Thursday, May 15, 2008

The silent city

Bush in Israel says "Masada shall never fall again." And he adds, "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

Obama says, how dare you speak of me in that way?

Peter Wehner at Commentary says:

Obama’s faux anger in reaction to Bush’s speech is ludicrous. For one thing, the President did not even mention Senator Obama in his speech. What the President was rebutting was a (fairly prevalent) cast of mind, one which is shared by Obama but by many others–including Jimmy Carter, who just returned from the region, as well as a people serving in Bush’s own State Department.

Be that as it may, it's even money that a considerable number of pundits will be demanding an apology and that there will be no shortage of Republicans who will turn out in sackcloth and ashes to recite the mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.

I think it fundamentally wrong to think that love and admiration for totalitarianism died in the Fuherbunker with Adolph Hitler. It almost immediately shifted its affections East to Uncle Joe. For him, no sacrifice was too great. Did America have atomic secrets? The highest duty of the most enlightened was to share them with Joseph Stalin in the interests of world peace.

Nothing can disguise the fact that six million Jews died, not in the Middle East, but in ovens which burned in the very heart of Europe. In countries that prided themselves in culture; that listened to Mozart; read books and vaunted their universities. When Golda Meir said with relief, on the occasion of the foundation of Israel that "For two thousand years we have waited for our deliverance. Now that it is here it is so great and wonderful that it surpasses human words" she was speaking of escape from a darkness within the very center of Western civilization.

Yet nothing great or wonderful is safe forever, and that darkness, that love for savagery, that admiration for the brutal, that was believed to have died beneath the ground in 1945 is on the march again. It is crawling out of books, lofty towers, places of culture in precisely the manner Camus warned us against. He said that the evil may be beaten, but it is rarely beaten forever; "that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city."

But we may not speak of it. And therefore it begins.




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84 Comments:

Blogger John J. Coupal said...

Lou Dobbs has been characterizing the Obama campaign as "precious", in its high self-esteem and readiness to take offense at what it sees as criticism from George Bush.

I think Dobbs is on to something.

Expect the midstream media to come rushing to Obama's defense.

5/15/2008 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Aslam said...

>> House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not take kindly to the remarks calling Bush's statement "beneath the dignity of the office of the president" in her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill.

3 questions:

Beneath the dignity of the office to speak the truth?

Perhaps, Nancy, but isn't it at least equal to or higher than the dignity of the office of the Speaker (as it now stands)?

And, Nancy, now that you know about the relative levels of dignity can you please tell us whether this is more dignified or less dignified than a blow-job under the desk in the Oval Office?

Dignity, indeed. How would your average liberal know?

5/15/2008 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

"Methinks the lady doth protest too much."

Named explicitly or not, Obama knows when he has been made.

5/15/2008 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

The problem is not peculiar to Barack Obama. If it were therew would be nothing to worry about. But his ideas, to use a current term, are mainstream, at least within certain circles. For example, the Chicago City Council led by a variety of leftist aldermen, Scott Ritter, Walt Mearsheimer and Karen Dolan are embarked upon a "hands off Iran" campaign. After Downing Street writes, "Obama's Hometown Considers Resolution Against War with Iran". Hamas and people like Hamas are heroes to a lot more people than one would think.

And that's how it was back when. It's embarassing to recall now, but in the 1930s the cool thing a young man or woman to be was either a "virile" fascist or a "committed" Communist. To wear a blackshirt or a red armband then was as cool as it is to wear a keffiyeh today. If you weren't a fan of one of these two totalitarianisms you were a jerk. A Colonel Blimp. A Salvation Army tootler. And that fact illustrates, to a large extent, why totalitariansm was so dangerous in Europe.

The love affair with totalitarism and death was not, as is now retrospectively argued, a mental illness afflicting a handful of cartoon Nazis who somehow managed to drag the world into an inferno. If it were then we should all rest easy. But it was not that. A lot of people were attracted to totalitarianism. It is customary to speak of Churchill "alone" in the political wilderness. It is less customary to explain why he was "alone".

The attraction of totalitarianism, of secular millenialism, of a future paradise achievable by ruthlessness and blood was profoundly popular. And it remained so after the war. But the affections were transferred to such political leaders such as Stalin or Mao Tse Tung. And that in turn found its successors.

Jonah Goldberg convincingly showed that the intellectual descendants of the same fascism that shoved the Jews into the oven survive, perhaps in less virulent form, in the kind of people who are holding the Chicago "hands off Iran" hearings. But as I said, we must not speak of it. It's not polite.

5/15/2008 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Katchoo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/15/2008 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Katchoo said...

Reagan negotiated with Gorby for the INF treaty that was the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Nixon went to China and negotiated an end to the Vietnam War in Paris. Ike negotiated a cease fire with North Korea. But here comes widdle baby Bush, whose only exit strategy was how to get himself out of going to Vietnam, and he thinks he's a bigger man than Reagan, Nixon, and Ike because he won't even talk to Iran.

5/15/2008 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

There have been any number of contacts with Iran. And in fact, Iran has undertaken to reduce its support for attacks in Iraq.

But of course this is not the kind of contact that is meant. The sort of contact that would mean something is an approach to withdraw from Iraq under an Iranian blessing. But I have no doubt that will be sought by an Obama administration, and still less doubt that it will be honored as solemnly as every other pledge Iran has given so far.

All the rest about JFK, Ike, Reagan, etc. is all non-sequitur.

5/15/2008 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger Aslam said...

>>..." love for savagery, that admiration for the brutal"

Perhaps, this is not entirely the case.

Perhaps this is a case of the toxic effeminate conceit one sometimes sees in women who hook up with abusive men.

You know the kind: they love and defend the brute (the "victim")while lying to themselves and others that they alone can tame and reform the beast. With love. With words. With reason.

No one is fooled. And, in truth, there are no victims either.

Everybody gets what they want.

The brute gets a volunteer for his savagery. The volunteer gets the cerebral (if not corporeal) pleasure of being beaten and abused in the service of something she imagines is larger than herself. And society, I suppose, benefits from seeing stupidity punished.

But, take this to the scale of Neville Chamberlain and Jimmy Carter and there are only victims now and exhortations to further depredation.

Suddenly, it's not so much fun anymore.

Liberals should not be allowed near public policy because what they want more than anything else is to be loved. And, the more unworthy their lover, the more they see him as a "victim" and the more they are attracted to him.

5/15/2008 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Katchoo -- talking to Breznhev or Gorby was one thing. Old men running an old regime that just wanted to hang on for a few more years, and keep things "stable" which was in our interest as well.

Iran is a young man's regime, aggressive, active, wanting to overturn everything. Like Stalin, Mao, Tojo, and yes Adolf, Iran's leaders want things the US cannot concede.

Iran wants $300 a barrel oil. To pay for it's nukes and extensive welfare state. To do this it must eject the US from the Gulf and control the Gulf oil states. The regime exists by paying it's gunmen, and without oil at that level it will simply run out of patronage cash.

It's an extortionist regime, no deal will stick because like Adolf's, it can only survive by absorbing it's neighbors. No deal is possible therefore there is no reason to talk. China, Russia, India, however all present conservative, status-quo regimes so we should indeed always be talking to them.

Deals are preferable to war, but war is preferable to simply surrendering to a horribly dangerous enemy.

Iran can't destroy us, but I don't want to see oil at $300 a barrel. Perhaps you'd like to see people starve in America, I don't. I'm fully willing to bomb the heck out of Iran and kill a lot of Iranians, innocent and guilty alike, to keep Americans from starving.

Americans come first for me.

How about you?

5/15/2008 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Let me add, Dems are outraged BECAUSE they endorse surrender to all aggressors. They've ruled out militar action so this all they have left -- appeasement.

This is why they take issue with Bush in Israel saying appeasement of Hitler was bad and did not work.

5/15/2008 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Katchoo said...

Whiskey_199: Iran can't destroy us, but I don't want to see oil at $300 a barrel. Perhaps you'd like to see people starve in America, I don't. I'm fully willing to bomb the heck out of Iran and kill a lot of Iranians, innocent and guilty alike, to keep Americans from starving.

Whiskey, you claim that $300 a barrel oil will result in Americans starving. Well, $300 divided by the current $125 is a factor of 2.4. However, just ten years ago oil was (in constant 2007 dollars) just $15.35. The dollar has slipped a little bit, so lets be generous and say today's price of oil is about $100 in constant 2007 dollars, which gives us a growth factor of 6.5. We've multiplied the cost of oil by six and a half times in ten years, but Americans are no where near starving. Now you say its better we start killing innocent Iranians rather than let oil prices grow by a factor of only 2.4, because you think we'll starve. We could feed a family of four for a year with the fat we take out of that woman in liposuction.

5/15/2008 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Katchoo said...

W: The attraction of totalitarianism, of secular millenialism, of a future paradise achievable by ruthlessness and blood was profoundly popular...And that in turn found its successors...

Indeed. On this very thread, we have seen a comment to the effect that we should kill innocent and guilty alike in Iran rather than see the price of oil rise by a factor of 2.4 when it has done more than that in just the last year or so. Ruthlessness and blood, in the name of money, with living breathing people reduced to a cipher in a ledgerbook. Sounds quite fascist to me. Yet it is politicians in a city government, with no real power over foreign policy, who are called the successors of Stalin for speaking out against the drums of war.

5/15/2008 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

The country will pay dearly for this group of democrats if they get in. Joe Lieberman is a democrat someone with sense might vote for. These people are going to be a disaster. We will end up with 7 devils worse than the first.

5/15/2008 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Let's not forget the Third Most Powerful figure in the US Administration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi herself going to visit Syria, a state sponsor of terrorism.

How dare anyone question her patriotic peace-ness.

I accidentally saw some MSNBC stuff, where the host goes spitting mad because some guy on FoxNews mentions Obama's middle name. (Hussein)

The Truth is toxic, like water to witches.

If saying "Nazi" is so bad, what was "Bush Hitler"? Even as Pelosi and the rest portray our noble war in Iraq as worthless, they pretend to the moral high ground.

It makes you remember that High School drop-out rates in Democratic neighborhoods is 50% or more.

The Truth is toxic for these poor souls.

5/15/2008 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Gee, Obama sure is thin skinned. I hope he'll be able to handle the insults he'll get from our enemies. OK, they won't insult him. He won't give them any reason. My mistake.

Al Gore called President Bush a traitor. Screamed "He betrayed this country" at the top of his lungs. But no one would ever do that to Senator Obama. For if they did, he would look askance at them. He would dis them mightily, the way he dissed Sen. "Annie Oakley" Clinton. He will smite our nations enemies with fearsome rhetoric. All hail.

5/15/2008 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger TmjUtah said...

Darkness falls.

It will be Obama in the fall. What a sick, sad joke has become our nation.

I didn't think it would be, but McCain will mature so badly and the Republicans remain utterly clueless that even post-Labor Day moderate/conservative voters will not bother to go to the polls.

Bush's speech to the Knesset was the last one (barring his farewell address) where "good" and "evil" will be featured in unambiguous context by a U.S. president for perhaps a generation.

We are in a lot of trouble. But we've seen it coming for years now, and all that remains is surviving.

Oh - sorry, Iraq. We would like to have stayed, but we (as a nation) are about to do to you what we did to the Vietnamese.

Oh - sorry, Iranian people - for not learning from the Rhur militarization or the Sudetenland or Czechoslovakia. Whether we make some gesture toward disarming your dictator and his mullah masters is anybody's guess now. If we don't, you will surely feel the heat of man made suns several times over... hopefully before your masters send their own bombs to Israel and the rest of the West.

In an adult world, Civilization would already have crushed barbarism. But we are receding...

I'm sorry, my children.

I wish we could have given you a better world. But it is not to be.

5/15/2008 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Ah, how soon they forget… If indeed, they ever knew.

Nixon was not praised by the Left. He was denounced by them for bringing in the B-52’s to hit North Vietnam and thus end the war. The Democratic Party Congress then denied funding for South Vietnam, assuring a Communist victory following their violation of the peace agreement.

And Ronald Reagan! He was denounced repeatedly for “not talking to the Soviets”!!! The fact that Soviet leaders were dropping like flies and there was no one to talk to was ignored. Then came Gorbachev and the Helsinki meeting. “Disaster!” they cried. It was the end of everything! Reagan had refused to roll over on SDI! And he insisted on emplacing Pershings and Tomahawks in Europe. Instead, it was not the End but the first real beginning. Reagan proposed the INF treaty and after a bit Gorby acted like he thought of it first and proposed it back. Then the Soviets cheated on it, by the way, withdrawing the SS-22’s to secretly replace them with SS-23’s (we know this because they left them behind and the Czechs let everyone come see them before they were destroyed). Then came START – not the namby-pamby SALT treaty but an actual REDUCTION!

Jimmy Carter talked, fitzed around with SALT. Got nothing. Bill Clinton even quit talking, after the Russians got disgusted with his military adventures, and we never got past Reagan/Bush’s START achievement in his administration.

How soon they forget….

5/15/2008 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger KAC said...

Obama thinks its all about him. What a big nar-sissy.

5/15/2008 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Dem sweep? By 2010, that $300 oil will be the least of our problems.

5/15/2008 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"Reagan negotiated with Gorby for the INF treaty that was the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Nixon went to China and negotiated an end to the Vietnam War in Paris. Ike negotiated a cease fire with North Korea."

Negotiating with an Iranian government which publically leads rallies calling for "Death to America" is not only foolish, it is a sign of self-loathing and self-defeat.

The Iranian government is possessed by evil. We have been at war with them since they attacked our embassy in 1979, and our dealings with them should be through the CIA and the American Military - our talks with them should only relate to the terms of their surrender.

Iran is part of the international conspiracy of Totalitarian Islam and Middle-Eastern Tyranny - a two-headed beast as Norman Podhoretz has said. This is World War IV, and we had better fight to win - failure to win will result in the death of American Liberty.

5/15/2008 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Where do we plan on finding the troops to occupy Iran, Iraq & Afghanistan? How do we plan on funding yet another rebuilding effort in Central Asia? Do we include Syria in our WWIV cleansing efforts? Why not Burma? Serious people can consider negotiating with Iran because, realistically, we don't have a whole ton of other options. Should we take military action off the table? Of course not, we need to have all options available to conduct successful foreign policy, but we simply don't have the option of going to war against all the nations that oppose us.

5/15/2008 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Matt,

Over the last few years I have not seen any serious discussion about the military option with regard to Iran including an actual invasion and occupation of the country. The cause for concern involved them getting nuclear weapons' technology and then following through with their stated goal of bombing Israel into non-existence. Then using that technology on ICBM's (Yes, they are working on that too.)to engage in blackmail of nations that are their enemies.

The military options mainly consists of using the Air Force and the Navy, along with special ops units, to bomb the nuclear weapons' sites, secure the Gulf, bomb the Revolutionary Guards units, and bomb their leadership and command and control centers, first disarming their air defenses.

This is more a hardware-intensive problem more than boots on the ground. While on that subject, it was Bush I and Clinton who began and completed the process of cutting the size of the Army in half. Hence, the strain on the current force.

If we bomb the Mullahs and their toys into non-existence, that would be preferable to what comes next if we do not do this: nuclear war that they start and we finish. Believe me, the human and environmental damage would be horrific. So, I thought Democrats had problems with mass casualties and environmental destruction????

5/15/2008 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

storm rider, the 1972 Olympics in Munich -- they attacked israel and germany, but really the world, gathered there for the Olympics. That's when this war began, one could say.

mat, so it's our choice, then, whether we are at war or not?

5/15/2008 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Lucky Pierre said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/15/2008 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Fred- I'm not saying that it's a good idea to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, but at the same time it doesn't make sense to further inflame a situation that we're just getting under control. Assuming we just rely on air power, special ops, etc., which are certainly capable of executing such an operation; the blowback will be considerable, a generation of Iranians that might be at least somewhat open to better relations will be pretty much lost and who knows what will go on along the Iran/Iraq border. Military force needs to be available as an option to prevent Iran from acquiring/deploying nuclear weapons-I'm not arguing against that. There are limits to what we can accomplish through the use of arms and having policymakers that recognize that isn't some sort of fatal flaw.

Also, in regards to force levels, I think adopting John Nagl's proposal for developing a stand-alone force of advisors would be a good starting point for achieving a force structure more in line with what our foreign policy requires.

Buddy- I think that there are lots of ways to approach conflict between nations and that 'war' isn't the best paradigm for our problems with Iran. And, in terms of military standing, if we chose to engage in operations against their military forces that outcome would not be in much doubt (the longterm outcome of such action, however, is much less clear); in that sense, we do dictate the terms of the interaction.

5/15/2008 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

The US will be OK for the 4 years of a weak Presidency. Bush has done the heavy lifting. But there are developments taking place that will metastize into something that cannot be surgically corrected.

Obama and to a lesser extent McCain, lack the cohones to project the force necessary to hold crazy nations like Iran in check. And Clinton, not that she's a factor anymore, will, like her husband, treat terrorism like a criminal law matter.

But in 2012 America is going to face the cancer that Obama/McCain let grow. And it will attack us.

I'm sooooo thankful that GWB is in the Whitehouse.

5/15/2008 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

mat, what about this:

"As long as the Islamic Revolutionary Party is making war on America, America cannot have the choice between war and peace."

IOW, we can't choose peace, it is not allowed by the reality of the situation. No matter how badly we might desire it, we won't have it until the aggressor says so.

5/15/2008 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

I am just dumbfounded that any sane person would advise that we talk to people that would intentionally shoot 2 year old Meirav Hatuel point blank in the face, fire rockets wily-nily into civilian areas while declaring their intention to wipe Israel and America off the map.

Where is the starting point of such a discussion? What exactly is there to negotiate?

Bush spoke the truth in Tel Aviv and those who feel disparaged should explain just what in the hell that there is to talk about.

Muslim money paid for the bullet that was fired into little Meirav's head. I can never forgive nor forget.

Kill them until they beg us to stop.

5/15/2008 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Katcho --

Oil at $300 a barrel will certainly bring a heavy recession. Which will bring about starvation for Americans depending on Welfare. Which WILL be cut in a recession. There won't be any money to pay for it.

Of course Americans will starve at $300 a barrel. It won't be middle class Americans. It won't be most working class Americans. But don't delude yourself, poor Americans WILL starve. Mostly the children of single mothers with no skills dependent on Welfare which in turn is dependent on a robust economy producing surpluses.

Once the surplus is gone, the money is gone. And poor people starve. Fact of life. Welfare requires money.

Hell yes I'll sign on for killing innocent Iranians over letting poor Americans starve. I'm an American, I put Americans first. And that's just one aspect. I'll also put killing innocent Iranians over having our cities nuked, or that of our allies.

Just as I would have put innocent Germans getting killed over that of our allies in Europe in 1939. Or 1943. I seem to recall a man name of McGovern who had no problem dropping bombs on innocent Germans during WWII.

You want a world where America never kills anyone. That's a world ruled by Ahmadinejad and Hamas and Hezbollah and the Chinese Oligarchs and Russia's Putin. Hard men who's enemies get poloniumm tea or fall out of windows, mysteriously.

You could certainly argue that we have leverage if we want it. That bombing Iran is silly when we can sponsor low-cost terrorists, and always later hit Iranian oil refineries, pipelines, etc. with air attacks and tell the Iranians "Oh so sorry, you made the point in 79 there are no rules, so well, there are no rules." And then offer a deal -- they give up all nuke facilities and open on-demand inspection, or we keep hitting infrastructure by proxy or by air or by both.

But complaining about killing "innocent Iranians" is like eating sausage and then complaining about how it's made.

Obama won't win. Dems are testing the proposition they can win without working class whites, much of the white middle class, Catholics, Union members,

5/15/2008 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Buckets said...

Whiskey,

It's very possible that Obama may win come November. Difficult for a rational person to believe, but very possible nonetheless.

Obama offers a vision, which McCain cannot and will not offer to Americans. Obama offers the vision of peace. Vote Obama, and these violent groups like Hamas and Al-Qods and JAM will comprehend the paradigm shift that has taken place in U.S. politics, and will cease hostile activity against the United States. Obama understands why these groups resort to violence! The root causes will finally be addressed and appreciated by the American government, and the problems with violent Muslims will become a thing of the past; all we need is the spirit of cooperation and understanding in the White House!

This is a powerful illusion, and I even find myself swayed by it from time to time. But it is the spectre of Neville Chamberlain that we are offered, generations later, and we make it clear that we have learned nothing from history. Those who went before us paid for their mistakes with blood, and so shall we.

5/15/2008 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

dla said:

"I'm sooooo thankful that GWB is in the Whitehouse."

Ditto that. GWB bought us at least 4 additional years of relative peace.

Enjoy it while it lasts. The world is getting more "interesting" everyday.

5/15/2008 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

When a paradigm is near the end of its life -- or near renewal -- it seems adrift, like a sailing ship waiting for wind. The year was 1970 and I remember going from one student leader's meeting to another, each filled with as much urgency as the last, to discuss the one topic that concerned us all.

Democracy it seemed to many, had failed. It hadn't brought land reform, progress or direction. Above all the students in those meetings longed for direction. One group seemed willing to provide it. The Communists.

Someone else was offering direction. A handsome, supposed war hero who promised to bring greatness back to the nation. Promised to end corruption. Reconcile with the Communists. Free the ship from the doldrums.

In the next two years, that so-called charistmatic national leader and his then-beautiful wife -- the darlings of the press, for that was the truth -- would create the "New Society" and under that standard plunge the nation into darkness. In gloom of that night, which was to last 14 years, people would recall in the most loving detail, the last moments of the democracy they reviled before they threw it away and placed their bets either upon the future promised by the Communists or the New Society promised by Ferdinand Marcos.

The greatest of all Hollywood lies is that villains look the part. Nothing could be further from the truth. All really evil villains are beautiful at first. Ferdinand Marcos was a handsome man; as was Fidel Castro; as was Che Guevara; as was, truth to tell, the young Mao Tse Tung. How easy it is to think that a man in a five thousand dollar suit can't be a fascist, when all that is true is that a fascist can wear a five thousand dollar suit.

And in that years that followed I found, first from whispers, and then from those who knew first-hand, how Martial Law had been precipitated by the not-so-accidental confluence of interests of those who could agree on nothing but that democracy was effete and an obstacle to their ambitions. The Bombing at Plaza Miranda was planned by Communist Party Chairman Jose Maria Sison and then instantly used by Ferdinand Marcos -- handsome, young and vibrant -- to declare martial law. They avowed themselves foes, but in truth neither could live without the other.

And then it seemed to those who set their shoulders to turn back the wheel of misfortune what a great treasure they had squandered. They longed for the long-winded speeches of politicians they once despised; and strained for a taste of the liberty they took for granted. For the times when the Army meant the Army of the Republic; the Army of McArthur and Magsaysay. Before it became the gendarmerie of the New Society.

If the left ever grasps power they will be slower to leave the door than enter it. Some portals are no ordinary entrances, but openings into passage such as I stood at in those long ago student leader meetings of 1970 to resolve a crisis which some would help to bring about themselves.

But that is the way of things. You must very nearly lose a thing in order to appreciate it. Strange that it is so. But when in the end you find it again you will hear bells where none are ringing; and familiar voices where none are speaking. You will cast about expectantly but the faces won't be there. Yet it will be a glorious hour; a time of rediscovery; but tinged with sadness. And familiar though it may be you'll look up to the place "she tore the azure robe of night to set the stars of glory there", and see her for the first time.

5/16/2008 12:08:00 AM  
Blogger Nomenklatura said...

The Democrats' permanent assumption seems to be that we are so powerful that we can afford to cosy up to our enemies and hand an ally over to them from time to time, as a sweetener.

It amazes me how they can imagine we will have any allies if we do this.

I think the core of Democratic foreign policy thinking is belief that all foreigners are animals who can be domesticated and turned into pets. If a few of them get eaten by the others along the way then that's only to be expected.

This exactly reproduces, by the way, how Democrats think about blacks and crime in our own urban areas, where the extraordinarily high ongoing rates of black-on-black crime, including murder, never raise in their minds a flicker of concern.

This world view places high-minded liberals on a pedestal which flatters their vanity, but it would be wiser to recognize that foreigners are both fully human and, in certain cases, more dangerous than small furry animals could ever be.

5/16/2008 12:08:00 AM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

setting the record straight for the gray lady, perhaps needs mean setting the record straight for the nation...,but who would cover it?

5/16/2008 02:51:00 AM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

The point being this isn't the first time Obama and those on the left have made up headlines to forward a false perception, but one that favors them.

OH("O"), creating the image of being important enough to be mentioned in a speech to the Israeli Parliament is one perception that OH figures favors him. Creating the image that the president is attacking him (not attacking or attending to Hillary or McCain) is a positive for OH's campaign.

Clever Coverage of what was not said deflates the importance of what was said.

5/16/2008 03:06:00 AM  
Blogger Elijah said...

"The Islamic umma (community) will not allow its historic enemy to live in its heartland," he said in the fiery speech that centred on a "historic war between the oppressor and the world of Islam".

The term "oppressor" is used by the clerical government to refer to the United States.

The same oppressors as viewed by James Cone, Jeremiah Wright , and Wiliam Ayers?

for some, it's difficult to be proud of an oppressive american society

5/16/2008 03:41:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Wretcahrd:

And it must have been so very painful during the Marcos years, listening to the stories of your parents, of the air attack that crushed the IJN in Manila harbor, of the battle off Samar where destroyers charged the largest battleships in the world, of “I have returned”, of the thrilling approach of the Philippine Scouts, of tanks tearing down prison gates in the middle of the night – and realize that this time there would be none of that – it was up to YOU.

We all must grow up one day. You find yourself in the schoolyard one morning without your mother’s hand in yours, at the wheel of a car, at the controls of an airplane, and realize it is up to YOU. Societies have that moment as well as individuals – and the best of them meet it.

5/16/2008 05:00:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"If the left ever grasps power they will be slower to leave the door than enter it. Some portals are no ordinary entrances, but openings into passage...."

amen, brother wretchard. we won't miss our water 'til the well runs dry.

5/16/2008 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

I wish it weren't true gentlemen, but it is time to beat our plowshares into swords and our pruning hooks into spears. The price of liberty is the struggle for liberty - and that means treasure and blood. This is something our fathers understood in World War II - and our forefathers in the American Revolution.

Like or fathers and forefathers, we have only two choices: Liberty or Death. Terror or tyranny is not an option, because that is a form of death it’s self. Death is preferable to the shame and suffering of the huddled masses now living under the jackboot of terror and tyranny around the world. Our children and grandchildren depend on us – and we depend on the examples of our fathers and forefathers – the great men of liberty.

5/16/2008 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Wretchard: And in that years that followed I found, first from whispers, and then from those who knew first-hand, how Martial Law had been precipitated by the not-so-accidental confluence of interests of those who could agree on nothing but that democracy was effete and an obstacle to their ambitions.

But now after People Power what do we have? A handful of powerful families who have eternal seats in the Senate, and every six years run some action movie star or boxer for the Presidency as front men, empty suits who can't even rub two thoughts together. Annual coup attempts and corruption so pervasive the Islands remain an economic basket case so bad even communist Vietnam looks like an Asian Tiger by comparison. A Church which bans sex education and won't even distribute rice from Stateside during the current commodities crisis unless the US proves to their satisfaction it hasn't been genetically modified, because everyone knows if you eat Frankenfood you grow a third eye or something. They saw it on "Volta". Take Venezuela or Bolivia, cut it loose from South America, and let it float into the South China Sea, and you've got the Philippines.

5/16/2008 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

How healthy is upward mobility in the Philippine economy? How badly does that permanent oligarchy freeze the aspirational young?

5/16/2008 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Buckets wrote:

"Obama offers a vision, which McCain cannot and will not offer to Americans. Obama offers the vision of peace. Vote Obama, and these violent groups like Hamas and Al-Qods and JAM will comprehend the paradigm shift that has taken place in U.S. politics, and will cease hostile activity against the United States."

Nicely said, with fine irony. We Americans are idealistic and gravitate towards idealists. Even if the idealists are leading us down a path that leads to a Cliff of Error (can't escape from that antiquated 'Pilgrim's Progress' paradigm . . . dang!) I'm attracted to Obama, too. And I seem mean-spirited to my friends, not to mention my spouse, to question his sincerity. All I have to do is comprehend the paradigm shift, confess my love of Sen. Obama, and earn lenient treatment.

And a wonderful meditation upon paradigm change by Wretchard the Cat.

5/16/2008 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger Yashmak said...

Hell yes I'll sign on for killing innocent Iranians over letting poor Americans starve. I'm an American, I put Americans first.

And that's as it should be. It is every government's primary responsibility to prefer the life of its own citizens to those of its enemies. . .and let there be no mistake, Iran is an enemy.

5/16/2008 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Buddy,

The problem the bottom of the lower class in the Philippines has is somewhat similar to other nations in similar straits. Someone has the drive, ambition, and ideas to get ahead but is lacking in...capital. They will have a hard time getting it. Not only because they have no real collateral but also because all capital goods going to that region are getting swallowed up by China.

I would not characterize my wife's family as an established oligarchy (far from it) but her sister and a partner managed to raise capital from their families and hit the business success jackpot in Manila. However, my wife's family owned their own place in Cebu. Another relative received a settlement relating to an accident he suffered as a seaman and started up a machine shop serving the local printing industry. Again, by his skill and ingenuity he managed to make some of his own machine tools, but told me he had a couple of tools on his wish-list but had a hard time find any available.

This is where DeSoto's ideas look promising and that is to give the squatters title to their patch of earth and then let the ambitious and capable get ahead. However, one can well imagine the people who are set to lose their land to squatters might get brutal.

5/16/2008 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

As far as Terrorist Talk goes, I have no problem with clear-eyed talks with them, but they have to be clear-eyed and not fogged over with wishful thinking.

The foggy-eyed will blame ourselves when the talks fail or amount to just talk.

Ask the UAE about Iran's willingness to talk about Abu Mousa & the Tunb Islands. Iran is all to happy to talk to the UAE about it, however, such talks essentially amount to Iran telling the UAE to forget about it.

5/16/2008 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger slimslowslider said...

HISH

5/16/2008 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

See this post at Talisman Gate:

Thursday, May 15, 2008
Fascinating: The Jihadists Admit Defeat in Iraq

"Furthermore, I want to point out something even more critical: this defeat is not only a tactical one for the jihadists; this defeat is strategic in essence since it snuffs out their dream of resurrecting the caliphate, the raison d’être of modern jihad."

Given the latest Obama . . . er, I mean Osama . . . tape, i.e. that the jihad has always been about Palestine (an argument that still has traction among the intelligentia), Talisman's analysis seems on-target. Expect a media firestorm to ensue re. the war/great misunderstanding has always been about Israel/Palestine. East Asia has never been at war with Oceania. But thanks to Nasrallah (pbuh), the aims of Hezballah/Iran re. Lebanon and any democratic initiative are transparent.

As Michael Totten points out, Iraq seems to be the place where ideologies go to die. Let's hope that the 'freedom' ideology is the last one standing.

5/16/2008 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Teresita said...

Yashmak: It is every government's primary responsibility to prefer the life of its own citizens to those of its enemies. . .and let there be no mistake, Iran is an enemy.

My true citizenship is in the Kingdom of Heaven. I prefer life to death in all cases. The government of Iran is my enemy, not the people. However, I love my enemies, as commanded by the King. I am a courageous person who lives in the Home of the Brave, and I would never advocate striking out pre-emptively against Iran out of fear of what they might do, or to keep oil prices down, because it would put innocents at undue risk and violate the just war doctrine.

5/16/2008 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

Buddy Larsen said...
storm rider, the 1972 Olympics in Munich -- they attacked israel and germany, but really the world, gathered there for the Olympics. That's when this war began, one could say.

Sounds about right Buddy.

Salaam!

5/16/2008 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Teresita,

Was the UK & French response to the German invasion of Poland justified then? Was the action the UK & France took too early, too late, or just right?

I fear too many of us are taking the fools bargain. How many innocents would have been killed back in the '30s & '40s had Chamberalin & Daladier acted early on in the Hitler's aggressions?

5/16/2008 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

"because it would put innocents at undue risk and violate the just war doctrine."

There's the rub - "just war doctrine" was developed in Medieval Europe - by medieval kings and tyrants. Their "just war doctrine" defended their life and their unjust privileges.

American just war defends the life and the liberty of free people. It is the greatest conceivable injustice not to defend American life and liberty - something our founders and subsequent generations did not fail to do.

Iran is part of a worldwide Islamo-Fascist conspiracy against American Life and Liberty. We were struck first, and much worse is on the way. We don't have to wait for anything or for anyone - or for a permission slip from the United Nations.

Avoid civilian casualties whenever possible - yes. Fail to justly defend American Life and Liberty - no.

5/16/2008 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Marcus Aurelius, an educated (well, i try to read some) guess re your question to Teresita: one thousand times fewer deaths.

Also, agree, DeSoto ought to be required reading at the State Dep't -- for starters.

Redneck Muslim, Salaam back atcha!

5/16/2008 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

My true citizenship is in the Kingdom of Heaven but Heaven help my corporeal self without ready guns defending it.

5/16/2008 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Swami said...

katchoo,

Your assumption is: the US economy survived a large relative increase in oil prices reasonably well, and could therefore do it again.

The logic doesn't work that way. There are tipping points in the system, where increased costs shut down certain sectors.

Think about it like this: If you increase the air pressure in the space you currently occupy by a factor of 2.4, you will live.

Do it again, and you will die.

5/16/2008 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 05/16/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

5/16/2008 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

"Take Venezuela or Bolivia, cut it loose from South America, and let it float into the South China Sea, and you've got the Philippines."

If we could do that with California, New York City and Seattle, we'd probably be a much more sane nation.

Though, come to think of it, also a much poorer nation that would grow a lot less of its own food without grunge rock or organic coffee or a huge number of movies to choose from.

Sigh. I guess there are tradeoffs all over the place.

5/16/2008 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Katchoo said...

Swami: Think about it like this: If you increase the air pressure in the space you currently occupy by a factor of 2.4, you will live. Do it again, and you will die.

We doubled the price three times and lived (and thrived, America's 12 trillion dollar GDP now is greater than any nation's in human history). There is no reason to believe one more doubling will lead to some kind of a tipping point, since we haven't seen even the hint of a tipping point crop up ever since you could fill up for two bucks. That kind of thinking isn't rational, it's not based in observational fact, and it leads to the publication of those books you've seen in thrift store shelves, "The Great Crash of '79" "How to Survive the Crash of '89" , "How to Prepare for Y2K and the End of the World Economic Order" etc.

5/16/2008 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Dan said:

"If we could do that with California, New York City and Seattle, we'd probably be a much more sane nation..... I guess there are tradeoffs all over the place."

I was thinking about that the other day. What would happen if I could snap my fingers and all the moonbats suddenly became sane? Certainly the world would be more rational and politics more civil. However without the moonbats, there would tend to be a rightward drift. Given time, I suspect we'd eventually go fascist.

The moonbats do have a role in terms of maintaining perspective. However it's suicide to allow moonbats to hold positions of trust and responsibility.

5/16/2008 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Katchoo said:

"We doubled the price three times and lived (and thrived, America's 12 trillion dollar GDP now is greater than any nation's in human history). There is no reason to believe one more doubling will lead to some kind of a tipping point, since we haven't seen even the hint of a tipping point crop up ever since you could fill up for two bucks."

A software that I like to play with is the Chemical Equilibrium with Applications (CEA) program. You can download the software for free from NASA after filling out a form (google the name and the follow the links). CEA is a thermochemistry program that simulates chemical reactions and phase transition. You can do all sorts of cool stuff with CEA, e.g. simulate planetary atmospheres, combustion inside rocket motors, the freezing of water, etc. Something that can be observed with CEA is how quickly complex systems can radically transition from one state to another, e.g. phase transition from water to ice is the classic example. The mathematics of this process can be modelled as a "branch point", i.e. you're going along one process, you hit a fork in the road and a tiny perturbation can shift you from one fork to another. Economic systems and political processes also have branch points. I would argue that history is really the study of mankind going from one branch point to another. It's interesting to ask: "What path would history have taken if von Stauffenburg had moved his bomb 6 inches to the right when he tried to assassinate Hitler?"

5/16/2008 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

The key with many things in economics is the rate of increase or decrease. As long as changes are moderate systems & people can adapt.

Most economists are not going to call 4% inflation the imminent arrival of the apocalypse, but change that to 50% and their song changes.

The price of oil is not just increasing in price, it is increasing in REAL price and this will start to cut down on productivity. Pretty soon we will be back to 1 farmer to 100 acres and then "starving writers" and "starving artists" will be literally true.

5/16/2008 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

The just war doctrine did not take into account the cause of nonproliferation. Even giving Tehran the benefit of the doubt as to their motive, demonstrably at odds with good and mankind, what is considered justifiable in applying "Just War" principals? As near as I can determine it is only the chance that something worse could replace what evil is there today. If Obama wins in November, the question of possibility becomes a question of probability. How much more do we expect the Iraqi people to suffer at the hands of people dedicated to their harm and destruction?

And then there is the threat against the Israeli's. They are real dangers, which I do not think we can wait to respond to, in a measured and reasonable way with a reasonable chance for success.

5/16/2008 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

"What path would history have taken if...."

Wilson had kept the United States neutral in WWI and the Kaiser's troops had taken Paris in April 1918 (as the probably would have happened without the fresh American Army standing in the way).

5/16/2008 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger always right said...

Sorry, I haven't read through all the comments yet.

But has anyone seen Mort Kondracke on Special Report last night? He's beet red in the face defending Obama’s jump to conclusion that Bush pointed fingers at him, Mort asking both Brit Hume and Charles Krauthammer "How can you be sure that talking to Hamas equates to appeasement?

" You're assuming that Obama is Jimmy Carter, and we don't know that that's a fact.”

You can read the transcript at The Panel (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,356302,00.html)

Once Obama is POTUS, can anybody criticize him and his policies, without a swarm of hateful labels attached by the adoring public/media?

5/16/2008 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

“However without the moonbats, there would tend to be a rightward drift. Given time, I suspect we'd eventually go fascist.”

It is the direction the moonbats want to go in that leads to fascism. Fascists are all Leftists, all flavors of them believe in more rather than less control over the private sector. The USSR even defined Fascist as “Other Leftists who are not us” and never applied the term to the Western Democracies. A “rightward drift” gone unchecked would eventually lead to total anarchy, not a Leftist paradise but a Libertarian one.

Of course, Fascism eventually leads to total anarchy, too, as all things either break down, ala the USSR, Yugoslavia, and Albania, or get blown down by P.O.ed people with more competence, ala Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan.

5/16/2008 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

Extreme right shift meets extreme left shift like the two surfaces of an airfoil - they meet at the point where laminar flow becomes turbulence – they meet at the point of tyranny.

Our founders were the original liberals - they believed mightily in the idea of God-given liberty - individual human liberty was not seen as a gift from the state.

All drift from our founders - i.e: drift from the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights - whether right or left, is a drift toward tyranny or totalitarianism.

5/16/2008 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Benj said...

MSM - yet still a sequence worth seeing if you're tempted to imagine the fools are are all on the other side...

http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/05/ignorance_is_bliss_4.php#comments

PS Stormrider - 3/5 of a Man?

5/16/2008 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

Benj,
Point well taken. The founders were not perfect, but they were damn good - better than all the alternatives out there. I say lets stick with their ideas of God-given life, liberty, creative pursuit of happiness - and just government power derived from the consent of the governed.

5/16/2008 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

I can only see one future out on the horizon, the result of failing to break the Mullahs' toys now: mushroom clouds over Israel and then hundreds of mushroom clouds over Iran - from the dying orders of a dying Israeli nation and from U.S. boomer submarines. Two nations wiped out and utterly devastated and an environmental catastrophe for the entire planet.

That is my prediction, premised on our collective failure to understand and act in a timely and ethical manner now. Intellectual sloth and moral cowardice have a price to be paid in blood.

And the American people share some of the blame for this, along with their elites in government, media, education, and law.

Even as I type these words I feel depressed contemplating this future. For sure, I would put American and Israeli lives ahead of Islamic ones, but even the killing of millions of them is shocking to contemplate.

5/16/2008 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

Benj,
The 3/5 error in the U.S. Constitution was corrected by the sacred values in the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence was a declaration of war not only against King George III and the British Empire of 1776 - it was a declaration of war against American slavery - and for that matter it is a declaration of war against every form of tyranny over the minds (and bodies) of men.

The Declaration of Independence is what led to the Civil War and then the thirteenth amendment to our Constitution.

5/16/2008 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

this time there would be none of that – it was up to YOU.

And so it was: and glorious in a cheap sort of way. From the safehouses of Sampaloc, the hills of Marikina, the mountains of Zamboanga, and the sealanes of the Visayas. From one point of view they were The Best Years of Our Lives. From another point of view one could ask, "is this trip really necessary?"

5/16/2008 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

Having unburdened his heart, the Inquisitor waits for some time to hear his prisoner speak in His turn. His silence weighs upon him. He has seen that his captive has been attentively listening to him all the time, with His eyes fixed penetratingly and softly on the face of his jailer, and evidently bent upon not replying to him. The old man longs to hear His voice, to hear Him reply; better words of bitterness and scorn than His silence.

Suddenly He rises; slowly and silently approaching the Inquisitor, He bends towards him and softly kisses the bloodless, seventy year old lips. That is the entire answer. The Grand Inquisitor shudders. There is a convulsive twitch at the corner of his mouth. He goes to the door, opens it, and addressing Him,

"Go," he says, "go, and return no more ... do not come again ... never, never!" and -- lets Him out into the dark night. The prisoner vanishes.

5/16/2008 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Swami said...

"We doubled the price three times and lived (and thrived, America's 12 trillion dollar GDP now is greater than any nation's in human history)."

No. We've had one run up since the 1997 low equal to a factor of about 6, not 8. Doubling three times is 2*2*2=8, not 2*3=6. No, I'm not being excessively picky, this is an important distinction, because another doubling would be, by your version of math, 8, while in reality it is 16. 16 times the 1997 low price of oil would be $320.00 a barrel in current terms.

The impact of that would be devastating.

The nation would be economically and socially disrupted.

5/16/2008 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"The nation would be economically and socially disrupted."

Not at all. The nation would realize that allowing special interests pushing dependence on oil to the tune of $600 billion a year, and an over bloated military welfare budget to go with that sick dependency, is, simply put, idiotic. And it would finally put an end to both these idiocies.

5/16/2008 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/16/2008 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger USpace said...

Ouch, Obama and the poor little Dems were hit a little too close to home by what GW said. It's one of the best things Bush has ever said. Bravo! And he didn't even have to mention the Dhimmicrats or any body's name.

So sure, then he folded in Saudi Arabia, but what he said in Israel almost makes that OK.
.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
appease the appeasers

don't embarrass them
by calling them appeasers

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe said
have a sit down with Hitler

he should have been sweet-talked
he had goodness within

.
Appeasement Talk Bothers Appeasers

Help Halt Terrorism Now!

USpace

:)
.

5/16/2008 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

It is well to recall that when the North American British Colonies made their rebellion against the King of England and his Parliament, slavery was still widely practiced among the subjects of the United Kingdom.

The U.K. wised up and abolished overt slavery in the fourth decade of the 19th century, scarcely one generation ahead of the United States. Maybe if the United States had been a monarchy or a more authoritarian regime, slavery might have been undone by a royal writ, and so and the vast bloodletting avoided.

Throughout the United Kingdom, the Slavery Abolition Act finally made slavery illegal.

Interestingly, it seems that the British Government compensated the former owners of the newly emancipated slaves, while offering no reparations or compensation to the former slaves.

What brutes!

Of course, I'm being grotesquely sarcastic. On the other hand, freedom --- emancipation from bondage --- is recognized throughout time and the world as an incomperable gift. It's generally the third or fourth generation that begins to have a sense that they deserve more. And more. And more. And more.

It's similar to the baby boomers --- the third generation born AFTER that generation that lived through the Great Depression. Their parents wanted to shield them from the griefs they experienced, and maybe did too good a job, so that the kids grew up taking all the wealth and luxury and convenience and pampering for granted.

I'm one.

Where's my lollipop, Dammit?

5/16/2008 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

The "3/5 error" in the constitution was necessary in order to ratify the constitution. This is certainly a place where one can point to as where the founding fathers were constrained by the realities of their time. Without 3/5 there would be NO UNION. Luckily, they had the wisdom to give us an amendment process and the people also chose to decide the issue.

I cannot express how sick I am of people pointing to a few "mistakes" while ignoring the political genius of our founding fathers. No one has outdone them in 200+ years. Simply pointing to one fault without reconciling the other facts is a worthless argument and is intellectually dishonest. Somehow 1 imperfection erases all else . . .

Everyone makes mistakes. Some make mistakes on purpose so that they can get something done. Both describe the founding fathers.

This sort of criticism is very telling of the cancer in our society. That cancer is the search for perfection. It sounds like some would rather have no union given that they could not have perfection.

5/16/2008 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/16/2008 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

"We doubled the price three times and lived . . .There is no reason to believe one more doubling will lead to some kind of a tipping point, since we haven't seen even the hint of a tipping point crop up ever since you could fill up for two bucks."

Owner operators are on their last leg now. The entire US agricultural system is based upon cheap transportation. At some point, shipping will collapse. Care to guess when shipping will collapse? Then what? How long will it take us to replant our lawns?

"How to Prepare for Y2K and the End of the World Economic Order"

Just because millions of people worked on and fixed a problem doesn't mean that there wasn't a problem.

5/16/2008 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Susan Burrell said...

Fred said, "Intellectual sloth and moral cowardice have a price to be paid in blood. And the American people share some of the blame for this, along with their elites in government, media, education, and law."

Hey, I'm one of those American people, Fred. I refuse to accept the collective guilt you are assigning to me. If Iran bombs Israel, we will deal with it, and the Iranian people will pay along with them for their failure (out of a sense of simple self-preservation if nothing else) to overthrow their fanatical leaders who believe the 12th Imam will miraculously stop the very atrocity they commit. But I'm not going to accept blame for not trying to stop it beforehand. Do we blame America for not hitting Japan before they hit Pearl Harbor? Do we blame America for not hitting Germany the instant they broke the Versailles treaty? No we don't. Or we oughtn't. Because no one can see even a week down the road, not even the weatherman.

5/17/2008 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Susan,

I'm not sure I buy this argument. I think the general pattern of human behavior is pretty much established. As is the general pattern of weather behavior during the seasons of the year, I think you would agree.

5/17/2008 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

I think what is confusing to many Americans is the notion that we are waging different wars - one for Afghanistan, one for Iraq, maybe one in Sudan, etc. etc. There is only one war, and it is World War IV. The various so-called wars are actually battles in the overall war - the battle of Afghanistan, the battle of Iraq, and now the battle of Iran looms ahead.

What some people haven't come to realize is that our enemies have formed an alliance against freedom - against American life and liberty. The alliance can be called the Islamo-Fascist alliance because it consists of Totalitarian Islamic terror groups on the one hand, and Totalitarian secularized governments on the other. They are held together by hatred of liberty and the nations which live in liberty - especially the United States and Israel.

In World War II there was an Axis alliance between Germany, Japan and Italy; and others were eventually drawn in by force. When America was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, our first substantial military action was against Germany - not Japan. We invaded Algeria and Morocco and met military resistance from Vichy French soldiers, who had by then allied with the Axis Powers. We made pretty short work of the Vichy French and then got on to the Germans.

Go figure - America is attacked by Japan and we Invade North Africa and are initially shot at by the French. Such is the way things work in the real world – and it is no different now. When an alliance of powers attacks, the defending nation is free to defend herself by waging war against the entire alliance of aggression, and the order and method of attack is only dictated by the need for victory.

On September 11, 2001, we were attacked by al-Qaeda, but that entity is only one member of a world-wide Islamo-Fascist alliance. We are fighting a just war, and it will be just to expand this war to Iran and against any other nation or group which is now, or later becomes part of the Islamo-Fascist alliance.

5/17/2008 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

susan_burrell,

Are you suggesting that the American people's resistance (and their leadership's resistance)to pre-emptively smashing the Mullahs' toys, which would save tens of millions of lives, is something we should not be morally troubled by?

What sort of logic is that?

There IS such a thing as collective guilt. We are besotted with moral and intellectual torpor at this time, in part caused by the confusing rhetoric and dubious explanations for the Iraq war coming from the media, academia, and the various Leftist organizations in the West. It's called a Fifth Column and it is waging a very, very effective domestic war against a courageous president who has been flogged every day he has held office, from the moment SCOTUS rendered its decision after the 2000 election. I didn't vote for Dubya then, but I am glad he won. There is something very providential in that outcome. Today our nation still has a credible deterrence posture because of that man. Otherwise, we'd be well on our way to the status of international pushovers and the jihadists would be quite correct about us.

5/17/2008 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Neo Conservative said...

*
yeah... the genius of obama...

""As I've said many times before, Ted Kennedy is a giant in American political history. He's done more for the health care of others than just about anybody in history," Mr. Obama told reporters during a visit to a hospital in Eugene, Oregon."

*

5/17/2008 04:33:00 PM  

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