Friday, September 22, 2006

Prince Prospero's Castle

The recent riots by Christian Indonesians creates an interesting contrast to the usual headline. In a reversal of roles, Christians are rioting to protest the execution of militiamen who performed criminal acts and murdered innocent people. In my view it is just as wrong as if it were the other way around . Therefore it should be condemned.


PALU, Indonesia — Christian mobs torched cars, looted Muslim-owned shops and burned a prison, freeing hundreds of inmates, in violence touched off by Friday's executions of three Roman Catholics convicted of instigating attacks on Muslims. On the island of Flores, the executed men's birthplace, machete-wielding mobs ran through the streets Friday, sending women and children running in panic, police and witnesses said. ...

Fabianus Tibo, 60, Marinus Riwu, 48, and Dominggus da Silva, 42, were found guilty of leading a Christian militia that launched a series of attacks on Muslims in May 2000 that left at least 70 people dead. Human rights workers say the men's 2001 trial was a sham, and that while it was possible the men took part in some of the violence, they almost certainly were not the leaders. ...

Palu, where the executions took place, was largely calm, with thousands of police standing on street corners and guarding markets and churches. But violence flared in the Sulawesi villages of Tentena and Lage, where hundreds of Christians rampaged after learning of the deaths. Thousands also rallied in the eastern province of East Nusatenggara, home to many Roman Catholics, blockading roads and setting fire to government buildings, including a courthouse and a prosecutor's office.

This kind of phenomenon was not unknown on the island of Mindanao, where Christian militias arose in opposition to marauding bands of Muslim "rebels" -- really glorified outlaws -- and these militias committed atrocities themselves. I remember how in one village the elders recounted how they had been repeatedly raided by these Muslim gangs, who slit open the bellies of pregnant women, along with the usual acts of murder and pillage. Then one day a busload of Muslims accidentally stopped in this godforsaken town. Not the guilty parties but just ordinary Muslims who were on their way someplace on some lawful occasion. And they were killed to a man and buried in a mass grave. The villagers' goal was not justice; just simple revenge. And the same tableaux was enacted on the wider canvas. As a Libyan-supported gang called the MNLF ran rampage across southern Mindanao it was met in many localities by a paramilitary "Christian" gang called the Ilaga, which is dialect for Rat, led by a bizarre character called Toothpick, of whom I have written about before. Toothpick himself could be described, not to put too fine a point on it, as criminally insane, and his men were no better. Together, these two groups waltzed each other across the length and breadth of the Zamboanga Peninsula -- the Rats versus the Jihadis -- and it would be a bold man who could pick the better of the two. That would be like finding a cool spot in hell. I'll bet dollars to donuts that such pickup militias are to be found everywhere along the bloody borders of ethnic conflict, from Chechnya to Kosovo and probably in Palu, Indonesia as well.

Civilization was invented so that ordinary folks could leave the tasks of vengeance and justice to a state who would presumably dispense it impartially according to laws enacted by common consent. But as states fail to do their job, and as the "International Community" gets reduced to impotence and symbolic acts by the dead weight of political correctness, a growing number of people are finding themselves living in a world of increasing anarchy. Paradoxically, the amount of real civilization in the world -- as represented by actual security and effective governance -- is declining in direct proportion to the increase in the number of filigrees and curlicues in the treaties, declarations, understandings and covenants that the "International Community" has barricaded itself with. Two parallel universes begin to coexist. An imaginary universe obsessed with Global Warming, multiculturalism, world governance and image inhabited by bureaucrats and intellectuals, and a real universe shot with poverty, rife with ethnic hatreds, chaos and inhabited by militias; with the imaginary universe pretending it is in control of the real universe.

I don't want to make too much of a single example, but I think it is reasonable to say that the international system is starved for effective action. The incessant back and forth between the United Nations and Iran over the issue of its uranium enrichment program is classic example of Zeno's paradox as applied to international affairs. Every diplomatic moment halves the distance between warning and activity but the distance, though ever decreasing, never quite crosses the line between thought and deed. We will always almost, but never quite, come to the rescue of Darfur; just as we are condemned to be forever on the verge of stopping Iran's nuclear program. The moment of action never comes; and the process of warning never ends. Kofi Annan denied having advised Iran's Ahmadinejad that he could safely ignore the Security Council's demands to stop the uranium enrichment program. In this case Annan was on the side of right, or at least of fact. He should have admitted the accusation and defended himself by claiming he was only telling the truth.

Returning to the subect of Palu we can say that no it is not appropriate for Christians to riot; nor is it correct for Papal remarks to give rise to international tensions. But the reason this has happened is because the temporal authorities -- and our esteemed opinion leaders -- have taken a long vacation from history and left the rest of us to make it up as we go along. It is not known when they will return. And when they do, perhaps history itself will have moved on.

61 Comments:

Blogger Rune said...

Perhaps. But it seems there are some serious doubts as to the actual guilt of the executed persons. And weather they were merely executed to mollify the Muslim population in expectation of riots to follow the planned execution of three Muslim Indonesians convicted of the Bali terrorist bombing.

For instance:
"Human rights workers say the men's 2001 trial was a sham, and that while it was possible the men took part in some of the violence, they almost certainly were not the leaders."
Indonesian executions lead to violence

9/22/2006 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Human rights workers say the men's 2001 trial was a sham"
---
Have they no credibility even when they contradict their biases?
---
"But the reason this has happened is because the temporal authorities -- and our esteemed opinion leaders-- have taken a long vacation from history "
---
Only when they saw it wouldn't fly did the left begin to cover itself over it's obvious glee at the
UN Freak Show GWB Mockudrama.
The "Excellencies" were at their finest.
---
---
OT from Syrian Comment:
Al-Qaida Plans for Syria
Here is a note I received from Massoud Derhally of Arabian Business about a documentary al-Jazeera is showing on al-Qa`ida in the Levant.
It explains how al-Qa`ida leaders hope to open a new front in Syria and the states surrounding Palestine.

Al Jazeera ran on Sept 18 the second part of a documentary by Yusri Fouda on Al Qaeda in "Bilad al Sham". The thesis is that inherently Al-Qaeda has a forward looking plan that was to attack the US, draw America to the Middle East and then fight it (i.e. in Iraq) and then exploit that conflict to get to the Palestinian front using Damascus and Lebanon.The documentary interviews among others the son of Azzam who I am sure you know was instrumental in indoctrinating OBL in his early days before he jumped ship to Zawahri.

An interesting and worrying dimension to all this was the existing and growing Salafist movement in Lebanon, namely in mountainous areas and even places like Baalbak where one of the 19 hijackers that carried out the Sept.. 11 attacks was from.

As the writings of Abu Musab al-Suri, Abu Bakr Naji, Fouad Hussein, and others make clear, the tradition of Salafi jihad existed before bin Laden and Al Qaeda and will likely survive them; yet, from the beginning of the war on terror, the strategy of the Administration has been to decapitate Al Qaeda’s leadership. Bruce Hoffman, who is the author of “Inside Terrorism” and a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, told me,
“One of the problems with the kill-or-capture metric is that it has often been to the exclusion of having a deeper, richer understanding of the movement, its origins, and our adversaries’ mindset.

The nuances are absolutely critical.
Our adversaries are wedded to the ideology that informs and fuels their struggle, and, by not paying attention, we risk not knowing our enemy.”

9/22/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

The price of oil is declining so threats and counter threats are not impressing people that any kind of action in the mideast is in the offing just now.

9/22/2006 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Progress is measured as Zeno's Paradox? With all rational players checked, a fine analogy. Better to just give up, though? Maybe so. Hajib for the wife and a dress for me.... Really don't have the legs for it though...

9/22/2006 05:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Does the analogy hold when the Tortise is a Goat?

9/22/2006 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

"Toothpick" vs. jihadis in Palau... Hatfields and McCoys on a broader cloth, admixed with degraded mores, deluded rationales. After all, were "Islam" to triumph on Zamboanga, its fanatic exemplars would soon enough split Koranic hairs and chase each other as heretics and infidels. Scimitars 'r Us!

We've seen this in the States, too, in ante-bellum territories such as Kansas-Nebraska, where Free Soil abolitionists encountered Quantrill's raiders in a guerilla war as vicious and deadly as one could wish. Remember "Beecher's Bibles", the Winchester repeaters his congregations shipped West against slavery's Southern agitators?

The remedy, alas, was no Missouri Compromise, leaving the country "half slave and half free" (Webster, in his "House Divided" speech). The "irrepressible conflict" entailed a Civil War. Just as so-called Peace Democrats rallied then, acquiescing to "chattel slavery", sacrificing the American Union to save themselves a spot of bother, so today's craven passive-ists persist in the same arguments.

A "Missouri Compromise" in failed-State territories with Islamic Jihad, the new slave-ocracy? That cannot and will not succeed. In fact, "radical Islam" remains unchanged from its inception, 1400 years ago (we have said this before). But truly, its murderous Salafists and their Wahabi paymasters are creatures of post-WW II petro-dollars. Once financing dries up, camel drivers and rug merchants will re-assert themselves... meantime, Beecher and Quantrill ride again.

We think there will be a war, most probably involving nuclear or other WMDs. As time goes on, and American partisan chasms deepen, the conflict looms irrepressible as that of 1861. Delenda est Mecca et Medina! That's human nature for you... a sad case.

9/22/2006 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger Sonspot said...

Wretchard,

Are the Christian militias that arise in response to Muslim aggression really no different? Maybe the effect is as damaging as the cause, but that doesn't make the effect the cause.

I respect your opinion greatly, but you sound like how many on the left go on about the evil of Dresden or dropping the bomb on Japan, paying little attention to what brought us to that point or what destruction it avoided.

9/22/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

When the shooting starts in America, do you suppose the Democrats and Republicans will be shooting at each other in addition to the Muslims? It seems likely, in that more and more the stance of those who call themselves "liberal" is more in agreement with Islamofascism than it is with the currently elected American administration.

Whether that will change with a change in administration -- provided the waltz with Islam lasts that long -- remains to be seen.

9/22/2006 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen Renico said...

Christian militias in Indonesia... sounds like a good thing for the US to clandestinely arm, pay, and support.

9/22/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Nahncee, when the shooting starts in America, I'm going for the baby-boomers. Of course, being one, I'll have to avoid mirrors.

9/22/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

"Are the Christian militias that arise in response to Muslim aggression really no different?"

I'd agree with Wretchard on that. They kill in gross misrepresentation of their religion, just like Islamic extremists. I don't recall many caveats being applied to "Thou shalt not kill" in the Good Book.

If they had shot an Islamic holy man 4 times in the back, as he prayed, would they be any better than the Islamic militants who executed the nun a few days back?

9/22/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Sonspot said...

Yashmak,

Assuming that the Christian militias are shooting muslims for no other cause but revenge is as wrong as believing Muslims are killing for reasons other than "spreading Islam by the sword".

If shooting some muslim in the back causes some other muslim to think twice before he detonates in my kids school or murders my wife, yeah it's right to do and i'm still the better man.

9/22/2006 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger Elmondohummus said...

Wretchard, tiny little point regarding Mindanao, Moro's, and the Ilaga: I fear that the religious component to these groups, while undeniably there, can be overstated. For a lot of Moro's, it's a bit more accurate to say "criminals and thugs who happen to be Muslim (and the same for the Ilaga, except saying "Christian"). Banditry is the dominant characteristic of these groups, not religion. Now, that statement is not intended to reduce the magnitude of their threat or lawlessness - they're still every bit the dangerous mauraders people paint them to be - it's merely to highlight that religious affiliation is really just a characteristic in the case of many of the Moro bandits, and I suspect in the case of the Ilaga, not a dangerous primary driving force as it is in the case of Abu Sayyaf or Al Qaeda (outside the Philippines).

Keep in mind that I'm separating out Abu Sayyaf and the Philippine "chapters" of Jemaah Islamiya, even though those groups are composed of Moro's. Those are definitely religiously driven Islamic terrorist groups. What I'm saying is that the others are mainly opportunistic militant bandits, thugs, kidnappers, and mobsters. They're criminals primarily, Islamic jihadists secondarily. I know less about the Ilaga, but I sort of suspect that's the case there too.

9/22/2006 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Wretchard:

You describe concisely what Robert Kagan called a dilema of the Kantian paradise of the West and Hobbesian universe of what some call 'Chaostan.'

Theodore Dalrymple, in "Our Culture, What's Left of It," was struck by the casual attitudes of Western reporters toward wanton destruction in Liberia:

"This way of thinking about culture and civilization -- possible only for people who believe that the comforts and benefits they enjoy are immortal and indestructible -- has become almost standard among the intelligentsia of Western societies."

". . . civilization itself now rarely appears in academic texts or in journalism without the use of ironical quotation marks, as if [it] were a mythical creature . . . and to believe in it were a sign of philosophical naivete."

"Brutal episiodes . . . are treated as demonstrations that civilization and culture are a sham . . . as if there were any protection from man's permanant temptation to brutality except his striving after civilization and culture."

" . . . nothing is worthy of, or requires, protection and preservation, because all that is good comes about as a free gift of Nature."

9/22/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Yashmak has a good point, but it goes moot at the point where one has to choose a side for real.

9/22/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger metaphysician said...

While I am divided on the matter of whether the Christian militias would, inherently, be no better than the Muslim terrorists, I do agree with Wretchard's thesis:

When this type of thing happens, it means the state has failed. When states fail, you have barbarism, which no matter the intended morality, is always ugly.

As for whether it will happen in the US, that is less certain. The thing is, while we can argue the government isn't doing everything it can to protect us from potential threats, the key word is *potential.* It would take ongoing Islamic guerilla warfare and suicide bombins in the US, or a WMD attack, for inaction to trigger state failure of this type, IMO.

( as for leftist uprising, thats not so clear, since for the increasingly hard leftists, reality not conforming to their delusions might constitute "the government not doing enough." )

9/22/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Cosmo's post reminds of the full meaning of the phrase "taking for granted".

Yes, we take western civ for granted, without remembering what it took, and from whom, to make the grant.

Nor do we reflect upon the contingent conditions of said grant.

Not yet, anyway. It's an almost certain coming attraction, tho.

9/22/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

This isn't just a point about something happening in "far away" Third World countries "about which we know little" (Neville Chamberlain).

Nicholas Sarkozy for instance is being vilified by the politically correct in France this week, because he has pointed out that the French state abandoned some time ago the maintenance of security in the '93' Department of suburban Paris.

9/22/2006 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger NavyDoc said...

What? No search for "root causes"?
Where's the justice in the world? :)

9/22/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

So it is agreed.
More dead Muslims is better than
More dead Christians.
Especially if Amnesty is on your side.
Beats the UN.
Beats Catch and Release.
Beats "Cemetary Rules."

As for Buddy, we'll buy him a fun house mirror, he'll look normal to his strange self, and refuse to shoot a healthy WASP.
And a Banzai Tree for Doc so he can meditate on Root Causes.

9/22/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

This is a difficult case, given that there are doubts as to the guilt of the executed. However, the principle that religiously motivated violence is wrong is sound.

It should be obvious, though it is apparently not, that civiliztion is - in many places - a thin veneer on the savagery of the Hobbesian world and the law of the jungle. As another poster has noted, the growth of militias and gangs such as both the Moslem and Christian gangs in Indonesia and the Philipines is an indication that the organized state has failed to protect its citizens.

What are citizens of a failed state to do, then? Do they lose their inherent rights of self-defense, and the right of collective self-defense of like-minded people, because they live in a state? We grant that right to the state because it is in our interest to do so, not as a suicide pact (as Richard Posner points out that our Constitution is NOT), but even then we retain the individual right of self-defense - embodied in the US in our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

I would argue that the citizen of the failed state does not give up the right to collective self-defense if the state cannot provide it, and that hence in a state of nature there is nothing inherently wrong or evil about organizing a self-defense militia.

Of course, thereafter, the facts control. Is it defensive, or does the militia wantonly attack those who disagree with it or impose its will on others who have not attacked it? I don't understand the situation in Indonesia or the Philippines well enough to judge it.

9/22/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bolton is trying to justify Reforming the UN to Limbaugh!
"The non-aligned Union"
Castro, et al -
Welfare Cheats.
Send the UN to Venezuela!!!
Reform of the UN is part of the Master Plan.
Bolton never sounded worse.
Great Interview by Rush.
Bolton sounds like a True Believer in a Non-Nuclear Iran:
We shall see.
Rush:
"Does Iraq Paralyze us?"
Bolton:
"Steady Progress."
Rush:
"France and the Security Council?"
Bolton:
"This is a test to see how effective the Security Council really is."

9/22/2006 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

NahnCee,
When the shooting starts in America? I don't know if you're tongue in cheek on this but if not what will precipitate it?
What cleavage or event will light the flame?
I've never been against killing I just want to make sure I'm aiming at the enemy.

9/22/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

TO THE BC MINDS IN MOTION, A ?

Based on what is in the public arena right now and your own extrapolations what two or three options do you advise the President to take toward Iran & the bomb?
Please assume they are building a bomb. What to do?

9/22/2006 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

CatoRenasci,

The Rodney King riots in LA, the LA riots in Watts in 1965 show that even our federal and state "guardians" are feckless and can not maintain order. The KKK hangings in the South all through the 1920' and 1930's.
Similarly the 1943 riots in Detroit.
It would appear civilization has a thin veneer,even here.

9/22/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

A news item yesterday said that Germany was deploying 8 ships to the coast of Lebanon to support the peacekeeping mission there - but that "some members of the German parliment had misgivings about the deployment due to Germany's role in WWII."

I suppose some misgivings were that German soldiers might have to shoot Israelis - but I suspect the main driver was equating any German overseas deployment with the Nazi invasions of WWII - even when it is done for the exact opposite purpose.

One of the consequences of the Left's emphasis on Group Rights seems to be a greater emphasis on putting everyone in a group of some kind, even when they don't fit. If you can't do that, you can't speak Leftist.

So ordinary Muslims became grouped with terrorists - and in order to prevent that outrage, we deny that ordinary terrorists are usually Muslims. Germans in uniform are Nazis - even when they are trying to prevent Facists from rearming.

9/22/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

Habu1:

The fact that riots have occurred here does not necessarily mean the veneer of civilization is as thin here as in the third world, but it is a reminder that even the most civilized states must remain vigilant to protect the rights of citizens against violence.

One could argue about the immediate post-Civil War Klan (which Nathan Bedford Forrest and the other founders disbanded in 1869 when it ceased to be - in their view - primarily defensive), but surely the later Klan, the various race riots (both white against black and black against white/asian) represent lawlessness which the state has a duty to suppress, and which citizens have a right to resist with armed force when the state fails in its duty.

Certainly, during the Jim Crow era in the South, the state authorities were too often complicit with lawless racial violence - and the federal authorities did too little. That changed in the Eisenhower administration. At least since WWII, in this country violence of that sort has been suppressed (if not soon enough to suit my taste) by the use of state force. That's just what the state ought to do.

9/22/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Roderick said...

Unfortunately, and tragically, a rise of "counter-Muslim" militias can be an effective damper on Muslim extremism in some situations, albeit at a terrible cost.

If this "International Community" choses to do virtually nothing, people come up with their own solutions. The Dayton Accords for Bosnia came about because Croatians and Bosnian Muslims mounted an effective counter-attack against Serb militias, and the Serbs sued for a cease-fire. Only then did the diplomats become effective. The Darfurian black farmers will get relief from massacre and pillage when they are given the means to kill some Janjaweed and shoot down a Sudanese gunship or two. They will likely kill some Janjaweed women and children as well, but the final costs in lives will be greatly reduced by the need for Sudan to deal with the issue more constructively.

We gave the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan major material support against the Soviets, with good results. I'm aware of the unintended consequences (which should have been dealt with a long time ago), but these kinds of actions -- ugly as they are -- can be useful. Promoting insurgencies in Iran is an example of what we could be doing.

9/22/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger buck smith said...

One of the best moves the US can make over the next few years is to train some militias or armies on the borders of Islam. Darfur in particular is a good place to raise an army. To the north Khartoum, to the east Mogadishu.

9/22/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger redaktør said...

"When you have to deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast. It is most regrettable but nevertheless true." - H. Truman

I'll also remind all BC readers and commentators, that the decisions to incinerate Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 were not made in anger.

9/22/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Wretchard:

Is a judiciary the essential difference between civilization and barbarism? That is, does "vigilante justice" gain legitimacy when the non-state actors convene courts to determine the guilt or innocence of a particular person, and have the power to acquit or show mercy?

Which confers more legitimacy, a judiciary that people trust or United Nations recognition as a legitimate state?

Is the refusal to accept the legitimacy of the judicial system where one has citizenship an ipso facto form of treason? (This is not the same as opposing a law or being a professional criminal, for there is a difference between breaking a law and accepting the consequences and refusing to accept the legitimacy of the court system.)

The question of where the line is between vigilante justice and justice, between a real court and a kangaroo court, goes to the heart of the nature of legitimacy. If an effective legal system is the difference between civilization and barbarism, between authentic legitimacy and illegitimacy, we have opened a new avenue for discussion.

9/22/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Roderick said...

To Redaktor:

This reminds me that many people are squeamish about us using ruthless methods because "then we become like our enemies."

Your bringing up the A-bomb attacks refutes that notion. As I recall, the U.S. post WWII was anything but a mirror image of our just-defeated fascist enemies. Baby-boomer boys joined the boy scouts, not the Hitlerjungen, we did not eexterminate our Jews (and welcomed millions more of them to our shores), and when Africa-Americans demanded their civil rights, the country acqiuesced; ditto for women. We became a better country despite Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Dresden. So did Germany and Japan.

9/22/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

But when a Kofi Annan personally, directly, in plain language, deligitmizes the UN SC, where are we, then? How 'bout, instantly back in the jungle, only now without hope that there is anyplace *not* jungle.

9/22/2006 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/22/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Yashmak said...

I don't recall many caveats being applied to "Thou shalt not kill" in the Good Book.


The actual translation is "no Murder"

it is a small but important difference....

9/22/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger redaktør said...

How is the UN SC not the jungle? It was designed to reflect the jungle. In so doing, it will accommodate new members (India) and discard old (France) has been members.

9/22/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well, you're right, redacktor, but when Annan told the Persian President that he could safely ignore the order of the SC, the SC instantly became something different than it had been just prior. Maybe not *much* different, tho--you're sure right about that.

9/22/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

If I were on some little island in the Sulu archipelago and a bunch of armed men showed up, I'd sure join up with whatever outfit would save my life. So I understand where militias come from. They derive their impetus from the energy of a vacuum of governance. And in the tactical immediate situation, it is as useless to speak of morality as to describe the good or badness of a chemical reaction.

But even the militiaman understands its a helluva way to run a railroad. And this collective realization has spurred the establishment of civilization. To avoid the proliferation of necktie parties we create judiciaries, etc.

Now that the necktie parties are increasingly back in places that scholars call "areas of disconnectedness", "the underdeveloped world", "failed states" or whatever else they may be termed, it's the judiciaries that are being intimidated. Hey Pope, convert! Hey train, explode! The pilgrim sites of Shi'ites and Sunnis become shooting galleries. In England, the refrain comes, a la the Beck tune, Soy un perdedor. I'm a Muslim baby, so why don't you kill me?

But the answer can't lie in joining the party. Fashioning an even bigger necktie. It has got to lie in restoring the elements of civilization to the world. And the sheriff ain't the UN. Nor should it be America. But America can lead in restoring civilization to an increasigly fractious world.

9/22/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger summignumi said...

Funny how Christ never did these things yet people who do this are referred to as Christians. Yes Mohammad did do these things so when Muslims do it, it is correct to call them faithful followers of Islam, that’s the problem People doing unchristian things are labeled Christians and Muslims doing what Mohamed did are call radicals, no wonder Rosé O’Donut is confused.

9/22/2006 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Was it yesterday, or the day before, that the Hon jerrold Nadler, Coingressman from NYC, announced to the House Judiciary Committee, and the world, that "...now this lawless administration, after torturing prisoners for five years, wants us to pass a new law so that it won't have to pardon itself on its way out of office."

Yep, Wretchard, America is a lot of help on the morale front these days. Give us your Alexander Downer--we need him.

9/22/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/22/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger just a marine said...

Wretchard has provided a report that the rest of the media has missed for what ever reasons, mostly not good, I think.

But the report is real and about what goes on in much of the real world. This real world is not the western media world presently bogged down with Islam mostly in the Arab areas…though that is real enough for those being shot at and threatened.

What he senses he says, and I also think and feel, is that it is so frustrating to be part of both cultures and standards going on at the same time. I would only counsel him in that that the anarchy has always been there, as in moro land, and is probably staying the same or getting better thanks to nation state stuff. While this is scant hope that it is not getting worse as to anarchy in the western sense, or just plain banditry in the historical sense, it is a little hope. And politicians confronting the problem, even if they choose to do so, usually seek the lowest common denominator, at best.

I would not discount the criminal element from simply their role in the social fabric, because it is there.

Let me be practical. The politics of Hurricane Katrina are well known. But try going through a catholic coastal village in the Philippines immediately after a massive typhoon and its destruction, and seeing the looks on the peoples faces, and knowing there would be no government help, was enough to make me put rounds into my .45 pistol. I was scared.

9/22/2006 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Pope equates the rise of Moral Relativism with the decline of Civilization in the West.

9/22/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Lawrence Wright is on Hewitt for the next two hours.
http://www2.krla870.com/listen/

9/22/2006 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Eudemonia. Is it achievable within the Islamic philosophy or it it circumscribed by it?
Certainly the Christian and Hebrew, Taoist,Hindu and Buddhist allow greater latitude fro the possibility. In fact it is encouraged.
The followers of Islam seem estopped from it and their character reflects that fact.

9/22/2006 03:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thought this was in my Syria Comment OT Above
Lawrence Wright, who has recently published his block buster book on al-Qa`ida, The Looming Tower , which is the best al-Qa`ida book to date, has written about these plans in his latest New Yorker article: (I am copying less than half the original article. It is all worth reading.)

9/22/2006 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger luc said...

CatoRenasci said... 9/22/2006 11:23:55 AM

“The fact that riots have occurred here does not necessarily mean the veneer of civilization is as thin here as in the third world,”…

I am sorry to burst your bubble but I think that any discussion concerning the thickness of the civilization’s veneer is mostly irrelevant since the thickness of the veneer is an illusion and in reality it is practically non existent. In most instances the veneer is very likely only an invention to make us feel superior to our opponents.

As an example consider the German civilization prior to WWII, which most people would have unquestionably accepted as being near the top, if not tops, at that time, and the “civilized” disposal of millions of people through concentration camps! What would consider the thickness of their veneer to be and how would you compare to that of today’s Iranian civilization?

9/22/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger El_Heffe said...

redaktør said...

"When you have to deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast. It is most regrettable but nevertheless true." - H. Truman

I'll also remind all BC readers and commentators, that the decisions to incinerate Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 were not made in anger.


Both excellent points.


Alexis' consideration of the role of a trusted judiciary in a civilized and legitimate state is certainly most relevant. I would add that in places where law is weak a judiciary can still be strong (ie legitimate) as long as the judiciary behaves in a way that is consistent with the larger principles from which just laws are derived.

For my humble contribution to this newly opened avenue of discussion may I call to mind the passage from Owen Wister's 'The Virginian' where the lead character has a role in lynching a band of cattle rustlers that includes his best friend. Though the ranchers essentially took to themselves the roles of judge, jury and excecutioner, they were recognized as a legitimate "court", by the condemned men, who made no protest and gave no resistance as they were hanged.

Certainly this example from fiction is no blue print for a modern legal system. But it underscores Alexis' point that

"The question of where the line is between vigilante justice and justice, between a real court and a kangaroo court, goes to the heart of the nature of legitimacy."

What constitutes legitimacy is one of the key characteristics of the state that has come into question since the end of the cold war (just call me a Bobitt-ite), and the role of the judicary seems likely to play significantly in the resolution to the question.


Habu1 said...

Eudemonia. Is it achievable within the Islamic philosophy or it it circumscribed by it?
Certainly the Christian and Hebrew, Taoist,Hindu and Buddhist allow greater latitude for the possibility. In fact it is encouraged.
The followers of Islam seem estopped from it and their character reflects that fact.


Outstanding observation. (and I got a vocabulary lesson in the bargin)

9/22/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jake Spoon's own compadres hung him, in Lonesome Dove, aftwer he broke the code by joining up--even at a hands-off distance--with some women & child killers. And Jake never questioned their authority. Larry McMurtry, writer, understood that wherever the badge isn't, something else will be.

9/22/2006 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"I am sorry to burst your bubble but I think that any discussion concerning the thickness of the civilization’s veneer is mostly irrelevant since the thickness of the veneer is an illusion and in reality it is practically non existent. In most instances the veneer is very likely only an invention to make us feel superior to our opponents."

Admist the London bombings, a report was leaked from Mi-5 that said, in effect, lawfulness is obsolete after 3 missed meals.

I agree, it does not take much to destroy civilization. Unfortunately, especially when considered with how long it takes to create it.

To me, this is why the War on Terror is so critical. I am not worried about being converted by force, or even that the Europeans will be - before it came to that we'd react in such a way as to make it impossible. However, I think civilization stands a good chance of dying in the process.

9/22/2006 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Habu - I could see Americans shooting at Americans over something like the Wall that's supposed to get built along our Mexican border. If Cindy Sheehan, et al., were to start escorting illegals through to protest the Wall, acting like Human Shields like they have in Iraq and with the Palestinians. Especially if you had a bunch of ACLU East-Coast lawyer looking people mixing in.

We've had riots in the U.S. over people becoming dead (i.e., Martin Luther King) and over jury verdicts (the cops being acquitted over Rodney King). We also had lots and lots of riots in the campus anti-Vietnam War era, with a result at Kent State of dead students.

To me, from what I can see, factions are every bit as inflamed now as during those episodes. AND if you add into that mixture the fact that our government has abdicated its responsibility to protect us and is kowtowing to the ACLU, the Mexican government, and trying to sell our sea ports to the Arabs it seems to me there's quite a bit of flammable material out there, actually, that could set off an internal shooting war.

For example, how about the latest murder of one illegal Mexican by another illegal Mexican, him dragging her by the neck through the streets of Denver until she ran out of blood and died. Does it seem likely to you that Mexico is going to protest our death penalty, and that Mexicans might start marching in the streets again sticking up for their "rights", and that "liberals" might march with them in "solidarity" both over "immigrant rights" and against the death penalty? How do you think that might go over?

And not a Muslim in sight.

9/22/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Sonspot said...

where is Roland the gunslinger to fix our black tower?

9/22/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Blogger Mollie said...

When civilization falls apart: consider Britain after the Romans left.. the lovely mosaic floors in the splendid manor houses soon became places to thresh your wheat. St Patrick and other men could walk for DAYS through Britain, on their way to Gaul, and not meet a soul - this a place a generation earlier had been as settled as it became in the 18th century.

Read the incredible book by Lawrence Keeley, "War before Civilization, the myth of the peaceful savage." One of his points relate to the frontier between the Indian and the European in North America. As he points out, settlement of Euros occurred BEFORE the law in the USA... and so the horrific battles, in which slaughter of whole settlements, women, children and the old, with no prisoners taken - occurred ON BOTH SIDES. It was militias/vigilantes, versus tribal war bands. This is the pre-civilized way of war - ie, when there is no State with a monopoly of power and law, with which to control the exciteable.

Civilization is the place where we in the First World live and frolic, with no idea at all that it would take WEEKS to reduce us to subsistence life... ie, as in the cities of Yugoslavia.

In a non-state, people/bands/tribes/ are at war/ambush/violence throughout their lives. I have never been in that state, and neither have most of us (outside of the most violent of inner cities.)

And that is what Wretchard and Steyn and others mean by their jeremaids - we could be forced backwards to the 7th century/ or outwards, outside our wonderful, peaceful cocoon.

Everytime the airplanes put on another layer of "security" remember St Augustine, who could not - in his later yearas - travel to Rome ... because the Mediterranean was increasintly infested with pirates as the Roman empire disintegrated.

9/22/2006 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

As other posters,The Rats aren't Christians.Maybe the Jihadis aren't Muslims either,but they are more consistent with their history and sacred texts.Even vengeance seems a tad more noble that simply slaying everyone you consider an infidel.


Dispatch from the border:(That's Alabama-Tennessee not Arizona-Mexico)
24 workers came down with tuberculosis in a Decatur Alabama chicken plant.Considering the profile of poultry workers both Typhoid Maria and all the afflicted are likely illegal.Of course the flipside of that is we'll probably treat them all on our nickel.

9/22/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Heather:

Savage was talking to Col Patterson about the Children's Swingset Bin Laden Opportunity:

Savage says:
"They didn't seem too worried about Collateral Damage in Belgrade."
---
Good Point.

9/22/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"In chaos there is profit." Milo Minderbinder - Catch-22

Whom may we say is profitting in the chaos? The French, the Germans, the Russians, the Chinese...the Old World empires...all long steeped in 20th Century Marxist Colonialism.

It may be gratifying to think we are living in a post-Colonial World, but we are not...and the plantation masters' office is on Turtle Bay, with cultivated chaos the instrument of control.

9/22/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Recently the United Nations in its wisdom published a study which concluded that citizens of member states do not have any inherent legal right to use violence in their own self-defense, regardless of the particulars of their situation.

Of course, the United Nations have been selectively ignoring this principle for many decades during which they have applauded the use of lethal force by the Palestinians — whom they define as the victims of Israeli oppression. The United Nations has either acquiesced silently or actively celebrated thousands of murderous attacks by Islamic Palestinians against Jews, whether these attacks have taken place within Palestinian communities, Lebanon, Israel, or outside in the great wide world.

Of course, this is particularly normal behavior for the United Nations, and it is a shame to waste all these ascii characters and bandwidth pointing out such conspicuous truths...

But with the latest insults of having peckerheads like Ahmadinejad and Chavez swanning about the stage at Turtle Bay, I have to wonder why we are continuing to fund the crooks, perverts, murderers, embezzlers, and pickpockets that populate the U.N.

The population of the planet is, if anything, LESS amenable to a world-government than it was during the tenure of the invertebrate League of Nations. The alleged successes of that debating society seem to have flowed from the triviality of the disputes at issue. The clanging failures still ring down through the decades sounding reproach for the League’s ineffectuality.

The most tellng point I pick out of the history of the League is that it floundered about for most of the twenties and thirties wringing its collective hands and twittering while various thugs and murderers slaughtered many hundreds of thousands of their own citizens and neighboring victims, only closing down its operations when the Axis powers plunged Europe into unambiguous war.

It is difficult to find any compelling evidence for the United Nations providing any substantially greater protection from oppression and exploitation by thugs for the world’s population today than was managed by the League of Nations. The only studies claiming Great Success by the United Nations are studies commissioned and undertaken by the United Nations.

• There is growing evidence that the bureaucracy spawned by the United Nations is routinely involved in the sexual abuse and exploitation of children in regions where the U.N. is administering alleged “peacekeeping” operations.
• The “Oil-for-Bribes” program which was supposed to maintain some constraints on Saddam Hussein has been documented to have turned into a vast plundering of Iraq by Kofi and his cronies.
• An investigation continues to unearth accounts, photos, and videos indicating that United Nations peacekeepers committed a massacre in Cite Soleil, a seaside “shanty” town in Haiti, on the morning of 06 July, 2005.
• Rwanda, Sreberniça, Somalia, Darfur, stand as eloquent testimony of the utter uselessness of the United Nations.

On the other hand, the World Health Organization has managed against all odds, to establish a ban since December 2005 on hiring tobacco smokers. This courageous decision is hoped to lead in the fullness of time to a tobacco-free workplace for its employees.

!

But otherwise, what real successes can defenders of the United Nations set in the scales to balance the stupendous calamities that crowd any list of UN failures?

It is long past time for the United States to invest its funds in some completely OTHER organization. We could hardly do worse than the U.N. is doing now if we simply freed all the prisoners currently under sentence of death in our prisons, and gave them a trillion dollars and instructions to try to make the world a nicer place.

(I am NOT recommending that! I’m saying I think the U.N. is so riddled with corrupt and murderous thugs, it’s hard to distinguish its membership from the worst prisoners in ANY country’s prisons...)

9/23/2006 01:41:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Go get 'em, fiddler--

9/23/2006 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

TrangBang - a year or so ago, an illegal Mexican in Los Angeles presented with a disease they didn't know WHAT the hell it was. A brand new disease that no one in the city of Los Angeles nor the State of California had ever seen before. Last I heard, he was slowly coming out of it on his own, after having been in the hospital for months and months and months ... with no insurance.

This was a few weeks before another illegal presented with a mere case of the plague and everyone heaved a sigh of relief because at least they knew what the plague is and can deal with it. Who knew that the plague is still rampant in Mexico?

These people are coming from a Third World country and and bringing diseases with them that were wiped out in our civilization centuries ago. And they're working in McDonalds or being nannies to our children or preparing the chickens that will be served on our tables tomorrow night BEFORE they finally collapse and get carried off to a doctor.

Yum.

9/23/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Karensky said...

Nahnce wonders whether the Democrats and the Republicans will be shooting at each other and the Muslims when the shooting starts here in America? To wit, the Greek and french experience seems to me to be prime models. While the Vichy stood by the Germans the Resistance was of two groups; the Communists and the French of other persuasions. Ditto for the Greeks, the Chetniks et al.
I guess if the lessons of the USSR have not been learned we will have a not so united front.

9/24/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I guess if the United Socialist Soviet Republic proved to be not so united, maybe the United States of America may not be so united when push comes to shove either.

I always think that change is good, no matter what, so maybe that won't be a bad thing.

9/24/2006 02:27:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger