I read a letter to the editor in my local newspaper in 2008. As I started to read, I really thought that the writer was using satire to make some point. But then, to my chagrin, I realized that the letter was written in earnest…by an “Oblivion of the First Type” . As you will recall, Oblivions of the First Type are those who are just ignorant of the facts, either due to any number of personal or intellectual limitations or due to lack of study or due to laziness. They don’t mean to misdirect or fabricate. They just don’t know any better. As noted in the previous commentary, Katie Couric appears to be an example.
The writer of the letter to the editor was responding to an editorial by Clifford May (Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1/25/08). In his original writing, May wrote of the threat posed by islamofascists, comparing Osama bin Laden to Hitler in some ways. In reply, our newly identified Oblivion, Tom Obert (Alexandria, MN) wrote the following (excerpted):
“…please tell Clifford May to just go into his bomb shelter where he and his paranoia can stop bothering the rest of us. To keep trying to compare Osama bin Laden, et. al., with Adolf Hitler is absolutely ridiculous. Hitler was the leader of an entire country with a huge, modern…military. Bin Laden is the alleged leader (he’s been hiding in the mountains for years) of an organization that has no navy, has no air force, has no army, and its 7,000 miles and a huge ocean away from us….to continue to imply that this country is in mortal danger is nothing more than fear-mongering. We’re sick of it.
“Our saddest memory of this war is of a mother in San Diego who had just lost a son in Iraq. She still insisted the war was justified because she did not want to wear a burqa. A burqa? In San Diego? That is what the Clifford Mays of the world have wrought! It is well past the time to remind ourselves that ‘The Mouse That Roared’ was a piece of fiction.”
I find two main points in this moronic discourse to be disturbing.
First, the writer believes that islamofascists do not have the power or means to destroy us militarily. Due to lack of leadership, lack of a military and due to distance, this writer believed that we have little to fear from bin Laden and his followers. Yet he and his followers killed nearly 3,000 people at one time in New York City. Now bin Laden is dead. But his organization still lives.
The power of that organization stems, in part, from the very fact that they do not have an organized military. It is hard to fight an enemy that lurks in the shadows, like cowards, attacking the innocent. They attack without uniform and without ceremony. They kill to kill. They kill to frighten. Bin Laden was the leader of the underbelly of an entire culture/religion. To minimize this reality is remarkably naïve at best. Islamofascists hold power that in some ways is far beyond anything Hitler could have dreamed of.
Secondly, the writer asserts that there is no way that a woman living in San Diego could ever be forced to wear a burqa by islamofascists. People in San Diego and people across the country (and the globe) are already being forced to acquiesce to the demands of Muslims. We are forced to listen to their morning call to prayer over loud speakers. We are forced to build special “prayer rooms” in schools and businesses. We are forced to hide our celebration of Christmas and other Judeo-Christian traditions. And these requirements come from the demands of so-called mainstream Muslims. It is the goal of Islamic terrorists to take all of this to the extreme and turn the world into a world that follows sharia law. For Mr. Obert’s benefit, this is the law of Islam…and it is NOT a pretty thing. (ever had a hand cut off for masturbating?…ever had your mother stoned to death for being raped?)
We must all remember two things. The attack by islamofascists upon Western values and ideals comes from two directions. The first front is violence…terroristic violence. The second front is social/religious. Both of those fronts bring danger to every American and every person who believes in Western values and ideals.
If they continue to con Oblivions of the First Type like Tom Obert into believing that we are not in danger, either militarily or socially, islamofascists will have won. And Mr. Obert WILL be wearing a turban and his mother or wife WILL be wearing a burqa.