Sunday, October 22, 2006

The fire this time

Last year those who seemed to know France best argued that the car-burnings in the capital were really fueled by alienation and joblessness rather than by any kind of ideological Islamism. That might have been true then. It may still be true today. The question is whether it will still be true tomorrow. The Times of London runs this story:


“The thing that has changed over the past month is that they now want to kill us,” said Bruno Beschizza, the leader of Synergie, a union to which 40 per cent of officers belong. Action Police, a hardline union, said: “We are in a civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists.”

Car-burning has become so routine on the estates that it has been eclipsed in news coverage by the violence against police. Sebastian Roche, a sociologist who has published a book on the riots, said that torching a vehicle had become a standard amusement. “There is an apprenticeship of destruction. Kids learn where the petrol tank is, how to make a petrol bomb,” he told The Times. ...

Nicolas Sarkozy, the Interior Minister who hopes to win the presidency next May, has once again taken the offensive, staging raids on the no-go areas and promising no mercy for the thugs who reign there. ... National politics seem far from Clichy, a leafy town of hulking apartment buildings only ten miles but a universe away from the Elysée Palace. However, the Interior Minister is cited by the estate youths as the symbol of their anger. “Sarko wants to wipe us out, clear us off the map,” said Rachid, 19. “They said they would help us after last year, but we’ve got nothing.”

How might an ideological Islamism arise in the French suburbs? Ideologies arise and spread when people start thinking about events in the same way. For example, First Amendment lawyer Greg Greenwald is concerned that Bush followers are developing a "political ideology"; an ideology which although it has no obvious leader is spontaneously springing into existence around the cult personality of the Great Decider.

The anti-government ethos espoused by Barry Goldwater and even Ronald Reagan is wholly unrecognizable in Bush followers, who – at least thus far – have discovered no limits on the powers that ought to be vested in George Bush to enable him to do good on behalf of all of us. And in that regard, people like Michelle Malkin, John Hinderaker, Jonah Goldberg and Hugh Hewitt are not conservatives. They are authoritarian cultists. Their allegiance is not to any principles of government but to strong authority through a single leader. It is hard to describe just how extreme these individuals are. Michelle Malkin is the Heroine of the Right Blogosphere, and she believes in concentration camps. As an avid reader of Michelle’s blog, I really believe that she would be in favor of setting up camps for Muslim-Americans and/or Arab-Americans similar to the ones we had for Japanese-Americans which she praises. Has anyone ever asked her that? Could someone? I don’t mean that she would favor interning them indefinitely - just for the next few decades while the war on terrorism is resolved.

And as excessive as the Bush Administration’s measures have been thus far -- they overtly advocate the right to use war powers against American citizens on American soil even if Congress bans such measures by law -- I am quite certain that people like John Hinderaker, Jonah Goldberg and Jeff Goldstein, to name just a few, are prepared to support far, far more extreme measures than the ones which have been revealed thus far. And while I would not say this for Jeff or perhaps of Jonah, I believe quite firmly that there are no limits – none – that Hinderaker (or Malkin or Hewitt) would have in enthusiastically supporting George Bush no matter how extreme were the measures which he pursued.

But not even Greenwald suggests the existence of a secret organizing cell; a common handbook or training camps to systematically manufacture these Bush-bots. However, the recent discovery of something called Jesus Camp may provide liberals with a smoking gun. At Jesus Camp innocent children — children, mind you — are taught to speak in tongues and worship George Bush. If a Jesus Camp can exist, than can a "political ideology" be far behind? Yet while this may sound overwrought Greenwald's basic point, the idea that conservatives can start thinking about events in similar ways: that is develop an ideology, is probably correct. In fact it would be surprising if they did not. Any honest liberal — and certainly any Marxist — would be the first to admit that they themselves had an ideology; an ideology that once had a beginning, proof that ideologies can arise even where they did not previously exist.

If even conservatives can develop a political ideology, nothing in principle prevents French youth in the banlieus from developing one of their own. Or prevents them from adopting a proven, culturally familiar ideology which has already survived for longer than European civilization. Why should car-burnings fueled by alienation and joblessness not, at some point, become fueled by ideological Islamism? After all Islamism does have secret organizing cells; a common handbook and training camps. The current attacks on French police may or may not be driven by an ideology, but they certainly can be in the future. But if a danger of radical Islamism arising in Europe exists what is the best way to head it off? Some who have argued that the failure to comprehensively garrison Iraq gave the insurgency a start will by a process of reverse reasoning conclude that applying a similarly "tough" policy in the Paris suburbs would be a mistake. After all, what is expected to work in Baghdad surely will not work in France. The Times story continues:

M Sarkozy’s muscular approach is being challenged not just by Socialist opponents. President Chirac and Dominique de Villepin, his Prime Minister, are waging their own, softer, campaign to undermine the colleague whom they do not want to be president. M de Villepin called in community leaders this week and promised to accelerate hundreds of millions of pounds of measures that were promised last autumn to relieve the plight of the immigrant-dominated suburbs.

Some may deride Chirac or de Villepin as appeasers. However the probable truth is that no one has yet figured out how to stop a vigorous ideology in its tracks. The West's own experience with Nazism and Communism shows that both accommodation and confrontation can fuel, rather than retard their growth. There is no magic formula; and perhaps there is no formula. Ideologies often resemble epidemics which must run their course, which neither medicine nor quarantine; nor fire nor water can much reduce. Albert Camus, who watched Nazism at close quarters could find no better comparison to it than a Plague. Martin Asiner in a brilliant review of the book at Amazon describes characters reduced to spectators rather than participants in the vast historical drama they are powerless to affect. In one of literature's greatest ironies the atheist Camus makes his character in the novel, the medical doctor Rieux, into a secular sort of holy man in the face of this mysterious disease.

Bernard Rieux is a doctor who sees his city come apart at the seams, but has no effective means to stop the plague. He administers a drug that is very nearly futile. All that he can do is to make a difference, even to one patient. Of course, he cannot, and this is precisely Camus' point. In a world gone mad where absurdities become the norm, there is the tendency to throw in the towel and meekly accept one's fate. This Rieux refuses to do. As he goes about his business as a doctor, his patients die left and right, but his presence in the front lines create meaning to what seems truly an apocalypse with no meaning. If he cannot offer an effective antidote, he does the next best thing: he dispenses hope, thereby impressing his own meaning.

In the face of complex historical trends we cannot fully control; before ideologies whose rise we cannot stop by stratagem the antidote often is hope. Hope does more than simply allow us to to "impress our own meaning" in some abstract way; its real power is that it helps people to endure, because outlasting a plague is the only certain way that civilizations can survive it. If the West hopes to live it must find a shelter within its own heart from which to resist an Islamism that has outlasted the centuries. “The thing that has changed over the past month is that they now want to kill us,” said French police spokesman Bruno Beschizza. For that reason the thing that must change for everyone in the face of this challenge is that they be determined to survive. Only then can job programs, education or police crackdowns have any effect. Or maybe they will never have any effect; but simply give us something to do until the plague goes away.

71 Comments:

Blogger moderationist said...

The problem is NEVER money. The problem is exploitive leadership and the mullahs of murder.

10/22/2006 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

“The thing that has changed over the past month is that they now want to kill us,” said French police spokesman Bruno Beschizza.

Ya got it wrong dere, Bruno. Your young muzzies have wanted to kill you guys for a long time - they're just ramping up the nerve to jump into the pool.

10/22/2006 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger grrr1 said...

For this particular plague there is an antidot. The willingness to use it does not exist (yet).

10/22/2006 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger dchamil said...

Islam is not simply a religion, but rather a plan to conquer the world using the cloak of a religion.

10/22/2006 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

That's a pretty poor remassaging of the "Right Wing Automaton Conspiracy" by Greenwald, which is made all the more ironic by the Democrats' purging of Joe Lieberman for being impure.

10/22/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

"The Great Decider" is not George Bush: it is whether or not Greg Greenwald believes terrorism is a serious threat to the United States.

On 9/11 I asked myself three questions:

What do we do about foreign terrorists.

What do we do about legally resident terrorists.

What do we do about terrorists who are American Citizens.

I thought congress should set up special courts to handle the last two groups, providing the Attorney General with a limited number of special warrants for use in terrorism investigations. It would have a six year initial life with two years extensions.

I guess that makes me a fascist.

10/22/2006 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, hd, just
"outside the Mainstream"

10/22/2006 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

For the entire five years of the "WOT," I have been asking myself if there is any difference between Islam and "Islamism." I have tried to keep an open mind.

Last year during the riots in the banlieues I was struck by how the media avoiding using not only the terms "Islam" and "Muslim," but tried as much as possible to avoid in any way particularizing the participants, except to insist they were "youths."

When the media avoid saying something, it usually means there is a truth in what is unspoken that they would rather not confront. But what is that truth, precisely?

BTW, everybody should read, or reread, Theodore Dalrymple's 2002 City Journal essay The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris.

Jamie Irons

10/22/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger ignacio said...

until there begin to be actual deaths rather than injuries no one in france will take the situation in the banlieus seriously. and of course given our victim culture the winners in the media will be those who die.

i say this as someone with a french wife and french in-laws. actually, they understand what's happening, but they don't want to face up to it. those on the left REALLY don't want to look at the situation, since they have grown up mythologizing the police as the bad guys (see 1968 or the film LE HAINE -- HATE, which is about life in the banlieus and turns them all into so many james deans....even with jewish friends!)

the intelligentsia in paris will look the other way until the intifada actually comes into their neighborhoods. and the state-run tv stations will cover things up.

10/22/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Cogitatus Incognito said...

Moderationist: agreed, but the problem is where is the FUNDING coming from. With Iran's Islamic war against the world, I wouldn't be surprised to find at least the beginning trickle of funding wending its way from Tehran to the 'underclass' of France. Especially when one of Iran's pricipal objectives is to drive a wedge between Europe and the US. France has already made clear their willingness to grovel at the feet of the Mullahs if they'll just play nice.

On a brighter note, Pajama's Media's reporting we have three carrier battle groups in place near Iran as of yesterday. The election is a little over two weeks away. I'm optimistic that President Bush has those battle groups in place for more than defensive purposes.

10/22/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Isn't it true that the one tactic that has NOT been tried is just to shoot 'em?

IF you have someone being an active arsonist in the street, IF you have someone behaving like a terrorist and making demands, and IF that same person or persons also physically attack police, aren't those people, ipso facto, lawbreakers and therefore deserving of being shot at? Killed, even?

Have the French police even fired rubber bullets or used tear gas or mace? If so, I haven't read about it.

I haven't read that the French police have done ANYthing except huddle together and quit going into the Muslim areas of France.

Another pro-active tactic would be to simply scoop up everyone on the streets after midnight, herd them into a big plane that very night, fly them to Algeria or Nigeria or the steppes of Russia, and give them the option of walking out on their own or being tossed out at 10,000 feet. Then, if they can make it back to France from there, we can have a discussion.

A year ago, French politicians promised "change" and "help". As best I can see, nothing has been done along these lines simply because France is not in a position to even help its white native-born citizens as it swirls into bankruptcy.

But I haven't seen one single step towards MAKING these "youths" responsible for their actions, towards making it painful for them to continue doing what they have been doing. Just on a normal criminal level, never mind Islam and becoming jihadists.

And I simply don't understand why that is. It seems like such an obvious thing to do.

10/22/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Jim,MtnView,CA said...

The year-(plus)-old post on this stie about the car burnings was a revelation. I felt my mind pried open to consider that we might be watching the birth of a new nation. The post was poetic and awe-inspring. Only time will tell if reality follows that pathway.
This post provides a useful update and confirmation.

10/22/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Greenwald's thesis about an Ideology may have a grain of truth. It has become aparent to me that the Professor I had for Govt 101 60 odd years ago had a great deal of wisdom. He said that that systems of government went through cycles and could be represented as a gigantic wheel rolling through time with the extant form of government being on the top. Place Tyranny at the top of the wheel. A number of differing types emerge as Chaotic, Oligarchic, Republican, Socialistic, Democratic, Socialistic Democratic.
Note that Socialistic Democracy where we are now is usually next to Tyranny on the wheel.

A tyrant is quite likely to arise given a crisis of sufficient depth, at the best the response time of any other form of government at all, is too slow to deal with a real crisis. If a sufficent ideology has been developed, even if only a limited number it is likely to seize and hold power, swaying the masses behind it.

Strangely, this may be simply a necessity for the survival of the culture that supports this cycle. The cycle seems to roll on inevitably on its own schedule, ordinarily when there arre a number of competing hegemons,they probably drive it, by their very existence.

In the nature of things government has never been globally monolithic, and the tryannic form seems most inclined to consolidation. The leading hegemon at this point in time the USA, may need to evolve to save its culture.

10/22/2006 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

ignacio said...

"I say this as someone with a french wife and french in-laws. actually, they understand what's happening, but they don't want to face up to it. those on the left REALLY don't want to look at the situation..."

Back in 1980, I was visiting friends in Nancy, France. After arriving in Nancy, I was by myself and didn't have much money so I picked out the cheapest local one-star hotel I could find. It was a clean hotel and no where in Nancy struck me as being particularly dangerous. Near my hotel I did notice some shops selling Halal food and a fair number of Middle Eastern people walking about. However nothing about the situation struck me as being particularly dangerous. Later on, after contacting my French friends, they were horrified that I was staying in such a dangerous part of town. Apparently I was in the moslem district of Nancy and the area was locally regarded as a no-go zone. At the time, I dismissed my friend's concern as over-reaction. It's interesting that even in 1980, there was significant tension between the native French citizens and the moslem immigrants.

10/22/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

On top of the French media being PC about the banieuls, the UK has an escalating situation and clear evidence the masses are questioning the judgement of the "progressive, transnational elites" about Islam, immigration, and loss of democracy to the "experts" the elite has emplaced in Brussels.

Latest emperor with no clothes is the BBC, which held a "clubmembers only" meeting which was leaked out and reveals rampant bias against Christians, working class Brits, America, and a pro-Muslim agenda.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=411846&in_page_id=1770#StartComments

It's worth a read. The idiots admit that BBC is dominated by a cabal of leftists, homosexuals, minorities that are well outside the UK mainstream. That their anti-Americanism is so bad that editing is required to temper the hatred from getting out of control before BBC feeds it out to the wires and is exposed for some of the more outrageous bias that editors stop(editors who approve of and hire the perps of course, but are smart enough not to expose their rank bias).

Their anti-Israel bias is under formal investigation.

A media funded by British taxpayers that say "it would be good to have fully veiled Muslim women do newscasts". At that meeting, determined it would be acceptable to have a TV special where Jewish comic (Sasha Cohen) throws a bible, a Union Jack, even the Archbishop of Canterbury himself into a dustbin...but completely unacceptable to throw a revered Holy Qu'ran and defile it - because of Muslim offense over Qu'ran abuse.

As more and more Brits are questioning the whole utility of tolerating the intolerant, of anti-Westernism, and war against all aspects of Christianity, and of the apparant failure of multi-culti - the BBC seems to be becoming even more aggressive.
****************
As so many are now saying about media that offends, why patronize or reward the people out to tear down your civilization, your values?? There are other choices now. There is no excuse for hanging with a newpaper, TV, even a company's products if you dislike their overall philosphy and goals..

I had the pleasure of being a Neilsen TV interviewee recently and besides keeping a weeklong TV diary, got a 2-hour interview over the phone where this subject came up. Besides TV news that I said is screened and rejected for bias (all 3 dinosaur networks), they were interested in other media and why we reject some media (NYTimes) but not others (Wash Post). The answer is the Post is leftist, but at least tries for some balance and admits to bias in some areas because they know their readers are not so stupid as not to see it...the NYTimes denies bias while clearly spinning their so-called "objective" news articles.

I also hope I got a small smidgion of revenge by mentioning that we hit the mute button on not only irritating TV commercials "Head On!" - and ignore all paying commercials clustered around it until the show resumes and the mute is ended..But they appeared VERY interested that the same "muting" was done by all household members for those incessant, stupid PSA ads run - Dontpassgas!.org - Frozen Peas! (the one that premises that we don't have enough real political ads so we need a faux one from another hokey never-heard of charity payattention.org)- the cheesy mentoring ads Laura Bush smirks through - and the one about how male athletes that play football should teach their sons not to beat women.

I told the interviewer that these non-existent, phony, or before now unknown charities are clearly set up to use the vast airtime donoted to get huge tax writeoffs or taxpayer rebates for cable, satellite TV businesses - probably from money given to politicans by their lobbies. But the downside is we mute them to fight back and thus screw any paying advertisers out of a chance to deliver impressions - and sometimes even lose desire to finish watching what we were watching...

They also asked if we watched more or less TV than 5 years ago. Answer being "less" because cable TV's rising costs have cut back the number of channels subscribed to and because the Internet offers so much.

10/22/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

dchamil said...

"Islam is not simply a religion, but rather a plan to conquer the world using the cloak of a religion."

Islam is an example of what I call a "synthetic religion". A synthetic religion is a religion that a single person or group actually designed from scratch and then successfully promoted. Other examples of synthetic religions are Mormonism and Scientology. The alternatives to a synthetic religion are the evolved religions that started as obscure cults and then slowly morphed over the centuries into established religions that meshed effectively with local culture. Christianity is a good example of an evolved religion.

When Mohammed designed Islam, he recognized that his religion would compete against Christianity and Judaism. This competitive aspect was designed into Islam. It is no accident that Islam was initially very successful in competing against Christianity. Northern Africa and Asia Minor originally had mainly Christian populations with Constantinople, Alexandria and Carthage being major Christian cities of equal or greater importance to Rome. Islam should have wiped out Christianity much like Christianity wiped out Mithradism and Manachieism. Islam's failure to do so was due to its own contradictions, i.e. promoting itself as a religion of "peace" while actually being a religion of war, forced conversion and slavery. This implicit contradiction was intially not an issue for Islam (actually a source of strength) as it spread like wild fire through northern Africa and Asia. However eventually it's own violence became directed against itself, e.g. the Sunni/Shiite schism. Ultimately the Moslems became as focused on hating each other as hating Christians and Jews. At that point, Islam achieved an equilibrium in terms of territorial expansion. Then the incorporation of Islam into the state religion of the Ottoman Empire bound its fortunes with the rise and fall of that single empire. If petroleum had not been discovered in the Middle East, it's quite possible that Islam would have become just another obscure Middle Eastern religion like Zorasterism.

10/22/2006 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

I majored in political science when I was in college during the 70's & 80's. I hated the discipline because the language was so bad. The textbooks were cover to cover filled with terrible sentences and terrible paragraphs whose point was to conceal rather than reveal. The hidden truth at the bottom of political science is that its not a science. So the academics would mumbo jumbo up the language so as to give their words the appearance of technical jargon.

This trend has only gotten much worse in the last two decades.


Consider the opening paragraphs of this piece. The example of "Theoretics" cited below reminds me of the stuff I read in college. Interestingly the author starts with the the soft sciences but he ends with the hard sciences and string theory. He concludes that it will take 10 years for string theory to die. but it will take much longer for "Theoretics" to die.

By Orson Scott Card

October 8, 2006

Groupthink and the Intellectual Elite

One of the most amusing things about the movement to force immigrants to speak only English is that we have a much more serious language problem on our hands -- and it's centered in the universities.

There are whole departments where English has been effectively banned and replaced with "Theoretics," a language designed so that the speaker can make the listener feel stupid without the speaker actually having to be smart.

I will give you a genuine example taken from a course description at a real university in the United States. Keep in mind that this is designed to be read by the public -- by the students who are deciding whether to take the course.

And please, don't be disturbed if you can't understand anything being said. Your noncomprehension is the purpose of Theoretics. If you understand any part of this, it means that the writer failed.

I will offer a translation afterward. So when you get confused, just skim until you start recognizing the language as English. That will be me talking again.

A Passage in "Theoretics"

"Narratives of Race

"This course takes as its central object the idea of race. Race is understood as a social construct that designates relations of structural difference and disparity. How race is treated is a crucial issue in this course. It is in this question of "the how" that the term narrative becomes salient. The term narrative intentionally focuses attention on the material practices through which we have come to define race as a social construct. This terminology, "narratives of race," spotlights an interest in investigating the historical events and visual and verbal images employed in the linking, patterning, sequencing, and relaying our ways of knowing race and its social relations. Implicated in the construction of race is its production and deployment of the moral and intellectual values that our academic disciplines bear. In considering such values as part of the investigation, this course includes careful comparative analyses of the ways in which the disciplinary systems of ontology, epistemology, aesthetics, and politics are used in the making and remaking of the academic and social grammars of race. Thus the analysis necessarily includes an intertextualization of the several academic disciplines engaging the question of race."

Here is the translation: "This is a course about what we mean by 'race,' particularly at the university." All the rest is smoke, endlessly paraphrasing this slender meaning.

Why didn't they just say that? Because the unreadable language is a code that reveals the hidden message:

"In this class, there will be no content. You will not have to understand anything about the real world. You just have to have all the correct opinions -- which you already know -- and then learn to speak Theoretics fluently and parrot back to the teacher the same empty language that you see here in this course description. Anyone who thinks for himself or disagrees with the teacher will be abused and ridiculed. When you have achieved complete incomprehensibility, with the right attitude, you will pass the course."

10/22/2006 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

The point here is that if there is gibberish being taught in american colleges, consider how much more the gibberish is -- that is being taught at french colleges.

And it is these colleges on both sides of the atlantic that produce the liberal political and media elites.

10/22/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger TonyGuitar said...

This vision is so easy to imagine. . .

Dirty Nuke blast in France..

Now we interrupt regular programming to bring you this message from the president.

President Bush, sir ..

Well folks, . . .

=TG

10/22/2006 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Spog said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/22/2006 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Mr. Spog said...

Wretchard - My impression is that the stories about Bush-worshiping children at "Jesus Camp" are distortions by people who do not know (or conveniently forget) the difference between worshiping someone and praying for his welfare. See for example the Kids in Ministry website.

10/22/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

I wrote this post with tongue in cheek but intending to make a serious point: that we are in a multidimensional and historic crisis compounded of a lot of things: 1) the demographic collapse of the West; 2) the civilizational malaise of which Marxism its weaker cousins liberalism and political correctness are prime symptoms; 3) the empowerment of Islamism by petroleum money; 4) globalization; 5) the resentments of middle powers like France and Russia who pursue fantasist policies and lastly 6) chaos in the Third World. The War on Terror is the result of the convergence of these factors.

None of these can be easily countered by police raids in the suburbs; the revival of western culture (principally by its liberation from the dreadful weight of "progressive" thinking); or kinetic counterterrorism. It will require all of these measures and together they may not be enough.

The last few years have been spent in discovering the accumulated detritus of the past decades. And the incredible size of the problem has convinced me that the West may not survive. And listening to the liberals I realize it may not deserve to survive. At any rate it will be an expensive and ruinous war. Last night I was watching a remastered copy of the "Third Man", set in the shell of postwar Vienna. Europe didn't really physically recover from World War 2 until the mid 1950s. Arguably it still hasn't. Well this war may potentially be worse than World War 2. There's another classic movie set in the ruins of a Western city waiting for some director in the future.

10/22/2006 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

Wretchard wrote:
"And the incredible size of the problem has convinced me that the West may not survive."

That is the key observation! Something strikes me about modern revisionist comments decrying the fire-bombing of German cities & the nuclear bombings of Japanese cities: today's critics make the casual assumption -- Of course our side was going to win! It did not seem that way at the time.

Today, the usual suspects seem to have this presumption that "their side" is going to win; that Islamic terrorism does not stand a chance of interrupting their lives; that Iran & North Korea will never use their nukes against people like them!

I don't know what it is going to take to destroy that casual assumption of effortless survival. If that assumption survives, the West is indeed doomed. If that assumption perishes, it will be a very different West that eventually prevails.

10/22/2006 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Dr. Cruel said...

The French are now getting a full dose of Rousseau's "noble savages", a people not bound by petty bourgeois morality and willing to go the full distance, to even lay down their lives, in pursuit of the ideals and beliefs they hold fast to.

And what are these beliefs? That the people of the West were created by their god to be their chattel and slaves, that they deserve to have a living provided by the West, and that it is moral and just to rob and destrou their property and to murder them if the requiared bribes are not forthcoming - or even if they are.

It was the same with Marxism, and the same with fascist and Nazism. We shall have to see how far Islam will have to go before, they too, dispel the illusion that their quarrels are "societal based", and not simply the old, well-known interests of thieves, cut-throats and pirates.

10/22/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

"The West's own experience with Nazism and Communism shows that both accommodation and confrontation can fuel, rather than retard their growth. There is no magic formula; and perhaps there is no formula."

The West was faced with a third ideology during the 20th century - militant Japan. It took 100,000+ dead at Okinawa, 100,000+ dead from the fire bombings of Tokyo, and the 200,000+ dead at Hiroshima and Nagasaki to finally retard the growth of that murderous ideology. There are many similarities between the religious-based fanatiscism of Islam and the nationalist, racist based fanatiscism of WW2 Japan. Total Victory was a formula that worked - will it be needed again in the 21st century?

10/22/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

If only France had a Joseph McCarthy to raise an alarm!

(The French could chew him up and toss him to the Islamists as a peace offering.)

10/22/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger luc said...

Kinuachdrach said... 10/22/2006 03:57:10 PM

“I don't know what it is going to take to destroy that casual assumption of effortless survival.”

If Wretchard’s understanding is correct, and I am afraid that it is, then what it is required to destroy the widespread assumption of effortless survival, it is the type of event which will also destroy western society as we know it. The only argument left is what will the replacement of our current civilization look like.

10/22/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

Wretchard

As usual, insightful analysis.

I suspect that few Westerners either know or care about the looming disaster on the horizon. They are to distracted by their materialistic lifestyles and amusements to do more than glance at the headlines and sigh "glad it's over there and not here".

What I believe is lacking in the West is the will. Our enemies have absolute will and demonstrate it with each act of barbarity. These ruthless men have demonstrated that they will do whatever is necessary to have their way. Few Westerners even have the will to gaze upon the barbarism on the horizon.

In this PC environment it seems impossible to even find the will to look at the horizon, let alone to decide that we have something worth fighting for and the will to fight.

Bush looked at the American people and rightly decided that most aren't ready to look at the problem, let alone sacrifice anything yet. Europe is a goner. Maybe America will wake up, but I'm not hopeful.

10/22/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

We were confronted with a similar problem in this country in the 1960s. What I think we have learned is that there are two things that must be done.

First. Aggressive policing. If lone cops are being shot at send them around in pairs. If pairs encounter problems, fours and so on. If you have to call out the troops do so. If the area resembles an armed camp, so be it. The thugs cannot be allowed to control the situation.

Second. Welfare is the fuel for this kind of behavior. If they have to work for a living, they have to go to bed instead of going out to riot for the night. It must be ended, along with its flip side, restrictive labor laws.

I am confident that the French, spineless vermin that they are, will undertake neither of these measures. The alternative is a decent in to chaos. When things get bad enough, there will be a Fascist reaction, followed by concentration camps, ethnic cleansing and a full parade of horrors right out the 1930s and 40s.

10/22/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger felix said...

Someone upsteam, Nancee, said that he didn't even see where the French Police were using rubber bullets. I have noticed the same thing. The Police don't even appear to fight back moderately.

I think at some point the police have to fight back, but the political class are apparently afraid to let the police do their job.

10/22/2006 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Are not there laws in France against the making of explosive devices (gasoline bombs), transportation of explosive devices, and destruction of property?

Why have the French authorities not enforced said laws? Do the French enjoy seeing their burned by gasoline most likely gotten from one of their ex-colonies in the Middle East?

If the French continue to tolerate "Car-B-Qs" during Ramadan then the violence will continue to climb. I suspect that today's Happy-go-lucky "Youth" will become tomorrow's suicide bomber. The average French citizen must wake-up before they get barbecued.

10/22/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

If you If you really want to know what the real problem is visit the above page.

There you will find an online book, free.

It may be the most important book you have ever read in your life.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

10/22/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

It's not brain surgery.
Shoot to kill until they stop.
If they don't stop keep shooting.

Deport all non citizens.Please spared me the part about "you can't just deport X million Islams"
'cause ya know what..ya can.
It's way past time to get the conversation out of gear and the gear locked and loaded and let the kill'in begin...results guaranteed if you just keep smok'n 'em.
We'll be doing it here within two years, so stock up now on that ammo, for the muzzie round-up.

PS. do your kids a favor. get them off the soccer fields and onto the gun ranges, they're gonna need those skills a lot more than kicking a round ball over grass.

10/22/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

The attack was one of at least four gang beatings of police in Parisian suburbs since Sept. 19. Early on Friday, a dozen hooded people hurled stones, iron bars and bottles filled with gasoline at two police vehicles in Aulnay sous-Bois, a flash point of last year's riots, city hall spokesman Guillaume Godet said.

One officer required three stitches for a cut to the head.


State of Conflict

10/22/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger jim, northern CA said...

kinu:"I don't know what it is going to take to destroy that casual assumption of effortless survival."
I too picked that out as a key thought. Like (too) many Americans, I voted for JCarter. The US was the problem. When it became clear that the problem was NOT America, well, we had a near mystical belief in our military, CIA, nuclear weapons, you name it. Effortless survival was at hand. All we needed to do was turn on the switch and the Iranians would release our captive citizens. Remember what happened next? The switch was not so easy to turn and panic set in, yet many of us learned a lesson that reverberates today.

10/22/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

So is this the tactic the right will use to excuse their blindness of the Islamist actions? Because at first the right, for now or for that matter forever ignore the left, but the right tried to say that it wasn't Islam that was the cause of the looks like, smells like, must be like a civil war in France. No a year ago the right and the liberatarians adopted the Marxist nonsense that it was because the bastards were poor. Baloney....it was always about the religion and that the Neo Cons and many on the right refuse to see it as such is one of the main reasons for the war losing support. If we are going to be led by people who either believe we are idiots who cannot see who is killing us or worse we are led by people who are idiots who don't know who is killing us we will refuse to follow them.

I am well past tired of the excuses for Islam. Well past tired of hearing how it is only a small minority of people who are willing to take up arms against us. Indeed we have even a smaller group willing to take up arms against the Islamic nutjobs and that should not be taken as an example of us not supporting those who fight in our names.

The Battle for Civilization…pick your partner and dosey doe

10/22/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger JMK2006 said...

A state that tolerates this kind of sustained, murderous rebellion will not last long. A power vacuum soon overtakes the authority vacuum, to be filled with you-know-what (I-s-l-a-m).

10/22/2006 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Goesh said...

What else do you think would or should be happening to gutless cowards for cryin' out loud? I am totally surprised they aren't killing 100 Frogs a day just to keep their combat skills sharp. Frogs can't and won't fight. They are like sheep, milling and bleating, dumb herd animals. Truth be known, I bet the muzzies have been shaking them down for years with threats of violence. It took the nazis about 2 hours to put the boot of oppression on their necks - I'm surprised the muzzies haven't already taken control of France. they could destablize the whole nation in a couple of days via burning government buildings and banks instead of cars. French citizens aren't armed. there should be no surprise here at all.

10/23/2006 04:44:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

According to the Seattle Times report on the Woodard Book

Snow confirmed one detail in the book: Henry Kissinger has been advising Bush about Iraq.

In an interview scheduled to air Sunday on "60 Minutes," Woodward says Kissinger, who served in the Nixon and Ford administrations, has been telling Bush and Cheney that in Iraq, "victory is the only meaningful exit strategy. This is so fascinating. Kissinger's fighting the Vietnam War again, because in his view, the problem in Vietnam is we lost our will. That we didn't stick to it."

10/23/2006 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/23/2006 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Muslim veils prompt bans across Europe

10/23/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Victor Davis Hanson.

What matters now is not so much what the war was or should have been, but only what it is — and whether we have learned from our mistakes and can still win. The answer to both questions is yes. We have the right strategy — birthing (through three elections already) an autonomous democracy; training an army subject to a civil government; and pledging support until it can protect its own constitutional government.

Few American officers are talking about perpetual occupation or even the need for more troops, but rather about the need for a lighter footprint, bolstered by teams of Special Forces and air support, to ensure Iraqi responsibility for their own future,. And the key to success — a diplomatic squeeze on the Sunnis to suppress terrorists in Nineveh and Anbar provinces in exchange for Shiite guarantees of more government inclusion — is now the acknowledged goal of both the Iraqi and American governments.

Thousands in Iraq accept that they have crossed the Rubicon, and they must either make their own democracy work or suffer a fate worse than that of the boat people and the butchered in Southeast Asia when the Americans left.

10/23/2006 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Victor Davis Hanson

The odd thing is that, for all the gloom and furor, and real blunders, nevertheless, by the historical standards of most wars, we have done well enough to win in Iraq, and still have a good shot of doing the impossible in seeing this government survive. More importantly still, worldwide we are beating the Islamic fundamentalists and their autocratic supporters. Iranian-style theocracy has not spread. For all the talk of losing Afghanistan, the Taliban are still dispersed or in hiding — so is al Qaeda. Europe is galvanizing against Islamism in a way unimaginable just three years ago. The world is finally focusing on Iran. Hezbollah did not win the last war, but lost both prestige and billions of dollars in infrastructure, despite a lackluster effort by Israel. Elections have embarrassed a Hamas that, the global community sees, destroys most of what it touches and now must publicly confess that it will never recognize Israel. Countries like Libya are turning, and Syria is more isolated. If we keep the pressure up in Iraq and Afghanistan and work with our allies, Islamism and its facilitators will be proven bankrupt.

In contrast, if we should withdraw from Iraq right now, there will be an industry in the next decade of hindsight exposés — but they won’t be the gotcha ones like State of Denial or Fiasco. Instead we will revisit the 1974-5 Vietnam genre of hindsight — of why after such heartbreak and sacrifice the United States gave up when it was so close to succeeding.

10/23/2006 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger your favorite martian said...

10/22/2006 07:40:03 PM
Papa Ray

The High Command initially noted the similarities between the "Allah" praexomeme and the "Fuhrer" praexomeme. In fact, the Martian that you would identify as my "father -in-law" is has primary responsibility for following the memespace referred to by Earthlings as "Islam". Of course, I cannot disclose the reasons he in particular was chosen. However, he has come to regret its tedium.

Your post is insightful for an Earthling.

Often, among those chosen to watch Earth, an early exercise for small children is to draw conclusions from simple text substitutions such as substituting "Der Fuerher" for "Allah".

But this is little more than child's play, such as we have it here on what you call Mars.

10/23/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

(From Venus here:)

While the French were clucking at our race and inner city problems a decade or two ago, we were tearing down our urban renewal projects from the sixties and seventies, the same period they built their banlieus in a ring 'round Paris.

Now, a bit late, many French recognize that Corbusier's mass housing megastructures become dehumanizing ghettos that cluster an underclass and concentrate despair. We recognized them for the disaster they were when crime and radicalization got out of hand and applied wrecking balls to most of them. France could try to physically disperse its immigrants to break up their victim-criminal-Islamist communal identity, but it may be logistically unviable and politically late, even so.

But providing more jobs and social programs is even less of an answer than demolition, dispersal and deportation. The banlieu Muslims are not a community of individuals lashing out, but a brotherhood jockeying for position within France and Europe. The majority of them are second, third and even fourth generation French-born who are fueled more by group identity, at this point, than by poor prospects. While they look like they're grooving on alienation, anger and anarchy, they're making a power grab with gang and Islamist ghetto values, and most likely with some funding and marching orders from especially Iranian but also from other ME and North African instigators.

They've no need to break out as individuals and assimilate within France at large- to do so would be to lose their group power and identity. But they are vying to break out as a bloc to challenge Gaul. If their bloc succeeds in convincing enough of its host country that its people are victims of racist French society and Christian-Jew-secular Europe (not wholly untrue), and if it manages to intimidate the rest, it will gain a national platform of Tolerance and Inclusion that will actually grow its solidarity and parochial-separatist power.

Wretchard's right in that this is more about us than them, the "immigrants." The French election '07, framed as a choice between Progressive justice/appeasement or a law and order/ nationalistic backlash, will be an interesting tell on the state of western civ in old Europe. And in the NYT (same thing.)

10/23/2006 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

I recall a line from "Das Boot".

"The Brittish have stopped making mistakes."

And I'd like to believe that this is true now as well.

A while ago our gracious host posted an insightful essay comparing Islam to a shakedown. The problem, as Wretchard saw it, was that for a shake down to work the mob must carefully insure that paying is preferable to fighting. The contention was that the cartoon riots exposed Islam as a group of independant actors all vying for a piece of the danegeld (Jyzya?) that could be had by shaking angry fists at europeans.

The French riots may well be a serious tipping point, causing the Europeans to shake off their denial and recognize the nature of the threat. As the threats scale up the ability to deny to problem diminishes.

Today VDH states that Europe is galvanizing. We'll see, we'll see, but the riots cannot help the Islamic shakedown and they will make fighting far more attractive than paying.

10/23/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

The French and European Left, after WWII, recognized what they saw as the twin evils in the world. These were racism and colonialism. This cross-bred with the "white guilt" of the US Left, and they all went to the races riding that mule of multi-culturism.
As Stephen Foster may have sung:
"De Campustown lefties sing dis song -- Doo-dah! doo-dah!'...and they sang and they sang on.

Great fun while it lasted.

10/23/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Charles - VDH had his brief Neocon moment in the sun, but he now stands as one of the last bought and paid for Zionist tools espousing Sharanskyism.

The answer to both questions is yes. We have the right strategy — birthing (through three elections already) an autonomous democracy; training an army subject to a civil government; and pledging support until it can protect its own constitutional government.

3 elections already? Training an Army subject to civil authority? Supporting them until their splendid noble purple fingers release from the power drills making holes in their opponents brains and begin "loving their Constitution??"

I believe we have done that 8 times in Haiti since 1900...8 autononomous democracies established by US blood and treasure -- and we can see the fruits of our efforts in the paradise Haiti is today.

And that is without the Haitians being burdened by a fanatical 7th Century religion. We have no choice, because other than Bush, his corporatists, and various Lefties -- we greatly prefer the Haitians to be in Haiti rather than in boats coming here to mooch off American taxpayers and spread crime and disease.

Perhaps Iraq will one day show they are capable - but for now, they believe not enough killing has been done - the Americans are just another target in the middle blocking the needed killing so IT IS GOOD to kill them too, and they must finish a Civil War 1st to expunge the tribal bloodfeud.

************************
Goesh - Frogs can't and won't fight. They are like sheep, milling and bleating, dumb herd animals. Truth be known, I bet the muzzies have been shaking them down for years with threats of violence. It took the nazis about 2 hours to put the boot of oppression on their necks.

Such a sweeping generalization could be applied to other peoples - the Jews, the Danes - equally incorrectly. After centuries of being seen as fightless sheep more interested in making money off warfare than fighting for a cause - Jews, to the pleasure of Jews and the shock of many others - proved they could fight reasonably well when their backs were up against a wall, and that they could be something other than middlemen if they set their minds to it.

The French can be quite vicious. Like the rest of Europe, they are slowly realizing the Muslims they brought in are transforming into an enemy within and pushing their backs up against a wall. And history shows Europe can move with electric speed to discard societal norms, laws, "human rights of the Oppressed" platitudes when survival is at stake. I hope they do again. The sooner, the better. Even if it is to be a new version of Fascism. Which was erected as a bulwark against the Red Terror and was successful in that aspect of an otherwise destructive movement. Perhaps the lessons of Spain and WWII can be applied to prevent the worst, inhuman elements of Fascism from re-emerging if it becomes necessary to politically transform Europe from present self-destructive political and legal norms - to remove Islam from Europe..

10/23/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Goyo said...

Re: Jesus Camp
Just wanted to reiterate what Mr. Spog said. Praying for president Bush is not exactly the same thing as worshiping him. The teachers at Jesus camp were trying to obey the scriptural injuction:

(1 Timothy 2:1, 2) 1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

If it was the 90's they would have been praying for President Clinton in the same way.

Greg Marquez
goyomarquez@earthlink.net
www.IVChristianCenter.com

10/23/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

And the incredible size of the problem has convinced me that the West may not survive.

I refuse to believe that our God will allow their Allah to win.

10/23/2006 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Wretchard
And the incredible size of the problem has convinced me that the West may not survive. And listening to the liberals I realize it may not deserve to survive. At any rate it will be an expensive and ruinous war.
////////
I don't think its an expensive and ruinous war. Relative to other major wars in the 20th century this one is cheap in terms of blood and treasure.

Nor do I think the main action is on the battlefields. I would liken them to the climatic battle for middle earth of lotr. That battle was basically a diversion so as to keep the evil eye of mordor off the work of the company of the ring.

What we have currently is one immense civilization dying and another one being born. What's hard to grasp is that the borning and dying is happening in the same places. Islam always has been and always will be an late empire religion. So Islam illuminates the dying part. Islam has nothing to say nor does it illuminate the borning part of the new civilization emerging.

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

"I refuse to believe that our God will allow their Allah to win."

We cannot lose. We can only surrender. The issue is whether we are willing to visit upon our enemies, and their populace(s), the level of slaughter necessary for them to cease their quest for World dominion through violent conquest, however they may have gussied it up. As I have said here before, these guys need the resolute application of "the terrible, swift sword"...repeatedly if necessary.

It is comforting to think that we are dealing with a circumstance like the Napoleonic Wars. We are not. These guys are the Goths at the Gates of Rome. Failure to resist them is surrender.

10/23/2006 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

C-4, I commend you for the recent and much improved tenor of what have always been excellent posts. Your opinions and insights are clear when not riddled with distracting chaff. Keep up the good work.

10/23/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

I refuse to believe that our God will allow their Allah to win.

The Creator is one. It is not divided against itself.

10/23/2006 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

And history shows Europe can move with electric speed to discard societal norms, laws, "human rights of the Oppressed" platitudes when survival is at stake. I hope they do again. The sooner, the better. Even if it is to be a new version of Fascism.

That statement just clarifies what kind of blog this is, and what kind of people blog here.

10/23/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Charles - I don't think its an expensive and ruinous war. Relative to other major wars in the 20th century this one is cheap in terms of blood and treasure.

So far the US has borrowed 2 trillion from the Chinese, Japanese, and Saudis to piss away on searching grannies and playing whack-a-mole in Afghanistan and Iraq. And to enrich battalions of lawyers working the enemy rights scam. In the last 5 years, we have accumulated massive debt for what is now blithely tossed off as the "Long War" where we haven't even decided who the enemy is.

That is already more money than we spent on WWI, Korea, Vietnam.

Not surprising because America has become habituated to "no sacrifice, no draft", "high tech wonder toys and enough Hero government employees paid to save us" - will keep us and our troops
in perfect safety.

Not cheap..in another 10 years, it will surpass what the Civil War or WWII set America back financially unless we come up with better strategy than whack-a-mole.

And one reason we were not ruined financially after WWII like Britain and France were, was because our industrial base was intact. In this war, our competitors get stronger and our industrial base is being wrecked by the transnational elites and Bush corporatists. So the longer we go on. and the longer we go on using B-1 bombers at a million a mission to precision bomb a suspected "evildoer" planting a surplus eight-dollar Soviet 155mm howizer shell on some Sunni Triangle dirt road - the longer the Bush-described "Long War" goes on with the current strategy and "no sacrifice for perfect safety" - the weaker we get.

10/23/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Roderick said...

I never had a problem with government imposing extraconstitutional restrictions in wartime in the past.

The difference is that back then we first had a formal declaration of war, and even the major wars only lasted a few years. After that, it could be safely assumed that civil liberties would be restored to prewar levels. Also, our government(s0 in peacetime were smaller and less obtrusive than is the case now.

With the promise that this is going to be a "long war," and the fact that government is huge and overbearing already, civil liberty restrictions these days will amount to surrender to a very different form of government that we were meant to have.

10/23/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

C-4, Allen over at the Elephant Bar pointed to your post to which I previously commented. he noted that you said:.. "Even if it is to be a new version of Fascism. Which was erected as a bulwark against the Red Terror and was successful in that aspect of an otherwise destructive movement"...

I responded to Allen and now to you:

Allen, astute obersavation and you are quite correct. I missed that. Fascism and communism are two peas in the same pod. They both need to create an external threat and revert to oppression and to scapegoat internally. Their sustenance is on creating threats if they cannot genuinely find them.

Arnold Beichman noted the phenomenon in
"The Surprising Roots of Facism" where he says:
…Nikolai Bukharin, the leading Soviet ideologist whom Stalin purged, began to have misgivings about the Revolution and began to allude to the fascist features of the emerging system. Gregor wrote:
By the early 1930s, the ‘convergence’ of fascism and Stalinism struck Marxists and non-Marxists alike . . .. By the mid-1930s, even Trotsky could insist that ‘Stalinism and fascism, in spite of deep difference in social foundations, are symmetrical phenomena’ . .

Fascism never was a responed to an external threat nor was communism. They feed on internal supposed threats. There is hardly a spit of difference between the two.

3:12 PM, October 23, 2006

10/23/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Rich Rostrom said...

Fascism was invented by ex-Reds. By 1900, it was apparent that Marx was wrong. Capitalism was not going to reach a crisis that would provoke the Great Proletarian Revolution. Some ex-Reds (such as Mussolini) thought mystical nationalism and a cult of solidarity would gain popular support for Revolution.

Other Reds, i.e. Lenin, called for the creation of a "disciplined vanguard party" to seize power, after which the masses would join in.

10/23/2006 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Cedarford said...
Charles - I don't think its an expensive and ruinous war. Relative to other major wars in the 20th century this one is cheap in terms of blood and treasure.
//////////
So far the US has borrowed 2 trillion from the Chinese, Japanese, and Saudis to piss away on searching grannies and playing whack-a-mole in Afghanistan and Iraq.
///////////
This is way too much happy talk.

You've been on this board long enough to know that military expenditures as a percentage of gdp are a fraction of of the vietnam war era and those were a fraction of military expenditures as a percentage of gdp during ww2.

The numbers you cite above are more like the total homeland security & dod budgets spread over five years. Total federal outlays over that period are about 10 trillion or 2 trillion annually.

You also know perfectly well that the great money danger is not the military budget but rather comes from the current enormous and unsustainable imbalance of trade in the civilian economy. And that imbalance comes from foreign oil and the chinese that feeds the civilian economy.

Its just so happens that I think that we will invent our way out of both the oil problem and the chinese problem in the next 10 years. There's just some truely amazing stuff that's going to come and is now coming out of the skunk works.

For example GE has just developed a gas station sized hydrogen electrolyzer that can convert water to hydrogen for the equivalent of $3@gallon.

10/23/2006 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Well C4, your obsevation about a fascist system could well be right on the money, but it is very scary. Europeans are very efficient fascists, while the Muslims are relative neophytes, they are more suited to medeival times, the only reason they have gotten as far as they have is spineless western leaders.

I have been thinking we should pull out of Europe and leave it to its fate, but I don't think I'd care for the results if they go fascist in order to eliminate the Islamic threat. Arrrghh!

If we pulled out Russia would probably take over before they got their butt's organized, even Fascist Putin would be unhappy about another rival.

Maybe we should make a contract with the Russians. Here it is: take over, loot the place for 10 years or so and give them a dose of reality, then withdraw they are too big a headache for you anyway.
We will also let you clean out that other place you have had trouble with. What is it called Ch..., something or other.

10/23/2006 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"That statement just clarifies what kind of blog this is, and what kind of people blog here."

Four sentences, from C4 of all, define this blog and thoose who post here?

10/23/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"Europeans are very efficient fascists."

Efficient? They pitched themselves back to about the Stone Age TWICE in less than 30 years. I suppose that shows some sort of efficiency.

10/23/2006 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

roderick - The difference is that back then we first had a formal declaration of war,

Those are archaic words in the US Constitution. Made illegal over the last 60 years by UN Charter. If saying the "magic words" rather than fixing the Constitution's words means sooo much, it will require a withdrawal from the UN and most bilateral diplomatic agreements we have. Meanwhile, while we wait on a badly overdue revision of what was once a good document before passage of time accumulated flaws...all diplomats, most Constitutional scholars, and all but the most extreme political ideologues say a Congressional Authorization of the Use of Force both satisfies both archaic Constitutional intent and global norms;

and even the major wars only lasted a few years.

Not true. Think 100 years war, 30 years war, the officially intermittant but in reality 64 year long war from Queen Anne's War to Waterloo.

After that, it could be safely assumed that civil liberties would be restored to prewar levels.

Even in America we had our 1620-1890 low-intensity war with native Americans. The whole idea of "forever-lost" civil liberties only applies to the losing side in warfare. Yes, the slaveholders DID lose their property and YES it was against the sacred 5th Amendment. So what! For the winning side, it is like saying anytime you go to war, you threaten long-term risk to marriage after the war is over. A total non-sequiter.

Also, our government(s0 in peacetime were smaller and less obtrusive than is the case now.

Not so small or unobtrusive that seditious people were not able to be tracked in every town , dossiers compiled on them, Draft resistors arrested, and conscripted deserters shot. And communications and all mail across national lines monitored. And instantaneous news sent & received. And whole areas of the economy appropriated by the government for the war effort. That was 140 years ago, in our Civil War.

With the promise that this is going to be a "long war," and the fact that government is huge and overbearing already, civil liberty restrictions these days will amount to surrender to a very different form of government that we were meant to have.

"Once Lost, Forever Lost" civil liberties from fighting any war - is one of those big lies that defies all history but is repeated, as a Big Lie, enough so that people grow to believe in it - contrary to the record. Same with "Torture Never Works", "It's All About the Oil!!", "Tolerance is All The Intolerant Need to Become Tolerant".

Want to lose civil liberties? Lose a war with an enemy able to push their terms on you in the bargain. Want the matter put to a vote? List all "enemy rights" and "precious civil liberties" you want preserved no matter what, no matter how many dead and maimed Americans it creates, no matter how high taxes have to go to fund the millions of new armed Gov't security employees that people imagine "will be needed to make us safer."

Charles - I agree that the rise of debt and unfunded liabilities from 20 trillion to 42 trillion under Bush have military and security outlays well in a secondary role to the explosion in entitlements and negligence on cutting costs there. But the moneys thrown at the "Evildoers" are still huge, and come as Bush lets the Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force decay away (AF down 300 planes since Bush took office, Naval Fleet now is half it's size under Reagan, US Coast Guard now has the oldest cutter fleet of any advanced nation)) and 90 billion in "reset costs" for destroyed Army equipment are tucked away for the next President to deal with.

10/23/2006 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I refuse to believe that our God will allow their Allah to win.

The Creator is one. It is not divided against itself.


What if Allah is the devil in disguise? That Lucifer being who was second only to God, and was cast out for being ... all the things that Allah seems to be. Or at least Mohammad (propeller beanie upon him) seems to be.

I agree, by the way, that the battle is ours to lose only if we give up and run away without fighting. I sincerely do not see any way for the Muslims to win against a committed, flexible, humane and smart enemy. Just ain't gonna happen.

For one thing, they base *so* much of their current existance upon ideas and technology they have stolen from us. Ask yourself what would happen if the oil experts and the air conditioning experts and the medical doctors who know about AIDS and genetic inbreeding all quit hiring themselves out to the Middle East. Not to mention the car salesmen.

10/23/2006 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

What if Allah is the devil in disguise? That Lucifer being who was second only to God, and was cast out for being ... all the things that Allah seems to be

Search the scriptures and find a single thing Satan did wrong that was not 1) commanded for him to do by God, and 2) not hearsay. And don't say he "provoked David to number Israel" because the LORD did that too (2 Sam. 24:1) so by definition it was not wrong.

10/23/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

C4

Charles - I agree that the rise of debt and unfunded liabilities from 20 trillion to 42 trillion under Bush have military and security outlays well in a secondary role to the explosion in entitlements and negligence on cutting costs there. But the moneys thrown at the "Evildoers" are still huge, and come as Bush lets the Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force decay away (AF down 300 planes since Bush took office, Naval Fleet now is half it's size under Reagan, US Coast Guard now has the oldest cutter fleet of any advanced nation)) and 90 billion in "reset costs" for destroyed Army equipment are tucked away for the next President to deal with.
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Even if they pulled out of Iraq tomorrow it wouldn't significantly effect the military budget.

The current US budget deficit is set to fall to $250 billion this year and is expected to balance by 2008.

(Whereas the trade deficit is over 700 billion this year and rising)

There are reasons to quit Iraq. But one of them isn't that its breaking the budget.

and this must be weighed against the risk of having Iraq fall into the hands of radical islamists who would then have unlimited oil revenues to fund their ventures.

10/23/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

2164th wrote:

"Allen, astute obersavation and you are quite correct. I missed that. Fascism and communism are two peas in the same pod. They both need to create an external threat and revert to oppression and to scapegoat internally. Their sustenance is on creating threats if they cannot genuinely find them."

It is remarkable how much of this applies to the current climate in the US. Of course, in the US context so many would argue that the external threat is real and the lefties and MSM are REALLY undermine all that is right and good...then again I guess the Commies and Fascists also would come up with similar arguments. Orwell was on to something.

10/24/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

What's with all this picking on China? It's not your enemy! They wish they are, but frankly speaking, they're not. Even the Taiwan issue has progressed too far for them to try anything violent; they have got too much to lose.

And the chinese people, sucking in greedily the first vestiges of freedom, economic and social, will not allow their current good times to be derailed by the bombastic demands of their supposed leaders.

All you need to know about the extent of respect the chinese have for their leadership, hyperbole aside, is how many of them willingly flaunt the rules when it suits them.

Don't give them any reason to get antagonised. Unlike Islam, China has some real reasons to get ired over past bullying by the West. You really don't want most history-ignorant chinese to be reminded of that.

And besides, in a fight between the Ruskies and the Chinks, I still bet on the Chinks. In the one straight-up fight they had against the US, they held their ground(well, kinda), albeit at a disastrous loss in lives.

And if the US does fall to its internal and external enemies in the next hundred years, the next best hope against islamic fundamentalism would be India and China... and India is already compromised to a significant extent. China, on the other hand, is not.

10/25/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger JM Hanes said...

2164th: "Fascism and communism are two peas in the same pod. They both need to create an external threat and revert to oppression and to scapegoat internally. Their sustenance is on creating threats if they cannot genuinely find them."

That commonality, however, is hardly exclusive to fascism and communism. It is not just a feature of nearly every government whose grip on power is non-consensual, you'll also find it in elected governments whose hold on power is tenuous in almost any regard. In the first it serves as the putative basis for heavily armed militarized agencies of government which actually operate internally, more often than not. In both the former and the latter, it is a technique for deflecting/projecting discontent and potential internal challenges outward.

Even in democratic Europe, anti-Americanism has served in similar nascent fashion, but it's a dangerous form of blindness. Where democratic underpinnings are less secure, you end up all too easily with Hugo Chavez. Hopefully the European reaction to internal threats, in France, for example, will come in the form of a Sarkozy not a Le Pin. Thanks to Chirac's own weaknesses, esp. in the face of increasingly obvious violence, one hopes it may come sooner now, rather than later. The point, however, is that the threat factor is less emblematic of any one ideology over another, than it is specific to the management of power under almost any banner.

Iran, of course, is a particularly interesting case, as well as a cautionary tale. Despite the early hostage taking, the Iranian revolution was not profoundly anti-American in character at the outset. The Great Satan theme arose with a vengeance, so to speak, after the Shah was ousted and the revolution won. I remember thinking at the time that main problem the Mullahs faced was reshaping & redirecting the otherwise ungovernable passions of a heavily armed population long enough to consolidate their own power -- in essence delaying the popular realization that one yoke had been exchanged for another till it was too late to regroup.

Should the U.S. depart Iraq prematurely, it's entirely possible that such scapegoating will be the most immediate result. Having eliminated the primary impediment to Iranian ambitions, in the form of Saddam, we will be looking at a newly created, anti-American satellite of Iran -- and a theocratic hegemon sitting on the combined resources of both Iran and Iraq.

10/25/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind comments concerning my review of Camus' THE PLAGUE. We both agree that Camus saw hope as a quality that is most in need when in the shortest supply.

12/18/2006 04:45:00 PM  

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