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Crafty_Dog
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« on: September 12, 2007, 11:41:17 PM »

Woof All:

A recurring theme in several of our threads having to do with WW3 and its various theaters (Iraq, Afg-Pak, the American Homeland, Europe, etc) is our apparently poor ability to articulate to ourselves the nature of the struggle and our strategy.

This thread is for discussing and resolving exactly this.

I will begin with the name "The War on Terror".  WOT is, IMHO, a remarkably stupid, indeed cowardly name for this war.  We do not war with a technique!  We war with a world-wide movement of religious fascists who seek to bring us down and impose their understanding of Islam on the whole world.  I know that some are ill at ease with the term Islamo-fascism, but IMHO the name is an accurate description of our enemies.

We search for Truth.  Let the conversation begin.

TAC!
Marc
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2007, 11:16:37 AM »

Humor is good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-rxJWoG-4I
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G M
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2007, 05:33:42 PM »

It's multiple factors in my opinion. The cultural damage done by the left since the 1960's has been profound. The constant droning of how bad western civilization in general and the U.S. specifically is begins early on in the indoctrination system of public education. The MSM and hollywood's agenda also shapes the public's consciousness. This combined with the pampered and protected lives most Americans live results in the mess we have today. Look at the examples we have here. The Milt-Rogt axis rooting openly for American defeat and withdrawl and DogBrian wrapping himself in 9/11 Troofer delusion. Why? Because it's much more comfortable to blame everything on America than to face the ugly truth that there are millions and millions of fanatically motivated people who wish to utterly destroy us and everything we believe in. People who celebrate when they find that their child stapped explosives to his body and detonated them in the midst of families in a pizza parlor.

The average American can't easily grasp that and mesh it with "All people are good once you get to know them" and from the left "Only white males can be evil, if someone with melanin does something bad, it's because of something a white guy or corporation owned by a rich white guy did or didn't do".

In my career, I have seen death up close and I have looked human evil in the eye, but for most my experiences are as alien as a science fiction movie. People watch a werewolf movie and it's scary, but they don't expect to be mauled by a werewolf in the theater parking lot, people watch terrorism today in much the same way. It's horrific, but only in a detacted way that couldn't every really affect them.
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rogt
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2007, 06:53:04 PM »

The Milt-Rogt axis rooting openly for American defeat

Way to misrepresent my position there, snookums.  I consider a US "victory" to be the worst possible outcome because the war itself is a criminal enterprise which, whether you agree with it or not, is a defensible position.  There's a big difference between that and and simply hating America (or some such juvenile  BS), which you imply.

Quote
In my career, I have seen death up close and I have looked human evil in the eye, but for most my experiences are as alien as a science fiction movie. People watch a werewolf movie and it's scary, but they don't expect to be mauled by a werewolf in the theater parking lot, people watch terrorism today in much the same way. It's horrific, but only in a detacted way that couldn't every really affect them.

So what exactly do you do?

You might consider the possibility that some of the people you're trashing have had pretty harsh life experiences of their own and/or have seen a *lot* of death up close, and that these experiences may have helped shape their political views.  But I suppose it's easier (or more satisfying?) for you to bark and whine about how "the left" is destroying America.  Yawn.
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G M
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2007, 07:47:46 PM »

The Milt-Rogt axis rooting openly for American defeat

Way to misrepresent my position there, snookums.  I consider a US "victory" to be the worst possible outcome because the war itself is a criminal enterprise which, whether you agree with it or not, is a defensible position.  There's a big difference between that and and simply hating America (or some such juvenile  BS), which you imply.

**It is a defensible position, for an enemy of America. I believe i've asked you in the past and you couldn't answer what law you allege has been violated. As usual, you spew leftist talking points that go unchallenged in your social circle but can't defend them when they are challenged.**

Quote
In my career, I have seen death up close and I have looked human evil in the eye, but for most my experiences are as alien as a science fiction movie. People watch a werewolf movie and it's scary, but they don't expect to be mauled by a werewolf in the theater parking lot, people watch terrorism today in much the same way. It's horrific, but only in a detacted way that couldn't every really affect them.

So what exactly do you do?

**I'm a cop.**

You might consider the possibility that some of the people you're trashing have had pretty harsh life experiences of their own and/or have seen a *lot* of death up close, and that these experiences may have helped shape their political views.  But I suppose it's easier (or more satisfying?) for you to bark and whine about how "the left" is destroying America.  Yawn.


**Oh, please do tell of the traumas America inflicted on you to make hate it so.**
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G M
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2007, 08:38:19 PM »

The bay area remembers 9/11.

http://zombietime.com/9-11_truth_march_power_to_peaceful/

I know, how could I fail to see the patriotic feeling expressed....
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2007, 04:33:37 PM »

Woof Rog:

Given the concept of this particular thread, it makes most sense to me for it to be for people strategizing in favor of our success in these things, not opposing it.  By all means please continue to carry on in the other threads.

Marc

=========

Woof All:
---

From Jihadwatch

"Many U.S. Muslim groups viewed as moderate by the Justice Department and other government agencies secretly are linked to the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood"

At last the truth -- the truth we have repeated here for years -- is coming out. "Inside the Ring," by Bill Gertz in the Washington Times (thanks to Matthew):
The international Sunni jihadist group Muslim Brotherhood set up numerous U.S. front groups since the 1990s that should be regarded as hostile and a threat to the United States, a Pentagon Joint Staff analyst said.

Stephen Caughlin, a lawyer and military intelligence specialist on the Joint Staff, stated in a Sept. 7 memorandum that many U.S. Muslim groups viewed as moderate by the Justice Department and other government agencies secretly are linked to the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. The groups also are engaged in influence and deception operations designed to mask their true aims, he said.

Documents entered into evidence in the federal terrorism trial in Dallas of the Holy Land Foundation, a charity charged with illegally funding the Palestinian Hamas terrorist group, reveal new security threats from a network of more than 29 U.S. Muslim groups.

"These documents are beginning to define the structure and outline of domestic jihad threat entities, associated nongovernmental organizations and potential terrorist or insurgent support systems," Mr. Caughlin said.

Specifically, a 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum "describes aspects of the global jihad's strategic information warfare campaign and indications of its structure, reach and activities," Mr. Caughlin said.

The Muslim Brotherhood memo on organizing Muslims in North America said that all members "must understand their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within, and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."

Mr. Caughlin said in his memo that "consequently, outreach strategies must be adjusted in the face of credible information that seeming Islamic humanitarian or professional nongovernmental organizations may be part of the global jihad with potential for being part of the terrorist or insurgent support system," he said.

Mr. Caughlin said the 1991 memorandum identifies the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) as part of the Muslim Brotherhood. The ISNA, one of more than 300 unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation trial, recently became a subject of controversy among officials who opposed the Justice Department's participation in a conference held last month, despite opposition from two members of Congress.
In August, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican, and Rep. Sue Myrick, North Carolina Republican, wrote to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to oppose the Justice Department's attendance at the ISNA conference in Chicago as a "grave mistake" because it would legitimize a group with "extremist origins."

The Justice Department said in response that its participation at the Labor Day weekend meeting was part of "outreach efforts ... to educate the public about how the department works to protect religious freedom, voting rights, economic opportunity, and many other rights."

Mr. Caughlin warned in his memo that such outreach "can cause those responsible for its success to so narrowly focus on the outreach relationship that they miss the surrounding events and lose perspective."

"This could undermine unity of effort in homeland security, lead to potential for embarrassment for the [U.S. government] and legitimize threat organizations by providing them domestic sanctuary."

No war of Ideas

Sen. Joe Lieberman pressed senior U.S. intelligence and security officials this week on what the Bush administration is doing to counter the ideology of Islamic extremism domestically and internationally.

The answer from the top officials: Not much.

Mr. Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said during a hearing Monday that a war of ideas is needed to counter Islamic extremists.
"Because this is a war, but it is ultimately a war against, and with, an ideology that is inimical to our own values of freedom and tolerance and diversity," the Connecticut independent said.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III revealed during the hearing that the FBI has no counterideology response other than its "outreach" to Muslim-American communities so they "understand the FBI" and address "the radicalization issue," he said.

Asked whether the FBI has a responsibility to wage a battle of ideas within U.S. Muslim-American communities, Mr. Mueller said: "You put that where I would say no, that it would not be our responsibility for any religion to engage in the war of ideas."

The FBI's responsibility, he said, is "to explain that once one goes over the line and it becomes not a war of ideas but a criminal offense, this is what you can expect, and to elicit the support of those in whatever religious community to assist us in assuring that those who cross that line are appropriately investigated and convicted."

The comment shows that despite the creation of a dedicated FBI intelligence-gathering branch, the bureau remains limited to investigation and law enforcement.

Retired Vice Adm. Scott Redd, head of the National Counterterrorism Center who has a strategic operational role in countering terrorism, said one of the "four pillars" of the U.S. war strategy is the "war of ideas," but he noted that there is no "home office" for that effort in the United States.
Retired Vice Adm. Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence, said the intelligence community does not conduct any battle of ideas against terrorists in the United States unless there is a foreign connection.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff also said nothing is being done domestically to battle Islamist extremist ideas. The department's incident management team, he said, is focused on civil rights or civil liberties — not fighting terrorists' ideology.
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G M
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2007, 04:34:49 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZMgIKZUvFQ

The left honors 9/11.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2007, 06:55:36 PM »

GM:

Let's keep on track with the mission of this thread.  What do you think of President Bush's speech yesterday?

M.
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G M
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« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2007, 12:18:38 AM »

I thought it was a good speech, the points are true and I hope we can make Iraq into a semi-fuctional country. The problem is that we have a congressional leadership that wants us to lose for their political gain.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2007, 01:32:55 AM »

What do you think of the recently articulated Korean example, i.e. that with agreement of the Iraqi govt. we seek to leave troops there for a long time?

How do we articulate this to the American people?  Was this part of our strategy all along?  If so, why is this news to so many of us now?
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G M
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« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2007, 02:53:17 AM »

Not being a white house insider, I don't know if it was always the plan, but I assume so. If you've read George Friedman's "America's Secret War" he asserts that one motivation for moving against Iraq was to pressure the Saudis without direct engagement. As the Saudis are still funding the global jihad as they were prior to 2003, it's obviously not successful, though threatening Iran potentially would be more effective with American forces on two of it's borders.

As usual, this administration couldn't articulate it's self out of a paper bag and is utterly tone deaf to public opinion.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2007, 08:49:09 AM »

I've read George Friedman's "America's Secret War" and as my postings here amply attest, subscribe to his Stratfor-- which I find to be outstanding.  My reading of those of them on point to this issue is that there has been some success to getting the House of Saud to get tough(er) on AQ in SA.

Completely agreed on the Bush administration's communication skills and its tone deafness!  Could part of the problem be that if we were to articulate our true reasons that it would present serious political problems for those whom we seek to have as allies?
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G M
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2007, 01:39:05 PM »

My opinion is that the Saudis have only moved against AQ in Saudi Arabia out of fear for their own security. They've deliberately allowed the flow of Saudi youths to the jihad in Iraq so the US could bury them there rather than worry about them as a threat to internal security/stability.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2007, 05:18:57 PM »

"My opinion is that the Saudis have only moved against AQ in Saudi Arabia out of fear for their own security."

My idea of an outstanding and reliable motive  cheesy
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G M
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« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2007, 12:18:24 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/09/16/hot-air-video-infiltrating-the-moonbats-in-dc/

There are two Americas.....
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2007, 11:05:08 AM »

GM:

Certainly that is pertinent to why the US has a hard time getting its act together, but my intention for this thread is to focus more on the articulation of what our strategy is so as to rally the American people.  As noted in a nearby thread, one goes to war with the citizens one has.

Marc
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2007, 11:21:58 AM »

From Berlin to Baghdad
By GABOR STEINGART
September 18, 2007; Page A14

When I was born the war was already over. The mission was accomplished, as we would say today. But the aggression was still alive. The interior of my hometown was divided into four sectors, and there were occasionally clashes at the borders between the sectors, resulting in injuries and even loss of life. Sometimes as a child I heard the rattling of machine-gun fire. My bedroom was less then 2,000 feet from one of the checkpoints.

Whenever my father and I came within earshot of a border post, he would always remind me of the iron rule of the early days after this war: Keep your mouth shut! A wrong word or even a silly grin was enough to cause big trouble for an entire family.

The situation worsened year after year of what was called "peace." There was no "progress on the ground," as we would say today. The rival groups in my city were absolutely irreconcilable, which is why the men with the Kalashnikovs ended up building a massive wall down the middle of our street. They tore down the houses behind the wall to make room for watchtowers and automatic shooting devices.

The city where I was born is called Berlin, not Baghdad. Thanks to the perseverance and patience of American soldiers and their commander in chief, Berlin is one city today, a free city truly at peace. But if pollsters, focus groups and other "strategic advisers" who don't answer to the electorate had existed at the time, freedom probably wouldn't have stood a chance in my city. The operative terms in those days were not "withdrawal" and "timetable," but "solidarity" and "strength." The most important word was "freedom" -- not "benchmark" or "exit-strategy."

If the supreme commander of the U.S. Army in Berlin had been subject to the same requirements Gen. David Petraeus is subject to today, the Americans would have had to turn the city over to the Soviets. Baghdad today and Berlin in those days are more similar than some would like to believe. The general contention is that the Iraqis, unlike the Germans, never had a democratic culture. Once you break the palace, by ousting the dictator, the elevator goes straight to the mosque, these people argue. There is nothing in between -- no civil society, no real labor unions, no real parliament or press.

That's the situation in Iraq, but that was also the situation in postwar Germany. There was no flourishing democratic tradition in my country before the Allies marched in. Adolf Hitler came to power, not by overthrowing a government, but through elections, because the Germans were poorly equipped to handle their young, fickle democracy. A majority considered discipline and order to be more valuable than parliamentary representation. Germany was a republic without republicans.

Iraq, so the argument goes, is a wild, mixed bag of ethnic groups and religious communities. Speaking strictly off the record, critics say that fanaticism is practically part of the human genetic code in this part of the world. What a contradiction! If there were ever a hotbed of fanaticism, it would be somewhere between Berlin and Munich. The Baath Party and its leaders couldn't hold a candle to the Führer in Berlin and his followers. Millions marched through the streets chanting: "Führer command, we will follow!"

American soldiers are attacked daily in Baghdad. There was none of that in postwar Berlin. Objection! Didn't the Germans exact a far greater toll on the Americans? Here are the official U.S. battle casualties in the European theater: killed: 116,991; wounded: 386,356; captured: 73,759; missing: 14,528. Hitler's offensive in the Ardennes, an attack that was launched despite the fact that defeat was imminent, was nothing less than a giant suicide bombing. More than 100,00 people died, more Germans than Americans.

There are many differences between Berlin in those days and Baghdad today. Comparing the two doesn't mean equating them. But the most important difference can be found in Washington. The Americans at the beginning of the Cold War were much more patient. When the situation became especially threatening, the president made a trip to Berlin. But instead of barricading himself into an army barracks, he stood on the balcony at the city hall (in our sector) and called out "I am a Berliner." His name was John F. Kennedy, which sends us one clear message: You don't have to be a "neocon" to fight for freedom.

Republicans and Democrats should do what their predecessors did to address the Berlin challenge: grit their teeth, persevere, be patient and most importantly resist the temptation to take political advantage of short-term strategic setbacks. The greatest enemy of freedom today is strategic impatience. The presidential candidates can run, but they can't hide: Their Berlin is called Baghdad.

Mr. Steingart, Der Spiegel's Berlin bureau chief from 2000 to 2007, is now a senior correspondent in Washington.

WSJ
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G M
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« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2007, 10:34:32 PM »

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5784518

That Old Piece of Cloth

by Frank Miller

 

Frank Miller is a comic book artist whose titles include Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City (which he co-directed for the movies). Miller recently announced that he's working on a new graphic novel in which Batman pits himself against terrorists.

 
“Patriotism, I now believe, isn't some sentimental, old conceit. It's self-preservation.”
 
Morning Edition, September 11, 2006 · I was just a boy in the 1960s. My adolescence wasn't infused with the civil rights struggle or the sexual revolution or the Vietnam War, but with their aftermath.

My high school teachers were ex-hippies and Vietnam vets. People who protested the war and people who served as soldiers. I was taught more about John Lennon than I was about Thomas Jefferson.

Both of my parents were World War II veterans. FDR-era patriots. And I was exactly the age to rebel against them.

It all fit together rather neatly. I could never stomach the flower-child twaddle of the '60s crowd and I was ready to believe that our flag was just an old piece of cloth and that patriotism was just some quaint relic, best left behind us.

It was all about the ideas. I schooled myself in the writings of Madison and Franklin and Adams and Jefferson. I came to love those noble, indestructible ideas. They were ideas, to my young mind, of rebellion and independence, not of idolatry.

But not that piece of old cloth. To me, that stood for unthinking patriotism. It meant about as much to me as that insipid peace sign that was everywhere I looked: just another symbol of a generation's sentimentality, of its narcissistic worship of its own past glories.

Then came that sunny September morning when airplanes crashed into towers a very few miles from my home and thousands of my neighbors were ruthlessly incinerated -- reduced to ash. Now, I draw and write comic books. One thing my job involves is making up bad guys. Imagining human villainy in all its forms. Now the real thing had shown up. The real thing murdered my neighbors. In my city. In my country. Breathing in that awful, chalky crap that filled up the lungs of every New Yorker, then coughing it right out, not knowing what I was coughing up.

For the first time in my life, I know how it feels to face an existential menace. They want us to die. All of a sudden I realize what my parents were talking about all those years.

Patriotism, I now believe, isn't some sentimental, old conceit. It's self-preservation. I believe patriotism is central to a nation's survival. Ben Franklin said it: If we don't all hang together, we all hang separately. Just like you have to fight to protect your friends and family, and you count on them to watch your own back.

So you've got to do what you can to help your country survive. That's if you think your country is worth a damn. Warts and all.

So I've gotten rather fond of that old piece of cloth. Now, when I look at it, I see something precious. I see something perishable.
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G M
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« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2007, 01:48:32 AM »

http://pajamasmedia.com/2007/09/paris_lights_wanted_heroes_dea.php

Paris Lights: Wanted - Heroes, Dead or Alive
September 18, 2007 12:06 AM

Infantryman Harold Baumgarten

PJM’s Paris editor Nidra Poller spent a moving day on the Normandy beaches with a man who lived through the bloody WWII invasion, and contemplates the parallels with the battles being waged today. “War is hell but nations that do not have the courage to fight back when warred against are damned.”
Support Pajamas Media; Visit Our Advertisers

By Nidra Poller
Dr. Harold Baumgarten is a delightful hero. Supple and springy at 82, as clear-minded about the past as about the present, proud and modest, open-minded and open-hearted, he stands straight and tall physically and spiritually. I had the privilege of spending September 10 at Omaha Beach in the company of Dr. Baumgarten, his wife and son, and a group of over 40 well-informed history buffs on a tour of the Normandy beaches.

The trip began with a two-hour train ride from Gare St. Lazare to Bayeux on a beautiful Indian summer afternoon and then, by cab, to Hôtel Mercure at Port-en-Bessin through the emerald green Normandy countryside, the very image of peace. Cows grazing, apples ripening, timeless cottages basking in the sun; it looks like Technicolor. Little narrow roads, gently dipping and rising, made for the chug of that French tin Lizzie, the “Deux chevaux.” Signs of D-Day at every turn in the road. Monuments, memorials, museums…and cemeteries. Stinging tears in my eyes as I walked out of the provincial train station into the parking lot.
I arrived at the sweet little hotel, checked in, opened wide the picture window looking out on the terrace and pool, and went outside to get acquainted with members the group gathered around a table, while others were taking a swim. I met one of the organizers, Darren Moran, when I spoke to an American Committee for Foreign Relations chapter in Naples, Florida. Now he introduces me to Dr. Baumgarten, his wife Rita and their son Hal.

All that evening, and through the night and the following day, at the dinner table, in the lounge, on the beach, in the tour bus, on the bluffs, standing before the monuments, walking through the museum, walking through the cemetery at Coleville-sur-Mer I stretched my thoughts to the utmost to grasp the reality of that day, that landing, that war and, at one and the same time, this day, this war, this “landing” that has not yet occurred.

Our conversation isn’t an interview, it is communion. At times our stories - and our origins - interlock.
Dr. Baumgarten’s paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from Austria. They had 15 children. He was studying at NYU on a scholarship. He had already tried to enlist when he was 16. His father had served in WWI.
Spielberg drew on Baumgarten’s experience for the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. The 19 year-old infantryman painted a huge Magen David (Jewish star) on the back of his jacket, and wrote “Bronx, NY.” He wanted the Germans to know who was coming to get them. Spielberg changed the Bronx to Brooklyn. That’s forgiven, because his reconstruction of the landing was so close to the bloody truth.
A bright young student before the war, a fine surgeon after the war, and yet he wanted to fight. That’s how it was in those days. Our uncles, brothers, fathers went to war. Their portraits, in uniform, looked out from living room windows.
Wounded five times that day, June 6, 1944. The scars on his face are barely visible now, lost in the embroidery that long life applies to flesh and muscles. Looking deep into his eyes, past the decades, to find that smooth young face—nineteen years-old, a man in those days, a kid today – torn apart by shrapnel, “my teeth and jaws resting on my tongue, blood streaming…” Behind them the turbulent waters of the channel, a bitch of a day on Dog Section of Omaha Beach, 20-foot high waves. Ahead, a 3-football-field stretch of wet sand at low tide. Above, on the bluffs, the Nazis in well-heeled bunkers shooting down at the soldiers as they tumbled out of the landing craft. The British seamen scuttled back across the channel and left the foot soldiers to their fate.
“There’s two categories on this beach: the ones who are dead and the ones who are going to die,” the saying goes. I’m not sure if I got the words exactly right. Was it the captain who said it? The essence is there: dead or about to die. And they pushed forward inch by inch in the blood-red sea, up the beach littered with fresh death and, later, up the bluffs to kill the Germans with healthy wrath.
Words and images flash as we sit in a well-lighted room filled with bright, warm, American energy circulating up and down the long tables. Every single face invites my curiosity but I have to concentrate on the central issue; how did he do it? How does a man fight under those conditions? War is hell but nations that do not have the courage to fight back when warred against are damned.
One of the organizers leaves his seat- across the table from us for a minute. A callow waiter bearing a tray full of glasses filled with wine makes a faux pas. Red wine spills over the recently vacated chair. My Frenchified manners bristle at that uncouth wine service. Ca ne se fait pas. You bring the bottle or pitcher to the table and fill the wine glass before the guest’s eyes.
Our D-day hero returned to Omaha Beach for the first time in 1988, for the dedication of a monument to his unit, the 29th regiment of the 116th infantry division. That day, visiting the graves of his buddies in the Coleville sur Mer cemetery, he realized he had to speak for them, because they had been silenced. “God spared me,” says Dr. Baumgarten, with utter modesty, “so I could bear witness.” He shows me a snapshot of himself with George H., Barbara, and George W. Bush. He has been received with honor, decorated with honors, and he bears himself honorably. The Magen David painted on his jacket has never faded. The hero and his wife Rita retired to sleep early, and I spend long hours with their son Hal, who has lived with his father’s war stories since early childhood.
This is the first time he has seen the beaches. Another sort of heroism is required for the son of such a warrior. How to live by his light and not in his shadow, by his side and not in his footsteps? And how to prepare for that fateful day when the survivor will lose the last battle, the one that no one wins.
Breakfast. The bread and cheese are delicious. The coffee is thick, strong, tepid and tasteless. I get acquainted with some members of the group, and just as I am ready to leave I fall again into conversation with Hal and Darren. My search for truth trumps my sense of time. Suddenly it’s a mad dash to finish packing, check out, and jump into the giant tour bus. Six minutes late! The Colonel reminds this “embedded reporter” that this tour is running on military time.
It is a cliché, but how can you avoid it? The site of unbearable suffering has healed. It’s all prettied up. Thickly wooded bluffs rise with deceiving gentleness over a lovely beach basking in the sun. Dr. Baumgarten wearing his medals and that cap… what it is called? I ask a member of the tour, and he says “garrison cap.” That’s not what we called it when my father was in the Marines. Was it “overseas cap”?
We thought we would cry. Hal and I talked about it ‘round about midnight. Something stronger than tears wells up as a man stands straight and tall and tells us what he lived through that day. Something that doesn’t flow like tears but expands, in the heart and mind, and fills you with awe. Awe and a throbbing disembodied pain and, for me, childhood memories - we followed battles day by day, hour by hour, uncle by brother, and we did not know if our forces would prevail. It was called ‘the duration.’
“Icy sea water swept into the LCAs, we took off our helmets and bailed, some were seasick, everybody was scared, many were praying. I kept reciting the shema [Hear O Israel…] . The landing had been carefully planned by our generals in England. But things didn’t go exactly as planned. Passenger pigeons were shot down, air drops fell short, backup came too late… The young men carried a hundred pounds of equipment. The LCAs stayed out of the firing zone. Some of the boys were shot down as they walked down the plank, some sank and drowned as they stepped into deep water.. The Germans had crisscrossed the tidal strip with traps, obstacles, mines. The ship next to me exploded, splashing us with shrapnel and body parts.”
The veteran stands alone, his voice is steady and his words bring the bullets flying, bring to life the young men dying, fill the water and beach with horror. A bullet tears through his helmet, a bullet zings through his rifle, an 88 mm shell fragment shatters his jaw, the tide is coming in, the wounded are screaming, medics landed too far up shore can’t reach them. Officers are killed, and the Germans, supremely secure in their pillboxes, rain down hellfire with utmost cruelty. Baumgarten’s fifth wound was inflicted as he lay on a stretcher, waiting to be evacuated. The Germans fired at the medics, fired at the wounded.
But…it was the beginning of the end for them! Up on the bluffs and from there into the towns and all the way to their starting point in the Third Reich they would be smashed and defeated. I whip out my notebook and jot down a detail that is so incredible I’m afraid I’ll forget it: by midnight on the 6th of June 1944 the German position on the bluffs was totally silenced. They were either dead, POWed, or on the run.
“And we were outnumbered 16 to 1.” We watch our hero kill one. He points… his hand still steady but thinned with age. Up there, to my right, I saw the sun glinting off his helmet, I was a sharpshooter, got him with one shot.
We grunt, tears flowing down our bloody cheeks, as he grabs a buddy by the arm, slings him over his back, and crawls up the beach with him. We shiver as we listen to the gurgles of a young man’s life going down the tubes. And the silence.”
Four thousand men died in that landing! A figure that the anti-war hucksters would never use as a weight and measure for four years of combat against jihadis in Iraq. Anti-war is the upper face of a tarnished medal; the hidden face is pro-cowardice. How was that nearly unanimous courage mustered by our nation in WWII? Patriotism, national identity, heroism; the courage was individual and collective. And single-minded. Once you are in a war, you win. There is no other choice.
We visited the monument to the 29th regiment. A few of us gathered around Dr. Baumgarten’s wife Rita who told us how the young man who monitored her botany exam, saw her peering into a microscope and giving the wrong answer. And fell in love with her. She’s pert, with sparkling eyes, her red jacket is decorated with a sparkling I Love the USA brooch.
After lunch we visit the D-Day memorial museum. Life-size plaster mockups of the landing, scenes of life under the Occupation, an Allied communications post, a German military camp, jeeps and trucks and weapons and mess kits; cigarette packages, photos, and other memorabilia; the concentration camp uniform of a résistant. Traps and obstacles and mines on tripods planted in the tidal zone to kill the soldiers as they landed.
Compared to our day, the military equipment, the weapons, the uniforms look so primitive, just a step above spears and slingshots. My cell phone rings. It’s someone from the French international TV channel France 24 inviting me to take part in this evening’s debate on General Petraeus’s report and the situation in Iraq. Wouldn’t I just love to trudge into that studio direct from the sands of Omaha Beach! But I can’t make it back to Paris in time.
We scramble over the bluffs, peek into underground Nazi bunkers, look down from there onto the beach, imagine their glee at the panoramic shooting gallery. Behind them, a conquered France, the collaborationist Vichy government, a cowed population. La Résistance, yes, but that was a tiny minority. And there were the militia, another minority, actively on the side of the Nazis. The Germans had time to dig in and fortify their coastal defenses.
Ah! But we fooled them. They didn’t expect that invasion, that massive operation, at that point on the coast. And no American or British journalist, jumping with joy, scooped the story. There were warning posters everywhere during the war. “A slip of the lip can sink a ship.” We bought Liberty Bonds, collected tin cans, practiced air raids, did without when the ration stamps were used up. And we didn’t know who would prevail. We followed the war, on all fronts, battle by battle, with baited breath.
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Coleville sur mer is our last stop. First the museum, then the cemetery. There’s a photo of the young Harold Baumgarten in uniform. Strong resemblance to his son. He’d told us, earlier in the day, that when his lip was torn apart and his jaw smashed, he thought he’d never be whole again. He didn’t know about plastic surgery back then.
There is so much information here in the exhibits, the films, the recorded testimony of other veterans. And so much information on the tour I am accompanying. These people have a wealth of knowledge about the military, the landing, the battles, the formations, the weaponry, the progression of our troops. Our veteran is a treasure house of vivid details remembered as if they were happening in front of our eyes.
There’s no way I could catch up with them, no way I could note and retell all that I heard that day. So I concentrate my heart and mind on the essential: how can a human being bear such fear, face such danger, function with such searing pain, and never give up? Why can’t we recycle their sacrifice into fresh courage appropriate for our day? How can we recreate - in addition to the plaster mockups - the combined sense of uncertainty and determination that would guide us to victory today? General Eisenhower, on the eve of D-Day, said it was a crusade. And no one slapped him down.
We parted company. I wished Harold and Rita Baumgarten shana tova and promised to go to the synagogue for them, too. The tour would be on the road on the first day of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and then they’d be flying back to the States.
As I waited for a taxi on the dark side of the Gare St. Lazare watching creepy figures pass in the dimly lit street, I was ashamed for France. What have you done with your liberation? Why are you collaborating again?
And that was the evening of September 10th and the next day was 9/11 plus six years. A low priority in the French media. They preferred to highlight a court decision in favor of Moulinex employees who hadn’t received their fair share when the firm went bankrupt years ago. What’s a war to preserve us from jihad compared to a juicy labor dispute? Occasionally a news report mentioned that “the Americans commemorate 9/11.” Got it, mon vieux? It’s their 9/11…and their flop of a war in Iraq…we told them so.
The regional channel France 3 is the most anti-American, anti-Sarkozy unit in the state-owned TV network. Here’s how they covered 9/11 on prime time news. Item: the Americans commemorate 9/11. Brief shot of tearful people at a solemn ceremony. Longer item: it’s all very well to commemorate the victims of the WTC etc. but the city of New York doesn’t want to hear about rescue workers ill from breathing that lethal mixture of pulverized debris! Longest Item: it’s tough to be a Muslim in the U.S. after 9/11. Discrimination, insults, attacks. Bridges TV in Buffalo NY is doing something about it. And here are the studios and here is the personnel, see the newscaster in hijab, and how about the news director, an ex-CNN, and how wonderful are their programs and how humane their bridges. Pan to Miss Hijab who says, “We are very careful about our vocabulary. For example, we don’t use the word ‘terrorist’ because one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Yeah, sure.
I don’t use the word “terrorist” either. I say “jihadi.” But the worst is yet to come. France 3 just happens to be showing a documentary about the “crimes of the liberators” at 11:30 PM…on September 11th.
Who are those criminal liberators? Three guesses. First, they occupied England. Then they stomped through France. Finally, they roughed up Germany. The GIs bien entendu! The documentary is made in collaboration with Professor J. Robert Lilly, who decided in the spring of 2003 (= “war in Iraq”) to investigate the heinous crimes committed by American military men naively lauded as heroes. Lilly, a reputable criminologist whose research is appreciated in Europe and “unfairly” rejected in the U.S., dug up the dirt in the archives. The monotonous low-budget film is mounted like a do it yourself kit: Zoom on GIs dancing with the local girls, fielding kisses in newly liberated villages, horsing around in pastures; freeze; pan to Lilly’s hands turning the pages of a confidential court martial report; and then bonk with a horror story of brutal rape often ending in murder. It begins in the Normandy villages I just visited and ends at the Coleville sur Mer cemetery. But the heroes are monsters, the liberation is an occupation, rapes and murders are slathered up and down the screen as if they were an everyday occurrence. Lilly, postulating that most rapes weren’t reported, multiplies by a huge X the number of documented cases.
But it’s nothing compared to what they did in Germany, they report. Propaganda taught them to hate the Germans. Terrible brutality, mass rape, but no one was punished: the US authorities considered German women as booty.
Gory scenes — in grainy black & white—of rapists hanging from the gallows as the troops look on were revealed, in the closing credits, to be reconstitutions.
The D-Day landing is misrepresented by archive shots of mop-up operations taken at least ten days later. And the film, apparently produced by France 3 (the production company is named France 33), accuses the Americans of racism for hanging so many black GIs while simultaneously claiming that black GIs were particularly active in rape.
This travesty of a documentary ends at the military cemetery at Coleville sur Mer. As the camera pans from face to face of a group of midshipmen & women visiting the cemetery— the picture of clean-cut upstanding goodness—the voice off intones: “the more patriotic the images the darker the secrets they conceal…the terrible reality of war”… bla bla bla…
I look up from the beach and see the sun glinting off the helmet of a France 33 operative, shooting down on us from the bluff…


Nidra Poller participated in a one-week tour, organized by the American History Forum, was led by multi-decorated D-Day survivor Dr. Harold Baumgarten, author of D-Day Survivor; Col. Robert J. Dalessandro (Director of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, US Army War College, Carlisle, PA); Col. Curtis P. Cheeseman (Chief Information Office, Carlisle Barracks, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Pa(.; Dean Armstrong (Northwest Airlines pilot and expert on the Utah Beach landings); Darren Moran (long-time student of the Normandy Campaign); and Belgian author Michel De Trez
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« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2007, 11:44:53 AM »

Jonah's Dilemma
By MICHAEL B. OREN and MARK GERSON
September 21, 2007

This year, as on every Yom Kippur, Jews throughout the world will recite the Book of Jonah, one of the Hebrew Bible's shortest and most enigmatic texts. Jonah is the only Israelite prophet to preach to Gentiles, and the only prophet who clearly hates his job. And yet Jews read the book on their holiest day of the year because of its message of atonement and forgiveness. But Jonah also conveys crucial lessons for all Americans as they grapple with crises in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East and yearn for far-sighted leadership.

"Go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it," God commands Jonah, explaining that the Assyrians must repent for their sins or face divinely-unleashed destruction. The task seems straightforward, yet Jonah balks. He tries to flee, first to sea and later to the desert. If Nineveh heeds his warnings and is spared, its citizens will later question whether the city was really ever in danger and assail Jonah for forcing them to make needless sacrifices. But if Nineveh ignores his exhortations and is destroyed, then Jonah has failed as a prophet. Either way he loses -- that's the paradox of prophecy. And so he bolts, only to discover that God will not let him out of that bind. Jonah must be swallowed by a big fish before begrudgingly accepting his mission.

 
Jonah's quandary is routinely encountered by national leaders, especially during crises. Winston Churchill, for example, prophetically warned of the Nazi threat in the 1930s, but if he had convinced his countrymen to strike Germany pre-emptively, would he have been hailed for preventing World War II or condemned for initiating an unnecessary conflict? As president in 1945, Harry Truman predicted that Japan would never surrender and that a quarter of a million GIs would be killed invading it. And so he obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, only to be vilified by many future historians. But what if the atomic bombs were never dropped and the Battle for Japan claimed countless casualties -- would history have judged Truman more leniently?

Recent presidents, in particular, have struggled with such dilemmas while wrestling with the question of terror. Jimmy Carter failed to retaliate for the takeover the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Ronald Reagan pulled the U.S. Marines out of Beirut in 1983 after Islamist bombers destroyed their headquarters, and Bill Clinton remained passive in the face of successive al Qaeda attacks. And yet, had these presidents gone to war, would Americans today credit them with averting a 9/11-type attack or would they have been denounced for overreacting? If American leaders had stood firmly earlier in Iran, Lebanon or Afghanistan, would U.S. troops today be battling in Iraq?

President Bush presents a striking example here. After 9/11, he cautioned that the United States would again be attacked unless it acted pre-emptively in Iraq. But while there is no way of knowing whether terrorists would have struck America if President Bush had refrained from invading Iraq, many Americans now denounce the president for initiating an avoidable, unwinnable war. This is the tragedy of leadership. Policy makers must decide between costly actions and inaction, the price of which, though potentially higher, will ultimately remain unknown -- a truly Jonah-like dilemma.

Unlike presidents, of course, Jonah knew the outcome of his decision: A penitent Nineveh would not be destroyed by God. And yet he so feared the paradox of prophecy that he risked his life to escape it. In the end, the citizens of Nineveh repented and were saved -- and the Book of Jonah was revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

America's leaders, by contrast, are unlikely to replicate Jonah's good fortune. They must decide whether to keep troops in Iraq, incurring untold losses of American lives and resources, or whether to withdraw and project an image of weakness to those who still seek to harm the U.S. If diplomatic efforts fail to deter Iran from enriching uranium, American policy makers will have to determine whether to stop the Islamic Republic by force or coexist with a highly unstable, nuclear-armed Middle East. They will be reproved for the actions they take to forestall catastrophe, but may receive no credit for averting cataclysms that never occur. For Mr. Bush and his successors, this will remain the tragic dilemma of leadership. It is an onus worth contemplating on this and every Yom Kippur.

Mr. Oren, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center and author of "Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present," is a visiting professor at Yale. Mr. Gerson is co-founder and chairman of the Gerson Lehman Group.


WSJ
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« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2007, 04:25:12 AM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AI...ry&template=printart

Article published Sep 28, 2007
Al Qaeda on the ropes?

September 28, 2007


Arnaud de Borchgrave - Osama bin Laden "is a man on the run, from a cave, who is virtually impotent other than the tapes" he releases from time to time. That was the mid-September assessment of Frances Fragos Townsend, top adviser to President Bush on Homeland Security, terrorism and counterterrorism.

Mrs. Townsend was a former Coast Guard assistant commandant for intelligence and a counsel to the attorney general for intelligence policy. The best and the brightest in the Bush White House, she was deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism before her rise to czar, or czarina, for transnational terrorism.

For a terrorist darting from cave to cave, the world's most wanted terrorist wasn't as impotent as he apparently appeared in top secret e-mails speeding into Mrs. Townsend's computers. The view from cyberspace told a different story about al Qaeda. For bin Laden, it is high noon on the electronic frontier.

As former Central Command chief Gen. John Abizaid said, "Al Qaeda's organizing ability in cyberspace is unprecedented." Cyberpower has emerged as a complex ether power in which digital grass roots are truly global. Al Qaeda's 6,000-plus Web sites supply the ability to liberate and dominate at the same time. Al Qaeda now operates in virtual space with impunity in recruiting, proselytizing, plotting and planning.

In the ether (not the anesthetic), thought is a reality. For millions of Muslim surfers, the global caliphate and Shariah law exist. They have superseded the nation-state, whether the kingdom of Saudi Arabia or the Netherlands, where Muhammad is the second most popular name for baby boys.

The Muslim world's extremists are roughly estimated at 1 percent of Islam's 1.3 billion adherents (or 13 million who see suicide bombers and other acts of terrorism as legitimate weapons of war against the U.S.-Zionist crusaders). The fundamentalists who approve of bin Laden, though not necessarily his MO, number about 130 million.

Extremist ranks include many well-educated, middle-class youngsters with computer skills. Some of the cells under surveillance in the United Kingdom include computer scientists and engineers. They travel online, meeting like-minded spirits in the virtual caliphate. Plotting has morphed from the mosque to the virtual global caliphate.

In Pakistan, where al Qaeda and Taliban training camps again operate with impunity, almost half the 160 million population gives Osama bin Laden high marks.

Similar percentages show up in other moderate Muslim states — e.g., Bangladesh, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco. New arrests and revelations about Muslim terrorist sleeper cells in European countries occur almost daily. In Algeria, the underground Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), which now includes deserters from the Algerian army, has sworn allegiance to al Qaeda.

Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda is not a hierarchical organization, but a network of like-minded Muslim fundamentalists with jihadi "spear carriers." Its expansion no longer depends on bin Laden and his deputy, the Egyptian doctor Ayman al-Zawahri (whose group assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981). The Internet, with more than 1 billion people on line, and reckoned to double to 2 billion by 2010, does that job for them automatically.

Iraq, in al Qaeda's perspective, is a small subset of a broader campaign. For five years, Iraq has been a useful force multiplier for jihadi volunteers. Camp followers in cyberspace have busily posted videos of IED explosions that kill Americans in Iraq, along with beheadings of infidels.

Republican front-runner Rudolph Giuliani's foreign policy adviser Norman Podhoretz has a new book titled, "World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism." Last June, in an article in Commentary magazine (which he edited for almost four decades) Mr. Podhoretz "begged" President Bush to bomb Iran before Iran nukes Israel.

Daniel Pipes, also on Mr. Giuliani's team, agrees because the Islamists have "a potential access to weapons of mass destruction that could devastate Western life." That means Israel. Explains Newt Gingrich who is seriously considering a run for the presidency: "It makes no sense to have a Holocaust Museum in Washington and yet have no honest assessment of the threat of a 21st century Holocaust ... if the Iranians get nuclear weapons and use them against Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem."

Mr. Gingrich's alarm bell is the loudest: "The gap between where we are and where we should be is so large that it seems almost impossible to explain why the Petraeus Report, while important, will be a wholly inadequate explanation as to what is required to defeat our enemies and secure America and her allies."

America, says Mr. Gingrich, is "currently trapped between those who advocate 'staying the course' and those who would legislate surrender and defeat for America." The Petraeus Report is about a specific campaign, he explained, but Iraq is a campaign in a larger war just as Afghanistan is a campaign in a larger war. Context is missing. Like Gettysburg without the context of the larger Civil War still to be won; or Guadalcanal without the larger war still to be won, or President Reagan's Berlin Wall speech without any understanding about the Cold War and that the Soviet Union was a mortal threat to freedom.

Beyond Gen. Petraeus' testimony, says Mr. Gingrich, we need a report "on the larger war with the irreconcilable Wing of Islam. This enemy is irreconcilable with the modern civilized world... because it cannot tolerate other religions or other life styles... the Islamofascist approach to imposing its views on others and as such it is a mortal threat to our way of life, to freedom, and to the rule of law."

On Sept. 7, CIA Director Gen. Michael V. Hayden told the Council on Foreign Relations: "Our analysts assess with high confidence that al Qaeda's central leadership is planning high-impact plots against the U.S. homeland... we who study the enemy see a danger more real than anything our citizens at home have confronted since our Civil War."

Without an understanding of the virtual reality of Islam's global ummah in cyberspace, and a thorough reading of the bin Laden-Zawahri Islamist catechism, the warnings are likely to go unheeded in the Democratic scramble to bug out of Iraq.

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.
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« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2007, 10:41:30 AM »

“If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” —Winston Churchill

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« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2007, 08:23:57 AM »


Tony Blair: Iran extremism like rise of 1930s fascism


Helen Nugent
Islamist extremism is similar to “rising fascism in the 1920s and 1930s”, Tony Blair said last night in his first major speech since leaving office.

At a prestigious charity dinner in New York, the former Prime Minister said that public figures who blamed the rise of fundamentalism on the policies of the West were "mistaken".

He told the audience, which included New York governor Eliot Spitzer and mayor Michael Bloomberg, that Iran was the biggest exporter of the ideology, and that the Islamic republic was prepared to "back and finance terror" to support it.

“Out there in the Middle East, we’ve seen... the ideology driving this extremism and terror is not exhausted. On the contrary it believes it can and will exhaust us first," he said.

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“Analogies with the past are never properly accurate, and analogies especially with the rising fascism can be easily misleading but, in pure chronology, I sometimes wonder if we’re not in the 1920s or 1930s again.

“This ideology now has a state, Iran, that is prepared to back and finance terror in the pursuit of destabilising countries whose people wish to live in peace.”

He added: “There is a tendency even now, even in some of our own circles, to believe that they are as they are because we have provoked them and if we left them alone they would leave us alone.

“I fear this is mistaken. They have no intention of leaving us alone.

“They have made their choice and leave us with only one to make - to be forced into retreat or to exhibit even greater determination and belief in standing up for our values than they do in standing up for their’s.”

Mr Blair, who represents the Quartet of the US, Europe, Russia and the United Nations on the Middle East, was speaking at the 62nd annual Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation dinner at the Waldorf Astoria hotel.

Mr Blair went on: “I said straight after the attack of September 2001 that this was not an attack on America but on all of us. That Britain’s duty was to be shoulder to shoulder with you in confronting it. I meant it then and I mean it now.”

He added: “America and Europe should not be divided, we should stand up together.

“The values we share are as vital and true and, above all, needed today as they have been at any time in the last 100 years.”

Mr Blair received three standing ovations during the evening.

Earlier, the former Prime Minister said: “Out of this region the Middle East has been exported a deadly ideology based on a perversion of the proper faith of Islam but nonetheless articulated with demonic skill playing on the fears and grievances of Muslims everywhere.

“It did not originate from the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians, of course, far from it. But this dispute is used to great effect as a means of dividing people, sowing seeds of hatred and sectarianism.

“The impact of this global ideology is now no longer felt simply in the terrorism that afflicts Lebanon or Iran or Palestine. It is there also now in Pakistan, Afghanistan, in India, of course in Europe, in Madrid and London, and in the series of failed attempts to create terror across our continent.

“And here in New York you felt it in the thousands who died and who still mourn their lost ones.”

On several occasions the dinner chairman said he would have liked to see Mr Blair run for US president in 2008.

Referring to the Middle East, Mr Blair said: “The challenge is global, therefore our response must be global.

“Either the argument will be as our enemies want it framed as Islam versus the west. Or it will be as we want it framed as moderates of whatever faith, colour or race against extremism however it manifests itself.”

The dinner, which raises millions of pounds for hospitals, nursing homes and charitable agencies, is held in honour of Al Smith, the former governor of New York who was the first Catholic to be nominated by a major political party to run for US president.

Although unsuccessful, many historians believe the presidential bid paved the way for the candidacy of President John F Kennedy.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...SS&attr=797084
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« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2007, 10:21:25 AM »

Per Crafty's directive, here is a re-post of the response in the "2008" thread (and I hope Doug will re-post his wonderful response):

Quote from: Crafty_Dog on December 18, 2007, 10:29:18 AM
Quote
Although I disagree with RP on War with Islamic Fascism (and that is a REALLY important disagreement) there is quite a bit I agree with him on-- and those too are REALLY important things.  (Trivia-- I voted for him when he ran for President on the Libertarian ticket)  Even though I won't be voting for him, I am very glad he is in the race and doing well.  He reminds us of our Founding Fathers and our Constitution.

Like you, I disagree with Dr. Paul on several key issues, as well. However, to my mind the over-riding issue is not the War on Islamic Fascism, nor is it immigration or health-care (to name a few that have been at the top of many a list). If the dollar crashes, no one will come looking for a job or looking to blow up buildings or will be much worried about doctor bills - Americans will be worried about food & shelter. While the economy is large & diverse enough (more so than in, say, 1929) to probably hold off a major depression, a dollar crash will wreck havoc on the daily lives of most people in the US. As one cynic put it, the only positive outcome of such a crash will be that when we recover from the massive stagflation, it'll be easier for those who still have homes to pay them off.

The dollar is more unstable now that at any time in American history. While I don't completely endorse a 100% return to the gold standard (I prefer a mixed standard for a variety of reasons) like Dr. Paul, his is currently the ONLY viable solution on the table. At $9+ trillion in debt (a large portion of which, as an extremely important aside, is held by China & Saudi Arabia), disastrous fiscal policies from all levels of government (including all those inflationary forces amplified by utilizing fiat currency rather than hard currency), our shift from fiat to debt-based currency rather than backed "commodity" currency, an increasingly loosening banking standards (de facto allowance of predatory lending, usury corruption, weakening reserve ratio lending & cash reserve ratios, etc.), the irrational Fed responses to current events, etc. - coupled with individuals refusing to take personal responsibility for their actions or acknowledging the impact our decisions have on a larger scale - it is likely that we're staring a major recession and possible depression in the face.

I should add that it's hard to fight any war when you're broke, not loan-worthy, and you're manufacturing base has left you out-sourcing your military hardware needs. I add that because even for those who find my initial statement in error (with regard to Islamic Fascism not being the over-riding issue), there is no doubt about there being a very real difference between a willingness to fight and an ability to fight (something no one on this forum needs me to take paragraphs to explain - hahaha!!!). Which is to say that even if said statement is incorrect (let's say a dollar crash makes it MORE likely that a terrorist will want to strike & try to strike), it changes nothing with regard to being trumped by monetary, currency, & fiscal realities and their impact on everything else. We have to fix those issues FAST or we will pay dearly.

So.....all that said, I'm wondering, Crafty, what it is about Paul's stance on terror that you disagree with? I keep hearing this from a variety of people, but don't understand exactly what it is about his stance on terrorism that puts people off. Given that you are more articulate than most of them (and have probably considered the issue with greater care), I'm very interested on your take, if you have a few moments.

Thanx!
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« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2007, 02:09:02 PM »

Woof Skinny:

Well, IMHO the War by Islamic Fascism IS a very big problem and RP seems not to appreciate that there is a world wide fascist religious movement dedicated to asynchronous warfare against Western Civilization in general and the US in particular.  The asynchronicity of the war presents fiendish problems in its waging.  Rather than my writing a major work on all this I would like to suggest that you read the many threads on this forum which are dedicated to different facets of it-- or give me bite sized questions so I can give you bite sized answers. smiley

As for the economic situation facing the US-- I agree thoroughly that the dollar is a major issue, although, having lived through the insanity of the Carter years when the dollar was in worse shape than now, I am less apocalyptic about it.

IMHO the dollar is already substantially undervalued on a purchasing power parity basis.  If not inflation/money supply/etc driven, what is going on?  As I understand it, capital flows dwarf trade flows i.e. the real issue is a matter of money seeking a greater return. 

I am a big believer in both the importance of marginal tax rates (see e.g. Jude Wanniski's brilliant "The Way the World Works") and the fact that tax rates are pretty much overlooked by the chattering classes.   Unnoticed by the chattering classes is that the Euros have been simplifying and flattening tax rates, as well as moving somewhat forward on unifying into one economy.  On the margin these things mean that future growth prospects are better than they were-- and capital has been shifting there instead of here with the attendant effects on the exchange rates.  This has set up a feedback loop wherein the zero sum gamesters of the markets have a multiplier effect on the movement of the various rates.

IMHO it is no coincidence that the otherwise implausible Rep candidate, Huckabee, is a big proponent of a dramatic quasi-revolutionary overhaul of the US tax code. Several other Rep candidates are also talking about various tax RATE cuts too.

Reagan cut tax RATES and the dollar's plunge under Carter was reversed.  IMHO we are looking at another incarnation of the same dynamic now.  Should the US return to a competitive status viz tax rates, IMHO the dollar problem will pretty much solve itself.

Does this start to answer your questions Skinny Devil?
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« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2007, 02:04:52 PM »

Does this start to answer your questions Skinny Devil?

Yes, though clearly I need to ask more specific questions with regards to RP's position on foreign policy and warfare. I'll do so if I have any after reading the threads you cite above.

I'd like to point out, however, that with regards to the ratio of public debt to GDP, the Carter years were not as bad as today. The worst point in US history was a spike in 1940s & 1950s, actually (if I can figure out how to insert the chart I was just looking at, I'll do so). There was a mild spike during the Carter years, but it was VERY mild, with the Reagan years being the best (surprisingly). Percentage wise, the Clinton years were worse than right now, but the trend is moving up fast (in terms of rising debt as compared to GDP, which means the rise is bad).

The US is actually in pretty good shape as compared to other countries, but our current debt ratio is 64.7%, which is pretty lousy.

I was surprised to learn that JAPAN actually owns more of the US debt than CHINA. I need to cross-check those figures, of course.
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« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2008, 08:37:58 PM »

I'm about a month late re-posting what David (SkinnyDevil) requested I move to this thread, (roughly the amount of time my Computer has been down sad  .)  Thanks for the nice compliment.  I think the first half of this post applies directly to why we fight. The second half covers freedom to trade and economic strength and still falls within my view of 'why we fight'.
--

Ron Paul: "The war in Iraq was sold to us with false information. The area is more dangerous now than when we entered it. We destroyed a regime hated by our direct enemies, the jihadists, and created thousands of new recruits for them. This war has cost more than 3,000 American lives, thousands of seriously wounded, and hundreds of billions of dollars."

 - The first sentence is technically correct.  False information.  That's what imperfect intelligence is.  We also acted on the best information available in the world that matched the intelligence coming from Britain, France, Russia etc.  IMO Saddam had enough dealings with al Qaida, though not a 'collaborative, operational relationship', to justify our involvement in his demise and he wasn't going to leave some other way.  He didn't have 'stockpiles of WMDs' sitting out, but he posed enough of a WMD threat to meet my threshold for a threat.  He didn't attack the U.S. inside our borders, other than a possible involovement in the 1993 WTC bombing, but did attempt an assassination of an ex-President and was shooting daily at our planes as they performed their lawful flights.  He attacked four of his neighbors including a full scale invasion of Iran and a complete takeover of Kuwait.  He violated his cease fire agreement and cheated on his oil-for-food relief from sanctions.  (Not to mention gassing the Kurds, real torture programs and the slaughter of Dujail for which he was hanged.)  All without consequence if not for the backbone of our current effort.  Standing up to the bloody tyrant affected the policies of Libya and perhaps Iran and others.  I don't appreciate anyone saying we brought this on ourselves and I won't vote for a candidate who implies that.  Ron Paul's simplistic message hasn't been updated to reflect progress made, just the same slogans used by America's left.  If stability breaks out in Iraq and it really is starting to look that way, then his whole premise that the world is more dangerous becomes false.  Nothing sets back the global terrorist movement like the humiliating defeat they are now suffering.  All they can do now in Iraq is blow up things, like they do in the U.S. and in London, Bali and Madrid.  They have no major ally left in Iraq.

I have long asked this question of Ron Paul's foreign policy:  What foreign interventions would he have supported going back all 200+ years especially to a much smaller threat faced by Jefferson with the Barbary pirates (early al Qaida) in the Mediterranian?  Does he even acknowledge that our constitutional liberties were achieved with the assistance of foreign powers as he disparages our effort to allow consensual government in Iraq?

I agree in principle with Ron Paul on issues of domestic spending.  But America doesn't.  He would be accused in the general campaign and the debates of wanting to end this program and that, you name it, all these departments closed and programs ended.  That isn't realistic and that isn't electable.  I wouldn't move that suddenly or that drastically and there aren't 50% of the American people to the right of me, more like 2-3%.  Primaries are about advancing your own principles and also they are about winning.

Ron Paul writes on the second sentence (excerpted)of his issues statement: "...Dr. Paul tirelessly works for...free markets..."
 - yet Ron Paul:
Voted against Fast Track Authority
Voted against a free trade agreement between the U.S. and Chile
Voted against free trade with Singapore
Voted against free trade with Australia
Voted against CAFTA
Voted against the U.S.-Bahrain trade agreement
Voted against the Oman trade agreement
Voted against normal trade relations with Vietnam

 - Freedom to trade is an economic liberty as sacred to me as keeping the fruits of our labor and we expand trade by negotiating down the barriers in the other countries IMO.

I disagree with Ron Paul on the failure of our monetary system.  We have rising prices on energy because we illegalize supply.  We have out of control inflation in the government meddled 'markets' of healthcare and college tuition because of the preponderance of third party pay.  Price stability otherwise has been excellent.

David, I disagree with you about the impending collapse of the American economy.  Job growth in spite of manufacturing loss has been phenomenal.  In spite of all the damage we do with excessive taxation, regulation and debt the economy shows remarkable resilience.

Conclusion for me is that our taxes will be lower if we choose an electable proponent of lower marginal rates and fiscal discipline and we will be safer if we SELECTIVELY take battle to our enemies.   
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« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2008, 09:59:41 AM »

Iraq and Its Costs
By JOE LIEBERMAN and LINDSEY GRAHAM
April 7, 2008; Page A13
WSJ

When Gen. David Petraeus testifies before Congress tomorrow, he will step into an American political landscape dramatically different from the one he faced when he last spoke on Capitol Hill seven months ago.

This time Gen. Petraeus returns to Washington having led one of the most remarkably successful military operations in American history. His antiwar critics, meanwhile, face a crisis of credibility – having confidently predicted the failure of the surge, and been proven decidedly wrong.

 
As late as last September, advocates of retreat insisted that the surge would fail to bring about any meaningful reduction in violence in Iraq. MoveOn.org accused Gen. Petraeus of "cooking the books," while others claimed that his testimony, offering evidence of early progress, required "the willing suspension of disbelief."

Gen. Petraeus will be the first to acknowledge that the gains in Iraq have come at a heavy price in blood and treasure. We mourn the loss and pain of the civilians and service members who have been killed and wounded in Iraq, but adamantly believe these losses have served a noble cause.

No one can deny the dramatic improvements in security in Iraq achieved by Gen. Petraeus, the brave troops under his command, and the Iraqi Security Forces. From June 2007 through February 2008, deaths from ethno-sectarian violence in Baghdad have fallen approximately 90%. American casualties have also fallen sharply, down by 70%.

Al Qaeda in Iraq has been swept from its former strongholds in Anbar province and Baghdad. The liberation of these areas was made possible by the surge, which empowered Iraqi Muslims to reject the Islamist extremists who had previously terrorized them into submission. Any time Muslims take up arms against Osama bin Laden, his agents and sympathizers, the world is a safer place.

In the past seven months, the other main argument offered by critics of the Petraeus strategy has also begun to collapse: namely, the alleged lack of Iraqi political progress.

Antiwar forces last September latched onto the Iraqi government's failure to pass "benchmark" legislation, relentlessly hammering Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as hopelessly sectarian and unwilling to confront Iranian-backed Shiite militias. Here as well, however, the critics in Washington have been proven wrong.

In recent months, the Iraqi government, encouraged by our Ambassador in Iraq, Ryan Crocker, has passed benchmark legislation on such politically difficult issues as de-Baathification, amnesty, the budget and provincial elections. After boycotting the last round of elections, Sunnis now stand ready to vote by the millions in the provincial elections this autumn. The Iraqi economy is growing at a brisk 7% and inflation is down dramatically.

And, in launching the recent offensive in Basra, Mr. Maliki has demonstrated that he has the political will to take on the Shiite militias and criminal gangs, which he recently condemned as "worse than al Qaeda."

Of course, while the gains we have achieved in Iraq are meaningful and undeniable, so are the challenges ahead. Iraqi Security Forces have grown in number and shown significant improvement, but the Basra operation showed they still have a way to go. Al Qaeda has been badly weakened by the surge, but it still retains a significant foothold in the northern city of Mosul, where Iraqi and coalition forces are involved in a campaign to destroy it.

Most importantly, Iran also continues to wage a vicious and escalating proxy war against the Iraqi government and the U.S. military. The Iranians have American blood on their hands. They are responsible, through the extremist agents they have trained and equipped, for the deaths of hundreds of our men and women in uniform. Increasingly, our fight in Iraq cannot be separated from our larger struggle to prevent the emergence of an Iranian-dominated Middle East.

These continuing threats from Iran and al Qaeda underscore why we believe that decisions about the next steps in Iraq should be determined by the recommendations of Gen. Petraeus, based on conditions on the ground.

It is also why it is imperative to be cautious about the speed and scope of any troop withdrawals in the months ahead, rather than imposing a political timeline for troop withdrawal against the recommendation of our military.

Unable to make the case that the surge has failed, antiwar forces have adopted a new set of talking points, emphasizing the "costs" of our involvement in Iraq, hoping to exploit Americans' current economic anxieties.

Today's antiwar politicians have effectively turned John F. Kennedy's inaugural address on its head, urging Americans to refuse to pay any price, or bear any burden, to assure the survival of liberty. This is wrong. The fact is that America's prosperity at home and security abroad are bound together. We will not fare well in a world in which al Qaeda and Iran can claim that they have defeated us in Iraq and are ascendant.

There is no question the war in Iraq – like the Cold War, World War II and every other conflict we have fought in our history – costs money. But as great as the costs of this struggle have been, so too are the dividends to our national security from a successful outcome, with a functioning, representative Iraqi government and a stabilized Middle East. The costs of abandoning Iraq to our enemies, conversely, would be enormous, not only in dollars, but in human lives and in the security and freedom of our nation.

Indeed, had we followed the path proposed by antiwar groups and retreated in defeat, the war would have been lost, emboldening and empowering violent jihadists for generations to come.

The success we are now achieving also has consequences far beyond Iraq's borders in the larger, global struggle against Islamist extremism. Thanks to the surge, Iraq today is looking increasingly like Osama bin Laden's worst nightmare: an Arab country, in the heart of the Middle East, in which hundreds of thousands of Muslims – both Sunni and Shiite – are rising up and fighting, shoulder to shoulder with American soldiers, against al Qaeda and its hateful ideology.

It is unfortunate that so many opponents of the surge still refuse to acknowledge the gains we have achieved in Iraq. When Gen. Petraeus testifies this week, however, the American people will have a clear choice as we weigh the future of our fight there: between the general who is leading us to victory, and the critics who spent the past year predicting defeat.

Mr. Lieberman is an Independent Democratic senator from Connecticut. Mr. Graham is a Republican senator from South Carolina.
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« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2008, 06:24:02 PM »

Why We Went to Iraq
By FOUAD AJAMI
June 4, 2008

Of all that has been written about the play of things in Iraq, nothing that I have seen approximates the truth of what our ambassador to Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, recently said of this war: "In the end, how we leave and what we leave behind will be more important than how we came."

It is odd, then, that critics have launched a new attack on the origins of the war at precisely the time a new order in Iraq is taking hold. But American liberal opinion is obsessive today. Scott McClellan can't be accused of strategic thinking, but he has been anointed a peer of Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft. A witness and a presumed insider – a "Texas loyalist" – has "flipped."

 
Associated Press Photo/Nabil al-Jurani 
Iraqi Army soldiers secure Basra, April 2008.
Mr. McClellan wades into the deep question of whether this war was a war of "necessity" or a war of "choice." He does so in the sixth year of the war, at a time when many have forgotten what was thought and said before its onset. The nation was gripped by legitimate concern over gathering dangers in the aftermath of 9/11. Kabul and the war against the Taliban had not sufficed, for those were Arabs who struck America on 9/11. A war of deterrence had to be waged against Arab radicalism, and Saddam Hussein had drawn the short straw. He had not ducked, he had not scurried for cover. He openly mocked America's grief, taunted its power.

We don't need to overwork the stereotype that Arabs understand and respond to the logic of force, but this is a region sensitive to the wind, and to the will of outside powers. Before America struck into Iraq, a mere 18 months after 9/11, there had been glee in the Arab world, a sense that America had gotten its comeuppance. There were regimes hunkering down, feigning friendship with America while aiding and abetting the forces of terror.

Liberal opinion in America and Europe may have scoffed when President Bush drew a strict moral line between order and radicalism – he even inserted into the political vocabulary the unfashionable notion of evil – but this sort of clarity is in the nature of things in that Greater Middle East. It is in categories of good and evil that men and women in those lands describe their world. The unyielding campaign waged by this president made a deep impression on them.

Nowadays, we hear many who have never had a kind word to say about the Iraq War pronounce on the retreat of the jihadists. It is as though the Islamists had gone back to their texts and returned with second thoughts about their violent utopia. It is as though the financiers and the "charities" that aided the terror had reconsidered their loyalties and opted out of that sly, cynical trade. Nothing could be further from the truth. If Islamism is on the ropes, if the regimes in the saddle in key Arab states now show greater resolve in taking on the forces of radicalism, no small credit ought to be given to this American project in Iraq.

We should give the "theorists" of terror their due and read them with some discernment. To a man, they have told us that they have been bloodied in Iraq, that they have been surprised by the stoicism of the Americans, by the staying power of the Bush administration.

There is no way of convincing a certain segment of opinion that there are indeed wars of "necessity." A case can always be made that an aggressor ought to be given what he seeks, that the costs of war are prohibitively high when measured against the murky ways of peace and of daily life.

"Wars are not self-starting," the noted philosopher Michael Walzer wrote in his seminal book, "Just and Unjust Wars." "They may 'break out,' like an accidental fire, under conditions difficult to analyze and where the attribution of responsibility seems impossible. But usually they are more like arson than accident: war has human agents as well as human victims."

Fair enough. In the narrow sense of command and power, this war in Iraq is Mr. Bush's war. But it is an evasion of responsibility to leave this war at his doorstep. This was a war fought with congressional authorization, with the warrant of popular acceptance, and the sanction of United Nations resolutions which called for Iraq's disarmament. It is the political good fortune (in the world of Democratic Party activists) that Sen. Barack Obama was spared the burden of a vote in the United States Senate to authorize the war. By his telling, he would have us believe that he would have cast a vote against it. But there is no sure way of knowing whether he would have stood up to the wind.

With the luxury of hindsight, the critics of the war now depict the arguments made for it as a case of manipulation and deceit. This is odd and misplaced: The claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were to prove incorrect, but they were made in good faith.

It is also obtuse and willful to depict in dark colors the effort made to "sell" the war. Wars can't be waged in stealth, and making the moral case for them is an obligation incumbent on the leaders who launch them. If anything, there were stretches of time, and critical turning points, when the administration abdicated the fight for public opinion.

Nor is there anything unprecedented, or particularly dishonest, about the way the rationale for the war shifted when the hunt for weapons of mass destruction had run aground. True, the goal of a democratic Iraq – and the broader agenda of the war as a spearhead of "reform" in Arab and Muslim lands – emerged a year or so after the onset of the war. But the aims of practically every war always shift with the course of combat, and with historical circumstances. Need we recall that the abolition of slavery had not been an "original" war aim, and that the Emancipation Proclamation was, by Lincoln's own admission, a product of circumstances? A war for the Union had become a victory for abolitionism.

America had not been prepared for nation-building in Iraq; we had not known Iraq and Iraqis or understood the depth of Iraq's breakdown. But there was nothing so startling or unusual about the connection George W. Bush made between American security and the "reform" of the Arab condition. As America's pact with the Arab autocrats had hatched a monster, it was logical and prudent to look for a new way.

"When a calf falls, a thousand knives flash," goes an Arabic proverb. The authority of this administration is ebbing away, the war in Iraq is unloved, and even the "loyalists" now see these years of panic and peril as a time of exaggerated fear.

It is not easy to tell people of threats and dangers they have been spared. The war put on notice regimes and conspirators who had harbored dark thoughts about America and who, in the course of the 1990s, were led to believe that terrible deeds against America would go unpunished. A different lesson was taught in Iraq. Nowadays, the burden of the war, in blood and treasure, is easy to see, while the gains, subtle and real, are harder to demonstrate. Last month, American casualties in Iraq were at their lowest since 2003. The Sunnis also have broken with al Qaeda, and the Shiite-led government has taken the war to the Mahdi Army: Is it any wonder that the critics have returned to the origins of the war?

Five months from now, the American public will vote on this war, in the most dramatic and definitive of ways. There will be people who heed Ambassador Crocker's admonition. And there will be others keen on retelling how we made our way to Iraq.

Mr. Ajami, a Bradley Prize recipient, teaches at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of "The Foreigner's Gift" (Free Press, 2006).
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« Reply #30 on: August 14, 2008, 01:54:07 AM »

Woof all,

    I always hear people posing the question "What would the Founding Fathers do in this day and age, especially in concern with the War on Terror?"  I came across this article where someone actually took the time for formulate some kind of a cohesive answer.....

Foreign Policy Lessons From Fighting Muslim Pirates
Michael Medved
Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Most Americans remain utterly ignorant of this nation’s first foreign war but that exotic, long-ago struggle set the pattern for nearly all the many distant conflicts that followed. Refusal to confront the lessons of the First Barbary War (1801-1805) has led to some of the silliest arguments concerning Iraq and Afghanistan, and any effort to apply traditional American values to our future foreign policy requires an understanding of this all-but-forgotten episode from our past.

The war against the Barbary States of North Africa (Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli—today’s Libya) involved commitment and sacrifice far from home and in no way involved a defense of our native soil. For centuries, the Islamic states at the southern rim of the Mediterranean relied upon piracy to feed the coffers of their corrupt rulers. The state sponsored terrorists of that era (who claimed the romantic designation, “corsairs”) seized western shipping and sold their crews into unimaginably brutal slavery. By the mid-eighteenth century, European powers learned to save themselves a great deal of trouble and wealth by bribing the local authorities with “tribute,” in return for which the pirates left their shipping alone. Until independence, British bribes protected American merchant ships in the Mediterranean since they traveled under His Majesty’s flag; after 1783, the new government faced a series of crises as Barbary pirates seized scores of civilian craft (with eleven captured in 1793 alone). Intermittently, the United States government paid tribute to escape these depredations: eventually providing a bribe worth more than $1,000,000—a staggering one-sixth of the total federal budget of the time – to the Dey of Algiers alone.

When Jefferson became president in 1801, he resolved to take a hard line against the terrorists and their sponsors. “I know that nothing will stop the eternal increase of demands from these pirates but the presence of an armed force, and it will be more economical & more honorable to use the same means at once for suppressing their insolencies,” he wrote.

The president dispatched nearly all ships of the fledgling American navy to sail thousands of miles across the Atlantic and through the straits of Gibraltar to do battle with the North African thugs. After a few initial reverses, daring raids on sea and land (by the new Marine Corps, earning the phrase in their hymn “….to the shores of Tripoli”) won sweeping victory. A decade later, with the U.S. distracted by the frustrating and inconclusive War of 1812 against Great Britain, the Barbary states again challenged American power, and President Madison sent ten new ships to restore order with another decisive campaign (known as “The Second Barbary War, 1815).

The records of these dramatic, all-but-forgotten conflicts convey several important messages for the present day:

1. The U.S. often goes to war when it is not directly attacked. One of the dumbest lines about the Iraq War claims that “this was the first time we ever attacked a nation that hadn’t attacked us.” Obviously, Barbary raids against private shipping hardly constituted a direct invasion of the American homeland, but founding fathers Jefferson and Madison nonetheless felt the need to strike back. Of more than 140 conflicts in which American troops have fought on foreign soil, only one (World War II, obviously) represented a response to an unambiguous attack on America itself. Iraq and Afghanistan are part of a long-standing tradition of fighting for U.S. interests, and not just to defend the homeland.

2. Most conflicts unfold without a Declaration of War. Jefferson informed Congress of his determination to hit back against the North African sponsors of terrorism (piracy), but during four years of fighting never sought a declaration of war. In fact, only five times in American history did Congress actually declare war – the War of 1812, the Mexican War, The Spanish American War, World War I and World War II. None of the 135 other struggles in which U.S. troops fought in the far corners of the earth saw Congress formally declare war—and these undeclared conflicts (including Korea, Vietnam, the First Gulf War, and many more) involved a total of millions of troops and more than a hundred thousand total battlefield deaths.

3. Islamic enmity toward the US is rooted in the Muslim religion, not recent American policy. In 1786, America’s Ambassador to France, Thomas Jefferson, joined our Ambassador in London, John Adams, to negotiate with the Ambassador from Tripoli, Sidi Haji Abdrahaman. The Americans asked their counterpart why the North African nations made war against the United States, a power “who had done them no injury", and according the report filed by Jefferson and Adams the Tripolitan diplomat replied: “It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise.”

4. Cruel Treatment of enemies by Muslim extremists is a long-standing tradition. In 1793, Algerian pirates captured the merchant brig Polly and paraded the enslaved crewmen through jeering crowds in the streets of Algiers. Dey Hassan Pasha, the local ruler, bellowed triumphantly: “Now I have got you, you Christian dogs, you shall eat stones.” American slaves indeed spent their years of captivity breaking rocks. According to Max Boot in his fine book The Savage Wars of Peace: “A slave who spoke disrespectfully to a Muslim could be roasted alive, crucified, or impaled (a stake was driven through the arms until it came out at the back of the neck). A special agony was reserved for a slave who killed a Muslim – he would be cast over the city walls and left to dangle on giant iron hooks for days before expiring of his wounds.”

5. There’s nothing new in far-flung American wars to defend U.S. economic interests. Every war in American history involved an economic motivation – at least in part, and nearly all of our great leaders saw nothing disgraceful in going to battle to defend the commercial vitality of the country. Jefferson and Madison felt no shame in mobilizing – and sacrificing – ships and ground forces to protect the integrity of commercial shipping interests in the distant Mediterranean.

Fortunately for them, they never had to contend with demonstrators who shouted “No blood for shipping!”

6. Even leaders who have worried about the growth of the U.S. military establishment came to see the necessity of robust and formidable armed forces. Jefferson and Madison both wanted to shrink and restrain the standing army and initially opposed the determination by President Adams to build an expensive new American Navy. When Jefferson succeeded Adams as president, however, he quickly and gratefully used the ships his predecessor built. The Barbary Wars taught the nation that there is no real substitute for military power, and professional forces that stand ready for anything.

7. America has always played “the cop of the world.” In part, Jefferson and Madison justified the sacrifices of the Barbary Wars as a defense of civilization, not just the protection of U.S. interests – and the European powers granted new respect to the upstart nation that finally tamed the North African pirates. Jefferson and Madison may not have fought for a New World Order but they most certainly sought a more orderly world. Many American conflicts over the last 200 years have involved an effort to enfort to enforce international rules and norms as much as to advance national interests. Wide-ranging and occasionally bloody expeditions throughout Central America, China, the Philippines, Africa and even Russia after the Revolution used American forces to prevent internal and international chaos.

The Barbary Wars cost limited casualties for the United States (only 35 sailors and marines killed in action) but required the expenditure of many millions of dollars – a significant burden for the young and struggling Republic. Most importantly, these difficult battles established a long, honorable tradition of American power projected many thousands of miles beyond our shores. Those who claim that our engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan represent some shameful, radical departure from an old tradition of pacifism and isolation should look closely at the reality of our very first foreign war—and all the other conflicts in the intervening 200 years.

Copyright © 2008 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved
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« Reply #31 on: August 26, 2008, 07:29:19 AM »

I suppose this piece is more about HOW to fight-- IMHO what the article describes here is very important on a conceptual level.  To say that certain aspects of the Muslim religion simply are not to be tolerated is quite significant.

============

By Reut R. Cohen
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, August 22, 2008

As Muslim Student Association (MSA) chapters have become increasingly influential at universities and colleges around the country, critics have charged that it is a hate group that sympathizes with the international jihad and promulgates an anti-American and anti-Semitic ideology in its campus actions. In response, the MSA has claimed that it is merely another religious and cultural group similar to Hillel, a club for Jewish students, or the Newman Club for Catholics. That deception has been now unmasked at the University of Southern California, where the school’s Provost, Chrysostomos L. Max Nikias, reacting to a call from the David Horowitz Freedom Center and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has ordered the campus MSA to remove a “despicable” hadith calling for Muslims to murder Jews as a condition for redemption from its website.

David Horowitz, President of the Freedom Center, hails this as a breakthrough moment when the double standards that control the political and intellectual culture of most universities have finally been challenged. “Up to now, the slightest criticism of radical Islam on campus has been slammed as ‘Islamophobia,’ while Muslim groups and their radical fellow travelers have been allowed to say the most hateful things imaginable about Christians and Jews without any reaction from university administrators whatsoever,” Horowitz says. “Provost Nikias has called the hadith on the MSA website for what it is: despicable. Given the atmosphere that prevails on most campuses today, it was an act of integrity on his part to make this call and to demand that the MSA live up to basic standards of civility that should govern the university.”

The hadith (sacred teaching) reads as follows:

“Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him….”

Its presence on the MSA website is consistent with other actions the Muslim group has initiated on the USC campus. In 2005, for instance, it hosted a conference featuring a speech by Islamist Ahmed Shama, who praised Hizbollah, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and told his listeners that the terrorists in post-Saddam Iraq were part?as was the Muslim Student Association itself?of a “global Islamic movement” and that it was “necessary to rise up against the occupation there.”

The David Horowitz Freedom Center worked with the Simon Wiesenthal Center to draft a letter to Alan Casden, a USC trustee, about the “hadith of hate,” as it is often called. Disturbed that a call for genocide should be on the USC server, Casden contacted Provost Chrysostomos Nikias to express his concern. Nikias investigated the matter and sent Casden the following letter:

“…The passage you cited is truly despicable and I share your concerns about its being on the USC server. We did some investigations and I have ordered the passage removed.

“The passage in the Hadith that you brought to our attention violates the USC Principles of Community, and it has no place on a USC server.”

The University of Southern California Principles of Community states in part: “No one has the right to denigrate another human being on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, etc. We will not tolerate verbal or written abuse, threats, harassment, intimidation or violence against person or property.” No student group other than the Muslim Student Association has posted any kind of material, religious or otherwise, calling for the destruction of a race or group.

USC’s decision to remove the hadith from the school’s server marks the first time that an American university has acknowledged that the Muslim Student Association’s agenda involves the promotion of ethnic hatred. It is also the first time that an administrator has acted quickly to censure “despicable” material. Rabbi Aron Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center hailed Provost Nikias’ decision: “We commend USC for having the moral courage to stand up against those who hijack speech and religious freedoms and the goodwill of the campus community in order to spread hate and extremist violence.”

“This episode shows that fighting injustice can produce results,” Freedom Center President David Horowitz added. “It also shows what kind of an organization the Muslim Students Association is, which is why the Freedom Center has launched a nationwide campaign, Stop the Jihad on Campus Week, which will culminate the week of October 13.”

The goals of Stop the Jihad on Campus Week are to rally students across the country to sign a petition against the “hadith of hate” and to convince student governments to defund the Muslim Students Association
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« Reply #32 on: November 20, 2008, 09:49:42 AM »

http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/nefazawahiri1108.pdf

So, Obama got elected and peace didn't suddenly appear? Shocking!  rolleyes

Next thing you'll tell me is Iran has enough enriched fuel for a nuke.....
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« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2008, 08:58:06 AM »

I've moved this excellent post by GM to this thread.
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**Mark Steyn gets the most important lesson here.**

November 29, 2008, 9:00 a.m.

It’s Not the Cold War
Updating strategy to fight the ideology.

By Mark Steyn

When terrorists attack, media analysts go into Sherlock Holmes mode, metaphorically prowling the crime scene for footprints, as if the way to solve the mystery is to add up all the clues. The Bombay gunmen seized British and American tourists. Therefore, it must be an attack on Westerners!

Not so, said Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria. If they’d wanted to do that, they’d have hit the Hilton or the Marriott or some other target-rich chain hotel. The Taj and the Oberoi are both Indian owned, and popular watering holes with wealthy Indians.

Okay, how about this group that’s claimed credit for the attack? The Deccan Mujahideen. As a thousand TV anchors asked on Wednesday night, “What do we know about them?”

Er, well, nothing. Because they didn’t exist until they issued the press release. “Deccan” is the name of the vast plateau that covers most of the triangular peninsula that forms the lower half of the Indian sub-continent. It comes from the Prakrit word “dakkhin, which means “south.” Which means nothing at all. “Deccan Mujahideen” is like calling yourself the “Continental Shelf Liberation Front.”

Okay. So does that mean this operation was linked to al-Qaeda? Well, no. Not if by “linked to” you mean a wholly owned subsidiary coordinating its activities with the corporate head office.

It’s not an either/or scenario, it’s all of the above. Yes, the terrorists targeted locally owned hotels. But they singled out Britons and Americans as hostages. Yes, they attacked prestige city landmarks like the Victoria Terminus, one of the most splendid and historic railway stations in the world. But they also attacked an obscure Jewish community center. The Islamic imperialist project is a totalitarian ideology: It is at war with Hindus, Jews, Americans, Britons, everything that is other.

In the ten months before this week’s atrocity, Muslim terrorists killed over 200 people in India and no-one paid much attention. Just business as usual, alas. In Bombay, the perpetrators were cannier. They launched a multiple indiscriminate assault on soft targets, and then in the confusion began singling out A-list prey: Not just wealthy Western tourists, but local orthodox Jews, and municipal law enforcement. They drew prominent officials to selected sites, and then gunned down the head of the antiterrorism squad and two of his most senior lieutenants. They attacked a hospital, the place you’re supposed to take the victims to, thereby destabilizing the city’s emergency-response system.

And, aside from dozens of corpses, they were rewarded with instant, tangible, economic damage to India: the Bombay Stock Exchange was still closed on Friday, and the England cricket team canceled their tour (a shameful act).

What’s relevant about the Mumbai model is that it would work in just about any second-tier city in any democratic state: Seize multiple soft targets and overwhelm the municipal infrastructure to the point where any emergency plan will simply be swamped by the sheer scale of events. Try it in, say, Mayor Nagin’s New Orleans. All you need is the manpower. Given the numbers of gunmen, clearly there was a significant local component. On the other hand, whether or not Pakistan’s deeply sinister ISI had their fingerprints all over it, it would seem unlikely that there was no external involvement. After all, if you look at every jihad front from the London Tube bombings to the Iraqi insurgency, you’ll find local lads and wily outsiders: That’s pretty much a given.



But we’re in danger of missing the forest for the trees. The forest is the ideology. It’s the ideology that determines whether you can find enough young hotshot guys in the neighborhood willing to strap on a suicide belt or (rather more promising as a long-term career) at least grab an AK and shoot up a hotel lobby. Or, if active terrorists are a bit thin on the ground, whether you can count at least on some degree of broader support on the ground. You’re sitting in some distant foreign capital but you’re minded to pull off a Bombay-style operation in, say, Amsterdam or Manchester or Toronto. Where would you start? Easy. You know the radical mosques, and the other ideological-front organizations. You’ve already made landfall.

It’s missing the point to get into debates about whether this is the “Deccan Mujahideen” or the ISI or al-Qaeda or Lashkar-e-Taiba. That’s a reductive argument. It could be all or none of them. The ideology has been so successfully seeded around the world that nobody needs a memo from corporate HQ to act: There are so many of these subgroups and individuals that they intersect across the planet in a million different ways. It’s not the Cold War, with a small network of deep sleepers being directly controlled by Moscow. There are no membership cards, only an ideology. That’s what has radicalized hitherto moderate Muslim communities from Indonesia to the Central Asian stans to Yorkshire, and coopted what started out as more or less conventional nationalist struggles in the Caucasus and the Balkans into mere tentacles of the global jihad.

Many of us, including the incoming Obama administration, look at this as a law-enforcement matter. Bombay is a crime scene, so let’s surround the perimeter with yellow police tape, send in the forensics squad, and then wait for the DA to file charges. There was a photograph that appeared in many of the British papers, taken by a Reuters man and captioned by the news agency as follows: “A suspected gunman walks outside the premises of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or Victoria Terminus railway station.” The photo of the “suspected gunman” showed a man holding a gun. We don’t know much about him — he might be Muslim or Episcopalian, he might be an impoverished uneducated victim of western colonialist economic oppression or a former vice-president of Lehman Bros embarking on an exciting midlife career change — but one thing we ought to be able to say for certain is that a man pointing a gun is not a “suspected gunman” but a gunman. “This kind of silly political correctness infects reporters and news services world-wide,” wrote John Hinderaker of Powerline. “They think they’re being scrupulous — the man hasn’t been convicted of being a gunman yet! — when in fact they’re just being foolish. But the irrational conviction that nothing can be known unless it has been determined by a court and jury isn’t just silly, it’s dangerous.”

Just so. This isn’t law enforcement but an ideological assault — and we’re fighting the symptoms not the cause. Islamic imperialists want an Islamic society, not just in Palestine and Kashmir but in the Netherlands and Britain, too. Their chances of getting it will be determined by the ideology’s advance among the general Muslim population, and the general Muslim population’s demographic advance among everybody else.

So Bush is history, and we have a new president who promises to heal the planet, and yet the jihadists don’t seem to have got the Obama message that there are no enemies, just friends we haven’t yet held talks without preconditions with. This isn’t about repudiating the Bush years, or withdrawing from Iraq, or even liquidating Israel. It’s bigger than that. And if you don’t have a strategy for beating back the ideology, you’ll lose.

Whoops, my apologies. I mean “suspected ideology.”
 

© 2008 Mark Steyn

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YTk5YzgwZDc3NTliMDAwM2QxOGNjOWRmNTZjZTZmNDY=
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« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2008, 07:27:57 PM »

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/023719.php#more

November 30, 2008

Mumbai: The Grapes of Wrath of Western Complacency

Raphael Israeli was born in Fez, Morocco, and arrived in Israel at the age of 14. A professor of Islamic, Middle Eastern and Chinese history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he is the author of 25 books, including Islamikaze: Manifestations of Islamic Martyrology (Frank Cass, London, 2003) and The Spread of Islamikaze Terrorism in Europe: The Third Islamic Invasion (Vallentine Mitchell, London, 2008).

The events of Mumbai, the “surprise” they caused, the clumsy fashion in which they were treated, and the almost glorifying attitude meted out to them by the world media, demonstrate, seven years after the September 11 attacks, that little was learned in the West from them, while the pledges of Islamic terrorism to pursue its novel strategy proved credible and feasible. For after Madrid, London, Bali and other acts of mega-terrorism, the West still hesitates to pronounce the M-word, and talks about “Militants”, who draw sympathy in the Islamic world, instead of condemning them as Muslim terrorists and trying to rally moderate governments worldwide in support of the war against them. Moreover, instead of vigorously rejecting the Muslim notion of jihad, in the name of which all these horrors are done, the West has been indulging in the vain distinction between Islam and “Islamism”, ignoring the fact that they are one and the same faith and that jihad is the language of both.
Abu-‘Ubeid Qurashi, one of the aides of Osama Bin Laden, published after September 11 in the Arabic press and on the al-Qa’ida site on the Internet a stunning article regarding his organization’s strategy in its unseemly confrontation with the US and Western civilization in general. This article demonstrates that not only do those champions of evil do their homework adequately, and that they are equipped with the requisite patience, sophistication and methodical thinking, the fruits of which were seen in the deadly precision of their operation against the Twin Towers, but that Western democracies have something to learn in the war against terror. For it transpires that the Muslim terrorist organizations which have been waging war against the West directly are inspired by al-Qa’ida war doctrine, and it is not too early to try to comprehend their schemes.

Qurashi, who has obviously studied the most recent Western research in matters of the future battlefields and war doctrines, has come up with conclusions that are alarming: first, that the era of massive wars has ended, because the three war models of previous generations have been eroded; second, the fourth-generation wars of the 21st century will consist of asymmetrical confrontations between well-armed and well-equipped armies, who have a turf, a way of life and material interests to defend, and therefore are clumsy, against small groups armed with light weaponry only, who have no permanent bases and are on the move at all times. Third, in these wars, the main target is not the armed forces, but civil society that has to be submitted to harassment and terror to the point of detaching it from the army that fights in its defense; and fourth, that television is more important than armored divisions in the battlefield. The Twin Towers, the terrorist explosions in London and Bali, the Israeli confrontation with Hamas and Hizbullah on its borders, and now Mumbai all show how these doctrines can be rendered operational.
This war doctrine lies in the gray zone between war and peace. Those who initiate this kind of war, e.g. by wanton terrorism, would not declare it openly, and would leave it to the defenders to announce war and thereby become the “aggressors”. The terrorists themselves would create atrocities that are sure to attract the attention of television so as to “strike fear in the heart of the enemy” (a Qur’anic prescription -- 8:60), and enable them to retreat to their bases, if they can, or sacrifice themselves in what the dismayed victims wrongly call “suicide bombings”, for there is no suicide there, only large scale killing of the enemy even if it involves large scale self-sacrifice. But when the victim strikes back in self-defense, television can again be counted on to show the “abuses” of the “aggressor” and create sympathy for the cause of the terrorists, as in Afghanistan and Gaza. On television, the huge armies which crush everything in their path will always look more threatening than the “poor”, “frustrated” “freedom fighters” who are “oppressed” and “persecuted” by far superior troops. Thus this writer could show that small groups of poorly equipped Mujahideen have been able throughout the past two decades to defeat super- and lesser powers: the Soviets in Afghanistan, the US in Somalia, Russia in Chechnya and Israel in Lebanon and then in Gaza.

According to this analysis, the three major components of modern warfare are early warning, the ability to strike preventively, and deterrence -- exactly the elements that were paralyzed by al-Qa’ida on 11 September. As for the early warning, the terrorists achieved a strategic surprise, in spite of American technology, on the scale of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, or of the Nazi attack against the Soviet Union in June 1941, the assault on the Cole in Aden in 2000, and the Suez crossing in the Yom Kippur War in 1973. On the basis of the above analysis, the terrorists were able to deliver a deadly blow on September 11, and levy on the Americans a very heavy economic and psychological price. The ability to deliver a preventive strike is linked, in the mind of Qurashi, to the issue of early warning, because when the latter fails, then a preventive strike becomes irrelevant. But even if it had worked, there would have been no one to strike against in retaliation, as the terrorists are small groups, hidden and mobile. And finally, deterrence totally collapses in the face of the asymmetry between an institutionalized state which values life and a desire to live and prosper, and a group of Mujahideen who are indifferent to life, and indeed desirous to perish in the Path of Allah and attain the delights of Paradise. Thus, since nothing can deter them, they can always determine, against all odds, when, where, how, what, and whom to strike, without fearing that anyone will retaliate against them.

It is harrowing to reflect on how applicable this doctrine is in our daily lives, starting with the Middle East, but going to the periphery of the Islamic world, in places like Australia and Canada. For example, the Hizbullah in Lebanon, which is linked to al-Qa’ida, not only ideologically, has had some successes, but has also exported this doctrine to the Muslim terrorist movements in the Palestinian Territories, such as the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Moreover, “secular” organizations such as the Tanzim and the Aqsa Brigades have been converted to these tactics, once Arafat’s call for martyrdom, with himself at the helm, had become the favorite form of struggle against Israel.

There is, however, a way to counter every deed or doctrine, with a view of reducing its effect, thereby immunizing Western society from its deadly threat and eliminating the terror it imposes on all civilized people. For example, if the terrorists intend to detach Western societies from their armed forces, an area where they have been partly successful by inculcating doubts into the public by supporting protest movements from within, perhaps it is time for these societies to realize that they have been used by their enemies to attain their ends. These ends are to dismantle national unity and to incite populations against their governments, thus playing into the hands of the terrorist subversive doctrine. If television is a declared means to discredit Western societies and their systems of defense, the media should not be allowed to the battlefield until the end of hostilities. Perhaps it is better for governments to be accused of obstructing the media than to let them document the asymmetry between the established strong defenders of freedom and the weaker terrorists in the field.

If terrorism has adopted the recourse of fighting by using Islamikaze "martyrdom", because there is arguably nothing to be done against “suicide-bombers”, each of whom can terrorize and paralyze an entire public, then it is necessary to demonstrate, like President Bush, that we are facing not a war against individuals who are desirous of death and whom we cannot bring to justice when they succeed in their task, but against those who train them, dispatch them, arm them, indoctrinate them, support them and finance them. And that as long as we keep them on the run, they will be less able to concoct and carry out their dark and cruel schemes against the West. That Islamists pursue their campaign of intimidation against the West is not new, but what does seem surprisingly new, compared with the legendary fighting spirit of the British, is the seeming capitulation of European capitals to their tormentors, and the baffling incomprehension they exhibit of the Islamist phenomenon, which has repeatedly declared itself so clearly inimical to them. Just consider the spirit of dhimmitude which has inundated the entire West due to its much-cultivated dependence on Muslim oil and the humiliating consequences thereof. This state of mind, which dictates caution, surreptitious maneuvering in order to survive, and a self-humiliating sycophancy toward the Muslim rulers in the hope of gaining their favor, has been inherited from many centuries of Islamic rule on vast swaths of Christendom, from Sicily to the Iberian Peninsula, from the Balkans to the gates of Vienna. This aggressive Islam which attempted, but failed, to Islamize Europe in the past, had also subjected large Christian communities to the dhimmi regime in the Near East as these communities were conquered by the emerging new faith of Islam: the Copts in Egypt, the Assyrians in Iraq, the Maronites in Lebanon, and countless other Christian communities first became subjugated majorities and then systematically persecuted minorities in their own countries. This amounted, after many centuries of oppression and contempt by the rule of Islam, to a self-diminution of the dhimmis – a loss of their pride and confidence in themselves, in that they did not stand up to the standards set for them by their rulers, and a total distortion of their self-image and the image of their oppressors. So much so, that many Christians and Jews, years after being liberated from dhimmitude, continued to think and act as dhimmis, namely to hold themselves grateful to their Muslim masters, who beat, humiliated, and mistreated them. Any observer of the international arena today would have noticed how Western and Israeli policymakers sycophantically submit to Muslim demands even when they are not compelled to do so.

What is more, the spirit of dhimmitude has been adopted, or taken over, by many Western societies today, which, for reasons hard to understand or explain, pretend not to hear or comprehend Muslim threats. Instead, Western societies evince "understanding" in the face of those threats, and seem to be marching foolishly toward spiritual and cultural capitulation and enslavement. Take, for example, the regime of self-defense and of intruding into the privacy of the air-passengers, which has been imposed in airports all over the world in the past three decades due to Muslim terrorism. Instead of prosecuting it and eliminating it at its roots, the West surrendered to it and adopted, at considerable financial, human and moral cost, taking measures to live with it that have amounted to submission to a mammoth collective punishment of innocents.

Even more ominous is the wholehearted and even enthusiastic support of Europeans for Muslim fundamentalists on their own turf, as when they rushed to sustain Bosnians and Kosovars and other Albanian Muslims in Macedonia who have been supported, financed and trained by revolutionary Iran; and when many Muslim volunteers from Chechnya to North Africa and the Middle East were recruited to fight a jihad for their cause. Again foolishly, the West let Muslim jihad take root on the continent, while emphasizing the Serbian ethnic cleansing (abhorrent in itself), thus causing the severance of Christian continuity between Russia and Central Europe to the Aegean Sea, and creating and sustaining a continuous string of revived Muslim presence from former Yugoslavia to Turkey, hoping thereby to extend the Turkish model of "Islamic moderation" and salvaging the European borders from a Muslim onslaught. As it turned out, Kosovo was totally subtracted from Serbia under UN auspices, while in Turkey a Muslim fundamentalist party took over government in 2002.

Standing up to the menace of world Islam as a united front of all Western and other non-Muslim cultures has then become the key to successful struggle against it. For even Muslim regimes who cooperate with the West, like Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, have a problem of legitimacy in their own countries, and their populace usually takes the pro-Jihadi stance against the policy of their governments. Even in the cases where legitimacy was addressed through democratic elections, as in Pakistan and Turkey, large parts of the population remain anti-American and resent Western involvement in their countries. That means that clearer borders have to be traced between those who give shelter to terrorists, even if halfheartedly, and those who defend themselves against them.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #35 on: December 01, 2008, 04:49:52 AM »

Jihad’s True Face
By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Published: December 1, 2008

Much of the reporting from Mumbai the last few days has been informative, gripping and often moving. Some of the commentary, on the other hand, has been not just uninformative but counterinformative — if that’s a term, and if it’s not, I say it should be.

Consider first an op-ed article in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times by Martha Nussbaum, a well-known professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago. The article was headlined “Terrorism in India has many faces.” But one face that Nussbaum fails to mention specifically is that of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Islamic terror group originating in Pakistan that seems to have been centrally involved in the attack on Mumbai.

This is because Nussbaum’s main concern is not explaining or curbing Islamic terror. Rather, she writes that “if, as now seems likely, last week’s terrible events in Mumbai were the work of Islamic terrorists, that’s more bad news for India’s minority Muslim population.” She deplores past acts of Hindu terror against India’s Muslims. She worries about Muslim youths being rounded up on suspicion of terrorism with little or no evidence. And she notes that this is “an analogue to the current ugly phenomenon of racial profiling in the United States.”

So jihadists kill innocents in Mumbai — and Nussbaum ends up decrying racial profiling here. Is it just that liberal academics are required to include some alleged ugly American phenomenon in everything they write?

Jim Leach is also a professor, at Princeton, but he’s better known as a former moderate Republican congressman from Iowa who supported Barack Obama this year. His contribution over the weekend was to point out on Politico.com that “the Mumbai catastrophe underscores the importance of vocabulary.” This wouldn’t have been my first thought. But Leach believes it’s very important that we consider the Mumbai attack not as an act of “war” but as an act of “barbarism.”

Why? “The former implies a cause: a national or tribal or ethnic rationale that infuses a sacrificial action with some group’s view of heroism; the latter is an assault on civilized values, everyone’s. ... To the degree barbarism is a part of the human condition, Mumbai must be understood not just as an act related to a particular group but as an outbreak of pent-up irrationality that can occur anywhere, anytime. ... It may be true that the perpetrators viewed themselves as somehow justified in attacking Indians and visiting foreigners, particularly perhaps Americans, British and Israeli nationals. But a response that is the least nationalistic is likely to be the most effective.”

If, as Leach says, “it may be true” the perpetrators viewed themselves as justified in their attacks, doesn’t this mean that they did in fact have a “rationale” that “infused” their action?

But Leach doesn’t want to discuss that rationale — even though it’s not hard to find. Ten minutes of Googling will bring you to a fine article, “The Ideologies of South Asian Jihadi Groups,” from the April 2005 issue of Current Trends in Islamist Ideology. It’s by the respected journalist and diplomat Husain Haqqani, who, as it happens, is now Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States.

Lashkar-e-Taiba, Haqqani explains, is a jihadi group of Wahhabi persuasion, “backed by Saudi money and protected by Pakistani intelligence services.” He notes that “Lashkar-e-Taiba has adopted a maximalist agenda for global jihad.” Indeed, the political arm of the group has conveniently published a pamphlet, “Why Are We Waging Jihad?,” that lays out all kinds of reasons why the United States, Israel and India are “existential enemies of Islam.”

So much for Leach’s notion that the Mumbai terrorists had no “cause” or “rationale.” But Leach’s refusal to see this is in the service of persuading India not to respond in a “nationalistic” way — and of persuading the United States not to see itself primarily as standing with India against our common enemies.

But if terror groups are to be defeated, it is national governments that will have to do so. In nations like India (and the United States), governments will have to call on the patriotism of citizens to fight the terrorists. In a nation like Pakistan, the government will have to be persuaded to deal with those in their midst who are complicit. This can happen if those nations’ citizens decide they don’t want their own country to be dishonored by allegiances with terror groups. Otherwise, other nations may have to act.

Patriotism is an indispensable weapon in the defense of civilization against barbarism. That was brought home over the weekend in an article in The Times of India on Sandeep Unnikrishnan, a major in India’s National Security Guards who died fighting the terrorists at the Taj hotel. The reporter spoke with the young man’s parents as they mourned their son: “His father, dignified in the face of such a personal tragedy, was stoic, saying he was proud of his son who sacrificed his life for the country: ‘He died for the nation.’ ”
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« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2008, 10:28:02 AM »

Last week's terrorist assault in Mumbai brings into focus one of the biggest challenges facing President-elect Barack Obama and U.S. allies: How to defeat the ideology that underpins the global jihadist insurgency and unifies its diverse adherents?

The U.S. government needs to resurrect the nonviolent practice of "political warfare" and create an agency to manage it. The Bush administration started this process by providing more resources for public diplomacy and appointing prominent officials to oversee the task. But efforts to explain America's values and ideals to Muslims need to be supplemented with measures that confront directly the jihadist ideology.

Mr. Obama's administration could use as a model the British Political Warfare Executive, which rallied support for the Allied cause behind enemy lines during World War II, or the U.S. Information Agency, which helped network opponents of communism and undermine Moscow's intellectual appeal during the Cold War.

A civilian should sit atop this new organization. His or her mission should be to undermine the jihadist ideology that underpins terrorism. We believe this mission is so important that the person should answer directly to the President, just as military combatant commanders do.

U.S. government-supported broadcasting, such as the Voice of America, should be adapted to this mission. But the U.S. government should also provide resources to moderates and networks of reformers abroad. The agency should not rely solely on exporting information and commentary generated in Washington, which has less credibility with Muslims in the broader Middle East and Europe who will shape the future of Islam abroad.

The agency should also be charged with peacefully empowering dissidents within repressive nations, by providing them with information and facts to aid their struggle. The U.S. did this in the 1980s by aiding Solidarity with communications equipment, organizational support and other resources in then-communist Poland, in partnership with the Vatican and AFL-CIO. What ended with strikes, protests and finally elections began as a small indigenous network armed with information -- political warfare at its finest.

Mr. Obama may be tempted to create such an agency under the auspices of the State Department, but political warfare is not a core competency of Foggy Bottom or allied foreign ministries. Diplomats specialize in communicating with other nation-states, and are often ill at ease and ill-equipped to work with those who may upset relations with other governments.

A significant part of free societies' success in modern warfare has taken place off the physical battlefield. In World War II, the U.S. fought a war not only against blitzkrieg, buzz bombs and kamikazes, but against fascist ideologies. Likewise during the Cold War, America sought to undermine the ideology of its Soviet Bloc adversaries, realizing that was the shield of legitimacy without which they could not thrive.

Political warfare does not preclude diplomacy, just as U.S. efforts to undermine Soviet communism did not preclude successful negotiations with Moscow. But it's time to recognize -- as American governments have in the past -- the importance of fighting and winning the battle of ideas.

Mr. Whiton is Deputy Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues at the U.S. State Department. Mr. Harrison is Chief of Staff to the Counselor of the State Department. The views expressed are their own.

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