Free Markets, Free People

Saudi Arabia looks at “major shift” away from US

The kingdom is citing how badly this administration has botched events with both Syria and Iran as the reason:

Upset at President Barack Obama’s policies on Iran and Syria, members of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family are threatening a rift with the United States that could take the alliance between Washington and the kingdom to its lowest point in years.

Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief is vowing that the kingdom will make a ‘major shift’ in relations with the United States to protest perceived American inaction over Syria’s civil war as well as recent U.S. overtures to Iran, a source close to Saudi policy said on Tuesday.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan told European diplomats that the United States had failed to act effectively against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, was growing closer to Tehran, and had failed to back Saudi support for Bahrain when it crushed an anti-government revolt in 2011, the source said.

Guess all that bowing and scraping by Obama didn’t impress them much.  So let’s review. Libya … destabilized and in a virtual state of anarchy.   Egypt … gone. Totally mishandled and now looking at other possible alliances. Saudi Arabia … going.  Syria and Iran … well into Russia’s orbit. Oh, yeah, that’s much better than when Bush was prez.

Meanwhile our Secretary of State is telling everyone relations with Saudi Arabia are both good and normal.

Really?

In unusually blunt public remarks, Prince Turki al-Faisal called Obama’s policies in Syria ‘lamentable’ and ridiculed a U.S.-Russian deal to eliminate Assad’s chemical weapons. He suggested it was a ruse to let Obama avoid military action in Syria.

‘The current charade of international control over Bashar’s chemical arsenal would be funny if it were not so blatantly perfidious. And designed not only to give Mr. Obama an opportunity to back down (from military strikes), but also to help Assad to butcher his people,’ said Prince Turki, a member of the Saudi royal family and former director of Saudi intelligence.

Now there’s respect, wouldn’t you say? You can tell that Saudi Arabia has all the respect in the world for this administration /sarc.

You know it is bad when they drop the diplo-speak and resort to “real-speak”.

No respect and certainly no fear of anything the US might do. In fact, it is because of what it hasn’t done or perhaps how badly it has done what it has done, that they are deciding to look elsewhere for an ally.

And who is waiting in the wings?

I imagine somewhere Hillary is pounding on the “reset” button.

Hey, Hill – what difference does it make now?

~McQ

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

120 Responses to Saudi Arabia looks at “major shift” away from US

  • The current charade of international control over Bashar’s chemical arsenal would be funny if it were not so blatantly perfidious.

    Um…Erp…
    You turn to reinforce those delusions you live by.
    Certainly.

  • Just think how bad it would be without Smart Diplomacy !

     

  • On the Syria side off things, they should be told tough shoot. Now on the Iran side of things, I can understand their extreme disappointment. After all, without Iran, Syria wouldn’t be much of a problem.
    The thing is they should remember they are dealing with the “boy king.” Obama will happily throw them to the wolves in order to please his brothers in arms, “Iran.”

    • Yet, I would expect a competent POTUS/SoS would work the Syria issue out with the Saudies. The thing is, they have seen our “policy” in the region under Obama for over 4 years now, and they have to have come to the conclusion we can’t be relied upon. Our handling of Egypt, Libya, etc.

      Trust is the key to relationships. Obama’s fickle handling of events represents the actions of someone mostly interested in pushing a domestic agenda, and who has little interest in world events beyond considering an annoyance that might interfere with domestic policy. He also has a world view that is fundamentally twisted, which prevents him from grasping the key factors which drive world events.

  • Good and necessary!  Good and necessary!

  • It’s about time we have a leader in office who didn’t suck up to dictators because big oil and vested interests want us to.   Thank God Gaddafi and Mubarak are gone, and I expect next month’s talks to lead to Assad leaving too.  Those old dictators were a key problem and cause of terrorism.  They prevented the region from going through a transition it needs to start sooner, rather than later.  The next ones to go should be the Saudi royal family.  To get them to make real changes, the US has to show that we don’t care what they think, we’ll do what’s in our interest.  Obama is leading effectively.  Compare that to the devastation done to US prestige, power and interest when a President thought leading was going to war!  Obama isn’t afraid of getting these dictatarial thugs mad at him – good, that’s how a leader should think!  Of course, trying to blame or credit Obama with what happens in the Mideast (and yes, the left did that with Bush) is making a huge error in thinking this is under US control.  The best thing we can do is stop supporting dictators and let the region transform as it must, without trying to control things.  Bush thought we could use military power to force and control the change.  That was the worst foreign policy fiasco in recent US history.  Obama recognizes reality, thankfully!

    • Heh. Obama’s Libya intervention gave the country to al quada and resulted in a dead US ambassador, and the secrtary to the UN lying while Hillary hid with a wine bottle somewhere.

    • Obama recognizes reality, thankfully!

      Yeah, that’s why he did all that poopchute kissing earlier!
      Gawd, you’re both abysmally childish psychos.

    • Obama is leading effectively.

      “Democrats, Democrats, shish, boom, bah!
      Barack Obama, rah rah rah!”
      It’s always the same with you.  No critical analysis.  Just rationalization to repeat the same thing.

      • Suppose Obama came out to a press briefing tomorrow, dropped his pants, took a dump, and then rubbed it on the front row of reporters. Professor Polywobble would be here in the comments the next day explaining that fecal transplants are a good thing, as recognized by the FDA, and that Obama was a visionary leader and creative communicator.

    • Finally got the talking points downloaded to you, huh?
      Dishonest cretin.

    • How come if he’s so tough, does he kiss up to Iran and let their dissenters flounder on their own?

    • “we’ll do what’s in our interest.  ”
      Peace is in our interest isn’t it?   Or has our interest been well served in Libya, Egypt, Syria?
      You think the House of Saud is going to go quietly into the night?
      You think Assad thinks he’s losing now that Russia is on board?
      you think he’s going to pack his bags and leave?
      You think the ‘rebels’ are going to form a coalition government with Assad’s successor?
      You think a nuclear Iran is going to bring peace and stability to the region?
      You think ‘Islam’ is going to be satisfied?
       
      And everyone else!
       
      LOOK!!!!!!!!
       
      Scott Erb has discovered his certainty!!!!!!!!!!!!
      “The best thing we can do is stop supporting dictators and let the region transform as it must, without trying to control things.”
       
       
      It’s good that you don’t matter Scott.

    • Those old dictators were a key problem and cause of terrorism.

      Really?  Why don’t you illuminate that statement for us, because that seems like another of your bizzaro-world inversions of reality.

      Obama isn’t afraid of getting these dictatarial thugs mad at him – good, that’s how a leader should think!

      Oh, I think you missed the tenor of the comments about the “perfidious charade”.  The Saudi wasn’t mad at Barracula for his “leadership”.  He was…like the rest of the world…disgusted with being lied to, and with the vacuum policy that is SmartPower(tm).
       
      Which is the real thrust of the post, and everybody here sees you hacking and flacking for your Collective like a tool, instead of dealing with the reality of a foreign policy debacle the like of which I cannot recall.
       
      Everyone is laughing at you and your idol; the poor, broken child.

    • Those old dictators were a key problem and cause of terrorism.


      Like Saddam Hussein?

    • From that bastion of conservatism … Obama’s Uncertain Path Amid Syria Bloodshed

      Even as the debate about arming the rebels took on a new urgency, Mr. Obama rarely voiced strong opinions during senior staff meetings. But current and former officials said his body language was telling: he often appeared impatient or disengaged while listening to the debate, sometimes scrolling through messages on his BlackBerry or slouching and chewing gum.

      Don’t you dare call Obama a “leader”

      • … and the other killer quite from the NYTimes …

        As one former senior White House official put it, “We spent so much damn time navel gazing, and that’s the tragedy of it.”

    • If you look at the recent (last 8-9 months) statements of the major players on Team Obama’s foreign policy team, they now believe that you can’t change everything .. even some dictators are better the what could possibly come next.
      Syria and the aftermath of the Arab Spring have changed everything.  What there was of an “Obama Doctrine” that had been cobbled together in the first 3 years, has given way to a near reputation of said “Obama Doctrine.”
      The reactionary urge to “do something” has now be replaced with inaction or worse, when half measures, like the “red line,” reveal the “paper tiger” that is the US foreign policy of today.
      Just last week, it was revealed that most of the army has not done any training for the last 6 months, leaving only two battle ready battalions.  New troops going to Afghanistan aren’t trained for battle, only training of Afghan troops.

  • How can any of this be Obama Policy?
    He doesn’t know anything about what goes on anywhere in his government, just ask him.
    Ask the people who work for him.
     
    It used to be a world of wonder to Barry Obamugabe.  Yet now sadly he wakes each day to find his evil step appointees have caused yet another problem he has to solve.   And he’s still trying to solve the problems created by 200 years of previous Presidential mishandling of the US!
     
    Oh, his life, it’s so so busy.   A rally here, a speech there, fund raisers fund raisers fund raisers.  It’s hard to get time for a decent game of golf or a vacation!   and doesn’t he deserve some relaxation time?  Isn’t he worthy of a simple game of golf or a simple vacation! ???
     
    And now he has to get daily updates for the signature banner item of his career.  The one he focused on with laser like precision, but didn’t know about till he found out last Friday from the news that it wasn’t working, the one that he’s madder about than any of you.  And he’s going to bring in a panel of experts, and they’re going to get the stage made up, and he and Kathy Sebelius and Valerie are going to get the gang together and put on a show and FIX THIS PROBLEM!!!!!!
    YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    This will be the 5:00 o’clock show, because he’s already scheduled one at 1:00 for the Fast and Furious grenade non-scandal, the next one at 2:10 for the Merkal/Mexico/France NSA spying non-scandal, the Benghazi fixit show will be at 3:20 and the IRS government abuse non-scandal show has been scaled back to 15 minutes and will run at 4:35, so try to be back in your seats for the 5:00 Obamacare Website non-scandal show please.
     
     

    • You’re right.  It’s not his fault because he did nothing.
      And that, in a nutshell, is the problem.

  • I’ve certainly been wrong before…..
    but I think the Obama spin wheel is about to suffer a catastrophic failure….
     

    • Fear not.  Brave Scott will be here to inform us that it is all fake, that it’s being handled deftly, and that he’s certain that our certainty makes us wrong.

  • Obama has been very successful at alienating and embarrassing the US’s most prominent allies, so why should SA be any different?  Unfortunately, wishing-away aggressive Sunni Islam into a Western Enlightenment will not make it so. As we saw in Egypt, the US cannot simply impose “democracy” and get the desired results without vetoing actual democracy and installing more US puppets. The US lacks the necessary forces now to play whack-a-mole all across north Africa and the ME. This is to say nothing of the disaster he created in Iraq by pulling-out all the troops. Even previous Democrat presidents were not so inept as to pull all our troops out of Europe after WWII. They were even-handed moderates and patriots compared to Obama, the ideologue.

    • Yep.  A different breed of cat, our current Collectivist “transformer”.

    • No no, Egypt is working out “just as I (Scott) foresaw”.     Now  he just needs all of us to ask “what is your bidding my master”.
       
       
      Up the glorious twitter revolution, hurrah for Arab Spring.
      Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
       

  • Saudi Arabia is the problem.   Even before Saddam fell they were ranked less repressive than Saddam (and second only to North Korea).   The policies we’re following in Iran and Syria reflect the national interest, and if the Saudis don’t like it we should think about condemning their repression and pressuring them to change.   The international system is in transformation, especially the Arab world.  We can’t control it, and trying to stop it is futile.  It won’t be easy – politics change as culture changes, it will be a generation or two before things settle down.  But thank God the transformation is happening and the old obsolete dictators are falling.  More on Saudi Arabia here:  http://scotterb.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/the-saudis-are-the-problem/
    As for Obama, you can do all the trash talking you want.  He’s a two term President who doesn’t have to run for re-election and can do what he thinks best.  You’ll never like him, just as the left never liked Bush.  But that’s your problem, not his or mine.  I disagree with his use of drones and the NSA spying, but overall his foreign policy has been a vast improvement on that of his predecessor, and I think the right approach for US foreign policy in this new era (I gave a foreign policy talk on that earlier this week in Kennebunk – the point is that the system is fundamentally different than it was in the 20th Century, and a lot of people still have the ‘old thinking’ that’s doomed to fail.  The information revolution we now face is going to change the world just like the printing press did in the past.  We’re in the midst of real transformation at breakneck speed.  Old thinking doesn’t work).

    • You’re too stupid to even breathe. How do you manage it.
       
      Just how is the clusterf**k in Syria in our “national interest”?
      You do realize that we’re gonna have about a decade of this charade – JUST LIKE WE DID WITH IRAQ – and untold misery is gonna come from this.

    • Even before Saddam fell they were ranked less repressive than Saddam (and second only to North Korea).

      Really, Erp?  Who by?  Or is this another of your bullshit vaporware appeals to authority?

      The policies we’re following in Iran and Syria reflect the national interest…

      No.  They don’t.  There have been no “policies” from Obama.  Just ad hoc dithering. How can you make a statement as stupid as that with such certitude?
      Oh.  Wait…  I forgot.  It is just your knees jerking into position before your idol; the broken child.

    • Welcome t the new arms race.
      In 5 years, the rage in foreign policy will be … how to deal with the emerging Saudi nuclear threat to the region.

    • Scott
       
      You don’t matter.    Just give in.   You can’t prove you matter.   None of it matters because you can’t prove it.
       
      Lay back, relax, you’re irrelevant in the Universe and the world, by your own admission.
       

    • Doesn’t all this make you wonder where Scott got his correct ‘new’ thinking from?
      One get’s the sense it’s whatever Obama does (doesn’t do…whatever).
      Yes, he can do what he thinks best, those nasty old law things people keep harping on….eh…those are for lesser men.
      Obama can’t wait for that.
       
       
      Hmmm…speechafi-ing.
      The world in Your Library…..I wonder if they let him wear his cheerleader outfit.
       
      Let me tell you outtastatahs bout Kennebunk.
      Kennebunk is a ripsnorting town, biggah than Kittery or Wells even!!!
      Yessuh, big city living in Kennebunk.   There’s most of 11,000 people live down theah in Kennebunk, so we’ah not talkin no little bitty town heah, no suh!
      People come from as fah as Ogunquit to go to the Kennebunk library!
      And on a Tuesday night in Octobah, I bet the place wuz just packed to the raftahs to heah that professah fellah from the University come talk bout them furrin folks.
      Ayuh.
      Why, I bet GHW Bush woulda come up from Walker’s point to heah that fella talk if he’d a been in town.
      Less o’ course there was a church bean supper or bingo goin on, then it mighta been a sketch less well attended donchaknow.
       
       

    • The policies we’re following in Iran and Syria reflect the national interest,

      They reflect Putin’s and Assad’s interests. The fallout is the lack of trust countries now have in the US. No one trusts or respects us; we may still be an economic, technical and military power, but our high level decision making is idiotic.  

      But then, I suspect you really favor the interests of Russia and Iran over that of the US anyway.

    • Here asshat – try reading what someone who actually worked in foreign policy thinks and compare  and contrast that to the expertise you acquired by browsing magazines at Barnes and Noble in Augusta.
       
      http://thediplomad.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-obama-foreign-policy-death-spiral.html

  • ” the point is that the system is fundamentally different than it was in the 20th Century, and a lot of people still have the ‘old thinking’ that’s doomed to fail.  The information revolution we now face is going to change the world just like the printing press did in the past.  We’re in the midst of real transformation at breakneck speed.  Old thinking doesn’t work).”
     
    We’ve heard this blather before – it preceded the tech bubble (and subsequent popping of same) that happened during the waning of the Clinton years.  “The business climate has FYNDAMENTALLY CHANGED!  The Old Metrics No Longer Apply!  Etc, Etc.”
     
    Then reality reasserted itself.
     
    You’re an idiot.  Useful? Not sure.

  • Well, there is this…
     
    As the PowerLine blog points out, Kerry/Obama have managed to bring Arabs and Israelis into an accord…
     
    “Obama is stupidly empowering Iran”.
     
    Heckuva job, Barracula…!!!

  • Notorious right-wing rag, the New York Times, flays Obama as hard as it can get away with over his bungling of Syria.

    Indeed, we see that Obama Putin got everything he wanted out of Syria: a shiny new client state to shore-up his power base.

    • Come on, Thales, that can’t be right.  Erb told us here that Obama’s leadership in Syria was perfect.

  • Personally, I think trying to keep the Sunnis on our side, all the while AQ is made up of Sunnis was always going to be a hard task.
    Then again, switching over to the Shia or secularist fascists is not so hot either.
    Erb may have stumbled onto something when he said just leave them alone.
    Oh, and Obama was originally against Bush’s pro-democracy policy – and now Erb says it amazing that Obama is now for it. LOL. 4 legs good. 2 legs better!

    • Bush’s pro-democracy policy was correct, and his advisers correctly understood the demographics of the region meant it was impossible that the dictators would be able to run things as they had in the past.   What he was wrong about is the capacity of the US to shape events to our will.  It was probably a lesson the US needed to learn – militaries win wars, but it is extraordinarily difficult to use them to change cultures and shape political outcomes.  It is folly for the US to think that the Arab spring was a choice on our part.  These regimes are going down, so will the Saudi Royal family.  Trying to prop up corrupt dictatorships would be a foolish and short sighted policy.  Let them go through their transformation, only play a role if it is welcome and if it is truly international.

      • Trying to prop up corrupt dictatorships would be a foolish and short sighted policy.

        Ah, good to know you support the Cuban embargo and the overthrow of the Obamabanana Republic.
        Heh!

        militaries win wars, but it is extraordinarily difficult to use them to change cultures and shape political outcomes.

        Seriously, Erp, are you just STUPID about everything???  Can you say Japan?  Can you say Germany?

        • No no, I still worship the Son of Heaven, Emperor Akihito, descended from Amaterasu, I don’t care what MacArthur says! (banzai!).
           
          You don’t?
           
          Well, I can understand if you swapped over to worshipping Erb’s Obamugabe god, it’s the in thing to prove you’re not a racist/heathen.

          • Well, and how’s that thousand year Reich thingy workin’ out…???
             
            Seems to me we changed the hell out of that culture.  Of course, it was not done by the military alone, and only a complete dope like Erp would even PRETEND that was all we did in Iraq.
             
            Did I mention what a complete dope this Erp is…???

      • “It is folly for the US to think that the Arab spring was a choice on our part.”
         
        It was a folly to think Arab Spring was anything at all.    It was the Middle Eastern Version of Occupy Wall Street.   There was never any “there” there.
        Aside from Libya, now an Islamist nightmare, which regime has gone down as a result of Arab Spring?
        The Egyptian military has reasserted their control and Assad might go on vacation, but he isn’t going anywhere else.
        And now with Obama’s help and blessing installing Russia in Syria as guardians of his WMD and strengthening Iran’s hand, Assad will finish crushing the rebels.
         
        The only way the House of Saud will fall is through Iranian/Syrian backed revolution, which the Saudi’s will squash in their usual brutally efficient fashion without your hero batting an eye.
         
        So WHERE is the “Arab Spring” working?
         

        • It is the market leader among deodorant soaps in Tunisa…

          • Ah, right, the one country that actually DID change something and didn’t plunge into hell as a result of the blossom of Arab Spring!
             
            Egypt – military is still in power.
            Yemen, the President resigned and turned control over to……his Vice President!   wow, that sounds like a regime change to me!
            Hafez Assad – still in power,
            Bahrain…same government.
             
            Where is this revolution thing that actually changes something.
             
            Could Libya be a function of ‘old Ghaddfi’?
            Could Egypt be a function of ‘Old Mubarak’?
            why no….no…..they would have lived forever if they didn’t get old!   They’d have stayed in charge even after they died if it hadn’t been for Arab Spring!
             
            Is it like global warming?  We have to give it 10 or 15 years?
            Is it regime change when we elect a new President?
            Maybe my terminology isn’t progressive enough.

          • Exactly, Pen. The only thing changing is that the material conition for those at the bottom is getting worse.

            “Progress!”

            John Kerry can jawbone all day about “democracy”, but ultimately the only regime State will allow these people to “elect” are ones State-friendly one’s – genuine democracy in these Sunni states is just leading to Islamism. Essentially, State is just trying to turn DOD clients into State clients.

            “Progress!”

      • “if it is welcome…”
         
        Welcomed by who?   Welcomed by the people trying to overthrow the government, like Al Queda.
        Welcomed by the government trying to resist being overthrown, like Qaddaffi?
         
        To me this is like Stalin and Hitler fighting in an arena and having to pick which one I want to support.
        NEITHER.
        If there were real forces for real democracy in play that would be different, but Islam isn’t going to deliver a ‘democracy’.
        You’ll get the same ‘democracy’ or ‘republic’ you get from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, it will be in the name of the country.

      • These regimes are going down, so will the Saudi Royal family.

        What is your prediction on when they will fall?  Who will unseat them?  Who will replace them?
        Thrill us with your acumen.

        Trying to prop up corrupt dictatorships would be a foolish and short sighted policy.

        Be careful, or you might find yourself with some principles.
        Now, would you extend that to the Muslim Brotherhood failure?  The US government propped them up with aid, even as they drifted towards de facto dictatorship, a dangerous foreign policy towards Israel, and intolerance of religious minorities.  When that rotten government fell, the US government pulled out assistance.  Why, you’d think that Obama were asleep at the wheel, with that sort of nonsense.
        Yeah, I know, you’ll wave your hands and declare it was genius.  Deft.  “Barack Obama rah rah rah!”

  • Ah, Elliot, I do have pretty strong principles, they just don’t coincide with yours.   I also know I’m a fallible human and may be wrong in my beliefs – I lack respect for people who don’t have that insight.   I don’t fear the Muslim Brotherhood or al qaeda.  Those are products of the kind of dictatorial culture that has plagued the region going back to the Ottoman Empire.  They’ll all play a role and compete for how the region changes.  However, I am very confident that the revolution of modernism, information and globalization wil prove more appealing than the puritanical conservative outlook of Islamic fundamentalism.  Those groups are already losing support.  They may manage some attacks, violence and unrest in the coming years, but ultimately the dictators were holding things back.  Anyone who would want to see Mubarak, Gaddafi or Saddam back in power are deluded.  Assad will be gone soon.  If anyone defends those dictators out of FEAR – “oh my God, what might come next” – they are very short sighted.  They are also irrelevant because the change is coming regardless of what anyone does.

    • Why is it, do you suppose, that you are never able to deal with a direct question?
       
      Why is it that you make didactic statements appealing to authorities you never can support?

      I am very confident that the revolution of modernism, information and globalization wil prove more appealing than the puritanical conservative outlook of Islamic fundamentalism.

      Really?  How’s that working out for the Palestinians, the Pakistanis, etc?  What century do you predict that will occur?  How’s it working for the British, the French, the Dutch, and Scandinavian countries?  Or Dearbornistan?

    • I also know I’m a fallible human and may be wrong in my beliefs – I lack respect for people who don’t have that insight.

      How can you be certain of your judgment to withhold respect?
      One of your faults is that you pretend that others assert infallibility, when we actually don’t.  That’s just one of your lies.

      I don’t fear the Muslim Brotherhood or al qaeda.

      The question isn’t whether someone in backwoods Maine fears the Muslim Brotherhood.  It’s whether that group deserves U.S. government assistance, considering what it did to Egyptian people (particularly religious minorities) and how it threatened decades of peace between Egypt and Israel.  Your personal emotions are irrelevant.

      I am very confident that….

      Careful.  If you get any more confident, then you will be wrong, by your own rules.

      Anyone who would want to see Mubarak, Gaddafi or Saddam back in power are deluded.

      Believers in necromancy are deluded, you say?  When did you figure that one out, Einstein?

      Assad will be gone soon.

      You’re a regular Carnac.
      When?  Who will topple him?  How does the deft foreign policy of your idol work towards that goal, as opposed to serving the interests of Putin?
      I also asked you the same about your prediction of the fall of the House of Saud.  No response.
      OK, stand back.  I’m getting ready to make some predictions:
      Bashar al-Assad will die.  Every member of the Saudi royal family will die.  In fact, everyone alive in the Middle East today will die.  I’m guaranteed to be correct, if we wait long enough.
      “Nobody gets out of here alive.”
       

    • “I am very confident that the revolution of modernism, information and globalization wil prove more appealing than the puritanical conservative outlook of Islamic fundamentalism.”
       
      I am very confident that killing people for breaking Islamic law will prove more forceful than your wishy washy beliefs there in the heart of safe America Farmington Maine.
      When their governments sanction or at least turn blind eyes to stoning, beheading, honor killings and the other wonderfully enlightened demonstrations of the “Religion of Peace” things are NOT going to change any time soon.
       
      As a demonstration of that (you utter and complete moron), you might look to how the Islamics have taken to the freedoms provided for them in France and England when they emigrate.  Rather than eschew the practices of their old countries because they live in a secular environment that won’t enforce such barbarism, they sit in the heart of Western Enlightenment and  INSIST they be judged with/by their barbaric religion.  They revel in it, and bring it WITH them to the new country, forcing the new country to allow and even adopt their barbaric 7th century lunacies.  It’s not dying, it’s SPREADING.   Because there are no Charles Martels, no more El Cid’s.
       
      As for your stupid philosophies Scott, how do they have any impact on American foreign policy, and why should anyone, except you, care how noble and thoughtful you are.  Let me assure you, they are not sitting down and discussing Gutenburg, Luther and the ‘Reformation and Enlightenment’ or even Plato’s Cave in Tahir Square when they aren’t raping foreign female “jooooooooooooooooo” journalists or in the warrens of Gaza when they’re planning their next missile launch from the local schoolyard.
       
      They are discussing who is going to tell who what to do, and how to live.   And your piss-ant views and probable fallibility aren’t being considered.

  • I can have subjective certainty.  I often absolutely am certain I’m right.  But I know that I am a fallible human and the possibility always exists that I may be wrong about things.  Often that uncertainty is so negligible that it’s irrelevant.  Yes, perhaps we’re part of “the matrix” (or in Plato’s cave, the original matrix), but that is so unlikely and unprovable that I can reasonably dismiss doubt.  On issues of politics, philosophy and anything outside science, I cannot.  I will act on my convictions in my personal choices, but I don’t expect others to share those beliefs or principles.  Even science is based on uncertainty – hypotheses can be falsified or supported, but not proven.   But in science considerable support without falsification allows one to treat an hypothesis as a scientific truth, but it still could be overturned by surprising new evidence.
     
    I am not in favor of assisting Muslim Brotherhood or anyone.  I am against assisting the dictators or trying to keep them in power, that’s a foolish policy as I am convinced its doomed to fail and will leave us more hated and only help the extremists in the long run.   Mubarak is not dead, by the way.  As for Assad, my prediction is due to the fact that his style of dictatorship is obsolete in a globalized world, with the Arab world’s median age about 22.  Also, his civil war is going poorly for him.
     
    Back in 1439 Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press seemed to make things better for the Church and local officials.  But ultimately it changed the world – ideas could spread, the world would become less local.   When Luther nailed his theses to the door in 1517 in Latin he expected a local debate – but his friends translated them and sent them around Germany and soon the reformation began, and the tradition-based world of the middle ages was over.  A whole new way of thinking, a new politics, and a new order emerged, the era of the sovereign state (an era I think is now threatened by this info revolution).  Science, the enlightenment, and progress in general came about in large part thanks to the role the printing press played.  This information revolution promises similar changes. We don’t know where it’s going, it’s global, and the context complex.   But the 20th Century is over, and its style of politics is gone – gone is the age of ideology.   It may be a rough transition, but I don’t think it will be stopped.

    • Really?  How’s that working out for the Palestinians, the Pakistanis, etc?  What century do you predict that will occur?  How’s it working for the British, the French, the Dutch, and Scandinavian countries?  Or Dearbornistan?
       
      I’ll keep repeating that until you answer it.  Like I have done before.
       
      Of course, you NEVER have been able to step up to my models questions about your economic lies and stupidity.

  • I can have subjective certainty.  I often absolutely am certain I’m right.  But I know that I am a fallible human and the possibility always exists that I may be wrong about things.  Often that uncertainty is so negligible that it’s irrelevant.

    Nothing in what you just wrote makes you exceptional.
    You have spent thousands of lines of text, who knows how many hours of your life pontificating atop your “certainty is bad” soap box, declaring the arguments of others unworthy of consideration–not on their merits–but merely on your assertion that those presenting such arguments had too much certainty, by your judgment.
    Can you just, once and for all, realize that this rhetorical trick you continuously use in an attempt to evade substance fails to gain any traction among the readers here?  Move on.  Drop that particular wrench from your toolbox.  It’s tedious and it makes you look like an idiot.
    ——
    You speak of science as being distinct from philosophy, which means your idea of what constitutes philosophy is very narrowly defined.
    ——

    “…[20th Century] style of politics is gone – gone is the age of ideology.

    You whip out that tired old wrench and use it to construct a wide-sweeping prediction, which is actually nothing more than wishful thinking.  It’s nothing better than the nonsense produced by Marx or Fukuyama, and it shows that you are either so ignorant of or blind to history to notice the pattern you’re repeating.
    You don’t define “the age of ideology”, but you’re expressing a dangerous (to you) amount of certainty that it’s over.  Of course, your mangling of the concept of “ideology” to suit your special pleading/straw man game makes it even worse.

    • Just yesterday I read a bromide from one of Barracula’s early speeches as president where Erp lifted that bullshit.
       
      Pretty much word-for-word.  Imagine…

    • You insult a lot, but you don’t make any argument.  That’s usually the sign of someone who doesn’t have a solid response.  I’m not pontificating (you’re using your imagination to read something into what I write), I’m conversing, sharing my opinion.  I’ll respect completely your right to live your life according to the principles you believe in.  I don’t accept that I should share those principles, or agree with you on politics.  I don’t believe you are right in your views, and I have the right to have a different opinion and act on it.  That seems uncontroversial.   Unless you cut yourself off from society, it seems inevitable that people with different views and ideals will have to compromise in order to have social stability and avoid violent conflict.  I’m not really sure what you’re arguing for, or what in my view you’re arguing against.  You seem to have beliefs about what I think based on your memories of past exchanges, but those memories, yours and mine, are biased.  It’s best to actually converse and listen to each other, not just insult.

      • You insult a lot….

        Pointing out the faults in your arguments and tactics is not an insult.  It’s criticism.  That you take it as an insult is merely a reflection of your ego.

        “…but you don’t make any argument.

        The evidence is right there above your denial.

        That’s usually the sign of someone….

        Once again, you attempt to dismiss arguments out of hand, by using signs and spectral evidence.

        I’m not pontificating….

        You’re pounding a drum, incessantly attacking certainty, even when you have to project it onto others.  And, you don’t apply the same rules to yourself (special pleading).  It’s positively narcissistic.

        I’m not really sure what you’re arguing for, or what in my view you’re arguing against.

        Why don’t you go play video games if your reading comprehension is that low?

        You seem to have beliefs about what I think based on your memories of past exchanges, but those memories, yours and mine, are biased.

        No, I’ve got google to cite your words, with links for full context.  Calling that “biased” is just evasion.
        You want to cover up your past, since it is so easy to catch you in contradictions, using your own words.  Crying “bias” is lame.
        Take responsibility of your past.  You can apologize, retract, explain your change of belief, etc..  That’s what adults do.

        • Again you just insult and hurl vague accusations.  You’re post is pure emotion and no reason or argument.  Face it, you really can’t counter me.  All you can do is call names.  That’s a sign you’ve lost an argument, your ideas are weak.  Rather than face that, you call names.  Oh well, your choice.

          • Again you just insult….

            You may dislike that I refute your arguments, but just because it causes you upset doesn’t mean that I am insulting you.  You need to learn basic definitions.

            That’s a sign….

            The black figure whispering in your ear is a sign that you’re in league with the devil.  See?  I can play the same stupid game of making up “evidence” out of whole cloth and premising some nonsense on that.
            No one here is fooled by that.  Why do you bother to attempt such transparent rhetorical gimmicks?  What do you get out of it?

          • I wish you would refute my arguments, but you don’t.  You simply insult and lie.   Please, REFUTE!  Make an argument!  Do something of substance!  You don’t – because you know that if we really just went with logic and rational arguments, without the noise of insults and bravado, I’d easily defeat your arguments.   Come on, I dare you – actually make an argument.  Let reason rather than emotion guide your posts.  Do you have that in you?

          • I can say, and I am responsible for what I am saying, that they have started to commit suicide under the walls of Baghdad. We will encourage them to commit more suicides quickly.
            There’s no difference between you and Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf.

          • LMAO,
             
            “I wish you would refute my arguments, but you don’t.  You simply insult and lie.   Please, REFUTE!  Make an argument!  Do something of substance!  You don’t – because you know that if we really just went with logic and rational arguments, without the noise of insults and bravado, I’d easily defeat your arguments.   Come on, I dare you…”
             
            I have to say after reading the quotes, this one would be at home in the list.

  • Whups. Scratch another Arab Spring success stoty. Well, that ends that myth. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/10/25/Tunisia-Cradle-of-Arab-Spring-Near-Political-Collapse

    • Looker, you don’t go from a post-Ottoman culture to a stable functioning democracy overnight.  I said as events unfolded that it would take at least a generation, and there would be a lot of conflict and turmoil.  But that’s how the world works.  Very few democracies were successful from the start, and those that were either had the cultural underpinnings in place or changed gradually (the US had slavery for 80 years, didn’t allow women to vote for 120 years!)   So the Arab spring is not something that fails or succeeds right away.  It’s a process.  First get rid of the dictators who rule with brutal oppression reminiscient of the Ottoman era.  Allow globalization to change the very conservative form of Islam embraced by the Ottomans in exchange for religious support – and with half the population under 22, that’s very likely to happen reasonably fast.  And then a gradual moving towards modernism and away from repression.   There is no way anyone can reasonably argue that we should have supported the dictators.  That is both immoral and against our long term interests.

      • Really?  How’s that working out for the Palestinians, the Pakistanis, etc?  What century do you predict that will occur?  How’s it working for the British, the French, the Dutch, and Scandinavian countries?  Or Dearbornistan?

        I’ll keep repeating that until you answer it.  Like I have done before.

        Of course, you NEVER have been able to step up to my models questions about your economic lies and stupidity.
         
        Compared to the Wahhabi brand of Islam, the Ottomans were pluralistic and tolerant.  Weren’t they, stupid?

        • Rags, I ignore you because you just post junk.  Islamic rationalism made the Islamic world the center of civilization, the Ottomans destroyed that by embracing a very conservative form of Islam.   There are modern Muslims all around, and their influence is growing, especially with young people.  Your bigoted fear (and bizarre rants which show why you aren’t man enough to leave your real name) is pathetic.  Luckily, your way of thinking is already in the ashheap of history.

          • Huh.
             
            STILL no answer.  What a cowardly tool of the Collective.

          • Rags, not that you need me to, but for illustrative purposes to the audience, let me act as a form of narrator and allow me to clarify…
             
            You’re ignorant and your ideas are rubbish.
            Scott doesn’t insult people, you bigoted fearful bizarre pathetic man hiding behind a pseudonym.
             
            he doesn’t DO that…can’t you tell?
             

          • Silly Rags, I answered you and showed you were wrong.  Islamic rationalism was tolerant and progressive – when the Christians took Jerusalem in the crusades and said “convert or die,” the Muslims took it back and welcomed both Christians and Jews to continue doing business there.   Christianity is no better than Islam historically; in fact, the West would not have advanced if not for what they learned from the Islamic world and its science and philosophy.   You are simply ignorant of history. But hey, what do I expect of someone who doesn’t have the balls to put his own name on what he posts.

          • “Christianity is no better than Islam historically”
             
            Which of course boys and girls is why to this very day Christian radicals capture innocent people and broadcast video of their heads being sawn off for offending Christian sensibilities.
             
            It’s also why Christians burn cities and riot when someone takes photos of a crucifix immersed in a jar of urine, or declare death warrants on the lives of people who spatter statues of the Virgin Mary with animal feces.
             
            You see children, it’s okay to reach as far back into history as you need to to excuse your current barbaric behavior.
            So remember you northern Europeans, you are descended from people who were possibly Roman slaves, and some of your ancestors were possibly massacred by Viking raiders from Scandanavia.   Next time you see an Italian or a Swede, Norwegian or Dane, give them a good kick in the crotch, because historically, they deserve it!
             
             
            Scott, why don’t you grow up and stop acting like an 8 year old.   Man, when you’re wrong, you’re REALLY wrong.

          • Islamic rationalism was tolerant and progressive….

            In what ways?  Women were treated the same as before the caliphate and, in much of the Muslim world today, are still treated the same.  Christians from the Byzantine empire were captured and enslaved.  Battles among various competing Islamic sects and movements were settled by war, assassination, torture, and the like.

            …when the Christians took Jerusalem in the crusades and said “convert or die,” the Muslims took it back and welcomed both Christians and Jews to continue doing business there.

            You’re glossing over examples of Muslims slaughtering the infidels as a means to taking back territory, the same tactic of forcing people to convert to Islam at the point of a sword, and the dhimma in which non-Muslims were restricted from having full autonomy and were required to pay jizyah (taxes) to avoid persecution or death.

            Christianity is no better than Islam historically; in fact, the West would not have advanced if not for what they learned from the Islamic world and its science and philosophy.

            So Christians centuries ago were as bad as Muslims are today?  OK.  I won’t dispute that.  So, any Christians who are a thousand years old should be judged the same as the intolerant Muslims who stir up trouble today.  Fine.
            As for your repeated lie that Western culture learned from the Islamic world, I’ve corrected you on this many times.  The Muslims sacked much of the cultural centers of the Roman Empire, transferring Greek and Roman libraries and artifacts to their own.  While much of the West struggled with schisms, collapse of empire, and the centuries-long period of the “dark ages”, in which most of the ancient Greek and some of the Roman intellectual culture was lost, the caliphate was enjoying success through conquest.  Much of what is presented as the intellectual product of the golden age of Islam originated from or was derived from civilized regions that the Muslim armies conquered.  Contrast that to the Greeks and Romans, who originated much of reason, science, technology, art, etc. and then spread this to mostly uncivilized barbarians of Gaul, Hispania, Germania, Britannia.  Gallia est omnis dīvīsa in partēs trēs….
            Centuries later, people in the West rediscovered their ancestors’ work which scholars in the Muslim world had preserved.
            Yet, you keep pretending that the savage West were raised up by Muslim intellectuals, enabling them to quit living as dirty white trash.

            You are simply ignorant of history.

            Ignorance can be cured.  You purposely elide portions of history that you know which are inconvenient for your narrative.  That is far worse.

      • from above with some adjustment…
        As a demonstration of how wrong you are you might look to how Islamic immigrants have taken to the freedoms provided for them in France and England when they emigrate.  Rather than eschew the practices of their old countries because they live in a secular environment that won’t enforce such barbarism, they sit in the heart of Western Enlightenment and  INSIST they be judged with/by their barbaric religion.  They revel in it, and bring it WITH them to the new country, forcing the new country to allow and even adopt their barbaric 7th century lunacies.  It’s not dying, it’s SPREADING.
         
        They are not taking the advantage of changing when they can, they are attempting to force their adopted countries to adhere to their practices.   This is not the sign of someone undergoing a rational, technological renaissance, this is the sign of people whose CHOOSE to be trapped in their religion and insist YOU be trapped in there with them.
         
        Why have the Islamic immigrants not taken advantage of these freedoms?   Contemplate that for more than half an eyeblink before you post your answer that you believe you’re so much smarter than we are.
         
        That you cannot perceive the reality of the fundamentalist Islamic adherence to their religion that explains why you don’t perceive there to be any threat at all.
         
        Course, living in WhiteBread Maine you are completely divorced from any form of reality and never have to interact with any significant number of people who’s culture, color, or religion is essentially not almost exactly like your own…
        Here’s the stats for the culturally non-pluralistic town you live in -
        The racial makeup of the town is 96.9% White, 0.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.
        That means there are only about 400 people in the entire town (infants and children included) who don’t look, for all intents and purposes, like YOU.   I’m betting there’s no mosques handy for daily worship.
        I feel bad for you in a way, the last time I was in a town like yours I found it rather odd to see only people who looked ‘like me’ in the local Wal-Mart.   You don’t just live in an isolated clueless academic bubble, you live in a religious, cultural and ethnic bubble as well.
         
        back to Arab Spring – Spring, generally, does not last for 50 years….(insert your favorite insult from me here).   I think all of us understand it won’t happen over night.  But ‘Spring’ implies a very finite, and rather short timeframe.   We scoffed at that idea when the phrase was coined.  That hasn’t changed.   We always, always pointed out, that there was nothing to this.    Twitter, cell phones and the internet were NOT going to sweep in massive democratic change.   What’s going to sweep in change for those people is being stomped flat, just as Japan and Germany were stomped flat.   Only a catastrophic, devastating and RAPID change will bring them around, because it’s a wake up call that no on going slow burn limited destruction home grown revolution will cause.
         
        All they’re doing now is arguing about who is to be in charge, and they’ve been doing that since Mohammed ascended to heaven.  Now they do it with cell phones in their pockets.

        • You are wrong – European Muslims are modernizing and will likely be a positive influence on the Arab world and Islam in general.  Islamophobia is misguided and dead wrong – luckily our schools and universities are really focusing on helping young people understand Islam so they don’t fall victim to the ugly propaganda put out by the Islamophobes.  The rest of your post makes no sense.  I think you really need to educate yourself, and NOT through right wing Islamophobic propaganda.  Your insults show you are the one out of touch with reality, lost in a world of fear and misunderstanding.  But that’s your problem, not mine.

          • Let me see if I have this game right.
             
            I say, you are wrong.   I cite nothing to prove it, I tell you you don’t know what you’re talking about where I decide to pretend you do make sense, and I tell you everything else you said makes no sense at all.
             
            (Heh, someone pointing out you live in a lily white cloistered world AND demonstrating the fact that it was so…didn’t sit well did it skippy…)
             
            I lament you insulting me, while I insult you and I tell you it’s your problem, not mine.
             
            Does that about cover it?
             
            So, in other words, you can’t explain the issues England and France and Sweden and Western Europe are having with Islamic culture and why people who are legally able to practice ‘freedom’ as provided for by Western Law continue to bind themselves in Sharia rulings by Sharia counsels when they recognize ‘law’ and practicing honor killings etc, when they decide they need to take the law into their own Quran backed hands.
             
            Nor can you explain why freedom and democracy haven’t erupted all over the Middle East as a result of ‘Arab Spring’ other than to fall back on meaningless tripe about things taking a long time to change.   Well, some things, apparently 20th century thinking was able to disappear overnight and we benighted few are the last bastion…. but…Islam change….not so much.
             
            In other words, you have, as usual, diddly squat, other than the mistaken idea you’re some kind of authority figure.
             
            Try again.
             

          • As a further point to note – you also cannot explain why cultures who feel free to mock EVERYONE else, suddenly go all quiet when it comes to saying anything even mildly offensive about Islam.  Presumably for fear that the Islamic cultural response of trying to give them all hugs and snuggles will block the streets and bring their cities to an Islamic love fest inspired halt.
             
            Bringing free speech, humor, or just the ability to express opinion to a stand still out of fear of this huggy lovey reaction from the ‘modern positive influence’ of young European Muslims….
             
            Scott – you’re wrong.

          • He knows he’s wrong.
             
            He just is a bung-sucker for his Collective and his broken child idol.

  • Pendergast, after 9-11 I made it a point to learn all I can about Islam so I could really understand the region and what the issues were.  I have integrated it into the courses I teach, and I found that Islamphobia — like anything fear-based — is completely misguided and rooted in bigotry.  Yes, the Islamic world has been in a kind of cultural deep freeze thanks to the Ottoman Empire’s hatred of all things progressive.  The religious conservatives dominated, but right now there are new movements thanks to globalization.  There are many modern Muslims, and most conservative Muslims aren’t extremist.  Islam teaches there can be no compulsion to faith, that if a person does not want to fight, one must make peace.  As George W. Bush correctly noted, Islam is a religion of peace.  But just as Christianity can be abused by those who want violence and hatred, so can Islam or any religion.   Change is coming, but it will take time.  But you can never “defeat” Islam, and the US can’t change the region or shape it.  Indeed, right now the US is in decline, though I think with an embrace of globalization we can turn it around. I really have faith in the youth too – it’s a pragmatic, progressive generation, open and unafraid of diversity.  The old generation will die out, I trust the future to the youth of the early 21st century.

    • “globalization”
       
      By the way, the whole ‘one world’ and ‘globalization’ things…those are soooooooo last century.   I’m sure there’s something new, but that ain’t it.
       
      Keep up with the fads, okay?

    • More like the youth of the 12 Century.
      What a moron.
      What I also just LOVE is this “glo-bullization” crap Erp picked up from somewhere, coupled with his being the pom-pom girl for central planning by huge hegemons from the Collective.
      AND he is so stupid that it never occurs to him these ideas are at sword’s points…!!!!

    • …after 9-11 I made it a point to learn all I can about Islam so I could really understand the region and what the issues were.  I have integrated it into the courses I teach….

      What were your sources?  How much time did you spend?  How many Muslims are in your community and how many of them did you speak with as part of your alleged research?  I seriously doubt you know much more than what you read by a few biased sources.
      I’ve known many Muslims, starting long before 2001.  Those I’ve known have run the full gamut from those who assimilated to those who had their wives and mothers in full abayas.  The latter were usually the ones who expressed hate towards Jews and Hindus.  One guy refused to shake my wife’s hand because it was “impure” to touch a woman.  Another stated he would sacrifice his children as martyrs for Islam, in the context of discussing Palestinian terrorism.
      I’ve also read quite a bit about Islam and discussed the accuracy of what I saw and read with the Muslims I knew.

      Islamphobia — like anything fear-based — is completely misguided and rooted in bigotry.

      By definition, a phobia is an irrational fear.  But much of the criticism of radical Islam is not a phobia.  Nor is criticism of the political events which take place in majority Muslim countries.  What I saw above was (1) criticism of Westerners like you who naively and stupidly predicted a quick flowering (a “Spring”) because of social media and (2) criticism of those in power who are taking the direction of their countries backwards, ruining decades of peace with Israel, and oppressing minorities.   As for the matter of Muslim assimilation and non-assimilation in Europe, there is plenty of information in the news to mock your take on things.

      …right now there are new movements thanks to globalization.

      Where are these movements and where are they showing progress?  Turkey slid from secular government to theocratic parties.  Afghanistan is facing reconquest by the Taliban.  Radical Muslim groups keep Iraq a bloodbath.  Egypt has slid backwards, turning hostile towards Israel, Coptic Christians, and Muslims who are insufficiently obedient.  In Syria, the rebel factions are dominated by Islamic radicals who want to overturn the more secular rule by Ba’athists into a more theocratic rule.  Al Qaeda and similar groups are making in roads into some African nations.  More technologically advanced nations, like Pakistan, still imprison people for apostasy and similar thought crimes.
      Where is the liberalization?  Give concrete examples.  Give citations.

      …most conservative Muslims aren’t extremist.

      Extreme what?  Extreme is an adjective.  Extremely is an adverb.  They modify a noun, verb, or adjective.  The word “extremist” is a nonsense word, which contains no referent.
      Most “conservative” Muslims have customs and ideas which are quite outside the mainstream of Western culture.  They may not be suicide bombers, but they frequently have sympathy for those who are.  And, they treat women like cattle.  They are usually intolerant and bigoted towards Jews, apostates, atheists, homosexuals, etc..

      Islam teaches….

      *laugh*
      Yeah, tell me another one.
      What you mean to say is that moderate Muslims teach that Islam does not allow compulsion to faith.  Plenty of Muslims don’t teach what you ignorantly claim they do, or that they should.
      You can cite Koranic verses, cite the words of influential Muslim leaders, but you can’t presume to declare that “Islam teaches” something.  Islam is a religion, not a sentient being.

      …Islam is a religion of peace.

      *more laughter*
      As can be seen in the executions, oppression of women, war with neighboring countries, terrorism, etc., all carried out in the name of Allah.
      I’m sure most Muslims would prefer to live in peace with others.  It’s a small minority that causes problems.  But they view the ones who aren’t radical as shirking their duties.

      Change is coming, but it will take time.

      Summer is coming, but it will take time.  New model vehicles are coming, but they will take time.  Faster computers and cell phones are coming, but they will take time.
      Can you say anything which is not utterly banal?

      I really have faith in the youth too…I trust the future to the youth of the early 21st century.

      Why?  Compared with our grandparents, they’re ignorant, lazy, and uninspired.  OK, so there might be less bigotry, but there is also less critical thought, independence, and initiative.
      Maybe if Obama, Pelosi, and those who inherit their ideological cause manage to tear apart the private sector, drive the federal government into insolvency, and create a massive economic collapse and the young have to live through hardship like our parents and grandparents faced in the Great Depression, something positive might rise from the ashes, eschewing big government, passing on values of personal responsibility.  I doubt that sort of thing will play out, but it is one route to eventual progress.
      Otherwise, the people will be Eloi–dependent on big government, ignorant due to government schools, silenced by political correctness, prevented from being productive by radical environmentalism, class warfare, and other such nonsense.  If things collapse, what remains and results will be more of the same.  That’s what happened with the Roman Empire and the British Empire.

  • Oh, and by the way, as a specialist in European politics, I KNOW that your strange claims about sharia and the like in Europe are total BS.  I’m not sure where you get that from, but it aint reality!

    • Oh, you ‘know’.   So when Paris burns because a cartoonist draws Mohammed, when women are raped in Stockholm and when the perpetrators use Islam to justify the rapes, when off duty soldiers are hacked to death in the streets of England, when Dutch film makers are stabbed in the streets of Amsterdam, all in the name of Islam….you ‘know’ you’re right.  And when the Muslim community who knows these people lifts not a finger to stop them….talk is cheap.
       
      Expert…Uh, no Scott.   I can claim to be a specialist in organic bio-chemistry if I read some books, but that doesn’t make me an expert.   Furthermore every adult here who works in some field knows someone who is credited with being ‘an expert’ in the field and those same adults know that person is a fraud.
       
      That’s you, you’re a teacher who’s a fraud.
       
      You aren’t an expert, on anything, if what I read here from you regularly is any indication of your level of expertise.   Most of what you post here is your philosophical BS, largely based on your opinion and your reliance on having been granted a piece of paper back sometime in history when you maybe were a decent teacher.
       
      Now, you’re more like a double wide trailer hill billy who reads historical fiction and watches the View and thinks he knows world politics.   You’re like some male version of Joy Behar.

      • You go away for a few days and come back to find Erb on his European jag again. Heh, so predictable really.
        Now would be a good time to recount my early days in Sweden living in an immigrant suburb in Sweden’s second largest city, but I doubt the good professor would regard that as comparable to whatever book he checked out of the young adult section of his local whitebread library. Car fires, murdered neighbors, strange conversations with old ladies in the laundry who can’t speak Swedish or English, good times good times. Now it wasn’t as bad as Rosengård in Malmö where often the police even don’t set foot, but still it was strange enough to not feel like one was living in Sweden most of the time. And, despite what Scotty says, it is virtually never the older people who cause the trouble.

        • “And, despite what Scotty says, it is virtually never the older people who cause the trouble.”
           
          Well, you know how those pragmatic youngsters can be.
           
          In the real versions of history, that would be Scott’s version of course, villages and towns and even cities always relied on the collective wisdom of the Council of Young Guys.
           
          A group always well known for their patience, careful planning and years of experience.

          • “The Breakfast Club and its application to modern Islamist thought,” a dissertation by S Erb.

    • I KNOW that your strange claims about sharia and the like in Europe are total BS.

      Well, a good place to start THAT fisking would be to get you to state WTF you mean…exactly…by “your strange claims”.  Who made them, and what are they specifically?
       
      NEXT, you can cite us to some reporting that supports YOUR delusional denial.
       
      Because, using an appeal to authority…with YOU as an authority…
       
      THAT just makes us all giggle.

    • Yep Scottie boy, the times they are a changin…..moderate, woo hooo!!!!!!
       
      Sentences in Kuwait for Insults to Islam via Twitter will stand.

  • Christianity is no better than Islam historically; in fact, the West would not have advanced if not for what they learned from the Islamic world and its science and philosophy.   You are simply ignorant of history.

    That would be kind of insulting, except it comes from one of the most historically ignorant (and that can be read several ways…all good) morons ever to post here.
     
    For your bullshit statement to be even partially true, you have to truncate history rather far back, and just ignore reality.
     
    Plus, while not saying ALL of it is false, a lot of the “history” you allude to about Islamic arts and science is a canard.  But your broken child idol sponsored it, so naturally you break over like a shotgun in worship of his “wisdom”.

    • It can’t be the Muslim factory workers and rail workers who built America that he’s talking about.
       
      I think maybe he’s talking about the knowledge originally borrowed from the Greeks, Romans, Indians and Mesopotamians.   Just by sheer coincidence these are areas the Sword Of Allah eventually overran, uh, I mean, acquired, as it pursued it’s peaceful assimilations.   Funny thing that.
       
      That’s not history we want to reach back to though, as it doesn’t fit Scottie’s version of events from his ‘studies’.

      • I have no doubt that there were some very nice advancements made by thinkers who also happened to be (at least nominal) followers of Islam.
         
        What is interesting is to ponder how much of that was DESPITE Islamic doctrine of the period, and how much that doctrine is perverted in current Islamic strains which are quite prohibitive and downright primitive in terms of graphic art, music, science, etc.
         
        Compare that to the Church in the same periods I question above.  The very concept of the “University” evolved from scholarly schools fostered by the Church Of Rome.
         
        Of course, in modern Islam in many places there is more emphasis on how to kill Christians and Jews than on other, more benevolent, sciences.

  • “Of course, in modern Islam in many places there is more emphasis on how to kill Christians and Jews than on other, more benevolent, sciences.”
     
    And maybe practice a little urban renewal….http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/11/12/249092.html

  •  
    Does anybody here want to lay odds that Erp has discovered he was lied to about the Benghazi massacre of our State personnel?
     
    Or is he sticking to his bung-suckery that there is no “scandal” here?
     
    Anybody…???

  • Wow, such bigotry against Islam – and based on ignorance as well.  I don’t think there’s any arguing with you guys, you’re locked in this them vs. us mentality.  But it inspires me to work hard so today’s youth — who are learning early in schools about Islam (the truth, not the Islamophobic version) don’t fall into that trap.  I won’t convince the current Islamophobes, but can work to marginalize and defeat that misguided and dangerous perspective.  You inspire me to work harder than ever at that job!  Ignorance and bigotry are ugly – and I’m surprised even Elliot, who seems at times to have some principles, has fallen for the cherry picked caricatured version of Islam.  I see Islamophobia as the equivalent of Nazi anti-semitism.  It’s not worth arguing about, I have no respect for bigots.  Goodbye.

    • Wow, such ignorance.
       
      Good bye, you’ll be back, it’s a pathology for you.

    • Heh….wanna test our caricatured version smarty?   Draw a picture of the prophet Mohammed and publish it on your blog.
      I DARE you.

    • The man who has:
      1. Never lived among the people he “teaches” about,
      2. Never had an intimate relationship with some from the people he “teaches” about,
      3. Has no close acquaintances from the people he “teaches” about,
      4. Gets all his expertize from reading in an isolated corner of a whitebread state in the USA…
      deigns to call other people ignorant. My word, his arrogance knows simply no bounds.

      • See…?  There is such a thing as infinity.
         
        And it isn’t simply arrogance.  It also eclipses his capacity for delusion.
         
        IF he actually knew squat about Europe, he’d know how very wrong he is.  But he knows Europe as it exists in reality like he knows history.  Which is not at all…

    • Hey, Erp, before you go off streaming bitter tears of ignominy, care to admit your broken child idol lied about Benghazi…???
       
      Come on.  Step up.  Pretend to be manly once.  It could lead to a reformation!

    • Wow, such bigotry against Islam….

      You’ve switched back into Baghdad Bob mode again, making things up from your imagination.

      …I’m surprised even Elliot, who seems at times to have some principles, has fallen for the cherry picked caricatured version of Islam….

      I invite readers to look at my words above, regarding Islam.  I’d be willing to wager that I have had more Muslim friends and acquaintances than you’ve ever met in your little bubble in the lily white backwoods.  And, I have probably read more history and news regarding Islam and its impact on the world.  I repeatedly made it a point to indicate that the radical, dangerous Muslims are a small minority.  Unlike you, I address the disgusting treatment of women in a sizable portion of the Muslim world, today and for centuries past.  That’s one cherry you avoid picking.  I remind you, once again, how the influx of information and artifacts from the Muslim world to Europe during the Renaissance was largely ancient Greek and Roman in origin, preserved by scholars and the like in the Muslim world for centuries.   That’s another cherry you choose not to pick, preferring instead to pretend that the white trash who crawled out of the Dark Ages had to be taught by brilliant Muslims who created civilization.  Reality is quite different than your version.  And, no, I have never denied that there weren’t original contributions from Muslims.  But dogmatic religion hinders innovation.  What innovation happens in a culture dominated by oppressive religious leaders is often taken from the conquered.  The same happened in Europe during the Dark Ages.
      But Hellenistic culture is credited with originating the Western culture of reason, from mathematics to metaphysics.  The Renaissance necessarily required a reintroduction of these ideas to spark further development, such as the creation of modern science.

      I see Islamophobia as the equivalent of Nazi anti-semitism.

      It is interesting that Holocaust denial, the blood libel, and other such remnants of the Nazis and their ideological predecessors still occupy “mainstream” media in many Muslim countries, yet you pretend (1) that there is an actual phobia and (2) that those you tag with that label are like Nazis.  The only people I’ve ever encountered in person who admired Hitler’s slaughter of Jews and wished he had “finished the job” were a Croatian immigrant (who had actually suffered brain damage) and a Muslim resident who grew up in Saudi Arabia.
      Well, go on and take your ball home and have a good cry, Baghdad Scott.

      • He pretends he values principles after all…..even if they are all subjective and unprovable.
         
         

        • He doesn’t know if principles are good or bad, valid or imaginary.  He makes it up as he goes, depending upon the argument he thinks he needs to make.

    • Goodbye.
       
      Liar.

  • I’M SURE IT’S THE JEWS’ FAULT: Who is to Blame for the Plight of Christians in the Middle East who are Being Attacked and Driven out by Muslims?
     
    Did Erp actually have the temerity to call US “bigots”….???
     

    • I thought about that….considering he’s, in his mind politely, called us morons, racists, superstitious ignorant backwards cave people, bigots was about the only bridge he hadn’t really crossed.
       
      He hauled out what he thinks are the big guns to cover his indignant righteous scamper.

    • the big take away here Rags, is to remember, he no longer respects us.
       
      “That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
      And then is heard no more. It is a tale
      Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
      Signifying nothing.”

  • this is a good thing why would we want to do the saudis bidding? they want us to start wars in syria and iran? how is that in our interest? these are the same people who fund islamic extremists who attacked us on 9/11. screw them.