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Why is the West so afraid of Islam?

That’s the title of an article written by Michael Brendan Dougherty in The Week.

But Ernesto Galli della Loggia, the lead editorial writer for Corriere Della Sera, offered one provocative suggestion for Europe’s unwillingness to get involved: fear of Islam. In an editorial titled “The Indifference That Kills,” he writes (translated here) that Europe fears what he calls “Arab Islam” and its ability to commit economic blackmail. He writes:

“At the same time, and above all, it fears the ruthless terrorism, the many guerrillas that claim to be inspired by Islam, their cruel barbarity, as well as the movements of revolt that periodically deeply stir the masses of that world, always permeated by a sensibility that is extremely easy to light up and to break loose in violent xenophobia.” [Corriere Della Sera]

There is something to this. Consider: When Pope Benedict XVI, in an academic setting, merely quoted a medieval critique of Islam, the result was riots across the Islamic world, including the murder of Christian nuns. There was similar rioting and threats over satirical cartoons in a Danish newspaper that if made about Christianity would elicit almost no reaction beyond a letter or a few digital comments.

He goes on excruciatingly offering reasons that may have some validity but really don’t hit on the real reason.

The West fears Islam (that’s radical Islam) because it hasn’t the intestinal fortitude to do what is necessary to combat it.  If  you’ve been watching in horror what ISIS has been doing as it moves through Iraq, or Hamas in Gaza, you understand that with radical Islam, there are not boundaries of decency or humanity that constrain them. They will do whatever it takes to win the day, no matter how many lives it costs on both sides. There is no such thing as an atrocity except the existence of infidels.

The West fears Islam because to do what is necessary to combat and defeat it, the West would have to throw over decades of liberal hogwash about the equality of cultures and how we must respect them. Its a bit like claiming you have to respect and endure a rabid skunk because it is a living being and thus our equal.

Instead of admitting that radical Islam is a rabid skunk that needs to be exterminated, we continue to see the liberal game being played as is. And the results are predictable. Knowing that there’s really no downside to their actions (in their terms not ours – martyrdom is martyrdom regardless of how it is achieved) they continue to push the envelope and receive the equivalent of “red lines” that are never enforced in answer.

The West has become a collective of cowards who will be taken piecemeal by this pernicious and unrelenting force who is focused on conquest by any means necessary. As it single-mindedly pursues that goal, the West dithers, argues, laments, has meetings and generally believes that at some point it will be able to reason with a movement which is as savage as any pack of beasts. It won’t meet that savagery with equal savagery – something necessary to get the attention of this malevolent movement.

Instead the West will continue to insist on “rules” in a game with no rules, morality from a group who has demonstrated none and eventually capitulate when all of this becomes clear too late to survive the stupidity. The West is either going to have to wake up and act in a manner that will ensure its survival or prepare to be overwhelmed and become a part of the Caliphate. And, as ISIS and others have more than amply demonstrated, the takeover will be horrific.

The West has a real reason to fear radical Islam. Most of it has to do with its own spinelessness.  I mean, consider this – me saying what I’ve said would be condemned by most of the liberal West in no uncertain terms.  Yet it is precisely what needs to be done to excise this threat from the face of the earth and ensure the survival of the very people that would condemn my words.

~McQ

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118 Responses to Why is the West so afraid of Islam?

  • It won’t meet that savagery with equal savagery – something necessary to get the attention of this malevolent movement.
     
    Again, I have to slightly disagree.  We NEVER need to resort to savagery.  We need to be ruthless and decisive, as we have been historically when fighting existential war.  But we were not savage in fighting WWII.  There were limits that were, mostly, observed in what we would do and not do.  There is no need to be what we fight.
     
    We don’t need to behead captives summarily, for instance.  We don’t need to rape as a matter of policy or tactics.  We don’t need to wontenly destroy antiquities.

  • Corollary question:
     
    Why to they hate us and want to kill us?
     
    Answer contains a two-part question —
    1.  Do you have a pulse?
    2.  Are you one of them?
     
    If the answer to 1 = yes and 2 = no, then you have your explanation.
     
    Class is dismissed.

    • You must admit … they don’t discriminate, they hate everybody

      • Correction; they hate anybody who isn’t just like them, kind of like todays democrats but without the bloodshed.

  • To explain the West’s handicapped mindset, I believe patient zero is the prevalent false narrative against Operation Iraqi Freedom. Excusing, justifying rationalizations for the regressing American engagement since President Bush left office have invariably cited to the axiomatic belief that OIF was categorically wrong and even the specter of OIF must be avoided with a wide berth, period. Yet OIF was right on the law, justified on the policy, and was invested with all the fundamental premises of American leadership of the free world. The popular rejection of OIF has been tantamount to a popular rejection of the American leadership that’s necessary to compete with the terrorists. As such, my project of late has been to set the record straight on the law and policy basis of the Iraq enforcement:  http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2014/05/operation-iraqi-freedom-faq.html. My hope is that going back to square one and correcting the foundational understanding of OIF with its fundamental premises of American leadership will allow us to rebuild the basic willingness of the public necessary to compete and lead the free world again.

    • Good and praiseworthy as that effort is, it starts about three decades or more too late.
       
      Very shortly after WWII, the Collectivist culture began a pogrom to “nihilize” the entire notion of war as having any value.  You can see this in movies made starting in the late 1940s, and almost uniquely since.  Even WWII has been depicted this way.  “War…HUH…what is it good for?…absolutely NOTHING…”
       
      Actually, war is excellent for maintaining civilization against barbarism in its various guises.  Nothing else works.  Hashtags seem rather…ineffective.

      • The theory behind the tactic of setting the record straight on OIF is that in the here and now, the anti-competitive national sentiment is anchored in and embodied by the false narrative against OIF. As I said, it’s patient zero in the current contest. Therefore, if the false narrative and its purveyors can be discredited with a dedicated campaign to educate the public on the true law and policy context for the Iraq enforcement, then a clean baseline stage can be set to counter the whole underlying anti-competitive national sentiment. Like a societal anti-brainwashing.

    • Eric – an excellent synopsis.  Unfortunately your arguments rely on facts and logic – irrelevant in today’s world of touchy-feely.  We’ve all been there, and suspect many others have come to the same conclusion:  we’re not going to convince the vast majority on the other side of anything.  It is with religious fervor they preach the gospel of leftism.  Many get their ‘news’ from The Colbert Report, Jon Stewart, HuffPost and similar.  The silver lining:  they’re certainly not going to convince me/us/y’all that their illusions make sense.  Cheers!

      • The OIF FAQ project does feel quixotic. I agree that many people don’t want to hear it. What gives me hope it can work with enough persistent repetition is the false narrative against OIF is easily refutable. The truth of the Iraq enforcement is exceptionally straightforward because OIF wasn’t a new policy by Bush. It was actually the coda of a 13-year-old progressive US-led UN enforcement with a thick law and policy trail in Congress, the UN, and the Offices of three US Presidents. The primary sources for OIF are easily accessed on-line. In fact, President Clinton, not President Bush, is the best source for understanding OIF because Clinton’s whole presidency was preoccupied by the Iraq enforcement. The procedural law, policy, and precedent that Bush used to resolve the Saddam problem were developed by Clinton. Bush really only carried forward Clinton’s case against Saddam to its conclusion.

        • But you’re fighting this against the same set of stupid people who don’t realize we’re actually STILL at war with North Korea since all that was signed was an armistice.
          Such ‘fine’ points are lost on them.
          So too with the agreements that had us stop just shy of entering Iraq in the Gulf War I.
          If there wasn’t any difference between an armistice and a peace treaty we wouldn’t bother with the later, right?
          What they mean is they don’t want to be bothered to give meaning to the pieces of paper that have been signed between countries if that would mean spoiling their weekend holiday this weekend.

          • Although both are US-led UN enforcements, comparing the Iraq and Korea missions is misleading in this sense: We didn’t defeat north Korea (or at least Red China fighting on behalf of north Korea) in the Korean War. The armistice reflects the undefeated status of the parties. We defeated Iraq in 1991, so the Gulf War wasn’t suspended with that kind of armistice. The Gulf War was only suspended short of regime in 1991 with a strict set of mandates designed to assure Saddam could be trusted with the peace. Iraq was on probationary status and we were the chief enforcer of the mandates. If Iraq breached the terms of the ceasefire, then we could not trust Saddam with the peace and we would finish the Gulf War. The Gulf War only ended in 2003 with the regime change. In fact, reflecting that the Gulf War wasn’t over in 1991, Clinton didn’t seek new authorizations from Congress and the UN. All of his military actions with Iraq used the legal authority of PL 102-1 and UNSCR 678, ie, the 1991 Gulf War authorization. Technically, Bush didn’t need to apply to Congress and the UN for PL 107-243 and UNSCR 1441 because the original Gulf War authorization remained operative. In fact, the 2002 law and resolution only summarized and restated the existing laws and resolutions with Iraq. They only reiterated with resolute language the standing authority for military enforcement and standard of compliance for Iraq, respectively. In effect, while they served a political purpose, they were legally redundant. The Gulf War remained live until such time Saddam fully complied with the ceasefire terms or the Gulf War was concluded with regime change.
            This is the kind of context that’s missing in most people’s understanding of the Iraq enforcement.

        • Well, right.  W did what Ball-less Bill only talked about WRT Sadam.  AND he did it carefully in terms of getting Congressional approval AND a coalition of democratic nations to support the effort.
           
          I hold that there were two campaigns in Iraq, just as there were (and kinda still are) two campaigns in Germany and Japan.  The war, and the occupation…which in Iraq entailed an insurgency that successfully killed a whole lot of Jihadists.

          • I also draw a distinction between the 1990/91-2003 Iraq ceasefire enforcement and the 2003-2011 peace operations with Iraq.
            I’m not as hard on Clinton as you are. Clinton was handed a soup sandwich by HW Bush. HW Bush generally skates on Iraq, but of the 3 Presidents who dealt with the Saddam problem, HW Bush is the most responsible for the mess. Go to my table of sources at http://learning-curve.blogspot.com/2004/10/perspective-on-operation-iraqi-freedom.html and scroll down to the ‘President HW Bush Perspective’ section. Read the transcript of the 16APR91 news conference. It’s infuriating. Bush screwed up the Gulf War. He knew it. Everyone in the news conference knew it. Everything that went wrong with Iraq over the next decade-plus is painfully apparent in that April 1991 news conference. In fact, everything that went wrong was already going wrong at that time.
            Should Clinton have resolved the Saddam problem on his watch? Yes. Operation Desert Fox in December 1998 contained a mature case for regime change. The ad hoc ‘containment’ that followed ODF was a misleading euphemism for failed disarmament. There was no substantive change in the US-led Iraq enforcement before and after Clinton pronounced “Iraq has abused its final chance”. The Duelfer Report makes clear the ‘containment’ was broken, that in fact, it wasn’t a working containment in the 1st place.
            But. While Clinton should have resolved the Saddam problem on his watch instead of kicking the can, Clinton deserves credit for changing the screwed-up course with Iraq he inherited from HW Bush. Clinton set up the law, policy, and precedent for his successor to resolve the Saddam problem. Clinton wasn’t Obama, who incredibly threw away the hard-won winning hand with post-Saddam Iraq he inherited from Bush. Instead, Clinton worked the issue seriously. From 1993-2001, he used up every non-military and lesser military measure to enforce the ceasefire. Op Desert Fox was the penultimate military enforcement measure. Clinton cleared the deck so that ground invasion and regime change was the only enforcement measure remaining by the time Bush came into office.
            In further defense of Clinton, note that Bush initially kept up the fiction of ‘containment’, too. The Duelfer Report describes a free flow of proscribed materials going into Iraq and the Oil for Food scandal breaking the sanctions. Yet, even knowing the ‘containment’ was broken, it seems but for 9/11 changing the threat calculation for Saddam, Bush was intent on kicking the can on Iraq, too. Bush looks better than Clinton on Iraq only because Bush rose to the historical moment of 9/11 to do the right thing. While Clinton should have resolved the Saddam problem on his watch, doing so would have required extraordinary, even unique Presidential leadership. Under the circumstances, Clinton reasonably did his part to change course and set up the regime change.

          • But for that blue dress…  History is a mighty interesting subject.

          • Telling the history is necessary to set the record straight. The false narrative against OIF relies primarily on 2 misdirections: First, shifting the burden of proof away from Iraq, the probationary party, to prove compliance with the UNSC resolutions onto the US, the chief enforcer of the ceasefire, to prove Iraq possessed WMD. Everything else follows from that burden-shifting. Second, stripping out the historical policy context with a skewed portrayal of OIF as a new policy by Bush as opposed to OIF as the coda of a 12+-year-old enforcement that had reached its terminal state.

    • Eric, excellent points but I believe “patient zero” predates OIF by decades. In large part the problem is the West’s loss of self confidence dating back to at least WW1 in parts of the West, as well as the left’s war on freedom.

      • DonS, as a matter of origin in the historical arc, I agree with you. My theory with the OIF FAQ project is that the false narrative against OIF is the current incarnation of the anti-competitive national sentiment. The opportunity is the current incarnation can be refuted using easily accessed on-line primary sources and a straightforward explanation. The analogy is the fantasy story-line where a normally immortal spirit, demon, etc, is captured temporarily in a mortal body which makes it killable for the hero. At the moment, the anti-competitive national sentiment – while far older than OIF – is captured inside the false narrative against OIF. Just maybe, right now, with a sufficient campaign to discredit the false narrative and its purveyors, the anti-competitive national sentiment is killable.

  • Simple answer to why the West does nothing … your imbeciles in the “Intelligentsia” just don’t know how to deal we people “who can’t be reasoned with,” especially folks who would rather die than switch.
    In the Age of Reason, these folks are s foreign to make hem run for darkness.

    • An oldie but goodie…   Ask one of those on the left who insist we ‘talk’ or ‘negotiate’ with the terrorists, “What are you going to say to someone who would gladly strap a bomb to his own child, then march them into a public market with the intention of killing THEIR OWN CHILD, along with as many innocent women and children as possible?”

  • It has to change from within – want to fix Islam?  Creating a viable middle class in Islamic countries would be a good start.
    Which won’t happen, because they’d never allow it themselves.   Too much envy, too much resentment, too much hatred, too many scores that need to be settled.
    And of course, their ever present driving concern though most of them have probably never even SEEN one in the flesh – 6 million or so people who don’t worship Allah on a small strip of land on the east end of the Mediterranean.
     
     
     

  • The West is afraid of Islam because Islam (in it’s extreme form, which is the predominant sect in the Middle East) is the only major religion that endorses and commits acts of terror and murder and believes that if you don’t convert, you should be killed. Now, are all Muslims like that? No. Most in the Western world are not. But many in the Middle East and Arab countries are. This is cause for fear.

  • I don’t fear Islam.
     
    Islam needs to learn to fear us

  • The world will be a much better place when your headline reads: “Why is Islam so afraid of the West?”

  • Mark Steyn had a piece up last week about how the growing anti-Semitism in Europe is partially explained by the European fear of their own Islamist immigrant population.  That, coupled with the whole ambit of “cultural diversity” that is spelling a moral confusion about the relative merits of Western and Muslim cultures.
     
    One of the great and terrible examples of this is the arrest of the British (I think) MP for reading a Churchill speech on Islam in pubic.  Hell of a state of affairs…

  • Don’t kid yourself that it’s only “across the pond” and only an issue with Islam.
    …. We’ve got the same thing going on with the Perpetually Aggrieved Under-Served Minorities, right here in the good ol’ USA.
    If the Global Crash ever comes, I am  QUITE  convinced that EBT will still be funded, even if there’s no money; while at the same time Social Security payments may well be cut or eliminated.
    Why?  America’s “Old Geezers” don’t have a history of torching cities when they don’t get their way.  The members of the “Restive Urban Yute Community”, on the other hand, *DO*.
    And  NOBODY  in government wants to be remembered in history books as “the guy who triggered the riots”.  So Danegeld it is, even though it ensures that they’ll “never get rid of the Dane.”
     

  • I think everyone agrees that extremist radical Islam is a form of fascism, and needs to be combatted.  What some Islamophobes do is equate real Islam with radical Islam and attack the entire religion.  I give President Bush a lot of credit for refusing to do that – Bush said that Islam is a religion of peace, and it can be.  But just like Christianity can be abused by the Westboro Baptist church, so can Islam be abused.  And it’s abused far more because the cultural changes of globalization and a large youth movement mean that the Islamic world is ready to move quickly out of the traditions of its past into a more rational future.  The extremists want to stand in the way of change, they can’t accept that the world is undergoing fundamental, radical cultural and political transformation.
    Ironically, the West can help – and return a favor.  Thomas Aquinas brought Aristotle and rational thought into the Christian world that was dominated by Augustinian other-worldliness.  That meant the dark ages were a time of little progress – progress was distrusted, the same traditions and customs dominated generation by generation.  Aquinas and those bringing Europe towards the enlightenment were motivated by the work of Islamic rationalist philosophers and the science they discovered in Spain when the Christians defeated the Muslims there.   Islam is one reason Europe got the enlightenment.
    Alas, Islamic rationalism lost out to conservative Islam when the Ottomans took over, and after 1400 the Islamic world went into the deep freeze just as the Christian world took off.  But Islam at its core can be modern and rational – and eventually the neanderthals that fear change want to keep the past alive will lose.  History is on the side of change – Bin Laden was essentially trying to fight the French revolution, prevent his world from changing.   The biggest allies of Muslim extremists are Islamophobes here who want to demonize an entire faith because of the extremists.   They have more in common with Bin Laden then they would admit.  So yes – call out the Islamic fascist extremists for what they are – and note that they do NOT represent all of Islam, nor is Islam the enemy.  Christianity, Judaism and Islam are part of a family of common faiths, and Muhammad commands Muslims to respect other “peoples of the book.”  Unfortunately ignorance of Islam cause too many to simply lash out against an entire faith.   Sad – and ultimately self-defeating.

    • Christianity went through a period known as The Reformation – unheard of in Islam.  And whereas Christianity has come to terms with the various branches of that faith, Islam continues to brutally war within itself Shiia v Sunni – more deaths come within this inter-religious war than all of the atrocities committed against the west.  And with all this, moderate Islam remains fairly quiet regarding all of these horrible actions committed by these radicals.  CAIR supposedly is the main voice for Islam in America.  But has CAIR said anything regarding the current sectarian violence in Iraq? No.  Boko Haram?  Almost nothing.  Continuing violence against Christians in Malaysia, Egypt and other points on the globe where Christians are being hounded out of their homes and countries?  No!!!!!  So, tell me Erb.  With all of the violence within the religion, and all of the violence against those outside of the religion, you claim it is simple ignorance of the Muslim faith that causes our consternation?  When Muslims stand up and condemn the actions of these “Islamists” and STAND BY THAT CONDEMNATION, then maybe Islam will get some level of respect.  Until then, I reserve the right to condemn a religion that does not condemn their own.  If that makes me an Islamophobe, then I will proudly wear that title.

    • And it’s abused far more because the cultural changes of globalization and a large youth movement mean that the Islamic world is ready to move quickly out of the traditions of its past into a more rational future.
       
      Yeah, boy!  The pictures of ISIS are dominated by old men.  Hell, they could be from a tanned TEA party rally.  All those gray beards and pot bellies.  Sort of like the guys who committed the 9/11 atrocities.
       
      Do you EVEN read the tripe you put up, Erp?  It would save you SOME embarrassment, one would hope.

    • The biggest allies of Muslim extremists are Islamophobes here who want to demonize an entire faith because of the extremists.

       
      Ah, good than.  Because that group is vanishingly small.  Essentially non-existent, as a player.
       
      Now, the guys we really have to watch out for are the magic thinkers like you and Baracula, Kerry, Brennen, Ol’ Walleyes Clinton, etc.  Failing to see and understand reality is very dangerous to our national interests.  And you guys excel at nothing if not that.

    • Jesus on a pogo stick – I so tire of you and Aquinas.   Did you read a book on Aquinas in the 10th grade or something?
      Let’s assume that is the case for a moment – the ‘enlightenment’ is generally credited to be the 17th century onwards.   LOOK IT UP.
      Aquinas is in the 12th –
       
      But WHO CARES.
       
      After the 12th century WHAT has Islam done for us?   that’s almost 800 years ago now.   Get over it, credit given, move ON!   We’ve advanced nicely without them in the last couple hundred years or have you NOT noticed.    Or do you really believe Big Ears Barry’s  stupid, ignorant, wrong, bullshirt story about muslims building America over the last 200 years.   You know the only thing the Muslim’s helped build?  The US Navy and US Marines, in response to their damn piracy on American flagged vessels at the turn of the century 1800s.
       
      Meanwhile – How has Islam IMPROVED itself since the 12th century in contrast to how has the west improved.
      Just because some moonpie sucking idiot in the woods of Maine thinks ‘the world is undergoing fundamental change” doesn’t mean it IS in a way that will change Islam after 800 years.
      Good lord, how much ‘fundamental change’ occurred between 1200 and 2014, you toffee-osed absolute vacuum brained artsy fartsy liberal lala land idiot?
      How much has changed, over, and over, and over, and yet Islam is STILL murdering people in the name of God, still stoning people, still committing honor killings, still hanging homosexuals, still cutting people’s hands off for stealing, still beheading people, still blowing up shrines and cleansing, still hating Jews, still talking about a Caliphate.
      STILL.
      What, have they had no young people since the 1200s?  No new generations yearning for Asshat Erbian fantasy freedoms?
       
      You do realize there three responses to outside influence when cultures meet, one is to embrace the new, two is to shut them out, as Japan did and China did for centuries, and THREE is to destroy them.  Which has been the course Islam has taken, because it’s not just a cultural choice, it’s a religious MANDATE.   They go to heaven if they die trying to send YOU and your kids to heaven.
      Generally in our culture we tend to not see that as ‘everybody wins’.
       
      Erb, you, are, terminally, stupid.
       
       

      • I’m trying to find ONE Islamic influence on Aquinas, and I don’t think there really are any.
         
        Averroes was a Muslim, but his influence on Aquinas shows nothing from Islam that I can detect.  It came from his scholarship of the Greeks.  If anything, Averroes was at loggerheads with Islamist orthodoxy.
         
        Maybe Erp can shed some light on the basis of his claims…with links.  We’ll wait…

        • No, it’s yet another Erb gree-gree word, like Quantum.   He throws out Aquinas and the backwards natives are supposed to bow and tremble in awe or contemplate our navels, whichever.

    • Another point, Asshat.
      Consider the society (the many) where the hoodlums and thugs RUN the joint and the common people don’t stop them.   Or even one where large numbers of them live in the hills to be treated with occasional harassment by am allegedly hostile government (also the many).
      THAT is the situation you have with radical Islamists.   How many countries ALLOW them to exist within their borders?
      For all the arguing about ‘not the common Muslim’, and ‘it’s only a few’ – it appears that the FEW often run the joint, and the many do nothing.
       
      What does that say about the many?   It means they either agree to some measure, or their outlook on life prevents them from doing anything about it, as Billy points “if Allah wills it”.
       
      We know what the response would be in this country if a group of ‘tea partiers’ living in the hills decided to start taking prisoners and sawing their heads off in the name of the Constitution, you’d expect the US government to intervene damn double time quick (and in this, we would, for once, agree), squash them, and either annihilate them on the field or bring them to justice.  You’d be sure and point out, ENDLESSLY, they were members of the ‘Tea Party’, you toad.   The same would apply and be expected to apply, in Germany, England, France, Spain, Italy, etc.
       
      But….in a grandiose show of your prejudices and low expectations – you can’t expect that from the funny brown people can you now, instead you label people ‘Islamophobes’ and call them ignorant for pointing out uncomfortable facts that make your non-judgmental pointy little head explode.

    • http://2-ps.googleusercontent.com/h/www.thegatewaypundit.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/isis-germany.jpg.pagespeed.ce.k_U3dzV8Md.jpg
       
      Pictorial evidence of those forward-thinking globalist yooots in Germany, agitating for a modern Islam.
       

    • But just like Christianity can be abused by the Westboro Baptist church, so can Islam be abused.

      Because a few dozen Westboro types, who have no influence over politics or the press, out of a billion Christians is the same as millions of radical hatemongers out of a billion Muslims, including political leaders, newspapers, television stations, etc..
      It’s exactly the same thing.

      Thomas Aquinas brought Aristotle and rational thought into the Christian world…. Aquinas and those bringing Europe towards the enlightenment were motivated by the work of Islamic rationalist philosophers and the science they discovered in Spain when the Christians defeated the Muslims there.   Islam is one reason Europe got the enlightenment.

      Aristotle was not a Muslim.

      • Good  pooint, because we all know the ‘Republic of Westboro’ just recently rescinded the death sentence on a woman who renounced being a baptist and became Presbyterian.
         
        “The Baptist woman who escaped a death sentence over her marriage to a Presbyterian man earlier this week, but then was detained Wednesday when she tried to leave the church, was released Thursday, authorities said.”

        • Erp can always correct me, but I can’t recall Westboro offering to kill all the Jews in Kansas, or going to war with the Episcopalians.  Sort of a question of scale, among other things…  Well, and the actual content of religious texts.
           
          Like Churchill observed, Muslims could be valuable subjects of Her Majesty and many served with conspicuous bravery under British arms.  The implication being that Western culture alloyed their religion and provided them boundaries they would not otherwise appreciate.  If that sounds jingoistic…tough shit.

    • Comparing Radical Islam to the Westboro Baptist Church is like comparing an A1-M1 tank to a cap pistol.
      The first kiils, the second is a nuisance.

      • Leftists have been making ridiculous moral equivalence arguments for decades. It was a staple for defenders of the thuggish and evil Soviet Union.
         
        I often wonder if they really believe, e.g., that Islamic fanatics who kill thousands a year and wish they could kill more are really comparable to a few non-violent whackjobs, or if they know better but think their opponents are stupid enough to not see the difference.

        • Well……uh…..the crusades!  Uh Wounded Knee!

        • Picketing funerals is the same thing as blowing up marketplaces, kidnapping dozens of girls, and hanging queers.
          Just ask Scott.  It’s exactly the same thing.  He decrees it.

          • The biggest allies of Muslim extremists are Islamophobes here who want to demonize an entire faith because of the extremists.   They have more in common with Bin Laden then they would admit.
             
            I thought THAT lil’ piece of gratuitous bear-poking was so cute…!!!  And so illustrative of Erp in his new guise as pure Collectivist troll without the veneer of an attempt to dialog.  Plus, as name-calling waving in the general direction of really bad people goes, you don’t get more vague than that.  Wonder who he meant…specifically…by “Islamophobes” who share so much with Bin Laden?
             
            Maybe he’ll come back and “educate” us.  Heh!

          • That incredibly silly statement has some high caliber irony it in, too. In reality, the biggest allies of the Muslim extremists are leftists just like him, who are determined to minimize the problem, pretend that no real solution is needed because everything will just turn out OK, and excuse everything they do with “ask ourselves why they hate us” style rationalizations.

             

            They provide cover to the extremists to continue their campaign of terror, with the sure knowledge that no significant effort of punishment or deterrence will come from the Obama administration or any other US government dominated by a State Department of such “why can’t we get along” naïve idiots. Nothing except a few drone strikes will ever be done. Any stronger effort to deal with the problem will cause siren-like wailing from people just like him, with nonsensical phrases like “worst mistake in foreign policy history” as their chants.

             

            That will continue until the extremists manage to succeed in carrying out another large scale slaughter. In essence, people like Professor Polywobble will be complicit in the deaths of thousands or more innocent people, simply to satisfy their own fantasies that Islam is “a religion of peace”, and Muslim fanatics are not numerous or a threat that needs vigorous response.

    • equate real Islam with

      Ahh the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. Isn’t that something of a logical no-no Erb?

    • And it’s abused far more because the cultural changes of globalization and a large youth movement mean that the Islamic world is ready to move quickly out of the traditions of its past into a more rational future.  The extremists want to stand in the way of change, they can’t accept that the world is undergoing fundamental, radical cultural and political transformation.”

      If cultural changes are quickly driving Muslim countries towards rational behavior, how does explain the widespread “abuse” of Islam–which is a preposterous euphemism for murder, mayhem, and intolerance?
      Where are centuries-old traditions falling by the wayside?  Where have women gained more rights?  Where have gays, apostates, atheists, and religious minorities seen improvements in treatment?  Where are the leaders and innovators who demonstrate a more rational approach to matters in evidence?  Afghanistan, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Nigeria, the Palestinian Authority?
      Country by country, either the status quo is holding, or violent, radical Islamic parties have taken power, are on the verge of taking power, or have more influence than before.
      The “Arab Spring” was supposed to sweep in more tolerance, modernization, and rationality.  Except it basically destabilized many countries, toppled a few dictators, and resulted in a shift from more secular to more fundamentalist.  In no case were theocrats overthrown and replaced by secular parties, except Morsi, who replaced a more moderate and secular government.  Even then, there hasn’t been a return to peace for Coptic Christians, nor a soothing of tensions with Israel, as was the case under Mubarak.  Besides, the overthrow of theocratic fundamentalists should have been heralded by people who purportedly want to see more moderate and rational leadership, except the Democrats and “liberals” in the West generally blasted the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood as undemocratic.
      More fundamentally, why use the “Islamaphobe” accusation as a wedge to try to undermine Republicans and others who dare to be alarmed at the murder and mayhem going on increasingly in Muslim lands?  That’s a cynical ploy to score cheap political points, though any truly liberal person ought to put a far greater priority on pushing for the rights of women, religious minorities, homosexuals, and the like.  How preposterous that those touting same-sex marriage, blasting salary inequalities, and denouncing the “war on women” by Hobby Lobby would, at the same time, make a stand for Islam, asserting that they are just around the corner from being peace-loving hipsters.  Why, in just a few years (“quickly”!!) we’ll see gay pride parades in Mecca and the country’s first female lesbian president will show the tolerant face of the modern Islamic youths.

  • From Winston Churchill:  “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! 
    Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia
    in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many
    countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods
    of commerce and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the 
    Prophet rule or live.  A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and 
    refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity.  The fact that in Mohammedan 
    law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as
    a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the
    faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.  

    Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion 
    paralyzes the social development of those who follow it.  No stronger retrograde
    force exists in the world.  Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant 
    and proselytizing faith.  It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising 
    fearless warriors at every step, and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the 
    strong arms of science, the science against which it (Islam) has vainly struggled, 
    the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”

    • Can’t remember who had it up, but there was something last week about the very high inbreeding rate among at least some Muslim populations as a result of very common marriages to first cousins.
       
      Very interesting.  I’m sure Erp has read it.  (HA!)

  • Although I think the idea of judging a culture, except traditional Western culture, is abhorred by them there is another thing going on here.   Islam is a religion they might like.
    Its viciously anti-west, not just politically but culturally especially its religion.   After all Christianity wasn’t just a rival to the state, it had a specific hand in opposing the spread of Communism and a hand in its downfall.  The polictical anti-west nature of the left is habit left over from supporting the Soviet Union.   But old habits die hard.
    It likes to dictate every aspect of a person’s life, so what’s not to love for a liberal?  I think this is a non-trivial appeal to the Left.  Despite what they might say, they like being controlled as much as controlling.  It takes away the uncertainty of life.   If something is wrong in your life, you can blame something else, its no longer your responsibility to fix it.
    It seems to like to co-exist with the state and in fact most cases, it merges with it.  And it doing so eliminates any rivalry between the state and religion.   The Leftists (closet Communists) hate the aspect of religion in that there may be a rival to the state and their power.  But by merging with it, that rivalry ie eliminated.
    I think the see a fellow traveler and a religion they can potentially deal with.
     
     

    • There’s another aspect I think would fit well with the typical leftist’s attitude towards life: the all-purpose word to excuse any failure to get something done, which is “inshallah”.

      In my experience, being leftist correlates strongly with being lazy. Not too surprising – when your entire philosophy is based on denying reality and human nature, you don’t want to engage in any work activity that requires you to face reality and human nature.

      Muslim workers in places like Saudi Arabia are well known for excusing any undone work by saying they will do it, inshallah. Meaning it will get done if God wills it, and somehow almost all the time God doesn’t will it. Here is an article rife with examples.

      Many leftists solve their laziness problem by getting jobs where their output isn’t measurable in any tangible sense. Thus they can claim success no matter what. But even then, they have to show up, grade papers, go to boring meetings, etc. I would think the get-out-of-jail free nature of liberal use of “inshallah” would be quite attractive to them.

      They would be spared the need to make up ridiculous reasons for why their grand schemes to cure poverty, give universal access to healthcare, cure crime in the inner cities, etc. never seem to work. They could just wail “inshallah” and go on to their next utopian nonsense.

      • In a way they do – they wail “weneedmoremoney”.

      • Modern Islamic states…and theology…seem to find Collectivism their natural government model preference.
         
        Look at the formal names of Islamic states in modern times and most of them have “socialist” in the title, or they have been socialist in fact.  They seem to commonly hold the idea of democracy as suspect, if not outright heretical.
         
        I’ve often wondered about this proclivity for Collectivist government and economics.

  • Sadly, the facts speak for themselves. British Pakistanis, half of whom marry a first cousin (a figure that is universally agreed), are 13 times more likely to produce children with genetic disorders than the general population, according to Government-sponsored research.
    One in ten children from these cousin marriages either dies in infancy or develops a serious life-threatening disability.
    While British Pakistanis account for three per cent of the births in this country, they are responsible for 33 per cent of the 15,000 to 20,000 children born each year with genetic defects.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1394119/Its-time-confront-taboo-First-cousin-marriages-Muslim-communities-putting-hundreds-children-risk.html
     
    Hmmm…  THAT would be pretty settled science, I expect.  Should that be allowed under ObamaDoggle?

     

  • http://4-ps.googleusercontent.com/h/www.powerlineblog.com/admin/ed-assets/2014/08/482x307xObama-v-Netanyahu-copy.jpg.pagespeed.ic.Y4zE1VAouO.jpg
     
    Heh! One smoked ganja. The other smoked terrorists.
     
    I’ll take the latter as my leader, anytime.

     

  • I am unafraid to judge cultures. Adherence to Islam creates worthless cultures.
    The Muslim world has stagnated at best and gone backwards at worst. But we don’t fear Islam so much as the West is just a bunch of pu**ies.
    Not sure what more needs to be said really.

  • “Aquinas and those bringing Europe towards the enlightenment were motivated by the work of Islamic rationalist philosophers and the science they discovered in Spain when the Christians defeated the Muslims there.   Islam is one reason Europe got the enlightenment.”
     
    Whatever happened to all those “Islamic rationalist philosophers”? Can anyone name a few? Evidently all that rationalism, science, and enlightenment just vanished. Or more likely it was stolen by the evil Christian imperialists. It certainly didn’t leave much evidence of its alleged existence.
    What actually happened is that some of the the conquering Arabs found a new toy, Greek philosophy, and whiled away the idle hours in between buggering sheep, goats, and each other toying with all those exotic ideas like epistemology, metaphysics, etc. Eventually they grew bored with it, also realizing  it was incompatible with their “civilization”, and went back to marrying their pre-pubescent cousins.

    • C’mon, Tim…!!!  That is as unfair and inaccurate as Erp’s silliness!  There were generations of wonderful Muslim thinkers and scholars, and we do owe them a lot in terms of preservation and illumination of Greek culture, as well as there own undisputed advances.  They really did make some HUGE contributions to science in their time…for a while.  If you could pick a place to live during its zenith, you or I would choose Cordoba in all likelihood.
       
      Saying otherwise is as wrong as saying the Indian culture produced no great art, science, or philosophy.  Or the Mezzo-Americans.  Or the Vikings, for that matter.
       
      Where did they go…???  What made those bright candles of enlightenment flicker out?
       
      And, to the point of Erp’s silliness, how did Islam make ANY contribution to the work of people who happened to be part of that population?  Did they do what they did BECAUSE of Islam, or IN SPITE of Islam?

      • Right, why, without them, we’d have never made it to the moon!   That’s why for a while NASA’s #1 job was making them feel good about themselves!   Until we heard that that was NASA’s  #1 job and put a freakin halt to that bullskirt.
         
         

      • “There were generations of wonderful Muslim thinkers and scholars…”
         
        Yes. WERE. I did not say there never were Muslim scholars.  Yes, Camelot was glorious, but that was then, what about now? And, aside from preserving (some might say copying) Greek culture, what did they do original?
         
        “What made those bright candles of enlightenment flicker out?”
        Pretty simple; Islam won. What would have happened if Martin Luther et al. had lost to Mother Church?

        • …what did they do original?
           
          Google or, in my case, Bing is your friend. They made advances in optics, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, law, etc.  And I’m not talking about merely absorbing Indic math.  They made their own contributions.
           

          Pretty simple; Islam won.
           
          Well, maybe TOOO simple.  What about the Mongol invasion? You reckon THAT might have led to a decline in the culture?  While I’m quite prepared to attribute the decline to Islam, I won’t do it on NO evidence.

    • Well one factor is almost all stuff survives better away from the wet.
       
      The other factor is that much of the preserved Greek and Roman culture was absorbed (and downright taken) prior to the spread of Islam or shortly afterward.  It took time for the culture attached to Islam to rewrite the pre-Islamic Arab cultural DNA.

  • The West fears its own populous, if it were to attack Islam at its root the financial ramifications would be felt everywhere virtually overnight.  Our leaders do not wish for our citizens/our economies to experience any sudden movements, things are fragile financially.  We cannot to attack Islam.

  • I can’t help but think that most of the West does not want to face up to any reality or hard actions because most of the West is run by the sort of post-modern fools (cue Erb) who view history through the lens of theories of Western colonialism and imperialism. Everything wrong in the non-West world is due to the British, French and Spanish empires. That Islam should fit in the mold of those theories as an imperialist coloniser is conveniently overlooked since the Western left finds it easier to view them as an ally against the “racist” right. Why else has Israel, the only Westernized country in the Middle East, been demonized by the left so thoroughly since its creation, with all the language of the colonialist theories? Because it is the only country that has to battle daily for its existence. Once we see a true existential threat on the doorstep of a European country then we will see some change.  Until then it’ll be the same old nonsense, trying to kick the problem down the road.

  • There is also the simple fact that its very hard to reform a religion from the outside.
    I mean, look at our attempts to nation-build!
    Now apply that to a religion, and try to guide it from outside.
    I wouldn’t want that job.
     

    • Gotta push back a lil’ bit on your “nation-build” crack.  We did a pretty good job in Iraq, and were successful by a lot of measures.  Iraq was not flawless as a state, but it was at least as good as many in the world, and better than most in the Middle-east.  But notice I use the past-tense.

      • It’ll be great again!
         
        once they’ve demolished all those dusty world historical sites, Christian churches, Shia mosques, Christians, Shiites, Jews if they can find any, Gays, women who venture outside their homes, dogs, etc,
        Yep, a culture worthy of world interaction, even world leadership, governed by the religion of peace, tolerance and love (trademarks pending).
         

      • Iraq was already a nation before we invaded. Or at least as much of a nation as it was ever going to be. All we did was basically cosmetic, and even that wasn’t totally successful. I doubt, for example, that ISIS would have made much headway against the Republican Guard.

        • Yes.  And Germany and Japan and Italy were all nations, too.
           
          CRIPES…!!!
           
          ISIS would have rolled all over the Repubican Guard.  Just like they are rolling over ALLLLLLLLLL the resistance to them in place now.  They fight a VERY effective strategic and tactical campaign.

          • ISIS would have rolled all over the Repubican Guard.

            The Republican Guard would never have allowed ISIS to germinate in the first place.  The current members of ISIS would be naught but a smear on the floor of Saddam’s dungeons, a minor footnote in the list of his purges.
            ISIS has had swift success due to a weakened, fractured national government and overwhelming fear (and cowardice) on the part of the locals whose job was to protect the towns.  The Republican Guard was centrally controlled and would, at the very least, scare the locals more than ISIS so that they would try to hold their ground.
            But even if the replacement government in Baghdad had proven resilient in the face of such threats, that wouldn’t have provided a valid casus belli for the US government to spend precious lives and treasure conquering and rebuilding a country which had no part in 9/11 and did not pose a credible threat.
            I get that the Democrats and their ilk have spewed forth lies and undermined the war effort for political gain, which is reprehensible.  But that still doesn’t retroactively justify the invasion in the first place.

          • Wow.  That is wrong grown to transcendent levels.
             
            First, ISIS didn’t start in Iraq.
             
            Second, there is no REMOTE justification for your sweeping generalizations.  Assad is a pretty tough, nasty guy, and his troop formations are likewise ruthless.  ISIS does quite well against them.  There is no reason to suppose that the Republican Guard would have done any better…or as well.  The Republican Guard was, from history, pretty weak and stupid.  Central control is often a serious problem.  Remember the “cut off the head” strategy used by American troop formations and air assets?

          • First, ISIS didn’t start in Iraq.

            According to a quick google search, the roots of ISIS/ISIL go back to JTJ/AQI in Iraq, long before the Syrian civil war.  The sectarian violence in Iraq started soon after the US invasion and only in the past couple years has it spread to Syria.  Unlike dictators in North Africa, Assad has survived the wave of unrest sweeping the Arab world, albeit in no small part due to Putin’s deft handling of Obama.  Also, much of the loss of control in Syria was due to other factions.  ISIS exploited the chaos to consolidate power from less-organized, less-ruthless rebel groups.
            I don’t pretend that the Republican Guard was competent relative to the US military.  But compared to the local forces who crumbled so quickly, they were far more formidable.  This was an expected result of the old regime being conquered by the US, much in the way that the Japanese occupation of Korea weeded out far too many of the strong, defiant types, shifting the nature of the military-age men to a more meek and submissive personality type.

          • “And Germany and Japan and Italy were all nations, too”
             
            Precisely. We didn’t build them, we REbuilt them with some relatively minor alterations.
             
            “ISIS would have rolled all over the Repubican Guard.”
             
            We will just have to differ on that. My opinion is tentative since I have not run into any good sources on ISIS, but if you have some, please share. Sharing is a good thing.
             
            It’s pretty easy to be effective when your opposition runs like rabbits.

          • “only in the past couple years has it spread to Syria.”
             
            No, only in the last couple years has it resurfaced in Syria. See Hama, 1982.

          • “This was an expected result of the old regime being conquered by the US, much in the way that the Japanese occupation of Korea weeded out far too many of the strong, defiant types, shifting the nature of the military-age men to a more meek and submissive personality type.”
             
            What on earth are you talking about?

          • I think the Republican Guard would have given ISIS their share of a fight.
             
            I don’t think either side exactly possesed a Patton or a Rommel.
            They’re fine for fighting each other – hell, they ARE each other.

          • “What on earth are you talking about?”
            Japan occupied Korea from the start of the century until WWII ended.  During that time, the Japanese authorities murdered Koren men who showed defiance.  This weeding out of strong leaders was apparent to members of the allied forces during and after the Korean war.

          • “This weeding out of strong leaders was apparent to members of the allied forces during and after the Korean war.”
             
            I would say they exaggerated.

          • I would say they exaggerated.

            Were you there?  My dad was at Kimpo around 1960-1961 and worked closely with ROK forces.  He witnessed Korean officers physically attacking subordinates on a routine basis, which was a threat to the esprit de corps.

          • “He witnessed K….”
             
            So what? What does that have to do with weeding out strong leaders? I certainly wouldn’t expect an army which had been in existence less than 5 years, created from a culture where physical abuse of subordinates was routine, to have the same standards of leadership and behavior as a much older army. Certainly by the war in Vietnam they had produced a first rate military  and that was not enough time to breed a new generation of strong leaders. In the Japanese Army physical abuse of subordinates was routine, and they seemed to function adequately.

          • “which was a threat to the esprit de corps.”
             
            Assuming that was not an isolated case, it may have been a threat to your or my esprit de corps, but it certainly didn’t seem to affect ROK esprit.

  • As Winston Churchill said;

    “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! 
    Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia
    in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many
    countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods
    of commerce and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the 
    Prophet rule or live.  A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and 
    refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity.  The fact that in Mohammedan 
    law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as
    a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the
    faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.  

    Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion 
    paralyzes the social development of those who follow it.  No stronger retrograde
    force exists in the world.  Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant 
    and proselytizing faith.  It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising 
    fearless warriors at every step, and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the 
    strong arms of science, the science against which it (Islam) has vainly struggled, 
    the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”
     
     

  • I get that the Democrats and their ilk have spewed forth lies and undermined the war effort for political gain, which is reprehensible.  But that still doesn’t retroactively justify the invasion in the first place.

    The invasion was justified at the time, and Congress (including many Democrats) voted for the war. There is no further need of justification. You can’t go back into the past and undo bad decisions.

    • Correct, and sometimes it’s necessary to take decisions that have a risk of failure. If you don’t, you never get anything done, and things go bad anyway.
       
      The Middle East is a boiling pit of dissention and fighting, and on 9/11 it splashed over onto us with 3000 American deaths. There are basically three broad approaches one can argue for in response:
       
      1. Do nothing of consequence, or even do some supplication. “Ask ourselves why they hate us”. Hand out more aid. Don’t punish anyone. The seemed to be what the left wanted. Well, that was basically the approach *before* 9/11 – think of the cozy way we tolerated the odious House of Saud, and Carter’s approach to Iranian aggression. That was our typical approach except for dealing with Saddam’s aggression and freeing an Arab country (in collaboration with other Middle Eastern countries and various countries all over the world).
       
      9/11 showed up that approach as ineffective. This should have been obvious even to custard-headed leftists, but terrorists are not mollified by supplication and weakness – they are emboldened by it.
       
      2. Harsh response. Find those responsible, kill them, topple regimes as necessary, minimize collateral damage but take it as necessary in pursuit of the main goals, then withdraw and let the locals sort out the resulting mess. Lot’s of people die in the aftermath, but not our people (and as it turns out, possibly fewer that die than in other approaches).
       
      Many recommended this course, but the left was having none of it. Too “mean”, donchaknow. Too robust. Actually uses America’s strength, and doesn’t offer any regard for anyone’s feelings.
       
      3. Try to change the dynamic in the Middle East permanently, and serve as a force for helping Middle Eastern countries move away from tribalism and pathological devotion to a medieval religion. Iraq was the best bet for this. It sits in the middle. It’s large enough to influence its neighbors. It had some experience as a quasi-open society, it was more pluralistic than other countries in the area, etc. etc. Also, we were technically still in a state of war, with a cease fire that had been routinely violated.
       
      We had already seen societies transformed, with Japan as the closest example. We knew what it took – first, that the locals had to understand that we were calling the shots for a while whether they liked it or not, then decades of bringing them along into an open society.
       
      But we were unwilling to pay such a price, which would still have been risky – Iraq isn’t Japan sitting on an island. Instead, Bush tried a short cut.
       
      Yeah, it failed, partially because Obama short-cut the short-cut to make the risk of failure even higher. But, as I’ve outlined above, what’s the alternative?
       
      That’s what really pisses me off about leftists these days. They wail about any solution you offer, and never offer anything that could actually work. They throw sand in any attempt that doesn’t satisfy their bizarre notions of supplication and regret for colonialism. But they are never, ever willing to admit failure of their own approaches, no matter how many times they fail, and insist on doing the same old stupidities decade after decade. Exhibit A – their approach to the Palestinians vs. Israel.
       
      The left is unable to comprehend that there are problems that can be solved with force, and in fact can only be solved with force. Use of force should be the last resort, not the first, but they reflexively condemn it….
       
      … unless it’s their magic lightworker wielding it, as in Libya. Then they’ve got a thousand reasons why it was the right thing to do, many of them in contradiction to their own wailing when a Republican was calling the shots.
       
      All this suggests that much of what drives the left’s opposition to force in the Middle East isn’t use of force per se – it’s that they are not the ones wielding it. Some of them would rather see any number of people die and an entire region of the world seethe in agony for decades rather then see their political enemies succeed at home.
       
      And that’s just sick.
       
       
       
      {deleted sentence inadvertently left in from draft.}

      • The alternative was to focus on those who perpetrated the attack on 9/11/2001, instead of opening an additional front.  Take out al Qaeda and then leave.
        Again: Iraq did not have a part in 9/11.  It was perpetrated by mostly Saudis, taking refuge in Afghanistan with the Taliban.

        • So basically option 2. I would have been fine with that. But, as I said, the left will never let us take such a course.
           
          I think Bush was trying to triangulate, getting something forceful, but which would appeal to the left, which in general likes social engineering projects. I still think, given the experience of Japan, it wasn’t an obviously foolhardy strategy.
           
          It was badly implemented and, for various reasons, there was no long term commitment. Plus the intelligence on WMDs was faulty, which made relying on that nominal reason generate blowback from those wanted a simple reason to go in. But there was no way to know all that in 2003, and saying otherwise is post hoc reasoning.
           
          I never claimed Iraq had a part in 9/11. It was just a convenient place to try nation building to put the region on a new course. And, again, Saddam was under a cease fire which he had routinely violated, and in any just war reasoning by historical standards, that’s sufficient reason for war if a country decides to do so. Our alternative there was to attempt containment for a few decades, or walk out and let Saddam and his vile sons build back up commit their next act of aggression.
           
          Now, I think Bush the Elder should have taken out Saddam in the first place when the path to Baghdad was wide open, and that should have been one of the goals of that conflict. Then that war would have been unambiguously over.
           
          And, again, my first preference would be to then pull out, let them sort it out, and have a doctrine that we’re prepared to knock out the next regime as well if they give us sufficient reason. But, as with his son, Bush was trying to mollify the left and the world diplomatic community by appearing moderate. I don’t know how many times that has to fail before the left realizes it simply doesn’t work.
           
          It’s possible that we’re both on the same general page about response – forceful, clear goals, take out regimes and organizations that commit aggression against us or our allies, withdraw – and then lather, rinse, repeat until they finally get the message and stop supporting terror and aggression against us or our citizens.
           
          I think that’s what Bush the Younger should have done. But choosing between doing nothing of consequence and trying to transform the region, I supported the second of those options. It was an experiment. A failed one, but I reject the idea that we can predict that sort of outcome as well as you seem to think we can. The world is a complex place.

          • I don’t disagree with the majority of your points, though I do take exception with the euphemism “experiment” to refer to invasion, warfare, and installing a replacement government.  People are not rats.  They can’t push reset and restore the lives and property.
            I’m not playing Monday morning quarterback here.
            First and foremost, the ethics of the decision trump any consideration of a successful outcome.  Iraq didn’t attack the US and was not a substantive threat.  The ends don’t justify the means.
            Secondly, there were plenty of military experts at the time who opposed the invasion on strategic grounds.  Many gave clear warnings of the dangers of invading Iraq on the cheap.  Rumsfeld wanted more forces, but was turned down.  The Bush administration ignored these warnings.  What good is it to have people with such expertise if you’re going to ignore them?

          • The word “experiment” is a lot broader than something involving lab rats. One of the meanings is “an attempt at something new or different”. When faced with a difficult challenge, it’s not an immoral thing to be open to possible ways to surmount the challenge.

            On the world stage, such efforts have risk that involves people’s lives. But your flip comment about people not being rats seems to assume that there are alternatives that *don’t* risk people’s lives, or at best are in a completely different realm when it comes to risk. I reject that interpretation. There is no strategy possible in the Middle East which doesn’t risk lots and lots of lives. By many accounts, Saddam’s regime was killing about 2000 to 3000 people per month, for example.

            As for the rest, Saddam had committed and continued to commit sufficient aggression that there isn’t any need to resort to “the ends justify the means” argument to justify taking him out. You seem to imply that he was no threat – but that assumed the expensive, decades-long containment I mentioned earlier. I think the real situation was considerably more complicated that the simple ethical matter you posit it to be.

            And finally, yes, Bush botched it at various points by not listening to the experts. Again, that is post-hoc. Rumsfeld isn’t an oracle – he might have been wrong. Military guys always want more force if they can get it. Bush made those decisions, and they turned out to be wrong, but you simply can’t assume that other paths were obvious at the time. The world is too complicated for that.

             

          • My objection to the term “experiment” is not flip, but rather an objection to a term I regard to be far too flippant.
            Yes, there are many problems for which all of the possible approaches will result in death and destruction, on some level.  It’s one thing to consider a variety of approaches, weighing costs and benefits, and readjusting course in response to outcome.  That’s rational.  It’s quite another to lower the priority of ethical considerations, just more variables to tweak.

            By many accounts, Saddam’s regime was killing about 2000 to 3000 people per month….

            While the number seems pretty high to me, I’ll posit that he was murdering many Iraqis.  He wasn’t killing Americans.  Many dictators in other countries did and do likewise.  The US government doesn’t invade all of them, and even turns a blind eye when it serves their political interests.

            …Saddam had committed and continued to commit sufficient aggression….

            Against which countries did he aggress?

            You seem to imply that he was no threat….

            He was not a substantial threat to the United States.

            I think the real situation was considerably more complicated that the simple ethical matter you posit it to be.

            I never claimed the situation was not complicated.  On the contrary, I think those who advocated invading Iraq in 2003 over-simplified matters, dismissing the cost in lives and treasure from the war, just in the primary military operation, without considering the unforseen costs of the protracted “insurgency.”
            Yes, we can look in hindsight and see that it was even worse, considering the eventual outcome.  But that’s not my point.  My point is that when you go to war, invade a country, destroy its military and key points of infrastructure, there are many casualties (invading forces and innocent civilians) as well as massive costs.  I can’t see how supporters of the invasion justified these because Hussein was being defiant to inspectors and could, in theory, maybe one day contribute to some terrorist attack outside Iraq.  My cost-benefit calculations, considering all of the complexities, fall well short of justifying invasion.

            And finally, yes, Bush botched it at various points by not listening to the experts. Again, that is post-hoc.

            I disagree.  History and personal experience in combat teach valuable lessons.  It wasn’t just Bush tossing wild at a dart board and getting unlucky.  Cheney, Powell, Rice, et al. took part in squelching the cautionary advice of experts who weren’t yes-men.

            Bush made those decisions, and they turned out to be wrong, but you simply can’t assume that other paths were obvious at the time. The world is too complicated for that.

            You wouldn’t plan a manned mission to Mars by kicking out all of the scientists and engineers who had experience with missions in the past, preferring instead to let PR people design the craft to look sexy.  Because the outcome of war is not obvious, you turn to the experts who have been successful in combat to analyze the order of battle and determine the expected range of outcomes.  Those who faced the NVA/VC, who dealt with insurgencies (for and against) as part of the Cold War, those who dealt with militant Islamic fanatics and terrorists, etc. had the information needed to make informed decisions.
            You could make the case that the culture of the Pentagon suppressed basing the decision on a realistic picture of the battlefield.  That, I might countenance.

        • “Against which countries did he aggress?”
           
          Elliot, I’m sorry, but you’re just being obtuse about this.
           
          I have Kuwaiti friends. I talked to one in 2007. They were just starting to seriously rebuild since the Bush II invasion, after over ten years of doing very little.
           
          Why? Because they were afraid the US would stop the containment, and Saddam would be back at their throat again, this time with the US unwilling to commit to another round of stopping him. No one there wanted to make long term investments.
           
          That was a completely rational point of view for them. He had committed aggression against them – for God’s sake, he took over their country. When I was there in 2010, I saw some of the monuments made from abandoned Iraqi equipment.
           
          So are you claiming that, if we pulled out, he would just be a nice guy and leave everyone alone? Or are you advocating continual containment, with him shooting at our troops every time he got the chance, for another twenty or thirty years? I sure don’t think it makes sense to spend that kind of money on someone who is “not a threat”.
           
          No, he probably wasn’t going to be the primary force behind some terrorist attack here any time in the near term, or maybe ever. But given that he had already committed one of the most aggressive campaigns of the post Cold War era (aggression, Elliot!) and seemed to be maneuvering to gain more arms up to and including WMDs if he could get away with it, simply asserting that he was no threat looks like wishful thinking to me.

          • …you’re just being obtuse about this.

            Nowhere did I assert that Hussein hadn’t invaded Kuwait nor suggest that he wouldn’t threaten Kuwait should the US leave.  Neither did I deny the Iran-Iraq war.  And, that the Kuwaitis feared Iraq really doesn’t speak to the assertion that he “had committed and continued to commit sufficient aggression” as of 2002/2003.
            Against which countries did he “continue to commit sufficient aggression”?

            Or are you advocating continual containment, with him shooting at our troops every time he got the chance, for another twenty or thirty years?  I sure don’t think it makes sense to spend that kind of money on someone who is ‘not a threat’.

            How many US troops were shot by Iraqi forces from 1992 to 2002?
            How much did the US spend on forces in the Gulf during that time, compared to the cost during 2003-2012?  How many innocent Iraqis were killed or injured during those two time frames?

            But given that he had already committed one of the most aggressive campaigns of the post Cold War era (aggression, Elliot!) and seemed to be maneuvering to gain more arms up to and including WMDs if he could get away with it, simply asserting that he was no threat looks like wishful thinking to me.

            He invaded Kuwait in 1990.  There were already US forces in Kuwait to respond to any substantive threat to that country.
            The US was already embroiled in a war in Afghanistan, where the architects of an attack which murdered 3,000 Americans on US soil were holed up.

          • Fine. I give up. If you think we were spending billions of dollars a year on containment of someone with proven willingness to invade neighboring countries (twice!), but he “wasn’t a substantive threat” , then I don’t know what else to say.

    • The invasion was justified at the time….

      With lies and foolish arrogance.

      …and Congress (including many Democrats) voted for the war.

      Yes, and they should be held accountable for that horrible decision.

      There is no further need of justification. You can’t go back into the past and undo bad decisions.

      Indeed.  Why are you pretending anyone is claiming the power of time travel or violating the law of causality?  How absurd!
      If you are suggesting that we just move along and not analyze the faults of past decisions, then you’re dead wrong.  That’s an invitation to continuously repeat massive blunders and I find that to be more abhorrent than the obnoxious political exploitation of perceptual whims during a crisis.

    • Now see what you’ve done, Don?  I’m looking at you, too, Billy.
       
      You got Elliot all stirred up.  We can count on endless posts pontificating pointlessly about his flawless hind-sight using his absolutist lens.
       
      Oh, well…

      • Or, rather, we can look forward to Rags lying about what I’ve written and, for the hundredth time, demonstrating what a fool he is for not understanding a word on which he is so fixated.
        There is no hind-sight.  I didn’t support the invasion in 2003, for the simple fact that Iraq didn’t attack the US and wasn’t a threat, and the US military had enough on its plate in Afghanistan.  I haven’t changed that position.  Also, there were plenty of experienced military experts who sounded the alarm on strategic considerations before the invasion.  They were ignored.  Put aside the political finger pointing and cynical exploitation by the fair weather types, because I’m not referring to that crap.  This is about order of battle, exit plans, etc..

        • I don’t lie, liar.
           
          Yes, there WERE people who were saying we didn’t have enough body bags for the casualties, that we were facing a powerful, experienced, bloodied force, etc.  How wrong were they, champ?
           
          Saddam had hatched and fostered a plot to kill an American President.  He was on the cusp of breaking the UN sanctions permanently with the collusion of the corrupt UN.  He DID have WMD, which he had used, and he had inchoate programs waiting to reconstitute his WMD ambitions at the first opportunity.  The “too few body bags” contingent were ALSO basing their evaluations on our losses on chemical weapons, which EVEN THEY assumed we’d be facing.  That all spells a credible threat, BOTH to the U.S. AND to its allies and interests in the region.
           
          ERGO, even in hindsight, you are full of shit.

          • Yes, there WERE people who were saying we didn’t have enough body bags for the casualties….

            Irrelevant.  Straw man.  Apples and oranges.
            I was correct in 2003 not to support the invasion.  If we employ hindsight–which is not at all the point of my comments, despite your attempt to force that square peg into the round hole–I’m even more correct.

          • Irrelevant.  Straw man.  Apples and oranges.
             
            Bullshit.  Hand-wave.  Lie.  You must not even know what a straw man is.
             
            I guess you can beat your chest…or your meat…over how “correct” you WERE, although I see no evidence that shows your analysis was correct.  All I see is your claim, which is fine.  People often takes positions for terribly wrong reasons, and they can pretend they are prescient.
             
            Meh.
             
            You were, are, and I expect will interminably be WRONG about a threat from Iraq.  Now, beat your dead horse some more.
             
            And you are too using hindsight, else you would not have evoked that bullshit about “lies”.  Wouldja…???

          • You must not even know what a straw man is.

            The straw man is the one you named “Elliot” who made an argument about not enough body bags and/or made common cause with the people who did so.  That little scarecrow apparently yammered out all sorts of predictions which turned out to be false.
            The real Elliot, me, unlike your little concoction, said nothing about body bags, denounced the political opportunists who talked smack to hurt Bush/Republicans, and did not support the invasion of Iraq because (1) Iraq didn’t attack the US, al Qaeda did, (2) the US was already knee deep in a war in Afghanistan and opening up a second front was, by historical standards, a foolish move, (3) US forces in Kuwait and other bases in the region had Saddam Hussein’s forces contained, (4) there was not an overt act of aggression to give Bush the moral justification to go to war and cause death and destruction, which inevitably included innocent civilians, and (5) the cost of the war was extravagant.

            …I see no evidence that shows your analysis was correct.

            Erb is never convinced, either.
            *shrug*

            And you are too using hindsight….

            To what end?  I didn’t wait until after things went poorly to make the call.  I called it in 2002, on moral grounds.  There is no way to alter the moral equations after the fact, unless you want to claim that Bush had secret info he didn’t share with us.  (Cites would be lovely.)
            Militarily, the primary war engagements went about as expected.  There were the types predicting not enough body bags, or massive psychological casualties, chemical weapons casualties, etc..  But it was no surprise that the Baathist regime folded so quickly.  And, I was happy to see them lose, even while I detested the loss of civilians and allied troops.
            I don’t pretend I anticipated the insurgency.  That wrinkle pretty much demolished the rosy predictions of the shock-and-awe crowd.  If I were using hindsight, I could pretend that the quagmire was further evidence that I was correct.  But even without the suicide bombers and other sectarian violence, without ISIS, I’m still correct that Bush was morally unjustified to invade Iraq.

          • I don’t pretend I anticipated the insurgency.  That wrinkle pretty much demolished the rosy predictions of the shock-and-awe crowd.

            Incidentally, while I did not support the invasion, on principle, I did hope that the rosy predictions would turn out to be accurate.  Unlike the Bill Mahers and Scott Erb, who reveled in the blood of US troops and civilians, I took no pleasure in the wheels coming off the shock-and-awe bus.

          • That little scarecrow apparently yammered out all sorts of predictions which turned out to be false.
             
            Um, no. THAT asshole (you) waved vaguely in the direction of “…experienced military experts who sounded the alarm on strategic considerations before the invasion”.  Which was a resort to a BUNCH of phantom “authorities”, and I should have rubbed your nose in it.
             
            I was just doing the best I could to put substance to that airy set of nothing by…you know…reciting what “…experienced military experts…” had been all alarmed about prior to the war.  You know…reality.
             
            What an asshole you can be.

          • I was just doing the best I could to put substance to that airy set of nothing ….

            Otherwise known as lying.

            What an asshole you can be.

            Says the man who just copped to lying about what I wrote.

          • That is a lie, and you are a liar.
             
            But we knew that.  You are pathetic.

  • The Valley Girl at State is part of the Un-serious Person Brigade minding the national security store.
     
    In statement on ceasefire, State Dept spox Psaki praises the govt of Egypt and PA President Abbas. Netanyahu goes unmentioned.
    — Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 5, 2014
     
    Gobsmacking…

     

  • http://clashdaily.com/2014/08/gross-take-wild-guess-drone-caught-muslims-sex/
     
    Animal husbandry…I do not think it means what they think it means…

    • Well…it translates a little different over there.
      From this I conclude they wouldn’t see the humor in the punchline for the joke about “Angus the Bridge Builder”.
       

    • Where the men are men, and sheep are afraid.
      And no zippers to warn the poor creatures.

    • Then why do they cover up the women but let the sheep and goats run around naked? That may change, though, when they see that they can’t fool anyone anymore.
       
      What a great piece of propaganda this would make–if only they had any sense of shame.

    • Ah, now now guys, let’s remember the rules, it’s not wrong, it’s just different!  No culture is better than any other culture!  We just have to learn to accept and not be judgmental.
       
      uh huh –
       
      yet another graphic demonstration of why that line of thinking is such complete and utter hogwash.

      • Careful.  As we speak, there are probably American academics of both sexes who are writing learned papers advocating sex with animals…chillins…holes in walls…plumbing fixtures…