Ben Stein and the Middle East
Ben Stein, economist, actor, writer and philosopher, is one of my favorite people, who, without malice, calls it as he sees it.
Ben Stein's Diary
By Ben Stein on 9.14.12 American Spectator
There is that feeling in the air.
I awakened to a text from a close friend who is a devout Christian and who was so angry at the elite media that she could not sleep. "I am so frikkin' sick of the media telling us that Islam is a 'religion of peace,'" she said. "Look, people make fun of Jesus all of the time and I mean ALL of the time and we don't kill them or harm them. But do anything at all that offends any Muslim and they start killing Christians and Jews -- and then Obama apologizes for it. How long can this go on? The times of Tribulation are at hand."
I got up, walked out on the deck and looked out at the perfect fall day over Lake Pendoreille. An absolutely perfect Fall day, blue skies, light breeze, just a slight chill in the air.
At breakfast, my wife suddenly said, "And then I beheld a red horse ridden by a man with a great sword...."
"What is that?" I asked her.
"It's Revelation," she said.
"I know, but where does that come from?"
"I just feel as if something big is about to happen," she said. Something feels like we're about to live in a totally changed world. It feels like end times. Why are we apologizing to the Muslims? They're killing and expelling their Christians and we don't say a word. End times. "
I nodded. There is that feeling in the air.
I got another text from my very devout Christian friend. "Don't tell me Obama isn't a Muslim," she said. "I don't care what he calls himself, he's a Muslim. That's why he's always apologizing to the Muslims."
I think she's bit off the mark here. If Obama says he's a Christian, he's a Christian.
I slept for a long time while listening to Mozart and the trains. Then I went to the mail box and got the latest news from the Obama/Biden campaign -- oops, meant to say, "The New York Times." Naturally, it was filled with rage against Mitt Romney There was very little vitriol against the killers in Libya, but plenty against Gov. Romney.
I sure hope that the people at the Romney campaign don't read The NY Times. It is just endless propaganda against Republicans. Nonstop. We Republicans should campaign on our own issues. Mr. Obama's idiot foreign policy is such an issue.
I went off to do my errands in Sandpoint. A visit to a super pleasant post office. A helpful clerk was patient with my terrible handwriting. Then a visit to the Alpine Shop to see my pal, Tim Farmin, who looked happy but told me my boat needed a new battery. Then, a visit to Ivano's to pick up some grub for tonight.
At Ivano's, I talked to a man who seethed with rage against Mr. Obama. He simply could not believe that Mr. Obama would make time to be among his Hollywood big shots but not make time to see Benjamin Netanyahu. "These are getting to be Biblical days," he said. "The final days."
A trip to the art framer, then to the drug store, then to the Safeway to buy a cake. The woman in the bakery told me that the days of tribulation and the dictatorship were upon us. She is looking to move to the mountains "to find refuge..."
"Be careful," I said. "That's what Vicki Weaver was looking for and it didn't work so well. Our refuge is in The Lord."
(I am up on Vicki Weaver because I am reading an astonishingly good book about the federal killings at Ruby Ridge called Ruby Ridge by a writer of unique talent by the name of Jess Walter. It is terrifying.)
Back to Ivano's to pick up my grub. Then back home to read the latest about the murder of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three of his staff.
Apparently word had been out for months that the most extreme of the anti-Qaddafi rebels were working with al Qaeda for 9/11. The State Department and the Defense Department had done nothing meaningful to protect the Ambassador. When the killers attacked the U.S. compound, they were heavily armed with anti-aircraft automatic cannon (a very deadly weapon) and RPG's. They were a recognizably violent group connected with al Qaeda.
It's amazing that Qaddafi kept saying that the people fighting against him were al Qaeda and we kept helping them -- and sure enough, they turned out to be al Qaeda. And Qaddafi, who had become our friend -- although a cruel and vile man -- was killed by the rebels so now Libya is in large measure in the hands of al Qaeda.
Same with Egypt. Mubarak was no one's idea of a great guy, but he was our pal. He kept the peace with Israel. He suppressed the terrorists. So, naturally, we stabbed him in the back. Now, we have worked to create an "Arab Spring" that has given us a fantastically more anti-American, anti-Israel, pro-al Qaeda Middle East.
But incredibly, Mr. Obama considers this an achievement. An achievement? To help al Qaeda and its pals, the Muslim Brotherhood, take power in the most populous Arab state? To help al Qaeda take over in oil rich Libya? What are they talking about?
I hope Mr. Romney will not let himself get pushed around by the Obama smear machine. I see that at a rally today in Virginia, his speech was derailed by a lone Obama heckler asking, "Why are you politicizing Libya?" That apparently rattled Gov. Romney badly.
The answer, should it come up again, is, "Because this is a democracy. We debate big points of foreign and domestic policy, especially during election campaigns. The failure of the administration to stand up to Muslim thugs is a big issue. Apologizing to terrorists is a big issue. The failure to protect our diplomats is a big issue. The failure to stand up for free speech is a huge issue. We are supposed to debate those things. If you don't like that, move back to Iran or wherever you came from."
Meanwhile, time for Mr. Romney to go back to attack mode. Why did the State Department not protect our Ambassador in Benghazi? Why isn't Mrs. Clinton resigning over this? Why isn't Secretary of Defense Panetta apologizing and resigning? There was a colossal failure here. The President is accountable. Why isn't he taking some responsibility here?
The Obama smear machine is making much of the supposed time line of this week. That supposedly the worst attacks came after Mr. Romney criticized The State Department for apologizing to the Muslims for an anti-Muslim film. But of course, they are missing the point totally and on purpose.
Why should we have been apologizing as a nation to Muslims for one person making a cartoon? We didn't apologize to the Russians when people in the USA made anti-Communist remarks. We didn't apologize to Hitler when people in America made anti-Nazi remarks. Why do the Muslims get this special apology treatment? What's up with that? We respect all religions, but we are not going to apologize to anyone as a people for what one guy does in his garage.
What is with Mr. Obama's special deference to the terrorists? I am well aware that he's done a darned fine job using drones to kill them and God bless him for it. But then why apologize to groups of people we feel are so terrible that we kill some of them without a trial or a declaration of war?
Let's get it straight, once again: We live by the first amendment and the Constitution. Our people have freedom of speech. Even the nutty ones. We do not apologize for our Constitution.
Well, enough of that. It is time for a quiet dinner listening to the lake and the trains. For now, it is paradise. The time of tribulation has not yet come for us all, and God bless that brave Ambassador, Christopher Stevens, who was murdered and had his body dragged through the streets by people we put in power. God help us when Judgment Day comes.