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The Gods Must be Crazy…

TOM BURGUM
Staff Columnist
burgum@lbknews.com

“The Gods Must be Crazy” was a South African film released in 1980. It was a comic allegory about a traveling Bushman who encounters the stranger aspects of modern civilization. After being introduced to the contradictions and idiocies of the world of 1980, he concludes “the gods must be crazy.”

If that same Bushman were to be introduced to America and the world of 2014, I fear he could but conclude the gods have become even crazier.

Our president’s reaction to Islamic terrorism might be puzzlement to any stranger; I know it is to me. A few days ago, journalist James Foley was beheaded by ISIL jihadists. Obama was quick to react, or to be more specific, he was quick to make a statement. We still don’t know what his reaction might be.

Obama clearly has dropped the line that ISIL is the junior varsity in LA Lakers’ uniforms. That was the view in January. Now he tells us “ISIL has rampaged across cities and villages − killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence.” He finished with his usual version of policy pabulum: People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy . . . “

Historically, this is not accurate. When the Visigoths approached Rome in 410, it is not improbable that Pope Innocent the First or some member of the Roman senate opined that “groups like the Visigoths have no place in the 5th century.” But, the Visigoths didn’t understand they didn’t have a place and, as Gibbon wrote, “The Imperial city, which had subdued and civilized so considerable a part of mankind, was delivered to the licentious fury of the tribes of Germany and Scythia.”

I think Obama’s construction of current events also fails. During his prepared remarks from Martha’s Vineyard, he made two rather astonishing statements. He told us, “One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.” Such a statement means very little. As Mark Steyn wrote, “It demands nothing of one. It makes ISIS sound like a social faux pas: one thing we can all agree on is that no one wears white after Labor Day or saws your head off after the year 2000.”

Obama is not alone when voicing this 21st century nonsense. George Bush, when responding to Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008, opined, “Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century.” This is a rather odd sentiment from one who ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

It was even more remarkable when Obama posited that ISIL spoke for no religion. ISIL stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the stated goal of the group is to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Since a caliphate is an area ruled by one who is considered a successor to Mohammad, one might think it has something to do with Islam.

Despite all the hell that is being raised by some of the followers of Mohammad, it is hard not to have some empathy for their view of Western culture. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has seemingly decided that it is absolutely necessary to expand the sexual categories so as to encompass every sexual deviation possible. “So, imagine you’re a young Saudi guy logging on to Facebook for the first time. It asks you,” writes Jonah Goldberg, “to state your gender. It then gives you 58 options. You take out your fingers − the simple man’s calculator − and start counting along. Male, female, whatever uncle Ahmed is − Okay three. I count three.”

Then our Saudi friend is forced to ask, what the hell are these other 55 things? Trust me, you don’t want to know. Just reading the list makes one fear for the future of whatever civilization we have left.

If nothing else, Zuckerberg has let the Muslim world know that there are things worse than the 101st Airborne and pork barbecue recipes on our export list.

Meanwhile, a bit west of where the Muslims are mucking about in an attempt to kill each other, Vlad Putin continues to live in the 20th, maybe even the 19th century. Reuters reports that Russian Mi-24 helicopters attacked a border post in the eastern Ukraine, killing four border guards. Just can’t keep that boy in the 21st century. With no response from the West what is there to convince him to update his calendar.

The global warming gods seem to be just as crazy as the rest. Recently, Ottmar Edenhofer, a leading member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told a German news outlet, “We distribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.” Pay attention, this isn’t coming from Rush Limbaugh or FOX News. According to columnist Noel Sheppard, “Edenhofer was co-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group III, and was a lead author of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report released in 2007.

Part of Edenhoffer’s statement is quoted in Sheppard’s column: “One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. . . One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore . . . “

It’s a crazy world when a person wishes that liberal environmentalists would stop making Limbaugh and Glenn Beck appear prophetic .

Our South African Bushman, after being exposed to the modern world, could only believe the gods were crazy. Maybe he missed the point. Maybe it’s us and not the gods that are crazy.

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