Friday, June 30, 2006

Out In the Dark

Philip Bobbitt writing in The Spectator describes the reluctance among European and American academics to accept that the reality of a distributed terrorist threat and an insistence in seeing it through the nationalist and ideological prisms of the 20th century.

It is a popular European retort to American policy since 11 September to say that the only thing new about the attacks that day is that US citizens were the victims. ... there are quite a few commentators who, still pressing the IRA analogy they think they understand, have simply concluded that there is no al-Qa’eda. It is a myth, concocted by the government to instil fear in order to increase the power of the state.

To those who think groups like al-Qaeda are myth, Bobbitt replies that on the contrary, they are the new challenge of the 21st century: ideas with a sword.

In the 20th century, national liberation and ethnic secessionist groups used terror to gain the power exercised by nation states. ... Terrorism in the 21st century will present an entirely different face. It will be global; it will be decentralized and networked much like a multinational corporation; it will outsource many of its operations. This terrorism, of which al-Qa’eda is only the first exemplar, does not resemble or seek to become a nation state. Terrorism in its new guise has no national focus or nationalist agenda; it operates in the globalized marketplace of weapons, targets, personnel, information and media influence. Neither Europeans nor anyone else can claim familiarity with this phenomenon.

Even when the leader of the July 7 bombings in London plainly stated, in a recorded posthumous statement, why he was going to blow himself up with those he hated most, there were few who wanted to listen to the assertion of the idea. The imposition of the idea. It would involve too inconvenient a re-arrangement of mental furniture.

  1. Until we feel security, you will be our target. Until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people, we will not stop this fight.
  2. This is how our ethical stances are dictated. Your democratically elected governments continuously perpetrate atrocities against my people and your support of them makes you directly responsible.
  3. Our words have no impact upon you therefore I’m going to talk to you in a language that you understand. Our words are dead until we give them life with our blood.
  4. We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation.

Instead they preferred to understand it through the machinery of 20th century Marxism. The West was simply being "punished" for its excesses. The answer lay in blaming the West, which Bobbitt notes, was also to blame the victim. In the self-induced confusion, relatively few have remarked how step by step, the ideas of the West were being delegitimized and those of the enemies exalted.

This critique has the most profound consequences for democracy. This is obvious with respect to Afghanistan or Iraq, where democracy is fighting for its life and where the implications of this approach — a precipitate withdrawal of Nato and Coalition forces — would abandon the nascent democratic regimes in these countries to the killers. It is less obvious, but also true, that this is the case with regard to established democracies.

It is precisely because the Madrid attacks reversed an election that terrorism succeeded. Terrorism is the extension of al-Qa’eda’s diplomacy. ... Yet the fatalistic reaction of the security sources quoted in the Sunday Telegraph isn’t quite right either. The newspaper disclosed the belief among most intelligence agencies that a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack is now inevitable. It is true that we should take little comfort in the relative modesty of the number of fatalities on 7 July. The objectives of these attacks were political and economic, and their point has been made. That should not lead us to conclude that the maximum lethality of this organisation has been reached. The means available to terrorists are unlikely to diminish in lethality and their use will be calibrated to the political objectives sought by terror networks. But neither do we have any warrant for concluding that the worst is inevitable. I am an optimist, which was once defined as ‘someone who thinks the future is uncertain’.

"Someone who thinks the future is uncertain". The future is less uncertain when the victims themselves choose it. And when society selects self-blame and surrender to the challenge of the idea with a sword, they stretch their necks beneath it and the future is foregone. The saddest part of the Bobbitt's article comes when he is forced to spell out to the reader what it is all about. When in history since Greece did the West need to be told this?

The attacks were, very simply, about democracy. They were an attempt to impose an answer on this question: will democratically elected governments be able to pursue their policies on the basis of the judgment of their institutions or can their leaders be tempted into ransoming their population when the public is hostage to violence? ... This is a modern, perhaps even post-modern, version of an ancient dilemma. The lesson was written for us long ago: Be sober. Be watchful. Our enemy prowls around us like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

We were never ignorant of lions until today. Let the sunshine, let the sunshine, the sunshine in.


Blogger whit said...

Their message is:
"Let us have our way; spreading Allah's kingdom; Submit or die."

6/30/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Too many prefer submission.

6/30/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

Prowling lions do not roar. A better analogy would be that jihadists and their ilk coil like reptiles beside a well-worn trail, and when suitable prey skips down it-- then they strike. Their prey staggers off to die, and terrorist snakes unwind to slither after it, dislocating jawbones to ingest the creature by its head.

Whatever it is, over the last half-century or so, that has definitively infantilized and demoralized the West (as Yeats, said, "the best lack all conviction") --we blame television-- its consequences could not be more plain. Since WWII if not 1918, academic, economic, and political elites in all developed countries have lost the nerve even to reproduce themselves.

A "culture of death" indeed infects precisely those who have the most to lose... odd, is it not, that children of privilege (the Kennedys, Kerrys, Frum/Pelosis among us) rage most vociferously against the first and only culture in human history to make progress in material wellbeing an article of faith?

Dei qui delent... whom the Gods destroy, they first make mad. But self-destruction, the wilful abandonment of every principle as unworthy of defense because it is your own-- now, that is someting new. As trustees for future generations, guarantors that their birthright will not be lost, we fail the most basic test: We shall leave no posterity. If some Islamic terrorist does not succeed in killing us all off, why, we'll just ensure that no-one's born to begin with. The hatred of life, the self-fulfilling nihilism of this approach literally sickens anyone who loves his family, hopes for his childrens' success, works to leave this world a wee, small, tiny bit better than when (say) Stalin, Mao, bin Laden slaughtered populations by the tens of millions on demented whim.

Once Western Civilization perishes, regardless of what retrogressive collectivism history serves up in its place, it's not coming back. Where art and learning, science, broad optimism flourished once, will lie a wasteland. In moral terms, its sands already whistle o'er its dunes. The ones who cheerfully harken to it, draining every last oasis, do not know poetry: "The lone and level sands stretch far away."

6/30/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


It is never too late. My favorite lines from the Four Feathers:

“Who knows of the feathers? How many people?” he asked. “Give me their names.”“Trench, Castleton, Willoughby,” began Feversham.
“You have kept them?” exclaimed Sutch.“Indeed, I treasure them,” said Harry, quietly. “That seems strange to you. To you they are the symbols of my disgrace. To me they are much more. They are my opportunities of retrieving it.” He looked about the room, separated three of the feathers, pushed them forward a little on the table-cloth, and then leaned across toward Sutch.“What if I could compel Trench, Castleton, and Willoughby to take back from me, each in his turn, the feather he sent? I do not say that it is likely. I do not say even that it is possible. But there is a chance that it may be possible, and I must wait upon that chance.
“There are endless difficulties,” he said. But it is well worth trying. You see, if the three take back their feathers,”—he drew a deep breath, and in a very low voice, with his eyes upon the table so that his face was hidden from Sutch, he added—“why, then she perhaps might take hers back too.”
She has not even a suspicion of what I intend to do. Nor do I wish her to have one until the intention is fulfilled. My thought was different”—and he began to speak with hesitation for the first time in the course of that evening. “I find it difficult to tell you—Ethne said something to me the day before the feathers came—something rather sacred. I think that I will tell you, because what she said is just what sends me out upon this errand. But for her words, I would very likely never have thought of it. I find in them my motive and a great hope. They may seem strange to you, Mr. Sutch, but I ask you to believe that they are very real to me. She said—it was when she knew no more than that my regiment was ordered to Egypt—she was blaming herself because I had resigned my commission, for which there was no need, because—and these were her words—because had I fallen, although she would have felt lonely all her life, she would none the less have surely known that she and I would see much of one another—afterwards.”
Feversham had spoken his words with difficulty, not looking at his companion, and he continued with his eyes still averted:“Do you understand? I have a hope that if—this fault can be repaired,”—and he pointed to the feathers—“we might still, perhaps, see something of one another—afterwards.”

6/30/2006 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Maybe we should just pull out of the Geneva Convention entirely. No one we are fighting will respect it anyway. It will only be used against us by our court system.

6/30/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Philip Bobbitt writing in The Spectator describes the reluctance among European and American academics to accept that the reality of a distributed terrorist threat and an insistence in seeing it through the nationalist and ideological prisms of the 20th century."
One can more easily describe the refusal of the Bush Admin too take seriously (as serious as the ongoing danger to our security the threat demands) the threat posed to our country by it's hands off/kid gloves/New Tone treatment of domestic traitors like the New York Times.
Bush's negligence is shameful and DANGEROUS to our National Security.
...please, no lectures about what is and is not "traitorous activity," and what is "possible or not possible" for Bush to do:
All such explanations to date fly in the face of the the plain meaning of their English usage and common sense, all designed to excuse the Deer in the Headlights Response of this admin to the ONGOING threat posed by these b.........
Don't miss Andy McCarthy on today's piece by traitor Clarke in today's New York Times: Should be up at radioblogger soon.
Bone Chilling Facts.

6/30/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Wu Wei,

I hope that we will replace Geneva. The goals of humanitarian warfare, it seems to me, are twofold. The first is to protect the innocent. Second, it is to prevent warfare from degenerating into cruel barbarity.

Some issues that should be addressed:

*who is a noncombatant when everyone is in mufti?
*creating a tribunal system (within the local law) for people guilty of outrages
*allowable method for interrogation and penalties for transgressing the same
*perhaps some universal, elected oversight committee which will review standards from time to time consisting of ...

If a better and more relevant system can be constructed, then Geneva will be in immediate trouble unless it too, adapts.

6/30/2006 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

As Lee Harris pointed out in "Civilization and its Enemies," Islamic terrorism stems from a fantasy ideology. Furthermore, while Nazism, Italian Facism, and Japanese militarism were all fantasy ideologies as well (indeed, there may be no other kind), Islamic Facism appears to be based on more of a set play, with defined characters and associated symbolic actions than it does a logical strategy toward victory. Our WWII adversaries could look at the U.S. as a country of isolationist rubes, the last outpost of a Western liberal culture that had been essentially defeated. In contrast Al Quadea looked at a U.S. that strode the world as an unstoppable colossus - and despite that fact came up with the same conclusions as the Axis had.

So perhaps the problem is that a correct view of the terrorist enemy is just too hard to achieve. Viewed in traditional terms, Al Queda looks like some comic book evil, absurd to learned eyes, and with no discernable logical objectives or means to achieve them. So those learned ones fall back on a viewpoint that they feel comfortable with.

Back in the mid-70's a friend and I were driving down a dirt road late one night in darkest Oklahoma. Our vehicle passed close by what appeared to be a crab walking down the road. Both of us could not believe our eyes; we talked about it but just kept driving. Not only did we not believe that crabs walk the roads of Oklahoma, we did not want to know if they did. Finding a crab out strolling down a road between cow pastures, at least 500 miles from any ocean and ten plus miles away from even the mostly dry Cimmarron River would have raised too many questions.

The learned ones have seen the crab. They don't believe it and they don't want to know about it anyway.

6/30/2006 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/30/2006 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Never forget the fix you're in. But never forget the fix your enemy is in, either.

Everything the terrorist do is reported as a success. Just tonight, on the network news, they said Osama was taking credit for Zarqawi's successes in Iraq. What successes? True, he almost caused a civil war, but Hitler almost captured Moscow, Leningrad and Stalingrad.

A few weeks ago the Left Democrats were telling us we couldn't win against the insurgents in Iraq. A few days later they are complaining about the surrender terms being offered the insurgents. Now, if they surrender could that be related to our winning?

Not after it has been nuanced. You see, it's actually another success for the terrorists. They kill children, they win; they try to kill children and fail, they win; they kill themselves, they win. Of course, they win big when we kill them. It is an even greater success when they surrender. They go on trial, they win. They don't go on trial, they win. They tell the truth, they win. They lie, they win. The important thing to remember is: they win. Nothing succeeds like success for terrorists, even failure.

However, I suspect the only reason they are always portrayed as winning is because the people doing the portraying think the terrorist are losing. Otherwise, they'd show fear instead of sneer.

6/30/2006 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

rwe 4:32 PM,
Consider yourself lucky you never picked up any parasites while enjoying the night life in Texas!

6/30/2006 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Out In the Dark"

6/30/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

RWE, Harris also made the point that free people are often at a disadvantage in that we don't want to be rude or inpolite.

Perhaps what we need are new rules of etiquette, of course I simply repeat what has been said before.

What rule or action would piss off Kim of Korea? Is Assad really bothered by death flying so close to his palace?

6/30/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

At National Review On-line, Victor Davis Hanson asks,

"Finally, we are witnessing a larger existential war, in which Iraq is the central, but not the only, theater. Put simply: will the spreading affluence and liberality of Westernization undermine the 8th-century mentality of the Islamists more quickly than their terrorists, armed with Western weapons, prey on the ennui of a postmodern Europe and America — with our large gullible populations that either don’t believe we are in a real war, or think that we should not be?"

6/30/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

Wretchard re The Four Feathers:

We who in our youth read Kipling and Mason were joined by Charles Schulz of "Peanuts" fame-- who can forget Snoopy in his kepi, pointing a saber, saying, "There it is, men-- Fort Zinderneuf!"

I liked "Kim" best. For adventure and romance, nothing beats the Grand Trunk Road, surveying in the Himalayas, playing "the Great Game". The Raj from bottom up, "under a Mewar camel-driver's greasy armpit." None of this Gloriana stuff for Kim, and yet... the classic virtues, noble risks, the challenges of manhood shine through every word.

That world has vanished, as utterly as if it had never been. But not even a century has passed. Greetings, Wretchard, as one of context and perspective, who takes delight in visions from old tales. We possess a letter from 221b Baker Street, courtesy of Conan Doyle's "Irregulars", that states "Mr. Holmes regrets that he cannot respond to personal correspondence. He has retired to the Sussex countryside, where he keeps bees." So the world's oldest apiarist remains "present", if inactive, much like Jeremy Bentham (there lies another tale).

Decades ago, Heinlein forecast that this period through about 2010 - 2025 would be the Crazy Years. That implies a self-corrective... we dearly hope he's right. Europe may well be done for. But there it is, men: Fort Zinderneuf! If Snoopy can brave the desert, surely we can too.

6/30/2006 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But Charles Schultz did not have such a large and energetic enemy on the homefront to deal with in WWII.
...and people still valued common sense over what some "expert" told them they should believe.

6/30/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

There is something in the human psyche that filters reality to what is acceptable. You see scenes of the worst slums on the planet and superimposed are people going about the mundane chores and rituals of daily life. Survivors or terrible ordeals often enter a surreal world of imagined safety. I believe that is happening to the world regarding the death battle with radical islam. People really cannot take the truth.

It would be logical to show the death of the twin towers with fireman in the lobby asking about the thumping outside and being told it was jumpers. You would hear the crashing bodies. It would be good to see the falling man plunging downward upside down. This would be good because all is so unbelievable. Sane normal educated people no longer believe it. Who would believe that someone could cut the head off an alive innocent human being while screaming "god is great".

We are faced with evil incarnate. Those that can look must see. We have to understand that most cannot and will not see or help. They cannot face the truth and strike out at those who try to convince them of the danger. They are irrelevant and useless in the fight to destroy the Islamic orcs. We must support in every way possible those that understand the fight and are who prepared to assist the jihadis to hell.

6/30/2006 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Late in the life of the Roman Empire, while it was still rich, the practice of buying off threatening invaders gained currency as preferable to the risks of fighting. The obvious fact that as a policy this could not go on forever was defeated by the fact that it could continue in whatever present instance. The party advocating preparedness and resistance to attacks was led by a certain Strabo. Strabo was assasinated by the peace party who retained control of the governing apparatus until the Romans could not buy off the Vandals and the first sack occurred. We too prefer our comforts here in the West and many prefer to restrain those who would fight to preserve them. We also consistently vote for candidates who tell us what we want to hear regardless of its truth.

6/30/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Doug,What recourse does Bush have with the traitors in our midst?Should he line them up and shoot them?I would shed no tears for them,but in this riven culture,it seems the president has limited options,but steer ahead and hope there are more who get it than fools,knaves and fellow travelers.

6/30/2006 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Guys - way too much pessimism here. We are witnessing the slow and painful collapse of islam - not the West.

6/30/2006 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Bush, traitors in our midst?

Not one is charged in any incident, ergo, there have been no "real" incidents.

None that the Federals consider more serious a threat to the Republic than Martha Stewart's statements to investigators about the timing of some stock sales.

That or the President and the Administration do not truely believe it is a serious matter we are engaged in. The billets in Baghdad are still empty, the leaks unplugged, the worms still eating te hull.

Islam, Religon of Peace,
still the Policy.

Remember MS-13 is of proportionatly equal size, in the US, as aQI is in Iraq.
MS-13 swims in a sea of 15 million illegals, aQI swims in a sea of 5 million Sunni.

The Mexican election is Sunday, the border reinforcements have deployed at just 50% of the tasking.

The Havana Summit is still on, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Boliva, maybe even Mr Putin's folk will get there for some early Fall beach time.

6/30/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That group in Miami is considered a "greater threat" to the Republic than the NTYimes, by the AG and his staff.

Perhaps they are right.

6/30/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Not everyone thinks that way - The Australian

"ISRAEL last night threatened to assassinate Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh if Hamas militants did not release a captured Israeli soldier unharmed.

The unprecedented warning was delivered to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a letter as Israel debated a deal offered by Hamas to free Corporal Gilad Shalit."

6/30/2006 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Now, that's the way to debate using Islam rules.. If they won't play by yours....

6/30/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...


You may be right, but that slow death of Islam is contingent upon our will to see to that eventuality. Please, take it from a former Gramscian Marxist like me: nothing is more insulting to the intellect than some sly version of Hegelianism. Nothing is inevitable. We make our future, just as we make our defeats and our victories.

I believe we have the power in every way to defeat Islam. Of that I am confident. However, it is the WILL to make it happen that concerns me.

That being the case, as absurd and intellectually dishonest these gasbag remnants of the Sixties and their brainwashed cohorts are, I do not underestimate their power to enervate that will we need to make victory happen.

Buying off enemies never works as a long-term policy. Plus, we are fighting an enemy that takes the long view. Thus, their long-term strategy and fanaticism trump our pathetic attempts to put the jizya cash on the barrel.

Some on the Left, and I know these people well and sometimes even better than they know themselves, think that Islam will collapse due to the fact that the Muslim peoples will be seduced by materialistic atheism. These people think that that the Muslims will ditch al illah for beer, MTV, string-bikini babes, SUV's, and other creature comforts. Socialism, they think, will triumph over a primitive religion.

On this they are wrong. Islam has a strong appeal to people who find absolutely no meaning to be gleaned in those creature comforts and excessive libertinism.

The Left and its fellow travelers are delusional. The Romans learned this the hard way, when bringing Hun and Vandal children of important war lords to Rome, Milan, Ravenna, and Constantinople. They thought the good life would soften their warrior worldview. It didn't.

In war the technologically superior enemy does not always win. The will to achieve victory counts for a lot.

6/30/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The left "knows" that Arab Islamists and Western Concepts of Rights and Freedoms are incompatible.

In Iraq.

At Gitmo, they are MANDATORY!

6/30/2006 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

trangbang 7:57 PM
President Bush has had options since 9-11, since taking office, actually:
He should have gotten rid of as many Clintonistas in critical places upon taking office as possible:
Certainly after 9-11.
Leakers should have been pursued and prosecuted, starting with the FIRST ONE.
(so many since, don't even remember which one was first)
Reporters and Editors brought before a Jury, JUST LIKE FITZPATRICK DID, and required to reveal their sources.
Since we are talking about leakers of National Security Secrets, SUBSTANTIAL Jail time should have resulted for refusal to do so.
Instead, 5 years after 9-11, Clintonistas are still in place, leaking and sabotaging away, and
No Leakers Have Been Pursued.
...except Libby.

6/30/2006 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt Interview:
Andrew McCarthy on Clarke and the Traitorous Times

Andy McCarthy:
But the argument that he makes is just preposterous.
Obviously, there's a big difference between saying we're trying to track down terrorist financing, which admittedly, everybody knows,
and telling them precisely how we're doing it,
and that we have a central communications hub,
and that we have a sort of seamless relationship with friendly countries,
that tells terrorists that to the extent that they've been trying to break down transactions in the hope that by doing them in piecemeal fashion, maybe they can conceal the fact that money is going from a point of origin to a point of destination,
that that doesn't work anymore.

To tell them that much more important than seizing money, which they may have thought up until now was our priority, we've actually been focusing our attention mainly on tracking and mapping terrorist organization,
so that to the extent...
if people had been moving money, say, through a shell entity for two years,
and had assumed that it was a safe entity,
because they figure we're stupid,
and if we actually had terrorist money, we would have seized it and people would have been arrested.
Now they know that what we've actually been trying to do is map the tentacles of the terrorist organization, which is how you do an investigation. So I just don't get where he's coming from.
Read the whole thing, and weep that these Clowns have been getting away with this treachery for 5 years.

6/30/2006 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Connect the dots,
...for the enemy.
Means that method of connecting the dots FOR US is lost forever.

6/30/2006 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wrong again, 'Rat:
"White House spokesman Tony Snow said earlier this week that reports of problems with the border deployment were "overblown."
less than 1,000 of 2,500 requested so far, 6,000 target remains a pipedream,
just like the one about the Feds efficiently processing and routing and deporting a percentage of illegals based on said processing, months after the passage of "Comprehensive Reform"
Snow would know, but since he talks down and over, rather than listens to the people who DO Know,
Tony Don't Know.

6/30/2006 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...


An Israeli newspaper editorial says that their government is taking the wrong approach to getting their prisoner released.

6/30/2006 11:17:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...


This Israeli newspaper takes pretty much the opposite side.

6/30/2006 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

The only comfort I find in a lot of the reeraw backing and forthing comes from my reading of history that suggests we will not know for certain what was really going on for decades after the fact. The probability that all the actors we see as villains are actually as we perceive them is as iffy as our perception of the people we’d like to style “heroes.” We may find when the present crises have faded to nostalgic memories that many episodes were crafted to appear as one thing to distract our foes from the real action that was being advanced in another quadrant.

It is clear, though, that the New York Times has harmed the U.S., even if not by alerting the Jihadists to specific methods. The greater hurt, I believe, is in discouraging our allies from ever trusting us to keep a secret. Bill Keller’s decision to reveal that a particular financial institution administrator or government official was assisting the United States Government in tracking the terrorist activities may very well lead to retribution and vengeance attacks against those parties by the Jihadists.

If and when that occurs, the blame can be laid SQUARELY on the shoulders of NYT’s Sulzberger and Keller, the two sanctimonius cowards who think they have the right to expose any information whatsoever, regardless of the consequences. They, after all, enjoy CONSTITUTIONAL protection, and don’t give a rat’s arse that anybody else that might be hurt.

If you look at the publication of the so-called “Pentagon Papers” the issue was essentially identical. People may have been dismayed at some of the details that emerged about this decision or that mis-judgment or some other lost opportunity. In many ways, the history revealed the tragic glacial inevitability of the mess, given the treaty commitments and Eurocentric focus of the U.S. And of course, the behavior of the Communists after the fall of Saigon proved that the Domino Theory had been absolutely true. Since 1975 it’s estimated that as many as six million Cambodians, Vietnamese, Lao tribesmen, Burmese, Thai, and others have been exterminated by the successor thugs to the regimes the U.S. had supported.

But the real cost to the United States of Ellsberg’s theft and NYT’s publication of the Pentagon Papers was the immediate and persistent loss of confidence by other governments that they could ever again depend on the U.S. to maintain the secrecy of their cooperation in areas that could embarrass them. It took several decades — and the retirement of President James Earl Failureface — before we began to find other governments willing to risk covert cooperation with us again. Confidence had to be rebuilt by succeeding American diplomats and intelligence people, in many cases only as a new generation replaced their counterparts in our allies’ agencies and embassies.

Some of this has been confirmed by the unprecedented opening of the archives of the former Soviet Union after it’s relatively peaceful demise. But the LEFT will not acknowledge their own lies. Some because it would devastate them to look in the mirror, but many others because they are still trying to use those same lies to demolish the culture they detest.

7/01/2006 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger Das said...

At some strange level the left believes 9/11 an American act - and I don't necessarily mean they are eager to embrace conspiracy theories. Rather at some strange level the left believes America generated the attack and the attack deservedly double backed upon ourselves. How else to explain the utter absence of condemnation of jihad terror by the left; the left is expert at satire and ridicule of the sacred; when has the left deigned to louse up the jihad murderers with the same passion they reserve for Bush, et al? Good friends of mine believe the left will get it when an American city is taken out; I'm not so sure. With the jihad blade at their throats I can see the left still trying to sympathize their way our of it:
"Hey! I always qualified it with "so-called" war on terror;" I never bought into Bush's so called war on terror!" Much the same as Stalins' victims cried out for one more chat with Koba as they were led out to the yard to get the flat of a shovel in the head. "Koba will clear all this up, he'll understand..."

7/01/2006 12:23:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

To the Left, American society is to blame for the Islamic Terrorists. It's because (we let) people in those societies live in poverty. It's because we support Israel.

Also we are too war like. If we all just would join hands and sing Kum-ba-jah then we would have galactic convergence and eternal peace.

7/01/2006 12:37:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Bobbit - The attacks were, very simply, about democracy. They were an attempt to impose an answer on this question: will democratically elected governments be able to pursue their policies on the basis of the judgment of their institutions or can their leaders be tempted into ransoming their population when the public is hostage to violence? ...

The attacks are more about diminishing infidel power from any source (democratic or not) and reestablishing the natural Islamic order of things, symbolized by a Caliphate ruling over the Ummah. For 1,300 years Islamics had that. Only since 1922 has the Caliphate been absent.

That it is all about democracy , "how they hate us for our freedoms", and helping "rescue" the vast number of "Muslim Freedom-lovers" from the miniscule few who "hijacked the Religion of Peace" is the Sept 12 immediate post-attack thinking by those ignorant of Islam. Those who haven't learned much in nearly 5 years are the Neocons, Bush, those dwindling few that think this can all be won with "exciting new high-tech wonder weapons."
The worst move America made, that Bush made, was failing to articulate a reason for Americans to sacrifice, to join together to do what was needed for a victory.
You can't talk out one side of your mouth and say "our way of life is under tremedous thret" while talking out the other side saying "shop, travel, go about your lives as if nothing endangers you because The Heroes will protect you, and be sure to vote for more tax cuts for the wealthy. No sacrifice needed!!"

A better, more coherent President capable of vision, unifying the American people save the 10% that are rabid ideologues - might. But that is 2 1/2 years away at least.
RWE - As Lee Harris pointed out in "Civilization and its Enemies," Islamic terrorism stems from a fantasy ideology.

No, it stems from a deep-seated religious faith, that they are willing to kill for, to advance it.

Fred - The Left and its fellow travelers are delusional. The Romans learned this the hard way, when bringing Hun and Vandal children of important war lords to Rome, Milan, Ravenna, and Constantinople. They thought the good life would soften their warrior worldview. It didn't.

In war the technologically superior enemy does not always win. The will to achieve victory counts for a lot.

Fred, well said!

A reminder of where this stands financially: America's government has spent over 700 billion in borrowed money on the "War on Terror", even while running down the high-tech modern war fighting AF and Navy components - to fixate on "evildoer-fighting" military spending. Financial damages from the 9/11 attacks and the oil premium associated with terrorist-fear diven wild oil speculation from Tokyo to Tel Aviv is another 2 trillion dollars.

But Arnaud de Borchgrave notes what the disparity in cost has been:

Overlooked (all too much )is the low cost of major al Qaeda and copycat terrorist incidents to date: an estimated $30,000 for the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi; $10,000 for the 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 U.S. sailors and immobilized a $1 billion warship for two years with a repair bill of $250 million; $500,000 for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon; $50,000 for the attacks on commuter trains in Madrid March 11, 2004; and $35,000 for the 2005 attacks on a London bus and subway train.

2,700,000,000,000 vs. a couple million, max. I guess the logic is that we are so hyperpowerful and wealthy that we can borrow money and spend it at over a thousand times the rate of our enemy - until the Iranians and Saudis and other wealthy Arab financiers are bankrupted. Even though American taxpayers foot more for the legal defense and prosecution of an accused Islamoid than the sum of all Al Qaeda attacks have cost..

Oh, guess the Oil Arabs are now rolling in money after Clinton left with oil at 15 dollars a barrel, it's gone up a tad...Forget the bankruptcy angle

The worst part is that this isn't short-term spending. It's budgeted as such, but Bush has increased the size of the Federal Gov't even more than LBJ to hire "Hero-Bureaucrats" who "will keep us all safe".

Bin Laden has said his proudest victory was not 9/11, but "for a few tens of millions to the Holy Mujahadeen, we destroyed the economy and finances of the godless Soviets. We bled them white, then they fell."

If we are in a Long War, we cannot continue spending, as Bush says "Whatever it takes to keep us all safe" while asking no sacrifice. And foisting all the costs on the next generation along with borrowed money to fund tax cuts for the rich.

In an ideological struggle, we are not having success with the classic "conventional military victory" over the Islamoids. Afghanistan is seeing the rise of Islamists, we will have converted Iraq from a secular state to a sectarian one, and Somalia was just lost to Al Qaeda forces.

Anyone still in neocon wargear? On to Syria, on to Iran, onto Somalia, onto Saudia Arabia! Faster, America, faster please!

7/01/2006 01:27:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

The current Spectator is rich in thought about dealing with the Islamic threat to civilization. An article by Gove refers to the "lazy thinking" that has occurred since the London bombing. However, lazy thinking goes back further.

The roots to political correctness are firmly in the US civil rights era of the sixties. They have created a culture of self-guilt, self-righteous and self-loathing in the white liberal intelligentsia. It has blinded them to anything good in western civilization and anything bad anywhere else.

The thinking is best represented by the Hollywood and New York liberals of the sixties inviting radical Black Panthers to posh tosh parties. The Panthers were there to tell the honkies what was wrong with them and the honkies loved it. It became their masochistic fix and they have been on it ever since. The rich white spoiled Patti Hurst became a pioneer and was one of the earliest and eager followers.

Revolution was the new game. The self-hate, led liberal universities to degrade Western Civilization studies and focus on more relevant, "Black Studies”, and any other culture not western. Islam became the vehicle of religious renewal for the radical blacks and the radical blacks were given a free pass by the white elites. These programs were first and foremost about hating whitey and by extension all parts of our culture. It led to frauds like Cornel West being taken seriously by Harvard and Princeton.

Hollywood went onto a frenzy of self-loathing with films from showing the white devil Custer to the white hateful Nurse Cratchet in "The Cuckoo's Nest". This white self-hatred infected every part of the West. It meant that all borders had to come down and it meant the end of chauvinism and was replaced with complete relativism. The eagle became the capon.

It escalated to encompass all aspects of American and Western culture, government, society, immigration, education, and became “political correctness”. It is the most successful and far reaching doctrine of the twentieth century. It exceeded Nazism and Communism in influence and change.


Gove, in his article touches on the results.

The London Bombings: One Year on
A Year of Thinking Lazily

Michael Gove

..."That cleansing process must be accomplished by suicidal violence because, in the words of Islamism’s most influential thinker, Sayyid Qutb, ‘the death of those who are killed for the cause of God gives more impetus to the cause, which continues to thrive on their blood’.

The bloodshed should not stop at Islam’s current borders. Not just because those nations which are un-Islamic constitute Dar-al Harb, the House of War, which constantly threatens the security of the Muslim world. But also because Islamists are driven by a divine mission to ensure the whole earth, in due course, learns to submit to Islamist rule.

But there is still, after the shattering events of 9/11 and 7/7, Madrid and Bali, a widespread reluctance to acknowledge the real scale and nature of the challenge we face.

There is a reason why so many of the influential voices shaping our society’s response to Islamist terror are urging us down the wrong path. There is a culture of relativism, a failure to display moral clarity, a corruption of thought on both Left and Right as well as a strain of Western self-hatred which combine to weaken, compromise and confuse our national response to a direct totalitarian challenge.

Changing our laws, vital as it is, can only be part of our response. We need to rediscover and reproclaim faith in our common values. We need an ideological effort to move away from moral relativism, as well as a commitment to build a truly inclusive model of British citizenship in which divisive separatist identities are challenged, and rejected."...

After 911, we made the mistake of believing that by attacking radical Islam (we did not call it that, because of the peaceful nature of Islam), that we could end the problem. We got it half right. We need to root out the corruption of political correctness. We need to recover our Western Civilization and a little of the chauvinism that goes with it. We will not win the war without winning the politics and culture.

7/01/2006 03:42:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Supreme Hubris:
Constitution, what Constitution?
Presidential Powers what Presidential Powers?

Being a leftist means never having to admit you are all-knowing, and able to make it up as you go, ignoring the lessons and wisdom of history and our great heritage.

THE EDITORS: The Supreme Court’s decision to impose by judicial fiat a treaty that no politically accountable official would dare propose is an abomination. “An Outrage

AN NRO SYMPOSIUM: John Eastman, Julian Ku, and Ed Whelan have issues with the Hamdan ruling. “Five, Wrong” 06/30 5:58 AM

MATTHEW J. FRANCK: How would the Daily Planet report Hamdan? “Too Much Disbelief to Suspend

RICH LOWRY: Justice Stevens surely has many impressive talents, but fighting al Qaeda isn’t one of them. “Judicial Interference

HADLEY ARKES: An unprecedented “rebuke” from unaccountable justices without the competence to draw such conclusions. “Through the Looking Glass

7/01/2006 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Throughout human history all societies have used law as a coercive institution. It is a social compact first commanded from on high and enforced to achieve the demands of the rulers on the ruled. It used threats and violence to achieve submission and social tranquility. Part of this compact was the protection of those that submitted to the authority of the time. They gave up something in exchange for security. In fact, submission was expected and demanded. It was non-negotitable. Dissent was rarely tolerated. Weak rulers and weak societies were swept aside by more ruthless and more dynamic replacements.

The ruled have expectations from our masters. We comply with the law and expect others to as well. We expect our government to provide security and have given up our right to do it individually.

The jihadis have devoted themselves to an ideology and a perspective of determined purity of vision. Their law supercedes all others. Other laws do not impress them. They will not be deterred by any law or any reprisal short of their liquidation. Is it sane to be beholden to governments so entwined in process that they are incapable of responding to the threat from Islam? Do we have to die because of process and the malaise and resignation of those that have lost sight of the natural need and means to win and survive?

7/01/2006 06:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Only 483 Guard Working on Mexican Border
Jun 30 9:35 PM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer


On the deadline to have 2,500 troops along the Mexican border, the National Guard said Friday that only 483 were in position and working with the U.S. Border Patrol as the Bush administration had directed.

But Guard officials said more than 2,000 others were somewhere inside the four southwestern border states, training or helping plan the deployment. He and Bush administration officials argued Friday that the presence of troops in those states spelled success in the first stage of the mission. ..."

Each individual guardsman is there for just two weeks, their "training period".
If more time is spent in planning the deployment, than is spent aiding the Border Patrol, the Program is a failure, out of the gate.

Promise 6,000, deliver 483, then claim the Success of an 8% solution.
Reality is spinning away.

7/01/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Old Dad said...

Nicholas Wade, in "Before the Dawn," makes a compelling case that we are descended from a brutally violent species of primate. All that stands between us and our brutal ancestors are a few thousand years of culture, and, perhaps, some modest evolutionary adaptations. We are, by nature, a vicious lot. The veneer of civiization is thin.

I value our culture, but let's not kid ourselves. We're faced with a vicious enemy who want us dead. They have no scruples. They must be exterminated. We can make a show of civilization if it makes some feel better, but at the end of the day, we must find and kill our enemies. There needn't be any rationalization. The calculus is simple. Kill or be killed.

The fire bombing of Dresden is awful to contemplate, but the Holocaust was far worse. We shouldn't ever underestimate the potential evil of the hairless ape, including the one in the mirror.

7/01/2006 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Drudge has this tid bit, for all of those that thought the White House was upset at the NYTimes, the reality is quite different.

White House Rolls Out Red Carpet for NYT

by Robert B. Bluey — 06-30-2006 @ 03:22 PM

On the guest list at last night's White House dinner honoring Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi were journalists from two newspapers that only one week ago ignored the Bush Administration's pleas not to expose the existence of the secret bank surveillance program tracking terrorists.

Journalists at the New York Times and Los Angeles Times were on the official guest list for the party. According to the list, printed in today's Washington Post, the White House invited David Sanger, the New York Times' White House correspondent, and Doyle McManus, the Washington bureau chief at the Los Angeles Times. Each brought his wife to the dinner. ..."

So irritated is the White House that it wined and dined the NYTimes's representitive.

That sent a message, at least to me.

7/01/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...

"The jihadis have devoted themselves to an ideology and a perspective of determined purity of vision. Their law supercedes all others. Other laws do not impress them. They will not be deterred by any law or any reprisal short of their liquidation. Is it sane to be beholden to governments so entwined in process that they are incapable of responding to the threat from Islam? Do we have to die because of process and the malaise and resignation of those that have lost sight of the natural need and means to win and survive?" 2164th

Very eloquently stated. Do we have to die because we insist on being "morally superior" by standards that are suicidal AT CERTAIN TIMES. These are not normal times and extraordinary threats call for us to step outside of our feckless rectitude.

7/01/2006 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... I was designated the Iraqi army liaison officer, an assignment I took seriously. From the outset of the war, both President Bush and my superior officers had emphasized that training the Iraqi army was key to our mission’s success.

But the longer I spent, the more I came to realize that this was not only a lie but an impossible strategy for achieving victory.

Army doctrine and training have not accounted for a unit in combat having both to fight an insurgency and train indigenous peoples to assist in the fight. I started out as a one-man operation that grew into a cell of 60 people who rotated in for a week to a couple of months at a time. That infusion of manpower would seem to bolster the notion that Iraqi training was a priority. In reality, our leadership sent soldiers with suicidal tendencies, weight problems, and disillusionment. In a year’s time, we received only one visit from the battalion commander, only one visit from our battalion’s operations officer, and only one visit from the battalion executive officer.

This isolation set us up for failure with the Iraqis. Meetings with the Iraqi colonel in our partner Iraqi army battalion were conducted by a master sergeant and me, and almost always a problem arose in these meetings beyond our authority to control. When asked to meet with our Iraqi army colonel, our battalion commander refused. ..."

This by an US Army Officer.
He's been there, done that.

There is more.

It is written by Joe W. Guthrie was published in The American Conservative, that non campassionate rag.

7/01/2006 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Old dad--Hopefully we turn out to be seen as closer to the bonobo than the chimpanzee.

7/01/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Old Dad said...

Nicholas Wade, in "Before the Dawn," makes a compelling case that we are descended from a brutally violent species of primate. All that stands between us and our brutal ancestors are a few thousand years of culture, and, perhaps, some modest evolutionary adaptations. We are, by nature, a vicious lot. The veneer of civiization is thin.
and if you eliminate all your enemies or position yourself to be at peace with the world -- then you become your own worst enemy.

Jeremiah 17:9
KJV: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

There's some good calvinism buried here. we may be on the way to getting a grip on some internal balancing occuring in the US political system as calvinism is at the core of US political thinking.

7/01/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Old Dad said...


I just consulted my Magic Eightball, and the signs are not good.

7/01/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Old Dad said...


Interesting point.

Unfortunately, the Islamists are not Calvinists. I'm afraid that the terrible swift sword is our best option. We'll have to assuage our consciences later.

7/01/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"So irritated is the White House that it wined and dined the NYTimes's representitive.

That sent a message, at least to me. 7:13 AM
The Times had a charming video of "W" and Koizumi at Graceland:
...For all of about 12 hours.

Gone, zero, zip, nada, although archives have DOZENS of old videos of Curious George being humiliated in this way or that.

"W": Wuss in a Ten Gallon Hat.
...and I told my wife that was going to be the real problem on the morning of 9-11.
Funny what we plebes know.

7/01/2006 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

A reminder:
Rudy was ANGRY.
W was whatever W is.

7/01/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"These folks gone and..."
...or some such.

7/01/2006 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Only 483 Guard Working on Mexican Border

White House spokesman Blain Rethmeier says however:

"Progress to date is real and the Guard's efforts are making a positive difference in this national effort."

As evidence, he said the early arrival of troops had allowed the Border Patrol to send 125 agents "back to the front lines," and helped the Border Patrol catch nearly 200 illegal immigrants, seize 123 pounds of marijuana, 18 pounds of cocaine and seven vehicles.
Tell us were overblown, Tony.
Do it again!

7/01/2006 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The "National Effort" so far,
5 years out,
is 125 border agents back at work.

7/01/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... Al-Zarqawi's death has not brought a halt to the attacks. At least 631 Iraqi civilians and security forces were killed between June 8 and June 30, according to Associated Press figures. ..."

According to Securitypage, almost 1,000 Insurgents were rolled up in that same time frame, following the capture of mini Z's computer and his timely demise.

So it's still in a tit for tat trade stage

To bad reality keeps sticking it's nose in the tent.

The USMC Captain in Ramadi, the Camp Taji story, Mr Guthrie's tale from Mosul, Ltc Kurilla's story, as told by Mr Yon, from Mosul all tell the same tale.

As oppossed to the story from Tal Afar. Success in Tal Afar is not replicated, excuses abound, like annal cavities.

Take heart, it's all the Press's fault.

7/01/2006 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Well wouldn't you know it, fellow taxpayers, we are going to have to pony $48 million to pay for the power station in Gaza that the Israelis blew up the other day. Insured through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a federally funded insurer. War damage and terrorism included in the policy. Let's hope the Shuttle gets up ok later today. Need good news where we can get it.

7/01/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Interesting note, Bob Al H.,

especially when I consider the insurance that I used to have for my tiny little business... There was ALWAYS a set of exclusions of coverage for acts of war, riot, and God.

I suppose *I* have to be a murdering beheader of bound captives screaming "Allahu Aqbar!" before I can qualify for insurance that pays even if my property is blown up by someone pissed off at me for the above act.

What an insane world!

What do we have to do to make our own culture value its own interest, instead of paying tribute to the pirates?

Send in the Marines?

Don't do that, unless you take the fewkin' handcuffs off'em.

7/01/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Maybe the way to apply a tourniquet to the hemorrhage is to bring a class-action suit against Overseas Private Investment Corporation, to enjoin them from making a payment to restore any property destroyed as a direct result of retaliation for WAR CRIMES such as those kidnappings so proudly acknowledged by the perverts serving as the Paleo-stinian government.

7/01/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Since OPIC is a government entity, it would be safe to assume that the power station was owned by a US based company.

From the OPIC website:

he Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining federal agency that sells investment services to small, medium and large American businesses expanding into approximately 150 developing nations and emerging markets around the world. Charging user-fees for its services, OPIC operates at no net cost to the American taxpayer. OPIC’s political risk insurance, project finance and investment funds fill a commercial void, create a level playing field for U.S. businesses and support development in emerging economies. Since 1971, OPIC has supported over $164 billion worth of investments that have generated more than $69 billion in U.S. exports and supported over 264,000 American jobs.

This does not sound as nefarious as Bob's original post makes it seem.

7/01/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

How many times have you heard a Liberal parrot the absurd phrase, “Spanking children doesn’t teach them anything except the lesson that you can get away with hitting someone if you’re bigger than they are!” The most depraved and destructive people I’ve ever known have been raised by well-meaning parents who refused to impose any discipline. Judgmental me...

The West for several generations has collectively been behaving like so many of the worst examples of LIBERAL parents — tolerating unacceptable behavior in their children because they have a doctrinaire opposition to imposing discipline on ‘em.

In the last few decades, scientists studying critter behavior in African wildlife areas have described a development that has sobering implications. In areas where all the mature male “bulls” have been culled (either intentionally or by poachers) leaving only females and calves, the young males on emerging from puberty became bullies and tyrants. They showed exaggerated aggressiveness, intolerance, impatience, and destructiveness not seen among young males raised among elephant groups which included mature bulls.

In Germany following the bloodletting of the Great War, millions of young mothers were raising their families as widows. That was true also of Britain and France, but Germany had the added burden of the punitive war reparations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. John Toland in his biography of Hitler includes a translation of a letter from a teenaged Nazi party member to his family, written during the chaos of the 1920’s when various factions struggled amid the rubble of Berlin to impose some sort of order on the chaos. The Nazi Party had issued a proclamation that they would shoot anyone they found carrying a firearm. The boy wrote in his letter that on patrol one night he and his fellows had found two young Red Cross nurses. The nurses were found to be carrying a pistol for their own protection. “They cried and they cried,” the boy wrote, “but we shot them.”

That passage has stuck with me, because it shows more clearly than anything else I’ve ever found, how the chaos of post-war Germany could have ended up producing the Third Reich and World War II. People today find the musical “Cabaret” charming and silly. I think of Berlin in the 1920’s and think of the desperation that produced mother-daughter teams of prostitutes, drugs and live sex shows in bistros that attracted clients from all over the world to a city where almost any pleasure or perversion could be purchased.

Wretchard made a reference to Auden’s poem “September 1, 1939” that echoes the sense that many of us have that we are at a similar moment now, poised in a crystalline moment before a vast spasm of bloodletting. September 11th, 2001 will seem a pin prick. The stupid blind obstinate refusal of so many liberals and leftists to acknowledge the monster charging up the path makes some of us despair; others it helps steel their resolve.

I have a growing fatalistic sense that most people have made their choices already, and are determined to stick with that choice no matter what. If Manhattan or D.C. or Boston Harbor or Oceana Master Jet Base or Oakland or Moss Landing or Monterey or Mobile or Wilmington flashes to a sea of green glass, I think many people have already decided how they will react. Pray that I’m wrong, and that dreamers can be awakened from their slumber.

- - - - - - - -- -- - - - - - - -
(If you want to know a little more about John Toland, try this link:

7/01/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Voltimand said...

Having spent nearly a half-century in academe before retiring, I will have to say that nothing surprises me less than the persistence of old-fashioned marxoid explanations for contemporareous jihadi ambitions.

(1) Academics play their own little power game, and teaching students has little to do with it except when that game starts being played out in the classroom and students become those being manipulated.

The game is, in little, "my pet narrative template is better than your pet narrative template." A "narrative template" consists of a more-or-less theoretically justified sequence of "events," whether in normal verbal narratives--found mainly in the humanities and social sciences--or in sequences of phenomena as predicted and counterpredicted in the hard sciences.

The academic whose narratives are most widely accepted "win." Those whose don't, lose. In the humanities winning lies in the incidence of favorable reviews of one's published work, and equally important in footnote citation. This, again, applies mainly to all fields except the hard sciences. In the hard sciences your narrative wins when it becomes apparent that no one can continue to work in your special field without taking your own template into account, which is in effect another version of the "must-cite" phenomenon.

(2) People who have not lived in academe have trouble recognizing how enormously seductive the marxist and marxoid narrative template is for academics.

Consider: the marxist template is really a recrudescence of the old-fashioned manichean template, one that divides the world into the wholly good and the wholly evil--not at all unlike that which the jihadis feature in their propaganda. The nice thing about this template is that it allows you uniformly and absolutely damn those you hate (oh, yes, academia is a version of Sartre's "hell" in his play "No Exit": the existence of other people is what constitutes hell, and everyone hates and fear everyone else), and correspondingly it allows you to laud as uniformly and absolutely "good" those you approve of.

How do you tell the difference? By reason of who does and who does not accept your pet "narrative template" (see above).

(3) Unfortunately for western academics, the "evil" category includes western academics themselves. Why? Because the marxoid narrative defines the "evil" as those who live in democracies characterized by wealth, privilege, all those whom someone else envies and therefore jusifiably hates, in short. The "good" in this zero-sum narrative are the shadow versions of the "evil": whatever the latter possesses that the former does not (wealth, privilege, etc.) are ipso factor "evil." In brief, the western academic template gives one an instant access to where to "place" anyone living on this planet.

The result is the guilt and self-flagellation of the western liberal academic as detailed long ago in Raymond Aron's classic "The Opium of the Intellectuals."

(4) Enter Bobbit's own analysis, which consists of jihadis who, like good academics themselves, have adapted the academic kind of narrative template. It may be that it is impossible to pry academics loose from this form of blindness, which means that only death is the cure.

But if so, academics will have achieved a kind of justification: if they are killed by reason of their being right in their application of their pet marxoid narrative to contemporary jihadi terrorism, they will have died knowing that their "narrative template" was the correct one.

7/01/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

One day, perhaps soon, someone will make a movie about all of this denial and willingness to capitulate. I have an idea about which Holloywood actress could have a lead role and what the title of the movie could be. Interestingly they are homonyms... lead actress would be Demi Moore, an outspoken critic of Pres Bush and the GWOT; the title could be Dhimmi More.

7/01/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/01/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

For antone interested in the Mohammedan Strategy for the Mohammedan Wars read this 25 page PDF from
"the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point"
607 Cullum Road
United States Military Academy
West Point, NY 10996

though the "views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the position of the U.S. Military Academy, the
Department of the Army, or any other agency of the U.S.

"... The jihadi
movement had been unsuccessful in the past because the superpowers
propped up these proxy governments and convinced the masses through
the media that they were invincible.11 The solution, Naji says, is to provoke a superpower into invading the Middle East directly. This will result in a great propaganda victory for the jihadis because the people will 1) be impressed that the jihadis are directly fighting a superpower, 2) be outraged over the invasion of a foreign power, 3) be disabused of the notion that the superpower is invincible the longer the war goes on, and, 4) be angry at the proxy governments allied with the invading superpower.12 Moreover, he argues, it will bleed the superpower’s economy and military.13 This will lead to social unrest at home and the ultimate defeat of the superpower.14 ..."

The Military, "streeeched" to the breaking point. The US $700 Billion USD in further debt, the social unrest evident in France & England, if not the US. & Ultimate defeat not yet visible on the horizon.

"... Naji does not suffer under the illusion that the jihadis can defeat the United States in a direct military confrontation; rather, the clash with the United
States is more important for propaganda victories in the short term, and the political defeat of the United States in the long‐term, as its society fractures
and its economy is further strained. Naji observes that this strategy was used with great effect against the Soviet Union and that it will work against United States.15 Indeed, it may work better against the United States because it does not have the ruthlessness or resolve of the Soviet Union. ..."

Perceptions based on observations that are based upon perceptions.

Which side suffers from the affliction more?

Leftists united at West Point?

7/01/2006 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

Interestingly, Naji does not explicitly say that the U.S. invasion of Iraq has
played into this strategy, but he does counsel his jihadi brothers in Iraq to
be patient, telling them that victory can come at any time.17 Once the U.S.
withdraws from Iraq, he forecasts, its media halo will dissipate and the
regimes that supported it will be vulnerable.

7/01/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

das asked when will the lefties get it.It reminds me of a story of a little country church.One Halloween,a man in Satan suit had car trouble and went in the church to seek help.The frightened parishoneers ran out screaming but one fat lady got stuck in a pew.As the man approached to help her,she stammered"I've been in this church for 25 years,but I've always really been on your side.The liberal bilge will grovel in delusion to the moment the scimitar slashes their trachea.

7/01/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Speaking about being out in the dark, has GWB called Justice to investigate intelligence leaks on top secret programs? Anyone see any black vans outside NYT?

7/01/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Maybe Pollard should be given work release to NYT.

7/01/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

...of great concern for Naji—if the movement loses the support of the masses, its pool of recruits will dry up and operations will be harder to undertake. The Muslim public is particularly troubled, he observes, by the jihadis’ excessive use of violence, particularly against other Muslims. They are also concerned that the jihadis do more harm than good, creating public
disorder (traditional Islam values social stability over all else) and
provoking government crackdowns on innocents

7/01/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

DR 2:43 PM,

Thanks for that link. It is an astonishing document. It has been argued for sometime on this forum that the overt force used in Iraq was the wrong strategy. There clearly is no other smart way to fight and defeat the jihadis than the covert use of force and alliances of convenience. The enemy must be more broadly defined and identified and ancillary players targeted. How do we do this with the suicide pact recommended by those obsessed with legal procedures? The jihadis will clearly take any legal restraint into their recombinant DNA and further mutate to a higher level of lethality.

7/01/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Iranian threat is both religious and murderous.

Yes, they want to spread their doctrine, they do indeed want to create (Qom-version) Islamic republics all over the world, but that can come later. The main mission is to drive us out of the Middle East, above all from their eastern (Afghanistan) and western (Iraq) borders.
The prime instrument for this mission is terrorism, and they do not care at all about the ethos of the terrorists. Indeed, as I reported some months back, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei told his closest advisers late last year that Iran now controlled all the major terror groups, religious or Marxist, Sunni or Shiite.

We are wrongly focused on the Iranian nuclear threat, which is obviously worth worrying about, but this excessively narrow focus has distracted us from the main threat, which is terrorism. The mullahs are not going to nuke our fighters in Iraq; they are going to kill as many as they can on the ground with IEDs, suicide terrorists, and assassins.
And we have given them a free hand in this murderous campaign instead of unleashing political war against them in their own country.
We hear lots of talk from the president and the secretary of state, but there is no sign of the sort of aggressive support we should be giving to the forces of freedom inside Iran

7/01/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

More of the Shell Game:
Watch W and Condi dither about Nukes and how nice we should be to the Mullahs depending on what new promises they come up with, while we do next to nothing about the clear and present danger extant daily:
Just like the home front.
W's Cheeks have been turned so many times, all that remain are 4 giant blisters.
Count em: FOUR.

7/01/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Borders, it's all about borders, but to a
True Believing Globalist,
The Goal is A World Without Borders.
Go Figure.
Don't forget Mr Paulsen:
Wouldn't want to slight the Chicoms.

7/01/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"A World Without Borders tm"
Pray for Whirled Peas.
W does.

7/01/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Smacko said...

From Dougs Leedon link:

Obsessed by this great distortion, our analysts have lost sight of the profound internal war under way within Shiite Islam, the two contending forces being the Najaf (Iraqi, traditional) and the Qom (Iranian, heretical, theocratic) versions. Tehran fears ideological enemies inspired either by democracy or by Ayatollah Sistani’s (Najaf) view of the world, which is that civil society should be governed by politicians, not mullahs.

Thus it is a mistake to assume–as it is so often—that Shiites in Iraq are automatically pro-Iranian.

I have read that 10,000 pilgrims a month are coming to Najaf from Iran.

And interesting enough, the articles that speak about capturing the Iranian fighters also include that this particular fight was against one of the Shite militias.

Wish we had more info on exactly what and who.

7/01/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Doug, 3:49

Re: The axis of terror.

North Korea spreads the technology.
Iran spreads the terror.

Iran wants the nuclear umbrella so that it will be free to continue its mission.

Imagine the mullahs singing, "You can't touch this."

7/01/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Whit 5:08 PM,

"The Sky is Warming!
The Sky is Warming!
Everybody to get from Cars!

"You Ain't Seen Nothin Yet!"

7/01/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger the patriarch said...

I know there are veterans who comment regularly here, so this is not directed at them. To the non-veterans of eligible age who are gung-ho about this: enlist. If you feel the fight is this urgent, join up. I just attended a going away party for a high school friend who is being shipped to Fallujah. He is 39, been in the Marines almost 20 years, and is the Assistant Director of the Marine Band. They're digging deep.

7/03/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

A slight modification:

"It is precisely because the Madrid attacks reversed an election that tyranny {terrorism} succeeded. Tyranny {Terrorism} is the extension of al-Qa’eda’s diplomacy. ..."

I've long felt that Robert McNamara's particular evil, and major contribution to the failure in Viet Nam and succeeding slaughter of millions, was what I call "cost analysis warfare". War is not about cost. It is about will. Seems to me that if you start analyzing cost, you've already lost the will. The Spanish have little will as do most of the Euros and a large part of the American "elite".

7/03/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

The Patriarch said: "He is 39, been in the Marines almost 20 years, and is the Assistant Director of the Marine Band. They're digging deep."

You have presented a distortion there. I am a Marine. One of my best friends from my AcDu days was/is a band officer. Beginning in the mid-80's career paths for non-line/staff officers and senior enlisted came to require time in line billets in order to make a Marine's record book suitable for advancement/retention. Prior to that time, it was possible to just be a band officer or senior NCO, but it was known that real advancement needed tours outside of the band MOS.

The Marine Corps is a small place and gets smaller as your rank increases. As a Marine, whatever his MOS, not to go to Iraq is to hamper his career.

7/03/2006 07:23:00 PM  

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