"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."
I bring this up because of Austria's suicidal march to the gallows:
Last week three Muslim conscripts of the Austrian army refused to salute the Austrian flag because this was incompatible with their faith. The Austrian paper Die Presse (18 March) reported that three soldiers of the Maria Theresia barracks, where most of the 1,000 Muslim soldiers serve, refused to salute the flag at a parade and instead turned their backs on it. The soldiers were not disciplined. However, an imam was summoned to issue a fatwa stating that Muslims are allowed to salute the Austrian flag.
Austrian Army officers have complained that Muslim conscripts – about 3,5% of the Austrian armed forces – are unable to do most jobs because they have permission to pray 5 times a day, no matter what job they are performing at the time. Some who attend Friday Prayers stay away for the rest of the day.
Following the incident the Austrian defense minister Günther Platter announced that the army will engage imams as permanent chaplains in order to mediate future conflicts. Die Presse suggests that it would be better to follow the example of the Austrian police and appoint Muslim officers to command Muslim recruits.
I would have thought Europe wouldn't goosestep their way so easily to institutionalized Balkanization. I can only imagine the Austrian Army recruiting posters: "An Army of Some of These, and Some of Those, and a Few of Them..."