Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Clueless

From the Guardian, some facts about Lebanon:

Major political attacks in Lebanon during the last two years:

  • February 14 2005 Former prime minister Rafik Hariri, killed in a bombing.
  • June 2 2005 Anti-Syrian journalist Samir Kassir, killed by a car bomb.
  • June 21 2005 Anti-Syrian politician George Hawi, killed by a car bomb.
  • July 12 2005 Deputy prime minister and defence minister Elias Murr, survives car bombing in Beirut.
  • September 25 2005 Prominent television anchorwoman May Chidiac of the leading anti-Syrian TV station LBC, loses an arm and a leg from a car bomb.
  • December 12 2005 Prominent anti-Syrian newspaper editor and parliamentarian Gibran Tueni killed by a car bomb.
  • November 21 2006 Prominent Christian politician Pierre Gemayel, shot dead by gunmen in a Beirut suburb.

Notice any patterns? Hmm. Then the Guardian offers some speculation.

One theory advanced yesterday is that in the wake of the Republicans' midterm electoral defeat, and with George Bush's Iraq policy in tatters, Syria may be feeling sufficiently emboldened to turn up the heat in Lebanon again.

Bush made them do it. In the immortal words of Ed Wood, "Inspector Clay's dead, murdered, and somebody's responsible." The Guardian wouldn't happen to know who stuck the knife into that Iraq policy, would they? Leaking classified information,  alleging atrocities, glorifying terrorists, that kind of thing? And finally they offer the immemorial spin. The Jews may be mixed up in it someplace.

All this comes at a critical moment for Lebanon as it strives to recover from the month-long bombardment by Israeli forces triggered by a border incident last July when Hizbullah's militia seized two Israeli soldiers. The government is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid for reconstruction and has been hoping to kickstart the economy with new investment, but these efforts could be stymied if the political uncertainties continue.

In all this Whodunnit the reader is led around circles. Bodies fall out of closets. Cars blow up. Missiles rain down from the sky. And the trail leads everywhere but where it directly goes. Perhaps readers in the far future will be understand how two countries, Syria and Iran could conduct a war against its neighbors without the Mainstream Media noticing. But we have a clue. The most interesting point -- in case you missed it -- about the Lancet study alleging that 650,000 people have died in Iraq, is that it is all America's fault. Well, maybe it is.

71 Comments:

Blogger Wu Wei said...

Looks like President Bush is finally picked himself up off the mat and starting punching again:

Bush warns Syria, Iran after Lebanon killing
Nov 21 10:16 PM US/Eastern

US President George W. Bush accused Syria and Iran of fomenting violence and instability in Lebanon, as he condemned the assassination of Lebanese cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel.
...

"Today we saw again the vicious face of those who hate freedom," Bush told American troops in Hawaii during a trip home from Asia.

"We strongly condemn the assassination today in Lebanon of Pierre Gemayel."

"We support the Siniora government and its democracy and we support the Lebanese people's desire to live in peace and we support their efforts to defend their democracy against attempts by Syria, Iran and allies to foment instability and violence in that important country," said Bush.

The killing came against a backdrop of global calls, so far resisted by the United States, for a dialogue with Syria and Iran over chaos in Iraq.

But Bush's tone, further bolstered in a written statement on the killing, appeared to cast further doubt on already slim chances of such a diplomatic opening.

"Syria's refusal to cease and desist from its continuing efforts to destabilize Lebanon's democratically elected government" was a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, Bush said.

"We also demand that Syria treat Lebanon as a genuinely sovereign neighbor, establishing full diplomatic relations with Lebanon," he said.

11/21/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger neo-neocon said...

That Guardian article reminded me of the old joke that illustrates the definition of chutzpah: the guy who murders his parents and throws himself on the mercy of the court because he's an orphan. The MSM doesn't see its own fingerprints on the murder weapon, along with those of Syria and/or Iran.

11/21/2006 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

what's going on at the elephant bar..it is off the net

11/21/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

test

11/21/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Habu, it's there. Try going off-line for a sec and then back. Are you the two commie guests?

11/21/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Das said...

That are funny Wretchard; I know this is serious stuff but your post made me laugh; good old Ed Wood...

11/21/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

wu wei:

President Bush can talk all he likes. What can he threaten Syria or Iran with? Regime change? Especially when the appeaser factions of Washington are falling over themselves to beg Syria and Iran for our terms of capitulation?

The rise of the "paleorealists" in Washington ironically makes war with Iran more likely because the very idea of directly talking with Iran vaporizes any and all American credibility with those who would otherwise be our allies. Weakness invites attack. Iran and Syria and Saudi Arabia will push and push and push, and unless we push back, there is no incentive for them to stop.

11/21/2006 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Das said...

...watching the movie Alexander nevsky on the Intl Film Channel. A great line; Alexander's advisors try to get him to pull back to the lake shore that borders Russian soil. Alexander looks at his advisors with disgust and says, "he who cannot fight on foreign soil will not fight on his own!"

11/21/2006 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Brett L said...

Alexis:

If we did it the John Derbyshire way, we could offer regime change is Syria. (Kill the boss, break their shit, and tell them we'll be back when they misbehave again).

When they don't have roads or airports, it'll put a crimp in Hizbollah's supply lines. I wouldn't mind seeing how well the Syrians deal with serial assassination of their leaders.

11/21/2006 10:38:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

...Instead, the Bush administration has upheld the anti-Syrian and anti-Hezbollah government in Lebanon as an example of democracy and moderation. It trumpeted the fact that Syria had to pull troops from Lebanon when the country's democratic movement flourished after the 2003 Iraq invasion.

But Tuesday's assassination could, some fear, bring down the Lebanese government - either indirectly by causing instability or, more directly, by lowering the anti-Syrian coalition's majority in the Cabinet. Because the pro-Syrian president is unlikely to approve a replacement for Gemayel, the loss of his vote would give Hezbollah more power to push for the government to be dissolved.


Overture Chances

11/21/2006 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Alexis said...
"wu wei:
President Bush can talk all he likes. What can he threaten Syria or Iran with?
"
---
Exactly. This admin has a rather long and unbroken record of empty threats for several years now.
GWB was CIC in '03, '04, '05, and '06, as best I can recall, all years according to Steyn that Rumsfeld said he advocated punishing Syria.
As Steyn said, Baby Doc would not have even lodged a complaint at the public humiliation of his mansions and war toys becoming junk.
The CIC, not Dan Rather, chose not to act in Syria and Iran.
There will be Hell to pay, but for some reason many here still hold GWB harmless of any responsibility for the irresponsible lack of use of force, over and over again.
Why, is beyond me.
---
While speaking to a group of conservatives at the WH, Bush responded to Steyn re Syria, that committing troops was a serious matter and awesome responsibility.
Who could disagree, but the question of the decision not to utilize the USAF remains unanswered.

11/22/2006 03:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I really find it hard to believe that many would find no fault with Clinton if it had been he that allowed multiple sanctuaries for training, staging, and arming the enemy who was killing our troops as well as Iraqis to remain completely unmolested for years.

11/22/2006 03:21:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

wow, narcisismm is is full gear here.

We're commenting on this from an
American perspective but we're not looking at this from a regional perspective at all.

As was pointed out on a comment thread elsewhere, Iraq and syria are about to start jaw-jaw.

What is the impact of this event on that development? What's Nouri al Maliki's take on this? How about: Nasrallah is to Sadr as Siniora is to Maliki? Think that's what HE wants for Iraq?

Next, why is hezzbullah pushing the Lebannese government now? They needed no such effort in the past. They carried out their stated mission of resistance against the zionist pig dog oppressors while maintaining something less that total control in Beirut in the past. They weren't in control when they started the last little bout. What's changed?

So, why are they going at the Siniora government now? Why are they doing this at all?

If we could get away from EBB (endless Bush bashing) for just a moment and ask some other hard questions I beleive the conversation would be far more fruitful.

Finally, I question the timing of this. To many of us, the big downer in the recent past was the Democrat win. But those guys don't even assume the majority until January so why do all this now? Why not wait until jerks like Waxman and Conyers have a chance to bog down the admin in endless "oversight" bullshit and then strike?

On a prior thread I posted a sort of semi tongue in cheek proposition: What if WE had the guy killed? The underlying point of this is that we really don't have anywhere near all the facts and we're judging the situation based on what little we know and jumping to some amazing conclusions.

11/22/2006 03:51:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> To many of us, the big downer in the recent past was the Democrat win. But those guys don't even assume the majority until January so why do all this now?

Link

Al Qaeda welcomes Democratic victory

The latest audio by al Qaeda's Iraq commander -- posted 48 hours after the midterm elections -- sends a clear signal to the readers of the jihadi strategic mind: Al Qaeda and its advisers around the world want to provoke an "American Madrid." Portraying the United States as a bleeding bull in disarray, the war room projects its wish to see America's will crippled. The video attempts to do the following:
1. Convince the jihadists that the United States is now defeated in Iraq and beyond. While no reversal of the balance of power has taken place on the ground, the jihadi propaganda machine is linking the shift in domestic politics to a withdrawal from Iraq. It projects the change in Washington as a crumbling of the political process in Baghdad and America's foreign policy. Interestingly, others in the region are also "announcing" the upcoming defeat of America in the war on terror. Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah declared: "The Americans are leaving, and their allies will pay the price."
2. Spread political chaos at home. Jihadists portray the Democratic takeover of Congress and the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (and maybe others) as signs of American weakening in the resolve to fight jihadism. The video had a potential to frustrate U.S. citizens if it is not accurately interpreted by experts. Americans may end up believing that the message reflects the situation in the Middle East and that it is a logical outcome of a faulty U.S. policy. If the Bush administration and the new congressional leaders do not respond adequately to the video, some "chaos" of this sort may ensue...

So what do the speechwriters want to achieve with these kinds of tapes? They aim at sapping American public morale during a time when reorganization is taking place in the U.S. government. Reading from the jihadi wishful thinking, the audiotape of al Muhajir and the statements made by other radical Islamists send the following message: Americans are being thanked for removing Mr. Bush's party from the leadership of Congress, which the jihadists attribute to the war on terror rather than U.S. domestic problems. Al Qaeda's audio tells citizens in the United States that they were wise for having responded positively to the previous messages by Osama bin Laden. Al Masri's words aim at convincing the American public to pressure their newly elected legislators to pull U.S. forces hastily from Iraq.
In short, al Qaeda wants an American Madrid: it wishes that a change of power in January would be accompanied by a change of national determination, not just a change of course within Iraq. ..

The masters of the forum, emulating al Masri's audiotape, said not only that "we got their soldiers on the run in Iraq," but "we got their citizens on the run on their own soil" referring to the November electoral outcome. They promised that with more killings in Iraq, they will break the will of Americans at home; and that the new Congress, seeking to fulfill one of its electoral promises will force the Bush administration to pack up and leave the Middle East.
In Washington, both the administration and the new congressional leaders failed to seriously respond to the al Qaeda message. Grave mistake; for ignoring the speech would help convincing the jihadists that America is divided and crumbling and would embolden them to strike further, not only in Iraq but also inside the United States. The silent treatment works in favor of the Salafi combatants: It only leads them to believe that they are right and that their strategy is working; just as Allah had crushed the Soviets in Afghanistan, he has divided the Americans. It is, therefore, imperative that Washington strikes back in a unified manner at every opportunity that arises. It must tell the dreamers of a terror caliphate that American democracy will not serve as a weapon to defeat freedom worldwide.

11/22/2006 04:06:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

Bush = tough talk with an empty rifle

11/22/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Wu,

-It is an unfortuanate fact of life that Americans are far too parochial a people to respond to jihadist propaganda. They should, but they don't. The Government doesn't even care to. This is a mistake, but not enough people get angry about jihadist ramblings: it's considered background noise.

Gemayel,

-This is the opening shot of the Winter War. I always suspected that 1701 would fall apart. Indeed, I knew that Rice called time out because of the execrable bungling of Ehud Olmert and his government of intellectual Three-Card Monte dealers. She is much more of a realist than many conservatives, especially pro-Zionist conservatives, give her credit for being, and I suspect she realizes that the Iranians and their Syrian toadies must be allowed to make the first overt hostile act.

Gemayel's assassination is of a piece with Hezboallah's bid for power. Syria and Iran stand behind him. What is inevitable is another Rocket Campaign, this time from all three sides of Israel, including an assault on the Golan Heights from Syria. The Boy President will seek to force Israel off the heights.

What I believe will happen is that the Israelis will take advantage of their lopsided superiority in technology, training and equipment and go into Syria. This will not be expected by either the Syrians or the Iranians.

Hezboallah depends on the Syrian lifeline for arms and equipment. Hezboallah's tactical strategy of defense in depth has always depended on the IDF attacking, as it did during the summer, up the gut and through the network of reinforced bunkers.

Neither Hezboallah nor the Syrians, nor the Revolutionary Guards Corps advisors in the Iranian embassy in Damascus are counting on the entire kit and caboodle being encircled from the rear through the Beirut-Damascus Highway. But that's what will happen.

The entire effort will be aimed at cutting off the Boy President in the West from his Iranian Patron in the East. Once that is done, Iran will be cut down to size and its influence demonstrably reduced. The movement towards negotiations advocated by Jim Baker (and resisted by Rice and Kissinger, for the time being) has emboldened the Ahmadhi-Nejad regime and its regional clients. Negotiation attempts were perceived, however incorrectly, as a sign of weakness. As a result, the fascists struck. Gemayel's assassination was simply the latest manifestation of this.

There will be war. It will be regional in scope and breathtaking in its decisiveness.

By the way, reading the Guardian is enough to make one pull one's hair out. Truly, one could move a few phrases around and end up with Die Volkescher Beobachter, such is the breadth and extent of anti-Semitism, masquerading as anti-Zionism, among British opinion molders today.

11/22/2006 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Defining terms:


Gemayel's assassination is of a piece with Hezboallah's bid for power. Syria and Iran stand behind him. What is inevitable is another Rocket Campaign, this time from all three sides of Israel, including an assault on the Golan Heights from Syria. The Boy President will seek to force Israel off the heights.

By "him", I meant Sheikh Nasrallah, chief cook and bottle washer for Hezboallah.

11/22/2006 06:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

goesh

Bush = tough talk with an empty rifle

No, that's the funny thing, Bush has the greatest military force ever assembled on God's green earth, but he doesn't have the will to use it to put down an insurrection. This would mean blocking roads and bridges, clearing towns house-to-house, and calling in airstrikes at the slightest hint of resistance. No, don't rock the boat, we've got things down to a pretty good routine now and only lose 90 Americans a month or so.

11/22/2006 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Sardonic said...

Pathetic. First the Liberals back-stab the West (repeatedly - it does not seem to actually want to die for some reason), and then they blame the West (or it's synonym, George Bush) for all the "Failures". Wow. That's taking the concept of hypocrisy to a new low, isn't it?

11/22/2006 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> It is an unfortuanate fact of life that Americans are far too parochial a people to respond to jihadist propaganda. They should, but they don't. The Government doesn't even care to.

Maybe the American voters were responding to both. They're sick of seeing the jihadist crap on TV, and sick of our government not responding to it. I think a lot of people cast a protest vote not to surrender, but to give Bush a kick in the bottom to get him to start fighting harder.

Bush's whole shtik seems to be playing chicken, brinkmanship. He makes his mind up then charges ahead without blinking, depending on everyone else to give in, in order to avoid disaster.

That's a good trick sometimes, but Bush uses it wrong. He doesn't talk to enough people before making the decision, so he ends up with some bad ones. He also dumps on his allies, just running over them in "chicken", so they aren't there when he needs them.

Bush's big gamble is that he won't answer the terrorists or talk to anyone in Congress because he figures he will get his way anyway. As the article said,

The silent treatment works in favor of the Salafi combatants: It only leads them to believe that they are right and that their strategy is working; just as Allah had crushed the Soviets in Afghanistan, he has divided the Americans.

11/22/2006 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Das said...

I wish our politicos would cut loose and do something symbolic for our side - such as - sending in the 1st Batallion 8th Marines (2nd Marine Division) to help Israel in their next bout with Hez. With our boys getting their own back they would clear southern Lebanon of the terrorists in days. None of our leaders has the balls to make such a gesture. Shows where we're at in this thing. Leaders timid fearful hesitant; incapable of inspiring thet troops or the homefront...

11/22/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Wu,

Believe me, I wasn't justifying American communications strategy, or lack therof, during this war. It is parody masqurading as incompentence.

11/22/2006 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

Chris said:

"What is inevitable is another Rocket Campaign, this time from all three sides of Israel, including an assault on the Golan Heights from Syria. The Boy President will seek to force Israel off the heights."

I agree that there will be another rocket campaign. However, there will not be any attempt by Syria to take the Golan - that would be suicide and the resulting humiliation would cause baby Assad's rivals to kill him.

The whole point of supporting Hezb. is to avoid a direct military confrontation with Israel.

It will be up to Olmert to widen any such conflict by going after Syria. Based on what I have seen from the Olmert government, that will not happen. I think Syria and Iran agree, which is why there will be another rocket campaign. The goal of the campaign will be to bleed Israel and weaken its economy in to order to get Israel to give up Chebaa(sp?) farms and the Golan.

11/22/2006 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

"One theory advanced yesterday . . . "

This is like, "Critics of X say . . ." -- a dishonest way of sneaking newsroom (or bar room) speculation and opinion into the story 'slant.'

11/22/2006 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

Skipsailing said:

"Why is hezzbullah pushing the Lebannese government now?"

Because they can succeed.

I suspect they did not think they could succeed before (at least without a terrible fight). Now, they may not have to fight to get what they want - others may simply give it up out of intimidation. Hezbollah is 10 feet tall now - they caused the Israelis to give up. The other factions are terrified of them.

I do not think Nasrallah wants a civil war - that would bog him down for a long time. He wants to preserve his forces for his real enemy.

11/22/2006 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

" . . . George Bush's Iraq policy in tatters . . ."

Another Newspeak tactic is the categorical declaration, repeated often enough to take on the presumptive validity of tautological truth* -- platforms upon which more extensive criticism can be built, but platforms built of sand, nonetheless.

[See also: American 'arrogance']

The Guardian was saying much the same thing throughout 2004 and 2005, when the World Bank and IMF declared Iraq the fastest growing economy in the middle east.

11/22/2006 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Buckhead said...

The Lebanese Aunschluss will give Iran a more convenient launching pad for its oft-promised destruction of Israel.

11/22/2006 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Chris:

You write, " . . . one could move a few phrases around and end up with Die Volkescher Beobachter."

Pricelessly accurate.

Conversely, the Guardian describes disingenuously this summer's warlet as a " . . . month-long bombardment by Israeli forces triggered by a border incident . . ." -- the disproportionate response meme in a dozen words or less.

11/22/2006 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

We seem to have reached a new (temporary, I'm sure) low in asymetric warfare.

I read yesterday that following a customary IDF warning prior to the destruction of buildings turned into armories by terrorist gangsters, voluntary human shields rushed to 'protect' them.

They were daring the IDF to knowingly slaughter unarmed women and children -- in full view of a fully-alerted and salivating Western media, no doubt -- effectively checkmating IDF action with its own decency. Now, there may no longer be warnings at all.

One side deliberately lobs missiles at its enemy's innocents, while conspicuously using its own civilians to shield military assets. Anything done in response is gleefully portrayed by politically-compromised Western media organs, like the Guardian, as an atrocity.

Let it be noted that while barbarians observing little or no human decency battered at the doors of civilization, our treasonous clerks concerned themselves with whether their defenders observed Marquis of Queensbury rules to the letter.

Question: Since all military assets of our enemy may soon feature so-called 'human shields' to forestall Western action or retalliation, should such volunteers be considered battlefield belligerents?

11/22/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cosmo said:

Question: Since all military assets of our enemy may soon feature so-called 'human shields' to forestall Western action or retalliation, should such volunteers be considered battlefield belligerents?

Air-to-ground attack assets should be sortied in direct proportion to the number of 'human shields' present, since this automatically gives a reading of what value the enemy assigns that target.

11/22/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Since all military assets of our enemy may soon feature so-called 'human shields' to forestall Western action or retalliation, should such volunteers be considered battlefield belligerents?

Almost all of Hezbollah's missiles were in building with civilians. Israel targeted them anyway.

11/22/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Who could disagree, but the question of the decision not to utilize the USAF remains unanswered.

The thing is that bombing never changes anything unless there it is followed by a ground campaign, and the local citizens join in keeping their former rulers out of power.

Israel in Lebanon was an example. They did what all the hawks wanted, bombing followed by a ground campaign. But the locals let Hezbollah back in.

11/22/2006 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Wu Wei:

They may have targeted them, but failed to destroy them all -- defeat them, in detail, as our esteemed host, might say.

To modify my question, is the West prepared to call the 'human shield' bluff, and make it policy?

Now we're getting into the sort of decision-making our parents and grandparents faced when, say, they knew Coventry would be bombed, with horrific casualties, but couldn't warn anyone, for fear of tipping off the enemy that a code had been broken, Or the ferry carrying heavy water that had to be sunk, along with innocent passengers.

It's too easy from the comfort of a free and secure West for moralists to sit in judgement of decisions to firebomb cities more than a half century ago. Similarly, the burning of Atlanta, nuking Japan, and on, and on.

There is ample evidence over the past 50 years that half-measures and negotiated stalements -- however nobly intended -- increase the pain and carnage.

Many years ago, during the rash of airplane hijackings which became uglier and more violent as time went on, I wondered if perhaps the most coldly rational thing to do from the get-go would have been to destroy the airliner, along with its hijacker and hostage occupants, as a demonstration that there would be absolutely nothing to be gained by engaging in such behavior.

Call it the Keysor Soze strategy, perhaps.

11/22/2006 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

C/W:

"Air-to-ground attack assets should be sortied in direct proportion to the number of 'human shields' present, since this automatically gives a reading of what value the enemy assigns that target."

Makes sense.

11/22/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Griswel said...

Wretchard - As much as I hate to defend the Guardian, piss be upon them, I think they were making a fairly right wing, pro-Bush, point.

That is, that the defeat of Bush is seen in the MidEast as weakening the US and advancing the terrorists and their partners, such as Syria.

The Guardian assumes Syria's guilt, which is more than one would expect, and further assumes that terrorists are emboldened by Democrat victories.

Granted, they probably reacted more in glee than in anger, but I don't see this as blaming Bush.

11/22/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

Are people who think that the US has anything to negotiate with these thugs realists or drug addicts?

11/22/2006 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/22/2006 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

I think the real danger is not that the targets are protected by civilians, but that civilians are voluntarily protecting the targets (for the terrorists / insurgents / the bad guys).

Many of Hezbollah's missiles were in residential homes, and the owners wanted them there and were proud of them. No doubt in some cases there was intimidation too, and there were certainly cases of Hezbollah using unwilling human shields in the last campaign. However it also is clear that some of the citizens see Hezbollah as being freedom fighters, and support them.

In such a situation, targeted bombing seems unlikely to work. The only realistic choices are a political solution or ethnic cleansing.

I respectfully disagree with the idea that if only the West uses a little more force, that bin Laden will become a Christian, and the whole world will love Israel.

11/22/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Wu:

" . . . civilians are voluntarily protecting the targets . . ."

Presumably, leaving enemies to attack with impunity and without mercy, while leaving no recourse for defense or retaliation -- either of which are deemed 'provocative' or war crimes.

Maybe I'm still looking for an answer, but if this is a death-cult's attempt at jitsu-ing the West by goading an attack that would produce grisly images for Western television -- and inciteful images for middle eastern television -- then can these people be considered belligerents?

11/22/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> then can these people be considered belligerents?

Yes, if someone voluntarily hangs around a missile launcher, then they are a combatant.

My point is that is really a small side issue because the real problem, the serious problem is that it means the population supports the insurgents. So if 2000 rocket launchers are destroyed by bombing, with or without the civilians and insurgents who use them, that they may soon be replaced by more.

As chairman Mao put it, The guerrilla is a fish swimming in the sea of the people.

This can be contrasted with a situation where the population did not support the terrorists. It is clear that most of the citizens of Northern Afghanistan hated the Taliban, who kept their rule only by force. So with the help of US precision bombing and the skill of US special forces, the Afghan Northern Alliance collapsed the Taliban like a house of cards.

Something similiar happened in the Southern Shiite areas of Iraq. Once the US forces destroyed the bulk of Saddam's forces in the area, Saddam's spies didn't last long. The local population knew exactly who they were, and didn't support them, so their throats were very quickly slit and their bodies left to rot.

That doesn't seem to be happening with Hezbollah is Southern Lebanon.

11/22/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Yes, the White House is definitely getting back into the game:

The Vice President will depart for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Friday, November 24, 2006. He will meet with King Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud on Saturday, November 25, 2006, to discuss issues of mutual interest related to developments in the Middle East region. No additional stops are planned.

------------------------

Joint Statement by the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq

We are pleased to announce that we will meet in Amman, Jordan, on November 29-30 to continue our consultations on building security and stability in Iraq. We will focus our discussion on current developments in Iraq, progress made to date in the deliberations of the high-level Joint Committee on Transferring Security Responsibility, and the role of the region in supporting Iraq. We would like to express our gratitude to His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, who has graciously offered to host our consultations. We look forward to meeting with His Majesty in Amman.

We reiterate our common commitment to building the foundations of a peaceful, democratic, secure, and unified Iraq, and to strengthening the partnership between our two nations.

11/22/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Understood. I'm assuming broad popular support exists, much as our predecessors assumed the popular support of Japanese and German civilians for WWII regimes -- support which had to be broken, by any and all means at their disposal.

My concerns are:

1. Western leaders paralyzed by the prospect of their warmaking being show-trialed by their own media (well founded, would you agree?), as well as the media's demonstrated ability to turn public sentiment against military action (partially by including any war supporting public in its indictment and assignment of guilt and blame).

Coupled with:

2. Reflexive handwringing by a Western public accustomed to the luxury of moral vanity and unaccustomed to difficult choices -- or, as John Derbyshire said with regard to post-9/11 squeamishness over profiling, "better dead than rude."

11/22/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Baillie said...

FISH BENEDICT

A Political Farce in One Act

Scene: Pine-paneled kitchen in 1960s brick-ranch shoebox.

Cast: Seven felines. One human.

Occasion: Feeding time.

Human draws deep breath, steels herself and opens cat-food cupboard. Cat-herd immediately materializes smack in the middle of the kitchen floor and starts complaining.

Arry (I’ll bet you didn’t know that the bottomless pit was obese, long-haired, and orange and white): Supper, supper, supper! We want supper, lady – where is it? Food, food, food!

Ing (ferret-faced grey and white varmint who sprayed Narsil last night - yes, I said Narsil): Food! Hurry up! Or else.

Psmith (misnamed orange, stub-tailed Calvinist): Are we fasting today or just practicing patience?

Baggins (black scrap in a perpetual state of panic): Any crumbs left? Have the cat-skinners come? Has she stopped feeding us?

Go-Go Boots (small jet-setting calico Manx from Oregon): I’m afraid I’ll have to insist on my own dish. Nothing personal, of course.

Boggle (mildew-colored Art Deco spook that goes bump in the night): I’d sooner have my supper under the bed, but if that silly fashion-bunny gets her own dish, so do I.

Neanderbunny (orange fuzzy nitwit): Canned. Do I really want to bother?

Arry commences maneuvers by running in front of human’s legs. A lesser cat would have been kicked galley-west due to the involved physics, but Arry is not a lesser cat so human crashes into oven door instead.

Baggins bolts for cover: Aiyeeeee! Fear, fire, foes, Balrogs, cat-skinners! Aiyeeeeee!

Ing: Shut up and get back in here. You want supper, don’t you? We hang together - or I’ll have to piddle on something.

Psmith, grumbling: Of course we want supper. Not that we’re likely to get any, from the look of things. Jumps on counter and starts trying to open dish cupboard. Human leaps to secure cat-proof safety lock that has replaced the egg-turner that used to be shoved through the handles.

Arry takes another massive lunge athwart unwary human’s bow, sending her crashing once more: Supper, supper, supper! Hurry!

Human yells irritably.

Neanderbunny forgets why he’s there ( Are we having a caucus race? ) Jumps onto the sink and attempts to lick faucet. Human yells again. Neanderbunny retreats, hurt and bewildered: What’d I do? I thought we all got prizes.

Boggle takes up a cautious position in the hallway, peering through the door to make sure she’s getting her own dish: What IS the hold-up? And I only want jelly – no lumps!

Go-Go Boots, daintily wrinkling a lip: That's aspic, barncat.

Human pushes Psmith off counter and tries to get dishes out of cat-proofed cupboard. Arry bites her ankle and she yells again.

Psmith jumps back onto counter to arrange his butt-end against the dish-drainer: ARE you going to feed us or not?

Arry, like an aging Baby Boomer stuck on The Who: FEED ME, FE-ee-EED me, FEED ME, feed meee!

Baggins slinks round the edge of the floor, peeping pitifully of starvation and cruel indifference. She lied, precious. We must staaaaaaarve.

Human pushes Psmith off the counter again and opens cupboard where Sheba and treats are kept. Go-Go Boots tries to climb in from stovetop: Mousie, mousie! Fuzzy fur mousie!

Human shoos Go-Go Boots away. Opens a pop-top Fancy Feast and turns to fetch a fork. Trips over Arry again. “Confound it, CAT!”

Baggins, heartrendingly: Lies, precious! Poor, poor us!

Ing leaps onto counter and sticks nose in can: MINE!

Psmith glooms from the floor: I knew she wouldn’t feed us. Promises, promises.

Human screeches as Arry bites her shin again. “Arry, don’t DO that!”

Arry: Why won’t you FEED me? Feed me NOW!

Ing (pretends to spray tea-kettle): She’ll feed ME or else.

“ING, don’t you DARE!”

Human lets Ing have can and bends over to get another one. Ing looks smug. I told you she’d feed ME.

Go-Go Boots lands in the middle of human’s back: Mousie? Mousie?

Arry bites human’s ankle again. I want my supper NOW, lady! Why won’t you give me my supper?

Human drops dish full of cat food, permanently compromising its structural integrity. Go-Go Boots slides down her suddenly perpendicular back. “AHHHHHHH!”

The cats still on the floor scatter in panic. Disengage, disengage! Abort mission!

Temporarily, of course. Before human can react, cats return to attack fish-flavored shrapnel with gusto. (Except Baggins, who is now utterly traumatized by human’s brutal behavior and will remain under a bed til at least 3:00 a.m.)

Human screeches: “No, no! Don’t EAT THAT!”

Psmith beats a gloomy retreat and takes up an Eeyore-like pose just out of reach: I knew she wouldn’t feed us. Why doesn’t she admit it?

Ing snarffles can of fish off counter and makes a rapid descent to get his share of shrapnel.

Arry abandons glass-shards to inspect upended Fancy Feast. Tries to scrape floor over it in disgust. What kind of slop is this? Where’s the Sheba, lady? Why can’t you do anything right?

Human starts wiping up the cat-induced quagmire of fish and glass.

Go-Go Boots sniffs: Why can’t we have meals on time? It’s so hard to get good servants these days. And is this organic?

Lies! comes a faint peep from the bedroom.

Failure! grumbles Psmith dismally. What a miserable failure! I can see I’m going to have to call in the international SPCA if we ever want another meal in THIS place. What an idiot!

Human just keeps on cleaning up the mess.

11/22/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/22/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> much as our predecessors assumed the popular support of Japanese and German civilians for WWII regimes -- support which had to be broken, by any and all means at their disposal.

That proves my point. Japan and Germany were never "broken" by bombing, even with the incindiary bombing of Dresden. The whole concept of breaking the enemy is the biggest myth in military history.

Germany stopped fighting only after it had no soldiers to fight with; Hitler killed himself when our forces were a few blocks away, and Germany didn't even have any more teen agers to throw into battle, let alone adults. Japan likewise was so weakened at the end that it could fight only kamakazie missions, sometimes by a small group of soliders left on an island to fight to the death, knowing they would never get reinforcements.

And of course there is a big difference in that Japan and Germany attacked us and declared war on us, while we don't have any enemies in Iraq, or at least no one will point them out. Germany, Japan, and Italy were isolated, while the Sunni and Shiite Iraqis have friends in other countries.

My point is not that we shouldn't fight, but that we should choose our battles carefully and not understimate the difficulty of war or how many countries might join in if we do.

11/22/2006 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Wu:

I don't necessarily disagree.

But, we look back upon the Axis powers through history as isolated, but this was only in discredit and defeat.

Millions of fascist admirers around the world abandoned their sympathies when it became apparent that the movements were dead ends and that the West would destroy them, root and branch.

Indeed, before it became apparent they would be defeated -- with the West, unlike today, militarily outgunned, economically feeble, unsure of itself and intimidated by the dazzling pyrotechnics of Berlin and Tokyo -- plenty were prepared to treat with them, warily, if not enthusiastically.

Yes, choose battles carefully. But, just as important, be prepared to see them through.

11/22/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

P.S. Indeed, when we see how easily the hyper-powerful (yet, insecure) West is cowed by (and blame itself for) acts of barbarism by totalitarians masqueading as a religion, and when we think about how easily it would have been to avoid a fight and do business the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere and a unified European Reich, we should be even more in awe that the West mustered the balls and the confidence to gird itself and hurl itself against the superior firepower of its enemies.

11/22/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Wu:

The parallels and differences between this world war and the one against fascism have been argued over exhaustively here at Belmont and elsewhere.

I will point out, however, that Germany was content to harrass our shipping, then declare war without attacking us directly -- much as Islamists have done over the past few decades -- while Japan attacked a military installation which was not on U.S. soil.

The fact the pan-Islamism has no fixed borders or uniformed army doesn't make them less lethal. This challenge, at the heart of this new kind of war, unlike any we've fought in the past, is still sinking in to my thick skull five years after I knew the world had changed on Sept. 11th.

That we haven't figured out how to fight it yet is not as much of a concern to me as is the question of whether we have the will to fight it.

We had no idea how we'd ultimately prevail when our boys entered the fray in North Africa and took a licking at the hands of an experienced, battle-hardened enemy.

Yamamoto warned about waking a giant; I worry whether the giant can still be awakened.

11/22/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Wretchard:

Sorry for the frequency of my posts. Thanks for your hospitality. I include you in my list of things to be thankful for on tomorrow's Thanksgiving holiday.

11/22/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

Lebanon is the short version of the bigger picture.

Everything about the recent mistakes in Lebanon are are a repetition of mistakes made both the current Iraq War and the first one.

Lebanon is a repeat of the fake peace of WW1. The fake peace of the first Saddam war.

The failure to remove Saddam is the same cycle repeating over and over.

Most of us here see this.

We wonder why more Iraqi's are not standing up for freedom. I am confused about that (many Iraqi's are far stronger than I hope to be).

I'm far more puzzled as to why more Lebanese have not chosen sides. Are there not Lebanese and Iraqi's in the west who might go and fight and die for their spit of land? If not why are they so stupid when it comes to recognizing allies?

I have no idea.

11/22/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

arthur:

Maybe it's like the time of Sudetenland and Anschluss -- people accommodating what they believe to be inevitable . . . and we're giving them less and less reason to think otherwise.

11/22/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"Let it be noted that while barbarians observing little or no human decency battered at the doors of civilization, our treasonous clerks concerned themselves with whether their defenders observed Marquis of Queensbury rules to the letter."

Well said.

At my university there is a well-respected School of Communication. Generally speaking, the only people stupider on campus than the students at that school were the people at the School of Education, also well-respected. Funny how that worked.

11/22/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Speaking of inevitable, it was only 30 years ago that America would just have to adapt and learn to live with the indomitable Communist wave - according to Jimmy Carter.

But wait, let's take a look at it from another viewpoint:

A reassertion of imperialism was the medicine, not a reassessment of policy: non-military approaches have been dogmatically disdained. “Eradication – the preferred approach of French colonial authorities in 1950s Algeria and Algeria’s authoritarian government fighting Islamist militants in the 1990s – is the dominant approach”. This is imbricated with the discourse of evil, which Bush himself evokes as a noun, as an actual force in the world, with repeated emphasis.
- From Lenin's Tomb
http://leninology.blogspot.com/2006/11/al-qaeda-is-misunderstood_22.html

America's attempts 'eradication' through popular democracy, voting, open government, and in general all that is NOT dictatorism, how evil is that?

America throws dictators under the bus, as the saying goes. That should be a good thing.

11/22/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

I will say again:

Slaughter now or slaughter later. Slaughter later = slaughter more. We did not chose this game. It was chosen for us.

We may only choose to surrender or slaughter. Our enemies set, and only understands, those options. Before you choose, you must understand that surrender means slaughter by our enemies, who have demostrated, repeatedly, an affinity for slaughter.

Given those rules, set by our enemies, what is moral? Is it moral to surrender the women to Sharia? Is it moral to surrender the gays to Sharia? Is it moral to surrender the Jews to certain genocide?

We did not choose this. It was chosen by a group of ME rich boys with fundamentalist beliefs. Is it moral to surrender your world, and that of your family, to their desires? Will you?

"In the Desert"

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter--bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."

-- Stephen Crane

11/22/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Yamamoto warned about waking a giant

That makes the important point that the world war II generation was no braver or more eager for war than today's generation. The US wouldn't enter world war II until Pearl Harbor was bombed. Before then we had the same anti-war attitude as before 9/11. Soldiers trained with broom sticks because the US hadn't even stock piled weapons, let alone entered the war. That has happened throughout all of US history.

> The fact the pan-Islamism has no fixed borders or uniformed army doesn't make them less lethal.

I see it differently for two reasons. First is that despite the over reaction to 9/11, the number of deaths were not enough to have a military impact. Terrorism is, as the name implies, about causing emotion rather than giving a military victory. Al-Qaeda is not nearly as dangerous as a uniformed military from a large country.

In fact that is the second reason, that the ideology (Islamism) is not the danger, but the military strength backing it up. For example Hitler and Saddam Hussein led nominally socialist dictatorships, but never cared about socialism. Communist leaders never lived up to their ideas of equality. It is all really about power. The military is dangerous, not the ideology.

In fact terrorism can come from other sources besides Islamism. The Oklahoma City Bombings by "right wing" US citizens are an example.

Even the 9/11 attacks themselves were really the action of a government. bin Laden shared control of Afghanistan with the Taliban. Al Qaeda has not been very effective without a home base.

I think history will look back and say the West reacted somewhat improperly to 9/11. We got confused on tangents like Islamism, when really nothing has changed. Warfare is still as it always was, that we need to protect against countries which would attack us, as well as irregular / terrorist attacks.

The danger of focusing on ideology and religion instead of who is threating us, is that it could lead us to make new enemies and to turn down potential allies. Islamic countries like Kuwait, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, and even to some extent Saudi Arabia have been helpful to us at times. In fact we use their bases, transit their air space, and launched (until Iraq) most of our mid-East missions from their soil.

Sharia law is not necessarily a threat to the US, just like some bizarre Christian cult might not be. It depends on the military force behind the organization, and its size. With every ideology there are moderates who practice it themselves but don't want to force on others. The important question is whether that specific group is a danger to the US.

> That we haven't figured out how to fight it yet is not as much of a concern to me as is the question of whether we have the will to fight it

For the reasons mentioned above, I feel the opposite. Just like the world war II generation eventually responded after Pearl Harbor, and we responded to 9/11 by taking out the country which did it (Afghanistan), as new threats appear, the US will respond to them.

While we should continue to wipe out bin Laden's organization, I see Iran and her allies to be a much, much greater danger than Al Qaeda. Instead of focusing on the Muslim world in general, or ideologies, we should look for danger in the same way nations always have, that the danger is specific military threats from specific other countries like Iran, or halves of countries like Hezbollah.

The important questions are the ones people have always asked like are they threatening us or our allies? What kind of weapons do they have? Who would join them in the war?

11/22/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> That we haven't figured out how to fight it yet is not as much of a concern to me as is the question of whether we have the will to fight it

Just to add a little more, the reason why we haven't figured it out is because we're looking in the wrong place. That is also the reason why the will of the West is (mistakenly) being questioned.

Talk of a vast global terror conspiracy and everyone of a certain religion being dangerous sounds bizarre to people (especially when some people of that religion are helping us). Instead we should be looking at the nuclear threats Iran made, and the way some Islamic countries have helped us. This would also help in Iraq, that instead of assuming every Muslim is a threat, or even those who talk about Sharia, we could focus on who if anyone in Iraq is really threating the US.

11/22/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Tony:

That's why I don't understand those who advocate rigid, ideologically-based foreign policies -- human rights, realism, whatever -- and who are quick to indict their opponents, but never themselves, with hypocricy when the inevitable contradictions occur.

Even Bush, while he champions free market democracy as a long term solution in the middle east, and has no problem identifying totalitarian evil when he sees it, knows he has to deal pragmatically with duplicitous Saudis and wily Vladimir Putins.

I always thought it interesting that Leftist jurists in Europe had time to indict Augusto Pinochet, who ultimately left a functioning democracy in Chile, but had no time to bring to the bar any of the Cold War era commissars puttering around Europe in comfortable retirement who were responsible for immiserating and plundering half the Continent. But, I digress.

So what if we funded the mujahadeen in Afghanistan or shook hands with Saddam Hussein? We supplied the Soviets at Archangel -- does that make us responsible for the Wall, Prague and Budapest? We fought to the death against Japan and Germany (twice). Both are allies (nominally, in the case of Germany) and tame, responsible global citizens. We fought a war of independence against our closest ally.

The naive moralism of Jimmy Carter's and the Vietnam era anti-war movement led to slavery and genocide, all conveniently out of sight from those who bore no consequences and were left with their moral superiority complexes intact.

Conversely, hard pragmatism alone in dealing with the tribal backwardness and abandoned European colonial experiments in the middle east gave us the war in which we are currently engaged.

This is what I meant in an earlier comment about hard choices from among unpleasant options. Simpleminded, dorm room bull session hyperbole about 'imperialism' and gotcha accusations of 'lying' won't cut it outside the hothouse in which most of us have the priviledge of living.

11/22/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Thanks, Tony, I particularly needed to hear that responsible adult perspective over juvenile whining snark that passes for clever criticism these days!

11/22/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Wu:

You're correct that reluctance to get involved in (as yet un-named) WWII ("another European war") ran high prior to Pearl Harbor.

I'd also wager that alarming talk of fascism plunging the world into darkness must have seemed bizzare in 1936 or even 1938.

Examining Pearl Harbor v. 9/11 more closely --

Pearl Harbor was foreign soil, and fewer died there than on 9/11. I'll note the military significance of Japan's attempt to cripple the Pacific fleet, but I think it is a distinction without a difference, and is certainly transcended by a direct attack upon unarmed civilians on U.S. soil.

Also, it would be much easier to make the 'root cause' argument in 1941, as we had 'provoked' Japan with an embargo over their occupation of Manchuria.

Looking at the economics behind both wars, assuming we would have secured South America, German and Japanese superstates with control over the rest of the planet's resources, shipping routes and economies would have been intolerable in the long run, although treating with them in the short run seemed attractive to many, especially so soon after the 'war to end all wars.'

So, too, is the idea of leaving Wahabi gangsters within a knife thrust of the jugular vein of the global economy, and with it, the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions around the world -- an unforgivable dereliction for the world's remaining superpower.

Is it all about oil? You betcherass, but not the war howling protest mobs think it is.

11/22/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

3case:

You've stated the nature of our 'hard' choice -- elaborated on by arthur dent -- concisely.

11/22/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Weird scenes inside the Goldmine Dept:

Came home from work today.A kind of disheveled black guy asked me for a ride to get gas.he was roofing in the 'hood.I took him to the local convenience store run by Palestinians.He went to pay,got in a heated dispute with a young burly Arab which escalated to the point where the black guy was yelling defamatory statements.The Arab,9mm in hand physically threw him out of the store.I got the brother in my truck.On the way to his car he gave me a spiel about how arrogant Arabs are and how they're in America now and we're not going to take it.Like I said..weird scenes inside the goldmine.
What was that post about cats? did I miss something?

11/22/2006 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Said 3case:
"Slaughter now or slaughter later. Slaughter later = slaughter more. We did not chose this game. It was chosen for us.

We may only choose to surrender or slaughter. Our enemies set, and only understands, those options. Before you choose, you must understand that surrender means slaughter by our enemies, who have demostrated, repeatedly, an affinity for slaughter.

Given those rules, set by our enemies, what is moral? Is it moral to surrender the women to Sharia? Is it moral to surrender the gays to Sharia? Is it moral to surrender the Jews to certain genocide?

We did not choose this."

We CAN choose to lift up our enemies (and their captive Muslim ummah) by introducing to them the historical fact of Baha'u'llah, the Glory of God, and His fulfillment of Muhammad's prophecies.

A public dialogue, Muslims/West, could in a matter of DAYS, transform the whole face of humankind when hundreds of millions of Muslims declare their faith in Baha'u'llah and start their journey toward the Blessed Beauty, and their own humanity!

Yet it seems we Americans prefer to do it OUR way a while longer, until doing it the way of Jesus' promised successor!

11/22/2006 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Promethea said...

tranzizoroaster . . .

"Thanks, Tony, I particularly needed to hear that responsible adult perspective over juvenile whining snark that passes for clever criticism these days!"

I agree. A responsible thoughtful adult conversation is very rare these days, both in real life and on the internet. Any contribution to a real attempt to analyze problems is GREATLY appreciated.

Snark is one of the banes of our civilization. I don't recall it being this bad a few years ago, but now one has to toe the "line" or be insulted.

11/22/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Promethea said...

I should have included Cosmo as one of the adults. Thanks Cosmo. You're a thoughtful poster.

11/22/2006 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Yes, Promethea,

I also meant to point out Cosmo's wonderful posts.

And others. Please take a bow all of you! Except me, who's just pointing and nodding.

11/22/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because of this general unwillingness and hesitancy to further confront Islamic radicalism, they are seeking a policy of appeasement with the Middle East regimes - their hands are tied with regard to the Iranian nuclear crisis, and they fear the collapse of Assad's regime would bring about civil war and an even more radical government, plus the need to accommodate powerbrokers like Moqtada al-Sadr and SCIRI in Iraq - in hopes that peace and security can be maintained at almost any price.

I believe that America and Europe need a rude wake-up call in order to respond effectively, but I'm deeply apprehensive about how severe this call should manifest itself to be: a nuclear/biological attack in one of America's cities, or on Israel? Recall that Chamberlain only decided to wage war against Germany when the latter invaded Poland - and that was after Britain and France allowed Hitler to dismember Czechoslovakia through and through, as well as the calculated dismantlement of every aspect of the Versailles settlement.

Appeasement. I thought that would have been considered anathema by now.

wu wei>The danger of focusing on ideology and religion instead of who is threating us, is that it could lead us to make new enemies and to turn down potential allies. Islamic countries like Kuwait, UAE, Jordan, Egypt, and even to some extent Saudi Arabia have been helpful to us at times. In fact we use their bases, transit their air space, and launched (until Iraq) most of our mid-East missions from their soil.

Agreed - bring back realpolitik! The mullahs in Iran and their like-minded ilk attempting to perpetuate the "Western Menace" reminds me of how Europe post-1918 responded to Bolshevism's "Red Menace" and the horrific possibility of it being exported across the continent.

And Europe responded by fragmenting into various camps: fascism, splendid isolationism and disillusionment. Ironically, the ultimate threat manifested itself not from Russia, but from Germany. Europe had to contend with another bloody conflagration because they were too preoccupied with some distant ideological "threat" (while somehow ignoring the anti-imperialist stance of the Bolsheivks) instead of the real danger: Hitler - who knew realpolitik well enough to blindside even Stalin.

This nihilistic, fatalistic ideology of Muslim fundamentalism isn't universal in the Middle East. We have allies like Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt - however transient or fickle-minded. Right now, the mullahs of Iran and all those proponents of a Shia Crescent/Caliphate are succeeding in emulating what the "Red Menace" did: dividing the West so that it is easier to "conquer" (metaphorically, not literally).

We need to reconcile our internal divisions and face this pseudo-ideological monster with all the resolve and will we can - and will - muster. We shall be the ones who will exploit their internal divisions and expose the inherent weaknesses of their radical faith - their own peoples shall realise for themselves how these fundamentalists are willing to squander the lives of their own brethren instead of protecting them.

>Cosmo, you're doing a wonderful job. I'm sure everyone here appreciates you very much. That you can't see them bowing (and tranzizoroaster nodding) doesn't mean they aren't giving you the props!

11/22/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

And a hearty nod to you, Harrison! Are you a student of history?

11/22/2006 09:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the warm welcome!

I'm just trying to find my way around this place, and yes, I'm a student of history, albeit a budding one.

11/22/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Karridine,

'tis not mine to educate Muslims.
'tis not mine to wetnurse their reformation.
'tis not mine to adjust my (our) way to their dysfunction.
'tis not mine to surrender to their dysfunction.

'tis mine to call it as I see it rather than lay in wait....
'tis mine to oppose subjugation, in all its forms....
'tis mine to protect all the music, perhaps more so that signed "All Glory to God"....
'tis mine to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies....

11/22/2006 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> I believe that America and Europe need a rude wake-up call in order to respond effectively

It could be that President Bush simply launches a surprise air attack on Iran without any additional provocation and without formal approval from Congress. This is the most commonly discussed scenario, that the US attempts to set back Iran's nuclear capabilities by several years with bombing only. The argument is that even if the US wanted to, it doesn't have enough ground troops available to invade Iran.

Iran has already said in effect that it would destroy Israel once it gets nuclear weapons. Bush has said publicly that the US will not allow that to happen. There reportedly was widespread approval in Congress for some form of air attack against Iran, at least there was six months ago.

Bush could argue that there is plenty of precedent for launching a limited air strike without Congressional approval. Iran, perhaps through surrogates like Iraqi Shiites would likely respond with various types of attacks on the US troops in Iraq, Lebanon, etc. That would give Bush the excuse to say those tactics required a ground war against Iran, and he was just responding to their attack.

11/22/2006 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

3case, I understand and appreciate your desire to AVOID wetnursing these severely-crippled people calling themselves Muslims...

And I, too, am still under oath to do my best to protect the American Constitution from all enemies, 'foreign and domestic'...

If we accept that military might HAS SOME EFFECTIVE LIMITS, however, then we ask questions like 'What else can we do to protect America's freedoms?' (and of course, America's Americans!)

Its there that the Lord of Hosts will have a tremendous impact on the Muslim world IF/AS/WHEN they are allowed to learn of His Coming.

We, as Americans, can speed the process OR slow the process, but we cannot stop mankind's coming encounter with Baha'u'llah...

All efforts that speed His message to the people of the world suffering under the yoke of oppression will help America protect itself. The righteousness that is Christ ensures this!

11/23/2006 12:38:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger