Remember the sci-fi cult classic "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers"?
The town doctor, played by Kevin McCarthy, learns that extraterrestrial "pods" are taking over the townspeople. Soon, everyone is on the Other Side. The climactic sequence features McCarthy, the last free man, running onto a crowded highway, to warn the rest of humanity.
"Stop! Listen to me! You're next!" he shouts to people in cars, barely dodging traffic.
Brakes squeal, horns blare. Angry drivers ("You're drunk!") wave him away. Needless to say, he can't make them understand.
True confession: I can relate. When writing on the Islamization of the West, it feels a lot like running out onto the highway yelling, "Stop! Listen, it's coming, you're next!" The feeling gets stronger still when sizing up what I can only describe as body-snatched impulses in real-life people in positions of responsibility, who, by all appearances, are "normal" until -- wham! -- their eyes go glassy and you realize what you're looking at is ... a pod person.
Am I kidding? I don't know how else to explain the memorandum sent out last week by Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It bears the general's signature, but the memo itself seems to be from another planet.
In this memo, our highest-ranking military officer orders the entire United States military to purge its educational and training classes, files, and rosters of instructors to ensure that no members of the U.S. military are ever again instructed in the basic principles of Islamic jihad. The body snatchers call such allegedly offending educational material "anti-Islam," but it covers study of Islamic-style war. The question is whether eliminating instruction in the enemy threat doctrine is something a "normal" Joint Chiefs chairman would do. The answer is no. The body snatchers strike again.
This round of politically correct silliness (there was an earlier round last fall) began because of one elective course offered at one military staff college: "Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism." According to Wired online, this course included guest lectures by Maj. Stephen Coughlin of the U.S. Army Reserves. Coughlin is an expert in Islamic law and jihad doctrine (he and I both are among the 19 co-authors of "Shariah: The Threat to America") whose rigorously sourced briefs are legendary in Washington and beyond. Coughlin's contributions alone would make the whole course worth taking.
When I read that the Dempsey's deputy for education, Lt. Gen. George Flynn, described the course as "inflammatory," my eyes widened in horror: Oh no -- that's what a pod person would say! Dempsey canceled the course, then ordered that top-to-bottom purge. Only an im-pod-ster would do that!
The Joint Chiefs chairman wrote he was concerned that the military was teaching material "inconsistent with the values of our profession, and disrespectful of Islam." A new review would "ensure our Professional Military Education programs exhibit the cultural sensitivity, respect for religion, and intellectual balance that we should expect in our academic institutions."
How about teaching material consistent with the values of free inquiry and with respect for truth instead? What is urgently needed is a review to ensure military education offers unflinching threat analysis based on meticulously sourced facts and research. That's what a "real" Joint Chiefs chairman would demand, not a "politically correct" curriculum designed to subordinate U.S. national security interests to a policy of not offending Islam.
Wake me when this horror flick is over.
Examiner Columnist Diana West is syndicated nationally by United Media and is the author of "The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization."