As election looms, GOP seeing a "terrorist factor" bounce in polls
A few points here. First, see "the path to 9-11" on ABC Sept. 10 and 11. Second point: Barone is one of the most astute, andefinitelyly the most studied, interpreter and predictor of Election trends and outcomes. And the third point would be that, if a couple of speeches and a failed plot overseas is enough to bolster conservative chances, then what does that suggest could happen if a full court press is engaged, and more importantly, what does it say about the rabid bias of the drive by media?...T
There seems to have been a change in the political winds. They've been blowing pretty strongly against George W. Bush and the Republicans this spring and early this summer. Now, their velocity looks to be tapering off or perhaps shifting direction.
When asked what would affect the future, the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan famously said: "Events, dear boy. Events." The event this month that I think has done most to shape opinion was the arrest in London on Aug. 9 of 23 Muslims suspected of plotting to blow up American airliners over the Atlantic.
The arrests were a reminder that there still are lots of people in the world - and quite possibly in this country, too - who are trying to kill as many of us as they can and to destroy our way of life. They are not unhappy because we haven't raised the minimum wage lately or because Bush rejected the Kyoto Treaty or even because we're in Iraq.
They've been trying to kill us for years, going back at least to 1983, when a Hezbollah suicide bomber killed 241 American servicemen in Lebanon. Then they attacked the World Trade Center, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the USS Cole in Aden - all while Bill Clinton was president. Sept. 11 woke us up to the threat. The political acrimony of 2004 and 2005 and this year made it seem remote. The London arrests reminded us it's still there.
We've had other reminders, too. For four years, Hollywood has seemed mostly uninterested in the war on terrorism - in vivid contrast to its enlistment in World War II.
But this year, we've seen the release of "United 93," and, in "World Trade Center," Oliver Stone presents us not with one of his conspiracy theories but, instead, a story of heroism. On Sept. 10 and 11, ABC will devote six hours of prime time to "The Path to 9-11," a fast-paced, bracing docudrama that tells the story of the terrorists and the people who tried to stop them, from the first WTC bombing in 1993 to 9-11 itself. And this will be only one of many commemorations of the fifth anniversary.
As it happens, the London arrests came almost exactly 24 hours after antiwar candidate Ned Lamont, flanked by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, claimed victory over Sen. Joseph Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary. The Lamont victory - and the rejection of the party's 2000 vice presidential nominee - sharpened the contrast between the two major parties.
One, it seems, would withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible without regard for the consequences - an initially popular position for those who consider our effort there either misbegotten or hopelessly bungled. The other, it seems, would stay the course until we achieve our goals - one that may become more acceptable if people come to think that withdrawal would not make us safe. The London arrests seem to have accelerated this thought process.
Polls since the London arrests suggest what has been happening. Bush's job approval was up significantly in the Gallup Poll, usually the most volatile of national polls, and the Democratic margin in the generic question (Which party's candidate for the House would you vote for?) was sharply reduced. There was a similar trend in generic vote in the Rasmussen poll, which is ordinarily much less volatile than Gallup.
Connecticut polls showed Lieberman, running as an independent, ahead of Lamont, with Lamont having strikingly high negatives for a candidate with such limited public exposure. It seems to be a fact - remember the Paul Wellstone funeral in 2002? - that when most Americans see the hard left of the Democratic Party in action, they don't much like what they see.
Of course, they don't like to see violence in Iraq, either.
But the sectarian killings that flared up in Baghdad in June and July have been reduced - by 30 percent, says ABC News - by intensive patrolling by U.S. and, more importantly, Iraqi troops. It's not clear, of course, whether the reductions will continue. Other threats still exist, like Iran's nuclear program.
Earlier this summer, I thought that voters had decided that the Republicans deserved to lose but were not sure that the Democrats deserved to win, and that they were going to wait, as they did in the 1980 presidential and the 1994 congressional elections, to see if the opposition was an acceptable alternative. Events seem to have made that a harder sell for Democrats. A change in the winds.
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Wednesday, August 30, 2006
As election looms, GOP seeing a "terrorist factor" bounce in polls
Posted by Ted Pethick at 7:09 PM
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Once again, if you have not read "The Brink of Madness", linked here, please do so. It is invaluable as context for the 2 most recent posts, just below. Now, hopefully, back to politics and media affairs...Sigh...T
The Brink Of Madness
Here, again, is the TRUTH about the Middle East. We must confront this truth now, as the alternative is too awful to contemplate: Genocide and Nuclear holocaust on a scale not seen ever, not even in WWII...T
How many cease-fires have there been in the Middle East — or is the number too large to remember? Over the past half century, there must have been more cease-fires in the Middle East than in the rest of the world combined.
What will this latest cease-fire do? It will give Hezbollah a breather from Israeli retaliation and allow them time to get new shipments of military equipment from Iran, rebuild their military infrastructure and prepare for the next round of attacks on Israel.
Why do these phony cease-fire scenarios keep getting repeated? Because there are too many people, including many in the media, who take the corrupt windbags at the U.N. seriously — so our political leaders have to act as if they take the U.N. seriously as well.
This is a costly charade. Among its costs are human lives. U.N. cease-fires are the ultimate in feel-good decisions made by people who pay no price for the repercussions.
No one in his right mind believes that either the Lebanese army or the U.N. "peacekeepers" will disarm Hezbollah. The track record of both is virtually a guarantee that Hezbollah will be able to resume war against Israel at whatever time and place it chooses.
Most people have no idea how small Israel is — and therefore how vulnerable every part of it is to its surrounding enemies.
New Hampshire is considered to be a small state but it is larger than Israel. So are 45 other states. Lake Erie is larger than Israel and Lake Michigan more than twice as large.
The Middle Eastern places we hear about are very close to one another. From Israel's capital in Jerusalem to Bethlehem in the Palestinian territory is only a fraction of the distance from Washington to Baltimore.
Most people are as uninformed about the history of the Middle East as they are about its geography. Supposedly Jews took over the Palestinians' homeland in order to create the state of Israel.
But there was no Palestinian homeland. That whole region belonged to the Ottoman Empire until the Ottoman Empire was dismembered after its defeat in the First World War.
Christians, Jews, and Muslims had all lived in Palestine for centuries. In the course of carving up the Ottoman Empire to create new nations, the British set aside a small part of it for Jews — and after violent objections from the Arabs, stalled for years on letting this bit of land become an independent nation.
Jews lived in Palestine long before there was a state of Israel and even before there was an Ottoman Empire. In 1939, Winston Churchill commented that Jews in Palestine "made the desert bloom." The resulting prosperity of the area attracted both more Jews and more Arabs, including some Arabs whose descendants would later claim that Jews took over their country.
After World War II and the Holocaust, Jews seeking refuge turned to their promised home in the Middle East and battled the British to seize control and proclaim the independence of Israel.
In the face of polarizing hostility and violence in surrounding Arab countries, Jews fled these countries and many were absorbed into Israel.
Meanwhile, Arab countries urged Arabs living in Israel to leave before these countries' planned attacks with the aim of destroying the new state.
It was the Arabs, rather than the Israelis, who created a massive Palestinian refugee problem. While Jewish refugees were absorbed into the general population of Israel, Palestinians in Arab countries were kept in refugee camps for generations — promised a right to return after Israel was conquered and the Jews displaced.
After the most complete failure of the many Arab efforts to annihilate Israel in 1967, the Israelis took over lands of strategic value, such as the Golan Heights, in order to prevent them from being used in future military attacks.
In all the years when these lands had been in the hands of Arab states, no one made them a Palestinian homeland. But now it has become a fervent cause to force Israel to create a Palestinian state that the Arabs never created.
None of this matters to those consumed by hate in the Middle East or those in the West wanting feel-good cease-fires, without bothering to think through the actual consequences.
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Anti-Semitic paranoia is alive and well among Muslims
If Rommel had passed the Suez in 41, the whole of the mideast would have rallied to Hitler. The Baath movement has always been an Fascistic ideal. Israel is theirs, as is Spain, as is England, as is France (in reality, they just about have France already)...T
The Jews everywhere are “the Muslim’s bitter enemies,” said a prominent Islamic leader. Throughout history, the “irreconcilable enemy of Islam” has conspired and schemed and “oppressed and persecuted 40 million Muslims,” he said. In Palestine, the Jews are establishing “a base from which to extend their power over neighboring Islamic countries.” And, he proclaimed, “This war, which was unleashed by the world Jewry,” has provided “Muslims the best opportunity to free themselves from these instances of persecution and oppression.”
Sound like Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah? Or perhaps Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Nope. It was the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Husseini, in 1942. An ardent Nazi supporter, Husseini delivered his speech at the opening of the Islamic Institute in Berlin, one day after the Allies denounced the Nazis for “carrying into effect Hitler’s oft-repeated intention to exterminate the Jewish people in Europe.” Husseini’s address was approved by Nazi foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, and Joseph Goebbels was in attendance. The Reich press office widely distributed the comments.
President Bush undoubtedly didn’t have any of this in mind when he dubbed our enemies in the war on terror “Islamic fascists.” But his comments — analytically flawed as they may be — added some much-needed moral clarity to our current struggle. They also helped to illuminate a much-overlooked point: Islamic fundamentalism and Nazism are historically and intellectually linked. (When the Israelis caught Adolf Eichmann, an architect of the Final Solution, a leading Saudi Arabian newspaper read: “Arrest of Eichmann, who had the honor of killing 6 million Jews.”) Perhaps unsurprisingly, Bush’s remarks seem to have struck a nerve.
The Saudi government warned “against hurling charges of terrorism and fascism at Muslims without regard to the spotless history of Islamic civilization.” Of course, no civilization is without sin, but it takes particular chutzpah for the Saudis to preen, considering their civilization is as spotless as a leopard.
Still, the point isn’t to dredge up ancient history about Muslims and Nazis. Many Swedes got along swimmingly with the Nazis but who worries about the Swedes today? The Muslim world is another matter. Unlike the Swedes, the similarities between Nazism and Islamic fascism are not all in the past. In what may be the most important book on the Holocaust in a generation, historian Jeffrey Herf explains why.
According to the standard Holocaust narrative, the Final Solution was the product of “hate” or racism or, often, both. Anti-Semitism became popular in the 19th century; the Nazis expanded on it, constructing a pseudo-scientific biological racism that saw the Jews as a “cancer” on the body politic and the Holocaust as an attempt to excise the tumor. Herf does not so much debunk this version of history as cut through it.
In The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust, he concedes that hatred and racism were important, but he argues that they don’t explain Germany’s unique efforts to destroy the Jews. It’s not as if no one hated the Jews until the 1930s.
The real answer isn’t hate, but fear. Poring through miles of speeches, private comments, journal entries, party memoranda and all 24,000 pages of Goebbel’s diaries, Herf concludes that the Nazis really believed that the Jews ran the world and wanted to destroy Germany. They believed that Jews controlled not only the Bolsheviks to the east but the capitalists to the west. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a mere pawn of his Jewish friends and advisors. The British Parliament, Goebbels wrote in one diary entry, was “in reality a kind of Jewish stock exchange.” The “Jewish-plutocratic enemy” was everywhere, benefiting from, and responsible for, every piece of bad news for Germany. In fact, the Nazis were sure that the Jews had declared war on Germany first, giving them no choice but to respond to the Jewish campaign to “exterminate the Germans.” This paranoia led the Nazis to believe that rounding up millions of Jews and gassing them was an act of self-defense.
What is so frightening is how similar this is to the sounds from the Middle East today. Ahmadinejad — dismissed by “sophisticated” academics as a blowhard — calls the Holocaust a myth. Indeed, there is no Jewish conspiracy theory too outlandish in the Muslim world. Huge numbers of Muslims — even 45 percent of British Muslims — believe that the Jews were behind 9/11. Theories that the Mossad is behind every bad headline, from the Indonesian tsunami to bad soccer performances, are common on the Arab street. According to Herf, this is only the second time the world has seen this sort of radical anti-Semitic paranoia. And, again, too many in the unspotless West are saying, “They can’t be serious.”
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Friday, August 18, 2006
Posted by Ted Pethick at 7:14 PM
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Just a little self promotion, if I may be so allowed, just this one time (it IS my site, after all!). This is an update on my upcoming WiFi project in Uganda. If you would like to know more about Navitor Computer Systems, there is a link at the bottome left of this page's sidebar, below the links...T
Interlibrary Loan Comes to Rescue for Local Catholic CharityPeople request items through interlibrary loan for many reasons—articles for papers or conference presentations, books or a hard to find music score for a dissertation, a video to show to a class. However, this past spring the IU South Bend Franklin D. Schurz Library’s Interlibrary Loan department handled a request that will help bring wireless Internet access to millions of displaced Ugandans.Ted Pethick IT project designer/coordinator and Administrator with the B.O.S.C.O. Breaking the Silence project i.e. Battery Operated Systems for Catholic Outreach, needed a topographical map of Uganda in order to find the best potential wifi spots. B.O.S.C.O. is led by Gus Zuehlke, Director Liturgy/Music at St. Bavo’s Church in Mishawaka. The group is working to provide the residents of Northern Uganda’s Internally Displaced Persons Camps with wireless Internet access. The people in the camps live together in small huts without electricity and are extremely isolated. In many cases they are the victims of mutilations and kidnapping. The goal of this wireless Internet project is to give the residents of these camps the opportunity to communicate with the outside world.Pethick’s work hit a stumbling block when he tried to access the needed topographical map. Only three libraries in the United States had the map, and one, UCLA, would loan it out. However, they would not let the map leave the library that it was loaned to. After attempting to photograph the maps, Pethick realized he needed a larger copier in order to make copies of the map. This is where Interlibrary Loan Supervisor, Maureen Kennedy stepped in and agreed to accompany Pethick to Kinkos so that he could make the copies he needed, while still satisfying UCLA’s need for the document’s supervision.These maps were crucial to the project because “without the terrain information (Latitude/Longitude/Elevation), there would have been no way to do an engineering survey to test the viability of this project,” notes Pethick. “Will it work, or is there a mountain between camps? The British Directorate of Overseas Surveys compiled the ONLY EXISTING MAP IN DETAIL OF THIS REGION IN 50 YEARS!”“While we are committed to customer service in Interlibrary Loan, this project allowed us to feel like our service was making a difference in people’s lives, “ said Kennedy.B.O.S.C.O. is now in their last stages of fundraising and intend to deploy to Uganda in September. Questions about B.O.S.C.O.? Contact Gus Zuehlke at 255-1437. Questions about Interlibrary Loan? Call 520- 4433.
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BY 1939, ADOLF HITLER had put together the most fearsome fighting machine on the planet. The second most fearsome fighting machine belonged to Imperial Japan. The fear felt by the sentient few in the free world was exacerbated by the pathetic condition of the free world’s armed forces. England and the United States were virtually defenseless. The English had been particularly negligent in providing itself with the necessary airpower to protect themselves.
France possessed what in theory would be an effective army, but unfortunately when wielded it would be wielded by the French. The Central European countries had some muscle and a willingness to fight, but didn’t have any hope unless they received support from the larger powers.
Today, the situation is different. Even giving Iran, Syria and their terrorist proxies their proper due, combined they are not the world’s most dangerous fighting force. It goes without saying that in a no holds barred war between the United States and all of its potential malefactors in the Middle East, the United States would prevail.
Another difference between the situation today and the late '30's is the public attitudes of the different eras. In 1938, Winston Churchill was a marginal player in British politics, an eloquent backbencher. In America, the situation was even more dispiriting. The Iron Eagle himself, Charles Lindbergh, toured Germany and happily received the Nazi cross. In downplaying the dangers represented by Hitler and his cronies, one could say he earned it.
In 1938, those who accurately perceived Hitler were a tiny minority. Those who understood the aims of Imperial Japan were an even smaller minority. The countries that would win World War II had no idea what was coming.
AT LEAST TODAY, we have a debate. Every time someone mentions 1938 or 1939, it warms the cockles of my heart because it means someone else gets it. And happily, those of us who get it aren’t a fringe minority – we may even constitute a thin minority.
It’s strange for those of us who are news junkies to spend a day without access to the news. Me, I’ve been out of pocket all day and here’s what I came home too tonight. First, I see that CNN has suddenly rediscovered terrorism. For almost 45 straight minutes, Christianne Amanpour and Paula Zahn talk about nothing but London cells, Michigan cell phones and the root causes of Muslim anger. The latter makes me gnash my teeth as I pull my tattered copy of Andrew Bostom’s “The Legacy of Jihad” and begin futilely waving it at the TV.
I get angrier when the loathsome Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR comes along spluttering about the horrors of profiling. Juxtaposed against images of a suddenly very vulnerable looking 5 mile bridge in Michigan, he makes a weak case.
Then I flip over to Fox and see an obviously emboldened Iran and Syria are issuing bold proclamations that Israel is doomed as they cluck about Hezbollah’s great triumph. One thing about Syria and Iran that we can be thankful for – unlike Hitler, they never deem it in their interest to be coy about their designs.
You have to be seriously obtuse to not conclude that governments like Syria’s and Iran’s intend us harm as do a bunch of wannabe terrorists, regardless of the cause of their “anger.” You’d also have to be pretty dense to think that even the most obsequious Carter-esque brand of diplomacy will convince them to beat their beheading swords into plowshares.
But much of the American left is capable of such denseness. So too are the global players whose first and only instinct is to blame America, blame Israel or blame Bush for everything.
But at least we’re talking about the right things this week. At least we’re having a debate about the depths of the dangers we face.
The bad news is that the right side may not win it. In America, Europe or Israel.
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Saturday, August 12, 2006
Like Clint Eastwood at the end of "Unforgiven", this former liberal stands by the Bush Doctrine, and forcibly so.
Fact: Our liberation of Iraq, by any historical standard, has been an astonishing success militarily, with casualties so low as to be insignificant when compared with any other war. The results of Iraqi democratization will take decades to become apparent, not months (yeah, up yours Howard Dean!). Fact II: our restraint is unparalleled. In WWII we slaughtered millions of civilians, leveling city after city with incendiary firebombing from above.
The author sees that our only other option is WWIV, a nuclear slaughterhouse with the Islamo-Fascists (The Cold War being WWIII). Once again, please reference "The Brink of Madness", posted below. His thoughts excerpted in this passage:
"The military face of the strategy is pre-emption and the political face is democratization," he says. "The stakes are nothing less than the survival of Western civilization, to the extent that Western civilization still exists, because half of it seems to be committing suicide."
EAST HAMPTON, N.Y.--If Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, then Iraq was lost--according, at least, to the conspiracy-minded--on the pages of Commentary magazine and the other house organs of the neoconservative movement. Better yet, blame America's post-9/11 foreign policy on Leo Strauss, Albert Wohlstetter and Allan Bloom, regularly disinterred as the neocon godfathers.
Yet however much one loathes lending credence to talk of a neocon conspiracy--call it Cabal Theory--it does possess a certain element of truth. That is, the Iraq intervention found its genesis not only in the immediate crises of the prewar period, but also in a way of thinking about foreign policy that matured over several decades. In other words, "Ideas shape events. They are the moving force in history," notes Norman Podhoretz, editor in chief of Commentary for the 35 years ending in 1995, and a highly influential adventurer in the world of neoconservatism.
Neoconservatism is hard to pin down as discrete political theory; Mr. Podhoretz suggests even that is too strong a term, preferring "tendency." In any case, as a practical matter, it denotes the mentality of those who moved from somewhere on the political left to somewhere on the right, primarily during the late '70s. It had "two ruling passions," according to Mr. Podhoretz. On the one hand, the neocons were repulsed by the countercultural '60s radicalism that came to dominate the American liberal establishment. On the other, they argued for a more assertive, muscular foreign policy (at the time in response to Soviet expansionism).
It is the latter that consumes Mr. Podhoretz during this late period in his disputatious career. Here at his bucolic summer home, he makes an easy, serene figure; but any outward tranquility is very much at odds with the intensity of his moral and intellectual universe.
He is careful, certainly, to distance himself from policy making. Washington "might as well be the surface of the moon." Rather, he says, "I'm always trying to look at the world in some larger frame." That, today, means "telling the story of what has happened since Sept. 11 with some intellectual distance, to place it as a world-historical development."
The scale and the suddenness of that day, as Mr. Podhoretz sees it, swept away the assumptions of the era that preceded it, both the soft internationalism and the balance-of-power calculations that by turns governed the way America conducted itself in the world. Here was a generational, existential confrontation with militant Islamist antimodernism, international in character and analogous to World War III (known otherwise as the Cold War). The "war on terror," he argues, ought to be rightly understood as "World War IV," demanding a new set of policies and ideas that will allow the U.S. to cope under drastically altered conditions.
The point of his voluminous WWIV essays (currently being expanded into a book) is to limn the ways in which George Bush has done precisely that. "The military face of the strategy is pre-emption and the political face is democratization," he says. "The stakes are nothing less than the survival of Western civilization, to the extent that Western civilization still exists, because half of it seems to be committing suicide."
With the crisis in the Middle East deteriorating, alarmingly fraught, Mr. Podhoretz's WWIV theory assumes further urgency.
On the violence running over the Levant, he is forthright: "I think of it as another battle or field or front in World War IV--the third front that's been opened: Afghanistan, Iraq and now this." With Hezbollah acting as a proxy for Iran, and Israel standing in for the U.S., "what you have here is Iran testing the resolve, the capability, of the enemy, in this case being the entire West--through few seem to understand this, or if they do understand it they want to deal with it with the usual appeasement."
Does the president understand? Grant that there are no easy answers: Hasn't the administration, on the more intractable questions of Syria and Iran, shown by and large the same weakening of resolve? Mr. Podhoretz winces. The question seems to set his teeth on edge. "There are people who ask George Bush to do everything at once," he declares, "instead of picking his shots and moving at a politically viable pace. It's nice as an intellectual exercise, but what is the point of demanding things that no democratic political leader, not even George Bush, could conceivably do at this time? To my mind it's a kind of right-wing utopianism."
Right-wing utopianism--now there is machismo. It is, of course, the very charge most often leveled against the neocons: that they thought (to put it rudely) they could go parading through Arabia and reorder it as a liberal democracy; instead of flowers and sweets they were met with IEDs and sectarian death squads. And this notion has picked up currency of late--particularly among those who consider themselves conservatives without the qualifying prefix.
Mr. Podhoretz is having none of it. "I always knew they didn't like this policy, the Bush doctrine," he says, speaking of increasingly vocal antagonists like George Will and William F. Buckley. "They had doubts about it going in, and not just because it violates in their view conservative principles but, you know, it's hubris, it's Wilsonianism, it goes beyond the limits of power, it's nation-building, and so on. But for reasons of solidarity or because they were not willing to join with the left or the far reaches of the Buchananite right, they were careful, they voiced their doubts only through hints or veiled asides. So when they came, so to speak, out of the antiwar closet, I certainly was not all that surprised.
"They've declared defeat, basically," he continues. "What can I say? I think they're wrong. I think Iraq has gone not badly but well, is not a disaster or a crime or a delusion, but what's more is a noble, necessary effort."
Mr. Podhoretz attributes the troubles of reconstruction as much to our own irresolution as to what he calls "the recalcitrance and obduracy of the region." "The only reason in my opinion that we're having as much trouble as we're having in Iraq is that we're not getting intelligence. You cannot fight a revanchist insurgency and certainly not one that uses terrorist tactics without good intelligence . . . and you can only get that kind of intelligence by squeezing it out of prisoners. That's all there is to it."
Both domestic opposition and the international community, unhappily, are "defining torture down. The things they're calling 'torture' now have never been and have no business being considered torture." He keeps on: "It is an effort to disarm us that's succeeding to a frightening extent. No, it's worse than that. They're trying to make it impossible to fight terrorism. . . . Every weapon that's been developed to protect us from terrorism, and the Iraqis from internal terrorism, is under assault."
Mr. Podhoretz loops back to the allegations that the administration has botched the execution of its Middle East policy. "I get impatient and even angry with this relentless carrying on in the face of setbacks," he says. "Now suddenly even a lot of my neoconservative friends have either lost heart and deserted the cause or devoted themselves mostly to bitching about this and that and the other thing and everything else. Most of these criticisms or attacks have been so unfair as to be completely unreasonable. . . .
"If you stipulate that everything people allege was a mistake in Iraq, even if you stipulate that they all were actually mistakes rather than judgment calls about which reasonable men could differ and could have had worse consequences if they'd gone the other way--even if you stipulate that all the critics are right, these 'mistakes' are chump change compared to the mistakes that were made during World War II by great leaders like Churchill and Roosevelt, and the lives that were squandered, thousands and thousands of lives uselessly squandered. . . .
"But even with these mistakes," he continues, "this country was indispensable in defeating the two great totalitarian threats of the 20th century. It was this despised bourgeois civilization that turned out to be the one bulwark against those monstrous enemies of humanity. I feel the same way today about Islamofascism."
Mr. Podhoretz is not dismissive of the costs the U.S. has incurred, quite; but better, he argues, to endure these convulsions than the previous arrangements. "We've paid an extraordinarily small price by any reasonable historical standard for a huge accomplishment," he says. "It's unseemly to be constantly whining."
The political odyssey of Norman Podhoretz began in the mid-1950s, when he made his mark as a literary critic and heir apparent of the leftward "New York intellectuals"; veered sharply toward radicalism in the early '60s; and ultimately rejected the ascendant hard left for what we now recognize as neoconservatism. "The issue was America," he says. "I was repelled, almost nauseated, by the rise of anti-Americanism on the left. The hatred of this country seemed to me not only wrong, it was disgusting. . . . Everything the left was saying about America was wrong--everything--and wrong by 180 degrees." He likens it to "staging a black mass, with the cross inverted and Christ hanging by his feet."
"There was a heavy price to be paid for my acts of apostasy," he says. Still: He retains an acute sense of longing for the intellectual community in which he grew up, a world--irretrievably lost--with no real equivalent today. It was a world that cared immensely about the life of the mind, and "even though practically everything it held dear was wrong, the fact is that it was exhilarating--you had all these brilliant people who were interested in understanding what historical forces were at work in the world and how they were playing out."
It was perhaps that spirit, more than anything else, that Mr. Podhoretz and his cadre sowed in the conservative mind. The neoconservatives were not simply "new conservatives," swallowed whole by an established system and along for the ride, Jonahs in the belly of a whale; but, more exactly, they deepened and broadened the nature of conservatism by emphasizing larger questions and long views, all seriously considered. The neoconservative enterprise is still in motion, and--like the war on terror, like World War IV, like whatever one wants to call the present danger--it is not done yet.
"It continues," Mr. Podhoretz says. "It never ends." During the Belle Ã‰poque of the Clinton years, things seemed to have sufficiently mended for him to turn his attention to literature again; Sept. 11, as he tells it, drew him back into the arena, inexorably, as if carried by the tide. "I'm getting old. I am old," he sighs. "But I'm still at it, and I'll continue." He adds with a laugh: "I especially get a new surge of intellectual energy whenever my own side, as it has been lately, starts to infuriate me."
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Friday, August 11, 2006
Thats in, The Drive-By- Media's love affair with the Arab Islamo-Fascists. This video conclusivly shows the fanatical bias of the MSM is only marginally better that that of the terrorists themselves. From the wonders of YouTube and via LGF...T
Pallywood, "According to Palestinian Sources..." a film by Richard Landes. International news media extract a few convincing instants of staged scenes - sight-bytes, and present them as news. Palastenians putting up shows for the world's media to view, documentry that will truely shock you - and the rest of the world just beleive it. Get the TRUTH! MUST SEE!
Click here to view source
He's spot on here. The only thing I would have added: it is obvious now that Bush is, in retrospect, a victim of his own success. His vigor in prosecuting the war thus far has prevented any attacks on the US homeland. The fact is that it will take "The Big One" to awaken us to the task at hand: Total War. This is not an open option for Bush in today's political climate. (see "The Brink of Madness", posted Sunday, August 6th.)...T
Yesterday I wrote on the need for us to confront our greatest fears. I said that we had to “imagine a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv, imagine a mushroom cloud over New York” and figure out how to stop them. A commenter ridiculed this exercise in negativity, and then asked if I had imagined what victory on the Global War on Terror would look like.
Unfortunately, I have, and it’s neither pretty nor comforting.
THE FIRST STEP TO victory on the global war terror will be dropping that stupid name “global war on terror.” This is the first war in our history where we’ve declined to even identify who we’re fighting. In the Civil War, the Union didn’t pause to label the Rebs and in World War II we willingly called out the Axis Powers.
But in this war, we resolutely refuse to identify who we’re fighting. Most of the readers of this site know that we’re fighting the followers of radical Islam; they want so badly to spread their own perverse philosophy that they want and need us dead. Most people who have seriously intellectually engaged with the current struggle know this. I don’t think it’s the tiresome braying of CAIR that’s triggered our reticence. I think it’s our own highly refined reluctance to offend that shackles us.
At some point on the road to victory, we’ll figure out how many people there are that we’re actually fighting. They may be numerous and number many multiples more than the members of groups like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah.
When the neo-cons (like me) said that we would be greeted with garlands of roses in Iraq, we meant it. We couldn’t imagine anyone preferring an 8th century theocracy to freedom and liberty. But subsequent events in Iraq and Palestine have had to give any thinking person pause. The people of Palestine democratically opted for a government that promises non-stop war with a much more powerful enemy. Where the people of Iraq stand remains opaque.
We comfort ourselves with the notion that the Iranian government is wildly unpopular with its people and soon they will rise up. The evidence for this remains flimsy; the evidence for the animus that many people of the region have for America and American institutions remains all too clear.
SO HOW WILL THE WAR END? With lots of dead Jihadists. Just like World War II ended with lots of dead Nazis and imperialist troops of Japan. There were so many dead, the rest lost their will to fight on. Only when they realize their destruction is imminent (and accomplished to a great degree) will there be peace.
Until the Jihadists realize they can’t win, they will continue to fight. Every instance of Western weakness succors them. Every U.N. resolution, European cry for diplomacy and academic case for moral equivalency feeds their notion that their victory is inevitable.
Getting to victory will be an ugly thing. Our weapons will kill innocents, just as they did in Nagasaki and Dresden. And we will suffer our own losses. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that America will have to suffer a grievous loss before unshackling its own might. And our first grievous loss will not be our last. Like any global conflagration, this one will be full of horrors, horrors that most refuse to contemplate.
SO WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE? Graham Allison, Joe Nye and other Kennedy School types will tell you that we can talk Radical Islamists out of this whole crazy Jihad thing with just some judicious use of our “soft power.” We can win hearts and minds, they argue, if we just try a little tenderness.
Their argument, however, betrays a spectacular ignorance regarding Jihad philosophy . There’s nothing new going on here, nothing that’s not 14 centuries old. The only difference is that a trillion dollars in petro-dollars has given the forces of Jihad power and reach that even the Prophet never imagined. To think we can jawbone our way out of this is dangerously wishful thinking.
It’s an ugly situation. It’s a miserable reality. But denying it or creating elegant professorial sophistries won’t make it vanish.
We can win and we will win, but doing so will be neither painless, bloodless or easy.
Click here for full article
Posted by Ted Pethick at 5:39 PM
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Monday, August 07, 2006
Ok, enough warnings of doom and gloom, it's time for some humorous (yet serious) perspective on the situation in the Middle East, courtesy of Dennis Miller, and submitted by our friend CornetJim. Dennis is not Jewish, by the way!...T
"A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don't get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need.
Here we go:
The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like "Wiccan," "Palestinian" sounds ancient but is really a modern invention
Before the Israelis won the land in the 1967 war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no "Palestinians."
As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the "Palestinians," weeping for their deep bond with their lost "land" and "nation."
So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word "Palestinian" anymore to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths, until someone points out they're being taped.
Instead, let's call them what they are: "Other Arabs Who Can't Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death."
I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: "Adjacent Jew-Haters." Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing. No, they don't. They could've had their own country any time in the last thirty years, especially two years ago at Camp David but if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks and Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living.
That's no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel.
They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course -- that's where the real fun is -- but mostly they want Israel. Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel - or "The Zionist Entity" as their textbooks call it -- for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they're the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God's Earth, and if you've ever been around God's Earth . . . you know that's really saying something.
It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic about the great history and culture of the Muslim Middle-East. Unless I'm missing something, the Arabs haven't given anything to the world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.
Chew this around & spit it out: 500 million Arabs; 5 million Jews. Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that, if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals..
Really? Wow, what neat news. Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive every Jew into the sea? Oh, that? We were just kidding.
My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the Numbers. Imagine 500 million Jews and 5 million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it . Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not.
Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense. Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Impossible. Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting.
No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.
Mr. Bush, God bless him, is walking a tightrope. I understand that, with vital operations in Iraq and others, it's in our interest, as Americans, to try to stabilize our Arab allies as much as possible, and, after all, that can't be much harder than stabilizing a roomful of super models who've just had their drugs taken away.
However, in any big-picture strategy, there's always a danger of losing moral weight. We've already lost some. After September 11th, our president told us and the world he was going to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them. Beautiful. Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of an Oklahoma City every week (and then every day), start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint.
If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day, we would all very shortly be screaming for the administration to just be done with it and kill everything south of the Mediterranean and east of the Jordan.
Walk in peace! Be happy! Have a wonderful life!
Posted by Ted Pethick at 7:04 PM
Sunday, August 06, 2006
"Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting."
"And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time."...Winston S. Churchill
When I used to read about the 1930s -- the Italian invasion of Abyssinia, the rise of fascism in Italy, Spain, and Germany, the appeasement in France and Britain, the murderous duplicity of the Soviet Union, and the racist Japanese murdering in China -- I never could quite figure out why, during those bleak years, Western Europeans and those in the United States did not speak out and condemn the growing madness, if only to defend the millennia-long promise of Western liberalism.
Of course, the trauma of the Great War was all too fresh, and the utopian hopes for the League of Nations were not yet dashed. The Great Depression made the thought of rearmament seem absurd. The connivances of Stalin with Hitler -- both satanic, yet sometimes in alliance, sometimes not -- could confuse political judgments.
But nevertheless it is still surreal to reread the fantasies of Chamberlain, Daladier, and Pope Pius, or the stump speeches by Charles Lindbergh ("Their [the Jews"] greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government") or Father Coughlin ("Many people are beginning to wonder whom they should fear most -- the Roosevelt-Churchill combination or the Hitler-Mussolini combination.") -- and it is even more baffling to consider that such men ever had any influence.
Not any longer.
Our present generation too is on the brink of moral insanity. That has never been more evident than in the last three weeks, as the West has proven utterly unable to distinguish between an attacked democracy that seeks to strike back at terrorist combatants, and terrorist aggressors who seek to kill civilians.
It is now nearly five years since jihadists from the Arab world left a crater in Manhattan and ignited the Pentagon. Apart from the frontline in Iraq , the United States and NATO have troops battling the Islamic fascists in Afghanistan . European police scramble daily to avoid another London or Madrid train bombing. The French, Dutch, and Danish governments are worried that a sizable number of Muslim immigrants inside their countries are not assimilating, and, more worrisome, are starting to demand that their hosts alter their liberal values to accommodate radical Islam. It is apparently not safe for Australians in Bali, and a Jew alone in any Arab nation would have to be discreet -- and perhaps now in France or Sweden as well. Canadians' past opposition to the Iraq war, and their empathy for the Palestinians, earned no reprieve, if we can believe that Islamists were caught plotting to behead their prime minister. Russians have been blown up by Muslim Chechnyans from Moscow to Beslan. India is routinely attacked by Islamic terrorists. An elected Lebanese minister must keep in mind that a Hezbollah or Syrian terrorist -- not an Israeli bomb -- might kill him if he utters a wrong word. The only mystery here in the United States is which target the jihadists want to destroy first: the Holland Tunnel in New York or the Sears Tower in Chicago .
In nearly all these cases there is a certain sameness: The Koran is quoted as the moral authority of the perpetrators; terrorism is the preferred method of violence; Jews are usually blamed; dozens of rambling complaints are aired, and killers are often considered stateless, at least in the sense that the countries in which they seek shelter or conduct business or find support do not accept culpability for their actions.
Yet the present Western apology to all this is often to deal piecemeal with these perceived Muslim grievances: India , after all, is in Kashmir; Russia is in Chechnya ; America is in Iraq , Canada is in Afghanistan ; Spain was in Iraq (or rather, still is in Al Andalus); or Israel was in Gaza and Lebanon . Therefore we are to believe that "freedom fighters" commit terror for political purposes of "liberation." At the most extreme, some think there is absolutely no pattern to global terrorism, and the mere suggestion that there is constitutes "Islamaphobia."
Here at home, yet another Islamic fanatic conducts an act of al Qaedism in Seattle, and the police worry immediately about the safety of the mosques from which such hatred has in the past often emanated -- as if the problem of a Jew being murdered at the Los Angeles airport or a Seattle civic center arises from not protecting mosques, rather than protecting us from what sometimes goes on in mosques.
But then the world is awash with a vicious hatred that we have not seen in our generation: the most lavish film in Turkish history, "Valley of the Wolves," depicts a Jewish-American harvesting organs at Abu Ghraib in order to sell them; the Palestinian state press regularly denigrates the race and appearance of the American Secretary of State; the U.N. secretary general calls a mistaken Israeli strike on a U.N. post "deliberate," without a word that his own Blue Helmets have for years watched Hezbollah arm rockets in violation of U.N. resolutions, and Hezbollah's terrorists routinely hide behind U.N. peacekeepers to ensure impunity while launching missiles.
If you think I exaggerate the bankruptcy of the West or only refer to the serial ravings on the Middle East of Pat Buchanan or Jimmy Carter, consider some of the most recent comments from Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah about Israel: "When the people of this temporary country lose their confidence in their legendary army, the end of this entity will begin [emphasis added]."Then compare Nasrallah's remarks about the U.S: "To President Bush, Prime Minister Olmert and every other tyrannical aggressor. I want to invite you to do what you want, practice your hostilities. By God, you will not succeed in erasing our memory, our presence or eradicating our strong belief. Your masses will soon waste away, and your days are numbered [emphasis added]."
And finally examine here at home reaction to Hezbollah -- which has butchered Americans in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia -- from a prominent Democratic Congressman, John Dingell: "I don't take sides for or against Hezbollah." And isn't that the point, after all: the amoral Westerner cannot exercise moral judgment because he no longer has any?
An Arab rights group, between denunciations of Israel and America , is suing its alma mater the United States for not evacuating Arab-Americans quickly enough from Lebanon , despite government warnings of the dangers of going there, and the explicit tactics of Hezbollah, in the manner of Saddam Hussein, of using civilians as human shields in the war it started against Israel .
Demonstrators on behalf of Hezbollah inside the United States -- does anyone remember our 241 Marines slaughtered by these cowardly terrorists? -- routinely carry placards with the Star of David juxtaposed with Swastikas, as voices praise terrorist killers. Few Arab-American groups these past few days have publicly explained that the sort of violence, tyranny, and lawlessness of the Middle East that drove them to the shores of a compassionate and successful America is best epitomized by the primordial creed of Hezbollah.
There is no need to mention Europe , an entire continent now returning to the cowardice of the 1930s. Its cartoonists are terrified of offending Muslim sensibilities, so they now portray the Jews as Nazis, secure that no offended Israeli terrorist might chop off their heads. The French foreign minister meets with the Iranians to show solidarity with the terrorists who promise to wipe Israel off the map ("In the region there is of course a country such as Iran -- a great country, a great people and a great civilization which is respected and which plays a stabilizing role in the region") -- and manages to outdo Chamberlain at Munich. One wonders only whether the prime catalyst for such French debasement is worry over oil, terrorists, nukes, unassimilated Arab minorities at home, or the old Gallic Jew-hatred.
It is now a cliche to rant about the spread of postmodernism, cultural relativism, utopian pacifism, and moral equivalence among the affluent and leisured societies of the West. But we are seeing the insidious wages of such pernicious theories as they filter down from our media, universities, and government -- and never more so than in the general public's nonchalance since Hezbollah attacked Israel .
These past few days the inability of millions of Westerners, both here and in Europe, to condemn fascist terrorists who start wars, spread racial hatred, and despise Western democracies is the real story, not the "quarter-ton" Israeli bombs that inadvertently hit civilians in Lebanon who live among rocket launchers that send missiles into Israeli cities and suburbs.
Yes, perhaps Israel should have hit more quickly, harder, and on the ground; yes, it has run an inept public relations campaign; yes, to these criticisms and more. But what is lost sight of is the central moral issue of our times: a humane democracy mired in an asymmetrical war is trying to protect itself against terrorists from the 7th century, while under the scrutiny of a corrupt world that needs oil, is largely anti-Semitic and deathly afraid of Islamic terrorists, and finds psychic enjoyment in seeing successful Western societies under duress.
In short, if we wish to learn what was going on in Europe in 1938, just look around.
Click here for full article
Saturday, August 05, 2006
A needed History lesson my friends. They don't want "land for peace", or any such pap, they want the restoration of the Caliphate, from Spain to Vienna. They want fanatical Islamic law imposed on young American women. Don't take mine, or the author's, word: read what they say and write every day. Do a search for the "cult of the assassin" and then read up on the history of the wahhabist movement, which had to be violently repressed every 200 years or so, by slaughtering every living man, woman, and child, in the areas they populated. This was done at the behest of the Caliphate, not by (gasp!) conservative Republicans!...T
There are pivotal moments in history, events in which the course of human affairs is altered forever. One such moment occurred along the Danube River in 1683. On that fateful morning in the later 17th century, the fate of Western Civilization was sealed by the determination of those brave defenders who stood their ground against the might of the Ottoman Turks.
We face a similar crisis today, and the fate of our civilization likewise hangs in the balance. How we handle the current situation in Middle East in the next few months or years may well decide our future for good.
Three centuries ago, the Turks were in their final push against Christendom, the last expansionistic act by the spear of Islam in their jihad to conquer Europe for Allah. It was second big push for the jihad against Christendom
The Saracens had fallen 900 years before to defeat by the Franks under Charles Martel in 732, and had been confined to the Iberian Peninsula until 1492 when their last outpost at Granada fell to Aragon and Castille. In the East the Turks had fought to retake and hold Palestine during the Crusades, and, despite the brief establishment of a Christian Kingdom in that land, had managed to force the Crusaders back into Europe, but had not been successful in penetrating into their heartland.
Constantinople proved far more difficult to conquer than the Muslims had expected, and did not fall until 1453. The great expansion of Islam had obviously lost steam, and the final battle would be fought by a ragtag group of defenders: Lithuanians, Hapsburgs, Saxons, Bavarians, and Poles against Grand Vizier Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha and the might of the Ottoman army. Vienna would be the decisive battle.
The Battle of Vienna ended in defeat for the Muslims, and began the long slide by Islam into near irrelevance, as far as the Europeans cared. The battle opened after a 2 month siege of the Holy Roman Empire's capital city on September 12, 1683 in the pre-dawn hours. It ended that era of Islamic expansion with a defeat at the hands of Jan Ill Sobieski and Charles V of Lorraine.
When the World Trade Center was destroyed in 2001, nobody in the news media seemed to understand the choice of September 11 by al Qaeda as their attack date. It has often been suggested that this was merely a random date chosen for convenience. I beg to differ. It seems clear to me that bin Laden was sending America and the West a message. Al Qaeda had an old score to settle, and was putting us on notice that the era of expansion is resuming after the interruption of Vienna. Night fell on September 12 for the soldiers of Allah, and so our towers fell on the preceding morning three hundred and eighteen years later.
It is important to understand this history in order to understand what we are up against; our enemy has a long memory and seeks to avenge this defeat of its ancestors. The radical Islamists are not upset about our presence in their lands, nor are they upset about Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, nor about our "exploitation" of their oil fields, nor our invasion of Iraq. They are taking a much longer view, a view with vengeance in mind! Vengeance for Tours, vengeance for Granada, vengeance for Vienna. They want to reinvigorate Islam, return to the days of pride and victory and submission by their foes. They want to establish the Caliphate and place the entire world under Sharia law. If we in America fail to understand this, we have failed to understand our enemy.
The Islamic world would have remained a backwater had it not been for a couple of fortuitous occurrences: the discovery of massive amounts of oil under the desert sands and the rise and fall of Soviet Communism. Oil enriched the medieval sheiks and granted them enormous economic power over the West, and the struggle between first Fascism and then Marxism and America lead to continual entanglement in the region by the Great Powers, who would fight by proxy through Israel and the Islamic world. The establishment of Israel was, of course, the genesis of this phase of the Western/Islamic war. It really had nothing to do with Arabs who now call themselves Palestinians (who were few and far between at that time) and everything to do with the Crusades. This was, to many Muslims, a new Crusader kingdom established, this time with Jews instead of Christians. Islam was not going to lose its hard-won territory, and so the Arabs took immediate steps to drive Israel into the sea.
That the Islamic World would be thrashed by Israel every time it attacked simply made the Arabs angrier. Israel could never finish the job for fear of conflict between the U.S.S.R., which backed the Arabs, and America. They did what those who cannot win wars by direct military engagement often do: they took up guerilla warfare.
Terrorism is a new concept in name only. Islam has utilized terror to advance the spread of submission. Consider these passages:
Ishaq: 326 ``If you come upon them, deal so forcibly as to terrify those who would follow, that they may be warned. Make a severe example of them by terrorizing Allah's enemies.``
Quran 8:12 ``I shall terrorize the infidels. So wound their bodies and incapacitate them because they oppose Allah and His Apostle.``
Bukhari: V4B52N220 ``Allah's Apostle said, I have been made victorious with terror.``
And so, with blessing from the Quran, the dirty war began, the war in which innocents and children would be killed, in which the enemy would hide behind women and utilize their enemy`s own virtues against them.
The Terror War makes sense from a military standpoint, since Islam cannot hope to fight on an equal footing against the awesome power of Western military might. In short, our weapons have become so powerful that it would be suicide to go against us on the battlefield, and the jihadis understand this.
Considering that the Byzantines held the Turks off for a very long time with one technological monopoly, the incendiary Greek Fire. Jihadis today grasp the folly of fighting against modern military weapons headlong. Greek Fire may as well be firecrackers next to what we can unleash on them now.
The fall of the Soviet Empire left a power vacuum, and Islam sees this moment as their opportunity to return to a pre-912 mentality and resume their rightful place in history. (The Chinese may beg to differ, but that fight can wait a bit yet.)
They know they are reproducing faster than their rivals, they know their societies are less decadent, they needn`t worry about political opposition in their top-down societal structures, they have expendable soldiers and, since their religion places less emphasis on the value of life, they can convince parents to strap bombs on their children. The time is ripe for World Jihad, and we are indeed, as Newt Gingrich has deemed it, in a World War.
But too many in America (most notably on the right, Pat Buchanan) are echoing the European sentiment, arguing that the war in Lebanon isn`t our fight. Really? If this isn`t our business, then was it Poland`s business to defend Vienna? Did Lithuania have any right to send troops to fight the Ottomans? The Turks hadn`t invaded Poland or Lithuania, after all, and troubles between the Hapsburgs and the Ottomans weren`t any of their business! By this specious reasoning of Buchannan and company, Vienna would have fallen to Islam.
The idea that this is not our fight can be applied to many of the wars America has fought. why did Virginia help defend Massachusettsetts from the British? It wasn`t their fight! Why did the U.S. defend Texas against Mexican encroachment? It wasn`t their fight! Why fight Spain, Imperial Germany, Nazi Germany, North Korea, North Vietnam, Iraq? In none of these cases did any of our foes invade, or threaten to invade, the United States of America, yet we went to war. Why? Because we realized that a threat on a foreign shore will not remain on that foreign shore forever, and that we could not ignore the growing danger. We are not required to await an invasion to act militarily, and thank God neither the Poles nor Lithuanians did so at Vienna. History would appear very differently if we had followed the advice of a Buchanan.
The nature of warfare has itself changed, and this means that the concept of an invasion has likewise changed. An Islamic army is not going to march triumphantly into Washington. Our jihadi friends have been invading our soil in their own way. They hit us from within in the 1993 World Trade Center attack, and the 911 attacks were not executed by operatives from outside of the country, but from terror cells which had infiltrated the United States. Since 911 we have been catching jihadis on our soil. This constitutes a de-facto invasion of our sovereign territory. In short, we already have been invaded!
Did the fact that Benjamin Church or Benedict Arnold were not a part of an invading army make them any less enemies to the Patriots during the Revolution? They worked for a foreign enemy, which made them part of the invasion. Was not Sherman an invader of Georgia, despite the fact that Georgia was part of the United States just prior to the Civil War? To make the case that the enemy must march in from overseas to make them an enemy is just plain silly. The military oath of office is to defend the Constituion against all threats foreign and domestic; Radical Islam is a threat that`s both foreign and domestic, and it`s ultimate aim is to replace the Constitution with Sharia Law.
Of course, Iran already hgas invaded our sovereign territory, and we failed to act against them. The seizure of the American embassy was an act of war, since embassies are considered sovereign territory of the nation they represent.
The realities of modern warfare have changed, and we have to accept this fact. Given the increasing destructiveness of weaponry which can be used against us, and the decrease in travel time, it is no longer feasible to sit back and wait for an enemy to come. A single determined man with backing from a terrorist organization can potentially wipe out much of a city! He can leave a friendly host country (such as Syria or Iran) and destroy New York or unleash deadly bio-weapons within 24 hours!
Time is clearly not on our side. The longer we wait to deal with the problems of terrorism and state sponsorship, the greater the danger grows. Our enemy continues to develop its technological capabilities, and the longer we wait the stronger they will be. We have to act far more quickly and effectively today.
We are at the critical moment in history. We are now the defenders with our backs to the walls of Vienna! We are the soldiers upon whom everything depends! Our courage or failure will set the course for the rest of human history; we have to act! We have the power to do what is necessary, we have the means, but do we have the will?
Click here for full article
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Thank God for Israel...(no, I'm not having delusions of Charleton Heston). Here is the best strategic analysis of what is happening in Lebanon, Israel, and yes, Syria, that I have seen. And I hope, unlike the Author, that he is wrong about Syria's choice. That would mean total victory...T
The Clock Ticks for Hizballah as Assad Loves His Palaces More Than Nasrallah
Amid the relentless images of the dead extracted from a building in Qana, amid the fiery anger those images generated – from Lebanon to Europe and from Egypt to Indonesia - and amid deafening global cries for an immediate ceasefire, a curiously contradictory picture is emerging from the battlefields of Hizballistan: Hizballah is on the ropes, running short of resources and desperate for a ceasefire for its very survival.
While the world has held itself aghast at ‘Israeli aggression,’ Israel has been relentless in pursuit of what has been described as the fiercest Arab fighting force in the region. Undeterred by global outcry as over two thousand rockets and missiles have rained down upon Israeli cities with relatively little note, Israel has made good on their Prime Minister’s declaration of “Enough.”
Israel is providing a lesson on fighting the war on terror.
The mighty Hizballah, rightfully feared as the most lethally armed terrorist organization on the planet, is now on the ropes. Only their lifeline from Syria sustains them in the midst of devastating strikes from the Israeli Air Force. From the hundreds of rocket launchers in southern Lebanon to weapons depots and infrastructure all the way up the Bekaa Valley in Baalbek, Hizballah’s operational headquarters city, the IAF has exacted a heavy toll from Hizballah since the attack in Israel in which Hizballah terrorists killed eight IDF soldiers and abducted the two surviving.
In fact, in a radio interview with John Batchelor, retired Air Force General Tom McInerney detailed a debriefing with a senior IDF official in which he detailed that Israel believes their airstrikes have eliminated 70% of the long-range Iranian ZelZal missile systems in Hizballah hands. McInerney noted that over 1000 Hizballah infrastructure targets have been struck by Israeli air power up and down the Bekaa Valley (once called the most heavily defended air corridor on the planet) and throughout Southern Lebanon, including weapons storage facilities, command and control centers, vehicle repair facilities and 18 Hizballah financial centers which serve in the place of banks.
While sustaining these enormous losses, Hizballah is having difficulty re-supplying across the Syrian border. Convoys from Syria are struck by F-16’s and drones once they are within Lebanese borders, often with the massive secondary explosions that indicate arms shipments. The Israelis believe that Bashar Assad is “directly involved” in the attempts to smuggle rockets, other arms and ammunition to Hizballah, and the release of the results of ‘defense establishment’ intelligence is Israel’s way of sending a message to the Syrian president.
In what is likely to be perceived as a potential escalation, Bashar Assad told the Syrian Army to raise its readiness and they have reportedly been sent from their barracks and posts to the field. But this is very unlikely any Syrian attempt to re-enter Lebanon to come to the aid of Hizballah, as the IDF can dispatch of the Syrian military forces with far greater ease than they can Hizballah. Syria wants nothing of Israel’s IDF/IAF war machine. That’s what Hizballah is for.
As Assad senses Israel’s growing frustration over the doomed yet constant shipments of arms into Hizballah, the move is most likely to get them spread out in a reflexive and defensive maneuver. To leave them in their barracks is to create a ‘target rich environment’ under each roof should Israel decide to send a less subtle message to Assad.
Sure, Assad may have sounded tough when he said, “The barbaric war of annihilation the Israeli aggression is waging on our people in Lebanon and Palestine is increasing in ferocity,” but that’s what dictators and state sponsors of terrorism are supposed to say. What likely was in his mind as his message was typed for distribution was far more fearful than fearsome. As they are for Iran, Hizballah is Syria’s front-line Special Forces. Behind them, it gets mighty thin mighty fast.
Curiously, Israel also said that, according to their intelligence, Hizballah is not allowed to fire Iranian missiles without Iranian permission and that few have been fired. The most notable was the C-802 Silkworms that put an Israeli frigate out of commission and sunk an Egyptian transport ship. But, after the Hizballah-manned Lebanese Army ground radars were eliminated in short order, the C-802’s have been dormant.
Israel’s intelligence lets out what it wants to let out (fact or fiction) for specific design. So what is the design here? It’s simple. Israel is intent on putting it’s boot squarely on Hizballah’s throat, once and for all, and allowing both Iran and Syria to stay clear.
Hizballah is Iran’s ground force against Israel. Iran has no other offensive capabilities in the Levant aside from missiles launched from their own borders that will likely get shot out of the air. After Hizballah, they’re out of options at the moment. Israel knows this and is giving Iran a face-saving way to quietly back out. After all, Iran never ‘gave permission’ for Hizballah to fire their weapons. Israel is saying, “Take your 60 recently sent jihadists back and go home.” If Iran ignores this, there really is little they can do in any event, as the logistical conduit utilized from Syria is increasingly being collapsed under the weight of Israeli air power.
But Hizballah is also Syria’s principle ground force against Israel. Syria’s shallow army is the one force aside from Hizballah that can muster a fight within the battlespace. It would be a short fight at that. But in any event, for Syria, Israel hands a different message without a face-saving option. By declaring the Assad is ‘directly invovled,’ Israel is warning him, ‘“We know what you’re doing and we hold you personally responsible.”
Israel does not need to roll tanks on Damascus or even drop a few 2000-pounders on military installations. They simply need to convey that it’s just as easy to bank east from Baalbek as it is to bank west. Leave the option to Assad. He likes his palaces. He’ll make the right self-preserving choice.
And with that, the supply lines are cut off, leaving Hizballah alone with their pride and their banter, backing northward in a battered creep up the Bekaa Valley. It is an unpleasant feeling when your eyes are feeding your brain the images of where you’ve been rather than where you’re going…especially in a fight.
So, while the Iranians, the Syrians, the Lebanese, Hizballah and seemingly the entire world demands a ceasefire, Israel knows that a ceasefire is nothing more than a quiet pause for re-arming Hizballah. They’ll have none of it.
Israel’s inner security cabinet just authorized the ‘widening of the ground offensive.’ Take that in context with the above messages to all parties involved. While the IDF may not roll Merkavas all the way up to Baalbek, the Hizballah that emerges from a fight they could not finish will be denied southern Lebanese territory and a shell of its former self, requiring years - and much treasure - to reconsitute.
Assad loves his palaces and Iran is trapped on the wrong side of the Persian Gulf.
The clock ticks for Hizballah.
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