The meaning of compassion
© by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, September 17, 2015


We can trace many of our country’s problems to the need some citizens have to be perceived by others as “compassionate,” as “not mean.”

I’m grateful to whoever passes out personalities that I have no psychological need to be perceived as “nice.” I hope this has led to my being “smart” — having common sense, thinking long-term, worrying about unintended consequences, seeking justice over mercy, and today’s issue, opposed to the national attempted suicide of inviting more Muslims to the United States while we are at war with radical Islam.

Where some people may feel “generous,” I feel my usual “angry” at liberals volunteering to share our resources — yours and mine — with more welfare recipients so said generous liberals can feel “good” about themselves, as they accumulate political power for their power-hungry politicians.

But I was unprepared for the rage I felt on the eve of 9/11, when I saw news stories about some U.S. politicians wanting to welcome “emigrants” who come from countries where radical Islam — which has killed thousands of Americans on our soil — is tolerated, if not encouraged. There is no way of vetting the adult males for hatred of America, like that of the Muslims who, crying “allahu akbar,” used passenger planes as weapons, or acting as “lone wolves” killed military personnel on our bases here and, despite being given the benefits of our freedom and our welfare benefits as the Tsarnaev brothers were, killed and maimed young Americans at the Boston Marathon.

Can we blame all Muslims for the behavior of many? No, and I’m not blaming, just using the only vetting tool possible. We are trying to control illegal immigration from countries whose governments at least don’t want “death to America.” We should immediately stop any immigration from Muslim Middle-Eastern countries.

If Israel wasn’t so emotionally attached to its biblical real estate, I’d suggest inviting all Israelis to move here before Iran gets its now-inevitable nuclear weapon, and let the rest of the Middle East work out its centuries-old differences without U.S. involvement.

I admit that I once shared George Bush’s vision of an Iraq that could become a model of freedom and democracy in the Middle East. No one apparently studied its tribal politics, fierce ethnicities, and the mess Western interference had made of its earlier recent forays into this arena, and realized that we were in way over our heads.

Of course we felt bad about the horrors Iraqis faced under Saddam Hussein. Just wondering: What would we have done if half that country had tried to escape to the West, as Syrians are today? Would it have been easier to just take them in, before so many of America’s finest died in Iraq?

Follow-up question: What do we do when some Europeans, their countries overrun with Muslims who refuse to assimilate, need to run to us? While we’d mourn the loss of the great European culture, what else can we do if Europeans don’t find a way to stop their border crisis? Their open borders have just encouraged more refugees to risk their children’s lives in rickety boats; how compassionate is that?



Syrians stream into Iraq's Kurdistan Region.

Perhaps the foolishly national-suicidal Europeans will stay and convert, while others leave for the U.S. melting pot as they’ve done for more than 300 years. Maybe they’ve learned hard lessons about socialism that they can use to warn us before we elect one too many Democratic presidents.

Jews, Christians, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, whatever: just no more Muslims. Yes, this is a prejudice, one that I acquired in September 2001.

People can’t choose their race or color: They can choose their religion. I grew up in a German-settled, Catholic town, and wasn’t taught about the Holocaust until I went to college, where we were required to watch a documentary about it. I recalled my years of Catholic education in which I was taught that the Jews killed Jesus, and then found the anti-Semitic “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” being distributed in my hometown by a Catholic priest.

Someone more mature might have checked with other priests I liked, or maybe written a letter of indignation to the Cardinal. Instead, I left the Catholic Church and never looked back — though I was pleased when John Paul II apologized to the Jews for the role it played over the centuries in encouraging anti-Semitism.

If I had been an American Muslim watching the Twin Towers collapse and later, Middle-Eastern Muslims dancing in the streets to celebrate this attack, I would have removed my hijab and walked away from Islam.

Nothing makes me angrier than the columnists who try to encourage us all to accept Syrian migrants by comparing them to the Jews who were trying to escape the Nazis in Europe. Here is the difference: The Jewish religion has not attempted to conquer other, non-Jewish countries and slaughter their inhabitants since somewhere early in the Old Testament; Jewish refugees were no threat to us. Even the Catholic Church gave up its dream of international conquest after the Reformation; Pope Francis hasn’t mentioned it at all.


20 square km air-conditioned tent city near Mecca in Saudi Arabia, used for five days each year by Hajj pilgrims.


Last weekend Reuters reported that Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has called on young Muslim men in the United States and other Western countries to carry out attacks inside there and urged greater unity between militants.

“I call on all Muslims who can harm the countries of the crusader coalition not to hesitate. We must now focus on moving the war to the heart of the homes and cities of the crusader West and specifically America,” he said in an online posting on Sunday.

During the Cold War, I became attached to the phrase “useful idiots” that referred to naive Americans who sympathized with Marxism and it socialist ideals; let me resurrect the phrase to apply to naive Americans who want us to be “compassionate” and welcome Middle-Eastern refugees from the current Hot War with radical Islam.

American government’s primary responsibility is to protect its people. Those who want to be “nice” can send contributions to relief organizations in the Middle East.

Or ask your congressman to contact Saudi Arabia about locating the refugees in a valley near its holy city of Mecca, where there are 100,000 air-conditioned tents providing temporary accommodation to 3 million pilgrims during the five days that Hajj pilgrims use them. Then tell your congressman to stop the Syrian refugees from coming here instead. That would be a nice, smart thing to do.

Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is a weekly columnist for the Salem News and Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

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