Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Horror

The Marine Corps News has just released a story which resolved itself four days ago about a thwarted attempt to blow up a girl's school in Anbar province.

KARABILAH, Iraq (July 7, 2006) -- Thanks to the work of Marines and Iraqi Security Forces, 800 elementary-aged girls will now have a school to attend this fall. ... “The bomb had the potential of taking down both wings of the building and the school would have been unable to open by September,” said Capt. Rick Bernier, commanding officer of Company C – the Marines responsible for providing security alongside Iraqis in this city. The Marines discovered the bomb and immediately secured the building leaving Iraqi Security Forces to provide 24-hour security to prevent further attacks.

Had the attack not been discovered, it would have been held up as another failure of the Coalition to protect civilians from the "chaos" unleashed by the failed Bush administration. But the reality is that it is extremely hard to protect all civilian targets. A coordinated attack which ripped through 8 commuter trains in Mumbai, all on the same line, and killed close to 150 people at last count is an example of how hard it is to secure society against the terrorism.

Eight bombs tore through packed commuter trains in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) today, killing at least 147 and wounding hundreds more in what authorities called a co-ordinated terrorist strike at the heart of a city embodying India’s global ambitions. The country’s major cities were put on high alert after the blasts, which appeared timed to cause maximum carnage in the bustling financial centre of 16 million. Mumbai’s crowded rail network – which carries more than six million people a day – was thrown into chaos and authorities struggled to gauge the impact.

One of the interesting things about the Jihad's targeting strategy is it recalls the early debate over the use of airpower at the start of the 20th century. Theorists were then debating whether the "unstoppable bomber" should target the enemy's strength (precision bombing) or the the enemy's morale (area bombing). The US has invested vast amounts of money in developing munitions which can literally fly through a window; in concrete-filled bombs which use kinetic energy only to hit their targets. Terrorists also have the equivalent of the precision guided weapon in the shape of the suicide bomber. But attacks on schools or railway lines are a conscious decision to hit a mass target, to play Curtis LeMay to our Haywood Hansell.

Ironically, the decision to strike women and children is admired by some as a source of "moral strength"; proof of the committment and hence the righteousness of our enemy. Nowhere was this more eloquently expressed than Francis Coppola's Apolcalypse Now, when the fictional Colonel Kurtz described what he admired most about the Viet Cong.

I remember when I was with Special Forces--it seems a thousand centuries ago--we went into a camp to inoculate it. The children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us, and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile--a pile of little arms. And I remember...I...I...I cried, I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out, I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it, I never want to forget. And then I realized--like I was shot...like I was shot with a diamond...a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, "My God, the genius of that, the genius, the will to do that." Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they could stand that--these were not monsters, these were men, trained cadres, these men who fought with their hearts, who have families, who have children, who are filled wi th love--that they had this strength, the strength to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, then our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral and at the same time were able to utilize their primordial i nstincts to kill without feeling, without passion, without judgment--without judgment. Because it's judgment that defeats us.

What kind of people would blow up a little girl's school or attack a train full of working Indians? And what kind of people would admire them?


Blogger desert rat said...

Time has a background piece on the suspected Mohammedan group, not aQ, but a local Mohammedan faction.

In 2003, just before twin bomb blasts in August that killed more than 50, TIME spoke to "Umar," a SIMI operative, or Ansar ("guide"), who said his men were carrying out the attacks. The 44-year-old said: "This country doesn't work for Muslims any more. You can't get a proper education, you can't get a job. You're not even safe." He said he and his men had no intention of ever ending their murderous campaign. "We will continue," he told TIME. "There is no limits on our actions... Even to kill children is good — you stop the generation there, at the beginning." ..."

7/11/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Even more importantly what kind of people would think that such horrific acts would bring them peace and power?

In Alfred Coppel's "The Burning Mountain" the novel of the U.S. invasion of Japan that never occurred, a Japanese pilot flys out to scout the U.S. invasion force and on the way back regards the Japanese grand plan to show the Americans a bloodbath, and thinks "They fill the seas with ships and the skies with aircraft. Will such people be sickened by such a strategy or angered beyond words by it?"

7/11/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Starling David Hunter said...

Wretchard asked: "What kind of people would blow up a little girl's school or attack a train full of working Indians? And what kind of people would admire them?"

I wonder about this myself. Assuming yours was not a rhetorical question, I decided to take a try at an answer.

In the first case, I think there are two basic groups: (1) fanatics or true-blue believers, i.e. people who are convinced beyond all doubt that the ends justify any means used to get there and (2) sociopaths and psychopaths, or whatever name you give to people saturated with hatred and/or blinded by the lust for power. Whatever the name, such people are always on the look out for a strong leader and/or ideology, for someone or something to provide them some justification or cover, some banner under which they act upon their violent impulses.

As for the second question (who admires them) my guess is that these are people who have the same passions and impulses as those above, but have them a little better under control.

Whether that control is the result of having a conscience or is achieved through strong(er) social conditioning (they've been told and largely believe that acting on those impulses is wrong), I don't know.

The admirers secretly and sometimes openly admire those who will act on the impulses in a way that the admirers only dream about.

The admirers harbor fantasies about being to act this way and sense something grand, even spritual, in the unchecked and unbridled use of power.

These are people still very likely to confuse heat with light.

7/11/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

What kind of people bomb a girls' school or a train car?

Psychopaths; brainwashed, intolerant, rabid.

The question for our generation is how do we find and preempt the brainwashers, the purveyors of death. How do we stop them?

Unfortunately, it appears the cancer has metastasised throughout the Muslim belt and into the West. Even 1% of one billion adherents is enough sickness to kill many people.

It's time to excise some tumors starting with the Salafists and the Wahhabis.

Oh, I forgot. That might require a war and oil shortages could result. Best to wait. Maybe give the green technologies a chance to catch up.

In the meantime, the price of petrol is through the roof, Italy won the world cup and did you hear? There was another horrible bombing in...

7/12/2006 01:57:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

On the other side of admiration for such actions there is, of course, revulsion. "The horror" decent people feel when confronted with what they see as pure evil spurs them to action. And so they Remember Pearl Harbor, as it were... or the the six million Jews, or the school children of Beslan, or adults jumping from burning skyscrapers... and resolve to fight on.

We do this because we instinctively know there is no reasoning with, no accommodating, those who revel in such things.

And that too is a kind of judgment, but one that spurs us to victory no matter what it might take.

7/12/2006 02:00:00 AM  
Blogger BlackOps said...

Sometimes you have a way of bringing to light some of the most obvious things. Your eloquence precedes you.

7/12/2006 04:11:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

A recent article on the rebuilding of Fallujah said that terrorists still destroy any electrical plant, water tower, etc. paid for by the US, but generally leave those sponsored by the Iraqi government intact. So they prevent citizens from having electricity and clean water just because of hatred of the US.

In Iraq I think a big part of it is that the Sunnis were in control and the US took that away, so they see red everytime they hear about the US.

The untold story is that the population at large knows who these people are, and tolerates them. For example in the Fallujah story the Iraqi who was interviewed says that he has a good relationship with the insurgents, which is the reason that the Iraqi sponsored public works don't get torn down -- he talks the insurgents out of doing it. Those citizens if they chose, could turn the insurgents in, or lynch them. Instead they are part of the problem.

7/12/2006 05:08:00 AM  
Blogger dueler88 said...

It should go without saying here at belmont that Muslim Extremists are the kind of people who would blow up a little girl's school, and that too many rank-and-file Muslims admire them.

We instinctively knew that, as soon as we saw that plane hit the south tower at the WTC, the fight we suddenly found ourselves engaged in could not be won without the help of average muslims. The fight could not be won without average muslims ACTIVELY preventing the extremists in their faith from acts of murder, mass or otherwise.

By the time the average Germans figured out that the Nazi party really meant what they'd been saying, it was too late to stop them. The citizens of Imperial Japan by-and-large didn't fly a kamikaze, but they revered such noble and selfish acts of bushido.

It took the TOTAL destruction of the Nazi war machine and two medium-sized Japanese cities, and thus the morale of the Nazis and Japanese, to get the fighting to stop.

What will it take for the Muslim community to help us avoid the catastrophe of necessity that is careening toward all of us?

7/12/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger mts said...

Marines save a school, and I have visit a blog to know this. Army soldiers embarass detainees at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, and I can't get away from the media bombardment on the issue, even if I moved to a Greek Island Monastery.

What must one do to get either an American-leaning, or at least a truly unbiased, editor on one of our country's major news outlets? Not buying newspapers anymore doesn't seem to do the trick, since people are already doing that in droves.

7/12/2006 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"What kind of people would blow up a little girl's school or attack a train full of working Indians? And what kind of people would admire them?"

The people who must hide...hide for the same reason they strike the women, children, old and weak. They cannot come out in the open, into the light, face their betters. They must hide or face their quick and, they know, righteous slaughter for their wickedness, which they also know.

7/12/2006 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger George M Weinert V said...

This is how MUSLIMS regard Education - In the spring of 1993, Abu Zaid was just shy or 50 and living with his wife, Ebtehal Younes in a planned middle class community in Cairo. He taught Arabic at Cairo University and she lectured on French civilization and Spanish Art History. It was Younes who was quite startled to discover that she was about to be forced to divorce her husband.
Sitting in a Cairo coffee shop one afternoon, she opened a magazine article and was stunned to find that a group of local Islamists had asked an Egyptian court to require that Abu divorce his wife. Their reason was that his scholarly writings denied the Divine origins of the Qur'an. According to this suit, the Islamists claimed that Abu could not remain married to a Muslim woman since his writings made him an apostate and Shari'a prohibits such unions.
Abu the accused "apostate" had a long and difficult time in reaching his current position. He worked as a wireless technician by night and hit the books by day and in 1972 He went into Teaching Arabic at his old Alma Mater, Cairo University. In the late 1970's he spent two years on a fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and got his doctorate in 1981, becoming an associate professor or Arabic.
Abu had argued in his writings that one must approach the Qur'an like a detective, looking within it's text for signs of linguistic, cultural, social and political realities of the time and armed with this knowledge one can understand the true meaning of this Holy Muslim Text.

Shortly after this article first appeared an Egyptian Newspaper, "The Islamic Banner" urged that the "Heretic" be fired from his Teaching job and that "Execution" would indeed be a fitting punishment.
After a protracted legal battle, on June 14, 1995 an Egyptian Court of Appeals found Zaid guilty of "apostacy" and ordered him to divorce his wife. The Panel was headed by Judge Farouk Abdel Alim, a graduate of Al Azhar who had also worked for several years in Saudi Arabia and inherited the medieval tenets of Wahhabi Islam.
Zaid used his book as the basis for his application for a full professorship; it was denied and he was fired shortly thereafter from his teaching position.
Finally, Islamic Jihad (who you may be familiar with from their many joyous parties in Israel) weighed in. "Based on our faith, we affirm this man an apostate and based on this, it is therefore legitimate to shed Nasr Aby Zaid's blood, whether anyone likes it or not,"
Not surprisingly Zaid and his wife fled Egypt for an extended sabbatical in the Netherlands, where he now teachers Islamic studies at Leiden University.


Passion for Islam
Carlyle Murphy
Simon & Schuster, 2002
Chapter 11

For this complete story.

Well, I guess this is 'politicizing' education but this must be said.
* Perhaps there are teachers here that REALLY DO NOT CARE right?
* Perhaps Freedom of Intellectual Thought and Writing don't matter right?
* Perhaps you would be happier not knowing about this correct?
* Perhaps you feel this was the just thing for Cairo University to do eh?

Let remember - As John Paul Jones said:

* They kill the school kids in Israel because they go to school and learn to read, write and go onto the university (and also because they believe they are simply dogs and pigs) while the children of Palestine wind up illiterate, ignorant and unemployable
* They burn the schools in Afghanistan because they are INCENSED that little girls can go to school for the first time in their life and WOMEN may learn to read in that country
* Mohammed shot that student to instill TERROR into school children and TEACHERS
* Al-Qaeda wants to KILL ALL TEACHERS and our students as well

Mr. Zaid's story is hardly unique and I invite you to look for more and EMAIL Teachers in these countries about EDUCATION and SCHOOLS and learn the truth.

And the LIBS in The USA have learned from the Arabs their lessons about CENSORSHIP and DENIAL OR BASIC RIGHTS QUITE WELL:

Praise the Lord and God Bless America, Professor George
"Righteousness exalteth a nation, but Sin is a reproach to any People" (Proverbs 16:34)

7/14/2006 11:35:00 AM  

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