On October 19, 2006, ex-Army Ranger Kevin Tillman wrote a bizarre, rambling op-ed piece for the “progressive” web-site truthdig.com in which he accused the Bush Administration of, among other things, engaging in an illegal war, tolerating torture, subverting the Constitution, and suspending Habeas Corpus. As is typical of the raving goofballs on the America-hating left, none of these charges were supported by a shred of evidence; nor do any of them stand up under even cursory scrutiny.
Tillman, the brother of Pat Tillman, the ex-NFL great who was killed in a tragic “friendly-fire” incident in Afghanistan in 2004 while deployed there with the U.S. Army Rangers, is obviously and understandably bitter about the loss of his brother and especially angry about the manner in which the incident was subsequently bungled (ostensibly for public relations reasons) by the U.S. military. My purpose here is not to defend the Pentagon’s actions vis-à-vis the handling of that incident, or to dishonor his brother’s noble sacrifice, but rather to refute the scurrilous charges for which Kevin Tillman has taken it upon himself to indict the Bush Administration, the U.S military and law-enforcement communities.
In his piece Tillman blasts the war in Iraq as illegal, but in reality it was anything but:
• By the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the regime of Saddam Hussein was in direct and verifiable violation of no less than 16 U.N. Resolutions, including 1441 which warned of “serious consequences” for continued defiance of international law;
• The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton states, “It should be the policy of the U.S. to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;”
• Joint Resolution 114, which passed both houses of the U.S. Congress and was signed by President Bush, reads: “The President is authorized to use the U.S. armed forces as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq;”
• On February 28 1991, the ceasefire which halted the coalition’s offensive hostilities during Operation Desert storm took effect. A ceasefire, it is important to stress, is a temporary stoppage of a war, pursuant to the adherence by both sides to the terms agreed upon therein. Legally speaking then, the 1991 Iraq war never ended and the 2003 campaign was, in part, a response to the Iraqi regime’s repeated violations of the ceasefire agreement. These violations included Iraq’s shooting at U.S. jets patrolling the no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq.
Tillman asserts that “our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them [sic].” One would think he was describing the terrorists who kidnapped and beheaded Daniel Pearl or Nick Berg, but rather, he referred to the pseudo-scandals created by the leftist allies of international terrorists at the New York Times such as the C.I.A. prisons, Abu-Graib, and Guantanamo Bay.
The very idea that terrorists captured on foreign battlefields during war time and held on foreign soil are subject to the habeas corpus protections of the U.S. Constitution are as dangerous to our national security as they are absurd legally: By virtue of the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. Constitution (Article II), and all relevant Supreme Court decisions on the subject, The President, as Commander in Chief, has the authority to detain “unlawful enemy combatants” without arraignment, indictment, or trial for the duration of armed hostilities for the purpose of intelligence gathering and to keep said combatants off the battlefield. Moreover, every war-time President in U.S. history has exercised this right. This is not an attack on the Bill of Rights or an illegal innovation by the Bush Administration.
And the odious slander about the U.S engaging in torture is not only patently false, but is also a propaganda boost for our enemies. Apparently, Mr. Tillman could not focus his anger at those Islamic barbarians sawing off the heads of bound captives, torturing to death captured U.S. soldiers, or flying planes into buildings in the United States; rather, he reserved his indignation for the juvenile pranksters who placed women’s panties on the head of a captured terrorist; he not only calls this type of behavior torture but then blames the President for it to boot!
In a vulgar display of bitterness and cynicism, Tillman also criticizes the practice of “having a five-year-old kindergartner scribble a picture with a crayon and send it overseas . . .,” wondering why a “soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old.” Perhaps he would prefer we parents bring our toddlers to the airport to spit on soldiers returning from battle overseas rather than teaching them to honor and support them in their brave endeavor.
I, like all Americans of good will, am truly sorry for the loss suffered by the Tillman family and grateful for the service they have provided to our country; however, by exploiting his brother’s death, much like Cindy Sheehan, and attacking, for political purposes, the very men and women whose policies have kept the terrorist menace from our shores for five long years, Kevin Tillman has chosen to undermine those very policies, thus endangering all of our lives. In this, he must not go unchallenged. And lest anyone should feel Mr. Tillman is above criticism for his subversive and borderline treasonous attack on the President and our brave men and women serving nobly overseas because he himself wore the uniform, I’ll remind you that Benedict Arnold was a hero in the Continental Army before he betrayed his country by siding with the enemy. The truth is, by implementing the policies advocated by the likes of Kevin Tillman, the President would be not only unnecessarily endangering our troops on foreign battlefields but would also be exponentially increasing the risk of another catastrophic attack on the U.S. homeland by Islamic terrorists.
Dear Mr. President:
You’ve finally done it. You have finally succeeded in driving away one of your
staunchest supporters (and defenders) after six plus years of loyalty. I supported you, Mr.
President, in spite of repeated betrayals of what I thought were our shared values because
I felt you were the best man to secure and defend our homeland; but I am afraid that has
now changed. In fact, just this morning, after reading the transcript of your speech on
immigration, I went out to my driveway and removed the Bush-Cheney 2004 bumper
stickers from my car. They are now an embarrassment to my wife and me.
Your refusal to defend and protect our borders from invasion is a direct violation of your
oath of office and is, in my opinion, tantamount to treason. Your betrayal of your
countrymen in favor of foreign nationals and their corrupt and hostile government is not
an act which I, as an American citizen and loyal Republican, am prepared to overlook.
Your collusion with the corrupt Mexican government against your fellow citizens in the
Minutemen Project; your refusal to acknowledge or address the armed attacks on law
enforcement officers by Mexican troops and drug gangs; and your apparent lack of
concern for our border communities that are being over-run are a disgrace and a
dereliction. Your woefully inadequate plan to stop a few lawbreakers at the border, while
rewarding those who elude interdiction with a path to citizenship is as ludicrous and
incoherent an immigration policy as it is insulting to my intelligence; so much for the
Your patronizing declaration that illegal immigrants fill jobs here that Americans will not
is quite simply wrong: they only depress wages and take jobs from the most vulnerable
American workers. Not only does this condescending attitude force countless Americans
into unemployment, it also condemns the illegal workers you apparently prefer to a de-
facto second-class citizen status similar to that which they suffered in Mexico. These
illegal aliens put a drain on our social safety-net (which you saw fit to expand), and on
our schools and hospitals which are overwhelmed and in some cases closing their doors.
And to add insult to injury, the simple middle-class, taxpaying working stiffs who play by
the rules are forced to foot the bill even while we struggle to support our own families.
Mr. President, in a previous and less cynical age, one of your predecessors, Woodrow
Wilson, in response to similar provocations from Mexico, sent the United States’ Army
under General Pershing to secure our border and protect our citizens; your response,
nothing short of surrender, is a betrayal to his legacy of patriotism; and to your own.
If, Mr. President, the plan you and the elitists of both parties in the U.S. Senate support
becomes law, I will do something I have not done since becoming eligible to vote: I will
stay home on Election Day and watch the G.O.P. lose control of Congress. This, I hope
will encourage my Party to re-evaluate its priorities and find a new standard-bearer who
will put his country before his friends in Corporate America: A man like Ronald Reagan.
It is a curious quirk of human intellectual history that what first look like new and innovative ideas are oftentimes merely the resurrections of long discredited dogma. When novelist Dan Brown first published his bestseller, The Da Vinci Code, for example he was feted by Church-bashing secularist elites as a modern-day prophet; an agnostic David heroically felling the Goliath Church with the sling of his keyboard and the stone of his wit. In truth Brown’s attack on the historical Jesus and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church He founded were mere fictional retellings of the Arian and Nestorian heresies of old. Truly, as David’s son Solomon wrote, “…there is nothing new under the sun.” And this reference brings us round to the focus of this essay: the New Pagans, the intellectual and theological descendants of their forebears, the idolatrous worshipers of Earth, sea, and Sun.
Like their predecessors, these pagans worship not the Creator, but rather a pantheon of gods comprised of the created universe itself. Their enemies are not the Powers and Principalities about whom the Apostle Paul warns us, but rather mankind itself, those very beings – created in the image and likeness of God – for whom the material universe was called into being by the Word of God in the first place. For them Original Sin is not Adam and Eve’s transgression in the Garden, but rather human flourishing brought about by industry and technological progress. They believe not in the goodness of God’s original command to mankind “to be fruitful and increase in number; fill the Earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Their holy writ is not the Inspired Scriptures of the Christian Canon, but the writings of would-be tyrants such as Karl Marx, materialists such as Charles Darwin, environmentalists such as Rachel Carson, eugenicist’s such as Margaret Sanger, and whose principal prophet was Thomas Malthus – the British economist whose ideas on the negative impact of human population growth on the natural environment have been twisted into a rationale for the genocide of forced abortions and sterilizations by the likes of anti-humanists such as Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren. Lastly, their liturgy is scientism, that insidious variant of political philosophy which uses a seeming veneer of science to at once disguise and legitimize its underlying fascism, because as the Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said of the Soviet Union “The only great influence from the outside world the Soviets allow in is science; that’s because they can turn science back against the world.” This politicized pseudo-science is used by the New Pagans as a weapon to control and dominate others while enriching themselves.
Like all pagan cults, there is a priesthood of sorts which benefits from the rules it imposes on others while hypocritically ignoring those same dictates. For example, the pontifex maximus of the New Pagans, former American Vice President Al Gore has made a fortune measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars since leaving office by spreading and capitalizing on the myth of man-made global warming, urging others to reduce their “carbon footprint” while owning several massive, energy-guzzling mansions and flying all over the world on private jets in his attempt to force-feed his snake oil on the rest of us. He is supported on this crusade by fellow elites in the business community who’ve made even larger fortunes selling expensive and unwanted energy alternatives such as windmills and solar panels.
The magisterium of the New Pagans is the United Nation’s IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Through the IPCC and parallel efforts by its individual member states, the UN pushes this same myth through its studies and mandates in order to destroy global capitalism. As Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change said with respect to the UN’s climate change regulations, “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.” The global warming hypothesis is not now, nor was it ever about the environment; it’s about economics and politics.
In an ironic twist, however, the laity of this church of the New Pagans, the well-meaning, tree-hugging, nature worshiping devotees of the global warming myth misses the forest for the trees; in their zeal to save Mother Earth they accept on faith both the misdiagnosis of her problem and the wrong-headed prescription proposed to cure it – a reduction in carbon emissions to reduce global temperatures – a cure very much worse than the imaginary disease.
Their priesthood warns of a man-made environmental catastrophe resulting from industry’s emission of carbon dioxide, which the New Pagans have labeled a pollutant and green house gas, accusing it of causing the scourge of global warming. However, the food-chain on which all life on Earth depends requires the process of photosynthesis whereby carbon dioxide is consumed by plants by the light of the sun and as a byproduct produces the oxygen necessary to sustain all life.
Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant; it is a necessary and naturally occurring chemical compound without which life on Earth would be impossible. And the loss of industry and economic growth which would result from the reduction of “greenhouse gasses” would be devastating to all but the richest people on Earth – who not coincidentally happen to be the same self-serving elites pushing the global warming myth in the first place.
Let us assume for a moment the Earth really is warming due to the atmospheric carbon dioxide driven greenhouse effect the New Pagans describe. Would a theoretically warming planet be a catastrophe or a blessing? The truth of the matter is that a warming planet would be a great benefit to the Earth and all her biological inhabitants.
Throughout the history of civilization the greatest periods of human flourishing have coincided with what have been identified as warm periods in the geological record (the Renaissance, for example;) conversely the darkest and deadliest eras in history have occurred during periods of lower global temperatures (times of famine and plague.) This is because warmer climates are better suited for cultivated agriculture and natural plant growth – a fact to which anyone who has compared the topography of the Earths equator to its poles can attest. The worst-case scenario of global warming is that in the long-run coastal communities may have to move further inland or construct dikes to keep the sea at bay – a reasonable proposition considering modern engineering technologies. Conversely, a worst-case scenario involving falling global temperatures would include starvation and disease on a cataclysmic scale.
But is the Earth really burning up with fever? The simple fact is that the average temperature today is less than it was two decades ago despite all the predictions to the contrary made by the hand-wringing New Pagans. And the Antarctic ice caps have more ice by volume than ever before. So, unfortunately no, the Earth is not warming at all.
What impact does man have on the climate in any event? Very little; the Earth’s climate is determined largely the sun – its proximity and angle relative to the Earth (the driving force behind the changing seasons), and the intensity of the activity of the sun are what determine the climate on this planet as well as every other body in the solar system. In periods or cycles of increasing solar activity the planet warms; as solar activity decreases, the planet cools. This is a perfectly natural occurrence and has been happening throughout geological history.
We are often told that there is a near universal scientific consensus in support of the reality of man-caused or anthropogenic global warming (AGW). The fact remains there are thousands of brave credentialed scientists who have very publicly announced their opposition to this absurd hypothesis at great risk to their own reputations and prospects for future employment. One of these is Dr. Patrick Moore, founder of the environmental activist group Greenpeace. But, why is it so risky to oppose the AGW hypothesis publicly? Because most researchers working in fields related to the environmental sciences are affiliated in some way with the universities which are deeply dependent upon research grants from the same self-serving governments and NGO’s pushing the climate change scare in the first place. These grants are conditional and given only to those groups whose findings confirm or support the AGW hypothesis. Skeptics need not apply.
And what of those scientists who’ve sold their integrity to the highest grant-endowing bidder? How do they manage to predict the earth’s climate years and even centuries into the future? Even Nostradamus was never such a bold teller of misfortune. How are these Chicken Little, scare-mongering predictions of run-away, man-caused global warming resulting in melting ice caps and biblical deluges inundating helpless coastal communities and drowning hapless polar bears made, anyway? By creating computer programs and algorithms (no pun intended, Al Gore) that are very easily manipulated to produce the already predetermined outcome and which in no way conform to the true scientific method. That’s right, they write the program and choose the data to input and, voila! The sky is falling! They then seek to use these dire predictions of impending doom to legislate us all into poverty while they grow fat and rich.
The New Pagans have created a cult that preaches a gospel not of eternal salvation, but of temporal conservation; theirs is not an Apocalypse of hope as is the last book in the New Testament; rather it is a mythical dystopian future they cynically use to dominate, impoverish, and enslave. They seek to enforce compulsive misery on the people to atone for their supposed environmental sins, rather than preach the Gospel of voluntary and redemptive suffering a Christian trustingly endures and joins to the most Holy Cross of our Savior.
When the Almighty gave man dominion over the earth, He also gave us the responsibility to be faithful stewards of creation. But caring for the environment must not come at the cost of human misery, nor should it benefit a small cadre of elitists who cynically utilize our commendable concern for the welfare of our planet to dominate and impoverish us.
Before Christianity was brought to the Western Hemisphere by the Spaniards, the pagan Aztecs made blood sacrifices of innocent human beings to appease their angry and capricious gods. Untold thousands were slaughtered. The One True God put a stop to this barbarity through the agent of the Conquistadors. The New Pagans are more subtle, but no less deadly. They would have us stretch out not on a literal altar of death, but on one of poverty and subjection. The time has come to declare our independence from the cult of the New Pagans.
Grieving and Grievance:
New York’s Finest honor one of their fallen brothers while showing their disdain for the Marxist mayor whose words and actions encouraged his killer.
Rest In Peace Detectives Ramos and Liu.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Source: The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (1989)
According to Catholic News Agency, Sean Cardinal O’Malley, along with a group of liberal activist Catholic Bishops, recently celebrated Mass at the U.S./Mexican border in support of American immigration amnesty legislation in which the Holy sacrifice of the Mass, along with the Sacred Species, the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ was passed through the border fence in a near blasphemous use of the Holy Eucharist for political purposes.
While I cannot verify this, I doubt very much whether the Mexican Bishops ever held a similar political Mass on their southern border with Guatemala where Mexico’s own barbaric and immoral immigration laws and corrupt officials, as a matter of course, routinely abuse, rob, and sexually assault Central and South American immigrants trying desperately to traverse Mexico to emigrate to the United States. In contrast, relatively liberal U.S. immigration policy coddles and protects illegal immigrants to the detriment of legal immigrants and American citizens alike.
Moreover I can find no instance of Cardinal O’Malley offering Mass in front of a Planned Parenthood abortion mill wherein the objectively evil act of child murder is performed on a daily basis. No, instead of restricting his distasteful use of the Mass to advance his political agenda to a forum in which the activity he is protesting is actually objectively and gravely evil, he irreverently (to be charitable) uses the Mass to advance his own leftist agenda on a matter that is a mere question of prudential judgment by the faithful. That is, a Catholic may not in good conscience support or condone abortion; it is simply not allowed. Procured abortion is always considered a grave moral evil which cries out to Heaven for justice and must be opposed by all Catholics. A nation’s immigration policy is, on the other hand, a matter of prudential judgment; that is, it is an issue that faithful Catholics may have any good-faith opinion about and stay in good standing with the Church.
While self-righteously lamenting the lives lost by the poor souls who attempt the very risky desert border crossing, never does the Cardinal mention the fact that it is the very vocal public support by liberal politicians and clergy for immigration amnesty legislation in the U.S. that causes so many immigrants to risk their lives in the hope of evading interdiction and earning a place in the next round of amnesty. I would argue that it is amnesty supporters who have caused the loss of life among these desperate people, not its opponents. Moreover, while it is of course appropriate for the Cardinal to lament the loss of life along the border, he fails to mention the thousands of people who become the victims of violent crime, ranging from robbery, sexual assault, and murder to vehicular homicide by drunk drivers committed by illegal aliens in America.
Perhaps the Cardinal and all American clergy should stick to questions of faith and morals and stay away from matters of economics and politics; because in their ignorance they embarrass themselves and along with them all faithful Catholics who disagree with their leftist drivel.