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For years, I have written in this humble blog that Obama and his team have created an unprecedented foreign policy disaster. The disaster be...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11/14: Year Thirteen in the 1400 Year War

I have written before about where I was 9/11/01 (here and here, for example), and won't repeat it.    Let's just take a brief look at the past thirteen years of our long war with Islam, yes, Islam.

Thirteen years after that horrid day, we are still under attack by Islam. We have had some great successes, no doubt. Nobody would have believed that the US could so quickly mount such an effective operation in Afghanistan; within eight weeks US-led forces had taken Kabul, and sent the Taliban and its AQ masters running for the hills and the Pakistani border. It was a brilliant and unprecedented victory which highlighted Usama bin Laden's ultimately fatal mistake in attacking the US homeland--when the right President was in office, that is.

I have noted before that Islam is a rotten house which holds hundreds of millions of unhappy souls within its walls. To defeat the Islamic Jihadis requires constant pressure, attack, counterattack. It is a strategy in someways similar to that advocated by George Kennan in his 1947 "X Article" which advocated constant pressure and resistance to Soviet expansionism as the way to force the USSR to collapse or to reform from within. The Islamists must be resisted and defeated constantly and wherever they attack in the hope that eventually forces within Islam will rise up against the Jihadis and that a process of enlightenment will take hold in that now brutal and totalitarian creed.

Let's repeat: The war with Islam did not begin September 11, 2001. It began some 1400 years ago and continues. That September 11 was just a reminder that we live in a world of Islamic war.

President Bush seemed to understand that we were in a long war. He made some tough and right decisions. The requirements, however, of political correctness and expediency forced him to make major errors. The first, was to tell Americans in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks to carry on as though nothing had happened--to go shopping. It was LBJ's "Guns and Butter" policy on steroids.  The second was to utter one of the stupidest and most consequential statements made by a major Western leader, to wit, "Islam is a religion of peace." Whoever wrote that line for the President completely misunderstood the nature of enemy we faced then and now and have for 1400 years. That utterance undermined and basically ruled out a true understanding of our enemy. The thinking that line represents prevented and prevents sensible immigration reforms, and sets the stage for the prancing and utterances of dangerous clowns such as CAIR. Islam is not a religion of peace; it is a totalitarian creed out to destroy us and our allies in the West. It is as though in the midst of WWII, we were to allow thousands upon thousands of Nazis to immigrate to the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia.  The Jihadi with his knife bloody from killing the unarmed is Islam and vice-versa.  The so-called "crazies," "radicals," "fringe," in fact, form the core of Islam. An almost unbroken record of 1400 years of mass murder, enslavement, and misery speak to the truth about Islam. This is not new.

This all leads to the abomination we now have as President. This man who came into office pooh-poohing the "war on terror" (Note: Another mistake: It should have been called the war against the Jihadis) and apologizing to the Muslim world, now finds himself facing a rampant Jihadi threat--one which his absurd policies have fostered. He discarded the victories in Afghanistan and Iraq (and don't forget that Saddam was a terrorist enabler), drew down our military forces, resisted efforts to make us energy independent, turned over Libya to the Jihadis, nearly did the same in Egypt, and almost got us into a war in Syria on behalf of the Jihadis. He now is our "leader" in the battle against ISIS/ISIL. Between rounds of golf, he first tells us that he has no strategy, then that we shouldn't worry because it is a manageable problem, and now he makes a dramatic speech last night announcing he plans to destroy ISIS/ISIL, but to do so in a very cautious way. He has declared a sort-of, semi-war on the very same people a few months ago he (and McCain) wanted us to help overthrow Syria's Assad (I noted at the time how quiet the Israelis were on proposals to overthrow Assad; they know what will replace him.)

Ok, got it. The best comment I have heard on this silly Obama speech was by one of my sons. He called me and said, "I would love to play chess against Obama. He tells you upfront what he's not going to do. He tells you he won't use his knights and queen. Why did he announce we won't use ground troops? Why tell them that? What if we have to use them?"

Obama also repeated the nonsense that Islam is not the issue. He even stated that ISIS/ISIL is not Islamic. Oh, yes they are, Mr. President. They are the very essence of modern Islam. When will the White House and the rest of our political and chattering classes realize that?

This is not the way to conduct the 1400 year war. But then, as I noted some time ago, "we are not at war, just under attack."

84 comments:

  1. Oh yeah, now I remember why State doesn't love you.
    Islam, not a couple guys tooling around on bicycles dressed in white shirts wanting to have a chat with you, but religion of fire and sword unchanged since the beginning.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. It's all the fault of the Jews and the bicyclists.

      Delete
  2. Thank you, Dip! A breath of sanity! It is SOOOOO good to have you back!

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  3. I just love western leaders telling us ISIS [or whatever it is today] is not Islam. That is probably new to their leader who has a PhD in Islamic Studies and constantly tells us they are doing their God's bidding.
    It will be impossible to eradicate Islam but the west could make the Muslim world reluctant to become extremists by exterminating them whenever they pop up. The lesson would eventually get through.

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    1. Hi, Ozzie. I was wondering where you had gone.

      Eradicating Islam is perfectly possible. We just won't do it.

      Delete
    2. G'day Alpha,
      SWMBO had major surgery ten weeks ago and I have been chief nurse and bottle washer so have been absent or just flipping through.
      Back now. Was worried for a while when "the Dip" went quiet.

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  4. The cancer of political correctness has invaded public policy to the point where the proper response to national security threats must be tempered to avoid the hand-wringing offence-takers in the media and left hyperventilating about racism and discrimination. How can any leader properly deal with issues of this kind if we have reached the absurd position where they cannot speak plainly about what is happening, who is responsible and why.

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    1. True, Brett, and very well said.

      But of course the "leaders" are themselves hand-wringing offence-takers hyperventilating about racism and discrimination, so they cannot *think* plainly about what is happening, who is responsible and why.

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    2. Case in point - that nasty Rottenham business. Talk about ruining yourself over PCness!

      LibertyGrace'sGrandma

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  5. I heard that once the Vice President of the United States, Henry Wallace under FDR, pronounced that the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) was NOT Communist,

    Wallace was later (1948) the nominee for President for the Progressive Party.

    Your son's insight about Obama is good. No strategic or tactical ambiguity from this guy!

    Your point about Islam being at war with the West and Christendom for 1400 years is also well taken. The only reason we're having these current flare ups is there's so much oil under the land of some Muslims. Most of the troubles we've seen in the last few decades is certain groups intending to get control of that oil - ISIS and the Northern Iraqi fields, AQ and Saudi Arabian production, Saddam and Kuwait., Libya and whoever.

    For the great ambition is to cross the threshold to control of oil because oil is power. Supposedly ISIS has a field now that's giving them $2 million a day. But they arose to fill a power vacuum. Crushing them will only return the area to a power vacuum - who do we hope will fill that vacuum after we're done bombing them?

    We won't see peace until the oil is drawn down to where there is only enough for domestic consumption. Unless a ruler invests for a post-oil income stream, like the UAE is doing, they will return to backwardness. Many will see a population crash too.

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    1. ". The only reason we're having these current flare ups is there's so much oil under the land of some Muslims"

      That's certain a part of the reason; our own weakness and self-hatred is another significatn part.

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    2. Now if Moses had been a better navigator all that oil would be under Israel.

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    3. "That's certain a part of the reason; our own weakness and self-hatred is another significant part". More lingering ill effects from the post Viet Nam policy "thinkers". John Kerry informing the world yesterday that we won't be at war with ISIS is emblematic of this mental affliction. Obama said differently in a convoluted way the night before and Joe Biden is determined to follow ISIS "to the gates of hell"....then what? I would caution any world leader to watch their step around this bunch.

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    4. Oz, despite the fact that Moses wasn't exclusively hunting hydrocarbons, as it happens there seems to be quite a bit of hydrocarbon under Israeli territorial waters--enough that in a generation or so it is likely to be a power in the energy world. I merely note.

      Assuming the Iranians don't get a nuclear bomb, of course.

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    5. I'm certainly a fundamentalist analyst - look first to the energy and the biology as the politics will follow.

      As to Moses, didn't the Burning Bush (a gas flare) tell him to move along? Israel's timing is certainly good - as others decline in production, Israel will get a better price plus they are socially cohesive enough to not let the easy money go to their collective heads.

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    6. Hi, Hall.

      If by biology you mean demography--and you should: the future belong to who shows up--the Jews will quite soon (2030s?) be a comfortable supermajority of the population of the Jewish Partition of Mandatory Palestine, the whole shebang between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, which by the international-legal principle *uti possidetis* (yes, that very same violated by Putin in annexing Crimea) *still* belongs to Israel, and which it will have no reason that I can think of not to reannex.

      Assuming, again, that Iranian nuclear weapons don't annihilate the whole country.

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    7. "Biology" as in "they gotta eat!" Plus demographics, as you mention since, no food no demos.

      I was shocked to read that Egypt has to import half its caloric intake. Yemen and many others Muslim countries have similar import needs. (Pakistan is a net exporter I understand.)

      Actual, there's a whole branch of ecology that treats life as energy flows.

      Note that I capitalize the H to make sure whitewall and Whitehall are understood to be different commenters.

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    8. Noted, Mr. Hall. Glad to make your acquaintance.

      Yes, the news about Egypt remains shocking, if not surprising.

      Interesting that in ecology the well-being of a species is virtually identified with its population, whereas among "ecology" fans are often in favor of reducing the human population -- usually by means they don't think about much, but which are brutal.

      Delete
  6. I would not much care to play chess with Obama.

    I would, however, love to play chess with Obama *for money*.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. hahahaha

      - reader #1482

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    2. "I would, however, love to play chess with Obama *for money*."
      I hate to say it, but Obama has been winning on the money "our money" contest.

      Delete
    3. James,

      That's because he gets to have government agents *take* our money under threat of prison, backed ultimately by threat of violence. He has the guns.

      Properly speaking, there are no guns in chess.

      Delete
    4. "No guns in chess" you say? I don't know if you've seen the old computer game 'Battle Chess' but under certain circumstances if you have the opposing Queen cornered she pulls out a Uzi and blasts you. The first time i saw that happen I nearly creased myself.

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  7. My interpretation is that this labeling of Islam as a 'religion of peace' is perhaps more assertion than it is descriptive.
    If we want for those following Islam to not join such causes, it's vitally important that our propaganda machine cements it in the minds of the young that people recruiting to violent causes in the name of Islam are not representing Islam.
    That's a primary goal of propaganda, and I hope we have some strategy to make that work.
    For what it's worth, George Orwell would probably approve of the attempt.

    - reader #1482

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    1. 14, old buddy, I regret to say that our propaganda has no chance of dissuading those guys. None.

      Put yourself in your place, imaginatively. Gin up your righteous anger against the perfidious infidel. Also, remember, you have nothing to lose: no job, no farm, no support, no prospects. No *other* prospects: fighting pays--well, by your standards. And you like fighting. You like the comeraderie, and the esprit de corps, and the elan. (Why are all the cool words about war in French?) You probably even get into the actual killing: many do. Now, what could the hated enemy say that would stop you?


      Delete
    2. Er, typo. That should read: "Put yourself in their place, imaginatively." Of course.

      Delete
    3. Hm. I'm speaking here of the guys in the Middle East who make up the bulk of IS and Islamic Jihad and Hamas and Hezbollah and so on. Maybe you're speaking of the guys from the West--death tourists, really.

      I don't think our propaganda has a chance with the death tourists either, but for slightly different reasons.

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    4. ... or, third category, rich kids from Muslim countries, like (O, say, for instance) Osama bin Laden.

      I think they're basically death tourists too; but conceivably our propaganda has no chance with these guys for slightly different reasons than for the other death tourists.

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    5. I think you're right. We wished to instill the idea of a peaceful Islam and appeal to the bulk of Muslims not interested in joining any jihad.

      Delete
    6. Or alternatively those recruiting to violent causes in the name of islam find their lives to subsequently be nasty, brutish and short.

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    7. I wonder just how many of these "global volunteers" who join ISIS are only drawn to the pack mentality and the primitive instincts in us all. Since ISIS is only meeting occasional resistance, what happens when they meet a head on onslaught from very capable forces who have orders to eliminate them? I'm guessing at that moment, the messianic is separated from the wild eyed adventurer.

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    8. a6z... agreed, it would be a momentous victory for the concept of propaganda... I doubt it works.

      - reader #1482

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    9. A bad thing, too, really, since it would be yet another triumph of propaganda over truth.

      As nearly as I can tell--and I am not a Moslem, and have only read about the four *major* schools of Islamic interpretation--people recruiting to--by which I mean being recruited by--violent causes in the name of Islam *actually are* representing--by which I mean obeying--Islam.

      If I could, though, I would persuade them not to do it anyway.

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  8. "The requirements, however, of political correctness and expediency forced him to make major errors. The first, was to tell Americans in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks to carry on as though nothing had happened--to go shopping."

    Should the U.S. have done what it did in WWII and suspend the civilian economy, mobilize the population, and invade the enemy en masse?

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    1. There are, of course, measures short of that that would have driven home that we are at war. Measures such as rewriting the immigration laws to keep jihadis out.

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    2. One change in immigration law I might like would be to issue visas according to one's placement in a global queue. You earn your initial place in the queue by passing written and oral examinations in English proficiency, a medical examination, and whatever background check the consular service can conduct. You could add a wife and children to your application, but with each addition your place in the queue is adjusted rearward (or adjusted forward if your wife has American citizenship). You'd be permitted to enter when your number was up and every person over 14 on your bill had passed an English proficiency test and met some ancillary requirements. You'd then amend that for aspirants from a list of 25 or 30 problem countries by refusing to accept applications from aught but nuclear families and older married couples, debarring entry by their bachelor herd. You might also eliminate H1-B visas, &c., require that applicants for a student visa pass an English proficiency test, distribute berths for such visas to colleges and universities through multiple price auctions, and prohibit their issuance to any applicant from one of 25 or 30 problem countries unless the applicant has a wife and children and the school in question bought berths for the whole family. (Or unless the applicant has been married for years, is over 45, and traveling with his wife).

      That having been said, our real problem is wretched enforcement. There needs to be a commitment to building and maintaining an immigration and border police worthy of the name. There has not been for decades.

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    3. I think if we had done what you suggest here, we would have won the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with such decisiveness that there would be no room in the US for pretenders like Obama.
      It all happened to slowly and deliberately, with plenty of time for the US population to 'check out' of the situation.
      If we'd been in both Baghdad and Kabul by Jan 2002 with massive overwhelming commitment by all segments of the US economy, we'd probably be seeing a much better outcome.
      In this case, I believe the country asked too little of its population and attempt to 'wage war on the cheap without losing too many votes'.

      - reader #1482

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  9. I would like to point out that we have been to this dance before where we had religious fanatics willing to commit suicide flying planes into superstructures, beheading captives, and bent on the conquest of as much of the world as they could get their grimy paws on. This is not something new. In 1945 the kamikaze flew planes into our ships in the same manner. Japanese conqueror of the Philippines beheaded stragglers of the Bataan Death March and flew planes loaded with explosives into our ships. All to further their sphere of influence.

    After dropping the Bomb and securing victory over Japan, many Japanese still didn't want to surrender- rather they wanted to arm children with sharpened sticks and fight to the death- for their religion and their Emperor. This caused a telegram to be sent from Secretary of State James F. Byrnes in 1945, transmitting the radio remarks of John Carter Vincent, head of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs, to General Douglas MacArthur, the supreme commander of the Allied Powers in Japan.

    "Shintoism, insofar as it is a religion of individual Japanese, is not to be interfered with. Shintoism, however insofar as it is directed by the Japanese Government, and is a measure enforced from above by the government, is to be done away with. People will not be taxed to support National Shinto and there will be no place for Shintoism in the schools. Shintoism as a state religion -- National Shinto, that is -- will go. Our policy on this goes beyond Shinto. The dissemination of Japanese militaristic and ultra-nationalistic ideology in any form will be completely suppressed. And the Japanese Government will be required to cease financial and other support of Shinto establishments."

    Thus, Islam insofar as it is incompatible with governing a free people needs to go- Sharia Law must go. Until we are prepared to fight those that would subjugate us with every tool in our arsenal this will continue. Your grandchildren and their grandchildren will be fighting those headchoppers until a lightbulb goes off over someone's head and they see the Bright Flash.

    ~R.M.

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    1. In the United States, Islam is being treated like a religion, with the full protections of the Bill of Rights. This is a mischaracterization of Islam for whatever religious impulses it satisfies, it remains at heart a POLITICAL movement with POLITICAL aims.

      Once we clarify that mistake, then we can deal with Islam domestically.

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    2. I'm not sure it's a mistake.

      I think it might actually justify an exception in the First Amendment, along the lines of: "The Mohammedan religion, having shown itself to sanction religious war against all other persons, shall be exempted from the protections of this Article."

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  10. I'd like to thank Diplomad for the reference to the X article. As an average citizen trying to learn more about geoplitical dynamics, it's helpful to learn from our past. My quick review of the Long Telegram and the X Article points to some deep, strategic thinking grounded in the realities and social essence of the Russians.

    Reading about the X Article nudged me towards the Y Article. While I haven't read the paper yet, a quick review of the themes made me somewhat nauseous. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the strategic themes seemed to be right out of a left-wing playbook. I don't consider that strategic thinking grounded in reality at all.

    What a bunch of crap for pandering to the President's desire to make the military weak and politically correct. I'm sure it advanced some careers during the Great Purge of the Generals.

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    1. The more I dig into the Y Aritcle, the more it appears to be re-engineering of America society on all levels. First, the US military has no place in doing that. Second, educated military leaders should understand that central planning (i.e. the RUSSIAN model) doesn't work. They are worried about resource scarcity (a liberal concept that hasn't proven true as of yet), rather than letting the market dynamics drive demand reduction through price increases (basic supply and demand).

      China has a grasp on their strategic grand plan in a resource constrained global economy. They are grabbing up as many oil/coal/natural gas contracts as possible. They are controlling about 95% of the world's market of rare earth elements. Our supposed strategic thinkers are talking sustainability...sheez!

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  11. DM was also an Austrailian Playboy covergirl in 1987: http://magazines.famousfix.com/tpx_7574772/playboy-magazine-australia-november-1987/magazine-covers

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  12. One other factor that IS brings to mind: Germany and Japan both financed WWII by plundering the countries they occupied both directly and by employing its bankers to export the wartime inflation to its victims. (Of course, Germany also stole from its Jewish citizens to finance the welfare state for its favored Volk; Götz Aly's Hitler's Beneficiaries is a compelling account of this aspect of the war.)

    Sharia already provides the legal and, ah, moral framework for plunder and oppression, too.

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  13. At this point I do not think you your most dangerous enemy is ISIS/ISIL/Al Quaida.

    Once you define your enemy as the treasonous and disjointed gang of democrats who are doing everything to weaken your nation then progress can be made.

    According to the white house you are at "war", John Kerry has not read the memo yet, Joe Biden is ready to attack with his shotgun-WTF, you are a laughingstock. I guess I will have to await Susan Rice/Jen Psaki to clarify the issue these being the fearsome face of the USA these days. I wonder if one of the poodles from the joint chiefs of staff might clarify, or are they too busy determining the proper proportion of transgenders to admit to flag officer?

    The USA do not need boots on the ground, it needs boots up asses, if the chiefs of staff cannot get their act together sub- contract the job to the Israeli's. Assign the USAF to Israel for four months, problem resolved-guaranteed, and Iran would not budge an inch ever again.

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    1. And here I thought you were going to say our most dangerous enemy was Russia. Or possibly China or even Iran.

      The Democrats (possibly with exceptions) aren't our enemies. They're us. Or some of us, anyway.

      Makes it harder, doesn't it?

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  14. The chiefs are cowed by the firings and lame criminal charges being brought against flag officers. We require rough men to fight wars and PC leadership is at the helm today. Sad but true.

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    1. Perhaps, but mostly the chiefs are restrained by professional discipline. The military conforms to the political direction of the civilian leadership, however bizarre.

      Makes it harder, doesn't it?

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  15. The second was to utter one of the stupidest and most consequential statements made by a major Western leader, to wit, "Islam is a religion of peace."

    One of the stupidest and most consequential statements made by a major Western leader? Oh, that wacko didn't stop there. And obviously most of his middle eastern foreign policy strategy ("Winning Muslim [dark[ hearts and [small] minds") was based on it all.

    Islam brings hope and comfort to millions of people in my country, and to more than a billion people worldwide. Ramadan is also an occasion to remember that Islam gave birth to a rich civilization of learning that has benefited mankind. Islam is a faith that brings comfort to people. It inspires them to lead lives based on honesty, and justice, and compassion. Islam is a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. It's a faith that has made brothers and sisters of every race. It's a faith based upon love, not hate. Mohammad's word has guided billions of believers across the centuries, and those believers built a culture of learning and literature and science. All the world continues to benefit from this faith and its achievements. The Islam that we know is a faith devoted to the worship of one God, as revealed through The Holy Qur'an. It teaches the value and the importance of charity, mercy, and peace. - George W. Bush !!!

    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/infocus/ramadan/islam.html

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    1. Yes, it was dumb.

      Why are we competing with Democrats to blame Bush? Is that really where the bulk of the blame lies?

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  16. http://bar.baen.com/index.php?t=msg&th=109535&start=0&

    comments welcome.

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    1. Can't see anything on that site (Baen's Bar) without a login, which I don't want to do. Would you please be so good as to tell us something about it?

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  17. C_Philip_Medic

    ONE...of what part?

    Four words I never want to hear again in the same sentence, "war weary American public". The American public wouldn't know we were at war if the news didn't every now and again report on it in the news. Most Americans couldn't find Iraq or Afghanistan on a map nor could they relate to the experiences of the volunteer force that went overseas to fight in those wars. America's military went to war, Americans went to the mall.

    I saw a video today where college students were not aware of the significance of September 11th and it gave me a pause. I, the generations before me, my generation, and the follow up generation know exactly where we were and what we were doing when 9/11 happened. But the newest generation has in large part only vague memories of what happened and little interest in the topic. Or for that matter little interest in what is going on overseas. Instead they are more excited by the newest Apple launch or what celebs were caught up in what ever scandal is happening this week. A few will join the military and they are going to look at their 30 something year old Sergeant or Chief and wonder at the stories they hear. They will largely have missed out on the last 13 years of war. In a very real sense the newest members of the military will be outsiders to the veterans that make up the core of the military. At least until they deploy.

    Members of my generation and the millennial generation that went overseas are finding it hard to integrate back into a society that on the surface appears thankful but underneath really doesn't care about its veterans. Veteran unemployment is at historical highs as well as veterans committing suicide. For many the lack of purpose is literally killing them. Like the Vietnam vets the current generation of vets face the stigma of being combat vets.

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    1. "War weary American public" is just shorthand for "War-story-weary American media", and it doesn't take very many war stories to make the American media war-story-weary. One a year is ample.

      You will hear the phrase again, often, if there is a debate about the war.

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  18. When I went back to my civilian job after my tours in Iraq the very first question asked of me by most of my coworkers was "Did you kill anyone?" followed closely by "Do you have PTSD?". It proved to be an uncomfortable situation and I ended up leaving that job not long after. People couldn't relate to me and I couldn't relate back to them. I found that except for a few handful of my civilian friends most no longer really wanted to talk to me or hang out, their lives had moved on over those two years and my civilian life had remained frozen for two years while I deployed. My experiences in Iraq radically changed my perceptions of what was and wasn't important and in a large part that had an impact on how I interacted with people that didn't have those same experiences. It is hard to get worked up over the latest television series or video game or random little life events when you have literally dealt with life and death situations more days than I like to think about.

    So we veterans tend to isolate ourselves away from the rest of society and form out own cliques. We gravitate towards each other and many put on a prickly set of armor in order to deal with civilians. There can be a lot of good that comes from finding those support groups but at the same time shutting ourselves off from the rest of society can be a bad thing. I was lucky enough to find fandom and cons to go to and that has really brought me out of my shell into a better person. While many of my friends in fandom are vets not all or even a majority are and so we find common ground in a shared interest.

    But it has been hard this last couple of years watching everything that we fought for seem to evaporate before our eyes. Iraq is a mess and Afghanistan isn't much better. Our politicians do not try to unite and lead us but instead seek to divide us into neat little boxes so that they can increase their power over us. In the end our politicians wasted everything that 9/11 did do for us. Right after 9/11 this country was united in a way that hadn't been seen since WWII, but in two short years time we were divided again and at each others throats. We lost something on 9/11 to the terrorists but we lost more to each other and the unending civil strife that for now is blessedly free of violence but seems to be heading in that direction. I pray that we get real leadership that can unite us again and make us remember why America was once regarded as that "Shining city on the hill".

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    1. Keep in mind that real leaders have real followers. While you could critique him on various points, Mitt Romney was just about the most accomplished and demonstrably capable individual to stand for the Presidency in the post-Eisenhower era (though he lacked a service record, much less one like that of the elder Bush). The electorate rejected him in favor of a motormouth empty suit.

      As for Congress, do you recall that when Walter Mondale departed the Vice Presidency in 1981, he had a net worth of $15,000. Given changes in consumer prices, that amounts to about $40,000 today. Given changes in nominal incomes, a contextually similar sum would be $60,000 today. That's less than 1% of Harry Reid's net worth. Reid has under his belt nine years of law practice in what was then (ca. 1970) a city of middling size. Otherwise, he's been on the public payroll his whole adult life. How'd he end up with a $6.7 million net worth? (And can you imagine Mike Mansfield or George Mitchell engaging in some of his antics?).

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    2. anon, great to hear your story... it reminds me of the tendency for parents of children with life threatening conditions to perform similar retreats. It puts one in a state of mind where it's difficult to deal with others, even those who don't have ill intentions in mind. How can we get excited about all these trivial things when we've experienced incredible horror?
      - reader #1482

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    3. You have more than my sympathy, you have my respect. Thank you for your service under difficult circumstances, it was not a waste of time although the tactical advantages you gained have indeed been squandered, and had the military been allowed to fight unhindered by rules of engagement you would have been totally successful.
      You and your colleagues have been let down by the politicians-plain as day.
      If it is any help, you should know that many civilians also feel at drift from the current leadership and the populace seeming acceptance of such poor standards of executive execution.
      I wish you well with your future endeavours.
      From a thankful Canadian.

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    4. Mr. Mous, sir,

      A combat soldier -- in this respect like like a cop, but more so -- sees facts, and cumulatively truths, so radically beyond civilian experience as to become virtually a different sort of being, who makes a civilian nervous. From that reaction he ultimately tends to draw together with others like himself.

      I wish I were as sure as my friend Cascadian that you service was not wasted. Under other circumstances--no reason to be coy: under a Republican president--your sacrifices and your buddies' would not have been wasted. I think.

      But I fear that a Democratic president's relation to the military is that he passes wind with your life.

      Delete
  19. We win a war, only to lose it at the table for "Peace".
    Only. tell me with yourself. .... Hamburger Hill.
    Coral Sea...
    I wonder where some of you live..and I wonder....why...
    why should I read or write..or stop to be..a Vote...(count)...why>
    Why should I strive> when it is said>?
    It is said?
    ..
    So simple it needs not be said.
    Leaperman
    We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light

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    Replies
    1. Despair is what they want from you. Do not give it to them.

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  20. I agree that we are at war with Islam. Islam cannot be reformed or enlightened as long as Muhammed is considered the man to be emulated - and if he were not, then Islam would no longer be Islam. We have no choice (other than the unthinkable - submission) but to pursue the war that is pressed upon us, but we need to be aware of the consequences of defeating Islam.

    If we have the will, we can prevent these crazies from developing first rate thermonuclear devices and delivery systems, and can survive what they might do with the weapons they have or get. There is too much testing to be done and infrastructure required to do much development in secret.

    Biowarfare is another story. With modern methods we are on the verge of a situation where a few crazies with a small lab can create diseases that kill billions - even genetically targeted diseases. It is true that bioweapons have no strategic value, but strategy is not important to a crazy man - Google "amok".

    A beheaded snake can still bite and kill, even as it dies. I am not suggesting that we not fight, just that we should be prepared for the consequences.

    Islam is the problem, and it is not going away.

    Thworg

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    Replies
    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlIGKON9_xo

      leaperman

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    2. We had better gird our loins to make it go away -- before it does the same to us.

      Delete
  21. There's a novella which is a companion piece to this film:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0109185/


    That has some succinct and concisely stated points. A salient one is that various cheats and substitutes emerge when a society suffers from a deficit of manhood. Those delineated are anomie (manifest in street drugs), homosexuality, sheer crassness, and the transmogrification of religious observance from something with reminds one of God and orders daily life into a tool of madcap political mobilizations. We might consider the possibility that Islam regulates how a deficit of manhood is expressed, but is not the source of the deficit of manhood.

    (See also Thomas Sowell, who has offered that the problem in the Near East, North Africa, and Central Asia is a collective resort to recrimination rather than constructive action given the challenge posed by the reversal of fortune the Muslim world has suffered over four centuries).

    I do not think it's wise to conceptualize this as a War on Islam, or to regard meme as the drivers of history (not influenced by other factors), or to regard this as another episode in some 1400 year struggle. Osama bin Laden may fancy he's fighting to re-gain al Andalus, but we do not have to subscribe to the same fantasy.
    Senegalese peasants are not our problem. Revanchist politicians and paramilitaries are our problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Iranian atom-bom-makers and bioweapon-makers are our problem.

      Delete
  22. Here's a suggestion: oil is fungible and there's an international market in it. It really does not matter in ordinary circumstances from whence on the globe is our oil produced. Interruptions in supply are likely to produce a roughly similar effect on price dynamics no matter where the interruption is. What might matter is physical access in circumstances where trade routes were no longer operating due to war. That sort of contingency should induce a bias against consuming domestic reserves (provided that domestic production could be ramped up rapidly in wartime). "Energy independence" is not something we truly need.

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  23. I noted some media reports that the President has been talking to Sandy "Freaking" Burger for foreign policy advice. Sandy Burger should not even be allow to take a white house tour. The man destroyed documents in the national Archives to cover for his boss. How can Obama trust such a person? Not only is he wrong about policy, you don't know where his loyalty lies. He likely files weekly reports with the Clintons, and acts as their mouthpiece in any discussions. Only a idiot would consider Sandy Burger for an advisor position.

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    1. Can't be true.. .just can't... what the heck did Sandy Burger destroy in the national archives anyways? It must have been *extremely* damning for him to take that conviction just to get rid of those documents.

      - reader #1482

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    2. Supposedly, at least one document destroyed was an original intelligence estimate of AQ along with penciled margin notes by one or the other Clinton.

      One would guess the notes said something embarrassing to the Clintons re 9/11,.

      Delete
  24. When Vallery Jarrett is not setting policy, we my have a chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Jarrett didn't "set policy" no one would. Vacuum

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    2. Obama sets policy when he chooses Valerie Jarret, and continues to set policy every second he leaves her in charge.

      Personnel is policy.

      Delete
  25. As ever you are so right.
    .I do, however question your assertion that Saddam Hussein was a terrorist sponsor. To my knowledge that has never been proved, and I think it is most unlikely. He was a dictator who was interested in his own power and that of his tribe. He would have recognised AlQuaida for example as a many headed snake which he could not control. I am a cultural Catholic, he was the same as far as Islam was concerned. Just as Franco would go to mass, so Saddam would go to the Mosque.

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    Replies
    1. He was a supporter of suicide bombers in the West Bank, providing their families cash.

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    2. Also left Ansar al-Islam and other terrorist groups to freely roam uncontrolled areas of his claimed territory. If we view that in terms of property, that's paying their rent.

      - reader #1482

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  26. Also we a dealing with TRIBES that can't be trusted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...and tribes that don't trust each other either.

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    2. I am sympathetic to your point, Mr. Mous, but not quite following you.

      Is a tribe that can't be trusted less trustworthy than some other sort of organization that can't be trusted?

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    3. Many tribes in the ME consider America something of a tribe. There is a difference between an organization and a tribe don't you think? By definition if nothing else.

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    4. The Anglo settlers and their governments had a difficult time dealing with the American Indian tribes due to their disorganization. From the times of King Phillip's War in the 1600s down to the American Indian Movement of the 1960s, getting a deal with a "chief" was not a reliable political solution due to a tribe's loose political discipline and tendency for splinter groups.

      Delete
  27. Hello Bob, greetings from Down Under. I trust you are well. Here's something I came across this afternoon and it gave me a laugh.

    http://latest.com/2014/09/john-kerry-bumbler/

    ReplyDelete
  28. Dip--great to see you back.

    In Guangzhou, I bought my bread (bagels and pizza crust--both called nan), raisins, and kebab from a colony of Uighur migrants there. I later learned that the place, welcoming enough to a wandering Westerner, was a no-go zone to the local police. What I gathered from some of those people--as well as others who had traveled to the homeland of Xinjiang/Sharki Turkistan--is that there was a lot of anger against the Chinese regime, and a sense, in those heady days of the 1990's, that Big Brother was mortal after all.

    My guess is that the Islamic world has a surfeit of nasty leaders, albeit homegrown rather than imposed by "them folks", and when such nasty leaders loosen their grip (as must inevitably happen), all pandemonium breaks out.

    BTW, re Dip's answer to Oldseadog, not only was Sodom Insane a supporter of Falastin Arab suicide bombers, but he also gave a hiding place to Abu Nidal. In Gulf War I, his people were talking to everyone from the IRA to the Moro Liberation Front about assassinating coalition diplomats and their dependents. I can't say I'm sorry to see Sodom Insane hanged--although the executioners chanting the name of Poopy-pants Moqtadar as they did the job was a portent of things to come.

    Still, much as I decry the persecution and killing of some of the world's oldest Christian communities (to say nothing of the uprooting of the Mizrahi Jews by the Ba'athis before), and see the ISIS folks as bloody-minded savages who could use a visitation of another Huleku Khan, I'm wondering if now might be the time when US policy has to recognize that history is going to happen no matter what. We are seeing before our eyes that Sykes' and Picot's lines are probably not viable in the long run.

    ReplyDelete