Live by the Sword and Die by the Drone

February 10, 2013 19:33

Uncle Sam did not raise the sword. Uncle Mohammed did, more years ago than anyone can count, and the sword has never been lowered since. As long as Mohammed is at the gates, Sam cannot put down the sword and spend all his time discussing monetary theory or social justice. Not if he expects to still be wearing his head by morning.


by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish


Ronald Ernest Paul, the nation’s last best hope for internet gambling and the gold standard, responded to the murder of a Navy SEAL by saying, “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.” But the question is whose sword is it?

To the anti-war movement, all conflicts between the free world and the world of slaves are reduced to a pithy formula of moral equivalence. America lifted the sword and has gone on swinging it. It never puts the sword down and therefore it dies by it. Chris Kyle becomes a metaphor for the great beast of war, unleashed by the Rockefellers, the CIA, the Trilateral Commission, the Federal Reserve and every other gang of miscreants, that goes around swinging the sword until it destroys itself.

The far left and the far right agree on few things, but they both agree that America’s wounds in the War on Terror are self-inflicted. America creates terrorism through its foreign policy and fights terrorism thereby perpetuating terrorism. Islamic terrorism is just a figment of our foreign policy. Put down the sword, is the implication, and the fighting can stop. Keep fighting back and eventually more planes will fly into your skyscrapers as blowback for all the fighting back that you did before.

Moral equivalence would have it that all swords are created equal, much as gun control advocates insist that a rifle in the hands of a hunter is no different than a rifle in the hands of a serial killer. A gun is a gun and a sword is a sword. If you own one, you’re likely to use it. And if you use it, then you are utterly evil, regardless of the reason you use it and the purpose that you use it for.

But not all swords are created equal and neither are all wars. There are swords of conquest and swords of peace. Swords of war and swords of last resort. To the left, the size of the sword is all that matter. The party with the larger sword is always the bully and the party with the smaller sword is always the victim. A police officer who carries a bigger gun than a mugger is more culpable in any confrontation between the two because disproportionate firepower carries with it disproportionate responsibility and disproportionate guilt. The sole exception to this broad moral standard is when a government of the left is the one wielding the bigger guns.

Whose sword was it then? In the school of thought embraced by such students of history as Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky, Ron Paul and the rest of the gang, the sword is the massive steel blade of empire that is borne by the strongest power. Like white privilege, it is one of those things that exists and acts even when the wielder is unaware of it. Like a car left parked outside for a month, its foreign policy continues accumulating terrorist tickets even when it isn’t aware of it. And the terrorist tickets are eventually cashed in for a terrorist attack, which it richly deserves because though it may seem as if it came out of the blue, it’s actually blowback for the crime of having the bigger sword.

Followers of this school of thought style themselves realists. Their sword of empire realism however fails to encompass the history and ambitions of over a billion people, their theology, their dreams and their internal conflicts. To the realists, over a thousand years of Islamic history hardly carries any weight compared to the doings of ARAMCO and the CIA. There is a certain unrealism to such realism. The realist may be a cynic, but if he, like the World War II Trotskyist labor unions in the UK who told their members that the American soldiers weren’t coming to fight Hitler but to break up labor strikes, follows a realism mired in petty cynicism that cannot see past last week, then his realism is really ignorant cynicism masquerading as history.

History does not begin with Standard Oil or the Crusades. A view of history as ethnocentrist as that might have been forgivable for a manifest destiny conservative, but is a rather surreal offering from self-proclaimed realists who want us to consider the views of the other side, but refuse to consider the history and the past of the other side.

The revisionist history of the realists blames America by beginning with America. America is the axis around which the world revolves. There was no Islam before America and if America sinks into the ocean, the realists must assume that Islamic terrorism will go with it, unless the Zionist Entity sticks around and continues infuriating the otherwise peaceful peoples of the Middle East whose brief history of violence only commenced in 1948 or 1917.

But what if the sword is not the red, white and blue rhinestone spangled sword of Americanism, the steel-forged blade of manifest destiny, with a bald eagle on the hilt and the blood of the oppressed gushing like oil from its blade? What if history does not begin with America and what if the sword that is held above the wall is not America’s sword to put down?

Anti-war activists, like anti-gun activists, cannot spend too much time contemplating the other side. The anti-war position automatically picks the other side and because of the innate whiff of treason in such a choice, it must justify that treason by utterly damning and demonizing its own side. It cannot afford nuance at home, though it often calls for it abroad, because to concede complexity is to endanger its own moral standing. The only thing standing between the anti-war movement and  treason is its ceaseless effort to demonize its own government, soldiers and people as monsters. If it lowers that sword of invective for a moment and accepts that they are less than monsters, then its moral standing falls apart.

The anti-war movement can only maintain its moral standing through extremism and hate. Its activism is an eternal war fought against an endless war whose existence justifies their existence.

Each war, whether it is against Communism or Islamism, tribal warlords or world powers, reaffirms their thesis that their country is a bloody monster, an empire of skulls ruled over by warlords who live by the sword and then die by it. Pearl Harbor, the sinking of the Lusitania and the Maine, September 11 and the Pueblo Incident all blend together into one false flag operation; a single continuous historical event with a single explanation. And the explanation is the Great American Sword that sets up bases to extract oil, drugs and arms deals along with all the other trappings of empire. It is the answer that answers everything. Even the question of why the wars don’t stop.

And what of the sword of Islam, its hilt inlaid with emeralds, its blade clotted with infidel blood, which was sweeping across the world a thousand years before some Virginia farmers got together to discuss theories of government? What was it that made that sword rise and fall, before the oil companies and the Israeli lobby, before arms dealers and neo-conservatives, and all the other crutches on which the realists hobble their lame revisionist history?

Is Islamism a toy monster, a jack-in-the-box that pops out when you turn the handle of imperialism long and hard enough, or is it a self-animating empire of its own? Are its emirates a CIA plot or the work of aspiring sultans and caliphs looking to claim their share of the wealth and women that the followers of Islam have always deemed to be their fair share for fighting Allah’s wars for him? Is Islamic terrorism a phenomenon that exists only as a response to American foreign policy, or is it the work of men animated by a fervent vision of history and a love of power? Whatever the realists may say, human nature says otherwise.

If the realists are forced to take Islamism seriously, rather than as a childish response to the Gulf War, Israeli housing or French cartoons, then they will have to measure the Sword of Allah against the Colt of Uncle Sam, not just in terms of firepower, but in moral standing. It will not be enough to say that America is responsible because it fires the first shot and swings the biggest sword. It will not be enough to tear down their own country because it has the biggest guns. Not if the hate and violence of the other party predated the existence of the guns and the gunpowder and dates back to the time when the Servants of Allah made their swords by quenching them in the bodies of their slaves.

Right now it isn’t so much a matter of live by the sword, die by the sword, as it is a case of live by the sword, die by the drone. While the sword-wielders close in for close combat, hoping to swarm all that superior firepower with sheer numbers, the wielders of the Colt and the drone practice a more distant form of killing, whether it is the sniper art of Chris Kyle or the truly distant kill of the drone.

When you are standing beneath the wall trying to get up into the castle, then you send out your cannon fodder up the wall angling for a foothold. But when you are holding the wall, then you do your killing from a distance, sparing the lives of your scarce men and keeping the barbarians from reaching inside your gate. That is the war of sword and colt or of sword and drone. It’s a bloody and messy war, but opting out of it is not an option.

Uncle Sam did not raise the sword. Uncle Mohammed did, more years ago than anyone can count, and the sword has never been lowered since. As long as Mohammed is at the gates, Sam cannot put down the sword and spend all his time discussing monetary theory or social justice. Not if he expects to still be wearing his head by morning.

A war is not a dance, though there is some circling and some tricky steps, it is not a mutual agreement, but a historical collision. It does not take two to wield a sword. It does however take two to achieve a stalemate. It is this stalemate, a war that falls short of war, whether it is a Cold War or a War on Terror, that the anti-war movement hates and needs. It is this indefinite endless war that animates its thesis and sustains its ideology.

The Muslim world has chosen to live by the sword and the free world must learn to use the sword, if it is not to live under their swords. But there is a difference between these two swords, between the Sword and the Colt, which made all men equal, and the sword and the drone. It is the same as the difference between Sparta and Athens and between Mecca and Jerusalem.

There are nations and peoples that live by the sword, producing nothing of worth, living and

American Sniper Chris Kyle R.I.P.

priding themselves on their plunder while remaining deaf to their own worthlessness outside the realm of the sword. And there are nations and peoples to whom the sword is a tool, rather than a final answer, an implement which works alongside the hoe and the pen and the many other implements that make a society great.

A great nation does not live by the sword; it uses the sword to keep its way of life free from those who do live by the sword.

In such a society where many professions are possible, most free from risk of death, the man who picks up the sword, who pledges to hold the sword so that others may work, not only does not live by the sword, but also makes it possible for his entire society to live free of the sword.

The death of such a man is a tragedy for those who understand that the sword can only be opposed by a sword, and that freedom is won at the cost of resisting slavery, but is a cause for celebration to those who imagine that when the last of their countrymen who carries a sword dies, the endless war will finally end.


Daniel Greenfield is a blogger and columnist born in Israel and currently living in New York City. I am a contributing editor at Family Security Matters and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center.

His columns appear at Family Security Matters , Right Side News and daily at the Canada Free Press, as well as at Act for America, Front Page Magazine and usACTIONnews.


Also please consider:

Al Jazeera and the Global Jihad in America

Allen West and Frank Gaffney on North Africa jihad

Obama’s World Without America

Appeaser in Chief Leading to Catastrophe

Flashback Sept. 2011: Gaffney – Obama policies leading to new ‘horrific’ war for Israel

Obama’s Wrong Side of History

Obama Administration Silent on Muslim Brotherhood Ties

CBS Reporter Says Islamic Terrorists Are Winning

Obama’s Foreign Policy Fails and Lies

Krauthammer: Obama’s American weakness or Romney’s peace through strength?

Trump: Obama foreign policy a “total disgrace .. a joke .. total disaster”

Apologizing to Our Enemies

The world’s not better off

Reaping the Whirlwind of a Foreign Policy of Defeat and Shame

Obama foreign policy – weakness through appeasement

Allen West: Our only foreign policy is appeasement and apology

Apologizing to Our Enemies

Anti-Israel Pro Terrorist Advocate Reps U.S. at Rights Conference

Muhammed Film a Premeditated Provocation for Islamic Terror?

Allen West on Obama administration’s lies about Libya

Muslim Violence is Our New Law

BenghaziGate: Obama Is A Lazy Liar

Obama caught in lies about embassy attack

Obama’s Munich Moment

Sen. Ayotte: Obama “misleading” America on Libyan attack

Horowitz: Obama is a “radical” and an enemy of Israel

5 Ways Obama Failed at the UN

Arab Spring rapidly turning into Christian winter

Team Obama’s Mendacity

Four dead and they had to lie about it! Can we stand four more years of national suicide?

Why Are They Lying About Terrorism to Protect Obama?

Hillary Left Libyan Consulate Defenseless

Is Administration Clueless or Lying on Libyan Attack?

Reaping the Whirlwind of a Foreign Policy of Defeat and Shame

Americans Should Stop Being Surprised by Terrorism

Obama foreign policy – weakness through appeasement

No Mid East Intelligence Due to Obama’s Nice Guy Policy

Allen West: Our only foreign policy is appeasement and apology

Mr. President, Mitt Romney Is Not the Enemy – Al Qaeda is, Please inform your Ministry of Truth

Apologizing to Our Enemies

US Ambassador killed – Obama fiddles while world burns

Better Than They Are

Krauthammer: Tell Egyptian mob “go to hell”

The world’s not better off

Why Mosques Should Be Shut Down

On NOT Understanding Muslims

The threat of Sharia is real

Middle East Nuclear Arms Race?

Obama’s Pro-Islamic Rewriting of American History

Obama’s Grand Deflection

Romney Urged to Address Muslim Brotherhood Infiltration

Andy McCarthy on Muslim Brotherhood Influence Operations in the US

The Minority Victim Value Index

Anderson Cooper Crosses the Line – Joins Thought Police

Michele Bachmann joins Allen West at law group that fights Islamification of America

Where is Huma Abedin’s Security Clearance Form?

Is Huma Abedin the Next (Muslim) Van Jones?

America’s ‘Iron Lady’

Lethal Narcissism

Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood Issues Raising Perplexing Questions

The Leftist-Islamic Alliance Against Freedom of Speech

Questions about Hillary’s Muslim Brotherhood Adviser Huma Abedin

Why the West Loves Lying to Itself About Islam

Leftist exposes Muslim Brotherhood ties to US mosque

The Rise and Threat of Radical Islam: An Interview with Brigitte Gabriel

Rep. Andre Carson: American Schools Won’t Excell Until Their Foundation is “The Koran”

Allen West on terrorists in the military

Trying to Drag the Middle East into the 21st Century

Congressional Leaders Call for Investigations of Muslim Brotherhood Penetration of the Obama Administration

Everything’s Coming Up Jihad

Obama Undermining Israel – historic destruction of US Israeli relations

Special Rights for Muslim Americans?

Stealth Islamic Propaganda Shown to Six Million American Students

Look What’s Going On in Charter Schools

Muslim Hate Groups on Campus

Islamic Indoctrination in Textbooks

The Devil We Don’t Know: The Dark Side of Revolutions in the Middle East

Allen West: political correctness affecting security as 850 pages removed from FBI training manual

Obama empowering Muslim Brotherhood

Team Obama’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood

Journalism, Jihad, and the New York Times

Muslim Brotherhood’s ‘Perception Management Team’ to Washington, D.C.

Al-Qaeda Loves MSNBC, Wishes Death Upon Fox News

Hezbollah positioned for attack inside US?

U.S. Muslims Taught to “Hate” American Legal System – Deception OK

Ignoring Islamo-Fascism at our Peril

Insulting Muhammad not protected speech in America

Islamic Rules for Radicals

Shariah’s Police?

Newt: Pro Islamist Faction in the Administration Trying to “Appease” Enemies

Terrorist Group Suppresses Free Speech – Again

DOJ Kowtows to Muslim Brotherhood

Media Sees No Evil in Muslim Persecutions Against Christians

Muslim Brotherhood suckers Hillary – or is she complicit?

Obama’s “Arab spring” turns ugly – “One Nation for New Holocaust”

Jihad plotting persists in mosques

Jihad explained by a jihadist

Arab Spring 1 Year Later: Outlook Gloomy for Suffering Christians

Bending over too much for radical Islamists

The Muslim Brotherhood is the Enemy

Obama encouraging Muslim Brotherhood to be part of post-Mubarak government

The Muslim Brotherhood in America

The Islamic tsunami

Osama Was Radicalized By The Muslim Brotherhood

David Horowitz on the Muslim Brotherhood at CPAC

Left wing hate group works with Homeland Security to ‘identify’ conservative groups as ‘extremist’

NPR agrees to hide donation from Muslim Brotherhood front group

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Penetration of the Obama Administration

Frank Gaffney: Jihad by other means

Help Make A Difference By Sharing These Articles On Facebook, Twitter And Elsewhere: