December 26th, 2006

On using an entire people as martyrs (your own; plus, of course, the Jews)

I’ve been noticing lately that two lovely impulses seem to go hand-in-hand–virulent anti-Semitism plus the willingness to use one’s own people as a sacrifice to the larger goal of destroying the Jews.

Take a look at this post of Dr. Sanity’s, and the Ron Rosenbaum essay on which it’s based. Sobering reading, indeed.

Here’s the heart of what Dr. Sanity has to say (read her essay; she offers an interesting suggestion, as well):

From [the Iranian mullahs'] warped perspective, the involuntary martyrdom of a few million muslims in Iran is a small price to pay to “wipe Israel off the map” and finish the job that Hitler started.

What a grand gesture for the muslims of the world to witness and emulate! Iran strapping on the suicide bomb around its entire population to gloriously rid Islam of the Jewish menace.

In order to “strap the suicide bomb around its entire population,” it takes a remarkable lack of reverence for human life and regard for one’s own people. Even the Japanese in World War II, who invented the kamikaze pilot (a specialized form of suicide bomber: military bomber, military target), a country which certainly asked its population to be willing to die for the cause, surrendered after the atomic bombs were dropped. It turns out enough sacrifice was enough.

The mullahs of today in Iran see their mission as occurring primarily in the realm of religion. Yes, it’s played out on the stage of this world–the goal is control of Iran (mission accomplished) domination of the Moslem umma (in the works), and triumph over the Great and Little Satans (the US and Israel; consummation devoutly to be wished). But the eyes of the mullahs are very much on the other world, as well, and one of their goals (perhaps the most important one, in their eyes) is ascendance in that world to come. And, as such, they have far less reluctance than most regimes to facilitate the martyrdom of some segment of their own population–after all, they would achieve glory in heaven. What’s not to like?

Here’s how Rosenbaum puts it:

[These words have been] uttered by the leader of what the Western press has lately taken to calling the “pragmatic conservatives” in Iran, Ayatollah Hashemi Rasfanjani:

“If one day the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel’s possession [meaning nuclear weapons]—on that day this method of global arrogance would come to a dead end. This…is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.”

Sounds pretty pragmatic to me.

Religious motivations are not the only ones leaders can have for sacrificing their people. Pol Pot certainly wasn’t averse to killing a goodly number of his own, nor was his predecessor (and no doubt, inspiration) Stalin, and they were not religious in the usual sense. Communism isn’t interested in the world to come, only power in this one–but it shares with religion the strength of the belief system of its “true believers,” and their possible ruthlessness.

Hitler, a leader about whom Rosenbaum has also written a book attempting to explain the origins of his evil, was the anti-Semite par excellence. Originally, he didn’t ask his people to martyr themselves in the process of killing the Jews; his concentration camps were a model of efficiency, and cost few–if any–extra German lives. But, strangely enough, at the end of the war when all was lost (except, of course, the war against the Jews of Europe, which he mainly won), he wanted the German people to die.

That impulse was expressed in his last days, when he ordered the destruction of what was left of Germany. The German people had been tried and found wanting; they hadn’t been up to the task, and he wanted them to go down with him. Apparently, his generals failed to cooperate, but the destructive impulse on his part was there; no surprise, actually.

Hitler’s last testament is an interesting document. It calls on the German people and generals to sacrifice to the death and never surrender. It excommunicates generals such as Goehring for even considering negotiating with the enemy. And it shows, among other things, the complete domination of Hitler’s anti-Semitism. From beginning to end, that’s the guiding light; blaming the Jews for the war. Here is the last sentence:

Above all, I enjoin the government and the people to uphold the race laws to the limit and to resist mercilessly the poisoner of all nations, international Jewry.

Remember, these are Hitler’s last words, his final attempt to influence history. And influence it he has. There is no question that the Arab and Iranian worlds have followed Hitler’s rhetoric and example in their anti-Semitism (and take a look at this book for an excellent study of the details of how that happened).

Holocaust denial, the current Iranian vogue, is an ironic tribute to the master, Hitler. It simultaneously attempts to whitewash his evil history while contemplating the completion of the task he considered his most valuable. And these heirs of Hitler are so emboldened by decades of anti-Semitic propaganda round the world that they don’t feel they have to keep mum about it–just as Hitler knew he could count on the cooperation of much of Europe, without whose help he could not have accomplished his glorious task.

There’s a great deal of room for irony, as well, in the establishment of the modern state of Israel. Zionism predated World War II, but without the Holocaust it probably would not have gained enough support to actually influence the UN into establishing a tiny Jewish state alongside the Palestinian one (yes, the UN solution was a “two-state” one, which the Palestinians and the Arab world rejected).

Why did the Jews so desperately want and need a state? Before then, they’d been dispersed around the world for centuries (millennia, actually), and country after country had denied them citizenship and full rights, expelling them time and again. With the single exception of the US, which granted them full citizenship from the start (France was next, by the way), most of the countries of Europe gave them citizenship only in the mid-1800s.

But extreme prejudice remained, and Jews continued to be considered the “other,” suspected of lack of loyalty in most countries in which they resided (this, by the way, was the essence of the Dreyfus Affair). In order to facilitate his destruction of the Jews of Europe, Hitler had to hunt them down, country by country, and gather them together in central places (the camps) to be murdered. The prescient Jews who tried to escape found the way blocked–emigration was barred to most, even by the US.

That very special horror–the closing of the doors of countries that could possibly offer refuge, except to a select few–was part of the legacy of the Holocaust. It has been given graphic representation in Art Spiegelman’s highly recommended Maus, a two-book depiction (in comic/cartoon form) of his parents’ sufferings and survival in the Holocaust.

Spiegelman’s concept sounds odd–and indeed, it is. But read it. It’s a masterpiece, building in power as the the strangeness of the concept–Jews drawn as mice, Germans as cats, and so forth–creates its own hypnotic and horrific world.

The Spiegelman book captures in literal terms the cat and mouse game of the Holocaust–the hunters and the hunted. The vast majority of the hunted–the Jews–found the trap closing in on them with no escape possible. Afterwards, the weary survivors were convinced that the only way out for the future was to finally have a country of their own again. That way, several problems would be solved: Jews could never again be expelled from a country at its whim, considered interlopers, with no place to go (the right of return guaranteed that); and they would be able to have their own defense forces and not go “as lambs to the slaughter.”

There was only one catch, it turns out. Although Jews had been in the area from time immemorial, and constituted sizeable populations in both Palestine and other Arab countries as well (populations which were now “transferred” to Israel. much in the way of other such partitions and transfers such as much of the Muslim population of India going to Pakistan on partition there–a transition far more bloody, by the way, than anything that has occurred in Israel/Palestine) Israel didn’t count on the lack of absorption of the Palestinian population by their Arab brethren. That the Palestinians would be kept in “camps,” under UN welfare aegis, for decades, rather than being absorbed by countries such as Jordan (basically composed of other “Palestinians”) was not foreseen. The enduring enmity of countries such as Iran, which had no particular dog in this race, was also not predicted.

Iran is presently the cheerleader of Muslim anti-Semitism, otherwise focused mainly in the Arab world. And Israel, as has been pointed out many times, is a “one-bomb country,” so small that it wouldn’t take much to wipe it out.

Thus, in a rather intense irony (sorry for the repetition, but I can’t seem to stop using that word in relation to this topic) the “ingathering” of Jews that the formation of the state of Israel represented, which was supposed to have been essential for Jewish survival, has instead facilitated the work of Hitler’s heirs.

A great deal of Hitler’s energy was involved in rounding up a widely scattered people–one of the main Holocaust themes is the cattle car, the trains on which the Jews were transported to their doom.

But now there’s no longer need for any such effort. Because of the “ingathering” that Israel already represents, one strategic bomb would destroy half of world Jewry in a moment. If the Jews are the canaries in the mine (and I believe that’s an apt metaphor), half of them are now in a single mine, and it’s sprung a gas leak.

64 Responses to “On using an entire people as martyrs (your own; plus, of course, the Jews)”

  1. Sergey Says:

    I absolutely agree with Dr. Sanity modest proposal of targeted assassination of the most prominent and dangerous madmen. But it can be not so easy to do. So I have another proposal: turn off the light. It is easy to knock down electric grid. It is impossible to conceal transmission lines and power nodes underground; and it is impossible to run uranium enrichment plants on back-up generators. Reduce Iran to candles and kerosine lamps – and it will bring to complete halt all heavy industry, especially weaponry making. All nuclear weapon industry needs huge amounts of energy; in one night strike you can put a clock back to decades. Most certainly, this would be a mortal wound to the theocratic regime as well.

  2. Dr. Sanity Says:

    Excellent analysis. In addition to Israel, most of the rest of world Jewry resides in the U.S.–the other target of Iran and the mullahs. I wonder how many American Jews see the problem as clearly as you do, though?

  3. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    The religious threads in the mullahs’ weave are certainly prominent. I do wonder how much of it is strictly tribal with a religious covering, however. The Middle East is as intensely tribal as anywhere else on the planet, with people very aware of Arab/Persian. Sunni/Shia, Bahai, Kurd, Pashtun, Coptic and a hundred other clan and quasi-ethnic divisions.

    The new intensity of Islam may stem from the contact with the other parts of the world and the perception of failure (they don’t hate our success as much as their own failure). Having an important Islamic purpose as a goal has the advantage of not being measurable by any objective criteria; perception of failure can be held at bay.

  4. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Neo has an interesting question toward the end:
    How many US Jews see this, or something like it? And how many reflexively vote for politicians who can be predicted with absolute certainty to do nothing about it? About ninety percent.

    Hell, there appears to be a goodly number of those in Israel, as well.

  5. Ymarsakar Says:

    Very interesting Neo. Mesmerizing even.

    THe Jewish problem as I see it, has always been their pacifism. Their refusal to believe that they could have real enemies attempting to exterminate them. The inability to organize and to empower real aggressive Jewish leaders, and where they did it would end in failure like with Warsaw. The inability, simply, of the Jews to wipe out their enemy using whatever means was at their disposal along with their wealth and economic success, has made them the easiest and most obvious target-victims of international thuggery.

    Thugs go for the rich and the weak. If you are poor and weak, then sometimes you can get past the thugs. And if you are rich but strong, then you have a high chance to get past the thugs with superior firepower and military power. But not if you are both loaded with cash and lacking in any ruthlessness and guards. Thieves, thugs, or whoever else around will automatically latch unto you.

    After all, we have to remember, it wasn’t the Jews that exterminated the Nazis. It was the United States and her allies.

    America in the Tehran embassy incident, started proving more and more like a succulent fatted calf than a lion warrior, master of destruction.

    And folks like Omert in Jerusalem, simply fattens up the Jewish citizenship while the Palesitnians salivate with hunger and anticipation.

    If you are rich and powerful, then you have little to fear. If you are poor and powerful, you have little to fear. If you are poor and weak, you have much to fear but depends on where you are at. But if you are both rich and weak, then you got several things to be fearful of, and many many more enemies than the weak and poor ever had. There’s only so much exploitation that you can strain out of someone who is weak and broke. But there’s plenty of meat for the sharks when you are weak and rich in juicy fat and lovely red meat.

  6. Ymarsakar Says:

    If you believed Palesitnian propaganda, you might think that the Jews were the new Spartans. But they don’t hold a candle to even American Jacksonians, let alone the hardcore killing potential of the United States Marine Corps and the warrior caste.

    Sure, their militia-military is competent, but their politicians have again and again wasted the victories that the military bought with their blood. This is a symptom of a disease, a weakness of national character. Is national character determined by success on the battlefield? Sometimes, but not all that often.

    A war is settled usually by the will of the majority, not the ability or will of the soldiers because the soldiers whatever they do will always be a small segment of the total population. Didn’t use to be this way. In days of swords, it really didn’t matter what the city folks did or were willing to do. Once your army lost, your city was going up in smokes. Once the walls were breached, no amount of will was going to change anything.

    But in this age of industrialization and Total Economic powerhouses, which drive Total War, more and more power has shifted from the spear carriers to the spear makers.

    America would have long ago exterminated the Palestinians had they continued blowing up American malls and cafes across our borders. Exterminated or made to surrender unconditionally, whichever came first.

    A nation that cannot defend itself, Neo, won’t last long in this jungle world.

    Concerning sacrifice, Neo, there is a difference between a mother that sacrifices to protect her children from horrific torture and death, and between a man that sacrifices in order to attain personal power and the ability to torture and dominate others.

    It is about honor after all. If your honor rests upon your ability to carry out your promises to protect your family and your country, then eventually you will have to face the choice of fighting to the death which destroys your family or surrendering and sustaining your promises. Because even if you fight, it is not going to guarantee that your duty to protect is upheld. Not against such odds. If surrendering means you can protect your people, even though you yourself are destroyed, your duty demands it of you. But if you were just sitting around here and killing folks because you wanted personal power, Neo, then you wouldn’t really care how many children died.

  7. Rob Says:

    And as Charles Krauthammer pointed out recently, the Jewish population of Israel will soon reach 6 million.

  8. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Toward the end of the summer war against Hbullah, there was a post of an IDF regiment (which is how many? not known) going into a town.
    They were driven off by three snipers, having suffered four casualties, one serious.
    Some professional American soldiers reviewed the tape and said, not ready for prime time.
    The commander was fighting a platoon leader’s fight, a company commander was clearing rooms with a sergeant, nobody else in sight.
    The regiment had not tied in with flanking units and didn’t know what they were doing or where they were.
    The regimental commander had a bullhorn with which he was telling people to stay cool–not the sort of thing in most regimental commanders’ job descriptions.
    After the first casualty, somebody was asking if this is where they exfil–as if that was the drill, not as a matter of panic.
    This was a pre-planned attack.

  9. Ymarsakar Says:

    Conscripts and drafted soldiers, not who you want to fight in low intensity (high intensity) CQB and urban warfare.

    You want Spartan and Roman Legion professionals. It takes a bare minimum of 10 years to just start getting good at anything. Shown by chess studies, surprisingly enough. The days of conscripting a bunch of folks off the street and sending them into war and hoping they learn before they die, are over.

    True, you can get some pretty good combat veterans out of any unit, even Arab ones. But this assumes you are willing to take casualties, to hold the ground, to be able to resist enemy attacks until you have like ONE fireteam left and that is IT. If you just go away, go back home, after a few casualties, you will learn nothing. Israel’s been fighting a “limited war” since their inception. Kick some ass, okay, then go back home (not okay). You don’t kick someone in the ballz and expect them to be “pacified” and “happy” and “peaceful”. You got to break their throat, slam their temple through concrete, transmogrify them into a freakish art show. Then you can turn your back and be reasonably certain that he won’t be getting back up this side of the century.

  10. Ymarsakar Says:

    Hey, Neo, guess what I found as an ad


    Renowned defense expert Martin Van Creveld (author of Command in War) offers a comprehensive 20th-century military history of Israel, starting in 1907 with the organization of Jewish settler groups and concluding with the modern day. Much of the focus is on the Israeli Defense Force’s glory years, roughly the quarter century from when Israel secured its independence in 1949, through the Six-Day War against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria (and their Soviet advisors) in 1967, to the October War against Egypt and Syria in 1973. Despite being massively outnumbered, Israel won smashing victories each time–and allowed many experts to claim that man for man, no army in the world was tougher than the one Israel put in the field. Van Creveld (himself an Israeli) celebrates these accomplishments, but is extremely critical of what has happened since: He compares Israel’s bungled invasion of Lebanon in 1982 to the American experience in the Vietnam War and cites the Israeli military’s various shortcomings in confronting the Palestinian Intifada. Morale in the armed forces is now at a low point, writes van Creveld, who disturbingly suggests that his country’s apparent military invincibility may be a thing of the past. Whatever one thinks of this claim, few can doubt that The Sword and the Olive is an inspiring portrayal of courage and heroism in the face of overwhelming odds. –John J. Miller –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

    Book Description
    The Israeli Defense Force has long been one of the world’s most admired–and most mythologized–fighting forces. But is it–was it ever–everything it’s cracked up to be? Have its remarkable, against all odds, victories been a double-edged sword for Israel?

    Combining razor-sharp analysis with dramatic narrative, vivid portraits of soldiers and commanders with illuminating discussions of battle tactics and covert actions, The Sword and the Olive traces the history of the IDF from its beginnings in Palestine to today. The book also goes beyond chronology to wrestle with the political and ethical struggles that have shaped the IDF and the country it serves–struggles that are manifesting themselves in the recent tragic escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

    Often revisionist in attitude, surprising in many of its conclusions, this book casts new light on the struggle for peace in the Middle East.

    The title’s a bit too much like “The Sword and the Chrysanthemum”. Wonder if it was inspired by that.

  11. felix Says:

    One of the ways Israel can regain its credibility is to elect a government that its enemies will fear more. I understand that bringing Netanyahu back may not impress Dinnerjacket (because he is totally off-the-wall), however there are others in Iran or Syria who may decide to back down for fear of retaliation. Apparently the Israeli public is ready for a center/right coalition. See
    latest poll

  12. Ymarsakar Says:

    Netanyahu is reasonable compared to people like me in America, whom are not all that rare these days for some reason.

  13. Steve Says:

    I think the proportion of Jews living in Israel is about one third.

    A key element in all of this is that being Jewish is a function of Halachic Law, but it doesn’t make much sense if you don’t take such law, and Judaism itself, seriously.

    In other words, secular Jews tend to drift away from the Jewish community, because, otherwise, in what exactly does Jewishness consist? I have known many Jews, and including in my own family, who have drifted off, married out, took some other religion, and so on. The define themselves as Jewish the way I might define myself as part Native American. Kind of cool, but no big deal.

    The issue here is that the vast majority of Jews worldwide are just as secular as their Christian counterparts, and that includes in Israel: last figure I saw was something like in the high 80% percentile.

    From reading Walter Laqueur, I got the impression that Zionism was above all an attempt to salvage the Jewish community from assimilation, which was heavy after the 1780′s, and had happened before in waves here and there.

    By Herzl’s time, Zionism was about salvaging the Jewish community as such but it was also about having a “normal” nationality just like the Europeans. Since “normal” European nationality contributed to two world wars, I don’t know if that was such a great idea.

    Jews have flourished in the US, largely because most Americans don’t really care about your ethnic or religious background. In Israel, they have done well, but, interestingly, because Israel is becoming so secular, and is in fact, “multi-cultural”, it is possible to have an Israeli identity without being either Jewish, or particularly attached to being Jewish.

    That is why I expect an ultimate blending of Jews and Arabs in Israel.

  14. Sally Says:

    Speaking of irony in connection with anti-semitism, once again the commenter Steve presents an interesting and instructive example. Steve, remember, is the guy who thought comparing Israelis with racist white-supremacists made perfect sense — a comparison which is so off-the-wall that it could only make sense to someone who was already fundamentally an anti-semite (whether consciously so or not). But — unlike the Iranian islamo-nazis — he’s at least gotten beyond fantasies of physical extermination. Instead, Steve is content to imagine, no doubt hopefully, that the Jews will just fade out of existence — as he says, drift off, marry out, take some other religion, etc. Voila — a new solution to the anti-semite’s age-old Jewish problem!

    Except, of course, that it hasn’t happened, isn’t happening, and isn’t going to happen. The reason is the very one that causes such blind fear and hatred among the anti-semitic bigots: Jewish culture extends well into the secular realm, and represents a remarkably coherent, resilient and robust phenomenon in the world, one that has resisted centuries of efforts to destroy, assimilate, or otherwise extinguish it. In the process, as I’ve mentioned before — and to the bitter envy of the Jew-haters — enriching all the world’s cultures with the creative achievements of those who carry that tradition — i.e., of the Jews. That’s a culture that will survive both the hateful schemes of murderous fanatics and the vain wishes of genteel bigots.

  15. Steve Says:

    Tsk, Tsk. You are such the name caller, Sally. And then you accuse me of being an anti-semite, “whether I know it or not.”

    I think your entire conception of Judaism is bizarre. There is a reason why Jewish intermarriage in the US is at 50%. The reason being, that unless religious practice is an issue, there is no issue.

    There are of course individuals who think the Jewish people are the greatest thing since sliced bread, and there are also individuals who say the same thing about the Irish, the Scottish, the Italians, the Germans, etc. etc. Even about us Americans. Not coincidentally, the people who go off on those self-admiring tangents usually identify themselves with the target group, and, in such a way, allow themselves to take some small credit for the achievements of the best representatives of the group, and, in addition, there is always the rare treat of deluding oneself into thinking that one’s special group (of which one is a part), is threatened at every turn, and usually, of course, out of spite and envy. It certainly makes for an interesting interior life.

    Good luck.

  16. Sally Says:

    There are of course individuals who think the Jewish people are the greatest thing since sliced bread, and there are also individuals who say the same thing about the Irish, the Scottish, the Italians, the Germans, etc. etc.

    And there are other individuals who think the Jew is “the poisoner of all nations” — I don’t think I’ve heard that kind of hate spewed even in relation to the Irish. I certainly haven’t seen the spectacle of a concerted and systematized attempt by a powerful modern state to exterminate every living representative of such a group. And, interestingly, all such groups have at least one area of earth that they can call their home.

    How does the Jew-hater react to such obvious facts? Well, in private, of course, they might well smile in satisfaction at them. But in public, they’ve learned that they need some new expressions lest their bigotry become too obvious. Steve here illustrates one such move, which is to imply that historic anti-Jewish prejudice culminating in the Holocaust, is no big deal, isn’t really any different from the hate directed at any other group, and anyone who says it is, is deluded. It’s not a very smart move, but then Steve has never given any indication that intelligence is a quality he either admires or possesses. I’m afraid it must make for a rather dull interior life, but such people have their other concerns, don’t they?

    By the way, and not that it matters, but I’m not Jewish.

  17. Galley Slave Says:

    This is a BRILLIANT blog. One with which I can possibly identify. I am also a politically conservative Jew, sho has long been sickened by the pathetic Jew, who only finds comfort in being a loser, and in being a vicitm. It seems to be the only role that is a comfortable fit.

    As you are certainly aware, the Jew-haters, and foolish Democrats (is that being redundant?) blame all sorts of perceived losses on the “neo-cons.” Has “neo-con” become another way to beat the straw villian Jew?

    Congrats on a smart blog.

    Consider it to be on my Favorites list.

  18. armchair pessimist Says:

    You shrinks out there:

    We need to know whether Adamargarine or whatever is name is and his associates are crazy-nuts or sane-nuts. In the first case, they might well be capable of throwing nuke bombs around in the name of allah. In the second case, they’ll use their nukes for protection while they pursue slower but surer methods. War by means of oil, infada, jihads, international blackmail, demographics. I guess it’s the difference between how a Hitler would go about it and how a Stalin would.

    Also, if the latter, then it might be useful to their calculations to keep Israel around to give the islamic world an enemy to unify against, under their leadership.

    So: crazy-nuts or sane-nuts?

  19. Galley Slave Says:

    Good point armchair….IF the Jews were ever essentially wiped out, WHAT WOULD the miscreants do??? Blame the extinct Jews for what they caused.

    IMHO, Imadinnerjacket of Iran, and the late Yessir Imafart of the PLO should show how much they desise the Jews by forgoing ALL medical, scientific, and other advances of Jews—including medicines, vaccines, etc. Let them ONLY use the “advances” of islam—e.g. suicide bombs.

  20. James Becker Says:

    Hi Neo,

    Maybe I will be proven wrong by events, but I find most of this pretty over the top.

    Evil leaders the world over have been willing to sacrifice their own citizens (not just soldiers) in large numbers for their own power. The fact that the leaders of Iran are willing to do so as well, does not make them different. See Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, even Ho Chi Min.

    Looking at the ideologies which made all of them possible, it looks to me like the ideology of Fascist Islam is no stronger and probably a lot weaker than the others. The nazis and the communists had systems which could harness industrial society for their evil aims. Islamic Fascism has no such system. They just have some oil money which they try to leverage to create fearsome weapons – purchased from the west.

    For this reason, it looks to me like containment and a little subversion will bring down Iran sooner rather than later. Once that’s over, Islamic Fascism will have little power to do anything.

    Since the leaders of Iran and Syria are really just interested in power, just like Stalin and Hitler, they are very unlikely to initiate actions which result in their own death. Its true they don’t care about the death of their own citizens, but they do care about the death of themselves.

    Any nuclear exchange, or even chemical exchange with Isreal will cause the death of the Iranian leadership. They know that, and they will avoid that possibility at all cost.


  21. Ymarsakar Says:

    It is all relative. It isn’t about how strong fascist Islam is, it is about how strong their opposition is. And in relation to that, it doesn’t matter how “weak” fascist Islam is or is not, because the West is infinitely weaker than Islam.

    So long as the West acts and behaves as a weakling, the Iranians aren’t going to believe that doing anything would kill their leaders. If they don’t believe, then self-preservation isn’t even in the cards.

    Any nuclear exchange, or even chemical exchange with Isreal will cause the death of the Iranian leadership. They know that, and they will avoid that possibility at all cost.

    That’s like Hitler knowing he will be killed if he invades Poland. No, they don’t know that, why would they?

  22. Ymarsakar Says:

    If I was Iran, I would come up with the nuke, then nuke an American city but after setting off a nuke in an Iranian city and blaming it on the Jews. With concurrent detonations in America and Iran, Iranians can turn the Great Satan against the Little Satan, with Democrat help.

    By taking the first hit, Iran will be able to accrue moral support against Israel.

    It won’t even matter that it was a false flag operation. They will have plenty of Democrats on board believing it. Plenty of UN bureacrats believing it. All that matters. Like Qana, false flag. They’ll kill their own people in order to wipe out Israel, a nuke is simply a more exotic weapon than they have ever used before, Neo.

  23. Sally Says:

    James: Evil leaders the world over have been willing to sacrifice their own citizens (not just soldiers) in large numbers for their own power.

    Yes, and as I read it that was neo’s point. Except that, for the seriously evil, the sacrifice is not just for their own power, but for their own ends, toward which the power is but a means. And it’s the ends that define the evil: nightmarish totalitarianism, theocracy, genocide. In the service of those ends, there is very little that the truly evil will not risk, including, ultimately, their own lives. So, given the historical examples, it would really be elevating wish over reality to gamble that, before losing power, the Iranian mullahs will not use every weapon in their arsenal to attain their dark vision.

  24. TalkinKamel Says:

    If the Jews ever were essentially—God forbid—wiped out, antisemites would claim that, no, all the Jews weren’t destroyed—those foxy, crafty Jews managed to survive, and are now hiding amongst us, disguised as normal folk, but still doing evil!

    Then they’d start picking off any, and everybody, they disagreed with, claiming they were actually “secret Jews,” maybe even cobbling up some sort of phony “proof” of their alleged Jewishness.

    To a certain sort of mindset, Jews are necessary to have around, in order to hate, and to be blamed for all that’s wrong in the world (hey, it’s easier than actually trying to come up with real solutions to problems!) In the absence of any real Jews, they will make some up.

    Yes, America’s weakness and indecisiveness is a real problem; it doesn’t matter how weak your enemy might be; if you don’t fight him, he’s going to win. Also, the vast amount of oil wealth many Islamic governments control makes them dangerous. And, as was demonstrated by 9/11, and the London subway bombings, radical Islam has a real knack for using our own technology against us. These are all things to worry about.

  25. Sergey Says:

    I can’t understand why US do not try to be independent from ME oil by exploting their own oil fields – in Texas, Mexican Gulf shelf or Alaska. Every extra dollar in oil price will eventually go to fund Jihad. To collapse oil price is the best way to undermine international terrorism.

  26. troutsky Says:

    What exactly was it that neo was recommending as policy to counter the threat? Or was it just a lot of “history” about how we have arrived at the point of the Jews being concentrated?

  27. armchair pessimist Says:


    Now that was a damn good question!

  28. Ymarsakar Says:

    I can’t understand why US do not try to be independent from ME oil by exploting their own oil fields – in Texas, Mexican Gulf shelf or Alaska. Every extra dollar in oil price will eventually go to fund Jihad. To collapse oil price is the best way to undermine international terrorism.
    Sergey | 12.27.06 – 2:45 pm | #

    The environmentalists and their Democrat allies (big business allies as well) has successfully put a stop to that.

  29. Wild Rice Says:

    …exploting their own oil fields…“:

    The answer you seek lies in the fields of Geophysics and Reservoir Engineering. The short answer is that the oil fields that you posit do not exist.

  30. Wild Rice Says:

    Or was it just a lot of “history”…“:

    Not history either I would think.

    We learnt in the run up to the invasion to Iraq not to except claims the “He said this” and “She said that”. Produce the original fatwas and we can all see what they, in fact, say.

  31. HLVS Says:

    I hate to break it to all of you, but, despite your fervent wishes, Iran is not going to nuke Israel or anybody else – though they are rationally pursuing the a-bomb as a detterent to oft-threatened Israeli aggression.

    This is the biggest flaw in the entire neocon foreign policy analysis. You assume that you are the only rational people on the face of the earth, the only people who ever consider their own self-interest. But, since everybody else is crazy, that gives you an excuse to be crazy too.

    Oh, and the President of Iran has never said Israel would be ‘wiped of the map’. He said that Israel would ‘vanish from the pages of history’, like the Soviet Union, or the Roman empire. And, since Israel has committed itself to increasingly unworkable and unsustainable demographic constraints and military over-reaching, once the world balance of power shifts away from America – as it inevitably must, you can’t cage history – they’re done for. and not a single shot will be fired.

  32. Wild Rice Says:

    …Iran is not going to nuke Israel or anybody else…“:

    Oh my! You have not been drinking your Kool Aid, have you!

    I agree with your analysis. Further that is the position held by many Arab capitals. And, I believe, it is the position held in Tehran.

  33. TalkinKamel Says:

    And why do you believe that, Wild Rice? And how do you know it is the position held in many Arab capitals? Have you traveled there? Are you fluent in Arabic? Have you talked to people high up in their governments?

    And if Iran isn’t going to nuke Israel (or anybody else) why is it so bent on getting nukes?

  34. TalkinKamel Says:

    After all, Iran’s one of the biggest exporters of oil; it certainly doesn’t need nuclear energy. And why is Ahmadenijad so eager to dismiss the Holocaust as a “myth”, and prove it never happened? Is it because he’s hoping to make the nuclear holocaust he’s planning more somehow more acceptable to the world?

    And whether he says, “Israel must be wiped off the face of the map”, or, as some translations have it, “Jersusalem should be eliminated from the page of history”—well, both versions sound pretty threatening to me. Unless you and HLVS are claiming telephathic powers (HLVS does seem to claim prophetic powers, but that’s his problem, not mine)you really can’t know what Ahmadenijad, or anybody else, is actually thinking. So what makes you so sure he doesn’t really mean it about nuking Israel?

  35. Wild Rice Says:

    And if Iran isn’t going to nuke Israel (or anybody else) why is it so bent on getting nukes?“:

    First, you have yet to present any evidence that Iran is acquiring nuclear weapons. But, if it were, then it would be for the same reason as Israel (and a number of other countries including the US) have them.

    One of the problems with nuclear power is that there are not two brands of physics – civilian and military. The differences come down to engineering. This problem is not peculiar to Iran.

  36. Wild Rice Says:

    So what makes you so sure he doesn’t really mean it about nuking Israel?“:

    When did Ahmadenijad threaten to attack Israel with nuclear weapons?

    But, in any case, Ahmadenijad is not the person in the Iranian government who determines whether Iran attacks Israel.

  37. Sally Says:

    WRice’s opinion is laughably beside the point — he, like many of his ilk, is simply on the side of the islamists against the hated West. The fact is that Iran is the announced enemy of Israel and the US, and that alone justifies doing whatever is necessary to ensure it can’t carry out its transparent threats.

    It’s worth noting, by the way, that at least since their prophet Marx, lefties like Rice and HVSL have hoped to invoke History like other fundies invoke the Bible — as though trying to reassure themselves that their god really is on their side. But it’s really just a sign of their increasing anxiety and doubt.

  38. Wild Rice Says:

    WRice’s opinion is laughably beside the point…“:

    You would be much more effective if you attempted to make an argument.

  39. Sally Says:

    You, on the other hand, wouldn’t.

  40. TalkinKamel Says:

    Rice, instead of insulting Sally, and making jokes about drinking the kool-aid, you might try making some arguments of your own. Iran has stated, on many occasions, that it is acquiring nukes, and will not tolerate any interference in this matter. If there’s some sort of “engineering” problem about this please explain. Also, explain why it’s a good idea for Iran to join the nuclear club, just because Israel, and other countries have.

    Ahmadenijad threatened Israel in the very same speech that HLVS quotes from (though HLVS tries to make it sound like, “Nothing to see here, move along!”) Reuters also reports that, at the holocaust conference he recently sponsored, Ahmadenijad told delegates that Israel’s days were numbered. Check out That sounds like a threat to me, as does the earlier remark, however you interpret it.

    Ahmadenijad is the president of Iran. If he isn’t in control of the nukes, then who is? Please tell us. And, if you say it’s the Mullahs, then what makes you think they’re any saner than Ahmadeijad is?

    Also, you haven’t explained why you’re so sure that everything’s hunky-dory, and why fears of Iranian nukes are just silly Neo-cons being so very neo. Do you have inside information? Mental telepathy? A spy in Ahmadenijad’s office?

    I’m afraid I’ve got to agree with Sally; you and those like you are just against the West, no matter what. Marx, your God, has failed, but you just won’t give up on him.

  41. Danny Lemieux Says:

    Why do so many people assume that a) the Iranians don’t mean what they say and b) it’s just nukes that the Iranians are working on (bioweapons, anyone?. Perhaps because people simply believe that which keeps them in their comfort zones, the facts be damned.

  42. Ymarsakar Says:

    Master Propagandists never mean what they say, Danny, unless they know you won’t believe them when they say what they mean, that is.

    It also has something to do with the fact that believing something you want to believe in, is easy. While disbelieving something that you are afraid is true, is very very easy.

    They’re afraid that if Iran means what it means, then this will make the problem harder to solve, so they pretend it hasn’t been “proven” yet.

    It is not like they have to solve the problems. Not only can they throw the Jews as a sacrificial gambit, to avoid dealing with the problem. They can also utilize the Arabs and the Americans as well, as sacrificial gambits. With that supply of human sacrifices, they don’t got to do anything, Danny.

  43. Ymarsakar Says:

    One of the problems with nuclear power is that there are not two brands of physics – civilian and military. The differences come down to engineering. This problem is not peculiar to Iran.

    Rice means that Iran can’t engineer nukes.

    The timeline is pretty easy. The US has up until Iran gets a deliverable nuclear launch system, to wage Total War on Iran. When Iran gets a nuclear deterence, the ability of the US to wage total war more or less peters out to the chances of the US waging Total War against the Soviets in the Cold War, directly without proxies. So Iran knows that so long as they can stall the US, until the middle game, they will gain an advantage. By the time Iran gains the advantage, they will be able to use this advantage to blow up one of their own cities with a nuclear device. A combination of allies in the Left, the media, and money will allow them to gain international support for whatever they seek to do in retaliation.

    They need this advantage and international support to wage a war of terrorism. The Palestinians themselves figured out this strategy of using Israel’s pacifism, weakness, and respect for human life against them. By detonating one of their own nuclear devices in an Iranian city, they will be confident that they can totally disarm America and Israel’s nuclear arsenal by simple international pressure. Perhaps their announcing the nuclear program before they have one, is simply a test. A test to see how the world would react, as Hitler tested France’s reactions in the Rheinland. If America acts strong and starts destroying Iraninan infrastructure and ports, the mullahs might back off, wait a decade or so until America goes back to sleep. But if America acts weak, talks with the UN, obeys the UN, then it’s time to party, I believe.

    It is a rather Sun Tzu like stratagem, if I may say so myself. You break the will of the enemy be killing your own citizens. Something the Palestinians somehow perfected, and the Iranians picked up.

  44. Wild Rice Says:

    Iran has stated, on many occasions, that it is acquiring nukes…“:

    In that case you will have no trouble presenting to us here at least one instance of an officer of the Iranian Government stating what you have claimed.

    Wrt whether “every thing’s hunky-dory” in Iran I have not stated that it is. What I have said is “you have yet to present any evidence”. Which is what I am asking you to do now – present the evidence.

  45. Sally Says:

    WR: Which is what I am asking you to do now – present the evidence.

    As soon as you present your evidence that Iran and/or other Arab/Islamic states have no intention of nuking Israel or anyone else.

  46. armchair pessimist Says:

    If it”s in the interests of the US that the Tehran regime disappear then any old evidence, true or trumped up, is good enough for me.

    But there is this inconvenient fact. Iran is in the armpit where Russia, China, India, Pakistan border one another. I can’t imagine mushroom clouds popping up in that neighborhood without those nations being mightily upset. Hopefully the Pentagon has a trick up its sleeve here. That’s why we pay them.

  47. Sergey Says:

    According to,
    economically available at incremental cost under $30/barrel US oil resources through 2015 amount to 70 billion barrels. This is 1995 official estimate.

  48. TalkinKamel Says:

    Wild, I’ve stated at least two occasions here, where Ahmadenijad—who is an officer of the Iranian government—has made threats against Israel. Have you not been listening to him, for the past few years? have you not been paying attetnion to the rise of radical Islam, in Iran, since the fall of the Shah?

    Now please explain to us why you think we can’t take what the Iranians say seriously.

  49. TalkinKamel Says:

    In addition to the “Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth” speech, and the other instance I mentioned, The Washington Post states that, during an emergency meeting of Moslem leaders, during the fighting in Lebanon, Ahmadenijad stated “although the main solution to the Middle East is the elimination of the Zionist regime,” there should be an immediate cease fire.

    If you say something like, this isn’t really a threat, it’s something else, and Ahmadenijad isn’t really an Iranian officer, I’d like to know upon what basis you base this. If the history of the 20th Century has taught us nothing else, it’s that when a nation talks about “eliminating” you, or some other nation, it’s best to take them seriously.

    There’s also the troublesome matter of Ahmadenijad’s well documented devotion to the 12th Imam (who apparently can only arrive on earth after a period of war)and Iran’s assistance to Hizbollah and against America in Iraq, and the fact that, even if there are sane people in the Iranian government, they don’t seem to be doing anything to rein Ahmadenijad in, stop the nuclear program and all the belligerant talk against Israel and the West. Frankly, the mullahs, who hang 16 year old girls for adultery, sound crazier than old ‘Jad. So, why are you so sure there’s nothing to worry about?

  50. neo-neocon Says:


    What Wild Rice would like–or at least, what he’d like this moment; he can always move the goalposts later and demand something else–is the following: for Ahmadinejad to announce “I plan to detonate a nuclear bomb on Israel, on such-and-such a day.” He knows, of course, that that such an announcement is unlikely to happen, even with so loose a cannon as Ahmadinejad. Until then, he’s willing to give Ahmadinejad the benefit of every doubt, even manufactured ones. Ahmadinejad is innocent until proven guilty in Wild Rice’s book–and, of course, the US and Israel are guilty till proven innocnet. It’s really quite simple.

  51. TalkinKamel Says:

    Neo-neocon, you are absolutely right. It really is that simple, for those like Wild Rice; deranged, but simple.

    (And, of course, they always do move the goalposts, if reality becomes too instrusive.)

  52. Snowonpine Says:

    Many on the Left have been pretty successful in selling the idea that U.S. nuclear attacks on Japan in WWII were an illigitimate and unnecessary act, so successful, in fact, that I believe this idea makes it less likely that the U.S. will use nuclear weapons against Iran, Syria or other Muslim states even when such an attack would be both necessary and legitimate.

    At the end of WWII many ordinary Japanese still believed in the divinity of Emperor, the divine mission of the Japanese Empire and Bushido. Despite defeat after defeat, large casualties and dwindling resources, Japanese authorities were still unwilling to accept Allied calls for unconditional surrender. As a possible Allied invasion came closer, Japanese civilians—men, woman, children, the young and the old–were being instructed by the Japanese authorities to get whatever kind of weapon, farm implement, anything that could inflict fatal injuries they could find and be ready to head for the likely invasion beaches, where their duty was to kill at least one Allied soldier before they themselves were killed. There was little dissent in Japan and the secret police, the dreaded Kempetai, took care of the few dissenters that did show themselves. So, although at this point many Japanese civilians were eating grass and bark, many were, nonetheless, ready to fulfill their duty to the Emperor; for as the old Japanese proverb went, “Duty is heavy as a mountain, death light as a feather.” Meanwhile, the Japanese military was marshalling all the hoarded stockpiles and armaments they had for the “Final Battle” to defend against Allied invasion of the Home Islands, a climactic battle which, from the tone of their comments and writings, many officers seemed to relish.

    On the Allied side, hundreds of thousands of weary U.S. soldiers, veterans of battles in Europe, had gotten orders to start moving toward the Far East for “Operation Downfall,” the invasion of Japan. Based on the very high casualty rates and death toll from recent combat on Okinawa, Allied casualty estimates were staggeringly high with the number of Allied soldiers actually killed estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands and in some estimates over a million or more and the casualties on the Japanese side were estimated in one study to include as many as 5-10 million Japanese fatalities if civilians took part in the fighting. It is in this context that the decision to use nuclear weapons was made. Despite the Japanese killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many additional hundreds of thousands of lives, many more of them Japanese than Allied ones, were saved by this decision.

    Leftist academics, particularly Gar Alperovitz at the University of Maryland, have made a decades-long cottage industry of producing books and articles arguing that the dropping of these bombs was unnecessary, that the bombs were primarily dropped as a move to deter Russian seizure of territory in the waning days of WWII, were not needed to defeat a

  53. Snowonpine Says:

    Sorry, the last part didn’t upload.

    If and when we have to use nuclear weapons against Iran, Syria or other Islamic countries we can expect similar unending arguments about this atomic bombing and its illigitimacy to emerge from the Left.

    I also wonder if the average Muslim in, say, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan is really as fanatical as were many Japanese and thus willing, today, to die for Islam as the Japanese were willing to die for their Emperor during WWII.

  54. Wild Rice Says:

    In addition to the…“:

    Ahmadenijad did not say “Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth” or most of the other things you claim he did. Ahmadenijad does not speak English.

    You have said “Iran has stated, on many occasions, that it is acquiring nukes…“. If that is the case you should have no trouble presenting evidence of one instance. Audio or transcript will do.

    Otherwise, as things stand, you have no statement of intent, no isotopes or other signatures, and no hydrodynamics. You have no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons.

  55. Wild Rice Says:

    What Wild Rice would like…“:

    What I have said is that no evidence has been presented that Iran is building nuclear weapons or the capacity to build.

    Building nuclear weapons is a technical process which generates certain precise NTM data as a signature. This signature has not been found. In addition there are other characteristic indicators which suggest nuclear weapons development. None of these indicators have been found.

    There is no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons. There is no statement of intent, no isotopes or other signatures, and no hydrodynamics etc. Nothing.

  56. Wild Rice Says:


    By the way I asked that the fatwas that you claim to exist be produced. How is that going? Are you making progress?

  57. Sally Says:

    Ricer: By the way I asked that the fatwas that you claim to exist be produced. How is that going? Are you making progress?

    Oh, better than progress, Riceroni — which you’ll see once you produce your evidence for the assertion that “Iran is not going to nuke Israel or anyone else”.

  58. Sally Says:

    Rice the intelligence mastermind: This signature has not been found.

    And you would know this how?

  59. Sally Says:

    You have no evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons.

    They are a virulently hostile regime, both to us and to our allies, who nurture terrorists, and who are pursuing a nuclear program that they don’t need, which can be used in a variety of ways to build a nuclear weapon. It’s you who have no evidence to support your belief that they have no plans to nuke anyone. But what does that matter, right? If and when you’re proved wrong, you won’t even have to say “oops”. All you have to do is shrug, and ask for evidence that they’re going to nuke anyone else.

  60. Wild Rice Says:

    f and when you’re proved wrong…“:

    Which is exactly what I am asking you to do.

  61. Wild Rice Says:

    And you would know this how?“:

    Because nobody has reported finding it.

  62. Sally Says:

    Which is exactly what I am asking you to do.

    You’re asking me to nuke someone in the name of Iran??

  63. Sally Says:

    Because nobody has reported finding it.

    And you think all intelligence findings are reported?

  64. Ymarsakar Says:

    Building nuclear weapons is a technical process which generates certain precise NTM data as a signature. This signature has not been found.

    Every freaking engineer and hard science scientist believes peace, talking, and technology is the way to go because that is all they have ever known. But what they don’t know is the quantum states of individual sub-atomic human beings.

    Scientists don’t know how to lie, they don’t know how to manipulate humans, they exist to manipulate the physical world. But humans operate via quantum rules, not classical physics. “This signature has not been found” sounds like some statement in a research report. It has nothing to do with guerrila warfare, political infighting, or propaganda wars.

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