Monday, May 08, 2006

See no evil: sadistic terrorists and "World War III"


Mudville Gazette covers the killing of Iraqi journalist Atwar Bahjat (see NOTE below). If you haven't yet read a description of how this 30-year old woman was brutally and tortuously murdered, I warn you that it's very strong stuff.

I don't usually link to such things. Who would want to dwell on them, or join in their sensationalizing in any way? But as Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom has pointed out, avoiding the horrific details is a way of denying the nature of the enemy we face, and that is something we can ill afford:

Our own media feels the need to shield us from such brutality, even as they report daily on the US and Iraqi death count—or seemed almost to fetishize the torture photos from Abu Ghraib.

But presuming to protect us from the nature of our enemy, like many of the MSM’s other actions in framing the war on terror, is irresponsible—and either presumptuously paternalistic, or cynically calculating.

True, there is a fine line between “war porn” and the dissemination of information. But we nevertheless have the right to know who it is we are fighting. Because knowing just might have an impact on how we, as a country, feel about the necessity of carrying out the fight—and how far we are willing to go to see our enemy vanquished.


I don't see how it's possible for most people to read the account of Bahjat's death and not feel that those who perpetrated it are evil. (And yes, the perpetrators are not Moslems as a whole. But they are a subgroup of Moslems--jihadi terrorists--who commit these acts in the name of the Moslem religion, chanting prayers even as the torture and murder is performed. And yes, I know about the Inquisition. But that was quite a while ago, if you check your history.)

Why do I use the word "evil," as opposed to simply "violent?" It is because this--and so many other of their acts--was not a mere killing (as though killing can ever be "mere"); it was the purposeful amplification of this young woman's suffering before she died, in order to inflict maximum horror. As such, it appears to enter the realm of sadism and sociopathy (I wonder, by the way, if this isn't one of the reasons why so many would prefer to treat the perpetrators as criminals, if captured, and deal with them through the criminal rather than the military justice system).

But Bahjat's torture killing is no means an isolated incident, as when a psychopath commits a crime acting out of some sort of individual pathology. It is part and parcel of the group movement that is jihadist terrorism today, and goes way beyond the strategic inculcation of fear (although it is undoubtedly also a strategic move meant to do that very thing).

"Evil." Many mocked Reagan for calling the Soviet Union the "evil empire," and George Bush was likewise thought to be guilty of the same lack of sophistication and nuance when he used the term "axis of evil" for the triumvirate of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. For, after all, "evil" (in its non-religious sense, that is--its religious sense is such a huge topic that it's beyond the scope of today's essay) is a word left over from childhood. It dwells in the land of fairy tales and legends, in a simplistic dichotomous way of looking at the world that many adults of sophistication believe they've outgrown.

Of course, we are no strangers to evil's face. In the twentieth century, it made quite a splash with the Nazis, who likewise seemed to have had a widespread and basic sadistic bent, an enjoyment of torture for its own sake. The same appears to have been true of Saddam's regime, as well as others too numerous to mention.

But beheadings in particular, seeming to emanate from a distant barbaric past, represent a practice that we might have expected would have disappeared from the face of the earth by the twenty-first century. The fact that terrorists and jihadis have managed to stage a revival of this particular brutality complete with added sadistic refinements and the newfangled wonders of videotape and the internet to spread the images around the world (a la Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg), is hard for the modern mind to assimilate. It's as though bogeymen and fire-breathing dragons, chimeras and man-eating giants thundering "Fe fi fo fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman" have suddenly sprung to life out of the pages of a storybook, wedded to cutting edge communication technology.

But in a strange and paradoxical way, the over-the-top nature of the drawn-out violence in this and other similar killings only makes them easier for many to deny. Despite the existence of video documentation, such methods seems so barbaric as to be almost unbelievable. And this air of unreality isn't helped by the fact that media coverage of such things is tentative and muted.

The fact that many of the jihadis and their supporters may be literally bloodthirsty offends our PC sensibilities and our postmodern vision. So it's much, much better--isn't it?--to focus on President Bush rather than on the terrifying mental images of the dying woman in the video.

And yesterday President Bush obliged by uttering some words that stirred controversy--he mentioned in an interview that we are in a global war that could be characterized as World War III:

...he said he agreed with the description of David Beamer, whose son Todd died in the crash, who in a Wall Street Journal commentary last month called it "our first successful counter-attack in our homeland in this new global war -- World War III".

Bush said: "I believe that. I believe that it was the first counter-attack to World War III.


A predictable yelp of outrage ensued in the blogosphere. A roundup is offered by Gerard Van der Leun at American Digest, who observes:

You have to wonder what morally-relativistic, rainbow colored, secular fundament these folks have been wearing for a hat for years. What part of "airplanes into sky-scrapers followed by endless sermons of Hate America and various video tapes shrieking Death to Americans" do they not understand? Have they not gotten the memos from Iran for the last 27 years?

Apparently not. Many seem to believe that, when the mullahs have had their people chant "Death to America," they don't really mean it. Many also seem to forget that the attack on 9/11 was not a response to a muscular War on Terrorism but the impetus for it.

But when Bush describes what he sees--a worldwide fight against jihadists who have made their own aims known--some consider him to be the bloodthirsty one. I understand that Bush's critics fear a spreading of the battleground to other venues such as Iran, but once again, they are mistaking cause for effect. Iran has been at war with the US and the West for a long, long, long time. And the World War to which Bush is referring is not always--or even primarily--a "hot" one.

Why hasn't the message coming from the Islamicist jihadi side, sent loudly and repeatedly, been received? Perhaps the reason is not such a mystery after all, because hearing the message would mean we'd have to step outside our comfortable modern world and back into the realm of nightmare, and to engage that nightmare decisively, boldly, and effectively in a lengthy and difficult struggle. That effort would sometimes take a military form, but more often would be fought with cerebral and cultural tools.
.
Actually, there is nothing all that new about what President Bush said yesterday. He had already stated as much (although he didn't use the exact "World War III" phrase) shortly after 9/11, when he addressed Congress on September 21, 2001:

On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country. Americans have known wars, but for the past 136 years they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941. Americans have known the casualties of war, but not at the center of a great city on a peaceful morning.

Americans have known surprise attacks, but never before on thousands of civilians. All of this was brought upon us in a single day, and night fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack....

They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. They want to drive Israel out of the Middle East. They want to drive Christians and Jews out of vast regions of Asia and Africa.

These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life. With every atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful, retreating from the world and forsaking our friends. They stand against us because we stand in their way...

Now, this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations secret even in success....

This is not, however, just America's fight. And what is at stake is not just America's freedom. This is the world's fight. This is civilization's fight.


But to fight that fight effectively we need to take our hands away from our eyes and take a good look at the enemy we face.

[NOTE: After I wrote this piece, I noticed that Mudville Gazette had posted an addendum indicating there is some doubt about the identity of the woman being beheaded in the video. However, whether it be Bahjat or not, it is known that Bahrat was murdered by her kidnappers. It is also known that these scenes of torture and beheading are almost commonplace with this particular enemy.

One more thing: the "evil" nature of the enemy is not limited to its sadism. Although sadism is part of it, it is a symptom of even greater evils, such as the suppression of human rights and liberty in general, and the desire to spread this tyrannical ideology throughout the globe.]

50 Comments:

At 1:27 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

War porn, like the other porn, is a relative thing.

When it came to showing US soldiers or citizens being mutilated and desecrated, the media found a way to publicize those events. That was OK because the belief was that if we be so repulsed, we might demand our troops out.

Images of terrorist atrocities aren't highlighted because there is a fear that might strengthen our resolve to fight terror.

Hypocrisy.

 
At 1:37 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I warn you that it's very strong stuff

If you think that's strong stuff, I don't know what you'd consider what I'd do to the terroists who participated. They seem to think they are the masters at cruelty and torture, but their belief system is flawed in more ways than one.

But as Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom has pointed out, avoiding the horrific details is a way of denying the nature of the enemy we face, and that is something we can ill afford:

Know thy enemy and know thyself.

is hard for the modern mind to assimilate.

Perhaps, but there are ways to self-educate yourself beyond simply watching the boob tube and assimilating info propagated by the enemy. It is hard to always be reacting to somebody else's actions, rather than leading your own plan and goals.

The fact that many of the jihadis and their supporters may be literally bloodthirsty offends our PC sensibilities and our postmodern vision.

A basic human need to blame the military and the perpetrators of violence, for the existence of violence rather than the ending of it.

Why hasn't the message coming from the Islamicist jihadi side, sent loudly and repeatedly, been received?

You cannot destroy what you do not understand, and you cannot understand what you will not destroy.

As a hobby historian, one who is self-educated and not part of any college degree problem (historians don't get a lot of jobs), I've done some preliminary study of why Wold Wars occur and what caused them to occur in the first place.

The linkages are very weird and interesting. We all know the transition from WWI to WWII, the Treaty of Versailles. But what about the transition from WWII to the Cold War (World War III aborted)? Do you not remember that it was Roosevelt ceding Stalin Berlin and other territories, that set the front lines for the Cold War and the confrontation over Berlin? Does not anyone remember that Churchill believed that Stalin and communism was as much a threat to Western civilization as Nazi National Socialist fascist states?

Now we get the MidEast bloc and terrorism. What produced them, from what historical casual chains did they derive? A hard question, deserving a strenous and exact answer. I cannot provide it in full, because I tend to think it is a question worthy of a Ph.D Dissertation, but I can provide some of my comments and conclusions from what little I've gathered.

Roosevelt's demand that Churchill give independence to his colonies in return for US help against Hitler, contributed to the mass anarchy and chaos when the British pulled out of their colonies. Some colonies did well like Hong Kong, others like Indian went through severe revolutions, divisions, and partitions, and others like Iraq we all know what happened.

The Stalinesque propaganda campaign to paint America as the evil doer, capitalist supremo generalissimo, to pave the way for the "socialistic class struggle" which shall produce Communism, also contributed to what we face here today. Much of the secret police of Saddam was Soviet trained, Soviet trained in torture, detention, and secret police techniques. The jailing of dissent, the crushing of liberty, the formation of unbridled power. We have to rememeber that when the Russians lost the war, it was like WWI. They didn't believe they were beaten, and thus their allies never really believed it as well, and thus the propaganda of the RUssians were diverted to a new cause. "America did not defeat us, the Russians gave up cause they are weak, but we Iran, we will be strong, and we will take what the RUssians taught us and use it against the capitalistic pigs".

You don't see a lot of "People Power" out of Iran now a days, because they have replaced Russian Communistic ideology with their own brand. But the propaganda techniques they learned? They still use them.

In some ways the current Long War is also connected to Nazi Germany, and WWII. In addition to the transitional connections to the Cold War. The Grand Mufti, Fascistic branch offs, were present in the MidEast, preaching their hate and gathering the power to storm the fortress of civilization. Nazism was an occult belief, an ideology based upon supremacy and dominance. It sought to spread itself across the globe, and one way it did that was to reach out its arms and indoctrinate new fascistic leaders and followers. Nazis even funded an archaeological dig to try and find out the mythical "Aryan Race" somewhere in Persia, to "prove" that intermingly with Jews was what brought down the Aryan Giant Race of Titans into the piddly little things we call human beings right now.

So in a very ironic turn of affairs, we have a lot of unfinished business in WWII, the Cold War, European colonialism, and several other minor things all combining together to create the Perfect Storm. The tsunami of God that shall wash away the unbelievers.

If WWII had not depleted the coffers of Britain, would Britain have granted independence to their colonies?

If the Cold War had ended with a real war, would the Middle East have changed?

Those questions are perhaps superfluous to the current conflict, but they are interesting in an academic sense.

To Sigmund, it's not quite hypocrisy if you adapt their epistemological system. Which basically states that anything we do is justified because our goal is power, and that goal is justified by power and itself, therefore anything in the pursuit of power is justified.

In a way they are not hypocritical about their core values. It is true they are liars and lie all the time about lying. But realistically, their goals are very straight forward and consistent.

 
At 2:16 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

I think that neo is right in saying that many people in the U.S. do not want to squarely face the ordeal that the war on terror/against Islam is and will be.

I believe one of the main reasons they do not want to really look and really see is because to do so would shatter the dream that many in America and elewhere in the West are living--abundance, relative safety, the prospect of a long and healthier life, retirement accounts, cruise ships, an almost infinite variety of entertainment, information at our fingertips--a world our ancestors never knew nor could scarcely have imagined. Things have been sanitized, our technology and progress have given us the ability to distance ourselves from unsanitary, inconvenient and dangerous life and for many of us, violence, when we see it, is usually on a TV screen and either bloodless and phony or occurs in some far away place. This is the 21st century, for God's sake, not the 8th!

Many do not want to step back into smelly, nasty reality, where very determined people want us dead, our civilization is in danger of being overrun by bloodthirsty religious fanatics and decades long sacrifices in blood and treasure are likely to be necessary. This is scary stuff, the stuff of nightmares and given a choice between a pleasant dream and nightmare...

That the MSM is constantly turning the road signs to point us in the wrong direction or covering our eyes when critical information we need is right in front of us has made this transition to reality many orders of difficulty harder. The sadistic killing of this reporter is one such sight that the MSM will again try to shield us from seeing.

 
At 2:53 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

47: 5. And when you meet in regular battle those who disbelieve, smite their necks; and, when you have overcome them, by causing great slaughter among them, bind fast the fetters - then afterwards either release them as a favour or by taking ransom - until the war lays down its burdens. That is the ordinance.

And if ALLAH had so pleased, HE could have punished them Himself, but HE has willed that HE may try some of you by others....
--Qur'an 47:5


The beheadings and ransom-taking are not just natural expressions of terrorism, they also come straight out of the Qur'an.

This is usually not pointed out either by ignorance or the desire to avoid offending moderate Muslims.

I suspect the big reason that jihadists are not unambiguously denounced by Muslim communities is that they are acting on Islamic scripture--not just pathology--and Muslims know it.

 
At 3:35 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Hostage taking was pretty common back in the ancient days. Don't kill me, my family will pay ransom for my safe return, sort of thing.

The Knights Templar broke with tradition and forced Saladin to execute them, because they would not offer ransom.

The West evolved their warfare styles however, while the MidEast did not. Hostage taking is an anachronism, but it is also a valid acceptable practice considered by the Arab tribes to be a "just" way of dealing with affairs.

They always disapprove if you execute the hostage, of course, but that's like disapproving of collateral damage. It's real and honest, but fundamentally speaking, there is also the belief that the basic attack/practice was justified.

The US has decided not to take hostages in return, which is one reason why it took 2 years for someone to figure out that training Iraqis is a good idea if you're not going to stop the violence by taking hostage the family members of the violent insurgency.

If the US doesn't want to do the dirty but necessary job of crushing the insurgency through any means necessary, then we need to find someone (Iraqis) who will do it. And we did.

 
At 3:44 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger Kat said...

I wrote today, on choosing war, that the issue of denial is largely an issue of control. Our ordered lives are about the ability to control our destiny. We do things to insure that the outcome is as close to our planned life as possible, then when bad things happen, we have a tendency to re-examine every moment to try to to determine when and what led to this moment when we lost control, when our lives were no longer a matter of our own decisions but had to react to the decisions and control of others.

We do this because it gives us the illusion of control even in the moment when whether we lived or died was no longer in our hands, but in anothers. We do this because, if we have to admit that we do not control every moment of our lives, everything that we have done, everything that we have lived for is no longer about logic, rationality and planning, but about chance and luck. The right place, the wrong place.

While some of us might play a game of chance, we don't want to think our lives are a game.

In the same manner, some believe that we can choose not to participate in war and that, if we choose not to participate, no matter what the "others" do, we will not be at war. It is some left over from post WWII that believes that it takes two to make war when, if WWII taught us anything, it only takes one to make war and all the others are victims.

But, we can't help ourselves. The illusion of control, the need to be in control is so overwhelming that keep trying to pretend that all of the choices belong to us and that we can define our own lives.

Instead of allowing that the "others" can define our status and that their choices are "war" or "surrender", they do not see it as "participating" or "not participating".

In effect, if we have to admit that the "others" have choices, our entire way of life becomes much more precarious and we cannot accept, after relative peace for so long or our ability to scientifically determine so many aspects of the once imcomprehensible natural world, that we are subject to the choices of "others".

Thus, we want to believe we don't have to choose war, even in the face of such killers.

 
At 5:34 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger The Unknown Blogger said...

Gruesome indeed, Neo, but you're right, the identity of the victim seems questionable, given that contemporary news reports of her death said nothing about her being beheaded.

They described her body (and those of her companions) as "bullet riddled."

Perhaps that explains the "muted media coverage" of this video?

But still the fact remains beheadings are sadistic things.

I'm not sure I can agree with you though that media coverage of beheadings has been insufficient. You say beheadings are "part and parcel of the group movement that is jihadist terrorism today", but I think they may even be falling out of favor with the jihadis. It seems even Osama himself is sending the message to chill out.

As reported in the Weekly Standard, back in July, Al Qaeda 2nd in command al-Zawahiri wrote a letter telling Zarqawi to stop using beheadings to kill captives.

(You'll have to scroll down, the WS buried that part of the letter in the next-to-last paragraph.)

More recently, it seems there are reports (which have been played down by the Military and US media, I guess because they are unconfirmed) that Zarqawi has been demoted as leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq due to the alienation his brutal tactics have caused among the Iraqi citizenry, even among insurgents.

Let me be clear that none of this is to argue that the terrorists are not evil and should not be stopped. They are and they should.

Even just plain kidnappings are bad enough, without ending in bullet-riddled bodies or sadistic butchery.

Still, I think it helps to have an accurate picture of who we are up against. Apparently they are, in some small way, susceptible to public opinion.

snowonpine (such a poetic name!) wrote:

That the MSM is constantly turning the road signs to point us in the wrong direction or covering our eyes when critical information we need is right in front of us has made this transition to reality many orders of difficulty harder.

But snowonpine, is it not enough just to report on the beheadings? I think it's pretty much standard policy in the US media that showing a video of *anyone* being killed (no matter how grusomely or not) is just bad taste.

(Those of you eating dinner in front of the nightly news might even agree with the MSM on this one.)

Consider for a moment if the media did give these awful videos airtime. Would some not fault them for providing an outlet for terrorist propaganda, and even blame them for encouraging the practice?

Jack Trainor wrote:

I suspect the big reason that jihadists are not unambiguously denounced by Muslim communities is that they are acting on Islamic scripture--not just pathology--and Muslims know it.

I would like to see more of that "unambiguous denouncing" going on myself, but I think there is a debate going on among muslims about this.

Some of the articles I reference above discuss it. And it's not as if the practice is commonplace in the Islamic world. Did you know that Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where beheadings are still used by the government as a method of execution?

And they are public, no less.

Anyway, you might (or might not) be encouraged to read this opinion article "Intolerance shows ignorance of Islam " by El-Moctar El-Shinqiti, which states:

Moreover, Muhammad was told in the Quran that his mission was to teach and preach, not to impose or compel: "remind them, for you are only a reminder. You are not a coercer over them" (88:21-22); "You are not one to overawe them by force. So admonish with the Quran those who fear My Warning!" (50:45).

Published on Aljazeera.net

regards,
UB

 
At 6:01 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger camojack said...

It's the type of thing that the outdated (formerly known as "mainstream") media doesn't want us to know. Why?!

People should be informed about just exactly what we're dealing with...

 
At 6:04 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

UB--

I wanted to use either "Hammer of God" or "Vlad the Impaler" as my screen name but both were already taken.

As for beheading reports, not pictures, "reports" can be ignored or rationalized, pictures, on the other hand, are pretty hard to ignore. It is true that images usually have a much greater impact than words.

 
At 8:15 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger J. Peden said...

Just to throw this out: I've been saying for a long time now that this Islamic brand of terrorism is functionally sado-masochistic, where death is the ultimate, and maybe only, ethical end [or "act"] allowed as meaningful when it comes to dealing with "infidels".

But I don't for a minute believe that even were the whole World to become Islamic via this sado-masochistic ethic, it would end. People would always be found who were not "truely" or "faithfully" Islamic, so they would be in need of killing by any means, the highest form, again, being suicidal-homocidalism. This would never end so long as anyone was alive. Even the last remaining person would have to start wondering about his or her own thoughts.

Whether there is a distinction between garden variety sado-masochism, or each alone, involving pleasure - as compared to the Islamofascist kind involving duty, I don't care. The Islamofascists worship death to a degree high enough for me to call them sadomasochists.

 
At 8:27 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

Without in any way detracting from the validity or the honesty of the post, or the comments made, the tape as delivered to the Times might be a recording of a completely different murder...

My view -

There is no debate.

There is no reason.

It happens whereever there are humans at war.

It happens whenever there are humans at war.

Do not imagine, even for a moment that the horror and the evil is limited to just one religion.

It might not be a knife; it can be rope or sword or gun or gas or poison.

It might not be an electric drill; it can be raw electricity, nails, a piece of wood, a dog, a rat, or a pair of pliers or scissors.

There is nothing that can justify torture.

There is nothing that can justify the deliberate taking of a human life.

 
At 8:32 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger kungfu said...

"But beheadings in particular, seeming to emanate from a distant barbaric past, represent a practice that we might have expected would have disappeared from the face of the earth by the twenty-first century."

I often think this is so much more offensive to us than say a bomb which incinerates or dismembers because we are ourselves so far removed from killing with our own hands.


A little story. A couple of years ago I was walking through the market in Cairo and got into the meat market. The concrete ground got slippery and I stubbed my toe on a bag of something, and when a
I took a closer look at the bag I realized it was a bag of sheep heads. Here I was used to getting my meat all wrapped in plastic with a barcode for easy check out. I've never had to behead one chicken, sow or cow I've feasted on.

My point is that many men in the Arab world are used to cutting off heads of animals, and if they think of your average infidel as just another animal, it doesn't feel so barbaric to them. Their idea of barbaric, from what I noticed on that little trip to Egypt, is a sister sleeping with a man before she is married. We are worlds apart, I'm afraid.

 
At 9:34 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger al fin said...

Different cultures. If you are a good multiculturalist, you say, "there are no good or bad cultures, we are all the same underneath." But several muslims that I know personally have almost instantly gone insane, at the slightest provocation, just a word or nuance. Truly different cultures, and you had better take the differences seriously.

First, define the person as infidel or apostate. Then it is alright to kill them, or do anything to them you wish. Allah rewards the faithful, even though it was all written.

 
At 11:20 PM, May 08, 2006, Blogger J. Peden said...

the probligo: "There is nothing that can justify the deliberate taking of a human life."

Just for the record, you are worshipping death, your own, also - as it now stands beside the death worship of Islamic sadomasochists - as the highest of ethical expression and proof.

I don't see either as good, much less the highest good, nor as a proof or standard of good. Neither your form nor that of the Islamofascists shows any concern for others. You say it is good for others to die rather than exercise their right of self-defense, and that you won't help them. So you in effect abet sadomasochists.

So while I see that both forms of death worship exist, active and passive, I remain baffled by the thought processes which produce them, and really see both forms as evil.

 
At 12:57 AM, May 09, 2006, Blogger troutsky said...

There is only one way to fight evil...and evil-doers. Or maybe two?..Guns and prayer!Not necessarily in that order.If I could just see some more repulsive images my resolve might strengthen but there is never any violence or bloodshed on my TV and Ive tried every channel.Perhaps Ill get cable.Sigmund, wouldnt seeing our own troops desecrated pump us up? I don't understand your logic.Wasn't the coverage of Saadams statue being pulled down pretty inspiring? The purple fingers? The rockets red glare?

"You cannot understand what you will not destroy" I always leave with a gem.

 
At 3:06 AM, May 09, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Moreover, Muhammad was told in the Quran that his mission was to teach and preach, not to impose or compel: "remind them, for you are only a reminder. You are not a coercer over them" (88:21-22); "You are not one to overawe them by force. So admonish with the Quran those who fear My Warning!" (50:45).

So I whip out my trusty Qur-An, gift of a muslim fried of ours, and look up that Sura, and read a little before...The "them" and "those" referred to there are Muslims and those who 'give ear' to the prophet... Not really you and me. Be careful about quotes like that.

Probligo, Auckland must be a very nice and safe place for you to be so naive. 'it happens wherever/whenever there is a war' Maybe, but for them it's policy, SOP. We prosecute soldiers for far, far lesser infractions. Not exactly equivalent.
Oh, and if you hurt or kill my wife or children, or even try to, I'll kill you myself if I have to, and I'll feel perfectly justified.

Peace (through strength)

 
At 3:18 AM, May 09, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

From that AlJazeera article:Nowadays, the more "religious" some Muslims regard themselves to be, the less tolerant they are.
So he admits that the trend in Islam today, whatever you believe 'true' Islam to be is toward intolerance, and as we know from things like videos, violence of an extreme nature.

If you read his article, and look at the Sura's he quotes in context, it's a pretty weak arguement he's making. Even the ones that sound somewhat tolerant just reserve the nasty stuff for Allah in the final judgement. But then you have to also explain Suras like 47:4 (as mentioned earlier). The only real conclusion you can come to reading both sides of that argument is that the violence seen committed by 'extremists' is acceptable under the qur-an. thanks UB.

 
At 5:28 AM, May 09, 2006, Blogger jhankey said...

in viet nam the enemy almost never took infantry prisoners. they were many times savagely killed. you had to harden a part of your heart and hunt them and destroy them. understanding was not part of the equation. this what we as a people must do.

 
At 7:13 AM, May 09, 2006, Blogger still realizing said...

This is the same MSM where "If it bleeds it leads". Except that too much blood is over the line for them.

Don't focus on unprovable conspiracy theories about the MSM. They have to emit a constant stream of stories under a series of rules, restrictions, limitations and deadlines based on partial information. Error is constant, not an exception.

If you don't know for sure who the victim is and you don't know for sure who did it (apparently nobody has taken credit for the killing) then what story do you publish? After all, it could even be an individual maniac murder that took place outside of Iraq.

 
At 11:10 AM, May 09, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

With people like that, only one side can remain standing. They will not stop until they are shot down one at a time or in small groups when found. We may yet have to employ total war against them.

 
At 12:07 PM, May 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Sigmund, wouldnt seeing our own troops desecrated pump us up? I don't understand your logic.Wasn't the coverage of Saadams statue being pulled down pretty inspiring? The purple fingers? The rockets red glare?

Obviously someone failed Propaganda 101 when they showed the differences between demoralizing propaganda and morale boosting propaganda.

"You are not one to overawe them by force. So admonish with the Quran those who fear My Warning!" (50:45).

Religious fanatics who believe that what they do is carrying out Allah's will, the My Warning bit becomes a mite more serious.

You are not to overawe them by force, which the Muslims don't even got compared to the US Marines and Western armies, but it is good to do to them with fear of Allah's warning. An interesting methodology for terror and guerrila warfare.

Yes, Muslim prophets are only a reminder, they do not commit murder, it is Allah that kills people. Since Allah is perfect, killing people is perfectly justified. One of the reasons why theocracy as a government model is not optimum.

 
At 1:45 PM, May 09, 2006, Blogger eatyourbeans said...

Has anybody else sensed a changing mood in our side of the blogosphere? A sense of sadness about what we will have to do. That, and resignation. "Well, then, since it has to be, let's get it over with"
Hobbes 1. Rousseau: 0.

 
At 2:23 PM, May 09, 2006, Blogger SB said...

Hobbes 1 Rousseau: 0

Washington: 5

Go, Nationals!!!!

(I can think of much better ways to await the fall of Western Civilization...)

 
At 2:26 PM, May 09, 2006, Blogger Daniel in Brookline said...

Still Realizing:

If you don't know for sure who the victim is and you don't know for sure who did it (apparently nobody has taken credit for the killing) then what story do you publish? After all, it could even be an individual maniac murder that took place outside of Iraq.

Perhaps. But if I were a newsman, encountering a new video, showing a conscious, screaming woman being beheaded, while her murderers keep repeating "Allahu Akbar" over and over again -- well, I'd like to think that I'd consider that news. (Yes, we remember Nick Berg... but apparently, this was a Muslim who was butchered, and a Muslim woman at that. This isn't news?)

As for the arguments about not showing such brutal images on television -- I don't buy it. I remember watching network news in the early eighties, and seeing footage of a man setting himself on fire. The network warned us that it was graphic, and suggested that children be sent out of the room... but they showed it.

If this is perceived to cross even that line, there are ways to deal with it... if the networks are at all interested in doing so. They could set up an easy-to-remember URL, such as www.cbs.com/murder, and warn viewers not to let young children see it. Or they could announce that only the 11 o'clock news would carry the video. And so on, and so forth.

Problems like these can be solved, if there's the will to solve them. As many here have suggested, I don't think the networks want to solve it; they will continue to refuse to show us how these animals treat their perceived enemies, just as they've refused to show images of 9/11.

Fortunately, Google and the blogosphere pick up where the AWOL journalists leave off.

respectfully,
Daniel in Brookline

 
At 5:17 PM, May 09, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

Douglas, thank you so much for my morning chuckle.

"Probligo, Auckland must be a very nice and safe place for you to be so naive. 'it happens wherever/whenever there is a war' Maybe, but for them it's policy, SOP. We prosecute soldiers for far, far lesser infractions. Not exactly equivalent."

Do you think that even the lowest of the perpetrators at AbuGhraib would have appeared before a military Court had someone not gotten careless with where they posted that video?

Why, if the statement "We prosecute soldiers for far, far lesser infractions..." is true, was the White House and DoD so strenuous in their denials when the proverbial started hitting the fan?

When do you think the torturers of Gitmo might start appearing in Court? Oh THAT's right, torture is not a crime if the victim is a terrorist! Rummy himself said so!!


J Peden -

Does your comment really make any sense at all? A non-sequitur opening, lots of long words, and self-contradictory complex sentences.

 
At 7:50 PM, May 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...


Do you think that even the lowest of the perpetrators at AbuGhraib would have appeared before a military Court had someone not gotten careless with where they posted that video?


They were already being investigated and I think it was Richard Meyers who talked to CBS because he was already aware of the investigation, and the investigation was going on and charges were filed before CBS released the show. In fact, CBS agreed with Meyers not to release the segment, for like a week or a month, and CBS should not have done that if they believed nobody was going to get charged.

Too many people lie about Abu Ghraib, because it is a propaganda victory extraordinaire for the those who want to see Iraq fail. You can combat the gleeful misinformation with truth, but you could also ignore it and circumvent it.

Jan. 13: Army Spc. Joseph M. Darby, an MP with the 800th at Abu Ghraib, leaves a disc with photographs of prisoner abuse on the bed of a military investigator.

Jan. 14: Army launches criminal investigation of Abu Ghraib abuses.

Jan. 14-15: Gen. John Abizaid, chief of Central Command, tells Gen. Richard Meyers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, of the investigation and says it is a 'big deal'.

Jan. 16: Central Command issues one-paragraph news release announcing investigation of "incidents of detainee abuse" at unspecified U.S. prison in Iraq.

Jan. 18: A guard leader and a company commander at the prison are suspended from their duties, and Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, a senior commander in Iraq, admonishes Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who commanded the brigade.

Jan. 19: Sanchez orders a separate administrative investigation into the 800th. Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba was appointed to conduct that inquiry on Jan. 31.

Jan. 31: Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba appointed to investigate prison abuses.

Early February: Rumsfeld and Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, brief President Bush on the prison abuse investigations.

Feb. 2: Taguba visits Abu Ghraib. Throughout the month, his team conducts interviews in Iraq and Kuwait.

Feb. 26: Sanchez publicly discloses the suspension of 17 military personnel but gives no details.

March 12: Taguba presents his report to his commanders. He finds widespread abuse of prisoners by military police and military intelligence. He also agrees with Ryder that guards should not play any role in the interrogation of prisoners.

March 20: Six soldiers face charges stemming from alleged abuse at the prison. The military announces the beginning of possible court-martial proceedings.

April 4: Internal Army review of prison management recommends administrative actions against several unnamed commanders in Iraq.

April 6: Third Army commander Lt. Gen. David D. McKiernan approves Taguba's report.

April 12: CBS's 60 Minutes II informs Pentagon that it is planning to broadcast photographs of Abu Ghraib prison abuse.

April 14: Myers calls CBS News anchor Dan Rather to request delay in broadcast, saying the pictures will incite violence against U.S. troops and could endanger the 90 Western hostages held by Iraqi militants. CBS agrees. Myers calls a week later and obtains another delay.

April 28: CBS airs the photos, setting off an international outcry. Bush, Rumsfeld and Meyers say this is the first time they have seen any of the photographs.


Compare and contrast the reality with what people think it is


Do you think that even the lowest of the perpetrators at AbuGhraib would have appeared before a military Court had someone not gotten careless with where they posted that video?


Then ask yourself why people who uphold Abu Ghraib as their talisman and prophet, have no little real curiosity over the truth. They believe what they want to believe. End of Story.

Probligo is wrong, but he is only one member of the populist party who believe in propaganda and fervent emotional attacks rather than cold and hard facts.

This isn't an argument about interpretation of facts, this is probligo saying he believes the Army was doing nothing until CBS threatened or released the videos and photographs. Probligo believes because any true believer will BELIEVE that he is right, and not wrong. For a person who believes in the US Constitution and the righteousness of America, what could you say that could convince him otherwise? Nothing you can or will say would convince a patriot to betray his country or believe it is not worth defending.

This has to do with fanaticism and true belief. It is all too easy to believe that you are immune to the symptoms of True Belief because you tend to think you're more open minded, but that's not really true. All of us have beliefs we will NEVER relinquish, and that's a fact independent of interpretation.

Those who believe they are perfected, shall faill ignominously in the fall of ages. It is perfection that is the curse, not the goal.

All someone has to do would be to google Abu Ghraib timeline and he'd get this website.

http://www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory/signal/iraq/abughraib-timeline.htm

Why are people so lazy? You might as well ask why patriots and jihadists are both true believers. You'll get the same answer.

 
At 8:53 PM, May 09, 2006, Blogger RickInNY said...

Soft country, soft people. I have a great and terrible fear that one day our hearts will grow hard, and the pacifists among us will seek vengeance. Those that would turn the other cheek will thirst for revenge, and history once again will visit us. When will we ever learn that there are men among us who reside in an entirely separate moral universe from our own?

We can delude ourselves into the belief that we can buy and sell these men. We cannot. They will not respond to negotiation, concilliatory gestures, appeasement, gifts of gold and treasure, or the trinkets that we crave. Concessions, disengagement, appeals to humanity and mercy, and withdrawl from confrontation only serve to feed their frenzy for jihad and murder.

Their demands are simple: restore the Caliphate, live under Sharia, and convert to Islam under the pain of death. Death to all Jews. Eradicate Western influence. Nothing less.

We're on a collision course with these men, and we have a date with destiny. We will win, they will lose. But how long will it take before our innocence is shattered once and for all?

 
At 9:25 PM, May 09, 2006, Blogger Brad said...

Troutsky is as shallow as they come; still a marxist and still uneducated. What a life.

 
At 10:37 PM, May 09, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

Ymar, yeah, the devil made me...

The fact remains that this little donnybrook is a total non-sequitur, unless perhaps you can show me where in my original post I made ANY reference to the US or Iraq. There is none, for the simple reason that I made observations on what happens in war, not any one specific war.

I also am shamed for being part of a stupid little sh!t-fight started by people with small minds trying to score a political point of some kind. It demeans the original intent of the thread, an intent with which I am 100% in agreement.

I leave my original post to stand as my word of truth.

You got a problem with that? Just too bad.

 
At 10:41 PM, May 09, 2006, Blogger wozza said...

Speaking as a European (from London actually)............. we have a little experience of being blown up by people who hate us, continually by the IRA and laterly by the 7/7 chaps.

I would direct people to my immediate posts after 7/7, which focussed on Bill Bennet (my loathing thereof) and a long subsequent argument with one of the WW3 brigade, but it wasn't pretty or edifying.

My main focus was that Britain, and Spain, were being told how to wage "wars on terror" by a noob, pure and simple.

I will tell you once, because i'm not getting into a flame filled argument here........

*citizens should not ceede their rights to their Government - the price of living in an open society is that it is Open.

*Islam is not the problem anymore than individual christians were during the crusades. The vast majority of the Muslim world is not destroying the Manhatten skyline on a daily basis.

*don't make permanent tax cuts during "WW3", during periods of record national debt (owned by foreigners).

*chasing terrorists around the world is fine and dandy - until you reach the uncomfortable realissation that you have to park tanks outside towerblocks in Hamburg to stop the people threatening you (unless you use police).

*when someone reaches a subway station with a bomb then you have already lost the fight - inhibiting the flow of comuters does nothing for protection. It only changes which part of the city is to be blown up. Because it will happen

*there will always be people willing to kill other people over a belief.

*western civilisation will not fall because poeple "hate us for our freedom". Damnit, i thought we were made of some strong stuff... if our nations can survive civil wars, and Germany and Japan and france all trying to destroy us we can get through this.

*the law enforcement model of combatting terrorism is not a bad one. Would you rather have Delta force arresting suspected terrorists in Manhatten?, tanks on the streets?. The gap between the rhetoric and reality does not stack up.

 
At 12:08 AM, May 10, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

unless perhaps you can show me where in my original post I made ANY reference to the US or Iraq. There is none, for the simple reason that I made observations on what happens in war, not any one specific war.
Tisk, tisk, Prob. We know you didn't say "United States", but that wasn't the point. Your statement equivocated. Essentially, The Terrorists=United States=Imperial Japan=UK=Nazi Germany=Aztecs... Whats the difference, war is war and people torture and kill people needlessly in war. Am I getting it wrong? Lets take a look:
There is no debate.

There is no reason.


In some quarters, true enough.

It happens whereever there are humans at war.

It happens whenever there are humans at war.


It's all the same, whoever it is, right? Right. If you say so.

Do not imagine, even for a moment that the horror and the evil is limited to just one religion.

Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, it's all the same.

There is nothing that can justify torture.

There is nothing that can justify the deliberate taking of a human life.


If you say so, I respectfully disagree. I'd even kill someone attempting to kill you if I could.

So, did we really get you wrong? I don't think so.

 
At 12:09 AM, May 10, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

I will tell you once, because i'm not getting into a flame filled argument here........

Thanks for the screed. I guess then that there's no point in flaming you then...

 
At 7:09 AM, May 10, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

Wozza--

So, what's your point?

That an open society shouldn't use all the forces at its command to find and stop terrorists because to do so would make that society less open? That we should fight terrorism with a criminal justice not military approach and just accept any casualties that arise from the less effective criminal approach as just the necessary price of that openness? At some point the bodies start to be piled too high on one side of the scales for mere "openness" to equal their weight.

Or is your point that if we haven't done all sorts of warm and fuzzy things to prevent terrorists from wanting to kill us "its too late" and we should, what, accept the casualties they cause as our our punishment for being insufficiently multicultural and understanding of differences?

Its always the extreme example--tanks in the street, gibbets in the square, pillboxes and razorwire on every block--to try to end debate and direct thought away from what is really happening and is much more likely to happen.

But, I'll bite. Tanks in the street may not make a good tourist poster, but if those tanks are what we have to do, if they mean we win and the terrorists lose, I say, bring 'em on! I do not think that preserving "openness" at the price of our defeat by Islamic fundamentalists, who would then destroy our civilization, "openness" included, is an idealistic battle that I want to win.

 
At 9:17 AM, May 10, 2006, Blogger wozza said...

one of the many points is taht simply finding the "evil doers" is not enough, we have go to (or our surrogates) have to go to the level immediately abive the bombers. Unfortunately there is a war of ideas

refute this:
a young urban new york Muslim becomes radicalised in a mosque..... he then goes onto to buy fertiliser and store it in a garage, he then purchases accelerants. AT which point do the military step in?
Does the suspicious shop keeper (selling tonnes of fertiliser to a man in a towerblock) call the US Army or Marines?.......... do these people then snatch him from his bed in the dead of night?

OR do the police stake out his garage, find out who he has been associating with, swap the fertiliser for an inert substance and then arrest him when the plot is fully uncovered and his cohorts unmasked?

It is just common sense, nothing to do with not wanting to catch people. If you don't HAVE to use EVERY element at your disposal DON'T.

I really don't understand that by making ourselves less free in the fight against people who want us to be less free that then makes us winners.

And i woiuld rather live with the threat hanging over me of not making my journey (as i do already) than live with tanks on the streets or in a broader national security state (than we have already).

And people are still talking about this as a war that can be won..... WE CAN NOT WIN. And unless parliamentary democracy falls to martial law or Ossama is broadcasting from the Oval office THEY CAN NOT WIN.

You can not defeat terror being used as a weapon anymore than you can say "all ak47s are now illegal every where in the world"...... it won't stop them being used or carried. Waging war on the weapon of "terror" is obscene in logic. There will always and have always been groups of inidividuals or solo individuals willing to seek to create fear or enduce mass murder put put across their message.
I'M NOT SAYING THAT'S RIGHT, JUST THE WAY THE WORLD HAS AND ALWAYS WILL OPERATE. I don't want us not to defeat "them", it's just - we can't, they can't.
They are not able to win, but we are able to lose - and that loss will be in the freedoms all of us should have as righst (association, free speech and public protest, taking out library books, etc etc)
#
And as for that "touchy feely" cheap shot...... no body wants to accomodate people who's image of the western world is one of a massive cartoonish X.

But we do have to make sure that our "allies" take the fight of ideas in to the mosques in Islamabad, Kabul and into the radical schools - teach the version of Islam that my friends live by as my neighbours - that of Peace and prayer.
W

 
At 9:45 AM, May 10, 2006, Blogger Harry Mallory said...

Wozza:
"refute this:
a young urban new york Muslim becomes radicalised in a mosque..... he then goes onto to buy fertiliser and store it in a garage, he then purchases accelerants. AT which point do the military step in?
Does the suspicious shop keeper (selling tonnes of fertiliser to a man in a towerblock) call the US Army or Marines?.......... do these people then snatch him from his bed in the dead of night?"


Wozza, I dont know what they're showing you on BBC, but we are not using the military to capture terrorists in the US. Item refuted.

I also dont understand what it is you feel are making us "less free." Please provide an example.

 
At 10:18 AM, May 10, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

Speaking as a European (from London actually)............. we have a little experience of being blown up by people who hate us, continually by the IRA and laterly by the 7/7 chaps.

Just a suggestion: Maybe if y’all got a bit more ‘military’ in outlook y’all might fare better in the bombing department.

I would direct people to my immediate posts after 7/7, which focussed on Bill Bennet (my loathing thereof) and a long subsequent argument with one of the WW3 brigade, but it wasn't pretty or edifying. My main focus was that Britain, and Spain, were being told how to wage "wars on terror" by a noob, pure and simple.

I totally agree about Bill Bennet. I’ve never liked his brand of pious platitudes.

*citizens should not ceede their rights to their Government - the price of living in an open society is that it is Open.

A society in war cannot be as “open” as it might be if it were not under attack, especially when the enemy uses that openness as part of their death-dealing tactics. Loose lips sink ships.

*Islam is not the problem anymore than individual christians were during the crusades. The vast majority of the Muslim world is not destroying the Manhatten skyline on a daily basis.

No, the vast majority of the Muslim world is cheering and supporting those who have destroyed a significant part the Manhattan skyline. The vast majority of the Muslim world are enablers of terrorism. Without the tacit approval and support of the majority of the Muslim world and the aid and employment of certain Muslim despots the terrorists couldn’t do very well.

*don't make permanent tax cuts during "WW3", during periods of record national debt (owned by foreigners).

Instead of giving economic advice to a country whose economy is thriving why don’t you tend to the dreadful unemployment in Great Britain?

*chasing terrorists around the world is fine and dandy - until you reach the uncomfortable realissation that you have to park tanks outside towerblocks in Hamburg to stop the people threatening you (unless you use police).

I have no idea what wozza means with this. Perhaps wozza would elaborate.

*when someone reaches a subway station with a bomb then you have already lost the fight - inhibiting the flow of comuters does nothing for protection. It only changes which part of the city is to be blown up. Because it will happen

When someone reaches a subway station with a bomb it probably means intelligence agencies are hobbled by unrealistic restrictions.

*there will always be people willing to kill other people over a belief.

And there will always be people who try to stop them. Let’s hope the second group prevails in this WW3 that we find ourselves in.

*western civilisation will not fall because poeple "hate us for our freedom". Damnit, i thought we were made of some strong stuff... if our nations can survive civil wars, and Germany and Japan and france all trying to destroy us we can get through this.

The problem is that certain horrific weapons look like they are about to fall into the hands of the destroyers. I don’t want my government standing idly by while that happens.

*the law enforcement model of combating terrorism is not a bad one. Would you rather have Delta force arresting suspected terrorists in Manhattan?, tanks on the streets?. The gap between the rhetoric and reality does not stack up.

Naw, we don’t need Delta force for arrests in Manhattan, we have the NYPD. They will arrest the suspected terrorists well enough. Afterwards, of course, they should turn them over to the military, this being a war and not a bank robbery. And tanks on the streets will not be necessary, just a paddywagon, which should then deliver them to a military tribunal.

 
At 10:38 AM, May 10, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Probligo
The fact remains that this little donnybrook is a total non-sequitur, unless perhaps you can show me where in my original post I made ANY reference to the US or Iraq. There is none, for the simple reason that I made observations on what happens in war, not any one specific war.

Here we go with the rope a dope again. Trying to run away from the facts might be helpful, if people didn't believe that the US Army was doing nothing until the CBS cape crusaders showed Abu Ghraib to the public.

Do you think that even the lowest of the perpetrators at AbuGhraib would have appeared before a military Court had someone not gotten careless with where they posted that video?

If that Probligo's donnybrook, then so be it. Presumably Abu Ghraib has nothing to do with Iraq, it is rather an indication of Rummy and Co and the fascistic dictators in charge or some such.

There is none, for the simple reason that I made observations on what happens in war, not any one specific war.

As you can see, probligo's belief that Abu Ghraib is not specific to one way, but something done commonly by the US in all wars. Talk about self-rationalization.

People who got a problem using google, I feel sorry for.

Woza
My main focus was that Britain, and Spain, were being told how to wage "wars on terror" by a noob, pure and simple.

Anyone know what a noob is?

douglas
Thanks for the screed. I guess then that there's no point in flaming you then...
I'm not selling you my flame thrower man, you got to get your fuel air dispersal explosives somewhere else.

Wozza has a point, guys. I mean just look at Britain and compare it to America, and you will see obviously what happens when a civilization reacts in a wrong manner to threats, and crushes dissent in the process.

I really don't understand that by making ourselves less free in the fight against people who want us to be less free that then makes us winners.

Most people would agree on principle that you don't want to become the enemy you fight, it would be pointless to take down one tyranny and replace it with another. However, the disagreement is always in the details, the devil is also in the details. The details are of course, which country, Britain or America, represents the better philosophy towards handling terroists and domestic insurgents?

I favor America, wozza favors someone else. What can we say? Nothing. You go your way, we go our way, and we'll find out like a thousand years in the future who was right.

And people are still talking about this as a war that can be won..... WE CAN NOT WIN.

True, Britain cannot win without the United States. But the United States can win without Britain. It'll be longer, but ohh so much easier.

The logic concerning fighting terror as a tactic is pretty easy. How do you get people to do what you want and follow your rules? Why you just get such an overwhelming force, that the rewards are puny compared to the risks. Any group caught doing terrorism, will be given a nuke and then have it detonated in their strongholds, nation or no nation. Anyone individually caught doing terrorism, will be staked, with a short stake, and everyone can watch them slowly die. Or crucifixion, and watch them slowly choke to death.

THe logic is pretty simple. It's the fact that Bush won't do what is necessary to accomplish the elimination of terror, that can be criticized. Not the goal.

The Geneva Conventions, MAD, deterence, all were able to prevent certain things from being used. Whether that be torture of POWs, nuclear obliteration of the planet, or various other things.

The reason why people complain about fighting terror as a tactic is because they either don't know how to stop terror or they aren't willing to do what is necessary to stop those tactics.

They might come back and say you can't solve a problem by becoming the problem. Basically you can't use fire to fight fire. Well you can, Californian fire fighters do it all the time by firing the brush so that the Firestorm can't use it as fuel. Police use force to stop the use of force on citizens by other citizens. The government uses force, to stop other governments from using force on them.

This is how the world works, people, and the logic is inescapable. Even to those who don't have the will, it is inescapable.

by the way, non sequitors don't mean "whatever probligo disagrees with" Just to make that clear.

 
At 12:24 PM, May 10, 2006, Blogger wozza said...

noob = net slang for newbie. Bill Bennet is a newbie at fighting terrorism was the implication.

-----------------
so, basically - the law enforcement model works?. Hey, i couldn't agree more.

Do you not recall the rhetoric about "pre 9/11 law enforcement ways"...... it is the police and only the police (and fbi) who can deal with guys hoarding fertiliser to make bombs with..... saying the "law enforcement model" doesn't work is hooey.

So i'm glad we agree.

Listen, Britain tried the Military only option in Northern Ireland, it didn't work - it hardened oposition and the community was harder to infiltrate than ever.

I'm not saying using the military is wrong in all circumstances - Afghanistan was the right war (were losing it now, different issue).
-----------------------
Idle talk of lobbing "nukes" is scary - the newborn children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still being born with birth defects, and the less said about chernobyl the better. Nukes do not target anyone - they target everyone.

And if these Islamic Radicals are as desperate as they are - why would they respond to the logic of diminishing returns?.... you can't call them madmen and then argue they will respond to a numbers game.
---------------------------
When i mentioned hamburg (home to the 11/9 hijackers, thats where they were prior)
----------------------
As for WMD - it is the most chronic misnoma Biological and Chemical weapons are exceptionally difficult to deploy effectively to cause mass death and are capable of being made up in bedrooms and garden sheds so as to be almost impossible to stop. Invading the mid-east to prevent non-weaponisable WMD falling into the hands of terrorists who then have to traverse the globe with them to reach america was, i suppose one way of trying to do "something rather than nothing". Its a shame, because i could whip up a batch of nasties in my kitchen, and the place to obtain loose nukes is Tblisi - not Tikrit. They are mad, not dumb.
------------------------
it isn't a question of Britain or America (or combined) beating terrorism...... no-one can do it, no where, no when no how. People can use different methods to stop attacks here and there - but also spreading the fear of a terror attack is doing the terrorists work.

I will tell you why we have lost as soon as someone has made a bomb -
THEY HAVE A BOMB, DEPLOYABLE ANYWHERE THEY CHOOSE, KILLING AS MANY AS THEY WISH AT RANDOM.
My point is that if someone has a bomb then security measures on a subway are not going to stop them letting off that bomb somewhere - it just won't be on a subway that time.
Can you extrapolate victory for the good guys anywhere in that scenario?
----------------------------
I live cheek by jowl with hyndres and thousands of Muslims, and it was a vocal mnority who took to the streets about the prophet cartoons, and none (i know of) were supportive of 11/09.

--------------------------------
britain has some record low unemployment numbers, and a very stable economy that isn't being propped up on foreign debt.
(stones in glass houses)
------------------------

Americans are no longer free to borrow library books without fear of a rap on the door from the FBI.

Former Vice Presidents and sitting senators end up on "no fly lists", which restrict their ability to fly (or a freedom to fly)

Senior citizens Peace groups with no islamic overtones were being infiltrated by the FBI in california.

And these restrictions will never go away - because no one can win the war on terror, because the premise is false. Not even Al Gonzalez knows when it's going to be over - are they going to surrender,a nd what president with the expanded powers they now have will call the war over?.

face it, it is perpetual war for perpetual peace, and the grab by the center of power wil go unrestrained in time of war (and if the war never ends..... the only beneficiarys are Central Government and arms manufacturers.

If americans wanted to win the "war on terror" they wouldn't have voted for the guy who wants them in hock to foreign nations and refused to search all container ships entering the USA.

two very simple things that could have been done, but weren't and will not be.

Britain now has some of the worst laws in the developed world on curtailing free speech - the glorification of terrorism bill and the Religious Hatred bill passed last year are crimes.
All offences being created were just tabloid PR pushes that did nothing to make the UK safer.

The UK are going about things the right way and wrong way - dilligent local policing, infiltrating extremeist cliques and proper planning for catastrophes - the wrong way is to stifle all "unhelpful" speech and enflame people who would otherwise tolerate us by flying innocent people around the globe due to botched data entry of a Northern Alliance gold rush.

 
At 4:26 PM, May 10, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Listen, Britain tried the Military only option in Northern Ireland, it didn't work - it hardened oposition and the community was harder to infiltrate than ever.

That's cause the Brits ordered their SAS to facilitate the "peace process", not to help the IRA against the Orange man death squads. Obviously that's not going to make you real popular with the IRA when you prevent the IRA from taking out the Orangemen terroists, but you ALSO don't freaking do anything about the Orangemen either.

American strategy is much more superior. We take out the terroists, and we get the Sunnis on our side and the Kurds, and we get the Shia on our side. Americans do take sides. The Brits ordered their military to not take sides, and nobody likes a neutral party that obstructs both party's goals.

I said this before, America uses war to solve problems, Europe can't use war to solve problems. Meaning, America for whatever reasons, can use our military to accomplish goals other than killing people. Britain and Europe does not know how to use their military to accomplish goals other than killing people. WWI and WWII proved that beyond a doubt.

Americans are no longer free to borrow library books without fear of a rap on the door from the FBI.

I read a lot of books. Trust me, FBI ain't knocking on my door.

face it, it is perpetual war for perpetual peace, and the grab by the center of power wil go unrestrained in time of war (and if the war never ends..... the only beneficiarys are Central Government and arms manufacturers.

HIstorically Europe makes lots of wars, it is America that ends them.

 
At 5:12 PM, May 10, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

so, basically - the law enforcement model works?. Hey, i couldn't agree more.

Do you not recall the rhetoric about "pre 9/11 law enforcement ways"...... it is the police and only the police (and fbi) who can deal with guys hoarding fertiliser to make bombs with..... saying the "law enforcement model" doesn't work is hooey.

So i'm glad we agree.


Maybe the problem is defining “law enforcement model.” I have no problem with police pursuing and arresting terrorists. Domestic police SWAT teams are military-like enough for me. But I don’t think terrorists should be tried in civilian courts; a military tribunal is the proper venue for their kind. To my mind the ideal situation is where the police and the military work together.

Idle talk of lobbing "nukes" is scary - the newborn children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still being born with birth defects, and the less said about chernobyl the better. Nukes do not target anyone - they target everyone.

I would be in favor of using nukes only if WMD was used against the US, otherwise our conventional weaponry will do nicely. But if ever a terrorist detonates a nuke in the US, say like today, I would expect Iran and Syria to be annihilated. Why? Because Iran and Syria have sponsored terror and the nuke would have probably come from them. Evidently terror sponsoring despots believe there’s safety in anonymity and lack of courtroom-level proof. But I believe they only guarantee that their fellow terror-sponsors in neighboring countries will be annihilated along with themselves. If that terrible day ever comes no US President will fail to act simply because it would be impossible to prove beyond a doubt which despot actually did the deed.

And if these Islamic Radicals are as desperate as they are - why would they respond to the logic of diminishing returns?.... you can't call them madmen and then argue they will respond to a numbers game.

True, the Islamic terrorists are probably immune to the possibility of death but that is no reason to stop killing them. The despots who employ them may be a bit easier to attune to reality but if they’re not they will ultimately end up getting a nuke down the old palace chimney, which ought to be very convincing and very final.

Biological and Chemical weapons are exceptionally difficult to deploy effectively to cause mass death and are capable of being made up in bedrooms and garden sheds so as to be almost impossible to stop. Invading the mid-east to prevent non-weaponisable WMD falling into the hands of terrorists who then have to traverse the globe with them to reach america was, i suppose one way of trying to do "something rather than nothing". Its a shame, because i could whip up a batch of nasties in my kitchen, and the place to obtain loose nukes is Tblisi - not Tikrit. They are mad, not dumb.

No, they’re not dumb. They are smart enough to figure that there will be many who will throw up their hands and continue a failed diplomacy when faced with ruthless and unappeasable terror. They play the MSM and the Left like a violin. But you’ve gotten some other things wrong. The “batch of nasties” cooked up in your living quarters would indeed be “exceptionally difficult to deploy effectively.” But the type of “nasties” that come from a high-level weapons development system, as was in Iraq when Saddam used just such a product to kill Kurds, have the capability to be deployed very effectively.

I’m not worried about low-level gassings, bombings and biological skullduggery, such as the Postal anthrax episode or Oklahoma City bombing, none of which should be cause for retaliation, much less employing nuclear weaponry. Granted, that there are any number of vilely creative methods and techniques with which individuals could cause low-level murder and havoc; those can be lived with and dealt with.

What worries me is that extremely deadly weapons, that as of now can only be produced by nations, could be given to the terrorists and used to murder a large number of victims. It that were to happen in the US, or for that matter, Great Britain, I believe the retaliation would kill at least several millions and most of them would be Muslims. Allowing Iran to arm itself with nukes, which will probably occur, is the first step in that horrifying direction.

it isn't a question of Britain or America (or combined) beating terrorism...... no-one can do it, no where, no when no how. People can use different methods to stop attacks here and there - but also spreading the fear of a terror attack is doing the terrorists work.

Here’s yet another example of the Fighting Terrorism Causes Terrorism theme. wozza, what we need to do is topple a couple more despots, namely Iran and Syria. We need to make it clear to these nations that their days of waging war by proxy against the US without fear of retaliation are over. I don’t believe we will, you understand, but we could save a lot of carnage later on if we would.

if someone has a bomb then security measures on a subway are not going to stop them letting off that bomb somewhere - it just won't be on a subway that time.

Yeah, but at least the subway system isn’t stopped. Low-grade bombers can be lived with, witness the IRA bombings, the Palestinian bombings. But you have to keep the systems running.

I live cheek by jowl with hundreds and thousands of Muslims, and it was a vocal minority who took to the streets about the prophet cartoons, and none (I know of) were supportive of 11/09.

Wozza, with all due respect, your anecdotal musings do little to change my mind.

britain has some record low unemployment numbers, and a very stable economy that isn't being propped up on foreign debt.
(stones in glass houses)


Ahem … I should have done a bit more research, your point is well-taken about the British economy, which seems to be robust. I was going by the quote below:

“The employment rate for people of working age was 74.5 per cent for the three months ending in February 2006. This is unchanged over the quarter but down 0.4 over the year.”

… which I took to mean unemployment was 25.5%, a figure more in line with a depression, an embarrassing misreading of the article. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=12

Americans are no longer free to borrow library books without fear of a rap on the door from the FBI.

Hyperbole

Former Vice Presidents and sitting senators end up on "no fly lists", which restrict their ability to fly (or a freedom to fly)

So the answer is to forget about flight security? Because of a couple of mistakes? A couple of bigshots were inconvenienced so do away with any precautions? Whoa!

Senior citizens Peace groups with no islamic overtones were being infiltrated by the FBI in california.

Link, please.

And these restrictions will never go away - because no one can win the war on terror, because the premise is false. Not even Al Gonzalez knows when it's going to be over - are they going to surrender and what president with the expanded powers they now have will call the war over?

Don’t look now but your paranoia is showing.

face it, it is perpetual war for perpetual peace, and the grab by the center of power will go unrestrained in time of war (and if the war never ends..... the only beneficiaries are Central Government and arms manufacturers.

Ahah! Conspiracy theories. wozza, would you by any chance think the US government was in on 9/11?

If Americans wanted to win the "war on terror" they wouldn't have voted for the guy who wants them in hock to foreign nations and refused to search all container ships entering the USA. two very simple things that could have been done, but weren't and will not be.

I agree that being in hock to foreign nations and not searching containers is not good. I don’t agree that Bush’s opponent would have been a better fighter against terrorism.

… the wrong way is to … enflame people who would otherwise tolerate us …

Let’s not fight terrorism. Why? Because it enflames people. If we just wouldn’t insist on enflaming them they would “tolerate us.”

 
At 6:26 PM, May 10, 2006, Blogger wozza said...

only idiots and the french believe the USA was in on 11/09.
--------------------------
My paranoia is perfectly intact for good reason - "we" are involved in a war without end against an "enemy" who is nebulous, without home state and can appear anywhere at anytime. But i honestly don't really mind, they have a job to kill me - they haven't suceeded (thus far) - and my government whom are entrusted as protector of my rights as an idividual are also failing.

The potential of a grisly death is one i am fully prepared for..... i can corss the street and die tommorrow - my method of death doesn't really concern me. "Live free or die"...... i believe was once a (now apparently misguided) rallying call from your side of the pond.
-------------------------
Peace Fresno infiltrated by police:
http://www.sfimc.net/news/2004/02/1680492.php
--------------------------
I have no confidence in a Military organisation being able to do anything other than wage war - it is after all what they are trained for.
-----------------------------
"lets not fight terrorism for risk that it might enflame people"..... way to be intellectually honest!.
I've outlined that we should be infiltrating these groups, refocussing our intelligence services on them, staying on the ball in afghanistan - last time i checked that wasn't classified as giving terrorists a pass.

-------------------------
UK Unemployment
"The unemployment rate, on the ILO definition, was 5.1 per cent in the three months to February 2006, up 0.1 per cent from the three months to November 2005 and up 0.4 per cent over the year."
----------------------------
i'm not alone in hyperbole then regardong the FBi and library loans......
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/03/10/MN14634.DTL

------------------------------

Actually, i don't mind merely being "tolderated" as a person or a set of values, toleration speaks alot about how grown up a culture is.

 
At 10:25 PM, May 10, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

Wozza--

You'r jumping around like a flea on a hot griddle,stringing thoughts together with no real connection between them, it seems to me.

As for your last comment about the measure of a mature civilization being the amount of toleration it has, some things just shouldn't be tolerated.

You may congratulate yourself on what a tolerant fellow you are when you allow one of the Muslim imams in Britain, say at the Finsbury Mosque, to call for the eradication of Christians and Jews and encourage acts of terrorism. Me, I guess I must not be so civilized because I'd shut him down and drop kick him back to what ever hell hole he came from. Beheadings may be sanctioned by historical precedent or the Koran, but I 'm not about to "understand the rage" or sympatiize with the "shame and victimization" felt by the beheader; he needs to be put down like the rabid dog he is.

To be blunt, it looks like political correctness, wishful thinking and lack of resolve have already put the U.K. in a perilous situation vis-a-vis its Muslim population and the trends don't look favorable. I don't think the U.S. should follow your prescriptions at all.

Finally, if you believe that WE CAN'T WIN, then you should be scouting out a local mosque and some long robes right now, cause you're gonna need this information in the not so distant future.

 
At 10:35 PM, May 10, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

There's still the basic difference between how an American Marine unit acts and how a British and European military unit acts.

People have to realize where wozza is coming from. It is not an American centric viewpoint. Meaning, he does not use the resources available to America, when he makes his conclusions about winning or not winning.

Obviouslly your analysis of any war will differ ebased upon what kind of resources you can draw upon. Britain draws upon a very different resource, both civilian and military, than the US.

You can call it paranoia or not, but if I was British, I wouldn't trust the British government with securing individual liberty. Their constitution is NOT the US Constitution. People have got to remember that, and act more cosmopolitan. Everything's not about how parochial we are.

Wozza's comments appear different if you take it to mean he speaks solely about his own country. However, if he seeks to apply this to America, then he'd be dead wrong. Cosmopolitan, remember, not parochialism.

The US can withstand civil rights curtailments, as we did in WWII and the Civ War.

Two reasons.

We got the 2nd Ammendment and we have 1 gun per 1 person in America. (1 person owns more than one gun, so not everyone in America owns a gun) The other reason is that American uses wars to solve problems, not just to go around trashing cities and battlefields. The Europeans have a horrid track record with their wars, therefore all those civil rights limitations will get worse and worse, because their wars keep going on and on like WWI to WWII. They can't get enough of war, they try their hardest to come up with humiliating peace treaties to piss their enemies off, and then skimp on their military.

 
At 1:10 AM, May 11, 2006, Blogger blert said...

The Jawa Report has the video down as a hoax: recycled imfamy.

The number one method of frustrating islamists lies completely outside the scope of your local police -- including SWAT: intelligence penetration. These players aren't unhappy voters: they're subversive aliens supported by a foreign power.

The British Army is already neutered by domestic politics. Time to return home.

As it stands, the Iranians have successfully played everyone for fools: she already has the bomb. She used the Nork/ Israeli gambit: cross over on the sly and never, never test. Just use proven conservative designs.

The MSM and all the world's governments are successfully concentrating all attention on highly enriched uranium 235 as THE way to the bomb.

However, plutonium is much easier to produce and has been the route to the bomb for: Pakistan, India, Israel, North Korea, ....

All that is needed is heavy water and a simple swimming pool converter.

Iran has had heavy water production capacity since 1995. (IAEA report)

Iran has skied right through every redline: hence the quiet.

The peace has been raped.

It does appear that Iran only has a very limited nuclear inventory. Her ability to deliver is weak. As we breathe she is mating up missile and nuke.

That's why Israel is reaching for the trigger.

FDR waited and waited -- for Pearl Harbor. He didn't have a political base for anti-Axis warfare.

Bush is forced down the same path. The trigger event in our time figures to be a whopper.

The mullahs are 'off the hook' -- they are plunge bettors.

The invite to submit to Islam is a gauntlet. BEWARE.

 
At 9:37 AM, May 11, 2006, Blogger wozza said...

You'r jumping around like a flea on a hot griddle,stringing thoughts together with no real connection between them, it seems to me.

my last post was basically a collection bullet point replies to points about my previous posts.

------------------------
But i would caution against your optimism regarding your own constitution - in WW2 there was going to be a surrender there had to be a definitive cut off point as to how long restrictions would remain in force.
And the President has heretofor unfound powers - he has taken "inherent powers of the office" far beyond any of those granted to any previous President without statute.
I'm not claiming the UK is Superior - or the US inferior, just that i have a feeling we are never going to be as free again as we were.

And as for our nations respective military might - we are both stretched to breaking point in Iraq, your tours of duty are twice as long as the UK army - and a third of your troops in country are National Guard. Again, stones in glass houses.

The British Forces are the least well equipped, but best trained in combat and by far better peace keeprs and policemen.
-------------------------
I do have a fairly British view of things, guilty as charged - it's less militaristic for starters. I do not give a hoot if islam becomes the majority religion in the UK, or who lives where - as for Finsbury Park - the guy could have been arrested and deported years ago under legislation from the 1800's. The fact he wasn't is a disgrace - no argument.
I'll tell you wgy iu don't care about our position relative one religion to another - IT'S HOOEY (religion in general).
----------------------------

And i'm going to repeat - the War On Terror s going to go the same way as the war on drugs - nowhere.

I know how much military (reserve) muscle the US has, and your relative Civillian populations, god flag and country patriotism - that is all taken as a gimme - but you can not destroy a weapon - which is what Terror is.
You can reduce it, make it less appealing, kill lots of people, use orange jumpsuits, pig farmers from New Orleans can go to Tikrit for 6months at a time while their farms fold and hurricanes go unrepaired - but you can not and will not stop people wanting to kill other people for a belief.

 
At 9:41 AM, May 11, 2006, Blogger wozza said...

having said all that, it's been a pleasure debating you chaps and chapettes.

And goodnight and good luck - i'm gonna not check back on this thread.

 
At 11:40 AM, May 11, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

Wozza--

In case you're out there somewhere.

You assert that the war has allowed our President to grab powers far in excess of those he should have. The fact of the matter is that British and United State governmental sytems are very different; one major difference being that the U.S. has a written Consitution and a Bill of Rights listing specific rights.

In the U.S. the President has certain powers, very broad ones, derived from our written constitution; one of these is his role as Commander in Chief. Then there are other powers that Presidents have traditionally had by extension or by custom. In the current political climate, people opposed to President Bush have decided to characterize his use of his powers of office, ones used by prior Presidents--Bill Clinton comes to mind--and which usually are a not subject to very much question, as illigitimate. This is usually a matter for the Supreme Court to decide.

 
At 12:33 PM, May 11, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

only idiots and the french believe the USA was in on 11/09.

Those “idiots” include the President of Iran, the leader(or figurehead) of a terror-sponsoring state. Those “idiots” seem to include a large part of the Muslim world.

My paranoia is perfectly intact for good reason - "we" are involved in a war without end against an "enemy" who is nebulous, without home state and can appear anywhere at anytime. But i honestly don't really mind, they have a job to kill me - they haven't suceeded (thus far) - and my government whom are entrusted as protector of my rights as an idividual are also failing.

The potential of a grisly death is one i am fully prepared for..... i can corss the street and die tommorrow - my method of death doesn't really concern me. "Live free or die"...... i believe was once a (now apparently misguided) rallying call from your side of the pond.


Talk about confusing! Wozza writes of what president with the expanded powers they now have will call the war over?- and because of his worries about expanded US Presidential power(none of which are unprecedented in times of war) I mention paranoia and he replies with a rambling missive about “war without end,” against a “nebulous enemy.” But he doesn’t mind the terrorists! Why? Because it is their job!!! At this point one might pause and wonder about the mentality that considers terrorism a “job.” But it gets even stranger. He goes on to concede that the terrorists haven’t killed him but is angry at the government because the government hasn’t done enough to protect his “rights as an individual.” Wozza may be murdered by terrorists but he doesn’t care about that; that’s just their “job.” He’s prepared for and reconciled to being murdered, that’s nothing, a minor point, apparently. What really worries wozza and gets him enflamed is that reading lists at US libraries might be perused by the FBI. The lack of priorities in anti-war thinking is truly a wonder to behold.

I was puzzled by wuzzo’s “Senior citizens Peace groups” reference. I have news for wuzzo. Peace Fresno has nothing much to do with senior citizens. Peace Fresno is an interesting anti-war group who sends delegates to Anti-American conferences in Pakistan. I’ve heard that there are a few Muslims in Pakistan. Doesn’t this attendance constitute “Islamic overtones,” or maybe ‘Islamic connection’ would be a more apt phrase? Didn’t some of the London bombers visit Pakistan just before the bombings? I think I want my government keeping an eye on those who attend Anti-American conferences in Pakistan, just in case. The group is probably harmless but better safe than sorry, eh? Ninety-nine percent of intelligence is useless, it’s that one percent that saves lives. BTW, judging from a placard carried by them in a demonstration, Peace Fresno apparently believes the US government was in on 9/11. What a bunch of “idiots,” eh?

http://sfbay.indymedia.org/news/2004/03/1674284.php

Scroll down the page to the second photo and observe the white sign on the right. Of the seven people whose faces are shown, only one could be classified as a senior citizen – the other six seem pretty young. I ran across many photos of Peace Fresno marches and saw mainly young faces – very few senior citizens.

Actually, I don't mind merely being "tolerated" as a person or a set of values, toleration speaks a lot about how grown up a culture is.

I don’t mind being tolerated either, but if it takes bending over so the terrorists can have a better angle in order to be tolerated, I’ll pass.

 
At 4:52 PM, May 13, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I don't get the interpretatin that wozza was sympathetic to terroists.

And as for our nations respective military might - we are both stretched to breaking point in Iraq, your tours of duty are twice as long as the UK army - and a third of your troops in country are National Guard. Again, stones in glass houses.


I don't think a lot of people, and this includes AMericans, realizes just what is going on with our military. Not surprising, the Generals keep talking about being stretched. The thing is, the reason why we rotate so many divisions and brigades to Iraq and back to the US, is because we are spreading the combat experience. A military force is no good if it is too green to face the enemy. If you don't pull your forces back to the homefront and let them teach others the tricks of the trade, you run the risk of burning out your most experienced combat veterans. Japan did that and lost all their experienced pilots, and had no one left to train the new pilots, and then got slaughtered in the Marianas Turkey Shoot.

Besides, the National Guard wants its piece of the action too, as with the Marines, you can't really keep combat commanders away from Tours of Duty. That's like, you know, trying to tell someone if they do X, they will have more promotions. They'll do X, be assured of that. One of the reasons for the low tour of duty length. In Vietnam it was like years. In Iraq? 12 months, just a bout.

What this actually means is that the US military is almost as good as we appear on paper, if not better. Russia has 1 million people in their army, but only pocking 40,000 can fight. That's more than a 7 to 3 logistics ratio. RUSSIA is stretched. They don't have the troops to put somewhere else in the world, because ALL of them are busy in Chechnya or thereabouts.

TWO THIRDS of US troops are here at home, training, basically waiting to be deployed. This doesn't include the Navy and Air Force. They're on continous patrols and tours. Which beside the air strikes and support, really isn't doing much of anything in their free time, except (guess) train.

Amateurs can call that stretched, I call it a lean mean fighting machine. At least for the US.

I'll tell you wgy iu don't care about our position relative one religion to another - IT'S HOOEY (religion in general).

I'll remember that when the Islamics string you up in the streets 20 years from now, for violating Sharia Law.

but you can not destroy a weapon -

Like I said, guerrila wars are eating soup with a knife. Sure, it might take a while, but you can get it done eventually with determination. There is no cannot in reality.

 
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