Jonah Goldberg took time to learn the unbiased, and actual history of the the Crusades and Inquisition periods unlike Obama whose trash talk betrayed his ignorance.
by Jonah Goldberg
"On Tuesday, the so-called Islamic State released a slickly produced video showing a Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a steel cage. On Wednesday, the United Nations issued a report detailing various “mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children, and burying children alive” at the hands of the Islamic State.
And on Thursday, President Obama seized the opportunity of the National Prayer Breakfast to forthrightly criticize the “terrible deeds” . . . committed “in the name of Christ.”
“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history,” Obama said, referring to the ennobling aspects of religion as well as the tendency of people to “hijack” religions for murderous ends.
And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.
Obama’s right. Terrible things have been done in the name of Christianity. I have yet to meet a Christian who denies this.
But, as odd as it may sound for a guy named Goldberg to point it out, the Inquisition and the Crusades aren’t the indictments Obama thinks they are. For starters, the Crusades — despite their terrible organized cruelties — were a defensive war.
“The Crusades could more accurately be described as a limited, belated and, in the last analysis, ineffectual response to the jihad — a failed attempt to recover by a Christian holy war what had been lost to a Muslim holy war,” writes Bernard Lewis, the greatest living English-language historian of Islam.
As for the Inquisition, it needs to be clarified that there was no single “Inquisition,” but many. And most were not particularly nefarious. For centuries, whenever the Catholic Church launched an inquiry or investigation, it mounted an “inquisition,” which means pretty much the same thing.
Historian Thomas Madden, director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University, writes that the “Inquisition was not born out of desire to crush diversity or oppress people; it was rather an attempt to stop unjust executions.”
In medieval Europe, heresy was a crime against the state, Madden explains. Local nobles, often greedy, illiterate, and eager to placate the mob, gleefully agreed to execute people accused of witchcraft or some other forms of heresy. By the 1100s, such accusations were causing grave injustices (in much the same way that apparatchiks in Communist countries would level charges of disloyalty in order to have rivals “disappeared”).
“The Catholic Church’s response to this problem was the Inquisition,” Madden explains, “first instituted by Pope Lucius III in 1184.”
I cannot defend everything done under the various Inquisitions — especially in Spain — because some of it was indefensible. But there’s a very important point to make here that transcends the scoring of easy, albeit deserved, points against Obama’s approach to Islamic extremism (which he will not call Islamic): Christianity, even in its most terrible days, even under the most corrupt popes, even during the most unjustifiable wars, was indisputably a force for the improvement of man.
Christianity ended greater barbarisms under pagan Rome. The church often fell short of its ideals — which all human things do — but its ideals were indisputably a great advance for humanity. Similarly, while some rationalized slavery and Jim Crow in the U.S. by invoking Christianity, it was ultimately the ideals of Christianity itself that dealt the fatal blow to those institutions. Just read any biography of Martin Luther King Jr. if you don’t believe me.
When Obama alludes to the evils of medieval Christianity, he fails to acknowledge the key word: “medieval.” What made medieval Christianity backward wasn’t Christianity but medievalism.
It is perverse that Obama feels compelled to lecture the West about not getting too judgmental on our “high horse” over radical Islam’s medieval barbarism in 2015 because of Christianity’s medieval barbarism in 1215.
It’s also insipidly hypocritical. President Obama can’t bring himself to call the Islamic State “Islamic,” but he’s happy to offer a sermon about Christianity’s alleged crimes at the beginning of the last millennium.
We are all descended from cavemen who broke the skulls of their enemies with rocks for fun or profit. But that hardly mitigates the crimes of a man who does the same thing today. I see no problem judging the behavior of the Islamic State and its apologists from the vantage point of the West’s high horse, because we’ve earned the right to sit in that saddle."
Choudary argued that what we’re witnessing is a “clash of two civilizations,” with al-Baghdadi leading on one side and Barack Obama leading on the other, leading Shapiro to ask about Obama’s portrayal of Islam:
Shapiro: President Obama has repeatedly attempted to what he has characterized as “defend” Islam, saying that ISIS is not Islamic. He has said that “the future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam” […] But the way he characterizes Islam is not the way you characterize Islam […] How many people do you represent versus how many people does President Obama represent when it comes to Islam? Are you in fact representative of a “tiny minority” within Islam or are you representative of something larger?
President Obama, Choudary said, is "lying" about Islam, along with other Western leaders. The Koran itself shows that “Barack Obama is a liar” about the religion’s true nature:
Choudary: Islam for them is whatever they think Islam is in terms of their own interests. Islam is in accordance to the Koran, of the sayings and actions of the Prophet. That’s it. […] I say to you, look at the Koran, look at the sayings of the Prophet, and check for yourself. Is Barack Obama a liar or am I lying? I think that you will find that he’s a liar. He’s only inventing Islam according to what his own foreign policy is.
Shapiro asked Choudary if he took offense to being called a “radical” by the Western media, to which he responded that in Scripture “every prophet of Islam was demonized,” adding that he simply teaches Sharia Law as it truly is."
IMMIGRATION REBUKE: Federal judge rules Obama’s actions unconstitutional
"Its report on enhanced-interrogation techniques amounts to intelligence birtherism."
By Tom Rogan via Senate Democrats Purge the Record | National Review Online.
"Senator Dianne Feinstein and the Democrats of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have released their summary report into the Bush-era CIA detention/interrogation program. While senior Democrats have little credibility on this issue — consider Nancy Pelosi, who has consistently misrepresented her CIA briefings — today they proudly claimed the mantle of honest objectivity.
The summary makes four key claims:
The CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” were not effective.
The CIA provided extensive inaccurate information about the operation of the program and its effectiveness to policymakers and the public.
The CIA’s management of the program was inadequate and deeply flawed.
The CIA program was far more brutal than it represented to policymakers and the American public.
The product of selective half-truths and deliberate deception, these claims are ludicrous, because the CIA’s enhanced-interrogation techniques (EITs) were manifestly successful.
Breaking key figures in al-Qaeda’s international network, the EITs afforded America a unique window into al-Qaeda’s network structure, operational methodology, and strategic intent, as any honest examination of the record will show.
While the report claims that the CIA acted far more aggressively than represented by its officials, the simple fact is that the EITs were not designed to be pleasant. Moreover, as former CIA deputy director Jose Rodriguez outlined last Friday, Democrats knew about and supported the EITs.
They were right to do so, for the program was designed to defeat al-Qaeda training manuals. Those manuals inculcated AQ officers with the belief that U.S. interrogators would attempt to trick and manipulate them but would not apply measured physical or psychological force. And by applying the EITs, CIA interrogators were able to wrest control over their subjects and gain crucial intelligence.
The Senate Intelligence Committee report also argues that CIA management failed to supervise the program and brief government officials. But this requires the suspension of reality. First, just last week, former president George W. Bush again insisted that he was kept fully informed by the CIA.
The committee’s claim is also weakened by its assumption that the CIA’s inherently bureaucratic nature was impossibly suspended. After all, were the report to reflect reality, it would mean that successive CIA leaders, mid-level management officials, and operations officers engaged in a collective multi-year conspiracy of lies, for absolutely no reason. Aware that Beltway politics are radioactive, CIA officials are obsessed with limiting their institution’s vulnerability to political blowback. And so, when it came to the EITs, officials would have known that the program’s inherently controversial nature induced major political liabilities. But that they nevertheless decided to continue the program even with those risks speaks to a basic, undeniable truth.
A large number of officials were convinced that the program was necessary and was generating irreplaceable results. And it was. Responding to the committee report, the CIA notes that EITs led to critical intelligence. Cross-referenced with other sources, the following CIA assertions, I am confident, are true. Read more via Senate Democrats Purge the Record | National Review Online.