Monday, July 18, 2005

Everybody Comes to Rick's

Reader DL sends this link to Unite Against Terror, a site in which British writers pledge their unwavering resistance to fascism today and explain why. It is the explanations which are interesting; and since they are expressed with the facility of accomplished writers I will reproduce them here without comment, except to add that many of these authors are men of the Left; a few are conservative. But all of them are alert to the danger. If liberal readers have ever wondered what it was like to have lived in the "Great Days" when men fought against Nazism, shake yourself awake. Those days are come.

Marko Attila Hoare  (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge)

I sign this statement as a supporter of the legitimate struggle for freedom and independence of the Palestinians, Chechens and other enslaved Muslim peoples caught between the Scylla of colonial oppression and the Charybdis of Islamofascism.

To every genuine national-liberation movement, sectarian hatred and pogroms of civilians are as alien as the foreign occupier. In German-occupied Yugoslavia during World War II, the anti-Nazi Partisans preached brotherhood and unity between Muslims, Christians and Jews; they were known to execute their own officers and soldiers if they so much as stole chickens from local peasants, let alone massacred civilians. Al-Qaeda?s Islamofascist network - targeting Jews, Kurds, Shiites, women, homosexuals, moderate Sunnis and ordinary civilians everywhere - represents, by contrast, the very antithesis of a genuine liberation movement.

Everywhere, Islamic extremists have aided and abetted the oppressors of Muslims. In World War II, the Islamofascist Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini helped incite an anti-British revolt in Iraq; he subsequently visited Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia to mobilise Bosnian Muslims to fight in the SS. Islamist terrorism in Daghestan in1999 provided Russia with the pretext for its genocidal reconquest of Chechnya. Elements in the Turkish and Israeli security services encouraged Islamic extremism as a means of dividing and weakening secular Kurdish and Palestinian nationalism respectively, helping to create a Frankenstein?s monster that is claiming the lives of Turks and Kurds, Jews and Arabs alike.

There can be no freedom for Muslim peoples without the defeat of the Islamofascists and everything they stand for; and there can be no defeat of the Islamofascists without liberty for all Muslim peoples.

George Szirtes

To sign a statement is to raise your hand
In the open view of anyone. You may
Be named, accused or slandered, made to stand
In the dock of those who shout you?re in their way.

You?re in the way, much like the scholar who
Stood before the tank and argued, although
He knew what a soldier was obliged to do
And where that tank was most likely to go.

OK, so choose your own analogy.
We like to see ourselves as David, brave
Before the giant who?s not as big as he looks,

Arguing points of ideology
Near bloody squares, over the mass grave,
While carrying our shopping bags and books.

*

With shopping bags and books you lumber home
To the best of your mixed blessings. It?s where you are
In the land of low turn out, millennium dome
And gradualism, your second-hand car

Your form-filling, the colours of the prism
Known, faintly contemptible and ripe
For comedy, affection, scepticism,
With nuggets of delight among the tripe.

It?s little enough to raise your hand for this,
For anyone else anywhere. It makes a strange
Human cohesion, a frayed elastic band.

Courage and generosity might miss
The mark sometimes but I believe their range
Is useful. It is for them I raise my hand.

Christopher Hitchens (Writer)

Association with this statement and with many of its fellow-signatories involves two commitments. The first is the elementary duty of solidarity with true and authentic resistance movements within the Muslim world, such as the Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, who were fighting against Ba'athism and Talibanism (and the latent alliance between the two) long before any American or British government had woken up to the threat. It should go without saying that, though the suffering of their peoples was intense, neither Jalal Talabani nor Ahmed Shah Masoud ever considered letting off explosive devices at random in foreign capitals. I have my political and ideological differences with both groups, but these differences are between me and them, and are not mediated through acts of nihilistic murder.

My second commitment is equally elementary. The foreign policy of a democracy should be determined only at election times or by votes in Congress or Parliament. It is one hundred per cent unacceptable even to imply, let alone to assert, that a suicide-murderer or his apologists can by these means acquire the right to any say in how matters are decided.

Both of these observations, and indeed this very statement, would be redundant if it were not for the widespread cultural presence of a pseudo-Left, and an isolationist Right, both of whom have degenerated to the point where they regard jihadism as some form of "liberation theology". The old slogans are often the best, and "Death to Fascism" is life-affirming in these conditions. Permalink

Alan Johnson (Labour Friends of Iraq)

When the news came through of the terrorist attacks in London on 7/7, I was at my desk writing an introduction for a seminar organised by my friend Brian Brivati. It was to be held in London the next morning and the theme was 'towards a social democratic foreign policy'. I had already written my opening lines. "A social democratic foreign policy should achieve two goals: the security of the British people in the context of new deadly threats and challenges and the pursuit of enduring and universal values in a world being rendered one by globalisation. What is the prize? A successful response to the threats that, in part at least, also advances the values". I still think that's right. Against their killers we must pit not only arms but values. Against their totalitarianism we pit democracy. Against their misogyny and homophobia, equality. Against their obscurantism, reason. Against their hate, love. Against their sectarianism, genuine community. Against their cult of violence, the ethic of responsibility. Against their hatred of the Other, the kindness of strangers. The signatories to this statement are saying, I think, 'for these values, here we stand, for these values, here we fight'. Permalink

Stephen Pollard (Writer)

Beyond the murder and the carnage inflicted by terrorists, there is a further insidious danger to our liberty,  that posed by those whose words and deeds give support to the terrorists, and whose warped values lead them to side with those who murder above those who promote freedom.

The Guardianista fellow-travellers of terror, who stress its supposed causes, are the useful idiots of the Islamofascists. The terrorists are the operatives of an ideology which has no concern with Palestinians or Iraqis, whom they murder without compunction. They have no concern with anything but the destruction of the West.

At a time when Islamofascism seeks to destroy liberal, democratic civilisation and to replace it with theocracy, it is imperative that those of us who believe in democracy and liberty stand up and fight. Not just against the obvious enemy, but also against the enemy within - those who claim to be on the Left, but whose views have nothing in common with the decency for which the Left ought proudly to stand.

Oliver Kamm (Columnist, The Times)

Many years ago, Conor Cruise O'Brien identified an attitude he termed "unilateral liberalism". This is a stance acutely sensitive to threats to liberty arising from actions by democratic states, but curiously phlegmatic about threats to liberty from the enemies of those states.

O'Brien was alluding to attitudes to terrorism in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. But many of us on the Left can recognise a similar tendency, and worse, in the response of progressives to the atrocities of 9/11 and other acts of suicide-terrorism against established and emerging democracies. The terrorists give allegiance to a totalitarianism both with recognisable twentieth-century forebears and with a still more atavistic - literally mediaeval - character. They oppose the US and its allies not for our sins of commission and omission, but for what we exemplify: liberal political rights, pluralism, religious liberty, scientific inquiry and women?s emancipation. Their contempt for human life and disregard for the principle of non-combatant immunity stem not from despair and anger, but from nihilism. "Unite Against Terror" expresses a tougher-minded liberalism on this central political issue of the early-21st century. More than that, it is a call for simple human decency and an insistence that human rights are indivisible.

Adrian Cohen (London)

London is still reeling from the suicide bombings which hit it on 7/7, killing 54 civilians. We have yet to understanding the impact that these attacks will have on our society. Since September 2000 there have been 160 suicide bombings in Israel and many more attempted suicide bombings, in a country with a population comparable to that of the greater London area. 514 people, including many infants, children and elderly citizens, including Holocaust survivors, were killed in those attacks; thousands have been maimed. Those killed and injured include Muslims, Jews and guest workers of neither religion. Israel is a society which perceives itself to be under an existential threat. The ideology of those pursuing this campaign, the funders, the mentors, the bomb engineers and the direct perpetrators are predominantly members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, or under their influence; organisations which openly embrace the destruction of the state of Israel and espouse overt anti-Semitism; organisations now intent on subverting the Palestine Authority and undermining the peace process. For those who truly believe in democracy and civil society, regardless of their views on the politics of the Middle East, there can be only one legitimate position which is an unqualified condemnation of all suicide bombing whether in Western Europe, Iraq,Turkey or Israel.

Brian Brivati (Professor of Modern History, Kingston University, London)

To understand solidarity think about what all human beings have in common. We want a better future for our children. What does better mean? For most people in the world it means predictability. It means a predictable material future that is free from want. It means a secure future in which states or others cannot arbitrarily steal our freedom in furtherance of their own ends. It means freedom to develop ourselves. Freedom from tyranny, freedom from want and freedom from chaos. The question each of these bomb attacks must make us face is very simple: do the people who plan these suicide bombs (and delude these young people to give up their lives while they themselves hide) offer the future that we really want? Do we want to live in the world these people will create? Or rather, do we want to live in the world, flawed, imperfect but open to endless free and effective criticism, that forms - Christian based, Islam based or secular based ? liberal democracy? Do the actions of states like the UK and USA who take the fight to the terrorists, take us further towards the freedom we all want or further away? We must defeat them, militarily by bringing them to justice, politically by meeting the legitimate aspects of their critique of the world that makes many more moderate people give them aid, and ideologically by showing that their fascism like all fascist creeds is based on inhumanity. I think we all want the freedom to be more like ourselves and therefore we all oppose those fascists who would deprive us of that right. I think this common humanity will defeat the fascism of our generation as it did the fascism of the 1940s but only if it combines winning arguments, with winning wars. Permalink

Peter Tatchell (Human Rights campaigner, London)

We are witnessing one of the greatest betrayals by the left since so-called left-wingers backed the Hitler-Stalin pact and opposed the war against Nazi fascism. Today, the pseudo-left reveals its shameless hypocrisy and its wholesale abandonment of humanitarian values. While it deplores the 7/7 terrorist attack on London, only last year it welcomed to the UK the Muslim cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who endorses the suicide bombing of innocent civilians. These same right-wing leftists back the so-called 'resistance' in Iraq. This 'resistance' uses terrorism against civilians as its modus operandi - stooping to the massacre of dozens of Iraqi children in order kill a few US soldiers. Terrorism is not socialism; it is the tactic of fascism. But much of the left doesn't care. Never mind what the Iraqi people want, it wants the US and UK out of Iraq at any price, including the abandonment of Iraqi socialists, trade unionists, democrats and feminists. If the fake left gets its way, the ex-Baathists and Islamic fundamentalists could easily seize power, leading to Iranian-style clerical fascism and a bloodbath. I used to be proud to call myself a leftist. Now I feel shame. Much of the left no longer stands for the values of universal human rights and international socialism.

411 Comments:

Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

I wonder if Jack Straw will meet with the "democratic" hamas now?

7/18/2005 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew said...

Aargh! Why do Zionists like myself *always* have to make such difficult choices like allying with people such as Marko Attile Hoare who, while mentioning the wartime deeds Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, simply erases his record about, not only Zionism, but Jews:
"He was one of Eichmann's best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him say, accompanied by Eichmann, he had visited incognito the gas chamber of Auschwitz." [Dieter Wisliceny, deputy to Adolf Eichmann, during the Nuremberg trials]

7/18/2005 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Excellent statements, all. But terms like "left" or "liberal" just don't make sense any more. Liberalism (in its original incarnation) is a belief in transcendant human values, among them freedom and self-determination. Historically speaking, Ronald Reagan was a liberal (unlike, say, a conservative who supported a monarch).

The modern use of "left" or "liberal" has been drained of all historical content or nuance. Today these words are simply mile markers on the political highway. Modern liberalism is simply a laundry list of political goals and ambitions. The items on the list do not have any logical or principled relationship to each other, and in fact are often mutually exclusive. (Much the same is true of modern conservatism, too).

Which is a roundabout way of saying that criticizing "the left" for its failure to confront Islamic fascism can well be a slur for "leftists" who do recognize the threat.

Perhaps "self-hating liberals" is a better term for liberals who are unwilling to confront the biggest threat to liberal values today - Islamic extremism.

In any event the war on terrorism is going to end up re-writing the political dictionary.

7/18/2005 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

The Left Revisionists
By Marko Attila Hoare
November 2003

http://www.glypx.com/BalkanWitness/hoare.htm

7/18/2005 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Andrew,

Alliance politics makes for many strange friendships, not all of them as enduring as Rick's and Captain Renault's. Churchill once said, "If Hitler invaded Hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil." I don't doubt that once this crisis has passed the Left will be up to its old mischief. But that is for the future. Our problem at the moment is to ensure that we have one.

Osama's attacks on Europe are in some imperfect way, analogous to Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union. Then, many on the Left were surprised to learn that, despite the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, they too were on the extermination list. Recently someone from Oxford was quoted at Tim Blair's site asking how the Jihadis could bomb the tube after so many Londoners had marched against the war in Iraq. The more things change the more they stay the same. Maybe Mr. Hoare realized Osama isn't just coming for the Zionists.

7/18/2005 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Christopher Hitchens said it well. He disagrees with many things the Kurds and Masoud (and their movements) stand for but in first thing first.

Greg,

Your objection to the modern day typical use of liberal is well noted. I am always careful to use the word properly. I saw recently someone looking the word up in the dictionary and asking what is wrong with that? Of course this fellow did not realize what his sides supports is no longer liberal.

Its funny how the left always wails that same call. Was it Michael Moore who wondered why the 9/11-19 hit NYC instead of TX? Why the leftists of NYC are on your side Osama, how could you? Why Ken Livingstone sympathizes with you AQ, how could you?

The bully picks on the weak, not the strong.

7/18/2005 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

If readers ever wondered what it was like to have lived in the "Great Days" when men fought against Nazism, or stood fast against a rising tide of tyranny, shake yourself awake. Those days are come.

And so I am reminded of Winston Churchill's concluding words before the House of Commons, October 5, 1938: "This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time."

7/18/2005 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I stand for freedom
Freedom to err
Freedom to succeed
Freedom to fail
Freedom from Fear
To do what you want, while respecting what others want to do

If Iraqis want to have elections and political parties, good.
If they want one man, one vote, one time, well, we gave 'em a chance. Better luck next time

If you come for me, for mine, or anyone that chooses to stand anywhere near me, come loaded.

These Jihadists have already come after me, they cared not one bit who was in those towers. Those people there were my people
I won't forget

Live free of die

It is more than a motto on a license plate

7/18/2005 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

What so many have waited for, a commitment from the western left, to win the war against fascism before the war against conservatism, may be coming to pass. This could mark the loss of AQ's most important support. The Golden Chain won't stand long against a unified west. Nothing on earth can stand against a unified west. If these fine letters mark an awakening re-examination of the meaning of western culture, AQ is already on the perp-walk to the dust-bin.

7/18/2005 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger The Idiot Master said...

JEEPERS CREEPERS !!

My wife had to break out the smelling salts after I read this post. The clear implication is that there exist Leftists who aren't fools and/or scoundrels.

Is such a thing possible?

7/18/2005 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Hitchens...
if he can see the light, well then, there really is a light to see.

7/18/2005 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Wonder how the DC Demcoats are going to recieve this apostasy?

7/18/2005 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

What, pray tell, is a right-wing leftist?

7/18/2005 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

Hitchens, remember, was exocommunicated from the left the moment he supported the West in the current conflict. It is sad how villified he is nowadays, by people who should know better, by people who have abandoned their principles.

Or perhaps, those principles of theirs were never that strong in the first place if they could be usurped so easily by anti-americanism.

7/18/2005 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

One can only imagine the frustration of the left. After all these years of aspring to the "levers of power", dispersion into "affinity groups", watching comrades in struggle become careerists and fighting to preserve the tools of their 1960's Marxist style "analysis" they arrive at a time when the levers are irrelevant and their analysis is dated, stale and explains nothing. The only thing left for them is Bush Derangement Syndrome, tantrums and the bogus moral equivalence arguments that they have used for so long as a maskarovka (mask) which forces their opponents into pointless argumentation.

It is the only thing that they are still good at. They know that to frame the debate is to own the debate. But even this method is breaking down as the outrages of medieval Islamism are seen as clearly repellent to more and more people of the traditional left.

Let us hope that they can lead the left out of the wilderness and join the rest of us in this critical struggle.

7/18/2005 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

These thugs have been in the planning stages for many months if not years to strike London. Their duplicity and deception is amazing. And, I don't like how frequently the name Saudi Arabia keeps coming up. I wonder if we have been to soft on the Saudis - somewhat a kin to Neville Chamberlain appeasing Hitler.

The next bomb to go off should be followed an al Qaeda financier being neutralized (better yet neutralize them now). These thugs have money, materials, transpiration, and horrific plans. Let's start chipping away that their financial foundation.

[MSNBC]:

London bombing suspect Hasib Hussain arrived at Karachi airport on July 15, 2004, on Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight SV-714. No record of his departure for London or any other destination was immediately available, and authorities were investigating his travel route, Hayyat said. Shahzad Tanweer and Mohammad Sidique Khan flew to Karachi on Nov. 19, 2004, on Turkish Airlines Flight 1056; both left for London aboard Turkish Airlines Flight 1057 on Feb. 8, 2005.

...Western intelligence officials told the network that an al-Qaida operative in U.S. custody, Mohammed Junad Babar, told interrogators he took Kahn to a terrorist training camp in Pakistan during a previous visit. Hayyat said he did not know what the men did during their visits, or whether they stayed in Karachi or traveled to other parts of Pakistan. "I know that our security agencies are trying to get such details," he said.


See: Suspects

7/18/2005 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Common Cents said...

Were there any Feminists on the list. The lack of women's righters speaking out against Orthodox Islam is amazing.

I also wonder if the individuals signing this list are truely leftists. I don't think one can be of the left without hating the US and then the West above all else.

7/18/2005 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Ray said...

As Greg said "Excellent statements, all" and worthy of support as a baby step in shaking the miasma from "progressive" minds.

7/18/2005 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger Ron Wright said...

I did too. See my comments over at Roger L. Simon's:

This is how the GWOT will be one on ideas and ideology and not on the ground.

[...]

To support our brave men and women in uniform who are going into harm's way on our behalf, we need to back them up and when the War of Information as well.

So far the LL and the MSM are succeeding as a good "fifth column" that is only emboldening and empower the enemy to kill more innocents and our brave men and women.

[...]

They are in the terms of the BBC "Misguided Journalists." They're worthless in my opinion.

RLS Link

and here:

The line must be drawn in the sand!

7/18/2005 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged.

"I think this common humanity will defeat the fascism of our generation as it did the fascism of the 1940s but only if it combines winning arguments, with winning wars”

One can already see the faint crack in liberal reasoning. "Winning arguments with winning wars." Is this to say that the argument must be won first before the enemy is engaged? Have the fascists not made their contentions clear? Must we know our enemies heart, know their soul, or does it suffice to understand their means and methods and to counter accordingly?

7/18/2005 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

annoy mouse
Yeah, they want to make sure that the bombers and beheaders are really not just misguided victims, but real honest to goodness EVIL, through and through.

7/18/2005 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Super 6 said...

If (and I mean IF) the European "left" is beginning to see the true nature of the enemy we fight, it should be interesting to see how that will carryover to the "left" in the US. Will the intellectually bankrupt "left" in the US jump on the bandwagon or is it more of the same old blather?

7/18/2005 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

It looks like the bombers duped young men into a suicide mission without their knowledge. A true homicide bombing. ‘Carry these satchels to station x, then just before you get off, take off your pack and leave it in the corner’, except one station before they get off, the bombs are activated. How many dupes will the Jihadists find in London? Well, perhaps enough. The holy war continues.

7/18/2005 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Hoare writes: Elements in the Turkish and Israeli security services encouraged Islamic extremism as a means of dividing and weakening secular Kurdish and Palestinian nationalism respectively, helping to create a Frankenstein?s monster.

Sadly true. Israel had a part in the creation of Hamas to undercut the PLO, then when they had switched to helping Arafat, Shin Bet helped set up his overseas finance network to perform better. The US is also culpable for several acts which poured gasoline on the Islamist fire.

Like? Ignoring warning signs that we were pushing the Shah of Iran to Westernize too fast and rely on the Shavak (secret police) to suppress dissent. More? And for our organizing and training fanatic Mujahadeen to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan while we tasked the Saudis to set up the planning, recruitment, money, and logistics end (all skills of which were put to ample use by the Wahabbis against us later). Also? Generally supporting despots as long as they were our despots, not the Soviets. Finally?? No, theres more, but the huge palm greasing by the Israel Lobby of US politicans plus the rise of Christian Zionists has meant the US has blatantly tilted to Israel for the last 35 years.

***********
Generally, a very positive development that many in the British Left are no longer willing to cast a blind eye to Islamist evil that is 180 Degrees out from progressive European values. And they will have a greater influence on the Continent than Americans can, given the general distrust that exists there of American national motives and general condenscension of the scholarship and objectivity of our American intelligensia.

7/18/2005 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Wild Bill said...

But who among us can swallow this whole, and not remember that it came from tainted sources ?? Who can not still have fear of the vicious dog that before had lunged at your throat from the end of its restraint, and now sits at your side ??
It just seems to me, by the tone, that these folks have agreed to this with regret, or maybe even duress.. Just rings hollow, guarded, as tho not to go too far in agreement..

The U.S. and the U.K. have a sad and dismal record of enforcing our own restrictions and compliances by radical elements in our midst.. How can we be contemptful of the Saudis, Turks, Syrians, Iranians, and Pakistanis, eventho, that is where most of the radical elements are trained, financed, and harbored, and their command structure is located ??
We sorely need to get our own house in order. Re-group, re-armor, re-plenish, and re-plan the next phase of this war, before we get behind the curve again..

If the people in this letter are really dedicated to what they wrote, they will recruit more of their like-minded contemporaries to their way of thinking.. If they give this letter with a "wink wink", then just expect more of the same ..

7/18/2005 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger Lesley said...

Long time reader, first time poster. Sorry to commit the ultimate faux pas of jumping the thread first time out of the box, but Buddy did I see your name in the Letters to the Editor in the WSJ?

7/18/2005 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Uh-hmmm..."And how many divisions does NATO [Europe] have?"

Besides the US, UK, and France, the greatest alliance in military history barely has enough to lock down Kabul.

7/18/2005 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger krishna_kirti said...

Writer Stephan Pollard wrote: "At a time when Islamofascism seeks to destroy liberal, democratic civilisation and to replace it with theocracy, it is imperative that those of us who believe in democracy and liberty stand up and fight."

Just a question: can a theocracy be benevolent and a democracy tyrannical? If either one of these propositions is affirmative, then what does this say about our presumptions as to what constitutes a moral and civic society?

7/18/2005 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

Is this a tipping point in the wot?

7/19/2005 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger sugar said...

We are witnessing one of the greatest betrayals by the left since so-called left-wingers backed the Hitler-Stalin pact and opposed the war against Nazi fascism.

And they have to know that there is a price for that betrayal.

For the left, it has nothing to do with being "intellectually bankrupt" anymore. Its just being a contrarian for the sake of being one. It doesnt matter what evidence you present. They will just keep moving the bar. They will keep rationalising in favor of the enemy. Its about selling anything and everything in this country to further whatever agenda they have in mind. They'll sell each other too if it came down to it. But in the end the constitution in this country is very clear as to what is treasonous. And it is long past due that this country hold its leftist traitors into account. Theres still some room left in Gitmo.

Anyone who sides with the enemy is the enemy.

7/19/2005 01:51:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

And 200+ Mullahs just came to Rick's - to issue a Fatwa condemning the London bombing.

Sadly, they still don't get it. Nobody cares about Fatwas in the West, certainly not when they're issued by men, in funny garb, not a women in sight, and in Arabic.

The medium is the message.

ADE

7/19/2005 03:30:00 AM  
Blogger THE DIRECTORATE said...

It's hard to get worked up over such statements. After 9/11 we heard a lot of patriotic and anti-terror rhetoric. Now it's the UK's turn for such vitriol and verbosity. It's good for a few popularity poll points among working Brits, and costs nothing other than a scathing rebuke from some further left of center commentator who scores his own points by going after the heretics. However, they will be on a leash somewhat, as the left-of-center folks were in the US.

Everyone should be much more excited about the US-India agenda and the prospect of making a military ally of India over the next 10 years. Strategically, this is exactly what the US needs to do to stabilize the region. India is the next Israel. (You'll hear that a lot in the next years, but remember where you heard it first!)

7/19/2005 03:48:00 AM  
Blogger Huan said...

Nice sentiments but will it take the war anywhere?

7/19/2005 03:51:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

I don't really see a big short-term shift in the Left's attitude toward the war. They've got too much invested in hatred to wean themselves away from it. At best, they will begin to hate radical Islam with something approaching the intensity they've reserved for conservatives. Equal opportunity vitriol. And the Left is unlikely to contribute in any physical way to the defeat of the new fascism. But their power has never been in the realm of nuts and bolts. Whenever the Left gets into nuts and bolts it produces a North Korea or a Cuba. Their real forte lies in telling stories; creating a "narrative". In that regard they live in the same space as Osama Bin Laden, himself a teller of tales.

For that reason the Left will eventually be hostile towards Islamic fundamentalism, despite its hatreds. It is in competition with radical Islam for the prize of the dominant narrative. One reason why the London bombing was such a shock even to the Guardianistas was because it demonstrated how easily young British-born men could twitch aside the 'irresistible' offerings of 'understanding', 'sympathy' and 'multiculturalism'. The Islamists threw the proferred banquet in the faces of the Left.

That must have created a profound crisis of confidence, albeit a subconscious one. The Left in its pride has always felt superior to backward Islam. The 'ignorant' Bush might never be able to beguile Muslims, but the Left always felt it could. But for the first, though not the last time, they've discovered that Islam is winning converts from the Leftist world view. The liberal narrative is outmatched and now they are afraid. Very afraid.

7/19/2005 04:14:00 AM  
Blogger RiverRat said...

I often find it valuable restudy the definition of words. The discussion of Liberalism and its bastardization by the modern Left brings to mind another word that has been morphed. Having been changed by socio-economic movements of the left my current definition may offer insight into the mind of the Western Left and their attitude toward radical Islamic theo-totalitarianism.

Main Entry: fas•cism Pronunciation Guide
Pronunciation: fa]shizm, faa], fai] also ]si- sometimes fä] or f]
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): -s
Etymology: Italian fascismo, from fascio bundle, political group + -ismo -ism
1 often capitalized : the principles of the Fascisti; also : the movement or governmental regime embodying their principles
2 a : any program for setting up a centralized transnational oligarchic regime with severely transnationalistic policies, exercising regimentation of industry, commerce, and finance, rigid censorship, and forcible suppression of classic liberal free market capitalism opposition b : any tendency toward or actual exercise of ostensibly democratic but oligarchic or unelected supra-legislative dictatorial control (as over other nation-states within a supranational organization); the nascent fascism of a regulator who is not content merely to do his duty -- George Nobbe> early instances of collective social fascism and repression -- J.W.Aldridge> ; a kind of personal fascism, an elitist oligarchic dictatorship of the ego over the more libertarian elements of the soul -- Edmond Taylor>


The western left is virulently anti-libertarian as are Islamic theo-totalitarians. Consciously or unconsciously they share the common goal of controlling others who do not accept the superiority of their visions. Thus a kinship of spirit born in hell.

7/19/2005 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

We should not denigrate those of the left,as many of the signataries are,they have travelled a considerable distance to get to this point.
It is both foolish and mean spirited to nit pick their statements,let us just be grateful that they are on our side.The publicly avowed condemnation of terror will be of some advantage in persuading the waverers and those "leftists" who opposed the Wot for doctrinal reasons.
It is also helpful that many are writers published in the MSM,a front where the WoT is losing badly.

7/19/2005 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Directorate -- You are exactly right about India. In India we glimpse a future that we can support, a model for globalized capitalism; a functioning democracy that manages the difficult task of reconciling multiple ethnicities and languages, using English as the common tongue and the English parliamentary system as a model. Let's hear it for India!

But an important note: India wouldn't have worked if the Hindus and Sikhs hadn't been separated from the Muslims of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Even now the Muslim minority in India makes life difficult for the rest.

Keep your eye on India.

7/19/2005 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger WillyShake said...

"Here's lookin' at you, kid!"

Translation: I sure hope you're right about this!

Linking to this entry, I reflected on some of the things that surprised me about these collected quotes--like the number of times the term "pseudo-Left" is used. Something that you don't hear or see in most coverage of the debates about OIF or the WoT.

7/19/2005 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Over on the American Future blog Marc has excerpts from and a link to normblog, which addresses an issue raised by Hitchens in his statement: "the fake left." This concept is simply that Leftists who did not embrace the battle against the Islamic Fascists are "fake", since they reject the main tenants of the Left in order to rejoice in the destruction of Western Civilization - and also wish not appear to be "right wing."
An interesting point - but one must also realize that the Left has jettisoned anything that was the least bit troublesome to their personal ambitions. E.G., the continued feminist support of Bill Clinton.
Take a wire brush to the beliefs of the Left and you will soon find that under all that corruption, peeling paint, rust, and decay that there is nothing really there. The choice is not between the "Fake Left" (Galloway) or the Right Wing Leftists (Hitchens) but between those who believe in some basic human values and those who find such concepts inconvenient to their own personal quest for power or pleasure.

7/19/2005 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

My first thought after reading this was 'I don't trust progressives'. I must admit however that the letter is a significant start.

Then again I have this nagging fear that what they really want is 'peace in their time', not victory.

7/19/2005 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Liberal now means "social democracy," an import from Europe which began life as Socialism and had to transform itself in order to achieve an sustain real-life power in the tumultuous parliaments of the liberal-totalitarian-liberal period. Conservative in this country means convservation of the essentially Liberal United States Constitution, which Liberalism includes a confidence in individuals to find their way and a limited government. Liberalism is essentially a negative form of liberty--i.e. liberty is the maximum absence of restraints. Social democracy is an essentially positive conception of liberty--i.e. that one is free If one does such and such, if conditions are such and such. In reality, of course, social democrats may make contributions to society, and they have, but these are of a piece of the Liberal legacy inhering within their ideological moood; the socialist aspect is still jealous, requires compliance, is not free because it is dictatorial and craves continual revolution from above (i.e. by intellectuals and demagogues).

But this is all very well summed up by Isaiah Berlin in his Two Concepts of Liberty.

What is amazing is how much damage is done--spiritually, socio-politicall--by the terrible illusion that there are impersonal historical forces.

Ah, Schopenhauer--why does no one read you anymore! Your enemies have triumphed! It was Nietzsche who ruined you, wasn't it.

Anyway, how these social democrats, this favorite European import of morons...

HA! As I speak, my local NPR station is going to do a piece on "American Anti-Intellectualism: have conservatives convinced the hoi-poloi that intellectual is a dirty word?"

Oh my god. Because genius is the thing, not crap intellectualism! Name one great thing accomplished by "intellectuals" in the last 80 years (not counting Wallace Stevens)! Europe has killed itself with tribal aggression and socialism. Every single movement besides High Modernism--whose greatest practitioners aside from Joyce WERE AMERICANS--is completely disposable crap.

I think it's time for an updated version of the "Miseducation of" genre to rub these people's faces in the crap. I Charlotte Simmons was supposed to be that, but Wolfe is old and in the way.

7/19/2005 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

As several have noted, the true "men behind the curtain", the ones pulling the strings attached to Osama and company, the ones Osama refers to as
The Golden Chain
, should be the true targets of anti-terror activity.

It's long been said "amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics". For terrorism, this should be modified to "...professionals study cash flows". Terrorist networks need cash. They need cash for transport, for safe houses, for purchase of supplies and arms.

Al Queda, Hamas, Black September, the Chechens --- all these are just the various heads of the Hydra. Cut off one head, and another two will sprout. The only way to kill the Hydra is to strike at its heart.

7/19/2005 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well there is an old saying
"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth"
Take what you can get from these guys and be happy.
Do not expect a conversion, just see them for what they are, dazed and confused.

7/19/2005 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Dan -- Name one great thing accomplished by "intellectuals" in the last 80 years (not counting Wallace Stevens)!

Your inclusion of Wallace Stevens compels me to answer your question. I must add: Vladimir Nabokov, Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, and Gene Wolfe. The fact that all four are consummate fantasists is undoubtedly significant...

7/19/2005 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Super 6 said...

desert rat said: Do not expect a conversion, just see them for what they are, dazed and confused.

Nothing like the cold slap of reality to wake you up.......

7/19/2005 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Dan and the Baron roll the names of five intellectuals off the tips of their fingers. These fellows have contributed to society in some way,great or small, I'm sure, yet they are all unknown to me.
So much for self-education.
I better buy some more books
or better yet, read 'em

7/19/2005 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

"The terrorists give allegiance to a totalitarianism both with recognisable twentieth-century forebears and with a still more atavistic - literally mediaeval - character. They oppose the US and its allies not for our sins of commission and omission, but for what we exemplify: liberal political rights, pluralism, religious liberty, scientific inquiry and women?s emancipation."

I'm sorry I think this analysis is completely wrong: they are attacking us because we are the dominant power. Period. This is a tribal war of expansion, not a blood feud, not the vengeance of an impersonal historical force, not an ideological contest, except secondarily. Regardless of ideology, the first step is to gain power, and nothing is jettisoned as readily as an ideological prohibition when an opportunity to increase power presents itself, or can be created. This is a war for dominion. Once the pretension is destroyed, the ideology will wither. But then, of course, a successor will arise.

7/19/2005 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Dan: Well said! But the truly incredible thing is that the "Liberal" Leftists who profess that it is the conservatives that wish to diminish liberty. Kerry warned agianst the conservatives wanting "to control every aspect of your life." Jesse Jackson the other day warned against appointing "another Clarence Thomas, someone who would reduce liberty, not increase it."
This are nutso statements from our perspective, and truly bring into question the definition of liberty. How could two groups profess to believe in the same things and be so opposite?
Finally, it seems that the popular, non-thinking approach to the "impersonal forces of history" is to view history in terms of "eras." Ideas, concepts and approaches are in and out of style, in the same manner as hemlines and shoe styles. A simple approach used by historians to grouping time periods is now a subsitite for reasoned analysis, logic, and experience.

7/19/2005 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I'm not so sure of that dan,
Depending on which Opfor we are talking about.
I do not think that UBL is into political power, in a Western sense. I do not think he, himself, wants to be King.
The guy is my age, early 50's, and has been a 'fighter' all his life.
That is the role he see's himself in, I'm sure. His amigo, the doctor from Cairo, is an intellectual, the 'thinker'.
I do not see the 'Leader' as of yet. UBL may think he is some kind of Mohamenead Warrior Priest King but is not in it for the nuts & bolts of ruling.

7/19/2005 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I have always thought of these Mohammedans as some what Don Quixotish, tilting against wind mills and dreaming the impossible dream.

7/19/2005 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Dan -- I don't think the two motives (territorial/tribal expansion vs. ideology) are necessarily mutually exclusive. Part of what defines a tribe today is its ideology. A good example of this was communism, which was aggressively expansionist. It was Russian at its core, but its ethnic identity did not define it; its ideology did.

The Great Jihad is similar. It is Arab at its core, but the ideology of Islamofascism is what defines it. Like communism, it will not be sated until the whole world is under its boot.

7/19/2005 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

As for power a Cliphate requres a Caliph!

7/19/2005 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger RiverRat said...

Baron,

I agree with your premise but I've come to oppose the term "islamofascism". See my earlier post in which I posit that a superior descriptor is Islamic Theo-totalitarianism.

7/19/2005 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Richard Holebrooke writes in the Washington Post about the 10 years that have passed in bosnia since we took action there

"Was Bosnia Worth It?"
"...Above all, there is peace and not simply a cease-fire; this war will not resume. Nor has Bosnia become two separate states, as many critics of the Dayton Peace Agreement predicted. Although many (including in the Pentagon) predicted a Korea-like demilitarized zone between Serbs and Muslims, there are no barriers between the regions, and there are growing economic and political ties between ethnic groups. More than a million refugees have returned to their homes, many, like those in Srebrenica, to areas where they are in a minority. ..."

7/19/2005 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger RiverRat said...

Why a single human Caliph? Why not an Oligarchy of Mullahs...The Caliphocracy?

7/19/2005 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger RiverRat said...

Desert Rat,

You don't really believe what Holbrook says in the quote, do you?

Peace in Bosnia? I think not. Just google for a while and you'll see the errors of the Holbrooke blinders.

7/19/2005 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Tilting at windmills
UBL is a leader in command however isolated. The Sheik commands the unwavering respect of the “true” believers. There is little doubt that legions of his followers would bath themselves in their own blood to be a part of the history he has created. Perhaps a ceremonial Sultanship is what UBL desires as his everlasting reward. If not, he has already gained the legacy as the Arab warrior who fought to advance the edicts of “God”. May the almighty turn him out to face the judgment of those he has made to suffer.

7/19/2005 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

They could well have a Council with a front man, like Iran does.
But these folk still have to have a public face.
Like the US, UK or Catholic Church.
Groups need Leaders
Both Supreme and Local

7/19/2005 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

RiverRat -- call it what you will, it is the most dangerous and murderous ideology of our time.

I call it The Great Islamic Jihad, Third Wave, but that makes for a very awkward acronym.

7/19/2005 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You would have to think that as a young man UBL went off to Afghanistan knowing, intellectually, that Victory was impossible. The Soviet Military was huge and unbeatable. Common knowledge, even the US President thought it to be so.
Guided by faith he took to the hills and lo and behold, defeated the Russian Bear.
Faith and Victory through the Power of Will. Allah's or his own.

He and his boys are Believers, of that I have no doubt. They are dangerous, it's true. But at this point all that he has really accomplished is to internationalize Border Banditry

7/19/2005 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger RiverRat said...

Any Mouse,

Often its all semantics. As to UBL I wouldn't call a leader but instead an icon. Clearly he's the icon of the movement but to to lead you must be able to direct. I sincerely doubt his ability to direct at this point.

7/19/2005 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

I posted on "United" yesterday because I was struck by this passage from one of the original signers, Peter Thatchell:

If the fake left gets its way, the ex-Baathists and Islamic fundamentalists could easily seize power, leading to Iranian-style clerical fascism and a bloodbath. I used to be proud to call myself a leftist. Now I feel shame. Much of the left no longer stands for the values of universal human rights and international socialism.

7/7 seems to have been a light on the Damascus Rd for Mr. Thatchell. Perhaps it is for many Brits. OTOH, they have a real problem when Blair stands around wringing his hands and telling moderate Muslims to rein in their terrorist brats. That is the job of government, guv, not the guy on the street.

Here's my take on it, along with a great picture from Dalrymple's book:

Is Britain Too Decadent to Survive?

7/19/2005 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger RiverRat said...

Wrong Key!

Sorry for the absence of copy editing on my last post.

7/19/2005 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

It is very simple to be against terrorists and their terror tactics. Big deal! To be against terrorists and their tactics does not automatically translate into support for the War in Iraq. This WoT thing is a canard, in fact, our invading and occupying has been counter productive in our fight against terror.

And y'all love to talk fascism. Well the seeds of fascism lie in what bloomie wrote and many others of you seem to believe:

"But in the end the constitution in this country is very clear as to what is treasonous. And it is long past due that this country hold its leftist traitors into account. Theres still some room left in Gitmo.

Anyone who sides with the enemy is the enemy"

In bloomie's world, I am guilty of treason. Hahahaha, thankfully that is only a seed of fascism and not its reality, though gitmo does present the face of fascism.

7/19/2005 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No lady D
The Government is the people, even in the UK.
If the PM does not demand, cajole and even beg for the assistance of the British Mohammadens now, he could not subjugate them later. First they must be told of their Civic Duty, before being punished for failing it.
The lead time to a crack down will be quite long, with sign posts along the way. The Mohammadens will have every opportunity to get with the 'Western program, if they want.

7/19/2005 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger RiverRat said...

Ash,

You may not be guilty of treason but if your focus remains on domestic politics and the tactics of war as an opponent without offering a better vision for achieving the goal you are aiding and abeting the enemy. You can choose not to support the goals of liberty and democracy in Iraq. That's your choice. If you make that choice I, for one, will consider you a traitor to liberal republican democracy.

In a phrase, you can't support the troops we've elected and hired without supporting the mission.

7/19/2005 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ash is back

The seeds of Fascism are not at Gitmo, any thing but.
If one wanted to find police state behavior, which is what I think you are talking about, you'd have to look back to WW II and the Jap internment camps. Removing citizens from their homes and interning them. But that was a much different Time & Place.

In past wars people like those interned at Gitmo would have been shot on the spot. Summary executions for non uniformed combatants is an old military tradition. But in our Liberal, post Modern world we in the US have shied away from the ancient ways.
By making such an issue over these fellows at Gitmo the left will ensure but one thing. We won't make that mistake again. Back to shooting spies and non uniformed saboteurs, on the spot.

7/19/2005 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Riverrat
My old cousin
No, I do not believe Holbrooke has it down pat. He is/ was Bushes rep at the Ceremony and spoke for the US, there.
If this is the 'offical' version then I thought we should know.
If Bosnia is "Peace" than what we have in Iraq is damn close to it, already.

7/19/2005 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Hell riverrat, if he is an icon, we already know what his commands are. His pathos have been written and improved upon over the past several hundred years in the Koran.’Now go get ‘em tigers.’

7/19/2005 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/19/2005 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/19/2005 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Yeah, I'm back, been cooling my heels on a nice holiday.

riverrat, your statement "In a phrase, you can't support the troops we've elected and hired without supporting the mission." is simply false.

I'm not sure of your 'troops elected' business but...

Say our glorious commander in chief ordered 100,000 troops to go to the Antarctic to chip a bunch of ice cubes and bring them back to cool the drinks at a White House function. The troops are duty bound to obey those orders (there is no 'law breaking' going on in them). Would I not be justified to criticize that mission while still maintaining my support for the troops? Of course!

Desert rat,

Sure things were a lot worse in the past and those regimes were horrible. Nevertheless, arrest and detention with no due process whatsoever is indeed a trait of fascism. To advocate making dissension a crime is a seed of fascism, fortunately in the US, dissent is not yet a crime.

7/19/2005 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If you read this blog with any regularity you'd know that many here dissent from the Methods & Tactics employed in this conflict.

All the Gitmo group had gone through a series of processes within the military to get to Gitmo. Whether or not these processes are/ were adequate is being adjudicated. This does not happen in Fascict states.
Believe me, I once visted a Fascist State and ours is not one. Thankfully, Chile is not one any more, either

7/19/2005 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger RiverRat said...

Ash,

I'm not sure of you 'troops elected' business but...

Of course your not sure. Every nationally elected official in our republic has pledged to protect and defend the nation and it's constitution.

In a time of war I consider them "troops" we chose to defend us. I'll support the people's choice and their leadership until given or the people have chosen another opportunity to choose. Obviously you choose not to. Thus you apparently support anarchy over liberal republican democracy and the rule of law. To me that's treason.

7/19/2005 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

defend and protect the Constitution, against all enemies, foreign and domestic

7/19/2005 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

"Say our glorious commander in chief ordered 100,000 troops to go to the Antarctic to chip a bunch of ice cubes and bring them back to cool the drinks at a White House function. The troops are duty bound to obey those orders (there is no 'law breaking' going on in them)."

Completely and insanely untrue.orders can be refused if they are deemed insane,senior officers can resign,Chiefs of Staff have enough political clout to get such orders rescinded,Presidents can be impeached,holidays in th sun can fry the brain.

7/19/2005 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You can tell, really.
Some really have pledged their life, liberty and sacred honor to defend Liberty.
Some give lip service to the words
Actions tell the tale

7/19/2005 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

Christopher Hitchens did not need the London bombings to see the vile produce of the Islamofacists. I don't know about the others but it seems counter productive to look a gift horse in the mouth. We need allies, if these be allies in the sense of the Soviets during WW2 fine, I can accept that, we can straighten that out after we win. But winning this war against these very dangerous foes is everything and taking them lightly will insure our defeat.

The Islamofacists are winning in a few areas and it is exactly in those areas that the people signing that declaration can help the most. I say welcome aboard, pass the ammunition and dont fire till you see the whites of their eyes.

Pierre

7/19/2005 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Nevertheless, arrest and detention with no due process whatsoever is indeed a trait of fascism.

I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that non-uniformed foreign combatants' due process rights were guaranteed by the Constitution.

7/19/2005 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I guess we need to indict ourselves for war crimes since some Nazis were arrested and detained without due process.

7/19/2005 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Well, I suppose fascism isn't a war crime. But we must punish ourselves for great justice!

7/19/2005 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Desert Rat, when you say The Government is the people, even in the UK.
If the PM does not demand, cajole and even beg for the assistance of the British Mohammadens now, he could not subjugate them later
.

I humbly beg to disagree. Government is elected representatives of said people, representatives who are exquisitely attuned to their electors...

...well, some are. GWB is pretty deaf when it comes to our Mexican border, but more often than not attunement is the case...as has been demonstrated by Denmark.

I love Queen Margrethe's remark that we're tolerant because we tend to be lazy. How non-PC is *that*?

7/19/2005 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Pierre Legrand,
Exactly,I posted something similar further up the thread.
Too many are behaving like the "deranged" left and finding fault through lack of purity,firepower or whatever,but let us not look a gift horse in the mouth,anything that gets the media left on board and drives a wedge into the "anybody but the Right" camp should be accepted at face value.
The Islamofascists must be pissing themselves with laughter as they watch the Left/Right power struggles in the West,less work for them to do afterwards.
I would go even further and state that the current upsurge in Islamofascism is directly related to the schisms in the West,what an opportunity!

7/19/2005 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I'd agree with you lady D.
I think in England, as here, people want things to turn out 'well'. No internments, deportations, etc. We do not want random acts of violence against percieved Mohammedens. No, I think we want to give everyone a chance to get on board.
The Conductor let's everyone know the train is leaving. It is your/ their choice as to getting on or not. If you stay at the station, or board another train, well, that decision is on you.
Like all those referenced by our host, come to Rick's or be left out in the cold, cruel world.

7/19/2005 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

To actually understand British governance it is neccessary to understand that the Government of the day is an elected dictatorship,the power resides in the hands of the Prime Minister who is the leader of the majority party.
MPs are their constituent's representatives but their seats are in the gift of the party and local constituency parties,they mostly toe the party line.
In effect voters have no control over MPs outside an election,which as we all know are fought on a wide rage of issues.
Tony Blair's party the Labour party is a minority party with much of its support coming from Scotland and inner city minority groups.The Muslim vote is therefore vital to the Blair Project and the man is torn between remaining in power and protecting the interests of the Brirish people as a whole.
Believe me this is a tough call for Tony,who outside the Iraq war has managed to govern by sleight of hand and smoke and mirrors,think Clinton lite.

7/19/2005 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

PeterUK wrote:
"MPs are their constituent's representatives but their seats are in the gift of the party and local constituency parties,they mostly toe the party line"

I'm a little confused. You seem to be asserting that the MP's have their seats because the party decides they have them. This isn't actually true is it? It is not like Iraq, or Isreal, where MP's get their seat by being a member of the party and being on a list.

Is it not the case that an individual runs in a geographical area and the winner gets to be MP? When a bill is voted on in parliament all individual MP's can vote against or for it. Sure, if you vote against your party affiliation you can be turfed from the party, but you still retain your seat.

7/19/2005 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Brian H said...

If that's acceptable "accomplished writing" from Cambridge's History Dept. these days, my pity and empathy for students there is profound.

Ashole is definitely an extreme example of "unilateral liberalism", with standards far too high to attain applied to western democracies and too low to even measure applied to their opponents. There can only be one Secret Motive for such perversity, of course: the dream of being personally Called On to take over and Fix Everything.

Heaven and Allah forfend!

:D

7/19/2005 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Ash,
You say "I'm a little confused." Yes you are.

7/19/2005 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Rat & Baron I agree with you guys to some extent, and the hierarchy is subtle no matter how you slice it, but fundamentally I think these are vain, vain men. Consider the role of Mohammed, the circa 7th century Arab societies, the mega-tribe he created, the control and dominion at the heart of Islamic submission.

There is also no conceivable way to destroy it intellectually since its presumptions are always-already impervious to empirical validation or any of the other well-respected methods. I can't even imagine it being vulnerable on stylistic grounds.

Nope, it's all Fascism, and Fascism is merley that stands for the least plausibly justified ultraviolence you can possibly get away with--i.e., violence justified by intellectual violence, culminating in charismatic rule. Is this not the essence of Islam, but is not Islam essentially a rule book for creating the ultimate Sheik in a part of the world that still has not gotten over them? Of course it is. That it includes humanistic elements is hardly avoidable since it deals with human beings. Nor is it inherently psychotic--but it is inherently aggressive and a "total way of life," the extent that the Arabs' inability to lend at interested prevented their fully exploiting the oil weapon deployed in the 1970s since their capital was all tied up in Western banks who could freeze their assets at any time (Paul Johnson says so anyway).

But these folks are following the typical trajectory pretty clearly, although in a convex, spead-up manner: liberalism, the socialism v. liberalism, then fascism v. socialism with a dormant liberalism.

This is the Fascist phase, and Hitler was not really an ideologue so much as a racist and relentless Romantic megalomaniac.

I don't know, maybe the distinctions ultimately break down. But my point is that their ideology, as their pronouncements, should never be considered as actual policy dictates as might issue from Foggy Bottom, but merely expressions of the scope of their will to power and depth of their anti-humanity. Therefore they, the recalcitrant Islamists, should be merely killed as pirates or imprisoned as enemies of the state and in any case treated like strategic threat and systematically destroyed. This threat of nuclear attack, treated as an aesthetic phenomenon by the Left and the media, is intolerable, and no one has a duty to tolerate it. Liberalism has its own boundaries--the destruction of the monarchy, which Liberalism has always defined as ipso facto Tyranny, that will not completely surrender its powers is one. Treating its ideological dimension as a serious contender for legitimacy is a dangerous error. We need more Putin/Slav candor out of our Bush & Blair: "we destroy them."

7/19/2005 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Dan -- the leader may be a cynical power-mad tyrant, but ideology is the glue that makes the tyranny possible and holds it together. Stalin was an absolute and unprincipled despot, but (at least initially) the communist ideology was necessary to establish and maintain his rule. Once his power was absolute, of course, it no longer mattered what any of his unfortunate subjects believed.

I'm sure Bin Laden, Zarqawi, Zawahiri, etc, are looking forward to that latter stage, when they can just issue orders and not have to worry about citing the Koran.

7/19/2005 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

the difersity of enemies that the moslems are making is a sign that the world is moving from an an old civilization to a new civilization.

islam came into being at the dead end of empires/civlizations. they do well in late empire/civilizations circumstances.

the world is shifting over from one old civilization/empire to a new civilization/empire. the disconnect for the moslems more than everyone else is that they see the castles burning on the ground but they don't see the casles in the sky being built. and here I use the word "see" advisadly. They see the castles in the sky being built but they have not slaughtered enough sheep to ascertain how to react appropriately to them. It make take a long sleep.

7/19/2005 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Ultimately I'm not sure if the pyscho babble has any effect, except to understand how to defeat them.
I do agree with your last line 100%

"... We need more Putin/Slav candor out of our Bush & Blair: "we destroy them." ..."

We should get really serious about this, but do not hold your breath. I'd hate to see anyone turn 'blue'

7/19/2005 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Greg said...
Excellent statements, all. But terms like "left" or "liberal" just don't make sense any more. Liberalism (in its original incarnation) is a belief in transcendant human values, among them freedom and self-determination.
//////////////
yes but these are all government imposed human values

7/19/2005 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I do not think so charles,
liberal values, in a Jeffersonian sense are not government imposed.
Liberal values are designed to free men from the yoke of repression, changing the role of Government from being an imposition upon the people to being an extension of the people.

7/19/2005 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Those that want the Government to do more, regulate more, and be more actively involved in your life tend to be of the "Left" but are not, in the classic sense, Liberal

7/19/2005 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin B said...

There is one aspect of the terrorist Islamic mindset that I don't see mentioned much here, and that is their view that they are fighting to prevent Western "decadence/immorality" from permeating their "pure" Muslim culture. Many of these people who are very poor and afraid of what they see as the excesses of "Western" democratized cultures, which they see as leading away from religion, and towards more materialism and open sexuality, etc, etc. These people are religious zealots who are part of a cult, taught to hate those who are outside their cult. We have some of these same "us versus them" issues among Christian churches in our own country, albeit the differences rarely turn into killing sprees of innocents. So how do we get past the Muslim's hatred and fear of Western "excesses" (many of which are detested by our very own conservative wing), whose idea of success in life is based on "having" more spiritually versus more materially. That desire for spirituality vice materialism is what drives the suicide bomber, the promise of the hereafter. How do Democracy and open markets that lead to economic prosperity give the suicide bomber a better spiritual life? How does our promise of more wealth and other Western conveniences here on earth compete with the promise of eternal joy in the hereafter that UBL is offering?

7/19/2005 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

True Baron but Stalin was preceded by Lenin, who truly made Stalin's dictatorship possible by establishing his own. Bolshevism, Lenins's invention, is certainly a discursive formulation, but it was essentially a form of intellectual thuggery--as indeed Marxism in general was. Marxism and socialism were the milieu, Lenin was the agent. Thus is bin Laden. But I think you and Rat are probably right that I'm making too hard a distinciton. But I think bin Laden clearly wants to be the New Caliph--and he would have all the votes he needs to be the Sunni Caliph (yes, I think they have to call a council of emminences to vote on that).

And ok--I'll give you Nabokov--Nabokov is damn good.

7/19/2005 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Well, Kevin B, I take all that Islamic Spirtuality crap, as well, crap. And I mean that in repect to how the Mulla Omars and Osama Bin Ladens regard it. In their own now-captured homes and motor vehicles there was little or no evidence of such respect for "holiness and divinity" - just love of luxury and privilege. There certainly is no concern for spirituality, and can be none, when they blow up some mosques and use others as arms caches and fighting positions. Their claim to be fighting for spirituality is so much propaganda, meant to sound good to the Islamic poor who have nothing and whom the terrorists wish to ensure never get anything. In this respect they echo common Western Liberal practices; guns are bad things to Hollywood types, but are fine for their bodyguards.

7/19/2005 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Dan, I like to say that Vladimir Nabokov is the greatest living American writer.

7/19/2005 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Ash, humor me for a bit re: Iraq war.

As I'm sure you will agree, we are in a struggle against terrorists, or more specifically, a collection of individuals bonded together by a conceptual paradigm, one that blends a radical Islamic ideology with the indiscriminate targeting of civilians.

A very significant characteristic of this paradigm is its inadaptibility; it has a built-in redundancy that disallows invalidation. When all pay-offs are in the next world, and when all events are determined, there is not much you can do to deter or forcefully modify the faith of the true believer when death (martyrdom) is embraced and celebrated. This is our opponent.

In strategy, the two most important things to consider are your opponent's intentions, and his capabilities. Now, what strategy should you choose when fighting an enemy that cannot be deterred, whose intentions are set and cannot be restrained?

Simply, you focus primarily on his capabilities. Unfortunately, we live in an age of force-multiplication via technological innovation, yet these multipliers still have costs and most have entry barriers to their manufacture. The creation of nuclear weapons is the best example, since the large infrastructure needed to manufacture this extreme multiplier demands vast resources that only a state can bring to bear.

But capabilities are restrained or multiplied in many ways that have nothing to do with weaponry. Freedom of movement, unadulterated time to plan, protection from interference...all of these can increase the capability of an organization. An cult like Al'Qaeda would have a precipitous drop in capability and power projection if they had none of these things.

Therefore, the most intelligent course of action would be to strike quickly at the nexus between your opponent and his access to force-multipliers, while also seeking to limit the places on the globe where quarter is offered. Hence our strategy to eliminate the places that posed both of these dangers: Iraq, Syria, and Iran. (I do not say North Korea because to my knowledge this country does not offer quarter; likewise, Saudi Arabia does not offer weapons, though they do offer money).

Iraq was the obvious choice after Al'Qaeda's base in Afghanistan was collapsed; in essence, it was the low-hanging fruit of the three problematic areas. 12 years of constant attrition of Iraqi military defences through no-fly-zone, 17 violated resolutions, our significant knowledge of the territory, the violation of the 1991 Armistice, the vast history of Saddam's repression and evil, the familiarity of the American public with Iraq's status as an enemy, the large quantities of unaccounted-for WMD, and the strategic placement of Iraq between the other two problem areas made it the obvious next step. Taking down Iraq and building a democracy offered an excellent opportunity to address the problems of Iran and Syria, too, in a non-military fashion. Iran's military was strong enough to be a deterrent, and the population restless enough, that it made sense to address it slowly and subtly. Syria, more than the other two, was vulnerable to pressure and political maneuvering. We have made great strides in these areas by going after Iraq.

But it all comes down to capability. There may not be much we can do against the ideology when British-born well-to-do Muslims decide their wives and Mercedes are unsatisfactory, when the hatred overwhelms reason and they lash out at the innocent. But a starting point would be to limit the amount of damage they can do when their eyes turn red.

The Nash equilibrium in Game theory is the best strategy for you to take given the constancy of your opponent's strategy. In a two-player zero sum game, it is called the Maximin Criterion. Focusing on Al'Qaeda's capability instead of focusing on deterrence was/is the Maximin Criterion and the simplest Nash equilibrium. If we are to take Al'Qaeda seriously, if we are to take their declaration of total war as a true exposition of their intention, and their strategy of terror as constant, OIF was by far the most responsible next step in this large and complicated war.

Without states that harbor and give quarter, without infrastructure to produce force-multipliers, and without the protection and organizational integrity that states can offer the terrorists, their capability will remain closely linked to the backback and the fertilizer.

As I said, it is a place to start. If you want to argue against the Iraq war, then so be it, but it would help the rest of us if you would at least dress it in these terms. Otherwise, it just sounds unserious, and distracting.

7/19/2005 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger jakita said...

Dan,

Your post of 9:43am is excellent. You said:

"their [Islamists'] pronouncements, should never be considered as actual policy dictates as might issue from Foggy Bottom, but merely expressions of the scope of their will to power and depth of their anti-humanity. Therefore they, the recalcitrant Islamists, should be merely killed as pirates or imprisoned as enemies of the state and in any case treated like strategic threat and systematically destroyed. This threat of nuclear attack, treated as an aesthetic phenomenon by the Left and the media, is intolerable, and no one has a duty to tolerate it. Liberalism has its own boundaries"

I've long believed the "pirate" analogy is the most accurate, since it gets away from endless and nonsensical arguments about "the Left," "the West," "Christians who bomb abortion clinics," "Is Islam a murderous cult," etc. Everyone can understand "pirates"--who can be strung from the nearest lamppost without mercy in most cultures--except for the most lunatic and wimpy ones.

Secondly, as you said, the "Left" and the media treat the threat of nuclear and other WMD attack like some kind of aesthetic phenomena--poetic justice, nostalgie de la boue, whatever.

This is not a game, and we do not have to put up with their childlike ramblings nor tolerate their ACLU-ish lashing-outs against their parents. The grownups need to be in charge to defend us legally and firmly.

7/19/2005 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger iotm said...

We all know about the problem of authoritarians using Islam to justify their existence. Making statements to this effect is tired and pointless since everyone agrees.

But everything the "Islamo-fascists" have done the "Christo-fascists" have done on a scale 10 times larger, yet there's no equal criticism of them, in fact there's outright support and loyalty. Set off bombs that kill 55 people? You're evil. Drop bombs that kill 120,000 people, you're a hero.

This is pure inconsistency and renders any criticism of authoritarianism in the name of religion moot. This is the worst form of moral relativism I've ever seen. No one with any sense of logical reasoning can possibly take criticism like this seriously when it's so hypocritical.

7/19/2005 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger jakita said...

The so-called spirituality of the Islamists is phony garbage. These are people who take temporary wives, sex-slaves, and concubines. When they are tired of a woman, they throw her away. Their "spiritual thoughts" have to do with "submission to Allah" so they can go to paradise and party.

Many Muslims are very charitable, but I would bet that those very same Muslims are descendants of Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and pagans who were also very charitable.

7/19/2005 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin B said...

Aristides, thank you, that was a very lucid, useful discussion of a logical strategy in this war. That made a lot of sense, as you usually do. For those who share IOTM's perspective that the U.S. and other supposed "colonial" powers are hypocrital due to wreaking a relatively higher level of destruction over the years, I do not believe we will ever change "their" minds. The Crusades, Tokyo, Nagasaki and Hiroshima happened, we don't deny it. The civilized West has killed a lot of innocent civilians, and they'll always use that to support the cultist cause. Its powerful stuff for those who preach hate against us. I'm with Aristides on the containment strategy, its a huge worldwide endeavor, but we must proactively persist....

7/19/2005 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger iotm said...

I'm not preaching hate against you. I'm using simple logic to prove your arguments to be completely invalid.

7/19/2005 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin B said...

Jakita, it may be "phony garbage" to us, but it is very real for them. And that's what matters. Without a fundamental change in their intolerance for the West, they will continue to despise and try to destroy the infidels. That is why large portions of the peaceful Muslim community remain silent while this insanity is going on, because down deep they agree with the pretext, even though they might not agree with the actions.

7/19/2005 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Aristides,

I appreciate your thoughtful and well-written post. Saddam Hussein, however, was not a force-multiplier for Al Qaeda. The links between Al Qaeda and Hussein’s Iraq were minimal at best so I fail to see how invading and occupying Iraq does anything to diminish Islamic terrorism in general, and Al Qaeda’s capabilities in particular. In fact it increases Islamic terrorism because we have landed firmly with both feet, guns blazing, upon Arabic soil further exacerbating the problem.

7/19/2005 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Kevin -- keep in mind that they also may simply be afraid of what will happen to them if they speak out. They and their families may face a very real chance of suffering and death if they "defame Islam" and become "apostates".

This is as true in Detroit as it is in Kabul.

7/19/2005 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Both Aristides and ash are correct.

How interesting. As history and strategy Aristides gives us a well written and reasonably accurate narrative as to the Conflict.
When Ash rejects the initial reasoning, here he misses the point. Iraq was/ is a pivot point in the Region and Iraqi agents were working in cahoots with aQ. Z's presence in Iraq pre war is proof enough, though there is much more.
Today Ash is correct that our overbearing troop strength in Iraq is not helping to win the over all conflict. Although the fly paper theory is often sited, I'd summit we have just piled up some sugar and are attracting the flies.
The collateral costs of swatting those flies is becoming counter productive.
As we lessen our presence in the cities the local populations will turn on the insurgents. As the Government puts boots on the ground they will gain further legitimacy. The Insurgents will be blamed for the lack of security, not US

7/19/2005 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I don't know, I sort of think Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, the Japanese Imperial-Totalitarian Weirdos under Hirohito, Ho Chi Minh probably pound for pound out-annhiliated everyone, with the possible exception of Hitler, who was not a Christian, IOTM.

And what about the Mongols slaughtering everyone in their path from China to North India to Persia to Arabia to Ukraine? They were Christians? (Actually Ghengis's mom was Nestorian Christian, but IOTM doesn't even know what that is, so forget it.)

What about the Turkic hordes in their midst? Who became conquering Muslims under the Arabs? What about those Arabs who came out of the peninsula and layed seige to Rome--even though the peninsula was the one place on earth the Romans thought not worth bothering to conquer? What about them conquering a place that had been Christian for over 300 years prior to their arrival? What about an Muslim army breaking the Byzantine army at Manzikert in 1071, laying the ground open to Jeruslem? Oh yeah wait--what date was that first Crusade? Launched partly at the behest of the beleagured Byzantine Emperor to help repel the Muslim barbarian invaders busily carving out parts of his 1,000 year old Empire and making sorties at Constantinople (now, by the way, called Istanbul)? 1099 you say? Wow! That's pretty close to 1071 in medieval time, right?

Are the Hutus and Tutsis Christian?

Your fantasies are idiotic and display nothing but your ignorance.

Do you know why you suspect everyone is a drone of some outside power, controlled by ideology?

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOU ARE, IOTM!

7/19/2005 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

I believe that on a per-capita basis (i.e. the number slaughtered versus the number of living souls under his control), Pol Pot (the renowned evangelical Christian)probably ranks as the greatest murderer of all time.

But it's hard to tell, because even semi-accurate counts of such things did not exist before the 20th century.

7/19/2005 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Iotm: you write, "Set off bombs that kill 55 people? You're evil. Drop bombs that kill 120,000 people, you're a hero...This is the worst form of moral relativism I've ever seen."

Putting aside the "120,000" number, which I am assuming was a rhetorical flourish (OIF: less than 10,000 civilians), it seems to me the morality of your examples lies not in the result, but in the intention.

Killing 55 innocents is always wrong, always immoral, if done deliberately. Killing innocents for its own sake can never be justified. The terrorists target and kill civilians in this way, that is why they are despicable. Their immorality is determined by their intention. The damage is determined by the number.

But what about killing 55 civilians inadvertantly? In a just cause where their deaths were unavoidable? What about killing 55 militants, armed opponents who are standing on the field of battle?

Your statements are the true example of moral relativism and simplicity. If you cannot understand that America's behavior in OIF is morally distinguishable from the terrorist attacks in London, when we used precision weapons to minimize collateral damage and civilian death, in the cause of liberation and self-protection, then you have entered the no-man's-land of nihilism.

Underneath your sneer lies an abyss of amoral paralysis in the face of aggression. Your inability to defend the way of life that supports and nurtures you becomes a death wish when juxtaposed with the aims and beliefs of those we fight. If violence in the cause of life is too much for you to bear, violence in the cause of death will happily fill the void.

7/19/2005 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Iotm's position: We are all little Eichmanns and deserve to be murdered in droves until the bodies of our countrymen, women and children arrive at some arbitrary magical number, at which point Iotm will declare everybody even.

And then everybody can hold hands and sing and live happily ever after.

Reducto ad absurdum... ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.

7/19/2005 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Or, more accurately, only then can we argue against authoritarianism in the name of religion, because our alleged blood debt will have been fulfilled.

Is that right?

7/19/2005 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Always the contrarian I was thinking, aah... the American Indigs, now there is a historic genocide of HUGE proportions. Evil European/ White men...

So, a quick search and...
"...All in all, a land that may well have held seven to ten million American Indians at the time of Columbus's arrival contained approximately a quarter of a million by 1900. ..."

nine or ten million dead in 400 years. That is one long term genocidal policy.
How did this occur?

"...The combination of violence and disease caused some tribal communities to lose as much as ninety percent of their member populations. As wave after wave of disease hit at times of early contact, communities might lose a quarter to a third of their populations time and again. ..."

Disease... bio weapons...WOW!
but then I recalled
No one knew about germs in those days. How could there be germ warfare if there were no known germs?

AAH... false but accurate, if those Europeans had known about germs, well, they'd have used 'em.

Pol Pot - 2 million dead out of a population of 8 million, 25%
Axes & Bullets were the most common tools used for the dispatching of a live.
This is an interesting quote

"... Throughout Cambodia, deadly purges were conducted to eliminate remnants of the "old society" - the educated, the wealthy, Buddhist monks, police, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and former government officials. Ex-soldiers were killed along with their wives and children. Anyone suspected of disloyalty to Pol Pot, including eventually many Khmer Rouge leaders, was shot or bludgeoned with an ax. "What is rotten must be removed," ..."

US was pretty much withdrawn from Indochina during his four year romp 1975-79.

7/19/2005 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger noprisoners said...

"India is the next Israel"----

This is an interesting statement. Can "the directorate" explain?

7/19/2005 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There is nothing better than to read a major daily online, like the NY Post and see that the ideas that have been posted here, at Belmont, are ahead of the curve.

"... the most important thing that the country needs to do is to fix the strategy-force mismatch that now afflicts the military: For better or worse, the United States now underwrites the security of much of the world. Accordingly, our strategy requires ground forces oriented not only toward winning wars but carrying out "constabulary" missions. The Pentagon's emphasis on buying high-tech weapons means that the ground forces necessary to execute such constabulary missions are often under funded.
Of course we need naval, air and space power, too. But constabulary missions of the sort our current strategy requires depends on robust ground forces which, before the war in Iraq, were seen by many defense analysts as not very useful. ..."

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/50340.htm

but C4 will come by and tell US that the US Navy will police the world more effectively than the US Army, those pesky Chicoms are the real threat, you know.
Also Connecticut needs to keep those Federal Dollars flowing. As of course does Arizona.
AAAH... the majority

7/19/2005 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Tencrudo (sp) the congressman from CO is about to go on Fox News and discuss Nuking Mohammenden cities.
Read it here first, I'm sure he did

7/19/2005 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

I assume that the 120,000 killed number is from the B-29 fire bomb raids of WWII.
Interesting how only "our" leftists add up all of the deaths among our different vanquished enemies: indians, Japanese, Germans, Vietnamese, North Koreans, Chinese, Arabs, etc, and conclude that the rest of the Human Race is mightily upset with us. The reality is that every single one of our enemies not only does not begrudge us our victories over the others but would have cheerfully done even worse had they the opportunity. You just know that the Nazis and Soviets would have treated the American Indians with courtesy and respect...
This is ridiculous thinking; the Left's Big Tent strategy taken to reducto absurdum.
We do not stand astride the world on a mountain of their bones; we now stand lower than we would have because they tried to drag us down.

7/19/2005 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I guess we can't argue against slavery either. America used to allow slavery, you know. We're all a bunch of illogical hypocrites!

7/19/2005 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Oh, I know. We can argue against slavery after we've all been enslaved. Then we'll be able to talk about it on equitable terms.

Sorry, I'm having too much fun.

7/19/2005 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Ash: thanks for the prompt response.

"Saddam Hussein, however, was not a force-multiplier for Al Qaeda."

I strongly disagree. Salman Pak was a terrorist training ground, with a practice plane for hijacking and everything else. The Fedayeen illustrates Saddam's readiness to turn to terrorism to fight a much stronger enemy. The sanctions were dissolving, Saddam was adamant in his defiance, and who knows what coordination would have come about between Al'Qaeda and Saddam as both became firmly planted in our crosshairs. The strange bedfellows caused by the war on terror are not exclusively on the anti-terrorist side, after all. We may never reach an agreement here, since by necessity any cooperation would have been in the shadows, but I'm happy to err on the side of caution. Equally as important, it furthered our strategy vis Iran, the big enchilada of all the terror force-multipliers.

"In fact it increases Islamic terrorism because we have landed firmly with both feet, guns blazing, upon Arabic soil further exacerbating the problem."

This is also a contentious point, and great minds are in profound disagreement on the overall effects of OIF on terrorist recruitment. A new poll just came out that showed a precipitous decline in Muslim approval for terrorism and a rather hopeful increase in Muslim desire for democracy. Could it not be the case that we will see both a short-term increase in terrorists and a longterm decrease, not only in quantity but in popularity? Also, as has been said many times, Al'Qaeda did not have much trouble with recruitment before the war, either.

Also, re: my original point, the capability of terrorists has not increased with OIF, it has decreased significantly. Other states have been given their warning. Terrorist operational capability has been severely restrained even if their determination has been hardened.

And lastly, Wretchard has posted on the learning opportunity attendant to our interacting directly with the Muslim Middle East. If there is an ideological solution to the terrorist problem, we are now eye deep in the data we will need to find it. Unless you think sitting on the sidelines using the conceptual arsenal of the decadent West, multiculturalism and post-religionism, was sufficient to the task.

But let's get back to the question at hand: how do you make sure terrorists do not end up with safe-harbor and force-multipliers? I'm sincerely interested in what you would have done after Afghanistan, or if you would have done anything at all. Remember, our enemy was not idle. While Al'Qaeda's leaders played hide-and-seek in the border mountains of Afghanistan, their emissaries were dispatched to Iran and Iraq, both countries that had unquenchable animosity towards us. What was your logical next step?

Go after Iran, who had no history of violated UN resolutions, had strong and public support from China and Russia, a large and modern Military unperturbed by 12 years of attrition; no northern, western, or southern entry points, with a population on the brink of revolution? With Saddam next door?

Or Syria?

Or no invasion at all? Would you work through the same UN that passed 17 resolutions on Saddam with no discernible effect? Use sanctions that were defeated by our French and Russian allies? Keep the no-fly-zone in Iraq and our troops in Saudi Arabia indefinitely? Pull them out and let Saddam have his way? Weaken American influence by attaching her "legitimacy" to a global test, administered by a crowd who would love to see her fail?

Or would you have invaded North Korea, sacrificing Seoul while the "root cause" of the problem remained decidedly Islamic? Invade Pakistan who had nukes? Bomb Mecca?

I could be wrong. We could all be wrong. But I feel much better with Saddam in jail, our forces in the heart of the Middle East, Syria wobbling, Lebanon free, Libya repentant, Iran boxed in, and Saudi Arabia warned, than the alternatives.

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow, especially when tomorrow might kill you.

7/19/2005 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

C4
They just added a Naval Air Station in Maine to the closure list.
Pesky Canadians, if they had not cut their military spending, why, then there would be a threat.
Damn pacifists

Decline in housing starts in the Northeast, but not in the Southwest, housing boom continues here, housing starts up, average house price in Phoenix metro area, $225,000. Average new home price higher.

7/19/2005 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

C4
Another congressional seat or two for AZ, after the 2010 census.
Demographics, US or Europe, as your population is shrinking your options are as well. Some regions of Europe are movin' on up, some are slippin' on down.
Try France

7/19/2005 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

'Rat: "As we lessen our presence in the cities the local populations will turn on the insurgents. As the Government puts boots on the ground they will gain further legitimacy."

Exactly. Why is this so hard to understand for some people (don't answer that)? More troops, more mess halls, more supply lines, more friction, more targets...you can't have one without the others. We don't want to own Iraq, why up the ante?

7/19/2005 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Instapunk on Tancredo's "nuke Mecca" comment:

"But it will horrify and distance the good muslims? Maybe. It might also frighten them just a little. Is it so very unthinkable that the fence-sitting muslims of the world should begin to appreciate that there is an American volcano after all, one that will erupt in a fury every bit as implacable and much better armed than theirs if they carry their wishful thinking too far?"

He tends to think American demand for vengeance will be unstoppable if we are nuked. Reason will drown in an ocean of American fury, etc.

What's scary is I can't find a flaw in this argument.

7/19/2005 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Aristides is on a roll today, and I am not. Very insightful posts- thank you.

7/19/2005 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Aristides;
Excellent summation.

Desert_rat;
I think you would be making a big mistake in significantly restructuring the military based on Iraq. I don't believe that will be the norm for the future; I see that (the large scale operation, requiring significant post-war civic duties on the part of the military) as a one-of-a-kind occurrence.

7/19/2005 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

We could not 'own' Iraq if we wanted to. We'd have to kill way to many people for that option to ever be acceptable.
No, in the end it has to be the Iraqis the solve the problem of Iraq.
Remote garrisons and real professionals with the indigs.
Send the Reserves and NG home.
It will start in January, regardless, but we always seem to be moving to slow, behind the curve.

7/19/2005 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Bosnia has been a 10 year commitment. Korea is going on what, year 53 or 54? Okinawa, 60 years now. Panama, before final withdrawel, 85 years.
Now if we need to reinforce our presence in the Andes or move on Caracus? For that matter there is Havana, just how old is Castro y hermano?
No boots no presence. That's the deal in Columbia. What do you think Chavez is buying all the Infrantry hardware for?

That does not include any possible action any where else. The ever ready list of Mohammaden States, any of which may need our policing presence.
You guys worry thatyour big boats may not find a silent sub, that our aircraft are only Superior, not Supreme. While the Army is under staffed.

Helo, you should know better than most. You convinced me just how STEEEched the Army & Corps are.

7/19/2005 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

helo
You would eliminate the ground invasion of Iran from our list of options? You'd take it off the table, completely?
Personally I'd like to have that threat in my quiver. I'd think the CiC would like to have that option as well.

But you are sure we will not, so we will make Policy Decisions that preclude that option.

Iran is larger than Iraq, lots more people.
Just occupying and managing the oil field region in Iran would take a lot of our guys.

But a Navy pilot doesn't see it that way, he and the submariner want more equipment to fight China.

7/19/2005 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Now this is interesting (from the Times Online):

"UNDERCOVER police sniper squads are tracking as many as a dozen Al-Qaeda suspects because security services fear they could be planning more suicide attacks, writes David Leppard.

The covert armed units are under orders to shoot to kill if surveillance suggests that a terror suspect is carrying a bomb and he refuses to surrender if challenged."

In London. Surely this is a milestone.

7/19/2005 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Rat,

We are coming up with some things to sell to the Army. No need to despair just yet, but I do wish we were moving faster. I do everything I can.

7/19/2005 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I'm sure of that, nathan.
You seem like a 'can do' kind of guy

7/19/2005 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger noprisoners said...

DeserRat said:

"By making such an issue over these fellows at Gitmo the left will ensure but one thing. We won't make that mistake again. Back to shooting spies and non uniformed saboteurs, on the spot."

Mr. Rat, I sincerely hope that you are right. I have said that these guys should have been among the "KIA" in whatever battle they were captured. Maybe a little "battlefield interrogation" first but, then...

We should have known that anyone held for their part in aiding the terrorists would elicit the typical response from the Lefties. I hope that we have learned from this mistake.

7/19/2005 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well np, where ever we go next will be more difficult than the last two. Unless of course we come home, from every where. I do not see that as a real option.
When we did not move quickly into Syria and on to Damascus, we made a policy decision not to expand the conflict on the ground.
As the conflict in Iraq grinds on to it's inevitable conclusion it is inevitable that new challenges will rise to meet US.
As the Boy Scouts used to say
'Be Prepared'

Know the Difference between the Boy Scouts and the Army?
Boy Scouts have adult leadership.

Westmoreland died yesterday

7/19/2005 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Aristides,
Blair wouldn't dare,his Muslim vote would collapse, the race relations industry the left of his party,his wife,thr General Synod of the Church of England the MSM and the entire multicultural machine would bring him down.
No this is window dressing for we Brits,to show that something is being done.Of course we know that the next terrorist atrocity wil be carried out by "lilywhites" like the last ones,who have never been under surveillance.
Meanwhile th "targets" will lead security a merry dance before the have it banned in the courts as being aginst the Human Rights act or discrimnatory.

7/19/2005 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Karl Rove as bad as OBL? The Boston Phoenix thinks so:

The leak may not be the gravest threat to our national security, but it was low-down and despicable, not to mention illegal. So it comes as no surprise that Karl Rove is now known to be lurking somewhere at the bottom of this uncomfortable woodpile. That he is involved is no longer in question. What is unclear is just what role Rove played in this unsavory affair. Although their motives and weapons are very different, the damage that Bushies like Rove inflict on our political culture is just as real as anything the terrorists think up. We are, at times, our own worst enemies.

How true. But it's not the Bushies in this country that's the enemy.

http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=12136206&postID=112173684033199188

7/19/2005 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Oops:

http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/editorial/documents/04823491.asp

7/19/2005 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

US Generals,
yeah they're infallible

7/19/2005 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/19/2005 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger phil g said...

Aristides 2:43 pm

Great post...had me pumping my fist in agreement.

7/19/2005 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

No, I am not taking a possible invasion of Iran off the table. And I do think that out military needs to be larger. I apologize for not being clearer-what I meant is that I think that the relative sizes of the various forces should remain the same.

7/19/2005 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Head's up! The History Channel has Shootout: The Battle of Falluja on right now. It will be repeated at 0100 to 0200. I am going to go set my VCR.

7/19/2005 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If we had unlimited funds I'd certainly agree with making everything better or even the best.
The truth is though, unfortunately, that we do not have unlimited budget authority.
Working within these realities we have to prioritize.
The Army needs about 50,000 guys/ gals right now. In todays economy that means Enlistment and Reenlistment incetives. Cash incentives are good enough for Bond Traders then they should be good enough for those that stay in the Service.

7/19/2005 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Speaking of expanding the Army--I've only read that the force is being increased by 30,000 or so. Are there more public plans out there in that regard?

7/19/2005 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Then there is the stucture of the force.
More self contained combat brigades.
Little independent armies.
Each able to operate independently or as a combined larger units.
That is the vision
Reality, well that is a perception

7/19/2005 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/19/2005 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In the Post article thay had this

"...The Army is in the process of increasing the number of combat brigades from 33 to 43 ..."

7/19/2005 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

VDH Comes to Rick's

"In some places a new naiveté had grown up to suggest that somehow Leonid Brezhnev’s autocracy was not all that much different from European-style socialism. In an era of large European communist parties, few had remembered the premier’s 1973 boast in Prague that through détente, rather than military confrontation, lay the Soviet’s best chance to defeat America. Thus later when hundreds of thousands of Europeans went into the street to protest American deployment of Pershing missiles to protect them from even more deadly Soviet counterparts, and when “Gorbymania” swept the continent, Reagan stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate, and shouted in June 1987: “Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” No Europeans - and few Americans - would ever have done so much on behalf of Germany. Reagan knew how to sound noble and somber when saying very radical things— "

Reagan knew how to sound noble and somber when saying very radical things

"What, then, is Reagan’s legacy? In some ways, George W. Bush—“the axis of evil” and “smoke ‘em out”—is to Clinton as Reagan was to Carter: the supposedly less educated displaying the far greater grasp of right and wrong than his purportedly more informed predecessor in times of peril. The current idea that volumes of position papers and hordes of professors and intellectuals might not be just superfluous, but downright silly, is Reaganesque to the core. So is the belief that a President’s ideas, speech, tastes, and manners, not his net worth, are the better indicators of his humility and lack of pretension."

I still wish W. could tawk better.

7/19/2005 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Cash incentives were good enough for Xenophon's Ten Thousand, and those guys were stomping around these same grounds for decades.

They did eventually get to go home.

7/19/2005 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/19/2005 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Well, Kevin B, I take all that Islamic Spirtuality crap, as well, crap. And I mean that in repect to how the Mulla Omars and Osama Bin Ladens regard it. In their own now-captured homes and motor vehicles there was little or no evidence of such respect for "holiness and divinity" - just love of luxury and privilege. There certainly is no concern for spirituality, and can be none, when they blow up some mosques and use others as arms caches and fighting positions. Their claim to be fighting for spirituality is so much propaganda, meant to sound good to the Islamic poor who have nothing and whom the terrorists wish to ensure never get anything. In this respect they echo common Western Liberal practices; guns are bad things to Hollywood types, but are fine for their bodyguards."

"Well, Kevin B, I take all that Islamic Spirtuality crap, as well, crap. And I mean that in repect to how the Mulla Omars and Osama Bin Ladens regard it. In their own now-captured homes and motor vehicles there was little or no evidence of such respect for "holiness and divinity" - just love of luxury and privilege. There certainly is no concern for spirituality, and can be none, when they blow up some mosques and use others as arms caches and fighting positions. Their claim to be fighting for spirituality is so much propaganda, meant to sound good to the Islamic poor who have nothing and whom the terrorists wish to ensure never get anything. In this respect they echo common Western Liberal practices; guns are bad things to Hollywood types, but are fine for their bodyguards."

I think that's a mistake. I've seen little that suggests that Bin Laden doesn't take what he professes seriously. In fact, nearly everything I've see says he lives the religious life he preaches. Afghanistan as a country certainly did. He himself passed up a life of luxury in Saudi Arabia, instead living in shacks in Sudan and Afghanistan [there was a report he was building a mansion in Afghanistan, but I've also seen some contradict this].

They cannot control their young thugs [who litter Fallujah with drugs and alcohol], but I think there's little evidence to suggest that Bin Laden himself doesn't truly believe and practice what he preaches. It is part of his attraction.

"When they blow up some mosques and use others as arms caches and fighting positions."

When you think you're literally fighting for God, ends justifies the means comes easily off the tongue.

7/19/2005 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Now this is interesting (from the Times Online):

"UNDERCOVER police sniper squads are tracking as many as a dozen Al-Qaeda suspects because security services fear they could be planning more suicide attacks, writes David Leppard.

The covert armed units are under orders to shoot to kill if surveillance suggests that a terror suspect is carrying a bomb and he refuses to surrender if challenged."

In London. Surely this is a milestone."


I'll tell you what that is. That's a leaker/writer who should be put into jail for decades. These leaks - everything from how we get information, where are people are, to warplans - have to stop, NOW.

7/19/2005 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Couple of Colorado dems want to increase the army by 80k:

The U.S. Army needs another 80,000 troops to keep it from cracking under the strain of the Iraq war, a group of Democrats says.

Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., are two of the co-sponsors of a bill to boost the Army’s size to 582,000 troops by 2010.

http://www.longmontfyi.com/Local-Story.asp?id=2641

7/19/2005 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Sorry about the double quotation in that first post, can't explain it.

7/19/2005 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Question:

If we're struggling to make recruitment quotas already, how do we increase the military substantially?

Increasing benefits can only do so much, there much be a point where we get reduced returns?

7/19/2005 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Immediate Increase
Enlistment bonus by 50%
base pay to combat arms MOS's by 30%
BAQ (basic allowance quarters)for combat arms MOS by 25%
Other allowances and pay rates for combat arms MOS by 50%
Non Combat Arms Mos all above at 10%
Reenlist in needed MOS up to $120,000 bonus

You will not have a manpower shortage for long

7/19/2005 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/19/2005 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Should cost less than the proposed F22 air wing

7/19/2005 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Dems can begin to make a reasonable case
Levin is calling for standards, a matrix of victory
These Western Dems calling for increased troop strength
Hillary moves hard to the right in support of the Northeastern military industrial comples. A move to warm C4's heart.
The Dems won't be lost in the woods for ever.
Even the Democrats are beginning to hang at Ricks

7/19/2005 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"who knows what coordination would have come about between Al'Qaeda and Saddam as both became firmly planted in our crosshairs."

- aristides

If you're Saddam Hussein, and the survival of your regime is the foremost of your concerns, you don't invite a relationship with al Qaeda. (And in fact, such a relationship was never taken seriously as grounds for war by the Pentagon and Intel Community.) If you're al Qaeda and you need a place to hang, you don't do it where you believe the US military will go, where it it can achieve freedom of action. In either case, self-preservation is the most important factor.

If you're Iran, you don't set up housekeeping with America's newest No. 1 enemy. You're glad they have a new No. 1 enemy that's not you. Same with Syria.

If you're al Qaeda, where do you want to be? You want to be on the territory of US allies (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Germany, Italy, London, Belgium, the Netherlands, etc.) and within the US itself.

7/19/2005 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

'Rat: It is not very often that I disagree wholeheartedly with you, but in this case I do.

I do believe we have the resources to increase the Army, and we should, but I would not do so at the risk of projects like the F/22 Raptor or Naval superiority.

Any altercations with a modern, technological enemy will be decided in the Air, and on the Seas. The Army will be important, but in a technological war it will not be dispositive. Excursions like Iraq may be necessary in the future, sure. But a truly existential threat will be dealt with in the atmosphere, and on the water. We should not lose sight of this regardless of our present predicament.

7/19/2005 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Nice!

7/19/2005 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Trish: I simply disagree. Italy was driven into the arms of Nazi Germany by Britain's stand against her ill-considered attack on Abyssinia, even though a year earlier Mussolini had stood forcefully for Austrian independence. History is replete with examples of enemies bonding together. The Saddam-Bin Laden alliance was an active worry as far back as 1998. Even the New York Times reported on it then.

You write: "If you're Saddam Hussein, and the survival of your regime is the foremost of your concerns, you don't invite a relationship with al Qaeda."

This is a pretty odd statement to make since the survival of his regime was on the line--with the issue of weapons of mass destruction and their documented disposal--and he doubled down, with the full might of the United States bearing down on him and world opinion unanimously against him. What makes you think he would suddenly become rational vis a vis Al'Qaeda?

As for Iran, it is well known in the "intelligence community" that at least 20 top-level Al'Qaeda personnel, including Bin Laden's son, are operating out of that country.

You write: "If you're al Qaeda, where do you want to be? You want to be on the territory of US allies (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Germany, Italy, London, Belgium, the Netherlands, etc.) and within the US itself."

Operationally? Strategically? Are you absolutely nuts? These are places from which you stage attacks, but as places where your leaders--your planners--should reside, this is absolutely crazy. Explain to me how residing in these places increases Al'Qaeda's capabilities, which was my original argument? Are these countries supplying weapons, freedom of movement, unadulterated time to plan, operational integrity, etc.?

If we truly are at the point where the only safe haven Al'Qaeda can find is in these territories, we are further along than I thought. If the last vestiges of quarter for Al'Qaeda can only be found in Western Muslim mosques, we might as well break out the champagne.

7/19/2005 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"The Saddam-Bin Laden alliance was an active worry as far back as 1998."

There was no alliance.

An active worry for whom?

7/19/2005 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"As for Iran, it is well known in the
'intelligence community' that at least 20 top-level Al'Qaeda personnel, including Bin Laden's son, are operating out of that country."

Why put intelligence community in quotation marks? Just wondering.

7/19/2005 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Joe Katzman, of Windsofchange.net, writes:

"Meanwhile, here's the interesting thing about memetic warfare. It's a sword that can only be held by the blade.

Precisely because it's designed as a counter-narrative rather than a clinical description, Blair's narrative [that Islam means peace] (and Bush's, et. al.) is at variance with reality. That variance can play into both the appeasement/ co-belligerent strategy of internal Western enemies, and the second class dhimmi status Islam has traditionally forced on non-Muslims.

Perversely, therefore, this memetic strategy seems to require a strong minority undercurrent of Muslims to swallow it - and at least a strong minority of non-Muslims who will refuse to swallow it. By pointing out the manifest contradictions, they keep the social pressure high and prevent the memetic blade from amputating the hand of its weilder instead."

The reality is that Islam is not a religion of peace, and never has been. But language and victory are everything. Do we have enough dexterity to convince Muslims that Islam means peace while us non-Muslims keep the pressure on militant Islam? I sure hope so, but I'm pessimistic.

7/19/2005 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

trish: It is too disparate and diverse for me to really call it a community. Like saying "the world community", it just rankles.

7/19/2005 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

trish: copied in full from Powerlineblog.com:

"Thomas Joscelyn continues his outstanding reporting on the connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. In this installment we learn, among other things, that following President Clinton's four-day bombing campaign in Iraq during 1998, Saddam dispatched a trusted operative to Afghanistan where he met with bin Laden and his cohorts. A few days later, bin Laden denounced the attack and called on all Muslims to strike U.S. and British targets, including civilians, around the world. The European media then began reporting details of a relationship (which some described as a "pact") between Saddam and al Qaeda. Corriere Della Sera (Italian) reported that Saddam had offered safehaven to bin Laden. A Paris-based pan-Arab magazine provided details concerning joint Iraqi-al Qaeda cooperation on chemical and biological weapons in Sudan. Several Arab news outlets stated that Iraqi military intelligence officials were in Afghanistan meeting with Taliban elements on the subject of exacting revenge on the U.S. and Britain. They also reported that Arab Afghans were receiving training in southern Iraq.

Newsweek and ABC also reported on this apparent terrorist alliance. And the New York Post stated that Saddam was courting both bin Laden and Abu Nidal (now living in Iraq) as part of a plan "to resort to terrorism in revenge for airstrikes his country." Even the leftist Guardian ran articles on the axis of Saddam and bin Laden.

The Clinton administration was also concerned about such an axis. Richard Clarke advised Sandy Berger that if bin Laden learned about U.S. operations against him, he "will likely boogie to Baghdad." Previously, Clarke had speculated that the Iraqi presence at chemical facilities in Khartoum was "probably a direct result of the Iraq-al Qaeda agreement." Joscelyn notes that reports of a relationship between Saddam and bin Laden continued until the eve of the war in Iraq.

The adminstration's critics and the MSM would like Americans to believe that the assessments of numerous reporters, analysts, and even Clinton administration officials on this subject were unfounded. But do they want this because they have a sound basis for discounting these assessment or because they bitterly oppose President Bush. As Joscelyn says, "it is left for the reader to decide."

As I said, it was an active worry.

7/19/2005 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Are you absolutely nuts? These are places from which you stage attacks, but as places where your leaders--your planners--should reside, this is absolutely crazy. Explain to me how residing in these places increases Al'Qaeda's capabilities"

More legal and politcal constraints on our actions and on the actions of the local government, respectively.

7/19/2005 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/19/2005 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Capabilities are what we must constrain first. I am not sure why this should spur such vocal opposition.

7/19/2005 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

trish: you will not find me disagreeing with you that we may have too many legal restraints on prosecuting seditious action, but I think you confuse operating cells with leadership. In none of the countries you cited can the leadership of Al'Qaeda peacefully plan the next attack. Furthermore, any attacks planned and launched solely from the territories you cited will be drastically restrained on capability.

Unless you think the type of weaponry Iraq could bring to bear can be put together in a Leeds basement?

7/19/2005 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

aristides,

I'm sorry, Powerline is not an intel-gathering agency, but a news gathering agency.

I can only tell you that an Iraq-al Qaeda link was not a serious support for the war. Or any kind of support, really. It was not even a subject of discussion.

7/19/2005 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Go to Powerline, they are citing a report by Jocelyn, who in turn is citing Governmental and Intelligence reports. They just had the most readily-available summation.

The Iraq/WMD/Al'Qaeda/safe-haven was very much part of the debate, and reason, to go to war. Read the Iraq War Resolution that passed in the Senate. Very explicit.

And now that we are scouring Iraqi documents, more information is coming to light. I remain skeptical about an operational alliance, but the prospect of these two enemies of ours being co-travelers is apparent. Simply saying it ain't so won't change that.

7/19/2005 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

But Powerline did a helluva job during the election season and I'm thankful for it.

7/19/2005 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"the prospect of these two enemies of ours being co-travelers is apparent"

Apparent prospects fell apart upon far greater grounds than a suspected al Qaeda connection.

7/19/2005 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

As to various complaints issued by some here and elsewhere about Blair and Bush stressing the whole "Islam is peace" mantra, I would suggest to those who are upset about it that neither Bush nor Blair are stupid people, nor are they uninformed about the current status of Islam or its history. These are both educated people who are highly aware of the subtleties and the consequences of the words that they issue. These are two people who have become leaders of exceptionally powerful countries precisely because they know how to choose their words.

This is not to say that such people or these two in particular have not made mistakes in what they've said. Due to the complexity of unfolding situations people in the public eye will always misspeak from time to time. But to suggest that Bush and Blair are touting this particular line out of ignorance or appeasement is to basically say something like, 'I can't figure out why they are saying this, so they must be idiots." Which is a pretty bold statement.

Bush and Blair have an interest in defeating Al Qaida. They have very little interest in adding fuel to a culture war. While I'm sure they both understand the potential threat that Islam represents, they have little reason to say things that could make that a bigger threat. It would simply play into AQ and OBL's hand, providing "proof" of a "crusader mentality."

The task of Bush and Blair is to attempt, as much as possible, to isolate AQ from as many muslims as possible. It is not their task to say inflammatory things, no matter how true anyone thinks they might be, if those comments only made more in the Muslim world sympathetic to AQ and OBL's message.

7/19/2005 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Aristides,

WMD was THE reason for OIF. Not WMD and al Qaeda. Not al Qaeda and democratization. Not Shiite self-determination and Iran. Not Baathist brutality or US basing rights. Not Kurdish liberation or access to oil.

Weapons of mass destruction were it. I cannot overstate the energy that was devoted to uncovering them. It really was the highest WH priority upon the fall of Baghdad.

Bum intel. Sucks. What else is there to say?

7/20/2005 01:37:00 AM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

trish: you speak with such declarative certainty yet provide nothing whatever to support that certainty. reminds me of a bloke i met in a pub once.

7/20/2005 03:58:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Trish, you're just wrong. Look at Bush's pre-war speeches on the subject, for example.

Whattaya think, we just decided sometime during the WMD inspection period post war that Damnit! ... Fine, let's just rebuild the place...

C'mon. Why are you being so obstinate on this point.

7/20/2005 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

trish
the WMD was the reason we provided for the UN, it was but one of many reasons for taking down Saddam.
The French, Russians, Germans, Egyptians, etc. all agreed on that issue. Saddam was capable of producing WMD and had violated the Sanction and Inspection Programs.
To say that WMD was the only reason is just plain inaccurate.

That the WH and others wanted to validate the charges of WMD violations is apparent. That the CIA and others had their heads where the sun don't shine is apparent as well.

You seem to think, trish, that the same people that stormed a US Embassay, held US diplomats and Marines for over a year, fought a multi year war against Saddam and are building a Nuclear capability are afraid of the US. What brings you to that conclusion?
The Iranians do what they want to do, what they feel is in their interest. They believe, as do many people that the US is a paper tiger, even today.
We have not made the Iraqi people FEAR US, not that we should have, but by extension the Iranians do not, either.

7/20/2005 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger iotm said...

Dan you missed my point entirely.

aristides: You imply that the US doesn't target civilians. Which just doesn't line up with facts. Invasions get rid of military opposition, occupations get rid of civilian opposition. The US and it's poodles and puppets are truly executing a campaign of terror in Iraq, families are afraid to have large gatherings for fear of Americans showing up thinking they're having a terrorist meeting and throwing them all in Abu Ghraid to be tortured. They randomly invade people's private homes and detain them where they're tortured. It's standard US military policy to target civilians as well, they believe if they target civilians this will erode support for the government they are fighting. Do you know nothing about the history of the invasion of Vietnam? In a civil trial brought to a Dutch court by relatives of a survivor of someone who was killed in the NATO invasion of Serbia, then Dutch PM Wim Kok testified that phase 3 of the invasion was to target civilian infrastructure. Thus they were bombing schools, hospitals, and in that particular case, the offices of a TV station. To claim the US doesn't intentionally kill civilians is just as stupid as claiming Al Qa'ida doesn't. Of course objectivity is impossible for people who refuse to use their critical analysis skills and simply worship power like mindless cowards.

If the US has such great technology that minimizes civilian deaths, then clearly they're actively targetting them. With such state of the art technology you don't accidently kill that many people. You've directly contradicted yourself.

America's behaviour in invading and occupying Iraq is morally worse than the London bombings on a scale of millions. The London bombers unjustly killed 50 some people. The US destroyed the Iraqi economy, killed over a hundred thousand people, ruined the infrastructure, eliminated electricity and clean water, destablized society and turned it into a land of violent chaos. I'm sure Bin Laden and Al Qa'ida wish they could do that to the UK or US, but they're way too weak. Your logic is akin to the child claiming my dad can beat up your dad, simply because the child is incapable of looking at things ojectively and is blinded by his ties to his father. To be blinded by ties to a government is just plain pathetic.

If I show up at your house with a gun and say you're living in the basement from now on and doing everything I say, have you liberated yourself? That's your logic, again it doesn't hold up to anyone with any ability to think clearly and outside of your silly worship of authority.

"Violence in the cause of life." See this is even more pathetic that you think the US is doing wonderful things for Iraq. If you were to sit down and have a chat about the occupation of Iraq with someone like Karl Rove he'd sit with a smug grin on his face as you repeated his manufactured justifications verbatim. Of course he wouldn't actually debate with you, since you are an idiot to him. Someone who swallowed the bait hook line and sinker. If I were to sit down with Rove, we'd vehemently disagree on the morality of what was being done, but not why. I think it's funny that people like you think you're even on the same level of reasoning as the authorities you worship, when they'd laugh at how easily they reeled you in and threw you in the tank.

There are three types of people when it comes to Foreign Policy. There are those who set it. There are the regular lot of conservatives and liberals, and there are people like me. Those who set policy and those like me fully understand why and there's no debate as to why. But they think the why is good, while I think it's bad. Then there are the regular people like you, the conservatives and the liberals, who simply swallow the bullshit lies. Both have no conception of why, as they bicker back and forth over whether they completely believe the lies or only partially believe them. The authorities look at the people they convince with their lies, people like you, not as allies, but as scornful idiots who willingly follow along. Those who might question the lies, but are incapable of figuring out or understanding the why are no threat to the authorities either, it's just a matter of making better lies next time.


Nathan: No that's not my position, but thanks for the strawman. Mr. Logitician. I'm against terrorism, period. I'm not against terrorism only when white males are being killed, but fully in favour when it's blacks, arabs, mexicans, asians, or whoever being killed. I have an objective view. Terrorism for you isn't bad initself, it's only bad because what you perceive as your enemies are doing it. You're not against terrorism, you're only against it when you might die from it.

Most of the people who blindly support the authorities are caught up in Bush's false dichotomy of us vs. them. Not only am I against both sides, but both sides are the same, those evil islamic terrorists you're all so worried about are simply an excess of american power, not some foreign barbarians hellbent on destroying everything related to western civilization.

7/20/2005 06:36:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Max Boot, writing in the LA Times, discusses China and their strategy for breaking the US.
The military aspect is but a small part of their over all stratigic operation. Nothing new but an informative recap of the situation.

Austin Bay writes of the Palistinian Civil War. I think that is a bit over the top, 'Civil War' but he writes that the Palistinian Authority and Hamas are engaged in shoot outs and firefights on the streets of Gaza.

Both these articles can be linked to thru
www.realclearpolitics.com

Have a pleasent day

7/20/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Thomas Friedman of the illustrious NY Times also writes of China and it's relationship with the US.
He focuses on the UNOCAL offer and offers a Siamese twin analogy to our situation. He end the article with this

"...The real issue is that we have slipped into a symbiotic relationship with another major power that is neither a free market nor a democracy. We have both grown dependent on that relationship - the U.S. for cheap goods and cheap mortgages, and China for high employment and regime stability. We now have to adjust the bargain at the heart of that relationship. Whether we can do that delicately, without destabilizing Beijing or the global economy, could be the big geopolitical story of 2005. ..."

Again, Realclearpolitics provides an easy link.

7/20/2005 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Father of 9/11 hijacker warns of 50-year war

Iraq is the new West Berlin. Hang on.

7/20/2005 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Also on the China subject in the Washington Post an article on Chinese Inet development and the collusion between service providers and China in monitoring traffic to contol the info that flows
"...China's Internet filtering regime is "the most sophisticated effort of its kind in the world," in the words of a recent report by Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. The system involves the censorship of Web logs, search engines, chat rooms and e-mail by "thousands of public and private personnel." It also involves Microsoft Inc., as Chinese bloggers discovered last month. Since early June, Chinese bloggers who post messages containing a forbidden word -- "Dalai Lama," for example, or "democracy" -- receive a warning: "This message contains a banned expression, please delete." It seems Microsoft has altered the Chinese version of its blog tool, MSN Spaces, at the behest of Chinese government. Bill Gates, so eloquent on the subject of African poverty, is less worried about Chinese free speech.

But he isn't alone: Because Yahoo Inc. is one of several companies that have signed a "public pledge on self-discipline," a Yahoo search in China doesn't turn up all of the (politically sensitive) results. Cisco Systems Inc., another U.S. company, has also sold hundreds of millions of dollars of equipment to China, including technology that blocks traffic not only to banned Web sites, but even to particular pages within an otherwise accessible site. ..."

7/20/2005 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Trish: In going to war with Iraq, we had many different tiers of justification. We had the broken Armistice agreement and Saddam's daily firing on our planes, 18 UN Resolutions (here lies the legal justification pushed by the Administration because it was supposedly a "slam dunk"), the Moral Justification to remove a monster, and the Strategic Justification which is what I have focused on, and which was the deciding factor in my supporting the war. You must know by now that this was the real reason for OIF, that all the other causes and justifications are add-ons, fixes, a helpful pile-on of reasons to help the medicine go down.

If 9/11 had not pointed logically to Saddam's removal as a strategic necessity, I would not have supported the cause of "UN relevance" if it was just an arbitrary enforcement of an arbitrary resolution on an arbitrary country. But Saddam's intransigence was not arbitrary nor was it irrelevant.

But you must ask yourself, "Why the sudden urgency? Why was the course shifted so suddenly from containment to hostility?"

Paul Wolfowitz and President Bush had discussed another plan for regime change that resembled the Northern Alliance option. The idea was to train an invading force in the 1/3 of Iraqi territory we held, let them loose on Saddam with tactical air cover, allowing the revolution to be entirely Iraqi. This idea was floated even before September 11.

However, on September 15, the decision was made that we no longer had the time to push that strategy forward. We had to go with what we had because removing Saddam had all of the sudden become much more urgent, even if the costs on America would rise significantly. The costs of inaction were deemed too high by comparison.

Unfortunately, the need for diplomatic cover was pushed by the State Department and Blair, and we got bogged down in the UN trying to argue a legal justification that we simply didn't need. Ironically, the extra time arguing the WMD angle acted on the public as a counter-mnemonic, making many of us forget even the feeling of urgency as the hypnotic gears of multilateralism began to turn, and gave Saddam the opportunity to remove any evidence upon which the WMD legal argument was made. Furthermore, any level of surprise was removed and Saddam was able to create a vast network of Fedayeen and Baathist hold outs to wage a guerrilla war on the US with the hope of outlasting us and regaining power after we ditched.

Listen, you may not agree that OIF was necessary or even a good idea, but to argue that there was no justification, put forth to the public or kept close the chest, other than WMD/UN resolutions is absurd.

7/20/2005 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

'Rat: Don't know if you've read this (I hadn't read it in any of the major dailies), but there is a large national security issue at the heart of the UNOCAL bid.

UNOCAL owns the last US-owned rare-earth mine, material on which our military greatly depends, and it owns some of the best undersea imaging equipment and data in the world, great for a budding Submarine navy (via Windsofchange.net).

7/20/2005 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

someone had posted that here a couple of weeks(?)ago.
Maybe buddy or ledger, I do not recall.
There are any number of reasons to oppose a UNOCAL transfer. If Thomas Friedman thinks it is ok, well, that may be reason enough.
The Chinese say it is a straight up business deal, that they are playing by the rules, etc. Heard it on NPR last week.
I had read of the Chinese Colonels and the new Chinese way of war a couple of years ago.
I've long believed the Chinese will use economics not warfare to advance their ball in the next decade. It is their stronger hand to play.

7/20/2005 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/20/AR2005072000164_pf.html

Unocal backs sweetened $17 bln Chevron bid

PHILADELPHIA/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - U.S. oil producer Unocal Corp. endorsed a sweetened $17 billion takeover offer from Chevron Corp., preferring it to a higher bid from China's state-run CNOOC Ltd.

7/20/2005 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Part of the Chinese strategy, put forth by the Colonels, was an EMP strike at the US. Not to short out our military hardware, but our civil systems. Produce non military damage to our infrastructure, crippling our economy.
While I do not beleive the Mohammanends could strike US in that manner, the Chicoms certainly have the capacity for it.

7/20/2005 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger sammy small said...

The most clear and concise argument I've read for lack of progress in fighting Islamism
The Secret Double Standard

7/20/2005 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr small
link don't work

7/20/2005 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

America's behaviour in invading and occupying Iraq is morally worse than the London bombings on a scale of millions. The London bombers unjustly killed 50 some people. The US destroyed the Iraqi economy, killed over a hundred thousand people, ruined the infrastructure, eliminated electricity and clean water, destablized society and turned it into a land of violent chaos.

America's behaviour in invading and occupying Nazi Germany is morally worse than the London bombings on a scale of millions. The London bombers unjustly killed 27,000 some people. The US destroyed the German economy, killed over five million people, ruined the infrastructure, eliminated electricity and clean water, destablized society and turned it into a land of violent chaos.

America's behaviour in invading and occupying Japan is morally worse than the Pearl Harbor bombings on a scale of millions. The Pearl Harbor bombers unjustly killed 2400 some people. The US destroyed the Japanese economy, killed over two million people, ruined the infrastructure, eliminated electricity and clean water, destablized society and turned it into a land of violent chaos.

Konnichiwa, Iotm. Guten tag.

7/20/2005 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Iotm, would you fight and kill for anything?

7/20/2005 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

With such state of the art technology you don't accidently kill that many people.

The technology we use regrettably has its limits. I am an engineer, not God.

7/20/2005 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You ask the tickler of masochists the wrong question nathan.
It's not fight and kill for?
No it's is,
What would you fight and DIE for?

7/20/2005 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

You're not against terrorism, you're only against it when you might die from it.

I think you are confused about what "terrorism" means. To you, "terrorism" seems to mean any kind of war with civilian costs; in other words, any war. This is why I ask whether there is anything you yourself would consider fighting, killing, or dying for. If there is any such thing, you are a hypocrite. If there is no such thing, you are a nihilist and a coward with no future for yourself or your progeny.

7/20/2005 08:41:00 AM  

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