March 12th, 2012

Afghanistan massacre

By now everyone who pays attention to the news knows that a US Army sergeant went on a killing spree in southern Afghanistan on Sunday and murdered 16 civilians in cold blood, many of them women and children.

But even those paying close attention know little more about the man’s identity except that he was a veteran of the Iraqi conflict. The army says it will release more information about the killer as its investigation proceeds, and especially after he is charged. And there seems to be little doubt that he will be charged with the military equivalent of multiple murder.

His heinous actions have further complicated our mission in Afghanistan, which has gotten murkier and murkier as the years have ground on. What would be the conditions there which would ever allow us to leave? Even though this man seems to have been the proverbial crazed lone gunman, the damage he’s done to what’s left of our reputation there appear to be immeasurable. People have a hard time separating out official policy and the actions of a group from the actions of a single aberrant member, if those latter actions are dreadful enough.

Those of us who are of a certain age probably thought “My Lai” when we heard the news. But this is quite different, and not just in scope (the My Lai victims numbered in the many hundreds). My Lai was a group action that followed from some poorly-defined and incendiary orders from a leader, and it occurred in the middle of a very hot and active guerilla war. That’s not an excuse of any kind, merely a description (I’ve written at great length about My Lai here and here, and anyone who wants further in-depth study can go here).

I wonder whether there are any characteristics of the sergeant in the present case that are especially sensitive, and whether that’s why the army has been so hush-hush about his identity. Maybe so, maybe not; maybe it’s just the way the military handles such things.

The case reminds us—as though we needed any reminding—how one much damage one person can do, both in killing other innocent human beings without reason or warning (which the facts released so far appear to indicate was the horrific situation here), and in damaging the reputation of other fine men and women and the work they’ve done over the years.

The larger question is what our mission in Afghanistan is accomplishing at this point, or is even meant to accomplish. Initially it was obvious: defeat the Taliban. Help set up an alternative government. But it was clear that anything more would require a societal, economic, and cultural transformation that might be beyond our powers, especially with the resources we were willing to commit to the project, and even if we were willing to do more and become a de facto colonial power there. It’s the dilemma we face in many countries around the world, Iraq being one of them: how to foster the growth of liberal democracies in places that seem unready for them (and may never be ready for them), and what to do in the meantime if their present-day governments threaten us?

84 Responses to “Afghanistan massacre”

  1. Daniel Says:

    I really think that Bush had this one right. Kick the Taliban out and maintain just enough of a presence that we can interdict any problems from them or Al Quaeda in the future. It’s a stone age country without a middle class or democratic institution and nation building is just too long term of an issue for us to be involved there. We shouldn’t leave en masse now, though as that sends a bad signal to what trusting allies we have left and will also set up a massacre of huge proportions. It’s a bit of a mess.

    As for the murders… Never underestimate the potential brutality of a young man with automatic weapons.

    And be grateful for the discipline and professionalism of the military that it doesn’t happen more often.

  2. Don Carlos Says:

    This may be the afghan equivalent of the Norway mass murders by Anders Brievik last year–a protest in blood against the murders of American servicemen by afghanis because some circulating Korans defiled with coded messages by Muslim prisoners were burned by the eevil and always apologetic, groveling, money-sending USA.

    If so, I understand it though in no way condone it. The discipline and professionalism of our military survives despite often preposterous rules of engagement, so very PC, which have also cost troopers’ lives.

    As to “what to do if present-day (Muslim) governments threaten us?”, my reponse would be to hammer them. To Paradise with them.

    We have pissed away lives and treasure in multiple fools’ errands.

  3. Artfldgr Says:

    Of course there is no question as to that persons loyalties…

    Nidal Malik Hasan we acted the same way, despite the fact that it is quite clear that his loyalties go first to that which he served, not which he joined.

    “In the 1930s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within.” – Bella Dodd head of CPUSA, NYS Teachers Union [they also placed communist trained teachers]

    what she says of feminism should open eyes, but… since she no longer serves the totalitarians, the freedom loving people still have no use for what she knows!!!!!!!!!!!!

    “The party did all it could to induce women to go into industry. Its fashion designers created special styles for them and its songwriters wrote special songs to spur them…. War-period conditions, they planned, were to become a permanent part of the future educational program. The bourgeois family as a social unit was to be made obsolete.” (153) School of Darkness

    “Since it was supposedly a movement for peace, it attracted many women. But it was really only a renewed offensive to control American women… Like youth and minority groups, they are regarded as a reserve force of the revolution because they are more easily moved by emotional appeals.” (194-195) School of Darkness

    They also infiltrated and took over various unions…

    “The Communist Party now assumed the responsibility of establishing a rigid discipline over the working class. No employer was more effective or more relentless in checking strikes among the workers, or minimizing complaints…while wages rose a little during those years, they did not compare with the rise in profits and in monopoly control of basic necessities…war production was chiefly in the hands of ten large corporations…the Communists carefully muted such information.” (153)

    and

    “I now saw that with the best motives and a desire to serve the working people… I and thousands like me, had been led to a betrayal of these very people…. I had been on the side of those who sought the destruction of my own country.” (229)

    and

    “This is the key to the mental enslavement of mankind. The individual is made into nothing … he operates as the physical part of [a] higher group intelligence… he/she has no awareness of the plans the higher group intelligence has for utilizing him.” (158)

    and here is another interesting read from way back..
    Publisher: Washington, D.C., Chamber of commerce of the United States
    Communist infiltration in the United States, its nature and how to combat it; (1946)
    http://www.archive.org/details/CommunistInfiltrationInTheUnitedStatesItsNatureAndHowToCombatIt

    one of the EASIEST Ways to ruin an agency, is to place malcontents, idiots, defectives, subversives and so on into it.

    the US military is quite easy to do that… the less quality and good the public was, the less they maintained their rules of selection. the more feminists, and those groups railed, the more they lowered the bar..

    we dont even believe those who used to do the job, and changed sides, and have been for nearly 100 years trying to warn us..

    Whittaker Chambers former Soviet Union spy who testified against his fellow spies before the House Un-American Activities Committee as to the infiltration of the state..

    a very important one that is ignored by the new world slaves: Leszek Kołakowski (Main Currents of Marxism) a serious critique “be one of the most important books on political theory of the 20th century”

    The God That Failed, is another great book of six men who influenced the world…
    the ex-communists were…
    Louis Fischer, André Gide, Arthur Koestler, Ignazio Silone, Stephen Spender, Richard Wright

    The last is very telling as he wanted to be a communist, but he was black and not dumb enough. yes, that is the truth… they thought he would catch on like many other very smart people above, and below this paragraph!

    he tells the story, but you would find it almost impossible to find his work. that is, you can find schools named after web dubois… but because this black man was smarter, he was erased. like langston huges!!! who also switched sides and wanted his early works, like wright, not to be read as they were before they knoew what they were really writing about!
    they usually focus on his early work “black boy”, “native son” not his later stuff which has been erased from our culture…

    this at the same time we are not willing to read about the others, like Bell, who thinks his job is to harass whites…

    Richard wright was considered one of the most influential authors… and some will still say it.. if they remember him… but since he joined those 5 others as an anti-comnunist, after he said people were too dumb to know communist was ok…(paraphrased native son)

    Other people who worked for that same state/ideology… but changed sides were:
    [ie.. all of them misrepresented themselves so that they could remain where they didnt belong... ie, remain infiltrated]

    Other anti-communists who were once Marxists include the writers Max Eastman, John Dos Passos, James Burnham, Morrie Ryskind, Frank Meyer, Will Herberg, Sidney Hook, Louis Fischer, André Gide, Arthur Koestler, Ignazio Silone, Stephen Spender, Peter Hitchens, John Chamberlain, Friedrich Hayek, Raymond Moley, Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol

    ALL of them changed sides when they woke up

    [edited for length by n-n]

  4. blert Says:

    The cultural clash across 15,000 years is too much.

    Our guys can’t stand them…

    They can’t stand us…

    We need to entirely abandon our Pygmalion project.

    Especially harmful: Western NGOs.

    At the top of the list womyns rights and educating girls. Such acts cause an endless stream of recruits into the opfor ranks.

    The result: bombed out classrooms and murdered children.

    Afghanistan doesn’t have literacy for its men and boys — which must come FIRST.

    ——-

    A wind down would also permit us to truncate jizra paid to Islamabad. ( Sometimes called drayage charges. )

  5. Mr. Frank Says:

    It’s time to pull the plug. Democracy is fundamentally incompatible with Islam. With only a few exceptions (e.g., Japan where is was imposed) democracy seems to work only where there is a history of Western Civilization. For too long we’ve had the idea that we could just buy the world a Coke and sing together. People are not the same everywhere.

  6. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I too thought that Bush had it right and said so, frequently. I, Bush and the rest of the neocons underestimated the influence of culture. Wrongly assuming that deeper, universal aspirations toward freedom existed in everyone.

    None of us counted on Pakistan’s support for the Taliban, which made fully defeating a guerrilla force impossible. With hindsight, the Middle Eastern proverb, “My Brother and I against My Cousin; My Cousin And I against the Stranger” should have been an eye opener.

    That expression and the culture of the M.E. make it obvious that we are not going to forcibly transplant western values into the region.

    Which is not to suggest that some western values won’t take root in the region but it will be over generations. As fundamentalist Islam cannot survive another century of exposure to the modern world.

    Karzai’s announcement of new Shariah compliant laws mean that the Taliban are already taking back Afghanistan. The best we can do is to watch for any reemergence of Al Qaeda training bases and if Pakistan’s current government falls, be prepared to wipe out her nukes with whatever amount of force is needed.

    Now more than ever we have to start to turn off the ME oil spigot. Which is the only way, to in time, geld the threat from the region.

    Nuclear energy, natural gas, domestic drilling and oil shale conversion are the way to do that in the short term.

    Of course, Obama will do none of these things. So, the fiscal hemorrhaging of the West will continue and nuclear proliferation will spread through the region.

    It’s not that there isn’t an answer, it’s that Western consensus doesn’t exist and so the will to do what’s necessary isn’t adequately supported by the public.

  7. George Pal Says:

    what’s left of our reputation there”

    It’s impossible to have much of a reputation in a backward primitive hellhole primitivized further by islam. It should never be anything but obvious that we will always be occupiers/infidels no matter our intentions.

    “People have a hard time separating out official policy and the actions of a group from the actions of a single aberrant member.”

    Much too – I’ll call it gracious. Those very same people have no difficulty demanding the terrorist not be muddled with the tenants of islam but go on global rampages when the cartoonist sees in Mohammed’s turban a bomb.

    “The larger question is what our mission in Afghanistan is accomplishing at this point”

    It has made Afghanistan safe for theocracy at the cost of too many American and alliance lives. Short of wiping islam off the Afghan map nothing else should have been expected.

    “It’s the dilemma we face in many countries around the world”

    The dilemma we face in many countries is thinking everyone much like ourselves. It aggravates as much as anything that they obviously are not and do not wish to be.

    “if their present-day governments threaten us?”

    So far as I can make out no government has yet threatened us, yet we find ourselves in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and just recently in Uganda. What threatens us is islam and that we have, like a Trojan Horse, welcomed into our country.

  8. SteveH Says:

    We will one day look back on this period as one made much more difficult by a corrupt media trying to present exceptions as the rule in their quest to transform America. Just think how many times this goes on every single day in media.

    The afghanis and even a helluva lot of Americans have a terrible perception of the US and it’s no mystery why.

  9. kaba Says:

    What an incredibly sad situation for all involved.

    I served just north of and about 10 months following the My Lai massacre. While such actions can never be excused or condoned we can at least try to put them in some context. The cumulative effects of living months in constant danger. The repeated loss of close friends through death and serious injury can be difficult for a mature person with a firm moral foundation. And as we’ve seen they can be nearly impossible for a 20 year old that is the product of a rotting culture.

    The night before I was med-evaced we suffered a serious ground attack. That morning I walked by several seriously mangled bodies; picked up my chow; then returned to my little hole in the ground to eat. I didn’t give it a second thought at the time. It was only after I had been home for some months that I was bothered by the scene at all. I was twenty at the time and had changed from a soft-hearted Kentucky farm boy to something I didn’t recognize.

  10. Artfldgr Says:

    see Kenyattas Mau Mau… its part of Obama family history… and the history of people involved in this struggle… (That and more is in the book about africa)…

    why do i bring it up?

    well, afghanistan, and africa are a lot alike…

    These poverty stricken people wer suddenly thrust inot the glittering sophistication of the 20th century, with its great emphasis on material things, and where they were confronted with capitalism and communism – and it should be borne in mind constantly that from an early state, communist ideas were flooded into the continent of africa – it is obvious that communism with its theoretical dessertations on the equitable distribution of the wealth of the land, could be a magnet, and often made more sense tothe black african….

    and

    This basic belief was expploited cruelly by the comnunstsd and by the so called nationalists leaders through projmises of a utopian state once indepencence was achieved from the hated colonial rulers, whoe were responsible for the black mans poverty

    we would recognize this if we werent so poorly educated, so incurious, and cant see the repeating history we dont know… but its repeating, including massacres… just look it up…

    Although long since lost in the short memories of the western liberals, there were the shocks in recent years when news dispatches were recieved from countries such as Kenya that a certain house occupied by a white family had been ear-marked by a black man after indepencence, or that a white mans whife had been booked by a black man, or a young white girl was won in a lottery by the black office boy where she worked.

    this was the history just before obamas uncle facilitated the infiltration of kenya through a school and fomented the revolution!

    manipulating people with htings they wont believe is the best… as they will refuse to believe what such can do, has done, and is known to do..

    like the woman with a spoon down her throat, the thinkers will think the possible is not possible, or even easy… and will discount it… in favor of what? the party line!

    this believe that independence would automatically bring with it the material pleasures of the white man, was assudiously cultivated by the communists

    oh.. so is that why such gangs and groups are infiltrating the military? getting free training… and at the same time, groups of them are assaulting others… including setting a boy on fire with gasoline… mass attacks, and video taping it…

    and dont forget the woman and men who told us that after obama wins, they will get what? tje material pleasures?

    so sad that the public is not of the same minds as the people who are famous and changed…

    they were smart enoughu to figure it out, but too late… the others never figure it out… even after it all changes… they still think that if the others knew..

    the destruction of the US has to be from inside… feminisma nd others weakening the rules… education stunted.. credit used up… gangs trained in urban warfare for free…

    and various infiltrations which are never seen as such… or do you think the 9/11 guys didn’t infiltrate?

    Quoting the book again as its apropos…

    the above paragraph might not appear too absurd IF it is constantly remembered that comunism will use, and has used in the present century any devices and deceit to further ambitions;that the evnetual goal of all communists is world domination, and that communist infiltration of africa has indicated a distinct splitting of the battle field

    and thats the point of such.. if not natural

    it divides the people at home…

    read the history of the suez canal…

    the book goes over nasser and how he could not keep the communists out and from controllg press, academic life and government agencies…

    and anyone remember what happened to him?

    the book is about stuff that then was still fresh…and how today, we forget..

    LAST POINT…

    The top banner says ‘Remould it nearer to the heart’s desire.’ The crest near the centre reads ‘Pray devoutly, hammer stoutly’.

    The Society derives its name from the Roman general Fabius, who fought lengthy battles of attrition and harrassment in order to break his enemies, most notably the formidable Hannibal. The Fabians hoped to spread clean and simple living. They were not, however, clean-living or religious people. Among them were free thinkers and the first sexologists. Margaret Sanger had incredible intimate encounters with the Fabians she met.

    -=-=-=-=-

    The Fabians were elitists. They had scant regard for servants, factory workers or the poor. Their plan was to control these people through societal measures and programmes, such as eugenics. The goal, as in General Fabius’s strategy, was to break people down bit by bit and engineer their behaviour without them being conscious of it. They called this societal plan the Third Way.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-

    Fabians, of course, must have had a good laugh. After all, they founded the Labour Party (1900) a few years after they founded the world-renowned London School of Economics (LSE) in 1895. They have had extensive input into British thought for some time. They were also instrumental in influencing in shaping the goals of the United Nations. Have a look at the Fabian Society Archive Online, hosted by … the London School of Economics. http://www2.lse.ac.uk/library/archive/online_resources/fabianarchive/home.aspx

    and most importantly, what is their crest?

    A wolf in sheep’s clothing…

    and what is a wolf in sheep dogs clothing?

    the kind of man who just shot up the place…

    The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

    he phrase originates in a sermon by Jesus recorded in the Christian New Testament: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves

    The sermon then suggests that their true nature will be revealed by their actions (by their fruits shall ye know them,

    ‘A wolf, dressed in a sheep’s skin, blended himself in with the flock of sheep and every day killed one of the sheep. When the shepherd noticed this was happening, he hanged the wolf on a very tall tree. On other shepherds asking him why he had hanged a sheep, the shepherd answered: The skin is that of a sheep, but the activities were those of a wolf.’

    Laurentius Abstemius

  11. Tesh Says:

    “The dilemma we face in many countries is thinking everyone much like ourselves.”

    I’d say that’s a big problem in politics at large. Specifically, I keep running into Euro folk who think we want to be like them and that we just have to embrace Obama. They don’t understand that at least some of us will fight that tooth and nail precisely because we *don’t* want to be like them.

  12. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “We will one day look back on this period as one made much more difficult by a corrupt media trying to present exceptions as the rule in their quest to transform America. Just think how many times this goes on every single day in media.”

    That is, by far, the greatest obstacle and factor preventing consensus within the West.

  13. Parker Says:

    As I have said before, get out of Afghanistan & Iraq asap. I supported going into two both countries with very limited missions, but it was stupid and vain to believe for a nanosecond that we can “nation build” in an Islamic society.

    “… democracy seems to work only where there is a history of Western Civilization.” In principal, I completely agree although as you note Japan has been an exception.

    IMO we should have knocked out the Taliban and hunted down as much of Al Qaida as we could find and then left with the attitude that we must be ready to do it all over again in a few years or a few decades. Similarly, we should have smashed Saddam’s regime and left, ready to knock down the next annoying and dangerous monster in a few years or a few decades.

    kaba,

    Your story is familiar. I have one old friend who has never completely recovered from the trauma he experienced in that war. Vietnam vets deserve special thanks for sacrificing so much in a war our leaders never allowed you to win.

    As for the soldier who killed the Afghan civilians, my thoughts go out to him and all that he has experienced. No one can condone his actions, but it is not so difficult to imagine the rage and frustration that set him on this path.

  14. reliapundit Says:

    what the rare berserk american does once every 50 years, is routinely done by jihadists and called heroic by muslim clerics all over the world.

    abbas and the fakeistinians routinely celebrate when one of their own does this kind of thing after planning and making a video.

    our berserk acts are rare and reviled; theirs are routine and celebrated.

    that tells rational people all they need to know about the enemy.

  15. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    People are not the same everywhere.

    Actually, when push comes to shove, they are.

    It’s just that not everyone belongs to a religion were they preach that it is a good thing to convert, oppress, or kill the infidel, and that the apostate and the Jew must be put to death, no exceptions. Same with the
    adulterer, the murderer, or any woman acting in a prohibited manner.

    That colors one’s perception of the world just a tad, methinks.

  16. rickl Says:

    Mr. Frank Says:
    March 12th, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    With only a few exceptions (e.g., Japan where is was imposed) democracy seems to work only where there is a history of Western Civilization.

    That’s the key. We succeeded in Japan because we leveled that country to the ground, and then stayed long enough to impose our values on them.

    By contrast, we tried to fight velvet-glove wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, minimizing enemy casualties and collateral damage. Far from imposing our values on their new governments, we allowed them to enshrine sharia law in their constitutions.

    Bin Laden himself said that the Muslim world only respects the “strong horse”.

    General LeMay, who was the architect of the ruthless bombing campaign against Japan, said, “If we kill enough of them, they’ll stop fighting.”

    I myself said after 9/11, “I don’t care if the Muslims like us, but we should damn well make them fear us.”

    If we’re not going to do these things, then we should leave Afghanistan. That means that we’ll probably have to return in the future, and pursue a scorched-earth policy.

  17. kaba Says:

    Thank you Parker. That means a great deal.

    Apparently the young man had served three prior tours in Iraq as a sniper. Further, he had suffered a head injury while in Iraq and was experiencing some family difficulties. He was a ticking time bomb and should have been brought home months earlier.

    At about mid 1969 we recognized that the war had lost popular support and that the aim of the war had shifted from guaranteeing the freedom of the South Vietnamese to getting out with an “honorable” peace. No one and I mean NO ONE wanted to die for that. The idealism that had motivated my enlistment and my voluntary service in combat had been replaced by an overwhelming desire just to survive.

    We are in a similar position in Afghanistan now. For God’s sake let us either do everything possible to win this war. Or let us leave as fast as transport and the safety of our troops will permit.

  18. rickl Says:

    Thank you for your service, kaba.

    It’s incredibly immoral for the political leadership to send young men to risk life and limb in a war that they do not intend to win.

    We’re now doing the same damn thing in Afghanistan that we did in Vietnam. It’s disgusting.

  19. Richard Aubrey Says:

    It might be awkward to suggest this guy descended to the level of jihad. We’re supposed to be better than that, although the “we” is pretty lame compared to a multiple-deployment veteran.

  20. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    The anger that one experiences when you see your fellow warriors cut down in a war that is not being fought to win can be very corrosive. That happened to me. Six of my fellow squadronmates didn’t come back from attacks in North Vietnam. Like kaba, at the time I thought it didn’t phase me. I was just glad I was still alive. After our cowardly Congress pulled the plug on the South Vietnamese, the realization hit me that my fellow airmen and many others had died for nothing!! The anger was kind of a helpless seething rage, and was not something I could let go of. As the years went by that rage was held inside, but in time the effort to hold it in became too much. I hit a wall and had to find out why I was angry and depressed all the time. A wonderful, talented therapist helped me get in touch with that anger, helped me to release it in safe ways, and taught me techniques for coping with anger on an ongoing basis.

    I know there will be many of our military from these ME conflicts that are going to go through the same thing when they realize that their friends died or had been maimed in wars that have not accomplished much. That all the bloodshed and maiming really didn’t accomplished the hoped for goals.

    The shooter in Afghanistan may have reached the point where: his rage at the lack of solid war goals, the PC rules of engagement, the killing and mangling of too many compatriots, and the attitudes of sulky, indifferent tribesmen we have been trying to help, became too much. Just a guess.

    I approved of Bush’s policy of taking the war to the enemy on their turf, but the idea of nation building was an iffy one. Afghanistan was always a tougher place to transform – 50 years of occupation and guidance might do the trick. Iraq had a better profile for change. Resources, a semi-modern infrastructure, more educated people, and some experience of secularism under Saddam Hussein. But the religious nuts are taking control there and all we have tried to do seems to be slowly failing. It is to weep.

  21. kaba Says:

    JJ,
    What did you fly? My brother flew F-100s from Tuy Hoa mid 68 through mid 69. Our service overlapped by 6 months. I got there in February 69 and left in September 70.

    Sadly, my brother was subsequently lost in an F-4 over the Med. September 1972.

  22. foxmarks Says:

    Are the winds of change blowing in my direction? It was only a few months back when I was struck with the silliness and futility of pursuing conquest despite the most noble justifications.

    Sunk costs are sunk. Further expense cannot redeem past losses. It is not a matter of patriotism; the enemy has been defeated. The only wounds we need now inflict are upon the pride of those who will not accept our mutual limitations.

    Peacefully minding our own business, and staying out of foreign struggles, isn’t so crazy after all.

  23. Curtis Says:

    The latest news about this guy is that he had a head injury and head injuries are often cause of inexplicable behavior like his.

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/u-withholds-soldiers-name-afghan-shooting-172025297.html

  24. JLK Says:

    This was of course a terrible tragedy and attack on civilians….but…here comes the “but.” This attack will be used by the Arab world in every perverted and distorted way possible. They will never accept that this was an individual’s choice but instead it is just another lame excuse to hate Americans.

    And of course the media didn’t report anything today, or on this day a year ago for that matter, on a real terrorist attack in the West Bank, the brutal murder of the Fogel family, known as the Itamar Massacre. All I recall was seeing old “Palestinian” ladies dancing in the street cheering and people handing out candy and celebrating the murders a la post 9/11.

  25. M J R Says:

    It’s kind of old hat for many here, but I don’t see that it’s been mentioned in the comments yet . . .

    Suppose the president sported an “R” following his name instead of the “D” we now have. Think there’d be just a teeny bit more outrage and handwringing over the incident?

    Where’s the Code Pink crew? Where are the Occupiers? Huumnhh??

  26. rickl Says:

    foxmarks Says:
    March 12th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Peacefully minding our own business, and staying out of foreign struggles, isn’t so crazy after all.

    True. But neither is remorselessly pounding our enemies into submission when the need arises.

    If I had been President on 9/11, Mecca would have been a radioactive crater by nightfall.

    I supported President Bush’s idea of attempting to bring democratic governance to the Muslim world. He was certainly less of a hothead than I was. It was good to try to do this the nice way first.

    But ultimately, there is no possibility of peaceful coexistence between Western Civilization and Islam. One will triumph and dominate and the other will be forced to submit.

    Eventually more people in the West will realize that. The Muslims already do.

  27. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Peacefully minding our own business, and staying out of foreign struggles” foxmarks

    The naivete of that assertion is quite breathtaking.

    Ah, but that the world and its problems were so simple to address. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which many will take from us our lives, our fortunes and our honor, if we are not prepared to do violence upon them. Unfortunately, in much of the world, the law of the jungle remains and it is always ready to reappear anywhere civilization refuses to defend itself.

    Islam’s theological injunction to world domination, Putin’s thuggish drive to regaining Russian superpower status and Totalitarian Communist China’s duplicitous build-up of military might while pursuing economic superpower status… will not allow us to mind our own business.

    While “staying out of foreign struggles” would require our abandoning our position of world leadership [such as it is] and would end the Pax Americana, which is the only thing keeping commerce upon the high seas open. And when that commerce upon the seas collapsed, so to would the economic vitality of the West.

    Just cutting off the oil tankers alone results in the economic strangulation of the West. At a minimum, millions would die.

    Pulling out of foreign bases eliminates the tactical and logistical necessity of forward deployment, which limits our options to defend allies and limit aggression. Boots on the ground hold territory, nothing else suffices.

    Other than our limited nuclear powered vessels, naval vessels need resupply, without foreign based US naval ports, our naval reach would be greatly reduced, eliminating our ability to guarantee open commerce across the seas.

    It’s always wise to consider the inevitable consequences of recommendations, which starts with avoiding the juvenile assumption that the world’s problems are merely the result of greedy and stupid leadership and then seeking to understand the factors that have led to the state of the world.

    Things are the way they are for some valid reasons, which often consist of settling for the least bad choice.

    As satisfying as simplistic solutions are to contemplate, they rarely work out satisfactorily.

    Murphy’s law and the Law of Unintended Consequences still fully apply.

  28. Pat Says:

    Remember what Churchill wrote about Islam in 1899:

    How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  29. Libby Says:

    This is indeed a terrible thing, and it does such harm to all of the brave US servicemen. Especially so soon after the Koran burning incident.

    Obama and others have already condemned the soldier’s actions and apologized for it. Have we ever received an apology from any Afghan leaders about the slaughter of thousand of civilians on 9/11?

  30. foxmarks Says:

    Oh, Britain, why must you think anyone who disagrees is a fool?

    The regulars here persistently forget my repeated statements about the irreconcilable threat of political Islam. There is no naivete in my statement. I am not one of your stereotypes.

    As rickl points out, there is a time to pound the enemy. And it is one of my personal maxims that if you’re going to use force, you ought to use more.

    Britain, you and your ilk fail to recognize is that there is nothing in the Constitution requiring the United States to assume, maintain, or pursue “world leadership”. Just like the fatalist radio blowhards, Mr Britain (an appropriate surname!) cannot conceive of a world not under the heel of American might.

    The stock reaction to any suggestion of redeployment is to set up a strawman, showing negligence (or willful blindness) of an actual alternative. The $500B in Paul’s proposed Defense budget is sufficient to maintain ports and stockpiles for the Navy and its Marines to deliver death upon anyone who earns a declaration of war by the Congress. You think that any divergence from your militarism is cowardice and retreat. In fact, it takes courage to put the homeland first. And the $500B is not some strawman slashing of Defense. Outside war spending, Defense gets $530B/yr. RP proposes a minor trim, much of which results from not having to shuttle millions of tons around the world.

    If we are to maintain allegiances, let them be partnerships. Since the United States would be coming again to the rescue, let our friends keep some bunks open and larders stocked for us. As the system currently operates, we hand our wealth to foreign powers in exchange for the privilege of providing their security. This is idiotic policy.

    The same structure which Britain’s ilk regards as incapable of providing health care, managing energy production, or allocating toilet paper, they trust to supervise the entire sphere of global commerce.

    Do you really believe, if you trust in markets, that a withdrawal of US forces form shipping lanes would simply lead to chaos? Wouldn’t market theory suggest that those who had something to lose would step forward and begin to provide for their own security? Are US taxpayers the only possible funding source to police sea lanes?

    I am not guilty of innocence, but you are afflicted with hubris. For all the pseudo-wisdom of calculating consequences, where did the neocon/interventionist thinkers account for the massacre at the head of this post? It is a triumph of ego to believe that all possibilities can be managed.

    The theory that you cling to is a proven loser. It refuses to accept victory, and keeps fighting until defeat is unavoidable. You play toy soldiers with mens’ lives.

  31. rickl Says:

    Thank you for your service too, J.J.

  32. foxmarks Says:

    As I have put it here before: Are you all willing to commit to a global war aimed at eradicating Islam from the globe?

    If yes, be open about. Let‘s contemplate strategies.

    If no, then you will be in perpetual war. You cannot defeat an idea by force.

    The remaining alternative is to present, model and embody a better idea. Be successful, happy, peaceful. Let the Muslims kill each other as long as it takes, until their children’s children eventually start looking for something better. Avoid antagonizing them. Let them find their way.

  33. Brad Says:

    rickl:

    If you are going to make arguments it important to be correct about them. One such is our experience in Japan after World War 2. It does not entirely support your contention that we must “impose” our will (or indeed that we are really capable of such a thing without extermination policies. Hey, the Germans were very efficient in “imposing” their will) in order for an occupation to work. In fact, I’ve long been interested in the post occupation government of Japan because to my mind it was one of the few examples in human history where an occupier was almost (not 100 percent of course but hey, we are humans) entirely benevolent and fair towards a country that was occupied, such that not only did they gain the respect of the conquered populace, but many of their changes have stuck over a long period of time.

    Now how did we do this? Did we go into Japan and put the boot down , ban Shintoism and any non-Christian religion, starve the people and make the many pay for the sins of the few, kill or imprison the Emperor, totally revise and disdain all marital and religious traditions, and in general make the Japanese our slaves until they proved to us that they were worthy of being treated as humans again?

    No. Instead we worked through the existing governmental structure, relying on the highly disciplined populace and their concepts of honor and duty to insure their cooperation. We didn’t depose the Emperor, though it was within our power to do so, and probably a majority of Americans considered him a war criminal. We gave Japan a new constitution, but they had some part in drawing it up, and they had the responsibility of ratifying it. We provided food aid and all sorts of other aid to the starving masses and we showed by our soldiers good behavior and the (in general) fairness of our laws and policies toward them that we had their best interests at heart and that they would be treated fairly. The American Occupation of Japan was not a “hostile occupation” and that is what renders any support you think it makes for your argument totally moot.

  34. Brad Says:

    By the way:

    Here’s a review of a book about the history of Afghanistan that might be of some interest:

    http://elusivewapiti.blogspot.com/2012/03/book-review-afghanistan-military.html

  35. foxmarks Says:

    “Democracy is fundamentally incompatible with Islam.”

    This is incorrect, and a common misunderstanding of the term. “Democracy” is merely rule by majority. In majority Muslim territory, democracy enacts the preferred Islamic policy.

    Democracy is nothing to be revered. It is two wolves and a sheep voting on dinner.

    What I think is commonly intended when democracy is invoked, is “republicanism”. The goal is to restrain the majority’s ability to violate inherent rights. This is the point incompatible with Islam. Allah, according to Muhammed, allows no dissent. Authority is complete and submission must be total.

    Japanese culture, picking up on the example, had power divided between hierarchies and factions. A form of checks and balances is part of their history. The US introduced democracy as means of selecting leaders of factions. We nourished a seed already planted.

    If one does not respect inherent rights, violating those rights will never enlighten them. You cannot sin your way to salvation.

  36. rickl Says:

    Brad:
    All of what you say is true.

    But it’s also true that the Japanese were utterly beaten and they knew it. We killed off a large proportion of their military aged males, as well as hundreds of thousands of innocent civilian men, women, and children, without apology.

    And they knew that there was plenty more where that came from. We would have gone on killing them as long as necessary.

    The atomic bombs were a godsend to the Japanese. Without those, an invasion would have killed literally millions of them, mostly civilians. Even children were being trained to be suicide bombers, sneaking up on American soldiers while concealing grenades. The American military were in no mood to win hearts and minds at that point. They would have shot first and asked questions later.

    After the bloodshed was over, we could afford to be magnanimous. And we were.

    That’s how you win wars decisively. We seem to have forgotten that.

  37. Curtis Says:

    I love my Muslim.
    He gets me good drugs;
    slaps the bitch women:
    Answers every grudge.

    I love my Muslim.
    Such love and such hate
    seldom will you find
    at any other gate.

    Muslims much love I
    and you had better too.

    I decided not to die.
    I’d counsel same for you.

  38. texexec Says:

    There’s one guy here who needs to knock off the personal attacks. Do you even know who you are?

  39. Curtis Says:

    VDH provides an authoritative voice:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/293217/bad-or-worse-afghanistan-victor-davis-hanson

    Brad, you’re Stephen Tanner book is somewhat interesting. We could do that. What is his main theme?

    Can mountains alone account for the extraordinary history?

  40. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    kaba,
    I flew A-1 Skyraiders from the Midway in 1965. Sorry to hear about your brother. It is the families who bear much of the sadness of war. They lose young men and women in the prime of their lives. And it hurts! My condolences.

    I don’t know how many here ever read Neptunus Lex, but he just died in an aircraft accident at Fallon, Nevada where they have the Navy weapons school. It has taken many by surprise that he is so suddenly gone. It does bring back the suddeness of it all. One day you brief a mission with seven other pilots and that afternoon there are only six left. It’s sudden. RIP Lex, may you find fair winds and following seas in your journey.

    Foxmarks and Geoffrey Britain. IMO, you both make good points and I believe the time has come for new strategies in the GWOT. Not that any of us can affect that, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to throw some ideas out there and examine the possibilities.

    I just watched a combat film done by a military photographer at Ewo Jima. Lordy, lordy – that was TOTAL WAR! There was no quarter asked nor given. We had more dead and wounded men in that operation (31 days) than we have had during the 10.5 years of the GWOT. It was brutal and it was to the death, as few Japanese surrendered. What has eluded many up to this point is that the 4th generation warfare as practiced by the jihadis is calculated to give them the advantage because they are counting on us to not go barbarian on them. And yet, that is exactly what we had to do to defeat the Japanese. The truth of the matter is we could lay waste to any country we wanted to if we had the will. But of course the jihadis are counting on our gentlemanly restraint. Also, they now know that too big an attack, such as 9/11, will elicit more than an FBI investigation. So they keep doing pin pricks while we spend money on stupid things like nation building and homeland security. All the while they are continuing to infiltrate the West. It is a long term, low intensity plan of subterfuge and sabotage much like the plans of the Communists that artfldgr continuously sheds light upon.

    It is time, IMO, for our country to tell the Muslim world (Yes, the Ummah) openly that we know what they have in mind and while we do not want war, if they continue attacking us and trying to do us ill, we will defend ourselves in no uncertain terms. We must beseech the “moderate Muslims” to turn the jihadis out and drop the aggressive anti-infidel tenets from their relgion. Stating that if they don’t, we will have to consider ourselves in a state of war. At which time Congress would declare that a state of war exists between the U.S and any Muslim majority nation that doesn’t sue for peace immediately. If any Muslims then respond with an attack, no matter how small, it would be met with the total destruction of a city in the country of the attackers. Afterwards we would call for them to lay down their aggressive religious aims and live in peace and tolerance. At the same time we would stop all immigration from Muslim countries until the aggressive anti-infidel aims of Islam have been erased from the religion. Yes, I know we would be roundly condemned in the UN and many thugs, such as Putin and the Chinese politiburo would make threatening noises, but no one would really do much because they can’t. Of course Code Pink and the Dems would all be apoplectic, but that’s their normal state whenever we defend ourselves no matter how half-assed it is.

    The reason why we can’t do what I suggest? The world is still being held captive by the oil supplies of ME nations. My idea would result in oil prices going through the roof. The fact that we didn’t start drill, drill, drill and developing coal to oil technologies after 9/11 was a stupid mistake.Why not start now?

  41. Curtis Says:

    Goddamn right,JJ!

    But, it won’t require anymore than letting them start to fight themselves once we tell the Saudi’s and MB and Muslim Student Union we ain’t no longer buyin.

  42. Parker Says:

    J.J formerly, etc.,

    Great post. The whole war on terrorism idea is total BS. Its a war of Western Civilization vs. Islam. (Domestically its war light between Western Civilization vs. ‘progressives’.)

  43. Curtis Says:

    I see the King of Glory
    Coming on the Clouds with fire
    The whole earth shakes
    The whole earth shakes

    Let America’s military be the King of Glory,
    And let Obama be a rejection story.

    So let it written.
    So let it be said.

  44. Don Carlos Says:

    Brad-
    Will you concede the Japanese people are entirely distinct and different from the ME Muzzies?

  45. Curtis Says:

    Obama, is he an American? Does he have human qualites of forgiveness? Does he strive to unite or divide us?

    When you accept the radical ideas of Derrick Bell, James Cone and Jermiah Wright, how do you become less than human, something like those creatures we call Stalin and Hitler?

    How can Obama’s whole purpose be less than to destroy and not create. We must now ask ourselves the incredible question, “Is Barak Obama something like Hitler or Stalin?”

  46. Curtis Says:

    Afghan massacre?

    Sentiments regarding the Fogel massacre?

    Which was done by true animals who can’t be excused by brain injury?

    Ohh, let’s us all be so sorry, so worried about the enemy who kills our family. Let’s think about them/poor things, chimpanzees who tear off our faces, let’s worry about their feelings right now.

  47. Curtis Says:

    It’s war, what do you know about it?

    Been in war, lately?

    To even characterize a war zone event as massacre, what the hell do you know?

    Maybe you need to go and fight.

  48. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Re: japan and the successful introduction of a democracy/republican form of government. All good points with another important point; Japanese culture and the transference of respect for authority to the victor. Culturally, surrender was unthinkable, unless defeat was total, in which case the victor was given all the authority that the former held. Making the culture particularly amenable to change indicated as desirable by the victor.

    JJ,
    “I believe the time has come for new strategies in the GWOT.” I agree.

    “We must beseech the “moderate Muslims” to turn the jihadis out and drop the aggressive anti-infidel tenets from their religion. “

    The moderates can’t do that. Because Islam’s theological tenets cannot abide change. Because it’s the radicals, not the moderates, who are on firm theological ground and, the moderates know that.

    There’s a reason why Islam hasn’t had ts reformation. To reform, Muslims would have to reject the very basis of their religion; Mohammad claimed that the Qur’an is God direct words, spoken through the Archangel Gabriel to Mohammad, who merely took dictation. Since the Qur’an are the direct, perfect words of God…nothing can be changed, as men don’t correct gods and perfect gods don’t make mistakes.

  49. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    G.B.,
    I know all about the Quran being the perfect word of Allah, etc. etc. The same claims were made about the Bible before the reformation of Christianity. Prior to the reformation Christianity was a very intolerant religion. The barbarity of the 30 Years War changed that. I refuse to believe that more than about 10-15% of Muslims know or care that much about the Quran. They do what the imams say and a lot of imams make it up on the fly.
    Wahhab and Qutb are the source of the fundamentalist BS that is informing the jihadis. It is not totally accepted by every Muslim, but I do agree that all Muslims will side with the jihadis out of loyalty or fear. The answer maybe to make them fear us more than the jihadis.

    On the other hand, if we could find some way to isolate them and develop the West’s oil resources full bore, I agree they will collapse eventually – just like the USSR. (But the USSR isolated themselves. Little did they know how bad it would get.)

  50. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    You’re somewhat mistaken JJ when you compare pre-reformation Christianity to Islam. Theologically, there’s a world of difference between Islam’s claimed direct dictation by God, in the original language and, the Bible’s plethora of ‘inspired’ holy men, writing at different times, in different languages, whose writings are then voted upon as to which writings will pass approval.

    The Bible’s varied authorship allows varied interpretation but there is only one Qur’an. Even the Sunni – Shia split occurs after Mohammad’s death. Islam’s fundamental tenets, which inherently forbid reform are agreed upon by both the Sunni’s and Shia’s.

  51. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    foxmarks,
    ”You play toy soldiers with mens’ lives.”

    I’m a Vietnam vet, I’m don’t play at ‘toy soldiers’.

    Please show me where I even implied that all possibilities can be ‘managed’. I spent the bulk of my comment indicating the unintended consequences of your assertion.

    ”Do you really believe, if you trust in markets, that a withdrawal of US forces form shipping lanes would simply lead to chaos? Wouldn’t market theory suggest that those who had something to lose would step forward and begin to provide for their own security? Are US taxpayers the only possible funding source to police sea lanes?”

    Criminals and tyrants give little thought to market forces. During the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Pax Britannica of the British Empire and the Pax Mongolica of the Mongol Empire, no other nations ‘stepped forward’ than during the Pax Americana. I’m entirely in favor of encouraging “other funding sources” to finance our policing of the sea lanes. Any chance of a bet that we can’t get the UN to kick in a few bucks?

    ”Since the United States would be coming again to the rescue, let our friends keep some bunks open and larders stocked for us.

    Right. And you say you’re not naive… nations have no friends, they only have permanent interests.

    ”As the system currently operates, we hand our wealth to foreign powers in exchange for the privilege of providing their security. This is idiotic policy.”

    It’s certainly frustrating and unfair. But then its an unfair world, isn’t it? Certainly we should insist on a quid pro quo but then again, you don’t think they’re allowing us all those foreign bases out of altruism do you?

    ”The stock reaction to any suggestion of redeployment is to set up a strawman, showing negligence (or willful blindness) of an actual alternative.”

    I’m not quarreling with Paul’s proposed defense budget, I’m reacting to your clear implication when you state, “Peacefully minding our own business, and staying out of foreign struggles”

    ”Britain, you and your ilk fail to recognize is that there is nothing in the Constitution requiring the United States to assume, maintain, or pursue “world leadership”. Just like the fatalist radio blowhards, Mr Britain (an appropriate surname!) cannot conceive of a world not under the heel of American might.”

    “ilk”, “blowhards” denigrating someones surname? And “cannot conceive of a world not under the heel of American might”?
    ”Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge.” Leonardo da Vinci
    By the way, “Britain’ is a pen name and a play on my actual surname and the original home of my paternal ancestors. I’m second generation American on my dad’s side and on my mother’s side, from prior to that ‘disagreement’ with the Brits in 1776.

    And calling you naive isn’t, nor was it a personal attack, it was an observation based on the reasons given.

    And news flash! The world isn’t and never has been under the ‘heel’ of American might. We’re the good guys, remember?

    ”The regulars here persistently forget my repeated statements about the irreconcilable threat of political Islam. There is no naivete in my statement. I am not one of your stereotypes.”

    I fully agree as to the irreconcilable threat of Islam. Politics “being the art of compromise” I cannot agree that politics and Islam are interrelated.

    Denying naivete while issuing stereotypical comments is an exercise in futility.

    I never label reasoned disagreement with my positions as those of a fool. Reasoned disagreement is either an opportunity to learn or an opportunity to sharpen ones understanding.

  52. Odradek Says:

    G. Britain cites the following as reasons why we can’t “mind our own business”:

    “Islam’s theological injunction to world domination, Putin’s thuggish drive to regaining Russian superpower status and Totalitarian Communist China’s duplicitous build-up of military might while pursuing economic superpower status…”

    All of his examples are full of holes.

    1. Islam. Having a “theological injunction” to do something, and having the means to do it, are two different things. There is no way Islam, which is domiciled in supremely backward countries, can dominate anything outside of its heartland. Unless, of course, we let it, by allowing jihadists into our countries, turning a blind eye to Saudi funding of mosques, and claiming that “diversity” is a higher goal than security (as Gen. Casey did after the Fort Hood massacre). The front line of defense against jihad is a sensible immigration policy, not “fighting them over there.”

    2. Russia. I’m a US citizen living in Russia for several years now. In my opinion, Putin is the best leader Russia has had since Alexander II. And the only realistic options to Putin are communists and ultra-nationalists, not America-loving liberals with 5% support. There is no need to pointlessly antagonize Russia or meddle in its internal affairs. Let them sort out their internal problems themselves (which indeed often involve Muslims and jihadists), and let us cooperate on matters of common interest.

    3. China. Calling this state “Totalitarian Communist” is a laugh, given that they are in the midst of the greatest capitalist revolution in history. And it’s a revolution that’s largely been produced by American companies moving manufacturing overseas, and American consumers buying stuff the Chinese produce. If China is such a threat, shouldn’t we stop building them up? How about rebuilding our own industrial base, instead of raising a mighty competitor? And what is “duplicitous” about their buildup of military might? Wouldn’t any country in their position do the same?

    Do you really think the vastly indebted, overstretched USA should aggressively take on three overinflated “threats” at the same time? That is a recipe for national disaster.

  53. kaba Says:

    JJ,
    What a great aircraft the A-1 was. I watched one do a dead stick landing at a little base called Kham Duc about July 1970. The pilot had almost certainly been flying interdiction on the trail and run into a welcoming committee.

  54. Artfldgr Says:

    They are saying that he had a “head injury”

    just for edification:

    The Centers for Disease Control (2004) report that at least 1.4 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur each year with an estimated 80-90,000 individuals experiencing permanent disability. Among those with severe injuries requiring medical attention and hospitalization, the most common causes of injury are motor vehicle crashes (64%), violence related injuries (21%) and falls (11%).

    While its not uncommon to have depression, and other issues related to brain injury, the occurrence of a TBI leading to acting out a bloody rampage is incredibly slim given the numbers just in the US alone.

    (but it fits the myth of the soldiers war injuries leading to murderous behavior at some time – myth because the behavior is actually less prevalent than in the regular population who act in those ways in greater numbers and without the ‘reason’)

    Regardless, this is the party line, whether real or not, that will be pressed. that a rollover, led to some brain injury that suddenly expressed itself in a rage that results in a huge advantage to the oppositions 5th column where wars have been won against the US, when other ways failed.

    on the other note of historical infiltrations and games see this full out of print book saved on the archive website (like the hayes tilden and other histories down the memory hole)

    http://ia600200.us.archive.org/17/items/CommunistInfiltrationInTheUnitedStatesItsNatureAndHowToCombatIt/CIUS2.pdf

  55. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    The more I have delved into Islamic ideology and history, the more I have come to realize that Islam is not only antithetical to our entire Western democratic project, but that it has been at war with it and all us ” unbelievers,” whether we know it or not, since Islam’s inception in the 7th century A.D., and wants to conquer and destroy Western civilization, freedom, and democracy, and to impose Islam on us all.

    Realized that Islam is a totalitarian, violent, and predatory ideology that has been deliberately constructed as an inward-looking, very thick-shelled ideology, one that is essentially impervious to change, and has successfully fended off attacks from within and without for 1,400 years.

    An ideology in which Muhammad is “the Prefect Man” to be emulated in all things, in which the Qur’an is the unalterable, complete, final word of God, in which the fundamental tenet of Islam’s warfare is, as Muhammad declared, “deception,” an ideology in which Islamic religious scholars declared all questions about the Qur’an and Islam were settled in the 11th century A.D., in which the Shari’a law that is rooted in and grew out of the Qur’an, the Hadiths, and the Sira penetrates and rules all spheres of life, and dictates thought and behavior down to the smallest detail. A situation in which Islam attempts to be the entire State and to prescribe and rule all spheres of life–political, cultural, economic, religious, military, civilian, personal. An ideology in which to doubt, to openly protest against Islam, to be an apostate, invokes sanctions starting with massive social pressure and shunning by fellow Muslims, quickly escalates to threats, then to violence, and ends, for the recalcitrant, with death.

    Thus, is any major change or reform thwarted.

    This being the situation, it is not only suicidal for us—as the hated “unbelievers,” the universal enemy and prey of Islam and Muslims—to make Islam and Muslims more efficient and more capable of killing us by trying to implant ”democracy” in the nations of the Umma, it is also impossible to do so when Islam is a fundamental, integral part of and–to one extent or the other—is the basis for the culture and world view of the population, and exerts massive influence on or rules each one of these states.

    Containment, yes. Preemptive or retaliatory strikes within the Umma to discourage or in revenge for attacks against us, yes. War, yes. “Nation building,” fundamental reform, and planting the flag of freedom, no.

    Any fundamental reform must come from within Islam, and must be carried out by Muslims, and given past history, the odds for this taking place don’t look good.

  56. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Wolla Dalbo,
    Very well put. I think we are outlining some of the possible options as a result of this discussion. Hopefully some in our leadership positions are trying to think constructively about this issue. IMO, our economic power, our energy policy, and our strategy vis a vis Islam are all connected. They cannot be considered as isolated parts. The Muslim world has strength only because of their grip on the world oil markets via OPEC. To have allowed that to stand all these years has been the height of stupidity. Incidentally, our dwindling oil production in the U.S. can be traced directly to the formation of the EPA. Here’s an article that deals with that issue: http://tinyurl.com/7unj5s2
    We must begin immediately to improve our oil production throughout the non-Muslim world to break OPEC’s grip and let the Muslim world simmer in their own miserable juices. No, it won’t be easy and it will take time, but just as Islam is playing the long game, so must we.

  57. neo-neocon Says:

    Curtis:

    I’m not sure what’s going on with you, but this comment of yours was mighty strange. You write:

    It’s war, what do you know about it?

    Been in war, lately?

    To even characterize a war zone event as massacre, what the hell do you know?

    Maybe you need to go and fight.

    So many things are wrong with what you wrote that I hardly know where to begin. But I’ll start with the fact that I write about plenty of things on this blog I haven’t experienced firsthand. I read, I study, I listen, I write.

    For example, on the subject of wars and massacres, I read this lengthy report on My Lai in preparation for several posts I wrote on that subject. Have you? The category “war and peace” on this blog has 189 entries so far, with tons more on the Afghan war, the Iraqi war, and the Vietnam war. The latter war is the one I “experienced,” not in combat of course, but as a person whose boyfriend was in the heaviest of combat there.

    Your suggestion that I “go and fight” is absurd, as you no doubt are well aware, since women are banned from combat units, and I’m too old to serve in any capacity anyway.

    However, the heart of the matter is that it isn’t just me calling it a massacre: not only has it been just about universally referred to as that, but US officials in Afghanistan have described the incident thusly:

    U.S. officials have said the soldier acted alone, leaving his base in southern Afghanistan and opening fire on sleeping families. After the massacre, he went back to his base and turned himself in, officials said.

    There is simply no other way to characterize this set of facts except as a massacre. The soldier acted alone, not under orders, not as part of a mission of any sort, clandestinely. He entered the homes of sleeping families and murdered them, then returned to base and turned himself in. If you don’t see that as a massacre, there’s something seriously wrong.

    Of course, it’s always possible that some new facts will come out to discredit some of this, although unlikely. But until then, “massacre” is absolutely the proper word.

  58. Curtis Says:

    It was out of bounds. I apologize.

  59. Curtis Says:

    I actually woke up this morning and thought “what the hell was I thinking.” Well, I wasn’t thinking, I was emoting.

    Well, I can say this. Your mind and thoughtfulness is why I follow your blog. To kind of provide a needed counter weight which I know I need. But I’ve been losing that awareness lately and getting a kind of steam built up, and it blared through in stupidity and unkindness. I’m sorry.

    Again, I apologize, deeply, and thank you for your kind correction.

  60. neo-neocon Says:

    Curtis: accepted!

  61. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Odradek,

    “Islam. Having a “theological injunction” to do something, and having the means to do it, are two different things.”
    Quite so, yet 19 men with box cutters managed quite a lot, didn’t they? What happens when suicide bombers start appearing in the US? When it all escalates or don’t you think that’s coming?FBI: 100 Percent Chance of WMD Attack

    “There is no way Islam, which is domiciled in supremely backward countries, can dominate anything outside of its heartland.”
    Yet, quite soon Iran will have both the bomb and the means to deliver it. Which shall result in nuclear proliferation spreading throughout the region. The Muslim Brotherhood is working to sweep across the region into control. Once Iran has the bomb, they have the leverage needed to disrupt the world’s oil supply. Ready for $12.00 a gallon gas? How’s that for ‘dominance’?

    Liberals won’t let us form “a sensible immigration policy”, you, you racist you…

    Putin’s being the only realistic option to “communists and ultra-nationalists” is irrelevant to his actions.

    Putin’s Russia is, by far, the primary facilitator and driver of nuclear proliferation in the world. It is directly responsible for critical aid and support to the Iranian nuclear weapons program. There would be NO Iranian nuclear program without Russia.

    Putin wants to help Hugo Chavez get the bomb. Putin along with China are the two largest weapons suppliers to terrorism around the world. Russia is heavily involved with Syria’s Assad.

    Putin’s Russia has consistently voted in the UN to either block sanctions or greatly weaken them against Iran and other rogue nations.

    China has also consistently blocked UN sanctions. China is not the world’s policeman but has and is building up a military far beyond its needs. China plans to militarize space. Other than trade, which has both economic and military advantages, China consistently acts against the West’s interests.

    China covertly and Russia overtly are both advocates of a foreign policy called the “‘Eurasian’ strategy, invented by Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, who proposes that Russia, China, and Islam ally with all the anti-American forces in Western Europe, Africa and Latin America, for the purpose of laying final siege to the United States.

    This strategy already has strong military support in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a kind of eastern version of NATO, which brings together Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.”

  62. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    On the theme of democracy and reform in the Muslim world, I note the following developments, many of which were not covered to any great extent by our vaunted MSM:

    –that the 2006 “democratic” election in Gaza resulted in the terrorist regime of HAMAS–whose charter calls for the elimination of Israel–being elected (instead of the terrorist Arafat’s FATTAH).

    –that the rewritten and “reformed,” more “democratic Constitution of Iraq—whose writing and content we supposedly had a fair amount of influence on–mandates that Islam and the Qur’an are the “law of the land,” and that when any of the new freedoms—say, equality of men and women before the law–comes into conflict with the dictates of Islam, Islam has primacy, and “no law can be passed that conflicts with the established rulings of Islam.” This new Constitution was approved by a nationwide referendum.

    –that Islam and the Qur’an occupy a similar position in the new “reformed” and westernized Islamic Constitution of Afghanistan

    –that the so-called “Arab Spring,” which was to bring about the fall of various repressive dictators and to give the Egyptian people more democracy, has resulted in the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood (the Ikhwan) whose key objectives have always been a return to a world-wide Caliphate and the imposition of Shari’a law, an Ikhwan whose motto on its website is as follows:

    “Allah is our objective, The Prophet is our leader. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our greatest hope.”

    –that the “Arab Spring” in Libya seems to be resulting in the same victory for the Ikhwan

    So, what new, real freedom and democracy—in the Western sense and model– for the people of the Muslim world has all of our blood and treasure bought? I would argue, none, and that all of our sacrifice and aid and diplomacy and military force has actually been manipulated to the advantage of and to generally and mostly advance the cause of Islam.

    Remember, as Muhammad said, [the essence of] “warfare is deception,” and then remember, as well, Bin Laden sitting for seven years in a walled compound across the street from the police station, and around the corner from Pakistan’s military academy, in a highly restricted military zone full of high level military retirees, in a town that was 40 miles from Pakistan’s capitol, while our “ally” the Pakistanis and our military, looked all over the place for him.

  63. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Note: That “laying final siege to the United States” does not refer to either an invasion or concerted attack upon the US. We still have the most powerful military in the world. It refers to collapsing the influence and regional presence of the US, effectively neutralizing the US and ending our world leadership.

    Transnationalists, among them many in Europe and the Obama administration want to see the US become just another component of a trans-national organization, eventuating in the US becoming a ‘state’ within a greater world-wide government.

  64. Brad Says:

    rickl:

    You are of course correct, and it may surprise you to note that I believe that the Atomic bombs (NOT Russia’s entry into the war) were both the reason for Japan’s surrender and that they also saved more lives, both American and Japanese than they took. In short, the suffering of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not in vain.

    I’m also mostly a fan of your approach to conducting war. You go in it to win it -indeed, one of the reasons we lost Vietnam was that we placed North Vietnam largely off -limits to retaliation as we didn’t want to risk angering China or the USSR. Now that doesn’t mean you use WMD such as nukes or biological /chemical weapons, BUT you let the enemy know that if they try any such shenanigans you will not hesitate to reply in kind.

    With the exception of the firebomb raids (and even they had SOME justification) I think we conducted our war with Japan largely above board, sticking largely to the laws of war even though few such considerations applied to the Japanese -who, to be fair to them, never signed the Geneva Conventions. We certainly treated their prisoners far better than they treated ours, as an example. What we did though was two things: we applied our entire industrial and technological might, and weren’t chary of Japanese casulties, we only worried about our own which was fitting and proper.

    These modern “wars against terror” are different, and won’t respond to the same solutions in large part because its hard to even know who the enemy is at times.

  65. sergey Says:

    Promoting democracy in the Third or Forth world countries means to put inmates to run lunatic asylum. These peoples deserve at best a pragmatic tyrant to rule them, short of direct colonial rule or apartheid.

  66. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    On the theme of “laying the final siege of the United States,” the Holy Land foundation terrorism funding trial of a few years ago was extremely important for its guilty verdicts for all concerned, for its listing CAIR and several other much in the news Muslim organizations as creatures of the Ikhwan, and “un-indicted co-conspirators”–a designation they challenged in court, and which was affirmed by a judge, who cited ample evidence for this designation produced by the pre–Holder DOJ prosecutors–but which, more importantly, brought to light all sorts of Ikhwan documents, especially one laying out their strategy for operations in the U.S., which defined their ultimate objectives as follows:

    “The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. (Source: United States of America v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development et al, No. 3:04-CR-240-G, United States District Court for the Northern Division of Texas, Dallas Division, Gov’t exhibit: Government Exhibit 003-0085; 3:04-CR-240-G; U.S. v. HLF, et al. p.21. Cited herere ) .

  67. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    G.B. said, “The Bible’s varied authorship allows varied interpretation but there is only one Qur’an.”

    How about this statement released in 1978 by a Christian evangelical group: ” The authority of Scripture is a key issue for the Christian church in this and every age. Those who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are called to show the reality of their discipleship by humbly and faithfully obeying God’s written Word. To stray from Scripture in faith or conduct is disloyalty to our Master. Recognition of the total truth and trustworthiness of Holy Scripture is essential to a full grasp and adequate confession of its authority.

    The following Statement affirms this inerrancy of Scripture afresh, making clear our understanding of it and warning against its denial. We are persuaded that to deny it is to set aside the witness of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit and to refuse that submission to the claims of God’s own Word which marks true Christian faith.”

    You can read the entire thing here:
    http://www.bible-researcher.com/chicago1.html

    There are still Christian theologians who are pushing the inerrancy of the Bible even though, as we know it has passages that call for slavery, men’s domination of women, avoiding pork, and other practices that have been abandoned by most Christian sects because they have “interpreted” these passages differently than as the inspired word of God. I maintain that prior to the Christian reformation and particularly before the advent of the printing press, the Bible was held to be as inerrant as the Quran is today. Minds can change, albeit slowly.

    I believe we have had this conversation before over at SW’s place, so I won’t push it any further. Let’s just agree to disagree. By the way SW is posting some interesting stories about his father’s service in WWII. You might find them interesting.
    JJ

  68. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I can agree to disagree JJ, we all have a right to our own opinion. My view of Islam’s tenets being unchangeable is that in order to interpret the Qur’an differently, intrinsic to reform is the absolute requirement to reject Mohammad’s claim that the Qur’an was dictated to him by the Archangel Gabriel. That being the fundamental barrier to reform.

    For, if his claim is true, no reform is possible. But if Mohammad’s in error about something as fundamental as the Qur’an’s authorship, he by definition is either deluded or lying…and the whole theological edifice collapses.

    Which is why I believe Islam can’t reform, it’s theology is ‘baked into the cake’. Logically, I don’t see any way they can ‘change their minds’ and retain theological consistency. I certainly hope you’re right and I in the wrong however.

    Thanks, I’m aware of SW’s postings and plan on reading them on my father’s birthday. He’s a WWII vet and will be 90 this April 6th.

  69. Promethea Says:

    I’m glad we tried to help the Iraqis install some kind of republic/democracy. We frittered away the fruits of our victory with our PC acceptance of their shariah constitution. However, we learned a lot about Arabs and Islam during this war.

    We, of course, lost all chance to win it when our traitorous leader Obama declared the date when we would withdraw. What a childish maniac.

    Ditto for Afghanistan. I never had much hope for Afghanistan (a nation of pedophiles), so I had much less disappointment at the failed experiment in nation-building.

    Given the fact that our current federal government is run by America-haters, there is not much that we can do. Some of us will probably die in future jihadist attacks on American soil. I hope all of you have read Belmont Club’s “Three Conjectures.” The first time I read that essay, a wave of fear swept through me. Now I’m resigned to dark times ahead.

  70. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Promethea,

    It’s true that actions poorly handled can still lead to valuable insights. One thing I’ve learned is that freedom can never be given to another people, only the opportunity for them to seize it if they wish.

    It wasn’t just PC acceptance that kept the Iraqi people from embracing a republic/democracy. Despite the secular appearance of Iraq under Hussein, the majority of Iraqi’s will not oppose the formation of a theocratic government.

    It’s not just Egypt where 84% support the death penalty for apostasy, it’s the entire region.

  71. Rachel Says:

    this still does not answer some questions, like will America truly be safe if we leave Afghanistan and can America survive an isolationist policy.

    While I admit I do not know the answer I do know that we may have no choice BUT to fight and continue fighting.

    Everyone wants a WW II victory or pretend that running away will solve the problems and we will never have war or suffering again. This is a falsehood that will impact Americans daily. Vietnam was proof. The South Vietnamese were treated brutally once we left — to the point that they were coming to US and Canada in mass numbers.

    here are some websites whose arguments are similar to Geoff’s that I like
    http://watchingamerica.com/News/111008/leaving-afghanistan-will-not-make-us-safer/

    http://www.outlookafghanistan.net/news?post_id=3663

  72. james Says:

    What this guy did was an aberration. What the Taliban does and what the NVA did was policy.
    jj in a place faraway and long ago, on a ridge I saw a “Sandy” come up out of the valley right over me. He was rolled part way toward me and hauling ass, I can remember him looking right at me.

  73. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    james,
    Thanks for your memory.

    The A-1 was an exceptional close air support aircraft for its time. Could pick up its own weight in fuel and armaments, fly to the target area, hang around for four hours and return to the ship. The R-3350 was a good engine, but required pilot care in managing it. (Do not overboost!) I love the ending scenes in “Flight of the Intuder” where the Sandies are flying cover for Jake and his CO. The sound of those A-1s whistling in blasting 20 mike mike is enough to make me feel like a youngun again. That I had the privilege to fly it was a gift of the highest order. Bceause of that, I envy no man.

  74. Odradek Says:

    G. Britain:

    “Quite so, yet 19 men with box cutters managed quite a lot, didn’t they?”

    Yeah, they sure did. And just think, most of those guys (citizens of our “valued ally” Saudi Arabia) didn’t even fill out their visa forms correctly, yet they were allowed into the country. And representatives of the government and of airport security were so paralyzed by political correctness, or just plain incompetence, that they failed to report anything suspicious about the behavior of these “flight students,” with the results we all know. 9/11 happened because a lot of people on the American side dropped the ball in succession.

    What makes more sense: Closing our borders to jihadists, or trying to re-engineer millions of Muslims into American-style democrats? It took a bunch of “conservatives” to launch a social engineering program that dwarfed anything liberals ever dreamed of (the “freedom agenda”), and the results are correspondingly disastrous.

    “Yet, quite soon Iran will have both the bomb and the means to deliver it.”

    I’ve been hearing about this terrifying Iranian bomb since at least 2006. Supposedly, it is always just around the corner. Yet somehow it never materializes.

    “Liberals won’t let us form “a sensible immigration policy”, you, you racist you…”

    Then your real enemies are liberals, and you should be opposing them where they are – in the United States. We can fight for sensible policies where it will make a difference, or we can continue randomly bombing Muslims halfway around the world, year after year. I think the first option is better.

    “Putin wants to help Hugo Chavez get the bomb.”

    Doesn’t scare me at all; in fact the idea of the aging blowhard Chavez trying to get the bomb is kind of funny. Putin has good reasons to be pissed off at the US, by the way. After 9/11, he helped us out in Afghanistan, and we repaid him by withdrawing from the ABM treaty, expanding NATO to Russia’s borders, and fomenting “colored revolutions” (all of which have turned out to be disasters) in post-Soviet space. Anyway, Putin – who is one of the most effective fighters against radical Muslims in the world today – is going to be around for a while. We should find a way to work with him rather than needlessly provoking him.

    “China has also consistently blocked UN sanctions. China is not the world’s policeman but has and is building up a military far beyond its needs. China plans to militarize space. Other than trade, which has both economic and military advantages, China consistently acts against the West’s interests.”

    And yet, we continue to build up China! American companies investing in China are required to engage in technology transfer – i.e. passing valuable technology to the Chinese, so they can build up their formidable military-industrial complex. This is truly a case where, as Lenin said, “the capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” Do the interests of US capitalists supersede those of US national security?

    I see you quoted JR Nyquist. I had a good laugh at that. He is one of the most paranoid and unhinged political thinkers I know of. His whole shtick is based on the idea that communism didn’t really collapse; it was all some sort of stage-managed illusion. It is pointless to debate with someone who can believe such a thing.

    By the way, Alexander Dugin is not taken too seriously over here. He has his audience (basically a small sliver of intellectuals), but he really belongs to the post-Soviet Russian tradition of “extremist politics as performance art” along with Zhirinovsky, Limonov and some others.

  75. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Odradek,
    Closing our borders to jihadists isn’t going to happen until we experience a WMD attack. Which according to the FBI is certain.

    “I’ve been hearing about this terrifying Iranian bomb since at least 2006. Supposedly, it is always just around the corner. Yet somehow it never materializes. “

    So you posit because its taking longer… that Ahmadinejad and the Mullah’s are not serious? That they’re giving all that money to Russia in a down economy and expending great national resources just to ‘scare’ others?

    If Chavez beats the cancer (problematic) and oil prices go up substantially, that ‘blowhard’ won’t be so easy to dismiss.

    Putin’ ruthlessness is what makes him an effective fighter against radical Muslims, which is easy when you’re effectively a dictator.

    Ruthless men perceive “find[ing] a way to work with ” them and avoiding “needless provocation” as weakness and an invitation to aggression. Ruthless men want and need to dominate and an ever increasing number to dominate is always the goal they work toward.

    Our ‘real’ enemies are those who oppose liberty and seek to control others, whether they be on the right or left. Liberals are “useful idiots”.

    “Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria.

    The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” – Robert A. Heinlein

    Pointing out what China is doing does not equate to approval of our policies toward China, just the opposite in fact.

    “Do the interests of US capitalists supersede those of US national security?”

    Not for the hard left and liberal transnationalists.

    That was, if true, an unintentional quote of JR Nyquist. I’m not a fan either, but even the paranoid can be right sometimes.

    And communism hasn’t really collapsed, it’s evolved into other isms. Putin is still a covert communist. The Chinese leadership are still communists. Merely ones who are using capitalism as a lever to eventually dominate the west, just the opposite of what Nixon intended with ‘opening China”. Many on the left have incorporated their communist beliefs into other isms.

    As for Dugin, yes he’s an extreme nationalist but any political philosophy which seeks to enlarge Russia’s place in the world is going to be attractive and find at least a small place in the heart of a man like Putin.

  76. james Says:

    “. The sound of those A-1s whistling in blasting 20 mike mike is enough to make me feel like a youngun again”…..Yes.

  77. Sergey Says:

    Putin is on his last legs now. His days (lets say with more caution, his months) are counted. All Russian intelligentia rose against him, as well as millions of middle class people and plurality of general public in megapolices. He won last election by dirty tricks and puffing up paranoia of marginalised provincials. Anger and frustration of young and ambitious people is palpable. At first economic downturn he will lose most of his supporters and has not means to suppress mass protests.

  78. Odradek Says:

    G. Britain: you state:

    “Closing our borders to jihadists isn’t going to happen until we experience a WMD attack. Which according to the FBI is certain.”

    You accept that a WMD attack in the US is certain. So why bother to do anything? This is also an implicit acknowledgement that our policies have been total failures up to now. Do you at least admit that closing our borders to suspicious characters from Muslim countries might have a positive effect? I don’t really see what your argument is here.

    “So you posit because its taking longer… that Ahmadinejad and the Mullah’s are not serious?”

    I don’t know how serious they are. Do you? How would you know? Some sources have been very skeptical. All I know is, I’ve been hearing for years about the imminent Iranian threat (just like we heard about Saddam’s WMD threat), and nothing has materialized yet. Nor does it look likely to do so anytime soon.

    “Ruthless men perceive “find[ing] a way to work with ” them and avoiding “needless provocation” as weakness and an invitation to aggression.”

    This is way too generalized. Was it a good idea to piss Putin off or not, after he put his own neck out to help the US in Afghanistan? The Russians, strangely enough, don’t like having their borders encroached on by a potentially hostile military alliance, and don’t enjoy foreign meddling in their front yard. Which is perfectly natural: would you be happy if the Chinese were setting up military bases in Canada and Mexico? Do you think we should deliberately make Putin angry just to show how tough we are?

    “Putin is still a covert communist.”

    Putin has done more to drag Russia away from communism than Gorbachev and Yeltsin ever dreamed of. The flat tax, the growth of the middle class, the consumer society, the restoration of the Orthodox Church to a prominent public role, commemoration of the victims of communism, the sidelining of the Communist Party – all of these happened on Putin’s watch.

  79. Odradek Says:

    Sergey: “Putin is on his last legs now. His days (lets say with more caution, his months) are counted.”

    I disagree. I’ve been reading and hearing about Putin being “on his last legs” for several years now. One day, they’ll be right. But I expect him to be around for the foreseeable future. The lack of credible, popular opposition in Russia certainly helps his position.

  80. Odradek Says:

    “All Russian intelligentia rose against him,”

    Well, no, they didn’t. What definition of “intelligentsia” are you using? A friend of mine is an editor with the Academy of Sciences. According to him, the vast majority of scientists support either United Russia (i.e. Putin) or the Communists.

  81. Ymarsakar Says:

    This is just another example of what electing people like obama, a mag dog, to your nation’s highest leadership slot, Leader of the free world, will do to everyone under him in the hierarchy.

    A mad dog will soon make the entire pack mad. With predictable consequences.

  82. Ymarsakar Says:

    “Little said. “We’re not coordinating this war effort by the polls,” he said. “We’re conducting this war effort by the policy.” ”

    Obama’s policy.

    We all know how well that will work out in the end.

  83. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    ”You accept that a WMD attack in the US is certain. So why bother to do anything? This is also an implicit acknowledgement that our policies have been total failures up to now. Do you at least admit that closing our borders to suspicious characters from Muslim countries might have a positive effect? I don’t really see what your argument is here.”

    I’m being realistic not defeatist in accepting the certainty of a WMD attack. I accept the reality of the situation; denial and wishful thinking has led enough Americans to discount the threat and block efforts at greater security. Reluctantly recognizing that won’t change until the threat is undeniable.

    Closing our borders to suspicious characters would have a positive effect but its not going to happen before a WMD attack. In the political atmosphere that currently exists however, most of what can be done, has been done.

    “So you posit because its taking longer… that Ahmadinejad and the Mullah’s are not serious?”
    ”I don’t know how serious they are. Do you? How would you know?”

    I take them at their repeated words. I witness their expenditures on far more centrifuges than a couple of nuclear reactors would need for replenishment. Then witness their many, many actions, which can only be explained by a determined effort at achieving nuclear weapons capability.

    Saddam’s WMD’s, chemical and biological are in Syria. We know this to be a fact.

    “Ruthless men perceive “find[ing] a way to work with ” them and avoiding “needless provocation” as weakness and an invitation to aggression.”
    ”This is way too generalized.

    It’s a factual historical pattern and a psychological explanation of men like Putin, an explanation of his behavior, not a ‘generalization’. Putin means to covertly rule, not govern. His elimination of political opponents and public critics, his emasculation of the media are not those of a man who merely wishes to govern. He’s a former high ranking KGB and covert behavior is part of his DNA.

    ”Was it a good idea to piss Putin off or not, after he put his own neck out to help the US in Afghanistan? The Russians, strangely enough, don’t like having their borders encroached on by a potentially hostile military alliance, and don’t enjoy foreign meddling in their front yard.”

    There was no great political danger to Putin in not objecting to the US in Afghanistan. Nor is the Russian view, the only take on these matters as you strongly imply. Poland wanted defensive missiles, which were no threat to Russia. The only ‘threat’ to Russia’s borders and ‘foreign meddling’ by the US has been to attempt to preclude any desires by Russia to regain the territories lost after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Those territories are not natural Russian provinces any more than Mexico and Canada are part of the US. All of Putin’s actions in the international arena point to a man with a covert agenda of aggression towards the US, far exceeding merely “being pissed off”.

    ”Putin has done more to drag Russia away from communism than Gorbachev and Yeltsin ever dreamed of. The flat tax, the growth of the middle class, the consumer society, the restoration of the Orthodox Church to a prominent public role, commemoration of the victims of communism, the sidelining of the Communist Party – all of these happened on Putin’s watch.”

    The flat tax will be rescinded when Russia’s oil revenues decline, as will the growth of the middle class. Sustained Middle Class growth only happens under conditions which support it, long term, those conditions don’t exist in Russia. The other items you cite are natural outgrowths of the fall of the Soviet Union, Putin is merely getting on the right side of the issue to deflect political criticism.

    Putin is not an advocate of classically liberal democratic values, he’s still a covert communist.

    And you appear to be an apologist for him. That characterization of you is based upon your consistent denial of his actions, such as fostering nuclear proliferation and apparent willingness to ‘forgive’ whatever he might do.

  84. Odradek Says:

    G. Britain: evidently we are not going to agree on much, so I’ll probably stop arguing at this point. One thing you say, however – “you appear to be an apologist for [Putin]” – is absolutely true. As I stated above, I think Putin is Russia’s best leader since Alexander II.

    Here is an analysis of Putinism by a Finnish lawyer who lives in Moscow. Although I don’t agree 100% with his viewpoint, he gets the important stuff right:

    http://cdi.org/russia/johnson/russia-putin-social-liberal-patriotic-party-590.cfm

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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