Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What's wrong with this picture?

Some observations from Tim Blair:

The forbidden cartoons of Mohammadness have been published more widely in Muslim countries than in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada combined. In Malaysia alone, three newspapers ran images – compared to just two newspapers in Australia.

Not a single major US daily went near them.


I think the real reason for the reluctance among Anglospheric publications to print the Danish cartoons was less timidity than the fear of tacitly repudiating the underlying assumption of the President Bush's War on Terror, that the West is not at war with Islam but only with a small group of extremists who have corrupted "the religion of peace". The Danish cartoons threatened to convert this limited war into a more general confrontation between the value systems of the West and Islam. Why, one might ask, should the media, with no love lost for President Bush, care at all about protecting the key assumption of his limited war? The reason I think, is that the Left in their reflexive opposition to President Bush since the invasion of Iraq had not bothered to create a war strategy of their own. The nomination of Senator John Kerry in 2004 was an attempt to offer up the appearance of an alternative rather than a rival strategy. He was a placeholder for a policy that didn't exist. Trapped in the mental world of the 20th century, the Left had not decided how to respond to the challenge of the 21st. In marked contrast to the Cold War, in which 9 successive US administrations pursued the common policy of containment against the Soviet Union, the war after September 11 was characterized by the absence of a strategic consensus. President George Bush had a strategic vision; and the Democrats an endless supply of peanuts which they were prepared to pitch from the gallery.

Once the Danish cartoon crisis threatened to knock the props out from under President Bush's limited war on Islamic renegades and escalate it to a "clash of civilizations" the barrenness of the Lefist intellectual cupboard became obvious even to themselves. There was no recipe to deal with this contingency. A "clash of civilizations" would pull matters from their grasp precisely because they refused to touch it  in the first place. They could only continue to pretend Islamism didn't exist; and so they thrust their heads into the sand even further. The Danish cartoons? What cartoons?


Blogger johnCV said...

Abject fear, Political Correctness indoctrination and the fundamental liberal principal of refusing to take your own side in a fight.

3/01/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

gorbells apprentices hard at work!

3/01/2006 07:35:00 PM  
Blogger reliapundit said...


Late in February 2004 - THAT'S 2004! - the US military claimed that Bin Laden was "contained" withing 100 square miles of eastern Afghanistan and the Waziristan province of Pakistan. They said that TASK GROUP 121 - which had captured Saddam was being flown in for a SPRING 2004 offensive.


[NOTE: 100 square miles is roughly the size if the Gaza, or 1/3 the size of the Caribbean island Dominica, or roughly the size of Aruba. Waziristan is roughly 30,000 square miles - so if it is true that we have Bin laden's location narrowed down to only 100 square miles, - and if some of the 100 square miles lies within Afghanistan - then this area is roughly between 1/6% and 1/3% of Waziristan. NOT MUCH.]


(1) set a deadline and then entirely empty/de-populate the 100 square mile area; (2) destroy all wells, homes, villages, all structures, etc; (3) station Special Forces at key locations; (4) kill anything/everything that moves.

First we announce that everyone has to go to TEMPORARY refugee camps - inside Pakistan. Once there, the refugees will receive compensation for their property, free food and shelter, and a small stipend. After the 100 square mile region is thus emptied, Bin Laden will have no support, no cover - and we can be free to use as much deadly force as necessary to kill him, without having to worry about collateral civilian damage. And I mean big friggin bombs, and A LOT OF 'EM!

After we get Bin Laden, any of the refugees who want to can go home and use the compensation money to exchange for a new home built by the US military.

I THINK THIS WOULD BE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN THE PIN-PRICK ATTACKS THAT WE AND THE PAKISTANI MILITARY HAVE BEEN USING THE LAST TWO YEARS. (Even attacks like today's which supposedly got 45 al Qaeda including a Chechen "general." Good thng the pakistani Army did that a few days before Bush arrives. How convenient!)

3/01/2006 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Sonspot said...

I blame the high Calcium content in the Mid-east water that allows for the stronger spines of which we are now witnessing.

Note to the MSM in the West: Milk, it does a body good.

3/01/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Nukeface J. said...

"Not a single major US daily went near [the Mohammad cartoons]."

I assume by "major," Blair means The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and USA Today. The bigs did indeed cop out. But several large regional dailies did publish the cartoons, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Rocky Mountain News, the Press-Enterprise in Inland Southern California, the Austin-American Statesman, and the New York Sun. With the exception of the Sun, all of those papers have circulations around or greater than 200,000. Better than nothing.

3/01/2006 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Right ON! Freedom of Speech is an American's birthright BECAUSE America is the first nation to formally recognize that Freedom of Thought REQUIRES Freedom of Speech, and we formally adopted guarantees of Freedom of Speech into our Constitution, our basis for all American law!

Muslim mullahs and imams FEAR and HATE America's Freedom to Think (also known as Freedom of Speech) precisely because they support an entrenched orthodoxy where THEY will THINK FOR US, and TELL US WHAT TO THINK!

I'm a Baha'i. Muslims kill my kind when they can, because the Glory of God MANDATED the 'Independent Investigation of Truth', and THEY want to continue dictating the 'truth' to us!

Stand up, America! Think free! Speak freely! Investigate reality for yourself!

3/01/2006 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger For Freedom said...

The fact that more muslim newspaper rags printed the cartoons is an amusing fact which shows that the whole temper-tantrum was pre-fabricated, utterly contrived in the muslim heartland.

Of course, we knew that already. The traitorous Danish muslims, particularly those perfidious imams, were eager to drum up a storm against their adopted country. Needless to say, this is shear, undiluted treason.

These were deliberate, calculated, and highly treasonous actions against Denmark, which is a country that has a prodigious humanitarian record, and provides help to muslim countries and has generously allowed immigration from those countries.

If I were Danish, I would demand that all of these fifth-column muslims be deported immediately. There should be no room for odious traitors who are clearly taking their orders from hostile entities and movements.

Americans should adopt the same attitude with respect to those treasonous muslims amongst us who want to bring down key elements of the Constitution, in this case free speech. The methods of the Fifth-Column muslims are very devious, and always bring forth their predictable toxic mix of the threat of violence, their victimhood, and their many vile schemes.

The actions of the Fifth-Column muslims should be watched carefully. Their treasonous attitude is coming into focus.

3/01/2006 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Das said...

Worldwide jihadi Islam desperately needed some contact with the world of the possible. Blowing themselves and others sky high they were operating in the realm of the impossible - attaining nothing tanglible but horror and destruction (this is not to say that the horror they leave in their wake is not real - it is all too real, but there is nothing operative going on - just destruction and corpse making).

Seeing the west censor itself so completely - no major dalies printing the Danish cartoons - the Islamo-fascists beheld the fruition of their murderous rage; the reflective among them must have been amazed at the power they have now attained over the west. The intimidation bombings will continue but I wonder what intellectual move is next now that they have a taste for achievement in the realm of the possible. Deeper into the legal system, I suspect.

I notice that tonight one of the late night cable comedians (don't now his name) did a sketch of a right-wing fundamentalist preacher to poke fun at Bush. It was a bad imitation and I didn't like the ignorant swipes at Christ and Christian faith. But now we know that such comedians are simply cowards; better to pet the Teddy Bear of Bush (or Christianity) than tangle with the tiger of jihad Islam.

3/02/2006 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger still realizing said...

I think the US papers don't feel the same need to prove they aren't censored or self-censored. Freedom of the press is taken to greater lengths in the US, permitting things that are forbidden in Europe.

Also, the domestic relations between the Moslem-Arab community and the rest of society is different in the US. The US community is smaller, more prosperous and less alienated.

In the US, the role of lower-tier worker occupied by the "Asians" of Europe is instead filled by the Mexicans and other latins. As well as African-Americans.

3/02/2006 02:40:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

It's OT, but it's worth thinking about the strategic implications of the Bush visit to India. The obvious result is to weaken Pakistan. While I haven't looked at the details of the nuclear deal it seems to have two possible aspects. First, the undercut the Pakistani nuclear blackmarket. Second, to make nuclear power a viable energy source again and weaken the demand for Middle Eastern oil.

3/02/2006 02:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The left does not want to admit ANY enemies, much less face them.
Below is from a piece linked by Dan in the previous threat.
Sounds all too much like the USSR of old, but with Russia having learned various lessons, including important ones in Afghanistan:
(it was so comforting to think of the Commies as a threat from the past, kind of like the end of history.)
Colonel Stanislav Lunev, and the former chief of the KGB bio-war program, Dr. Alexander Kouzminov, warned that the dismantling of the communist USSR in the early 1990s did not remove the military and political threats, which present-day Russia poses to the national security and to the global policy of the United States.

Not able to discuss this matter in full now, let me focus on the Russian WMD-cleaning operations in Iraq and its consequences:

Russia lost ground in Iraq, after the collapse of the Saddam Hussain regime, caused by the 2nd Gulf War, but it gained new strongholds in Syria and Iran.
Russia is able to destabilize the situation in Iraq by secretly supporting and arming post-Saddam guerillas and terrorist groups, to oppose the American policy and the American interests in Iraq and in the Middle East Region.

Russia can exert political and military pressure on Israel by supporting the Syrian regime, the Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Hamas in the Palestinian Autonomy.

Russia is helping the regime in Iran to become a regional political and military power (with an ever stronger influence in Iraq, too), and eventually a nuclear power threatening Israel, a large part of Europe and the American military bases in the entire Middle East Region and in Central Asia.

Most of the fighting is done by proxies. Russia has learned from its Afghanistan war not to engage her military forces abroad, apart from the sphere of her close neighborhood (called "near foreign lands").

The United States should not seek their motives for invading the Iraqi regime in the WMD question alone.
The Iraqi WMD secrets are to be found in Russia, in the first place. But it is not substantial for the Government of the United States to prove its true intentions for the past, victorious war in Iraq. It’s very important to observe the development of Russia’s new "imperial" policy, which is threatening the U.S.A. and its world-wide interests.

3/02/2006 03:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"previous thread"

3/02/2006 03:31:00 AM  
Blogger Das said...

to: still realizing

I don't think you can call the non-publishing papers in the USA anything but abject, trembling cowards. The POV you put forward could go the other way too: Americans are so confident in Freedom of Speech that they all went ahead and printed the cartoons. When virtually none of them did you must acknowledge that we stand at a wall, or a frontier - called cowardice.

3/02/2006 03:34:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

If the Communist Menace of recent history never existed in the minds of the left how could we expect them to apprehend one in the present?
(esp when they are promoting our downfall from within with their promises of a Godless Paradise.
...currently being implemented k-12 and beyond, as well as everywhere else in our popular culture.)
And of course, 'Rat will remind us of their activities to the south.

3/02/2006 03:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

das 3:34 AM,
I was thinking that your first comment pointed to a certain circularity in Wretchards argument, ending finally in the refusal to admit that there are real enemies to confront in the real world.
The left shudders, then ducks under cover of denial.

3/02/2006 03:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Duck and Shudder"

3/02/2006 03:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"I think the US papers don't feel the same need to prove they aren't censored or self-censored."
I like that: they prove they don't need to prove they aren't censored by self-censoring.
I guess that's how they prove it every day by relentlessly censoring all but the Dem/Leftist party line.

3/02/2006 03:49:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

I've got a different theory on why the US, UK, and Australian media went quiet.

They actually get it!

But they know we can't do it alone. We must put others in the front line. Like Europe.

In the cartoon wars, the media quiet above is not the only strange phenomenon. Why did France not erupt? Because the 'youth' there get it too; they know they'll be run out of France. It's become serious.

At the tipping point,

"Everybody knows the dice are loaded,

Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed,

Everybody knows the war is over,

Everybody fears the good guys (will be) lost,

Everybody knows the deal is rotten,

Arabs will forever be picking cotton,

Unless they modern-ise

And everybody knows."

Don't go without me Leonard, let's slash our wrists together. This could be the end of me at BC.


3/02/2006 03:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wretchard 2:59 AM,
On the radio today, I heard that it will simply "re-ignite the nuclear arms race" over there.
...we've heard that one before.

3/02/2006 03:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"This could be the end of me at BC."
I thought you already knew! ;-)

3/02/2006 04:00:00 AM  
Blogger Das said...

Wretchard I like the flow of the idea here since it is expressed in your fine style but it credits the left with having the subtlty and intellect of a Wretchard and that is hard for me to swallow. We should keep in mind that the media's reaction was not nothing; they reported the story widely and fully.

But the baseness of the media blackout of the Danish cartoons lies in this: an industry that will hound a movie star into hysteria trying to take her picture suddenly decides that it is all about respect. I think it was the second weekend in Feb that I heard CNN, NPR talk of their newfound respect for Islam. Anyone who has ever been on the business end of a reporter trying to get his story knows that respect plays no part in the media. Respect in the news business is as incongruous as funeral parlors employing circus clowns. Your point is interesting but I still have to go with active fear rather than passive resistance (to Bush) on the part of the media.

3/02/2006 04:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Abject fear, Political Correctness indoctrination and the fundamental liberal principal of refusing to take your own side in a fight. "
Very concise, but one might add:

How do you take your own side when you really don't have one?
Nihilism Sucks.

3/02/2006 04:08:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"it credits the left with having the subtlty and intellect of a Wretchard and that is hard for me to swallow."
Yeah, I caught that on first reading.
But your funeral parlor example has finally revealed for me why I have gone to such lengths to avoid funerals!

3/02/2006 04:11:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Oh Doug,

Now I'm Delending myself the Roman way.

Warm bath, Calpurnia, a little (ok, large then) beaker of the warm south, the true, the blushfull Hippocrene,

Beaded bubble winking at the brim, and (very) purple stain-ed mouth.

But I still thank you. At long last, I'm a victim. Don't like the look of Leonard though; s'pose he had it coming.

However, one's theories must explain all phenomenon, and right now, there are a lot of things that do not add up.


3/02/2006 04:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"they reported the story widely and fully."
In order to show how irresponsible the Publishing of the Cartoons was in the first place.
...not to mention "disrespectful!"
(like piss Christ)
...when we dismissed half of the Right’s complaint as crude blather.
We were wrong; the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss really were guilty, the Hollywood Ten really were Stalinist tools, and all of Joseph McCarthy’s rants about “Communists in the State Department” were essentially true.

The Venona transcripts and other new material leave no room for reasonable doubt on this score.

While the espionage apparatus of the Soviet Union didn’t outlast it, their memetic weapons did.

These memes are now coming near to crippling our culture’s response to Islamic terrorism."

3/02/2006 04:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

And a very nice victim, I might add!

3/02/2006 04:29:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

You've just ruined my victimhood.


3/02/2006 04:34:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


You might be right about the fear factor. But what stumps me is this: even the French newspapers; even newspapers in Muslim countries seem to have covered this issue more than the American majors. Can it be due to fear? Considering the large militant Islamic population in Europe, the fact that Dutch MPs have to live like fugitives, etc. it would seem they have more to fear than the editors of the Boston Globe.

But maybe you are right. It is fear.

3/02/2006 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

The decision not to print the cartoons is all about the multi-cultural narrative, the propagation of which is the prime directive of the MSM. All the evil in the world was created by white, Christian males of European descent and reaches in fullest expression in the US government (at least during Republican administrations). Islamic culture, as the antithesis of the white, Christian democratic tradition, with Mohammed as the anti-Christ, naturally gains the respect of the illiberal MSM. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. I suggest there is also a sympatico of fellow travelers here. Both the illiberal left, with it's NGOs and the non-governmental terror groups dictate to us how we must behave and that we must behave that way because they say we must. Thus the Danish Imams say that the cartoons can't be published or the result will be jihad and the ACLU says that a Bible study group can't meet on Public School grounds in Louisiana and tries to get a judge to jail those who persist in participating in the study group. Same totalitarian impulse, differing only in the degree of punishment for not doing as the birds-of-a-feather insist.

3/02/2006 04:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

In response to the Danish cartoon riots, the Boston Globe editorialized that

“As with the current consensus against publishing racist or violence-inciting material, newspapers ought to refrain from publishing offensive caricatures of Mohammed in the name of the ultimate Enlightenment value:

”The popular blogging law professor Eugene Volokh promptly went back through various prominent blasphemies against Christianity over the last few years and discovered—what a surprise!
—that the Globe had somehow never managed to summon the least condemnation of the blasphemers in the name of that ultimate Enlightenment value, tolerance.

That’s not to say the Globe—which is really just a stand-in for an entire American mind-set—didn’t feel the need for tolerance back when Andres Serrano was pissing on Christ and the Brooklyn Museum was touting the Virgin Mary done in feces.

But it always ran in the other direction:
Those offended must learn they live in an enlightened world where they are required to swallow their hurt in the name of tolerating those with whom they disagree.First Things Are Mohammedans Non Normies?

3/02/2006 04:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wrethcard 4:40 AM,
I think it is that they more fully understand that the threat is real and will not go away by ignoring it.
...the left in this country is not even close to being there.
Here and now for them is a Fools Paradise.

3/02/2006 04:49:00 AM  
Blogger erp said...

You can't think the media didn't show the cartoons so as not to harm the WoT? It's just the reverse, if the cartoons were widely distributed and people saw how ridiculous is the reaction to them, Bush's positions would be strengthened and Islam would have been shown to be unstable and violent in the extreme.

3/02/2006 04:55:00 AM  
Blogger Consul-At-Arms said...

Just a quibble: despite the ridiculous European perception that the mainstream U.S. media somehow kowtows to the current administration, I can't imagine the major dailies restraining themselves from publishing the Moh-toons out of fear of undermining a policy of Pres. Bush, solely because it is Bush's policy.

3/02/2006 05:05:00 AM  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

Skokie, 1978

Piss Christ

Feces Smeared Virgin Mary

Moreover, and far more significantly…free speech protects the texts muslims hold most dear.

Sura 9:29, and the Hadith of the Stone and the Tree (just 2 examples) are vastly more offensive than any cartoon to the huge majority of Americans, and further can be validly regarded as incitement to violence and murder, and racist hate speech, yet it is protected speech to be tolerated and respected by all.

If these cartoons cannot be so protected, the rest will become fair game. No religion and it’s formative text and documents will be safe from examination of “the potential to provoke hatred for any group”

Islam is nothing special before the law, and deserves no special privilege. It is not different from any other religion in this respect, and rates no further consequence than wiccans. Imagine if muslims were successful in destroying this protection - and 5 years from now, parts of the Quran, which is regarded as the word of God, and the Hadiths of the Prophet, were found to be hate speech and declared racist in court.

Offensive speech must be protected. In doing this we are all protected.
The cartoons should have been published, at least, by every paper which published the items that lead off this post

3/02/2006 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

Wretchard> But maybe you are right. It is fear.

No. It isn't. Not for us. We may not be big, but we publish a 15,000 circulation US daily newspaper.

Publishing the cartoons was not necessary. It would have been a waste of newsprint better used elsewhere. We spent more newsprint explaining why society demanded the right to offend. [BTW, we pointed to where on the web the cartoons could be seen, and put them on our website when websites in other nations began to be shut down for posting them.] And we'll be publishing Salman Rushdie's letter in print.

The first decade of the 21st century will be remembered, we hope, as the first time society was pushed to define the minimum requirements of society and why those requirements exist. And, believe me, using newsprint to engage that discussion is far more important than wearing the badge of having printed one of the Danish cartoons.

3/02/2006 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Bull shit
Waste of paper, my ass.
I publish two monthlys, each of the aprox. circulation you mention, in a long tab format.
We publish, close to 500 pages monthly, between the two products, or 7,500,000 actual pages monthly.
If I had to increase the jobsize by four pages to run the Graphics, which are the reason and cause of the story, it'd be done.

Without the Cartoons the being seen, the real story remains untold. It is the inoffensiveness of the Cartoons that is the real story, not the riots they casued.

How many pages do you print, each month, sbw, and why could you not find an extra half page to run the Real Story?

Price of paper my ass.

3/02/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, when even George Will agrees with me...
Never been that Mainstream before in my life.

" ... Today, with all three components of the ``axis of evil'' -- Iraq, Iran, North Korea -- more dangerous than they were when that phrase was coined in 2002, the country would welcome, and Iraq's political class needs to hear, as a glimpse into the abyss, presidential words as realistic as those Britain heard on June 4, 1940. ... "

Mr Will

Damn shame, really

3/02/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

We spent more newsprint explaining why society demanded the right to offend.

Of course you did.

3/02/2006 07:08:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

As long as we are not on a collision course with millions (tens of millions?) of Muslims, people on the left know what they and their friends ought to be thinking.

If we are on a collision course they will no longer know what they and their friends ought to be thinking.

That's what they are in abject fear of.

3/02/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"As with the current consensus against publishing racist or violence-inciting material, newspapers ought to refrain from publishing offensive caricatures of Mohammed in the name of the ultimate Enlightenment value: tolerance."

Sitting here shaking my head. These people are so twisted in circles they're looking at their own rear end. Aside from their blatant double standards, if there's one thing that did not come out of the Enlightenment, it was subordination of reason to superstition and intimidation.

Multiculturalist dogma included.

3/02/2006 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

desert rat, it may seem impertinent, but important, to draw your attention back to my point rather than the peripheral one your prefer to fulminate about.

You seem to have missed that I wrote, “We spent more newsprint explaining why society demanded the right to offend.”

Newspapers should be about helping people understand the world, their relation to it, and the processes they use to plan their better future. Rant all you want, but, as Jacob Bronowski explained 25 years ago, now that iron boxes no longer protect your gold and barred doors no longer protect your family, like it or not you are engaged in a race to inoculate others what civilization is and why it is in their interest. ... By the way, there is no guarantee civilization will win.

Your high dudgeon is misplaced. You get no points on the blog comment score card.

3/02/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

With all due respect, SBW.

I can't seem much more informative to the reader than seeing actual examples of the cartoons in question.

Whatever conclusions the reader comes to on his own, will come in part from them.

3/02/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

In this case & so many others. one picture is worth a thousand words. If you really wanted to be truthful about this as a news item, you would have printed the cartoons & let your readers decide for themselves if they were over-the-top.

I don't buy any of this notion of the big MSM rags "playing" this cartoon issue. They haven't deviated from their worldview's playbook in 40 years. I can't give them credit for having the wherewithall to "strategize" collectively on this one if it doesn't fit their template.

It was fear and pandering that motivated them to follow their standard line of reasoning - nothing new or news.

3/02/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You wish to present the Reader with YOUR view of the Challenge. With YOUR view of the Cartoons.

Let the Reader decide for himself, they are capable of Decision Making, at least as capable as you are.

You say: "... “We spent more newsprint explaining why society demanded the right to offend.” ..."

You wasted your space, with your own words, when the Cartoons told the tale, better

But you divert the previous question. So let us return.

In a Broad sheet format your could print all 12 Cartoons in a 1/4 of a page.
How many pages do you print each month?
What % is a single 1/4 page of your monthly production?
What does a 1/4 page ad, run once, cost in your paper?
What is the Retail value of the Space you refuse to pay for, to tell the Real Story, so the Reader could see the truth?

That no Rant, sbw, that is a quest for the truth, from you.

The Editor of the Boston Paper, he told the truth, he is Physically Afraid of publishing the Cartoons. But you, sbw, you are are concerned about "costs".
Just the finances concern you.

3/02/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger P-BS-Watcher said...

You have proposed a more evolved position for the MSM than I gave them credit for. My thought was that anything that shows Muslims in a bad light tends to play into the hands of President Bush. So the media instinctively recoil from pictures of 9/11 and the cartoons, even though publishing the cartoons would make life harder for our troops in Iraq. See Publish and Perish

3/02/2006 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


If somebody bid 10 million dollars on eBay for a cartoon of Moses your newspaper would not show the cartoon? What journalistic principle would support that decision?

I think it more interesting that so many media organizations acted in such universal group think. That says a lot about the (lack of) analytical prowess and intellectual quality of the profession and why probably nothing they say or do is worth my time or money.

3/02/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...


You say, "We spent more newsprint explaining why society demanded the right to offend." May I ask, on which side of that statement? Was your reporting along the lines of, "Some newspapers are going out of their way to reprint these cartoons in spite of their having been fully informed that the cartoons are offensive to some Muslims," or along the lines of, "An unavoidable side effect of freedom of speech and of the press is that some will always be offended by what is said and published, yet our society necessarily continues to defend these freedoms as fundamental"? The difference is huge.

3/02/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


While you and your media comrades equivocate in lockstep about all the images that are fit to print who will stand up to the Islamic totalitarians?

3/02/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/02/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

I think there is another factor, Wretchard. The furor over the cartoons took too much wind from the sails of multiculturalism, a bedrock of the Left.

The cartoons showed, in effect, that there are cultures that can be deranged. All cultures aren't, in fact, equal and good unto themselves.

The Left simply can't accept this, since they have spent the last 50 years trying to make it the accepted wisdom.

Instead, they have to portray the reaction to the cartoons as righteous indignation, in order to keep the illusions of multiculturalism from falling apart.

The funniest part here is that it's not really about Islam, they just think it is. It's really about a power struggle WITHIN Islam, which we are getting a peek into. Those people marching in the streets have been whipped into a frenzy by the radical elements within Islam who are trying to grab power from the conservative elements. Riots work in their favor, no matter how silly the pretense.

If our media was even slightly insightful in their coverage, this would be apparent. Instead, they have a wild desire to lash out at Bush (who has almost nothing to do with this), so they turn this into a "The West Doesn't Properly Respect Islam" story, which is, of course, absolute bullshit (where "The West" means America and America means George Bush).

When the history of all of this is written, in twenty or fifty years, the traditional media is going to look absolutely rotten.

3/02/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

While we all pile-on to sbw and others in the media in annonimity, it should be said that the fear of reprisal demonstrated by these and others really illustrates the extent of the problem.
I think these fears are real and justified in light of the low-country assassinations.
Is it time to start talking about added security to allow those that will print the truth to do so without having to endanger their EE's. these poeple probably have families to think about.

3/02/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

Instead of the pictures, this is what we provided:
Newspaper editorials:
Taking offense at offense
Buy Danish
Those Danish cartoons
Seeds of destruction

Without going to earlier relevant entries, blog pointers to blog entries:
Dangerous blasphemy
Danish cartoon URL
Meeting our enemies
Beating the same drum
How to approach intolerance
Together facing the new totalitarianism
Weapon of the weak

The Bronowski I referenced earlier:
Bronowski's 'Magic, Science and Civilization'

My challenge to you is to get off this pointless kick, go back to your blogs, and try, in one brief essay, to specify the minimums requirements for society in a manner likely to make them accessible and compelling to people of another culture. Until you can do that you are only part of Hnery David Thoreau's thousand: "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."

3/02/2006 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Your cost of the space should be about 27% of the Ad Rate, tops, sbw.
How about it, how much is "to much" to pay to really educate your Readers.

And what story did you tell, in your Editorial Space?
That the riots were put up jobs across the Islamic Arc to itimidate Denmark as it ascends to the Presidency of the Security Council?
That the Cartoons that incited the riots, a pig nosed Mohammed, were never published in Denmark, but were part of the Rent-a-Riot Cospiracy?

Withhout seeing the Cartoons, the Readers IMAGINATION takes over. Imagination, that is not where News resides, that is the realm of Barney the Purple Friend of toddlers.

3/02/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anyone have any good thoughts as to how this India trip and nuclear deal fits in with near- or mid-term strategy?

3/02/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

“He was a placeholder for a policy that didn't exist.”

That sums it up nicely. Kerry was always an enigma to me. I must admit that I don’t recall hearing of him prior to the 2004 campaign. He was a convenient pro tem while the constituency sorted out the way forward. It seems that the argument over that way has focused the debate to a criticism of each other political opponents style over substance and we are left with a myriad of paths with “Do Not Enter” signs in their entrances.

The Cold War was in itself the very ‘Clash of Civilizations’. It was a dialectic of economic competition. Still, somehow that clash had subsumed itself into the venues of a lost civilization that is ‘Islam’. If it weren’t for the intractable debacle of the Middle East, we’d be once again consumed with the reform of aboriginal societies. But this time, not to bring them into the embrace of the 21st century, but to remake ourselves more like them, a million tribes and two billion campfires burning in the cement wilderness with the internet replaced by the slow, staccato beat of the binary interchange on the aural highways.

Until there is a healthy competition of ideas to obtain the same, or nearly the same goals, we are weaving ever precariously down the road of our own destiny be salvation or our own destruction.

Global Trade and Global Terror (GT/GT) are at direct odds with one another and the two can not be blended into a middle way. They are particle and anti-particle and for both to survive they must stay separated lest they are destroyed. But the force attracting them together is inversely proportional to the square of their distance they are from one another. This is to say, the more they come in contact through Global Trade, the greater the force that will fuse them together in a final release of energy.

It is up to society at large to decide the fate of the new world, now that we live in a global village; no manner of isolationism is possible. Tasmania has been bridged, there is no last frontier in the spatial domain of earth, just the final frontier of the mind and it will be inhabited by all the individuals that make up society. They can choose what is just or just what is to be by neglect.

3/02/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

enscout 8:49 AM,
Good point, but I think the only workable plan is to get rid of all the folks engaging and encouraging such acts, rather than trying to protect individuals.

3/02/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Whoops I hadn't noticed W introduced this question above. My fault.

3/02/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

..."et rid of"...
What do you mean?

3/02/2006 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"If somebody bid 10 million dollars on eBay for a cartoon of Moses your newspaper would not show the cartoon? "
Another question would be:
If somebody bid 10 million dollars on the internet for your paper to print the cartoons, would you not show them?

3/02/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

why can I not access your display advertisers through your website.
No wonder you were complaining, previously, about ad revenues.

You chase your readers to the INet to get their News, but do not provide access to your Advertisers from your web site.

Not the foremost in Customer Service, could well be why they, both advertisers and readers are abandoning your paper product.

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

"..."et rid of"...
What do you mean?
Just as you say: Eat them all for lunch!
Actually, I mean that if countries got rid of Immams and Mosques that preach hate and encourage violence, and all the folks they harbor under their umbrella, that would be an immediate improvement.

...Just as watching Steve Emersons's Video in the early '90's would have indicated!

3/02/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Kick out or imprison, to be precise.

3/02/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

9:12 AM'
Next he'll be advising well-endowed Cowgirls.

3/02/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said... streaming video, of course, with an occasional horse.

3/02/2006 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

The Danish cartoons? What cartoons?

Exactly. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton literally closed her blinds on the whole issue!

3/02/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

We have no troubles with Revenue, doug.

Ad sales are climbing, both in Revenue and total page count.

If it takes a Girl on a Horse,
that's what it takes.

But in a 55 and Older Community, people already know Civic Responsibility, or they never will.

Lectures from the editor are not what the Readers need to make an informed decision, no doug, like Jurors in a Court, Readers need to see the evidence.
Not have it described to them.

3/02/2006 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

Of course. Sometimes I'm on another planet.

These the spokespersons of their "Religion of Peace" and if anyone questions their hate filled rants, they have that "Holy Book" the Koran to fall back upon.

Let them become martyrs.

3/02/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

desert rat> Lectures from the editor are not what the Readers need to make an informed decision, no doug, like Jurors in a Court, Readers need to see the evidence.

A red herring. Seeing a cartoon, what would a reader be able to judge -- Whether to be "offended"? The content of a cartoon is not at issue, but whether any claim of offense trumps a conflicting opinion. It does not. As Karl Popper pointed out, if you tolerate intolerance, tolerance is doomed -- and society along with it.

Call for the necessity to publish if you wish, but your argument is wanting. Assert that fear is why publishers may not have published, but assertion does not make it true. Furthermore, it misrepresents the crux of the issue.

The assignment above remains unanswered -- blog the minimum requirements for society and explain why, if you can.

3/02/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Of course. Sometimes I'm on another planet"
Come visit sometime:
As a permanent resident, I can show you around.

3/02/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I believe it was Mr Murdock that put a "pin-up" girl on page 3 of his London paper, forget the name.

His rivals belittled the idea, but paid circulation took off, subscriptions rose.

Profitability was secured.
His "Spin" could prosper.

Professionals see through the BS, to the heart of the matter. Like Alexander slicing the Knot, the root of the Propaganda Challenge is in believing Government could ever beat Mr Murdock or his Peers at the Propaganda Game.

The entire Cartoon Affair is a Propaganda coup for the Mohammedans, their Victories keep on pilin' up, small as they are.

Forty Chechan and Arabs killed in Pakistan a couple of days ago, a US Diplomat and whom ever else had the misfortune to be around him, died, today in Pakistan.

Tit for tat in the WoT.

3/02/2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Lectures from the editor are not what the Readers need to make an informed decision, no doug, like Jurors in a Court, Readers need to see the evidence.
Not have it described to them.
The only time I sat as a Juror, the cops had a big pile of Bud Lite right in front of us that the perp had stolen, trip by trip, in front of the security camera!

Very persuasive, and the gravity of the offense was well taken by me, even if it was a lite Beer.

3/02/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You made mention of Finance,
I never professed to have cure for Societies ills.

So let us stay on the primary topic, the high cost of paper and publishing that 1/4 page of graphic images, so that, yes, the Reader can decide on the true "Offensiveness" of the Cartoon.
For themselves.
If it was not important to the Story, you would not have provided the link on the web site. Your actions prove the Images importance to the Story.

So you said it cost to much to print the Cartoons, sbw,
How much is "to much"

Come on, let us all know.

3/02/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Das said...

The cartoon press blackout is just the latest manifestation of the corruption of consciousness in the west; here is R.J. Collingwood writing in "The Principles of Art":

"Concealment of the truth is one thing, a bona fide mistake is another. But at the level of consiousness the distinction between these two things does not exist: what exists is the protoplasm of untruth out of which, when further developed, they are to grow. The untruthful consciousness, in disowning certain features of its own experience, is not making a bona fide mistake, for its faith is not good; it is shirking something which its business is to face."

3/02/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

What's the ad rate for 1/4 page?

3/02/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

No the cartoons in and of themselves do not tell the entire tale. Nor does any amount of text, howver spun.

One of the biggest mistakes journalists make is allowing themselves editorial license with a news story, believing thay are serving their customers better for it. When will you learn to stop talking down to your audience.

Secondly, this idea that tolerance of all things is some sort of Holy Grail is misguided. Do we have to go through this "be careful what you tolerate" thing as if we are dealing with an adolescent before a date?

It's as if the very idea, like so many others has been hijacked and redefined as a lefty talking point without a thorough examination of the meaning and consequences.

3/02/2006 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

I've been there (Kauai) and can't wait to get back, actually.

The end of the Awaawapuhi trail is like no other place in the universe. 3.25 miles down & 3.25 miles back. thought I was going to have to carry the Mrs. on my back!
But well worth the duress.

3/02/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The content of a cartoon is not at issue, but whether any claim of offense trumps a conflicting opinion. It does not.

The claim is that images of Mohammed are offensive to Muslims and must therefore not be shown in Western media. The conflicting opinion is that freedom of expression encompasses publishing images of persons who lived in the 7th century.

You really should change your answer.

3/02/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

Wretchard> I think the real reason for the reluctance among Anglospheric publications to print the Danish cartoons was less timidity than the fear of tacitly repudiating the underlying assumption of the President Bush's War on Terror, that the West is not at war with Islam but only with a small group of extremists who have corrupted "the religion of peace".

Let's pull back from desert rat's theft of the thread to support Wretchard's original comment. There was never any fear about publishing the cartoons, but we, too, focused on the underlying threat to society. However large or small the outside threat, it has been magnified by our own culture's failure to recognize it.

Your dogs are chasing the drag, not the fox. But, hey, you don't have to listen to me.

3/02/2006 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

My theft?
dear sbw,
The Host has an open format,
you sir, claimed the paper and printing costs of putting the Cartoon images in your paper to be to "high".
First it was the Financial Costs, now Finance becomes a Secondary concern, to be ignored, mention there of constitutes foul play.

Now, instead:
" ... focused on the underlying threat to society. However large or small the outside threat, it has been magnified by our own culture's failure to recognize it. ... "
So you decide that to publish these Cartoons is to high a Security cost? For America to see the "magnified image" to dangerous?

So it was fear, fear of that "underlying threat to society" that kept you from printing the Cartoons.

I didn't really believe it was the paper costs, either did you, sbw, really.
How much is the ad, anyway?

Those "underlying threat(s) to society" that's the real story, aye.

3/02/2006 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

"There was never any fear about publishing the cartoons, but we, too, focused on the underlying threat to society."

That seems to be contradictory. A threat with no fear attached?

Clearly the papers were concerned that publishing the cartoons would result in Muslim unhappiness with them. Whether that threat was physical in nature, or just threatened the underpinnings of their professed PC-views of Muslims is hard to tell. Probably some of both.

3/02/2006 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

desert rat, editors make choices what to print and what not. "It would have been a waste of newsprint better used elsewhere" is what I said. I explained why publishing the cartoons was not necessary, focusing instead on the underlying principle.

You chose to disagree -- pursuing the cost of newsprint -- instead of recognizing the abstract but valid necessity for free society to stand up for tolerating offense. If you cannot see that necessity, it demonstrates the validity of my editorial judgment -- that too few understand what is important in society and helping people learn why.

As Popper wrote, " may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols."

Ever notice how some animals see the television without decoding the representation of the image on the screen?

3/02/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


You pedantic response that answers nothing while insulting the intelligence of the reader makes you a bona fide member of the MSM.

3/02/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Yes, sbw, the " ... focusing instead on the underlying principle. ... "
can be important in an Editorial, but as NEWS the Cartoons, themselves are the core of the Story.
The Images themselves are just as important to the Readers understanding of the Rioters and who they are, as exampled by their own actions.

To see the burning fuse in an image Mohammed's hat, if that image, amongst the other Danish Cartoons, is worthy of riots, arson and death, well that my friend, is NEWS.

In and of itself.

Over and above the "Principle" of moderation in allowing debate, or as you say "... for free society to stand up for tolerating offense ... "

The Rioters, also sbw, do not live in "free societies" as examplified by the new "Gang of Twelve" and their Manifesto against
"a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism. "

Live and learn.

3/02/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Das said...

An Aside:

Seattle has two dailies and two weeklies. Only the weekly, "The Stranger" printed the Danish cartoons. Now "The Stranger" is a vile tissue of nihilistic glop that you would hesitate to use for backup toilet paper. Nevertheless, it had the balls - and perhaps heedless stupidity - to go ahead and print the cartoons where the other three, more respectable, publications didn't. AS we get deeper into this thing our alliances will get odder.

Meantime Seattle is a small enough town that everyone knows the back story of the editors of the respectable papers, to wit: the thought of Danish cartoons in their pages was an instant laxative. Period.

3/02/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Many of Freedoms fans, das, they'd never pass a piss test.
Nor could Mr Washington or Mr Jefferson, or so I've heard rumored.

3/02/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger neo-neocon said...

The left can't afford to credit the security concerns of the right as valid, or they lose a great deal of the force of their own arguments. See this for more about how fear, and charges of fear, are part of what's going on here.

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

"Nevertheless, it had the balls - and perhaps heedless stupidity - to go ahead and print the cartoons where the other three, more respectable, publications didn't.
AS we get deeper into this thing our alliances will get odder.
Das, not so strange, as I suspect you know:
Rebels are rebels, regardless of the cause,
totalitarians are what they are, and are offensive to anyone with either a rebellious spirit or a sense of humor, preferably both.

Piss tests, Global Tests, and self-induced purging in the pants be damned!

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


On the left you have raw fear, unfortunately most have no idea what they should fear or why. At the very least, WRT the MSM you have intimidation (dhimmi).

GWB has a charge as POTUS. To characterize his actions as being motivated by fear may be misleading. If I may give a breif analogy: As a young man I had no fear, at least not conciously. I was a "nothing-to-loose" type. When I got married and became a father, I learned fear in an entirely different light. Fear (or respect) for the security of loved ones. I think this is the fear GWB has. One of responsiblity. His is to defend the country that elected him to, first and foremost, do exactly that.

3/02/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Das said...

Doug, you are right, of course but in this local case I thought even "The Stranger" would duck and run - shouting "respect" after themselves - like all the other left/liberal rags in Seattle; an utterly vile publication but in this case I kiss their feet.

3/02/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger sbw said...

peterboston> pedantic response that answers nothing while insulting the intelligence of the reader

Gosh, I suppose I was miffed that no one seemed to give me credit for taking the time to offer considered responses on this issue -- one I am in a position to offer a point of view based on experience and years of thought.

It's hard work talking to the convinced. [I believe it was Nietzsche who said that convictions are a greater threat to truth than lies.] Now do you plan to turn to fists, pistols, or vitriol ... or shall we just laugh this off and get back to a thoughtful discussion?

3/02/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

doug, for a few weeks I've been goin' on about Pakistan. It had become a great concern to me, that Pakistan had become aQ's Homeland, while we were paying Tribute to the General President.

Now, Mr Bush stops in Afghanistan, signs a Nuclear Treaty with India and is soon off to see the General President, in Pakistan.

Seems someone else had a growing concern about Pakistan, other than you and I. Doubt those 40 banditos will satisfy Mr Bush.

Seems that there could be a change in US Policy with regards our "bestest ally". We may soon see which way the General President decides to jump.

Two trillion USD for those 48 warheads and the technology, cheap at twice the price.

3/02/2006 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


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

You can still come quayle huntin' with me, pb.
Never tried to bag one, but it sure could be excitin'.

Jus' funnin', there ain't no Season for quayle huntin'.
We'd be poachin'
Can't have that, I ain't no Robin Hood

3/02/2006 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think those 48 F-16's Clinton sold him in 98 might not yet be delivered?
...could always deduct that from the payment, just to be fair.

3/02/2006 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

I've witheld comment about Pakistan until now. My issue there is that Mushareef is between a rock and a hard place. After all, just how do you govern a populace such as theirs? God knows India tried. They finally threw in the towel and still the problem persistsfor them.

If Pakistan held legitimate elections, what do you think would be the result?

No, I admire Mushee for walking the tightrope as long as he has. But you are right..many problems there.

Doug hit on the fix for them earlier. Remove, by force, the Mullahs that control the Maddrasses. Permanently remove any source of civic power from them permanently, as in an amendment to whatever constitution they may have.

It would take a generation to see results, but if you could pull it off, it might fix the problem without mass anihilation.

3/02/2006 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


I don't really understand why you go on about Pakistan. We're probably already getting the most we can out of them. I saw a piece in the Peshawar paper that the NSA has an entire building bristling with antenna in Islamabad. That means they're mining every electronic communication in the country. No small concession by the Pakis.

The Tribal Territories are probably ungovernable by anybody. Alexander's guys quit at the prospect and probably asassinated him to boot.

3/02/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

I would not underestimate parochialism in all of this. The cartoons were not printed in English. Moreover, the American media is now doing to Europe what the European media has been doing to the United States since 2001. It is pretending that this crisis is happening to somebody else and that the fundamental issues do not concern us.

Although reprints of those cartoons have been sparse, there have been many cartoons lampooning the Islamist response to the cartoons. But reprinting the cartoons themselves won't be seen as newsworthy to many newsrooms. It's "old news". And it's somebody else's news.

None of this portends a "clash of civilizations". This is a clash between civilization and barbarism, or rather between philosophy and theocratic chauvinism. The cartoon jihad is not essentially different from the death of Socrates after an Athenian jury condemned him for blasphemy. Or the hot water Voltaire got into for writing about Mohammed. Or the murder of Hypatia (a pagan neo-Platonist philosopher) by fanatical Christian monks in Alexandria. To paraphrase Rosa Luxemburg completely out of context, the choice facing us is not a "clash of civilizations" but a choice between civilization and barbarism.

Our fight is not essentially different from the war waged by Gelon of Syracuse when he refused to make peace with Carthage until it gave up the practice of child sacrifice. (Carthage never did actually give up the practice, perhaps because it was so utterly repugnant to Hellenistic sensibilities. It dissipated only after the Third Punic War as a result of Roman suppression and it no longer being fashionable.) Let's not forget we are up against a cult of child sacrifice here! And stopping the religiously sanctioned murder of innocent people is a good fight.

Imagine an oil-rich monarchy with a corrupt dictator who spends money frivolously while a great orator with fire in his eyes rides a white horse and excites the people with his brazen terrorism, religious fervor, and anti-Jewish hatred. Sound familiar? No, I'm not writing about the Saudi Kingdom in modern day, but Romania during the 1930's. It is as if Osama bin Laden were the reincarnation of Zelea Codreanu! Theocratic fascism rides again.

I think that, just as many European newsrooms think the "War on Terror" is not their fight, many American newsrooms see the "Cartoon Jihad" in the same way. It is precisely this "it's happening to somebody else so let's not get involved" attitude that is the basis of the herd mentality. We're talking about herbivores here, and while an entire herd can overpower any hyena, a pack of hyenas can feast on the weak and innocent knowing full well the rest of the herd will be thankful they weren't eaten instead.

It is this intellectual cowardice that leads me to think that civilization can only continue if there are enough sheepdogs around to protect the herd from the wolves at the gate. And we must fight with our minds at least as much as with our hands, for our war against the Islamists must be an expression of our will to fight and survive, not our substitute for a will. It is altogether easy to die for one's country. It is far more difficult to live for one's country, to fight as a living sacrifice and not as a death sacrifice. Al-Qaeda's struggle is easier than ours, and it is for that reason they will lose, for it will be written in the history books that theirs was the fight that was unworthy.

And please read what I wrote in the last thread about polytheism and the nature of civilization.

Thank you.

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

It's old news now. It wasn't when the anti-Danish riots started happening.

3/02/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...


you're welcome. I appreciate that last contribution of yours.

3/02/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

What to do when the herbavores see the sheepdog as the enemy and, against all natural law and instinct, see the hyena as no threat?

3/02/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

I think modern Pakistan has a historical analogy in Hungary during the 1930's and 1940's. Admiral Horthy was a "Franco-style" strongman, but his officer corps was dominated by the "Goemboes Orphans" of the "Szeged Idea" -- right-wing anti-Jew Nazi-like extremists who eventually overthrew the admiral and installed the Arrow Cross Party. Once they got into power, they did a thorough job of sending Hungarian Jews to Nazi death camps.

3/02/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

4 day old discredited polls are not "Old News" when it serves the purposes of the MSM.
Did the phonieness of the Zogby
"Poll of the Troops"
get much exposure?

3/02/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

enscout: The hyenas feast.

3/02/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Alexis 1:43 PM,
And thus ended the short but proud
History of the Greens.

3/02/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger Das said...


You are one of my favorite writers on the web but I think it crosses the line of blog etiquette when you promote your own links and site so actively in Wretchard's comment section. I think the idea is that you join the flow, summarize, comment and readers will find their way back to your site if they want to follow up - your work is good and stands by itself and people will find their way to it from here.

3/02/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Alas, the sheepdog has lost his role within the symbiotic relationship.

3/02/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Neo Neo,
While I respect Das and his opinions, I promote shameless
self-promotion, even when one has nothing to promote.
(not the case with you, of course)
And no-one here will ever forget it as long as I'm around.

3/02/2006 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Seriously, though, my view is that hyperlinks are non-intrusive, and all one has to do is resist clicking.

3/02/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

doug: So you're saying the main stream media are cowardly and decadent? It wouldn't surprise me. But maybe they think their readers are stupid and can't handle anything that requires critical thinking.

Besides, censorship has had a strong tradition in the United States, the 1st amendment notwithstanding. (Why do you think we needed the 1st amendment...?) Remember Anthony Comstock? Anybody who is inclined to censor others isn't likely to stick up for a Danish newspaper.

If it happens somewhere else, there is tremendous latitude on whether a local paper decides to report it.

3/02/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Enforcers

3/02/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" So you're saying the main stream media are cowardly and decadent?
It wouldn't surprise me.
But maybe they think their readers are stupid and can't handle anything that requires critical thinking.
All of the above and more, imo, and they often use the second as an excuse to rationalize away the first.

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

Sorry, thought that Times pic above included the caption:

"Aleksandr V. Kazulin, an opposition candidate in Belarus, was taken into custody by security officers while attending a political convention in Minsk."

3/02/2006 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I keep coming back to Pakistan because that is where aQ is Headquartered, now.

aQ is whom we are at War with, remember? There is Congressional Authority to take the War to aQ, where ever that leads.

It is my hope that the despotic General President joins with US and he and his Army help destroy aQ's ability to operate in Pakistan. If that means Operations on the Ground in the tribal areas of Warizistan, both north and south, then off we go.

Hopefully with his Army, without if required. The Declared War, according to Mr Biden is with Saddam's Government and aQ.

Saddam is in jail, aQ runs free in Pakistan.
One out of two, sucks.

3/02/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Secondly, if alexis's analogy is accurate, just whom gains control of those Nuclear Warheads, mounted upon missles upon the coming to power of the Mohammedan Generals, those self same Generals that founded the Taliban and managed Dr Khan's proliferation party.

Who could gain control of those weapons in a coup?
Why have numerous attempts been made on the General President's life?

There are no secrets in a Nuclear Facility run by Generals. Even the spies are spied upon.
The good Dr Khan was an instrument of Pakistani Army Policy, bet your boots.

3/02/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Because I think we will soon see a shift in Policy, away from the "Terrorist" threat in Iraq towards a renewed emphasis on aQ in Central Asia.

The Administration will want to change the focus of the story, away from Iraq and towards aQ.

The ISF seems to have held and wide spread combat is not reported across Iraq,
I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that the Sunni Mosques that have been damaged deserved it.
The Mosques have been used as Insurgent strong points for years, now.

The series of meetings in Afghanistan and India, the Nuclear Agreement with India. That requires changing US Law, as regards nonNPT Treaty members, which India is, and Nuclear Assistance.

Things are beginning to hop in that area, that is why I continue on about Pakistan, just staying ahead of the curve.

3/02/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Alexis: So you're saying the main stream media are cowardly and decadent?

That would give the MSM too much credit. In my estimation, the MSM has simply been bought. Billions of petro dollars have gone into this projects. The Jihadis bought politicians, bought press stingers, bought quiescence to Jihadi advocacy. What is more, Jihadi subsidization has evolved into a self enforcing mechanism. As their traditional audience turns to alternative sources, dependence on outside revenue has come to be ever more critical for the MSM. Buttressing the decaying edifice is all that now matters to these "businessmen".

3/02/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Buttressing the decaying edifice is all that now matters to these "businessmen"."
Isn't what your business is all about, sir?

3/02/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger gbaikie said...

What does MSM fear more, a death or two of it's editors or reporters. OR liability lawsuit costing billions?

I think MSM's fear is based on it's deep pockets.

3/02/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

It's hard work talking to the convinced. [I believe it was Nietzsche who said that convictions are a greater threat to truth than lies.]

sbw, some would interpret your words as fitting irony.

3/02/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

al Qaeda has multiple homes.

3/02/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

We need to roll out the tanks in Iraq. Period. The President needs to pul his balls out of Hillary Clinton's purse and take some serious measures. A long slow slide is a sucker's way to go down, if we are to go down. Pakistan? Right - first let's let Iran get a berth in Iraq and then leave and then let's cause the Pakistanis to rise up out of their eternal indolence. That would be a wonderful way to go.

What the fuck, we can't all cash in our intelligence chips, roll the tanks out Turkey-style, and clamp this shit down under authority of our roll as sponsor of and guarantor of security? Why? Because some Republicans might lose their seats in November?

Bah. If that happens, I'm moving to a country with a spine, like China. I'm tired of these goddamn hippies and nativists willing defeat in these small adventures. Shameful morons.

3/02/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Das said...

Doug, Neo-neo, then again I'm no master of blog etiquette so I could be wrong (I am bowing myself out of the room backwards..)...cheers -

3/02/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, dan, if we were rolling in Iraq, that would be one thing, but we are not, are we.

That's pretty much the point, dan. The War in Iraq is over, for US.

We may be a "honest broker" in their Political Life, but the War there is done has been for a while.
The ISF has the streets.
Their Government is in charge.
Get used to the ideas.

That is why we can begin to leave. We do not enhance the Security of the Government, though we do enhance the Security of the Militias and Insurgents.
We maintain tight control of the Iraqi's Army's movements and Operations.

They have few trucks and only 80 some odd T-72 tanks, up and servicable, as of a few months ago. Perhaps by now they have reconditioned some of Saddam's old machines. Perhaps 100 T-72's max.

Saddam is in Jail
The only other Authorized Enemy, while it has Franchises spread around the World, lives and is Headquarted in Warizistan, enmass.

Where will the War lead, if there is to be one? Could Mr Bush even get another, new, War Authorization through Congress?

It's Pakistan or come on home.

3/02/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Das, I can't even spell eticut, much less master it!
(As he stumbles through the thread.)

3/02/2006 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger sbw said...

sirius sir> sbw, some would interpret your words as fitting irony

Chuckle. Might be. Could be... except that I put my thoughts on paper to see if they stand up to scrutiny. I look hard enough to see the logical inconsistency, if any, in what others write. And I am not wedded to my ideas, but to sound ones -- As Montaigne wrote, "Why should I not run to the truth when I see it coming." No. My problem is that I state conjectures instead of being smart enough to formulate Socratic questions.

Remember Firesign Theatre's third album?

“What do I hear?”
"That's metaphysically ABSURD, man - how can *I* know what *YOU* hear?

Funny stuff. The same kind of metaphysical absurdity desert rat failed to recognize when he presumed to lecture me on what I meant when I didn't publish the Danish cartoons. Das and Doug, also. You know what bigotry is? It's laziness. It's not caring enough to learn about something. It's that everyone is entitled to an opinion, but you don't have to know anything to have one. It's a nasty conceit that leads only to gross overgeneralization.

Interestingly, in a popular comment, alexis came closest to making the point I tried to make when, instead of publishing the cartoons, I defined for our readers how pivotal this issue was for society. Alexis wrote "None of this portends a "clash of civilizations". This is a clash between civilization and barbarism, or rather between philosophy and theocratic chauvinism. The cartoon jihad is not essentially different from the death of Socrates after an Athenian jury condemned him for blasphemy."

Society is like a handwoven persian carpet. People are like individual pile threads -- different colors, taller, shorter. Alone, they can clump. But without the long warp threads or lateral weft threads they have no stability or strength. Humility makes the warp threads, and mutual respect make the weft. And if we can't show humility or respect in this one single comment thread, it is no wonder cultures have difficulty. People are out of practice, not teaching such things in schools. That's Thoreau's root of evil about which I wrote earlier.

But then, I publish a daily newspaper and should get back to it. Part of my humility comes from understanding one can't teach anything. One can only set things up so people will learn, if at all, in their own good time. Thanks for the opportunity to work on my understanding of things.

3/02/2006 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You must be refering to my 2:52 PM comment, since nothing else comes close:
Sorry, that was an inside joke not refering to you:

The commenter directly above, who used to go by "Mika" but now goes by Gibberish on my non-Hebrew enabled browser is a *Dentist*.

I'm too lazy to explain the joke, but if you take the time, I'm sure you will.

3/02/2006 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...understand, or get it.
Whether or not you will be amused is something else.

3/02/2006 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/02/2006 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I agree with Das, exhelo, Wretchard and others. It's Fear and Intimidation.

Although most of the reasons have been covered let me discuss two more direct reasons.

The first is direct payola.

Simply put, it not beyond imagination to picture top editors on the take in exchange for suppression of the "cartoons." Money talks.

Second, is the fact that many MSM outlets rely on Middle Eastern "Stringers" to actually gather their news.

Wretchard's coverage of the Haifa Street murders and the fact that AP "stringers" just happened to be on the spot to film the killings highlights the relationship between said ME "stringers" and the MSM. If the MSM publishes the cartoons and offends their Middle Eastern "stringers" they probably would not get any more gruesome close-up pictures to use on the front pages of their papers (or their nightly news programs). The MSM simply can't afford to offend their "stringers."

3/02/2006 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...


All you have to do is Google Earth any 50 sq mi area of Waziristan...and take a good look. It's absolutely not the kind of place to fight the kind of war you're thinking of, against the enemy you have in mind. (But I've said all that before.) Greater freedom of action can be argued for. A Big Show in Waziristan can't.

3/02/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"highlights the relationship between said ME "stringers""
Turned out the "stringers" had a relationship with the Terrorists.
Sometimes a *blood relationship*, which is more than a bit sadly ironic.

3/02/2006 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

He must have some other plan:
We all got educated when that Special Forces Team got shot down.
As someone commented, if any place is ungovernable, that must be it.

3/02/2006 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

And just think, Doug: That team was in an AO that's been active for years and is situated in our own back yard, a hop, skip and a jump from Assadabad. (Stuff happens when you get to feeling relatively safe.)

3/02/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


I'll have you know I'm a Professional !!

But then, so is Christian Amanpour -- buttwrestling a decaying edifice.

3/02/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


מיכאל Miḫaʾel, Mîḵāʾēl, Michael. "One who is like God" Masculine. Alternatively, mika. "One who is."

מתושלח Mətušélaḥ, Methuselah. "Man of the dart." Masculine. Also, "one who will send death."

3/02/2006 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Amanpour ...buttwrestling a decaying edifice."
Gravity Sucks.

3/02/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Who was Methuselah?

Methuselah, whose name means ‘when he dies it shall be sent,’ was the longest living man on record. In the same generation that he died, at the age of 969, the Lord sent the judgment of a worldwide Flood. Because of his incredible age, Methuselah enjoyed a unique position in history. As a young man, he could meet Adam and hear first-hand accounts of life in the Garden of Eden; he also lived long enough to recount these true stories to his grandson, Noah, and Noah’s sons.

Methuselah had some amazing stories to tell. His father was Enoch, the godly man before the Flood who ‘walked with God’ and then disappeared because ‘God took him’ (Genesis 5:24). Methuselah also witnessed the moral collapse of Noah’s day, when ‘every imagination of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was only evil continually’ (Genesis 6:5).

3/02/2006 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

sbw, I appreciate your willingness to engage and take my pointed jabs in good humor; there would seem something wrong with us if we could not retain a sense of levity while discussing the subject of cartoons.

At this point I think the issue of whether or not to publish the offending cartoons is a dead one. They are yesterday's news, and perhaps at this point a more fitting subject for quiet editorial reflection--which is your preferred mode of engagement, it seems, anyway.

But I am curious about one thing. Did you ever or would you now or in the future, do you think, consider publishing an image which was not a depiction of the Prophet, was not a cartoon, was not even published by Jyllands-Posten, but had been represented as having been all three by people with an apparent agenda to intentionally provoke and offend? Would this story not even now merit your attention and that of your readers? Would it merit reproduction of this one particular image--the pig-snouted non-Prophet--so as to better explain (one of your precepts in publishing) what might be going on? I refer to the fact that this image is unlike the others, perhaps obviously so, having been produced from a photo rather than the pen of a cartoonist.

Such action, were you to undertake it, might easily allow you to explain why society--or, at any rate, its newspapers--must sometime demand the right to offend. Or if not that, you might at least note that the goal of not offending is impossible to attain as long as there are people determined to find, take, or even create the offense.

But this would possibly be a dangerous path. There are people you might anger and embarrass by pursuing such a course. And some of your colleagues might never forgive you.

3/03/2006 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If the mountains and geography make aQ and it's supporters invulnurable to air and land attack, trish, we should admit that the US has been defeated in it's War with aQ.

That there are caves to deep and mountains to high for US to enter.

That the killers of 9-11 will continue to recieve a pass, 'cause to catch or kill them would be to "Hard".

Ok by me, if the US were to make that announcement. We a proving the truth of it each day.

It is shameful, but the US has been shamed before.

3/03/2006 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Admit that the Bush Doctrine is empty Rhetoric and that there are absolute limits to US power and reach.
Yeah, that's the Course for US to follow, that is how we will ensure Victory.

Whether the War is to be Long or Short, until the Pakistan Challenges, both in it's inhabitants and its Nuclear capacity, are met the War will continue indefinately.

Pakistan really is at the core of the Mohammedan Challenge. If it is to big a bite to swallow, we've Lost, no matter how long the war is to be.

The Long War benefits the Enemy, not US.

3/03/2006 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Pakistan really is at the core of the Mohammedan Challenge.

dRat, you may well be right. The question is whether our interests are best served at this time by destabilizing a putatively friendly regime and allowing a perhaps much less friendly group of people to take over.

There may well come a time when an all out war against Pakistan becomes necessary. I think present policy seeks to avoid or at least postpone such an eventuality. It may not work, in which case we will have our hands full. But, did you notice?, we just signed a new deal with an important ally residing just the other side of this potential future battleground.

3/03/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Of course I noticed.
The token paid by the General President, those 40 some killed in an air raid, may not be enough to satisfy Mr Bush, this time.

The General President could well join with US to attack aQ. That is his choice, but it is the sworn duty of US to pursue aQ where it flees.

That is the essence of the Bush Doctrine. To allow aQ respite is to admit US defeat. It will serve no US benefit if Osama dies of old age.

The entire "Long War" strategy is a "spin", to avoid admitting defeat in the War on aQ.

There is no War against aQ, there is a Police Chase directed at it's appendages, not it's heart.
aQ can always grow more arms. It, as an Organization dies if we remove it's heart.

While that would not end the Islamic Challenge, US Policy is that Islam is a Religion of Peace.
Until that Policy changes, coming into line with the Gang of 12's Manifesto, I have no further problems with Mohammedans.

When the US modifies it's Policies, I'll go along, until then, I stand with the US and the President, supporting the Muslims right to practice the Religion of Peace as directed by their book the "Koran".

So should we all.
Or be denounced as Traiters, engaged in Treason against the US by slandering US Policy and all these Peaceful Muslims around the World.

3/03/2006 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

And yet, some of us are still able to recognize that not all Germans were Nazis, and vice-versa.

3/03/2006 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

And many of the US allies are Muslims.

So while we do not need to cover them all with a blanket, we do need a finer net.

3/03/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

sirius sir: consider publishing... the pig-snouted non-Prophet

That was a brilliant exposure by the blogging world that deserved thorough ventilation in the MSM and did not get the exposure it deserved. Nor have readers/viewers/journalists been inoculated to recognize and compensate for such martial arts-like use of MSM for propaganda.

But you needn't be so cautious around me. I have no objection to printing images of any prophet or non-prophet. In fact, the image I find most inviting to consider publishing is this one at Israeli group announces anti-Semitic cartoons contest! The heavy, probably Sisyphean, lifting for a newspaper publisher is to spend his limited resource wisely and well balancing that with our responsibility to reflect our community back on itself. Often we fail. But in the Danish cartoon instance, publishing the cartoons was too simple an answer to too simple a question. BTW, like this suggestion of yours, Wretchard frequently and articulately conveys insight I value and work to pass on.

sirius sir: Such action, were you to undertake it, might easily allow you to explain ... But this would possibly be a dangerous path.

Yeah. But that really isn't a problem. Even local newspapers are threatened for the darnedest things. It comes with the job. Courage comes from understanding what is right and why. Robert Heilbronner may have written from Marxist convictions, but he was bang on the money when he wrote that when you master logic, it masters you. People concede greater beauty, strength, or speed, but never better judgment. The tough asignment is to nudge people to always challenge their judgment, the better to find real courage. Perhaps that is why I got in to this thread in the first place, to suggest that publishers may recognize fear, but resolve not to be detered by it. If you can see that you may be more cautious about projecting characterizations that might be mistaken. And you might see that our job is to help readers master things well enough to develop their own courage and resolve.

BTW, yours was a thoughtful, considered reply with questions. Thank you. I apologize for any ambiguity. I had little time to respond.

3/03/2006 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Since you are stil about check this piece out Publish or Perish: The Lessons of the Cartoon Jihad
By Robert Tracinski

It goes to the core of the matter, beyond whether or not the Cartoons themselves are "News". While I think they are, that is a reasonable disagreement.

Mr Tracinski seems to be the Publisher and principle author of "The Intellectual Activist", what ever that is.

In any case, it is an interesting perspective on the issue.

3/03/2006 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Wanda said...

sbw: "The first decade of the 21st century will be remembered, we hope, as the first time society was pushed to define the minimum requirements of society and why those requirements exist. And, believe me, using newsprint to engage that discussion is far more important than wearing the badge of having printed one of the Danish cartoons." So, one party (Muslim fanatics) order something be done, and the other party (newspapers) does it, and we now dignify this meek acquiescence as "engaging in discussion"? Look, you want a peaceful life - just say so, and stop trying to dress it up in high principle. You're not fooling anyone.

3/03/2006 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"If the mountains and geography make aQ and it's supporters invulnurable to air and land attack, trish, we should admit that the US has been defeated in it's War with aQ.

"That there are caves too deep and mountains to high for US to enter.

" catch or kill them would be 'Hard'"

They are not invulnerable to land or air attack, obviously, Rat. They ARE, in a manner of speaking, invulnerable to the 10th Mtn Div sweeping down on them in their mud huts - because it's a completely assinine thing to do. The horde isn't going to have an easier time killing them, but a harder one.

And first they've gotta find them. Otherwise they don't know what they're killing.

When the Seal Team incident came out, it was assumed here that it was part of a new offensive. But there are operations like that ongoing all the time. It was nothing new. But you didn't know that, anymore than Wretchard did. And you don't know what's taking place on any given day in Waziristan, either. And no one's going to tell you.

Would you be more satisfied if you knew, or would you just continue with your tantrum...demanding that we send 40,000 or so Joe's in full battle rattle over the border, to be picked off like so many ducks in a shooting gallery, clueless and without a prayer?

3/03/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I have never, but once, made a claim of the tactics required. That there are many Military options is self evident.

While I appreciate snoop the poop missions, they are not winning the War against aQ.

What ever we are doing in Warizistan is inadequate to the task at hand.

We have not even contained the aQ & Taliban infiltrations across the Pakistani Border, into Afghanistan, snooping out their pooping.

If the Pakistani Army were to move into the area and deny it's use to aQ, that would be enough. If we need to pay the Pakistanis to do it, that would be fine by me.

But if the people of the Region allow aQ to operate there, do not turn them over or report the where abouts of the aQ people, they are supporting aQ and under the Bush Doctrine, terrorists themselves.

It is up to the people of Warizistan, cooperate with their Government's Public Proclamations or...
As we used to say in the Army
"Kill 'em all, God'll sort 'em out""

3/03/2006 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As in Afghanistan, trish, the most important thing is to deny aQ a Sanctuary. They have one now, in Pakistan.
That violates the core essence of US Policy.

That cannot be allowed to stand, to allow aQ and it's multiNational support staff to make a mockery of President Bush, the US and the Bush Doctrine.

Better to quit and come home then continue to propagate a lie as US Policy.
We get no points for tough talk, when we do not take the walk.
If anything it diminishes our Power and Influence, proving that the US is, once again, just a Paper Tiger.

We feed the aQ Propaganda Machine with our inaction, regardless of the reason.
No wonder it'll be a "Long War"

3/03/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

Wanda: So, one party (Muslim fanatics) order something be done, and the other party (newspapers) does it, and we now dignify this meek acquiescence as "engaging in discussion"?

You probably haven't followed any of the links. That's okay, but don't manufacture a strawman argument, label it mine, then knock it down. Under Ann Althouse's blog item "A Reconsideration of Presumptions: Is Islam Compatible with Democracy?" I wrote, "On the other side of the coin, if [minimum principles for society] are not shared, it is a race to convince others of the self-interest of adopting them before having to deal with differences through the law of the jungle." That is not "meek acquiescence" but an attempt not give in to threats while moving to resolve differences short of war -- In war, Mother Nature doesn't know who the good guys are... or care.

3/03/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger sbw said...

desert rat: Publish or Perish

Yes. Thanks for the pointer. The other day I pointed to it on my blog, at Weapon of the weak, using the Cox and Forkum cartoon. It's particularly strong with the cartoon.

And this way we bypass our differences on the original cartoons. ;-)

3/03/2006 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Emotion has little to do with it.
Honesty does.
If the President lies to his people, his Policies will not prevail, in the Long Term.

The Emotion, if there is any, is for Winning the War. Why we do not prosecute it, while the Rhetoric fills balloons is not self apparent.
Why so many either cheer for US defeats or endlessly tolerate them is beyond me.

But Mətušélaḥ I'm sure you can link us all to the stories and blogs of positive News.

Show me where the "West" is winning. I'd love to see it.
Paris, London, Madrid...
Show me where Dr Z or Osama are killed or captured. The Heart of the Authorized Enemy, not a finger here or there. This aQ grows fingers like hair.
Show me an Authorization for a "New" adventure.
The US has had Success in Iraqi Policies, Mr al-Sadr is now a Kingmaker, fancy that.

3/03/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I mean,
We can all only take so much
Ra! Ra! We're Winning!

After Mr Cheney reported we're not.
Well, he reported we could win, in 10 or 20 years. Can't be to sure though, that's a long way off.

If that is acceptable, Mətušélaḥ, to you, then Ra! Ra! away.
Myself, I'd like to see US win before I die of Old Age, or Osama does.

3/03/2006 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

No d'Rat. We are winning just by the fact that we are engaging the enemy. And we will win, as long as we abide by that simple act. Btw, that simple act is usually all that differentiates winners and losers.

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

The vice president, as recently as May of 2005 declared that the Iraq insurgency was "in the last throes."

So in the ten months since that Vice Presidental declaration those Death Throes have not subsided and the Insurgency is still not expired.

Ra! Ra! Go Team!

Is the Insurgency in it's "last throes" or will it be a "Long War"?
Mr Cheney agrees.

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


What diffidence does it make? Explain to me how what the Vice President says, or what CNN says, or what OBL says, or what I say, should make any difference in your resolve to win this thing.

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

We have lost the Offense. We had it and the Momentum, but it was lost in Iraq, we bogged down.

Now aQ has the Offense.
In Afghanistan, on the Ground.
In the Information and Propaganda battles.
In Iraq we are sitting on a situation of our own making.

If the Army holds, it seems to be, the Government of the current PM and Mr al-Sadr may be fractured by the combined opposition, or not.
But it is a democratic Iraqi Government, which was the stated Goal.

To be engaged with the Enemy, on defense, does not, sir, assure Victory.

We have been engaged with the Kim family of Korea for over 50 years, no Victories there, yet.

3/03/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


3/03/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I'd love to win this War
Show me where it is being fought.

Certainly not in Iraq. The majority of the US Army is in the Barracks, there. It has been for quite some time.

Check out for the latest News from Iraq, or rather the lack of any concerning US Troops.
60 aQ operative were captured in five raids in the past few days.

Not much of a performance from 138,000 forward deployed troops, if they were engaged in a War.
They are not.

Where are we on Offense against the Wahabbist aQ.

It is not my Resolve that is in question, but the US Governments commitment to the Bush Doctrine and the War against aQ.
That is where the Resolve has failed.
That is why we now have a "Long War", Mr Cheney's resolve has quit.

3/03/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Mr Cheney's, in fact the whole administration's resolve has failed, because some know better than to engage in a hot war with Pakistan and the Saudi entity at this moment. And because Desert Rat feels the war is not going according to Desert Rat's schedule, it's better to just pack up and go. Nevermind that Iran is next on the schedule.

3/03/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Iran is another deal entirely,
come back when Congress approves of that Adventure. It will float like the Port Deal, at least at this point.

Like the Authorization to Use Force in Iraq, a new Authorization will be required for Iran.
That will be fun to watch, on C-Span.

That is like a Preppy, though, to quit the first job before it is complete, jumping into another one, that seems easier, but really is not.

Does your timeline to War with Iran beat their timeline to the Caspian Nuclear Development and Defense Pact with Russia?
Time will tell, I guess.

3/03/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Russia will not sign a defense pact with any country, at least not until Russian troops are there already. LOL. But good to see you so enthused about attacking Iran. Clearly, public support is for attacking Saudia and Pakistan first.

3/03/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cassidy said...

One thing that I think has gone unexamined is that freedom of speech is not just the right to publish, but the right not to publish.

3/03/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, Public support is for attacking OSAMA.

Not for attacking Iran, Syria, KSA or Pakistan.

The Approved Target, the Authorized War is against Osama, Dr Z and aQ. Where ever they go.

If the Pakistani Government wants to help or needs to do it itself, fine and dandy. If we need to pay the Pakistani General President to do it, pay him, fine by me.

If the Pakistani refuse or cannot comply, the US is honor and legally bound, by our own Authorization and the Bush Doctrine to do it ourselves.

To do less dishonors all those lost on 9-11 and all the Soldiers and Marines lost since.

To argue they are unimportant, Osama and aQ, is to ignore the Law and any Honor that remains.

3/03/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Hillary made a remark, perhaps a month ago, that this administration had demonstrated its "impotence" wrt our underlined objectives in Waziristan.

My husband's Away Message on the laptop then became "Out Doing Impotent Work."


3/03/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Some days, one just wants to say, Rat: F*** Off.

3/03/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

You're right. Should have just called it the "War on Osama" though.

3/03/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

And they never did call it the War on AQ.

For many reasons, should've.

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

The first Authorization almost does say exactly that. War on aQ

Not Islam, Iran, KSA or anyone else.
The second Authorization said War on Saddam's Iraq, and if it helps aQ.
There are no other Authorizations to employ. Iran is not mention in either.
When the Administration attempted to make the Iraqi Authorization a Regional one, it was quickly withdrawn for lack of support. Iraq was all they could get.

Doubt Mr JFKerry and his partisans in the Senate would approve another War Authorization. They would Fillibuster that, for sure.
Before or after the '06 Elections.

If the War does not move on and focus at aQ strong points, the War will be over, "Long" or not, until the US is attacked again.
This time from Bases in Pakistan not Afghanistan.

I know, let's wait.

Wish all the best to your husband, trish

3/03/2006 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

I'm glad to see that Cassidy finally had the gumption to speak up.

3/03/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

dRat, who's to say Osama isn't deep in an Iranian bunker somewhere working on super secret nuclear stuff?

We could just say we're bombing his ass and worry about proving it later.

3/03/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Bush: "We shall not let Iran have the means, the knowledge to make nuclear weapon." I don't think he's lying. The Israeli government, pretty much said the same. I don't think it's lying either. You wont have to wait long, d'Rat.

3/03/2006 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger grrr1 said...

Amazing... Just few days ago I made a similar comment on one of the discussion boards I occasionally vist: "The whole idiotic 'war on terror' nomenclature together with many accompanying activities might be actually created to divert the populace from turning to 'kill them all and let their god sort them out' attitude.
Thanks, Wretchard

3/03/2006 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Wish all the best to your husband, trish"

I know, Rat.

3/03/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

This incident is worse than the 11 September
attacks in the US and the 7/7 incidents in London.

Read all about it.

3/03/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No one, I think, cassidy has said it that way.

The Government is not trying to "force" sbw to print those Cartoons in his paper.
So he IS enjoying his right to not publish.

While I and others may dismiss his reasoning, none of us have rioted or committed arson against him or his building because he omitted the Cartoons from his paper. We have not tried to force sbw to print what he finds "simple".

I know of no reports of any such action, anywhere, against anyone.

We have tried, unsuccessfully I think, to reframe his thinking on the Subject.

Perhaps though, I misunderstand your point.
I often do

May I be the first, or perhaps second to say "welcome aboard the Belmont", cassidy

3/03/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The problem is that there are well over 200 Iranian sites on the public target list, that will take an Air Campaign longer then that used in the Balkans. That went for over fifty some days, if I recall.

Iran is much more difficult than Serbia. The challenge much greater, as will be the timetable.

I would not hold my breath, waiting for a hundred day aerial campaign against Iran, if I were any of you guys.

Israelis may be tough, but they are not nearly deep enough to take out Iran's infrastructure. To many sorties over to great a distance, not enough aircraft.

The Iranians have been prepping for this for decades. The problems far greater than destroying the mud building villages of Warizistan.

And to lesser effect, the Iranians do not have a nuke, yet.

3/03/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Cass, I second what dRat said... about welcoming you aboard.

My previous comment was just an all-in-fun snark. (I sometimes have little better to do.)

3/03/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"The problem is that there are well over 200 Iranian sites on the public target list, that will take an Air Campaign longer then that used in the Balkans. That went for over fifty some days, if I recall.

"Iran is much more difficult than Serbia. The challenge much greater, as will be the timetable."

Shorter Rat: It's hard, so we don't wanna do it. Might as well admit defeat on Iran now. What a bunch of wankers we are.

3/03/2006 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Oh, wait...

That only applies to Waziristan.

Some days, Rat, I get the feeling that you're a frustrated autocrat without an army at your disposal.

3/03/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Administration has it's priorities backwards, trish.

If nuclear weapons in Muslim hands, weapons that could be transfered to or otherwise come under the control of Terrorists, is the problem for US. Pakistan is the greater threat, as there are weapons there, now.

If WMD, possibly accessable to Terrorists is not a problem for US, neither Country poses a Challenge.

If we are to enforce US Laws, Warizistan is where the Enemy has fled to. Give chase, or come Home.

If we need to change focus, really, and let aQ have another pass, let Congress debate and vote on War with Iran.
That Debate will be a doozy, that's for sure.

It is, though, the Constitutional way to proceed.
The Constitution is what I and other Vets as well as all the Service members of today swore to defend.

Iran comes after aQ. There already is a War against aQ Authorized, we should prosecute it.

3/04/2006 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

d'Rat: There already is a War against aQ Authorized, we should prosecute it.

What's the exact wording, and where can one find it? Both the Taliban and the Saddam operation. I assume they're different.

3/04/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Would you consider an aerial assault immoral, and choose to send our Marines and Special Forces in there instead?
For myself, I'm a little tired of sacrificing our guys (and our ability to instill a proper educational fear)in order to show compassion toward Nazis that harbor, aid, and abet their fascist death squads.
Sorry, not Nazis, cheerful religious folks that encourage their kiddies to be the most hate filled bags of flesh on the planet.
Peace be with them, of course.

3/04/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Shorter Rat: It's hard, so we don't wanna do it. Might as well admit defeat on Iran now. What a bunch of wankers we are. "
Wake up and smell the coffee Trish:
Why do you think you called him a
"Shorter Rat?"
Downsizing, Indeed!

3/04/2006 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Ok. Found it.
Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002

alQaida is mentioned once, as a passing reference. Some members are known to be in Iraq.

3/04/2006 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Doubt Mr JFKerry and his partisans in the Senate would approve another War Authorization. They would Fillibuster that, for sure."
What authorization did Bubba get for his aerial assault to help out the Mohammedan Cause?
I remember he completely sidestepped the UN before having Sir Wesley Commence Bombing.

3/04/2006 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

You're still around, Matt?
Give it a rest.
Meet your Raisins.

3/04/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Go find the , I believe it is the 12 Sept 01 Authorization.
Mr Biden & the White House both claim it is a Declaration of War.

The President used it authority to approve the NSA intercept program.

a Portion of that Resolution follows:
" ...
Text of S.J. Res. 23 as passed September 14, 2001, and signed into law
Joint Resolution
To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent
attacks launched against the United States.
Whereas on September 11, 2001, acts of treacherous violence were committed against the United
States and its citizens;
Whereas such acts render it both necessary and appropriate that the United States exercise its
rights to self-defense and to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad;
Whereas in light of the threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States
posed by these grave acts of violence;
Whereas such acts continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security
and foreign policy of the United States; and
Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent
acts of international terrorism against the United States; Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in
Congress assembled,
This joint resolution may be cited as the “Authorization for Use of Military Force.”
(a) IN GENERAL. — That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate
force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized,
committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored
such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism
against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons. ... "

The entire Resolution and it's History can be found, as a PDF,

No mention of Iran, in either Authorization.
Both Authorizations cover Saddam and the perps of 9-11, Osama, Dr Z & aQ.
Time to get on with the 12 Sept War Authorization.

3/04/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


Did you read the gibberish I handed in from atop the White Mountain? Ten Four.

3/04/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Treaty obligations under NATO.
NATO moved on Kosovo, as I recall.

3/04/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, I'm just trying to remember if he got anything from Congress.

3/04/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"acts of treacherous violence were committed "
Boy, we were really outspoken for a while there, huh?

3/04/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Now how about your opinion/position on the morality or lack thereof of bombing the peaceful, religious, Wahrizistanians?

3/04/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I don't think he had to, the NATO Treaty being established Law.

I do not think that he did.
Perhaps an additional funding request, but I do not know.

It would be a bit more difficult row to hoe, for Mr Bush & Iran.

But the Iraq experience shows some of the difficulties of Occupation of an undefeated People.

As well as the need for another Authorization. If Iraq could not be justified under the 12 Sept Res, Iran certainly would not be.

The folks at Westhawk have a different, but similar, view of Pakistan.
Well worth the minute or two.

3/04/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yeah, I've thought all along that Gen Musshie is a temporary recess from the inevitable.
Read the Iraq piece too-
Seems like they left out the most obvious additional option:

Do exactly as we did going in, but with a hell of a lot more violence and less compassion for the Peaceful Tikriti Clan of NaziWorld.

3/04/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Regarding Indian Fast Breeder and etc.
What can we say except Strangelove ain't seen nothin yet?
Does not give me comfort about our offspring to think we'll have MAD all over again, but this time with a bunch of players, many of whom are mad to start with.

3/04/2006 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

doug, if the peope of Warizistan donot comply with their Governments demands, they are Insurgents.
Kill 'em all, God'll sort 'em out.

I would open Refugee Camps, before and after the Operations.

I would hope that the costs of allowing aQ Elements in their Society would be deemed "to high".

The aQ boys could then fight & die or run, again.

But the Bases and infrastructure they are using must be denied to them.

3/04/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

yeah, doug, the India deal is a double edged sword, fer sure.

I think we are better off siding with the Hindus, though, then the Mohammedans in Pakistan.

Due to the Public's general lack of knowledge and the fabulous Propaganda Campaign by the Sauds, we have forgotten about the Wahhabists and the current threat.

All the while focusing US attention on Iran, a threat, true, but one that is on the far horizon.
Iran has never, to my knowledge, attacked US, outside of Iran.

The Wahhabists have.

3/04/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Got to give Kofi some credit, he is asking for US Air support in Darfur. Seems he wants a little air to ground, no Air Superiority needed, there.

" ... UNITED NATIONS, March 2 -- Secretary General Kofi Annan told the United States that U.N. members should consider providing close air support in possible combat situations for several thousand African Union peacekeeping troops in the Darfur region of Sudan.

The request, in a confidential letter to John R. Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, shows that the world body is pressing for a more aggressive military approach in dealing with armed groups in Darfur, and that it wants the United States and other Western powers to participate in that effort. ... "
from the WaPo

Wonder if the US Air Force is to "Streched" or if the Darfurians are worth it, without oil.

So do we stop that insanity and help the helpless, or Stay the Course, only the White House knows fer sure.

3/04/2006 10:02:00 AM  

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