Saturday, March 11, 2006

Two paths

It's interesting to compare the path that CPT member Tom Fox chose with Wafa Sultan's. Wafa Sultan is an Arab-American who argued vociferously against Islamic clerics on Al Jazeera, creating an international stir. Accoding to the New York Times summary of events:

Three weeks ago, Dr. Wafa Sultan was a largely unknown Syrian-American psychiatrist living outside Los Angeles, nursing a deep anger and despair about her fellow Muslims.

Today, thanks to an unusually blunt and provocative interview on Al Jazeera television on Feb. 21, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel who deserves to die.

In the interview, which has been viewed on the Internet more than a million times and has reached the e-mail of hundreds of thousands around the world, Dr. Sultan bitterly criticized the Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders who she believes have distorted the teachings of Muhammad and the Koran for 14 centuries.

She said the world's Muslims, whom she compares unfavorably with the Jews, have descended into a vortex of self-pity and violence.

Dr. Sultan said the world was not witnessing a clash of religions or cultures, but a battle between modernity and barbarism, a battle that the forces of violent, reactionary Islam are destined to lose.

In response, clerics throughout the Muslim world have condemned her, and her telephone answering machine has filled with dark threats. But Islamic reformers have praised her for saying out loud, in Arabic and on the most widely seen television network in the Arab world, what few Muslims dare to say even in private.

Both Fox and Sultan employed nonviolent methods to achieve their ends.  Given the death threats leveled on Hirsi Ali, the Danish caricaturists of Mohammed, Salman Rusdie and others it is arguable that Dr. Sultan by her open opposition to Islamism is showing as much personal courage as anyone in the CPT. Since Dr. Sultan probably has relatives and friends in Syria or the Muslim community in America, she is likely in a more vulnerable situation than a Western Peace Activist who is only in the Middle East temporarily.

To Tom Fox's question  "How do you stand firm against a car-bomber or a kidnapper?" -- a question to which he never provided an answer except to say it was not fighting -- Wafa Sultan's answer is that you start by denouncing it. You begin by intellectually opposing the ideology that drives it; that legitimizes it; that portrays it as attractive to children from their cradle. The CPT website, on the other hand, says that denunciation is part of the problem, because it dehumanizes the denounced; hides our Western guilt; and shows a lack of tolerance and respect for Islam. On the Jyllands-Posten cartoon controversy, the CPT says:

We, the members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams in Iraq, are disturbed by anti-Muslim cartoons from twelve different artists published in September by Denmark's daily paper the Jyllands-Posten. The publisher claims the freedom of speech to publish the cartoons, but we believe they are only spreading hate and bigotry. To those who believe and act as if terrorism is an essential part of the Islamic faith, we say No! Stop! We cannot stand by and remain silent when our gracious Muslim brothers and sisters are being defamed.

Which of these, the Arab woman or American man, do you think was a neighbor to those threatened by terrorism? Go and do likewise.


Blogger Clioman said...

Wafa Sultan shames the barbarians among us with her courage and clarity of voice. As for Fox, sometimes a fool parts with more than his money.

3/11/2006 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Let us hope Wafa sets off a 500 million harumphs!

3/11/2006 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wafa Sultan considers herself a Secularist. Perhaps that's the source of her insanity and certain death wish.

3/11/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Sean Hurly said...

Well she has a lot of guts, considering her family lives over there!

3/11/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Ivan Douglas said...

Not even one of those two solved main problem of this and 14 previous centuries.Salmon Rushdie went long way fighting the problem without finding the solution.Wafa and Fox are one of breed not having long lasting effect on Islam as agresive,after Global Califate craving I would not say religion but politics.Pure and simple politics not afraid to use even most despicable teachings its "bible" of doing has.Difference of mullahs and teachers and scholars of islam makes all proces even most ugly and out of control.Basic tenent-Global Califate-is not changed and it will stay as it stayed for 1400 years.
Again and again troups of "saint"fighters are ready and coming everywhere fo fulfil words of Quran.
"There is only one God and Muhammad is his profet."Those words written into steel of weapons of every kind and now even into U 235 or such metal able to cause nuclear erruption are at front of fanatics believing in those words as words not having wall of protection against them.
Problems of economy are only addition to that "diplomacy" of fire and steel,making it more acute and dangerous to everybody around,who those saint words is able not to take very,very seriously.

3/11/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Ivan Douglas said...

marcus aurelius
World needs not 500 k of "harumps",but 1,000 k of last breath,even if it sounds as ugly as it is.
Sorry,1 and half millenia shows validity of such ugly measure.

3/11/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Ivan Douglas said...

I was watching her talking and de facto cursing all those doings as mesmerized.Only after connecting few more points in today and in history I found that she will be hard for her to find protection and very easy to find martyrdom.
Woman with steel cojones.I am sorry for her.

3/11/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the fascinating themes of Lord of the Rings is that there comes a time when man or hobbit or dwarf or elf puts aside his personal existential concerns in consideration of the greater good.

There is nothing more noble about man when he does this in the age old struggle of good versus evil.

3/11/2006 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...'s proof--proof-- that there is something greater than Self.

3/11/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Modernity vs. the dark ages may be valid as a jump off point, but the way out of this situation isn't another ten to fifteen years of jawboning the problem. The US doen't have the huevos to reinstate the draft, build an Army that can take over the oilfields of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other Islamic oil rich countires, hoever war is the answer. A time for peace and a time for war.
Nuke Mecca,Qum,Tehran,Damascus, and a few minor cities,even the odds and then go back to jawbone'in.
The Muslims will continue to come after ALL other's until they win. Marx and Lenin defined "peace" as a state where all resistence to communism ceased. Islam is even more extreme. Nuke 'em now

3/11/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

Emmanuel Levinas, writing on Heidegger's comfort with Hitlerism, ends the essay :

It is impossible to be stinting in our admiration for the intellectual vigor of Zein und Zeit, particularly in light of the immense output this extraordinary book of 1927 inspired. Its supreme steadfastness will mark it forever. Can we be assured, however, that there was never any echo of Evil in it? The diabolical is not limited to the wickedness popular wisdom ascribes to it and whose malice, based on guile, is familiar and predictable in an adult culture. The diabolical is endowed with intelligence and enters where it will. To reject it, it is first necessary to refute it. Intellectual effort is needed to recognize it. Who can boast of having done so? Say what you will, the diabolical gives food for thought.

Emmanuel Levinas, ``As If Consenting to Horror,'' _Critical Inquiry_ 15:2, 1989, p.487

longer extract here

3/11/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Greater Self Actualizing.

3/11/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

For Fox; it is easy to be spend thrift with someone else's lives.

I'm sure, even at the end, he did not understand why his life was over.

3/11/2006 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

draw cartoons now..

those that it will drive to insanity are a gift to save us the bullet to shoot them...

speak out now, insult them if neccessary, riducule is a tool against the foolish...

the more emotional the islamic street is, the better.

the more they riot, the fewer trees they plant, jobs they create and houses they build

this is to say there is no rational, tolerant islamic people WITHIN the arab world...

at this time it is still a death sentence to sell land to a jew in many arab countries

at this time it is crime to own christian or jewish books in arabia

now is the time for all good persons in the islamic/arab world to choose modernity or 7th century sharia...

now is the time for those GOOD tolerant islamic peoples of the islamic world to start FIGHTING back, since the arab world or islamic world rejects crusader or occupier help, heaven helps those that help themselves....

live free or die

there is ONLY one form of radical islam, and it's here in the USA, it calls for tolerance and the ability to live together with others of differing beliefs, normalitive islam has no room for jews, christians, hindus, pagans and other non-believers as equal citizens under the law...

3/11/2006 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But aren't they entitled to their views on Jews?
It's only a value judgement, you know. well as a death sentence,
but that's another matter.
After all, we're ALL Multiculturalists now.

3/11/2006 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Free West said...

To re-iterate:

The sad story of Tom Fox shows that those who appease the Islamic Moloch-Baal, will be consumed by it, will be used by it and without an iota of appreciation or an ounce of loyalty (from the Islamics).

What it shows is the incredible Hubris and arrogance of the Über-Faith.

Denouncing it is the way to go. Put on display the internal contradictions and depravity of this totalitarian movement. This is their Achilles Heel.

See this interesting blog:

3/11/2006 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Rushdie had it right. Satanic verses indeed.

When Christianity had her dark ages, it was due to the church's leadership departing from scripture.

Islam is undergoing her dark ages precisely BECAUSE of the content of her holy book.

It is a fundamental difference.

Paul Said, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity....." 2 Timothy.

This woman is a spiritual warrior of the first magnitude. She leaves our world leaders wanting.

3/11/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

TomFox was a fool - and a fool is forever...

Wafa Sultan is a revolutionary - and she is forever...

3/11/2006 04:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes it takes a woman to shame man into action.

3/11/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...


But aren't they entitled to their views on Jews?
It's only a value judgement, you know. well as a death sentence,
but that's another matter.
After all, we're ALL Multiculturalists now.

doug, for sure! they have been drawing hate filled pictures and statements for years!

but I dont call for death for cartoons....

3/11/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Free West said...

Three cheers to Wafa Sultan!

A peaceful Islam is indeed possible, if at least the following 3 conditions happen:

1) Islam repudiates violence as a means to political power and domination.

2) Islam repudiates its will-to-power, to physically and spiritually lord over all other religions on Earth.

3) Islam recognizes all women's equal human rights.

Hope, but don't hold your breath.

3/11/2006 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Freedom,

The only way those three requirements can be fulfilled is for the Islamists to be beaten into submission or death.

Ironic isn't it? The Islamists must submit or die.

3/11/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Ultimately you have to ask what impact Fox's and Sultan's words and actions will have on others.

Fox's words, offered without proof of the decency of Muslims, serving to excuse the Jihad, and presenting more evidence of thoughtless Western weakness will encourage terrorists. And his death will encourage those in the West who think that Muslims can best be handled by disposal actions rather than rescue. His focus on peace will encourage further war.

Sultan's words will encourage Muslims to speak out, some in praise and some in condemnation. In any case, there will be presented the all too-rare example of a Muslim who disagrees with the Islamic radicals and says so. She offers hope for both other Muslims who detest what the Islamofacists have done - and for those in the West who would rather not simply get out the bug spray.

3/11/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


You are a flaw in the pattern,..

3/11/2006 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Wafa Sultan and Oriana Fallaci are probably the loudest,bravest voices in calling the devil by his name.God preserve them.

3/11/2006 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Regretfully, no one will remember Mr. Fox...

He was a fool...

There is a chance history will have at least a footnote marking the presence of Wafa Sultan...

She has made a difference...

3/11/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

These Christian "Peaceniks" are acting totally out of school.

To tolerate evil is to become a part of same.

Wretchard is once again right on the mark by pointing out the irony of Ms. Sultans brave stance and Mr. Fox's misguided pretense.

3/11/2006 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Can you imagine a dialogue between the two? The Muslim would be speaking gritty reality, the deceased would be left the airy, grandiloquent platitudes.

3/11/2006 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

I fully understand, and do not begrudge, those Muslims who are slow to speak out for fear of death.

However, I am bothered, stunnned, by the lack of spine amongst too many Moslems living in free nations who still refrain from speaking out against obvious idiot-speak.

KDS? (koran derangement syndrome)

3/11/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Many Muslims in the West and elsewhere do speak, by leading entirely uneventful and normal lives.

3/11/2006 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Das said...

Fox gained or absorbed his Pacifism as a citizen of America.

Fox gained or absorbed his Pacifism as a citizen of America.

Yet Fox's public utterances were mostly undifferentiated praise for Islam in all its guises and frank opprobrium for America.

Truth being a part of love Fox really should have told his captors the truth: "you are barbarous hate-filled vermin and I have done nothing to deserve your knife; you are scum and I am a man."

Fox went along with his captors' program, hating what they hated, believing they actually believed in something other than nihilism, calling them "dear Muslim brothers and sisters" till the very end and in the end they murdered him in cold blood.

Fox didn't try to convert his captors to Pacifism or Christianity; au contraire, he seriously tried to identify himself with them; he even tried to believe for them!

I suppose you couold call him a martyr but a martyr for what - there was no truth or justice or love in his submission...he didn't make his captors pay for their murder - he gave himself to them.

3/11/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You are a flaw in the pattern, Winston. You are a stain that must be wiped out. Did I not tell you just now that we are different from the persecutors of the past? We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroyed a heretic because he resists us; so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be. Even in the instance of death we cannot permit any deviation. In the old days a heretic walked to the stake still a heretic, proclaiming his heresy, exulting in it. Even the victim of the Russian purges could carry rebellion locked up in his skull as he walked down the passage waiting for the bullet. But we make the brain perfect before we blow it out. The command of the old despotisms was "Thou shalt not.' The command of the totalitarians was 'Thou shalt.' Our command is 'Thou art.' No one whom we bring to this place ever stands out against us. Everyone is washed clean.

3/11/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

It is so amazingly easy to exploit true ignorance.

3/11/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger informasian said...

Although I applaud Wafa Sultan's courage, it would likely hold more weight with the cartoon crowd were she a Muslim:

"I am not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others' right to believe in it."

3/11/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

From "Deliverance" to "1984", you've just about boxed the compass today, Mika--

3/11/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Mətušélaḥ said...

You are a flaw in the pattern,..

5:06 PM

that is mika?


3/11/2006 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bobby: Which way are we goin', this way or that?

Lewis: I think, uh, downstream would be a good idea, don't you? Drew - you and Bobby see some rocks, you yell out now, right?...

Bobby: Lewis, is this the way you get your rocks off?


3/11/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe said...

"You are a flaw in the pattern, Winston."

great quote,mat.

3/11/2006 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

First, just weeks ago, the Islamism Manifesto was published, signed by a remarkable group of Muslims, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Chahla Chafiq, Caroline Fourest, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Irshad Manji, Mehdi Mozaffari, Maryam Namazie, Taslima Nasreen, Salman Rushdie, Antoine Sfeir, Philippe Val, Ibn Warraq.

They did not go as far as Dr Sultan, but the path is beginning to be illuminated.

Muslim intellectuals call Islamism totalitarianism, and call for reform. Then Dr Sultan hits the air waves.

Just one actor on the stage and look at the reaction from the Mohammedans.

Where are the next to take the stage?

Who has the bankroll for protection?

This is where Ms Rice's extra $35 Million each month, Mr Arrafat's and Mahmoud Abbas's allowance, should be spent.
Funding these types of activities, through false flags if it makes the message more credible, is where great strides could be made and lives saved.

The uproar over Dr Sultan and the importance of ever greater numbers of Muslims to see and hear her message, priceless.

3/11/2006 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

The Islamic world has not forgotten they are of Islam.
The Christian world, at worst has forgotten they are Christian and cannot remember why. Christianity morphed into "Western Values". It became inclusive and "Multi-Cultural" and developed a tolerance and openness to all other beliefs and religions. It developed "moral-equivalency". Islam will have none of that. Those in the Islamic world, save the fore-mentioned few, that could be open to modernism, rightly fear the true believers. They have correctly bet that the West, that now believes in everything and is faithful to nothing will fold. Time is on their side. They remember why they are Muslim and will remind us of that in the future.

The left and the timid will not tolerate or support a long campaign to win. They will not even look at the truly desperate pictures of human beings tumbling from burning towers. Hand drawn cartoons are too offensive for tender Western eyes. An American President, an echo of Lyndon Johnson, has lost power and never had the courage to ask the tough questions about what the struggles is about. We fight a war based on a losing premise that we bring democracy to Iraq and this will spread and flood the Islamic world. Such pathetic nonsense.

The best and only politically acceptable option is to disengage from Islam and let them sort themselves out. Iran accepted over a million casualties in the war with Iraq. We got hysterical when we lost 1000. The alternative is that Islam will win through attrition.

3/11/2006 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If we are going to be spending Billions USD, spreading it around the ME like we were irrigating cotton, we may as well give a good chunk of it to folks that want to carry our water, instead of those that try to poison the well.

3/11/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

2164, both you and as I recall, mark have floated this idea. In his case he advocated siezing the oil assets we and the world required and maintaining a market allocation dispersal of the oil.

I have stated that siezing the KSA oil fields, mostly unpopulated and the best fields available, was an option.

It is not, though, going to happen in the next three years, if it ever were to, which is more than doubtful.

I think, though, you labor under the idea that the Muslims are a monolithic group, which they're not, at all.

The 80,000 men that the General President dispatched to Warizistan, to combat the Mohammedans there, Muslims to a man.
The 232,000 Soldiers and Police that make up the Federal Iraqi's combined security force, Muslims all.
The Afghans and their 40,000 man Army, it employs few Christians, Jews or Hindus.

For each of these men, there is a family, clan and tribe. These men represent modern Islam and are a knife at the throat of the Mohammedans. Theirs is the ONLY knife that can kill the Mohammedans.
The "west" leaves it's knives sheathed.

But remember that of the 25 million residents of Iraq, there are very few enemy combatants.
Most are people are looking for Security first, which the find in their family and clan.

The Kurds of northern Iraq are Muslims and reasonably rational in their thinking.

This is why spreading Dr Sultan's message, as well as multiplying the messengers is so important.

If this is going to be a "Long War" in will be a pretty nonviolent one as well.
We had best step up our non lethal Operational tempo.

The Doctors message sure does rile up the bad guys.

3/11/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

An American President, an echo of Lyndon Johnson, has lost power and never had the courage to ask the tough questions about what the struggles is about.

It's about gumshoe. It's about making the enemy's maneuverability as gooey as possible.

It about absorbing and halting his inertia and sapping of his poison. It's about wrestling Gabriel, the Angel of Death, and winning by not losing, by not giving up. Wrestling until at last the sun is shining, until flames in Dragon of Darkness blind his eyes.

3/11/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Marcus aurelius - Let us hope Wafa sets off a 500 million harumphs!

Unlikely. As a woman, she already starts from low credibility and acceptance as a thinker of merit in the Muslim world. She isn't even a Muslim. And if she were, the attitude of most Muslims would be women like her should hold there tongue and dress under cover outside the home, and in the home, use her tongue only when the man of the house judges it does not go too far and is beneficial to the household. 3nd, she is an American.

The Ummah will pay her as much attention as the Chinese would to a Japanese-American Jehovah Witnesses critic saying China needs to be nicer to the Tibetans.

If there were hundreds of influential (and male) "moderate Muslims" in the West speaking out daily, the Mullahs, media, "street" and intelligensia might pay it more heed. But the voices are way too scarce to coalesce into a "moderate Muslim" movement, and each time some noble sounding "manifesto" of a smattering of noted Muslims and the usual Western intellectual gadflies is put out, it goes nowhere. Not just nowhere on Al Jazeera, but here - popping up then disappearing forever in the daily news cycle.

The truth is that the mainstream "moderate" Muslims in the West are organized by groups that seek to advance Muslim influence & identity in the West and play on the race and discrimination cards - carefully emulating groups like the NAACP, Green Movement, Gay&Feminist groups, and AIPAC.

That they detest the black christians, Jews, feminists, Lefties and fags doesn't matter in the slightest. They seek to use other groups structure, methods, fund-raising and the synergy of "common cause" in victimhood.

CAIR in America is quite like the Jewish AIPAC and ADL. Make all criticism of Muslims subject to outrage, forced apologies, denunciation, self-censorship under threat of litigation. Except they are the anti AIPAC and ADL, organizing to blunt the huge influence of Jews on American policy and to try and take over from Jews as the perceived "greatest victims" so as to gain moral authority.

Other Muslim groups like the Muslim Students Association, Association of Muslim Scholars, Muslim Business Center, Committee for Palestine are also organized on this template and reflect their -----
Great Fault.

The Great Fault being that they are so focused on grievances, victimhood, and stemming Jewish/zionist influence that they will not break out of the "We is so oppressed!" mindset they share with the NAACP.

As America and Europe have waited to the "moderate Muslim voice" to be spoken - all we have gotten is complaints about profiling, racism, rights of detainees, Islamophobia, how hurtful the Crusades were, Europeans best shut up and not go in Muslim neighborhoods and quit all offensive cartoons and other things, French must not enrage Muslim youth to the point where they are compelled to beat up "Frenchie weaklings", and Americans are only in Iraq because they are eager murderers of tiny Iraqi babies....

So 4 1/2 years after 9/11, the average prosperous Muslim doctor, gas station chain baron, in America has absolutely no intent of joining Dr Wafa Sultan and speaking out. He is content to pay his CAIR dues and show up in ecumenical Weenie convocations of liberal ministers priests and rabbis to proclaim Islam is Peace. Christian Arabs would be a good voice, but they are still in fearful dhimmitude and have 1,000 year tradition of keeping their heads down. And younger Muslims in the West are more radicalized than their parents - mainly from believing every word the Left says about how screwed they are by the West, what victims they are, and why all their rage and violence is not their fault but instead "root causes" laid onto the lap of the West and Israel..

So, 4 1/2 years after 9/11, the hopeful ears of non-Muslims in the West have grown tired of listening for "the vast number of Moderate Muslim voices" to be heard and are actually more suspicious, resentful, and distrustful of Islam than in the days right after 9/11. If things get really, really bad, then I suppose the "vast number of Moderate Muslims" may forceably speak out as they and their ACLU lawyers are being marched at bayonet point to the Deportation Ships going back to Camel Land - but barring that, I'm not holding my breath. Other than her infidel fans, Dr. Wafa Sultan's voice is as impactful as a pebble tossed into a stormy sea.

3/11/2006 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger rasqual said...

OK, I knew there were reasons I liked Belmont, but now that someone's quoted Levinas relevantly, I'm waking to still more reasons. :-)

3/11/2006 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Starling said...

Cedarford said...
"The Ummah will pay her as much attention as the Chinese would to a Japanese-American Jehovah Witnesses critic saying China needs to be nicer to the Tibetans. ... Other than her infidel fans, Dr. Wafa Sultan's voice is as impactful as a pebble tossed into a stormy sea."

Until alJazeera put Dr. Sultan on television, I would have agreed with your assessment that she'll have little or no impact. And if AlJazeera never has her on again, I'll still agree. But if they keep bringing her back, then she's got a chance at helping to spark a greater dialog. It's a long shot, to be sure, but a shot just the same.

AJ is like any other media organization, they need ratings. If she produces the ratings, people will see more of her and hear her message.

3/11/2006 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Here's a third path

Some Sunni Arabs turning against al-Qaeda in Iraq, a serious threat to the group

By Bassem Mroue

2:55 p.m. March 9, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Residents reported curious declarations hanging from mosque walls and market stalls recently in Ramadi, the Sunni Muslim insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad. The fliers said Iraqi militants had turned on and were killing foreign al-Qaeda fighters, their one-time allies.

3/12/2006 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

And this:

Al-Qaeda rebels are losing
Daily Telegraph ^ | March 9, 2006 | PATRICK WALTERS

Posted on 03/11/2006 11:26:42 PM PST by FairOpinion

AL-QAEDA insurgents in Iraq have sustained significant losses and their ability to mount effective attacks is steadily diminishing, according to Australia's top soldier in the Middle East.

Brigadier Paul Symon said while Iraq was going through an "awkward period" during the transition to a new government, the US-led coalition remained confident the country would not descend into civil war.

Interviewed in Baghdad he said military operations against al-Qaeda and its affiliates were proving to be "very effective" with the organisation led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi now less agile and having to rely on much less-seasoned fighters.

"We are seeing an insurgency that is diminishing in effectiveness in its tactics and techniques. I think they have lost some of their better people," he said.

3/12/2006 12:52:00 AM  
Blogger stackja1945 said...

Democracy allows for barbarians, but they cannot kill, only call people names. The Good Sam is a great role model.

3/12/2006 01:41:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

c4: CAIR in America is quite like the Jewish AIPAC and ADL.

not even close... cair has terrorists as leaders, cair has an agenda specifically for muslim rights

aipac is focused on the israel american relationship and its shared values, this yr aipac main thrust was the iranian accountablity act and the palestinian anti-terrorism act.. your point is way off point... (again) cair is not interested in building shared values, it seeks to impose it's islamic values on the usa

c4: Make all criticism of Muslims subject to outrage, forced apologies, denunciation, self-censorship under threat of litigation. Except they are the anti AIPAC and ADL, organizing to blunt the huge influence of Jews on American policy and to try and take over from Jews as the perceived "greatest victims" so as to gain moral authority.

Jews dont seek the greatest "victim" status, we are no rainbow coalition seeking proportional representaion or we'll boycott, the jewish lobby has MORAL authority because they earned it, they lobby for equal justice under the law, american security & strength. If you had ever heard any jewish group speak you'd learn that there are NO jewish groups seeking JEWISH RIGHTS, there is no such thing as JEWISH Rights, however there are basic human rights that aipac and the usa share.

C4, nice try, but the truth? your off the mark again... you were doing fine til you had to divert to your jew bashing, put away your well worn copy of the protocals and start thinking straight

3/12/2006 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

"Many Muslims in the West and elsewhere do speak, by leading entirely uneventful and normal lives."

Their example is a step in the right direction, but they need to do more. - Sins of omission.

I say again, to tolerate evil, in this case by their silence, is to become part of it.

c4: "Other than her infidel fans, Dr. Wafa Sultan's voice is as impactful as a pebble tossed into a stormy sea."

I agree with sdh. Air time on al jezeera is significant. Her reason and logic will plant seeds of doubt in those unsure of jihad.

We would do well to nurture the seed.

3/12/2006 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I agree with Pork, C4--you've been making sense lately, in your weird, demi-demagogic way, until you traipse off into Jew-bashing. Yes, there's an AIPAC, but it's on your side (presuming you're for 'western values'). CAIR has an awful lotta ground to cover before it will reach that level of relationship with this country.

As far as Wafa Sultan's influence, this AP sory will update on how journos are really getting actively targetted now. Scroll down to the 2nd half of the story.

3/12/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

for freedom,

A peaceful Islam is ONLY possible if they renounce the Koran. Period.

3/12/2006 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Also, NAACP I agree has morphed into a leftist interest group, and writing "we is victims!" is a vote for that position--read your Gramsci. Conservatism of that David Duke-ish sort is a standing invalidation of the right's contention that color-blindness (rather than identity-politics) is the future.

3/12/2006 06:32:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

A quote from an opinion piece in today's Sunday Telegraph of London: "Here is a quote from a British security contractor in Iraq about his American counterparts: "I hate those bastards more than the scumbag insurgents." A British colonel recently returned from a tour in the country said that, in our next war, he would sooner fight alongside the Russians than the US."

There are deep divisions in the Iraq debate among Americans, between our allies and within the US military itself. Most everyone in this thread realizes that the only hope in the current Iraq mess is if the Iraqis sort it out themselves. We also hope, without much conviction, that Islam will self-correct. I return to my previous belief that military engagement with the Islamic world is an historic mistake. That is not to say we should not respond violently to provocation and attack, but we will never win anything that requires our long term presence, because we do not have the political committment and the patience for anything long and bloody.

We can support groups like the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, the kurds if they need us and any group that is willing and welcoming to our help if it suits our long term goals. Those goals should be our security and not Islamic democratization.

3/12/2006 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I have to disagree with you. Only military/ political engagement of the kind neocons proposed and are engaged in, will spur the muslim world into self critical analysis and reform. Further, the Northern Alliance and other proxy militias would not have scored any success without direct military intervention and support. We must continue to do this and build new militias and new strongholds. As these militias advance into enemy territory, more self critical self analysis and reform will be spurred in the muslim world. It's a self reinforcing mechanism. You just need some patience. We are making progress.

3/12/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Yep--there'll always be anecdotal evidence of friction--better to look at a bigger picture. Where it counts, Anglo-American solidarity is one of the worst problems that enemies of freedom will ever have.

3/12/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I think Patton and Montgomery both were always pissed off at their respective counterparts--really po'd, in a serious ebough way that Ike's main job seemed to be keeping the peace among the two camps. Nevertheless, the alliance was tremendously powerful throughout.

3/12/2006 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Battle of Warizistan heats up, no US troops reported in area.
Casualties on both sides
The Pakistani Army has
" ... destroyed compounds, mosques and madrassa of tribesmen supporting the Taliban. ... ".

" ... If Pakistan fails to reestablish control in the tribal belt, al-Qaeda will have a base of operations, and a ready access to recruits and training facilities - far more so than it currently enjoys today. The U.S. would almost be forced to take direct military action to suppress the growth of al-Qaeda. This could include covert and overt ground and air campaigns (I'd wager there are covert hunter-killer teams teamed up with Pakistani 'scouts' already). ... "

Now these are not the words of a Desert Rat, oh no. They belong to Mr Roggio.

Mr Roggio thinks there may well be US covert operators in Warizistan, I think trish does, too.

Remember, though, ya read it here, at the Belmont Club, first.

3/12/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

It's about wrestling Gabriel, the Angel of Death, and winning by not losing, by not giving up.


This Catholic school boy will have to start calling you Rabbi. That really is the correct strategy, isn't it.

3/12/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I almost hope that the Pakis fail and that AQ spends great energy and resource relocating to that area. Let them get established there. We know the GPS coordinates. ;)

3/12/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

He said that the announcement effectively “buried” the role of tribal elders, vesting “hand-picked clerics” with absolute power.

Waziristan will prove as ungovernable to the Taliban as it did to Alexander, to the British, and to Musharraf.

3/12/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If aQ has a "homeland" it's there.

If aQ were to obtain a "homeland" it's there.

If aQ were to obtain nuclear weapons, it's there.

If the General President loses, it's not good. We can still help, can be flypaper, far from Iraq.

3/12/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Calling me Rabbi would imply that I'm somewhat learned. But that would be far from the truth.

3/12/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

If the Asian Sunnis divorce the Jihadis, the war is over but for the mop-up. If the Pakis, sitting on the fence for so long watching the straws in the wind, have finally seen what a few years of strong economic growth with in the existing global system have meant for the people, then I hope voters in this country will trace the burst of liquidity back to its prime sources, and thank the right people come voting day.

3/12/2006 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

They do not need to govern it, just have it to use.

It's gang law not rule of law.

The tribesmen are not chasing out the Taliban, they're fighting their Government. The tribes and the Taliban are two of a kind. Intermarried and related. The Chechens have taken local wives, they've settled in, for the "Long Haul", or War.

I know what it really is, Captain, old guys and Officers, they just hate to be wrong.

3/12/2006 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I might not be learned, but I know enough to know that it's Larsen who's the Cluballah Wizlizard Mastah wearing The Magic Propeller Hat.

3/12/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

I'm hesitant to provoke an unseemly discussion but I wonder how many other hostages were tortured (by cuttings, beatings and such) before they were murdered, or was Fox's example unique?

The circumstances remind me somewhat of the Catholic saints I grew up with who were almost cruising for a bruising, and surely got that same special attention from their murderers.

Could our enemies possibly detest us for our weakness? What an unkind thought.

Also, Wafa Sultan regulalry writes at an "Islamic Reform" blog which seems less reform-oriented than outright rejectionist. It's worth a look:

3/12/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Tom Fox's encounter with Islamic fascism reminds me of the cartoon "Bambi meets Godzilla" (the cartoon was very brief and ended abruptly).

Off topic:

Go to Bill Roggio's website and see "Consolidating Power in Talibanistan". The Taliban abomination is reconstituting itself in the western provinces of Pakistan. The bad guys have almost succeeded in creating a new safe haven for al Qaeda. It's looking like Musharraf can not keep his own house in order. Pakistan destabilized is almost as bad as Iran acquring nukes.

3/12/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Pakistani police fired tear gas and beat protesters with steel-tipped sticks during a demonstration Sunday against Afghanistan's hardline Taliban rulers and their policies on women.

Hundreds of supporters of the Revolutionary Afghan Women's Association staged a rally on the outskirts of Islamabad to protest human rights abuses and discrimination against women by the Taliban.

Some of the protesters -- many of them women -- threw stones at a Pakistani religious group when they started shouting slogans in favor of the Taliban, witnesses said.

That story line is from December, 2000, almost a year before 9/11. The Hindu Kush tribes will fight anybody and everybody who interferes with their social organization. The Taliban are as much the enemy as the Government.

3/12/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Raw Data said...

This post is an outstandingly thoughtful one, Wretchard. Kudos!

3/12/2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Mika, okay so I'm an anti-dentite, you got me, dangit.

3/12/2006 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Opotho said...

<"Could our enemies possibly detest us for our weakness? What an unkind thought.,">

They do not believe we are weak: they know we are the infidel and they believe their god is strong. They have a conviction that has withered in most of the West. In the movie "Patton", George C. Scott orders a chaplain to pray for good weather. He meant it. When our politicians say " you are in our thoughts and prayers, that is BS. When the Islamdroids fly into abuilding screaming “Allah Akbar”, they mean it.

3/12/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jerry: Booze is not a religion.

3/12/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I think the Mohammedans believe the "West" to be morally weak and corrupt.
From our standards of dress to our favorite entertainment, they do not see strength, they see moral decay.
Watch MTV or any ViaCom entertainment channnel for an hour.
Go to the Mall and girl watch for an hour.
They do not see strength in our freedoms, just moral decay.

The Mohammedans respect our Military in a straight up fight, so they try to never engage in one.
As they continue the Campaign of a Thousand Cuts.

3/12/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

I loved Patton's prayer for good weather! but our enemy knows that our power is meaningless if we disable ourselves from using it. Mr. Bennish knows this too.

I'd like to see some more discriminating discussion on just who it is we face. Most Americans I speak with, left and right, have almost no idea.

Pakistan: "Sunni 77%, Shi'a 20%" (CIA Factbook).

"Sunni Islam in Pakistan is not uniform due to the existence of various schools of thought.

"The majority adheres to Barelwi version of Islam [who] cling to the sufi practices and follow strictly the Hanafi school of thought. ...

"The Deobandis represent a more puritan form of Sunni Islam. ... They cling to the Hanafi school of law but reject most Sufi practices. The Deobandis are particularly strong among the Pathans in the NorthWest Frontier, Balochistan and Karachi."

So, the majority of Muslim Pakistanis are Sunni, and the majority of those are Sufi.

"Almost all traditional Sufi schools or orders trace their orgins ... back to the Prophet Muhammad, either through his cousin and son-in-law Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib or through caliph Abu Bakr." (Wikipedia)

"If you know yourself but not the enemy,for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat." - Sun Tzu

3/12/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Speaking of Booze,..

Doug, wizlizard can alternatively be spelled wiselizard.

3/12/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

"Totalitarians test their opponents by generating extreme conditions of brutality and violence; in those conditions - in the streets and beheadings of Fallujah or on the beach and in the bunkers of Iwo Jima - they believe weak democratic nerves will crack. This in turn demonstrates their moral superiority: that by giving up their own decency and humanity they have become stronger than those who have not."

Arthur Herman, WSJ Opinion Journal, 2/19/05

3/12/2006 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


We all know what happens with Ubermensch. They inherit the salt in the earth.

3/12/2006 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Plow 'em in early & cheap, or late & expensive.

3/12/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I don't think we do early & cheap.

3/12/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Opotho, Arthur Herman might've taken that thought the next step, that having created the inhuman conditions, they must in the end be fought there.

So win or lose, the inhumanity is passed on into where it was not before.

In the free-world, the militaries mithridate the plague in the interests of the 'folks back home'. The reason we thank God for them.

3/12/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

PB, no, we're like the movie Cowboy--gotta be pushed and pushed, first.

3/12/2006 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Buddy Larsen--What is mithridate?--a word I don't know the meaning of. Thanks.

3/12/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

Herman's next sentence was, "Free societies can afford only one response. There were no complicated legal issues or questions of "moral equivalence" on Iwo Jima: It was kill or be killed.

So if Herman wasn't calling for ritual beheadings - "they must in the end be fought there" - I'm sure he didn't mean to enforce Fox's plea to stop all the "dehumanization" either!

3/12/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bobalharb 11:44 AM,
Come now!
You used to use it all the time on the farm for cuts and scratchs, don't be disingenuous!

3/12/2006 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

VDH has written extensively on the subject. He thinks that one very big reason Western Civ, as we know it, became dominant was because of our willingness and capacity to fight and win wars of "no surrender."

It may difficult to see that trait in Western Europe at the moment but there is no doubt in my mind that it still exists in America.

I'm not a dove by any definition but I was taken aback by the ferocity of the air strikes in Serbia. Most of us consider the people pulling those levers sitzpinklers today.

3/12/2006 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Bobalharb, think vaccinate, or 'hair of the dog that is biting you'. Comes from some king in antiquity who took little doses of poisons so he could build resistance to any attempt to poison him to death.

3/12/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"An antidote against poison, especially a confection formerly held to be an antidote to all poisons."
For the truly sick like Mr. Larsen, war is a confection.

3/12/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

Another good word is "pharmacon", meaning a little poison used as a medicine.

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

What do you guess the numbers might be in Warizistan?

3/12/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

PB, we have about 100 B-52H in service, 9,000 miles without a refuel, 30 tons of payload. The B1 now can carry 80 independently-targetted GPS-guided JDAMs. News reports today that the Republic of Islam is furiously digging into the ground, building a government administrative complex way down deep.

3/12/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug will sit up there in his tree and drop coconuts on the passersby until Mrs. Doug hollers and he comes scampering down and back into his cage for the night.

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

That seems kind of dumb to me, unless it's a decoy:
To have things centralized like that seems to be cruising for a GPS guided bruisin.

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

I still recall what we did when we thought we had Saddam:
Tomahawk on top of friggin Tomahawk!

3/12/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's a good thing we have stand-off weapons for the 52's:
I have no doubt the Ruskies will be glad to make some dough selling the latest ground to air technology.

3/12/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

doug, I dunnoh.

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

I'm for making the 777 a standard military platform and B-52 replacement for high-tech weapons, from lasers to missiles.
rwe Can tell us why that's a really stupid idea.

3/12/2006 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Roggio has the right idea, Rat. God bless the hunter-killers and their merry band of helpers.

The biggest obstacle, it seems, is keeping the other(s) guy from figuring it out.

The first South Asia deployment persuaded me that a war conducted largely off the radar is, for many reasons, preferrable to a war on the radar. The second has convinced me. Almost anything else now days is bound to be conducted as the wrong kind of demonstration project.

3/12/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Opotho 12:22 PM,
Anyhows, as someone noted above, and ABC reported some months ago, a bunch of them there seem pretty receptive to the Taliban.
Thought maybe you could give your views on that.

3/12/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trish 12:24 PM,
Amen to that:
Otherwise the MSM convinces the public that every enemy combatant needs a lawyer on the battleground.
...paid for by us.

3/12/2006 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

AND that we are the most egregious violators of human rights in the history of mankind.

3/12/2006 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

It was reported before OIF that Saddam had all kinds of subterranean redoubts where he could hide for an extended period and from where he could fight a long war. Afterwards I heard nothing about them. Were they found? Did they really exist? Spider holes don't count.

3/12/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


d'Rat already answered that one. No need for mail order wife. They buy them right on the premises.

3/12/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Instant Citizenship

3/12/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat said,
"Go to Bill Roggio's website and see "Consolidating Power in Talibanistan".
The Taliban abomination is reconstituting itself in the western provinces of Pakistan. The bad guys have almost succeeded in creating a new safe haven for al Qaeda.
It's looking like Musharraf can not keep his own house in order.

3/12/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mat 12:30 PM,
for who?

3/12/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Instant slave

3/12/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

See 10:03 AM

3/12/2006 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Hard to hide it when the Enemy take's down the Government's strong point in the place.

Real hard to hide 80,000 some Paki troops coming in response, either.

Sometimes, often in fact, a demonstration is required. It is just a question of what we are demonstrating.
When we demonstrate will and resolve, fulfilling our promises, it puts a little more meat on that paper tiger image held by many in the Muslim world.

As Osama said, they'll follow the strong horse. That is the image we must project.

Aggresive military action and an Propaganda blitz, vis a vie the Doctor's beginnings.
That may be what Mr Newt was describing as the 90% solution part of a combined War.

3/12/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

12:35 PM
For Joos?

3/12/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug, the B-52s now have a little cruise-missile looking thing that they fire off at some given time, that no radar can tell apart from a B52. New, came out in 2003, I seen it on TV.

3/12/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Chechen Joos?

3/12/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Don't these guys all have Jooish wifes?

3/12/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

12:40 PM
How could TV spot it when Radar Caint?

3/12/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

12:43 PM
Ya can't beat that!
...well actually, you could.

3/12/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Mika, look outside, there's a FedEx 18-wheeler out there with six heavy-duty forklifts unloading your mail-order bride.

3/12/2006 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

12:46 PM,
More contraband via the Dubai Middlemen.

3/12/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...


Yes, there were extensive underground facilities throughout the country. Some where modern and well supplied. They were not heavily used or ocuppied by the Iraqis during the Invasion. A large investment down a rat hole, as it were.

The Russians have recently sold the Iranians up to date SAM systems. Whether they've taken delivery... ?

The Iraqi Campaign was not a long term air campaign against fixed targets, as the multiple Iranian sites would require.

A story about the Iranian facilities is here at the "Telegraph"

3/12/2006 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

12:48 PM Newsweak had a Soviet Iron Mountain up in the Hindu Kush.
Underground air, power, elevators, and etc!
Nice tourist destination, since we didn't take em out.

3/12/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Who needs a Jooish wife when you can have Lazar working on the Job.

3/12/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Tora Bora Caves"

3/12/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ya want TWO wives now, or will you do that special kaballah deletion trick?

3/12/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

YEP, mighta known.

3/12/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That's all folks, gotta go:
Hope the enlightened discuss Warizistan, and Pick Trish's noggin.

3/12/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Lay off the booze. You wont be seeing double.

3/12/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

sorry doug, kinda busy suddenly. I think you'd like to know my strategy on Waziristan but I don't have one.

Taliban stronghold? Yup, and probably just the way Wretchard described it, as a drift eastwards to now plague their original Pakistani sponsors.

How to kill them fast enough though? Beats me. I'm relieved at the thought that we probably have special op's in them hills, but I also know they're in a maze.

I leave the military history/strategy to you fellers (and I read every word).

3/12/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/12/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/12/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Here is a series of landscape photos from South Warizistan

While it is rugged, it looks much like central AZ or New Mexico.

3/12/2006 01:13:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Deaft Wetbacks. It worked for the Unions.

3/12/2006 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

" ... After the fall of the Taliban, the US-sponsored Northern Alliance approached from the north, and US-supported former mujahideen of Pashtun origin entered from Pakistan into Afghanistan and captured much of the country, along with US forces. This left little space for foreigners, especially of Arab origin, to stay on in Afghanistan. Many of them had been involved in al-Qaeda jihadi training camps.

Hundreds of Arabs and their families thus entered into Pakistan's tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan. Local tribesmen opened their houses, mosques and land to accommodate the families. The tribes collected funds and arranged for the departure of many Arab families who wanted to leave Pakistan. Local authorities turned a blind eye and let the foreigners go wherever they wanted.

A number of Arabs, Chechens, Uzbeks and others chose to stay in the Pakistan tribal areas to fight a guerrilla war against US forces in Afghanistan. Local pro-Taliban tribes arranged for their accommodation. Within a few months, these foreign fighters not only received residential status in the tribal areas, but in places such as South Waziristan they established proper bases to not only fight in Afghanistan but also to restore their communications for global operations. By mid-2002, displaced foreigners had largely revived themselves and were ready for global operations. ... "

Asia Times
A background story from 14 Oct 05

3/12/2006 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Dark thoughts by David Warren.

3/12/2006 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

Nice snapshots! But I don't know if those particular photos were the best to gauge what the highlands of Waziristan look like.

The city of Makin is in a broad-ish valley, though the Shawal region (depicted in the snapshots), just north of makin and on the border, indicates some good topography. Still, they're not exactly the most gnarly bits, which are extensive.

Here's a handy online map of Waziristan which is useful while using GoogleEarth's 3-D option.

3/12/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

And Mark Steyn is now forbidden fruit in Britain, along with other things.

3/12/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Paki troops aren't our guys. There's more than one battle going on there.

Doug is right about one of the reasons to prefer a war off the radar. Another reason, just as practical: Waste one village harboring and/or abetting, and you've announced to all. Then you've got a police call on your hands in a place where it's not possible to conduct one.

3/12/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I leave that in the hands of those on the ground.
But yes, trish, the Pakis are "our" guys.
Their motives may not be our motives, their objectives may not be Exactly the same. But the enemy of my Enemy, is my friend, especially when he takes my money.

He may not bee a "close" friend, we may not often speak. The General President, one way or the other, got the message.

A major Victory for Mr Bush, I think.
Active participation by the General President in denying the Taliban and by extension aQ that tribal powerbase as Sanctuary.
A proxy Army with deniability.

Mr Bush's best move in over a year

3/12/2006 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

aristides - I see your Warren and raise you one Althouse.

3/12/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

In this view -- which I hold to be Mr Bush’s -- we are dealing with what amounts to a planetary civil war, between those who accept the state-system descended from the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), and an emergent Islamist ideology that certainly does not. To Mr Bush’s mind, only legitimately-elected governments, presiding over properly-administered secular bureaucracies, can be trusted to deal locally with the kind of mischief an Osama bin Laden can perform, with his hands on contemporary weapons of mass destruction. Warren article.

I don't know if that's the way this President or the next thinks but I would be surprised if the State Department ever thought any differently. I do not believe that is the way the US military thinks, at least so far as the special operations types go.

The main point of Kaplan's "Imperial Grunts" is that we have to rely on the judgment and ingenuity of lower ranked troops who have the most contact with the locals to make decisions traditionally reserved to upper echelon command structures. Happily, Kaplan's experience tells us that they are up to it.

Bottom line is that if we have to toss out Westphalia from time to time and make supranational alliances with tribal leaders we will. That's pretty much what happened in Afghanistan and we see evidence of more of it happening in Iraq. Let's hope that the DC crowd can keep up with the Grunts.

3/12/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...


Sorry. We're talking about two different things re the Paki army. Just a matter of where one's particular focus is, I guess.

3/12/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Habu_1 said...

Nuke 'em .... They understand power. Russia's not gonna do anything, they can't. China has massive internal rioting and as well will not do anything, with the exception of attempting to invade Taiwan.
Obviously we can't bomb them back to the stone age, they've achieved that all on their own.
Nuke Tehran now.

3/12/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"I leave that in the hands of those on the ground."

As do I, too, Rat.

3/12/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

We can play coulda, woulda, shoulda when he gets back.

The eyes and ears for death from above.

3/12/2006 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

"I leave that in the hands of those on the ground."

Why discuss anything at all? Why look at pretty pictures of corn growing in Waziristan's valleys, or even bother to find the place on a map?

So who brought up the subject of terrain?

3/12/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

why not, the people that live there know exactly what it looks like.

That is no secret to be devulged or operative exposed. The subject of the terrain has been brought up many times.
As an obstruction to heliocopter operations, as a reason action there was impossible, improbable or just difficult.
Google Waziristan, these pictures are right there, for the world to see.

Increased awareness of open source knowledge furthers the debate, informs the public and builds support for the good guys.

In America, ignorance is not bliss.

3/12/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There are Operation along the "Rat Line" in Iraq, our host posts aerial views, describe the specific terrain and how it could effect an Operation.
All from open sources, Mr Roggio, threatswatch, Mr Darling the list goes on. Maps, photos, descriptions, anything so the Public has a better understanding of the Challenges facing US.

3/12/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

"Ignorance is not bliss."

I'm glad we agree, and I'm sorry I missed all those discussions.

3/12/2006 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Why discuss? Two reasons--one, to figure out whether or not you're crazy, and two, to figure out whether or not everybody else is?

3/12/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

me too, optho, but hang around, the subjects seem to be recurring.

Soon we will be discussing Iran and the Options there.

The need for action now, or the option to wait.

Ferment Insurrection in Iran.
or wait for Revolution
Support the Labor Unions or ignore them.

Bomb 'em for weeks, blockade their Ports, seize their oilfields.

Do nothing at all, more Politics as usual, 'til after the Election.

habu 1, seems he's another Armegeddon fan.
That option seems a bit extreme to me, at least at this point in the deal. Considering we're not even at War with those guys, yet.

3/12/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

I've posted excerpts of some important articles here, for any who are interested. Rich Lowry's cover article for National Review (Dig.) is excellent.

3/12/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Hunting down bin Laden still crucial:

It is, however, unlikely that he will be captured. Last year his former bodyguard, Abu Jandal, told the al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, ''Sheikh Osama gave me a pistol. The pistol had only two bullets, for me to kill Sheikh Osama with in case we were surrounded or he was about to fall into the enemy's hands so that he would not be caught alive.''

Of course, bin Laden may make a mistake that reveals his location and makes him vulnerable to American Predator drones. If the United States felt it had intelligence about bin Laden's location, the pressure to launch a missile strike immediately would be intense, despite the risk of his ensuing martyrdom and a rash of anti-American attacks.

As bin Laden himself put it to Jandal, if he were killed, ''his blood would become a beacon that arouses the zeal and determination of his followers.'' The man who once enjoyed a quiet rural life in the mountains of Tora Bora aims in death to ascend into the pantheon of Islamic heroes - a Saladin for the 21st century ''martyred'' by those he calls ''the Crusaders.''

Hunting Down Bin Laden

3/12/2006 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Thanks for the althouse link. That is the first question that I posed when we began OIF. It is critical to the outcome and, beyond what we can achieve militarily, it will determine whether we will look back on the expedition as victory or defeat.

The discussion is certainly worth follow-up.

If we look at a snapshot of Iraq, with the new government forming and the general population embracing the idea of democracy, we have some reason for optimism. There exists, however, this sticky clause in their new constitution. it declares Islam as the state religion. It states that no law shall be adopted that is incompatible with Islam.

It is a house divided - at birth.

3/12/2006 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

if you read that article I linked to, yesterday on the Framers and the 1st Amendment, you'd see that the US was and to the some extent still is divided by that same question of Religions and the State, though argueably to a lesser extent.

Mixing God, Government and Religion is complex to say the least.
Prejudging the outcome by the written Constitution is not always applicable, even in the US.

3/12/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

d r:
Can you give some coordinates. I'm too lazy to look through all your posts. :o(

3/12/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...


Don't you agree that trying to establish a democratic state that declares a state religion - forget about Islam - and you have a recipe for disaster?

Now throw Islam into the mix and you really have the sh** hitting the fan.

3/12/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This is easier
Framers and the Faithful

I found it bery interesting

3/12/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...


You're too late. I found it...ya bum.

3/12/2006 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yes I do agree.
But Patrick Henry, to a great degree, did not.

The article provides both sides debating points. It is an interesting read.

Whether Islam can be rational in it's affairs of State, it depends on the individual Muslim or Mohammedan. Mr sistani seems to be rational, the Mullahs of Iran a bit beyond the edge.

The Church of England has done no great damage, lately, has it?

3/12/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...


Yes, I agree.

Read "Blinded by Might" by Cal Thomas & Ed Dobson if you want to know my position.

3/12/2006 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

statement: 40% of all refined gasoline is imported into Iran, oil product is 20% lower today than under the shah...

3/12/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

The Church o England has done no great damage lately because it has, as has the monarchy there, kept its formerly meddling fingers out of the politics of the state.

3/12/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Pork for Zionists" : statement: 40% of all refined gasoline is imported into Iran, oil product is 20% lower today than under the shah...

Oil in real dollar value has quadrupled since the Shahs days, even with 20% less being produced. Iranian natural gas production has exploded since those days, with more coming for the hungry maws of Rising China, Europe, India, Pakistan.

70% of all American oil is imported, some 30% as refined product from Europe, Aruba, Mexico, Trinidad, and Canada.

What's your point, Pork?

3/12/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oil in real dollar value has quadrupled since the Shahs days..

When are you going to stop with your nonsense, Cedarfard?

3/12/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

C4, In the 1920s, Norbert Wiener, extending the early work on Brownian motion by Albert Einstein and Marian Smoluchowski, introduced the notion of integration in function spaces that now goes under the name of Wiener measure, or Wiener integral. It plays a fundamental role in the theory of stochastic processes and, as distinguished from Feynman's path integral, has a rigorous mathematical underpinning. In 1947, Mark Kac realized that if one replaces the time parameter in the imaginary exponent in the Dirac-Feynman expression for the action with a purely imaginary time, the Feynman path integral becomes a Wiener integral; the Schrödinger equation (with its imaginary time-derivative) turns into the parabolic diffusion or heat equation, for which the Wiener integral provides a solution. This solution for the Schrödinger equation has become known as the Feynman-Kac formula. It has played a fundamental role in Euclidean constructive field theory and in statistical mechanics.

3/12/2006 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Starling said...

desert rat said..."I think the Mohammedans believe the "West" to be morally weak and corrupt. From our standards of dress to our favorite entertainment, they do not see strength, they see moral decay. Watch MTV or any ViaCom entertainment channnel for an hour. Go to the Mall and girl watch for an hour. They do not see strength in our freedoms, just moral decay."


I agree and disagree. If by "Mohammedans" you mean Islamists, then I agree. If by that term you mean Muslims in general, then I diagreee. My impression living in the UAE is that people watching MTV and going to the mall also see all of our tremendously prosperous lifestyle and they want it. When I say "want it", I mean they want to live that well and (here's the important part) to know how they can reproduce it. They sense somehow that there is a connection between our freedom and our prosperity.

Now of course most here dont really know how that is done. Most have no earthly idea about the institutions of capitalism, let along any coherent theory about the relationship between capitalism and democracy. Most that I meet are not entirely sure that Islam is wholly incompatible with some kind of more economically prosperous and some kind of more politically open society.

My thinkingis that while there is certainly a degree of envy and contempt for our way of life in some quarters, there is also considerable admiration for and desire to learn about how and why we live so well (things like what Hurricane Katrina revealed notwithstanding).

But of course, my interactions are with business students attending a pricey American University in the UAE. I am not sure how much I can generalize from those interactions. I have no way to know whether and to what degree the students I deal with are representative of Middle Eastern or Arab or Muslim sentiment more broadly.

It is very important to keep in mind that my experience thus far is more with the "Arab Rodeo Drive" than the "Arab street". I hold no illusions about the fact that there are people in the region that would prefer seeing me on the business end of a sword than attending one of my classes in a business school. I'm betting that they are not going to carry the day.

3/12/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Buddy, Doug--turns out I have been mithridating all these years and didn't know it--bee sting allergy at 55, almost died--doc said, we are going to put bee venom in you in small doses to build up your resistance--went through half the course then my doc died--have been 'packing' emergency kit ever after--I hate bees, and used to kind of like the little suckers. Thanks for the definition.

3/12/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

To return briefly to the original topic, I feel a great swell of potential energy building around Wafa Sultan. I think we are seeing an epic human story preflight. From NYTimes:

DR. SULTAN is "working on a book that — if it is published — it's going to turn the Islamic world upside down."

"I have reached the point that doesn't allow any U-turn. I have no choice. I am questioning every single teaching of our holy book."

The working title is, "The Escaped Prisoner: When God Is a Monster."

Her words are already famous in the Muslim world. Her clip has been downloaded more than 1 million times. Her thoughts have reached all four corners of Dar al'Islam.

That means her book will burst onto the scene, propelled by a tidal surge of interest and anticipation.

Wafa Sultan: agent-of-influence for the West, standard-bearer for humanity.

In mysterious ways, indeed.

3/12/2006 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Joh. Meister said...

How can one not express awe at the witness of these two valiant persons? Tom Fox lived nearby in Northern Virginia. Today, local television channels carry his friends gathered at the Langley Friends Meeting House, embraced by Muslim families. Crying and hugging. Each changed, beyond the power of words to describe.

I remember the fourth verse of the emancipation hymn, James Lowell's "Once to Every Man and Nation":

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

Tom Fox and Wafa Sultan. One beyond mortal danger, one entering the shadow. Both essential if we desire victory.

3/12/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Yeah, but how does all that fit with Valence Bond Theory, eh Buddy?

3/12/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

c4 states:
Pork for Zionists"

my my c4, did your mother never teach you, if you have nothing nice to say, they say nothing? you diminish yourself by calling me "pork for zionists", my statement has nothing rude about it, and as explained, my handles is in RESPONSE to islamic teachings refering me as a son of a pig or ape...

I stated: statement: 40% of all refined gasoline is imported into Iran, oil product is 20% lower today than under the shah...

c4: Oil in real dollar value has quadrupled since the Shahs days, even with 20% less being produced. Iranian natural gas production has exploded since those days, with more coming for the hungry maws of Rising China, Europe, India, Pakistan.

but you dont seem to UNDERSTAND my statement..

Iran is threatening to use oil as a weapon..., so what will happen when they choose to embargo oil sales? Their economy will plummet and if they are not selling oil their gas IMPORTS will be slashed, ever try driving a gas car on natural gas? No i guess you haven't, it dont work...

c4; 70% of all American oil is imported, some 30% as refined product from Europe, Aruba, Mexico, Trinidad, and Canada.

so, iran cant blockade the USA, but the usa CAN blockage IRAN

c4: What's your point, Pork?

now there ya go, asking the 1st intelligent question in months!

3/12/2006 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

But Pork, don't be too sage, they have links everywhere, and can stuff the Straits of Hormel.

Nice verse, and sentiment, joh meister--

3/12/2006 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Figures I'd find Propeller Head's riddle on /. the super-secret Hormel Spam Factory where you will meat Sammy Hamm, the inventor genius responsible for spam. You will also be able to swim in the pork river that runs through the factory, and meat the Athero-sclerosos, those diminutive factory workers that make it all happen at Hormel. And maybe even get to chew the beta version of Hormel's Sweet and Sour Pork-flavored bubble gum if you dare*

*Beta versions may cause curly-tail syndrome in certain individuals.

3/12/2006 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Buddy - "Blah, blah".

On the subject of how America's ruling elites and their overseas allied have short-shrifted the hard-working American worker and kept all the GNP gains to the wealthy. Which is how the owner class and powerful have structured the payout to be so for the last 30 years.

"A Rising Tide??""

Besides the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, the editorial also discusses how American economic mobility has fallen behind Asia and Europe's.

Buddy may discourse on his various heroes formulaes all he wants. Or go political and cry "Class Warfare" all he wants.

The public is waking up to 95% are stagnant-waged, their kids being put into massive debt to fund the "globalization" scam, and that new jobs and new industries are not emereging - and that their power and vote have been taken away by the moneyed elites purchase of lawmaking control at the state and national level.

The concentration of wealth has now exceeded 1920s pre-Depression levels and is regressing to the days of the Robber Barons.

The war on "terror" or radical real...but it is being used as a distraction by the Owner Class for the very serious economic situation America is in - a situation that does call for reform and redistribution of wealth so the benefits of the rise in global wealth, GNP, productivity, labor savings, and new tecgnology are spread more evenly.

3/12/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Cedarfart, I hear a giant sucking sound. Could it be those mexicans cashing in their passports? I wonder what will happen with all those new homes in vegas.

3/12/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

When Larsen starts writing about weiner measurements and brownian movements, you know we're in heap big trouble.

3/12/2006 09:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

8:52 - PM now I'm not so sure that sound ain't Larsen.

3/12/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Then he goes on about stuffing something straight with Hormel.
I just don't know.

3/12/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Doug, so you think the hybridized orbital is already occupied?

3/12/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

C4, be sure and tell the rest of the world how bad things are here--the rest of the world is still pouring investment and talent into the old robber-baron hellhole. The dumb shitz.

If you communists were really concerned for the kids, you'd quit demagoguing the real damage to their future--your dank Bolshevist scheme to bankrupt capitalism with negative returns on earnings paid into entitlement systems that any 10 year old could figure out will be have to be either privatized or paid out in fiat dollars worth a fraction of when they were earned (what few not taxed away).

I guess you like Euronomics--it too punishes success so its C4s won't whine.

It also creates one job for every five of ours--that's sympathy for the little guy, alright.

3/12/2006 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug, don't bother me, I'm tracking commies--

3/12/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

All that Hormuz, Hummus, Hormel, and Cedarfarts. My head's spinning.

Doug, is it occupied or not?! I need to go. NOW!

3/12/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

The only thing this country can do about large private capital holdings continuing to grow, is to lop off heads with guillotines and redistribute their stuff to the Citizen's Committees. Start the ball rolling Robespierre4.

We can't do it with taxation, the graduated curve is already parabolic--but it only taxes income and dividends and capital gains.

Let's add a wealth tax (we already have the 48% death tax but it can be improved). Let's take down these robber barons, let's have our own Nomenklatura instead. C4 gets a dacha in Marin County as soon as we guilottine the current owner.

Power to Me--I mean, 'the people'!

3/12/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Hey, how cool is that: Wafa Sultan has already been wiki'd.

Wikipedia has become our active memory.

3/12/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

A bush hating conservative dressed as a nazi parroting palliwood propaganda.. Just goes to show what proper grammar can do for your average commie jihadi hoser.

3/12/2006 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Ha! Perfect descripto. Maybe he'll wander into your office someday, and you can leave the nitrous oxide on long enough to get an answer "Who's the One, Hitler or Stalin?"

3/12/2006 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wasn't Bond the Man who shot Liberty's Valence?
Hope they never Free that Radical.
I'll forever feel an aversion toward that event.

3/12/2006 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

You know, compared to perfect, everything just stinks. I wish I lived in another time and place, when everything was perfect, and I was perfect, and no one was ever stagnant-waged.

3/12/2006 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Two years after Madrid, we’re still at risk:

Pandora’s box has been opened and although we’ve managed to fasten a few bolts to make us feel safer, such as by using plastic cutlery to eat our plastic airline food, the world has not become a safer place. The kind of terrorist activity which brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Centre or blew up Spanish commuter trains still exists and, like it or not, it’s thriving.

It is motivated by terrorists such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s jihadists, who have brought death and destruction to Iraq and have made a nonsense of attempts to say that peace is on the other side of the horizon. It is peopled by fellow travellers who can fund their own jihad against the West by buying a one-way ticket to anywhere they can strike against the “crusaders”.

2 Years After Madrid

3/12/2006 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Photographer Gordon Parks Dies At 93
Parks photographed the civil rights movement for Life magazine and directed several films including "Shaft." I picked up a camera because it was my choice of weapons against what I hated most about the universe: racism, intolerance, poverty," Parks said in a 2000 video with PDN ( viewable here ).
"I could have just as easily picked up a knife or a gun, like many of my childhood friends did... but I chose not to go that way.

I felt that I could somehow subdue these evils by doing something beautiful that people recognize me by, and thus make a whole different life for myself, which has proved to be so."

3/13/2006 02:27:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

FYI, the wavefunction for atomic hybridized orbitals has not been eactly solved yet.

Seems like the big problem from physics to chemistry is solving multi-electron systems exactly. Once that's possible, the mechanisms for molecule formation will become much clearer.

The link from chemistry to biology is already, more or less, understood. The problem lies in the link from physics to chemistry.

3/13/2006 03:08:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Bond's the Man? Isn't he always?

3/13/2006 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

Which of these, the Arab woman or American man, do you think was a neighbor to those threatened by terrorism? Go and do likewise.

What Kind of Neighbor is Senator Clinton?

3/13/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Sam, don't forget that the last thing out of Pandora's Box was "Hope".

I dunno what that means, but, it must be something like, peace at any price leaves no hope? or something. Hope and Peace, Peace and Hope--gad, I feel like Group Captain Lionel Mandrake of the RAF.

3/13/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Evanston2 said...

Enscout and Raw Data rightly praise Wretchard. I was thinking "These CPT people are not Biblical" and then Wretchard closed with the "Neighbor" question asked by Christ. Wow. I get more out of this blog than any other regarding tactics, war and poltics, and the art of writing.

3/13/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

Buddy: entitlement systems that any 10 year old could figure out will be have to be either privatized or paid out in fiat dollars worth a fraction of when they were earned

It is a shame (not necessarily a suspicious shame since I am not paranoid) that the Islamic threat emerged when it did. Or maybe historical determinism. But if peace had allowed a collective focus on the economic implications of a globalized economy, the results may have been different. I am not laying odds - just saying.

Not my intent to drift OT, but do not trivialize the pending collapse of the pension funds. The cost to the American taxpayer will exceed that of the S&L failures - well over a hundred billion dollars. This was not a failure of labor investment. It was management over-promising when they were in a position to know better.

This coming economic disaster is going to be swept under the rug with such arguments. Shameful. The point is not to permit a socialist crack to open but to rehabilitate management and restructure their relationship with labor. Short story about pensions is that management dropped a load on future taxpayers and now we’re arguing ideology as both sides amble away from the giant sucking vortex of reality.

Buddy Let's add a wealth tax…

Sorry, but I think capital should be taxed more heavily than income. And the egregious excesses of people like Grasso at NYSE should be aggressively prosecuted and punished. Board of Directors should be rehabilitated consistent with their compensation. Much that can be done. So what’s the problem?

Different subject. Many, many issues. How unfortunate we have to rehash the fascism of the last century.

3/13/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Bob, by far most of our corporations are ethically-managed by fairly-compensated managements. But there is some crime out there, to be sure--and it should be punished. Grasso I dunno the case well enough to have an opinion. Many CEOs are brought in like sports or entertainment stars, and hired to increase market-share that may be worth hundreds of millions per point--and their contract awards them a cut of that.

Simultaneously that company might have an unfunded pension liability that predates the white-knight by decades, and has proven inviolate in labor negotions, and that promises to drag the company down due to competition that wasn't around when the pension was offered, and which caused the white knight CEO to be brought in in rthe first place. You're right, in such cases, something's gotta give.

And it is giving--for example as yesterday's news reports, Toyota and Kia are both outsourcing *to* USA, building large plants in IL & GA. Our companies can't match their product values (too much health care and pension costs), but at least the foreigners will be hiring Americans that a 21st century car company can afford.

Meanwhile, the UAW protects existing workers that aren't laid off, making sure the bennies stay high, and ensuring that there will be fewer and fewer jobs for the coming generations.

3/14/2006 04:41:00 AM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Bob, oops--I accidentally put a this-thread comment to you, one thread over--but here's the nut.

3/14/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger pst314 said...

Although the Christian Peacemaker Teams condemn the Danish cartoons as nothing but hate and bigotry, they have nothing to say about the daily dissemination in the Muslim world of the Blood Libel, not to mention many other sorts of defamations of Jews and Christians. For these progressives, all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.

3/14/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Soft bigotry of low expectations, pst, is about the best face you can paint on the CPT viz their beneficiaries.

3/14/2006 02:43:00 PM  

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