Tuesday, June 20, 2006

By their works shall ye know them: barbarians and sadists

The news was all but inevitable: the bodies of the two missing soldiers have been found in Iraq, and spokespeople say they have been "tortured in a barbaric fashion." No details have as yet been provided.

Pajamas Media has a roundup of reactions from both sides of the political spectrum.

All thoughtful people--myself included--mourn their loss, and the suffering they endured before their deaths.

When I read the sad news, however, the use of the word "barbaric" caught my eye. Like many familiar words, ordinarily we hardly think about what it really means.

Here are some synonyms:

barbarian, barbarous, boorish, brutal, coarse, cruel, fierce, graceless, inhuman, lowbrow, primitive, rough, rude, tasteless, uncivilized, uncouth, vulgar, wild

The word is the essence of cultural non-relativism. Its origins are in antiquity:

...from Latin barbaria, from Latin barbarus, from the ancient Greek word βάρβαρος (barbaros) which meant a non-Greek, someone whose (first) language was not Greek. The word is imitative, the bar-bar representing the impression of random hubbub produced by hearing spoken a language that one cannot understand, similar to blah blah or rhubarb in modern English.

Many cultures traditionally have had terms for "the other." Even if those appellations don't start out as pejorative, they usually wind up that way. And so it is with "barbarian" and "barbaric," which have come into general use to mean especially vicious, cruel, and sadistic.

It's really that last definition--sadistic--that seems to be the most important element here. When a soldier kills, there is always violence, no matter how the killing is accomplished. But barbarism implies a gratuitous level of mayhem, a sort of overkill, which indicates an emotional element that drives the perpetrator towards inflicting the maximum amount of pain for personal enjoyment and sensations of power.

One of the hallmarks of jihadi violence has been this element of barbarism--or, perhaps more correctly, sadism. There is a practical and strategic goal as well, which is to instill fear. Sadism and strategy are not mutually exclusive, however; they can coexist, and both may be driving this particular behavior. No one who has watched the beheading videos--or even read descriptions of them--can avoid the sense that those doing the deed are reveling in their own barbaric power, unleashed.

Sadism traditionally has been linked to sexual kinkiness. If you Google the word "sadism," most of the definitions you find will have some connection to sex. Many have also remarked on the disturbances in Arab culture's treatment of women and their sexuality (see this, for example), so it's easy to surmise that there's a connection between the two.

But it's certainly not as simple as that--sadism is probably overdetermined among the jihadis. And another one of the elements that go into it are the backgrounds and personality disorders of some of those who rise to positions of power, such as the late and unlamented Zarqawi, who was clearly both a sadist and a psychopath in the classic sense.

But sadism and psychopathology are not limited to Arab culture, of course. In fact, the infamous Abu Ghraib prison scandal clearly involved elements of sadomasochism of the sexual sort, although the sadism did not even begin to rise to the level of that seen with the jihadis.

Then there were the Nazis, who came from a culture with enormous cultural achievements, one that was thought to be almost ultra-civilized prior to WWII. That's one of the reasons the deeply barbaric turn many Germans took at that time was so very shocking: the degree of sadism that was unleashed in the concentration camps, for example, rivaled anything in history, classical or otherwise (and yes, I'm aware that not all the guards were German, but the guiding vision sprung from that society, and was largely a product of German or Austrian nationals).

The bottom line is that barbarism and sadism are possibilities for all human beings. But some societies and some historic times seem to encourage their fuller expression. And the task of a "civilized" military is to reduce the elements of sadism, while preserving the ability to kill.

I've written previously about how US soldiers are trained to kill without sadism, here. It's not an easy task, but it's the goal of the US military to reduce combat stress and make atrocities far less likely to occur (read the post for the details of how this is done). In contrast, the goal of the Nazis was to maximize the expression of sadism in their concentration camp guards. Likewise, this seems to be the goal of the jihadis, or at least many jihadi elements.

And they're not the only ones who are drawn to the admiration of the barbaric. As the Wikipedia article on barbarians indicates, in a discussion of the fictional Conan the barbarian (and with an interesting connection to German history):

The modern sympathetic admiration for such fantasy barbarians as Conan the Barbarian is a direct descendant of the Enlightenment idealization of the "Noble Savage". The German Romantics recharacterized the barbarian stereotype. Now it was the civilized Roman--or that modern Romanized Gaul, the Frenchman--who was effeminate and soft, and the stout-hearted German barbarian who exemplified manly virtue. The reforming of Arminius as "Hermann" the noble barbarian countering evil Rome provided a prototype from the 16th century onwards.

In fantasy novels and role-playing games, barbarians (or berserkers) are still depicted as brave uncivilized warriors, often able to attack with a crazed fury. Conan is simply best known of the type.


Many of those who defend jihadis, make excuses for them, and/or sympathize with them, may indeed be feeling these sorts of Rousseauvian/Romantic stirrings.

268 Comments:

At 5:34 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger David said...

Some lines by Leonard Cohen:

I know that you have suffered, lad
But suffer this a while:
Whatever makes a soldier sad
Will make a killer smile

 
At 5:53 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

The example of the violent life of Muhammad, as recorded in the Hadith, the Qur'an, and the religious and juridical doctrines that flow from them are the sources for the key ideas that make for the savagery the world has witnessed from Islam ever since its founding.

The Qur'an and the Hadith encourage the more violent human impulses by giving them religious sanction in the service of Islam and conquest, while the Bible, especially the New Testiment, tries to discourage them. The division of the world into Muslims, to whom good treatment is owed and Infidels, to whom nothing is owed also flows from these sources as does the division if the world into the House of Islam and the House of War. Muhammad said "war is deceit" so, naturally the doctrines of "taqiyya" or dissembling and "kitman" or mental reservations are at play when Muslims deal with Infidels. Finally the idea that Peace will only reign when Islam and Sharia law rules the whole earth comes from these same sources; this is what is really meant when Muslims say "Islam is the religion of Peace."

When Islam hads been strong its forces have ravaged large portions of the world, killing and enslaving countless millions, when Islam has been weak it has been quiescent, biding its time. With such an enemy no lasting peace can be concluded, no agreement signed that will be sure to be honored. Steely determination to make no concessions,to not give an inch, combined with merciless use of overwhelming force are the only policies likely to reduce Islam to quiescence again.

 
At 5:57 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Ahhh, yes indeed, the soft bigotry of the 'noble savage'. This all ties back into cultural relativism and 'multiculturalism', which encourage a view of 'savages' as 'noble', and, as pointed out in the post, results in a degradation of cultral advacement and civilization.

 
At 6:12 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Neo: Many of those who defend jihadis, make excuses for them, and/or sympathize with them, may indeed be feeling these sorts of Rousseauvian/Romantic stirrings.

No doubt it arises from the same source, but I see the motivation of the jihadi sympathizers as more of a negative than a positive force -- that is, it springs from a shared hostility to the modern world, which, in the view of the Western jihadi sympathizer, is every bit as corrupt and morally repulsive as it is to the islamists. (We all know their litany: "mindless consumerism", "destroying the planet", "exploiting the weak", greed, oil, Halliburton, greed, etc., etc.) For these people, just as for the jihadis, America is simply the foremost representative of that modern world they hate and fear, and Iraq is just the current battlefield in a long-standing conflict, waged in a variety of forms, times, and places. Just like the jihadis, these people have long hoped for a "purifying" force that will set right the world as they see it -- a vain, hubristic, and sinister "hope" that laid waste to much of the past century.

 
At 6:17 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger ecj said...

This is why the internet is such a grang tool. To be able to get the learned thoughts of a studied wordsmith.

Sadistic (evil) is the enemy we, the free people of the world, are all are being confronted with in the form of violent Muslim fachists.

May God comfort those who suffer from these events, now.

 
At 6:38 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger jhankey said...

I say that especially the MSM and others who are obssessing over this will never understand that defending your country can mean a terrible and fearsome death.

 
At 6:50 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Sally,
Your remarks regarding the shared goals of the jihadis and the deranged anti-American, global left is bang on the mark. They both are incoherent and anger driven.

As, I'm fond of pointing out, we are in the early stages of a very long process that can't really be called "war". And, I am reliably informed, resistance to evil is not nuanced enough. So, we'll have to call it a war until a better wordsmith than I can come up with a better phrase. As usual, we're a little slow to learn the lessons but once learned they become part of the matrix of resistance to evil.

It may come down to, "No friends. Fewer and fewer enemies.", which, oddly enough, has been the motto of a martial arts team I have been affiliated with for more than twenty years. Steel is born of the hammer and fire.

 
At 8:01 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

Here's the lastest news for your perusal:

"Violence was unabated Tuesday, with at least 18 people killed in attacks nationwide, including a suicide bombing of a home for the elderly in the southern city of Basra."

Just add that to the pet market, the clothes market, the candy line, the people wearing tennis shorts - you know all the military targets that are the key to winning any war. But, hey, I'm reliably informed that there is no moral difference between willfully targeting a senior citizens home and accidentally killing civilans that terrorists have cravenly chosen to hide among. So I'll shut up now.

 
At 9:31 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

There is a practical and strategic goal as well, which is to instill fear.

It is kind of hard to instill fear if people see 100 GitMo terroists summarily executed in return for 2 soldiers summarily executed. It just is.

You don't stop this in the short term or the long term by letting the terroists fill the battlespace of men's minds with this terror and show of will and lethality. I suppose once ultimate victory over terroists has been achieved, this would stop. But the road will be paved with much blood, and most of it will be yours if you don't respond in an appropriate and symmetrical manner to such psychological attacks.

In fact, the infamous Abu Ghraib prison scandal clearly involved elements of sadomasochism of the sexual sort, although the sadism did not even begin to rise to the level of that seen with the jihadis.

Hollywood sexuality in other words. But with country hicks and without the glamor and the beauties.

In the meantime, while Bush is going with the long term strategy, we have an extreme deficit of ruthlessness and efficacy in the short term, which the terroists have obviously exploited with their beheadings and hostage takings. I see about 3 general reasons for taking terroists prisoner, instead of killing on the spot, surrender or no surrender. First, it is for the information, most important. Second, it is to have hostages to ensure the good behavior of their terroist brethren. Third, it is to serve as execution fodder, in case their terroist buddies don't care about them enough to stop killing civilians and torturing soldiers.

As the POWs at Vietnam witnessed, the Vietnam guards got more brutal at the end because they realized America would be going away and they never would be held accountable. Saddam Hussein's thugs tortured pilots shot over Gulf War 1, as well, simply because they knew or suspected that the US would not go into Baghdad. Contrast this with Americans who were captured in the beginning of OIF 1.

If you don't send the message that killing or torturing 2 American soldiers will be prepaid 50 or 500 or 5,000 fold, then they're going to understand that this is the chink in our armor and they will make efforts to do more of these. Now the soldiers can protect themselves, or just fight to the death, but they need not have to. We have several useless or semi-useless hostages in GitMo and around the world. Use them.

All in All, this pisses off the military, and it might scare civilians. But mostly, this will mean that Marines and Spec Ops will find clever ways of killing terroists instead of taking them prisoner, if they know that these terroists will be treated with kid gloves at GitMo even if they had the blood of children, women, and Americans on their hands. It is bad for discipline. The Spec Ops and the Marines have enough discipline not to go crazy, but the point is again they need not have to restrain themselves simply because they want to get rid of terroists.

In the end, you know who can kill barbarians? Other barbarians, trained as soldiers and warriors.

As for "accidentally" killing civilians, Haditha looks more and more like a terroist propaganda project. Oh wait, misnomer, that would be "disinformation project" to be more accurate.

 
At 9:44 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

There is something about Islam that attracts the sadists and thugs. Maybe it gives religious sanction to what they would already be doing, anyway?

A perfect convergence...

 
At 10:04 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Obviously thugs would be attracted to a society and a religion that justifies their beating up on their women. Men go for jihad because.... it gives you power over women. And if you feel shame that America is more powerful than you, then you can easily feel better by beating up on someone weaker than you. Civilization teaches people not to do this, to bring problems to the courts and to resolve them through arbitration or mediation, not through spreading the misery or vendetta. Arabs don't find any use to the "courts", while they do find use with spreading misery, taking hostages, and doing vendettas. It's the exisgencies of the desert, trust no one and there are no courts.

She was shocked when, as a university student, she held a job as an interpreter for Dutch immigration and social workers and discovered hidden "suffering on a terrible scale" among Muslim women even in the Netherlands. She entered safe houses for women and girls, most of them Turkish and Moroccan immigrants, who had run away from domestic violence or forced marriages. Many had secret abortions.

"Sexual abuse in the family causes the most pain because the trust is violated on all levels," she said. "The father or the uncle say nothing, nor do the mother and the sisters. It happens regularly — the incest, the beatings, the abortions. Girls commit suicide. But no one says anything. And social workers are sworn to professional secrecy."

More than 100 women a year have surgery to "restore" their virginity, she estimates in her published work. While only 10 percent of the population is non-Dutch, this group accounts for more than 60 percent of abortions, "because the Muslim girls are kept ignorant," she said. Three out of five Moroccan-Dutch girls — Moroccans are among the largest immigrant groups — are forced to marry young men from villages back home, to keep them under control, she said.

A year or so ago, Ms. Hirsi Ali's case might not have attracted so much attention. But the mood in the Netherlands, as in much of Europe, changed after Sept. 11, 2001. In the month that followed, there was an unheard of backlash against the nearly one million Muslims living in the Netherlands, with more than 70 attacks against mosques. Sept. 11 also gave politicians licence to vent brewing animosities.

Among them was Pim Fortuyn, a maverick gay politician who was killed in May, apparently by an animal rights activist. He said out loud what had long been considered racist and politically incorrect — for example, that conservative Muslim clerics were undermining certain Dutch values like acceptance of homosexuality and the equality of men and women.

What Mr. Fortuyn did on the right, Ms. Hirsi Ali has done on the left. Many in the Labor Party, where she worked on immigration issues, were shocked when she told reporters that Mr. Fortuyn was right in calling Islam "backward."

"At the very least Islam is facing backward and it has failed to provide a moral framework for our time," she said in one conversation. "If the West wants to help modernize Islam, it should invest in women because they educate the children."


http://factsofisrael.com/blog/archives/000470.html

Taking sexual advantage of people is frowned upon in Western civilization, but it is a virtue in gang cultures and Arab cultures. By making other people feel ashamed and weak, the Arab males and gang bangers derive confidence and power in return.

Strategy of Rape and Intimidation

Sadists may contain attributes of animals, thereby making them dangerous and scary, but their animalistic qualities also make them predictable. Anything that is predictable can be broken and shattered, if only you have the will to do it.

Shame is their weakness, and shame is where you can apply the most bang for your buck.

Some have said that people in American prisons are converting to Islam. Makes sense, but there is no hard data.

 
At 10:12 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

I don't think anyone in their right mind symapthizes with, defends or makes excuses for sadistic thugs, no matter which side they belong to. It is obvious that such incidents are to be condemned, as they are crimes against humanity.

It should be noted, in addition, that, precisely because the sees itself as a defender of the free world and of civilization, the US needs to be extra careful to make sure that, when its own servicemen commit sadistic acts, those servicemen be punished with due severity. After the My Lai massacre, in which US soldiers massacred hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians on March 16, 1968, only ONE US soldier served any kind of prison time: and he served only TWO DAYS in prison (and three-and-half years in house arrest).

Wikipedia says:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_massacre

"On March 17, 1970, the United States Army charged 14 officers with suppressing information related to the incident. Most of these charges were dropped.

"U.S. Army Lt. William Calley was convicted in 1971 of premeditated murder in ordering the shootings [the My Lai massacre] and initially sentenced to life in prison; two days later, however, President Richard Nixon ordered him released from prison, pending appeal of his sentence. Calley served three-and-half years of house arrest in his quarters at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was then ordered freed by Federal Judge J. Robert Elliot. Calley claimed that he was following orders from his captain, Ernest Medina; Medina denied giving the orders and was acquitted at a separate trial. Most of the soldiers involved in the My Lai incident were no longer enlisted. Of the 26 men initially charged, Lt. Calley's was the only conviction."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Lai_massacre

I wonder why Nixon freed from prison this convicted killer who had been found guilty of taking part in the My Lai massacre. Maybe Nixon was being a Rousseauvian...?

If the rest of the world sees that the US is reluctant to punish its own soldiers when they commit sadistic acts against foreign civilians, it is bound to create ill feelings towards the US. The US should punish its own soldiers with due severity, whenever US soldiers commit acts of sadism (after proper investigations and due process of course). It is shameful that two days in prison and three-and-half years of house arrest of a single soldier was the only punishment the US meted out for the perpetrators of the My Lai massacre.

 
At 10:35 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

People should stop fighting the last war, and start fighting the current one.

 
At 11:08 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

Ymarsakar wrote:

People should stop fighting the last war, and start fighting the current one.

Unfortunately, the present usually cannot be dealt with properly unless the errors of the past have been owned up to, faced and acknowledged. Otherwise, the past has a habit of undermining the present. As the following illustrates:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB122/

PRISONER ABUSE: PATTERNS FROM THE PAST

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 122

Cold War U.S. Interrogation Manuals Counseled "Coercive Techniques"
Cheney Informed of "Objectionable" Interrogation Guides in 1992
"Inconsistent with U.S. Government Policy"
National Security Archive Posts CIA Training Manuals from 60s, 80s, and
Investigative memos on earlier controversy on human rights abuses

For Further Information:
Thomas Blanton 202 994-7000
Peter Kornbluh 202 994-7116

Washington D.C. May 12, 2004: CIA interrogation manuals written in the 1960s and 1980s described "coercive techniques" such as those used to mistreat detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, according to the declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The Archive also posted a secret 1992 report written for then Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney warning that U.S. Army intelligence manuals that incorporated the earlier work of the CIA for training Latin American military officers in interrogation and counterintelligence techniques contained "offensive and objectionable material" that "undermines U.S. credibility, and could result in significant embarrassment."

The two CIA manuals, "Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual-1983" and "KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation-July 1963," were originally obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Baltimore Sun in 1997. The KUBARK manual includes a detailed section on "The Coercive Counterintelligence Interrogation of Resistant Sources," with concrete assessments on employing "Threats and Fear," "Pain," and "Debility." The language of the 1983 "Exploitation" manual drew heavily on the language of the earlier manual, as well as on Army Intelligence field manuals from the mid 1960s generated by "Project X"-a military effort to create training guides drawn from counterinsurgency experience in Vietnam. Recommendations on prisoner interrogation included the threat of violence and deprivation and noted that no threat should be made unless the questioner "has approval to carry out the threat." The interrogator "is able to manipulate the subject's environment," the 1983 manual states, "to create unpleasant or intolerable situations, to disrupt patterns of time, space, and sensory perception."

After Congress began investigating reports of Central American atrocities in the mid 1980s, particularly in Honduras, the CIA's "Human Resource Exploitation" manual was hand edited to alter passages that appeared to advocate coercion and stress techniques to be used on prisoners. CIA officials attached a new prologue page on the manual stating: "The use of force, mental torture, threats, insults or exposure to inhumane treatment of any kind as an aid to interrogation is prohibited by law, both international and domestic; it is neither authorized nor condoned"-making it clear that authorities were well aware these abusive practices were illegal and immoral, even as they continued then and now.

Indeed, similar material had already been incorporated into seven Spanish-language training guides. More than a thousand copies of these manuals were distributed for use in countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru, and at the School of the Americas between 1987 and 1991. An inquiry was triggered in mid 1991 when the Southern Command evaluated the manuals for use in expanding military support programs in Colombia.

In March 1992 Cheney received an investigative report on "Improper Material in Spanish-Language Intelligence Training Manuals." Classified SECRET, the report noted that five of the seven manuals "contained language and statements in violation of legal, regulatory or policy prohibitions" and recommended they be recalled. The memo is stamped: "SECDEF HAS SEEN."

The Archive also posted a declassified memorandum of conversation with a Southern Command officer, Major Victor Tise, who was responsible for assembling the Latin American manuals at School of the Americas for counterintelligence training in 1982. Tise stated that the manuals had been forwarded to DOD headquarters for clearance "and came back approved but UNCHANGED." (Emphasis in original)

Read the Documents
Note: The following documents are in PDF format.

You will need to download and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

... and the article proceeds to link to the documents. You can read the full article and see the documents at the link below:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB122/

 
At 11:18 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

If you don't send the message that killing or torturing 2 American soldiers will be prepaid 50 or 500 or 5,000 fold, then they're going to understand that this is the chink in our armor and they will make efforts to do more of these.

This is a good opportunity to expand on that reversal of the old saw that might makes right -- that may be true in the short run, but in the long run, as I've said before, it's really right that makes might. And by the same token, in the long run, wrong makes for weakness.

Why should that be, you might ask? Because, I think, the very notions of "right" and "wrong" derive their meaning and force not from some abstract or spiritual intuition, nor from a "morality gene", but rather from their long-term social/cultural effectiveness. So, for example, values such as tolerance, openness to free inquiry, respect for reason and scientific knowledge -- all values that emerged slowly but steadily in the West as it left its Middle Ages behind -- are key foundation stones in the establishment of a modern, technological-industrial society. And that in turn provides the basis for social strength along a number of dimensions: cultural, scientific, economic, and of course military.

And there are deeper values than those, underlying the rise and spread of the West over the modern era. These have to do with the emergence of the modern concept of the individual, and hence of such ideas as the "rights of man". It's precisely this concept that lead to a relatively new respect for the individual human being, which in turn lead to the dawning realization that slavery was wrong, for example, or that cruel (if once not so unusual) punishments were "inhumane". And these realizations, far from deriving from, or leading to, weakness -- as the still medieval islamists believe -- were actually just aspects of a process that has strenthened the social and cultural fabric of the West immeasureably, and of all cultures that embrace such values as well.

So. In wartime and other historical emergencies it's true that short-term objectives must sometimes be given priority over long-term values, because short-term survival may be at stake. But we should always understand that such trade-offs undermine the real source of our strength, and for that reason should always be minimized. The reason that a policy of reprisal execution is wrong, then, is not really because other people won't like us, and certainly not because it would make us "just like the terrorists" (we have sufficient differences in every other way) -- but because such a policy would seriously undermine or subvert our own values of law, justice, and individual respect that are at the basis of our strength as a society.

Here endith the sermon (with apologies).

 
At 11:46 PM, June 20, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

I understand that Walmart is having a special on sack cloth and ashes next week. Brest beating and Mea Culpas in the parking lot are optional. My Lai was then this is now. Panties on heads and barking dogs are not morally equivalent to sawing someones head off or mutilating them pre mortem. Or, I might add, setting off bombs in old folks homes.

Tarring the current military with a brush on which the tar is 35 years old or for having obsolete and unused manuals in inventory is an impoverished course of action.

I have had a good deal of experience with MI and interrogators stretching from the 60's until just recently. What my colleagues and I discovered was that many of the the Reserve and National Guard (NG) components lacked training in the values and ethics training routinely given all active duty soldiers. In addition, many of the combat support elements, MI and MP for example, lacked professional training and leadership. They were the last vestiges of the "Hollow Army", post Vietnam, and had been sucking hind teat for so long that they had become the ugly, red headed step children of the Army. When it was necessary to stand these units up for post major combat operations in Iraq, it became obvious that many units, especially NG, were not up to the tasking, especially in terms of leadership.

These deficiencies are being addressed and will be corrected. Living in the past is for reenactors and Ren Fairs.

Here endeth the homily.

 
At 12:29 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Well things don’t change much around here.

Yrmdwnkr advises, as usual, kill everybody.

Comrade wasp makes reference to his dark underpant capped past, but not much sense.

The obligatory racist remark - There is something about Islam that attracts the sadists and thugs.

And of course there is neo's academic tone of shock and analysis.

What happened to those young men is dreadful. But Neo's use of the word barbaric betrays the world view driving these opinions. Barabarians in ancient Greece where the 'other' the uncivilised, the scum. 'Barbarian' was used to describe their actions - while the ancient Greeks had a few mean tricks of their own.

What you have got here are people in their own country using whatever means - many of which could have come out of the violence filled fantasies of Yrmdwnkr - to resist an occupying army. Then there are the visitors. Every nutcase from miles around come to fight the country that they perceive is oppressing them and is fighting their religion.


…and was this not a little predictable when you invaded the place? And are things getting worse? And do you lot ever think about how to solve this mess rather than simply encourage more death?

As neo so wisely says U.S. troops have been deliberately trained to be more automatic and focused about killing.

Better get those pom poms out. Come on thanatos! Yeah the four horseman!

 
At 12:33 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

oh and if we are in a Leonard Cohen mood

You who build these altars now
To sacrifice these children,
You must not do it anymore.
A scheme is not a vision
And you never have been tempted
By a demon or a god.


The Story of Isaac

 
At 1:55 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Conned: "What you have got here are people in their own country using whatever means... ... to resist an occupying army. Then there are the visitors. Every nutcase from miles around come to fight the country that they perceive is oppressing them and is fighting their religion."

Wasp: "Panties on heads and barking dogs are not morally equivalent to sawing someones head off or mutilating them pre mortem. Or, I might add, setting off bombs in old folks homes."

How much clearer can it get?

 
At 2:37 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Hmm, well I'm just going to say that the death of these two young men is a tragedy that shouldn't have happened for a number of reasons.

On neo's article I'm going to contextualise (is that a word?) her obvious mistrust of muslim peoples and Sally's moral and cultural superiority views with the news tonight that there are troops on the streets of New Orleans because of death and mayhem in the city.

Draw your own conclusions.

 
At 2:49 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

I don't think anyone in their right mind symapthizes with, defends or makes excuses for sadistic thugs, no matter which side they belong to. It is obvious that such incidents are to be condemned, as they are crimes against humanity

So, what you are saying, then, is that most of those on The Left aren't in their right minds.

'Cause I've been pretty much hearing all of that from them on occasion....

 
At 3:14 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Ahhh, yes indeed, the soft bigotry of the 'noble savage'. This all ties back into cultural relativism and 'multiculturalism', which encourage a view of 'savages' as 'noble', and, as pointed out in the post, results in a degradation of cultral advacement and civilization.

Well, in the Conan the Barbarian sense, not exactly -- Conan is a "Barbarian" only in coming from a culture which is more connected to the land in the form of hunting, shepherding, and mountaineering. Cimmeria has no big cities, only villages.

In the stories (not necessarily the movies) One thing that separates Conan from the "civilized" is that he has a strong sense of honor and loyalty. The "civilized" would sell you out in a heartbeat if it brought them a good profit, and betrayal and cowardice in the face of danger are commonplace.

I do think the one scene in the CtC film, wherein the townies have Grace Jones (a captured thief) chained up while they torment her from a distance exemplifies the distinction.

Conan is harsh -- he does not rescue her -- but he does go in, and, as she looks up at him sullenly, expecting to die, he breaks her bonds, so that she has a fighting chance -- and she succeeds in gaining her freedom. It's one of the best scenes in movies of that type that I can think of, and delineates the difference between Conan and those "more civilized" than him.

This has some relevance to modern times -- the "civilized" are those idiot liberal pseudo-intellectuals around you who won't stand up to danger and snarl in its face.

It's up to us "warmongering barbarians" to save their asses because, unfortunately, we have to do it to save our own.

And you know it's true -- to the left, most of the Right are simpletons and/or barbarians. In truth, they recognize that they will not survive without us, and hate themselves for that. They project that hatred onto us and our "warmongering" folk because they don't want to face up to themselves in the mirror.

 
At 3:23 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

Nick B wrote:

I don't think anyone in their right mind symapthizes with, defends or makes excuses for sadistic thugs, no matter which side they belong to. It is obvious that such incidents are to be condemned, as they are crimes against humanity

So, what you are saying, then, is that most of those on The Left aren't in their right minds.

'Cause I've been pretty much hearing all of that from them on occasion....


I think what's problematic is this trying-to-divide people into "left" and "right". People hold a wide variety of opinion, on issues. (Partly, this kind of thinking is perhaps a consequence of the fact that in the USA there's basically a two-party system, and so one ends up being in one of only two "camps" on Election Day.)

You are trying to club a very large body of people, with quite a wide variety of viewpoints, into one umbrella, generic term called "The Left". (The same is true for "The Right", of course).

Also, consider, for example, that both John Kerry and Ralph Nader would count as "the left" according to this binary scheme of thinking only in terms of "left" and "right". Yet, consider the fact that Nader strongly criticized John Kerry and ran against him in the elections. If everyone on "the left" thought alike, how could this be possible?

 
At 3:36 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

actually Douglas it could be a lot clearer than comrade wasp's jumble.

Also, you tell me how you think all this mess is going to get sorted out.

Or is pointing the finger and shouting "Barbarian!" all that you lot can manage?

....meanwhile neo waves her pom poms and more people die.


..and can we avoid the following words in replying. Dhimmi, sympathiser, troll and anti-american and have a bash at thinking instead.

 
At 3:37 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

Snowonpine said...

The example of the violent life of Muhammad, as recorded in the Hadith, the Qur'an, and the religious and juridical doctrines that flow from them are the sources for the key ideas that make for the savagery the world has witnessed from Islam ever since its founding.

You're forgetting that Muslim rulers (the Moorish kings) ruled Spain for nearly 600 years -- a time that is widely regarded as a golden age of religious tolerance during which Christians, Jews and Muslims lived quite happily together and there was no religious persecution. Then, after the Christian reconquest of Spain, the Moors and the Jews were immediately expelled, or forced to convert to Christianity on pain of death. (The Jews expelled from Spain became the Sephardic Jews).

There have been periods in history with vicious, tyrannical Muslim rulers in places of the world, and there have been periods in history with tolerant, enlightened Muslim rulers in places of the world.

Just as there have been periods in history with vicious, tyrannical Christian rulers in places of the world, and there have been periods in history with tolerant, enlightened Christian rulers in places of the world.

Think about the tortures and burnings at the stake carried out by the Spanish Inquisition. They weren't carried out by Muslims, but by Christians who were acting in the name of Christ and Christianity.

Condemn violence and sadism for what they are: violence and sadism. That they come in religious garb sometimes is purely incidental. Should we condemn Christianity because of what the clerics of the Spanish Inquisition did? That would make no sense.

 
At 7:23 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Charle: Condemn violence and sadism for what they are: violence and sadism. That they come in religious garb sometimes is purely incidental.

The time has come, however, to think seriously about the possibility that some "religious garbs", and some cultures are more conducive to, or less suppressive of, violence and sadism than others. I know this possibility violates the very tender sensibilities of the naive liberal, who, if forced to admit the possibility, would immediately and instinctively want to blame his own culture and his own "religious garb" (assuming he still wears any) before pronouncing such an awful judgment on any other. And perhaps we may think such an instinct admirable -- but it can still be wrong.

In fact, if we look at the contemporary world, I think it's readily apparent that the majority of the horrific violence that remains occurs on what Huntington referred to as the "bloody borders" of Islam: Chechnya, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Somalia, Europe, and of course America (since the "bloody borders" in a globalized world are everywhere). Covering your eyes, ears and mouth about this won't help -- it's time to look it in the face. Whether it's because Islam is an inherently violence-prone culture/religion, or because Islam has largely taken root in pre-modern societies still plagued by the sort of tribal and traditional savagery that used to be considered the norm, is a valid and open question; the association of violence and Islam no longer is.

(BTW, you have to admire the chutzpah of someone who can first sympathize with the butchers, sadists and thugs -- "What you have got here are people in their own country using whatever means ... to resist an occupying army" -- and then ask that nobody actually, you know, say that he's a "sympathizer". Don't you?)

 
At 8:14 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Unfortunately, the present usually cannot be dealt with properly unless the errors of the past have been owned up to, faced and acknowledged.

In human affairs of history and politics, the past does have a tendency to influence the present and the future. But in terms of military victories and wars, continuous fighting of the last war is a great way to lose the current one.

Victor Davis Hanson has wrote and talked much about the strengths and weaknesses of democracies, that Sally refers to. In the past, the Athenians debated all day and partied all night, when it came time to decide what to do. Instead of providing reinforcements to the Spartans and Thebans at the pass in Thermopylae against the Persian hordes, the Athenians were endlessly debating. Instead of welcoming their general home with victory parades, they arrested him and tried him, for that general had exceeded the time limit of the war set by the Athenians. The democratic majority vote that dictated that Socrates suicide, and Socrates acceding to the will of the people voluntarily, is another example of the fruits of debate, majority opinion, and democracy.

Democracy or even the representative democracy and republic we have in today's 21st century political world, is not the perfect solution with no gaps. It is not even a complete solution as we see with KELO. For every advantage that a human being acquires, he also acquires a weakness. And thus this applies to democracies. Democracies are furious in times of war and will annihilate the enemy completely with the Western standard of warfare, but only if the situation has already become dire. The point is to avoid the situation becoming necessary for draconian measures. And in this case, democracies will keep arguing and debating until someone sticks a spear into the back of their brother, sisters, wives, and children. Then they will stop debating and win the war, but that doesn't bring back the dead.

When ultimate victory is assured, the politicians spend more time arguing about who will win it, when they will win it, and who gets the credit, rather than ensuring that their democratic nation wins the war first and then arguing about it. Thus democracies tend to count their chickens before they are truly cooked and dead, and it becomes a stagnant weakness that can be exploited. The Democrats already believe we've won against Al Qaeda, or they believe that when they are in power then Al Qaeda will just be gone. The methods do not matter to them so much as the power and the credit does.

VDH mentioned that democracies are a curious mix of strength and weakness. Very efficient at war when roused, but an endless debating society of disunited joints otherwise.

What Sally mentions concerning right makes might, fails in its inception to actually dilineate between how taking one path precludes the other. While I believe it is true that what is right comes sourced from what is ethically beneficial in terms of survival and society, I don't believe that democracies have this god like armor that protects them from corrosion so long as we stick to the principles of civilized conduct. The principles of civilized conduct were not in effect on Flight 93 and neither should it be in effect in the here and now. Bush is the only one keeping the civilized conduct in existence, because he uses his power to maintain a veneer of civilization perhaps because he fears to look what is beneath it.

In the age of utopianism we demand impossible standards of perfection. Then when they cannot be met, we conclude that we are not good at all, but the equivalent of a Pol Pot, Hitler, or Saddam himself — an elected American president who is a worse terrorist than Osama bin Laden.

And in a war with enemies like few other in our recent history, the contrast between rhetoric and reality is only accentuated: panties over the head of an Iraqi inmate, no head at all on an American prisoner; Korans given to the enemy terrorists in jail, Bibles outlawed for visitors to our friends the Saudis; our elected president becomes a member of the "Bush crime family" as we worry about proper barristers for Saddam Hussein's genuinely criminal family. As we fear that we have fallen short of the postmodern therapeutic age, Islamic fascists brag they are avatars of the Dark Ages.

Second, we don't believe that we are in a war anymore. Jimmy Carter thinks that something we do in Guantanamo galvanizes terrorists, as if the camp had been in existence since 1979, when under his watch this present quarter-century cycle of killing and terrorizing Americans with impunity in the Middle East began in earnest. Thus instead of joining in the effort to defeat Islamic fascists, the opposition and our pundits nitpick and moan, hoping for media attention and political points, convinced that none of their triangulation aids the enemy — since we aren't really in a war at all.


http://victorhanson.com/articles/hanson081905.html

http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson110505PF.html

Strength is weakness, and weakness strength. War is mercurial, as water like if not more so, than the humans that actually fight it. When people say that these things are our strength, what that means is simply that every combatant and his dog will be striking at our strength, whittling it down until it is a midget. Sun Tzu already told us that make your strengths appear as weaknesses, and your weaknesses appear as strength. The interpretation and derivation is obvious, since strength can become weakness and weakness strength given the way things are converted in human affairs. Love to hate, for example.

These deficiencies are being addressed and will be corrected. Living in the past is for reenactors and Ren Fairs.
Wasp

Nothing like combat experience to blood a midget force.


I think what's problematic is this trying-to-divide people into "left" and "right". People hold a wide variety of opinion, on issues
Charles

My counter is that if you consider the metaphysics of politics and realize that instead of being a spectrum that it is actually global in nature, then when you go far enough Left, you will hit the far Right. This includes people with different issues by recognizing that going in one direction of the political spectrum brings extremists together, taking into account their different political views. But the communists and the fascists shared more in common than they would recognize. It was like Baathezu vs T'annari, who is the more evil of the two, Chaotic Murder or Lawful Extermination?

You are trying to club a very large body of people, with quite a wide variety of viewpoints, into one umbrella, generic term called "The Left". (The same is true for "The Right", of course).

Again if you go far enough left, you'll hit the right. SO when people talk about the Left, they're also automatically talking about the Right as well. They don't tell you this, because they still hold to the political spectrum belief, but their hearts tell them otherwise.

 
At 8:44 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

Sally wrote:

In fact, if we look at the contemporary world, I think it's readily apparent that the majority of the horrific violence that remains occurs on what Huntington referred to as the "bloody borders" of Islam: Chechnya, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Somalia, Europe, and of course America (since the "bloody borders" in a globalized world are everywhere).

Consider that in the rest of India (except for Kashmir, where there is a low-intensity war going on), much of the violence is committed by Hindu fundamentalists (there were massacres of Muslims carried out in the state of Gujarat in India just a couple of years ago); and that in the annual report of Amnesty International, which was published in May, Amnesty International listed more than 2500 cases of political assassinations in the country of Colombia in Latin America (a country with hardly any Muslims) in the last few years at the hands of right-wing paramilitary groups.

Yes, it is certainly true that many of the recent "hot spots" where violence is occurring today are indeed in what you called the "borders" of the Islamic world. But to blame islam for this is not very logical -- why? Because, it's not as if these places were converted to Islam yesterday -- they have all been islamic for at least several centuries, and yet the violence that you see in the places you mentioned started mostly in the last forty to fifty years. If islam had been the culprit, then these places would have been violent for the last 1000 years, but that was never the case. (Consider that, right until the 1950s, large Jewish minorities lived peacefully and un-persecuted in countries like Morocco, while Jews were being persecuted by Nazis in Europe; and that, right until the 1950s and 1960s, the large Coptic Christian minority in Egypt lived quite undisturbed and un-persecuted.

Something changed in these countries and unleashed violence since the 1960s or so. Whatever it was, it cannot have been merely Islam, because, as I said, these countries had had Islam for centuries without any problem, and so the hypothesis "Islam=source of violence" can be ruled out, I think. The violence must have had some other sources and reasons, although when it erupted, it took the expression of religion.

You're mistaken in thinking that I'm being political correct. I detest political correctness, in fact. I am, rather, thinking like a scientist does: there is a phenomenon ("violence"), and there is a hypothesis that's proposed to explain the phenomenon ("Islam is the sole cause of the phenomenon"). A scientist would "test" the hypothesis, just as I did in the above paragraph. The hypothesis fails, for the reason I described above.

 
At 9:04 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Fudd, I'll try to use smaller words for your benefit. I also welcome your yapping, hatred as a sign that I strike home ever once in a while.

Also, there is something that the foreign anti-American commenter's need to keep in mind; you have no votes. You can yammer all you want to, but in the final analysis the bile that the anti-American's spew works to the benefit of those you despise. The traditional xenophobia of many American's, decried for so long by the left, works to our advantage.

David Hackett Fischer points out that the terms, cracker and redneck, have their origins in the exact same terms used to describe the northern borderer's of 17th and 18th Century England and their culture of resistance to the effete. And, those peoples brought that culture to America where a good deal of it still flourishes.

In short, the answer of a large portion of the US is, "F**k you and the horse your rode in on.", a traditional Americanism. You will be safe in your protectorates and dependencies only as long as it suits our national purposes.

So, increasingly, in the days ahead the message will become, "Stand with us or stand aside." There are wolves to deal with and a yapping little poodle may get kicked into the middle of next week if it gets too distracting.

As an aside, I hope that one of the putative "three homes" is not in the Languedoc. I'd hate to think that I had such a neighbor when I take my ease in one of my favorite protectorates.

 
At 9:08 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

As Charles noted, there are other violent spots in the world, that are not Muslim or Islamic.

This is inconsistent, however, with Charles contention that for the past 1,000 years, there was nothing wrong with Islam. Simply because, as we see today, problems that are internal and does not affect other nations like the US, are treated like Columbian assassinations.

So just because something was off the radar, like Islam, does not automatically grant them the halo of peace and prosperity. Others can argue over whether Islam has been peaceful and non-conquering over the past 1,000 years, so I won't get into that.

This is like the argument about Japan pre-surrender. Is the problem with Japan, the bushido code? Or was it the Emperor system? Was it the type of government, the power of the military or something else?

I really don't believe that it matters what someone's religion is, all religions are tools of mankind and reflect the same virtues and vices that exist in humanity. My problem is with Islamic Jihad and Arab culture. That is the source of the global violence we see. And I need not quote or defend 2000 years of Aryan and Persian and Arab history to justify myself either, since that would not be relevant, unlike others that do choose to delve into the history of Islamic nations.

 
At 9:31 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

Ah, yes the "Golden Age" in Al-Andalus. Happy Jews & Christians, wearing their distinctive dhimmi clothing, dancing in the streets as they made their way to the local Muslim official's office, where they would await with joyous anticipation his ritual pummeling as he took their protection money for the year. And why not be happy; they lived in their own segregated part of town--that must have saved a bunch of money-- they couldn't testify in court, couldn't own property, had to make way for any Muslim and, of course, were spared the expense of building or repairing their Churches and Temples, this was forbidden. Each one of these happy dhimmis was hostage for his entire villiage, which was subject ot pillage, enslavement, arbitrary killing--all sorts of happy consequences--if the Christian or Jew somehow offended any Muslim. I forgot the part about wise and gentle Muslim rulers quoting poetry in perfumed gardens. I remember all this "Golden Age" crap from the books in my youth.

Seems the writers of these old books, in love with Muslim "civilization," forgot to mention the dhimmis at all or all the Spanish towns destroyed--Barcelona, Castile, Toledo to name a few--all their inhabitants killed or sold into slavery and, I guess they just overlooked all those messy crucifixions, mutilations, burnings and throat cuttings. And why just upset their readers by mentioning all the weeping and wailing when young girls and boys were dragged off to stock all those harems. They even forgot to mention all those raiding parties and Muslim armies departing from Spain to pay friendly visits to France, the Rhone Valley and the Sicilian and Italian coasts hundreds of years before the First Crusade; I'm sure a lot of happy dhimmis were there too to see them off and wave their hankies. Better, I'm sure these authors thought, to stick with the "Golden Age."

Finally I should have mentioned that a favorite rhetorical trick of Muslims and their defenders is the old "tuo quoque" routine, i.e. you did some bad things too--lets focus on them and never mind your original charge against us.

 
At 9:31 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

..and can we avoid the following words in replying. Dhimmi, sympathiser, troll and anti-american and have a bash at thinking instead.

....meanwhile neo waves her pom poms and more people die.

 
At 9:48 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger cb said...

LOL, Justin. Something tells me he'll waste another post justifying it.

 
At 9:57 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

snowonpine wrote:

Finally I should have mentioned that a favorite rhetorical trick of Muslims and their defenders is the old "tuo quoque" routine, i.e. you did some bad things too--lets focus on them and never mind your original charge against us.

Firstly, it is spelled "tu quoque", not "tuo quoque".

But leaving that minor spelling point aside, it is important to point out why the charge of the "tu quoque" fallacy does not stick here.

My argument here was not "Bad things have been done by Muslims/ So what, bad things have been done in the name of other religions too." If that had been my argument, the charge of "tu quoque" would have been well-deserved.

But that was not my argument. In fact that was not the point at all.

The poster to whom I was responding (Sally), had specifically claimed that all of the violence happening in the world currently is happening in the Islamic world, and being perpetrated by followers of Islam.

I pointed out counterexamples to this, citing the example of violence by Hindu fundamentalists in India, and violence by paramilitary death squads in Colombia, both of which are currently ongoing, and do not involve Islams.

Since Sally's claim was that all current violence in the world is related to Islam or Muslims, these counterexamples showed that her claim was, in fact, false, because there is significant violence currently ongoing in part of the world which is in fact not related to or perpetrated by Islam or Muslims.

So, no "tu quoque" fallacy here.

 
At 10:01 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Charle: A scientist would "test" the hypothesis, just as I did in the above paragraph.

An actual scientist would be a little more careful, first of all in framing the hypothesis. Stating it as "Islam is the sole cause of violence in the world" isn't what I or anyone else is saying, but is a good, textbook example of what's known as a "straw man", which is then easy to knock down, but which doesn't establish what you want to establish -- namely, that Islam is just as peaceable as any other culture. That is -- to make the point laboriously explicit -- Islam is neither the sole cause of viloence in the world, nor as peaceable as any other culture.

Your point that "something changed" in the latter half of the last century regarding the rise of Islamic violence, however, is a good one, even if you remain mystified as to the nature of the change. I'll suggest two sources for, or causes of it: one is, as maryatexitzero has been pointing out for a while now, the slow but inexorable effect of the transfer of enormous oil wealth to essentially tribal societies, which use that wealth to spread fundamentalist versions of their pre-modern cultures across the Islamic world; and the other, obviously related, factor is the accelerated growth of a globalized modern world, which brings it into increasing contact and friction with the traditional cultures that still prevail in much of the Islamic world. Islamists like Bin Laden are at least right to recognize that modern cultures and fundamentalist Islam will not be able to coexist for long.

 
At 10:57 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger al fin said...

All religions are con jobs.
But Islam is a haven for child molesters, rapists, murderers of family females, and insane jihadist suicide killers.

Is this racist? Hell no. Islam is not a race you fool. Islam is a religion--a con job, like all religions, only infinitely worse.

 
At 11:05 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

At 10:31 AM, June 21, 2006, Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...
..and can we avoid the following words in replying. Dhimmi, sympathiser, troll and anti-american and have a bash at thinking instead.

....meanwhile neo waves her pom poms and more people die.


At 10:48 AM, June 21, 2006, cb said...
LOL, Justin. Something tells me he'll waste another post justifying it.


..too right sunshine. gotta kill time between the football matches somehow.

so the reference about neo is my contention that

1. She is racist, as are the rest of you judging by the juvenile debate above here.

and

2. In her support of military "solutions" to the ongoing chaos she is a cheerleader for death - hence the pom pom reference (and the great image on my profile).

As for the 'thinking' comment, that is just some wishful nonsense that one of you might actually try defending neo rather than making all these tired accusations about the "left".

See how you get on. If you get stuck just carry on with the dhimmi, troll ettediouslycetera comments. If you get really stuck I might have a bash at it myself, I am sure I must be able to do a better job than most of you.

 
At 11:47 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Captain Wrath said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:54 AM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Captain Wrath said...

You know what is an interesting analogy that ties together two recent posts here? Barbarians and Trolls. As Neo stated, some synonyms for Barbaric are:

"boorish, brutal, coarse, cruel, fierce, graceless, inhuman, lowbrow, primitive, rough, rude, tasteless, uncivilized, uncouth, vulgar"

Don't at least some of these personality traits apply eerily with Trolls?

Come to think of it, don't terrorists, barbarians and Trolls all have similar traits?

Trolls, like terrorists and barbarians, have no respect for rules or custom or fair play.

With terrorists, it is rules of war and civilized behavior which are not just optional, but really non-existent.

With Trolls, there are no rules which apply to them in terms of logic, fairness or standards of debate. Only primal, raw emotion and a bludgeoning of words need suffice to win the day. Like Conan, thinking is for the weak. Trolls SMASH!

Trolls and terrorists like to lash out, attempting to wreak havoc as the modus operandi, but do not seem terribly suited for constructive tasks or discussion. They like to tear down, but have real trouble contributing anything positive or useful.

Also, like barbarian hordes and terrorists, Trolls tend to suddenly appear for an attack, and then suddenly disappear at the first sign of determined resistence, or when something else attracts their attention.

Anyway, just a thought.

 
At 12:16 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

cheers for the example captain wrath (dear oh dear where do they get their names from). This is what I meant by "tired accusation"

Trolls and terrorists like to lash out, attempting to wreak havoc as the modus operandi, but do not seem terribly suited for constructive tasks or discussion.

Now why don't you practice what you rant and have a bash at constructing an argument? You know explain why neo isn't a cheerleader for death.

 
At 12:25 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:43 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Conned, why should anybody else have to do your homework assignment? And, how the dickens do you go about proving a negative?

If you want to "prove" the Neo is a "warmongering cheer leader of death" no one is stopping you. I'm sorry you're behind on your homework but trying to get other people to do your work for you is like Tom Sawyer getting other folks to paint the fence. Just use the site: function in Google and begin your search. When you're done, come back here and present a fully formed argument backed up with citations with proper embedded links. It's the way that the non technically challenged use the functions of the Web.

Here, I'll even help get you started since I've noticed your inability to do a proper link . I've also noticed that you chaps who have bigger brains than the rest of us and access to revealed truth do have trouble with the day to day functions, like not p**sing down your own pant leg.

 
At 12:49 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Wrath, you have a very good point to which you might add that trolls as well as terrorists depend upon anonymity and living among the general population for safety.

Notice that at the end of the day, Conned has no stronger arguments then the tattered, frayed and worn out "racists and warmongers, party line just as the jihadis have no other arguments than killing for the sake of killing.

For my part, I enjoy poking people like this with sticks. I like to observe their reactions and we need them around as recruiting tools.

It reminds me a lot of when I was a kid on the ranch. We never indiscriminately killed snakes unless they were venomous and around the living and livestock areas. Then we'd capture them for release far away where they could be snakes, controlling the rodents without hurting anything. If they couldn't be safely captured, then we'd kill them.

I guess this makes me an advocate of speciesism and a kill crazy warmonger

 
At 12:51 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

I guess this makes me an advocate of speciesism and a kill crazy warmonger.

nope just another sad old man with a laptop and an inability to construct a rational argument.

...anyone else care to have a go?

p.s. the link business - did i leave a broken one somewhere? ah well not that big a brain after all, at least the leg is dry. :-)

 
At 1:13 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

C'mon Conned. You're the one that wanted Captain Wrath to do your work for you. Give it a go old boy you might learn how to construct an argument.

You're beginning to sound like some kind of broken record or one of the those old tossers with one track minds who hang around the public loos making inappropriate advances to young boys.

 
At 1:31 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

sorry i have lost track....this your biography again? more fire and steel...and underpants?

i always find your range of references a bit out of my cultural experience.

 
At 1:46 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Conned, needn't apologize for the deficiencies of your antipodean education, we're all "Netizens" here. Just do your best to keep up.

My experiences are something I learned from and I bring them to my discussions for illumination, illustration and metaphor. I'm terribly sorry for the ones that you don't understand. But, if you'd contact me off list I'd be glad to explain any that might have sailed over you head.

There is no shame in being a one trick pony. Teacher will put a star on your work just as if you were not "challenged". It's the least that can be done to preserve what seems to be a precarious sense of self esteem.

 
At 1:57 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

hmmmm ok then. i am always willing to learn

So, increasingly, in the days ahead the message will become, "Stand with us or stand aside." There are wolves to deal with and a yapping little poodle may get kicked into the middle of next week if it gets too distracting.

so can you explain to me how the Iraqi mess, or for that matter, Palestine-Israel, Somalia, Afghanistan etc. are going to be sorted out by this approach of yours outlined above?

I am curious how you think you are going to create anything other than more wolves.

 
At 2:11 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

Charlemagne--You've got me, I added an "o" but then, again, neither Latin nor typing were my strong suit in High School but History was.

However, I notice that in talking about how you were responding to Sally's post, you never actually responded to the substance of mine, which was that contrary to your characterization of the Muslim occupation of Spain as "a time that is widely regarded as a golden age of religious tolerance during which Christians, Jews and Muslims lived quite happily together and there was no religious persecution," the facts are that the Muslim occupation of Spain was as disaster for such Christians and Jews who were dispossesed, forced to live in segregated areas of towns, wear distinctive clothing identifying them as dhimmis, heavily taxed, forbidden to build new Churches or Temples or to repair old ones, not allowed to own property or testify in court, subject to attack, mutilation and slavery at the whim of their Muslim conquerors. Even to show a cross in public invited drastic punishment from Muslims. Was this a "Golden Age" for anyone but the Muslim conquerers?

 
At 2:19 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

antipodean education ??


Hey, I think I'm the antipodean here :-)


BTW Spyboy. I'd be a little careful in the Languedoc with your views if I were you. Some of those swarthy rugby players ............well you know.

 
At 2:27 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

confud you are going to confuse him! Now he won't tell me how he is going to achieve world peace. You recovered from the attempted trollicide?

 
At 2:42 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

:-) Sorry 'bout that.

They need something stronger than RoundupTM.

 
At 2:48 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Conned, read a little more closely, that is not in any way an approach. You and your ilk seem to believe in the Dragons Teeth theory of counter insurgent warfare. That is, for every one killed five spring up in his place. It doesn't work that way. There is not an inexhaustible supply of homicide bombers or jihadis seeking the white raisins of paradise.

And, I am secure in the knowledge of our ability to salt the earth where dragons teeth may be sown. The opposite of war is not peace, it is surrender.

Fudd, I get along fine with other ruggers, the game of gentlemen played by hooligans. And, I don't worry about my neighbors there, since there is a nice mix of retired FFL, DSGE and Paras. Us "poseurs" tend to stick together regardless of country of origin. It was one of the selling points of the property because it makes local flics more attentive to strangers.

But, whatever makes you boy's skirts fly up, I'm sure will turn up here as another base canard directed against Americans and their supporters. I'm proud to call you two enemies.

 
At 2:53 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Snowonpine,

I look at it this way, Islam wasn't as bad as Christianity during that period of history. But that doesn't make it good or create a "Golden Age". The dhimmi system is a caste system, which slowly suffocates other religions. At times the noose is quite loose, at other times much too tight.

 
At 3:08 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Ariel, good point. And another is that while Christianity has changed and, in any event does not hold sway in national governance, Islam has changed not a whit in it's attitudes or treatment of infidels unless forced to.

 
At 3:13 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

wow i have made an enemy....and he is proud of it...which i don't quite get. And he shows off about his special forces friends and what a secret special, insider person he is....

ok then dickhead outside now...oh shit not possible because it is the INTERNET you fool and this is a discussion. Grow up for Gods sake.

Meanwhile back in the real world i think Argentina look bloody good for winning this world cup and that every time you kill civilians in Iraq or anywhere else you get more terrorists but poeple like comrade wasp are too dumb to work this out.

How many do you think you will need to kill until nobody else wants to fight back? 5? 50? 500? 5000? 50000? 500000? 5000000? And how many US and Allied troops get killed in the process? and for what?

 
At 3:30 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

How many do you think you will need to kill until nobody else wants to fight back? 5? 50? 500? 5000? 50000? 500000? 5000000? And how many US and Allied troops get killed in the process? and for what?

As many as it takes; as few as possible; for freedom.

 
At 3:31 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Everytime you kill an American soldier, 10 join up in his place.

How many did we have to nuke before the fanatical Japanese gave up?

 
At 3:36 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

wow you are pretty brave with other people's lives, but then i guess you really want that oil.

...so death is the only way forward.

More recruits for the cheer leading team here Neo better invest in some more pom poms and short skirts

 
At 3:38 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Captain Wrath said...

Ok,

Been thinking on it more. I don't want to overstress the analogy, nor make a direct moral equivalence between Trolls and terrorists. That's the kind of thing you usually get from , well, Trolls. However, I think there is a similar mindset which makes me wonder if the affinity, or at least sympathy for one is often exhibited by the other.

Let's take Barbarian as our starting point, and then proceed toward Terroristic and Troll behavior.

In a nutshell, barbarism is acting in a crude, uncivilized manner. What is civilization? Well, too big an answer, but let's give a narrow example relating to current issues.

The Geneva Convention is an example of civilization. It is a aggreement between nations that even at times of armed conflict, with all the violence and high stakes involved, some conduct is verboten; illegal. It says that while killing and destruction are the focus of war in its day-to-day operation, there are limits to them, even in war. There are rules on which even belligerents agree.

It takes civilization, or civilized societies, to even come up with a GC, let alone abide by one. Before that, there was some sense of honor on the part of at least some societies in some situations where limits were in evidence. Yes, that is a lot of "somes".

Terrorists, particularly the breed we see in Islamofascism today, are the complete antithesis of GC concepts and diametrically opposed to its spirit.

Put aside their lack of legal status because they are not openly fighting for a declared belligerent who is also a signatory. What rules of the GC, further what rules of civilized behavior at all, do Islamofascists follow? Even fellow Muslims, and Muslim holy places are fair game for explosions and bloodshed. There are not limits put upon the waging of jihad. Quite simply, I don't think anyone can point to any aspect of the GC that terrorists even pretend to follow or respect. As far as Rules of Engagement, theirs seems to consist of 1 rule: There are no rules, only the fight.

Oh, the terrorists will certainly invoke the GC and other civilized concepts when convenient to them, granted. In that case, they are all about the rules and laws, as long as it can be used against the enemy.

Okay, so where do Trolls fit in? Well, a dedicated Troll also, in the end, has absolutely no compunction to follow rules, stated or implied, whether by previous agreement, nor by the simple demands of logic. Previous points raised in contradiction to them are irrelevant or ignored. Facts inconvenient to them are by definition suspect. They will demand facts and links for their opponents' arguments, but will be less likely, or even refuse, to supply their own. Logic is anathema to them.

All debate has a certain amount of maneuver and manipulation to it, granted. But Trolls are not engaged in a debate or a discussion. Its a completely different contest they are engaged in. They engage in argument or debate by asymmetrical means. If their ability to argue, or the facts, or history do not favor them in the fight, then they will pursue the "argument" by other means.

Similar to the "insurgency" in Iraq, Trolls do not have the ability to win outright in an open struggle. However, they are clever enough to know that single-minded dedication to their party line, to their mantra, will wear out anyone. Its the, "Let's keep this annoying, frustrating behavior up until the other gives up" strategy. Whether they are eventually banned outright, or people ignore them, or they are reduced to the same mindless prattle as them, they declare victory.

In a way, they are often right, as they have derailed the honest and open debate which both threatens them and might have made an actual difference.

 
At 3:41 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

1. She is racist, as are the rest of you judging by the juvenile debate above here.

Racism has what to do with death, exactly? The two can exist independently as easily as they can exist together.

2. In her support of military "solutions" to the ongoing chaos she is a cheerleader for death - hence the pom pom reference (and the great image on my profile).

Fair enough. But wouldn't that apply equally to anyone who has ever advocated (or zealously advocated, depending on how you want to slice it) military force anywhere at any point in history?

 
At 3:41 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Conned, It doesn't matter to me pick your own number. You don't get it yet, do you? Regardless of your tender feelings, the United States will pursue its' national interest and will protect itself and those interests, full stop. Get used to it you are own3d.

And, you guys are just an interesting pastime for me when I have an afternoon with nothing else to do except to wait for the upgrade to my server to complete and check itself. It's fun to poke you and hear you squeal.

In the real world and if I thought I could get away with it, I'd leave you cooling to ambient in a heartbeat and never lose a minutes sleep. That is not a threat by the way, just a simple statement of fact and impossible to make real given the anonymity of the Internet, as you point out. I'd do it pour encourager les autres as the saying goes.

I'm sure if you had any cheveux sur vos testicules you'd do the same to me. I just think it's important to know where you stand and I do.

 
At 3:41 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

and yrmdwnkr 200000+ But don't forget the many dead during firebombing of Tokyo.

Course to you thats just level 2 killing and hardly worth a mention. How many iraqi's would you kill?

 
At 3:47 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:48 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

captain wrath - (it is a sillier name than mine) trolls are not terrorists. Not even close. And it is a meaningless term. You wanna argue? go for it. You wanna whinge that I dont argue right ...well...what can i do? ignore me.

However this made me laugh so much I missed another argentinian attack on goal.

The Geneva Convention is an example of civilization

not for Bush junior....think about it. Nasty International Convention limiting American freedom. The Geneva Convention symbolises much of what Neo-Cons stand against.

 
At 3:54 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"And how many US and Allied troops get killed in the process?"

It's very interesting to me how solicitous of our volunteer troops foreigners seem to be. Our armed forces are comprised of men and women who CHOOSE to do what they do; they know the risks and willingly serve, despite what Canucks and Ozzies might think. God bless them for it.

As others here have pointed out, the supply of martyrs is not infinite. The "war on terror" will be won when terrorists realize that their methods no longer achieve the desired ends, i.e., when "martyrs" are just dead meat, and do not have posters put up on street corners glorifying their "sacrifice." That won't happen, however, until people like conned and confud stop thinking of these murderous creatures as "freedom fighters" and not the sick psycopaths that they are. Terror only works when it impresses the impressionable. The point at which your average Iraqi, Jordanian, Egyptian and Saudi begin to loathe these tactics is the point at which terrorism will cease to be effective.

That point is closer than it has been for decades now.

 
At 3:55 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Conned, the Geneva Convention only applies to signatories and conventional forces, as I'm sure has been pointed out to you many times.

It's just a quaint old League of Nations idealistic holdover. Besides, wha' cha' gonna do, pumpkin? Send the cops? All the way from the Hague? That one was not only a soccer own goal, you leg's wet again.

 
At 4:00 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

the United States will pursue its' national interest and will protect itself and those interests, full stop.

such honesty from comrade wasp. All the rest is bullshit. Need oil? Invade a country. Don't like the way another country is governed? organise a coup, murder the leader. Whatever it is sunshine it isn't freedom and democracy. Sounds more like a nasty little military dictatorship full of nasty little death obsessed military wannabes like your good self and yrmdwnkr.

I'd leave you cooling to ambient in a heartbeat and never lose a minutes sleep. aint you a nice person



and justin

1. Racism has what to do with death, exactly?
That the US don't care how many "Islamofascists" get killed but get very upset at the relatively low numbers of western deaths in all this. That is what racism and death have to do with each other. double standards.

2. yes. but the point remains as you agree, neo is a cheerleader for death.

 
At 4:03 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

hey hey sense from stumbley - breath of fresh air

The point at which your average Iraqi, Jordanian, Egyptian and Saudi begin to loathe these tactics is the point at which terrorism will cease to be effective.

That point is closer than it has been for decades now.


do you honestly think this is true and what is your evidence?

 
At 4:05 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"neo is a cheerleader for death."

...and your point is what, exactly? Wasn't it OBL who said "We love death more than you love life?" Seems there are a great many folks who "cheerlead" for that particular outcome. What about your pals in Al-Jazeera? The vaunted "Arab Street"?

Unless and until there are no longer great masses of people who chant "death to the Great Satan", I'll cheer for their deaths just as heartily as they cheer for mine.

 
At 4:06 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Yeah, yeah, Conned, whateveryousay, cheerleader.. yeah, yeah. So, what the f**k makes you think that anybody here is so f***ing interested in what ever the f**k flies off you magic fingertips, eh bucko?

 
At 4:09 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"do you honestly think this is true and what is your evidence?"

The fact that tens of thousands of Jordanians protested the bombing of hotels by AQ; the fact that a Jordanian gave up Mr. Z; the fact that the Saudis and Egyptians are cooperating more fully in defeating terrorism in their countries and elsewhere; the fact that ordinary Iraqis are beginning to finger the terrorists in their midst....

 
At 4:10 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

stumbley I love life more than death

and Comrade Wasp you just lost it man and I win. Need to learn to cool that evil temper of yours. :-)

and i have been watching the wrong game. Well done Ivory Coast

 
At 4:12 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Course to you thats just level 2 killing and hardly worth a mention. How many iraqi's would you kill?

I'm a true believer in the United States Constitution, how many people do you think I'd sanction killing to protect the US Constitution and the people of America, not least of all the military branch?

As I wrote on Bookworm's blog, there is a big difference between ice cold rage and hot out of control rage.

The decision to kill or not to kill must be made free of fear, anger, rage, hate, or prejudice. People who cannot even control their emotions for medium lengths of time, do not have the judgement necessary to even consider being put in charge of any life or death situations.

To Wrath,

They will demand facts and links for their opponents' arguments, but will be less likely, or even refuse, to supply their own. Logic is anathema to them.

To be honest, I'd rather think the problem in this case specifically is that people post too many links, and they do so (on the troll side) because they simply agree with the article in question. They either quote large portions of it, or they just paste the link and say "this proves me right". But in essence, what they are doing is saying "whomever I agree with, exists, and therefore this proves me right". Their counter when other people post articles that is inconsistent with Confud's analysis, is that these articles are "racist" or a "neo neocon fantasy" or some other excuse for why it doesn't matter.

Bookworm has an interesting post about the Geneva Conventions. Check it out.

Link

I like Captain Wrath's name, because he reminds me of the reverse of Captain Planet aka Al Gore.

 
At 4:17 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Conned, if you think that was losing it... You win exactly what, tw*t?

You're a jerk. A pissant. A dingleberry on the world's fundament.

I will give you this. For a guy with only one string on his banjo you play the hell out of it. but, just because you can make noise don't mean it's music.

Nice playing with you twinkies. The gym beckons now that the upgrade has completed. In the meantime, "Hang by the thumbs. And, write if you get work"

 
At 4:20 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"do you honestly think this is true and what is your evidence?"

A group "CJSOTF-AP" (I think that stands for "Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula") has been formed to coordinate the activities of SOF forces in the region to combat terrorism and to interrogate detainees.

SOF forces from Jordan, Iraq, UAE and Bahrain have had direct involvement in OEF and OIF.

The coalition is larger and from more countries than is widely reported or suspected.

 
At 4:51 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Stubmley, just one more before I go torture myself at the gym.

I wouldn't make too much out of CJSOTF-AP. These Joint SpecOps are really more instruments of policy than anything else. Simply, they work this way. The SF of designated countries get some training and gee whiz goodies. In return US operators get to look at the local talent and evaluate it while making good intell contacts in what a country may consider its' "elite" forces. Most of these forces serve as a kind of pretorian guard for the country's leadership. They may "inter-operate" on some low level tasks but none of them can operate with trained SF like SOCOM, or any of the commonwealth SAS. The main mission of SF is training foreign troops. Right now, we need some operators in the area who don't look like Danes or Norwiggians (deliberate SP)and it's a good idea to keep track of any groups with pretensions of SpecOps.

Don't look for any of these "allies" to be going past the wire on actual missions.

 
At 5:02 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

SW:

I don't expect much at all from them; the point was, that we're getting cooperation from folks that wouldn't necessarily be considered "allies" at all.

I think it's 'cause rational people in the ME are getting just a little tired (and a little scared) of what's going on.

 
At 5:03 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

stumbley said...
"do you honestly think this is true and what is your evidence?"

A group "CJSOTF-AP" (I think that stands for "Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula") has been formed to coordinate the activities of SOF forces in the region to combat terrorism and to interrogate detainees.

SOF forces from Jordan, Iraq, UAE and Bahrain have had direct involvement in OEF and OIF.

The coalition is larger and from more countries than is widely reported or suspected.

5:20 PM, June 21, 2006


Oh yes, all good freedom loving democracies those.

And Wasp, many people within the US and outside are evaluating the current administration's economic policies as being the worst ever in terms of long term economic influence.

Many western democracies are currently reevaluating long term economic policy in light of the possible (at this point) only decline of US economic dominance.

This is already happening.


I'm gobsmacked that someone has brought up the Geneva Conventions. The US and Israel break the Geneva and Hague Conventions as a matter of course without apology.

I wonder whether there is a treaty that the Bush administration hasn't broken. Their attitude to the Nuclear Non Proliferation protocols is blatant hypocrisy that should be a neon light for the moral bankruptcy of neoconservatism.

 
At 5:15 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Fudd, I get along fine with other ruggers, the game of gentlemen played by hooligans. And, I don't worry about my neighbors there, since there is a nice mix of retired FFL, DSGE and Paras. Us "poseurs" tend to stick together regardless of country of origin. It was one of the selling points of the property because it makes local flics more attentive to strangers.

But, whatever makes you boy's skirts fly up, I'm sure will turn up here as another base canard directed against Americans and their supporters. I'm proud to call you two enemies.

3:48 PM, June 21, 2006


Well, bully for you spykid. You really are a good laugh. Anti US sentiment is at an all time high in France and if you think the French are soft I'd go slow on the pastis if I were you.

 
At 5:18 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Oh, and, according to Mary, there are islamic paramilitaries in the woods too. Vigilance spyboy, vigilance.

 
At 5:36 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

snowonpine,

In many parts of the Christian world at that time, Jews were not even allowed to live within the kingdom, under pain of death.

Here is what the Encyclopedia Britannica has to say about al-andalus under Muslim (Moorish) rule, by the way:

"After the Muslim conquest, Andalusia became part of the independent Ummayad caliphate of Córdoba, which was founded by 'Abd ar-Rahman III in 929. After the breakup of this unified Spanish Muslim state in the early 11th century, Andalusia was divided into a number of small kingdoms, or taifas, the largest of which were Málaga, Seville, and Córdoba. These principalities, which warred incessantly among themselves, had begun falling to Christian forces based in Leon and Castile in the 11th century when they were reinvigorated by a new Muslim invasion from North Africa, that of the Berber Almoravids, who were able to establish centralized rule over Muslim Spain from about 1086 to 1147. The Almoravids were in turn succeeded by another force of Muslim invaders from North Africa, the Almohads, who ruled over Andalusia from about 1147 to 1212.

"Despite its political instability, scholars have seen the Moorish period as the golden age of Andalusia because of its economic prosperity and its brilliant cultural flowering. Agriculture, mining, and industry flourished as never before, and the region carried on a rich commerce with North Africa and the Levant. Some of the crops grown in Andalusia today, such as sugarcane, almonds, and apricots, were introduced by the Arabs, and much of the region's elaborate irrigation system dates from the Muslim period. In the realm of culture, a vibrant civilization arose out of the intermingling of Spanish Christians, Berber and Arab Muslims, and Jews under the relatively tolerant rule of the Muslim emirs. The cities of Córdoba, Seville, and Granada became celebrated centres of Muslim architecture, science, and learning at a time when the rest of Europe was still emerging from the Dark Ages. The Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba and the fortress-palace of the Alhambra in Granada were built during this period, and the great Spanish Muslim philosopher Averroës was perhaps its leading intellectual figure.


Source: Encyclopedia Britannica on-line, http://search.eb.com/eb/article-92367?query=&ct=eb

 
At 5:43 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Trainer's running late and I have a torture chamber reprieve so I thought I see what the idiot tag team boys are up too and Fudd doesn't disappoint. Ain't wireless great?

Fudd I know the economic sky is falling isn't it awful? Maybe you should go tell Henny Penny.

I know about anti-American feeling. That's one of the reasons we came in via commuter from Munich and spoke nothing but German and French until we got to the house.

Different kettle of fish with my neighbors though. Think Algeria and a few other former French colonies with significant Muslim populations. They're betting on the French military taking a stronger role in the security of la patrie. Remember the last time the French military got tired of the civilian leadership? If there is one thing the French know it is the coup d'état. They might even get a little help this time, Lafayette, nous sommes ici. Phrase ring a bell?

Je suis toujours vigilant, Fudd.

 
At 5:49 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Charlemagne, still riding that old pony? Remember, "Living in the past is for reenactors and Ren Fairs". Seeking moral equivalencies, especially in the past, is a failed calculus.

But, hey, who am I to advise ancient royalty.

 
At 5:55 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

confudeforeigner wrote:

I'm gobsmacked that someone has brought up the Geneva Conventions. The US and Israel break the Geneva and Hague Conventions as a matter of course without apology.

The URL at the bottom of the post will take you to a discussion of a discussion of US violations of Geneva conventions during the First Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) and the current Gulf War.

Note: Two wrongs don't make a right, and the US's violations of Geneva or Hague convensions should not in any way condone or excuse war crimes committed by insurgents against US servicemen.

http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/opin/pr_uswc.html :

 
At 6:03 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Oh Fudd, I don't like licorice and thus don't drink pastis. But, I do like a nice kir now and again or a Dubonnet Rouge on the rocks.

I fear we're going to have to give fasching in Munich a pass this year though. Pity. The Bavarian's know how to par-tay.

Good grief, is someone still going on about the Geneva Convention? Two wrongs don't make a right, but the second one usually makes me feel a lot better. Remember, the US is the big bully on the block. Listen, sing that song a little slower so I can dance to it.

 
At 6:07 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Re: the Britannica article: nice to see that the Europeans have something to look forward to again, then.

On the other hand, before settling back into that comfortable, habit-forming anti-Americanism, they might want to have a look at what the wikipedia has to say:

Some argue that - for at least part of the history of al-Āndalus - Jews were treated significantly better in Muslim-controlled Spain than in Christian Northern Europe. However, the exact extent and nature of this period of tolerance (sometimes called a "Golden Age") has become a subject of debate and is often used to back personal or political agendas.

Perhaps, rather than trying to make a case for which first millennium culture was worse than another, it would make more sense to compare the modern culture of the West with the still medieval ideal that the islamists are espousing now, with considerable success.

 
At 6:07 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ah yes the glory of French Algeria eh? Methinks you won't get too much joy out of pursuing that particular line, spykid.

Must be a great feeling having to disguise your nationality when visiting even the civilized world. A real feather in your cap.

Now, if you read my post regarding the economic landscape, you'll see that I made no mention of the sky falling. What is apparent though is that western public economists are taking the situation seriously enough to be looking at long term strategies to reduce exposure to the US economy.

Prior to GWB that was considered unnecessary and a bit loopy. Now it is real amonst even your staunchest trading partners. The Japs must be getting a bit jumpy about whether all their money is secure IMO. How long will they keep lending you their hard earned as the world turns away from you?

 
At 6:16 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

I've suggested before that the cultural imperialists on here should journey to Spain for some perspective which may dim the JudaoChristian vehemence and bile.

Muslims value education as much as any in the west in my experience. Tehran, Baghdad, Babylon, Cairo were all great centres of learning long before Oxbridge and the Sorbonne were even thought of.

We could all dream of a time when the US put as much money into education as they do into explosives and their delivery. What a different world that would be.

Sigh.

 
At 6:29 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

Hmmm..."were"

 
At 6:31 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Oh, and by the way, here's a little background on the guy who wrote the piece on supposed US violations of the Geneval Conventions that Charlemagne linked: Paul Rockwell.

Among other credentials, he lists this: "Along with Cindy Sheehan and Todd Ensign, he is a contributor to "10 Reasons Not To Join the Military," published by New Press, and to "The New Revolutionaries," edited by Tariq Ali ".

I think it's just possible that this guy has an agenda. Maybe, like Conned and his confused sidekick Confud, he's another one yearning for that "golden age" of dhimmitude, and is doing his bit to make it happen.

Two wrongs, of course, don't make a right, as Charle quite aptly points out -- and anti-American propaganda, no matter how maligcious, shouldn't obscure efforts to be as open and transparent as possible in a war zone.

 
At 6:33 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Eh, Fudd, it is very bad form to use the term "Japs" to refer to the Japanese. I would have thought that man of your breeding would not make that faux paux.

I don't care about not being an obvious American in any country. I've been doing it for years. Most Americans care very little what foreigners think of them. We care about the exchange rates, clean toilets and what's to drink.

But, we do try to be polite even when pressed nearly beyond endurance by some French ticket agent.

Jeez, what is it around here, the air? Now Fudd's living in the past and matriculating at medieval Islamic universities. At least he's trickling something, maybe he's got Conn's problem. Don't now pipe up, Fudd and tell me about the legend of algebra and the concept of zero, both folk tales. If Islamic civilization ever flowered, all the petals fell off long ago and the plant died to the ground.

Ah, what light through yonder window breaks? This the trainer ready to do his thing.

 
At 6:38 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Sally said...
How many do you think you will need to kill until nobody else wants to fight back? 5? 50? 500? 5000? 50000? 500000? 5000000? And how many US and Allied troops get killed in the process? and for what?

As many as it takes; as few as possible; for freedom.

4:30 PM, June 21, 2006


And she tells us not to be "naive". Oh deary me.

Sally again......

I think it's just possible that this guy has an agenda


Oh yeah, Sally, shoot the messenger and it will all go away. His agenda may be that he is opposed to the war, and these violations could be one of the causes for that opposition.

Just a thought.

 
At 6:42 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

Charlemagne--You're quoting Brittanica to prove your point? Sorry to disappoint you but this isn't a high school paper. Brittannica and other encyclopedia's overview articles are often woefully out of date in terms of contemporary scholarship and contain lots of boilerplate written by academics who need the money--some articles are very good, some pretty bad.

You might take a look at recent works that are based on primary documents like, "The Legacy of Jihad" edited by Andrew G. Bostom or Bat Ye'or's books. I believe these books offer a truer view of what really happened.

 
At 6:42 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

A faux paux(sic) ? Heehee.

I think the Japs will get over it.

I agree with you regarding the attitudes of your sort of American. You are the problem, not the solution.

 
At 6:48 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Snowonpine......You might take a look at recent works that are based on primary documents like, "The Legacy of Jihad" edited by Andrew G. Bostom or Bat Ye'or's books. I believe these books offer a truer view of what really happened.



So, these ultrazionist ramblings are, in your view, more authoritative than Brittanica?


Righty ho.


Sorry to butt in BTW, I just wanted to be clear about this particular statement.

Dimmhitude is a canard.

 
At 7:57 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Fudd, between bouts of wiping his screen clear of foam and spittle said,

I agree with you regarding the attitudes of your sort of American. You are the problem, not the solution.

Fudd, lad, I'm so proud of you. Even given your so obvious logical, ideological and mental shortcomings you managed to get something right. You know, even a stopped clock is right twice a day and Fudd's halfway there and the day is still young.

Yes, people like me are the problem you are addressing. We're Americans and we pretty much agree. We also have a few other things going for us. We vote. And, we are developing pretty good crap filters for the bilge that the MSM and the leftist cronies are handing out. Traditional newspapers are in an economic nosedive, not because people don't need parakeet toilets, but because they are useless, a lot like an appendix. And, TV news is in a similar slide. It's gotten so bad that they've had to go deep on their bench to find Perky Katie to sex things up. And, it is still not working.

We're also tired of having some real concerns we have, like uncontrolled immigration that depresses wages and other issues about the direction this country is headed ignored by the DC slime. We know that GWB is an empty suit owned by interests and is a Saudi bumboy. But, since, right now, security is uppermost on our minds we've been willing to overlook his shortcomings. We are a patient people but our patience is wearing thin.

There are a few more things that we have going for us but there is one thing we have that keeps us free; lean in close and let me whisper it to you. We've got guns, Fudd, in the house in our cars and on our belts. When we get fed up enough, it is the fact that we are armed voters that gets us the attention. We've also got some laws that have been, until lately, not getting their fair share of attention and those laws are getting downright pouty about being ignored and they've been talking to some prosecutors.

So, yes, we are the problem that you see and there is nothing you can do about it. Because this has happened several times in our history, a real populist groundswell of people who count, who pay taxes, who vote, who are feeling ignored and who are armed.

After the next round of elections I think there will be some politicians who will join you and Conned in having wet pant leg syndrome. Want to know something else? Those are our sons, daughters and grandkids in the military. every one a volunteer and they're pretty pissed off too. You can only take so many times when you are shot at and missed but sh*t on and hit.

And we've been sh*t on a lot lately. It's well past time we put some fear on the bastards in DC and some state capitols. But, we're also pretty smart in that we know that our biggest asset is the fear we can instill when we get pissed off.

I know you'll laugh this off as ranting. But, watch and learn. I'm going to miss you boys when Neo gets IP blocking installed. You've been a lot of fun.

Breather's over and the exercise room is clearing out so I get to finish up. ESAD, guys.

 
At 8:08 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

I suppose Bernard Lewis was an ultranzionist too? God, the implications!!

The "dhimmitude is a canard" is, itself, a canard.

Still reading the "Protocols" are you?

 
At 8:34 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Steve said...

"I've written previously about how US soldiers are trained to kill without sadism, here. It's not an easy task, but it's the goal of the US military to reduce combat stress and make atrocities far less likely to occur (read the post for the details of how this is done). In contrast, the goal of the Nazis was to maximize the expression of sadism in their concentration camp guards. Likewise, this seems to be the goal of the jihadis, or at least many jihadi elements."

There was no 'goal' of maximizing sadistic expressions in Nazi concentration camp guards - though some obviously revelled in expressing it.

The goal was to kill as many possible and as effeciently as possible.

So this is not really applicable to jihadis.

But it sounds good if you're a rightwingnut.

 
At 8:40 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

Snowonpine suggested that a book by Andrew Bostom ("The Legacy of Jihad") is a more reliable source than the Britannica.

Well, it seems that Bostom's book is carried by Townhall.com book service, which proudly says that " The Townhall.com Book Service is run by conservatives for conservatives." [http://www.thbookservice.com/Help/help-about.asp ]

So, Bostom's book is written by a conservative, for conservatives, hmm?

Then, what Sally said of Paul Rockwell, can surely be said of Andrew Bostom too: "Don't you think this guy might have an agenda"?

Fair enough?

Also, I did a Lexis-Nexis search on the book. Within the past six years, the book has been neither reviewed nor mentioned in a single major newspaper (the Lexis Nexis database includes all major newspapers), the only exception being a mention of the book is in a letter from a reader to the newspaper "The Jerusalem Post".

If it really were a serious piece of scholarship -- being on such a topical and important issue, in particular, which is on everyone's mind these days -- it would surely have been reviewed by at least one major newspaper. That it wasn't, shows that it's probably not regarded as a piece of serious scholarship.

Incidentally, the author is a medical doctor (an M.D.), with no academic credentials in either history or in religion.

 
At 8:42 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Steve said...

Typical, I should add, is the insinuation that U.S troops kill morally - like the Israelis - and their enemies kill for fun and pleasure.

Utter rubbish.....

 
At 9:14 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Steve: Utter rubbish......

No it isn't.

 
At 9:37 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Steve said...

Yes it is.

But tell me why it is isn't Sally....

 
At 10:00 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

LOL Monty Python script again.

Here we go again, and not just in one meaning either.

 
At 10:19 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Steve said...

"e bottom line is that barbarism and sadism are possibilities for all human beings. But some societies and some historic times seem to encourage their fuller expression. And the task of a "civilized" military is to reduce the elements of sadism, while preserving the ability to kill.?

Yes. They are possibilities for all human beings. And some societies and times encourage expression of sadism more than others.

Looking for civility in the actions of soldiers or insurgents bent on killing each other - soldiers who have seen a friend dismembered by a roadside bomb - an Iraqi watching his family gunned down in a car by American troops or killed in an air strike - is a non-starter.

Training? Didn't come to play in Haditha. Or did it?

Culture - was U.S culture part of what happened in Haditha or Abu Gharib? Some would say.

Probably one would do better do look at expressions of civility in comparison as socio-political constructs - such as western values - and apply them the civilian leadership who began the war. Of course if one does that one may come to conclusions far different that common prevailing thought on the issue of 'civility'...

P

 
At 10:22 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Charlemagne,

I would consider the Brittanica a good beginning but not an irrefutable source. The excerpt you quoted left out any of the downside to that era, since obviously 2 paragraphs aren't enough to describe much.

One of the problems with any encyclopedia is the contributors. I cannot remember the names of the two parties, however, the invention of the modern television was ascribed to the wrong person for a generation . You'll find that he or the company he worked for were always the contributor to the articles, thus maintaining the misinformation.

Regarding scholarship, Eric Hoffer wrote a seminal work on the fanatic's mind. He worked as a longshoreman, but was quite brilliant. I haven't read either book mentioned regarding dhimmitude, and likely won't.

 
At 10:32 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Steve said...

so what distinquishes 'us' from 'them' - U.S forces and Iraqi insurgents?

I've never really heard an adequete neoconservative explaination - actually I've never heard any - as to why moral relavatism is irrlevant to the war on teror.

Is there one?

I've read alot of passionate dismissals of the idea - but not any convincing argument...

 
At 10:44 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Steve: Some would say.

Of course some would say. Some would say that Jews drink the blood of gentile children. Some would say that Bush planned 9/11 himself so that he'd have an excuse to finish what his father started in Iraq -- or to grab the oil -- or because the Illuminati ordered him to.

Some, Steve, would say anything, and have.

so what distinquishes 'us' from 'them' - U.S forces and Iraqi insurgents?

We invaded to protect ouselves from a terrorist supporting regime, which was reasonably suspected of having WMDs, which in any case has been shown to be willing and able to re-build WMD programs the moment sanctions finally collapsed, and which also happened to be one of the most vicious and evil regimes on earth. The "insurgents" consist of remnants of that evil regime, international terrorists who share the ideology and goals of those who attacked the US on 9/11, and various random thugs and criminals hoping to profit from death and chaos.

Hope that helps.

 
At 10:45 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Captain Wrath said...

Ymarsakar,

"To be honest, I'd rather think the problem in this case specifically is that people post too many links, and they do so (on the troll side) because they simply agree with the article in question."

You are right, but that is actually a tactic which is widely used as a method of distraction and exhaustion by Trolls.

A Troll will point to an article, or usually some long report, and state "This proves my point". When you actually take the time to read it, and find it does not prove anything, or is irrelevant, or has been misrepresented, the Troll will ignore your refutation and shift focus. Often, they will provide another specious link after another. Never do they admit, "Yeah, I guess that doesn't say that..."

Again, this is not a stupid tactic in one sense. Someone once said, can't recall who, that it takes several paragraphs to refute a one sentence lie. The Trolls then use that metric to try to wear down their opponents because even when they are proven wrong and/or blatantly scurrilous, it does not phase or shame them. Like an insurgent, they scurry away into the rhetorical dark, waiting to plant another IED of disinformation.

Again, like you mention, its the Monty Python skit.

"You are wrong."
"No I'm not. This article proves it."
"This is a recipe for butterscotch pudding..."
"Exactly."

My point in all this is that as tempting and as satisfying as it seems on one level, playing with Trolls is ultimately fruitless. Trust me, I have been there multiple times. I have out-argued them, and have mounted their heads on a logical pike, but they are the living dead of the internet. If you are lucky, one will have shame enough to retreat after being humiliated, but most are beyond that. Pure hatred and loathing, directed partly at themselves for a host of ghastly reasons, fuels them. Oh sure, Bush, America, the Jews, canned meat, manila envelopes, ANYTHING can be the focus for that rage, but it burns on and on. They will not stop, because only the rage and their twisted ideology matters. Sound familiar?

Ultimately, Trolls need to banned; cast out to wail and gnash their teeth about "censorship". Its like a stake through the heart of a vampire. Its the only way.

Take comfort in this. Trolls are ultimately going to lose because their perceived power is a chimera. They think themselves clever and informed, but reality itself contradicts them every day. Point out that their fly is open once, and then move on. Trust me; being ignored pisses them off more than anything.

Ban the Trolls, kill the terrorist. Its a recipe for a better world.

 
At 10:57 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ariel....

Still reading the "Protocols" are you?


You really are a silly person sometimes. I'm not the one befuddled by bigotry, fear and propaganda here.

 
At 11:18 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

"Oh sure, Bush, America, the Jews, canned meat, manila envelopes, ANYTHING can be the focus for that rage, but it burns on and on."

If I cite you, may I use this elsewhere? It's so very true.

 
At 11:21 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Captain Wrath said...
Ymarsakar,

Blah blah blah.

You know, you, MrsWhatsit, Ymar, Sally et al who carry on with this tinpot psychoanalysis of people who disagree with you just are ridiculous hypocrites. Inventing a position to attack or belittle someone is a pointless exercise that I can think is onlt designed to avoid discussion of matters.

It achieves nothing and hurts no one. You have to make a hit to cause damage.

 
At 11:26 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

I think I might start a book on the odds of Sally ever answering a question. Or growing up.

Hmmm.

Anyone got an SP spreadsheet?

 
At 11:30 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Fudd, you're a profoundly damaged personality filled with self loathing and its' attendent rage all because you mother dressed you as girl until you were eight.

It's time, way past time for you to seek help and professional therapy for your gender confusion. Remember Fudd, we're all your friends here and wish you nothing but the best in you future life, what little remains if you persist in cross dressing and hanging out in biker bars.

Naaaa. You're not crazy. Changed my mind. Keep going to the biker bars and you look stunning in the short pink number.

 
At 11:42 PM, June 21, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

Charlemagne--Lets just say that I think I'm a much better judge of what is good scholarship than you are and if I were teaching a class in research methods, which I have, you wouldn't pass.

P.S. A cursory check found five reviews of the Bostom book including reviews in Library Journal, the National Review, Reference & Research Book News, MBR Bookwatch and the Toronto Globe & Mail. To quote from the LJ review, "In a book that is both broad in coverage and thorough in scope, (Bostom) uses both primary and secondary sources to describe the violent nature of jihad conquests over the past 1,400 years. Drawing from the Qur'an, commentators on the Qur'an, Islamic jurists, and Muslim and non-Muslim scholars, Bostom provides vivid accounts of such events as the massacres of the Qurayzah in the seventh century and the Armenians in Turkey in the 19th. From a historical perspective, this book is an excellent resource and is valuable for academic libraries with collections in Islamic studies."

 
At 12:10 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Senescent Wasp said...
Fudd, between bouts of wiping his screen clear of foam and spittle said,

I agree with you regarding the attitudes of your sort of American. You are the problem, not the solution.

Fudd, lad, I'm so proud of you. Even given your so obvious logical, ideological and mental shortcomings you managed to get something right. You know, even a stopped clock is right twice a day and Fudd's halfway there and the day is still young.

And on and on and on and on.....


Well it certainly sounds like the old Shining Light of Democracy routine is a bit of a have then. Who'd have thought?

Your post should be instructive to you also. There are many reasons why western and eastern peoples don't look to the US as any sort of model for democracy or liberty contained in your post, and b) if you guys are so goddamned tough and all that, why do you keep losing wars with small countries?

Fact is you have nil credibility nor moral capital. Your presidents democracy routine is seen largely for what it is. A cruel hoax for domestic consumption amongst the great uneducated masses of the bible belt.

Still you and I have something in common. I loathe anniseed as well. Can we be friends now?

 
At 12:10 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Darrell said...

Those of you sparring with fudd should know that he is an exact representation of his country of whining, weak, condescening boobs. I had the extreme displeasure of being stranded in his formerly fine country for three days when heathrow went on strike as I was being flown over again for the war.
Every brit I encountered was just like him. They all wanted to fight me because I was the representation of all they hated, to quote: "the worlds policeman" I have never encountered a more snotty culture in the many countries of the world I have spent time in. Actually I did have a fine time with the non-white immigrants that worked the hotels, it seems we had a lot in common in that country, which really highlights the racist term he throws around. Soon the entire EU will be under sharia law and they will probably flee to the USA. We are their last best hope, the last defense against what is coming, yet they spit on us.
Neo, sorry for feeding the trolls.
CWO3

 
At 12:14 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Snow on Pine: Ouch!

I just love the irony of Charlemagne using the nom-de-net Charlemagne, given his positions and comments re: Islam.

 
At 12:21 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Darrell said...
Those of you sparring with fudd should know that he is an exact representation of his country of whining, weak, condescening boobs. I had the extreme displeasure of being stranded in his formerly fine country for three days when heathrow went on strike as I was being flown over again for the war.
Every brit I encountered was just like him. They all wanted to fight me because I was the



Ooops Darrell. You missed. Thanks for playing. Heehee. :-)

PS Hope your insurgent spotting skills are better, could be mighty dangerous for civilians otherwise. Oh, wait......it is. :-(

 
At 12:26 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Charlemagne said...

Snowonpine, You forgot to mention that the Library Journal review of "The Legacy of Jihad" concludes with the following observation:

"[w]hile Bostom successfully argues that violent episodes have occurred throughout the history of Islam, it does not necessarily follow that the vast majority of people who presently adhere to that faith encourage violent practices."

That was the crucial point in this discussion -- the present situation.

Here's the complete Library Journal review:

"The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims. Prometheus. 2005. c.600p. ed. by Andrew G. Bostom, M.D. ISBN 1-59102-307-6. $28.

"It is frequently stated that Islam is one of the great world religions and that its adherents are generally nonviolent and tolerant toward other people; it is strictly radical fundamentalists who have interpreted jihad in a violent way and chosen the path of terrorism. Bostom, who has published numerous magazine and newspaper articles on Islam, aims to dispel these notions. In a book that is both broad in coverage and thorough in scope, he uses both primary and secondary sources to describe the violent nature of jihad conquests over the past 1400 years. Drawing from the Qur'an, commentators on the Qur'an, Islamic jurists, and Muslim and non-Muslim scholars, Bostom provides vivid accounts of such events as the massacres of the Qurayzah in the seventh century and the Armenians in Turkey in the 19th. From a historical perspective, this book is an excellent resource and is valuable for academic libraries with collections in Islamic studies. However, while Bostom successfully argues that violent episodes have occurred throughout the history of Islam, it does not necessarily follow that the vast majority of people who presently adhere to that faith encourage violent practices."

[Author Affiliation]
John Jaeger, Dallas Baptist Univ. Lib.

 
At 12:31 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Senescent Wasp said...
Fudd, you're a profoundly damaged personality filled with self loathing and its' attendent rage all because you mother dressed you as girl until you were eight.

It's time, way past time for you to seek help and professional therapy for your gender confusion. Remember Fudd, we're all your friends here and wish you nothing but the best in you future life, what little remains if you persist in cross dressing and hanging out in biker bars.

Naaaa. You're not crazy. Changed my mind. Keep going to the biker bars and you look stunning in the short pink number.

12:30 AM, June 22, 2006


You seem to have an obsession with tacky sex involving men in women's clothing. Were you at Abu Ghraib perhaps?

I've changed my mind about being friends.

 
At 12:33 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Seems Snowonpine scored a spectacular own goal with an assist from Douglas.

 
At 12:42 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Darrell, I know, they've never forgiven us for winning WW II, after all they had Germany and Japan both on the ropes until we stepped in and told them that they were getting their a**es handed to them. And after that we had the termerity to continue to collect on their war debt. I for one never understood why we just didn't evict them and find new tenants. Then, when I was nineteen I visited for the first time to go to university. Throughly unlikable people with very few exceptions. If anything it's gotten worse,and now I avoid them whenever possible. We could find a homeland for the Jews, but no one could abide sharing even a continent with the Brits. Used to have a good military but they screwed that up too. So we were stuck with the tenants we had. Couldn't foreclose. If it had been my decision, I'd moved every one of them out and let it go back to forest and downs.

If it was up to me, I'd let them go under sharia law for a century or two and not let a one of them immigrate. I'd do the same for the Kiwi's and the Convicts as well. No moral fiber, rotten to core. Nations of whingers and whiners who think the sun may have set on the British Empire but that it still shines out of their fundaments.

I'll stand down from the mini rant and thank you for your service, brother.

 
At 1:47 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Neoneconned said
"1. Racism has what to do with death, exactly?
That the US don't care how many "Islamofascists" get killed but get very upset at the relatively low numbers of western deaths in all this. That is what racism and death have to do with each other. double standards."

Describing an entire people as racist might fall under the ICERD definition I gave you on another thread. A thread where you entirely dismissed racism as having anything to do with racial characteristics but was only a response to culture. I dropped out at that point because I had had enough.

And now, by the above, you have defined every nation that has gone to war "racist". There are other human emotions and beliefs going on regarding the deaths, not racism for god's sake. This makes me so tired.

 
At 1:59 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Senescent Wasp said...
Darrell, I know, they've never forgiven us for winning WW II, after all they had Germany and etcetera etcetera



Yep, no racists around here!

 
At 2:22 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Yeah, he hates white people.

 
At 2:48 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ariel said...
Yeah, he hates white people.

3:22 AM, June 22, 2006


Well. Ariel. You wouldn't have been Ann Frank's landlord either. Keep defending these nutters though.

 
At 3:01 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Terrorists terrorists terrorists! Today we look at John Bolton.

Weapons of mass destruction
Bolton was instrumental in derailing a 2001 bio-weapons conference in Geneva convened to endorse a UN proposal to enforce the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. "U.S. officials, led by Bolton, argued that the plan would have put U.S. national security at risk by allowing spot inspections of suspected U.S. weapons sites, despite the fact that the U.S. claims not to have carried out any research for offensive purposes since 1969."[22]
Also in 2002, Bolton is said to have flown to Europe to demand the resignation of Jose Bustani, head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and to have orchestrated his removal at a special session of the organization. The United Nations' highest administrative tribunal later condemned the action as an "unacceptable violation" of principles protecting international civil servants. Bustani had been unanimously re-elected for a four-year term—with strong U.S. support—in May 2000, and in 2001 was praised for his leadership by Colin Powell. [23]
He also pushed for reduced funding for the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program to halt the proliferation of nuclear materials [24].

 
At 3:08 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

In 2002, Bolton accused Cuba of transfers of biological weapons technology to rogue states and called on it "to fully comply with all of its obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention." [36] According to a Scripps Howard News Service article, Bolton "wanted to say that Cuba had a biological weapons capacity and that it was exporting it to other nations. The intelligence analysts seemed to want to limit the assessment to a declaration that Cuba 'could' develop such weapons." [37] Bolton attempted to have the chief bioweapons analyst in the State Department's bureau of intelligence and research and the CIA's national intelligence officer for Latin America reassigned. Under oath at his Senate hearings for confirmation as Ambassador, he denied trying to have the men fired, but seven intelligence officials contradicted him. [38] Ultimately, "intelligence officials refused to allow Bolton to make the harsh criticism of Cuba he sought to deliver," [39] and were able to keep their positions. Bolton claims that the issue was procedural rather than related to the content of his speech, and that the officers behaved unprofessionally, but neither official worked under him.

 
At 3:11 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Bolton stated in June 2004 congressional testimony Iran was lying about enriched uranium contamination: "Another unmistakable indicator of Iran's intentions is the pattern of repeatedly lying to ... the IAEA, ... when evidence of uranium enriched to 36 percent was found, it attributed this to contamination from imported centrifuge parts." However later isotope analysis by the IAEA supported Iran’s explanation of foreign contamination for most of the observed enriched uranium [43].



Geez, some of your guys seem to be a bit frivolous when it comes to telling the truth.

 
At 3:37 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Tomorrow we might do John Negreponte and entitle it "how death squads can be instruments of freedom and democracy" or "livin' la vida loca in CA".

 
At 3:51 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Tom Grey said...

Conan the Barbarian is a poor example to use in this context, because (as Nick B) said, he is very honorable in a Western, Christian way. However, his honor is very much that of what Americans relate to -- truth, goodness, fair play, good to women; and anger at lies, anger against those who use people as objects, anger at "civilized sophisticates" who rationalize all manner of obviously evil behavior.

Conan is an archetypical "Noble Savage", not at all like the usual barbarians who show no Western/Christian honor.

The sadistic torture by the terrorists, to instill fear, is an effective tactic for control that Conn'd & confud support victory for such sadistic terrorists, a support for victory seen by their troll-ish opposition to fighting evil.

Of course they deny it, just as the anti-Viet war folk deny that they supported N. Viet commie victory. But in a war, like in an election, somebody is gonna win. If your efforts are against one side winning, you either honestly or dishonestly support the other side.

Conan, Noble Savage rather than "barbarian", would be clear and honest against evil, and accept that means supporting the other side, warts/ imperfections and all. The trolls hijacking this thread, are not even honest enough to admit they support victory for terrorists.

Were they anti-war folks from the 70s, I'm sure they'd deny supporting commie genocide in SE Asia, despite that being the actual result of following the anti-war policy of US withdrawal.
300 wrongly murdered in My Lai, in war -- seems worse to these folks than 600 000 murdered after unconditional surrender.

I find that sick, but consistent with the "no genocide" in Rwanda policy, and the UN's "no genocide" in Sudan's Darfur of today.

I just wish the RESULTS of the anti-war policy of withdrawal in Vietnam were more discussed, and compared with the results of Bush's Iraq invasion.

But there's no good solution for good comments without trolls that I've heard of.


The parts of Isam that are intollerant of Free Speech and Free Religion need to be fought, and their intellectual/ spiritual leaders discredited / exiled? / killed?

Hopefully before Islamofascists get and use a nuke on Tel Aviv. More rapidly, and with less GC observance, if afterward.

 
At 3:55 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Tom Grey said...

Conan being "good to women" means treating them as well as Hugh Hefner, meaning in favor of supporting kind promiscuity and lots of sex.

Not really in terms of love and commitment.

 
At 4:20 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4:23 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> You are trying to club a very large body of people, with quite a wide variety of viewpoints, into one umbrella, generic term called "The Left". (The same is true for "The Right", of course).

Also, consider, for example, that both John Kerry and Ralph Nader would count as "the left" according to this binary scheme of thinking only in terms of "left" and "right". Yet, consider the fact that Nader strongly criticized John Kerry and ran against him in the elections. If everyone on "the left" thought alike, how could this be possible?


LOL, it's called "discrimination". One can actually discriminate between one group and another on teh basis of one or more propositions and their responses to them.

It's a part of thinking, despite efforts to paint it as something else.

Yes, I'm sure there are SOME on "The Left" who aren't celebrating whenever someone from the USA dies or gets, oh, tortured with a cattle prod up their ass...

THIS, in fact, was fully and completely recognized by my SPECIFICALLY ADDED limitation on the otherwise broad statement, I quote myself (emphasis applied): "...is that most of those on The Left...".

MOST. Not "ALL". Most.

Now, since you either have to be an idiot or disingenuous to proceed from my comment with your above response as though my original comment was a blanket condemnation of EVERYONE who is on The Left, I'm going to ask a question, since I'd like to discriminate some more: Which are you?

I DO maintain, however, that The Left's behavior with regards to atrocities committed by Islam strongly suggests that those on The Left offended by Islamic atrocity are pretty much as common as "peaceful" members of Islam.

No doubt they exist, but ya hafta look pretty hard to find any actual openly expressed commentary from one.

 
At 5:10 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

Charlemagne--Frankly, I'm surprised that this is as balanced a review as it is, since Bostom's compilation contradicts the rosy view of "wise Muslim rulers in perfumed gardens" approach to Islamic history that has, until recently, prevailed. If you look at the LJ review you will see that the part I quoted is the analytical part of this review. The next sentence has the reviewer admit that Bostom's compilation "...successfully argues that violent episodes have occurred throughout the history of Islam " but the reviewer then has to tack on his PC opinion that "...it does not necessarily follow that the vast majority of people who presently adhere to that faith encourage violent practices." I guess I'm not surprised that the LJ editors didn't cut this gratuitous personal opinion as they should have.

Contrary to the reviewer's characterization of Bostoms compilation, Bostom doesn't just demonstrate that "violent episodes have occurred throughout the history of Islam" so much as he documents that the territorial aggression and violence of Jihad directed against Infidels is not just some episodic aberration but is a constant central feature of Islam.

 
At 5:16 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Charle: That was the crucial point in this discussion -- the present situation.

Ah, NOW "the present situation" is the crucial point in this discussion! Well, fine. So that Andalusian "golden age" is irrelevant now then? So we can forget about Islamic "tolerance" in one small portion of its cultural empire over a thousand years ago, can we, now? AFTER we've learned from an "excellent resource" that is "both broad in coverage and thorough in scope" that the "violent nature of jihad conquests" has spanned 12 centuries, from the 7th to the 19th -- NOW it looks as though maybe we should focus on the present?

Well, good -- at least we're getting somewhere. Let's look again, then, at that last sentence of the review:
However, while Bostom successfully argues that violent episodes have occurred throughout the history of Islam, it does not necessarily follow that the vast majority of people who presently adhere to that faith encourage violent practices

I've taken the liberty of adding some emphasis to a couple of words, in the hope of highlighting the logic here. No, it doesn't necessarily follow that the vast majority of current muslims encourage violent practices -- even though such practices have characterized the culture from its inception. But it certainly doesn't necessarily follow that they don't either, or that they do anything much to discourage such practices.

 
At 6:12 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Creating a psychological profile of someone does not mean inventing their positions for them, since the psyche profile concerns itself more with personal behavior, what kind of beliefs people have, rather than the specific sort of philosophical ideals that is present.

I analyze everyone's behavior using psychology. And Ariel can understand why then that propaganda makes people tired, and why for that matter why you don't need to score a hit on someone to defeat them, contrary to what Confud contended.

The physical and the mental. If you are expert in mental attacks but not physical, then you can still stay in the game and even win, by making other people give up.

 
At 8:27 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Steve said...

Sally wrote,

"..some would say that Jews drink the blood of gentile children. Some would say that Bush planned 9/11 himself so that he'd have an excuse to finish what his father started in Iraq -- or to grab the oil -- or because the Illuminati ordered him to."

I'd have to say, Sally, that the argument and level of analysis concerning U.S culture and war crimes(and it's apologists)is a bit higher than "jews drink the blood of gentiles" - I hope your not going to need me to explain in detail. You may not agree with the analysis I would provide, but I would hope you'd submit those or poor examples for comparison.

The "grab the oil" one is well established and probably been argued before by people better equipped to do so than me, so let's just that I've yet to hear a convincing argument rebutting the point - it was never about "securing cheaper oil" the common refrain from the right- which I always get a kick out of - it always amazes me the level of historical ignorance of those who belittle the "blood for oil" crew....

Moving right along...

"We invaded to protect ouselves from a terrorist supporting regime, which was reasonably suspected of having WMDs, which in any case has been shown to be willing and able to re-build WMD programs the moment sanctions finally collapsed, and which also happened to be one of the most vicious and evil regimes on earth. The "insurgents" consist of remnants of that evil regime, international terrorists who share the ideology and goals of those who attacked the US on 9/11, and various random thugs and criminals hoping to profit from death and chaos."

Protect yourselves? I don't have to point out your argument about Saddam's capabilites are weak if not completely discredited - about Saddam's future conduct - again, weak(a letter found after the invasion has Saddam waxing philosophical about improving relations with the U.S regimes and getting back in their good books - which, we shouldn't forget, Saddam was when he was killing torturing making WMD to use against U.S enemies - rape rooms? Nah - as long as he kept his own people under the gun and not harbouring any crazy ideas like democracy or nationalization of Iraq's resources He could rape his own daughter as far as Rummny and co were concerned)

Insurgents are a collection of interests in Iraq. The primary goal of which

is the liberation of Iraq from U.S forces - undoubtedly. Not understanding why they do what they do(i.e targeting police or death squad recruits) isn't too helpful in any analysis of the Iraqi insurgency.

Protecting America? CIA analysts, and just about every serous intelligence group has pointed out the obvious - the threat to America has increased massively. Have you not heard?

"Hope this helps".

Er....no.

But I'm listening...

 
At 9:27 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Oh I don't think you're listening, Steve, and I doubt anything much would help you.

Those Iraqi freedom-fighters, for example? You know, the ones whose primary goal is "is the liberation of Iraq from U.S forces", just like the Minutemen in the American Revolution? It's not just that they saw the heads off kidnapped civilians and film the deed for public display -- and it's not just that they torture and kill their prisoners -- it's that they slaughter the Iraqi people themselves, bombing pet stores, markets, old peoples' homes, historic mosques, etc., etc., all with the hope and lust for death on a mass scale. Why? Undoubtedly some are in it for the pure glee of killing and inflicting pain; others hope to ignite a civil war, out of which they think the Sunnis can again claim their accustomed dominance; and still others are disturbed young people on a par with the Columbine murderers, hoping in this case to get some accommodating virgins out of it all. To view all this as having the goal of "the liberation of Iraq from U.S forces - undoubtedly" is merely to project your own particular desires and hates.

It's interesting, for another example, that you, like so many lefties, point to America's tolerance of Saddam prior to 1991 as -- what? a bad thing? So if the US tolerates Saddam's rape rooms, that's a bad thing, but if they don't tolerate them, finaly, and topple his evil regime, that's a bad thing too? Maybe, for you, it's just that America is a "bad thing", period, hmm?

Which is your choice, certainly. But maybe you should drop the faux-naivete act, and just stand up for the side and values you've chosen.

 
At 9:38 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Insurgents are a collection of interests in Iraq. The primary goal of which

is the liberation of Iraq from U.S forces - undoubtedly. Not understanding why they do what they do(i.e targeting police or death squad recruits) isn't too helpful in any analysis of the Iraqi insurgency.


Most of the suicide bombers in Iraq are Saudis, who are encouraged to go to Iraq by members of the Saudi govenrnment. These Wahhabi insurgents target Shi'ite families, marketplaces and mosques. Why would you believe that Saudis care about the liberation of Iraq?

The majority of insurgents also target reporters in Iraq, teachers and educated men (and especially women). The majority of these insurgents hope to install a taliban-style government in Iraq.

The majority of Iraqis hate the insurgents with a passion. They've poured into the streets by the thousands to protest the terrorism you call an insurgency. For some strange reason, they don't want to be murdered in the name of your 'liberation'.

The majority of Iraqis are also not wild about having the Americans in Iraq. They just hate foreign and/or talibanesque insurgents' who have murdered many thousands of Iraq more than they hate Americans.

The goal of terrorism is always to oppress, never to liberate.

 
At 9:39 AM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

PS: the "grab the oil" bumper sticker has never been established or even argued at all -- it's simply been asserted, like any other paranoid conspiracy theory. It was never, you say, about "securing cheaper oil", which according to you only betrays laughable historical ignorance -- and so what, then, was it about? Securing more expensive oil? What?

 
At 12:33 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Condeforeigner,

You have no idea what I would have done in Germany during the Nazi period. My greatgrandmother was a German. She was a Jew.

You use the word racist too lightly. For me, that is the hallmark of a fool.

 
At 1:01 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Remmeber what the Human Torch said in Fantastic Four, "Flame On".

Protect yourselves? I don't have to point out your argument about Saddam's capabilites are weak if not completely discredited - about Saddam's future conduct

Again, stop fighting WWI, WWII, the Cold War, and Vietnam. It's time to update yourself to the current war.

This is asymmetrical warfare time, with a vengeance. If you want to do historical analysis, go study Sparta and Athens.

 
At 1:13 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Allow me to elaborate, since i cut the previous comment short.

In symmetrical and conventional warfare, Saddam may be contained and defanged. Since the first war of the 21st century is a 110% asymmetrical warfare, conducted in the spirit of Athens, Sparta, Persia timeline 5th century BC, however, this means that people like Saddam can circumvent any rope a dope the US conventional forces may apply to him. The usual stratagems no longer work, because the enemy has become immune to them, such things as diplomatic immunity, civilian and medical asylum, and the rules of civilized warfare.

Because the bacteria has become immune to symmetrical and conventional solutions and anti-bionics, it is time to now try more unconventional treatments to save the patient.

Steve isn't responsible for the safety of Americans, our President is. If steve messes things up and 50,000 people die, he can just shrug his hands and say "not my fault your President messed up, I was just giving my opinions". This is the position from which people criticize the US President. It is true for me, as well as for anyone else. You will never have the power nor the command authority to make these decisions, that is Constitutionally, I hope people know what a constitution is by now, focused upon the Presidency by all of America.

People who don't keep this in mind, appropriate more moral authority and decision making routines to themselves, than is appropriate.

Athens and Sparta fought a 27 year war. A militaristic agrarian serf society with elite land phalanxes, vs a democratic rule by the majority sea power. It could not get any more symmetrical than that.

Sparta only won against Athens when Sparta created a navy and beat Athens' navy. The US will never win unless and until we destroy Al Qaeda's propaganda apparatus with our own.

Military history is not just some manuscript you can cut and paste, and then say you've created a legitimate work of art. The whole picture must be seen. From the day man first killed something with a body, to the last wars of the 21st century.

 
At 1:16 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Correction, it could not get anymore asymmetrical than Sparta's elite phalanxes against the unreachable Athenian naval supremacy.

 
At 1:34 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Captain Wrath said...

"Oh sure, Bush, America, the Jews, canned meat, manila envelopes, ANYTHING can be the focus for that rage, but it burns on and on."

If I cite you, may I use this elsewhere? It's so very true."


By all means, with my compliments.

 
At 2:07 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

And, may I add, as this thread fades to black, the tendency of the left towards totalitarianism as evidenced by this post and the comments at Protein Wisdom.

 
At 5:15 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

At 1:33 PM, June 22, 2006, Ariel said...
Condeforeigner,

You have no idea what I would have done in Germany during the Nazi period. My greatgrandmother was a German. She was a Jew.

You use the word racist too lightly. For me, that is the hallmark of a fool.


I dislike the way you and your ilk on here use the word "terrorist" similarly and consider that simplistic foolishness as well given the complexity of the world.

Your argument is semantic only. The word 'racist' has accepted usage and all the neocon protestations only serve to highlight the self deception and sensitivity.

 
At 5:20 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

mary

Whilst it may be true that some of the insurgency is saudi, there is no r4eason to think that the iraqis are happy for your troops to be there either, and less reason to think that iraqis don't make up the bulk of the fighters.

The saudis have their own issues with respect to US troops in their land and the view of their natural resources and wealth being diverted to western interests.

 
At 5:52 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

"I’ve long been a critic of the type of cynical narrative manipulation that seems pervasive [...] on the progressivist left side of the blogosphere (where repetition of debunked memes in the service of a partisan-defined “greater good” is justified by appeals to emotionalism and self-congratulatory claims of bravery and patriotism, and is encouraged and policed to the point where apostates are marginalized)"

Protein Wisdom

 
At 5:54 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

"I can’t help noticing how much Moulitsas’ conspiracy-oriented mindset echoes the anti-rational paranoia of radical Islam. When the New Republic actually criticizes him, and reveals some of the secret Kos Nutroots Knowledge, the only explanation possible is that they’re apostates under the spell of a massive organized conspiracy. And having been cast out of the fold by Mullah Moulitsas, they’re now legitimate targets for revenge."

lgf

typical

 
At 5:55 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"their natural resources and wealth being diverted to western interests."

Truly, you can't be serious.

If it weren't for "western interests" they'd never know they had any natural resources. And I think Harrod's is a nice "diversion", don't you?

 
At 5:55 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

"And totalitarianism is totalitarianism even when it calls itself by other names, and constantly asserts its own righteousness and benevolence. "
PW

 
At 5:57 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

"Do I detect the sweet, sweet stench of anti-semitism here? "
PW

Scratch a progressive find a fascist.

 
At 6:27 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Confusdeforeigner,

And the problem is with your "acceptable" usage. But then again, your thought is the only acceptable thought. Your definition of racism is very, very poor. But it serves you well. I know your kind.

"Ilk" is an interesting word. And who would your cronies be?

You make no distinctions except self-servingly. You lump all posters here as the same because it serves your sickness. And, yes, I believe you are an anti-semite who hides it behind a cause, a cause which you bludgeon others with and then find them lacking when they take offense at the wound.

I waste my time on a phony like you.

 
At 6:30 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Thatguy said...

All this mock concern about the Geneva Convention from liberal trolls here. Yall realize that Terrorists and insurgents aren't covered by such conventions don't ya? Last I checked the German who wore American uniforms during the Battle of the Bulge and the German saboteurs who infiltrated the United States during the war were all shot.

 
At 6:39 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Guy carrying a weapon in a combat zone wearing no uniform = Target

 
At 6:53 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

At 7:27 PM, June 22, 2006, Ariel said...
Confusdeforeigner,

And the problem is with your "acceptable" usage. But then again, your thought is the only acceptable thought. Your definition of racism is very, very poor. But it serves you well. I know your kind.

"Ilk" is an interesting word. And who would your cronies be?

You make no distinctions except self-servingly. You lump all posters here as the same because it serves your sickness. And, yes, I believe you are an anti-semite who hides it behind a cause, a cause which you bludgeon others with and then find them lacking when they take offense at the wound.


The last refuge of the proIsraeli wingnuts. Antisemitism. How entirely predictable. Yawn.

 
At 6:57 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Thatguy said...
All this mock concern about the Geneva Convention from liberal trolls here. Yall realize that Terrorists and insurgents aren't covered by such conventions don't ya? Last I checked the German who wore American uniforms during the Battle of the Bulge and the German saboteurs who infiltrated the United States during the war were all shot.

7:30 PM, June 22, 2006


I don't think anyone is showing concern, mock or otherwise with regard to the insurgents. The civilian population is your legal and moral responsibility under the conventions and your forces and administration are ignoring their responsibilities. You invade, you take responsibility.

 
At 7:27 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Article 2, pp.3 "Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof."

Article 4 On POWs
"2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;
(c) That of carrying arms openly;
(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.
...6. Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war. "

One of the arguments was that the insurgents did/do not meet the requirements to be considered under the umbrella of the Geneva Convention. Obviously, as a legal document, any two jurists can take opposing views on interpretation.

Some of the key points in order to be under the umbrella are that they must carry arms openly, must be marked so that they can be distinguished from non-combatants, and that they must either follow the Geneva Convention or respect the laws and customs of war.

There are however further Protocol (7 Dec 1979 enforce), Article 75, that does have to do with "torture of any kind, mental or physical" regarding, I believe, any combatant, even illegal. However, I cherry-picked this without reading all the previous 43 pages. So, let's leave this to the jurists to give us opposing interpretations. Including the meaning of torture. Abu-ghraib(sp) was a violation of Article 75, 2b. Which is why they were punished.

Obviously, the "insurgents" do not follow any of the provisions of the Convention, nor openly respect the laws or customs of war (hostages and murder as common practice). As a High Contracting Party we should follow all Provisions as interpreted by those in Power to make such interpretations.

Anyway, hope this won't start the usual row.

 
At 7:30 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Checkmate.
You are so predictable.

 
At 7:34 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

"Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests."

Palmerston

 
At 7:36 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Oh, and a good many of the people commenting are not neo-cons, except to the simple-minded bigots. I am a classical liberal, not that you would know what that means. Google it quick.

 
At 7:39 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Her, I'll help you:
http://www.belmont.edu/lockesmith/essay.html

 
At 7:43 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Oops, dropped an "e". Better than dropping a spurious label.

To the rest of you, my last two posts and this one apply to our resident bigoted, labeling, know-it-all, the Confused Foreigner. God, I hope he is a rarity in Australia.

 
At 7:56 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

This post from one who likes to engage trolls:

"At 9:55 AM, June 20, 2006, Jason H. Bowden said...

Can't we just delete this fool?

Just say, "fine, we're all dirty evil rotten bastards. You win. Goodbye." ZOT!"

He was speaking, of course, of our bigoted, labeling, know-it-all, the Confused Foreigner.
I thought it was quite eloquent, don't you?

 
At 8:01 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Fudd, you idiot, you can't have it both ways. Either we are there to loot and pillage or we are "spreading democracy"

Personally, I think it was lancing a pustular boil that had infected surrounding tissue. The lancing has had a salutary effect. Given that it is combat, losses to the US have been small. It did indeed act as fly paper, it was where the action was, to the jihadis; lots of whom are taking dirt naps with their friends, the maggots.

It placed US armed forces right in the middle of the rats nest. It has emboldened ethnic groups to follow the example of the Kurds and anything that destabilizes the kleptocracies is a good thing. It has lessened our dependence on the Saudis; who can see the handwriting on the wall and are thus stepping up their efforts to spread wahhabism which has resulted in more bipedal targets and increased knowledge of the Saudi's true aims.

It will result in permanent bases for the projection of armed power. It has focused Iran's attention marvelously to the point that they are having trouble holding many of their ethnic groups in check, such as the Azeri's. It also flushed Iran out of the bushes so that they had to start posturing somewhat in advance of their time table drawing all kinds of unwanted attention to themselves.

It resulted in pointing out just what a failed institution the UN freak show is. And, it has drawn the Demorats into chewing their own hindquarters off thereby ensuring that they will have to reform or die and never hold significant power again.

It has also blooded our military, with many salutory Lessons Learned.

I'm mostly just summing up here for my own purposes, and, even though this thread is toppling over of its' own weight I would welcome the die hards, as well as the pussy "progressives" to add to the list.

I rather liked the pillage part myself; got two free range chickens.

 
At 8:22 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

To the Australian troll,

As long as you continue to share your thoughts about the faults, idiosyncracies, and follies of the human race - excluding yourself - my family will continue to save money on the rental of comedy videos. We thank you.
- signed The Wife

 
At 8:59 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Fudd reminds me of a really wretch inducing newsgroup troll who went by the name of Ace agincourt and was a sick bastard as well.

He was also a one string banjo boy who specialized in sliding around like a bogger on a doorknob.

Also, using "technical means" I've discovered that at least one of trolls here is a "sock puppet" of someone who posts under another identitity. I'll out him as soon as I'm absolutely sure.

 
At 9:40 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

More imaginings from Ariel. I don't exclude either myself or my country.

I, however, didn't invade Iraq and don't support Israeli aggression. Nor any aggression against civilians anywhere. But, I am just as opposed to the jihadists as you are. The difference is that a) I would like to identify them (rather than just kill all muslims like at least some of you lot) and b) I don't claim any moral high ground that is so patently false. I don't claim to believe in god let alone speak with this mythical being like your little twerp in Washington/Crawford. Nor is my family company making millions of dollars from war.

My idiot prime minister did though (invade Iraq) and IMO history will judge him as the craven fop that smudged our otherwise good name and reputation around the world. I and my kids and grandkids will pay for that. The world is getting more dangerous through military opportunism, not less.

 
At 9:48 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ariel said...
Oh, and a good many of the people commenting are not neo-cons, except to the simple-minded bigots. I am a classical liberal, not that you would know what that means. Google it quick.

8:36 PM, June 22, 2006


Yeah sure Ariel. A lot of Germans weren't Nazis as well but they still cheered military expansionism. You're just a suckerfor the great liars.

the muslims are coming. The muslims are coming.

 
At 10:16 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Fudd said, "the muslims are coming. The muslims are coming."

First f**king rational thing it has said.

 
At 10:18 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

How'd your team go in the world cup BTW?

 
At 10:47 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Steve said...

Sally wrote

" To view all this as having the goal of "the liberation of Iraq from U.S forces - undoubtedly" is merely to project your own particular desires and hates."
Oh, right. It's not that poll after poll in Iraq demonstrates that Iraqi want U.S troops out. Or that the majority of the insurgency is Iraqi. No - it's my 'hates' - whatever they are(I don't know how in heaven's you would know). I don't support any of it, if you really care. And yes the war was wrong from the get go - that is the issue. And really the only issue. And it's hardly ground breaking for the U.S press and apologists for the war to paint the insurgency in terms appropriate to American propaganda - as we saw in Vietnam with the Vietcong - supposedly a rag-tag affair without any populist support.

I don't support them(what's to support?) nor do I feel any great urgency to prove to you otherwise - nothing in what I have said even suggest that other than your kneejerk reaction. The insurgency has predictablly become the issue in the MSM and even more so amongst the right wing apologists - but the truth remains that there would be no insurgency if Iraqi was not under foreign and illegal occupation. And U.S forces are what feeds the insurgency. It's also quite revealing to note that most Iraqis also support the insurgency in it's attacks on U.S and allied troops - if not on Iraqi civilians. That insurgents are targeting civlians is hardly new, or in anyway controversial - the idea that nationalists would target civilians while under foreign occupation iw hardly a historical novelty("naive" - yes indeed)insurgents are trying to install fear amongst the population to disuade them from cooperating with U.S troops and others. It's terrorism. It's wrong. And it's wrong when it's done by either side. I have no interest in the methods -all are terrible, and make zero difference to the outcome except to provide war mongers with propaganda to be repeated ad nauseum to discredit the real problem - U.S forces in Iraq. And military bases. And corporations etc etc.


Sally wrote,

"It's interesting, for another example, that you, like so many lefties, point to America's tolerance of Saddam prior to 1991 as -- what? a bad thing? So if the US tolerates Saddam's rape rooms, that's a bad thing, but if they don't tolerate them, finaly, and topple his evil regime, that's a bad thing too? Maybe, for you, it's just that America is a "bad thing", period, hmm?"

Yes America's tolerance of Saddam was a bad thing, Sally - of which I'm well pleased we are in argreement. You won't find many "leftys" claiming that - you might find one's that quite reasonably claim that Iraq is not any better now under U.S military occupation - (if you can find one, please, do let me know). Again, embarassingly irrelvant to rational analysis and and discussion. The bad thing, Sally, the crime that started it all is that the U.S had istalled Saddam, supported him, and then toppled him through war, completely undermining Iraqi soveriegnty and self-determination.

And who pays for it?

The Iraqi people. For narrow American corporate and political interests. Millions of shattered lives completely destroyed country, purely because of U.S intervention. And it always comes down to that. Not because of my ideological persuasion. Pure logic. To ignore the U.S history in the region if a falasy so extreme as to defy belief. No Sally, it's not about supporting the country - it's a question of credibility. The U.S government and it's supporters have none. Beyond it's military power. And that's why nobody supports this war and why I know with absolute certainty that the neoconservative -- it's actually pure facism - adventure will fail. Miserably. And who will suffer? The Iraqi people and the American people.

What makes you think I hate America? Is America for you only a military machine protecting it's own interests in violation of international law, violation of elementary morality and the values espoused by the overwhelming majority of Americans? And what point does "your ilk" absorb the fact that supporting your government s

I hope not. It isn't for me. Reality is it's much, much more than that. And the good parts of America and it's people and the positives it has given to the world have happened despite it's facist political elite - not because of it.

Fact.

But for how much longer?

Hard to get your mind around not cheering for the 'good' guys, I know, but trust me, it's not that difficult - give it a try....

 
At 10:51 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Steve said...

Sally wrote

" To view all this as having the goal of "the liberation of Iraq from U.S forces - undoubtedly" is merely to project your own particular desires and hates."
Oh, right. It's not that poll after poll in Iraq demonstrates that Iraqi want U.S troops out. Or that the majority of the insurgency is Iraqi. No - it's my 'hates' - whatever they are(I don't know how in heaven's you would know). I don't support any of it, if you really care. And yes the war was wrong from the get go - that is the issue. And really the only issue. And it's hardly ground breaking for the U.S press and apologists for the war to paint the insurgency in terms appropriate to American propaganda - as we saw in Vietnam with the Vietcong - supposedly a rag-tag affair without any populist support.

I don't support them(what's to support?) nor do I feel any great urgency to prove to you otherwise - nothing in what I have said even suggest that other than your kneejerk reaction. The insurgency has predictablly become the issue in the MSM and even more so amongst the right wing apologists - but the truth remains that there would be no insurgency if Iraqi was not under foreign and illegal occupation. And U.S forces are what feeds the insurgency. It's also quite revealing to note that most Iraqis also support the insurgency in it's attacks on U.S and allied troops - if not on Iraqi civilians. That insurgents are targeting civlians is hardly new, or in anyway controversial - the idea that nationalists would target civilians while under foreign occupation iw hardly a historical novelty("naive" - yes indeed)insurgents are trying to install fear amongst the population to disuade them from cooperating with U.S troops and others. It's terrorism. It's wrong. And it's wrong when it's done by either side. I have no interest in the methods -all are terrible, and make zero difference to the outcome except to provide war mongers with propaganda to be repeated ad nauseum to discredit the real problem - U.S forces in Iraq. And military bases. And corporations etc etc.


Sally wrote,

"It's interesting, for another example, that you, like so many lefties, point to America's tolerance of Saddam prior to 1991 as -- what? a bad thing? So if the US tolerates Saddam's rape rooms, that's a bad thing, but if they don't tolerate them, finaly, and topple his evil regime, that's a bad thing too? Maybe, for you, it's just that America is a "bad thing", period, hmm?"

Yes America's tolerance of Saddam was a bad thing, Sally - of which I'm well pleased we are in argreement. You won't find many "leftys" claiming that - you might find one's that quite reasonably claim that Iraq is not any better now under U.S military occupation - (if you can find one, please, do let me know). Again, embarassingly irrelvant to rational analysis and and discussion. The bad thing, Sally, the crime that started it all is that the U.S had istalled Saddam, supported him, and then toppled him through war, completely undermining Iraqi soveriegnty and self-determination.

And who pays for it?

The Iraqi people. For narrow American corporate and political interests. Millions of shattered lives completely destroyed country, purely because of U.S intervention. And it always comes down to that. Not because of my ideological persuasion. Pure logic. To ignore the U.S history in the region if a falasy so extreme as to defy belief. No Sally, it's not about supporting the country - it's a question of credibility. The U.S government and it's supporters have none. Beyond it's military power. And that's why nobody supports this war and why I know with absolute certainty that the neoconservative -- it's actually pure facism - adventure will fail. Miserably. And who will suffer? The Iraqi people and the American people.

What makes you think I hate America? Is America for you only a military machine protecting it's own interests in violation of international law, violation of elementary morality and the values espoused by the overwhelming majority of Americans?

I hope not. It isn't for me. Reality is it's much, much more than that. And the good parts of America and it's people and the positives it has given to the world have happened despite it's facist political elite - not because of it.

Fact.

But for how much longer?

Hard to get your mind around not cheering for the 'good' guys, I know, but trust me, it's not that difficult - give it a try....

 
At 10:53 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Steve said...

geez - sorry about the double post - ignore the first one I was meaning to edit it..

And my spelling and grammar - I'm off to bed nighty nite, long day....

 
At 11:03 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Confused Foreigner,

Weaving fantasies again are you? You really should read S.I. Hayakawa, but in lieu of that, I'll give you a simple phrase "the word is not the thing". Understand the ramifications of that seemingly simple phrase? Really understand?

Now for your fantasies: find anywhere on this blog or elsewhere where I am for military expansionism, I'm not; find where I have used the word terrorist, once I believe and in context; and finally, I don't believe "the muslims are coming, the muslims are coming", I just don't know how to identify the Islamototalitarians, or whatever term you prefer, the ones that want sharia over the earth, they don't belong to one country, they don't wear uniforms, they don't preach on the street corner. In this country, there can be no laws against the Wahabbist hate literature, monitoring mosques is "racial profiling", and, thus, our laws make it difficult to identify the "jihadists" (I don't like the term given Sufi tradition). So you're left in the darkness looking for light, wondering how to identify the Islamic supremacists.

To quit the Iraq war now would leave the Shia and the Kurds as they were left after the UN Iraq war, to hang. Or the Sunnis for that matter. It would be reprehensible. Just as it was the first time. A democracy of any kind with a chance at stability is the only choice now. If it fails, the Coalition will get the blame, if it succeeds, the Coalition will get no praise. No matter. Iraq had a constitutional monarchy for 26 years. It can be done again.

When you label you begin to weave fantasies.
You tar with too wide a brush, leaving you, as well, covered in tar.

 
At 11:05 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Well said Steve.

Unfortunately, it's probably too complex for the cheerleaders for death on here. They are still stuck on US(neocons only) + Israel = good and everybody else = bad

or

JudaoChristan ultranationalist = good

Muslim, atheist, agnostic, gay, black, yellow, msm = bad

 
At 11:18 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ariel said...


When you label you begin to weave fantasies.
You tar with too wide a brush, leaving you, as well, covered in tar.

12:03 AM, June 23, 2006


Too true. Tell some on your side of the equation. I've resisted the temptation of labelling them fascists, but that is what they are.

The only decent thing to do is to get out, and take your Halliburtons and your Bechtels and your Amocos with you.

You have NO credibility or moral right on your side. I doubt whether you'll ever get any credibility back in my lifetime. You've made the world a very dangerous place for ALL of us. Bush and his gang of thieves, murderers and terrorists are a disaster for all of us.

 
At 11:33 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Steve,

I think the "installed Saddam" isn't quite right. The sources I've found give CIA involvement of the Baathist overthrow of Qasim(sp) in 63 as unlikely, as well as the rise to power of Saddam and Bakr in 68 when the Baathists were finally successful (I may be off on that year). Of course, the other problem is the underlying assumption that only the US ever does this. There are other countries, you know.

The clear involvement is in the Iran-Iraq war.
This is a quote from Wikipedia that is fairly accurate with the exception of covert US arms sales:
(The table is from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)) "The table shows the majority of conventional (non-WMD) arms imported by Iraq during the 1970s, when the regime was building up the armies which were to attack Iran in 1980, were supplied by the Soviet Union and its satellites, principally Czechoslovakia. The only substantial western arms supplier to Iraq was France, which continued to be a major supplier until 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait and all legal arms transfers to Iraq ended.

The United States did not supply any arms to Iraq until 1982, when Iran's growing military success alarmed American policymakers. It then did so every year until 1988. In 1996 the Scott Report in the UK investigated arms sales to Iraq in the 1980s by Matrix Churchill in what became known as the Arms-to-Iraq scandal."

I realize the questionable nature of Wikipedia, but this matches other sources I have found at academic and government sites. Note the major participation of the Warsaw bloc and the French. Does that remind you of the Oil-for-Food scandal?

 
At 11:35 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

In his latest book, Francis Fukuyama, from Johns Hopkins University, declares the death of neo-conservatism as a foreign policy construct as a prelude to advancing his own alternative. "I have concluded that neo-conservatism as both a political symbol and a body of thought has evolved into something that I can no longer support," Fukuyama writes. "Neo-conservatism has now become irreversibly identified with the policies of the administration of George W. Bush in its first term and any effort to reclaim the label at this point is likely to be futile. It is much more important to redefine American foreign policy in a way that moves beyond the Bush administration's legacy."

He's one of yours that has seen the futility from a purely pragmatic viewpoint.

 
At 11:43 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

The US and the Saudis payed Saddam in that period and they supplied him with arms and equipment (helicopters for example) via Israel (who were also selling arms to the Iranians, in direct contravention of the embargo in force. Rumsfeld was Reagan's bagman for the $1 billion or so each year.

Further, the US was directly involved in illegally attacking Iranian oil installations and naval vessels and indeed, shot down a civilian airliner over the gulf.

Reagan reffered to Saddam warmly as his "rock in the middle east" on several occasions.

Iranian military successes?????

 
At 11:45 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Sorry. referred.

 
At 11:59 PM, June 22, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Night, night, Steve.

You sound like a sincere young man, at least as far as I can tell so far, but a naive and politically confused one, to say the least. You say no one supports the war. You claim to "know" things "with absolute certainty". You believe that your views are the product of pure logic, untouched by ideology, conscious or unconscious. You equate "neoconservatism" with fascism without giving the slightest indication that you understand either term.

You say that the targeting and slaughtering of their own people by "insurgents" (never "terrorists"!) isn't "in anyway controversial" -- though another person might think it would be a bit "controversial" to the targets at least -- but then a couple of sentences later you say that it's wrong. Even more despicable, you say that "most Iraqis also support the insurgency in it's attacks on U.S and allied troops - if not on Iraqi civilians", but a couple of sentences later you recognize that the insurgents' purpose in attacking their own people is precisely to "install fear amongst the population to disuade them from cooperating with U.S troops and others" -- why, you might stop long enough to ask yourself, would they want to instill or install fear in their own people if their own people already support them?

(Yeah, but, well, anyway, dude, it's all just about the corporations, know what I'm sayin? Greed, man. Oil. And those Jews. Read Chomsky, man -- guy's got footnotes and everthin.)

 
At 12:06 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Steve said...

Ariel wrote:

"Of course, the other problem is the underlying assumption that only the US ever does this. There are other countries, you know."

The other points are well taken - I wouldn't dispute them for the most part - there is very little documented record of CIA involvement other than informal testimony of former CIA officals - as I recall. And while there was a coup in the 50s - ironically almost at the same time the CIA was directly involved in the appointment of the Shah - there is no record of direct CIA involment in the coup - so, perhaps 'installed' is not the right choice of words.

Mind you we are talking the CIA here - and apparently they've denied any involvment in the Venezualan coup (failed)too which I find hard to believe, but there you go....

Which other countries would you mean specially? Afghanistan? The Soviet bloc? Of course, the proclamation that other countries do it - or did it - requires are a far more thorough examination of which countries and when. And, naturally -why? Regardless, I don't see this as a particularly convincing rebuttle to the issue of American imperialism and it's success - or failure.

I'd have to say no the last bit about the 'oil for food' scandal. Assuming you're refering to the rather tedious Fox news inspired 'expose' of UN corruption - which is more than a bit tame to say the least - as I've read it, anyway....

What is significant is the most greivous of charges that Saddam is currently on trial for and for what the bulk of U.S propaganda used as evidence of his crimes - were committed during the periods of direct and almost exclusive U.S sponsership..

 
At 12:10 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

That was the covert part left out. My point was the Soviet involvement, as well as French, that everyone seems to forget. Both were up to mischief as much as the US.

The downing by the Vincinnes was a mistake and owned up to, as well as paid for. Reagan gave his apologies to all concerned.

The skirmishes between Iran and the US in the persian gulf was sanctioned by the UN. You're neglecting that both Iran and Iraq were attacking each others oil fields and the oil tankers of other nations. I'll follow with a Wiki quote (I know, I know):

"Attacks on ships of noncombatant nations in the Persian Gulf sharply increased thereafter( after 1984), and this phase of the war was dubbed the "Tanker War."

Lloyd's of London, a British insurance market, estimated that the Tanker War damaged 546 commercial vessels and killed about 430 civilian mariners. The largest of attacks were directed by Iran against Kuwaiti vessels, and on November 1, 1986, Kuwait formally petitioned foreign powers to protect its shipping. The Soviet Union agreed to charter tankers starting in 1987, and the United States offered to provide protection for tankers flying the U.S. flag on March 7, 1987 (Operation Earnest Will and Operation Prime Chance). Under international law, an attack on such ships would be treated as an attack on the U.S., allowing the U.S. to retaliate militarily. This support would protect ships headed to Iraqi ports, effectively guaranteeing Iraq's revenue stream for the duration of the war.

An Iraqi plane accidentally attacked the USS Stark (FFG 31), a Perry class frigate on May 17, killing 37 and injuring 21.[2] But U.S. attention was on isolating Iran; it criticized Iran's mining of international waters, and sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 598, which passed unanimously on July 20, under which it skirmished with Iranian forces. In October 1987, the U.S. attacked Iranian oil platforms in retaliation for an Iranian attack on the U.S.-flagged tanker Sea Isle City.[3]

On April 14, 1988, the frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts was badly damaged by an Iranian mine. U.S. forces responded with Operation Praying Mantis on April 18, the United States Navy's largest engagement of surface warships since World War II. Two Iranian ships were destroyed, and an American helicopter was shot down, killing the two pilots.[4]"

Nothing illegal. International law and UN agreement. Notice the Soviet Union was willing to get involved, but let the US take the brunt.

I remembered the Persian Gulf and the tanker attacks.

 
At 12:17 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Steve said...

Crude - nice post, you can find quite a few more doing so implicitly - I wonder when that Hitchen's is going to give it up....

Sally - I'll get back to it tommorow..

Cute little comment there about Chomsky though(are you trolling my dear?)...

You really should read Chomksy though and not rely on FrontPage and the evil Doctor Horwitzor for your analysis.

Just a thought.

Now I'm really off to bed...

 
At 12:29 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Steve: Cute little comment there about Chomsky though(are you trolling my dear?)...

No, I'm satirizing, honey.

And you should read FrontPage and Horowitz, and not rely on the delusional paranoid Chomsky for your analysis. Better yet, why not try really thinking for yourself? You know, that critical intelligence thing?

 
At 12:37 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Steve,

Everyone, now, forgets the Soviet Union (Warsaw Bloc) and the French. As I said just previous, they were up to mischief too.

It would be interesting to see if the French have a Fredom of Information Act, or any laws that strangle the press in this area. The Soviet mischief was initially revealed by the CIS but has since been clamped down by Putin.

The Oil-for Food Scandal involved the French as well as the Russians, there were accusations that the governments were complicit.

We, and others, spend so much time on US transgressions that all forget the rest of the world makes its own mischief. Remember the Cubans in Angola?

Or actual UN sanctioned, legal by international law, US actions are remember as illegal. Such as the actions in the Persian Gulf in the late 80's.

Ever see the movie "Rashamon"? It applies to more than just witnesses of an event. It applies to our memories and history.

 
At 12:43 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Steve,

I read Chomsky years ago when I was interested in linguistics. After awhile I dropped him from my list, he has problems with accuracy, including owning up to errors. He tends to contort.

That was my impression of him years ago. I think he still lives up to it. But he does have his fans. :-)

All of us have problems with "Conformation Bias". Google "Shrinkwrapped" for that blog post.

 
At 1:17 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

I know I'm hogging it.

For all of you who dwell so long and hard on US mischief, while forgetting the Soviets, the French, et al., just wait, you'll have someone new to talk about.

"China's GDP is currently $1.08 trillion, about a tenth of the United State's $9.87 trillion. Assuming constant prices and a fixed yuan/dollar, and that China and the United States continue to grow at 8% and 3% per annum, respectively, it would take 46 years for China to surpass the United States in terms of GDP. If sooner or later the downward trend of the yuan against the dollar turns into an upward trend, however, this catching up process would be shortened significantly."

So how much mischief will they make?

 
At 3:17 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

The downing by the Vincinnes was a mistake and owned up to, as well as paid for. Reagan gave his apologies to all concerned.



Actually, they lied through their teeth about it until the publically known facts made it untenable to do so any more. They continued to dissemble and lie for years afterwards.

The apolgy was the usual non-apology from the US.

If it was a mistake, why was Rogers decorated rather than charged with reckless endangerment causing the deaths of 270 civilians? As I said, no credibility, no moral high ground

 
At 3:32 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The United States has become about 100 times as powerful with the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. True power comes from the people, and terrorism has once again done the one thing you should not do, wake the giant and then use a sheep as an animal shield to protect yourself.

Not going to work, we after all, have more than one eye. With all those Predator UAVs around, our eyes are beyond counting, especially with the new generation, Dominators and what not.

What people like steve and confude do not understand, is how to solve human problems using human methods. Their solutions are inevitably, out of synch with reality in one respect or another.

If their beliefs or structures, philosophies and systems, were superior to the United States, then they'd be the superpower and the one gifted by the providence of whatever god you believe exists instead of the people of the United States of America.

The boss is the boss, is the boss.

However many times you argue, and complain, and produce wretched sickness of misery, the boss is still the boss and you still hold the same job as you did before you complained.

If I ever had to mold the US into the caricature of Confude and steve's view of things, I'd have to tear up the Constitution and institute some special assassinations for VIPs.

The center cannot hold, with such a mishmash of bitebacks.

VDH has a writing on the biteback effect if you want to know more about it.

It is simply a person saying one thing, and the opposite is true. Sky is red, sky is blue. Americans kill civilians, American support dictators, and Americans conduct military adventures for profit.

In the end, the only question that matters is, can we kill them now? If we can kill them now, don't tell me we're evil for doing something we have not yet done but are still capable of doing.

The US can destroy the world 5 times over with nuclear submarine ballistic MIRVs alone. No other nation or people or coalition has proven themselves worthy of such power nor responsibility in the history of the human race.

The US is the ultimate example of meritorious gladiatorial combat to the death, he who survives wins.

People back in the 80s were writing about how nuclear fire will destroy the human race, because we have not become any better than our forefathers in our nature. While the thing about our human natures might be feel, it is not completely true that humanity has not advanced. One of the reasons, I believe, that prevents warfare is a direct line of communication between the potential enemies. Miscommunication, misunderstandings, and wars of "blood feuds" only occur if two people don't speak the same language and don't have diplomatic connections in order to resolve conflict.

Humans distrust each other, almost by instinct, if you don't speak the same language, have the same gods, live in the same culture, look the same, sound the same, act the same. It has to do with all those ethnical purges that went on before you know. Strangers=bad news, best beware.

So, when humanity developed electronics, we proved our worthiness of wielding nuclear power and thus we were spared the irresponsible use of such power simply because people had learned how to do it by themselves, through survival first and foremost. The US functions in the same way as a battled hardened veteran front line combat regiment.

He who survives, acquires respect and worthiness, compared to he who does not survive, which no longer has a dog in the fight any more.

Any person or nation, like steve or confude, can replace the United States of America with their own version of "progressive safety". But how much treasure and sacrifice are they actually willing to contribute? Not a lot, from what I can see. And this means, literally, that they are not worthy of such power and glory, for they not only don't want it enough, they are content to snipe from the sidelines against those who do want it enough, the oppressed and the Americans.

You can't just choose one day to "become a superpower". No, this is decades, centuries, millenium in the making. The destiny of a nation is probably set in stone for most parts, depending upon who came first and who will come later.

Daniel Boone fighting the Indians, escorting Abraham Lincoln's grandfather to Kentucky, and doing this all doing the American Revolutionary War, is a good example of what is known as manifest destiny. Some people don't acquire their destiny, but others do. Israel, could be said to be in limbo, neither here nor there.

 
At 3:57 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ariel said...
We, and others, spend so much time on US transgressions that all forget the rest of the world makes its own mischief. Remember the Cubans in Angola?

Or actual UN sanctioned, legal by international law, US actions are remember as illegal. Such as the actions in the Persian Gulf in the late 80's.


The Russians, the French and the Cubans didn't declare war and invade Iraq on false pretences and aren't currently occupying it.

Regarding the 1sr gulf war, despite your wiki stuff, there were numerous violations by the US. US warships fired on Iranian naval, coastguard and customs boats carrying out legitimate searches of ships and the attacks on the oil loading facilities were clear breaches of the mandate.

The mandate was a construct anyway as you mentioned. The goal was to assist Saddam quite clearly. Reagan was constantly carrying on about Iranian aggression despite the fact that Saddam had invaded Iran, not the other way around.

I never expected another US president could damage your international standing like Reagan did. Boy, how wrong that was.

 
At 5:27 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Thatguy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5:45 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Captain Wrath said...

And so it goes. I give some of you credit for persistence, and some for sincerity, but its pointless.

Again, you don't win an argument with a Troll, because they are not arguing. They are playing an free internet video game similar to Pong.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pong)

You THINK you are having a discussion, but they playing with their mental paddle, not really examining your reasoning or considering your argument, but-

WHAP!

They swat it back.

You prove them wrong on a particul-

WHAP!

You show they misquoted-

WHAP!

You point a flaw in their log-

WHAP!

You use their own quotes to show they contradict thems-

WHAP!

And so it goes.

You hear various arguments in your head and sound out your own reasoning and all they hear is-

Bleep! Bloop! Bleep! Bloop! Bleep! Bleep!

The equivalent of this is playing Chess with someone you KNOW is going to rearrange the pieces everytime you use the bathroom or look away. Why would you do it? Seems a little insane to me.

The only format to do this is one in which Trolls are whacked when they act up. If you delete their comments and/or ban for their stupidity, they lose their motivation which is to be a public pain in the ass. There is a penalty incurred for being a jerk, one they can't ignore.

I used to have a radio show in college, and we took calls. Invariably you would have the prank caller, the antecedent to the Troll. Similar to Trolls, the goal was not engaging in any substantive debate, but to spew some invective or blather some shakey point or simply just curse on air.

If you tried to engage this person, whether on the air or even after he or you had hung up (by mocking or taunting him) it was that much more motivation for them to keep calling in. They were losers who got off on being annoying and being noticed.

The correct way to handle someone like that was to cut them off, act as if nothing much happened, and try to screen them out on the next call. Without the cheap thrill of conflict and the more important "validation" that a public response gave them, most would give up and seek other ways to be annoying.

Comment threads are the same deal. Trolls are NOT looking to argue points, but to act out. The chance to do it publicly, where people are forced to experience the tantrum makes it all the more alluring. There is also the added thrill of destruction, in that decent conversation is rail-roaded into inane areas.

Barring the ability to keep the Trolls out, do not feed them.

 
At 5:56 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Thatguy said...

Confud says:
"I don't think anyone is showing concern, mock or otherwise with regard to the insurgents. The civilian population is your legal and moral responsibility under the conventions and your forces and administration are ignoring their responsibilities. You invade, you take responsibility."

Haven't we? There are new schools, a less corrupt army and police force, a growing economy, evenly distributed electricity for every Iraqi, an influx of expatriates willing (in many cases for the first time in decades) to return home. All in all, it's grooving along in Iraq. Was it perfect? Of course not, but is it a disastrous failure? Only if we follow the counsel of the terrorist appeasers' and cut and run from the country.

All this feigned concern about civilian deaths and irresponsibility from liberals and their troll sheep. Was there a peep about the hundreds of thousands of Kurds and Shia murdered by Saddam during his reign? Or of the millions displaced and killed in Cambodia and Vietnam? What about Vukovar? How about Rwanda? Hmmm, it seems the liberals don't want American intervention until they want American intervention.

Considering the boatloads of civvies killed and made homeless by our forces during WWII, Korea, Vietnam our efforts in Iraq are extraordinarily light and even gentle. Who can seriously complain about the vastly improved conditions in Iraq now compared with what it was like when the Stalinists' favorite son, Saddam, was enthroned? You want irresponsibility, read sometime about the hash the UN has made of Kosovo, the Congo, and Haiti. Didn't a UN appointed Brazilian general commit suicide in Port Au Prince? Terrific work there Kofi. And these are the people folks like you want entrusted with our lives? Oh boy...lol.

 
At 10:46 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Steve said...

thatguy wrote:
"Haven't we? There are new schools, a less corrupt army and police force, a growing economy, evenly distributed electricity for every Iraqi, an influx of expatriates willing (in many cases for the first time in decades) to return home. All in all, it's grooving along in Iraq. Was it perfect? Of course not, but is it a disastrous failure? Only if we follow the counsel of the terrorist appeasers' and cut and run from the country."

No you haven't. Electricity, sewage , health care facilities and accessability remain well below pre-invasion levels. Preventable disease is on the rise - unemployment is at 50%, inflation is massive while living wages have decreased. Billions of dollars in reconstruction money unaccounted for infrastructure in shambles while Iraqi workers and companies who did a fine job of rebuilding the damage twiddle their thumbs while multinationals do comparitively nothing to aleviate the suffering. Oil production and output remain well below pre-invasion levels. No it's not perfect. The fact is it way worse than when Saddam was in power. Iraqis economy swindled by mulitnational corporations while Iraqis starve. Is that progress? For who?


"All this feigned concern about civilian deaths and irresponsibility from liberals and their troll sheep. Was there a peep about the hundreds of thousands of Kurds and Shia murdered by Saddam during his reign? Or of the millions displaced and killed in Cambodia and Vietnam? What about Vukovar? How about Rwanda? Hmmm, it seems the liberals don't want American intervention until they want American intervention."

Tell me mate - how would you know there was nary a peep from the left about civilian deaths during Saddam's time? Where were you? You 've got to be joking? Is this a point?
Same with displaced populations in Cambodia and Vietnam. I guess you missed the fact that the U.S dropped more tonnage of bombs on Indochina than was dropped during the entire Second World War - but I suppose that had nothing to do with it lol. Unbelievable.

"Considering the boatloads of civvies killed and made homeless by our forces during WWII, Korea, Vietnam our efforts in Iraq are extraordinarily light and even gentle."

Gentle? Wow. How's that for intelligent analysis. Good models for comparison lol. See my above post and others for the current plight of Iraqis after three wars, 12 years of sanctions, a corrupt occuption and no end in sight. Unbelievable....

"Who can seriously complain about the vastly improved conditions in Iraq now compared with what it was like when the Stalinists' favorite son, Saddam, was enthroned? You want irresponsibility, read sometime about the hash the UN has made of Kosovo, the Congo, and Haiti. Didn't a UN appointed Brazilian general commit suicide in Port Au Prince? Terrific work there Kofi. And these are the people folks like you want entrusted with our lives? Oh boy...lol."

No comment. And this type of innane nonsense derserves none.

 
At 11:04 AM, June 23, 2006, Blogger Weary G said...

Steve,

"Gentle? Wow. How's that for intelligent analysis. Good models for comparison lol. See my above post and others for the current plight of Iraqis after three wars, 12 years of sanctions, a corrupt occuption and no end in sight."

What's missing here?

 

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