sacrifice paid by many, and not just Americans. Most importantly, the world must know that the United States is not at war with the Greater Muslim Community (called al-Umma, in Arabic). The world’s Muslims are, or should be, our allies.
In the end they must be, or we cannot prevail.
We need to better articulate this little known truth: for years we have supported and defended Muslims in this struggle against Islamist radicalism. Americans have fought and died protecting Muslim families in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Somalia, Kurdistan, Iraq, and many other places. The Muslim world must learn and finally acknowledge this truth. It must be taught in every nation, broadcast from major TV and radio programs. Finally Muslims must determine to stand with us as friends and allies, or we will all fall to the murderous powers of tyranny. Inevitably the war will be won, or lost, inside the worldwide Islamic Community.
I count from among Muslims some of my closest friends and allies, men and women who have risked their lives for me. I have done the same for them. This Post does not denigrate them. It honors their struggle. It shows how they are essential to victory, to freedom, to peace.
Today, these merciless jihadis (“holy warriors”) rushing at us can be defeated, but only with the help of Muslims. As well, this war will take time, money, and sadly the blood of our brightest and best, as it already has.
Is it worth it? Before we can fairly judge we must first learn precisely what is at stake.
Sadly, our true equities, those that will bring all peoples everywhere either freedom or bondage, are not what we are being told. Keeping America in the dark is a strategic mistake made by this President and his Leftist Administration, exacerbated by a politically-driven, often bias and lazy, even PC-bigoted, media.
THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT
Americans like quick-fixes, the result of keen American ingenuity, efficiency, and phenomenal innovation. The better mousetrap, the fastest fast-food, the no wait “Fast Pass,” immediate service, because you deserve it!
Sorry, America, not this time. Our hyper-efficient society, the most productive and resourceful in the world, has come face to face with the Land That Time Forgot. Throw away your watch. Log-off your day-planner. Otherwise you will be ill-equipped to deal with this enemy, spawned from the heart of the original “Bible Belt.” “Americans have all the clocks, but we have all the time.” (Proudly proclaimed by a Taliban terrorist.)
An American retreat from the contest, even one inch, will be viewed by these Jihadi militants and suicide murderers as “Allah’s blessed victory,” whetting their appetites for blood, swelling the numbers of young recruits worldwide, and guaranteeing a genocidal conflict for decades to come.
How do we know this? History; but also from the words of the radicals themselves. Our retreat from, and capitulation to, this enemy in the 1990s brought us the devastation of September 11, 2001. Further hand-wringing and retreat will only defer to our children and grandchildren an increasingly barbaric, even genocidal, affair. The terrorists, and their tyrant backers, will soon field devastating new weaponry that will, without a doubt, be used on America’s cities, on our military bases abroad, and against our allies. If we retreat, we will fight this enemy in our towns, even our neighborhoods, and most terrifying of all…in our schools and homes.
“Better a thousand enemies without the house…than one within.”
– Arab proverb
NOW IS THE TIME
However, there is good news. At this relatively early stage, while we are still so much stronger than our ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Iranian enemy, we can defeat him, if we present a firm and united front. But time is short with much to do. In the Spirit of 1776, we must recommit to follow the example of Thomas Paine’s classic, Common Sense: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America. Paine’s booklet arrived in the dark days of independence, firing the Americans in the belief that they could defeat tyranny and win a war with Great Britain, then the most powerful empire on earth.
By the defeat of King George III’s despotism, America created a beacon to the world that all peoples and nations would flow unto (The Holy Bible, Isaiah 2:2). A blessed land, populated by a giving, yet strong and capable people.
“The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army.”
– General George Washington,
July 2, 1776
With victory in the American Revolution and the defeat of tyranny, the ideal of God-given liberty was conceived, even a natural right of mankind. Today that legacy of liberty, born and nurtured in the minds and hearts of a handful of determined Patriots in a sweltering Philadelphia July in 1776, is moving steadily across the globe. To stand in the way of freedom is the gravest of mistakes. History will hold its harshest judgment for those who rob liberty’s light from our brothers and sisters struggling beneath tyranny’s shroud.
“The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind… We have it in our power to begin the world over again. The (birth) of a new world is at hand.”
– Thomas Paine
In the spirit of Paine’s Common Sense we have in our power today to liberate millions and raise the banner of liberty in lands where people have never dared dream such possibilities. Besides, in our modern, technologically driven world, we have no choice. The world has shrunk to the size of a large neighborhood. The sworn enemies of liberty can be at your front door from anywhere on earth in only hours. Again, fighting back against despotism is no longer an option, if it ever was.
“Either we bring them (Muslims) freedom…or they destroy us.”
-Dr. Bernard Lewis, the world’s foremost authority on Islamic history.
Let us carry through to fruition what God has set in motion. And never let us lose sight of the full vision of our Founding Fathers, a vision for humanity in all lands, everywhere, regardless of religion, creed, race, or color.
Let freedom ring.