Friday, February 03, 2006

Interesting times

It's possible to regard the cartoon crisis as either a strategic disaster or boon for the War on Terror. The argument for it being a disaster is the assertion that in the war against extremists it is necessary to win over the moderates. And even if winning them over is impossible one may still be capable of keeping them neutral or indifferent; but at all events to avoid raising the Muslim masses in an emotional war against the West. The Danish cartoon crisis has managed to ignite what the Bush administration hoped to avoid from the beginning: turning the War on Terror into a War with Islam. Now an incident arising from a relatively obscure newspaper in Denmark has forced a choice between the most deeply held of all Western values, freedom of speech, with the cherished strategic goal of keeping the Muslim "street" aboard in the War on Terror.

The argument for regarding the Danish cartoons as a boon is premised on the belief that President Bush's attempt to separate the War on Terror from Islam was doomed to fail anyway; that it was better to face that question now than later. According to this point of view, a view reinforced by the election of Hamas in the Palestinian territories, cultural and religious issues were at the root of international conflict. That mere voting -- in Palestine for example -- would never be sufficient to establish a liberal democracy for as long as the underlying culture remained hostile and aggressive to democracy's roots. 

Ralph Peters argued that America's shiny weapons were striking at the wrong targets. The West was, like it or not, engaged in a contest of cultures, one it did not know how to fight.

The suicide bomber's willingness to discard civilization's cherished rules for warfare gives him enormous strength. In the Cain-and-Abel conflicts of the 21st century, ruthlessness trumps technology. We refuse to comprehend the suicide bomber's soul--even though today's wars are contests of souls, and belief is our enemy's ultimate order of battle. We write off the suicide bomber as a criminal, a wanton butcher, a terrorist. Yet, within his spiritual universe, he's more heroic than the American soldier who throws himself atop a grenade to spare his comrades: He isn't merely protecting other men, but defending his god. The suicide bomber can justify any level of carnage because he's doing his god's will. We agonize over a prisoner's slapped face, while our enemies are lauded as heroes for killing innocent masses (even of fellow believers). We continue to narrow our view of warfare's acceptable parameters even as our enemies amplify the concept of total war. ...

The hallmark of our age is the failure of belief systems and a subsequent flight back to primitive fundamentalism--and the phenomenon isn't limited to the Middle East. Faith revived is running roughshod over science and civilization. Secular societies appear increasingly fragmented, if not fragile. The angry gods are back. And they will not be defeated with cruise missiles or computer codes.

A paradox of our time is that the overwhelmingly secular global media--a collection of natural-born religion-haters--have become the crucial accomplices of the suicide bomber fueled by rabid faith. Mass murderers are lionized as freedom fighters, while our own troops are attacked by the press they protect for the least waywardness or error. One begins to wonder if the bomber's suicidal impulse isn't matched by a deep death wish affecting the West's cultural froth. (What if Darwin was right conceptually, but failed to grasp that homo sapiens' most powerful evolutionary strategy is faith?) Both the suicide bomber and the "world intellectual" with his reflexive hatred of America exist in emotional realms that our rational models of analysis cannot explain. The modern age's methods for interpreting humanity are played out.

We live in a new age of superstition and bloodthirsty gods, of collective madness. Its icons are the suicide bomber, the veil, and the video camera. ...

We are not (yet) at war with Islam, but the extreme believers within Islam are convinced that they are soldiers in a religious war against us. Despite their rhetoric, they are the crusaders. Even our conceptions of the struggle are asymmetrical. Despite the horrors we have witnessed, we have yet to take religious terrorists seriously on their own self-evident terms. We invaded a succession of their tormented countries, but haven't come close to penetrating their souls. The hermetic universe of the Islamist terrorist is immune to our reality (if not to our bullets), but our intellectuals appear equally incapable of accepting the religious extremist's reality.

Samuel Huntington wrote in a 1993 Foreign Affairs article that the primary driver of international conflicts in the 21st century would be a clash of civilizations.

"It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future."

This does not mean that all-out hostilities between Islam and the West are unavoidable. But it does imply that cultural conflict and competition is inevitable and that these clashes must be played out on some sort of battlefield, though not necessarily a physical one. The attitude of many Western intellectuals paralyzed by the cult of multiculturalism is ironically that "they don't do culture". Mark Steyn understood that multiculturalism was fundamentally about evading cultural conflicts rather than resolving them. In the New Criterion he wrote: "the great thing about multiculturalism is that it doesn’t involve knowing anything about other cultures—the capital of Bhutan, the principal exports of Malawi, who cares? All it requires is feeling good about other cultures. It’s fundamentally a fraud, and I would argue was subliminally accepted on that basis".

The challenge raised by Peters, Huntington and Steyn is to accept the existence of a clash of civilizations and find modalities -- preferably peaceful ones -- in which to resolve them.

No one can foresee where the Danish cartoon controversy will lead. At best both sides will return to their lines of departure after having made their points, each with a renewed respect for the other. The West should understand, if it didn't realize it before, that Muslims are willing to fight for their religion. And Muslims should understand, from the cartoon controversy, that whatever they had heard to the contrary it goes double ditto for the West. And in the long run that grudging respect may make the the process of winning over the Muslim moderates easier than feigning the cheap and superficial attitude of multiculturalism. For who in Islam would believe in us if we did not believe in ourselves? Who in Islam could trust that we would fight at their side if we could not defend all that we were, all that we believed?


Blogger MnMark said...

The challenge raised by Peters, Huntington and Steyn is accept the challenge of a clash of civilizations and find modalities -- preferably peaceful ones -- in which to resolve them.

There is a peaceful solution, and it is: build walls. A medieval solution, yes, but it is peaceful and it works. Evict the barbarians from our territories, leave their territories, and build walls (figuratively, and literally when necessary) to keep them out. Leave them in peace to pursue their Islam to whatever logical civilizational conclusion it leads (probably weariness with it, as those living under the Taliban and the Iranian regime discovered).

A separation from the Islamic world is probably the only peaceful solution that will work. Laurence Auster has been advocating this for a long time now.

2/03/2006 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Huntington identified the pervasiveness of multiculturalism as the greatest near term danger to Western Civilization.

It seems that pervasiveness is what has facilitated Islamic civilization's ability to move their 'bloody borders' to the heart of the European continent.

Will Europe try to push those borders back? Or will they cede their own soveriengty to clerics threatening violence?

2/03/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Making of Monster Sheehan

2/03/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger vogz said...


Shouldn't the issue more properly be termed a Clash of Worldviews? The words "civilization" and "culture" don't get to the heart of the matter, nor do they adequately express the fragmentation of what is generally thought of as "the West".

2/03/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Saudi Arabia is a good example of a place that has built a wall around its borders to "protect its culture". And they prohibit Bibles and churches and don't let their women drive. But radio waves and the Internet do not respect walls. The kicker is that we have no reason to fear contamination from Islamic culture. We are winning the culture war. That's why they have turned to violence. And that can be dealt with. But we must continue to propagate the winning ideas of individual freedom, reason and toleration while we utterly crush anyone who resorts to violence.

2/03/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger vogz said...


Which Hanson article did you read? The NRO article dated today?

2/03/2006 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger tim maguire said...

I tend to see this as a positive development. Like the French riots, it is more a symptom of deeper problems then an event on its own and after a while will die down. But still positive in that it has the potential to force those on the sidelines to join and pick a side.

If it has an effect at all, I think that European governments that have quietly helped in the GOWT while still demogoging that the US is the real threat to peace will no longer be able to play both sides. Moderate muslims will no longer be able to sit out with the claim "Islam is a religion of peace" and make others deal with their fundamentalist problem.

Regardless of which side everybody picks, forcing them to get honest will have a cleansing effect on the GWOT.

2/03/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

With regard to the Cartoon flap, the US State Dept (presumably with the Bush administration's blessing), thinks that we can buy time by making a strategic concession of Freedom of the Press . We will give up some of our Freedom if the Muslims will make nicey-nice for a while longer. It's not yet clear if State will issue guidelines on exactly what part of 'Freedom of the Press' need be conceded. Presumably it will still be OK to cover art like "Piss Christ", but egg shells must be walked upon when reporting issues that might offend Muslim sensibilities.

On the other hand, the Europeans are now forced to countenance the more pressing matter of imminent hostilities

Yesterday (Thursday) Mullah Krekar, the alleged leader of the Islamist group Ansar al-Islam who has been living in Norway as a refugee since 1991, said that the publication of the Muhammad cartoons was a declaration of war. “The war has begun,” he told Norwegian journalists. Mr Krekar said Muslims in Norway are preparing to fight. “It does not matter if the governments of Norway and Denmark apologize, the war is on.”

The banner on the Brussel's Journal website is telling - 'We are all Danes now'. Unfortunately, the Americans fail to recognize that the Danish cartoon flap is galvanizing Europe in the way that 9/11 did the US. Ironically, in the aftermath of 9/11 many Europeans stated that 'Today we are all Americans'. All the Europeans get from the US government today is appeasement Islamic hyper sensitivities.

2/03/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

nccardfan said:
"The problem is, and has been, Islam itself. More directly, the problem is that Islam remains mired in a medieval belief in its own continuing ascendancy and primacy over the earth."

This, coupled with a geological and economic twist of fate is the reason building fences won't work - unless we really are serious about weaning ourselves from dependancy on ME oil.

2/03/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

Oops. Link to Freedom of the Press

2/03/2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

"Shouldn't the issue more properly be termed a Clash of Worldviews?"

If you can stretch that definition to include the encounter between Hernando Cortez and the Aztecs, I suppose it might work.

If a Worldview has as a primary point the subjugation of the world is "worldview" itself the proper word? Shouldn't the name given something reflect its nature? Worldview implies something to do with observing, I don't believe it has anything to do with Islam. Islamic theology is not reknowned for its "perspective" but for its adherence to implementation - by any means.

It was born in savagery and it will die in savagery. "When and at what cost" is the question on the table. I don't know if the president's "nice doggy" RoP rhetoric serves a purpose any longer.

2/03/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pierre posted this in the previous thread.
"I am so disgusted with our Government I have a hard time putting it into words.
Just now our State Department condemned the publishing of those cartoons.
Pathetic and Dangerous, IMO.

2/03/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Das said...

I live in the heart of south Seattle's biggest Muslim community and so far everything seems to be kosher - or I mean halal; we did have one sleeper cell that was butsted in an FBI sting back in 11/04 but the local media is loath to cover or follow up on the story. Oh and there's a big lawsuit over at Oberto (a meat packing plant) - some fundamentalists are suing becuase Oberto wouldn't give them time off for prayers. Wha else? A local judge let the millenium bomber off with a light sentence. Plenty of women in headscarves drive. I am still shocked when I see women in full Burkha - I mean totally covered except for a net for the eyes. And the Burkha doesn't work anyway; it is a total misreading of the male mind. The male imagination is always on the prowl, always trying to imagine the figure underneath - especially nice when the wind whips up and you get a revealed cast of an entire beautiful (sometimes) female frame.

But male lust aside the civic question is: are orthodox Muslims by proclaiming their orthodoxy in the public weal putting themselves forward as Muslims first or as citizens first? If they put themselves forward as citizens first I would be within my rights to ask a woman in a headscarf, "have your considered Jesus as your personal savior?" If, however, we are to consider them Muslims first then this question would be construed by the left to be harassment or hate speech.

2/03/2006 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

While he gives them enough RoP to hang themselves, they may blow enough of us up in the meantime to make things really gruesome.

2/03/2006 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger BigLeeH said...

GK Chesterton once remarked that when people stop believing in God they do not then believe in nothing but will instead come to believe in everything -- even little green men. Chesterton was making a religious point but the same insight suggests that multi-culturalism is the inevitable result of the loss of faith in western culture on the part of Western elites.

Having rejected one's own culture it becomes terribly hard to find the edges of the idea of tolerance. Free speech is a cornerstone of our culture but other cultures prefer to cut off body parts from journalists of whose work they disapprove. Is it a sensible compromise to jail a Danish cartoonist or two with all their extremities intact? And what should we make of the practice of killing young women who are seen walking with young men of whom their fathers do not approve? Generally, here in the West we prefer to dock the girls allowance, but prefer to kill them feel so strongly about it...

2/03/2006 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger BigLeeH said...

...but those who prefer...

Grrr, can't type.

2/03/2006 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

The cartoon conflict is a wedge issue that is forcing all to take a side. As such it may force western leftists to support Muslims against the West less than they do currently. How much this will happen remains to be seen. This is undoubtedly a bigger issue in Europe than in the US.

This whole business may fade away in a few days if no one is hurt but if there is a killing I think it will take quite a while for it to subside, and the EU may take punitive action. The terrorists don't get to act and then hide on this one.

2/03/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Piss Muhammed

The Word

2/03/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

State Department burueacrats and NYT editorial board members may have problems reconciling multiculturalism and common sense but many, many of us do not. The Jacksonian theory about the American temper is, I believe, mostly correct. We will continue to tolerate this Islamist nonsense up to a still undefined point and then whamo. Many individual Muslims may be fine people but Islam itself is a horribly flawed ideology that can only exist outside civilized norms.

2/03/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...


I don't guess this confrontation will fade unless the ME countries stop their boycott of Danish goods. The EU has vowed solidarity with all members to include Denmark. If the EU's persistence regarding commerce vis-a-vis other competing markets in the past is any indication, we could be in for a very entertaining spat.

2/03/2006 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Michele Malkin has a photo gallery of London Muslims doing their murder them all thing while (ironically) being protected by Bobbies.

Is enough here yet?

2/03/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

In the world, there is necessity, and there is possibility. Between them lies freedom.

Is this clash necessary? Is it predetermined by the structure of our world (a physical and mental construct)? Or is it avoidable?

Another question: is this clash a zero-sum game, or does it end in cooperation? Are Islam and the West truly contradictory?

I am inclined to think that the clash is necessary, though any particular outcome is not. I think there is much freedom of movement between here and there, so while we can't change the fact that it will happen, we have a say in when and how it happens.

Jyllands-Posten had a choice. Though they were unaware of its downstream consequences, they had the freedom to choose whether or not to run the cartoons. Their choice to do so has irretrievably altered our world, moving us onto a particular path that we otherwise would not have traveled. We have no way of knowing where exactly this path leads, nor if it is the best route to get there.

Things to think about:

1. There are many reasons why we haven't had big attacks since 9/11, but a substantial one is the inability of Al'Qaeda to recruit within the US. There is something about the Muslims here, something in their mental arsenal that makes them very unlikely to buy into violent jihad. How fragile is this mental defense? What happens when it breaks?

2. If there is any other alternative to total war between Islam and the West, how dependent is it on initial conditions?

3. Radical Islam is not the only ideology that is parasitical and derivative (without the host on which it feeds, it would consume itself). How many other organisms, were they to grow, endanger the host, and will these organisms be helped or hurt by a total war with Islam?

4. What will be our predominant motivation for fighting? Will it be faith in our principles, or will it be annoyance at being distracted? The outcome of the clash may depend not on how we fight, but why we fight.

2/03/2006 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...


Very nice comment, thanks for sharing.

2/03/2006 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I said this months ago and helodrvr said I was wrong, but it looks more and more like Koran flushin' time to me.

How many thousands of Korans would have to be flushed before they got the message.
I really do not give two farts in the wind about what upsets them. I am all in favor of being polite, and after seeing the Cartoons, those Danish papers were, polite.

The cartoons do not rise to the level of "piss Christ" or "Flag burning". Both protected forms of Speach, here in the US.

I have not found a copy of the State Dept release, but if I want to burn, flush or piss on a Koran or publish demeaning cartoons of Mohammed for target practice or toliet paper, I damned sure will.

The Federals had better bring guns if they were to stop me.

2/03/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Another thing to think about:

Tom Wolfe refers to improving social indicators in the US as "the great relearning." Coincident with this moral revival is a sharp increase in the general public's interest in our founding fathers, the men who gave the West "freedom of speech" as an imperative, and as a foundation.

And now "freedom of speech" is the banner under which we fight. It seems the martial spirit of both Islam and the West resides in religion.

2/03/2006 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Not only did "our" government say we should tolerate Islamic violent intolerance of free speech that mildly mocks Islam, "our" government gives these murderers billions of dollars of our money every year. And "our" government also gives money to "artists" who scurrilously and obscenely mock and defile the Christian religion. Then if someone were to get violently intolerant about that, do you imagine "our" government would tolerate such violence? Angry yet?

2/03/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

"Clash of civilizations?" Perhaps this is the last of the multicultural sensibilities for Huntington to wean. Is this conflict not a sign that we are now immersed in a single global civilization in which communications, migration, and trade link us as never before? Most obviously, there is now only one marketplace, one price, one essential currency secured by one superpower, for many of the things fundamental to everyone's economy. As Aristedes says, radical Islam is parasitic on its "Satanic" host, without which it would have to start eating itself.

While we must maintain all kinds of national, political and cultural boundaries to make the global thing work (pace EU), at the end of the day isn't this a fight to maintain the only viable global civilization from corrosive forces within, not without? In other words, should I think of building up my nation as a project within a global civilization, or simply a western one?

The answer depends on whether I believe that western culture - and an international system of nation states - must be and is being spread around the world to create new hybrids with local cultures, in order for the global trading system to work, more or less securely.

Wouldn't the price of walling off the ME be economic chaos, mass starvation there (which westerners could not stomach morally, let alone accept for the public health consequences - dead bodies everywhere and epidemics spreading over the globe), waves of desperate refugees, war with China, etc.? If this is so, then the struggle between free speech and Islam is the struggle for the soul of a common humanity. Islam thinks so; why doesn't Huntington? Of course the Islamic ideal of a universal umma and Caliphate is utopian nonsense: civil war would inevitably rip such an entity apart. A global civilization requires strong boundaries. Vive les Danois!

2/03/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The US Government is not a monolith. Lynn Woolsey is the "government" as is Karl Rove. That obnoxious press release was from the State Department and it may or may not have had the prior approval of Condi Rice. I hope not. The State Department and the CIA are still riddled with Clinton era appointees and like-minded hires who carry the Carter-Clinton banner that a weaker USA is a good thing. Many things are done to advance this bureaucratic policy without the knowledge or consent of the administration or even department heads.

2/03/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/03/2006 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

I wonder how much the US condemnation is strategically motivated, which I might support, or motivated out of fear, which I do not.

I wonder if it is the West's version of taqiyya.

Remember, we are playing at many things right now. These cartoons, and how we respond to them, may cost us an Iranian revolution.

2/03/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

I believe that this is indeed a religous war. Ours is the religion of freedom and we are up against the most virulent religion the modern world has ever seen, worse even than Nazism. Each step we take back from our freedom hurts us more than losing 10,000 lives this is why it is so tragic that the State Department condemned the publishing of those cartoons. They retreated.

The Great War of Religions Freedom vs Islam, State Department on Islam's side!

2/03/2006 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Practically speaking, the deployed troops are probably relieved at State's action. I know, expediency is a bad principle, but, those guys are pretty far outside the wire.

2/03/2006 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If not these cartoons from four months ago, then some other fabricated crisis.

Two dead French teens was cause for a fortnights Mohammedan violence, really.

Much like the Chiefs and Mr Tole's cartoon, the Mohammedans, across the board it seems, have amplified the debate to the next level.

The similarities as well as the differences in each Cartoon Case are striking, the reactions as well.

The Chiefs, offended by the image of a quadraplegic Soldier being used for a Political point, wrote a letter of objection. They were promptly accused of attempting to Censor the WaPo.

The Mohammedans, offended by images of a turbaned terrorist portaying Mohammed, storm buildings, destroy property, threaten deaths by beheading & worse.
The US Government then has the AUDACITY to say we should moderate OUR behaviour?

In War, more than any other activity,
shit, or get off the pot.

2/03/2006 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

If Condi didn't condone that act she's incompetent. If she did, she's weak. And I'm sure what our troops want is for us to appear weak and apologetic to the Islamic murderers. Otherwise, they might be attacked with roadside bombs! That'll protect them. Sure.

2/03/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I was thinking of the coming showdown with Iran, and thinking that State may have in mind some things that don't include a break with al Sistani at this particular moment.

2/03/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

buddy larsen,

Recently the Indonesians let a crowd smash up the Danish Embassy. I'm sure the Indonesian Foreign ministry issued profuse "so-sorrys" then threw up their hands and said "we cannot control our people". I don't know if State is playing that kind of double game. My own guess is that they are not duplicitous enough to do that. State is often dishonest but it is rarely dishonest in that way. Neverthlesss, the public uproar over Muslims trying to dictate what people may or may not say in the West has been conveyed. And whether the Muslim street admits it or not they know there's somebody at home.

2/03/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I wouldn't be arguing at all--I reflexively gag at State Dept wishi-washiness--except I'm thinking of the two-faced USA from Carter days, juxtaposed against the those thousands of Iraqi pols who've thrown in with us and opened up to western ideas. It's great that we the people show fury at the jihad--but the Gov't can't let itself be played into the Mullah's hands.

2/03/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

This reminds me of Dave Chappelle's sketch called, "When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong."

Sometimes the utility of making a point fades at the margins. Whatever one may say, our freedom of speech is not in danger here in America. Our strategy in the Middle East, however, may be. We cannot afford to have the entire thing blow up in our faces because we decided to keep it real.

2/03/2006 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...


I think you have an answer there - the "nice doggy" RoP schtick continues until the proper rock is in hand and the proper rock includes a marked change in European sensibilities. I hope that's what Sec. Rice is working toward.

She still needs to clear out a lot more Arabist deadwood at State as well as juggle these ephemera.

2/03/2006 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

It's almost like the USA has been given a gift of some seed corn to grow a good crop next year, and--if State had sided with the 'toons--decided to go ahead and eat it now.

2/03/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

A handful of seed corn now or a truckload of corn next harvest.

2/03/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Cartoon Crisis is manufactured, not organic. Timed, as it is, to impact IAEA discussions.
If you think this issue just reappeared after four months, again representation would be a challenge.
There is a counter cresendo already building in the background, in the target areas. Well away from the Salons of NYC and the meetings at Turtle Bay.

Disrespecting the Iranians will be very costly, I'm afraid.

Where or where was Chess invented?

2/03/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

Even if it was manufactured, which seems to me to be a little to pat as a theory, it was manufactured to polarize, to make American and the West the enemy of Islam.

When you understand why Iran might want that, you understand why we cannot play along.

2/03/2006 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I'm a little late but very nice post Wretchard.

2/03/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Trish, I too wish the whole mess could be summarily dismissed. We should never have developed the globe--especially never let parents in mud huts watch our shiny toys on tv take their children's imaginations soaring elsewhere. That old theory of management from the 50s, theory X and theory Y, applies--once you let the firld hands see the P&L statement, nothing will ever be the same again. You're either their pal ("Y") or you've got to make them fear you ("X").

Are we ready to (1) pay 10 or 15% of GDP for energy--three or four times today's %--or (2) garrison the oilfields and pipelines Roman style, with mile-forts?

Or to continue trying to build allies in the mideast, by *example*?

2/03/2006 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Rat, I agree, the toons look like IAEA ploys--but, that means Iranian agents in those newspapers--high up, too.

2/03/2006 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

America must do two things: condemn the cartoons, and explain why they must be tolerated. (Europe is playing a different game, so I don't begrudge them the solidarity).

Supporting the cartoons, as the Government of the US, seems to me to be the height of folly.

One thing seems obvious: if we hold down this button, we will get our total war.

There is quite a difference between being resigned to it, and actively hunting for it. It seems many here actually want total war.

2/03/2006 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger BigLeeH said...

There is an interesting asymetry in the coverage of the "offensive" cartoons. The Drudge Report currently has a story about papers in Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands that have printed copies of the controversial cartoons. Drudge also has links to the cartoons themselves. As far as I have been able to determine none of the European papers are running stories about Drudge carrying the cartoons. Of course Drudge has links to the cartoons and is not serving them himself but it is still an interesting example of how the rules are a bit different online.

Another example of how the Net is different than print is the Flash movie that is going around. It is a sort of a sing-along entitled "It's In the Koran" and it's funnier (I think) than the cartoons and is most likely no less offensive to the Islamicists.

It can be a bit hard to find -- it gets posted on public sites where it will be available for a while but then deleted when the operators of the site get too worried about it. Currently there is a copy at but there is no telling how long it will be available there.

I'm trying to keep my link to it updated at teleoscope: Jihad, the Musical

2/03/2006 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Buddy Larsen: Any concession by the state dept now = pragmetism = kicking the can down the road. How far do you want to take it?

We need to quit talking out of both sides of our mouths on this issue. If you don't know what you believe in now, if you are at all ambivilent about the issue then I say you'd better decide where you're going to stand.

Realise this is a war we are fighting on two fronts. One, obviously is miltant Islam. The other is the nihalistic secular humanism that is so prevalent in the west.

Fighting a hot war with Islam at a time when the ankle biters present such a's not going to get any better!


2/03/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

That old 'theory X and Y stuff is just not the Bush style--he's a 'middler'--trying to teach the field hands how to run the farm (growth, capitalism, free mkts).

The other choice is the Gore/Kerry choice, which likely would--as the type does--oscillate between too much "Y" followed by a reaction to too much "X"--and back again, and so forth--always with the drama, headlines, intensity, adrenaline, and flair.

2/03/2006 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

We are at war with a totalitarian movement.

Correct. Our strategy is to defeat it in the long-term without augmenting it in the short. It is a demanding and difficult strategy to calibrate.

There are a vast amount of Muslims out there who are vulnerable but not yet infected. One leg of our strategy is to inoculate them from this vicious disease. How then does supporting inflammatory cartoons further this strategy?

2/03/2006 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

You don't think the free-world is making progress against the unfree world, Trish. I see that, and you may well be correct.

2/03/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I'm just thinking of the chess game, and don't want us to take poisoned pawn.

2/03/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger sonia said...

I don't know about you, but I am totally demoralized by this stab in the back from the US government. I can uderstand they need Sistani (though it would seem to me that Sistani needs them more), and about the troops in Iraq, etc. Still, it sucks. I have those cartoons on my blog , but I did this after the State Dept statement. If even the Yanks are kissing Mohammed's ass, who am I to defend my virginity ? Bye, bye, freedom of speech. Welcome, burka!

2/03/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

No plan survives contact with the enemy. I think it was a good idea at the time to define the GWOT as a fight against an extremist fringe. Classic tactics. Isolate the enemy center of gravity, hold the rest.

Of course the enemy strategy was to broaden the front. It was the declared intent of Osama to make this a religious war. Because in a general scrap our precision, surgical capabilities become negated. We don't do wars of civilizations. We don't pile skulls up before cities. But they do.

But Osama didn't get his wish in exactly the way he wanted. For one thing, he hoped to isolate America and Israel. His communications strategy is crafted toward that. As it happened the crisis broke in Europe and he is facing a two-front war.

While the Iranians are good Chess players, this isn't Chess. Randomness is sitting at the edge of the board. I think no one knows how this one will shake out. What is essential is to be able to react quickly to events with wisdom and with strength. Here our unitary C&C should help. Unfortunately this is an orphan problem. It falls into no known category of responsibility. It crosses every boundary conceivable. Constitutional liberties, international relations, military implications, media, Internet, the whole effin ball of wax.

The best thing the US can do now is to create a crisis cell at the undersecretary level to figure this out and advise on courses to take. As to communications, say nothing official. Run silent, run deep. Let the blogosphere run the show for now.

2/03/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Aristides, 1:08 PM & Wretchard, 1:40 PM & Larsen, 1:49 PM

Seems the question can be reframed as asking: Are we dealing with a slow methodical Ant, or an impetuous Grasshopper? Would not timing give a clue. ;)

2/03/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Our Host hits the nail on the head with the across the Board remarks.

And while this Game definately is not Chess, it sure ain't Checkers.

The major difference between the Mohammedan infrastructure and the Soviets in the Cold War is Centralization. While the Soviets maintained a solid C&C over it's subordinates, the Mohammedans are free rangeing cells, Strategic Corporals on a Worldwide basis.

To think that the Mullahs could not keep this story alive for the four months, and escalate it as required, is disrespectful to them, and will get US killed.

They do not need Agents in the Papers. Those folk reacted as planned. Even the Euro-Left Press will defend the Press's Freedoms, for a while.

2/03/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Rat sez we need to sh*t or get off the pot--but the problem is we ain't to the pot yet, and the damn oil already has our britches down around our ankles. And lament all we want, we're still halfway between and need to keep from tripping.

2/03/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

you just saw that, buddy?

2/03/2006 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...


I understand, and probably spoke too precipitously, but think about it like this.

The CDC is called out to take care of a biological disaster, where a deadly disease has just been released into the environment. So far this disaster is contained in a single building, but there is a strong danger than an entire city will be infected.

Now this disease grows rapidly in heat, but does poorly in the cold. Luckily, the building's power is out, and it is cold outside. However, you, working for the CDC, would be much more comfortable working at room temperature, but at that level the disease will spread uncontrollably.

What do you do? Do you say f*ck it, and turn up the heat? Or do you play it safe, and sacrifice some momentary comfort to do the job?

We are not two sides banging our drums, ready to do battle, not yet. We are a community that has been hit by a disease, where those with, say, A bloodtype are vulnerable. But they are not yet infected.

We can still get through this together. We can still quarantine and inoculate. We don't yet have to exterminate.

Advocating the cartoons is like working at room temperature. It is where we are comfortable. But at that temperature the disease will grow. As the American government, what do you do?

2/03/2006 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

jeeziz, Sonia--THANKS!

2/03/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, aristides
Those cartoons, printing, distributing them is what we, I, am about.
I have stood legal assualt, in the past, to publish the truth, here in the US. Paid through the nose for the pleasure, as well.

No, that is where the line of Accomadation is drawn, for me.

The other side can decide to be Moderate or not, I will stand with Jefferson and my inalienable rights, thank you very much.

If that means real War, before my kid gets out, that is the way it is.
If it means he is out of the Corps when the balloon goes up, we'll be on the beach in Mexico, thinking about you, I'm sure.

2/03/2006 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Right--the 'coup de main' is for when you can see the other side of the hill. the other side of the hill cost France the world at Waterloo, and saved America at Gettysburg. At this moment we're not sure what's on the other side of either their hill OR our own.

Enscout says 'decide', and that's the whole point, we *are* deciding--as the information comes in, as the information creates itself (and is created).

Peters thinks that our victory is sure--unless we mess up the conditions of victory. along that line, we almost have to give the enemy more time to educate the you-know-who faction of USA. the enemy knows this, and that knowledge is quite likely protecting the national homeland from further 911 attempts--while the continued threat is meant to enervate us, and attract recruits to the jihad.

We'll get hit again when we elect an anti-war president, you watch and see.

2/03/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Well, the Quadrennial Defense Review calls for a 5% bump up. That's upping the ante, bearing down on the enemy, isn't it? That DDX Destroyer won't fight in Fallujah, but it will make the Straits of Hormuz more friendly, which has to help Fallujah.

2/03/2006 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, whit, we do not need prepare for a long war.
There is no opponent to the WAR.
That is the Chalenge.

Either destroy the population centers until they convert to Bahaiism or something, or not.

There are no Armys to confront with our Tanks, no airplanes to shoot down with F-22's.

Our Arny is not equipped for this current fight, General Scales tells that tale.

Mr Newt says only 10$ Military, 90% Other. To bad there is no one with Authority over that 90%, well not really to bad.

So it is not really a War, unless we make it one.

Not to worry though, VP Cheney ways we'll WIN, in a decade or two, if we stay the course.

So maybe your right.

2/03/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If we are stilled worried about Fallujah, by the time that ship is FINISHED, we've LOST.

2/03/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...


2/03/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

All those shiny things do help isolate the battlefield, tho. No Yalu River worries--not extreme worries anyway--backing up the jihad.

2/03/2006 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Do we have Naval Superiority in the Straits, today?
I've read we do.

What Class ships are the Iranians building?

Could our current Fleet handle the Threat?

Will our current Air Assets handle the Iranian Air Defenses? Let US be serious when answering.
How long will the Iranian F-4's and Mirages have superiority in the Iranian skies?

General Scales says we need Light Armor and transport planes to take down the Iranian nuclear threat within 2 years.

Those items, ahh, so sorry Charlie, no can do.
Got to build ships and planes

Duke Cunnigham said so.

2/03/2006 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger John Aristides said...

I think we must separate out some concepts. Who we should root for is one thing. What the American Government says, in its offical capacity, is another.

Personally, I stand by my position from yesterday: when your rights are being encroached, it is time to exercise them. In that respect, I hope the Europeans continue to show backbone in the face of intimidation.

But that is quite a separate issue from the strategic response of the American government. Desert Rat expressing his solidarity with Mohammed-lampooning cartoons is different, by consequential orders of magnitude, than the American government doing the same.

I for one do not want total war. If that means taqiyya, if that means having our officials call an obviously militant religion the religion of peace, then so be it. It is a small price to pay to lull the majority of Muslims into modernity.

As an individual I reject this fallacy, but as an American I can tolerate it. For now.

We deride the call of anti-warriors to withdraw immediately from Iraq. We say their position is folly, because their strict adherence to pacifism doesn't take into account the costs that would follow its execution.

What would your strict adherence cost, Desert Rat? Or are you as entrenched and uncaring as they are?

2/03/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

I think DDX is aimed at as they say 'shaping the plans of nations which find themselves at a strategic crossroads' (ChiComs looking at the littoral).

France actually has some great light armor. Reckon they're much closer now to a deployment, wherever the balloon goes up.

Asymmetrical war does sorta limit the obvious beneficiary--as, the riots and the toons reactions are slowly and surely putting that French light armor on the road, and the Iran atomic gov't is finally identifying a proper geographical objective--Tehran. And the clock ticks.

2/03/2006 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Semper Gumby, aristide.

Outcomes are the concern, in the end.
More so than the means.

2/03/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

Why are these the only cartoons published? Let's have a hundred dozen more, world-wide, unremitting, day-in and day-out, tending to the rubicund jollity of the Prophetologists.

Like the giant mosque in Boston: Defer permits pending erection of an equal-sized Christian Church in Riyadh. No joke! "Reciprocation" here is key... nothing that rancid Mullahdom does or says, whether Koranic or merely idiotic (much the same), is entitled to any respect whatever unless and until these terrorist cowards muster the conviction to defend their strange-o creed in civilized fashion. Waal, take mah head off with a chainsaw, if it ain't that 'ere Religion of Peace come callin'. These brutish thugs deserve one heck of a lot more response than mere cartoons.

2/03/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger rasqual said...

"It's possible to regard the cartoon crisis as either a strategic disaster or boon for the War on Terror."

The fact that "cartoon" even appears in a sentence bearing such import is an absurdity of the age. Good grief.

2/03/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

While this may be correct from one point of view it is lethal if we are to emerge from this train wreck of a war as something we recognize.

There are a vast amount of Muslims out there who are vulnerable but not yet infected. One leg of our strategy is to inoculate them from this vicious disease. How then does supporting inflammatory cartoons further this strategy?

Our freedom is our strength, if we surrender it to mollify the head choppers then they have won a major battle against us.

I think it behooves us to remember that Osama is not a crazy man and further that he understands his people. They will indeed follow the strong horse and those who don't follow it will fear it. But the weak horse, the one who throws away his values for fear of upseting some so called strategy is worthless and easily ignored. Remember it is easy to claim that this is all part of the grand scheme but given the success the enemy has had already, who else that we have fought has managed to destroy 2 of our tallest buildings in our most powerful city and for lagniappe also attacked the center of our military headquarters.

We need to stop being cute and start winning battles.


2/03/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Disappointed to hear Hewitt sees the Cartoon incident as negative in terms of the dreaded
"Clash of Civilizations"

...I see it as being about us:
The PC Nazis have already banned a significant amount our heritage from schools, public discourse, government, and the public square:

Now we're going to let primitives finish the job before they finish us?
Too bad for Hitler he didn't have us wusses instead of red-blooded Americans to "contend" with.
Peter UK said...

Amazing how cartoons are considered a provocation but murdering Theo van Gogh and slaughtering strangers on the London Underground is not.

This is a game where one side makes the rules but does not have to keep to them but the other side does.
Well done liberal intelligentsia.

2/03/2006 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"It is a small price to pay to lull the majority of Muslims into modernity."
Where do the Price Caps come in, and who imposes and enforces them?

2/03/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Around a decade ago, the Gay Lobby was insisting they would NEVER bring it into our childrens classrooms.
And now preachers/teachers are prosecuted for doing otherwise.

2/03/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" We need to "strategerize" both the war effort and for the domestic impact. "
Do we do that by censoring ourselves at our enemies beck and call?

2/03/2006 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I KNEW someone would pick up the vibe through my ASCII text fog, Peter. At least I TRIED not to be obvious.
Been thinking about old songs:
"Can't Get You Outta My Mind"
comes to mind.

2/03/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

If those poor Egyptians only had the proper goal in mind they could swim and levitate to Mecca.

2/03/2006 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Muslims as a whole (billions of them) are bound, deaf, dumb and blind.

Formost, they are bound by the cult of Islam, told what to do, what not to do, what to believe, how to treat others and how to live for the remainder of their lives.

They are deaf, they hear only what they want to hear, all is filtered, changed by their belief in Islam, which explains all unbelievers are to be against them and that they must be against all unbelievers.

They are dumb, maybe not uneducated, but dumb to the world outside of what they have, what they envy that others have. Dumb to the fact that Islam is their own worse enemy.

They are blind to anything not covered by the Qur'an or its tortured Islamic laws, blind to anything that says they are the ones to blame for their poverty, their dispair and their hate.

So they have only two things that hold them to their reality, their shrill voices and their sharp teeth. So they scream and slash and wonder why they and the cult of Islam are dispised and feared.

Papa Ray
West Texas

2/03/2006 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

The other side is playing by different rules than us. The law of the desert requires that the slightest insult be responded to. Failure to respond invites more insults. An insult to one is an insult to him and all his relatives.

This is the basis of the entire Muslim world getting up in arms about cartoons.

Our rules seek a proportionate response unless mightily provoked. The law exists to redress major insults. We can easily ignore small insults.

The totalitarian leaders know all this and use it to their advantage to rile up their populace against outsiders.

What I don't understand is why the Arab street falls for it so often. During OIF the Arab street actually believed Baghdad Bob when he said "there are no Americans within hundreds of miles of here" when they were actually within a few. The next day the Arab press acted personally wounded when they realized they had been lied to. I just don't get it. Why do they believe anything their rulers say?

2/03/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"taqqiya as practiced by kaffir"
I wonder what kind of cultural warriors will be brought up by our practicing that in front of our kids in Church, School, and by our "Leaders?"

2/03/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Has anyone answered Robert 1:02 PM, yet?
Is it possible?
(using a "reasonable" standard of argument)

2/03/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I believe some posters have touched on the periphery this cartoon situation. Psychological warfare can be tremendously effective.

“If the enemy is taking his ease, harass him; if quietly encamped force him to move… Appear at points that the enemy must hasten to defend…” – Sun Tzu

[The Art of War, By Sun Tzu, Edited & with a forward by James Clavell, Delacorte Press, 1983, page 25]

By accident (or purpose) the Danes have found psychological method of rattling the Muslim mind which appears to be more effective than Muslim's use of beheading films to frighten the West.

This weapon is low cost and can be easily delivered in the form of a simple cartoon, which causes the Muslim’s to act in rash manner. It’s no stretch of the imagination to see even more effective cartoons. Further this method could be combined with “Allah willed it” theme to further enhance the effect.

Unfortunately, this weapon in the wrong hands or used incorrectly could have negative consequences.

2/03/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Whatever one may say, our freedom of speech is not in danger here in America"
Depends on the meaning of "our." long as Christians Muzzle themselves properly, flags remain folded, prayers are silent, history is purged, marriage is morphed, etc.

...and any and all real enemies are denied.

Other than that...

2/03/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Dag said...

I ran one of your comments on my blog, and now I, like many others, am being hacked out of existence.

I'd like to blame this on someone. I'll accept volunteers.

2/03/2006 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

peter uk cross-posted this image from samizdata over a yargb. All those in the West who chide the media's lack of sensitivy in publishing the cartoons are suffering a serious disconnect from reality. They are living in a dream

2/03/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Stoutfellow 5:50 PM,
Well, I guess Aristides is right after all:
Free Speech is well protected, all right.
For Some.

2/03/2006 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm curious how all of this is playing in Iraq. Interesting that no one mentions the Iraqi reaction, or lack of reaction.

2/03/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Now a whole bunch of your comments have disappeared on the last thread!
Check it out.
If I had only known, I would have saved the priceless gems.

2/03/2006 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

McCain-Fiengold limits Political Speach, they say it could influence an Election, well Duh!

That is the point of Free Speach, is it not, to influence Elections.

Then the Supremes uphold that Law, along with Real Property Takings, to increase Tax Revenues as a definition of a Public Good.

I've got about 20 years left, gotta find me a beach.

2/03/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Stoutfellow said...
There is something terribly wrong with this picture . The Bobbies march along protecting the hate speech of British Islamists who carry signs that say "Behead those who insult Islam" and "Butcher those who mock Islam". While Danish cartoonists and Western newspapers are chided for publication of mild depictions of the War Lord Messiah Mohammed!

There is a startling disconnect from reality on display here. Many people in the west appear to be living in a dream.
Today I learned from National Public Radio that a) Hamas will probably become more moderate when they are faced with the problem of providing governance and b) No mainstream media outlet in the US published images of the Danish cartoons.

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

2/03/2006 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Then the Supremes uphold that Law, along with Real Property Takings, to increase Tax Revenues as a definition of a Public Good."
Maybe if they can show that your illegals are increasing tax revenues, they'll take your back yard.
You'll be so busy paying for their Meds, you won't notice.
"This won't hurt a bit, he's taking one in the morning, and one at night."
For you, of course.

2/03/2006 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I ain't gonna work on Sonia's Farm.
(only because I'm not invited)

2/03/2006 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

So tell me, doug, if the abu panty pictures were "News" worthy, why not these cartoons.

Economic Boycotts, Riots & threats of beheadings are the outcome, why can the US not see the Cause.

Why the Blackout?

The Enemy is winning, no matter the Rhetoric. The Danish Editor was right.

But, worry not, we'll come back an WIN BIG in 2012 or 2018 or maybe, according to Mr Cheney's estimate 2025.

2/03/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Those Panty Pictures didn't bother nobody, nor hurt anybdy's sensitive feelings that we must look out for.

Apples and Oranges, 'Rat.

2/03/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'm starting to feel like a Fried Omlette.

2/03/2006 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Why is publishing the NSA intercept operation a "Public Good" at the NY Times, though this piece Has the New York Times Violated the Espionage Act?, by Gabriel Schoenfeld will explain the Lawlessness of their actions.
But the Cartoons are Beyond the Pale. Where, in reality the are milk toast, when compared to Mr Toles quaduple amputee.

Just the facts.
Isn't that what Joe Friday wanted? Why should the US Public be content with less?

Why would the MSM deliver less?

2/03/2006 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Witholding that NSA stuff from the RoP would inflame their sensibilities.
...and our homes.
Peace be Upon You,
Praise be to Allah!

2/03/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Petrodollars aren't being recycled buying weapons systems only. A lot of dollars go toward the delivery systems of the MSM.

2/03/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Must be a long swim, from HI.
Longer from Cal.
I'd have to walk forever and then swim the Pacific.

Better buy some swim fins, doug, or you'll never make it. Or maybe one of those sea kayaks, saw Magnum paddle one, on TV. That thing you never watch, but comment on, often.

ROME, when it returns will be, I think, even better than last years episodes. Which were great, followed the real story line with license & embellishment of the nonexistent, which made it superb.
To bad you missed it.

Aristides link of a few weeks ago, analysing the "Enemy" and trish's real world updates verify the facts. The Government of the USA has not yet identified the Enemy in the Mohammedan Wars.
This almost FIVE years after the attacks of 9-11.

The Romans were smarter than that.

2/03/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I watched George Gobbel, does that count?
Buddy said the Lincoln thing was great too, but I'll take Rome over Gore Vidal.
...if I ever get around to buying either.
Maybe I'll just get "Woman of the Dunes" and take advantage of the fact that these blood pressure meds make altering reality easier when you relax into it.
Different Dunes, Different Woman.

2/03/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"(What if Darwin was right conceptually, but failed to grasp that homo sapiens' most powerful evolutionary strategy is faith?)

We live in a new age of superstition and bloodthirsty gods, of collective madness." quoted from original post

Regular posters here have figuratively rolled their eyes when I suggested investigating Baha'u'llah, the One Who declared Himself the Promised One of All Ages.

But this Islamo-Western THING hasn't gone away, and doesn't look like it will at any time soon, so Humanity's Coming Encounter with Baha'u'llah MAY, in truth, BE RELEVANT.

Be hot (accept and further the aims and claims of) or be cold (fight against the biggest lying threat to civilization ever) and you're safe, but choose lukewarm (doesn't concern me, move along now) and you're damned by Jesus of Nazareth, explicitly, as evidenced by His recorded sayings in the Gospel.

IF Jesus told the truth about the Holy One coming when the Gospel was first taken to the nations; at the time the 'time of the gentiles' was fulfilled; at the time 'the Abomination of Desolation' had run its 2,300 years from its beginning in 457 BC, then He gave His life in part to bear witness to the power and majesty of the One He prophesied.

Now that ALL 3 of Jesus' promises can be seen to have come true in 1844, we'll only taste 'damnable heresy' by 'scoffing and denying' His return in the being of The Bab, May 23, 1844.

Muslims (moderate AND extremist) are aware of LONG-ESTABLISHED Muslim traditions concerning the Coming of the Holy One, but THEIR CLERGY have told them, "He has not yet come."

By seizing the initiative and publicly declaring His presence, His historically-verifiable Coming May 23, 1844, the West can catalyze PRE-EXISTING energy to TRANSFORM Muslims, en masse, into God-fearing, courteous and studious citizens of a united (not uniform) world.

We CAN have world peace, no nuclear war, and the sidelining and disempowering of all ecclesiastics, by the simple action of PUBLICLY INVOKING the Glory of God, Baha'u'llah!

2/03/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I wonder what the critical number is before the US Govt tries to step in to stop the outrage.
They will finally have met their match.

2/03/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That is what I thought you were trying to say, my friend.

It certainly could fill some part of the 90% Void.

2/03/2006 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

It needn’t spark a clash of civilizations, it could be just the thing needed to stir the moderate Moslems to action against the fools that would be their ruin.

Opposing Hamas has a very real consequence for moderate Palestinians; I think it important that they also know not opposing radical groups will have an even more dire consequence in the long run. The sooner this is recognized and attitudes adjusted, both for and against, the better.

2/03/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/03/2006 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Also this denunciation of the cartoons by the same federal government that funded Piss Christ offends me greatly.

2/03/2006 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Also this denunciation of the cartoons by the same federal government that funded Piss Christ offends me greatly.

2/03/2006 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Doug says, "Many people in the west appear to be living in a dream."

The Lord of Hosts says, "The people seem wrapped in a strange sleep," and "For the people are wandering in the paths of delusion, bereft of discernment to see God with their own eyes, or hear Him with their own ears. Thus have We found them, as thou also dost witness. THUS HAVE THEIR SUPERSTITIONS BECOME VEILS between them and their own hearts and kept them from the path of God, the Exalted, the Great."

2/03/2006 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Not to be disrespectful of your faith, carridine.

This type of Myth to Reality storyline helped to destroy the Aztec Empire in Mexico.
By fulfilling ancient prophesys the Spanish gain a tactical advantage over the minds of the Aztecs. More so on the minds of conquered Peoples of Mexico (the moderates), that sided with the Spanish to defeat the Aztecs.

Fight fire with fire. I have read that the Iranians execute those that teach the Bahai faith.
Send 'em a Billion for Missionaries in Iran, bet we'd recieve some REAL Value for our bucks.

2/03/2006 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

My response is at the bottom...

Not only did "our" government say we should tolerate Islamic violent intolerance of free speech that mildly mocks Islam, "our" government gives these murderers billions of dollars of our money every year. And "our" government also gives money to "artists" who scurrilously and obscenely mock and defile the Christian religion. Then if someone were to get violently intolerant about that, do you imagine "our" government would tolerate such violence? Angry yet?

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson.

To those who think me dramatic exactly what the hell is our government doing? Yes we can have false hopes that there is some sort of grand strategy at work but how many of you actually believe that possible?

Pierre Legrand

2/03/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

to oppose Hamas a moderate Palistinian faces Death, tomorrow.

to support Hamas means destitution and disaster, later.

Which would You chose?

Myself, destitution and disaster seem a better option.
Death Squads do sway public opinion, when there is no counter wieght.

2/03/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Yes we can have false hopes that there is some sort of grand strategy at work but how many of you actually believe that possible?"
I believe it's possible, but why the Hell would I bet our kid's future on it?
Why does GWB, in this context and on the border?

2/03/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But Pierre,
we have to "Stay the Course".

Don't we?

2/03/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's more complex than you could understand, 'Rat.

2/03/2006 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Come on doug, give it a go.

According to Mr Cheney we've got a couple of decades for you to try.

You never gave up on Kevin, even today.

I'll end up with a complex, it'll be ALL YOUR FAULT.

There is this TV program, doug, Jerry Springer. I heard the guy may run for the Senate, another Clown for the Circus. But, anyway this show is just plum filled with dysfunctional folk, the cream of the crop as it were. This Program is sent via High Tech around the World, along with Girls Gone Wild infomercials.
And people wonder why the Mohamedans think the West is decandent and morally weak?

I love my MTV, really, I do.

2/03/2006 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Doug, here's the cure for whatever made you disappear after Sonia

2/03/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Beam Jerry Springer GGW & MTV into stranger's homes around the world? Hell, that could start a WAR!

2/03/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

that was rude, buddy.

2/03/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

me so solly, rat.

2/03/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Fight fire with fire!

Tell them of the fulfillment of their own, pre-existent prophecies, and watch the people TURN AWAY from firebrand hate-mongers, and TURN TOWARD the Righteousness that is Christ! (Rev 2:17, 3:12)

2/03/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Carridine's eyes have seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord.

2/03/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Porter Goss said today that the NYTimes leaks have caused "incredible damage" to the NSA operation. Nuh-uh, they shouldn't a done that, them NYTimes people.

2/03/2006 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It has only taken a a year of your preaching for me to really begin to "get it".

Whether that is reasonable or not remains to be seen. I'm rather pragmatic, or so I've been told.

Now that I understand, we're not that much further along, are we?

Though you'll advise, one step at a time, I'm sure.

2/03/2006 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

get your folk to produce video in Farsi explaining the Story. They most likely already have 'em.

Post 'em on Google Video titled "Truth" or some varient there of.

Then promote it on the Farsi blogs.

Non Govermental, real world action that fills the 90% Void.

Give me an additional option, buddy.

2/03/2006 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

A few million 9mm handguns somehow got to Persian democrats who have nothing but a stick to guard their front doors with?

2/03/2006 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

The hallmark of our age is the failure of belief systems and a subsequent flight back to primitive fundamentalism--and the phenomenon isn't limited to the Middle East. Faith revived is running roughshod over science and civilization. Secular societies appear increasingly fragmented, if not fragile. The angry gods are back. And they will not be defeated with cruise missiles or computer codes.
You have only to go to the bishop museum in Honolulu, Hawaii and spend some time in their planetarium meditating on the jouneys of the polenesians sailing westward from australia by the stars a thousand years ago and more...and then meet their living successors, the wanderers--I mean ...the astronomers-- over at Big Island in Hawaii their eyes patched against the great star telescopes like Keck on the top of Mauna Kea...

If you can patch those two images together you'll know that we live in a settled age with the top blown off.

We are very much like the people of early 1500 Europe. In that age the astronomical certainties of almost 1500 years were being overturned... the new world was just discovered, the arabic translations of greek text were being translated into latin from the recently captured libraries in cadiz, nature was being pushed out of the sacred world and into the secular world, the reformation was just ahead and not too far ahead the moslem armies would make their furthest advance in to europe by threatening the gates of vienna.

And even now as then we are hearing the first intimations of a divided history; then that division was between those who would stay in Europe and those who would leave for the new world its between those who will stay on earth and those who will go to the stars.

It is well to reference cain and abel but helpful to recognize that that dispute was one between a farmer and a hunter--one that was repeated again in the generation of jacob and esau. Just as God favored Abel's grateful meat offering over Cain's grudging grain offering--Issac favored the hunter Esau over the clever mama's boy jacob...but the end of both Abel and Esau was not so hot. Abel was killed by his brother and the line of Judah went through Jacob.

A happy gift of Jesus to all who believe in him --is to grafted into the line of Judah. So it is well remember the deep things of God.

2/03/2006 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...


“We don't do wars of civilizations. We don't pile skulls up before cities.”

Are you saying we don’t do Dresden?

2/03/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

What will the longer war do to us? After decades of low intensity conflict will we be recognizably the same people. The security measures are not totalitarian now but how about after 20-40 years? Look at how the drug war progressed.

2/03/2006 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Amen, Charles.

2/03/2006 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Dan, true what you say--but the thing is thrust upon us and there is really no choice. So, it's almost perverse to count the costs of winning, when the cost of losing is total.

2/03/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Now try to tell me I caint do what's already been done a thousand years ago.
You can lead a man to water, and I won't settle for Bill Clinton's Sink.

2/03/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

Nope, I'm not speaking from the front lines, you're right, Trish.

So, everybody not in uniform should just shut up, even though it's not a draftee army and everyone in uniform is there by choice?

What *is* that alternative, anyway?

2/03/2006 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger buddy larsen said...

If the alternative is to pull behind our borders and keep the barbarians at bay via liberal use of SSBNs, that's not a bad idea at all, at this point.

2/03/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre said...

Buddy Larsen said...
Doug, here's the cure for whatever made you disappear after Sonia

Please dont do that again...I may be driven to draw a rude picture of dear old uncle mohammed.

2/03/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy, 9:52 PM
If you were Larry King, you could say,
"Answer the Question!"

2/03/2006 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Magic Mirror covered that one:
It's been non-stop Cartoon Time since.
Too bad it's not funny.

2/03/2006 10:41:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

“it's almost perverse to count the costs of winning, when the cost of losing is total.”

I’m not talking about the cost of winning I’m talking about the cost of winning slowly. There is always a high price to pay for pussyfooting around.

2/03/2006 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

We are the Sultans, don't bother about harram, tend to the Harem, and of course, The Bier.

2/03/2006 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Be Prepared:
Muslim Multimedia

2/03/2006 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I agree, Dr. Beak.
Haven't found a disconnect from reality yet that gets between the left and their dogma.

2/04/2006 02:11:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/04/2006 08:04:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

If it is verboten for there to be graven images of Mohammed then why are the so many Islamic images? What the propaganda ministers mean is that it is against wahabism to have images of the prophet.

Mohammed Image Archive

2/04/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

To me, the whole 'crisis' brings to fore Dinesh D'Souza's Land of the Free

1. Islam is reacting to an affront on their overriding belief in Virtue

2. The West is reacting to an affront on their world view dependent on Freedom

D'Souza's argument is that virtue without freedom is not virtuous. I wrote a bit deeper here trying to connect everything together...

2/04/2006 02:01:00 PM  

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