Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Before the dawn

There's an ambitious article by JR Dunn at American Thinker which tries to sketch out where the long struggle with radical Islamism is headed. The excerpts below give a flavor of its principle argument.

The first campaigns of the Long War are drawing to a close. The Jihadis have lost the opening rounds. What next?

There’s an unconscious conviction that what happens next is… nothing. We go back to everyday life, the way things were before all that unpleasantness in lower Manhattan and Washington those long years ago. We shut out the harmful, hateful world once again, go our own way, and forget about jihads, and suicide belts, and dirty bombs, and beheadings, and all the other nightmares that have filled our days since 2001.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

What happened on 9/11 was not an earthquake, over and done quickly, but a long, slow and complete reshuffling of the tectonic plates that comprise human civilization; something comparable to the deaths of empires and the passing of eras. Such events are not over in a day, or a year, or a decade. They take their time. And when it ends at last the world will be a different place, in ways that we now have no way of knowing. But the part we have played in it will, in some shape or form, match our position when it’s all over, American or European or Arab, Muslim or Christian or Secular.

 ... The Jihadis have lost Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s true that fighting continues in both countries, but at this point it’s effectively theater. ... It’s doubtful that the Jihadis will fade out yet, not after spending over twenty years organizing and laying the groundwork. ... But if the Jihadis want to continue, they’ll need to adapt a strategy. Not modify the current one – they have never, up to this point, displayed the least signs of ever having one ...

This may change in the future. The intercepted letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi suggests that deep thinking has been going on concerning the trend of Islamist fortunes. Many of the movement’s wild men have been killed off by U.S. and Coalition action. The remainder will be more thoughtful, balanced, and cautious. Some will have had actual military training and experience. These last will be unwilling to take action only out of religious zeal, without a workable goal and a clear method of getting there – a strategy.

This is an interesting beginning. It suggests that the GWOT is the result of deep structural conflicts which gathered unnoticed in the late 20th century and whose resolution will be the principal business of the early 21st. It further suggests that in this conflict the Jihad has realized it is not going to win by force of arms in the way that it did against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan; that Osama Bin Laden's judgement of America as weaker than the Soviet Union was flawed; and that it is already seeking an alternative route to world domination. The reader is left to wonder what exactly that new Jihadi strategy should be. But unfortunately the American Thinker article stops in a cliffhanger-like fashion until the sequel, Sidelining Europe, is published tomorrow.

Yet it's not just radical Islam that is consciously re-examining its strategy. Jed Babbin at the American Spectator is pondering the same question for the viewpoint of -- for want of a better term -- conservatives, casting it as a contest between Wilsonian and Jacksonian approaches. (Hat tip: Powerline)  Babbin argues that President Bush has taken the Wilsonian approach to victory by "democratizing" the enemy to destroy its theocratic social base. Babbin argues for the Jacksonian stance, deriding the democratizing strategy as nonsense:

We didn't invade Afghanistan and Iraq because they weren't democracies. If the lack of democracy were a casus belli we'd be at war with about two-thirds of the world. We counterattacked the Taliban because with malice aforethought they provided the base from which Osama bin Laden organized an attack that killed three thousand Americans and then refused to turn him over to us when we gave them the choice between doing so and war. In Iraq we sincerely believed that the Saddam Hussein regime posed a threat to Americans and attacked only after the UN failed, as it always does, to deal with such a threat. The only goal of this war, which Lowry and the others lost track of, is to end the threat of radical Islam and the terrorism that is its chosen weapon against us.

Powerline sees a role for both the Wilsonian and Jacksonian approaches in strategy.

Babbin's critique of the Bush administration, then, is mainly that it's not being aggressive enough in attacking hostile regimes. To me, that matter is largely independent of the questions of (1)how concerned we should be about the political fate of the countries in which we topple regimes and (2) the extent to which we should embrace pro-democratic rhetoric. President Bush could adopt a more Jacksonian stance towards Iran, for example, and still act like a Wilsonian with respect to post-invasion Iraq.

And that, I think, is what he should do. It clearly matters what happens in a country after it has been "liberated." It mattered in Eastern Europe after World War II and it mattered in Afghanistan after the Soviets were driven out. Even if one totally discounts as factually incorrect or immaterial the notion that more democratic outcomes will produce fewer terrorists over time (and I wouldn't), it still seems true that more democratic outcomes in places like Iraq and Afghanistan will produce states that cause us significantly less trouble.

The less dogmatic thinkers on the Left also see the need to redefine itself away from the vestigial anti-Americanism of the 20th century, a leftover habit from the Cold War. Alan Johnson, editor of Democratiya, a journal dedicated to "a renewal of the politics of democratic radicalism by providing a forum for serious analysis and debate" passionately argues that the Left has blinded itself to the obvious fact that radical Islamism is the chief totalitarian menace in the world today. By clinging to the outmoded reflexes of the past, it has surrendered its historic role and made itself an accomplish to radical Islam. He says the Left should step up to the plate and take up the resistance in a manifesto called How democracies can defeat Totalitarian Political Islam. In sections suggestively titled "The Crisis on the Left", and the "Democratic Alternative" Johnson makes the case for the formation of a Third Force led by the Left in order to:

  • restore the doctrine of the international community and the partnership between the US and Europe
  • respect our own constitutional identity by adhering to the rule of law, due process and human rights
  • wage a cultural 'cold war' of ideas
  • make urgent international solidarity with democrats in the Arab and Muslim world
  • promote global economic development-as-freedom.


This belated flurry of strategic thinking means it is increasingly accepted that September 11 wasn't simply a gigantic crime -- an Oklahoma City bombing writ large. It was the end of an era and beginning of a new one. We are not, as JR Dunn so eloquently put it, about to "go back to everyday life, the way things were before all that unpleasantness in lower Manhattan and Washington those long years ago". That may be terrible news for those who believe the 1960s never ended, but there it is. We are adrift on a dark sea and the mariners are breaking out the compasses.

It's not surprising that thinkers all along the political spectrum are beginning to seriously consider what the new era portends and the strategies they should adopt to survive within it. Mainstream politicians have not as yet made the mental adjustment, but with any luck the 2008 Presidential campaign will be the first since September 11 to move beyond the "stolen election" of 2000 and openly debate what course we should follow in the long war ahead. It's a debate that will touch on everything: military preparedness, our core beliefs, demography and the structure of civilization itself because we have finally come to accept that in the end nothing will be the same in the way that it was. It's been a long time coming. It's going to be a long time gone.


Blogger speaker-to-animals said...

imho, Bush is far more reaganesque than jacksonian or wilsonian.
the containment doctrine held off the sovs until free trade and capitalism won out-- we just have to keep the jihadis occupied until free trade and capitalism reshape MENA.
the greatest threat to the fundamentalists is not democracy, but free trade.

3/22/2006 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

"....with any luck the 2008 Presidential campaign will be the first since September 11 to move beyond the "stolen election" of 2000 and openly debate what course we should follow in the long war ahead."

Wish you were right. Will never happen.

Both sides in the debate will not say what they really think.

The Democrats will not admit that their dominent vision of that of the early 70's commercial with everyone wearing their national costumes, holding hands, and singing "I'd like to buy the world a Coke..." atop some distant hill.

The Republicans will not admit that their vision is "Live Free Or Die" - foreign countries will either act like they love freedom as much as Americans - or else.

The Moderates from both sides will not admit that they are driven by the belief that it is simply not worth the effort required to lift all those ignorant savages out of barbarity.

The U.S. will lurch from one foolish disaster to another, rescued each time by bouts of crystal clear sanity enlivened by pure unadulerated rage - that in turn leads to achievments that cause the rest of the world to watch in stunned shock mixed with voracious envy.

3/22/2006 06:07:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Great article, wretchard. However, I think that
"We are adrift on a dark sea and the mariners are breaking out the compasses." puts too optimistic a spin on it. I don't think we're at the compass stage yet. We're more back in the astrolabe era, if that far along.

I think that free information is more of a long-term threat to the Islamists than free trade.

3/22/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Islam or the "radical islamists" have NEVER changed their stripes...

Since their founding they have sought world domination, 9/11 was just a pimple on the backside of islamic efforts...

Unless the islamic world accepts all citizens of the non-islamic world as equals the battle will continue....

the only thing that has changed is that Bush was awakened on 9/11, sadly most american have gone back to sleep

3/22/2006 06:43:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Alan Johnson [...] passionately argues that the Left has blinded itself to the obvious fact that radical Islamism is the chief totalitarian menace in the world today.

I don't think that the Left is blind to Islam. I think the Left is in love with Islam, and wants Islam to succeed in conquering the world, just as decades ago they wanted Soviet Communism to prevail.

Some think that Islam is incompatible with the Left. I disagree. Islam is incompatible with feminism, with gay rights, with a number of other issues that the Left embraces, but these issues are not the core of the Left.

The core of the Left, the center of the Left's worldview, is the advocacy of a society where the State controls everything, where there is a law or regulation for every activity of life, and where there is no place for individual accomplishment outside of the confines of the Group.

The essence of the difference between Leftists and classical liberalism is that the classical liberal sees the Group as a way of keeping its member individuals secure and providing a stable framework where individuals may persue their own goals, while theLeft views the individual as the property of the Group, to be used to promote the goals of the Group as articulated by the Group's leadership.

As such, there is not a huge difference between Stalinist Russia, and Iran's theocracy

3/22/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Jack Wayne said...

When civilizations collide can it be said that either of them has a strategy? Observers may make predictions about what will happen and how the new civilization will look at the end but no one knows. The "experts" saying that we should be Wilsonian or Jacksonian or something else are deluded by their own self-importance.

3/22/2006 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger Elam Bend said...

I think we are entering a new era of confusion and anarchy. I remember reading an article in the Atlantic monthy right after 9/11 predicting that and thinking the guy was wrong, but now I think I was wrong.

As for the Jihadies, they have also been defeated in Saudi Arabia. I think they've pretty well telegraphed that their new focus is going to be SE Asia and Palestine. Also, in Palestine, we see the convergence of AQ and Iranian interests. At times they will run counter to each other, but it seems as if both think that with Hamas's assendancy the time of Israel's destruction may be at hand.
A dark horse is Pakistan, which seems to become less and less a unified country every day.

All these conflicts will encourage the remaining armies of chaos, which will choose the banner underwhich they fight for expediency, but will truly be criminal gangs fighting for power and money. The chaos caused by the Long War and its resultant instability invites the creation of criminal political organization, a al Sadr (or any warlords in Somalia). Could a warlord arise in the Baluch or Pashtun areas of Pakistan?

3/22/2006 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger speaker-to-animals said...

exhelo, the argument against that is Iran-- fourth in number of webbloggers.
yet they do not rise up and throw off their chains. ;)

the nature of the Web is that it spreads not just "good" information, ie, technology, science, transparent politics, literature, but "bad" information, ie, backwards, religious, racist, tribialist, supernatural.

memes are competitive, just like genes.

3/22/2006 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Counter-Revolutionary said...

I see things more simply. There is a group who believe we are at WAR and support that effort. And, there is a group that DO NOT believe we are at WAR. This Anti-war group has much of the MSM at its core.

Surrounding these two groups are the moferates who waffle from side to side depending on how safe they feel.

No attacks on the homeland the Anti-war group is reinforced with much of the moderate middle.

Arguments related to PREEMPTIVE actions can only be supported if you do not believe we are at war. In war preemtive actions, i.e. (attacks before provocation, listening to phone conversations, comments on poor planning, discussions over casualties, etc.) are just attacks against the enemy or defensive measures.

Until the next attack, AQ has been wise there, we will become more and more complacent as the moderate middle moves to the we are NOT at war view.

3/22/2006 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

Astute post and comments - at least so far!

3/22/2006 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Remember 1993 WTC attempt, if they do not succeed, they’ll try try again.

We have raised Arafat’s up on our shoulders to celebrate his long war against us.

We have begun to emphasize with our kidnapers.

The new Jihad will be an infiltration operation, a redistribution of combatants, Saladin is reequipping his army. The avenues of ingress are along the old trading routes of the global economy, the target the world, the goal, the Global Caliphate, the means, the global economy, the weapon, religion and oil.

It is interesting to note that the Democrats are known for their Wilsonian views, GWB has more than used democratization as a tool against Jihadists, he has used it as a means of co-opting his enemies at home. But if the Democrats are for Wilson they are against Walker Bush.

GWB’s compassionate ideology doesn’t wash in Washington politics and it is singularly his greatest weakness, his Achilles’ heal. Kind of sad but true I believe.

Jacksonianism is most commonly associated with conservatism, the kinder gentler scree was meant to be a compromise towards the center but the center left aint buying it. Regardless of the administration politics, the State Department should be Wilsonian and the Defense Department should be Jacksonian. It is a carrot stick, yin and yang plurality, men are from mars Wilson was a sitzpinkler.

The one-two punch strategy is that the diplomats make nice until the talks are abandoned, then it is turn for the War Department to raise the playing field to the ground, then the State Department can make nice again and resume ‘constructive’ talks. Better yet, eliminate the problem with such unarguable certainty and scrub the talks. If you could do this a few times, you’d likely have more constructive talks in the future. I wasn’t for the war in Iraq to begin with, and maybe to end with, but I will never forgive the sitzpinklers from coddling the child after it’s spanking and being told not to worry, the bad man won’t spank you again. Go back to what you were doing before and I’ll see too it that daddy can’t punish you ever again.

Spare the switch and lose the child.

“Left also see the need to redefine itself away from the vestigial anti-Americanism of the 20th century, a leftover habit from the Cold War.” Wow, this is a powerful statement. The old useful idiots are now accomplices to radical Islam.

But as the future of Cuba is bound and gagged to the death of Castro, the future of the War on Terror is bound and gagged to the sucession of the lameduck GWB administration and the competing ideologies that would replace it with a “New Vision”, one free of ambition and paranoia.

By tacking left to appease the Democratic Party, GWB has ceded the advantage of Jacksonianism to the enemies, here and abroard. Johnson’s 5 bullet points are the Democratic Party platform personified and none, especially sucking up to Europe will be possible with any Repubican administration, no, not even John McCain. You want unity with the Jihadists and with the Eurosnobs? You must surrender. Vote for Hillary.

“It's been a long time coming. It's going to be a long time gone.” CSN&Y?

3/22/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I don't if Mark Steyn was the first to bring it up but he is dead-on that demographics is the elephant in the room, even if nobody is looking at it.

We don't have to look far back in history for lessons. American Indians thought at one time that the small numbers of European immigrants posed no threat to their culture. The Mexicans who lived in Texas in the middle 1800's were convinced that their American gringo neighbors would be happy to be part of Mexico.

We know the outcome of those intrusions and almost nobody in the Lower 48 would change a thing. That's the way it is. Well the same knd of thing is happening in Old Europe now and there is no reason to expect that the outcome will not be as disastrous for the "natives." In fact, the daily reports from the Brussels Journal suggest that disaster is already within sight. We can prevent Islamists from getting the Bomb in Iran but there's probably nothing we can do about preventing them from getting it in France.

Even if we leveled the Hindu Kush it's wouldn't mean squat while the Euro weenies rush like lemmings to kill off themselves and the last vestiges of Christianity/Western Civilization in Europe.

3/22/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

W writes: It's a debate that will touch on everything: military preparedness, our core beliefs, demography and the structure of civilization itself because we have finally come to accept that in the end nothing will be the same in the way that it was.

I really wish that's what the national debate in 2008 will be, but for now, the Democratic position is simply that "Bush sucks, man!" Like RWE, I can't see the Dems rising above that level. How can they? Howard Dean and all the super-nuts on the Left will disown them.

A lot of Dems live in a world of willful amnesia, where Clinton did not unilaterally bomb Sudan to break up Iraq-Al Qaeda collaboration on WMD's.

Here in Pennsylvania, where the Dems have a decent chance of unseating the hated Sen. Santorum, the abortion-at-all-costs faction has announced a new candidate to oppose the Dem candidate because the Dem candidate (a former governor's son, the current State Treasurer) is guilty of the unforgiveable crime of being anti-abortion.

These radical sentiments and undeniable BDS are going to drive the Dems for years to come. I wish they could be serious, but I don't expect it.

3/22/2006 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger scipio said...

That morning in september 2001 revealed to us what had been in the making for years, it could have happened before but it didn't.
The warnings were there but very little was done, of course we are all smarter with hindsight.
Yes it changed everything, some of us have realized it and some haven't.It should be obvious that
the jihadis have taken a beating in Iraq and Afghanistan, theirs was a failed strategy with success measurable only at the tactical level,what legacy will they leave?
Distruction and hatred, that hatred will eventually turn on itself. It did so in Afghanistan after the USSR left and it is doing so in Gaza, this will be probably a "long war" and the west
will prevail I have no doubts, the force freedom should never be understimated.

3/22/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

I second Papa Bear. Although the left miscalculates if they think there is a place for them in the world to come. All kufirs will be treated alike.

3/22/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

If I were a jihadist, I would neither be discouraged nor overly hopeful and I certainly would have no reason to discontinue my fight anywhere in the world. A terrorist's ability to fight is not hampered by the whims and fancies of Mom and Pop back home and the people they put in office. Jihadis may well be soon given a distinct political advantage in the next Presidential election.

3/22/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Austria: Muslim Soldiers Refuse to Salute Flag and perform any duty that interferes with their ass in the air antics 5x a day.

The solution? Hire more imams to "mediate" conflicts.

The Gates of Vienna only means something when the bad guys are on the other side of it.

3/22/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger titus flavius said...

I don't mean to be rude but the elephant in the corner is Barnett's Pentagon's New Map

Jacksonian, Wilsonian, it's all really about Globalization. More Wall Street than Pentagon.

War within the context of everything else.

3/22/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

this will be probably a "long war" and the west will prevail I have no doubts

If by the West you mean the USA, Eastern Europe anchored on Poland, and Australia, then I agree. The Netherlands, France, and Sweden have already surendered.

3/22/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger orlandoslug said...

If their commanders have become hardened and rational, then the fight is ours...WMD in the hands of the irrational was always the fear.

As their base is diminished, polls in their heartland show the people's preference for freedom and the people's beliefs that the terrorists are not true to their moslem beliefs...the commanders will gradually lose the resources that allow them to go on.

3/22/2006 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Impose tax tariffs.

A 1% tax tariff per mosque, madrassa, Islamic cultural centre, Islamic charity. Islamic bunk, Islamic school, etc. No trading entity to be excluded, Europe or any other.

3/22/2006 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Robert Schwartz: "the left miscalculates if they think there is a place for them in the world to come. All kufirs will be treated alike."

A planned society is most attractive to those with the arrogance to assume that they will be members of the planning class

3/22/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger pete speer said...

We just do not get it. The tectonic plates of time differ between the political development of Islam and the political development of what I will refer to as the Christian era.

We are face to face with the equivalent of fourteenth century Christianity. The same relationship between the papacy and the secular rulers which existed then is in place in the Muslim countries -- the cooperative dictatorships to assure the religious and secular power structures.

The Reformation and the development of thinkers such as John Locke was not yet on the horizon. There is no precedent in the Muslim world for democratic development. Such elections as occur ratify the existing systems.

At the same time we need to review the bidding on al Qaeda and the objectives of this movement. See my views at

My conclusions are that the Muslims hope to neutralize Europe and frightene America into isolation as they repeat the the gains of the First Caliphate, turnings south into Africa to consolidate their power and control instead of north into Europe itself. The undedeveloped, corrupt regimes throughout Africa control huge populations and massive amounts of raw materials. Inroads have already been made.

We must fully understand the underpinnings of this Muslim fundamentalism and its political objectives. Western Europe does not. Thank goodness that -- other political and economic considerations aside -- the influx of aliens across our southern Border does not have a funamentalist Islamic underlayment. Europe never has had within any of the countries the tradition of interclass mobility. Permanent underclasses breed discontent and ultimately disobedience to authority and acts of anarchy and terror -- whether with a religious tinge or not.

We have our own huge problems in America., but that is another discussion for another time.

3/22/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Some basic misconceptions in Mr Dunn original premise that we are “winning” against the Mohammedans. He begins “… The Jihadis have lost the opening rounds. … “ Which is patently false. While we have displaced the Jihadi’s Government in Afghanistan, there is a Christian convert awaiting Judgment in another month or two. Seems, even under Mr Karzai’s liberal western US financed Government, converting to Christianity is a Capital Offense. One group of radical Jihadists are replaced by moderate Mohammedans. No great Victory, yet, in that Afghan theater. No hearts or minds changed.

In Iraq, the fight was not with Jihadists, but with Baathist fascists. The fact is that Jihadists have entered the battle, there, and are credited with tying down and “Streeeetching” the US Military to the breaking point. Whether this stretched scenario is true or not is irrelevant, that perception permeates the World, so our Paper Tiger image is maintained. To US determent.

He goes on to say that the Jihadis have lost in Iraq. Apparently he dismisses Mr al-Sadr as a Jihadist, perhaps only Sunni can be a Jihadis, or Jihadis are only interchangeable with aQ in Mr Dunn’s lexicon.
It is doubtful that the aQ ever had a realistic belief that they would defeat US militarily, but they would tie US down in a “Long War”. That US blood and treasure would be poured into a desert wasteland. That their choice of Geography of the tar baby was over ruled, and the War fought in Iraq, instead, does not diminish their perception of overall success, in Propaganda.
When Mr Bush and the Military announced US “Long War” strategy, it was a victory for the Mohammedans.

We discount the US Success in fulfilling the Goals set forth in the Authorization for Iraq, and have allowed Mission Creep to empower the Enemy’s position as a major player, in Iraq.

Street theater, indeed.

To the idea that the Wahabbists have been defeated or are even losing the battle in Saudi Arabia is absurd. A few poster boys are shot or explode, but the King and his team still support the Imams and Modrassas, around the World.

Indeed it seems the only battle that continues to rage is in Pakistan's North Warizistan.

"... Earlier this month, more than 120 militants had been killed after three days of heavy clashes with security forces in North Waziristan, the Pakistani army said.

Correspondents say they were the fiercest clashes between army and pro-Taleban militants since the army went into the lawless tribal regions three years ago.

The fighting forced thousands of local villagers to flee the area and journalists were prevented from entering Miranshah.

Thousands of Pakistani soldiers have been deployed in the volatile tribal region along the Afghan border to flush out Taleban and al-Qaeda militants believed to be hiding in the area.

Observers say North Waziristan is among the last bases for the resurgent Taleban in their battle against the Afghan government.

Many foreign militants are believed to be fighting alongside heavily armed local tribesmen, most of them students at local Islamic schools. ..."

From the BBC.

" ... Separately, a spokesman for pro-Taleban militants in North Waziristan, ... ... Tariq Jamil, said they would continue to fight the security forces until "the government abandons military operations against the Taleban or al-Qaeda". ... "

3/22/2006 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"restore the doctrine of the international community and the partnership between the US and Europe "
Prager has a guest on right now from Turkey that states that Anti-Americanism in Europe, like Boyle's France, has acheived a Cult-Like State, they really have nothing else to believe in, except in Poland, where religion didn't die.
So the left in the USA, and the Euros will have to be deprogrammed out of their cult by becoming religious again, and the right will have to assert their lost manliness in war, and return to fiscal and immigration sanity at home.

A tall order, indeed.

3/22/2006 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"... The Jihadis have lost Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s true that fighting continues in both countries, but at this point it’s effectively theater. ..."

And yet it is precisely that on-going, never-ending theater - rather than any sense of triumph - that is prompting debate, defection, desperation, denunciation, and division on the Right.

Give the jihadists their due: The Golden Mosque bombing did for neoWilsonianism what it did for Iraqi unity. That's pretty powerful theater.

3/22/2006 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger JAF said...

"We are adrift on a dark sea and the mariners are breaking out the compasses."

I was thinking more along the lines of blind men breaking out the divining rods.

3/22/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Well, very interesting, there just might be room for a switch of Old Hickory in this century after all...

Please do *not* confuse Jacksonians with your everyday common conservative. The ideas of personal honor, giving help where its due, showing mercy to those that know how to show it, and helping someone who knows what surrender means to get back on their feet is something that really should cut across many lines, but is a straight line for Jacksonians. After wars Jacksonians are the first to lend a hand at helping to rebuild and try to make peace and friendship. The Marines get the right of it with: No better friend, No worse enemy.

Now this enemy of Transnational Terrorist organizations, of which Islamic stripe is the meanest but they are all a pretty foul lot, seem determined not to raise a flag, form a country, set forth something to defend, protect those under them and then interact in a decent fashion with the rest of the world.

Have I got the right of that?

Now, because they operate at this more personal level of small groups they are damn hard to deal with by law enforcement, statecraft or the military.

Keeping up?

So, these are low life, non-law abiding, abusers of liberty and freedom for common folks who seek no law but their own and often ignore even that.

Now that goes for your generic Islamic Terrorist and such as FARC and Shining Path and the such like. They just aren't decent folk who live and let live and really would rather just kill you as convert you.

Because these low life barbaric killers don't respect the fine concepts that have grown up between nations for the last few centuries and feel free to abuse them at will, that makes them deucedly difficult to deal with. Thrown in some basic bribery, regimes using Transnational Terrorists as anonymous proxies and simple gangstering with drugs and money laundering and you got yourself one helluva problem.

Luckily, the good People of the United States are loathe to give up on just about any right. Even something as simple slavery we leave around with a single proviso, just in case it is ever needed. And some things just fall into the shadows as 'progress' seems to make them obsolete. The old tool at the bottom of the toolchest that just can't change with the times.

But by ignoring the rules and throwing out the rule book, these Transnational Terrorist are starting to play in old tools areas. And because the American People have been polite we haven't dragged out the damn things for over a century. But against these low-life barbaric Transnational Terrorists, it may be just the trick.

Old tools can be given a modern cast to them and gently reforged for a new era and need. That tool is via the Letters language for Congress in the US Constitution. Unfortunately to even consider having to do such, Congress would need to be more than gelatinous sheep doing their best to bleat at actually having to understand their powers and exercise them in defense of the People.

By putting together the Treaty regularization power along with the Commerce power with Foreign Nations and the Letters language, Congress could recraft the entire asymmetry problem by reversing it. Let treaty signatories know that a long list of people, groups, companies and countries are either enemies or trafficking with the enemies of the United States, and shipment of goods or trade with those on the list is also considered trafficking with the enemy.

Now that will put liberals all in a tizzy and a good lot of Wilsonians, too, I bet! As those folks haven't come up with a better solution, they can stuff it.

Next put out bounties on the listed contraband and include the vessels moving them on that list. Warranted organizations will be put under the Congressional Law of the Seas language and allowed to stop and inspect shipping that does not have a certified and verified cargo manifest from all countries agreeing to same with the United States. This would require DHS to get off their butts and give a serious timeline to get that done. Also banking transactions entering or passing through the United States must be verified to come from totally legal sources and not from anyone on the list.

Now those free traders are howling in pain! Probably a few more civil libertarians expecting the USA to enforce their rights every damn place on the globe. You folks haven't come up with a damn thing on this and can join the others and stuff it.

So Americans and their wholly owned Companies and some private individuals of wealth would be allowed to stop suspected shipping on the High Seas if contraband and trafficking with the enemy is thought to be going on. If such is found and verified, either via Dept of Justice or State Dept. or other cognizant group, then that entire vessel and its contents would be hauled in and the Bounty awarded.

To those saying this is illegal and piracy, it is nothing of the sort! It is the time-honored and tested method of Privateering updated for the modern age. If you think Transnational Terrorists are inventive going after their goals, just wait until you hang out pure profit to Americans! Find it, verify it, bring it in, no questions asked and immunity from extradition within the confines of the United States.

The southern border probably needs to be sealed good and tight, but nothing that a couple of walls with a warning system and kill zone between can't handle. Give some of those UCAV folks a chance to test their skills on live targets. Less lethal means could be employed, but really once this sort of thing starts unauthorized entry starts to look a hell of a lot like spying. I don't care if it is just poor folks looking for a job, let the oh-so-wise President and Congress work that one out.

Now our Fine Men and Women of the Armed forces do a bang-up job against totalitarian regimes, nation states and the such. We don't want to distract them with piddly little tracking and hunting jobs either on land or at sea. They bust up the big stuff just fine, but the very fine teasing out of what is going where and to who is something I am quite sure Americans can figure out once they put their minds to it. And see a profit in it.

Yup, most of the audience has fainted dead away! Simple, easy, gets you safer in the long run, and once you take the glamor out of Terrorism and turn them into starvlings on the run unable to get regular supplies... well, that would suit me just fine!

I expect it would be a bit tricky to start, but once people started to see the first arms caches and cargo ships and aircraft coming in and bounties being paid... well that is heartwarming!

As my daddy always said: "The proper tool for the proper job."

Yes, the above is semi-in-jest. But the point is a hard and cold one. We do not need just an Army of Davids.

We need a Nation of Davids at War.

Lunch time! See you all later!

3/22/2006 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

"....with any luck the 2008 Presidential campaign will be the first since September 11 to move beyond the "stolen election" of 2000 and openly debate what course we should follow in the long war ahead.

why do we need to wait until 2008, and why does it need to solely be an American issue?

It seems to me that part of the problem is that America *has* been bearing most of the burden so far, and that it's equally as important to getting the Left on-board to getting the other slackards in the civilized West to bear some responsibility, too.

If Canada doesn't have the money to afford military response then can it at least start thinking about how to respond to jihadists and quit issuing an open invitation to every Muslim wannabe martyr in the world on the grounds that they need cheap workers? Ditto with France, Germany, Mexico, Russia, and even China.

The rest of the world complains about American arrogance and hegemony, and then we see a brilliant thinker like Wretchard pinning the hopes of humanity on the election being held in ONE country a couple of years down the line.

This might be the opportunity for an international internet consortium if we can just figure out how to keep Kofi and his co-conspirators out of it.

3/22/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

P.S. There's something to be said for the simplicity of the solution of just carpet nuking the whole Middle East.

3/22/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

I think that the jury is still out on Iran. Access to information takes time to have a "tipping point" effect. I think that eventually that will result in an Iran more like Lebanon. The real question is if we can afford to wait for that to happen.

3/22/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think if it's Sharia installed by us, it's a more begnign and acceptable Sharia.
...just ask that Afghan Christian after he's hung.

3/22/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Happy to read this post, Wretchard - good eye with respect to these articles. There is entirely too much to write in response and agreement. That the Left will be proven sterile in its analysis, if not in its pure political effectiveness in one way or another, is inevitable.

3/22/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, doug, I guess the fact that they no longer stone women in the Public Square is an improvement.
There are many more women in Afghanistan than Christians.

Gotta' take the good with the bad as we continue, on course.

Remember Mr Kaplan's "Imperial Grunts"? How small groups of dedicated US Military could have an oversized imact when allowed to use their own problem solving skills. Remeber how Mr Kaplan's view was of how big a difference these men are making.

The complete polar opposite tactics are being followed in Iraq.
Massive footprints and little interaction with the local population, that is the name of the game, in Iraq.

3/22/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

US Abu Gharib Soldier faces 8 years in prison for allowing his dog to bark at prisoners.

Lets spend a few months discussing how to mend the offended sensibilities of the Sitzpinklers among us.

3/22/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Another example of US government lawyers exhibiting their total incompetence.

3/22/2006 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Citizen Deux said...

Dead on! I couldn't agree more that the present dilemma is nothing more than the final elements of the fall of traditional colonialism begun in the 19th century. The elements are all clear (to me anyway) in hindsight and we must engage the outsiders and coax them into a broad realm of lawful rule, personal rights, fiscal responsiveness and political accountability.

3/22/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Think of that Marine that was almost Court Martialed, for shooting an Enemy Combatant playing dead in Fallujah.

Did not try to capture the fellow, with less than deadly force, like all good policemen, first.

Imagine being that Marines father, or mother, for that matter.

3/22/2006 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"US Abu Gharib Soldier faces 8 years in prison for allowing his dog to bark at prisoners."

I just heard that on Rush. I do believe that there was also some bizarre unauthorized licking.

Thing about the dogs: It works. It's effective. It's not a violation of the LLW. And military leaders ought to be truly ashamed of themselves, allowing a single soldier to be hung out to dry in the worst way for reasons entirely political.

As my husband said, "It's a bad time to be 'joe'."

3/22/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and then seeing media hunk Kevin Sites capitalizing on the whole thing:
Anybody ever read him?
I refuse to support by clicking,
...and getting nauseated by his self-love posing as reportage.

3/22/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Well, as long as those prisoner's testicles weren't more attractive than peanut butter, or the dogs ill-trained, no harm, no foul!
(it certainly would focus the mind like a laser beam!)

3/22/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Jrod said...

I once got about half way through his nuanced and complex defense of why he thought it necessary to release his groundbreaking video--that was enough for me.

3/22/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"engage the outsiders and coax them into a broad realm of lawful rule, personal rights, fiscal responsiveness and political accountability."
Citizen Deux must be refering to the WSJ wing of modern "Conservatism."
(but some laws and rules and responsibilities are more equal than others to such folks.)

3/22/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks, now I don't have to wonder.
Sure would be nice if...

3/22/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Doug, peanut butter? Shulda used Nutella.

3/22/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Of course we've won the first round. Don't be such a pantywaste.

3/22/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

nocoria jacksonian,
Thanks for your excellent post, interesting concept… privateers. The only hole in the scenario that I can see is the federal government wants to keep all powers not specifically granted by the constitution to themselves, a monopoly of force does not like competition. That is why we still debate, as if it had constitutional merit, the right of gun ownership, and if that right is conceded, the right to take it out of a gun safe. Some of the most successful, government sponsored privateers were subsequently hung by those who gave them letters of marquee to begin with.

This really clashes with the even lawless murderers have civil rights debacle. Oh yea, let the banks seize illegal cash, this would benefit the new monetary system that the Islamists want to float. sidebar, I watched an episode of cops where the local police in some small southern town had pulled over a minivan full of children speeding. The rope-a-doped the black woman driver and yanked a wad of bills out of her purse. $1,500.00? What is a black women like you doing with $1,500.00? This is drug money. “No, I am taking a church group to Disney World” she said. “No, $1,500.00? This is drug money !” and they confiscated it. Privateering works for small town law enforcement. I worked on a highly sensitive explosives detector that could detect second surface latent fingerprints of any one who had touched an explosive material for a week or two. Incidentally we could change some of the parameters and detect drugs. We scanned a dozen 100 dollar bills and found that an overwhelming majority had traces of cocaine on them. This is the same justification that small town police departments used to confiscate money. Later the practice was quietly discontinued when the state department issued a finding that ~67% of all new 100 dollar bills had traces of cocaine on them.

That said the answer must be making fighting the enemy a profitable enterprise instead of a dirty little distraction from global commerce. Of course this is what the shadow warriors have always been about except with a couple more layers of deniability. If you want to have your country focus in on being global business guys, you want to throw open your borders to allow foreigners to fill your working ranks, if you want to sell your port management to the highest bidder regardless of their political or ethical persuasion, outsource it all. China can run the US government cheaper, and frankly, I doubt they’d do it much differently. They couldn’t be expected to ignore the interests of the average working Joe any more than our citizen kings that we have elected. It is about the money right? Now we know that we can’t ask Halliburton to do it, Executive Outcomes was sacked, who will step up to the task, the next Bill Gates or king maker?

I was disappointed to hear that you were in “semi-jest”. Privateers. If it works I wonder if we can go back to swords?

3/22/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Dunn at American Thinker begins his second installment by saying:

"It appears likely that Europe will be the next major battleground in the Long War."

If Islamists seize Europe, they've acquired a huge technological base.

3/22/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

So your grandson 15 times removed will get to apply the coup de grace, 'Rat!

3/22/2006 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

"US Abu Gharib Soldier faces 8 years in prison"

My take is that the person who leaked the pictures to the press should be hung, mistake or not.

3/22/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wretchard 12:49 PM,
And then Pakistan won't be the only ones with Nukes to worry about.
Nobody here yet has posited how the Demographic Bombs will be defused.

3/22/2006 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Just one fortuitous shorthand index of the kind of Glacial Barbarism we're actually talking about here, courtesy of everyone's favorite most-popular byotch in school:

3/22/2006 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

I think Germany has recorded the lowest number of live births since the Second World War, about 680,000 as opposed to about 1.4 million in 1964, if my memory serves. You can look up the exact numbers. And the story is the same in Spain and other countries. These are huge losses to European potential, equal to the slaughter of the Great War.

But the labor riots in France indicate just how hard it will be to change the post-modern way of life.

3/22/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Is post 9:34 AM invisible? Seems like a workable solution to me.

3/22/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Notice that in these current riots the Police, in France, were unafraid to break heads.
Students are one thing, Surburbanites quite another.

3/22/2006 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The demographic bomb gets defused the way the Spanish did in the reconquista - expel all Muslims who do not convert to Christianity, kill all those who make armed resistance, destroy all the mosques, and mount punitive expeditions into Muslim territory when the next threat grows beyond minimal.

Decidedly not PC in this most enlightened age but effective.

I think the truth of the matter is that unless the Europeans are willing to rip up their constitution, do what's necessary to preserve their civilization, and start over - they will be overwhelmed by demographics and their own fecklesness.

3/22/2006 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Hell by then, doug, we rats, we'll be Pirates of the Caribe.

Raiding the FARC mainland, for goodies.

3/22/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

While I'd quibble with Mr Dunn about rejecting the demographic threat, out of hand, due to a lack of data. His description of the Mohammedan's upcoming Campaign in Europe is what I've had in mind for quite a while.
Mr Dunn does not postulate who could control the Action Agents within Europe that could activate the Eurofada, but I'd bet the Iranians are ready, willing & able when the ball starts rolling.

3/22/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

40% favor encouraging Arab emigration


Sixty-three percent of Jews in Israel view Israeli Arabs as both a demographic threat and a security hazard, results published Wednesday in a survey conducted at the Geocartography Institute showed.

Some 70% of those asked said that they would refuse to live in Arab neighborhoods, while 40% believed that Israel needed to encourage the emigration of its Arab citizens. An identical percentage expressed its support for separation between Jews and Arabs in places of recreation.

Furthermore, one out of three Jews surveyed were of the opinion that Arab culture was 'inferior.'


3/22/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

IM'ing with my husband about that poor guy facing 8 eight years for actions that were approved by his immediate and distant commanders (and in line with the LLW) I get the oft-uttered "bad time to be Joe" and this...

"The rules change after the fact. This is not a war - it's a civil action. The enemy are now labeled simply as insurgents. The President has handcuffed the military and they went along with it"

Rat's not alone. Nor is Mouse. Nor others here. Not by a long shot.

3/22/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

It's not the President, it's not the generals, it's the society that elects its representatives and sets the rules of engagement.

Until people are ready to cheer the righteousness of what would be the modern equivalent of Sherman's march through Atlanta we will have to settle for looking around and wonder what the hell is going on.

3/22/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

We did march, like Sherman, to Baghdad.

There, well short of the Goal, we stopped.

In those days, here at Belmont, the closing was "On to Damascus".
doug will remeber.

The "Society" would have supported continued aggresive action. We "could" have rolled on. The President and Company CHOSE not to.

He has the legal authority, he has made the decision, instead, to "Stay the Course".

Mr Bush defanged the Bush Doctrine, on his own.

It is not the fault of "them" who ever "they" might be, this time.

3/22/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The "Society" would have supported continued aggresive action.

You gotta' be kidding me. The Democrats and their holy hordes are salivating at the prospect of winning a few House seats, impeaching this President, and derailing even the thought of agressive self-defense. You think the dementia would be less if the commander of the 82nd Abn were shopping in the Damascus PX?

3/22/2006 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Is "Society" to blame for the 11,000 mobile homes, mentioned by Mr Bush in his Press Conference, that are parked in Arkansas storage yards, bought for Katrina refugee housing, that remain uninstalled and empty?

Or is it Laws, Rules & Regulations that prohibit the trailers installation in New Orleans and surronding areas?

But who bought the mobile homes, without an "End Game"?

Please do not tell me ...
it could not have been Mr Mike Brown, exFEMA Head, that spent aprox $500 Million USD on depreciating trailers, could it?

3/22/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

There's a new translation up at Pajamas Media of a released Arabic document showing Iraqi intelligence meeting with OBL in 1995. Original translation by a Freerepublic poster and checked by Iraq the Model.

The public would not have had this capability before the Internet and the blogosphere. Kudos to Roger Simon for helping to lobby for the document release, though there's probably other, nonpublicized figures behind it.

3/22/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No the dementia would be at the same levels they are at now, regardless. The threat, though, would be lower. In Baghdad, Samarra, and all along the rat line, if Damascus was not a Baathist stronghold, today.

But Baathist Fascists that killed tens of thousands in Hama, Syria, are not our Enemy. Only Baathist Fascits in Baghdad, were. If they made it to Damascus, well, they found Sanctuary, there.
Syria does not deserve Liberty and Freedom, those oppresssed peoples, there in Syria, are less worthy of the Rights of Man?

Again, the Bush Doctrine defanged, the Tiger remains paper in the eyes of the Mohammedan public.
Promises and Threats, unfulfilled.

3/22/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Go cry to somebody at Kos.

3/22/2006 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

I have yet to read Babbin's full piece but have read the Lowry piece.

Babbin from the excerpt I have seen clearly doesn't consider the end games. He concentrates on the opening and mid games. Germany was left in tatters after WWI and it reconstituted itself in such a manner that was worse and led to WWII. We did not repeat that mistake after WWII and in fact went much further than we have gone now. We made sure Japan and Germany were not only democratic in procudure but classically liberal in outlook. Neither nation has been a serious military threat even to traditional and long standing enemies.

He is right, the goal is not to turn non-democracies into democracies, never was. The goal is to turn threatening nations into non-threatening nations. When we open up our book of what works well the first chapter is about liberal western government, and it will not be enough to just set up elections and have parliaments.

Wit respect to Afghanistan, in the past we said To hell with them and look what it got us. Now, Babbin recognizes we had legitimate interests in thumping both Afghanistan and Iraq now instead of leaving them to the wolves we need to make sure they are functioning societies that will not threaten their neighbors (w/o provocation) or will not allow bad guys to attack us.

Whether or not Iraq turns into a golden light on the hill for its neighbors is another question. Essentially it is the domino theory done with liberal democracy instead of communism. Of this I am more skeptical.

I could go on quite a bit about this. I should work it into a piece on my blog.

3/22/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No tears, pb.
No tears at all.

No War, either.
Just Christians sentanced to Death, by our Allies in Afghanistan, for the crime of finding Christ.

Thye may Pardon him, I heard, They cannot execute the insane.
Insane, their definition of a Christian.

At that is where we won.

3/22/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

I always thought the US to be more like a Giraffe: Its head tall, almost invulnerable; able to ran fast, able to grasp the high fruit, able to give you one hell of a kick if you get it mad. :)

3/22/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

If that convert gets executed, or receives anything other than a full pardon, we should survey for FFE, pull up stakes and move on out.

3/22/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

islamic jihad
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP)
Palestinian People's Party (PPP)
Palestine Liberation Front
Arab Liberation Front (ALF)
As-Sa'iqa - Syrian
Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC)
Al-Aqsa Brigade
Force 17
Fatah Revolutionary Council, Arab Revolutionary Brigades, Black September, and Revolutionary Organization of Socialist Muslims. all under abu nidal

all shit, all the time, no matter what NEW name you call it... it's still shit

3/22/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

marcus,After you read the piece you'll see that Mr Babbin is all for establishing democratic governments abroad. He is for setting up non threatening governments, in Syria, Iran, Iraq and the KSA.

He seems to feel that winning the War takes presedence over establishing governments.

The imperfect analogy being that we did not establish democracies in Germany or Japan until well after the War was over.

He seems to see the Enemy as consolidated body, not independent agents. That the Enemy in Warizistan is part and parcel with Syrians and Iran.

3/22/2006 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Peter Boston,

After the Afghan is released on some face-saving pretext, as I expect, we should take up a subscription for him and support him in other ways. One commenter said we ought to have a "witness protection" plan for those willing to stand up to Islamic terrorism. Here's our chance.

3/22/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

And leave all those women and girls in their new schools to suffer a return of the Taliban?

In Afghanistan, more so than Iraq, our departure would mean a return of the Country to Enemy control.

All over a single man?
That broke the Local Law?

3/22/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

desert rat,

It's a small thing, I grant you, in the scheme of things. But it's fundamental.

As Sam Spade said to Brigid O'Shaughnessy, "I can't let you get away with shooting my partner because it's bad for business". We can't let them execute Christians or Jews because it's bad for business.

3/22/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I agree Wretchard but it should be more than the hoi polloi. Religious and civic institutions should get in front of this and very publicly offer refuge to these folks. I also do not expect any punishment but even if that good fortune comes to pass in this instance it will not illuminate the darkness of the barbarism being flaunted in our face.

I don't know if there is any such thing as mobilizing morality but this seems like the time to find out. The politicians aren't going to do it. We need the bedrock insitutions of democracy to get vocal and active.

3/22/2006 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

While I would never hold the Dems or MSM harmless, it is a given, imo that INITIATIVE is, and always has been central to success.

You will recall there was no dearth of cheerleading from most fronts when we had it, and the enemy is kept on his heels by the exercise of it.

Lab Rat was one of the most outspoken proponents of
"On to Damascus."
Now I pray that his loved ones did not pay price for our failure to do just that.
Many have, both US and Iraqi.

3/22/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think 'Rat's main point is there is only One Christian, but half a nation of women, all in the same boat.

3/22/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I agree whole heartedly.
But in case the fellow is exectued, the idea of abandoning Afghanistan, again, is absurd.

We should raid the Jail to save him, if need be. We sould do what ever is required to save the man, but what of the next and the one after that.

Until Mohammedan Law respects the Natural Rights of Man, they won't.
As long as they do not, there will be more Christians killed for their Faith.

The Constitution of Afghanistan, which allows for this, is the model for Iraq's Constitution and Laws. How does Mr al-Sadr feel about apostate converts?

3/22/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I don't think that the presence of such a provision in the Afghan or Iraqi constitution is itself fatal. The US of A would not exist today if the anti-slavers had pushed too hard way back when. The next 200 years were not particularly enlightening but probably still a better outcome than no constitution or nation at all.

Hopefully a similar dynamic is at play in the "liberated" lands. An actual execution calls the bet however.

3/22/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Sorry Rat for not reading the sequence of posts to understand your points better. Getting to be a really long thread, but a good one.

3/22/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Reminds me,
In India as the British were taking charge, a Major was watching a funeral.
The dead man, atop the pyre which was about to be set ablaze.
The Major noticed a bound woman being led to a post and secured, next to the body. The Brit asked the the Raj what as happening.
"In our Culture, we kill the widow when the husband dies." replayed the Raj.
"I see," replyed the Major "in my Culture, we hang men that kill widows."

Needless to say the old woman was released.

3/22/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Saddam's Philippines Terror Connection
- Stephen F. Hayes

3/22/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hayes was on Hewitt, might be repeated, if not, should be at radioblogger.

3/22/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Find the "Mother of all Tumors" and cut it out. We know where it is. One country has been instrumental in funding jihad and spreading this virulent poison throughout the world. Petro-dollars by the ship load go a long way toward reestablishing fundamentalist Islam which then funds itself with blood and treasure from its diaspora.

3/22/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Maybe we can get the Afghan Christian enrolled at Yale . . . since exotic orientals seem to be such in-demand curiosities at our nation's elite campuses (campi?).

3/22/2006 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This little article was linked to by a commenter at Bill Roggio's, concerning Warizistan and Pakistan.
Remember, buddy's Pew Poll that found the majority of Pakistanis thought the Mohammedans poised a threat, to Pakistan.

While peter boston was correct in his assertion that no one had ever ruled Warizistan, he further thought that, therefore, no one could. Events may be proving that assertion to be false.

" ..."Nobody has seen such an arrangement in centuries, where the Mehsuds and Wazirs are fighting side-by-side, and more, under the command of the Dawars," said a local bureaucrat in Waziristan who spoke to Asia Times Online on the condition of anonymity.

Command and control system
The revolution that is sweeping across Waziristan is not confined to the region. It is on the march, with the eventual targets being Kabul and Islamabad.

The overall command center is in South Waziristan, where al-Qaeda No 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri calls the shots, while Tahir Yaldevish, leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and a key figure in the Afghan resistance, moves around Paktika province in Afghanistan. ... "

"... And the US-backed ruling and nominally secular officers of the Pakistani army are more on their own than ever before. A silent alliance of religious elements and religious parties is keeping a sharp eye on developments in the mountains, waiting for its chance to join in the revolution as it rolls off the mountaintops. ... "

From the Asia Times.

An interesting perspective, to say the least.

3/22/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Al-Qaida sets up cells in West Bank:

After receiving a warning from the Shin Bet, police went on high alert around 11 A.M. yesterday and set up dozens of roadblocks in Jerusalem, bolstering its forces in public areas and examining all cars entering and leaving the capital. But it was policemen stationed at a roadblock on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway, near the Harel overpass, who identified the vehicle that turned out to be carrying the bomber.

The driver of the vehicle, an East Jerusalem resident, is suspected of regularly transporting Palestinians from the territories into Israel, primarily for work purposes.

West Bank Cells

3/22/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The blowback on Pakistan was the subject of a recent post.

"which illustrates the truism that states which use terrorist organizations as proxies eventually wind up destabilizing themselves"

It's an interesting demonstration of the limits of terrorism as a weapon. I wrote elsewhere that if the jihadis ever got nuclear weapons they would eventually use it against each other. What goes around comes around. Terrorists are not ten feet tall.

3/22/2006 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"An interesting perspective, to say the least"
That ABC News report a few months ago gave enough of what felt like the authentic local sentiment/reality on the ground to cause me to think that is what's going on there.

That, combined with the shakey situation in the whole country, results in a highly tenuous state of affairs.
Yet another reason why we sometimes don't really have an option to choose the "Long War" strategy.

As Babbin contends, the long end game is of course important, but you have to neutralize lethal threats like this in the meantime.

3/22/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

UK Times: Three years on: the tragedy of the Iraq invasionis that there won't be another
- Tim Hames

Iraq has not been “lost”, there is still a reasonable chance that by the actual seventh anniversary of the incursion the vast majority of people there will be more content than at any time in their history. It is the enslaved Middle East beyond Iraq that has been “lost” and thus remains an intense threat to our security.

3/22/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Screw the dementia of the Left, we had a tremendous amount of inertia in the opening days of OIF. Even Hillary was crowing about WMD back then. And so what if the Left decides to have selective amnesia? Says that they weren’t going to be with us in the end anyhow… BDS indeed.

We had a chance to do what was necessary to protect ourselves back then, the rational world would have cut us some slack and that is the only world we should concern ourselves with, but not now. It was a onetime shot. Honey moon over. Now we’ll have to plod along hoping nothing horrible happens while we play nice with the Leftist’s who will most likely impeach GW given half a chance anyhow. What was lost here? Regardless of our next move, the ‘world’ isn’t going to rally behind us until the next, bigger, badder 9-11. “On to Damascus.” I remember.

3/22/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

"These are huge losses to European potential, equal to the slaughter of the Great War."

Now we call it legalized abortion.

3/22/2006 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

As far as whether we like what other democracies have in their constitution isn't the issue. The issue is that democracies are good because the imbue responsibility. You don't blow up a house with hostages inside. But when a state democratically decides to say screw you to the rest of the free world, (Palestine), it is perfectly okay to obliterate them. It is what they democratically decided they wanted for themselves, to be at war with the US. The Pali's get it. As for Iran, I don't know. There is a lot of blubbering about those poor, huddled masses yearning for freedom. They way I see it though, democracy spoke. I didn't hear any, "Not in my name!" baloney, so, it is a democracy. Serenity Now!

3/22/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The Moving Finger (of "Time") Writes:

"Posted Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2006: The Basque terrorist movement ETA on Wednesday announced a "permanent ceasefire," to go into effect on Friday, after more than 30 years of violence and bloodshed."


"This is not the first time that ETA has declared a truce, but it is the first time that it has used the word "permanent."

3/22/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Two cataclysmic events in the future may be the only way out of this abyss.The first one goes off here .It makes the left look like the braying asses they are.More important it wakes up the dopes watching "American Idol"to realize this is serious.
The second one goes off in an urban center in the middle east.It is big,loud and takes everyone's breath away.The world won't look anything like now.
"No marigolds in the Promised Land,
There's a hole in the ground where they used to grow.
Any man left on the Rio Grande
Is the King of the World as far as I know"
"King of the World"

3/22/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Trangbang makes fun of regular people More important it wakes up the dopes watching "American Idol"to realize this is serious.

Dog, these dopes are the ones who believe any poor kid can lift themself up and be the next Elvis. These are the same people who think they have more control over their life than any government ever could.

These dopes are the American majority, slow to rile, deadly afterward. I forget where I read it, but the European armies play the pipes and drums, and sing as they marched into battle. The Americans march in, no song, no retreat, no surrender.

Nobody gains anything by mocking the po' but proud.

If you think the AI crowd is ignorant, how come American opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of 'terrorist surveillance'?

My personal goal - get them to vote. This is America.

3/22/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


On your point about if Islamists take Europe they gain a large technical base. I just don't think the radical Islamic way of life lends itself to the sort of sociological structures that can maintain complex technological systems. Of course, their European educated underlings would need jobs and they may maintain such systems but eventually I think many of the norms that a radical Islamic society would place on its people would cause such systems to fall into disrepair. Also, while radical Islam would get a huge boon in technological capital I think it would pretty much stay at that level. After all, how much can one discover if one bases the speed of light on Koranic passages?

Desert Rat,

We have to be careful that Iraq is not one giant Tal Afar. That is, we don't go in, think the job is done, withdraw, and then have to go back in due to terrorist infiltration. The last time we went in to Tal Afar we did so with properly trained and vetted Iraqi Army (IA) units and they IA stayed. From my understanding there is no need for our forces to return to Tal Afar.

We don't want to repeat the process on a national scale, we need to consolidate the position and then we can talk about moving on.

Setting up stable (semi-liberal) governments is part of the strategy of winning.

3/22/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Marcus Aurelius,

Of all the technology bases in Europe that the Islamic population might over-run, Russia's technologies are by far the most threatening, in every field from rocketry to nukes to supersonic aircraft.

Luckily for us, Russia fights back harder than all the rest. That's reassuring. Having Saladin inherit France's single, propeller-less aircraft carrier, a squadron of Mirages, and perhaps an Exocet here and there, pales in comparison.

Wait a minit. Could someone please give me a time hack? What historic era / timeframe / event horizon are we discussing?

3/22/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Marcus, and all:
I think I'm missing something here.
To me the concern is not that the Islamists will get Europe's capital and out-compete us, it's that they'll use the Nukes the same way they use SUV's full of explosives!

Similarly, in Wretchard's 5:16 PM comment, I don't dwell on how the terrorists come back to bite the Pakis nearly as much as how they would bite US if they gained control of the Nukes.

Any help for the feeble brain would be appreciated.

3/22/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If the Islamoids come up with a guy like this,
Isambard Kingdom Brunel we're screwed, fer shure.
Mouse will turn green with envy.

3/22/2006 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Green no, chartreuse, maybe. I wish I cut such a fine image, you of the 50th, but not the lastest in staters.

It is interesting to note, if I understand events, that the ETA just got their shate figured out with the 7/7 thingy.

I totally agree that the Ruskys had it figured out in a sense. Sure it is ugly what they did in Lebanon, but no one would argue that their “methods were unsound”. The Lebanese got it, wish we could.

3/22/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Oh, beyond the cryptic veil, GW, I thought, should've cut our allies against Islamic extremists a little slack. I much rather have the Russians on my side against radical Islam than Chris Russert. And I would thumb my nose against all the goat fondling Muslims in the world then be an enemy again against such a worthy adversary as the EX-Soviets. No better friend, no worse enemy...indeed.

3/22/2006 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

The Evolving Al-Qaeda Threat:

Jemaah Islamiah, captured in Thailand; and Hamzah al-Rabbiyah al-Masri, a key operational leader killed in Pakistan. More than 4,000 suspected al-Qaeda members have been arrested worldwide since September 11, 2001.

Al-Qaeda is an amorphous network whose center of gravity, which must be destroyed if it is to be defeated, is its leadership structure in the short run and its ideology in the long run.

Although al-Qaeda is believed to operate in over 60 countries around the world, it must be defeated on four crucial fronts if it is to be decisively destroyed: Pakistan/Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Europe.

Al-Qaeda Threat

3/22/2006 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger scipio said...

answer to peterboston:
Yes, good point. I actually should have used the term "coalition of the willing" it is more accurate.

3/23/2006 12:48:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

There are a lot of good ideas here. Given the past few posts with the enemy's plans exposed, I think we are in a very Real War.

I have a feeling that all tools of war must be utilized. These tools range from the surgical Col. Edward Lansdale approach to the blunt Gen. Curtis Lemay method.

I am doubtful that political actions will work without the military option to back them up (and I suspect that the military option will eventually have to be used). The quicker the enemy is broken the better.

3/23/2006 01:29:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Don't look to Russia for assistance in the GWOT. It's not going to happen, in fact, watch them go to bat for Iran in the UN.

Russia now sees itself as a major player in energy world and will align itself with the ME and SE Asia oil and gas producers. I wouldn't be surprised if the Chechen separatists get tossed overboard by the rest of the Mulsim world. A clue will be to watch for rising anti-semitism and anti-Israeli statements from Moscow.

3/23/2006 03:37:00 AM  
Blogger rosignol said...


The Moderates from both sides will not admit that they are driven by the belief that it is simply not worth the effort required to lift all those ignorant savages out of barbarity.

A lot of people don't seem to understand just how delicate the balance is. Right now, the Jacksonians are giving Bush's Wilsonian approach the benefit of the doubt, largely due to a lack of credible alternatives... but if Bush's approach doesn't work, the rest of the world is going to find out what it's like to have a Jacksonian President in the US.

The U.S. will lurch from one foolish disaster to another, rescued each time by bouts of crystal clear sanity enlivened by pure unadulerated rage - that in turn leads to achievments that cause the rest of the world to watch in stunned shock mixed with voracious envy.

Jacksonians generally ignore what happens beyond the US's borders, but they do not civilize barbarians who are foolish enough to attack them and theirs. They kill them.

For example:

NahnCee said...

P.S. There's something to be said for the simplicity of the solution of just carpet nuking the whole Middle East.

How many 9/11-scale atrocities will it take for that to become a majority opinion?

I'll bet you could count them on your fingers.

3/23/2006 05:52:00 AM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Dear Annoy Mouse - And I do enjoy that moniker! Wonderous!

The semi-in-jest part is the general tone of the comment I gave and the idea that the gelatinous wooly masses upon the Hill might actually do more than rent a single backbone to even consider their powers. If they have even read the damn document they are sworn to uphold and defend. At this point I have to believe that they either don't recognize their powers or are so damn afraid of setting the American People loose that they are doing *anything* to distract themselves from it.

The rest is in dead earnest. I hit upon the idea a bit ago and have been putting it forward here and there.

It seems that the mindset of Statist responses to non-state assymetrical warfare is not the best way to go about things. Nation States have problems dealing with such as we have seen. Law enforcement, statecraft and military work all do some of the job and can wound a distributed Transnational Terrorist organization, but none of them can do the right job of being a distributed group with coherent goals setting about to attack the situation from an angle that cannot be responded to.

Terrorism has taken some hard blows and is in the hospital bed. Going after commerce would be stepping on the oxygen hose and withholding meals. Americans are inventive and did a lot of work on making distributed corporations, economic systems and goods dispersal systems. And putting that same inventiveness to use in tracking and seizing goods would seem a natural fit. Consider it a Global Repo Operation with Congress putting out the Warrants and those designated by such out to bring them back in.

Somehow trafficking with an enemy has gotten to be a low-risk, low-cost operation, with just some minor state imposed inconveniences. By interdicting and seizing the goods and transport vessels the entire calculus changes for shipping companies. That is not a bit of profit being lost, it is operating capital. And attendant publicity to such would make those trafficking with terrorists look pretty unsavory.

I figure that either allowing the vessel and goods to be sold at auction or a Congressionally set fee, with choice upon those Warranted on which they want when they bring such in, would be a good concept. And any trying to run a scam operation are, by doing so, trafficking with or giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Justice for that would be swift and final.

The entire conception is asymmetric: all trading partners are warned and given a methodology to verify cargo and ensure manifests so that swift trade will not be impeded, putting the foreign banking systems on a similar footing would then start shutting off the flow of US funds via 'neutral' banks to less savory financial systems, and putting *enforcement* of it out to the People with high rewards offered for finding and bringing in contraband... well, Terrorists could start attacking every damn place, but that really does make them look even less good than now.

I do believe in the Terrible Swift Sword of the Republic.

The military is the sharp and well honed leading edge of it and point. But the Sword is no slim rapier, it is a damn weighty two handed affair for the real bulk of it is the People of the United States. We have grown strong enough to wield it so that it slices and pokes very, very well... but against the hydra the full flaming fury of the Sword is needed in broad strokes. That can be done now, by loosing the American people to give the Sword bite so that arteries and muscles to each head do no regrow and the monster slowly passes out head by head with none regrowing.

Or it can be done all at once later, with the bright dawn a thousand times over in many lands after the Republic is struck hard and deep. For the fury of the Republic will cleave and chop with murderous light, taking good and ill alike.

I prefer to strangle and drain the beast slowly, give it an ignomineous death of wimpering and twitching for all to see its nastiness. But if the twittering in Congress continues and Transnational Terrorism gains a hand to strike a blow to depopulate an American city or remove it from the map. Then the other way of 1,000 new dawns in many lands will answer.

May God have mercy on the enemies of the United States, for We The People shall surely have none.

3/23/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

Jacksonian-You hold a strong opinion, but I disagree that the American people will be riled up to the extent you say even if the cataclysmic events we predict come to pass.

There are too many fools, too many well-intentioned leftoids, compared to the past wars in which the US had participated. The chorus from the left had never been louder, and this time they are almost totally abetted by the MSM.

If there is another attack on US soil, even nuclear, I daresay 20-25% of the US voting population will still stick their thumbs in their ears and say, "Nah, nah, nah, it's still America's fault!"

That's the core moonbat constituency that rallied the anti-war folks to their side during the 2004 elections. Crow about Bush's substantial absolute victory, but don't forget that in percentage terms the margin of victory was slim. Better than 2000, certainly, but also in indication that the American people have woken up from their malaise. If they had, he would have, should have, won by a larger margin.

The tide may be turning, but it is turning very slowly. Do we have enough time?

I hope I'm wrong... but what if I'm not? Are we doomed to defeat? Is civilization as we know it going to perish and give way to a more brutal incarnation?

3/23/2006 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

I'm not calling them dopes because they watch American Idol.I'm calling them dopes because they're asleep when it comes to the threat we face.I'm a prole myself,always have been,always will.I'll just be watching the NCAA tournament tonight not unreality tv.
That said,let me quote Abe Lincoln;"God must really love the common people,He made so many of them.

3/23/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger rich said...

I was just looking at the Democratiya site:

And started hoping we will see a reemergence of the anti-totalitarian left. The left that was called the anti communist left in Richard Gid Powers book "Not Without" Honor."

There are still clear sighted persons on the left, but few and far between. Among them the most prominent are Tony Blair in the U.K. and Joe Lieberman in the U.S.A. Thank goodness for them.

We are also lucky to have persons such as Christopher Hitchens of Slate, Norm Gervais and Oliver Kamm from the U.K. and Zell Miller of the U.S.A.

It is a shame that the anti totalitarian left has been marginalized in the democratic party in the U.S.A.

3/23/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

the wobbly guy - Jacksonianism is a mode of thought that has partial attention in most of the US. Only about 30% of the culture is actually driven by it as a mainstream way of thinking.

What I am suggesting to do is *before* something extremely bad happens that the American People be let to devise our own way of doing things within the national compact We call the Constitution.

As for that 20-25% that may or may not be hard-core appeasers and pacifists, the total depopulation or removal of an American city from the map will garner Jacksonians about another 30-40% of the remaining population for a period of time.

And a Jacksonian response is in that period of time: destroy the enemy completely.

To those who would stop Jacksonians from saving the Republic and killing its enemies, they should be warned that at such times they are not looked upon kindly. And in this case would be seen as siding with the enemy.

After Pearl Harbor the isolationist movement vanished. Harry Truman saved Japan and the US by allowing nuclear devices to be used to convince the Japanese government that the only option was surrender. As a nation we were willing to expend the blood and lives necessary to depopulate Japan, not liberate it.

If you can only judge by Jeffersonian, Hamiltonian and Wilsonian means, then that will be a shock to you. Jacksonianism runs deep and mostly quiet in the US.

Jacksonians felt betrayed after Viet Nam, by being pulled into something on one set of grounds, being pulled out on another and then having South Viet Nam cut off by the first post-Watergate Congress. That only caused deep resentment with those that manipulated things. But it was only a *foreign* war.

After 9/11 the pacifist left has felt the underpinnings of their establishment shift, slowly, deeply. They yip and nip and tussle at their peril.

Jacksonians believe in the Republic and seek to keep trust with the Founders and especially Ben Franklin.

Jacksonians on both sides of the Civil War made it the ugliest conflict in our history.

And Jacksonians believe the only way to respond to dishonorable attacks is forcefully and finally, so that no future attacks take place.

I offer a steam valve for this, a way to make use of this in a meaningful fashion. Otherwise the only response to a direct attack in this modern age will be sure, swift and *final* to anyone that is thought to not be a friend of the Republic and who aids and harbors Our enemies.

Taking down Afghanistan was a good start. De-linking totalitarian regimes from Transnational Terrorist is a *must*. Making Terrorism a losing proposition is a cure.

And cauterizing the entire structure is *also* a cure.

The world has changed and the PCers and pacifists and those that believe America can do no good are finding that their reality is evaporating from them. The US shifts in ways they cannot think of as they cannot conceive of Jacksonianism as viable.

Or they do and fear it.

As well they should.

3/24/2006 09:27:00 AM  

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