Tags: Doomed | Repeat | History

Doomed to Repeat History

Tuesday, 17 May 2005 12:00 AM

In this case, there is no excuse for anyone with the familiarity with history that Meachem claims to enjoy to have ignored one of the clearest examples of the explosive nature of Muslims and to what it can lead when confronted with what they regard as a sacrilege demeaning their religion, such as the desecration of their sacred Koran alleged in a Newsweek story.

Is not Meachem aware that in 1857, one of the most most infamous uprisings in history took place during the British colonization of India? The Sepoy rebellion, a mutiny of the native troops recruited by the British and known as "sepoys," was ignited by nothing more than a cartridge and the consequences surrounding the introduction of the new breech-loading Enfield rifle.

To load these weapons soldiers had to bite off the end of a greased cartridge, which the sepoys believed was greased with either cow or pig fat – both unholy to Hindu sepoys or Muslim sepoys, pig fat being from an animal deemed unclean by Muslims and beef fat from an animal sacred to the Hindus.

They were enraged by the report of the sacrilege, and the mutiny began on Sunday, May 10, 1857. It came as a complete surprise to the British, many of whom had ignored the unrest created mostly by the rapid imposition of direct British rule over two-thirds of India

It began at the garrison in Meerut, where the mutineers murdered every European they found. They then advanced on Delhi, and the rebellion spread rapidly through the Ganges valley, the Rajputna, Central India and parts of Bengal, and British men women and children were routinely executed along the way. In Cawnpore alone, 200 European men, women and children were slaughtered.

Surely a skilled journalist with a penchant for the study of history should have been aware of that incident and informed on the volatile nature of Muslims when faced with what they regard as an assault on their faith.

Should not an editor with the pretension of being more knowledgeable about historical events than most of us have been aware of the precedent set by the Sepoys and thus warned that publishing a story about the alleged desecration of the Koran, as minor an offense as it might be to the Western mind, could have the most dire consequences?

In that light, even had the story been accurate, which it is now known not to have been, history proves it was the journalistic equivalent of throwing a match into a gasoline-soaked pile of rags. Under any circumstances, Newsweek has no excuse for airing the allegation. None.

Like much of the elitist liberal media, Newsweek holds a simmering grudge against George Bush the Republican Party, the Iraq war and the military. Anything seen as unfavorable to these entities is seen as a plus by Newsweek, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the L.A. Times, ABC, NBC, CBS and their ilk.

They take delight in airing any incident that, in their diseased minds, justifies their jaundiced view that the U.S. under George Bush is a mindless tyrannical threat to world peace and the advancement of mankind. And the consequences be damned.

Given that circumstance, publishing a story seeming to prove their point was in their view entirely justified, regardless of the consequences that might – and did – ensue.

What could be a plus in this whole thing is the exposure of Newsweek as nothing other than an irresponsible liberal outlet of anti-Iraq war propaganda, and of their widely acclaimed John Meachem as anything but the credible historian Don Imus and his other admirers consider him to be.

To wit: Appearing on "Imus in the Morning" recently, vaunted historian Meachem opined that the rape of Eastern Europe perpetrated at Yalta by Churchill, Stalin and FDR was merely an unseen consequence of the World War II conference, which, he said, to FDR's and Churchill's eyes was merely the door to peace in the region. They had no idea that in the agreement they signed they were handing an entire region over to Stalin on a silver platter.

As Meachem told it, the Yalta conference really had little to do with the fall of the Iron Curtain over the Eastern European nations taken captive by Stalin. It all somehow happened mysteriously afterward. The three conferees had a rollicking good time at Yalta, Meachem said, ignoring the fact that the badly incapacitated Roosevelt was hardly in a condition to party and would be dead within 12 days.

Meachem's failure to so much as mention Hiss' role, or even his presence at Yalta, was apparently too much for even Tim Russert, who spoke to Imus on a later show, noting that he held in his hand a photo of FDR at Yalta with Alger Hiss sitting beside him.

This is the same John Meachem who, in a December 2004 Newsweek cover story, examined the biblical account of the birth of Jesus and gave legitimacy to the views of dissenting scholars, raising doubts about the Virgin birth, even to the point of suggesting that Jesus was the illegitimate spawn of a Roman soldier and his mother, Mary, who was tossed out by her husband, Joseph, because of her adulterous relationship.

Wrote Meachem: "In later years Christians had to contend with charges that their Lord was illegitimate, perhaps the illicit offspring of Mary and a Roman soldier. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, some scholars treat the Christmas narratives as first-century inventions designed to strengthen the

The action of Newsweek in publishing this incendiary report was inexcusable. Newsweek ignored the lessons of the history of the Sepoy Rebellion, and at least 17 people are dead because they did.

Those who ignore the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.

Phil Brennan is a veteran journalist who writes for NewsMax.com. He is editor & publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://www.pvbr.com) and was Washington columnist for National Review magazine in the 1960s. He also served as a staff aide for the House Republican Policy Committee and helped handle the Washington public relations operation for the Alaska Statehood Committee which won statehood for Alaska. He is also a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.

He can be reached at phil@newsmax.com

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In this case, there is no excuse for anyone with the familiarity with history that Meachem claims to enjoy to have ignored one of the clearest examples of the explosive nature of Muslims and to what it can lead when confronted with what they regard as a sacrilege demeaning...
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2005-00-17
Tuesday, 17 May 2005 12:00 AM
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