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NYC Mosque: Respect Property Rights

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what???

I think you'd lose all credibility if you attempted a press release about someone building a mosque and funding Islamic terrorists without using a phrase like "Islamic Terrorism."

Edited by FeatherFall

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Roland, did I get your position correct in post 46? Is building this mosque an act of war?

That is like asking whether the Germans building a particular bridge over the Rhine was an act of war. In itself, not--but it was part of a larger process that constituted war against the United States.

Also, would you support rounding up every muslim and forcing them to affirm or deny their support for Sharia law?

I certainly would.

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Your example is off base. You gave an example of an enemy building a bridge in their own territory, which constitutes an expansion of infrastructure that facilitates the movement of materials/troops. The construction of a mosque does not by itself constitute an expansion of infrastructure by an enemy. If you think they are doing other things that amount to such expansion, you must provide evidence. Even allegations of support for a wartime enemy require some sort of proof prior to government action.

I'll reiterate: To use force, you must demonstrate that it has been initiated. You haven't done so.

Edited by FeatherFall

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Your example is off base. You gave an example of an enemy building a bridge in their own territory, which constitutes an expansion of infrastructure that facilitates the movement of materials/troops. The construction of a mosque does not by itself constitute an expansion of infrastructure by an enemy. If you think they are doing other things that amount to such expansion, you must provide evidence.

:confused: I said I did not not think the construction of the mosque was an act of war in itself.

You seem to be implying that only the enemy's military infrastructure is a legitimate target in a war--that "peaceful" "civilian" infrastructure must be kept safe. Dr. Brook has explained in many of his speeches why this is not the case.

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You seem to be implying that only the enemy's military infrastructure is a legitimate target in a war

I didn't mean to imply that. Enemy infrastructure is enemy infrastructure whether it is built for taxicabs or for tanks. But when we are talking about the mosque, we aren't talking about enemy infrastructure at all - at least, if it is infrastructure, you haven't identified how.

You are still trying to apply principles of criminal law enforcement to warfare.

No, I'm not. Wartime enemies require identification - which you haven't done. You can't just arbitrarily shout someone's name and say, "get 'em, boys!" - That's not an identification. You have to name them and explain why they are your enemy. If this seems like the same process we use after a breach of criminal law, it is only because that process also requires the objective identification of initiated force.

When the US went to war with Japan and Germany, FDR didn't just allege that Japan and Germany were enemies of the US - he explained why, which is a crucial part of identifying the enemy. He explained that the US was attacked by Japan, that Germany was their ally in a war against the UK (a US ally), and that to win the war both Japan and Germany must be defeated. But you have only alleged that the people building this mosque are an enemy, you haven't identified them. If you explain how you know the people building this Mosque are, or are in league with, the wartime enemies of the US, you will have identified them. Until then, all you've done is accuse them, which means that your wish to use force is arbitrary. If, in the future, you or someone else accomplish more than an allegation I may not be surprised. Until then, I won't condone your call to arbitrarily initiate force.

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Feather, is it something like the "Marxist professor" analogy that you have in mind? I.e., that if somebody just preaches an anti-freedom ideology but doesn't act on it, the government should leave him alone to do so?

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While I understand that the Israeli flotilla case did not involve our country, for those insisting on the automatic protection of rights in the time of war, how do you reconcile Israel's actions or their blockade with such a position? Furthermore, when doing combat operations in a foreign country, can only the enemy be targeted, only if it is absolutely known if it is the enemy and if no bystanders are harmed?

While the effects of the war on foreign land are more pronounced than they are in our own country, there is still a war being fought here. Fortunately, hopefully permanently, in the execution of the war on our own shore, our government has not had to use much physical force. On the subject of the mosque, what is interesting is that in the past, there have been calls by objectivist's and objectivist intellectuals to target religious institutions because that is our enemy. A quick reading of Elan Journo's book, and the articles that also appear in the Objective Standard, acknowledge that fact. So, while I don't have any evidence that the founders of this mosque are colluding with the enemy, if they have any ties to the Saudi government or any of our other enemies, that would be enough for construction to be halted in my book. Actually, for me, it would only probably take just a strong suspicion to halt things, and then have a very long investigation.

I think this war has carried on for so long, and it hasn't been fought with the proper moral authority and goals, that people have already lost sight that there is still a war going on.

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I think this war has carried on for so long, and it hasn't been fought with the proper moral authority and goals, that people have already lost sight that there is still a war going on.
Actually, I think this clearly identifies the problem. There is a difference between a war and being attacked. When you fight back against those who attack you, you are engaged in war. Otherwise, you are letting them attack you, and "being attacked" is not "carrying out a war". The US has pretty much relinquished the fight against those who attack us -- we have withdrawn, and tacitly surrendered in the war. There should be a war against religion, but there is not. The failure, indeed refusal, to properly identify the enemy is the reason why we had to surrender in that war.

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Actually, I think this clearly identifies the problem. There is a difference between a war and being attacked. When you fight back against those who attack you, you are engaged in war. Otherwise, you are letting them attack you, and "being attacked" is not "carrying out a war". The US has pretty much relinquished the fight against those who attack us -- we have withdrawn, and tacitly surrendered in the war. There should be a war against religion, but there is not. The failure, indeed refusal, to properly identify the enemy is the reason why we had to surrender in that war.

Recently I have started to grapple with this question as it applies to the combat in Afghanistan. After almost 10 years, it is starting to become my opinion that things have gotten so muddied over there, that even if the right solutions were effected, it's too late for any thing good to come of it. If after this amount of time, we started to have an aggressive war against the enemy, not only would the population cores of these nations be thoroughly confused, but so would our citizens and the world in general. Of course, the defense of the nation shouldn't be contingent on appeasing others, but I'm not really talking about appeasement here; these are just certain issues that can affect our chances of victory. Maybe it's just time to pack up and leave after a few short term goals are met.

Really, I wouldn't be surprised if more and more average Americans do start advocating withdrawing from Afghanistan. It took things to get totally stupid in Iraq before people started to see past the propaganda of the neoconservatives, and then withdraw from there become a common topic. The way things are going now, in Afghanistan, the ridiculous factor keeps rising. Unfortunately, this is not even close to being good news. Withdrawing first from Iraq, and then potentially from Afghanistan, as the results stand right now, can not be taken as any sort of victory. After almost ten years of the 'war on terror,' we've got almost nothing to show for it considering the goals that really matter: protecting the national defense, reducing Islamic theocratic terrorism, and ending state sponsors of terrorism.

This surrender, as you've identified, must have negative effects on liberty in our own country. Instead of fighting the enemy primarily where it is focused, abroad, the methods to fight the war on our own soil may continue on indefinitely--they may even become stronger and more aggressive to deal with foreign policy failures.

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I.e., that if somebody just preaches an anti-freedom ideology but doesn't act on it, the government should leave him alone to do so?

Exactly, unless there is legitimate reason to believe they will be an active threat at some point, like linking those affiliated with the Mosque to overt enemies of the United States, which as feather has stated, has not been done. This is why I made my earliest remark in regards to Objectivism. This, I believe, is what Rand believed should be the case from what I recall reading and this is why I suggested your particular view is not within the domain of Objectivism. You have not proven that it is and you have not proven that use of force against these individuals is justified.

You are still trying to apply principles of criminal law enforcement to warfare.

No I am not, I understand the differentiation perfectly (and for anyone wondering, yes, I have read Elan Journo's book cover to cover), and for the exact reasons feather elaborated on. The city of New York is not in the middle of Afghanistan, to suggest what you are suggesting as legitimate requires much in the way of context dropping. This comment is just dripping with neocon thought and this kind of behavior is what will limit our freedoms even further. This is akin to the suggestion of the Japanese internment camps in WW2.

Edited by CapitalistSwine

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Dr. Peikoff has made the case that religion is the main long term threat. It has been assumed that Christianity is the form that threat will take. That is a mistake.

Edited by Grames

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Predictably astute response to the question, and, in the analysis, acknowledging the hierarchy of rights in relation to life (and the philosophy of Objectivism). I'm very glad he took the question. If only the war was being fought under those terms. I believe, and have said almost as much on this thread, that the way things are going right now, we are going to be focused more on fighting the war on our own shores than abroad. Quite a mess and not conducive to liberty--in the short term--but to take a phrase from Dr. Peikoff, I'm not going to just lay down and surrender by allowing my enemies to operate more freely.

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Dr. Peikoff has responded to this question in his podcast, coming down very strongly against allowing a mosque.

Leonard Peikoff's Podcast on the NYC Mosque

By Diana Hsieh

MONDAY, JUNE 28, 2010

HERE

I agree with much that he says, including his view of the threat posed by totalitarian Islam. However, I cannot regard this mosque as an objective threat to the rights of others without concrete evidence of ties to terrorism. For all the reasons outlined in my original post and Steve Simpson's post, I regard Dr. Peikoff's recommendation of stopping the building of the mosque by "any means possible" as wrong. That's a grave threat to my life and liberty, and I cannot support it.
Edited by CapitalistSwine

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Leonard Peikoff's Podcast on the NYC Mosque

By Diana Hsieh

MONDAY, JUNE 28, 2010

HERE

Diana Hsieh says our government has not declared war, therefore we are not at war. If the government did declare war, she would be ok with it. But the city of New York does not declare or fight wars, and it is the city of New York that would be taking action against this mosque. This makes no sense except as a rationale to never let the City interfere with the mosque.

Diana Hsieh warns us that an Uncle Sam with a free hand to act against seemingly threatening views puts everyone at risk. But in New York City and around the country and our allies around the world are already victims of the naked malice taken as the word of God within Islam. We are already beyond the stage of being at risk, we are at war, the physical type of war in which people get killed, whether our government recognizes it or not. This makes no sense either.

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Feather, is it something like the "Marxist professor" analogy that you have in mind? I.e., that if somebody just preaches an anti-freedom ideology but doesn't act on it, the government should leave him alone to do so?

Not necessarily; preaching of that kind could be encitement. In fact, the dissemination of propaganda that supports sharia law may be enough for me to justify shutting down a mosque given our current circumstances. But when that case is made, it has to be made well enough to allow Muslims to choose between a religion without Sharia or a state of war with the US. The people protesting this mosque are not clear enough in this regard. The danger I see in not making this distinction is that Muslims will be denied the same choice that the Shinto had in WWII; the option of surrender. Religionists will not likely give up their religion, but if they are presented a way to change the expression of their religion to one that does not involve theocracy they may choose to give up theocracy.

In addition to giving Muslims that choice, the western world has to get better at seeing when Muslims are actively inciting violence. The Southpark controversy comes to mind. It is clear to me that that website was an incitement to murder, but it wasn't clear to the rest of the US. That needs to change.

Edited by FeatherFall

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I agree with Diana that the government should not do anything until it declares war, but what do we do if the government continues to be incompetent, and not fulfill its proper purpose? At what point do we take things into our own hands? If Iran invades and the government does nothing, what then? Do we have to wait until their soldiers trespass onto our property before we can fight back?

If imams with clear terrorist ties start building mosques unchallenged by the government, should we somehow intervene?

Edited by brian0918

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"Descent" is quite a broad continuum, but let's look at the relevant extreme: Suppose it's 1942 and a guy who has just immigrated from Japan walks into a gun store and wants to buy a dozen automatic rifles. That OK with you?

I don't know what your familiarity is with the internment of Japanese during WW2 is but the scenario is nothing like what you propose here.

Japanese full ciitizens, some generations in the US were rounded up, their property stolen, their businesses closed and taken away to internment camps. Some were under enforced labour, many died of poor conditions forced upon them.

This has nothing to do with a foreign national landing in the country and stockpiling weapons.

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Rationalism is a suicide pact.

Just when is this proper declaration of war going to happen?

It's not, so we must just sit around with our thumbs up our asses instead. Oh, and what the hell are our soldiers doing over in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wrong answer, bring them home on the spot... It is definitely suicidal.

Edited by RussK

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Without government respecting property rights, no other rights are possible. It is only on the basis of property rights that the sphere and application of individual rights can be defined in any given social situation.

Rand wrote in the Textbook of Americanism:

"You cannot say that “man has inalienable rights except in cold weather and on every second Tuesday,” just as you cannot say that “man has inalienable rights except in an emergency,” or “man’s rights cannot be violated except for a good purpose (bold mine).”

Either man’s rights are inalienable, or they are not. You cannot say a thing such as “semi-inalienable” and consider yourself either honest or sane. When you begin making conditions, reservations and exceptions, you admit that there is something or someone above man’s rights, who may violate them at his discretion. "

Until there is concrete evidence of connection between the builders/owners/operators of the mosque with terrorist organizations - that kind of government intervention is a violation of property rights.

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