Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
Here's the RSS feed or subscribe to our FFF Email Update to receive Hornberger’s Blog daily.

The Religion of National-Security Statism


In my article last week, Fallacies of the Anti-Islam Crowd, I pointed out three fallacies of the anti-Islam crowd in America, which consists of those people who have convinced themselves that terrorist attacks against the United States are part of a supposed centuries-old war that Muslims have been waging against the West rather than blowback from the ongoing massive death, destruction, chaos, and disorder that the U.S. government has been wreaking in the Middle East and Afghanistan for decades.

I pointed out how the anti-Islam crowd supported the U.S. invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan notwithstanding the fact that those invasions and occupations succeeded in installing formal Islamic regimes under the constitutions of both countries. I also pointed out how the anti-Islam crowd continues to thank the troops for their service in Iraq and Afghanistan and has never called for U.S. regime-change operations that would oust these official Islamic regimes from power and replace them with Christian, Jewish, or atheist regimes that would be willing to answer to the U.S. government.

I also pointed out that during the entire Cold War, what now constitutes the anti-Islam crowd never issued a peep about the supposed quest among Muslims to establish a worldwide caliphate, which would necessarily involve a Muslim takeover of the United States. Instead, their entire focus was on the official enemy of that time — communism, the Soviet Union, Red China, North Korea, East Berlin, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Grenada, etc.

In fact, there really was no anti-Islam crowd during the entire Cold War. Instead, they and their predecessors were the anti-communist crowd. They actually cheered when the U.S. government partnered with and supported radical and extremist Muslims, including Muslim terrorists, in Afghanistan when it was the Soviet communist regime, rather than the Pentagon and the CIA, that was doing the occupying of that country.

Finally, I pointed out how members of the anti-Muslim crowd would be wise not to carry their “We are at war with Islam” mindsets to an extreme by attacking, shooting, bombing, and shooting “the enemy” here in the United States.

You see, in war it is legal to kill the enemy. That is, under international law a soldier can kill an enemy soldier without concern for being indicted for murder.

So, every time a member of the anti-Islam crowd writes me and rants about how the Muslims are coming to get us, defeat the 82nd Airborne Division, take over the public schools, and force everyone, including the children, to study the Koran, I warn them: Do not go out and start killing Muslims. If you do that, you will be indicted for murder. You will not be permitted to defend yourself against the murder charge by telling the judge and jury, “I have the right to kill Muslims here in the United States because we are in a centuries-old war with Islam and under international law I have the right to kill the enemy.”

Hopefully, my advice has not fallen on deaf ears. I have never heard of anyone to whom I have offered that counsel going out and killing Muslims.

It’s too bad that Joseph Schreiber never wrote me because if he had, maybe he wouldn’t be spending the next 30 years of his life in the penitentiary. The 32-year-old Schreiber just received his 30-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to arson. His arson target? The mosque that was attended by Omar Mateen, the Muslim shooter who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub last June.

Undoubtedly, Schreiber has the same mindset as the rest of the extreme anti-Islamic element in American society. He undoubtedly viewed “us” at war with the Muslim world. He undoubtedly convinced himself that Islam is a violent religion, one that supposedly requires its adherents to engage in a war to establish a worldwide caliphate, which would necessarily encompass the United States.

Schreiber undoubtedly believed that since “we” are at war with Islam and Muslims, it would be okay, under international law, for him to destroy enemy targets, including a mosque, where Muslims were presumably, in his mind, getting their marching orders in their supposed war against the West. He undoubtedly convinced himself that the mosque’s Imam Syed Shafeeq Rahman was lying when he said, “So far, as we here in Fort Pierce are concerned, we are always very conscious — consciously speaking about peace, about love, about unity.”

So, what is it about Schreiber and others in the anti-Islam fringe?

The answer is that they’ve got their own religion, which is national-security statism. For them, the national-security establishment, specifically the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, is their god, a god that can do no wrong. Oh sure, in their minds their god sometimes makes mistakes, which includes killing wedding parties, hospital patients, children, women, and seniors but, in their minds, they are always innocent mistakes — mistakes that are made in the process of killing bad people all over the world.

And the reason they their god is killing bad people, according to their religion, is that it is spreading freedom and democracy around the world … well, except when their god is installing and supporting dictatorial regimes (or official Islamic regimes).

What these people simply cannot confront is that the problem is not some supposed Muslim quest to establish a worldwide caliphate. The problem instead is the decades-long campaign of death and destruction by the Pentagon and the CIA in the Middle East and Afghanistan. That is the root cause of the much anger and hatred against the U.S. government, especially among Muslims who have borne the brunt of the U.S. national-security state’s death and destruction.

The blind faith that national-security statists have in their state religion prevents them from seeing or embracing the easy solution to anti-American terrorism: Just bring their god’s troops home now without killing even one more person.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.