February 15, 2005

Smash Nazimarching

Posted by Mary Madigan

I’ve often wondered – whatever happened to the anti-fascist, anti-authoritarian left?

They’re in the former GDR, and they call themselves the "Antifa", or Anti-fascists.

From an Antifa post, (Feb. 2003) Why I won’t be at the Peace March

Almost everybody seems to agree: The left and the neo-nazis, the whole of Germany and the Islamic world: A group of evil, callous, cynical powermongers, obsessed with ruling the world have nothing else on their mind than bombing innocent civilians and sacrificing their own youth in their quest for oil and wold domination. For this they use their propaganda machinery, fake and forge and lie. Against this all the decent people(s) of the world should stand up and mobilise against the ‚tyrants’. We’ll all get another opportunity to show our strength as a civil society on february 15 – and march alongside Hamas sympathisers shouting ‚Jews to the gas!’.

Like this we can serve the imperialist ambitions of EU-Germany trying to position itself directly against the US in its slow but steady process of becoming one of the big players again. Germany who has the most investments in Iraq, whose chemical companies supplied Iraq with raw materials. For poison gas that Iraq intends to use against Israel.

It’s true that the US/UK alliance have come up with insufficient proof for some of the claims they’ve made. Nevertheless it should be clear to any half-intelligent person that they are probably right in most of their claims, and that they are certainly right in the assessment of the Ba’th party regime as a fascist dictatorship where human life and basic liberties are worthless or non-existent…

…Of course pacifists will logically prefer fascism to war.

But neither the Islamists, nor the neo-nazis, nor the Germans, nor the ‚left’ who are against this war are usually pacifists (with the exception of a segment of the left, and some christians). So we have to assume that they follow another agenda. An agenda that in this context means that they don’t give a f-ck about the victims of a fascist dictatorship and only care about positioning themslves against America.

I found the most unbiased description of the Antifa group in this quirky academic study of "Collective German Masculinities" in post-GDR Germany.
A self-described "cosmopolitan communist," Fischer is an activist and publicist for the so-called "Anti-Deutsch," or radically anti-German , pro-Israeli, pro-American position, a minority view among the range of mostly anti-American radical left subject positions in Germany. He had rejected the traditional pro-Palestinian view of the German left (and of the GDR) by adopting a historical narrative of the postwar German state as incurably anti-semitic and potentially (again) genocidal. This is a position that defends the U.S. as the primary ally to Israel, views the September 11th attacks as essentially anti-semitic, accepts the U.S. war in Iraq as necessary to eliminate the "fascist dictator" Saddam Hussein, and believes that "communism can come only after full bourgeois freedom (simply: liberalism) has been spread worldwide."[xii]
In the Antifa universe, Lisa Simpson rules.

I’d never heard of this group until yesterday, when I was reading about the Neo-Nazi rally that disrupted the Dresden memorial: *

From the Guardian: "Addressing the rally, the [neo-Nazi National Party of Germany]’s leader in the Saxon parliament, Holger Apfel, launched an attack on what he called the "gangster politics of the British and Americans".

He said: "They have left a trail of blood from the past to the present, via Dresden, Korea, Vietnam, Baghdad and - tomorrow possibly - Tehran. Terror and war have a name. And that name is the United States of America."

The so-called anti-war, anti-terror Neo-Nazis were confronted by anti-Fascist marchers, who waved US and Israeli flags and carried white roses.

Harry's Place commenter Frank said that the anti-Fascist marchers must be Anti-Deutsch. [Antifa] According to Anti-Deutsch for Beginners, this group's primary interest is to prevent renewed imperialist ambitions in Germany.

It cannot be completely excluded that considerable resistance against renewed super power ambitions will develop in Germany sometime; however the experiences of the anti-war movement during the war in Kosovo and later don't justify such a hope. At present it is obvious that a German peace movement will be formed particularly against the imperialistic competitor USA, not against present and future German wars.
For now, they seems to be more interested in fighting local German Nazis, who are gaining power in the government. Someone’s got to do it, and the 'anti-war' Left has no interest.

In fact, I’m sure these liberal, anti-totalitarian Leftists confuse the standard Left to no end. And for that, they deserve our thanks.

* Most links thanks to the commenters at Harry's Place.

Posted by Mary Madigan at February 15, 2005 08:43 AM

Comments

I’ve often wondered – whatever happened to the anti-fascist, anti-authoritarian left?

Hello? Right here.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 15, 2005 09:28 AM

Here, too. And you're linking to one such site too (Harry's Place).

I’ve often wondered – whatever happened to the anti-fascist, anti-authoritarian left?

Under what conditions would you call someone part of that left? Do they have to support the Iraq war or is it more broad than that? In any case here in the Netherlands I see plenty of this. Our labour party supported our presence in post-war Iraq, the socialists (9/150 seats in parliament right now) were some of the first to start about muslim integration, and the greens publish posters showing kissing gay muslims to support the repressed muslim homosexuals.

Posted by: Frank Quist at February 15, 2005 09:43 AM

http://geocities.com/jonjayray/musso.html

Posted by: ugly truth at February 15, 2005 09:50 AM

Fascist/Leftist confusion is common. The ideological "line" -- with the left at one extreme and fascism at the other -- is actually a circle, where both extremes joint at the bottom.

The most astonishing example to me is the "National Bolshevik" Party of Russia. Go to this site: http://www.bolsheviks.org/MAIN/MAIN.htm, and see what I mean. Note the melding of Communist and Nazi symbolism.

These folks have been in the news before, replete with pictures of red armbands and flags. Why has no one commented on them before?

Posted by: Roderick Reilly at February 15, 2005 09:58 AM

Nice to see some on the 'left'who have an 'historical'perspective on current reality.Sort of endearing that they still keep alive the 'true'communist ideal,but based upon their other beliefs,I guess their 'ideal' state would be not unbearable.
As to the question of what separates the 'good'left from the 'bad'left,the answer is,as you guessed:

IRAQ and the WOT .

Posted by: dougf at February 15, 2005 10:01 AM

Checking the growth of the neonazis' vile ideology would be easier if someone BESIDES them had the courage to state the truth: that the allied bombing of dresden and other german cities in 1945 WAS a war crime. Hannah Arendt was someone who cared about the human rights for all peoples, but today the director of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarian Research sneers at "the myth of an innocent Dresden" and points out that much of the population supported Hitler, as if this justifies annhilating elementary school kids two and a half months before VE day and many months after allies victory became a foregone conclusion.

A big risk in fighting evil is the temptation to commit evil acts oneself. This is like some sort of universal rule. In the instance of World War II, the allies were fighting on the right side, but they did some inhumane and unnecessary things in that effort. Anti-nazis ought to acknowledge this.

Posted by: markus rose at February 15, 2005 10:13 AM

To be in the 'good' left, must you support the Iraq war, or just not root for US defeat there? Would you be in the 'bad' left if you were for the War on Terror but against the current war in Iraq? Is there any vision you'd tolerate on the War on Terror which does not involve the liberation of Iraq? Does it go any further? Iran?

Is there any allowance for differences between a right-wing vision of the WoT and a left-wing vision?

Posted by: Frank Quist at February 15, 2005 10:18 AM

"I’ve often wondered – whatever happened to the anti-fascist, anti-authoritarian left?"

What a strange little internal life you must have.

Posted by: Michael Farris at February 15, 2005 10:24 AM

One more thing: The Antifa group is interesting. They sort of remind me of the people at the "race traitor" website -- i.e. radical whites who want to "abolish whiteness." Perhaps they also support the implementation of Morgenthau's vengeful post-war "pastoralization" plan for Germany -- basically forcing it to revert to a preindustrial nation.

I think that Germany has done pretty well for itself and for the rest of the world over the past half century. I also can't help but think that if the neonazis would only jettison their antisemitism, a lot of frequent contributors to these posts would likely be overjoyed to make common cause with them, based on their hatred of Islam, and in particular of Muslims in Europe.

Posted by: at February 15, 2005 10:38 AM

Do they have to support the Iraq war

Yes. As Mr. Totten has repeatedly stated, the only reason, in his mind, not to support the Iraq war is a tolerance for (or alliance with) authoritarian states, specifically fascism.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 15, 2005 10:38 AM

preceding post was mine

Posted by: markus rose at February 15, 2005 10:39 AM

I don't agree that to be a proper leftie, one had to support the Iraq war (as I have since, weirdly enough, Fallujah April 2004), but watch who protests with you. I don't want Hitler worshippers beside me whether I support the current Iraq war or not.
I also have a question: when did the US change from being "liberators" to "occupiers"? Do we have an official date on that?

Posted by: Rachel at February 15, 2005 11:56 AM

I also have a question: when did the US change from being "liberators" to "occupiers"? Do we have an official date on that?

That would be as soon as the new Iraqi government asks the US and British military forces be withdrawn, and they aren't.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 15, 2005 12:11 PM

Hannah Arendt said this about Adolph Eichmann before his execution:

"Just as you supported and carried out a policy of not wanting to share the earth with the Jewish people and the people of a number of other nations, we find that no one, no member of the human race, can be expected to want to share the earth with you."

Hannah Arendt wasn’t very tolerant of intolerance, was she? She’d probably be called ‘Islamophobic’ today.

The sad group that currently passes as the ‘anti-war’ Left, spends most of its time redefining things. For them, fascism & nationalism is redefined as "America". Therefore, when they fight American liberal democracy, they can pretend to be anti-fascist.

Antifa spends a lot of time fighting neo-Nazis, but they also, very effectively, expose the lies (excuse me, redefinitions) of the anti-war Left. Of course, nobody believes those lies but the anti-war left. They’ve always been good at lying to themselves. Hopeully, they'll lose the luxury of denial.

Markus, Kimmet, M. Farris – does anyone know why the anti-war Left in Germany doesn’t join the anti-Nazi protests?

Maybe they think that "a big risk in fighting evil is the temptation to commit evil acts oneself". So they never fight evil. Anti-Americanism explained.

Posted by: mary at February 15, 2005 12:22 PM

"Checking the growth of the neonazis' vile ideology...."

What are you Markus - a neonaziophobe?

Posted by: Caroline at February 15, 2005 12:36 PM

"That would be as soon as the new Iraqi government asks the US and British military forces be withdrawn, and they aren't."--DPU

Excellent answer.

Posted by: dougf at February 15, 2005 12:50 PM

Frank Q. - I’m a big fan of Harry’s Place, but I never thought of them as Leftists. They seem more like pro-union, social democrat Liberals. Antifa members are Marxists, utopians, anarchists - total commies. And they’re anti-fascists, which wasn’t odd half a century ago, but it is very rare now.

Posted by: mary at February 15, 2005 12:52 PM

mary asks an interesting question, "why the anti-war Left in Germany doesn’t join the anti-Nazi protests?"

Let me respond to that question with a series of questions of my own.

These questions will require you to go back to the demonstrations before the Iraq war started. The one run by ANSWER, remember?

Let's flash back about a year. I remember the right asking, over and over "Why don't the reasonable lefties stop marching with the evil ANSWER."

Remember?

Ahh, you do. Good. So, then you condemned the left for marching with ANSWER, because that implied that they were evil Communists. I think the response was something like "We're marching about the war, not supporting a bunch of non-existant Communists."

But now you condemn the left for not marching with some tiny little German Anti-Nazi group, which, by the way, supports the war. Oh, and the march? It's about supporting the war. And fighting nazis. But don't worry about that war support, they're really just fighting non-existant nazis.

In phase 1, you damn people for the company they march with, but in phase 2, you promise us that we're not damned by the company that we march with.

Which way is it? If we march with folks A about being against the war, we're non-existant Communists, but if we march with folks B about opposing non-existant Nazis, we're not supporting the war.

Posted by: FC at February 15, 2005 01:14 PM

mary -- I don't know about what is going on in europe, but i recall observing the neonazi National Alliance's anti-Israel rally on the grounds of the u.s. capitol, summer 2002. You had two groups of counterdemonstrators: an ultraleft group, which contained anti-Nazi AND pro-Palestinian signs, and a strictly anti-Nazi group. The ultraleftists were by far the louder group.

Posted by: markus rose at February 15, 2005 01:16 PM

Wow, your last post makes the compare-contrast even more clear.

If we marched with Communists then, we were Communists, even if we were marching about War.

If we march with Communists now, we're not communists.

Posted by: FC at February 15, 2005 01:17 PM

DPU is correct. Once the Iraqi gov't asks the US and UK to leave, and they don't, then its most definitely occupation. And I will be among the first to openly denounce it.

Mary, you are correct about Antifa being full of communists, anarchists, etc. However, they seem to have to unique elements to them. It seems that they are motivated by what I could almost call anti-Germanism. In many ways they remind me of self-loathing Americans. In that sense I can't help but think that they may have their opinions based opposition to their fellow Germans as much as principle. That just doesn't ring right to me.

Posted by: FH at February 15, 2005 01:20 PM

I’m a big fan of Harry’s Place, but I never thought of them as Leftists. They seem more like pro-union, social democrat Liberals.

Social Democrats are very much leftists, Mary, and not liberals.

Antifa members are Marxists, utopians, anarchists - total commies.

And anarchists are not communists.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 15, 2005 01:31 PM

Maybe we should have not rebuilt Germany after the war?

Posted by: unitrhaxer at February 15, 2005 01:34 PM

Maybe we should have not rebuilt Germany after the war?

Not rebuilding Germany after WWI was a contributing factor to WWII.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 15, 2005 01:43 PM

Caroline -- neo-nazism IS vile, and hateful, and wrong. Race-mixing is not intrinsically evil, Jews are not innately pernicious, and if whites are so fucking brilliant how come they've spent most of their history killing each other? Yada, yada, yada. Nevertheless, I do find some neonazis, particularly intellectually pretentious ones, to be somewhat fascinating.

On Islam, I wanted to urge you to check out Stephen Schwartz' recent article on Sufism in the Weekly Standard (not online unfortunately). I think you overstress a literall reading of the Koran and Hadith: just as all of the vile things written in the Bible regarding old Jewish law (and I hope you agree there are quite a few) have not precluded a Buber or a Merton from emerging in the Judeo-Christian mileau, so it is possible for a progressive Islam to exist admidst all of the questionable or unsavory stuff written in the Koran.

Posted by: markus rose at February 15, 2005 01:46 PM

A big risk in fighting evil is the temptation to commit evil acts oneself.

Markus,

in an existential struggle, it becomes more than a risk, it becomes a necessity. Go ahead, react from the gut. But let me put it in simple terms--sometimes evil acts are privileged. You will see that principle enshrined in just about any legal/moral code on the planet.

Under the law (and I'm studying for the bar right now. I take it next Tuesday, but I'm f--king around with you guys instead), an act that is criminal in one instance can be privileged in the next (i.e., under self-defense). Killing is evil, unless it's privileged.

Total War is criminal and evil when it's aggressive. Yet when it's defensive (or to defeat the initial aggressor), total war is privileged and absolutely required. Dresden was chosen not only because it was one of the last remaining large cities, but because it was a rail and road center lying just behind the German Eastern Front. The allies knew that the German armor and reinforcements were coming through Dresden on their way to the fighting just to the east. Also, the allies had to keep their bombing targets spread out and diverse to prevent the Germans from concentrating their defenses on only the most strategic targets. Dresden was one of the many victims of that strategy.

The bombing of Dresden was tragic, yet necessary.

Posted by: Carlos at February 15, 2005 01:59 PM

Also, the allies had to keep their bombing targets spread out and diverse to prevent the Germans from concentrating their defenses on only the most strategic targets. Dresden was one of the many victims of that strategy.

And as the war was clearly ending, and the Soviets looked like a war machine that just might keep going after encountering the western allied forces, it was also necessary to demonstate to them what western air power could do to an enemy. Same thing with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to an extent.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 15, 2005 02:23 PM

Double-plus,

that may very well be true. I've always believed that was the case with Hiroshima. A lot of times these decisions can be justified on multiple levels. The ruskies had finished off the Germans and were quickly moving towards Japan. Truman wanted to prevent that.

Posted by: Carlos at February 15, 2005 02:26 PM

Carlos -- this isn't the Weekly Standard or the National review. If you choose to say "fuck" in a a sentence you can spell it out.

What you wrote is interesting and provocative.

But not all military actions performed by a country waging "total war" are justifiable, hense privileged. There has to be a military reason for them.

I assume you agree with me that the alleged support of a plurality of Dresden's citizens for the Nazi agenda is not a reasonable justification for wiping everyone out. Also, the size of the city which you mention ought to make no difference. A massive amount of civilian casualites would have no effect on Hitler's insistence on fighting to the end. In fact, if anything, it would stiffen the resolve of the German people. The only possible justification would be its status as "a rail and road center lying just behind the German Eastern Front."

I'll have to check into that.

Posted by: markus rose at February 15, 2005 02:38 PM

Carlos -- and maybe you could make an attempt to codify just when prohibitions against targeting civilians are justified in being ignored.

Would you, for instance, support a preemptive nuclear attack against Tehran and Pyongyang, and other population centers in Iran or North Korea, in order to avoid a US invasion of those countries that would be likely to cost tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of American lives? If not, why?

Posted by: markus rose at February 15, 2005 02:46 PM

Markus,

Here's a quick codification. A preemptive strike has to be justified on three grounds:

1) our certainty about the enemy's impending attack, AND
2) the level of damage to us that would result from the enemy attack, AND
3) our preemptive strike would prevent the enemy attack.

To preemptively strike with nukes would require the highest level of certainty of impending attack, and the damage to us by the enemy attack would have to be catastrophic, and that by nuking them we can prevent it.

That would justify it morally in my mind.

Posted by: Carlos at February 15, 2005 02:58 PM

"non-existant nazis."

If only. Visiting East Berlin around the time of fall of the wall, I stumbled into a neo-nazi rally. The most shocking element was the number of children in attendance. This is an evil that will be with us a while yet, if not longer.

I wonder how big an effect the late 19th century mass migration of immigrants to the US had on the
character of the German (European?) volk? I'd imagine the folks with the gumption to come all this way made up a decent share of the most progressive and non-comformist elements of the society. Perhaps it was inevitable that those who were left behind acted as they did.

Such a cultural lobotomy can't be healthy. I'm sure glad we ended up with the Carloses and Markuses and even the odd NeoDude.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at February 15, 2005 02:58 PM

carlos -- i mentioned preemption, and so your reply focused on that.

I should have framed my questions along the lines of "in the course of a justified Total War, if the intentional targeting of civilians is believed to permit the achievement of one's military objective with fewer military casualties on one's own side, is such civilian targeting morally permissable?

I would say no, unless the lives likely to be saved among our forces are numerically greater than the number of opposing civilians likely to be slaughtered.

You can argue that more than 175,000 of our troops would have died in an invasion of Japan had we not dropped the a=-bombs. I don't think you can say that firebombing Dresden saved the same or more Allied lives.

Posted by: markus rose at February 15, 2005 03:15 PM

Let's be clear about what the German agenda is wrt Dresden, paint themselves the innocent victims instead of the initiators of WWII and Hitler's willing executioners.

Bomber Harris had a military target in the Dresden marshalling yards, and not much in the way to hit it with. Bombers at night with very rudimentary means of hitting a target. That called for mass attacks, dictated SOLEY by the technology of the time, and debated even then. However, consensus was, save lives by decisively defeating the enemy and ENDING THE WAR AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

You can't blame Harris and his men for that goal. Yes they killed innocent civilians, that is a function of modern wars especially. However, they did not DELIBERATELY target civilians and that makes the difference (as opposed to Hitler's Totenkampf SS who personally murdered infants).

Germans want you to forget their monstrous past, hence the crying over Dresden. An awful event but one resting on Hitler's shoulders not Harris's.

Hiroshima? Nagasaki? The invasion of Okinawa was frightful, with massive US casualties and fanatical to the death Japanese resistance. Out of more than 45K Japanese soldiers, less than four HUNDRED surrendered in any shape (most were wounded). Projections done from THAT campaign had US casualties in the 1 MILLION MARK dead or wounded, and the Japanese figures up to four times that. As it was, only the combination of the bomb, verified pictures of the devastation, the decisive defeat of the Japanese Army in Manchuria by the Soviets, and the violent suppression of a pro continuing the war coup by junior officers who briefly held the Emperor allowed the surrender to take place.

With ALL that, Japanese soldiers had to shoot at each other to decide if they would fight fanatically to the death, or surrender. It was a close thing.

Much of the left recognizes the horror of war (wisely IMHO) and shies away from it, not realizing that sometimes war will come. In the Cold War it was wise to restrain military adventures to prevent the world blowing up, now we need strength to deter our real enemies from blowing up a city or two. The Left has not come to moral and intellectual terms with this; clinging to an outmoded Cold War mentality of evil US and "good" third world.

Posted by: Jim Rockford at February 15, 2005 03:23 PM

You can argue that more than 175,000 of our troops would have died in an invasion of Japan had we not dropped the a=-bombs. I don't think you can say that firebombing Dresden saved the same or more Allied lives.

Markus,

Sorrry, I'm in total skim mode. The attacks on Hiroshima and Dresden weren't preemptive attacks, therefore your N. Korea hypo is innaplicable. I should have seen that. War had already been engaged, and the enemy's hands were very dirty.

If the attack on the island of Japan would have been costly, and therefore justifying a nuke, what makes you think finishing off the Germans was any less difficult in the last year of the war? D-Day was a turning point, but it wasn't easy going by any means after that.

And another thing. I have seen no evidence that the firestorms of Dresden were intentionally caused. You would need to prove that if you want to compare it to Hiroshima.

Posted by: Carlos at February 15, 2005 03:25 PM

You can argue that more than 175,000 of our troops would have died in an invasion of Japan had we not dropped the a=-bombs.

Except for a couple of things. The Japanese had already made an offer to surrender through the Russians, and Stalin had informed the other allied leaders, and so they knew that no invasion would be necessary. What was going to happen, however, was that Stalin was suddenly available to participate in the fight against Japan, and had been earlier promised considerable real estate consessions in the North of Japan, and a warm-water port in Manchuria. As Japan was obviously already a beaten foe, the western allies decided that they didn't want to grant those consessions to Stalin, and so it was necessary to hurry the Japanese surrender process along before Uncle Joe got troops into the area. They figured nuking a bunch of Japanese cities might convince the hardliner elements of the Japanese army into listening to the moderates, who had been pushing for surrender for quite a while.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 15, 2005 03:38 PM

People forget that in January 1945 no one could say with certainty the war would end in April. That's hind-sight. Clearly a rational observer knew the Germans were finished, unfortunately the Germans were not acting rationally. They were sending 12 year olds to the front. Many have argued that this created intense rage toward Germans among the allied and Soviet troops - the war was clearly over so why did our boys have to keep dying because the Germans were too stubborn to realize it? At that point people wanted to end it as quickly as possible, by any means necessary. I think you have to understand that mind-set before you judge allied actions in Dresden, and even when you judge Russian actions in Prussia.

And as bad as Dresden was, Hamburg was much worse. Yes, that bombing was earlier in the war. But it is no accident that of all the horrific bombing raids during the war Dresden became the symbol - it was an East German city and the bombing made an effective propaganda tool for the new Communist regime. Dresden was not qualitatively different than most of the other night raids on civilian cities. At least, reading Klemperer's diaries I get no sense that Germans in 1945 saw Dresden as a unique case. Many cities in Germany were leveled - the beautiful old city of Nuernberg was completely destroyed, Berlin was devastated, etc. Either you have to condemn the entire bombing campaign or not, I don't see how you can pick and choose.

Posted by: Vanya at February 15, 2005 03:43 PM

The Japanese had already made an offer to surrender through the Russians

But they refused to surrender unconditionally. Therefore, the Jap surrender to the Russians was meaningless. Had they done so unconditionally, it would have ended then and there.

The Japanese conditioned their surrender on assurances that the Emperor-God would neither be removed from his throne nor harmed (or tried and possibly hanged as a war criminal, as German leaders were about to be tried). That was unnaceptable, as the Americans wanted to occupy Japan on their terms, not the emperor's.

When the Americans failed to give such assurances to the Japs, the Japanese let them know they would fight to the last man. They played brinkmanship, and they lost. Very few Japanese units surrendered in the bloody island fighting, and there was ample evidence that the Japanese soldiers were more than willing to die for their Emperor. So it was going to be a death struggle. The surrender to the Russians meant nothing.

Posted by: Carlos at February 15, 2005 03:53 PM

dpu, carlos -- Based on previous japanese behavior there was no evidence that the Emperor and the warloads would EVER agree to surrender on any terms. Therefore, bombing those two cities was unlikely to obviate the need for an invasion, and I'm skeptical that that was the main reason they were dropped (even though it was the ONLY morally justified reason). And if in fact Truman and other DID sincerely hope to cause a pre-invasion surrender, dropping the first bomb on a NON-civilian target (demonstrating that we had it), and only dropping the second bomb on the civilian site if that was necessary, was just as likely to be effective, and would have saved about 90,000 - 140,000 lives.

Posted by: markus rose at February 15, 2005 04:05 PM

dpu, carlos -- Based on previous japanese behavior there was no evidence that the Emperor and the warloads would EVER agree to surrender on any terms. Therefore, bombing those two cities was unlikely to obviate the need for an invasion, and I'm skeptical that that was the main reason they were dropped (even though it was the ONLY morally justified reason). And if in fact Truman and other DID sincerely hope to cause a pre-invasion surrender, dropping the first bomb on a NON-civilian target (demonstrating that we had it), and only dropping the second bomb on the civilian site if that was necessary, was just as likely to be effective, and would have saved about 90,000 - 140,000 lives.

Posted by: markus rose at February 15, 2005 04:06 PM

Markus – there was a far left group protesting the Nazis AND carrying pro-Palestinian signs? That must have confused the Nazis, since American Nazis support the Palestinians.

DPU – Before Lenin & Trotsky lied and Ukranian anarchists died, communists and anarchists worked together. This Antifa group sounds like a very old-fashioned communist group. They believe, as Marx said, that when capitalism reigns supreme, capitalism will die a natural death, and a free and open socialist/anarchy will replace it.

I think they’re different from Western Leftists because, like the Iraqis and the Iranian students, like the Poles and the Czechs, they love freedom – and they have a very reasonable hatred of totalitarianism.

Most Western Leftists are more than willing to tolerate totalitarianism – to them, freedom is just a cliché.

Most believe, as Markus does, that “A big risk in fighting evil is the temptation to commit evil acts oneself”. They don’t want to fight evil. They don’t really want to fight anything but America, because we never fight back.

So they keep redefining things, and they’ll do their best to define America as evil (now because of Dresden – oh, and Hiroshima!). Then they can feel like heroes as they fight this big bad Amerikkkan evil (that never fights back), and they can keep themselves from wondering why they do, so often, agree with genuine Nazis.

Posted by: mary at February 15, 2005 04:06 PM

"there was a far left group protesting the Nazis AND carrying pro-Palestinian signs?"
YES.

"That must have confused the Nazis, since American Nazis support the Palestinians."
PERHAPS IT DID. BUT THEN AGAIN, SO DO SOME AMERICANS JEWS, LIKE ME.

"Most believe, as Markus does, that 'A big risk in fighting evil is the temptation to commit evil acts oneself'. They don’t want to fight evil. They don’t really want to fight anything but America, because we never fight back.

PER USUAL, THIS PARAGRAPH MAKES NO SENSE, MARY. SENTENCE ONE (W/ MY QUOTE) IS UNCHALLENGED. SENTENCE TWO IS DEMONSTRABLY FALSE, SINCE ULTRALEFTISTS ARE OBSESSED WITH FIGHTING WHAT THEY SEE AS EVIL. SENTENCE THREE, PARTICULARLY THE LAST PART, IS TRANSPARENTLY FALSE. TEAM AMERICA KICKS ASS!

Posted by: markus rose at February 15, 2005 04:18 PM

Markus: "neo-nazism IS vile, and hateful, and wrong"..."I think you overstress a literall reading of the Koran and Hadith".

From faithfreedom.org

Islam is fine and dandy

“Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia’s political and social fallacies has nothing to do with real Islamic country

The Taliban's destruction of Bhuddist antiquities has nothing to do with real Islam.

The forcible conversion of helpless Christians in Indonesia has nothing to do with real Islam.

The genocide being perpetrated in Sudan by the Islamists in Khartoum has nothing to do with real Islam.

The unwillingness of the Saudi authorities to allow women to drive has nothing to do with real Islam.

The sectarian violence in Pakistan between Sunni and Shiite has nothing to do with real Islam.

The practice of female genital mutilation by Muslims all over North Africa, Middle East, Pakistan, Indonesia etc. have nothing to do with real Islam.

Having sex with slave girls in Saudi Arabia has nothing to do with real Islam

Women oppression and inequality with men has nothing to do with real Islam.

The decapitations of the inhabitants of entire villages by jihadists in Algeria has nothing to do with real Islam.

Acts of terror committed frequently around the world in the name of Islam have nothing to do with real Islam.

The hadiths depicting Muhammed (pbuh) as a pedophilic, murderous, thief have nothing to do with real Islam.

The verses in the Quran and hadiths justifying the slaughter of the Banu Qurayza by Allah's Apostle (pbuh) have nothing to do with real Islam.

Actually, Islam itself has nothing to do with real Islam.”

Markus - so be proud of your "neonaziophobia". But it hasn't escaped my notice that folks who object to Islam as an IDEOLOGY - just as "vile" - to use your words - as fascism - are quick to be labeled as "Islamophobic" - as if we object to a "racial intermingling" of peoples (which is an utterly absurd charge to level at Americans of all people) - rather like the nazis. But hey - dream on -

Markus: "all of the vile things written in the Bible regarding old Jewish law (and I hope you agree there are quite a few) have not precluded a Buber or a Merton from emerging in the Judeo-Christian mileau, so it is possible for a progressive Islam to exist admidst all of the questionable or unsavory stuff written in the Koran."

Still waiting Markus. 1400 years....

Posted by: Caroline at February 15, 2005 04:19 PM

PERHAPS IT DID. BUT THEN AGAIN, SO DO SOME AMERICANS JEWS, LIKE ME.

Markus,

you're a self-loathing jew. Stick up for your people. They need all the friends they can get.

Posted by: Carlos at February 15, 2005 04:26 PM

Mary --
“The line between good and evil does not run between nations, but through every human heart.”
–Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, “Gulag Archipelago: The Soul and Barbed Wire”

Posted by: markus rose at February 15, 2005 04:28 PM

Carlos -- I'm pro-Israeli too. I support a two state solution.

Posted by: markus rose at February 15, 2005 04:29 PM

Caroline -- you've read Krishnamurti, but you haven't read Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi?

"Come, come again, whoever you are, come!
Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come!
Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times,
Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are."

Posted by: markus rose at February 15, 2005 04:32 PM

Carlos -- I'm pro-Israeli too. I support a two state solution.

Good. Hopefully the palestinians do too.

Posted by: Carlos at February 15, 2005 04:38 PM

Frank Q. - I’m a big fan of Harry’s Place, but I never thought of them as Leftists. They seem more like pro-union, social democrat Liberals. Antifa members are Marxists, utopians, anarchists - total commies. And they’re anti-fascists, which wasn’t odd half a century ago, but it is very rare now.

I might be ignorant then. I see anyone to the left of center as being a part of the left. You are talking about something else it seems.

Posted by: Frank Quist at February 15, 2005 05:03 PM

Markus - good memory. No - I haven't read Rumi but I know he is a Sufi. Jihad as inner struggle and all that. I suggest you go visit Ali Sina at faithfreedom.org. He maintains that Sufism is an "uh-oh" moment, invented by the Persians about a century later when they factually recognized what the Koran was actually about. (Sufism actually belongs to the great tradition of Perennial Philosophy, which Buddhism and in my opinion Christianity as preached by Jesus - belong to. And Perennial philosophy lies in the mystic tradition. It is completely opposed to authority). However, as Ali Sina is a Persian himself, he knows alot more about Sufism than I possibly could. If all Muslims were Sufis - then we would have no problem with Islam as an ideology. But they aren't. In fact, I think Sufi's are probably as great a target for the Islamists wrath as the infidels. You're sugar-coating Islam Markus. Bcause you don't want to condemn about a billion people. Neither do I. But labeling the folks who are calling Islam what it is - fascism -is avoiding the problem.

So what is the solution? Personally I think apostasy is the key. I read with amusement an imam on some website (practicing taqiyyah) who said you can't account for the huge number of Muslims in the world by claiming Islam was spread by the sword. My response is - but you can account for it by the death penalty for apostasy. Muslims say what they need to say to convert people, and accepting Islam is a conveniently easy thing to do - as opposed to say converting to Judaism - but then even if people realize the truth, they can't leave, except under penalty of death.

If you pin your hopes on a Martin Buber or whatever, then we all have to start with seriously opposing apostasy. Apostasy is opposed to everything we (as enlightened westerners) stand for. There is nothing more important than having the freedom (and fear of murder certainly curtails that) to discover spiritual truth for ourselves (even if we come up empty - as atheists).

Frankly Markus - there is nothing more opposed from an ideological perspective - to what Krishnamurti is talking about - than Islam.

My greatest hope would be that we could all agree - left and right,American and European - all the "children of the enlightenment" as it were - to fight the death penalty for apostasy in Islam. I seriously think it would solve much of the remaining problem that Islam represents.

Posted by: Caroline at February 15, 2005 05:06 PM

By the way Markus - if you actually have read Krishnamurti - then you will know that he talking about seeing what IS. Not reality as you wish it to be.

Perhaps the biggest mistaken conclusion that people could come to from reading Krishnamurti is complete moral relativism. But as Ali Sina very clearly points out - Muslims are perhaps the ones who actually suffer the most under Islam (especially the women). So see that.

Posted by: Caroline at February 15, 2005 05:32 PM

TEAM AMERICA KICKS ASS

Even the Republicans?

I’d always thought that the Left opposed America because they opposed capitalism. But here we have a fervently anti-capitalist, communist group that supports us. They like our freedom, despite the capitalism, and they’ve decided to spend their time fighting genuine fascism. These old-fashioned leftists show how much the Western Left has changed.

The whole leftist/anti-capitalist thing never made a whole lot of sense. Noam Chomsky drives nice cars, Michael Moore certainly indulges himself, and then there's Soros and the ex-Mr. Fonda. As a group, I’ll bet that the people who call themselves Leftists and anti-capitalists are wealthier than the rest of us.

Their criticisms of America (or Republican America) doesn’t even resemble the real thing. There’s BushChimpHitler, JesusLand, the Christian Fundamentalist Taliban, the warmongers who are responsible for everything that has ever gone wrong in an American war and nothing that has gone right...

They’re not even criticizing a real thing, they’re building up an evil strawman effigy that they can bravely burn down to feel better about themselves.

Which is entertainment, I guess, but when there are real live fascists out there that need to be fought, burning effigies is a waste of time.

Posted by: mary at February 15, 2005 07:05 PM

Which is entertainment, I guess, but when there are real live fascists out there that need to be fought, burning effigies is a waste of time.--mary

Whoaa-- That's gotta hurt !!

Posted by: dougf at February 15, 2005 07:51 PM

Of course we run the risk of creating our own straw-men and calling it the left. If you'll listen, you'll hear actual liberals like Markus who don't appreciate being lumped in with the Ward Churchills of this world any more than we would want to be lumped in with the Taliban or Hitler.

I'd like us to try to take them at their word instead of insisting that we can define them better than they can define themselves. We know how that feels when Neo does that for us - and he doesn't look so hot doing it.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at February 15, 2005 08:39 PM

I'd like us to try to take them at their word instead of insisting that we can define them better than they can define themselves.

Ged,

they do a pretty good job at defining themselves. That's the problem.

Posted by: Carlos at February 15, 2005 09:04 PM

Instead of taking them at their word I prefer "By their fruits ye shall know them". It seems to me to be a better judgement of Judeo-Christian values.

Posted by: d-rod at February 15, 2005 09:05 PM

Having spent a little time (a decade ago) in East German squats let me throw in my two cents.

Dresden is seen as a the neo-nazi center in Germany. Thats why any counterprotest was probably small. Left-wing local Dresden activists (at least, a decade ago) were scared to directly confort neo-nazis in Dresden. They were simply outnumbered. This wasn't true
in other cities. Neo-nazi skinheads were frequently physically attacked on the streets by the autonomen, antifa, squatter, anarchists, and marxists youth currents.

The antifa for the most part aren't pro-israel (though some are). Their main agenda was fighting neo-nazis who would go around attacking terrorizing and assaulting and sometimes murdering Turkish, Kurdish and other immigrants.

The way Mary spins this story is highly inaccurate-- the same anti-war leftists that she disses are the ones who have been fighting the far right in Germany for a long time. Those familar with German left wing politics know this.

Posted by: drydock at February 15, 2005 11:06 PM

FC, you really missed the point. We're not contrasting the anti-war left with the anti-fascist left on whether they oppose neonazi fascists, we're contrasting the anti-war left with the anti-fascist left because you don't oppose Bathist fascists and Wahabbi fascists.

Is it clear now?

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at February 16, 2005 01:32 AM

Never never never forget you conservative wingnuts -- it is YOUR fault the Left is associated with Noam Chomsky, Ward Churchil, Castro, ANSWER, North Korea, Stalin, etc etc etc etc

How dare you JUDGE the Left on above? Why you creat strawmen like above (which are not strawmen, but whatver)?

Posted by: Sinisterislatinforleft at February 16, 2005 04:33 AM

" fighting the far right in Germany"

Please it is hard for us Americans to understand what you are talking about...as both your German Far Left and Far Right qualify as Far Left in American politics.

You shouldn't be so Euro-centric with your Left/Right terms. American "rightists" are classical liberals and libertarians. We see your nationals socialists and communists as two sides of the same vile coin.

Posted by: Bill the Space Pirate at February 16, 2005 04:37 AM

"just as all of the vile things written in the Bible regarding old Jewish law (and I hope you agree there are quite a few) have not precluded a Buber or a Merton from emerging in the Judeo-Christian mileau, so it is possible for a progressive Islam to exist admidst all of the questionable or unsavory stuff written in the Koran."

This is an ignorant remark. Jewish law has been evolving since the Torah was codified, with the Mishnah and Gemarrah, and later responsa, up to the present day. It's has been a living organism since day one, just as Western case law has been since the Magna Carta (or earlier, I don't know the history that well).

You make it sound like there was some frozen law for 2500 years until Buber appeared. And Buber wasn't even a Talmud scholar or poskin - he didn't make law, he was a philosopher.

Posted by: Yehudit at February 16, 2005 04:59 AM

PS In other words, Markus, you're not only a self-hating Jew, you're an ignorant one. (Often go together, but not always. There's always Michael Lerner. . . . )

Posted by: Yehudit at February 16, 2005 05:09 AM

Yehudit -- I didn't mean to imply that Jewish law had not evolved, I was merely talking about all the stuff in the Torah that sounds offensive by today's standards: things like stoning women to death for adultery and so forth.

But I also do wonder, have these commandments, listed among the 613 Mitzvot, been repealed?:

58. To lend to an alien at interest (Deut. 23:21) According to tradition, this is mandatory (affirmative).

171. Not to make a loan to an Israelite on interest (Lev. 25:37) (CCN54).

I hope they are at least ignored. Let's not discriminate between Jews and Gentiles. I can understand why these laws may have been necessary at one point, as a tribe does need to look out for its own. But today, it's bad PR, at best.

source: http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm

Posted by: markus rose at February 16, 2005 06:47 AM

Deu 23:21 -- When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.

Lev 25:35 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: [yea, though he be] a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.

Markus, I'm not a Bible expert, but I don't recollect ever reading where it says charging interest to strangers is cool, but not to tribesmen. Do you have a verse? Or maybe you're thinking the Talmud.

Posted by: Carlos at February 16, 2005 07:00 AM

"then we all have to start with seriously opposing apostasy. Apostasy is opposed to everything we (as enlightened westerners) stand for."

Oh my - poste haste - I meant opposing the death penalty for apostasy! Of course precisely how one does that I haven't a clue. Just maybe a little universal outrage would help...

Posted by: Caroline at February 16, 2005 07:01 AM

Yehudit -- also, hurling the "self-hating" epithet at a Jew who happens to support an Arab state in "Judea", "Samaria", and Gaza is as silly and unjustified as saying that a black person opposed to affirmative action is an Uncle Tom.

Posted by: markus rose at February 16, 2005 07:19 AM

The way Mary spins this story is highly inaccurate-- the same anti-war leftists that she disses are the ones who have been fighting the far right in Germany for a long time. Those familar with German left wing politics know this.

drydock - I haven’t been to Germany for a few years, so I’m not completely familiar with current politics. What have German anti-war Leftists been doing to confront the far right in Germany? Have they been effective?

In Dresden, why was Antifa willing to go out of their way to protest neo-Nazi groups and protect immigrants while the regular Left wasn’t?

I should be reading about Antifa in German, but my German is rusty so I’ve just been reading articles in English. I did find this article in Indymedia about an Antifa attack on the Nationalist Party headquarters. One commenter said:

As someone who has been beaten up on many occassions by the 'skins' (no its not because I choose to be beaten up, its because I am Black), I would much prefer it if the 'armchair liberal anti-fascist' would join forces with the 'skins'. That way, we get to know which side of the 'debate' you really sit on.

I can draw a parallel to other issues here, hypothetically speaking, like if a group of men were to stage a campaign of hate against women (using acts of violence, rape, intimidation, arson etc...) I'd expect members of the community (me included) to be saying 'right, lets get out there, see and confront the perpetrators...', but somehow, when we talk about hate-crimes, race and combatting fascism, we end up in the cyclical debate of 'not lowering ourselves to their, fascist/BNP,(sic) level', errr... hello, if I were getting beaten up and you were around, would you walk away and allow the perpetrator to get away with it(hopefully it won't be soon...)?

If you were around then, where we you I wonder during the 70's & 80's when the NF would blatantly stroll along the High St? Would your position been then to have stood silently and watch while the NF and the media spewed their vile lies?

So, back to the point in hand, wooly liberalism (politically left & right speaking)allows people to take positions on issues which they have no moral, psychological or ethical understanding of.

Don't allow ourselves to be fooled into thinking that by reasoning with the racist, it will change them(sic). It won't and it doesn't.

As far as I can tell, the Nationalist Party hates immigrants, but I don't think they're opposed to terrorism or Islamism. They think the guy who sells kebabs on a street stand is their enemy, but bin Laden or Saddam isn't.

Have the Nazis been responsible for hundreds of immigrant deaths in Germany?

Posted by: mary at February 16, 2005 07:28 AM

caroline -- Let me be clear: i oppose the death penalty for apostasy. And I oppose any manifestation of the imposition of dhimmitude by Muslims anywhere in the world in the 21st century. But just as Jewish law has evolved, hasn't Islamic law done the same? (Probably not as much) And if it hasn't, or can't, aren't its ugliest manifestations ignored by most Muslims today? Jews don't stone adultresses to death anymore, and neither do MOST Muslims. Separating Muslims who want to implement orthodox shariah law from Muslims who do not seems to be absolutely crucial, and your blanket denunciations of the whole religion seem to hinder rather than help in this regard.

No time for me to respond for the rest of the day.

Posted by: markus rose at February 16, 2005 07:29 AM

Carlos -- I am indeed rather ignorant about the Bible. Meaning, I haven't read much of it. The quotes I got came from the Judaism 101 website, put together by Jews. My understanding is that the orthodox, or law-keeping Jews, have 613 commandments, or Mitzvnot, they are to follow.
I'm not sure when the list was compiled, but each one is based on something in the Torah. Maybe Yehudit can enlighten us.
http://www.jewfaq.org/toc.htm

Posted by: markus rose at February 16, 2005 07:37 AM

Markus - catch you later but Robert Spencer has a post at jihadwatch today that directly addresses what you wrote:

“The people whom non-Muslim analysts tend to call "Islamists" are those who believe that Sharia should be the law of the land -- every land -- and are willing to do violence to bring that about. But these people are merely traditional Muslims, acting on the example of the prophet Muhammad and core teachings of the Qur'an and Hadith. They move about freely among Muslims and are found in every Muslim community. Most often, Western analysts use the term "Islamists" to suggest a vast majority of Muslims who do not accept "Islamist" premises or principles. Unfortunately, however, such people do not in fact generally exist. There are Muslims, often known as moderate Muslims, who are unaware of or indifferent to the premises of political Islam, and a much smaller number who are honestly trying to reject or reform those principles; but a genuinely moderate Islam – a Muslim system that accepts the principles of Western pluralism and is ready to teach Muslims to live in harmony with non-Muslims as equals, not as current or eventual superiors and masters -- does not exist.”

Markus: “your blanket denunciations of the whole religion seem to hinder rather than help in this regard.”

I am denouncing an IDEOLOGY that gets a free pass because it is called a “religion”. This is not the same as denouncing individual Muslims because I have no way of knowing to what extent each of them even knows about or accepts the ideology. But it does seem to me that many people, liberals especially, are unwilling to see the ideology for what it is, although they have no problem with seeing the neonazi ideology for what it is. Whether this is because they don’t want to “offend” others (especially brown skinned people - I say that because alot of liberals don't seem to mind offending white Christians), or simply because of the problem that at least a billion people in the world belong to this religion, I don’t know. But frankly it seems simpler to me to start by calling a spade a spade and then deal with it from there. I’m not trying to induce violence or hysteria. I’m just trying to talk about it. Maybe actually talking about it could help to avert violence in the long run.

Posted by: Caroline at February 16, 2005 08:09 AM

Caroline,

don't talk mean about their little brown people.

Posted by: Carlos at February 16, 2005 08:28 AM

dropping the first bomb on a NON-civilian target (demonstrating that we had it), and only dropping the second bomb on the civilian site if that was necessary, was just as likely to be effective, and would have saved about 90,000 - 140,000 lives.

I disagree, for the record. And the fact that reasonable people do disagree, to my mind, makes it a fundamentally defensible decision, if not necessarily the perfect one in hindsight. People die in wars. People die in wars due to miscalculations. As long as the decision was justifiable at the time, I have a hell of a time second-guessing.

you're a self-loathing jew.

Wow, with argument styles like this, it's no wonder you're surrounded by erudite people who go to great lengths to seek out your opinion.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 16, 2005 08:43 AM

Carlos -

LOL! :-)

Posted by: Caroline at February 16, 2005 08:45 AM

Kimmitt,

you have so much potential. I've seen it (but not lately). You just need to apply yourself more.

Posted by: Carlos at February 16, 2005 09:03 AM
mary: Their criticisms of America (or Republican America) doesn’t even resemble the real thing. There’s BushChimpHitler, JesusLand, the Christian Fundamentalist Taliban, the warmongers who are responsible for everything that has ever gone wrong in an American war and nothing that has gone right...

They’re not even criticizing a real thing, they’re building up an evil strawman effigy that they can bravely burn down to feel better about themselves.

Is the irony in here getting thick, or is it just me?

Personally, I think that the left has as many loonies as the right, and visa versa. Sure, it's fun to occasionally take a jab at some of the sillier antics on the other side of the aisle, but why imagine or pretend that the loonies actually represent the mainstream? Instead of building your own leftie strawmen to set ablaze in order to feel better about yourself, why not address the opinions of the intelligent commentators here representative of both the right and left?

So here's my position on fascism - bad, needs to be fought.

Here's my position on the Baathists - savage thugs who were interested in maintaining their power and privilege over the bodies and rights of their citizens.

My position on capitalism - the last surviving economic system that has easily outperformed the expirement in collectivisation last century, but with certain inefficiencies that can be improved.

Here's my position on America - good, a wonderful country with generous and good-hearted people, and based on some truly revolutionary and wonderful ideals.

Here's my position on the current administration - a terrible bunch of incompetents who have destroyed sixty years worth of global alliances and have pissed all over the project of the century, the elimination of war, a luxury the world can no longer afford. A bunch of goofs who have arrogantly assumed that as they run the last military superpower, they can do whatever they want, and in doing so are probably going to put America in the position opposed to the rest of the world, who will come to regard it as a rogue nation.

I know that these opinions are not shared by those on the other side of the fence, which is fine. Let's discuss actual leftist opinions instead of the phony made up leftist that I keep hearing about.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 16, 2005 09:29 AM

Caroline wrote my post -

I extend on her point that we must discuss the ideology in an honest and realistic manner by pointing out that the fallout (no pun - yet) from the worldwide and energetic effort to expand sharia is on display in Sudan, the Balkans, the Philippines, Thailand, Iraq, and right in southern Manhattan. And a dozen, scores of other countries, too.

Their crusade isn't about allowing adherents to practice a religion. It's about harnessing the hopelessness and degradation inherent in the system and focusing it outward in order to retain a clerical heirarchy of political power.

If OBL wasn't in charge of a jihad, he'd be stuck in some office doing mundane things like overseeing the design of sewer systems. Or wondering which of his umpteen brothers or inlaws was plotting to cut him out of the family fortune. Expand that paradigm to every family unit living under the yoke of sharia as the Wahabbists or salafists want it to be realized as and you have a huge potential for young males finding themselves with little or no potential for advancement that doesn't involve clergy or flat leaving the homestead.

There is no future for women. There is no justice for minor children.

There can be no banking or market system capable of competing in a market economy. The inability of a sharia population to count on protections of property or assets means that trade is conducted at an accepted level of corruption that would make a Tijuana traffic cop blanche. There can be no scientific tradition, no expanding scholarship, no quest for answers beyond the Koran because the power held by the clergy is rigidly defined and executed by imams, mullahs, and ayatollahs whose education is overwhelmingly based on rote learning.

Their temporal power is dependent on control, not reverance. The only public status lower than infidel is apostate, and there's laws defining in explicit terms the means that both will be dealt with.

If we were to "allow" sharia to function with the official blessing of government, are we going to make sure that we tell them what parts are o.k.? Something along the lines of "I guess you can conduct ritual genital mutilation, discount the testimony of women in court, force marriages of minors and practice polygamy... but would you mind deleting the provisions of hudna and taqiyyah (sp?) so your secular, Christian, and Jewish neighbors don't feel threatened? Oh, just sign here - a statement of tolerance goes a long way in our media, you know."

The existence of sharia in a technological world, or even in a free market society, is like including a donkey in the safety design of a nuclear plant. It's doomed to fail to perform its function, and its failure will cascade until the problem is recognised and resolved.

I think we are doing what we can to resolve the problem without formally declaring a clash of civilizations. My money, as anyone who reads my posts knows, is on freedom.

Nothing is written, and time will most certainly fill.

Posted by: TmjUtah at February 16, 2005 09:56 AM

Here’s my position on fascism – bad, needs to be fought.

Great. To avoid any accusations that I’m building strawmen, can you explain how you believe it should be fought?

What has the Left done to fight it lately?

Do you have any guesses as to why the German non-Antifa Left, or (apparently) the German government does not seem to be fighting it effectively?

Posted by: mary at February 16, 2005 09:57 AM

"I know that these opinions are not shared by those on the other side of the fence,"--DPU

You are correct,sir.I am not sure I even agree with your tap-dance around Iraq.
Are you saying,bluntly,that you SUPPORT the Iraq people in their quest for a 'decent'social system?And are you therefore saying that you also SUPPORT the Iraq War as launched by GWB,as the 'motive'vehicle for this quest?Because as I have posted here previously,you simply cannot get to Point "B"(Iraqi Freedom),without starting from Point "A"(the invasion of Iraq and the smashing of the Baathist terror-state).

Posted by: dougf at February 16, 2005 10:05 AM

Because as I have posted here previously,you simply cannot get to Point "B"(Iraqi Freedom),without starting from Point "A"(the invasion of Iraq and the smashing of the Baathist terror-state).

But how they have tried!

Posted by: Carlos at February 16, 2005 10:18 AM

Are you saying,bluntly,that you SUPPORT the Iraq people in their quest for a 'decent'social system?

I am saying, sir, that not only the Iraqi people, but the entire global population deserve democracy. Liberal democracies tend to be stable entities and offer the greatest level of individual rights and freedoms. As the number of democracies in the world have increased by a magnitude in the last century, and even non-democracies like the PRC have made strides toward such a system, I believe that the trend is toward global democracy.

Having said that, the trend has also been movement toward freedom without a war or invasion. Regarding Iraq, one conservative commentator that I read said it well - "Why should my nation spend our gold and shed the blood of our young to free Iraqis when they are not ready to do the same for their own freedom?" We can argue the rights and wrongs about killing a significant number of innocent Iraqis in order to free them, or we can argue about whether its even possible to install democracy in this way, as it's not over yet. But we can discuss the costs of the Iraqi adventure.

The last sixty years have seen a marked decline in war, which is a good thing IMO. As we're seeing with the proliferation of nuclear technology, war in the future is going to be difficult, especially if a foe can simply detonate a suitcase nuke in your capital by smuggling it in. War as we know it is fading fast, and war in the future is going to be hellish. We can't afford it any more.

The decline is war has been largely due to international co-operation and alliances, largely lead by the United States. This has been pissed away in the last four years. If the positive global influence of the US continues to degrade, you will see two things happen - massive military and economic alliances in opposition to the United States, and a breakdown of the trend away from war and toward democracies, as democracies need to take root in a stable environment, both politically and economically.

Then we should look at the other costs. The Iraqi venture has cost a flipping fortune. It cannot be continued at this cost in dollars and lives. The American voters are not going to watch their economy gutted simply to prop up a democracy in a small nation on the other side of the planet.

Freeing a people from a dictator is admirable, and it's to the credit of those that support the Iraq war that this is the subject most oft talked about, but I think that, even if successful, the costs of this are brutal, and are likely to cripple efforts in the future to do away with other dictatorships.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 16, 2005 10:30 AM

DPU -

"The last sixty years have seen a marked decline in war, which is a good thing IMO."

By what standard, DPU?

There may have been no nightly recaps of continents laid waste since 1945, though I'll allow that Africa 's at-rest state is pretty deplorable and there's not much you can do to muck up a sandbox.

A decline in war, sixty years? I disagree. Emphatically.

World War Four was fought and won between 1945 and 1989. You bemoan the cost of OIF but just how much money do you think it cost to develop SAC/NORAD from scratch? Or the nuclear Navy?

Agreements didn't keep the peace. Alliances and the reality that a knock down drag out fight would leave all participants incapable of exploiting a victory kept the peace. The steadfastness of the free world, behind the lead United States and Thatcher's U.K., to resist the progressive urge to fully retract into a bunker mentality and allow the Sovs to exist based on their status as just "another" kind of government kept the Soviets building crappy weapons and crushing their economy until that war was won. Not ended by a treaty. Won. One part left victorious on the battlefield.

Most of the European world enjoyed peace at a level above their historic norms, yes. The recent strife in the Balkans is a prime example of what value progressive predeliction for talk when action is called for really holds; the Sudan is also a good example, too. Go ask central and south Americans how their last sixty years went. Or the (remaining) Cambodians in Southeast Asia. Ask the Chinese who had to be reeducated during the cultural revolution.

It seems that wars that happen inside of one set of borders don't get noticed as much they should. To me, at least.

Don't bother with Africa. Just count the skulls.

An absence of cataclysmic war is a good thing. The scores of proxy conflicts that typified the pointy end of the struggle between democracy and communism were restrained in scope only by the impossibility of either side to allow them to widen. It was the brutal calculus of cost/benefit , not diplomatic nicety, that defined the "peace" you want to see.

We haven't thrown anything away, DPU. We've called our allies - predominantly democratic, predominantly western and euro - on their unwillingness to pull their weight in the face of a common threat.

If the United States was governed by a progressive executive, legislative, and court, we'd probably get better press.

And we'd be cowering behind our borders waiting for the next domestic attack because to contradict the rules of diplomacy to state that Islamic terror is inherently evil, or that our interest in continuing breathing was not negotiable in the quest to practice proper respect for other cultures and creeds (other than Christianity) would just be heresy.

This argument keeps running in circles. Needlessly.

Representative democracy in all its shades and forms is not a utopic system. It isn't a panacea for providing every single individual with financial security, much less wealth. It is not perfect.

Representative democracy is without a doubt the best form of government when judged on how well the system provides the opportunity for any individual living within one the chance to achieve those ends, and much, much more, though. It all comes down to living under a system that reserves core rights for individuals and consciously limits the organs of government from morphing into tyranny.

It works for us. By any objective standard our history is a miracle of spectacular successes following one upon the other. We are young, as nations go. We are also mongrel to a profound degree. We succeed because we routinely resist caste or tribe or class or religous balkanization, preferring (in some cases unconsciously) to reserve our deepest loyalty to the ideas that underlay the actual physical construct of the nation or government.

I don't think that G.W. Bush is the best thing since sliced bread, or that Republicans have a lock on good ideas. I judge them competent and disciplined enough to do what needs to be done NOW to preserve and protect the country and our freedoms. You know, what the government is supposed to do.

We have the best political system in operation on the planet. Nowhere in my political lexicon will you find the words "imperial" or "crusade". If other nations live under different systems - even horrible, dehumanizing despotic regimes - the just cause bar is not breached until our interests are at stake to the level that a majority of our government concedes that action is necessary.

Note that "our interests" can be defined by majority in many ways, ranging from extremes of altruism to the most base pragmatism.

That's why we are democratizing Afghanistan and Iraq, and are on the road toward liberalizing enough of the creches of terror so that we will someday have neighbors instead of enemies.

It's amazing that it's conservatives leading this strategy of democratization - at least if your education was limited to public schools and MSM. If the script of conventional wisdom was reality, we'd be following progressive folks over the top in this fight, instead of worrying that their narrowly- defined personal interest and resulting obstruction will lead to defeat of our efforts in this war.

Posted by: TmjUtah at February 16, 2005 12:12 PM

The last sixty years have seen a marked decline in war, which is a good thing IMO.

[TmjUtah's response was better, but I already wrote this up, so..]

The last sixty years have also seen a series of tyrannical regimes and corresponding genocidal slaughter. The United Nations, which was formed to avoid a repetition of the Holocaust, has instead focused on preventing war – something that millions of Cambodians and hundreds of thousands of Rwandans and Sudanese have come to regret.

The decline in war is most due to to international co-operation and alliances. The proliferation of homicidal tyranny and genocide may also be due to international co-operation and alliances. If so, then it's a good idea to change old alliances.

Should we fight fascism by avoiding a fight? Your answer sounds like a variation on “a big risk in fighting evil is the temptation to commit evil acts oneself” You can’t fight evil by being afraid to fight it. If the west believes that every confrontation will result in a nuclear war, then we leave ourselves vulnerable to every crappy little hate-cult or terrorist group that threatens us. How many people have died from nuclear warfare or "suitcase nukes"? How many have been slaughtered by hate?

If you don’t fight an evil, then you often become it. That’s the bigger risk. Europe refuses to fight the Islamic states that threaten them, not because they love Islam or the Arab world - they just don’t want to fight. As a result, Europe is not really becoming Eurabia, but it is beginning to look like Vichy France.

Posted by: mary at February 16, 2005 12:35 PM

The last sixty years have also seen a series of tyrannical regimes and corresponding genocidal slaughter.

And how does that compare with the previous two thousand years of tyrannical regimes and genocidal slaughter? Things are WAY better now than they ever have been.

The proliferation of homicidal tyranny and genocide may also be due to international co-operation and alliances.

"May?" On what basis? And there hasn't been a "proliferation".

The United Nations, which was formed to avoid a repetition of the Holocaust, has instead focused on preventing war...

This is so wrong that I'm astounded that you think so. The United Nations was formed in the hopes that it would prevent wars. From their charter:
The Purposes of the United Nations are:

1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

3. To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

4. To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

And again you bring up Rwanda. Could I again point out that the reason the mission in the UN was not strengthened by the UN was because of the efforts of the US and France to prevent it? Should the UN be changed so that it can ignore the veto powers of those nations?

If you don’t fight an evil, then you often become it.

And there's the old strawman again, as you're pretending that I said that evil should not be fought. I didn't say that.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 16, 2005 01:02 PM

Does everyone on this board realize that desopts, dictators and thugs have terrorized people for... well, for as long as we have recorded history?

Does everyone on the board recoginize that dictatorships, despots etc are the result of normal human inclinations?

Does everyone understand that it's likely that we will always have problems with dictators, genocide and well... all the other woes and ills in the world?

Humanity has come a long way from our centuries of enslaving large portions of the planets population. We've come a long way from countries creating empires and subjecting most of the known world to their will. But, for the love of a Deity or two, these are talking monkeys we're dealing with.

Posted by: Ratatosk at February 16, 2005 01:22 PM

"these are talking monkeys we're dealing with."

So Hegel and Marx rear their evil heads again. Do nothing says Tosk! It's all in vain, history will do what it does! It's all the Matix! The world is inherently evil! So why not run an airplane or two into a building or two to get back at the evil Matrix! Nihilism is an ugly thing.

Posted by: Anti-Nihilist at February 16, 2005 01:46 PM

Does everyone on the board recoginize that dictatorships, despots etc are the result of normal human inclinations?

That's correct Tosk. Our world tends towards chaos and tyrrany--always has--and will continue to do so as long as people of good will do nothing.

Posted by: Carlos at February 16, 2005 02:04 PM

Anti-Nihilist,

Thats not what I said at all. I pointed out that we will probably never wipe these bad things from the world, that doesn't mean we shouldn't clean house when we can.

Above, Mary was terribly concerned about the despotism of the past 60 years... the past 60 years have been a Golden Age of Freedom compared to the past 5000. That was the main point of my little rant.

Humans, appear to have specific 'programs' that are written into the brain in stages. An infant gets basic programming (dangerous/not dangerous). As the infant grows they start to get emotional programming. When an infant starts to walk and enters the "Terrible Twos"... they have moved beyond the passive "Fight or Flee" and are getting submissive/dominate programming. They're getting their basic social programming, territorial demands start happening... next we move up the chain to the development of 'logic' programs for the brain. This is where the child begins to learn about reasoning. Next comes sex. The programming around sex varies wildly between national, ethnic and religious groups.

At each point, as the individual is getting programmed by their parents/guardians/teachers/enviornment, errors can creep into the programming, accidentally or because of the bias of the programmer. Depending on the errors and the particular program, the individual will, when grown, exhibit various patterns of thought and action.

A person with errors in their programming, is more likely to reproduce those errors in their child (as well as add some new ones). After some number of errors, we end up with Hussien, Hitler, or Manson.

Until we figure out some panecea for programming the human mind, then we will always have errors, sometimes those errors will result in dictators, despots and thugs.

That doens't mean that we shouldn't stop them... but we probably shouldn't expect to eradicate them completely, its not reasonable to think that parental programming will improve that much, that quickly.

GIGO

Posted by: Ratatosk at February 16, 2005 02:18 PM

DPU - You’re right about the UN – their primary, and probably only goal is to prevent war and preserve stability. I’d read on a few right-wing blogs that the UN’s primary goal was to prevent genocide. Honestly, why would they think that was a UN priority, when in fact the UN has rarely (never?) taken action to prevent genocide? I mean, the UN doesn't do anything without the right paperwork.

Things are WAY better now than they’ve ever been..

According to the very anti-war Charles Tilly:
More collective violence was visited on the world (in absolute terms, and probably per capita as well) in the twentieth century than in any century of the previous ten thousand years. China's Warring States period, Sargon of Akkad's conquests, the Mongol expansion, and Europe's Thirty Years War were times of terrible destruction. But earlier wars deployed nothing comparable to the death-dealing armaments and state-backed exterminations of civilians characteristic of twentieth-century conflicts.

- Since World War II, civil war has displaced interstate war as the dominant setting for large-scale violent death.

- The prevalence of violence by such irregular forces as militias, mercenaries, and paramilitaries has greatly increased, even as the shift away from interstate war has reduced the prevalence of top-down violence by regular national armed forces (including police).

- Irregular forces have often engaged in sudden attacks on civilian targets—which we can reasonably call bottom-up terror—but the same groups that have employed such terror tactics have also commonly used other political tactics.

- On the whole, participants in collective violence, including terroristic violence, have struggled for power and profit in ways that overlap with the politics of their less violent counterparts.

Communism (100 million dead) is mostly to blame, but according to author R.J. Rummel, totalitarianism is the primary problem. In his book Death by Government, he states that "War isn't this Century's biggest Killer."

According to Rummel, preventing totalitarianism is the best way to keep the 21st century from being as much of a mess as the twentieth.

Again, if evil, in the form of fascism should be fought, exactly how do you think we should effectively fight it?

Posted by: mary at February 16, 2005 02:30 PM

Again, if evil, in the form of fascism should be fought, exactly how do you think we should effectively fight it?

That depends on what you're talking about. Do you think that the Dresden neo-fascists should have been shot in the street or something?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 16, 2005 02:40 PM

I’d read on a few right-wing blogs that the UN’s primary goal was to prevent genocide.

That's what you get for reading right-wing blogs.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 16, 2005 02:47 PM

Charles Tilly - More collective violence was visited on the world (in absolute terms, and probably per capita as well) in the twentieth century than in any century of the previous ten thousand years. (Emphisis mine)

How can somone making such an absurd statement use the phrase qualifier "probably". Yes, the total number of deaths is probably much higher than at any other time, but that's because we've gone through an incredible population explosion. Per capita is the ONLY decent measure of this stuff, and to simply not know for sure makes me think that this is not a credible source of analysis.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 16, 2005 02:53 PM

Carlos -

"That's correct Tosk. Our world tends towards chaos and tyrrany--always has--and will continue to do so as long as people of good will do nothing."

Yep.

You look at history as a sequence of conflicts and you see that it is measured by winners and losers.

We're not losers. Not by a long chalk.

Posted by: TmjUtah at February 16, 2005 03:50 PM

Mary: "Honestly, why would they think that was a UN priority, when in fact the UN has rarely (never?) taken action to prevent genocide?"

Because genocide isn't exactly war? (i.e.internal genocide where a government kills its own people). It reminds me of an argument I frequently see from leftists - namely - Iraq was an "illegal" war. What right do you have to interfere with another "sovereign" government? That argument, ironically enough, represents in some sense the height of "nationalist" sentiment, something which the left accuses the "right" of all the time. It elevates the artificial boundaries of the "nation" over and above the individual citizens who live there. It raises the question for me - what if Arnold Schwarzenegger (spelling?) cordoned off CA and started committing genocide on the Hispanics there? It's not my state. Should I care? OK well maybe - it's my country after all? Should Canadians interfere? (Not their country). And so on - ad nauseum.

Tosk: "After some number of errors, we end up with Hussien, Hitler, or Manson."

I disagree with that general sentiment. The Hitler's, Stalin's and Hussein's of the world are actually quite rare. But they wreak so much havoc on the world that the rest of us (mere mortals) end up having to confront the worst ethical dilemmas in the face of the destruction they leave in their wake( and that's usually after they've managed to slaughter a whole lot of people.)

Ultimately I have to agree with Carlos when he says:

"Our world tends towards chaos and tyrrany--always has--and will continue to do so as long as people of good will do nothing."

...with the caveat that we perhaps need to intervene EARLIER rather than later. I recall fairly recently that the international community forced Charles Taylor out of Liberia. The international community should have forced Saddam Hussein out way earlier ( I know. I know. We supported him so what am I talking about?) I hope in some ways that the Bush adminstration is turning a corner here with American foreign policy. We just need to be consistent about it so that we don't muddy the moral waters so to speak. Isn't that something that both libs and conservatives could agree about?

Re Sudan: I really think that all the folks who have marched all over the world - including here - burning their George Bush effigies - should realize that they are at least partially responsible for what is going on in Sudan now - and why it is that the US cannot possibly intervene. That kind of intervention takes real will and it has to come from the citizens. And the truth is that many of us who supported the intervention in Iraq are feeling pretty bruised and battered about now. So even the "peace protestors" need to understand that their actions have VERY real world consequences.

Posted by: Caroline at February 16, 2005 03:54 PM

It reminds me of an argument I frequently see from leftists - namely - Iraq was an "illegal" war. What right do you have to interfere with another "sovereign" government?

Then what was all the fuss about Hussein invading Kuwait? If Russia decides to step into the Ukraine to restore their preferred version of democracy, who's to say it's illegal? Or, more likely, what if one side of a third-world civil war decides to fake some atrocities or tries to provoke genocide by the other side in order to get some well-meaning superpower involved?

Certainly the concept of sovereignity as understood by the UN charter needs an overhall to include human rights, but we'll still need a standard about what is and isn't legally justifiable military action, and we'll need some kind of international body to judge.

Or do you prefer a free-for-all?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 16, 2005 04:07 PM

Re Sudan: I really think that all the folks who have marched all over the world - including here - burning their George Bush effigies - should realize that they are at least partially responsible for what is going on in Sudan now - and why it is that the US cannot possibly intervene. That kind of intervention takes real will and it has to come from the citizens. And the truth is that many of us who supported the intervention in Iraq are feeling pretty bruised and battered about now. So even the "peace protestors" need to understand that their actions have VERY real world consequences--Caroline

Well I guess I can vote for the battered bit,but I like to think that the Bushitler 'war-monger'front gave out much more than we ever received.
Much as I love bashing 'leftist'pretentions,is it really fair to imply that 'perhaps'the US might have intervened in Sudan,had the anti-war crowd got its collective head together,and realised the actual historical moment.I would never support anything in Sudan unless Europe was contributing most of the troops.Iraq,with a history of civilization,is one thing;Sudan is entirely another.The 'left'should get over Iraq and join the 'good guys',but even if they had,I doubt we would have done anything in the Sudan.

Posted by: dougf at February 16, 2005 04:09 PM

Re Sudan: I really think that all the folks who have marched all over the world - including here - burning their George Bush effigies - should realize that they are at least partially responsible for what is going on in Sudan now - and why it is that the US cannot possibly intervene. That kind of intervention takes real will and it has to come from the citizens. And the truth is that many of us who supported the intervention in Iraq are feeling pretty bruised and battered about now. So even the "peace protestors" need to understand that their actions have VERY real world consequences.

Wow. I'm speechless over that one. Wait, no I'm not. The Bush administration's feelings have been hurt by demonstrators so they won't intervene to stop genoocide? In one argument, you've pinned blame on those who opposed invasion of Iraq, AND made an excuse about why the administration won't do anything.

Here's my leftie permission - get about 5,000 troops into the Sudan. Dallaire estimated that would have been all that was required to stop the Rwandan genocide, so I suspect it'll work here as well. That's a pipsqueak force compared to what's going on in Iraq. And not only will I not Burn Bush in effigy, I will loudly mock anyone that I know that does so.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 16, 2005 04:14 PM

Well - you know - you gotta post something controversial every now and then just to get the juices flowing - and especially just for the fun of rendering DPU speechless. :-)

"Here's my leftie permission - get about 5,000 troops into the Sudan...And not only will I not Burn Bush in effigy, I will loudly mock anyone that I know that does so."

Glad to hear it DPU. But I do have to wonder, if you took a US poll on that, whether or not the whole Iraq war hasn't caused the average US citizen to be more isolationist - and not a small part of it due to the huge amount of anti-US vitriole spilling from the media all around the world, the apparent increase in violence in Iraq itself in response to our invasion, the rabid partisanship in the US itself and so on. You've had a front row seat. You know what I'm talking about. Even Victor Davis Hanson made a similar point, so excuse me if it was so controverial. Re the anti-war protestors themselves - no I do not mean to lay the blame at their feet - merely to point out that all actions have consequences, and perhaps not necessarily the consequences one intends.

Posted by: Caroline at February 16, 2005 05:08 PM

DPU : "Or, more likely, what if one side of a third-world civil war decides to fake some atrocities or tries to provoke genocide by the other side in order to get some well-meaning superpower involved?"

Are you referring to the Balkans? (she ducks before the plates start flying)..

Posted by: Caroline at February 16, 2005 05:11 PM

DPU: "Then what was all the fuss about Hussein invading Kuwait?"

Correct me if I'm wrong but that fuss came from the right, not the left. John Kerry opposed it.

"Certainly the concept of sovereignity as understood by the UN charter needs an overhall to include human rights, but we'll still need a standard about what is and isn't legally justifiable military action"

It strikes me that once you solve the first problem ( the human rights part), you won't need to worry too much about the second part. But that is largely my point. It's about the overriding importance given to the notion of "sovereignty", regardless of what that "soverign" nation is doing to its own citizens (which is what I mean by elevating "nationalism" to a supreme principle).

But you're point about "faking atrocities" is entirely well founded. The international press plays a major role there in terms of the ability to disseminate propoganda.

Posted by: Caroline at February 16, 2005 05:30 PM

"Correct me if I'm wrong but that fuss came from the right, not the left"

Arghh - post-haste - I meant the opposite.

Posted by: Caroline at February 16, 2005 05:32 PM

Or, more likely, what if one side of a third-world civil war decides to fake some atrocities or tries to provoke genocide by the other side in order to get some well-meaning superpower involved?"---DPU

Here at the VRWC HQ,we have the answer to that minor little detail. OIL . We must have some passing interest in oil reserves in that strategic area,before we could possibly consider becoming involved.
Hope that helps.

Posted by: dougf at February 16, 2005 05:34 PM

Dougf - although there's no oil in the Balkans and yet I have read some Serbian points of view that claim that is exactly what went on (i.e. propoganda from the international press to get the US involved). It's interesting to me that I rarely hear people invoke the Balkans to explain American foreign policy - other than to make a very gneral point that it illustrates that we came to the defense of the Muslims. That darned conflict is so very complex that I have no real idea of what went on - REALLY. I would certainly welcome any clarification from folks who understand it in detail. (Not necessarily here if folks are not so inclined. I do not mean to derail the thread.) Nevertheless - it does serve as an example of a case in which the US did intervene in the domestic affairs of a sovereign nation and so it might contain some sort of cautionary tale - or not. Je suis ignorante.

Posted by: Caroline at February 16, 2005 05:55 PM

" DPU: Certainly the concept of sovereignity as understood by the UN charter needs an overhall to include human rights"

May I add that only countries that meet some minimum criteria regarding human rights should be included in the UN in the first place? The fact that the UN includes the most blatant violators of human rights on the planet is precisely the core of the problem. It probably explains why it is that we can't come to some international consensus on going into Sudan in the first place. But once you start thinking that way DPU - you are moving to the right of the political spectrum (although in my mind it still makes you a liberal :-))

Posted by: Caroline at February 16, 2005 06:06 PM

What if one side of a third-world civil war decides to fake some atrocities..

Are you referring to the Jenin ‘massacre’? That didn’t get very far, despite, as Caroline mentioned, the efforts of the press.

The goal of the UN is to preserve the status quo – hence the concept of the sovereign totalitarian/genocidal government, vs. the ‘illegal’ war. It’s a time-honored concept that has kept the UN out of trouble for decades, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t stop their policy of tolerating stasist atrocities. Who wants a free-for-all? The trains might not run on time.

That depends on what you're talking about. Do you think that the Dresden neo-fascists should have been shot in the street or something?

Why would I suggest that? Anyway, you don’t seem to want to answer the question. Let me frame it another way:

Pretend that George Bush was actually the ChimpyHitlerChristianTaliban many on the Left says he is. Pretend that he & Cheney state that they want to turn America & Canada into a Mad-Max Theocratic hellhole, where religious police ride around in Toyota trucks shooting men for the crime of not shaving or cutting their hair. Their proposed laws are based on David Duke's interpretation of the Bible. They blatantly oppress women, and apostasy is punished by death.

Shadowy militias, who wear scarves to cover their identity, threaten to kill atheists who speak up. Similar militias have already murdered hundreds of thousands of people in the name of their cause.

Would you join a anti-Bush rally despite the threat of death? Would you join an atheist/agnostic militia to fight them, despite the threat of provoking a war? Would you fight the foundation of their laws? Would you blow up Christian Militia headquarters?

Posted by: mary at February 16, 2005 06:33 PM

++ungood, a free-for-all is better than rule by the UN.

If the UN rules, then we have rule by a plurality of despots. In a free for all at least the minority of goverments that are actually legitimate don't have the rights of their people impinged upon by despots.

What's the UN doing now anyway? We probably have a human rights commission run by Sudan any embargoes run for profit by nephews of the UN general... The UN isn't better than nothing, it literally IS nothing.

It's bullshit to have an corruption and flacks for despots as alternative to legitimate government by the people.

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at February 16, 2005 07:15 PM

you have so much potential.

What can I say, Carlos -- you bring out the very best in those around you.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 16, 2005 08:24 PM

DPU:

"Why should my nation spend our gold and shed the blood of our young to free Iraqis when they are not ready to do the same for their own freedom?"

Because it's the liberal thing to do.

Liberals understanding that the only true impediment to freedom's readiness is oppression, and that oppression must be fought when one is given the power to do so.

I would think the brave example of the Iraqi election would ahve answered this question for you, or better helped you see it was the wrong question.

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at February 16, 2005 10:38 PM

Am I judging the left by their fruits?

Damn straight. Liberal Americans fight in our wars (clinton did was CinC there for 8 years), teach our children (often, in my experience, with rare insight and passion), make our movies (the best in the world), write our papers (most free in the world, though that's not saying much, yet), and currently administer the lion's share of our institutions.

I frankly think that by and large they are too busy producing fruit to reconsider some now outdated positions they tend to hold, and I hold out some hope of helping them get with the post-Berlin Wall program.

But to bunch them together with the likes of Ward Churchill is about as absurd as those who lump Glenn Reynolds in with Michael Savage.

"To be engaged in opoosing wrong affords, under the conditions of our mental constitution, but a slender guarantee for being right."

- Billy Gladstone

Posted by: Ged Earthsea at February 16, 2005 10:47 PM

Mary: "Are you referring to the Jenin ‘massacre’? That didn’t get very far, despite, as Caroline mentioned, the efforts of the press"

Actually Mary, I was referring to the possibility that we were drawn into Yugoslavia on the basis of faked atrocities and manipulation of the press.

Milosevic
"He claimed yesterday that a massacre at Racak in Kosovo, which helped to persuade NATO to attack Serbia, was faked. And he said that, in suppressing Kosovo Albanian rebels, he was fighting terrorism within his own borders.
"America crosses the globe to fight against terrorism, in Afghanistan, a case in point. Right on the other side of the world, and that is considered to be logical and normal. Whereas here the struggle against terrorism in the heart of one´s own country, one´s own home, is considered to be a crime," he said."

More claims:

Yugoslavia

"The complicity of the U.S. mainstream media in distorting public opinion and blaring sensational reports without checking facts is best illustrated in the reporting from rural Muslim villages in Bosnian Serb-held areas throughout 1992. One purported "death camp" at Trnopolje was visited that August by Paddy Ashdown, a British Liberal leader. He reported in both The Independent and The Guardian that this camp was actually an unfenced refugee center on school grounds, where Bosnian Muslims were being protected by their Serb neighbors and the Red Cross. A photo splashed around the world showed an emaciated "Islamic" behind barbed wire at Trnopolje. In fact, the photo was proved to be doctored; the barbed wire was faked. The man was actually a tubercular Serb looter in prison elsewhere (Foreign Policy Journal, 9/94)."

There are numerous allegations of this sort re the Balkans war (I googled Balkans war and faked atrocities) and how we got into it. It would take alot of reading to get to the truth no doubt but DPU does have a good point.

Posted by: Caroline at February 17, 2005 04:11 AM

What can I say, Carlos -- you bring out the very best in those around you.

Everybody except for you of course.

Posted by: Carlos at February 17, 2005 07:05 AM

I disagree with that general sentiment. The Hitler's, Stalin's and Hussein's of the world are actually quite rare. But they wreak so much havoc on the world that the rest of us (mere mortals) end up having to confront the worst ethical dilemmas in the face of the destruction they leave in their wake( and that's usually after they've managed to slaughter a whole lot of people.)

Caroline,

How are you disagreeing with me? I agree that Hitlers and Stalins and Husseins and Pinochets etc etc etc are rare. Perhaps I should have said "After some number of errors, we end up with a potentialHussien, Hitler, or Manson."

On top of the bad programming, the individual has to have the right circumstances, in order to gain power. Hitler may have been an evil Bastard, but if it hadn't been for the post-WWI economic situation in Germany, he may never have been elected.

I guess that my point was, that until we completely master the process of training young human minds everywhere, we will always have the threat and the occasional rise of a psychopath (Even with good training, they may still be psycho - Ed.) (Shut up Ed. - Tosk)

We can end poverty, we can end Islamic nihilism, but until we get the complexity that is the human brain figured out... there will always be bizzare errors... Out of 6 Billion people, thats a lot of potential errors. It's likely that at least one of them, every few generations, will find a niche and wreak havoc.

...that we perhaps need to intervene EARLIER rather than later.

Well, its a valid point... a bit too liberal for my tastes, but a valid point nonetheless. IF America has determined to become the world democracy enforcer, then we might as well do it before the enemy gets power. As soon as we see a dictator take power, we should take him out. Screw this land war stuff... just send in special forces and take him out. If the Lybians can do it... so can the CIA (Well, on second thought, maybe we shouldn't use them... they might blow up the wrong building).

I think that directness and honesty are the keys. If we're going to do it, then we'd best do it right.

Personally, I'd just as soon let people deal with their own damn government. If they try to terrorize us, then we take them out ala Afganistan. Otherwise, we tell people to take personal responsibility and fight their own damn corrupt leaders... Hell, I'll even support giving them guns. At best, they end the dictatorship, at worst they kill a bunch of people.

One way improves democracy, the other helps control the population. Everyone Wins.

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at February 17, 2005 08:03 AM

Actually Mary, I was referring to the possibility that we were drawn into Yugoslavia on the basis of faked atrocities and manipulation of the press

I’d read that the press overreacted to the situation in Yugoslavia because they felt guilty about downplaying the horrors of the Rwandan genocide.

The situation in Yugoslavia wasn’t genocide, but it was systematic ethnic cleansing. In the end, we put a stop to it and got rid of a real turd of a leader, Milosevic. A beneficial free-for-all.

If a few of the reporters in Iraq would cover the atrocities in the Sudan, they might be able to work up some American support for an intervention. But, like Rwanda, they’ll probably continue to downplay it and feel guilty later.

Posted by: mary at February 17, 2005 08:23 AM

Mary - I’d read that the press overreacted to the situation in Yugoslavia because they felt guilty about downplaying the horrors of the Rwandan genocide.

The bulk of the ethnic cleansing and massacres in the Balkans happened before the Rwandan genocide. Part of the reason there was so little interest in stopping it was that much of the world was focussed on the Balkans at the time.

Regarding your extremely hypothical situation regarding fascism, yes, if there was a real risk of fascism taking hold here, then I'd be putting my life on the line to stop it by whatever methods I'd think effective and moral. But it's a very hypothetical question, so I'm not sure why you're asking it.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 17, 2005 09:02 AM

Sorry Tosk - I've botched half my responses on this thread due to post-haste. We do agree on that - that there will always be one of these bizarre psychopaths and because they're often charismatic they will occasionally end up in power. In a perfect world I suppose the UN would be composed of only democracies that would collectively remove these folks as soon as they become dictators - meaning as soon as they refuse to hold a free election. I see no problem with that. (whether the US should take on such a role alone in an imperfect world is a good question). But it’s perhaps a bit much to expect the people to fight back when the state already has a firm monopoly on power. In fact, if I recall correctly, there were several failed coup attempts on Saddam that resulted in everyone involved getting killed. Of course this system leaves open the possibility that the electorate freely elects someone who is our enemy. In that case, we get no say unless they attack us and then we take them out. (ala Afghanistan). Consistency in enforcement would clearly be the key.

Posted by: Caroline at February 17, 2005 09:05 AM

Mary - re the Balkans - are you sure that the Serbs were unequivocably the bad guys? What appears to have happened was a quite systematic effort to portray Milosevic as Hitler and the Serbs as Nazis - in other words to completely demonize them in order to justify an intervention there. It's not clear to me that that the Serbs weren't actually trying to fight their potential "dhimmitude". Like I said, that conflict was so immensely complex but it seems to have resulted in creating a potential hotbed of islamic radicalism there. It would certainly behoove us to thoroughly understand that conflict because it seems quite possible that Europe itself is going to be "Balkanized" in the next 50 years or so.

Posted by: Caroline at February 17, 2005 09:14 AM
I think this report about the Dutch Army’s failure in Srebrenica is accurate:
Kok's dramatic move came after a six-year investigation by the Dutch Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) into the massacre of Bosnian Muslim men in Srebrenica in July 1995. Dutch soldiers were given the task of defending the U.N. "safe haven" and protecting the Bosnian Muslims sheltering there from a Serb offensive. Instead, they allowed the Serbs to round up Muslim men and boys and kill up to 8,000, dumping their bodies in unmarked graves.
Rounding up thousands of known-to-be unarmed civilians and dumping their bodies in an unmarked grave doesn’t sound like a fight against dhimmitude to me. It sounds like ethnic cleansing, or an effort to fight terrorism with terrorism. As the French discovered in Algeria, that’s a bad tactic. Posted by: mary at February 17, 2005 09:37 AM

Mary - I found a whole site devoted to addressing these "revisionist" (as opposed to "orthodox")views of the Balkans wars. Looks like the general points I was making are coming from the far left (I might have equally supposed they were coming from the right). Its a rather interesting site, featuring the usual far left suspects:

Deniers of Serbias war crimes

Posted by: Caroline at February 17, 2005 10:27 AM

Everybody except for you of course.

Sarcasm: A difficult concept.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 17, 2005 11:51 AM

Caroline - thanks for that link. It really explores the trend of the Left towards historical revisionism. People like Chomsky really learned a lot from Holocaust deniers. The far left and the far right are almost indistinguishable.

I really liked this quote from David Watson at the bottom of the page:

"Sadly, the so-called radical movement is losing its sense of complexity, of history, of ambivalence, and ultimately its own humanity. Most ostensible oppositionist discourse on the Balkans, from the hard Marxist left to the independent socialist left to even many anarchists, has sunk to a duckspeak of conspiracy mongering and holocaust denial, or to the nostrums of diplomatic conflict-resolution, or to crass and aggressive apologetics for mass murderers."

Posted by: mary at February 17, 2005 12:04 PM

This one is good too:

"Frozen in time, like prehistoric insects caught in an amber bubble of cold-war reflexes, the unreconstructed Left remains fixated on NATO and Western imperialist warmongers as the only threat facing humankind that they are prepared to resist. Barely half a century after World War II, the living dead of the Left are no longer capable of recognizing either fascism or genocide as the enemy."
From comments by Andras Riedlmayer, April 1, 1999

Posted by: Caroline at February 17, 2005 12:59 PM

Sarcasm: A difficult concept.

As you so aptly demonstrate.

Posted by: Carlos at February 17, 2005 02:19 PM

DPU: "Certainly the concept of sovereignity as understood by the UN charter needs an overhall to include human rights, but we'll still need a standard about what is and isn't legally justifiable military action"

One last point DPU - to sum up what I've been rather clumsily trying to say. I think the very concept of "sovereignty" should be reserved for nations that have democratically elected leaders. IMHO - as soon as a dictator/despot/tyrant seizes power, a nation should essentially lose its sovereign status. The international community should act immediately to remove the leader in order to permit a democratic election (certified of course by an impartial team of international observers.) This would remove the problem of genicide and most likely regional aggression at its source. It would save a whole lot of lives by nipping the problem (which history shows to be psychopathic narcissists) in the bud. Any other solution that bows to the sacred alter of "sovereignty" (even with a despot at the healm) basically elevates the "nation" as the supreme unit over and above the individual human being. What is perhaps preventing this approach now is the fact that the UN is comprised of a bunch of unelected despots. Of course they wouldn't agree to such a notion. I pretty much take it for granted that the Arab bloc is preventing any action in Sudan by resisting the label "genocide". So the first course of action is to disengage from the UN as it exists now and to create a new UN. Actually UDN ("United Democratic Nations"). The UDN would act, as I stated above, to immediately remove despots who will not submit to elections. Also, there would be a policy of non-interference with democratically elected nations. (i.e. no realpolitik). However, if the citizins voluntarily elect (and especially re-elect) an aggressive tyrant who attacks his neighbors, then we deal with them through the channels of conventional warfare. Well - that's what I would do anyway to fight fascism.

Posted by: Caroline at February 17, 2005 04:15 PM
Well Caroline, this would be a good time for me to plug the release of the Canadian government's proposal to modify the UN's charter vis-a-vis sovereignity. Here:
Prime Minister Paul Martin today congratulated the members of the United Nations High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change for their report released today in New York on the reform of the United Nations system in the area of international peace and security:

"Since its establishment one year ago, Canada has strongly supported the work of the Panel and presented two substantive papers, including one on the concept of Responsibility to Protect and a second omnibus paper on reform.

I am very pleased that the High Level Panel endorses the emerging international norm that there is an international “responsibility to protect” and recommends that the Security Council exercise this responsibility according to criteria to be embodied in declaratory resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council. We are pleased to note that these criteria closely parallel those recommended by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty.

Canada believes it is of utmost importance to respond to threats to peace and security posed by intra-state conflict, civil wars and genocide. Effective solutions to these threats are directly linked to the UN’s credibility as the keeper of international peace and security. The responsibility of nations to protect their population is a vital component of UN reform."

Essentially, the proposal suggest that the UN concept of sovereignity be revoked if a nation is mistreating its population. It brings up a number of problems to be discussed (including the issue of beligerants in a civil conflict luring third parties into their conflict intentionally). If you're interested, the whole proposal is here. Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 17, 2005 05:05 PM

Wow DPU - way cool. Is this a good time for me to point out that my mom is Canadian (born and raised in Winnepeg) and that I appreciate that good old Scottish-Canadian common sense?

Parts of the proposal that I find interesting:

"Increased public criticism of the Council along these lines suggests that the concept of security is increasingly understood to extend to people as well as states, and that the Security Council has failed to deliver on this understanding in practice."

That seems a major step forward for liberalism - placing the individual human being ahead of the "state".

"At the same time, it is important to recognize that the concept of sovereignty has never been absolutely inviolable. As the Charter makes clear, state sovereignty yields to the demands of international peace and security. Beyond this basic limitation, there has been a discernable shift in the interpretation of sovereignty in recent years, away from the notion of sovereign impunity (for regimes) in favour of sovereign responsibility (towards people)."

Cool.

"Given the dangers inherent in the use of military force, Canada concurs with The Responsibility to Protect that the threshold for intervention has to be set high. In exceptional circumstances where violent conflict, repression or state collapse are so severe that international action is required, we also agree that modalities and prospects must be carefully weighed before intervention is authorized"

I disagree right there. They might just be muddying the waters in such a way as to make the whole thing one more exercise in diplomaticspeak. In contrast (in the interest of actually solving the problem rather than simply waving a PC wand in its direction) - I think a case could be made instead for setting the "threshold for intervention" quite low. The low limit would be the demand for democratic elections beyond a certain minimal timespan (I don't know - minimally 6 years before there's a national referendum re whether to hold an election?).

Because otherwise aren't they merely restating the obvious? Which is that many of the international problems we've faced are based on the fact that we've heretofore granted sovereignty to states rather than to the citizens that live there? By setting the bar for intervention high - they may simply be acknowledging - but not really offering a concrete solution - to the basic problem.

Well - OK - OK - I don't want to be a grinch. Certainly it's a start...

Posted by: Caroline at February 17, 2005 06:20 PM

And - might I add - Canada will certainly be first on the list of countries to join the UDN (United Democratic Nations)! :-)

Posted by: Caroline at February 17, 2005 06:29 PM

DPU - the hypothetical crimes committed by the hypothetical Bush-led Christian Taliban have already been committed by Islamists around the world. I was just wondering if you thought that was worth fighting against.

Posted by: mary at February 17, 2005 08:42 PM

The Jews haven't taken the Bible literally for at least 2,000 maybe 3,000 years.

It is Christians, ignorant of Jewish History, who insist on literalism.

i.e. What I call Old Testament Christians.

For Jews there is the written law and the oral law - which has been over time written.

Posted by: M. Simon at February 18, 2005 01:04 AM

Well - OK - OK - I don't want to be a grinch--Caroline

Oh please go right ahead.It is just another 'feel-good',exercise by the 'do-nothing'Canadian regime.If you don't like this particular,avoid the hard choices solution,they will whip up another equally unreal variant for your intellectual pleasure.Anything to avoid agreeing with,or even accepting, a REAL power which refuses to be ordered about by corrupt lesser powers,caring little for its long-term interests.
The bottom line is that if Canada and DPU had the final say,Saddam's boot would be smashing Shiite faces until he handed the task was handed over to one of his psychotic sons.And,a pro-active,partly-militaritistic US strategy to defeat 'terror'in its cradle,would NEVER be allowed.NEVER,NEVER,NEVER.Legitimate,but not immediate, self-interest is NOT an allowable cause for action in this anti-US world.You must wait until,everyone agrees with your right to act.
DPU knows that which is why he links to this unworkable(wish-fulfillment internationalism) intellectual exercise from the Great White North.

Posted by: dougf at February 18, 2005 06:09 AM

The Jews haven't taken the Bible literally for at least 2,000 maybe 3,000 years.

Winger,

Your anti-evangelical chip is doing the talking here I think.

If you mean Jews like Markus, then you're right. There's not much jew left in him anymore. But not all Jews are like Markus. Just like not all christians are "OT christians."

There are PLENTY of jews that believe God LITERALLY led them out of Egypt. And there are plenty of jews who believe Israel was LITERALLY promised to them by God.

True, they don't stone adulteresses, but neither do "OT christians." And both have their systems for interpreting the text, even if you don't understand it or are unaware of it.

Posted by: Carlos at February 18, 2005 08:32 AM

dougf, ya kill me. <wipes eyes>

Mary - certainly fascism is worth fighting. That's why I'd fight it in my own country, and I'd like to think hypothetically that in 1935 I'd have fought against Franco's forces. The Arab dictatorships are quite another matter, simply because if you installed a democracy in Saudi Arabia, you'd likely have Bin Laden elected the day after. Same thing in Germany in the early 1930's. Shooting Hitler wouldn't have had much effect, as the society was ripe for some kind of strongman with a fascistic program to take over.

IMO, the Arab Middle East is going to require several decades of clean-up in order to wipe out both secular fascistic governments and weirdo jihadist cults. And I think war is an ineffective way to do it.

Caroline - while I can understand your comments about the intervention bar being high, I think that if it's low, then you're going to get some nations (like Russia, for example) pushing intervention all over the place in order to destabilize surrounding areas to their advantage. I think the intention is to protect against misuse of intervention rather than mire it in bureaucracy. But as I said, I understand and empathize with your comment.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 18, 2005 10:06 AM

certainly fascism is worth fighting. That's why I'd fight it in my own country,

you must be a selfish Republican.

The Arab dictatorships are quite another matter, simply because if you installed a democracy in Saudi Arabia, you'd likely have Bin Laden elected the day after.

and a racist Republican too?

Posted by: Carlos at February 18, 2005 10:16 AM

...and a racist Republican too?

No, I'd be an informed Republican who reads Saudi Arabian opinion polls. Where did race come into it? Or are you fuzzy on what racism means?

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 18, 2005 10:32 AM

Or are you fuzzy on what racism means?

Not at all. It's just fun giving Libs some of their own medicine from time to time.

Posted by: Carlos at February 18, 2005 10:36 AM

It's just fun giving Libs some of their own medicine from time to time.

First of all, I'm not a liberal. Secondly, point to a comment where I've called anyone racist.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 18, 2005 10:59 AM

First of all, I'm not a liberal.

lame.

It's so rare to meet a proud Liberal these days.

Posted by: Carlos at February 18, 2005 11:13 AM

dougf, ya kill me. --DPU

From each occording to his abilities:to each according to his needs. :-)

Posted by: dougf at February 18, 2005 11:16 AM
carlos: lame.

It's so rare to meet a proud Liberal these days.

Carlos, with all due respect, go fuck yourself. I've clearly identified myself to my friends here on both the left and right as a card-carrying socialist, not a liberal. If you're not sure of the distinction, read a book or something. Or ask doug, I'm pretty sure he knows the difference.

And if you're going to call someone a liar, have the balls to do it directly, okay? A pathetic passive-aggressive sneer is wussy.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 18, 2005 11:22 AM

I've clearly identified myself to my friends here on both the left and right as a card-carrying socialist, not a liberal.

LOL!

you're not a Liberal, you're a socialist.

LOL!!!!!

That was precious. >>wiping MY eyes

Posted by: Carlos at February 18, 2005 11:30 AM

...and Carlos whips off the mask, revealing himself to be a troll. A very wussy one.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 18, 2005 11:33 AM

Hey Mary-- Nice to see you quote David Watson, an anarchist who writes for the Fifth Estate out of Detroit. Check out is view on Israel:
www.altpr.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=Section&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=22&page=1

Posted by: drydock at February 18, 2005 05:51 PM

MO, the Arab Middle East is going to require several decades of clean-up in order to wipe out both secular fascistic governments and weirdo jihadist cults. And I think war is an ineffective way to do it.

Oh. So when you say “fight” you mean wait and dither. Predictable redefinition.

Talking and dithering have, historically, always worked so well against fascism.

Posted by: mary at February 18, 2005 06:33 PM

drydock - Your link didn't work. In any case, when someone says that Chomsky is a revisionist, it's like saying that 2 + 2 = 4. It doesn't matter if that person is a Marxist, a lunatic, or a priest. Some truths are self-evident.

Posted by: mary at February 18, 2005 06:42 PM
Oh. So when you say “fight” you mean wait and dither. Predictable redefinition.

Talking and dithering have, historically, always worked so well against fascism.

Hmmm. Snark is back.

Okay, let's see how the beefy Rambo approach is doing. From the Washington Post the other day...

War Helps Recruit Terrorists, Hill Told

Intelligence Officials Talk Of Growing Insurgency

The insurgency in Iraq continues to baffle the U.S. military and intelligence communities, and the U.S. occupation has become a potent recruiting tool for al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, top U.S. national security officials told Congress yesterday.

"Islamic extremists are exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti-U.S. jihadists," CIA Director Porter J. Goss told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

CIA Director Porter J. Goss prepares to testify before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence with other national security officials as committee member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) watches. (Lucian Perkins -- The Washington Post)

"These jihadists who survive will leave Iraq experienced and focused on acts of urban terrorism," he said. "They represent a potential pool of contacts to build transnational terrorist cells, groups and networks in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries."

On a day when the top half-dozen U.S. national security and intelligence officials went to Capitol Hill to talk about the continued determination of terrorists to strike the United States, their statements underscored the unintended consequences of the war in Iraq.

"The Iraq conflict, while not a cause of extremism, has become a cause for extremists," Goss said in his first public testimony since taking over the CIA. Goss said Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian terrorist who has joined al Qaeda since the U.S. invasion, "hopes to establish a safe haven in Iraq" from which he could operate against Western nations and moderate Muslim governments.

"Our policies in the Middle East fuel Islamic resentment," Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate panel. "Overwhelming majorities in Morocco, Jordan and Saudi Arabia believe the U.S. has a negative policy toward the Arab world."

Jacoby said the Iraq insurgency has grown "in size and complexity over the past year" and is now mounting an average of 60 attacks per day, up from 25 last year. Attacks on Iraq's election day last month reached 300, he said, double the previous one-day high of 150, even though transportation was virtually locked down.

Now, as I've said, I think that fighting against fascism is important, but I think it should be done right. This little war is exactly what these lunatics want. And while being a war wanker might be fun and it's pretty easy to "fight against fascism" from behind a keyboard, let's face it, most of us are not putting our lives on the line in the fight, are we now? Or the lives of our children? Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 18, 2005 09:17 PM

Carlos, with all due respect, go fuck yourself.

how come when somebody says "with all due respect" I get the funny they don't really mean it?

LOL! Thanks for the laughs DPU.

Posted by: Carlos at February 18, 2005 09:18 PM

Well, there wasn't much respect due to a troll.

By the way, speaking of respect, we haven't seen David for a while now.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at February 18, 2005 11:07 PM

You've collected an interesting abble of communists who don't know they're communists. I guess they didn't notice what happened to all the failed communist states. The same thing that will happen to their own utopia when reality sets in.

Posted by: at February 19, 2005 07:21 AM

Snark is back –

Sorry, I get snarky when I hear Chamberlainesque diatribes about how we should fight – with peace!

So the CIA that gave us Saddam’s WMDs is now claiming that war causes terrorism. Why do you only believe them when they say what you want to hear?

I guess their theory explains why our Saudi allies’ paramilitary fighters were able to recruit 20,000 mujahideen and create plots to attack us on 9/11 during a time of peace.

The war in Iraq was not fought against terrorism – it was fought on the basis of the Carter doctrine:

Any attempt by an outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force

If Bush planned to fight Islamist terrorism, he would have targeted the known extremist groups in the Middle East (the largest target, of course, being our Saudi allies - and the millionaire Iranian mullahs who have been at war with us for decades). Iraq was a strategic war, meant to achieve strategic aims.

Fortunately, our soldiers and the Iraqi people are fighting a genuine war against terrorism. Iraqi civilians, like the German Antifa groups, are willing to confront evil head on. They’re a great example, and they shame the hell out of the weak and ineffective ‘anti-war’ revisionist Left.

If you don’t fight evil, you often become it. How’s Canada’s experiment with the Shariah-imposed oppression of Muslim women going? According to Canadian women, it’s not going very well.

Posted by: mary at February 19, 2005 10:01 AM

So the CIA that gave us Saddam’s WMDs is now claiming that war causes terrorism--Mary

I'm not sure that useless organization is saying even that much.I thought the clip I saw of Goss yesterday did him no favours in terms of intellectual brilliance or even clarity.I hope he is doing better at the CIA than appearances might indicate.
What the CIA said I believe is that the Iraq War enables Bin-Ladenism to have a hook to draw in the gullible,the ignorant, and the fanatic.If it were not that hook it would be another for the gullible,the ignorant, and the fanatic are always with us.And I agree that those jihadists who manage to survive Iraq might well be better trained.So what? The vast majority of them are going to be collecting all those virgins in paradise long before they can get their worthless selves out of the caldron of Iraq,so their 'training' will do them precious little good.And that is not even taking into account the 'example'factor which is what makes Iraq the 'key' to ME change.
To believe that Iraq has been anything other than a net 'loss' for Bib-Ladenism is to mis-interpret what is really happening in Iraq.Jihadists are jihadists,Iraq or no Iraq.We are fortunate that the loons came out to play in Iraq where we can get at them and do them real damage.In fact,now that I think of it------ the same scenario applies in the West as well.Drag the 'loons'out into the open,where they must defind their 'strategy for victory' and then pummel them,and their unrealistic,reactionary,defeatism unmercifully .

Posted by: Doug Figgins at February 19, 2005 10:35 AM

Talking and dithering have, historically, always worked so well against fascism.

Ah, but talking and dithering have, historically, worked pretty well at not being fascists. Which may or may not be a priority of yours.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 19, 2005 11:53 AM

Kimmitt - Vichy France, 1941

Vichy Europe, 2005

Posted by: mary at February 19, 2005 01:11 PM

Doug - the CIA's incompetence is very frightening. Fortunately, our military is more than competent. All of the military that I've met are very knowledgable about Iraqi culture, language. I don't know any so-called spooks (at least, I don't think I do) but when I read their public statements, their ignorance is scary.

In most combat situations, scores of 'insurgents' die for every US soldier lost. I don't really think the invasion was planned well, but our troops are doing their best to pummel the terrorists unmercifully, and it seems that they're succeeding.

Posted by: mary at February 19, 2005 01:26 PM

Mary, I'm curious -- since you seem to be of the opinion that the threat to the US posed by Muslim extremist terrorism is on par with the threat posed by Nazi Germany -- or even Fascist Italy -- could you help me a bit with my geography? Which countries or colonies were physically conquered by states controlled by Islamic extremists over the past, say, five years or so? Or, more to the point, which states are or were under the undisputed control of the aforementioned extremists? I'm trying to grasp your mindset, and I think it might be because we don't agree on certain historical facts. For example -- I'm fairly certain that, say, Iran is under the control of Islamic extremists, and that it has been for the past twenty-five years. But what's the political makeup of, say, Switzerland? Or Nepal? Or any country whose GDP per capita is 1/10th that of the United States?

I do like the reference to Vichy France, though, implying that anyone who disagrees with your political views is a fascist collaborator. You have a long and glorious future ahead of you as a right-wing pundit. Have you considered asking Fox for your own television show, or did you plan on starting small with some basic talk radio?

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 19, 2005 01:35 PM

There is no reason to worry about nuclear proliferation in terror-supporting governments such as Iran. The Pakistani nuclear scientist and bomb designer Dr. Khan and his ties to islamic extremists constitute no threat to the western world whatsoever. You see, there is absolutely no threat from an islamic suicide bomber who possesses a working nuclear weapon.

Because islamic extremists have not actually conquered another country. This means they are absolutely no threat to you. Chill.

Posted by: Kibbitt at February 19, 2005 02:56 PM

Kimmitt - No, I wasn't questioning your patriotism. I couldn’t care less about your patriotism. The Antifa groups are German commies, but I agree with some of the things they do.

Here are some bulleted points to make this understandable:

  • you said "talking and dithering have, historically, worked pretty well at not being fascists. Which may or may not be a priority of yours." (ed. - implying what?)

  • I attempted to prove that historically, talking and dithering have not been effective weapons against a standard supremacist ideology. (the Thousand Year Reich, Wahhabi-influenced fundamentalism)

  • Examples of the ineffectiveness of talking and dithering can be found in Vichy France. The French believed that their Maginot line was impregnable, and some believed that peace was possible with the Germans. They were not prepared to fight, and as a result, many worked together with the Nazis. In that case, talking and dithering resulted in French cooperation with fascism.

  • From their report on the spread of Saudi government-funded hate literature, James Woolsey of the Freedom House says: “One analogue for Wahhabism’s political influence today might be the extremely angry form taken by much of German nationalism in the period after WW I. Not all angry and extreme German nationalists (or their sympathizers in the U.S.) in that period were or became Nazis. But just as angry and extreme German nationalism of that period was the soil in which Nazism grew, Wahhabi and Islamist extremism today is the soil in which al Qaeda and its sister terrorist organizations are growing. We need to recognize the problem posed by the international spread of this hate ideology, including within the American homeland.”

  • This hate literature has also been taught in European mosques, and, like our government, the Europeans have done very little to stop it. This, combined with a rise in Neo-Nazi groups, has resulted in an increase in anti-Semitic attacks in Europe. Neo-Nazis have killed hundreds of Arab immigrants. As we’ve seen, talking and dithering combined with the spread of hate can destroy a society.

  • Neville Chamberlain’s peaceful talking and dithering didn’t do the Czechs much good, and, in general, Orwell’s statement that pacifism was objectively pro-fascism is more proof that, historically, talking and dithering are ineffective weapons against hate groups and fascism, leading to the spread of this philosophy and the resulting deaths.
Posted by: mary at February 19, 2005 03:01 PM

>This little war is exactly what these lunatics >want.

Except for the "losing" part, of course.

= )

Posted by: Ged of Earthsea at February 19, 2005 08:16 PM

The French believed that their Maginot line was impregnable, and some believed that peace was possible with the Germans.

But both of these were true! Not only did the Maginot Line completely perform its purpose of pushing the war up into the Low Countries, but also it is a widely acknowledged counterfactual that if the French had not stupidly and aggressively occupied the Ruhr, or continued to impose war reparations on the Germans, then we need not have had Hitler's rise, much less WWII. The important thing about the rise of German nationalists after WWI is that they had a legitimate grievance. The question is straightforward -- are we at Munich or are we still in Weimar? That is, do we have to fight a war, or can we yet avoid it with intelligent, controlled action?

The answer, at least to me, has always been extremely clear -- the Islamists are no more dangerous than the fascists were in the 1920s. Their power is much, much more potential than real, and we would have to be monumentally stupid to give them the ability to hurt us as badly as they did on Sept. 11th again. Of course, we are being monumentally stupid, but we can change that, dammit.

You see, there is absolutely no threat from an islamic suicide bomber who possesses a working nuclear weapon.

So what you're saying is that we should be concentrating almost exclusively on nonproliferation. I agree! Wholeheartedly and without hesitation. Which is to say that we are both in total agreement that Bush is a complete incompetent with an absurdly stupid set of spending and intelligence priorities.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 20, 2005 12:38 AM

Mary - this is a dead thread - but this is how you fight fascism of the Wahabbi variety. It is really the only logical conclusion, only there will not be the political will to do it until after the next terrorist attack here at home (which is inevitable):

How to Defeat Jihad in America

Posted by: Caroline at February 20, 2005 08:10 AM

Apropos of my previous post - here's an alternative perspective. The key - nevertheless, appears to be how the west deals with immigration. I really don't know the answer. I am simply amazed, however, that all of this isn't more frankly discussed. Instead, we seem to have folks on either side of the aisle hurtling the label of "fascist" at eachother (myself obviously included.):

How Marseille beat anti-Semitism

Although I don't know how I feel about this statement - and what it bodes for long-term harmony (harmony based on corruption??):

"The city's central political tradition, one that sets it apart from the rest of France, is its corruption. Particularly, Marseille has notoriously tolerated crooked alliances between its city officials and its ethnic community leaders. Immigrant groups have flourished under this system of patronage, one that has shored up rigged electoral agreements while governing the distribution of subsidies and favors. Curiously, this tradition has evolved into a unique, unexpectedly effective mechanism for managing ethnic conflict."

Posted by: Caroline at February 20, 2005 08:54 AM

Kimmitt - if the French had not stupidly and aggressively occupied the Ruhr, or continued to impose war reparations on the Germans, then we need not have had Hitler's rise, much less WWII.

So the French are responsible for the rise of the Thousand Year Reich?

The link between economic deprivation and the rise of a hate ideology has been disproven in this study by the Southern poverty law center:

"…Hate crime has much more to do with integration patterns and neighborhoods changing over time than it does with macroeconomic conditions," Green, a political science professor at Yale University, told the Intelligence Report. "Hate crimes are most common when some new group is moving in and demographics are changing."

Other studies prove that the rejection of democracy and the rise of fascist groups also occurs when one group feels that they have lost all political power and have no chance to gain it back.

The important thing about the rise of German nationalists after WWI is that they had a legitimate grievance

Did the German nationalists have a legitimate grievance against the Jews? Did they have a legitimate grievance against homosexuals, the Czechs, the Poles, the handicapped and the mentally ill?

On 9/11, Islamist paramilitaries, funded by our Saudi allies attacked us during peacetime. What legitimate grievance did these wealthy Islamists have against us? Why is our stupidity to blame?

Did the genocidal Hutus in Rwanda have a legitimate grievance against the Tutsis they slaughtered? Are the victims of genocide and hate to blame for their fate because they didn’t take the proper ‘intelligent, controlled action' to address the legitimate grievances of totalitarians and murders?

Posted by: mary at February 20, 2005 11:46 AM

Caroline - The Marseille solution sounds a lot better to me.

The French idea of forcing everyone to become French is not working. Most of Europe does the same thing (or, like the Germans, they don't accept the immigrants at all, and beat up and kill people for the crime of being Turks) As a result, I think their immigrant population is a lot angrier than ours is.

But, every group has its criminal element, and the US muslim population is just as vulnerable. Much of our criminal element is encouraged by our Saudi allies. They, and the organizations they've created here, are more of a problem that the average immigrant.

Posted by: mary at February 20, 2005 11:54 AM

So the French are responsible for the rise of the Thousand Year Reich?

This is nonsensical. The only people responsible for the rise of the Nazis are those who supported them. The French did, however, have an opportunity to prevent the conditions which made the Nazis viable from occurring in the first place.

"Hate crimes are most common when some new group is moving in and demographics are changing."

This quote doesn't support your contention -- the Holocaust wasn't a "hate crime," and it wasn't because the Jewish population was moving into Germany.

Did the German nationalists have a legitimate grievance against the Jews?

Of course not, but they did have and tap into a legitimate grievance against France and Britain, and they leveraged that into the power to implement their full hate-fulled agenda. Do you think that maybe there might be an analogy here?

What legitimate grievance did these wealthy Islamists have against us?

I dunno, maybe that we've sponsored authoritarian and tyrannical regimes in most of their member nations for the past forty years? Do you think that that might conceivably have something to do with it? Or do you think that our sponsorship of dictatorship was so morally pure that no one would possibly have become angry as a result of it?

Did the genocidal Hutus in Rwanda have a legitimate grievance against the Tutsis they slaughtered?

Yes, and if you were even passingly familiar with Belgian colonial history, you'd know what it was. Of course, their grievance absolutely did not have a proper recourse of genocide. Let me be absolutely clear on this point, since you seem to gleefully assume that anyone who doesn't share your politics automatically condones genocide.

Are the victims of genocide and hate to blame for their fate because they didn’t take the proper ‘intelligent, controlled action' to address the legitimate grievances of totalitarians and murders?

Oh, stop thinking with your adrenal glands. Again, the only people responsible for the fate of innocents killed is the killers. Just like if I walk around a bad neighborhood alone in the middle of the night, the only people responsible for my getting mugged are the muggers. But that doesn't change the fact that I engaged in stupid and uncontrolled action, and that I could probably have prevented the crime by not being stupid in the first place.

People aren't born full of hatred for entire other classes of people. It has to be inculcated in them, and -- more importantly -- that inculcation has to have some basis in reality. If a German is told, "The French, the British, and the Jews are to blame for our poverty and humiliation," and it turns out that the French and British really are to blame for German poverty, they're going to take that last part far more seriously.

This is not to say that genocide or foulness comes only from grievance -- the US committed genocide on the Native American populations, for example, for the simple purpose of stealing their land. But it is my belief that this particular set of Muslim extremist foulness has a basis in legitimate grievance and that we can kick the legs out from under it by recognizing and understanding this fact.

Don't you think it would make sense to grasp where these recruiting tools come from so that we can take this weapon of legitimate anger shading into illegitimate hatred away from the extremists?

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 21, 2005 10:45 AM

The Islamists who paid for the 9/11 attacks were the authoritarians in charge of Saudi Arabia. If we were supporting them, why did they resent us?

And if they resented us, why the hell should we care? When, in the history of man, did sympathy for a potential killer ever prevent a crime?

Did the Sudanese blacks provoke the Islamists who are enslaving and killing them? Do the Thai buddhists provoke the Muslims who kill monks? Your argument makes no sense.

Oh, stop thinking with your adrenal glands.

Everyone thinks with their adrenal glands. It’s called a fight or flight reaction. You’re flight.

Again, the only people responsible for the fate of innocents killed is the killers. Just like if I walk around a bad neighborhood alone in the middle of the night, the only people responsible for my getting mugged are the muggers. But that doesn't change the fact that I engaged in stupid and uncontrolled action, and that I could probably have prevented the crime by not being stupid in the first place.

You would not have prevented the crime. Muggers aren't going to decide to stay at home and watch the Daily Show just because you didn't go outside. Surprise, the world doesn't revolve around you. There are other people here. You would only have guaranteed that you were not the victim.

..then your argument segues into predictable revisionism and the evil America routine. The deaths of the Native Americans=the holocaust, Bush=Hitler, we make them hate us, we are to blame, and you’re so brave for fighting the evil neo-con cabal. Really, you are.

Posted by: mary at February 21, 2005 08:56 PM

Did the Sudanese blacks provoke the Islamists who are enslaving and killing them? Do the Thai buddhists provoke the Muslims who kill monks?

Learn. To. Read. From my post:

This is not to say that genocide or foulness comes only from grievance -- the US committed genocide on the Native American populations, for example, for the simple purpose of stealing their land. But it is my belief that this particular set of Muslim extremist foulness has a basis in legitimate grievance and that we can kick the legs out from under it by recognizing and understanding this fact.

Everyone thinks with their adrenal glands. It’s called a fight or flight reaction. You’re flight.

No, Mary, some of us think with these newly-evolved brains. We find that we get fewer people killed that way. You might want to try it.

There are other people here. You would only have guaranteed that you were not the victim.

By your analogy, there are a certain number of terrorist attacks which are going to be carried out every year, and the US can do nothing about them except pawn them off on someone else? We can never even reduce the total number of attacks?

The deaths of the Native Americans=the holocaust

I called it a genocide, which it was. Learn. To. Read.

you’re so brave for fighting the evil neo-con cabal. Really, you are.

Projecting much? Stand fast, against the tides of liberalism! No more of this thinking and preventing! It's time for killing! Anyone who's against you hates America and submits to fascism! The 101st Fighting Keyboarders wants YOU!

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 22, 2005 09:26 AM

So, Kimmitt, enlighten us (or just me, at this point) with your newly evolved brain. Tell me how (based on previously, proven successful methods) we should prevent terrorism and the growth of fascsim in the Middle East.

Posted by: mary at February 22, 2005 05:13 PM

I've posted my views extensively elsewhere, but they boil down to this:

1) Tell the Israelis that they have to pull the settlements out of all of Gaza and 98% of the West Bank, then work to create a viable Palestinian state,

2) Following John Kerry's lead in the BCCI investigation, find and destroy the corrupt banks that allow money to be laundered for terrorism. Use RICO statutes to dismantle organizations which are either fronts for money-laundering or which allow themselves to excessively mix charity and money-laundering work.

3) Focus enormous resources on nonproliferation -- terrorists with chlorine gas are very very bad; terrorists with suitcase nukes are horrifyingly awful.

3a) Manage to convince the Iranians that there is some way that they can avoid a US invasion other than through a nuclear deterrent.

3b) Do something about Pakistan's nuclear arms bazaar.

3c) Massively decrease funding of Missile Defense -- keep it in the research stage until it works on both sunny and rainy days, for example.

4) Inform Mubarak, the House of Sa'ud, and others that they are no longer useful as antisoviet client states, so they'd better think about being useful as friendly democracies. Link human rights and aid.

5) Embark on a massive conservation program so we aren't shovelling petrodollars into extremist organizations.

6) Rescind our current policy of systematic torture and reclaim the moral high ground.

7) Tell the French that we'll take them a hell of a lot more seriously if they clean up the mess in the Congo. Maybe throw the Italians at the Sudan. Two birds, one stone.

8) I don't know what to do in Iraq to either engender a long-term stability or restrain ethnic tensions. That's why I opposed the invasion in the first place.

Of course, the only way to truly be safe is to abandon all support for Israel, but that's both immoral and politically infeasible.

These would probably help, and they wouldn't make things worse, which is far more than I can say for the invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 23, 2005 08:39 PM

I'm also confused by the "growth of fascism" comment -- which states which were previously non-fascist (however you define it) are now fascist (or threaten to become fascist)?

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 23, 2005 08:41 PM

I realized that I left out some of what the US had to do with regard to Hamas, Hizbollah, etc. Obviously, there will need to be some action taken, but I'm not familiar enough with the specifics of how to peel the group's fanatics away (and capture or kill them) from the group's, say, charity workers to give good answers just now.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 24, 2005 09:53 AM

Kimmitt – many of these suggestions are good – we should be doing more about conservation, in fact, we should be going to extremes (pebble-bed nuclear power, hydrogen cars, hybrids, etc.) but the soft diplomacy has been tried for years and it doesn't always work.

The pre-Iraq war period was proof that the US does not control the actions of the French, the Germans, or anyone else. We’re not all-powerful. There are a lot of things that are beyond our control, and always will be.

In Rwanda, the French supported the French-speaking genocidal Hutus because they didn’t want to lose French influence in the area. This was when the more diplomatic Clinton was President.

Rwanda was proof that alliances are not what they seem, and inaction can have serious consequences. Diplomacy is useful, but at some point, we have to decide that it’s not working.

Rwanda was also proof that hate can be a WMD. Hundreds of thousands died as a result of a community that was encouraged to hate. The Islamist government of the Sudan has already killed millions.

We’re worrying about the wrong kinds of weapons.

Posted by: mary at February 24, 2005 09:52 PM

the soft diplomacy has been tried for years and it doesn't always work.

Well, I wasn't thinking much about "soft" diplomacy; I was thinking about not giving billions of dollars to various states -- or declining to sell arms to Saudi Arabia -- which has to count as "hard" diplomacy.

Look, you're talking to someone who wholeheartedly supported the intervention in Afghanistan. Obviously there are times and places to go and do what needs doing. But blundering around like a bull in a china shop sounds to me like more of the same -- more idiocy which creates more anti-American hatred by people who actually have a reason to hate us. When we drop a bomb on a house with innocent people inside, we create the hatred of their families. We should therefore be careful to drop bombs only when absolutely necessary, since we are going to hit some innocents by accident no matter what.

Most importantly, none of the things I'm talking about were done by the Bush Administration. If you think that they were good ideas, you have to begin to understand why so many people who are serious about American security are appalled at this Administration's indifference to even the most commonsensical of policy approaches.

Posted by: Kimmitt at February 25, 2005 08:58 AM

Okay, Kimmitt, conservation and dismembering corrupt banks are very good ideas.

But ‘do something’ about Pakistan’s nuclear arms bazaar? We have done about as much as we can. ‘Manage to convince the Iranians’ - ‘Inform Mubarak and the House of Saud’, tell the French that we don’t take them seriously?? The Bush administration has already done all of these things. The Saudis don’t depend on us for aid, and despite the arms we've sold them, their military forces are pathetically weak. OTOH we may already have threatened Mubarak, and it may be having an effect. But there are limits to what words can do.

How would we throw the Italians at anything? We’re not omnipotent. These states are not our puppets. There are many things we can't control.

As I’ve said, I supported the threat of war against Saddam, but Saudi Arabia and Iran financed & trained the 9/11 paramilitaries. They should have been our actual target. If the Democrats had shown leadership ability and real plans to fight the Islamists, I would have voted for them. Instead, the Democrats said again and again that their fellow Americans, Republicans, were their enemy. Why should I vote for people who hate Americans?

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Posted by: epart at December 23, 2005 07:41 AM

GLOBALLY SUSTAINED PLANET DESTRUCTION - The real threat and the only solution

Humans apply population control to overpopulating, habitat invading pests; it's time they include themselves or they will end up the only species on a dead planet. Humans have edged out their fellow mammals onto less than 5% of global landspace while the oceans are contaminated from 50 years of nuclear waste dumping; even the Nazis could not have done worse. Now thousands of tons of concrete platforms for wind turbines will be added to damage the seabeds. And worse to come: Germany increases economic growth prospects for 2007 which pleases ignorant EU dictator Barroso as it sustains his Grande Armée of Bureaucrats. Nazi Germany counted 60 million Nazis as Hitler was handing out Gold, Silver and Bronze medals to multiple breeding mothers while invading the East for "Lebensraum". Now Neo-Nazi Germany bulging with more than 85 million Neo-Nazis hands out over 30,000 US Dollars to breeding mothers for increasing the new economic planet destruction Reich that has already burst into new "Lebensraum" countries in a repetition of its holocaust and war crimes. As all countries now depend economically on the neo nazis - you won't hear a even a murmur of warning.

Is it ignorance or collusion which unites politicians, environmentalists and charlatans in general to claim that money can solve or at least reduce the global environmental holocaust of species extermination, habitat destruction, rain forest disappearance, desertification, climate change, global warming, pollution, toxic wastelaying and poisoning of the global life support system with pesticides, insecticides, algicides, chemical fertilisers, genetic engineering and pollution? The entire planet has been turned into a polluted, contaminated cashcrop/construction site that is self-destructive to feed, house, clothe, transport, employ and entertain ever more humans.

For more than 30 years thousands of political and environmental charlatans have wasted millions in money that was made from planet destruction and empty words that come from the same prayer mill while the global environmental problems have mushroomed and worsened including the swindle whereby more energy is consumed recycling waste than dumping it. The double whammy is space as the planet is turrned into a toxic wastebin.

30 years ago HRH The Duke of Edinburgh warned in his WWF address that over-population would cause the problems we face today - since then 3000 million additional humans have joined the global quantum mass - now 6500 million humans - that wipes out the planetary life support system - his warning was not only ignored but also dismissed as the usual doom-mongering.

There is no shortage of money on the planet; stockmarkets have at least tripled since 9/11; there are now more billions floating about than millions only a few years ago. Values are being corrupted to such an extent that return on real capital is completely ignored. Global debt now exceeds 1000 trillion USD compounded by endless debt swaps=more debt for old debt. The planet is effectively being bankrupted in a massive wave of asset inflation as resources are wiped out/consumed due to human over-population.

Growing revenues on debt-based platforms represent the insanity of planet destruction. More criminals have amassed fortunes on debt financed racketeering since 1945 than in the entire previous history of humans. The media glorify booming sales and mad expansion plans without a hint that they are destroying the global life support system.

The media barons refuse to include news about the ongoing daily environmental disasters and ecological deterioration as it would expose the global contradiction and collusion in causing them. Instead they have helped to make "sport and personality cults" into a popular global moneylaundry. All of them sit on the government sponsored breeding bandwagon that tripled over-population and fuelled the ensuing consumption boom caused by 4000 million more humans that has caused all environmental problems since 1945. As recent as 1950 - a split second in the history of the planet - none of the signs of ecological meltdown the planet is now facing existed yet could have been predicted mathematically by even the most half-baked primary school teacher.

It's time that the media devote at least as much space/time to the global environmental problems as they do to sport and expose the perpetrators and highlight the fundamental cause and only solution.

Yes the planet is being destroyed on debt because the mad central bankers/worldbank/imf have unleashed a cheap credit boom that has every criminal and Tom Dick and Harry let loose on the planet in a mad frenzy of participatory planet destruction by way of un-needed construction of ever more "tourist/investment" slums/activities throughout the world that not only consume vast resources but also pollute ever more environment, causing ever more exponential global infrastructure expansion that is compounded by the "development" of India and China and other "aspiring" former Third World nations that now want to imitate the natural habitat destructive, bio-diversity exterminating, resource depleting, wastelaying, polluting, "western consumption zombie lifestyle" that drives "economic growth" instead of balance and consolidation which indeed would mean reducing output and consumption: As much an anathema to politicians as not committing crime would be to criminals.

In a mad scramble to keep the consumption zombies growing in numbers as the older generation gets tired of buying rubbish the political charlatans and their sponsors devise ever more schemes to incite couples to breed the next generation of more of the same while pathetically drivelling about the environment when all of their policies are causing the problems.

All children are innocent victims of the self-serving, self-indulgent, egoistical, premeditated or accidental breeding frenzy of humans. Born into forced participation in the planet- and self-destructive consumption frenzy that is wiping out the global life support system.

Every penny spent on socalled environmental protection, charity etc. has to be earned by causing environmental damage exceeding the alleged benefit in a global irreparable deterioration that keeps millions of charlatans in well paid jobs jetting from conference to conference/dishing up alleged success stories to justify their contracts while the planetary life support system/bio-diversity is dying.

The staggering inequities created by the global population=consumption explosion propelling the already wealthy to ever greater riches and the poor to ever more poverty within the context of an accelerating planet destruction scenario financed by the rich as "investment" fuels ever more envy, disparity, hatred and consequential potential crime/terrorism/war as the disadvantaged have nothing to lose. Everything is out of focus, out of control and out of limits; yet it suits the charlatans as it diverts attention from the real problem that is the only solution: population control; i.e. bringing populations in balance with fellow species, resources and habitat.

In India it's more than 1400 million Indians against less than 1000 wild Elephants; in China it's 1400 million Chinese against less than 200 Pandas; In Brazil it's 200 million Brazilians against less than 100 Jaguars. In overcrowded Europe no comparisons are possible as all wildlife has long been exterminated while institutionalised animal torture/bullfighting continues for "economic reasons/entertainment". Sick Humans call this Human Rights, Justice and Democracy.

Since 1945 more habitat destruction and pollution has taken place than in the previous 60 million years, since 9/11 more money has been added to the global money supply than was in circulation in the previous 100 years: all of this money finances MORE planet destruction, pollution, resource depletion, desertification, rain forest destruction and species extermination to such an extent that the charlatans are now rejoicing in the melting of the Antarctica saying it will open up new shipping lanes and trading opportunities. The melting of the glaciers is also considered a splendid new opportunity for new construction projects to keep the polluting cement, glass, brick, steel factories churning out their contaminating air-conditioned bunker building stuff. The rapidly spreading desertification is already promoted for intensive building activity on the expectation that the Dr. Frankensteins will find a way to turn sand into energy and drinking water. Energy devouring Indoor Ski runs are all the rage in the desert bunker cities and will soon appear in the warming Alps.

The ensuing global corruption of national interests, job creation and desperate consumption growth is thus accelerated to such an extent that there is only one global reality; i.e. that the entire environmental/development/charity pretences are an integral part of the global economy that destroys the planet.

Oh yes, why worry: when India and China each have completed their 1000 Nuclear Power Stations programme; when carbon fuels have run out we may have "clean air" with a radioactive plutonium residue that may keep the planet glowing at night. Already there is more than 1 kilo of plutonium waste with a half-life of 25,000 years per person that has nowhere safe to go.

Let's stop the pretences: a global no pregnancy policy under the age of 35 and statutory maximum one child policy per female must be introduced until the human quantum mass is reduced to what it was in 1950 better still 1850. Those who volunteer not to have a child should pay no taxes. It will even out prosperity for all and give the environment/bio-diversity a chance to recover.
It will also mean less future voters for the charlatans and less money for their sponsors.
An altogether beneficial solution for the planet and for all species.
The problem is that the majority of humans don't have the IQ to understand the issue; they continue to subsist on the cockroach level of ignorance/self-indulgence like rats in a grainstore: multiply and feed without regard for the future or other species. That's got to change! Though it won't until it's too late because there is too much vested interest that flourishes on the misery of the overcrowding masses.

Felix Leisinger, Founder of
www.equalearth.org

Posted by: Felix Leisinger at December 26, 2006 12:05 PM
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