Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Christian, the Muslim and the Jew

Despite the fact that they are probably the most described artifacts of 20th century, very little is known about how individuals died in Third Reich's concentration camps. This article tries to follow the fate of British women SOE agents who were executed within the concentration camp system. It's a little surprising to learn that British intelligence never officially bothered to find out. Discovering their fate became the private crusade of Vera Atkins, who was assistant to the head of the French Section of the SOE. And the answer after 60 years is that nobody really knows. One of the reasons perhaps, was that nobody wanted to know. Failure, no less than the dead, were buried after the war. SOE cryptographer Leo Marks, the son of a Jewish bookseller, believed the agency's codes were fundamentally unsafe and tried to convince his superiors to adopt a one-time code pad system. But his warnings were ignored and the SOE continued to drop agents, many of them women, into occupied Europe where too many of them were arrested, sometimes upon landing.

Since the British believed that women could more easily slip unnoticed through the Continental streets, they concentrated on recruiting dark haired women who could pass for French. One of them was Violette Szabo of French and English extraction.

Another was a Sufi Muslim Princess, Noor Inayat Khan. Her father was a mystic and she was one herself. "After studying music and medicine Noor became a writer. Her children stories were published in Figaro and a collection of traditional Indian stories, Twenty Jataka Tales, appeared in 1939."

Szabo's official fate is given in Wikipedia.

She was captured by German soldiers, most likely from the 1st battalion of the Deutschland regiment, around mid-day on the 10th of June, 1944, near Salon-la-Tour, while they were searching for one of their missing officers. In R.J. Minney's biography of her, she is described as putting up fierce resistance with her Sten gun. German documents of the incident record no injuries or casualties to German soldiers. She was transferred to the SD in Limoges. She was interrogated under torture, then sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp where she was forced into hard labour and suffered terribly from malnutrition and exhaustion. Violette Szabo was executed by the Germans on or about February 5, 1945 and her body disposed of in the crematorium. At Ravensbrück, three other female members of the SOE were executed by the Germans: Denise Bloch, Cecily Lefort, and Lilian Rolfe.

Noor Inayat Khan was arrested four months after landing. She was executed at Dachau.

The princess was taken to Germany and imprisoned at Pforzheim in solitary confinement (she was considered dangerous and uncooperative). Inayat Khan continued to refuse to give any information on her work or her fellow operatives. On 11 September 1944, Noor Inayat Khan, along with three other SOE agents, Yolande Beekman, Eliane Plewman and Madeleine Damerment, were moved to Dachau Concentration Camp. The other three women were lined up and forced to kneel, after which each was executed by a single shot to the head. Noor was shackled in chains for months and beaten until she was a bloody mess and then shot. Her last word was "Liberté"

Although it cannot be said for sure, Khan's place of execution is held to be at the pistol range in Dachau. "The traditional method of execution was a shot in the neck at close range, which was the method used by the Nazis to kill traitors, spies, saboteurs and resistance fighters at a pistol range in front of a wall north of the crematorium. ... A ditch was dug about six feet from the execution wall to catch the flow of blood." A picture of the blood ditch is shown below as it appears today.

Leo Marks, as a Jew, felt himself no less an outsider than these dark-haired, expendable women. He tried long, and finally successfully, to get his SOE superiors to discard their amateurish practice of enciphering agent messages using transpositions based on well known ('the easier to memorize, Old Boy') English poems -- systems Marks could break with ease. When the SOE balked at one time pads he insisted that if agents were going to use poem codes, they ought at least to be original. The code-poem he wrote and gave to Violette Szabo on her wartime mission is a memorial to a time when a Muslim, Christian and Jew could find it in their hearts to fight Hitler with one word upon their lips: Liberte.

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours

The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.


Blogger Huan said...


2/21/2006 04:13:00 AM  
Blogger Howard said...

As a regular "French are Cowards" blogger myself, I have long been aware that many French people resisted the Nazis to their deaths. You are doing a great service to all of us by this posting. I had a relative in OSS during WWII who told us way back when that OSS was leaking like a sieve because political operatives (including Russian spies) were more interested in personal advancement than winning the war. He always said that hundreds of agents were caught and killed because of the leaks. I have always wondered how in the hell two countries like the U.S. and Britain, countries who had broken both the Japanese codes and finally, through a captured Enigma machine, the Nazi codes could be so blase about our own. Another way of saying that all codes can be broken.

2/21/2006 04:27:00 AM  
Blogger Ticker said...

We live in the Golden Age of leaks. When the clandestine program of the week is put on the front page of newspapers, what was the real cost? Maybe we'll know in 60 years.

2/21/2006 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger TigerHawk said...

Great post, Wretchard. Both ecumenical and an important reminder that there are few things more dangerous than broken codes you don't know have been broken.

2/21/2006 04:45:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

All true wretchard. And yet what counted was that the French treated the Algerians in Algeria poorly during WWII. And they were not forgiven-- if only because that was unnecessary. The actual power alignments had shifted--or so they say. It may have just been a failure of will. But as you have mentioned there was the small matter of demographics.

A similiar numbers game is at work today. And too a game of the will.

However, when Bin Laden says that the US is worse than Saddamm Hussein his words sound like democratic talking points. When al gore goes to the saudis and apologizes for imagined abuses...hmmm Bush was recently willing to give the US port systems over to Dubai

That port deal will die. Nevertheless, time is short. The world is moving on quickly.

2/21/2006 05:08:00 AM  
Blogger vbwyrde said...

It's good to know that the Muslims Christians and Jews could work on the same side against the Nazi Fascists, for the sake of Liberty.

On the other hand, it seems strange to me that the SOE refused the one time code pad system recommended by Leo Marks. Is there any record of what exactly their objection or reasoning was? I can't quite imagine any logical reason.

"In cryptography, the one-time pad (OTP) is an encryption algorithm which has been proven, from theoretical first principles, to be unbreakable when properly deployed."

- Wikipedia: One-Time_Pad

It is sad and disturbing to know that these beautiful courageous women were brutally tortured and killed by their Nizari tormentors, caught because of an apparent oversight by those who sent them into harms way.

It is also strange that the OSS did not follow up to discover the fate of these women, yet in the post war world there was a lot of rubble, and a lot of work to be done to rebuild - perhaps they simply had not the resources to investigate all of the deaths, and perhaps the records were destroyed, or never kept. One certainly wonders.

As for the message of the post, that under some circumstances Muslims can be relied upon to value, above their own lives, Liberte for the sake of others - I have to note with some sadness on this point that had Al Qaeda Talibaniacs existed and gotten their hands on the same beautiful and courageous Muslim woman, she would have been just as doomed.

2/21/2006 05:10:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Leo Marks book, Between Silk and Cyanide, is wonderfully well written and frequently hilarious. His description of accidently dropping his pants on a busy Cairo street - while nonother than Jack Benny applauded from a balcony, is a treasure.

One remarkable story of the French resistance is the RAF attack on the Aimens prison, designed to free French resistance fighters and Allied agents before the Normany invasiuon. It seems the French had adopted a novel approach to protecting agents. If they saw that the Nazis were closing in on reistance fighters they would arrest them on trumped up charges, such as bicycle theft or chicken stealing. The Nazis never thought of looking for the agents in jail. Rather ingenious, and very French.

On the other hand, the agents still were locked up, so the RAF went in with Mosquito bombers and knocked holes in the walls to faciltate escape.

2/21/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger Snarfo said...

I wasn't a "spy" but I sent my ears far, far north from the South Korean side of the DMZ...

They sent sappers down, assassin teams, subs with landing parties, singletons with satchel-charges... and I evaded them all, thinking it a big, hairy, ugly game... of sorts... with the Communists on the losing side!

Although I was witness to a couple of instances of Free-World dumbth there near/on the DMZ, I had no fear of America ill-equipping us or sending us into certain capture and torture.

On the other hand, HQ told us straight out: "They come down? You're on your own. We cannot and will not get you off the island."

It's difficult to know who is your friend, when the turncoats among us smile sweetly and pledge undying love...

2/21/2006 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

It's difficult to know who is your friend, when the turncoats among us smile sweetly and pledge undying love...
Good fenses make good neighbors.

2/21/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Good to post things like this, Wretchard. These things happened only yesterday. These women are still in living memory, and it is a fine thing to honor them. And, compliments on the writing, BTW.

2/21/2006 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger nelson said...

Szabo is a common Hungarian name meaning "taylor" in that language.

2/21/2006 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Wretchard, I have tears in my eyes.

2/21/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger gm said...

I've long been a fan of Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan. Once you read his philosophy, it's clear that his heroic daughter, Noor, could only exist as a higher form of life. Khan's brand of gentle, loving, mysticism represents a facet of Islam that doesn't get much exposure these days, but it's infinitely worth it.

2/21/2006 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Well, that certainly answers the question on the previous thread of whether any Muslims were intentionally killed in the Nazi camp system.

2/21/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

So sad, so beautiful, so important.

The change in our military warfighting strategy is so overwhelmingly important that it often escapes notice. Limiting collateral damage isn't the important strategy; minimizing troop casualties is.

Where once we threw men into the meat grinder of war (Gettysburg, Dunkirk, Normandy, Den Bien Phu) we now attack with precision, overwhelming force, and with well trained troops instead of boys with rifles and mismatched boots.

Or with lovely young women with nothing more than dark hair and a bad encryption code to protect them.

Someday we may forget those times. But not on this day.

2/21/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Cobalt Blue said...

Wonderful post, thank you.

2/21/2006 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But bonnie, in the days you mention Wars were Won and Lost.
Today they just drag on and on and on.
Kosovo, Korea, Iraq, Haiti, Liberia, to name but a few of the many Wars where the US settled for stalemate.
While it true US casualties are minimized, so are US Victories.

2/21/2006 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Was not our win-loss ratio greater during meat grinder times?

2/21/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...

I agree with Wretchard that it is high time to consider the cost, in the long term, to callous treatment of operatives and their programs. I wonder how many Poles and Romanians are going to die, the the future, at the hands of jihadis who have only to thank some perfidious f**k in the CIA for leaking the rendition program to the press? Human beings are not means to an end. All forms of totalitarianism and simple selfishness commit this grievous sin.

2/21/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Someone asked, why not use the one time pads. If truly random they are really impossible to break, but they are a dead giveaway. Anyone in a compromising situation in a war zone, who is found in possession of a one time pad might as well hang a sign around their neck, "I am a spy, torture then shoot". Modern computerized codes are all about breaking the algorithm which generates the key sequence, nowadays the random nunber generator usually multiplies two impossibly long prime numbers, some of these primes require 1024 bits to write them out. These can thoretically be broken, but it might take a modern code breaking computer at NSA a couple of centuries to do it. It is incredibly hard to generate a truly random sequence. My explanation is a bit garbled here but the conception is correct.

A code that an agent must have a key to, that can be memorized is always vulnerable, good one can be written that can delay decription a few hours, which translates to about a day or two, given the logistics of getting the message to a code breaker, de-crypting and getting the message back into approriate hands, usually the anti spy folks would have to grab everyone in sight, and hold them till the code-breaker gurus come up with the guilty party. The messages are usually written with use of allegories, obscure personal references of a personal nature, so it is not always possible to tell much from a single intercepted code message. For the times, the OSS and their Brit counterparts usually did the best the state of the art permitted, where a counterspy got into their head and figured out wht was happening it was too bad for the agent on the ground.

2/21/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

in front of a wall north of the crematorium. ... A ditch was dug about six feet from the execution wall to catch the flow of blood.

I am reminded of a photograph in a book from the Time Life excellent series on WWII. The scene is outside a town in Latvia or perhaps Lithuania. Nazi soldiers have dug a large trench and the menfolk from the town are standing and disrobing at the edge of the trench in preparation for being shot and falling into the trench. In the background, standing under the shade of a tree are the women and girls of the town, who are of course witnessing the execution of their fathers/sons. The Nazi soldiers laugh and joke as if on holiday.

It is only right that we should honor the memory of Ms. Khan and other Muslims who stood against the German Fascists. But we should also keep in mind the fact that the prophet of Islam himself was known to dig trenches to catch the falling bodies and blood of those whom refused to submit to his version of the totalitarian death cult.

Muhammad ratified the judgment stating that Sa’d’s decree was a decree of God pronounced from above the Seven Heavens. Thus some 600 to 900 men from the Qurayza were lead on Muhammad’s order to the Market of Medina. Trenches were dug and the men were beheaded, and their decapitated corpses buried in the trenches while Muhammad watched in attendance. Male youths who had not reached puberty were spared. Women and children were sold into slavery, a number of them being distributed as gifts among Muhammad’s companions. According to Muhammad’s biographer Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad chose one of the Qurayza women (Rayhana) for himself. The Qurayza’s property and other possessions (including weapons) were also divided up as additional "booty" among the Muslims.

2/21/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger troutjacki said...


The purpose of using a OTP is not to protect the agent if caught but to prevent the enemy from compromising his communications. The Venona code used a OTP system that was only partially compromised by carelessness. NSA has only decrypted a small percentage of the message traffic despite the US of sophisticated crpto-algorithms.

2/21/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Oh, to see an Islamic street demonstration in favor of "Liberte", carrying large banners with the likeness of Noor Khan.

2/21/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

It is sad to consider that the lost operatives served a greater purpose ‘caught’ than they were likely to serve in the field. They helped to sow the seeds of doubt and drew resources from otherwise useful counter intelligence activities. A paranoid command acts imprudently.

Such is the view from the end of a kite string.

2/21/2006 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

troutjacki said...

The purpose of using a OTP is not to protect the agent if caught but to prevent the enemy from compromising his communications.

I guess I thought I had demonstrated that an OTP was an inappropriate means to communicate with a field agent. We don't know the circumstances under which the weak code allowed the capture of the agents. I suppose if they used it to communicate with a spymaster who had a radio to receive a message that an agent eould be dropped this would indeed be a totally inapprropriate use of such a code. The story does not say what the circumstances were, it does sound as if the people who did not want to use the pads were trying to play CYA for previous errors of some sort, be it really is not clear cut. Your point about NASA being unable to break OTP code is quite valid, however it remains incredibly difficult to generate random numbers. I think it has been done by timing the interval between the breakdowns of atoms of radioactive isotopes, but this is probably slow and expensive, requiring an elablorate physics lab to do.

2/21/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

"Human beings are not means to an end. All forms of totalitarianism and simple selfishness commit this grievous sin."

Is this Kantian statement compatible with willingness to wage war, a process that [I think] demands using men as a means to an end?

2/21/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Thus some 600 to 900 men from the Qurayza were lead on Muhammad’s order to the Market of Medina. Trenches were dug and the men were beheaded...

So far as I know Islam is the only religion that includes precise rules for the distribution of slaves and booty from its murdered victims as immutable canon. I understand that Muhammed had made a truce with the Qurayza (Jews) which he abgrogated as soon as his goon army was strong enough to defeat the men, enslave the women, and steal their property. Rinse and repeat a few dozen times and it's easy to see how Islam became the region's dominant "religion." Goods from God is a compelling recruiting slogan.

Noor Khan has my admiration and my gratitude. Her courage and love of universal justice were strong enough to break the bonds of subjugation.

2/21/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

The Noor link in W's post (into the link-rich Spartacus db) goes into more detail on that--plus being a totally riveting read.

2/21/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, say what you will about the Spymasters of old.
At least they were trying.

" ... As Stephen F. Hayes has reported on several occasions in this magazine, the U.S. government has more than two million "exploitable items" recovered in Afghanistan and Iraq since October 2001. And though there has been much talk of expediting the release of this material, Negroponte has stalled.

Late last week, a top DNI staffer met with Hoekstra. The meeting did not go well. "If there are 100 reasons not to make this information available, I got every one of them," Hoekstra told The Weekly Standard last week. "We have received a proposal that clearly demonstrates that the DNI is living in the analog age while the rest of us are in the digital age. At this rate, my grandkids and great-grandkids will be the first ones to see this information. And I don't even have grandkids yet." ... "

" ... Another al Qaeda document by an unknown author provides some "lessons learned" from the experience of the past jihadist-Iraq collaboration and concludes that such relationships can be counterproductive and are to be avoided in the future. Other documents offer insight into the personal and ideological conflicts among al Qaeda's senior operatives. In short, we know more now than we did a week ago.

But this is the first such glimpse in the more than four years since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. And the Saddam tapes released last week, no thanks to the intelligence community, are a sliver of the 3,000-some hours of recordings of Saddam Hussein meeting with top aides. ... "

In every case it is the interactions of the people and their individual priorities that drive events.

Who knows what is or not on those tapes beyond"
" ... "WHERE WAS THE NUCLEAR material transported to?" asks an aide to Saddam Hussein, in a taped conversation released last week. He answers his own question: "A number of them were transported out of Iraq." This provocative snippet is part of 12 hours of taped exchanges between Saddam Hussein and his advisers. The tapes were found in Iraq after the war and were released last week by their American translator. The tapes are authentic. ... "

Do Spymasters ever learn?
"Need to Know" from the Weekly Standard

2/21/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...


The "end" also matters, as do the consent of those men and women who consciously choose to fight against the enemy. Betrayal of the lives and causes of these men and women who sacrifice so much is indeed using them.

2/21/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

A few more opinions on the ports.
Ledeen and Robbins right together make an interesting contrast, less so when you read Robbins last entry.
Fact is, however, we don't do these things anymore, and that is the Brit's last company doing it.

But Limbaugh summed it up best:
When Jimmy Carter came out in favor of it, that sealed it's fate!
National Review Symposium On the Dubai port deal

2/21/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Starling did a post on the ports:
He lives there!

2/21/2006 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Karridine from previous thread:

"Stacked like limp cordwood, hundreds of women, children and a few men...

ONE North Korean bullet-hole in the base of their skull, wrists bound...

This served as a touchstone-motivator for me:
US troops NEVER killed unarmed, bound civilians AS A POLICY!!

Win or lose, THIS is the Team I choose to serve with!

2/21/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Dave H and Troutjacki:
The One Time Pad was the solution favored by Leo Marks as a replacement for the poem code (which worked by the agent memorizing a poem and then assigning the first letter of the poem as "1", the 2nd letter as "2" and so forth until the entire alphabet is covered).

Protecting the security of the communications helped protect the agent. For the most part, the agents Leo Marks was dealing with were doing sabotage, and the communications related to supply and agent drops and pickups rather than pure intel. Enabling the Nazis to read "Meet me on the road from Tours to Paris 3 KM south of town on 3 August 1943" sure did endanger the agent.

One problem was how an agent could carry such one time pads around in an unobtrusive manner. The only safe way was to print them on silk so that they could be tucked inside of clothing and not be detected. Hence the name of the book "Between Silk and Cyanide": either they provided the agents with silk or they would end up having to use their cyanide.

2/21/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The messages are usually written with use of allegories, obscure personal references of a personal nature, so it is not always possible to tell much from a single intercepted code message"
If only we had a Battalion of Mini Me's to serve, problem would be solved, and I would have garnered my well-earned spot in history.

2/21/2006 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

"The "end" also matters, as do the consent of those men and women who consciously choose to fight against the enemy. Betrayal of the lives and causes of these men and women who sacrifice so much is indeed using them."

I think what I was trying to imply is that sacrificing peoples for ends is unavoidable on this Earth, and not limited to totalitarian/selfish people. Even an army may sacrifice a smaller part for the security of the main body.

Now, why did I bring up such a seemingly irrelevant and pedantic point?

I can't really fully describe it, perhaps someone else can help. It has something to do with a desire to downplay our superiority as dependant on our means, because I think it is the current obsessive focus on 'means,' driven by the "Ivy Tower" politicians and academia, that helps make our victory so difficult. (AKA the "I'd rather be rude than dead" doctrine.)

It is enough to me that they destroyed one of our few sources of valuable intelligence and handicapped our relations with our allies.

Did that make any sense?

2/21/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I am reminded of a previous thread where we discussed the blindness inherent in the unacknowledged racism of the left, in which anything is possible, since we are never really at war,
even at an elementary human level.
rwe had a comment on that as I recall.

The upside is that this tendency is more and more on display in national politics as these paleomorons approach senility and are guided by 30 year old blog-trolls to their destruction.

Conservative Slogan could be:
"Ain't all the bad being Untermenschen"
...up to a point.

2/21/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The lefty psych field simply dismisses others as crazy:
GWB’s Mental Illness
The as-yet unspoken, but pivotal issue to be taken up in the upcoming Presidential campaign debates between George W. Bush and John Kerry is the mental illnesses from which President Bush suffers. The most concise and frank, yet compassionate account of George W. Bush's multiple mental disorders can be found in the 2004 book-length study by Bush on the Couch : Inside the Mind of the President -

I would grow more concerned. If he presented an inflexible worldview characterized by an oversimplified distinction between right and wrong, good and evil, allies and enemies, I would question his ability to grasp reality. And if his actions revealed an unacknowledged—even sadistic—indifference to human suffering, wrapped in pious claims of compassion, I would worry about the safety of the people whose lives he touched. For the past three years, I have observed with increasing alarm the inconsistencies and denials of such an individual. But he is not one of my patients. He is our President."

...Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD);
untreated and uncured alcoholism (what is frequently referred to in lay terms as "dry drunk"); an omnipotence complex; paranoia; an Oedipal Complex; sadism; a mild form of Tourette's Syndrome; and a diminished capacity to distinguish between reality and fantasy.
Also, see 'Rat's comments on Chenney's Psychotic Urge to Kill being unleashed by a single beer a few threads back.
How easy it is to De-Humanize the "Other!"
(esp with the MSM on your side!)

2/21/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

British commanders condemn US military tactics

Speaking from his base in southern Iraq, the officer said: "My view and the view of the British chain of command is that the Americans' use of violence is not proportionate and is over-responsive to the threat they are facing. They don't see the Iraqi people the way we see them. They view them as untermenschen. They are not concerned about the Iraqi loss of life in the way the British are."

And a fine job of pacifying Southern Iraq they did!

2/21/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Handsome Hu said...

The brits fail at what passes for western civilization these days if the cartoons are indicative.

2/21/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I like this comment from the previous thread:
"troutjacki said...
I find it ironic that Irving gets three years for Holocuast denial while at the same time we have

Muslims marching in European streets praising Hitler and screaming death to the Jews.
(and their "RIGHTS" carefully protected by British Police!)

Perhaps if Irving converted to Islam and joined the throng the Austrian officials would be ok with his holoaust denial.

2/21/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

All I said , doug, was that mixing the beer and blood thinners could possibly affect judgement and reaction time.

If that"Drug Cocktail" creates an "urge to kill"
We should be feeding it to our troops.
Nah, better not, they not supposed to kill any more, are they?
War now-a-days is much more like fishing than hunting.
What with "Catch & Release" being US Doctrine, in Iraq, and all.

2/21/2006 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

British commanders condemn US military tactics

One of the reasons we threw the Brits out of the colonies was all this uppity talk about doing things the "right" way. Monty didn't have a kind thing to say about the USA command for the whole War.

2/21/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But be sure the model is
Don't want no innocent Bait harmed in the process.
...or even sterile eggs for that matter.
We've finally arrived:
A War Where No Eggs are Broken,
as official policy.

2/21/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Handsome Hu said...

OT sorta but heres a post at samizdata suggesting how far the english have fallen...

of course this may be more the exception than the rule, afterall - still, what has happened to the UK? has its electorate been subverted by its own media?

i had heard from a brit that many people over there cant take the BBC too seriously and its only NPR listeners over here who noologically hunger and thus clamor for the british accents...

do they simply have different strategic interests now, what with the kyoto treaty and the koran as binding contracts?

2/21/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger 5050noline said...

I think that many of your own US senior officers now realise that your forces were not well prepared to operate in Iraq vis a vis speaking the language and only now are US combat soldiers being trained in Arabic language, customs and gestures. The Brit forces have a long history of officering friendly, often irregular, Arab forces either as seconded or contract officers (of which I was one for some 15 years) and acting as trainers. This has provided the Brits with a backbone of fluent Arabic speakers better equipped to conduct the type of occupation being carried out in Iraq just now. Yours may be the largest and most effective fighting force in history, but you have some lessons to learn in humility.

2/21/2006 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You see the truth of it all though, don't you, doug.

If you drink, why of course,
you're suspect of bad judgement.

If you drank in the past, but quit, why then you're psycho case. That has " ... diminished capacity to distinguish between reality and fantasy. ... "

That's America for you, man, what a landmass

2/21/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

AP article Starts out
"Right-wing British historian David Irving."
Wouldn't we be safer if ALL right wingers were dealt with?

2/21/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Steven Vincent would know.

2/21/2006 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/21/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

5050 is quite right.

That's one of the reasons it took so long before we bagan to stand upp the Iraqi Forces. Well over 14 months, if memory serves, before it becaome a priority,

Should, could, have begun a year or more before we left Kuwait for Baghdad.

Humility and understanding, never great US traits. Especially in the Military, for what are considered "subStandard" Forces.

2/21/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/21/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

gm - I knew Noor's brother Pir Vilayat Khan for a time. I can promise you that you're wasting your time at this website if you think you have anything redeeming to share about any sort of Muslim "philosophy".

There are many facets of Islam that don't get much exposure these days, especially in Islamic lands. Far be it from us to use this glaring fact to our advantage.

Cutler - I believed that I'd provided an "answer" and even a number to your question on a previous thread to how many Muslims were killed in concentration camps (I've read that it was upwards of 200,000). Maybe I only thought I posted, but I remember my impression of the number you had in mind as being zero.

2/21/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Please direct me to wherever you decide to post your rebuttal to Fred.

2/21/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Humility and understanding, never great US traits. Especially in the Military, for what are considered "subStandard" Forces."
Not all blame belongs to the military:
State Dept had a lot to do with the delay.
And the Brits can deny we have Special Forces, but that doesn't make it so.

2/21/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"do they simply have different strategic interests now, what with the kyoto treaty and the koran as binding contracts? "

2/21/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Battle of the Rebuttals

Did that remark slip past the self censor?

Did we offend?
Most we stop?

On the Disscovery Time channel, doug, the had a report on US propaganda VS aQ.

Clock cleaning time.

We have al Hura, out of Washington DC, broadcasting to Arabia.
This show, about 12 months since post production, has al Hura's Lead story on the day of the Fallujah assualt, Firework displays in DC.
The Battle of Fallujah, 16th story & 30 seconds.

Sad, so sad.

Should've hired Mr Murdock.

2/21/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

They ALL work for Mr Bush, doug.
So, I guess, that is where most of the "Blame" most be laid.

If the "Blame Game" is being played.

2/21/2006 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Accountability, 'Rat.
Powell should never have been hired.

2/21/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

One of the Vincent Vignettes was so pathetic.
Don't remember the details, but one of our officers sounded like Phil Donahue.
A little out of place,
under the circumstances.
(Who are we to judge?)

2/21/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger 5050noline said...

Thank you, Doug.

I am well aware of the case of Steven Vincent and I have corresponded with his widow, Ms Ramaci.

2/21/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

5050, Don't mind Doug--he deliberately goes way out, so that others can organize their own thoughts in order to reel him back in.

2/21/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Opotho said:
gm - I knew Noor's brother Pir Vilayat Khan for a time. I can promise you that you're wasting your time at this website if you think you have anything redeeming to share about any sort of Muslim "philosophy".

I don't think he would be wasting his time, nor would you if you had done so instead of insulting others first.

That being said, I am quite willing to be enlightened.


2/21/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy 3:07 PM,
You got your Fly Fishin, and you got your Doug Fishin.

2/21/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

3:15 PM
Speak for yourself!

2/21/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Actually, Bud, I was talking about a United States Officer!
Sorry I was not clear.

2/21/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

He's a good guy, and is not actually judging the British officer corps by a chance remark by an individual under who knows what conditions.

2/21/2006 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...but I DO wish you were a little quicker on the Trigger, Tex.

2/21/2006 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I missed that thread where Opotho pissed off the room--musta been a doozy.

2/21/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Somehow I just haven't picked up that the US Soldier regards Iraqis as Untermenschen to any great degree.
Humility Indeed!

2/21/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Consarned one-finger squinteyed typing

2/21/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

However you choose to characterise me, Opotho, your insults fall on deaf ears when you direct them at Fred.
He is more than willing to listen.
...and able, although your hurling gratuitous insults out of nowhere does get in the way.
Not the best way to communicate.
...unless you're Buddy Larsen.

2/21/2006 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

I did my best with the little amount of time I had to "rebutt" fred, on the 'Hearts and Bytes' thread. It's been the last post for I think two days.

I'm supposed to provide a primer of Islamic philosophy for people who've already decided what they hate?

I worked all day on a construction site and my body's killing me. People depend on me. I have no time for your sniping doug. I think you're pretty unfair; I know you don't fight fair. Besides, you decide who's welcome here and who isn't.

2/21/2006 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hard to have muscle spasms where there ain't no muscle.
bud 3:28 just in case.

2/21/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wonder if Opotho suffers migraines?

2/21/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Opotho, at least you still have a body to be killing you. Since I quit daily motion labor a couple years ago, I've gone to numb jello.

2/21/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

What about the Refrigerator Commute?

2/21/2006 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Not to mention the one-fingered salute:
Loved that link you had to our defiant warrior!

2/21/2006 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/21/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/21/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/21/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

A wore-out old Pillsbury doughboy tryin' to type amidst a cloud of tobacco smoke, kids standing just outside the circle of smoke and light oohing and ahing at the sight.

2/21/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain..."

2/21/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/21/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Spaceballs Monologue"

2/21/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

"It Came From Outer Space"

2/21/2006 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

Buddy - I do appreciate it, all the time. A family member of mine is a near quadraplegic. Or was; he died at the age of sixteen a few days before Christmas. That is one of the crises that keeps me from typing hours and hours of Islamic texts in response to doug's cheap quips and fred's more thoughtful anti-Islamic manifestos.

There seem's to be no one else here who knows anything about Islam's mystical heritage aside from poster gm, above. I hope you all give him hell for it, too.

At least boston gives Noor Khan his "admiration" and "gratitude", despite the fact that she remained an ignorant Muslim to the end.

If I had all the time I'd like for this, I'd answer fred by typing out hours of the requiste exegesises from within Shi'a and Sufi theology, and running them all together.

Then I'd compile all of the ugliest things I've read at Belmont in the last week and make a pastiche of them too. It would read like that hilarious Harvard lampoon run-on bit of the dumbest quotes of John Lennon's, but it would sound a lot more like something you'd find on a KKK website.

2/21/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

from ABC News

" ... As McCain prepares to head to New Hampshire (home of the Republican Party's first primary) on April 7 and to Iowa (home of the GOP's first caucus) on April 13, the conventional wisdom is that he would be unstoppable in a general election but doomed in the GOP primaries.

But with many in the Republican Party irked by the growth of federal spending and concerned about a public growing weary of war, some conservative insiders are beginning to warm to "Mr. Outsider." McCain says he will not make a final decision about 2008 until after the midterm elections. But he is already taking steps to win over the party's conservatives and he appears to have done so, at least so far, without alienating the self-described "radical centrists" who have always been his core supporters.

Courting Conservatives

In recent months, McCain has taken several steps to court his party's base: he has endorsed teaching intelligent design alongside evolution; he has backed a ban on gay marriage in his home state of Arizona; he has met with the Rev. Jerry Falwell. ... "

Carpet baggin' SOB as far as I'm concerned, but..

Look Ahead to 2008: McCain's Balancing Act
" ... And to top it off, he recently said he wouldn't be bothered if Roe v. Wade were overturned since he's never supported it.

But far more important to McCain's conservative resurgence has been his opposition to what he calls wasteful spending and his commitment to persevering in Iraq. ... "

Never sell a Navy man short, doug.
His Daddy was a Big Shot Admiral, his wife's Daddy, a Beer Distributor.
Money & Power
at Home & Abroad

2/21/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Beer, and you left out Indians:

That is a powerful combo as documented by History.
(although their mystical tradition wasn't crap compared to Islam, ...just ask Opotho)
If a full scale war develops between POTUS and the GOP in Congress over the ports, John should find lots of openings to exploit.

2/21/2006 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Actually the stats show that US soldiers vote about 3 to 1 against the American believers in 'untermenschen'. And that 1-in-4 ain't voting on any class-principle other than traditional voting, by and large. The south has "But we've always been Democrats" Democrats, aplenty.

2/21/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The south has "But we've always been Democrats" Democrats, aplenty."
But not comparable to Hawaii's, I'd wager.
...then you got your Maui Moonbeams, Green to the Gills.

2/21/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Got his house wrote up in Architectural Digest, Big John did, well not his house, really. It was his Father-in-Laws house, before he passed.
Now Big John and the Mrs., they live there. Well, anyway, after the write up, the house is for sale, the Family Estate, on the market.
I must admit, AZ real estate values are at an all time high, it is a good time to sell out, if you plan to move, East.

2/21/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If the Supremes Rule Out Partial Birth, we may have to bring the troops home to hold the Fort.

2/21/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

I would salute all the brave muslims like Noor Khan who resisted totalitarianism 60 years ago and I salute those in the middle east who do it today.
I was going to comment on the Grand Mufti of Palestine,Husseini who was a lover of the Swastika,but that would needlessly enflame Opotho.

2/21/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Depends on the meaning of Needlessly! ;-)

2/21/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Great place for the greater 'Rat Clan, I'd guess.
No use leavin if you're not runnin.

2/21/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I would comment on the Navajo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico, they revered the swastika, long before the Germanic Hordes ever heard a note from Wagner.
But to what end, I would just be shouted down.
Despised as both an Indian Lover and a Nazi sympathizer, oh, what's the use!

2/21/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

4:07 PM LOL

2/21/2006 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

trangbang, you do me a disservice for a second time.

I felt that I'd spoken respectfully to you the other day, yet you felt free to insult me in your reply on behalf of others.

That was not appreciated then, and now you are at it again.

2/21/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

"Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation or creed."

Bertrand Russell

2/21/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Just south, doug, down to Puerto Bello. Down to the tropical sun.

One of the hig water marks of Morgan the Pirate's Campaigns against the Spanish, as well as one of his first.

Going to maintain the land bridge, though. Homes on both ends.

That is the Plan for now.
Reality may intervene, but we should all do our utmost to keep that Monster at bay.

2/21/2006 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

He's getting the right ducks in a row, that's for sure. And he'd neutralize the loud, ugly press. That's getting to be a real issue, I think. "Who can stop the insanity?"

Opotho, I get your complaint--but I think a lot of the hate speech is really just anger speech--relieved to have an outlet. Put folks on the red-button they'd behave differently. There's a time and place to educate others about the good side of Islam--the Sufi Noor is the place to start (thanks, Wretchard), and sites like this help, too. But two or three days ago the news was all Islamic horror--those Christians beaten to death in the streets in Nigerian 'toon riots stay in mind--and that was probably not the right time to appeal to a measured view. Anyhoo, that's just my 2 cents worth.

Lincoln had a bad, problematic war on his hands, too. What he did was turn the fighting over to the hard men Grant and Sherman, while making the atmosphere large enough for the enemy to soften, with rhetoric that was anything but bellicose.

2/21/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

"Cutler - I believed that I'd provided an "answer" and even a number to your question on a previous thread to how many Muslims were killed in concentration camps (I've read that it was upwards of 200,000). Maybe I only thought I posted, but I remember my impression of the number you had in mind as being zero."

Wasn't my question. "Check fire, blue on blue."

"The lefty psych field simply dismisses others as crazy...

I could see that.

So, at our thought-crimes trials, does this mean we can declare innocence by reasons of insanity?

2/21/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'll be the star of the show trial!
Been doin a fine job of keeping Opotho distracted, if I do say so myself.
You Wanna see hate speech and who hurled it here, check out that Hearts and Bytes thread Opotho references.
My recommendation was to rename it:
Farts and Bites.
But far be it from me to suggest that this was by and large a civilized outpost prior to Opotho bringing down Firey Posts from Allah for hours on end.

2/21/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

pbuh, of course.

2/21/2006 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

My lil' brother, doug, he thought Texas was full of value, until he discovered the Property Taxes there were "killer", vis a vie AZ.

Changed his whole perspective, on Texas.

Taxes, they do have a powerful influence on economic decisions, that's a fact.

2/21/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Texas has no income tax, and the schools gotta be funded somehow.
The big metro areas run the stats up, too. But out in the open areas, acreage is still pretty cheap. In fact, the areas that look like Arizona, say, Brewster County in the far west, are practically free.

2/21/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"He was upset that gay culture was becoming mainstream and blamed most of his personal, professional and emotional problems on the gay and lesbian movement.

These fixations preoccupied him every day. Articles in magazines about gays made him agitated. He confessed that his fears had left him socially isolated and unemployed for years:
"He had a fixed delusion about the world,"
A Chicago psychiatrist, referring to psychiatry's manual of mental disorders. "Has anyone asked, 'If you have paranoia, do you project your hostility toward other groups?' The answer is 'Hell, no!' "
Chaiken explained how she distinguished pathological bias from ordinary prejudice:
A prisoner who belonged to a gang with racist views might express such views to fit in with his gang, but if he continues "yelling racial slurs, assaulting others when it's clear there is no benefit" after he leaves the gang, the behavior was no longer "adaptive."
Maybe if I call it part of my mystical tradition, I'll be safe?

Gets Police Protection, even, in London.

2/21/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Snouck said...

Most of the Dutch operatives dropped by British Lysander STOLs were captured by Major Giskes of the Abwehr. Out of 61 SOE radiotelegraphists 51 were captured of whom only 5 survived the war. The Dutch called this England's Game ("Englandspiel").

This despite the codes that had been devised by Leo Marks to discover compromised messages.

2/21/2006 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

I don't recall you treating me respectfully unless that means politely calling me a dunce rather than stridently,but its all gravy.
Nonetheless I apologize for piling on.Its not my fight
I incidentally read Stephen Schwartz's book about the Sufi mystical traditions.I would like to see that a little more vocal.Maybe the problem lies in mystical traditions .They're too busy seeking spiritual bliss to kick a Wahhabi in his evil butt.

2/21/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

Buddy - you wouldn't know it from the way I'm characterized here nowadays, but I knew people who were killed in the World Trade Center and I weep about that day all the time. My cousin thinks he dying from what he inhaled there over the course of 3 months of clean-up (never missed one day).

NO ONE wants to kill those sons-of-bitches more than I do, but I refuse to let my vigilance flag when I see unwarranted hatred starting to snowball down to its inevitable, cataclysmic end.

So I have posed the same question over and over here to no response so far: that unless we're each absolutely certain that there's no possible reconciliation between Islam and Western values, and that would take a lot of learning to decide, aren't we morally culpable, as individuals and as a group, for contributing our part to the clash that could be the only result?

I have no appetite for armageddon.

2/21/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Alfred Hitchcock edited a documentary on the death camps from footage shot as out infantry rolled into them. I remember watching it in the mid to late 80’s, it’s quite possibly the most disturbing film ever shot and I am not being flippant or facetious.

The holocaust deniers should be made to watch it.

F3080 is available from PBS as Memories of the Camps or it can be viewed online at PBS

2/21/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Opotho--I agree--I think everyone does, really--if the "Thing" can be put back to sleep, let it be so done. Maybe something will come along--bird flu or UFOs or Carridine's
Savior--in the interim. Thermonucear weapons let off over Islamic cities, jeez-all gawd a-mighty--nothing afterward will ever again resemble the before.

2/21/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

God would have to send such a signal.

2/21/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

Right so, Buddy.

trangbang - The Sufi tradition, its learning and history, is an excellent example of something worthy of any Westerner's respect, but I would rather focus on the worthiness of certain Shi'a sects and histories since they are more central in Islam and the Sufis are basically marginal (I think it was dan or das who correctly stressed that.)

My point all along has been the same: that it's up to us to be "a little more vocal" about their own freaking history since it would serve our purpose of dividing sect from sect and of ultimately defeating them and their own dangerous, worst inclinations.

Incidentally, your "too busy seeking spiritual bliss" observation is the exact same criticism that northern Buddhists (Mahayana) hurl at southern Buddhists (Hinayana).

It was at 7:37 AM (Hearts & Bytes) that I committed the supposedly offensive deed against you.

I asked, "for Chris'sake, you write as if you think I'm trying to reach al Qaida!" That's offensive? I don't think so.

I went on to write what I would again, now, of your latest post above:

"I can tell you another thing too, that knowledgeably criticizing Muslim reactions to this, that, or the other "outrage" ...

"I say it would help to be knowledgeable for propagandistic purposes, but when I say this at Belmont Club nearly everyone immediately jumps to two conclusions:

"!. That I believe metaphysical discussions would be an interesting cross-cultural exercise, and

"2. that my idea of a propaganda war is mutually exclusive with the kind of persuasion "that grows out of the barrel of a gun".

"So what's up with THAT? What does that say about other posters here? These are the primary assumptions that I consider doltish and far too routine."

How would that have offensive to you? If you think that you were described by my second point above, then you could have taken the opportunity to distance yourself from something that I repeatedly claimed was not true (the charge that my two convictions - guns and propaganda - are not two components of one mission).

2/21/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, Opotho,
If you had taken that amount of time responding to Fred, maybe we'd all learn something.

But I guess you'd rather fight than inform.
Those last precious bits of energy your body had,

2/21/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, buddy, he was looking up around Weatherford, just west of Fort Worth.
Lot's of empty Commercial buildings, he said.
Looked real close at a Sale Barn, there in Weatherford. Lot's of empty dirt to go with it. Right between the Highway and the town, he said.

But, hell, buddy, you got to have Income 'fore you can pay tax on it.

I have to hire Professionals to make sure we don't make no real money.

2/21/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I love the tactic of implying that anyone that disagrees is in the
Armageddon! Faster, Please! Crowd.
Very Helpful.

2/21/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

doug - it's just too hard a task for me. After hours of organizing it in my head, I barely know how to begin.

To explain it to someone like fred I'd have to recapitulate the entire debate between the Averroeans and the Avicennans, the trouble being that we in the West (and everyone posting here) are a product of the former! How can I do all that on a comments thread?

All I originally set out to do was make a point about propaganda. Naturally, Wretchard was one of the few people to nit it at once. But for the others, yourself included, my argument (and perhaps other strategies like it, or even not like it) wouldn't make any sense if people had already decided that Islam was just pure evil, straight and simple. (And you want to tell me that that view doesn't hurry the armageddon?)

Too many levels of argument for me to take on all at once, especially with you sniping at me constantly. You can be a total jerk sometimes, you know?

Then my inability to provide examples of how ancient Shi'a texts demonstrated that their mysticism is [was] based on a metaphorical reading of their traditions, even whe its imagery looks merely violent (as in a parable I'd picked out for the occasion) took me on an hours-long search through my library.

And still you're there, shouting me down with nasty one-liners and ignorant jibes, suggesting that i don't know anything, or haven't ever read these things after all, or have no response to fred's challenge.

At one point I finally write to you:

I've restated how many times?: "teaching metaphysics" as propaganda, then taking aim and shooting if that's what's called for. What's your freaking problem understanding that?

You responded:

Sorry, I never saw it stated quite that way before, I must have missed it.

And now you're being an a**hole all over again. What the f**k?

I'm going to have to go relax now with the evening so that I can get up at 5 AM for work again.

(Nice to talk to you again Buddy.)

2/21/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Duke Kahanamoku will not be appeased.

2/21/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Me too, Rat--dedicated my life to running non-profit organizations (*sigh*).

2/21/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That's pretty funny Opotho,
I asked you three times to respond to a point I had made, instead of continuing to pound me for not reading you closely enough, then when Aristedes tried to help out, you indicated that you never took the time to figure out what the point was, and didn't plan to!

But what can you expect from a bunch of Bigots just itching for Armageddon, right?

2/21/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

By bringing in "global warming" as an analogy to a your point that Islam is irredeemable?

First, I didn't understand your point at all. Aristides had to explain it to me.

Second, you and I have had a history of rows about global warming. You and I have also have a history whereby you introduce global warming into any dialogue that I'm involved in, wherever you think it might discredit whatever else I'm saying.

[Help me out someone, please. That's this guy's level of tactic, isn't it?]

You are a disingenuous person, doug. Your last claim is proof enough of your intellectual dishonesty. The fact that people tolerate your trolling here (when you do troll) doesn't reflect very well on this community's proclivity for group-think.

2/21/2006 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


I do not distinguish in each post between any particular individual and Islam the institution. Personally, I believe that Islam is flawed ab initio. Muhammed used his claim of revelations to enhance his authority and to help recruit soldiers, which he then used to pillage neighboring tribes and steal their wealth. Soldiers were rewarded with a share of the spoils in this life and greater pleasure in the next. If Muhammed were alive today he would be doing 25 to life almost anywhere on the globe. I acknowledge that is a simplistic explanation but it is not too far from the canonical descriptions.

In the 1300 years since the 7th century many different people have enriched the spiritual tapestry of Islam. The few moral tales I've read by Rumi and other Sufi have universal application and appeal as compared to the very inclusive outlook I see in Islam as a whole.

I acknowledge that Islam is complex and that any individual can be an adherent of Islam, a Muslim, and be a perfectly good human being. The money phrase, however, is that it appears that individual would have to act selectively or contrary to the core teachings of Islam to get there. I do not know how much of Islam a person can pick and choose to believe and still be a Muslim, or not.

2/21/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My point was that even if one had NO disagreements with the soundness of your claims about Islam, they might think time and effort could be better spent on something else.

(Just as in Global Warming:
Even if it could be proved that man is causing it, if it can also be proved that none of the "solutions" proposed will work in a useful time period, then efforts should reasonably be applied elsewhere)

...and my example as to propaganda was that the time might be better spent disseminating the truth about how the whole cartoon thing was being cynically manipulated, rather than trying to explain the fine points of someone else's religion to them after they had been roused to a fever pitch by that manipulation.
I could be wrong, that doesn't make me a bigot, and I guarantee you will not find me being uncivil to you Prior to the time you started throwing that charge around.
I said that was offensive, and I meant it -
It is also destructive in just the way you project such potential onto others.
But I readily admit to the jabs and one liners, FWIW.
Do you acknowledge that calling people ignorant bigots is not serious debate?

2/21/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Second, you and I have had a history of rows about global warming. You and I have also have a history whereby you introduce global warming into any dialogue that I'm involved in, wherever you think it might discredit whatever else I'm saying."
As a matter of fact the example I used that you did not address even after I directed you to it 3 times was NOT Global Warming!

It had to do with the brakes on a car versus airbags when one is heading toward a rock wall.

...at that point I did throw in a jab about Global Warming.

Didn't know that would be your excuse to avoid addressing my point ad-infinitum while knocking me for not paying enough attention to you.

2/21/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Your constant resort to name calling and then crying foul for being offended by some perceived slight reminds me of something that irks us about the muslim fanatics.

2/21/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

boston - I don't know what to say. After much study I believe that you are incorrect. Either way, there would be far fewer options for us in this war and only the darkest implications for the future were we to the proceed only from your conclusion. If you are in fact wrong about Islam, then your beliefs and your conscience must be called into account for the darkest of the inevitabilites that await us.

doug - I wish it was a more typical occurrence for you to be as considerate and generous with words in your responses as you were briefly above. (Alas, you are already reverting.)

It was "the brakes on a car versus airbags" thing? I can't believe it. That was supposed to be some profound idea for me to respond to? I really thought that was a rhetorical question. And it is.

My long-awaited answer: that's so simplistic how could it be anything but wrong and foolhardy? It's barely even a whole thought. I didn't take it seriously as a question.

That you did "throw in a jab about Global Warming" is unacceptable. You will never find me disrupting a thread like that. I explain everything I mean, and if someone convinces me that I'm mistaken about something I own up to it, and explain that too. I'm nothing if not conscientious. Your behavior is called "trolling", which for some reason is tolerated here.

Now "bigotry" is a very real thing, as I have and will continue to explain to people. Some would say it's a sin. If you agree that it is at least a danger, and always has been a danger, then why wouldn't we want to remain vigilant about it in ourselves and in our communities?

I would never throw such a term around in the kind of short, trolling salvo that you seem to be comfortable with, but I also refuse to pretend that a flaw is really something other than what it is. It is what it is.

People here seemed less concerned the other day that they may actually be bigots than that someone used an un-p.c. term to describe actual statements and writings (which I quoted back to them).

That's kind of weird, don't you think?

If you and I were to take a stroll over to the Daily Kos and we came across any one of a hundred hypocrisies, wouldn't we point them out and even use the word in doing so?

The reply would be predictable enough: "combative language", "inappropriate", "trolling" ... But hypocrisy nonetheless.

To me, bigotry is a sin.

I really am going to bed now. You can reply but I'm afraid I won't see it.

2/21/2006 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

So I have posed the same question over and over here to no response so far: that unless we're each absolutely certain that there's no possible reconciliation between Islam and Western values, and that would take a lot of learning to decide, aren't we morally culpable, as individuals and as a group, for contributing our part to the clash that could be the only result?

I have no appetite for armageddon.



There's not going to be any armageddon in this turn gyre. This time the falcon hears the falconer.

Hear me out. Basically in the last couple of days Bush has been saying for the last couple of days that there are some truely startling technological developments going to come out the energy skunkworks.

Likely people from the National Science Foundation are keeping him abreast of what's going on in the federal university and private labs. The pace of development is pretty brisk right now. What's not understood is that the same technologies that are zeroing in to kill the cost of energy are--in the same time frame of a few short years--about to kill the cost of water desalination and transport. The consequence of this will be that it will be economically feasable to turn the world's deserts green with desalinised water. This will increase the size of the USA & China by a third, double the size of Mexico, Increase the effective size of Saudi Arabia and North Africa by 100 fold and increase the effecive size of Australia by 500 fold--and so on.

The habitable size of the planet is going to double in the next five years.

And this will come at about the same time the Europeans start to remember who they are.

They will likely kick out the moslems from Europe. It the the job of Americans of Good will to make sure that the Eurabeans are returned to North Africa and the countries of their ancestors to bring the skills aquired in Europe to the newly greened lands.

2/21/2006 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...


The deserts can be beaten back with afforestation. The trees only need to be watered for a few years then they will draw their own moist air from the sea causing rain and essentially self watering.

2/21/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"It was "the brakes on a car versus airbags" thing?
I can't believe it.
That was supposed to be some profound idea for me to respond to
(I never claimed it was profound, unlike some I know.)

"I really thought that was a rhetorical question. And it is.
My long-awaited answer:

that's so simplistic how could it be anything but wrong and foolhardy?
It's barely even a whole thought.

I didn't take it seriously as a question.

(Actually, that's NOT a *true account* of how it happened:
I finally reposted the comment, with no indication that it was rhetorical after denying I was playing games several times..)

Sorry it does not meet your standards of high falutin rhetoric, but it was my point, which you now STILL dismiss as puerile.
...but that's just you, I guess
Incidentally I re-explained
above in a different manner, but I guess it also does not meet your high standards.

(actually, I think there's a good chance you've still not taken the time to discern what the point actually was)
I will draw my own conclusions,
you will continue to label me and others here however you please.

2/21/2006 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat 4:28 PM,
ALL taxes suck for somebody!
(as you well know)
Here we have a statewide school system funded not by a sales tax, but by an excise tax that gets levied over again several times in some instances, leading to an effective rate far beyond its innocent looking 4%.
(forget what the effective equivalent sales tax rate is, but it's a lot higher.)

So Maui is actually not that bad a place for wealthy retirees.
But it sucks big time for workers and small businesspeople by the time they pay their fica and state mandated health care taxes and have the excise tax figured on just about everything that moves, ...more than once.

On Oahu they get to pay a bit more tax for a worthless rapid transit train that has yet to be built and won't do diddly squat when it is.

2/21/2006 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"To me, bigotry is a sin."
To me, a false charge of bigotry in these times is as destructive as bigotry itself.

2/21/2006 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger summignumi said...

Calling “Noor Inayat Khan” a Muslim is at best ignorant! For if you know Islam then she could not have been a Muslim and was her father truly a Muslim? This is the same as calling Hitler Christian simply because he was from a supposed Christian European nation and his father may have been ardent Catholic. Calling “Noor Inayat Khan” a Muslim is the same as proclaiming human rights to furniture or any other such object or property because that is precisely what women are in Islam, an object/property and Objects/Property at best may be atheist, but a member of a religion one can not be!

It is also the same as calling the Crusades Christian, they had very little to do with Christ and his teachings and more to do with everything else of its time, Riches, Fame, Power, Revenge and Adventure just to name a few.

Muslim Crusaders which can before the European Crusades were all about Riches, Power and Fame. They had the example and preaching from their master to do just that, take and kill what is not yours in his name!

So many unsung heroes rest in history that was WWII, Just as there will be today in our WWV, Which most likely will never be heard of or talked of in two to three generations as the “West” is most likely to loss. The time and situation is ripe as it was when Islam first appeared and was able to spread like wild fire. If all the moral brave men are killed and imprisoned then fear will drive the rest into the arms of Mohammad and they will simply be as the German Solider who were unfortunate to be at “Dachau” as in your last article, were they may not have been the perpetrators of the death and misery but they were proud and willing members of the instrument used to perform the heinous acts just as the “silent majority” of Muslims do now, they don’t protest at the blatant infractions of their faith by their own yet will participate in the rioting, burning and killings over the cartoon, even when cartoons and images of Mohammed had been made over the 1400+ years of Islam’s existence by their very own.

Only now there is little chance remaining for a liberating force to free the prisoners of Islam thanks to our pious and self righteous elite educators and leaders who have so twisted the values that one can no longer tell what is right and what is wrong in western society.

I wonder just what the liberals and Feminist are going to think when the very atrocities that happen in Muslim countries now start to happen here in the same frequency as they do there, will they wake in time to realize their fate? Will they blame it on the Christians to the end and simple conform to their new (forced) religion? How will these feminist fair being treated as cattle? I think many will simple be killed to the point as in the past when Islam took over that none will care or hear them weep.

2/22/2006 02:06:00 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

Io whit ...

2/22/2006 03:30:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Opotho, Doug, et al, we're not alone in being driven slightly nuts by the ghosts and shadows.

2/22/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

In a WaPo op-ed (2/23/2006) William J. Bennett and Alan M. Dershowitz correctly identify a less obvious expression of "bigotry" in the failure of the American MSM to re-present the Danish cartoons.

" ... if [a] group is pandered to by the mainstream media, the media then will go through elaborate contortions and defenses to justify its abdication of duty. At bottom, this is an unacceptable form of not-so-benign bigotry, representing a higher expectation from Christians and Jews than from Muslims."


They're absolutely right, but not because the word only applies to the MSM and other hypocrites.

Bigotry is bigotry.

2/23/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

A timely follow-up to my argument took place in Dublin Ireland on Saturday (2/25) when Irish republicans rioted against a Unionist parade in the republic's capital.

In it's wake there were bigotted, sectarian quotes aplenty, from both sides of the on-going conflict.

Since I didn't see anything about in the NY Times, or on any of the cable news channels in the US, it falls on me to remind the more sanctimonious posters at Belmont Club that Christianity is hardly a done deal.

Go tell the people in Ireland that their experience is little more than a blip in a grand historical trajectory. I remain ... unimpressed.

I won't even comment on last week's slaughter by Christians in Nigeria.

2/27/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger dilbertgeg said...

Speaking of twisted values:
When The Left volunteered to fight Franco's fascists in Spain, the US rightwing and business estab supported Franco.

Ditto for support for Mussolini, but that included some of the business estab known as the "Establishment Liberals" i.e. Wall Street.

When the Lusitania was sunk, wealthy old money and Associates of Wilson of took great pains to make sure it was sunk by Germany. G. Edward Griffin has a 4 part piece on that. He calls it "collectivism", I call it a bunch of rich bankers who wanted America to get into a war and didn't give a crap who had to die. Griffin also covers Pearl Harbor, same story, inside job.

Griffin is a sedate former Birch-er, by the way, but he's just reporting facts that no liberals, no conservatives, not even WSWS will report.

Wall Street also supported the Nazis, before and DURING and AFTER the War. Rockefeller, Harriman, ALCOA, US Steel, IBM, Standard Oil, GM, GE, Ford, Dupont, Hearst (pro-Nazi propaganda) and various others, most especially firms dedicated to 'banking', i.e. money-laundering.

Prescott Bush and his father in law George Herbert Walker profited greatly from Jew slave labor on coal mines in Auschwitz. However it is wrong to single out these two men who were really part of a BROAD NAZI CONSPIRACY that betrayed Allied Troops. Allen and John Dulles, who were lawyers for American and German capitalists (I.G. Farben) and head of de-Nazification then aided Nazi Capital Flight, helped Nazis escape to Argentina and South America (where the right wing death squads reign), still maintaining full control of their economic empires, and also gave many jobs and new titles in CIA and military and business in America.

Allen and John Dulles also put Nazi SS like Reinhard Gehlen back in charge of German Intelligence. That was around the time they were forming the CIA. It's pretty clear that George Herbert Walker Bush was hired into CIA at that time, and not in 1974 when he suddenly became Dir. This is the Bush Family political circle, which has marched down through history, NOT just a fluke.

The fundraising arm of the Republican party was one such home. Nixon protected these Nazis from the scrutiny of Joe McCarthy, making sure he went after only Left Socialists (of the benign coffeehouse variety or labor unions, but never the bankers like Col. House who wrote a book about himself as head of a Global Communist Government). Nixon made sure the Nazis were not scrutinized, and for that he got special favors from Allen and John Dulles.

Allen and John Dulles of course had formed the CIA. The book Killing Hope has about 60 chapters on their fine work, which resembled the Nazi SS in gory brutality.

FF to modern times. Beyond supporting and funding and training various death squads and torturers (who will probably be hired to "restore order" in the USA some day), our CIA also supported and launched the careers of

Saddam Hussein
Osama Bin Laden
Al-Qaeda leaders like Ali Mohammed (who pled to consp to kill Americans, and yet was a US military officer, Spec Forces)
Wahabbi Muslims of Indonesia

all the most psycho Islamic cults have gotten support from the USA and/or Israel, while moderate, liberal Muslims just get murdered, or they get sidelined for not apologizing sufficiently for the psycho-Muslims WE supported.

Guess who now?!! The Mujahideen Kalqh or MEK. Known terrorist group, AGAIN they are on US payroll, and neo-con Max Boot thinks this is wonderful. Even tho they've also KILLED AMERICANS and worked for Saddam and are a Stalinist Cult, we are funding them to attack inside Iran.

And Conservative talking (dick)Heads want to know why more moderate Muslims are not apologizing for the murderous cultists who WE FUNDED AND ARMED.

11/17/2006 08:04:00 AM  

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