Monday, August 20, 2007

Austin Bay plants some guideposts

Austin Bay suggests ways of measuring the state of play in Iraq. The measures are generally of two types: the first designed to measure security dominance and the second type calculated to measure Iraqi capability. Both types are suggested by common sense and it would be hard to find fault with them. However, there is one other type of measurement which should ideally be included, though it will be hard to quantify and accurately measure.

That measure is the degree to which radical Islamic ideologists, whether Sunni or Shi'a, regard Iraq as won or lost to their plans. This can be gaged by measuring the size of the recruitment pipeline funneling foreign Jihadists into Iraq; the dollar amount of money raised to drive the infidel American from Mesopotamia and finally, traffic, frequency and content analysis of subjects discussed in Jihadi websites. While it is unlikely that al-Qaeda, for example, will ever publicly admit defeat in Iraq, their actions could effectively concede it, if one were able to read the signs.

It's counterintuitive but nevertheless possible that a successful American campaign in Iraq could increase the short-term dangers to civilians in the West. Al-Qaeda in Iraq has consistently responded to political and military setbacks by seeking to attack unprotected flanks. Recently they massacred Yazidi minorities in response to their humiliating eviction from Anbar. It was not that the Yazidis were guilty of anything particular offensive (except for existing) in al-Qaeda's eyes, nor did the murder of hundreds of innocent civilians bring any conceivable military advantage. The Yazidis were killed simply because they could be; and more easily and cheaply than attempting to strike US troops or the Iraqi Army. Weakness marked them for death because the way of the wolf is to seek out the sheep, not the sheepdog.

The same logic unfortunately implies that one sign Islamic extremists have "given up" on Iraq is when they try their hand elsewhere. Nothing follows.


Blogger Pierre said...

The Same-Old Same-Old or Iraq-Iran and the Vietnam Redux

It occurs to me that we are losing this war and losing badly. We only have to look towards the gains the Islamists are making nearly everywhere. We are winning battles and losing wars...sounds familiar?

8/20/2007 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

And one of the main reasons we are losing is because this sort of thinking is prevalent. From Hugh Hewitt who is a perfectly good sort of fellow who simply cannot see evil.

Hugh Hewitt

Reagan was often attacked as a dangerous ideologue who needed to reconcile himself to the facts of the world, but he never succumbed to Beltway realpolitick.

“Here’s my strategy on the Cold War,” Reagan declared. “We win, they lose.”

This is also George W. Bush’s approach to Islamist fanaticism. And a generation from now his resolve concerning the War on Terror will be as esteemed as Reagan’s resolve to triumph in the Cold War.

Here is my response to that absurdity....

Sorry Hugh but President Reagan was attacking the core philosophy of the enemy. President Bush is attacking a tactic of the enemy.

Had Reagan been trying the same thing he would have been decrying the Soviet Military while applauding or ignoring the communist philosophy. He attacked the entire beast. President Bush wants to have the Muslim voters by trying to peel them away from their soldiers.

President Bush goes so far as to visit the temples of the enemy not to, as Reagan did, demand that they tear down the walls, but to seek a middle ground. There is no middle ground in “We win, they lose”.

From an earlier essay of mine.

President Bush has repeatedly emphasized the fact that Islam is a peaceful religion. He goes on to say that it has been hijacked by radicals that are perverting the tenets of Islam to suit their evil purposes. Nowhere does he explain how that idea of Islam as a peaceful religion compares to Islam’s record of conquest starting with Mohammed?s record of making war to win slaves and treasure . Never once does he explain how his idea of a peaceful Islam matches up to the startling record of armed conquest that Islam displayed from Mohammed?s raids of Meccan caravans to the Gates of Vienna where in 1683 the attempted Islamic conquest of Europe was finally put down. Never once does President Bush or his advisor?s explain that Mohammed himself would have been far more likely to associate with Bin Laden than to associate with the small but brave bands of Muslims calling for a reformation. Mohammed was likely a Islamist by our own definition.

Farther down I make this point which I have never stated more succinctly than this.

Some say that we needed allies to win this war and on that point there can be little argument. But can we afford to hold our noses and bear the stink of tyranny in the quest of questionable allies? What do we lose in the process of turning the other way while supposedly close allies continue to act in ways towards their people that if we faced such acts would cause us to go to war? Put simply if we are fighting Al Qaeda to prevent them from forcing their way of life upon us how do we stand allies who already accomplish either all or much of that crime against their own people? Are we merely fighting a method or an end state? Is it only the fact that Al Qaeda engages in wholesale murder that causes us to reject their demands or do we reject their view of the world? Could we accept their view of the world if they did not engage in murder to achieve it?

We are at war with those in Islam who believe it is their duty to convert by sword or word the entire world. We are at war with the idea that any religion can take the place of a government by the people where the rights of the individual are guaranteed by law and that is understood to be inviolable by any religion. Perhaps Islam can stand beside Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism in our world but can it accept that all of them stand to the side of any government which guards against the depredations of any single religion declaring it has the right to guide in every detail?.

Candidate Bush was right, our armies are not meant for building nations. Especially for people who simply have no desire for the sort of nations we understand and can show them how to build. The people of the Middle East are not children nor are they stupid, they have merely chosen another way to live. They have seen our world and apparently rejected it.

8/20/2007 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodriver said...

"President Bush is attacking a tactic of the enemy."

No; the campaign in Iraq is designed to give democracy a foothold in that part of the world/culture. That is attacking the enemy, not the tactic of terrorism.

8/20/2007 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


Are you wanting to war on Islam in toto? Certainly seems to be what you are calling for.

Some say that we needed allies to win this war and on that point there can be little argument. But can we afford to hold our noses and bear the stink of tyranny in the quest of questionable allies? Let us see, we took on Hitler with the UK and who was the thrid big player in that matchup? Oh yeah, Joe Stalin and his USSR.

Sometimes you have the convenience of choosing your allies sometimes you do not. Let us get through this first set of dustups and then we can move on up to such legitimate concerns lets wait until more pressing matters are taken care of first.

The people of the Middle East are not children nor are they stupid, they have merely chosen another way to live. They have seen our world and apparently rejected it. Ever been to Dubai? Tiger Woods' first golf course is there.

I taught students in Abu Dhabi for six years, trust me the lure of the West tugs stronger at way more than does the siren song of seventh century life.

8/20/2007 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

The real guidepost for victory is the work going on in labs all over the industrialized world to invent ways to get the world off its oil addiction.

When the day the world no longer needs moslem oil -- then the war will have been won.

That time is only a couple years off.

8/20/2007 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

No; the campaign in Iraq is designed to give democracy a foothold in that part of the world/culture. That is attacking the enemy, not the tactic of terrorism.

Yea liberal democracy is going to be popular over there. Equal rights...hmmm. Nah don't think that has a chance of ever working. It hardly works in Europe much less the Middle East, or we can look to Malaysia where its going backwards because we are not attacking the idea that the fundemental ideas of Islam are corrupt.

Given our multiculturalist ways we cannot change their society enough to give Democracy even a 1% chance of success. Democracy is least of all the right to vote....

For example would you rather live in a Monarchy with equal rights for all or a democracy where classes existed and you had more rights than others?

8/20/2007 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

Are you wanting to war on Islam in toto? Certainly seems to be what you are calling for.

That seems to be the fight we are already in. Exactly which major branch of Islam has NOT attacked us yet? Pity the United States, took a gun to a philosophical fight. Took a cowboy to a debate.

Let us see, we took on Hitler with the UK and who was the thrid big player in that matchup? Oh yeah, Joe Stalin and his USSR.

And at no time did we say that Stalins system was grand and that Communism was the political philosophy of peace. We didn't try and sell communism and our alliance as anything except what it was a marriage of necessity.

Sometimes you have the convenience of choosing your allies sometimes you do not. Let us get through this first set of dustups and then we can move on up to such legitimate concerns lets wait until more pressing matters are taken care of first.

If we recognized that the problem of Islam was indeed a legitimate concern then I would be silent about our allies. But after all these years of hoping that President Bush was not really serious about those things he constantly says about Islam, I have come to the unwelcome conclusion that he means them.

Furthermore all this time that we have been fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq our enemies have been gaining strength in every other single part of the globe. Europe is nearly lost, Malaysia is going the wrong direction, Indonesia at one point had 58% people admiring Bin Laden, and even now that number remains at 38%. Britain is going the wrong way, Canada is going the wrong way, our own nation is seeing big gains in Islam. If we were fighting an effective war encompassing every aspect of war, that would not be happening. It is and we should be wondering why.

I taught students in Abu Dhabi for six years, trust me the lure of the West tugs stronger at way more than does the siren song of seventh century life.

No doubt, even in Japan during World War 2 many of the Japanese admired the United States. Even in Japan one could have found reasonable people who wished that the war would have never happened. There are always reasonable people inside of any movement...usually our wars are not with those folks.

8/20/2007 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger Mannning said...

PLeG: You are mistaking the name for a conflict, with the intent of the conflict. Terrorism is the name, but the intent is to halt the spread of Islamofascism, and reverse it if possible. The idea of installing democracy in Iraq is in fact a tactic too, which is calculated to raise the sights of the divisive tribes to a more unified Iraq--with popular support. Will it help? Over another ten years maybe.

We are not using all of the weapons at our disposal, especially Iraqi oil, which we have graciously allowed the Iraqi themselves to handle--very badly, as it not unexpectedly turns out. We should step in and drive the bargain here because it is fundamental to the long-term welfare of the Iraqi nation.

We should be denying legitimacy, residence, and green cards to Muslims in America right now and shut the door to them. Won't happen. Perhaps we will be like the UK in a matter of a few years: verging on Sharia, unless we actively prevent it.

I share your concerns about Europe and the UK, but there is precious little that I can conceive of that we can do about that.

8/20/2007 11:02:00 PM  
Blogger Christopher Jamison said...

I have to respectfully disagree with many of your comments. First, your contention that President Bush should condemn all of Islam as terrorists is scary, and absurd. We have to give Muslims the opportunity to explore Islam divorced from extremism. If not, we must in contrast consider all muslims as enemy combatants and therefore legitimate military targets- remember, women and children have been used as HIED (Human Improvised Explosive Devices)(newly coined?). That means we kill or imprison EVERY Muslim based on thier religious belief. Not likely or reasonable. Our only option is to encourage a reformation of Islamic ideology. Mohammed was indeed a militant extremist but equating that to all Muslims is a classic logical fallacy.

Second, I disagree with your assertion that President Bush is only attacking a "tactic" rather than the ideology. The enemy's core philosophy is leveraging terror into political support. By providing security for the "common man" (as well as the women and children) we give them a choice between backing the terrorists or moving to a more moderate position. You can not argue with a bullet to the brain.

You middle eastern people are not children. Aside from age, the majority, at least in Iraq, are not highly educated or world savvy. The only exposure most of them had to Americans was filtered through anti-american leaders, until just recently. Our best ambassadors are the men and women in the military interacting on a one-on-one basis with the people thanks to Gen. Patreaus' tactics. It is easy to portray Americans as demons when you have no first-hand exposure to the subject. They reject our ways? They have only now become aware of our ways and, for the record they crave American goods now that they will not be beaten for having a coke and a bag of Cheetos.

Respectfully, read more Michael Yon. My own impressions are based on actually being in Iraq, second tour. With respect to John Lennon, all I'm saying is give peace(ful Islam)a chance.

8/20/2007 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger vanderleun said...

"Reason will not decide at last; the sword will decide."

8/20/2007 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

A Plan for Iraq

By Ayad Allawi

Next month, Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker will report to Congress on the situation in my country. I expect that the testimony of these two good men will be qualified and nuanced, as politics requires. I also expect that their assessment will not capture the totality of the tragedy -- that more than four years after its liberation from Saddam Hussein, Iraq is a failing state, not providing the most basic security and services to its people and contributing to an expanding crisis in the Middle East.

Let me be clear. Responsibility for the current mess in Iraq rests primarily with the Iraqi government, not with the United States. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has failed to take advantage of the Iraqi people's desire for peaceful and productive lives and of the enormous commitment and sacrifices made by the United States and other nations. The expected "crisis summit" in Baghdad is further evidence of the near-complete collapse of the Iraqi government. The best outcome of the summit is perhaps a renewed effort or commitment for the participants to work together, which may buy a few more weeks or months of cosmetic political activity. But there will be no lasting political reconciliation under Maliki's sectarian regime.

Who could have imagined that Iraq would be in such crisis more than four years after Saddam Hussein? Each month 2,000 to 3,000 Iraqi civilians are killed by terrorists and sectarian death squads. Electricity and water are available, at best, for only five to six hours a day. Baghdad, once evidence of Iraq's cultural, ethnic and religious diversity, is now a city of armed sectarian enclaves -- much like Beirut of the 1980s.

It is up to Iraqis to end the violence and bring stability, security and democracy to our country.

8/21/2007 03:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

If she knew, would she care?
Karen Hughes,
I mean.
According to my colleagues at the DMN's Religion blog, the Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy is going to be the speaker this weekend at a Texas Muslim Scholarship Fund banquet in the Dallas area.

The fund, and banquet, are sponsored by the Texas-based Freedom & Justice Foundation , which is run by Mohamed Elibiary, a sometime commenter on the CC blog comboxes (hi, Abu Humaid!).

So, who cares, right? Who can possibly be against raising money for scholarships for Muslim students. Not me.

But I do wonder why Hughes is getting mixed up with Elibiary and his organization. Elibiary was one of the speakers at the local event billed as a
"Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary, the Ayatollah Khomeini"
a few years back here in town.

He later explained in a newspaper column that he had no advance knowledge that the conference was going to be framed that way, but even if he had, he would still have participated, to offer what he calls a counter-perspective.

Elibiary is also the guy who argued that Sayyid Qutb's influential book "Milestones," which the Dallas Central Mosque had teenagers participating in an Islamic quiz contest study several years ago, was ... well, here's what he wrote to me :
Does Elibiary want to live in a society governed by shariah? Incidentally, Elibiary is also the Dallas Muslim leader who wrote this to me, concerning my criticism of Islamic extremism:

Treat people as inferiors and you can expect someone to put a banana in your exhaust pipe or something.
Now, I wonder if the Undersecretary of State understands just what she's lending legitimacy to by her presence at the banquet.

Or if she did, given the Bush administration's sorry record of coddling Islamists, I wonder if she'd care.

8/21/2007 03:38:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Michael Ledeen:

Most of the fools and fabricators are Lefties, but there are plenty on the Right, and the Republican Party has an abundance of them.
Indeed, some of them sit at the right hand of the president.
Karen Hughes, one of W’s closest friends and advisers, permitted herself this bit of politically correct appeasement-speak last December 19th, apologizing to our enemies on al Jazeera:

“The U.S. acknowledged [after] the events of September 11 that our policies might have created feelings of frustration and hatred, [causing those individuals] to board those airplanes, [fly them into the twin towers], and kill people. We want to change these circumstances, and this is what we are doing today…”
The day they killed Barbara Olson

Barbara would have no time for any of the Bidens, Hagels, Lugars, Deans, Kennedys and Murthas who tell us we are wrong to be angry, wrong to seek the destruction of our enemies, wrong to advance freedom, wrong to defend our borders, wrong to use every technological miracle to discover and divine our enemies’ intentions, wrong to lock away captured killers.

She would spit at the very idea of coming to terms with those who want us dead or dominated. She would have cancelled her subscriptions to the New York Times and the Washington Post, because she would not want the poison in her house, and she would not want to give a nickel to the corrupt rich kids who own and guide the papers.

She would be right. And she must be avenged.

8/21/2007 03:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Karen Hughes at Work

8/21/2007 03:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Did Tiger Woods cause these Indians to commit Suicide?
(or was it the slave-state of Dubai?)
AlJazeera English to air special on Asian labourers

AlJazeera English to air special on Asian labourers

DOHA • On August 18 at 1430 GMT, AlJazeera English will take a revealing look at the appalling conditions facing many of the 10m Asian labourers in the Gulf most of whom come from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, a channel release said yesterday.

During a three month investigation, Blood Sweat and Tears, AlJazeera English reporters gained unprecedented access to labour camps and workers in the region, demonstrating how the labourers' desire to help their families and improve their financial situation is exploited as they are forced to work in inhumane conditions far from home.

"I ask that my family not grieve for me…the financial pain I face here is too much." So read the suicide note of Selva Kumar Thangavel, an Indian labourer in Dubai who killed himself in 2005 after revealing that he was unable to repay the $1,200 illegal finder fee to the agent who recruited him.

According to the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, in 2006, 109 Indian labourers committed suicide in the UAE alone.
Then their are the Southeast Asians, Pakistanis, and etc, wage slaves all when working in Dubai.

8/21/2007 03:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The workers, charged by their local recruiters up to $1,600, or two years' salary,
to find jobs in the region, leave their families behind and relocate to the Gulf labour camps, where they often work in 50-degree heat and face life-threatening industrial accidents,
all for between $5 and $7 a day.

Building the World's Tallest Tower, living in squalor in the
"City of Gold"

8/21/2007 04:00:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre said...

Our only option is to encourage a reformation of Islamic ideology. Mohammed was indeed a militant extremist but equating that to all Muslims is a classic logical fallacy.

Irony...and a contradiction all wrapped into two sentences.

Nowhere have I called for branding all Muslims as terrorists. Nor have I called for killing them all as you are surely implying. Indeed I have realized that it is not the people who are the problem but the religion. Just as with the Germans relationship with the Nazis we didn't have to kill ALL the Germans and we didn't set out to. We set out to make the true believers quit fighting. We did that by force of arms and we also did that by discrediting their ideas. We have done nothing to discredit Islams ideas.

That nations like Syria, Iran and others would take an active role in murdering US Soldiers and our philosophical allies with absolutely no penalty from the very same administration that uttered such a call to arms. Could it be that our enemies looked to that very same speech and saw the contradictions? Did they see immediately that which took me five years to understand? In those contradictions did they understand that no nation led by such contradictions should be feared? Is not a clear philosophy one of the most basic requirements of victory?

For almost 5 years I have considered President Bush’s speech on 9/20/2001 to be just the right speech at just the right time. Now I wonder if President Bush was being honest with us. Did he notice the contradictions in that very speech? For instance when he spoke these words:

They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. They want to drive Israel out of the Middle East. They want to drive Christians and Jews out of vast regions of Asia and Africa.

Was President Bush being ironic? Ok I shouldn’t be flippant, I know he wasn’t being ironic but my gosh exactly how does one condemn the so-called radicals in Islam for wanting to expel Christians and Jews while in the very same breath mention Saudi Arabia and Egypt? Should I remind you, my gentle readers, that both of those nations have laws that restrict the rights of Christians? Indeed in Saudi Arabia merely wearing the cross can get you killed. Wouldn’t it have been at least consistent to have condemned those nations whose actions lead to the same end state as those rascally impatient radicals?

Both want to reach the same nirvana, no Jews or Christians in the world and especially not living next door. One wants to murder us till we are all gone the other being just a touch more rational understands that it might be more prudent to achieve their aims a bit more slowly. Are we merely upset at the so called radicals methods and not their desired end state? Did the Bush administration understand that attacking the end state might implicate a few of our allies?

At this point I should mention an article that has had a huge impact on my views on this war. “The First Terrorist War” by Vanderleun spelled out in precise terms exactly where the true battle lies. But let me quote from two paragraphs to show the power of this essay and to also encourage you to read the entire article.

8/21/2007 05:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

400 Killed in Ethnic Cleansing in Northern Iraq

8/21/2007 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


8/21/2007 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger dla said...

Despite diatribe to the contrary, the US is not losing anything in the middle east.

The US is the strong man. The Spaniards are cowardly sissies. The French are, well, the french. Although the British have done well, the sum of Europe is dismal. The Russians can't afford the fuel to interfere.

The US is the good guy. There is a clear line between the Islamo-nutballs and the US military. Nutballs kill civilians, the US military kills Nutballs and provides power and drinking water.

People sometimes decrie the loss of goodwill due to the war, but they can't quantify why the US should care? Why should we care that meaningless nations are displeased with our unilateral actions? Does it effect our GDP?

The US has won militarily and is winning politically in the middle east. The gains bought with the blood of US servicemen will last another generation - equalling and surpassing the world wars.

8/21/2007 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The interesting point that Col Bay makes, whether successful or not, in Iraq, the terrorism will spread.

If the jihadi are defeated in Iraq, they'll "move on".

If the jihadi are victorious in Iraq, the President says they'll "move on".

So, win or lose, unless the ideology of terrorist jihadism is defeated, in detail, world wide, the jihad continues.
All the while, in the heartland of jihad, Saudi Arabia, the US proposes a $20 Billion USD rearmorment.
In Pakistan, where aQ thrives, according to the latest NIE, the US fears to tread. Lest the despot is over thrown. So much for the "Democracy Project", there. And after it has done so well in Palistine.

8/21/2007 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

To Wretchard:

I agree on your metrics for military success and that we are making remarkable progress towards achieving security. We could defeat al Qaeda there entirely, and still leave a failed state.

But Iraq needs a functioning national government to call the job done, and I can't see progress there. Does Maliki have to go? Would provincial elections help? Can they now conduct them? How do we leverage our military progress into political movement?

To PLeG: 1.5 billion Muslims aren't going to stop being Muslims (short of genocide.) The alternative must be an Islamic reformation. Reformations happen all at once driven by events and leaders, or they happen invisibly, as the followers gradually change their priorities, and the leaders eventually adjust the rhetoric to match the reality. Either way, it's a long process.

8/21/2007 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Beyond The Rim... said...

>trust me the lure of the West tugs stronger at way more than does the siren song of seventh century life.

However, it is possible for Islam to embrace enough of the West to ameliorate that tug without giving up their fundamental tenant of total world domination. Conquering non-Islam (dar al-harb) for Islam is fundamental to Islam and will always motivate a large percentage of "practicing" Muslims.

This can be seen in England where those carrying out the current assaults are educated, Western embracing (in the limited Islamic sense I described) Muslim members of Britain.

For Islam, it is Islam or nothing, no matter how long it takes. Islam by its nature is a fifth column wherever it resides in dar al-harb, its sole goal conquest by word or sword.

For further thoughts see my post Borgalism (

8/21/2007 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


A significant part of the problem in teh UK and Europe is a culture that does not stand up for itself. The bully keeps stealing the lunch money until the victim finally starts pushing back at the bully.

When I was in the UAE and it was Ramadan time I was sensitive to my Islamic colleagues not to eat around them during. However, that sensitivity is going to be reduced here. Something that is happening in the UK. When I was in the UAE I did not present lessons using interest, however when they come here they had better expect it.

It is quite obvious the radical Islamists only welcome one sort of category of modern & western innovation and that is weaponry. However, my students also welcomed air conditioning, mercedes benzes, music, budweisers, fancy sunglasses, Nissan Patrols, Land Rovers, The Bold and the Beautiful etc. I have a hard time imagining any of those students out in the desert herding camels, sheep, and goats.

Do not get me wrong, we need to fight here. We need to stand to the radical islamists and kill them and we need to stand up for our own culture and way of doing things, but to make war on an entire religion can be rightly regarded as an attempt at genocide.

8/21/2007 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Austin Bay up next on Hewitt:

8/21/2007 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

To PLeG: 1.5 billion Muslims aren't going to stop being Muslims (short of genocide.) The alternative must be an Islamic reformation. Reformations happen all at once driven by events and leaders, or they happen invisibly, as the followers gradually change their priorities, and the leaders eventually adjust the rhetoric to match the reality.

Hmmm....a while ago Ralph Peters that paragon of contradictions said much the same thing himself while attacking those of us who believe Islam is the problem.

Do you see your contradiction? You state that it is impossible for us to confront 1.5 billion Muslims because they are not going to give up their religion. But you admit that their religion is enough of a problem that they should reform. Hmmm have you asked them how they feel about reform? Are any of our politicians even asking for reform?

Here is a bit from an article responding to Ralph fits here.

I believe that Islam poses a threat to the west. But Ralph is building a strawman if he actually believes that most of us who feel that way advocate declaring war on Islam and killing every single Muslim in the world. Actually I look at our fight against Islam much the same way that I looked at our fight against Communism or Nazism. Eliminating those who fought against us while sparing those who didn’t was a rational way to prosecute the war.

The comparison with Nazism is even more apt, since we ended up having to kill thousands of innocent Germans, by innocent I mean those who did not believe in Nazism, because we waited so long to act. Had we stopped Hitler when he crossed into Czechoslovakia it would not have been necessary to bomb Dresden. Had we stopped Tojo in China we might not have had to bomb Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

It is not some perversion of Islam that produces the drive to imperialism that has been part and parcel of Islam since Mohammed attacked Meccan caravans. All the way to the Gates of Vienna in 1683 Islam was driven by the combination of spreading Islam and a wanton desire for slaves and treasure, the original reason Mohammed attacked the Meccan caravans. That is a significantly different start than what we saw in Jesus so comparisons with Christainity don’t wash.

Here is some more...Peters in bold

How? By insisting that Islam can never reform, that the violent conquest and subjugation of unbelievers is the faith’s primary agenda - and, when you read between the lines, that all Muslims are evil and subhuman.

Ralph is taking different issues and conflating them. First I am glad though a bit surprised that he is candid about Islam’s need for reform. Why should a peaceful religion need to reform? About the violent conquest and subjugation of unbelievers being the faiths primary agenda one need not look at the numerous examples that fill the Koran. Merely look at the example that Mohammed himself set in his subjugation of the peninsula now known as Saudi Arabia.

Finally that nonsense about those of us who have a problem with Islam believing that all Muslims are evil and subhuman, put the strawman down and step away from the pipe Ralph.

Another trait common among those warning us that Islam is innately evil is that few have spent any time in the Muslim world. Well, I have. While the Middle East leaves me ever more despairing of its future, elsewhere, from Senegal to Sulawesi, from Delhi to Dearborn, I’ve seen no end of vibrant, humane, hopeful currents in the Muslim faith.

Ralph has already admitted that Islam needs to be reformed. Why? What is wrong with Islam that demands it be reformed? How do those Muslims he says he talks to feel about the need to reform Islam? Only a fool would believe that there are not good and decent people inside of Islam. There were good and decent people inside of Nazi Germany as well. There were even some good and decent Nazis. But Nazism was an evil philosophy.

I’m no Pollyanna. I’m all for killing terrorists, rather than taking them prisoner. I know we’re in a fight for our civilization. But the fight is with the fanatics - a minority of a minority - not with those who simply worship differently than those of us who grew up with the Little Brown Church in the Vale.

Even in Germany only 36% of the people voted for Hitler. In Indonesia which is often held up as an example of a moderate Islamic State a poll in 2003 showed 58% of the people having confidence in Bin Laden, a mere two years after the single most brutal terrorist attack in history. Luckily for us that poll number in2005 went all the way down to 36% of the single largest Islamic voting block in the world having confidence in the worlds worst terrorist. Yea I am feeling all warm and fuzzy towards that opinion by the “Moderates” in Indonesia.

8/21/2007 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Austin Bay agrees with General Garner that disbanding the Army was a disasterous decision.
...Viceroy Bremmer and A Jacksonian notwithstanding.

Rumsfeld/DOE/Garner plan was torpedoed at the outset by State and CIA.

8/21/2007 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...


The end of your post where you mention sheep dog prompts me to paste the item that follows.

Woof! Eh, Salaam eleikum!

By LTC(RET) Dave Grossman, RANGER, Ph.D.,author of "On Killing."

Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so
because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy
things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that
may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always,
even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth
dying for? What is worth living for? - William J. Bennett - in a lecture to the
United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:
"Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive
creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember, the
murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate
is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans
are not inclined to hurt one another.

Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent
crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record
rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which
means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one
in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are
committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably
less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation:
We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still
remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people
who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme
provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the
pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow
into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue
shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and
someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful.? For
now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves
feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there
who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil
men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget
that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in

"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to
protect the flock and confront the wolf."

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive
citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy
for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But
what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow
What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking
the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the
universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed

Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep,
wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes
them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the
world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire
extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids'

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police
officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely
to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the
sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone
coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the
path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the
wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is
that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep
dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished
and removed.
The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative
democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that
there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them
where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our
airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much
rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."

Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to
hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough
high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not
have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had
nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT
teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel
those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs
feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded
hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt
differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how
many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a
sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a
funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the
breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a
righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous
battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move
to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep
pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After
the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America
said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said,
"Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I
could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a
warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there.
You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but
he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able
to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the
There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals
convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious,
predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast
majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped
walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like
big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able
to protect itself.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be
genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most
people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans
are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was
honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the
man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an
operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other
three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone
and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to
the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a
transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business
people and parents. -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves,
ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible
evil of evil men. - Edmund Burke

Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of
police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real
sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves.
They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be
whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.

If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay,
but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your
loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If
you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt
you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want
to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious
and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive
in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

For example, many officers carry their weapons in church.? They are
well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt
holsters tucked into the small of their backs.? Anytime you go to some form of
religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer
in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your
place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.

I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the
break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other
cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I
asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at
a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally
deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen
people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day
if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do
was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the
eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself
after that?"

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer
was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and
would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for
"heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective,
or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids'
school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can
happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often
their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog
quietly asks himself, "Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with
yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there
helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"

It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically
destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is
counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and
horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth
when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't
train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy.
Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you
are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at
your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11
book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to
terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an
insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it
isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more

Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in
small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some

And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of
his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes.

If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you
step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that
the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime.
Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you
walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no
dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees,
a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on
the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the
Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America
took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps
toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started
taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that
continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved
ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.

8/21/2007 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...


8/21/2007 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just passing on the MSM views!
(to promote discussion and defense, when required)

Tenet’s C.I.A. Unprepared for Qaeda Threat, Report Says
George Tenet, the former head of the C.I.A., failed to adequately prepare the agency to meet the threat of Al Qaeda, according to an internal agency report.
Report Summary PDF (pdf)
Tenet's Statement
The Lede: C.I.A. Accountability

8/21/2007 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I was reminded by AlBobAl that the above could not be true, since George gave George a Medal.
I replied:
Not just ANY Medal,
THE PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM! did Normie Minetta, for institutionalizing the least effective WOT methods immaginable at DOT.

8/21/2007 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...



Well said...course we might also want to unveil "Nation of Cowards" about this time.

8/21/2007 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Oscar, (angel of death) the cat has been taken out, apparently by a bedpan.
Outlaw Bedpans in Nursing Homes!
RIP, Oscar
Beautiful Animal

8/21/2007 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

How's this for a guidepost:

"Those who make such statements are bothered by our visit to Syria. We will pay no attention. We care for our people and our constitution and can find friends elsewhere," al-Maliki said.

This quote is alleged to be given after President Bush made some comments on his frustration with the elected Iraqi government.

I'll measure this as "should he go?"

Or, "should both go?"

As quarterback Vick ponders his reality of "hanging out" with the wrong crowd, I wonder if we really need to begin to understand what "crowds" these wannabe US presidential candidates like to hang with...yo, my man (err woman, or is it going to be "bitch" now?)?

Seems to me, what with Armitage being a buttboy for Powell, especially in giving up Plame's name, and Powell being slimed by the lack of discovery for WMDs, well, is it time for our good general and former secretary of state to come forward, along with his posse, to explain how those dissenters argued years ago against trying to nation build in a place called Iraq?

It's also kinda funny how two Generals who lived in the Princeton, New Jersey vicinity have come to "win" in their most important campaigns. Perhaps we could just have a conversation with both of them at the Jigger Shop one lazy afternoon to discover how they came to know what needed to be done and how others finally gave them the chances.

We need to do this just before all the Shylocks come to collect or Wal Mart falters in their discussions with the Chinese on quality control in weeding out those old communist leaders who are in business.

8/22/2007 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

There was an excellent historical discusssion on public television tonight concerning Al-Andalus, the Muslim incarnation of Spain from 722 to 1492 (or so). The message the commentators kept pounding home in a very convincing way was that there are immense rewards associated with tolerance, unity and peace, and terrible penalties associated with the pursuit of purification. A tolerant society is apparently a rare situation in which thought and wealth prosper dramatically and quickly. When escalating fanaticism and counter-fanaticism destroy the balance, some few who understand will rescue the remnants, splashing up their bounty on some more hospitable foreign shore.

It takes great patience and strength to preserve that delicate balance which allows tolerance to prosper. It's always a matter of reconciling tension. The Andalusians were able to maintain it for a long time, but eventually destroyed themselves with internal squabbling and self-betrayal. The Christians only administered the coup de gras.

It is clear that only moderation can provide anything called victory in Iraq. Moderation, compromise, unity and some sort of group humbleness are necessary. And strength must be provided, from the outside if necessary. Can the Iraqis allow the better angels of their nature to prevail?

8/22/2007 09:59:00 PM  

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