An extremist is supposedly a member of fringe minority with far-out ideas. We naturally have a tendency to respect the majority opinion more than the opinion of a few outliers. In some cases though, this can be wrong, and I’ll try and show why, and what implications this has for coping with evil in the world.
Here is an extreme report:
“Radical members of the Muslim Brotherhood have started ‘crucifying opponents of newly installed President Mohammed Morsi,’ claimed unconfirmed media reports.
‘During a recent rampage, Muslim Brotherhood operatives crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others,’ reported WMD, quoting Middle East media.”
The Algemeiner backed up the claims and said that several news outlets including Arab News, Al Khabar News, Dostor Watany, and Egypt Now reported that people were being ‘crucified.’
Now we know that Moslem extremists have crucified Christians in Egypt in the past, before the Moslem Brotherhood came to power, so that gives some credibility to this report. (The Koran does advocate crucifixion – see “[5.33] The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or CRUCIFIED or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides…”.)
Now we could throw up our hands at this, but put it together with the fact that we, the United States, had a joint military exercise with Egypt, despite the fact that it is now dominated by the Moslem Brotherhood (Morsi is a graduate). Code-named “Eagle Arena 2012,” the exercise included air and naval forays by US and Egyptian planes and boats, over the country, Sinai, and the Red Sea.
This is what I’d call an extreme fact. Juxtapose in your mind crucified naked men in front of the presidential palace, and America’s soldiers rehearsing war side by side with Egyptian soldiers.
Why is there no revolution in the U.S. military against this cooperation? Why is there a collective yawn from the American public, most of whom probably can’t find Egypt on a map? (In a recent survey 50 percent of 18-to 24-year-old Americans couldn’t locate New York, the country’s third largest state.)
And this raises another point in favor of extremists. If the American public can’t place New York on a map, then can they vote intelligently on anything? Should we defer to the majority view, if the majority doesn’t know all that much beyond whats on the latest sitcom?
Here’s another extreme fact:
Russia’s assertive Akula deployment follows a June exercise of its strategic bombers and support aircraft in the Arctic, simulating strikes against Alaska. Then in July, a Russian Bear H strategic bomber most likely simulated strikes against California from the Gulf of Alaska.
This raises a question – could we be attacked some day by Russia? And if we were, would the media warn us about it in advance?
Here’s another extreme fact, from a U.S. Navy Admiral.
Iran already has established missile bases in Venezuela that can reach a number of American cities. In his best appeasement rhetoric, President Obama has stated that he does not think “what Hugo Chavez has done in the last several years has had a serious national security impact on us.” I doubt the American cities that are within range of those Iranian missiles would share that view, particularly if they understood the seriousness of our vulnerability.
OK, get this. Our popular, almost rock-star, president tells us not to worry about new Iranian missiles pointing at us from a “socialist” country in Latin America.
Its almost enough to make you an extremist.
Lets talk about the American “tea party”. This is a party that wants less spending, and less government. It has been called all sorts of names, for instance: Australian deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan said its members were “cranks and crazies” and a threat to our economy. Worse than that, on August 7, 2012, The Washington Times ran an editorial entitled, “The Civil War of 2016.” It begins, “Imagine Tea Party extremists seizing control of a South Carolina town and the Army being sent in to crush the rebellion. This farcical vision is now part of the discussion in professional military circles.” (for more details on this, see the link at the end).
I’ve attended a tea party rally, and the speakers (one of whom was Jewish, and one of whom was black) were rational. Tea party people might consider it extreme for our government to spend money on a (almost) trillion dollar “stimulus” bill which did not “stimulate” and then run up trillion dollar deficits every year. Maybe the “moderates” are the “extremists” and vice versa.
But lets forget about modern issues, which by nature are partisan and contentious and we don’t know how they will turn out.
There is a book about President Ronald Reagan’s campaign against communism, called Reagan’s War. It has some interesting facts that we did not know at the time. Reagan planned to deploy US cruise missiles in Europe, in response to the Soviet deployment of SS-20 missiles. Many Europeans were afraid of being the battleground of a war, and tens of thousands filled the streets of Germany to hang him in effigy and protest his policies.
Leading the protests in Bonn were Petra Kelly and her boyfriend, General Gert Bastain. Bastain, who had left the army in 1980, was a rugged, handsome, and articulate leader, and a cofounder of “Generals For Peace.” What nobody knew at the time was that Bastain was on the East German Stasi payroll. (East Germany was a communist Russian satellite at the time, and Stasi was its secret service).
Also organizing in the streets was KFAZ, the Committee for Peace, Disarmament, and Cooperation. It was headed by Martin Niemoller, a Protestant Clergyman who had been a critic of Germany in WWII and of the failure of ordinary Germans to stand up to fascism, it had moral authority. But it was receiving cash payments secretly from – guess who – the Stasi. Russia also funded dozens of peace groups. Some high politicians opposing the deployment were actually Stasi spies – for instance William Borm – chairman emeritus of the Free Democrats (FDP).
So why bring this up?
Because in the midst of these events, a person who dismissed all (or most) of these protests as controlled by Communist spies would have been thought of as a nut and an extremist. Probably the protests did include many sincere people worried about being in the middle of a battleground. nonetheless, the extremist would have been right.
Reagan, by the way, in his time was the target of people who wanted to kill him.
When he was governor of California, death threats were a daily occurrence. For instance, a few days after he made some remarks about communism in Cuba, he received a package with an undertaker’s needle and thread inside. “You’re going to need this,” the letter warned, and it was signed by “friends of Cuba.”
Several members of the San Francisco area group the “Emiliano Zapata Unit” worked with a Cuban intelligence officer named Andres Gomez, who had a special project for the group – to kill Ronald Reagan. (At least this is according to the testimony of a member of the group.)
North Korea also planned to kill Reagan.
As for extremism, Reagan said he agreed with Barry Goldwater’s declaration that “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice”.
Reagan’s War is also interesting when it describes his time opposing communists in Hollywood. These weren’t just leftist, they took marching orders from the CPUSA, which in turn took orders from Russia. Reagan recalled one encounter with some friends: “My smile was already forming and I had just started to greet them when one of the two thrust his face close to mine, his eyes burning with hatred. “Fascist!” he hissed, literally spitting the words at me.”
In this period Reagan would go to sleep with a pistol by his side. Sometimes his wife would find him up with his gun at two in the morning, because he had heard some noise.
One time on a movie set, he got a phone call, saying that if he continued to oppose a strike by the CSU, a squad would disfigure his face with acid. In fact they had thrown acid before at another opponent.
This is not to say that all Hollywood was a leftist preserve, but “all over town the industrious Communist tail wagged the lazy liberal dog,” declared director Philip Dunne. (actually Hollywood today may really be a leftist preserve, see Ben Shapiro’s book in the links list below).
So if you are someone who runs with the herd, maybe it is time to take an extreme sharp turn. I’m not saying that all “extremists” are correct, just some are, some of the time. In some cases they see and understand evil motives better than most.
“Russia’s shot across the bow” by Admiral James A. Lyons (the quotes on Russia and Venezuela come from here) James A. Lyons was Commander 2nd Fleet, Atlantic, Commander Striking Fleet Atlantic (NATO), and commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet,
Reagan’s War – by Peter Schweizer.
http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/home/archives/5109 – on military contingency planning vs “tea party”
(book) Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV – Ben Shapiro