The Edmond Sun


September 21, 2012

America stands upon a precipice

EDMOND — If you’re one of those “kill the messenger” types, skip this column and go straight to the funnies because I’ve got disturbing news. We Americans — all of us — are in the crosshairs. Determined enemies around the world are taking aim at us, our way of life, our fundamental beliefs and the legacy we hope to leave our children and grandchildren. I don’t know how you’re processing events taking place across the Muslim world, but take a minute and consider how others are seeing things.

Earlier this week I received a startling email containing a news item, titled, “Welcome to Belgistan,” aired by CBN (The Christian Broadcast Network). The feature addressed the growing influence of the Muslim community in Belgium. According to the story, Muslims are the fastest-growing minority in Belgium’s major cities. For the last four years, the most common name for baby boys born in Brussels is “Mohammed.” Up to 40 percent of students attending schools in Belgium’s larger cities are Muslim. The reporter covering the story interviewed Abu Imran, the leader of a vocal group called “Sharia4Belgium.” Imran insists democracy and Islam are incompatible. In democracy, the majority rules. In Islam, it is Allah who rules. Imran believes the world is destined to be governed by sharia law. With a sparkle in his eye, he admonishes “the West” to be prepared for “a wave of sharia and Islam.”

The feature closes with Imran’s prophecy, “The victory of Allah is very near.”

Why should Americans take notice of the grandiose musings of a minor Muslim activist in faraway Belgium? Imran’s vision is not confined to Belgium. It’s shared by a growing number of anti-American activists operating on a global level. What evidence would Imran and his more violent co-religionists point to in support of their certainty that the West is ripe to be brought to its knees before the banner of Islam?

In the eyes of militant Islamists around the world, America is on the run. They believe America was driven out of Iraq by the staunch resistance of Muslim fighters. They boast that, at this very moment, America is retreating from Afghanistan. The radicals claim that indecisive, irresolute Americans could not stand against the righteous determination of Muslim fighters who flocked to Iraq and Afghanistan from around the world. They say that a weakened America has emboldened the previously compliant leaders of Pakistan to betray, insult and disdain American power without fear of meaningful response.

They point to uprisings in Indonesia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and Egypt as evidence that Muslims worldwide are coming together to focus their rage on America, Islam’s great enemy. They applaud Iran’s rising power and defiance of America as proof that Islam is on the ascendency and the west is in decline.

They boast that, for the first time since the 1600s, Islam is on the march and the West has lost all will and skill for prolonged resistance.

They point to financial headlines as evidence that America’s extended battles in Iraq and Afghanistan have weakened to the point that America can no longer respond militarily if Islam opens battle fronts in the Middle East, in Africa, in Asia, in Europe and ultimately America itself.

They argue that victory is assured because America has become financially impoverished due to foolish squandering of its resources and short-sighted piling of ridiculous debt levels. They rejoice in their belief that America is collapsing politically, militarily and morally before their very eyes.

They point with glee to the embarrassing array of headlines exposing the shameful acts of sexual excess committed by American politicians occupying some of the highest offices in the land. They point to highly publicized squandering of tax money in the most frivolous, disgraceful and wasteful of activities.

Our enemies point with pleasure to the petty sniping that characterizes America’s political discourse. They gloat in face of reports about America’s totally ineffective legislative fiascos leaving the country unable to address its mounting problems. They cheer America’s decision to withdraw diplomatic personnel from Muslim countries and they see this as yet another indicator of America’s fear and retreat.

The visceral response is to protest that these anti-American agitators are wrong and we are safe within the walls of “Fortress America.”

But let’s face an unsettling truth. America is teetering on the edge of a precipice. If we don’t get our house in order — morally, militarily, politically and economically — two outcomes are possible. We may blunder over the cliff ourselves or someone else will gladly push us. Even your weakest enemy can defeat you if you yourself provide them the weapons to do it. I’m Hink and I’ll see ya.

MIKE HINKLE is an Edmond resident and retired attorney.

Text Only
  • Sheltons travel for better life for family

    Some time around 1865 a mixed-race African American couple, William and Mary Shelton, made their way from Mississippi to east Texas. Nothing is known for certain of their origins in he Magnolia state, or the circumstances under which they began their new lives in Texas.

    July 29, 2014

  • Film critic Turan produces book

    Kenneth Turan, who is the film critic for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” has written a book “Not to be Missed, Fifty-Four Favorites from a Life Time of Film.” His list of movies span the gamut from the beginnings of filmmaking through the present day.
    There are some surprising omissions on his list. While he includes two films, “A Touch of Evil” and Chimes at Midnight” made by Orson Welles, and one, “The Third Man,” that Welles starred in but did not direct. He did not however, include “Citizen Kane,” that was the first movie Welles made, that is  often cited by both film critics and historians as a favorite film.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County’s disputed zone

    Watchers of “Star Trek” may recall the episode from the original series entitled, “Day of the Dove.” In this episode, Captain Kirk and his crew are forced by a series of circumstances into a confrontation with the Klingons. The conflict eventually resolves after Kirk realizes that the circumstances have been intentionally designed by an alien force which feeds off negative emotions, especially fear and anger. Kirk and his crew communicate this fact to the Klingons and the conflict subsides. No longer feeding upon confrontation, the alien force is weakened and successfully driven away.

    July 28, 2014

  • Russell leads in Sun poll

    Polling results of an unscientific poll at show that Steve Russell, GOP candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, is in the lead with 57 percent of the vote ahead of the Aug. 26 runoff election. Thirty readers participated in the online poll.

    July 28, 2014

  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014


The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
     View Results