Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Armies of the night

One of best items of news in a long time is the report -- now confirmed via Glenn Reynolds -- that Batman has joined the fight against al-Qaeda.

Miller proudly announced the title of his next Batman book, which he will write, draw and ink. Holy Terror, Batman! is no joke. And Miller doesn't hold back on the true purpose of the book, calling it "a piece of propaganda," where 'Batman kicks al Qaeda's ass."

The reason for this work, Miller said, was "an explosion from my gut reaction of what's happening now." He can't stand entertainers who lack the moxie of their '40s counterparts who stood up to Hitler. Holy Terror is "a reminder to people who seem to have forgotten who we're up against."

It's been a long time since heroes were used in comics as pure propaganda. As Miller reminded, "Superman punched out Hitler. So did Captain America. That's one of the things they're there for."

"These are our folk heroes," Miller said. "It just seems silly to chase around the Riddler when you've got Al Qaeda out there."


The 21st century terrorist battlefield is different from the linear battlescapes of the 20th century. Like politics, to which it is related as much as to war, terrorism is a vehicle for the propagation of ideas. It is intensely ideological and might with justice be defined as proselytization through pain. Al-Qaeda itself arose in part from an attempt to create a Sunni countercurrent to the Islamic revolution of the Ayatollah Khomeini; it was an expression of the geo-religious rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. For those purposes it did not matter to Osama Bin Laden that his nemesis, the Ayatollah Khomeini, was dead as he urged the Taliban to drive the Shi'a heretics out of Afghanistan, for in Bin Laden's world, ghosts lived. Only by fully grasping this fact is it possible to understand the depth of uproar over the Danish caricatures of Mohammed, for in the haunted world of fundamentalist cult theology, it is not permissible that anyone should mock their symbols and live. (Sound Gong of Doom here) Foad Ajami, writing in the Toronto Star understands that al-Qaeda has nothing whatsoever in common with the classical Islam of his memory. It's a made for television psychodrama, a comic-book scam.

The people who assaulted the consulate came into a Christian area of Beirut, a city that is divided in the old-fashioned Ottoman way. ... But nevertheless, they stormed this consulate and they attacked a Mennonite church in east Beirut. ... The largest number of people who were rounded up were Syrians. The second largest were Palestinians. And the third, finally, bringing up the rear, were the Lebanese themselves.

Now, the Syrian regime orchestrating all this is hardly a pious regime, right? .... In 1982, the ruler, the father of this young ruler today, Assad himself, gunned down no fewer than 20,000 people in the city of Hamma, and they were principally Sunni Muslims. They were Muslim brothers who had risen against the "godless" regime of Assad. So the spectacle of a tyrannical Syrian regime — secular, really considered by the pious to be an un-Islamic, ungodly regime — suddenly awakening to this great violation that befell the Islamic world is a scam. It's a scam, and people know that it's a scam.

You can at least draw some measure of hope that the battle is joined, and that maybe some Muslims will reclaim their tradition. They have to take it back from the likes of bin Laden. They have to take it back from the likes of these preachers in Denmark. They have to take it back from the preachers in London.

And what we need, apart from robotic fighting platforms, laser gunships and networked battlefields is something that can reach into the realm of ideas and engage Osama Bin Laden -- and Khomeini too for that matter -- on their own level of reality. It sounds like a job for Batman.


Blogger goesh said...

I guess I would rather see batman beheading CAIR members, holding up their heads to Robin saying, " Behold the heads of evil - snakes can only be killed by cutting off the heads" but who wants to teach the young these days that terrorists and thugs in general can only respect a force greater and more lethal than themselves? There is no money to be made with it and political careers can't be built over it.

2/14/2006 04:53:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

After forty years of left-wing propaganda demonizing the United States it will take more than a Cape Crusader to turn the tide. But perhaps when a generation of disaffected youth rebelling against the entrenched neologisms of their aging Generation X forbearers will their patriotism counter-weigh and neutralize the birthright of hate in the Middle East. As long as Middle Eastern youth possess the unique franchise of hatred they are empowered.

If Batman is the dark fantasy of Frank Miller, then Osama Bin Laden is the dark fantasy of Wahabbi fundamentalism. One might hope that ME youth would adopt such Western heroes but I doubt it. While luxuriating in Mission Bay last summer, I was next to a large encampment of Middle Eastern beach goers grilling Shish-Kabobs and listening to twirling Egyptian music, fully clothed women waded waist deep into the water while young men ran and jumped headlong into the water arms stretched, as I would have described as ‘Superman’, they’d shout “Ali Baba!” There is little doubt to me which culture will dominate when the host culture has been sterilized like a Petri dish.

A question I grapple with is whether the murderous exploits of the likes of Assad senior are a catalyst of change or the very marrow of Islamic identification.

2/14/2006 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger Brett L said...


Who cares if the Muslims fall for Batman? I'd just like to see the American 15-25 demographic decide it's worth fighting. Actually, I think they have.

Reminders that the enemy are men born of women and born to pain are welcome. Send in the Dark Knight.

2/14/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff Medcalf said...

Annoy Mouse, I think you have a generational mis-identification. Either that, or your point is unclear. GenX by and large rejects the nihilistic and auto-sensualistic 60's generation (the tail end of the baby boom and the "me" generation) and instead substitutes materialism and rejection of ideologies, or at least the passion play of public obeisance to ideologies. (In fact, the name Generation X was a sneer from the earlier generation, who stood only for their own self-debasement) that we didn't stand for anything.

2/14/2006 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I am not sure what I do or don’t understand, but have the notion that Gen-X doesn’t believe in the patriotic duty to country that the Palestinians have as a birthright. I’m not sure if it so much a criticism as an observation that Western culture feels it has a responsibility to subsume its heritage to make way for a new generation of goat herding, unwashed masses. That Gen X plays any particular role in that has more to do with the fact that they were, in my estimate, the first generation to be raised at the teat of 60’s dogma, a dogma that they whole heartedly rejected, which is at my point, each successor generation must, by nature, rebel against the prudent sensibilities of their forebears.

Happy Valentines Day.

2/14/2006 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger nikita said...

Al-Qaeda itself arose in part from an attempt to create a Sunni countercurrent to the Islamic revolution of the Ayatollah Khomeini...

Did it? What happened to the standard theory of Al-Qaeda being a by-product of the US organized anti-SU resistance during Afghanistan war?

2/14/2006 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Paine said...

Wretchard's underlying point is most insightful as usual, and of course has no known answer.

Paraphrasing: In response to current events, what is going on “under the surface” in The Popular Culture -- the comics, the video games, the music, the trashy novels, etc? What are people “learning” there about how to view their world and react to it?

And when we “observers” have come up with a “what” hypothesis, then “how” do we test it?

Most of us sense a “seismic” shift of some sort going on, but its nature and direction are “rather more” obscure.

2/14/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

There have been a couple comments doubting that the Batman will take with Arab youth.

That is not the point. The point is to convince OUR youth that the threat posed by Al-Qaeda and the Mad Mullahs is serious. It is to propaganize our populace. The propagand posters of the early 40s were not intended to work on the Germans, the Italians, or the Japanese but on the homefront.

The purpose is to get the message out to a population that probably plays video games and listens to teen music and reads very little (online or offline).

2/14/2006 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

True Story:
Algore was paid by bin Laden Group.
Brokeback Joke (mine)
What do you do if Barney Frank accidentally shoots someone on a camping trip?
Wipe off the victim.

2/14/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Assad din't level Hamma because of any "great violation to the Islamic world." The Muslim Brotherhood was a serious threat to his regime and he dealt with it as authoritarians usually do, by eliminating the competition.

I think it a big mistake to go ga-ga every time that somebody with an Arabic sounding name has an op-ed that says that the fundamentalists have hijacked the religion. Go to first principles. Mohammed recruited soldiers not monks. Islam was spread by the sword not from the yearning for spiritual enlightenment. The great schism in Islam occurred over dynastic succession not canonical interpretation.

For whatever else it might be to some Islam is, and has always been, first and foremost a political ideology designed to thrive in an authoritarian environment. Writers like Ajami are quick to talk about hijackings but never talk about separating the Koran from the civil code. If some people want to live under Sharia that's fine with me so long as they recognize that once they cross the border they become an enemy of civilization.

2/14/2006 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Team America Gets Real

2/14/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Legislators by day.
Terrorists by night.

2/14/2006 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Writers like Ajami are quick to talk about hijackings but never talk about separating the Koran from the civil code.
If some people want to live under Sharia that's fine with me so long as they recognize that once they cross the border they become an enemy of civilization
...and we may Nuke them at our pleasure when they Arm Up w/WMDs

2/14/2006 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

" The propagand posters of the early 40s were not intended to work on the Germans, the Italians, or the Japanese but on the homefront."
Since the 70's, the propaganda has been intended both for the enemy and to demoralize the homefront.

2/14/2006 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

What if we just replace them Virgins
w/72 Brokeback Mountaineers?

2/14/2006 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

When two kids in the late 1930’s created the most successful comic book hero of all time, they made him a reporter for a Major Metropolitan Newspaper.
At that time, reporters were viewed as heroes, and newspapers as noble enterprises, so their hero was one in two different ways wearing two different suits, gray flannel and blue, red and yellow.

The cartoons strayed from the concept quite a bit over the years. A documentary I saw shocked me: in the 80’s those telling the Superman story imagined they saw evil forces building up, and made Lex Luthor the President of the U.S. Together with the likes of Gary Trudeau, that was how they saw Ronald Reagan, who oblivious to the avant garde opinions of those who produced comic books, went about the task of freeing most of the world. The comics were more than a bit off-course, I must say, and they show no shame at their studied insanity even today.

And now, today…. after having their profession depicted for some 60 plus years as a heroic one in the most successful cartoon series in history, the Major Metropolitan Newspapers refuse to publish ... some cartoons.

Good for Miller and Batman!

(But do they dare still to call him the Cape Crusader? Some people are sensitive about that Crusader term...)

2/14/2006 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"There is no money to be made with it and political careers can't be built over it."

2/14/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Can we spell "Videogames?"

2/14/2006 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Crusader Rabbit,
...and Surfer Shinseki.

2/14/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"He envisioned a character with a strong aggressive personality in a body which audiences would assume belonged to a shy, passive character.

Anderson tried to talk his uncle into developing a cartoon series with him for television.
Terry, fearing that TV might tarnish his image as a theatrical cartoon producer, turned him down. Anderson, undaunted, decided to try it himself and soon left Terrytoons.

Jay Ward, a close friend of Anderson's from their college days at the University of California, Berkeley, was a successful real estate agent. In May, 1948 he was approached by Anderson in an attempt to get financial backing for his project.
Ward loved the idea and the two formed Television Arts Productions, with Ward as the business manager/producer. They rented an office at 111 Sutter Street in San Francisco for several months, eventually moving their studio into a garage-apartment behind Anderson's mother's house at 2733 Stewart in Berkeley, California.

Anderson's conception of their TV cartoons was of a comic strip with some movement.
The TV industry was in it's infancy, and budgets were minimal. To keep costs down, Anderson developed techniques which simplified the movements.
His feeling was that if a story was good enough it wouldn't need full animation to keep the attention of the audience.

Ward's involvement soon went beyond his role as business manager.
He was an active participant in the development of the series. The name of the CRUSADER RABBIT series came from Ward's concept of the rabbit as
"a sort of crusading Don Quixote".

2/14/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger John Aristides said...


Thought you might be interested in this (the link is to Daniel Pipes, who has the link to the PDF embedded in his article). It is a declassified Military Intelligence Service Intelligence Review from 1946.

Quoting Pipes, "Of particular interest is an 11-page chapter that deals with 'Islam: A Threat to World Stability.'"

2/14/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/14/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Which has more mass-market appeal:

Crusader Videogames,
Daniel Pipes?

2/14/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/14/2006 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Daniel Pipes has a provocative article about how Islamic countries are disengaging economically and culturally from the West, even to the extent of medical products that are not (and never will be) produced by these countries.

Perhaps the grand strategy of the Islamic countries, whether nominal or avowed, is to retreat from the West under the presumed protection of Iran's nuclear umbrella. I suppose the isolation would serve to build strength and steel the will before emerging again from the cave into the light of the Caliphate.

What an irony of history that even as 21st century technology creates the infrastructure to raise standards of living and intercultural understanding across the globe a supposedly "great religion" struggles to pull its adherents back into the darkness.

2/14/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Birth of Rocky

2/14/2006 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Chester said...

What we really need is a Moslem superhero who is a regular guy and goes about destroying the medieval terrorists who would hijack Islam. That would probably sell like hotcakes in Iraq . . . or maybe someone is writing it already.

I think this would appeal to what Tigerhawk has called, "Average Abdul."

2/14/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gotta cover the homefront, also:

Crusader Videogames take on the NEA Fascist Terrorist Symps.

2/14/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Roast Turkey

2/14/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

My dad was in the Pentagon when the Viet Nam war protesters surrounded the pentagon back in 1968. The protestors were confronted by a line of soldiers that surrounded the Pentagon. My dad was the CO of the clinic at the Pentagon that handled the soldiers who faced off with the protesters that were pulled out of the line for any reason

He came back from the week end a changed man. He had fought in World War II & the Korean War. Haunted I think is the correct word for what I saw in his face. The world he thought he knew he discovered he didn't know.

The stated goal of the protesters at the time was to levitate the pentagon.

By the 1980's I concluded that the protesters had succeeded.

The pentagon is located in Arlington County Virginia. Every year the hispanic population in Arlington county grows. Its now around 30%. The whites in the county are mostly single. (so they will all move out when they get married.)

I read Norman Mailer's "Armies of the night"--a book about the weekend at the Pentagon from the protester's point of view-- in the mid 70's when I was in my 20's--and thought it was pretty good stuff.

When I looked at it again in the mid 90's what I saw was a chaotic mind babbling jibberish.

The killing of al zawahiri's relative and some of his key operatives in Pakistan showed a certain segment of Moslem world four things things that americans have known for sometime. The world is changing very fast. And it is changing into something very unfamiliar. There is no place to hide. We are unprotected.

2/14/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

animal talker:
"Islamophobe" = Contradiction in Terms.
From Comments:
"What utter balderdash.
Since when have cartoonists and writers in the West been "extremists" for giving free rein to their legitimate and entirely legal right to express themselves on any opinion under the sun? This isn't "extremism" - this is excercising freedom within the constitutional guarantees provided in our democratic societies. It isn't exrtreme to draw a cartoon of any deity or sacred icon if the artist needs to do so to make a point - what is extreme is threatening to murder people and burning down embassies because you don't happen to agree.

How dare Ms Eltahawy characterise the exercise of our fundamental rights of free expression - "exrtremism"."

2/14/2006 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

My vote is still for Videogames over Pipes.
...maybe they could be more REALISTIC.

2/14/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

PeterBoston said...
Daniel Pipes has a provocative article about how Islamic countries are disengaging economically and culturally from the West, even to the extent of medical products that are not (and never will be) produced by these countries.

Interesting thing..

the islamic boycott, specifically the arab boycott, is self defeating, since the arab world creates no advances in medicine, science or technology that is not PURCHASED elsewhere.

Give it 20 years...

The nomadic people of the sands, will abandon the cement cities and return to the nomadic tribal ways, in the dunes...

when oil is worthless, this problem will go away..

the jackass of a people, the seed of ishmael is being exactly who they are...

2/14/2006 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

That's why they said:
"Don't Trust Anyone Over 30"
And why the Constitution lays out minimum age requirements to serve.

2/14/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...


Rick Salutin in an op/ed piece in the Globe and Mail came at this issue from the opposite end as you. It is at least worth considering:

Excertp from a republishing of the op/ed piece

"A week ago, I'd not have guessed that the response among Muslims to those Danish cartoons, and the response to their responses, would still be escalating. What accounts for it?

Let me suggest it's not due to the specific cartoons. It's a reaction to a long, even centuries-long experience of being the object of someone else's caricatures with no effective way to reply. Cartoons of Arab "oil sheiks" began to proliferate after the 1973 Mideast war: hook-nosed, leering, lascivious and greedy. Add cartoons of menacing Arab terrorists, not just in newspapers but in movies like Black Sunday and True Lies. There was an older tradition, too -- like that depicted by Rudolf Valentino in the silent film, The Sheik -- going back to the 19th century and before.

Other groups have also been caricatured. But Disney films like Peter Pan or Song of the South -- perfectly good as films -- were largely taken out of circulation due to complaints from aboriginals and blacks. The Arab-Muslim caricatures continue to thrive. Look at

24 and all its swarthy terrorists;

9/11 breathed new life into a cartoon mode that had never really faltered."

2/14/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Burn Norway!
They HUMILIATED Our Curl Girls.

2/14/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

His conclusion for you:

"I don't think there is such a thing as a civilization, Muslim or Western. It's an abstraction that can occasionally be useful but you shouldn't treat it like an individual with a psyche. Nor does the Islamic world exist in any singular sense. It's massive and multifarious. In other words, it's not an it. Therefore, it doesn't have a shoulder which it couldn't have a chip on. It's a cartoon.

But I've been seeing cartoons everywhere since this uproar began. What "war on terror"? Where? Where is terror's army? Where's its border? How do you win? How could it ever end? It's a cartoon, not a war. Or the clash of civilizations, much invoked during this hubbub. I've already said I don't think there are civilizations. As for clash: There are conflicts and grievances, all specific. There's Israel and Palestine, there was Saddam versus the Bushes. There's a huge mess in Afghanistan. I think you can deplete your brain spelling out details and causes for them, without invoking grand civilizational clashes. There's no need to, there are too many causes for those conflicts already. A clash of civs is just a big cartoon to get your mind off your headache from thinking about what's really out there.

Why the change now, and the protest? For the first time, the "Muslim world" isn't just out there and the other. They're here, they're us. So they, too, can protest. It's stressful, but it's democratic.

2/14/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"24 and all its swarthy terrorists;"
How Dare they leave out
Purple Haired Great Grandmothers.

2/14/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

But Obscene Jokes AND Love are OK, right?

2/14/2006 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

One of my neighbors, and ex-farmer in his 70's, takes a long walk each morning with his slender wife.
Across the street an ex-Navy Pilot of 76 finishes off his 6 mile run with a half mile run up a steep mountain!

2/14/2006 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Handsome Hu said...

If only JC Denton could be transformed for the post 9/11 world - he was a hero crafted as the deus ex machina to the various demons of the post-cold war, pre-9/11 era - what with the era's "new world" economic order and its making a virtue out of economic growth.

Such virtues knighted massive multinational corporations who lorded over post-superpower nations affected by a geopolitical entropy, which made physical and manifest what was just the ethereal demons of decline prophecized by academics, journalists and Clinton etc. No explanation in the story was given as to why the decline and disorder was occuring; it just was and it was just as part of the universe as gravity. The police state had to clamp down on consumers upset by being diseased with terrible plagues. Terrorists became the new expressions of the individual, democratic forums having resulted in this inevitable decline.

It was very much a "end of history" via leftist mythology, full of an intrigue crafted out of abstract system-wide phenomena made into unitary actors (Illuminati etc).

Into all this, a young recruit, bred and born into the most sinister machinations of these systems of "necessary" oppression (he was genetically engineered, nano-tech augmented etc), became employed by the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (lol), a military force created to attack the prolific terrorist groups (the only island of global stability being the gloriously authoritarian Chinese). What ensues is a fun story whose details are probably less relevant to exploring our reflections in the art we create. However, the end of the game presents three options:

1. You can side with the prophessed benevolent creaters of the global rule set, who are said to have sewn much of the conflict you've seen in the game itself
2. You can destroy the infrastructure which makes global rule sets possible (i.e. blow up the internet)
3. You can kill the specific actors who threaten the global order by attempting to revise the status quo rule sets.

Strange similarities to our present dilemmas; Its also worth noting that as a design feature, the background skylines of NYC used on some levels conspicuously lack the WTC. Also note the intrigue around pandemics, and Europe falling to pieces before America does:
real world parallels

2/14/2006 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/14/2006 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

bobalharb refers to the farmer who is not outstanding in his field.

2/14/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Handsome Hu said...

"Let me suggest it's not due to the specific cartoons. It's a reaction to a long, even centuries-long experience of being the object of someone else's caricatures with no effective way to reply. Cartoons of Arab "oil sheiks" began to proliferate after the 1973 Mideast war: hook-nosed, leering, lascivious and greedy. Add cartoons of menacing Arab terrorists, not just in newspapers but in movies like Black Sunday and True Lies. There was an older tradition, too -- like that depicted by Rudolf Valentino in the silent film, The Sheik -- going back to the 19th century and before."

Cant you n00bs conceive of the valuable criterion of parsimony?

Perhaps the flying spaghetti monster has been making arabs and muslims psychologically vulnerable to cartoons because he wanted them to forget their proud history of al andalus or whatever the hell arabs and muslims are supposed to be proud of. Perhaps Wretchard made all the cartoons just to make site traffic.

The "long" experience per se that is causally relevant to this phenomenon is likely the structure of politics and economics in the region which give a certain amount of power and thus incentive to the given imams and other leaders (as well as the actors they represent), who play off the pathos of "I sux0r, i need more islamx0r" that has plagued the region since these snake oil salesmen political classes realized a tragically uncritical audience could be won over by good storytelling. Even if somehow US foreign policy (is this what you roundaboutly refer to with the hegemon's coercive cartoons?) contributed to such a memetic ecology, it seems it is aggregate naivete that keeps such tragedies aloft, and critical thought dissipated to irrelevance.

Also, i dont know what the Saudis do that couldnt be characterized as "leering, lascivious and greedy" but id love to hear it

2/14/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

fernand 12:11 PM,
Seemed like a healthy environment in which to bring up children.

2/14/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Cost us how many years w/o World War?

2/14/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...


The thing about provide a public good, like peace, is that you do it anyway even if others don't contribute. This fact makes it possible for free riders to exist.

Gary Cooper in High Noon went around town looking for deputies who would go with him to meet the Noonday Train, but none would come. The rest of the movie is devoted to watching him squirm, wanting a way out and not finding it. That's a metaphor for most of our lives, whether it's the money for elderly Mom that other siblings keep 'forgetting' or the job someone at the office messed up but that needs doing anyway. How we wish we could escape. But the world's too small for that.

2/14/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Was the expansionist Soviet Union a Mirage, or a *result* of our military might, as the left would have had us believe?

2/14/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"...and clearly insufficiently educated to appraise bait, as well :)))"
Unlike say, a Wild Trout.
...but then the Trout is not taught to Hate Bait.

2/14/2006 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sometimes you think she feels we're twits.

2/14/2006 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I stand with trish, f.d.

Nothing inconsequential about Suez, Berlin, Malayasia, Rhodesia, Korea, Vietnam, Congo, Cuba, Greece, Cambodia, Guatemala, et al.
Nothing "peaceful, for America or the World in any of those "hot spots".

No, the last half of the 20th Century was certainly many things, but Pax-Americana was not one of them.

There was a hope of World Peace in the '90s, but it was, also, a mirage.

Just a few to many nits to pick.

2/14/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

You are as rude as you are Wrong.

To describe a three year period as "Pax Americana" is so stupid as to be ignored, if you hadn't been so rude.

You are the one in danger of being isolated and ignored.

Three Years of almost World Peace. What a record of a lack of accomplishment.

Scared the crap out of the Soviets, we did. They were to busy killing 20 million Ukrainians, during your Pax Americana interlude to even notice.

2/14/2006 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Were those not the same "Peaceful" years that Mao secured the ChiCom hold on the Middle Kingdom.

Lot of good our "Pax" did those folks

2/14/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...


If the Danish Imams were ratcheting up a cultural clash, then so were other European newspapers. Another Danish newspaper, WeekendAvisen, reprinted the cartoons.

For the ultra-hardline Islamic extremists in the UK - such as Anjem Choudray, one of the leaders of the militant fundamentalist organisation al-Ghurabaa (the Strangers) - it was a godsend. Choudray, one of the organisers of the London protests, is a long-standing figure on the extreme right of British Islam.

ON the al-Ghurabaa website there is an article headed "Kill those who insult the Prophet Muhammed", the same words that appeared on placards across Europe. Al-Ghurabaa is not worried about admitting that it is part of a fundamentalist network which spans the world and which co-ordinated the almost identical displays of fanatical hatred.

3 Page Report

2/14/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I do not understand what this means:
"Pax-Americana cost us how many?

I think Wretchard has the figures.
Which is what started this productive line of "thought," far as I can tell.

2/14/2006 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Trish, though, it is hard to discern what exactly - or just more or less - you think our strategy here ought to be"
That has been hard for me also.
Evidently for Wretchard also, since he thought she was making a point which she apparently was not trying to make.

2/14/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Another "starting" point was:
"Did the defense establishment in 1946 actually believe in such whimsical constructs as world peace and permanent world stability"
Seems it would have been easier for some to BELIEVE it was a possibility at that time as compared to now.

Now only half the nation does.
God Help us if their candidate wins next time.

2/14/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OK F... It!
he's outta here:

But it will take Condi 2 years to groom her successor, so you can address her as Madame Vice President at that time.

2/14/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Why can't we just download monthly security updates from the White House?
('Rat will know)

2/14/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Das/Sirius (?) They're Trashing the Honking Bozo Nose!
Hewitt can explain that IT'S ALL OUR FAULT!!!
At least now we KNOW why they don't like us.
It's been over 4 years to get the answer to that crucial post 9-11 Question.

2/14/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Maybe if we quit telling tasteless Muslim jokes it will go away.

2/14/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I keep getting further ahead of you guys!

2/14/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Man, that IS serious:
Zogby said the reason those cartoons were so serious is that it is an ICONIC Religion, and we were dissing them.

If Ronald MacDonald isn't an American Icon,
What Is?

2/14/2006 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I hope they enjoy their Camel Dung Burgers.

2/14/2006 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just don't get rid of the
PEACE PROCESS, puuleeze.
It would break Jimmah's little black heart.

2/14/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Man, now it takes you two minutes to ask questions to my answers.

2/14/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The 50's sure beat the 40's!

2/14/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Film InfoThe Inconvenient Truth is the gripping story of former Vice President Al Gore,who became interested in this startling issue while at college 30 years ago, ...
First he invents Global Warming, then the Internet.
What a guy.

2/14/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

It is an article of faith among "a certain segment of the Moslem world" that the US is capable of reaching down anywhere on God's green earth and plucking up its Moslem enemies.


You're referring to the defensive position of the semi westernized moselems. This is not the group that I was referring to. I was referring rather to the offensive positions of the wahabi academic elites.

There a good book out by Ravi Zacharius called "Light in the Shadow of Jihad" Ravi is a kind of of christian VS Naipul. He has spent a lot of time in Moslem lands.

He reports that there is a internal debate in Islam over the precise meaning of Jihad that dates to the revolution in Iran in the 70's and the take over of the educational establishment in Saudi Arabia by the wahabis--also from the 1970's. (At that time there were riots in Mecca and Medina by the wahabiasts there that the Saudi Royalty used french troops to put down. The royals crushed the rebellion and then adopted all the positions of the rebels.)

In any case--it appears that Zhawahiri and bin laden are the test case for the more warlike meaning of Jihad.

Their fate has direct impact on the debate as the exact meaning of Jihad.

I postulated that in order to understand the wierd academic story about the cartoon muhammed -- its helpful to understand that the rage of zhawahiri undermined the position of the academic wahabi jihadists in saudi arabia.

2/14/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

trish said...

"You're referring to the defensive position of the semi westernized moselems."

No, I'm not.

6:36 PM
I would have described Saddam Hussein and his sons as semi westernized. The baroque mafia tacky pictures found on the walls of their palaces looked very much like the pictures of the moslem mind that you described.

Of course Saddam Hussein and his sons were Moslem in name only--which is another way of saying semi-westernized.

2/14/2006 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"he, a lone medic, could not cure her son"
Inadequate Training.
Bush Sucks!

2/14/2006 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Re: Original post: This war IS different in many ways, but many of the non-combat ways are only different in DEGREE, to wit:

+Nazis used FEAR built into their Stuka dive-bombers; wind-driven sirens that made the Stukas recognizable by reputation, and very similar in effect to Nazgul;

+Vlad IMPALED losers, and placed them IN THE PATH of invading enemy TO DIS-courage and DIS-hearten!

We can use cartoons now because we have other means of discouraging and disheartening, but these TACTICS have been around for a long time!
Trish is STILL saying "What she would NOT do..." in response to our questions about "What WOULD YOU DO?"
And remember that negotiations are nearly useless to the Free World:

"We are not fighting you to GET ANYTHING from you... fighting to ELIMINATE you!" Sheik Yassin and Hussein Musawi

2/14/2006 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Spectacular post, Batman.

Err, I mean, 'Wretchard,' sir.

In the old days, during the previous World Wars, the press vibrated with positive energy of heroes and victories, and a righteous understanding of what is really at stake in this lifetime.

Nowadays, the MSM has gone off the rails, and society's old values and rules have crumbled. Our media, NYT foremost, stabs America in the back at every turn, and never publishes America's valiant heroism and victories....

Only the Dark Knight of Pajamas Media offers hope against endemic corruption of the popular feeling and thought caused by the MSM to oppress America.

Thanks Batman, err, I mean, Wretchard.

2/14/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Port of entry
How would you feel if, in the aftermath of 9/11, the U.S. government had decided to contract out airport security to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the country where most of the operational planning and financing of the attacks occurred?

Entrusting information about key U.S. ports — including, presumably, government-approved plans for securing them, to say nothing of the responsibility for controlling physical access to these facilities, to a country known to have been penetrated by terrorists is not just irresponsible. It is recklessly so.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

2/14/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Doug, if you're asking me, this is how I felt after 9/11, sad, pragmatic, you know. (from a cite in the Three Conjectures)

A series of low-level, tactical nuclear strikes in the Afghanistan desert would pose no risk to large population centres and would carry little risk of fallout spreading to populated areas. Also, our nuclear capabilities were designed to include such a mission, and they are capable of fulfilling such a mission. Lastly, the use of nuclear weapons against the bin Laden groups and his supporters will rightly shock the world, but it will also shock those nations that have been disposed for a variety of reasons to back the terrorist groups with economic and political support."

What Would Batman Do?

Wretchard referenced the above "superhawk" reaction to 9/11 in Three Conjectures. Superhawks really do have the best interests of Humanity at heart.

2/14/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My son, then 16, would come from work with all the reasons why there was no way we could prevail in Afghanistan.
I said if that all turns out to be true, we nuke them in their caves until we prevail.
He looked a little shocked.
At least he didn't go to college and come back a liberal.
...and if we mess this thing up enough to require nukes, so be it:
Better thee than me, especially when my country is the last best hope on earth.
(Now if we can just get rid of the NEA and Outlaw MTV!)

2/14/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But what do you think of that Gaffney Port Deal Tony?

2/14/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

VDH, who knows a little bit about the History of Warfare, is a believer in Shock, Awe, and Massive Destruction as a way of making an important point in the pursuit of (temporary) peace through victory.

2/14/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


In the seventh grade me and a buddy decided to have a reading contest. We'd pick a shelf in our local library and try to out-read each other, we got up to a couple of books a week.

We had to go through topics: Fiction, History of Science, Ancient Religions, we did 'em all.

Funny thing was, by the time we got up to War, the day we tried to check out books like "Guadalcanal Diary," "PT-109," "D-Day," etc. just happened to be 11/23/63, the day we got off for the JFK assassination.

The librarian was already crying her eyes out, and when she saw us two 12 year old boys show up with an armful each of five or six war books, she just refused to let us take them.

Brings back memories, back when "No More War Forever" was a plausible option.

2/14/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That's an amazing story.
I forgot about American Library Association in groups to outlaw?
...do want to here your reaction to the Gafney piece.
Sounds weird to me, but what isn't these days.

2/14/2006 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...


2/14/2006 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Hypocrites make for poor defenders and poor soldiers. Similarly, Eurotrash hypocrites make for poor defenders of speech, because they don't believe in it.

I don't think it has much to do with MSM pressure, or fear. If anything, natural instinct is to oppose pressure. You think you can defend the "abstract" principle of Freedom by acting in a similarly abstract way. You can't.

2/14/2006 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...


The thing about the ports being taken over by Araby ... isn't this just a re-run of the Chicomms taking over the Panama Canal and shipping AK's in through the gangs of Los Angeles? What do you think is going on.

On the other hand, according to Al Gore, we are busting balls of innocent Arabs like Saudi balls never been busted before.


2/14/2006 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think the man on the street could do a better job than the folks in DC.

Rush quoted a WSJ article that said the Tab for Katrina is now $250,000 per refugee!

10,000 mobile homes rotting in the mud since it is illegal to place them in Mississippi because it is in a floodplain.
...the dream is always that with "proper oversight" these things can be made to work.
Thus the call for Socialized Medicine.
(easier than explaining the ports!)
Too damn many people getting paid in DC.

2/14/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Dems want to buy condemned houses to demolish.
Even those already covered by insurance!
Chuckie Schumer is the only one to speak out about the ports so far.
Maybe 'Rat will contact the great John Kyle, one of the few bright lights back there.

2/14/2006 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Eternal Transportation Secretary:
Norman Minetta.

2/14/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"They have to take it back from the preachers in London."
Religion is as Religion Does.
- Bill Bennet

"Unlearned" Wisdom from a learned man.

2/14/2006 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Mohammedan Cartoon ;-)

2/14/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Gay Muslim film 'Allah' ready to raise a rutkus...

2/14/2006 09:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dan's Link:
"The Lahore deaths are the first in Pakistan since the controversy erupted.

But they are getting bigger and angrier as Islamic opposition parties begin a rolling campaign of protests ahead of a visit by US President George W Bush at the start of next month, she says.
I think I would rather be in Anbar than Air Force One.

2/14/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

BC Caption Contest

2/14/2006 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

beak doctor,
Lack of effective info war is most distressing.
Seems so obvious.
...at least to me.

2/14/2006 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"And what we need, ...is something that can reach into the realm of ideas and engage Osama Bin Laden -- and Khomeini too for that matter -- on their own level of reality." Wretchard

What are we saying here? The coming of the Mahdi Himself doesn't reach into bin Laden's reality, except in the Christian sense of 'it WILL happen at some unprophesied time in the future'.

bin Laden's derangement builds its conscious structures and takes great care subconsciously TO AVOID any contact with realities which have the power to demonstrate the falsity of such beliefs, the poverty of such thoughts and the destructive character of bin Laden's 'reality'.

2/15/2006 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Thanks for the corroborative assessment! I read of JRRTolkien's linguistic leanings, and could parse the grammatical transformationals when reading Elvish, a language JRRT invented, but I didn't until today see the NAZi-GULLwing roots of NazGul!

Tip o' the Hat, Sir!

2/15/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

A surgeon and the surgical team have training, support, equipment and the best of motives: do no harm WHILE performing an operation on a human's body.

They slice through VITAL, HEALTHY living tissue, killing millions of healthy cells, in order to find and remove a corrupt and life-threatening entity!

Overall, when the surgery is a success, we determine that the surgeon has "done no harm" even while killing otherwise healthy cells IN THE LINE OF removing the poisonous focus.

[What would YOU have US DO?]

2/15/2006 07:34:00 PM  

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