Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Families in the aftermath of terrorist attacks

Much fast-breaking news on the London bombings--so fast that, by the time I finish writing this post, new events may have taken over. Things will probably continue to change moment by moment, but the questions right now are: did all the bombers die in the blasts? And, if not, will they be caught? And, of course, who are they?

These details are not known yet. But there is virtually no doubt that the bombers were (or are?) Islamicists, most likely living in Britain for some time. I am also amazed, as I was after 9/11, at the ubiquity of surveillance cameras, and their ability to help the police in cracking the case. In the last decade or so, the use of security cameras has mushroomed, and my guess is that they will continue to be a vital forensic tool.

Unfortunately, though, the cameras only come into play ex-post-facto. They record events in real time, but they cannot tell us what is happening or what will happen; they can only give us information after the fact. Photos that at first look utterly ordinary become chilling and telling only in retrospect, containing information that, but for the cameras, we might never have learned.

Another interesting detail that has just emerged in the London case is that the family of one of the bombers (yes, I know: "alleged bombers") reported him missing after the blast. This is a strong indication that they had no idea of his role in the attack. This is not surprising, of course. I would imagine they are undergoing a very difficult time right now, as they learn what their loved one was actually up to that day.

Of course, sometimes the families of bombers are sympathetic to their cause. Or, sometimes they pretend to be, the better to fit their community's twisted type of political correctness (for example, among the Palestinians). But sometimes family members' sympathies lie elsewhere. The large Bin Laden family is a case in point--quite a few members have spoken out against their most famous relative. And back in February of 2003, a lengthy profile of the family of Moussaoui, the so-called "twentieth hijacker," appeared in the NY Times Sunday Magazine. It was extraordinary for a number of reasons, but one of the most interesting was that it revealed that one of Moussaoui's two sisters is a converted Jew and fervent Zionist. So, one cannot assume much of anything about the families of terrorists.

Speaking of families, I was wondering why we've seen virtually nothing about the victims of the London bombings. It seems that, at least according to this story, which features a brief description and photos of three of the victims, the reason for the delay is that progress has been slow on identifying the bodies and notifying the families.

Those families, and the families of the many other people who are missing and presumed dead, are undergoing a very special and horrific type of torment right now. What they are experiencing is the stuff of nightmare. It is a strange thing to think that, even as I write this, there are families in such widely scattered places as Netanya in Israel, London, and of course Iraq who are all mourning the victims of terrorists. What do these families have in common? Simply this: their loved ones were going about the ordinary business of life, and were blown apart by followers of a branch of Islam that is indeed "in love with death," and which has been allowed to flourish in the fertile soil of Western tolerance.

28 Comments:

At 1:41 PM, July 12, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

I think there is a fair chance that some of these families will receive some type of anonymous compensation. Saddam hussein was generously paying the families of palestinian homicide bombers .This does not necessarily preclude the fact that most likely said families had no knowledge of the pending homicidal detonations. I suspect this is an operational consideration more than anything else. The fewer that know, the less chance of being discovered. We will never know if said families are truly grieving or celebrating. Isn't it odd that the media will interview the families of victims, yet these family members won't be interviewed in a Public sense of the word? What if one of the family members of the bombers said in affect that the bomber was now in paradise? My my! The Liberal press wouldn't want that getting out, now would they? I for one do not give them the benefit of the doubt. There is no harm done, no divine transgression for taking advantage of the enemy from a fundamentalist point of view. On the other hand, London Muslims are speaking out, a senior cleric in Egypt is speaking out against terrorism and British intelligence forces are hard a work.

 
At 5:01 PM, July 12, 2005, Blogger Dymphna said...

I heard yesterday that there is one New Yorker missing. Since he was in London at the time and hasn't been heard from, they presume he must be among the bodies. Or the scattered remnants od bodies.

The surveillance cameras are here to stay, despite the libertarian protests. There is too much evil in the world that has been exposed by cameras for us to ever take any down.

 
At 1:28 AM, July 13, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it sad that your politics, neo-neocon, changed after 9-11. You say you were a liberal. Liberalism did not cause 9-11 or any of the other bombings and terrorist acts. On the contrary, it has been largely our encouragement of the militarism of Zionism and the genocide of the Palestinians which has led us down this path. 'Liberal' is simply short-hand indicating respect for all human life. 'Neocon' is short-hand for 'new con-men', as the present group in control murder with impunity whilst lying about the reasons for the blood-bath they have wrought. Don't tell me that in excess of 100,000 innocent Iraqis and 1700 American troops had to die because of 9-11! What a crock! And what about the tens of thousands maimed by the debacle in Iraq? What is happening now is known as blowback, and unfortunately it is likely to intensify in coming years. This is exactly what the experts who were fired by your fearless leader warned us about. What a pathetic mess.

 
At 3:51 AM, July 13, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

If I may add to Anonymous' thoughts above:

People did not become Communsit because of Lenin, they bacame communist because of Romanov abuse and brutality, cullminating with Zar Nicholas II.

People did not become Black Panther's becuase of Huey Newton, they became Black Panther's because of the Oakland Police Department.

Arabs do not become terrorists because of Islam, they become terrorists because (how much time do you have?):
Of our assassination of Iranian President Dr. Massagdeh, and shoving a fascist Shah down Iranian throats, the Eisenhower Doctrine which gave America the right to do anything in it's interest in the Middle East, inavde Lebanon, give Israel a "get out of jail free card", pump and dump Saddam, pump and dump the Taliban, pump and dump Palestinian radical groups, pump and dump Al Queda, support radical Islamic groups against communism, arm both sides in the the Iran-Iraq war, sell out the Kurds, pay off Eygpt, prop up their unpopular government, arm and fund the anti-Islamic Turkish military, prop up the minority Hashemite's in Jordan, look the other way (business as usual) as Algeria uses it's voting lists to exterminate 100's of thousands of pro-Islamic voters, kill 1 million Iraqi's with sanctions, another 100,000 with an invasion, threaten Iran militarily, threaten Syria militarily, prop up the lowest regarded Islamic clan in the Middle East, the Wahabi's in Saudi Arabia, take sides in Sudan's north-south (Islamic and Christian) civil war, and be anything but an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

I also say the terrorim we face today is a blow back for all the things we've done in the past.

So let's stop doing it.

 
At 6:42 AM, July 13, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Anonymous 2:28: You are right in part. Liberalism or conservatism didn't cause 9/11 or 7/7 in England or 3/3 in Madrid or several thousand other such attacks in many places. The jihadis simply believe that you and your children and your way of life must be killed in the name of allah. They caused 9/11, etc. Wow! What a unique concept, huh? Imagine that! People who blow themselves up actually cause the death and destruction. DUHHH! I would suggest your abject fear and terror of these folks is such that you curl up into a ball then froth at the mouth over anyone willing to take action against these animals simply because they can't make them go away fast enough and simply because your world view and self concepts refuse to believe that some people have to be killed in order for the rest of us to live. That's the real rub, isn't it?

As far as your beloved palestinians go, read some history for once before you blather the tired old Zionism line against the Jews. The expulsion of the PLO from Jordan resulted in how many palestinian deaths, anonymous? 40,000? I've read 70,000. And how many palestinians were displaced by invading arab armies that tried to conquor and destroy Israel? And how many palestinians were killed during the attempted invasions when arab armies would take up positions in the midst of civilians? That's a real popular tactic you know, still being employed in many parts of the world. You really need to do some serious reading, anonymous.

Your 100,000 innocent Iraqi figure has been debunked too. Hide! Whine! Snap and froth! Jihadis were coming for you and your children long before 9/11 and George Bush. Read Al Qur'an and pretend you are looking for a simple answer in your life and a simple means of ending your problems and someone to blame and you will see that it becomes necessary to blow up UN and Red Cross administration buildings and to saw off the heads of Aid workers and detonate yourself in markets and hospitals all over the world. You are a fool, just like the person that follows you with his ILA, I loathe America, tripe. Fortunately it doesn't take but a little reading into a post to know what follows, hence in the future I can and will ignore you, Burkah Boy, as I do Ho hum.

 
At 9:28 AM, July 13, 2005, Anonymous Larry said...

Anonymous: Liberalism did not cause 9-11 or any of the other bombings and terrorist acts.

I think, sadly, that that's wrong -- "liberalism", of the type on display in this and Ho Chi Minh's comments, is very largely responsible for 9/11 and the current wave of terrorist murders. Not in the sense of any conspiracy theory (so beloved by the left), but in the sense of being an integral part of the so-called "root causes" of the rise of Islamist terror. And this is because this terror campaign has been very carefully thought out to rely upon precisely the sort of wimpish, guilt-ridden, neurotic cultural miasma that characteristizes the contemporary liberal-left. That is, these terrorists have built a plausible strategy of attack built upon their sense that the liberal-left culture which they see as dominant in the West, is fundamentally weak, can in fact be terrorized into a standstill, and, using its own easily-induced guilt-complex as cover, can be effectively undermined from within.

Their strategy has been at least partially thwarted by an unexpectedly vigorous response from Bush and (even more unexpectedly) from Blair. But the basis for the strategy is clearly evident in comments here, and throughout the liberal-left blogosphere, not to mention much of the dominant voices in the main-stream media.

 
At 9:28 AM, July 13, 2005, Anonymous terryt said...

Thank you, Goesh!

The point of view you responded to never seems to take into account all the bombings and murders of the past 20-odd years perpetrated by muslim extremists against Americans citizens. The bombing of the USMC barracks in Lebanon. The bombing of the USS Cole. The Tanzania embassy bombing. The first World Trade bombing...and the long list of other sickening terrorist attacks which barely elicited a response from us. Then came 911.

Perhaps that view believes those attacks were justified.

 
At 9:38 AM, July 13, 2005, Anonymous David Thomson said...

“...hence in the future I can and will ignore you, Burkah Boy, as I do Ho hum.”

One should make a point of understanding the arguments of the hard core leftists. Other than that, I have learned not to waste precious time on them. Few will ever get their act together. One should instead focus on how best to marginalize these buffoons.

 
At 11:47 AM, July 13, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep it up, Ho. You make this blog interesting.

 
At 1:01 PM, July 13, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

David, from my own days in the extreme radical Left, I know that I was able to abrogate personal responsibility via my ideology, and dwell in the sociopathic bliss of never having to assume any responsibility for my actions/beliefs. Had I been born in another culture back then, I would have been a jihadi. There is nothing like having a ready-made villain, the infidel establishment, that is so readily responsible for all the wrongs in the world. Freedom is having a well defined villain. Right on, man! This of course robs the mind of inquisitiveness, imagination, empathy, reason and the ability to live a mundane life, which is required in order for any society to endure and progress. On occasion I do feel a mild 'pull' to regress and once more feel the elation of total defiance and self-righteous anger, but being abrupt and curt with Lefties seems to keep that in check. Power to the people!!

 
At 6:15 PM, July 13, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Goesh said...

"I would suggest your abject fear and terror of these folks is such that you curl up into a ball then froth at the mouth over anyone willing to take action against these animals simply because they can't make them go away fast enough"

No Goesch, people like us think you're ony making it worse, AFTER FIFTY YEARS OF ALREADY FUCKING THEM OVER. Magically irrelevant to the conservative American.

"and simply because your world view and self concepts refuse to believe that some people have to be killed in order for the rest of us to live. That's the real rub, isn't it?"

There you go with that self contempt crap again. And no it's not the rub. I'll repeat it for you again bone-head, besides the bad blood of the Great Crusades, the root causes for the terrorism we see are quite mundane, like colonialism, and the fruits of the more recent US Eisenhower Doctrine, Abu Graib, Git-mo, Israel etc.

"As far as your beloved palestinians go, read some history for once before you blather the tired old Zionism line against the Jews. The expulsion of the PLO from Jordan resulted in how many palestinian deaths, anonymous? 40,000?"

That was the fundamental problem with the Palestine settlement, the Palestinians got nothing. But the Brit's knew that when they handed power over to the King (of Jordan a Hashemite minority), and not the Palestinian Mufti (representing the majority), not quite so malable to western wishes. The British Govenour of the Mandate knew this would be a future source of friction, but reassured himself in his diary by saying: "Israel will be our little Ulster Brigade".

Make the minority leader and they'll always need your protection, like Israel and Jordan, an international, Chicago style prtection racket.

As for Israel, I will remind you their first 5 Prime Ministers were all terrorists, leaders or members of Irgun, Palmach, or the Stern Gang.

Yet they were not only killing Arabs but but their own as well, or other international diplomats that were lobbying for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian question. Many Jews (being socialist or communist), pehaps fifty percent, resented the notion of a pure Jewish State, calling it the twin brother of the Third Reich, a pure Aryan State. Many saw it as inherently undemocratic, unworkable in the long run, preferring a confederation of all the people in the region instead. These Jewish leaders were murdered by their own, as were a number of U.N. officials and British M.P.'s.

"Your 100,000 innocent Iraqi figure has been debunked too."

It has? Where? What was it, only 40 or 50,000? Peanuts, right?

"Whine! Snap and froth! Jihadis were coming for you and your children long before 9/11 and George Bush."

I wonder why? (see outline of US intervention in Middle East above).

"Read Al Qur'an and pretend you are looking for a simple answer in your life and a simple means of ending your problems"

I do not pretend finding a peacful diplomatic settlement is going to be easy. It is you who are looking for the easy way: Kill kill kill. Evil evil evil.

And I don't have a problem, not until a pissed off Arab blows up my train that is.

"and someone to blame"

I'm not looking for someone to blame I only said assassinating Iranian President Dr. Massagdeh and shoving a fascist Shah down Iran's throat, the Eisenhower Doctrine which gave our military the right to run amok in the Middle East, numerous inavations of Lebanon, giving Israel a "get out of jail free card", pump and dump Saddam, pump and dump the Taliban, pump and dump Palestinian radical groups, pump and dump Al Queda, support radical Islamic groups against communism, arm both sides in the the Iran-Iraq war, sell out the Kurds, pay off Eygpt, prop up their unpopular government, arm and fund the anti-Islamic Turkish military, prop up the minority Hashemite's in Jordan, look the other way (business as usual) as Algeria uses it's voting lists to exterminate 100's of thousands of pro-Islamic voters, kill 1 million Iraqi's with sanctions, another 100,000 (?) with an invasion, threaten Iran militarily, threaten Syria militarily, prop up the lowest regarded Islamic clan in the Middle East, the Wahabi's in Saudi Arabia, take sides in Sudan's north-south (Islamic and Christian) civil war, and be anything but an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and that Abu Graib and Git-mo JUST MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH ARAB HATRED TOWARD US.


"and you will see that it becomes necessary to blow up UN and Red Cross administration buildings"

Israeli terrorists blew up hospitals and everything they could, terrorists have always done those sorts of things. Maybe they just want us out? And the UN and Red Cross have been known to house the CIA. Just ask Scott Ritter, ex US Marine.

"You are a fool, just like the person that follows you with his ILA, I loathe America, tripe."

There you go with that self hate bull shit again. Take your rabies shot and stay focused fella.

Arabs do not become terrorists because of Islam, they become terrorists because of our assassination of Iranian President Dr. Massagdeh, shoving a fascist Shah down Iranian throats, the Eisenhower Doctrine which gave America the right to do anything in it's interest in the Middle East, numerous invations of Lebanon, give Israel a "get out of jail free card", pump and dump Saddam, pump and dump the Taliban, pump and dump Palestinian radical groups, pump and dump Al Queda, support radical Islamic groups against communism, arm both sides in the the Iran-Iraq war, sell out the Kurds, pay off Eygpt, prop up their unpopular government, arm and fund the anti-Islamic Turkish military, prop up the minority Hashemite's in Jordan, look the other way (business as usual) as Algeria uses it's voting lists to exterminate 100's of thousands of pro-Islamic voters, kill 1 million Iraqi's with sanctions, another 100,000 with an invasion, threaten Iran militarily, threaten Syria militarily, prop up the lowest regarded Islamic clan in the Middle East, the Wahabi's in Saudi Arabia, take sides in Sudan's north-south (Islamic and Christian) civil war, and be anything but an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Abu Graib, Git-mo.

Or does none of that matter?

 
At 7:16 PM, July 13, 2005, Anonymous Larry said...

Ho: Or does none of that matter?

Not really, no. Not after 9/11, 7/7, Bali, Madrid, and all the other atrocities on "the bloody borders of Islam".

It might be, of course, that Ho would do much better handling the intricacies of Middle East diplomacy all by himself than all the people in the State Departments of nine different US administrations, as he seems to think -- but then again he might not. In any case, arguments over this go on indefinitely. What matters more than any of that right now is that, as in the 30's, a psychotic culture of murderous violence is loose in the world, and it must be eradicated.

 
At 7:31 PM, July 13, 2005, Anonymous Larry said...

By the way, isn't it interesting that the proponents of "blowback" never think that it might apply in the other direction? But if I were a terrorist or terrorist-sympathizer, I think I might start to worry about that by now -- "blowback" going the other way may be orders of magnitude worse. Just ask the survivors in Germany and Japan.

 
At 4:34 AM, July 14, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

At 8:16 PM, Larry said...

Does none of that matter?

"Not really, no. Not after 9/11, 7/7, Bali, Madrid, and all the other atrocities on "the bloody borders of Islam"."

Ahh, so you're finally recognising the mechanics of human nature, and evolution of conflicts, of war.

"By the way, isn't it interesting that the proponents of "blowback" never think that it might apply in the other direction?"

What the US is doing is not blowback, it's blowback-blowback. Let's keep our chronology straight.

"if I were a terrorist or terrorist-sympathizer, I think I might start to worry about that by now -- "blowback" going the other way may be orders of magnitude worse."

I doubt they're very worried, this is nothing new to them, we've been fucking them for half a century already. It is desperate people, with no other alternative, the least of which is diplomacy, that transforms them into terrorists. So good work America, let's turn the screws a little more, and see how many terrorists we can create.

"Ask the survivors in Germany and Japan."

Two completely different topics I doubt you know very little of.

 
At 7:55 AM, July 14, 2005, Anonymous Stephen said...

Today, I wrote on my weblog about the endlessly verbose foreign policy expert, i.e., Ho Chi Minh.

www.HarleysCars.com

 
At 9:39 AM, July 14, 2005, Anonymous Larry said...

You know, you might almost think Ho Chi Minh is a right-wing troll, the way he/she is able to isolate the key elements of left-liberal guilt and fear, and display them in all their naked glory. Which is what makes it such an enjoyable pastime to note them:

Ho: ... this is nothing new to them, we've been fucking them for half a century already.

Actually, of course, we've been helping them for the past half century or so, not least through the enormous amounts oil wealth transferred to them, and through generous immigration policies. In fact, in those ways and others, we've no doubt been too helpful. Nor have we -- yet -- been involved in any "blowback" (a primitive policy of revenge and retaliation) for atrocities originating in this region and culture. But if the present policies of Bush and Blair to install the seeds of democracy in the region fail, as of course they very well might, and the terrorists gain a new wind, then I think you will see something like that "clash of civilizations" come to pass. And then we will see, throughout the Middle East and the Islamic ummah, a level of violence that will make words like "blowback" or "fucked" seem trivial. Those with any knowledge of the "evolution of conflicts", in other words, should and would be hoping and praying that the Bush/Blair policies succeed.

It is desperate people, with no other alternative, the least of which is diplomacy, that transforms them into terrorists.

But, as we've seen, the terrorists themselves aren't "desparate" in any normal sense of the word -- by and large they've been well-educated people with good jobs or prospects; some of them, clearly, have been wealthy. No, we're not dealing with desparate people, clearly, we're dealing with deranged people of a particular sort, the sort of political/cultural psychosis that seized a goodly portion of entire nations a few generations ago.

So good work America, let's turn the screws a little more, and see how many terrorists we can create.

This, of course, is the central fear of the liberals -- that in meeting violence with force of any kind we may be "creating more terrorists". And it's true, we may be, and then we'll just have to kill more (granting them the death they claim they love), as this conflict comes to a head. What the liberal mind -- which wants so desparately (!) to be thought of as "nice" -- cannot grasp at all, however, is the idea that passivity and meekness can be seen as mere weakness, and that this in turn can be an invitation to aggression and violence. Bin Laden, on the other hand, understands that very clearly: "when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse". In other words, the liberal impulse to appease, temporize, back down, or look always to "negotiate" in the face of naked threat may be what gives Islamist thugs the idea that mass murder might actually work for them -- and ends up, ironically, "creating more terrorists".

 
At 10:15 AM, July 14, 2005, Blogger Terry said...

A different view on why they hate us:

As renowned Middle East historian Bernard Lewis has explained, Muslim civilisation is aggrieved and confused because of an unexpected reversal of fortune over the past 200 years. It has gone from leading the despised Christian West in the sciences, economic wellbeing and military power to falling far behind. This contradicts and calls into question the Muslim understanding of their own history and religion. The resulting trauma led to an ongoing struggle among Muslims to explain, as Lewis termed a recent book, What went wrong?

Essentially, the Middle East has become dominated by a totalitarian model that destroyed traditional freedoms and stifled economic growth, while educating generations of Arabs to oppose commerce, pragmatic compromise and Western science.

Al-Qaeda terrorists are Islamists - totalitarian ideologues who argue that a return to the supposedly pure Islam of the prophet Mohammed's times, under a universal Muslim ruler or Caliph, will fix all Middle Eastern problems. Their world view impels them to see Islam and non-Islamic societies as eternally at war.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/what-is-irking-the-radical-islamists/2005/07/13/1120934299264.html?oneclick=true

 
At 12:05 PM, July 14, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Look no further than total patriarchy, tribalism, the lack of income tax, the absence of collective governance and the total subjugation of half the population, the women, coupled with an inflexible theology and you see why islamic cultures could not and cannot compete or even coexist with modern civilizations. The fluke to all of this is oil, that without it, life in all islamic nations, and not most, would be marginal 3rd world existance at best.

Weeping Jesus! Look no further than Israel. While the Israelis were putting a man in outer space, the surrounding islamic neighbors were engaging in honor killings, clitorectomy, blood feuds and terrorism.

 
At 4:54 AM, July 15, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Larry:

Glad you're enjoying this. I am too, and thank you for giving me the opportunity to glimpse into the warped American mind. But I'll have to disappoint you, "Left" or "Right" means nothing to me, only making sense.

Again, you're references to "guilt and fear" are curious. What are you American's talking about all the time? I have no guilt or fear, other then seeing another war, started on false pretenences, get out of control and swallow us all up. Oh, and kill lots of people for nothing. At any rate, the American conservative's tendency to throw arguments of international relations and history onto the "shrinks couch"
is an utterly pathetic ruse. Pathetic.

Regarding Middle East oil, our consumption of it has certainly "helped" the region, and us. Nothing wrong with free trade is there. How many it's helped is another question entirely.

The Middle East is no different to any other region in this regard, as most revenues are returned in the form of military expenditures (our industry), corruption (our banks and economy), extravagance (our products and economy)etc. The Arab people see very little of this profit, one of the problems. Not that they haven't tried, I only say those that did were generally rubbed out by us or our brutal authoritarian allies.
Dr. Mossagdeh is but one example.

Perhaps it's time for the American Conservative (like you) to face up to reality, that is, dictatorships bring the stability our investment and "security" require, not democracy. This is America's fundamental lie. In Iraq we're bringing it with conditions, the primary one that the Shiite's keep a good distance away from their Iranian cousins, in the long run wishful thinking on our part, and only one feature of Bush's current juggling act.

I imagine when Iraq gets too democratic down the road, that is the majority Shiite's actually excercise their democratic right to run their foreign policy the way they see fit, the US and UK will be right there to intervene with a strong man again. I bet you'll be there too, won't you Larry?

And I will agree what America is doing isn't blow-back ("yet"?). Bombing and invading has been a cornerstone of US foreign policy for over 200 years (last count from the U.S. Library of Congress ca. 300 instances of "use of force abroad").
9/11 only gave us the opportunity (justification) to achieve what we always wanted, to control Middle East oil.

I want Bush and Blair to succeed as much as you, yet considering our track record in the region and our relations with these people, the way they're going about it is entirely counter-productive, to say the least. Like I said before, the message is good, the messenger stinks.

And again, when did we ever care about anyone, or what they think? And why do we have to? We've got the might, and apparently a sufficiently brain-washed society to rationalise it's use under any circumstance.

And yes, the Arab "terrorist", like many Third World "communist terrorists", came from good, well educated back grounds. Funny that, they were educated, saw what we were and what we were doing, and rebelled. I wonder why. While the "foot soldiers" might be the poor, disullusioned, victims or relatives of violence, it is no suprise that all sectors of Arab society see the injustice of what's happening, and will all join in some way or other to fight it. Radicalising some will only marginalise the moderates, make their voices harder to hear. It is a delicate situation, one for seasoned diplomacy, not grunts from the 81st Airborne.

"No, we're not dealing with desparate people, clearly, we're dealing with deranged people of a particular sort, the sort of political/cultural psychosis that seized a goodly portion of entire nations a few generations ago."

If you're referring to Nazi Germany you're right. Both problems, the Nazi's and Islamic fundamentalism, were spawned in the swamp of anti-communism. Both were aided by the west, politically, financially and militarily to destroy communism. Both were monsters we helped create and then left to deal with, that is, WAR, MOUNTAINS OF DESTRUCTION AND HUMAN CORPSES'.

Yet like W.W.II there are many voices of sanity that were ignored, many ways out of that war passed over. But again, control is what drives us, nothing else.

"This, of course, is the central fear of the liberals -- that in meeting violence with force of any kind we may be "creating more terrorists". And it's true, we may be, and then we'll just have to kill more"

We don't "have to", there are a mirade other ways to difuse the situation.

"(granting them the death they claim they love), as this conflict comes to a head."

I believe you're misinterpeting a pre-disposed Islamic "death wish" with dying with honour in the face of an enemy, something we as well regard as heroic.

"What the liberal mind -- which wants so desparately (!) to be thought of as "nice" -- cannot grasp at all, however, is the idea that passivity and meekness can be seen as mere weakness, and that this in turn can be an invitation to aggression and violence."

What the Conservative mind cannot grasp is the respect power receives when ITS NOT USED. Christ we're the most powerful nation on earth running around bullying, threatening and bombing the most poor and weak,
and you think that's going to win us respect? I say just the opposite.

And by the way, what's wrong with being nice? Obviously our tried and true policies aren't working. More people have died in wars the last hundered years then in all wars in the history of man. Somethings wrong Larry, and American Conservative is it.

"In other words, the liberal impulse to appease, temporize, back down, or look always to "negotiate" in the face of naked threat may be what gives Islamist thugs the idea that mass murder might actually work for them -- and ends up, ironically, "creating more terrorists".

Horse shit Larry. It's not naked agression, it's blow back for what we've done and are doing. And the thugs know it, and they know who we are.

They used to work for us.

 
At 4:58 AM, July 15, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention the US Democarts aren't much better.

 
At 9:54 AM, July 15, 2005, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Ho - You may blame American for the growth of Nazism, but millions of Americans weren't cheering Hitler's every word. Germans were. They loved him.

Hitler gave the Germans the wealth, security and power that they craved, and they loved him for it. The German people, and millions of other Europeans loved Hitler, loved the benefits that Nazism could offer them. That was why so many Germans and other Europeans were willing to help with the mass slaughter of the Jews - or to look the other way.

They were nice to fascists, and now you're advising us to be nice to fascists too. No suprises there.

 
At 6:32 PM, July 15, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

maryatexitzero:

I don't blame America for the growth of Hitler, I blame certain (quite powerful) sectors of American society, and other western societies, for it. Hitler was an anti-communist and Germany was in trouble (we thought).

It is basically the same story we've heard "a million" times. The "west" (certain sectors anyway) backs a goon against communism, then sooner or later, when their use has run it's course, we have to get rid of them. War. Our justification is their wickedness, yet it was "us" that helped create them, elevate them to a position they could do any harm in the first place.

Saddam Hussein' Baath Party was 850 members when the CIA hired them. The Mujhadeen in Afghanistan was also a minority, to say the least. They served a function, to US.

As for what the German's thought of Hitler, you may recall 72% of Germans DID NOT vote for him in the last election. How he was appointed Chancellor is a quite interesting story, full of intrigue, which mysteriously has been swept under the rug. "Thirty Days To Power", by
(fogot his first name) Turner, professor at Cambridge, is a good introduction to this critical part of history, January 1933, which few have ever heard of (and for good reason).

Clearly many Germans "cheered" Hitler, we've seen the films. Yet nobody was filming the ones who despised him, were they? Of course when he was Chancellor and later voted dictatorial powers, it was too late for the ordinary citizen to do much. Risk your life, your family? Patriotism, to sertve ones country, also was a came into play, as in our own country. Plenty rebelled, and died. Some believed. Some didn't but were swept up by events.

As for Islamo-fascists, I don't buy it. We've caused them enough grief, and still are, to justify a blow-back. I wish there was another way for them to express their anger, but unfortunately our leaders, for half a century, have not been up to the diplomatic task, or their constituents either. Thus we have terrorism.

Demonizing is much easier then trying to understand how and why things happened, or are happening.

 
At 9:46 PM, July 15, 2005, Anonymous Larry said...

Ho's latest couple of missives have lost some of their entertainment value, as they largely just repeat his familiar stew of America-bashing, Western self-flagellation, and terrorist sympathizing. Lately there's been added a peculiar theme of Nazi apologetics as well, implying that, like the current Islamo-facists, the whole little Third Reich business was simply another example of justified "blowback" for some kind of dark Anglo-Gallic-American anti-communist conspiracy. Hard to know whether Ho is an embittered neo-Nazi, or an unreconstructed communist. Hard, in fact, to know the difference. And, in any case, hard to care -- either way, he/she's just a nut.

There is an interesting theme that's a little buried here, though, and that has to do with the admitted comparison of contempory Islamist terrorists with the thirties malignancy of a swelling fascism. And with the link between those phenomena and the earlier rise of communism, all three being examples of the great horror of modern times: the emergence of a utopian and murderous totalitarianism. What should be the lesson of the past century is that such monstrosities, once created, are not amenable to negotiation or appeasement. Ho is at least right to say that "Yet like W.W.II there are many voices of sanity that were ignored, many ways out of that war passed over" -- one of the major examples of such voices, of course, was Churchill's, who advocated a firm and forceful early response to Nazi "blowback", and was not heeded until it was too late. We shouldn't make that mistake again.

 
At 5:32 AM, July 16, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Larry:

You may choose to interpret my recounting of history as "America bashing", "self--flagellation" and "terrorist sympathizing", but I'm only interjecting the bits, and vital ones at that, that American conventional wisdom has conveniently left out, ..to manufacture the consent of bone-heads like yourself to support yet another of our Imperial wars.

Your ignorance of the Nazi era is not suprising, considering your views on Islam. Hitler was certainly "blowing-back" to some "threats", like communists maybe taking over Germany and Europe, Depression and the lousy Versaille deal, and imaginary ones, Jews and his genral racism.

The Islamic blow-back I talk about comes from an even more real, more direct kind: BOMBS DROPPING ON THEIR HEADS, and Western backed, brutal dictators running their countries and foreign policies for half a century.

What does connect these two themes is the radical elements (of both Germany and the Middle East) support by influential sectors of western societies, and for the same reason: Anti-communism. Without "our" help I doubt either could have done much harm on their own. Amazing how easy the Taliban could be beaten, WHEN WE WEREN'T ARMING AND TRAINING THEM.

The voices of sanity I was referring to were those, particularly German insiders, that informed western decision makers (at great risk to themselves) of Hitler's true intentions, and to stand up to him while they could, long before Churchill. Once Hitler was in Poland it was too late, we had already allowed him to take most of Europe, it's industry, resources and finances.

My point was I believe "we" wanted him to have it, to rub communism off the map, to attack Russia. If this is in fact the case "appeasment" is the wrong word, the wrong interpretation, not to mention the wrong lesson learned: Never to appease.

It's not appeasement if what we gave him is what we wanted him to have (to destroy communism).

After 80 years of supporting anti-communist goons, in every corner of the planet, why is anyone suprised that "we" would support Hitler, one of the most rabid anti-communists of all time, one determined to attack communism at its source. And did.

I'll tell you why you're suprised: Because you've been lied to most of your life.

The validity of Hitler as a western anti-communist ally could be discussed, but who dares?

You?

 
At 8:01 AM, July 16, 2005, Anonymous Stephen said...

"You may choose to interpret my recounting of history as "America bashing", "self--flagellation" and "terrorist sympathizing", but I'm only interjecting the bits, and vital ones at that, that American conventional wisdom has conveniently left out, ..to manufacture the consent of bone-heads like yourself to support yet another of our Imperial wars."

The really surprising part of Ho's diatribes is that he doesn't recognize himself as a purveyor of "conventional wisdom." Jesus, I've lived in leftist communities for 35 years and I've heard that crap spouted 7 hundred million times. It's the party line.

Ho, what in the hell is it that makes you think that your thinking is original?

 
At 8:22 PM, July 16, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Stephan:

"Jesus, I've lived in leftist communities for 35 years and I've heard that crap spouted 7 hundred million times. It's the party line.°

Whether it's the party line or not, or how many times YOU heard it (who ever you are) is not the issue. The issue is whether it is true or not.

To demonstare the validity of my concern about America's bull shit conventional wisdom, walk the streets and ask how many American's know that Ho Chi Minh's alliance WITH AMERICANS made him leader of Vietnam, not the Russians.

Or that Hitler was a model anti-communist with many powerful allies in the west.

You can sluff my remarks off with your typical American conservative arrogance and posturing, but in my book you're just another American conservative ass-hole dodging the bullets.

"Ho, what in the hell is it that makes you think that your thinking is original?"

My intention is not to be original, it is to wake you idiots up. We've been lied to all our lives.

To fight another war.

 
At 7:00 AM, July 17, 2005, Anonymous Stephen said...

Your comments are hardly worth answering, but I'll try. You're not a very smart man.

Who in the hell said I was a conservative? How do you know this? Somehow, in the weird vernacular of your kind, anybody who disagrees with you is a conservative.

Here's some original thinking for you. War is part of the human condition. War does not arise from people lying. Humans can probably not eradicate war, at least without paying a huge psychic and spiritual cost.

Your thinking is the great moral and philosophical error of the 20th century. It seems simple to you. War is bad. Fix it. This is stupidity and evil incarnate.

Munch on it for a while. Try actually thinking. It's not something you've ever done.

 
At 3:30 AM, July 18, 2005, Blogger Ho Chi Minh said...

Stephan:

What made me think you're a Conservative?

"Jesus, I've lived in leftist communities for 35 years and I've heard that crap spouted 7 hundred million times. It's the party line."

And the way you evade answering any specific points or questions.

Of course if you're not a Conservative I apologise.

"War is part of the human condition."

Part of the human condition? Like the weather? Oh, OK, no need to try and stop it then, is there? IT'S OK, KEEP ON KILLIN', IT'S NORMAL!

"War does not arise from people lying."

Lying and misrepresentation is not a part of the persuassion process, to convince parents to send their kids to war, to manufacture their consent? ..Where have you been?

"Humans can probably not eradicate war, at least without paying a huge psychic and spiritual cost."

Obviously more painful then the phsyical and financial costs of war.
Then besides the "costs" of war, there's THE PROFITS. But of ocurse that's irrelevant, it's just the "human condition" that leads us blindly into battles.

"War is bad. Fix it. This is stupidity and evil incarnate."

Stopping war is stupid and evil?
..You're a fucking idiot.

"Munch on it for a while. Try actually thinking. It's not something you've ever done."

..Are you sure you're not an American Conservative, you sure sound like one.

 

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