Thursday, August 10, 2006

Daily Star Trek Quote Challenge, 8/10/2006

- I agree. We're at war.

- There's been no formal declaration of war.

- Not from our side, but certainly from theirs. They've attacked us in every encounter we've had.

- They have declared war on our way of life. We are to be assimilated.

- Even in war, there are rules. You don't kill civilians indiscriminately.

- There are no civilians among the Borg.


I've been meaning to do this one for a couple of days now. Today made it a must.

There was great irony in the protest that "You don't kill civilians indiscriminately." The Borg themselves didn't care about killing indiscriminately. Also, just as there are no civilians among the Borg, the Borg do not see any civilians in the races they attack -- much like the jihadists' belief that there are no civilians among us Westerners.

Was this latest thwarted plot really no more than a small group of hooligans? Larry Kudlow says no, and I always shared the sentiment that this is a clash of cultures: one culture that loves freedom, and one culture that seeks religious tyranny for all. We are fighting extremists like Osama, Zawahiri and Zarqawi. Zarqawi's January 2006 audiotape proved that it's not "interference" in the Middle East that riled up jihadists, but jihadists' desire that Islam dominate the world. Worse, we are fighting so-called "mainstream" groups who share the same goal.

A little later in that Trek episode was another appropriate line: "It comes down to this: we are faced with an enemy that is determined to destroy us, and with whom we have no hope of negotiating peace. Unless that changes, we are justified in doing anything we can to survive." Yet the United States continues to refrain from using its full might: our military actions are planned so carefully to minimize civilian casualties, meaning our people sometimes die because we didn't automatically assume everyone's a terrorist.

On the flip side, it's easy to tell who the bad guys are. They're the ones who don't give a damn about civilians and in fact primarily target civilians. Contrary to what that putz Bill Maher claims, the bad guys are the ones flying airplanes into buildings so they can kill civilians. The bad guys are those who, just to kill a couple of good guys, blow themselves up in the middle of dozens of children (whose only crime is receiving candy). U.S. military personnel have killed civilians, but by accident or aberration. When the jihadists kill civilians, it's standard procedure.

My European history teacher in high school described World War II as the one war where the lines between good and evil were clearly delineated. But what is "evil"? The Declaration of Independence has a specific list of George III's abuses, which may not be on the level of sending six million innocent people to gas chambers, but George III was a tyrant, and all tyranny is evil. It must be. It's certainly not good, and there's no gray area here. One man held such power, such sway over politicians and military personnel and mercenaries, that he could subjugate colonies a few thousand miles away.

Our friend Billy Beck pushes the Cold War's start date back to the late 18th century, indicating a very protracted, mostly non-combative conflict between those who love freedom and those who worship the state. I personally wouldn't use "Cold War" to describe it, not because it isn't accurate, but because most people wouldn't understand that we've been fighting the dark forces for a long, long time.

I believe that if World War II had the clearest lines between the good guys and bad guys, we are witnessing the same today. This war is nearly 1400 years old, with such bitterness ripened over the last 500 years that there's still talk of retaking southern Spain. And if you ever had any doubt as to exactly what they want, look in the upper right corner:



That picture was taken this last July 18th, right outside the Israeli consulate in New York City. What hypocrisy that they will take advantage of a freedom that they deny to others when they can!

"We seek peaceful coexistence"? No, more like:

- Your culture will adapt to service ours.

- Impossible. My culture is based on freedom and self-determination.

- Freedom is irrelevant. Self-determination is irrelevant. You must comply.

- We would rather die.

- Death is irrelevant.

2 Comments:

Blogger blogantine said...

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Episode #223 - "I, Borg"

RIKER: I agree. We're at war.

BEVERLY: There's been no formal declaration of war.

TROI: Not from our side, but certainly from theirs. They've attacked us in every encounter we've had.

PICARD: They have declared war on our way of life. We are to be assimilated.

BEVERLY: Even in war, there are rules. You don't kill civilians indiscriminately.

RIKER: There are no civilians among the Borg.

--

I couldn't agree with you more. And this whole "war has rules" is a crock. Sure, if both sides recognize the rules it could work. You don't accommodate cancer, you kill it, you cut it out, you poison it, you nuke it - whatever it takes to stop it from killing you.

Friday, August 11, 2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

How many of our civilians must die before we realize that this enemy doesn't give a damn about "rules"?

Thank God for our technological advantage, because otherwise we wouldn't have what it takes to win. We're too scared of offending people, a lot of whom sympathize with those whose only goal in life is to "offend" us by terrorism.

Monday, August 14, 2006 12:20:00 AM  

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