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9/11 Forgotten as the War of Cultures Continues

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"We have to understand that we're fighting a war against people who think that they are engaged in a cosmic battle between the forces of good and evil. They believe that this is not an earthly battle. This is a war between the forces of Christianity and the forces of Islam." – Reza Aslan

After six years it almost goes without saying that we have forgotten the events and the significance of 9/11. While we may still have a memory of what happened, more than enough time has passed to dull the emotional reaction we felt on that day and blunt the resolve which we felt to see justice done. Other events have happened since then, other concerns and other issues have arisen which occupy our conscious minds most of the time. In the moment six years ago we had a clarity of vision which now eludes us. We understood things then which are now obscure, because six years is a very long time for basically decent people to hold onto the purifying anger of the moment.

Today 9/11 has become an intellectual event and a memory, rather than something which we react to emotionally. It has moved from our twisted guts to the part of our mind where things are compartmentalized and rationalized and made abstract and acceptable. What we have forgotten is the truth which was apparent to every one of us on that day, that we were attacked by an outside enemy whose thirst for our blood was irrational, inhumane, and insatiable. We have lost our instinctual understanding that we were not attacked by just an isolated group of crazed fanatics or their latter-day old man of the mountain leader, but by an entire culture which can produce men who believe that the slaughter of innocents can buy their way into heaven.

The Christian tradition of our culture teaches us to turn the other cheek and let bygones be bygones and not to hold a grudge. Even our secular culture is characterized by a kind of stoic existentialism, an 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality. When we aren't constantly reminded of a problem we tend to assume it has gone away because we have plenty of other things to think about. Not on that list of concerns is the fact that jihadists have a lot less to think about. We have a short attention span and a fast-paced culture which produces new distractions on a daily basis.

Muslim culture is different. It's not influenced by the forgiveness of Jesus or the pragmatism of Roman philosophy. They see history as a sort of eternal present and they are much more focused and much less distracted. Less is happening in their world and what happens today often means less to them than things which happened hundreds of years ago. Even when we're not paying attention they're still thinking about the jihad 24/7. Their memory is measured in centuries while ours is measured in minutes. Even while we forget our anger and the principles our founders fought for, they remember every wrong done by every crusader and missionary and colonialist down the ages, nurture their hurt and keep it until they can strike back at us, unexpected and with horrific results.

We tend to think of others as being like us. We are reasonable so we assume that they are reasonable. We don't grasp the fact that other cultures can be truly alien and that our reasonable approach to life is as alien to them as their unreasonable fanaticism is to us. Projecting our values onto others is a fatal mistake. We need to move beyond our cultural isolation and realize that we are dealing with an ideology which demands that the world either submit or be destroyed and which can wait years or even centuries to achieve goals it believes are ordained by god.

Bin Laden is out there making his tapes and mumbling destruction in the darkness of his beard, but even he does not matter, because as an individual he is only a symptom of the cultural sickness which infects Islam. While Sunni and Shia squabble in Iraq, we need to understand that what they are fighting over is the question of which of them will get to guide the destiny of Islam and which of them will get to come after us when that struggle is over.

They don't hate us for our freedoms. They hate us for who we are and what we've done. If you want to end this war – the one with Islam in which the others are just battles – then prepare to wear the cloak of dhimmitude and bow five times to your master in the east, because no matter what we do their war will not end until we are defeated either by them or by ourselves.

If you like the secular values and sybaritic culture we enjoy and all of the things we have earned through our industry and enlightenment and if you don't think that we ought to be held accountable for the sins of everyone from Alexander to Bohemond to Chinese Gordon, then you need to accept that there is a price to pay for freedom which is paid with every long and bloody step. Why do we fight the same battles again and again?

By all means let's pull out of Iraq. Perhaps the price paid there has been too high and not enough has been achieved. Yet we have to remember that we did not start this war and we cannot end it unilaterally. We can stop fighting and go home, but all that does is give our enemies a victory to encourage them to fight on and even increase their efforts. When they attacked us they had greater goals than just killing some Americans and those goals are still waiting to be achieved.

If we give up the fight now, we should do so in the knowledge that it means we will fight these battles and pay their price again and it will not be at a time or place of our choosing. It will be fought on the homefront and we will be weaker and they will be stronger and the price to be paid will be higher in blood and treasure and loss of rights.

We've been here before. I feel like I've written all of these words before. The lotus eaters are not listening.

The generals will make their cases in Congress and then stand bewildered as the politicians ignore them and make arguments based on pandering and political expediency. The meaning of 9/11 will be remembered for an hour on the TV news and then forgotten again. We will continue to wallow in complacency while the enemy plots on towards the day when we are too weak for even another 9/11 to awaken us.

It seems we learned nothing at Roncesvalles, Vienna, and Lepanto. We win and then weaken in our resolve and move on about our business and in a generation or two the hound of Allah is at our throat again. When do we cry 'enough' and put the foul beast down?

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About Dave Nalle

  • Franco

    Dave, I think you are not far off of the mark. As a whole I like what you say.

    “When do we cry ‘enough’ and put the foul beast down?”

    One point to make though, with all the attention you bring to facing the beast, how can you then say……” By all means let’s pull out of Iraq.”.

    Do you not think that doing so will allow the beast to grow a hell of a lot bigger by our leaving?

  • Lumpy

    Nice to see that someone noticed it was the anniversary of 9/11 besides the socialist hatemongers and surrendermonkeys and conspiracy freaks.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “Nice to see that someone noticed it was the anniversary of 9/11 besides the socialist hatemongers and surrendermonkeys and conspiracy freaks.”

    Well, it wold have been nice if someone had wished me “happy birthday” – but I was born on 10 Elul 5711. It just so happened that 11 September was my 50th birthday on the Christian calendar and the destruction of the World Trade Center (and the real good coffee shop underneath I used to frequent as a college student) was a birthday “present” from the damn Wahhabi to me – telling me I’d never get into the restaurant business in Israel.

    Enough whining.

    Seriously.

    For all the good sense you made in your article, Dave, you did not make the ONE point that needed to be made. The Wahhabi assholes that have declared war on all of us need to be exterminated or we will be, and they have an address – Riyadh. The other schmucks who want to kill us have an address, too. Teheran.

    Do you want the coordinates to aim the nukes too?

    When are you wake up to the fact that you have to nuke the bastards and be done with it? And say so in plain English?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Sorry to hear your birthday was on 9/11, Ruvy. But it makes you younger than I thought you were, so that’s good.

    As for the Wahhabis or the al Sauds, I didn’t want to single them out any more than bin Laden or any other individuals. Yes, obviously those cynical bastards who have turned Islam to their own corrupt purposes are on the top of the list. I’m as aware of it as you are, but they’re still just one of the many heads of the beast. Just attacking country after country isn’t the ideal solution. We need a more comprehensive approach.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    One point to make though, with all the attention you bring to facing the beast, how can you then say……” By all means let’s pull out of Iraq.”.

    That was a semi-sarcastic remark. The idea was that the consequences I talked about after that would make it clear that the cost of pulling out might be worse than what we’re currently experiencing there. Maybe I was being too subtle.

    Do you not think that doing so will allow the beast to grow a hell of a lot bigger by our leaving?

    I think that if we were to pull out of Iraq we would see a final, decisive Sunni-Shia war at the end of which we would see the rise of a far more dangerous, unified and radicalized Islamic power.

    Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “I think that if we were to pull out of Iraq we would see a final, decisive Sunni-Shia war at the end of which we would see the rise of a far more dangerous, unified and radicalized Islamic power.”

    “Just attacking country after country isn’t the ideal solution. We need a more comprehensive approach.”

    Dave,

    Given what you say yourself, what more comprehensive solution is there to nuking the bastards? Nuke Riyadh and cut off the head of the Saudi snake – along with the cash pig that funds madrassas world wide – Nuke Teheran and you cut off the command and control for the Persian Empire that would arise upon American withdrawal. Nuke Qom – the PERSIAN Shia holy city – and you deliver a message to the messianic Shia – YOUR GOD WILL NOT PROTECT YOU!!

    HOW MORE COMPREHENSIVE CAN YOU GET?

  • troll

    not to worry – I think that the administration made clear over the past two days what has been clear for the past several years…the US military is in Iraq for the long haul

    …so we’ve got ‘em surrounded

  • Franco

    HBD Ruvy.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Ruvy, while I would shed no tears for some of the people killed through your nuking campaign, I do have to point out that an awful lot of innocent African and Philippino slaves would die when you nuked Riyadh. And I don’t think that the Iranian people as a whole are beyond redemption, just those who’ve signed on to the millenialist jihad movement. Like all the end of the worlders they’re nuts and expendable as far as I’m concerned.

    The point being that nukes are too indiscriminate. I want to defeat radical Islam. I don’t want to exterminate everyone who’s ever been a worshipper.

    Dave

  • Franco

    Dave, got it, sorry I missed it, thanks.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “When are you wake up to the fact that you have to nuke the bastards and be done with it? And say so in plain English?”

    Israel has nukes. Why don’t you guys do it?

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, if I understand your belief system correctly, you are also an “end of the worlder” who believes we only have about 20 years to go, so how do you feel about Dave’s assertion in #9 that you’re nuts and expendable?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    To be fair, Chris, I did make that comment largely just to irritate Ruvy.

    I suspect it’s the ‘end of the worlder’ attitude which makes him so willing to spend lives cheaply, especially those of unbelievers.

    Dave

  • Zedd

    Dave,

    I think that it is only fair to define who THEY are.

    If we continue to deal with people, societies, civilizations with broad strokes, we will be doomed to repeat the major mistakes of the past.

    The majority of THEY formed out of our own ineptitude. THEY did not care one way or another about us before our meddlesome, displaced preoccupation with THEM. Another portion of THEY comes out of their defiance for Western dominance, another if not all are encouraged by our allegiance to Israel and I would venture to say that only a tiny minority wants us to convert (the real kooks).

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    This is to answer both comments 12 and 13.

    I, of course, am expendable. I have a mission to accomplish here, and if I cannot do it, the Almighty will just find someone else. There are over six billion people on the planet, and about 13 or fourteen million Jews. So there are a lot to choose from.

    According to the Bible, when Elijah could no longer see things from G-d’s point of view, he was cashed in – and told to anoint his successor, Elisha ben Shafat, a plowman. So, I am under no illusions.

    I am not willing to see people die easily. But I also know when I can make a recommendation that will not be followed. I am reasonably sure that the State of Israel will not use its nuclear weapons simply because its leaders do not have the guts, intelligence or foresight to do so. This is why I am so sure that in the not too distant future, the State of Israel will fall.

    Because of the very foolish and suicidal path that the government of Israel has pursued since ceasing to make its own weaponry in the early 1990’s, it becomes a necessity to rely on nukes when the State is in a situation of extreme peril. And that is the situation the State is in.

    This most recent raid on Syria was to target North Korean nukes sitting in Syria. The Syrians fired heat seeking missiles at the IDF planes, and they bailed, dropping extra fuel tanks, missiles and everything else they could get rid of to get away from the heat seeking missiles.

    Let’s translate that into a single sentence for you “big picture” types.

    The Israel air force no longer has air superiority in the skies of the Middle East.

    Having said all this, I am equally certain that no Arab Palestine will ever arise in this land – period.

    As for my own beliefs, I do not think there will be “an end of the world” as you two put it. That’s how Christians talk.

    There will be radical changes. One of the radical changes will be in the nature of the religion of the People of Israel, changes that I’m privileged to see beginning now, changes that I may even be privileged to shepherd along a bit.

    I will admit that if I were in charge, this country would use its nukes to solve problems in the region. The stupidity of the previous regimes here leave little choice to one who would attempt to succeed in securing the Land of Israel for all of the People of Israel. Each concession, each renunciation of G-d’s gift to the People of Israel ,leaves fewer and fewer options open when the day of reckoning with the enemy finally comes. And that day of reckoning approaches with unpleasant speed.

    But the likelihood of me sitting in the leader’s chair – whatever title that leader has – look infinitesmally small at the moment. So, I do not bother myself over such things.

    But I’m willing to speak my mind on America using nukes to resolve the problems in the region. It is in the American interest; and you never know who might be reading…

  • JustOneMan

    “Israel has nukes. Why don’t you guys do it?”

    Irael talks alot but does have the balls to do anything! They dont have the guts to clean up the Islamic scum bags in their own back yard…As Ruvy proves in his comments,

    “America using nukes to resolve the problems in the region”

    Once again the need American blood and money to save their sorry ass! I guess the “chosen people” means we Americans choose to save you!

    Why dont we nuke the whole mideast and end ALL of our problems once and for all!!

    JOM

  • Maurice

    #14

    Very naive response. The idea that the US (Carter) has somehow angered the Arabs and is now bringing a Jihad ignores the crusades.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Zedd, I tried at least a little to hint at the broader historical perspective, but you seem to have missed it. Maurice also points to it.

    One of the key cultural differences between Islamic society and the secular/christian west is an awareness of history which as a society we tend not to have.

    For them events that took place a thousand years ago are immediate and critical. Look into some of their holidays sometime. In particular, read up on Ashura as an example. They feel active grief and mourning over the deaths of people who are removed from them by 40 generations.

    This attitude is alien to westerners but no less real for all of that. The Jews actually share it to some extent, but Christianity and the secular societies which emerged from the Christian tradition are much less focused on the past and more focused on the now or the future.

    We think of things like the Crusades as history. They think of them as almost current events. They’re actually out for revenge over the massacre at Jerusalem and a thousand other wrongs done by the ‘ferengi dogs’ over the centuries. For them things we do now which we think of as motivated by good intentions are part of a continuum of persecution which goes back even before Islam.

    For example. We think that we’re trying to promote peace between Israel and Palestine for the benefit of all. From their perspective we’re using the Jews to perpetuate a westernized enclave which is merely a later-day crusader state in Jerusalem. We’ve been trying to take control of that region for 1000 years, and Israel is just our latest tool for doing so.

    Americans are particularly bad at seeing the world from the perspectives of others. We tend to project our own attitudes onto them, and that just doesn’t work.

    Dave

  • JustOneMan

    Nalle,

    Shouldnt it be…

    “Those luntic Muslim zealots are particularly bad at seeing the world from the perspectives of others. They tend to project their own attitudes onto them, and that just doesn’t work.”

    Gee I am very sad today my great, great,great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great,
    great, great,great, great, great, great,great, great,great, great,great, great, great, great grandfather died 2000 years ago today…it still brings me to tears..sniff, sniff…

    JOM

  • http://adreamersholiday.blogspot.com Lee Richards

    Dave,
    You make many valid and relevant points, but I disagree that Bin Laden doesn’t matter. That’s Bush’s tragic mistake, too.

    Bin Laden represents the 9-11 attack, is the unifying force behind a potent international terrorist organization, a catalyst in Iraq and elsewhere, and a symbol to Islamic radicals that, if we don’t have the will or ability to catch or kill him, we probably can’t stop them either.

  • moonraven

    The usual Nalle Nonsense!

    Not ALL of us were stupid enough on 9/11 to believe that the US had been attacked from the OUTSIDE.

    I, for one, said that I did not trust the Bush administration’s “presentation” of the event for one minute–and I said it on Mexican television!

    A number of Mexican columnists also felt it was an inside job–especially Guillermo Almeyra in his still-wonderfully astute piece published on September 12, 2001 in La Jornada: Los marcianos hablan Inglés (The Martians speak English–in a reference to Orson Welles’ famous radio hoax, The War of the Worlds).

    Soryy, Dave. Someof us are not as dumb as you are–nor as fatuously “patriotic” to sell our patrimony for a plate of lentils.

    The latest poll even shows that 51% of folks in the US–lamentably, not evenclose to 51% of the Bush stooges posting on this pathetic site–jave woken up and smelled the coffee to thepoint of believing that a new 9/11 investigation is in order–to sort out the role Bush/Cheny played in it.

  • moonraven

    Lew: I gotnews for you, pal: Bin Laden is STILLon the CIA payroll.

  • JustOneMan

    Moon….”Mexican columnists also felt it was an inside job–especially Guillermo Almey”

    Wow…Guillermo Almey!!! Gee now I have to believe its true1!!! Someone as credible as the night shift tortilla maker at Taco Loco!!!

    How can you be a “columnist” in a country filled with illiterates and overweight middle aged ex-american women who like to gangbang mexican day workers!!!

    JOM

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    An utterly despicable article that has already drawn a number of quite shameful like-minded replies.

    I don’t believe this is a war, not in the traditional sense. If our only, or primary response is military, we could very well lose, in the end. I strongly object to the militarist, war-mongering tone of this piece and to all the usual cheers it has engendered.

    Further, if you must portray the situation as “Us” versus “Them,” then the definitions of Us and Them need to be precise and complete.

    “Us” includes the people in the US and in Western Europe who reject your entire thesis as offensive, wrongheaded, and leading to more danger rather than more security. Insisting that we are instead your enemies is part of the problem.

    “Them” is a very small group of jihadist leaders and a somewhat larger group of followers [many but not all desperate, poor, and educated only in hate] willing to be led into suicide missions. [Note that the US rarely, or never, provides any counterexamples to the caricatures these young men have been taught to believe. Our government’s belligerent tone, and that of articles like this one, eloquently express American indifference. The result is the continuing success of the propaganda in the madrassas.]

    “Them” is most definitely not 95% of all Muslims. Possibly even make that 99.99%. And the way many writers on this site, specifically those who will most agree with Dave’s ugly article, want to lump all Islam together is another part of the problem.

    This is not a football game. Rooting for the home team is not a good analogy. Please take a look at the whole range of issues here, and realize the consequences of continuing to pretend that “War on Terror” says it all. Adding idiotic and immoral calls to “just nuke ‘em” is not even worthy of a response.

  • moonraven

    JOM, As always your slobbering racism has gotten the better of you. Almeyra is not only a columnist but a highly respected university professor.

    The closest you have come to a university was riding a motor scooter past Bob Jones Bible College.

    A firing squad would be too good for you.

  • moonraven

    handyguy: Right on!

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    moonraven, i hope you’re pleased to have found a couple of like-minded folk on the site. Not that two swallows make a summer of course but at least you’re not alone. Now how about working on that civility?

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Personally, I disagree with the title, underlying presumptions, ongoing reasoning and conclusions of this article, but it is just some bloke’s opinion, nothing more.

  • moonraven

    My persona doesn’t practice civility.

    It was designed specifically to reflect the climate of uncivilized brawling that is the norm of this site.

    I prefer to be alone. Since Garbo died in 1990 I can be full practitioner of that statement.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Well, it could certainly use the practice, ma’am!

    You’re also wrong about the climate of this site, it’s civilized brawling!

    Are you actually alone? I’ve been wondering why you never talk about the father of your daughter.

    *Dons protective armour, ducks and covers*

  • moonraven

    The father of my daughter died in January of 2006.

  • Lumpy

    Some good discussion here until Moonraven showed up and started spreading her special brand of hate.

    Her extremism diminishes some of the good points handyguy has to make. By being on the same side she reduces his and all liberals credibility substantially.

    Handyguy is clearly well intentioned, but terribly ignorant about islamic society and how pervasive a passive jihadism really is. Just look at Iran. a strong majority of the population voted a jihadist government into office in full awareness of who and what they were voting for. jihad was their entire campaign platform.

  • moonraven

    Lumpy, I spend time each year working in the Middle East, and am considerably more knowledgable about its culture than anyone else on this site.

    Especially by comparison to an untravlled troglodite like you.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    I’m sorry to hear that, my condolences, for what it’s worth.

    Lumpy, why don’t you try and lead by example. You too are somewhat naive, in my opinion.

    Now play nice, kids, I’m off to watch the far more important conflict of England v Russia.

  • moonraven

    I’m sure that his ashes in the urn could not possibly care less about your condolences.

    He was as anti-Brit as I am.

  • Clavos

    You keep ‘em in an urn?

    How quaint!

    We keep my mother’s ashes in a cardboard box in a storage locker.

    She doesn’t care, either.

  • moonraven

    I, personally, would have sprinkled him at his favorite Pacific Ocean beach by now.–the least I could have done.

    Unfortunately, he and the urn are in Wife Number 3’s closet.

    Apparently, she doesn’t care either.

  • bliffle

    What nonsense this article is. 9/11 was committed by vandals who used ideological drunkenness to hype their slaves into committing crimes. Not much different from the way that Karl Rove psychs up gay-haters, commie-haters, black-haters, peacenik-haters, hippie-haters and other aberrant characters into going to the polls so they can cast votes for GWB at the same time.

    And we all know it.

    GWB broke his vow to catch or kill OBL (another broken vow by GWB, where will it end? ) because OBL is more valuable to the cynics managing GWB to have OBL loose as a boogeyman than to have him gone.

    How cynical can you get?

  • JustOneMan

    moon..

    “geee senior in your country (USA) I clean toilets…but in my country I am a highly respected university professor and a journalist.” Guillermo Almey as he was cleaning toilets at a Taco Bell somewhere in mid town Manhattan..

    JOM

  • moonraven

    Yep, definitely not high class enough for a firing squad, JOM: I think typing you to the back of Nalle’s pickup and dragging you at high speeds through the trailer parks of West Texas is a much more fitting end.

    BTW: I am semi-retired now, but made a much higher salary here in Mexico than you could even HOPE to receive in the US.

    The president of Mexico is not the highest-paid president in the world for nothing….

  • Baronius

    Dave, excellent article. If you feel like you’ve said all this before, don’t worry. These are the right things to say to mark an anniversary.

  • moonraven

    An anniversary of WHAT–your gullibility?

    I wouldn’t blow out those candles quite so fast.

  • Baronius

    You wouldn’t blow out the candles on my gullibility? What, because my gullibility is younger or older?

  • moonraven

    On your anniversary cake, moron.

    You know, the one with 9/11 written in thermite on the top….

  • Baronius

    What? The cake is made of thermite, so you want it to keep burning?

  • Baronius

    Or should I want to keep the cake burning? Or put it out? What’s the analogy here?

  • moonraven

    Try blowing out the candles, moron.

    See what happens.

  • Baronius

    OK. Walk me through this one more time.

  • moonraven

    You don’t seem to see anything.

    No one is more blind than he who chooses not to see.

    I am off to the hammock for another beautiful Mexican evening.

  • Baronius

    No, please; it’s the anniversary of my gullibility, and there’s a cake with thermite letters on it, and I shouldn’t blow them out? Why? Shouldn’t you blow on thermite? As far as I know, thermite requires a fuse, but are the candles fuses? So I should blow them out, or the cake will explode, right?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    See, Baronius, the cake is cursed. (That’s bad)

    But it comes with your choice of toppings! (That’s good!)

    The toppings contain potassium benzoate.

    That’s bad.

  • Clavos

    Nice work, Baronius!!

    The Heifetz of BC; play on, B-Man.

    Props to you; you da man!!

  • Zedd

    Dave

    Thank you for extrapolating on which THEY you are referring to and what qualities you are alluding to.

    I would also be careful not to ascribe that world view to all of THEM.

    I think European decedents like yourself often see themselves to be different from humanity and end up making some offensive mistakes which disturb the stability of the planet. People just want to be respected. Period.

  • SonnyD

    I wish those European ‘decedents’ would stop disturbing the stability of the planet.

  • SonnyD

    Zedd: decedent (used mainly in law) a deceased person

  • Lumpy

    Candles can’t actually generate enough heat to detonate thermite.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    well well, Pravda lives!

    this appears to be one of the more skillful bits of hate filled misinformative propaganda it’s ever been my chagrin to have read

    let’s have a look, shall we?

    “We have lost our instinctual understanding that we were not attacked by just an isolated group of crazed fanatics or their latter-day old man of the mountain leader, but by an entire culture which can produce men who believe that the slaughter of innocents can buy their way into heaven.”

    here’s the beginnings of the attempt to redefine Reality and frame it to suit the purpose of pure partisan propaganda…note the tossing aside of what actually happened and shifting of emotional blame from the criminals who actually planned and perpetrated the heinous crime to an entire culture indiscriminately…this is used as if it were an axiomatic postulate to base the rest of the “reasoning” upon…

    garbage in/garbage out, imo

    “Even while we forget our anger and the principles our founders fought for, they remember every wrong done by every crusader and missionary and colonialist down the ages, nurture their hurt and keep it until they can strike back at us, unexpected and with horrific results.”

    this one is interesting in that the entirety of bin Laden/al Qaeda’s stated reasoning is about grievances which have occurred in the last generation or two…almost all of it centered around U.S. military bases within Islamic countries

    one might suggest finding the root of where the problem comes from…as the root of the neocons lies with Strauss…the root of al Qaeda , and all of the new radical “jihadist” movement, comes from Sayyid Qutb of Egypt and his book, “Milestones”… in there are the teachings and redefinitions which inspired bin Laden and his ilk…more than Wahabism, the message contained in this work lays out the entirety of the modern jihadist movement

    which leads us to…

    “While Sunni and Shia squabble in Iraq, we need to understand that what they are fighting over is the question of which of them will get to guide the destiny of Islam and which of them will get to come after us when that struggle is over.”

    completely laughable..like the dhimmi comment that accompanied it…to even attempt to claim with a straight face that Western culture is endangered of being taken over by Islam due to any kind of Force being applied is completely ludicrous from a military logistical viewpoint , if nothing else

    any danger of this nature would be from cultural assimilation, now try to imagine some Irishman or Los Angeleno or Georgian(either kind) or a very Catholic Costa Rican….on and on… “submitting” to a second class citizenship in any kind of theocratic tyranny…just ain’t happening…NO danger of it, just about physically impossible to accomplish…300 million armed Americans are insurmountable in such circumstances…now how about 800 million Indians or a billion Chinese? neither of those cultures are in any kind of danger either…and both have had to deal with Muslim populations for as long as there has been Islam

    the big bullshit fallacy here is the attempted conflation of saying or implying that 9/11 has ANYFUCKINGTHING to do with Iraq …in any way, shape or form…

    such assertions are factually incorrect, attempted emotional terrorism/blackmail, and bereft of all ethical considerations… just my one sixth billionths of the World’s opinion

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior?

  • Mooja

    Nice article Dave. The $450 trillion dollar question is: How do we put the beast down?

    We could do nothing and get repeated 9/11’s or worse. Or we could do something. How do we cultivate an Arab cradle that doesn’t tend to churn out thousands of young men each year whose sole fixation is directed at delivering mass destruction to unbelievers?

    The coalition nations believe that first and foremost you need Arab governments that serve their governed. What we look forward to is an Iraq that follows this model.

  • Clavos

    “this one is interesting in that the entirety of bin Laden/al Qaeda’s stated reasoning is about grievances which have occurred in the last generation or two…almost all of it centered around U.S. military bases within Islamic countries”

    Fair enough, gonzo, but why would you believe even one word OBL or anyone associated with Al-Qaeda (or for that matter, any person or entity engaged in fighting or even opposing us) utters?

    Why would you think they’re telling the truth?

    “…any danger of this nature [islamic cultures taking over the US] would be from cultural assimilation…”

    Agreed, that’s probably how it will happen, if it does.

    “now try to imagine some Irishman or Los Angeleno or Georgian(either kind) or a very Catholic Costa Rican….on and on… “submitting” to a second class citizenship in any kind of theocratic tyranny…just ain’t happening…NO danger of it, just about physically impossible to accomplish…300 million armed Americans are insurmountable in such circumstances…now how about 800 million Indians or a billion Chinese? neither of those cultures are in any kind of danger either…and both have had to deal with Muslim populations for as long as there has been Islam”

    OK, the Chinese and Indian cultures are not hamstrung by such niceties as “all men are created equal” and the Bill of Rights plus a modern, politically correct tendency in the US to regard any culture and/or philosophy as being equal to, and as valid as any other. This attitude leads us to allow cab drivers to refuse to carry passengers with alcohol, and install footbaths in public institutions, both ideas I doubt either the Chinese or Indian cultures would accept, at least not in the name of equality.

    After 9/11, which, unless you believe George Bush did it, taught us that we are a target and are likely to remain one for the foreseeable future, we MUST deal with and defend against terrorism.

    Yet we won’t even profile.

    It may take several generations, but they WILL win. Why? Because they’re serious about kicking our ass, and we don’t believe they can.

    Remember, they conquered the Iberian Peninsula and it took the Christian Spaniards almost 800 years to kick them out.

  • Lumpy

    Wow. Talk about trying to redefine reality. You’re doing a bit of it your own self there gonzo. There’s nothing neocon in this article and no noticable attempt to connect 9/11 to iraq yet you drag in those old straw dogs instead of addressing what it’s really about. You need to get off the partisan hate train and take a look at what’s really going on in the world.

    Whether they can really bring us to our knees or conquer us or not, that is our stated intent and even if they make some opportunistic statements about israel and oil, the fanatical millenialist agenda is still there and still driving it all. Complaints about israel are to bin laden what claims of WMDs are to Bush.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    well do i know the history of Iberia et al, Clavos

    do also remember that it was the tri-partite city of Toledo, and the multi-cultural scholars residing there that ended the “Dark Ages” by not only returning lost tomes from the Greeks and others, but adding from their own Muslim and Jewish learning/texts

    but i digress…

    “After 9/11, which, unless you believe George Bush did it, taught us that we are a target and are likely to remain one for the foreseeable future, we MUST deal with and defend against terrorism.”

    nothing to argue about there, but HOW we go about it IS the crux of the Argument, ain’t it?

    you admit the most likely is culturally..and i retort, it’s the very real core Values of our Constitution that are all that require defending along with physical security…to win that very struggle, it is imperative that not an iota of those Principles can be compromised….or we lose, by definition

    as usual, the Means are the Ends, in and of themselves, instrinsically…

    as for OBL…who says i believe him? but it IS what he not only tells U.S., but his followers and anyone that hears…his propaganda, of course, but it shows clear and discernible motive

    my basic take on bin Laden and why i think he IS important…the info in that link and the Sayyid Qutb link in my earlier comment inform my basic perception of the Issue…

    toss this one into the mix, and the Petraeus testimony the last few days…

    you get the Idea…

    Excelsior?

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Clavos..there’s a long comment trapped in the aether in response to yours…

    wait for it……

    eventually

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    ummm..Lumpy..you want to slow down there and address , specifically, any point i make which you find objectionable?

    and please do explain this …”Whether they can really bring us to our knees or conquer us or not, that is our stated intent and even if they make some opportunistic statements about israel and oil, the fanatical millenialist agenda is still there and still driving it all.”

    your use of “our stated intent” is confusing, but perhaps revealing…but that’s ok, have at it as you like…i’ll call it like i see it, you do the same…i’ll leave the results to the readers who might take the time ot read the links (and the ones in the trapped in limbo comment)

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “A firing squad would be too good for you.”

    This, from a Chavez supporter. I love it.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “Wow. Talk about trying to redefine reality. You’re doing a bit of it your own self there gonzo. There’s nothing neocon in this article and no noticable attempt to connect 9/11 to iraq yet you drag in those old straw dogs instead of addressing what it’s really about. You need to get off the partisan hate train and take a look at what’s really going on in the world.”

    No, you don’t understand. Gonzo is nonpartisan, while the rest of us are a bunch of stupid, dishonest partisan hacks.

    Well, that’s how he defines his reality, anyway… ;-)

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “it’s the very real core Values of our Constitution that are all that require defending along with physical security…to win that very struggle, it is imperative that not an iota of those Principles can be compromised….or we lose, by definition”

    So, I guess we “lost” WWII, what with all the nukings of Japanese cities, and internment camps for Japanese-Americans, and fire-bombings of German population centers and all… :-/

  • troll

    the problem with this piece is not that the author conflates 9/11 and the occupation but rather that he suggests that our action in Iraq is strategically related to his ‘war with Islam’

    …perhaps even more troubling is its emptiness – while the author bemoans the weaknesses of western culture and asks: “When do we cry ‘enough’ and put the foul beast down?” he offers no clue as to how this genocide could be accomplished

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    So, I guess we “lost” WWII, what with all the nukings of Japanese cities, and internment camps for Japanese-Americans, and fire-bombings of German population centers and all… :-/

    In a sense, yes.

  • troll

    Micheal…sadly there are lots of folks who (perversely) won’t have a clue what you mean

  • Maurice

    #33 misspelled troglodyte

    I read all the comments and that was the most interesting thing….

  • troll

    …thanks for sharing your perception – it was really interesting

  • Nancy

    Ah – gawd have mercy on anyone on BC who accidently misspells/misuses a word. Good thing for me the BC police aren’t as swift or certain about punctuation-! ;)

  • gonzo marx

    for RJ in number 66 – out of what you cite, the only bit that is pertinent would be the internment camps of Japanese-Americans…citizens..and the Answer is yes,,,yes we lost a bit for that just as we lose ground with torture, warrantless searches/wiretaps/data mining and/or anything that sacrifices essential Rights for the false illusion of “safety”

    just my take on it, you call it as YOU see it and i’ll do the same…fair enough?

    Excelsior?

  • moonraven

    I fail to see what my being a Chavez supporter has to do with a firing squad being way too good for the likes of scum such as JOM.

    In Venezuela firing squads do not exist.

    (Too bad, as I can think of some oligarchic seditionists who probably deserve to stand in front of one.)

  • JustOneMan

    Moonraven…

    “I thank you, my father thanks you and my mother thanks you!” James Cagney

    JOM

  • Syzygy

    Your article is outstanding.

    I’m in the middle of reading “Mugged by Reality” by John Agresto who was sent by the Pentagon to overhaul the educational system of Iraq.

    I saw a connection between the Liberal and Conservative leaders in the U.S.

    There is a parallel between the Suni/Shia association and our Congress. They’re all trying to overthrow each other.

    The Iraqi citizen was in total support of our liberation efforts. However, when we did, the educated student turned against us when we showed our lack of strength that you referred to as “When do we cry enough and put the foul beast down?”

    The Iraqi knew their previous support of us would be their demise when we left and it became apparent to them, with the demands of our Congress, that we would leave. Therefore, they were left on their own hoping to survive their support of us. Our show of cowardice in battle and our inability to help the Iraqi s who were supporting us was too frightening for them.

    The left-over Saddam regime, after our liberation, made it too difficult for them to continue their open support of the U.S. and our Patriots in the field knew it would be the doom of the American liberator if they remained supportive friends with the Doomed Iraqi and BOOM, we all fell down.

    Congress continues its Suni/Shia interpretation of hatred and corruption among themselves at the expense of the American tax dollar while our Nation becomes irrelevant to their self-serving needs to overthrow the others party.

    The Iraqi sees what I see. We have a leadership not qualified to handle the complexities of a parking ticket, let alone the following understanding:

    Iraq is not about The United States. It’s about the millions of lives already saved through the efforts of our fighting Patriots. Iraq is about what side of history we want to be on. Those who connect to Freedom for mankind or those who demand withdrawal, achieving tyranny for humanity as the reward of their cowardice and ignorance regarding the rewards of a Global Community through the power of strength, which has always broken the back of despots.

    The cost of their cowardice is too high a price for mankind to pay. Maybe we can get Israel to do our serious fighting as someone above suggested. OR, better yet, deport Congress and Illegal Immigrants to Mexico and force Mexico to join Israel for our sake. I have every reason to believe Congress will thumbs up this one.

  • moonraven

    [Entire comment deleted]

  • moonraven

    Who is this Syz fellow?

    Another crackpot “patriot” who wants to put the brand USA all over the fucking planet!

    Disgusting.

    Iraq is about 600,000 Iraquis killed as a result of the obscene invasion of old Sweat-Sock Stuffed Jumpsuit.

  • troll

    (moonraven – JOMs just another nasty troll…just like me and you)

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Syzygy’s post #76 is either drenched in heavy irony, intended as a parody of Dave’s piece, or is written by a genuinely insane person.

  • moonraven

    Hmm: Chris disappeared my alert to Nalle’s cloning himself again.

    He ALWAYS protects Nalle.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Wrong again o winged one; I don’t protect Nalle at all.

    In fact, if you were paying attention to reality as opposed to the inside of your own skull, you would have noticed that he and I rarely agree about politics.

    If anything, I was protecting you from seeming excessively obsessive and mistaken. IF he were to do that, I would fix it, point it out and, if it were deliberate rather than a mistake, complain to the site owners.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I think it’s great when someone who has first hand experience of Iraq comes here to share his viewpoint and in particular his concern for everyday Iraqis in their increasingly difficult situation you call him ‘dirty and slimy’, a ‘crackpot’ and ‘a genuinely insane person’. Good job spineless socialist buffoons. Especially offensive since he made one of the most significant and insightful comments on a thread which has been beset by pure idiocy.

    I haven’t been able to post on here until today because I’m responsible for much of the planning for our local town festival which happens this weekend, but I’m taking a break and wanted to make a few points.

    First off, my article was written on 9/11 as such it was written in the context of that day, which was and should be a day of emotion. I didn’t want to dilute it with a lot of technical bullshit or talking about the details of our failures in Iraq. I was sure, and rightly so, that others would bring those issues up, relentlessly unwilling to see how irrelevant they are to the larger general point I was trying to address in the article.

    I was not surprised to see so many of the usual straw men thrown up in the comments. Most notable, of course, the accusation that I was tarring all Muslims with the same broad brush when so many of them are innocent of any wrongdoing or hostility towards the US.

    Someone – probably the otherwise halfway sensible Handyguy – suggested that 99.5% of Muslims are not radicalized and just want to be happy. He seems to have failed to do the math on his theory, because that means that there are about a million of them who would like to blow themselves up by running a car bomb into one of our embassies or malls.

    What he also didn’t consider is that while it may only be a small minority (yet still numerically huge) who are willing to kill themselves in the interest of Jihad, there is still a much larger contingent who are willing to financially and politically support Jihad, including a majority of the population of nations like Iran who voted Jihadists into office. They’re willing to put their own and their nations assets on the line and field a conventional army and covert forces in pursuit of that end. You folks ought to take some time to read up on Iranian covert operations in the region and around the world. These folks are sophisticated and very good at what they do and have tens of thousands of operatives all over the world, advancing the cause of a nation which is increasingly imperialistic and which supports an anti-western and anti-Sunni Jihad.

    And yes, there are lots and lots of moderate Muslims who are great people and some of whom I’ve sat down with and had dinner and great conversations with and consider friends. A hell of a lot of the best ones now live here in the US because they realized that the path their brothers were on was one of destruction and doom, and that they had no future in their home countries with the direction things were going there. Those who’ve remained behind are the weaker ones who cannot effectively resist the forces of extremism in their midst. A violent and determined minority will drag a cowardly majority along with it in whatever direction it wants to go.

    Another bogus argument raised is that all of the Islamic nations put together could never effectively challenge the economic and military might of the west no matter how weak we become. Sure, it’s an easy assumption to make. I’m not even willing to come out and say that we’d have trouble putting down a giant Islamic empire if one developed. But the cost of doing so in money and human lives would be horrendous, and if we merely tried to contain such a development or ignored it, an awful lot of harm would be done around the world and to innocent people and nations in the process. Countries we consider allies would be well and truly fucked if a new Caliphate was established, most notably India.

    To gonzo and handy and a few of the others who are in some ways reasonable people and have legitimate concerns about America’s role in the world and problems with our current administration, I’m sorry about all of that, and just as concerned as you are. But in many ways your viewpoint is just as myopic as that of the Neocons. It’s not all about America. We’re a very convenient pretext for what’s going on, but it would be going on without us too. When I talk about bin Laden and the Iraq war being largely irrelevant, it’s because while they are great concerns to America, they are only small parts of a much larger picture. We could catch bin Laden tomorrow and pull out of Iraq the day after and this problem would NOT go away. We might put off the next confrontation for a few years, but we would not have addressed the basic problem.

    And two comments for moonraven. First, while you may have been to the middle east on your little socialist hand-wringing expeditions, you haven’t spent more time there than I have and you don’t know more about the region, it’s history and it’s culture than I do. While you can try to bully others, it’s not going to work on me. You’re a useful fool for the fairly clever Islamist elite who use your soft-headed conception of socialist brotherhood and third world unity to their own advantage. Second, I’m not losing this argument, because there is no argument here. There’s truth which is on my side and your usual delusional bullshit which isn’t going anywhere.

    Finally, to answer the question some of you are bound to ask, I don’t have any solution. I have some ideas. I think we need an entirely different approach to the middle east and to dealing with Islam. I don’t think overt warfare as we have attempted it is the answer at all. We need to look at the aftermath of WW2 and the things we did then to try to fight communism in Europe and figure out how we can apply some of the same ideas to the Islamic world. We need to educate and propagandize the hell out of them and find a way to advance that part of the world governmentally and economically so that the gap between rich and poor is smaller and there’s less motivation to turn to radical religion and more opportunity for everyone outside of Jihad.

    Hope that addressed everything. I’m off to construct drink stands or something.

    Dave

  • Dr Dreadful

    Dave:

    1. May I suggest you don’t get so involved with your town festival next year. It seems to make you excessively grouchy.
    2. What makes you think Syzygy has first-hand experience of Iraq?

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com/ Michael J. West

    Today 9/11 has become an intellectual event and a memory, rather than something which we react to emotionally.

    Thank GOD.

  • troll

    *These folks are sophisticated and very good at what they do and have tens of thousands of operatives all over the world, advancing the cause of a nation which is increasingly imperialistic and which supports an anti-western and anti-Sunni Jihad.*

    deja vu all over again

    please provide sources for your claim about those ‘tens of thousands of operatives’ as some of us haven’t seen anything that supports it – Vox’s claims not withstanding

  • moonraven

    I believe you meant to ask for EVIDENCE.

    Or is that only something that I need to consider.

    Sources for most claims on this site–especially from Nalle and his clones–are always an OPINION piece that agrees with them.

  • troll

    …I do hold you to a higher standard oh moonlit goddess

    sources are about all I can hope for from Dave

  • Alec

    Clavos – RE: OK, the Chinese and Indian cultures are not hamstrung by such niceties as “all men are created equal” and the Bill of Rights plus a modern, politically correct tendency in the US to regard any culture and/or philosophy as being equal to, and as valid as any other. This attitude leads us to allow cab drivers to refuse to carry passengers with alcohol, and install footbaths in public institutions, both ideas I doubt either the Chinese or Indian cultures would accept, at least not in the name of equality.

    It is decidedly odd that one common reaction to 9/11 is to cause some people to look at the very foundational ideas that supposedly engenders envy and hatred against us, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights — and the ideas behind them – as mere technicalities, unimportant ephemera that prevents us from doing what we need to do – righteously and indiscriminately kick ass. But if you don’t believe that all men are created equal, and not just US citizens who row the ideological boat the same way, then what exactly is the point?

    Also, since China is still a totalitarian dictatorship (and odd that we love to trade with them despite their still being an evil empire and such), so I am not sure that it is a good model for much of anything.

    India is another case altogether. Do you really understand the extent to which India strives to make equality and respect for all its peoples a tangible reality? Despite the squawks of nationalist extremist who would remake India into a Hindu version of Pakistan, the world’s most populous democracy, and its people, remains committed to the ideal of an inclusive democracy. For example, in a country that is over 80% Hindu, its prime minister is a Sikh. And Sikhs make up less than 2% of the country. Meanwhile here at home, some evangelicals and others are not quite sure if a Mormon is a real Christian or suitable to be elected president. One of India’s most revered heroes, Karam Singh, another Sikh, was the second person to receive the country’s highest military decoration, the Param Vir Chakra (“Bravest of the Brave,”), for his efforts during a 1948 battle against Pakistan.

    So here is a country that strives to accept Muslims (at 14% of the population, a group that is about half the size of the population of Pakistan and most of whom consider themselves as much citizens of India as they view themselves as religious Muslims), Sikhs, Jains, Bahais, Jews and – gasp – even Christians, and to tolerate a wide range of religious and social practices. I am not remotely suggesting that all is sweetness and light in India, but I doubt that they need many lessons from us in handling diversity.

    By the way, a while back I posted something about the ridiculous refusal of some Muslim cab drivers to accept passengers with alcohol, or dogs, because it offended their religion. Of course, this to me is much like pharmacists who refuse to dispense the morning-after pill, or even regular birth control pills, because doing so offends their religious sensibilities. Political correctness, and its antidotes makes for strange bedfellows.

    Dave Nalle – RE: Another bogus argument raised is that all of the Islamic nations put together could never effectively challenge the economic and military might of the west no matter how weak we become. Sure, it’s an easy assumption to make. I’m not even willing to come out and say that we’d have trouble putting down a giant Islamic empire if one developed. But the cost of doing so in money and human lives would be horrendous, and if we merely tried to contain such a development or ignored it, an awful lot of harm would be done around the world and to innocent people and nations in the process.

    Sorry, this is just fear mongering masquerading as speculation, and empty speculation masquerading as informed prediction. Yeah, lots of Muslims fantasize about the restoration of a new Caliphate, but that it is likely to happen, that it will be powerful, that it would be opposed to the West, etc., is nothing but dreams and bedtime stories. By the way, is this theoretical Caliphate going to be Sunni or Shia?

    The central paradox of religious extremism (and political totalitarianism) is that it is self-defeating, despite all its shrieks of purity and superiority. The Taliban, the former Soviet Union, the Cambodian Khmer Rouge, expended so much of their energy in controlling and suppressing its own people, that they could never effectively export their madness to advanced countries. As Islamic extremist Caliphate would more likely collapse under the weight of its own totalitarian excesses. And so far, I just don’t see anyone, anywhere who is non-Muslim, who has seen or listened to the recent ravings supposedly coming from Osama bin Laden and said, “Hmmm. I think I’d like to try some of that subservient conversion to Islam.”

    Again, this is not to say that Islamic terrorism is not a threat. But a potentially transformative one? History is not on its side.

    RE: Countries we consider allies would be well and truly fucked if a new Caliphate was established, most notably India.

    More empty navel gazing. Is this a new Caliphate or a restored Mughal empire that we are supposed to be worried about here? Of course, one of the reasons the Mughals fell, is that the Muslim zealots then in control so alienated the subject peoples in India that they would never rally to support the Mughals against outside threats; and was so convinced of the superiority of its Islamic purity that they could not imagine that technologically advanced people like the Dutch and the English could ever dislodge them.

    Additionally, it’s ironic that in the days when the Soviet Union formed the base of conservative fear mongering, the United States (both Democratic and Republican administrations) titled toward authoritarian Pakistan and against India in its foreign policy because India had the temerity to be non-aligned, and refused to kowtow to US policy demands, and also despite the fact that a supposedly unreliable India had fought Communist China and defined the Chinese by establishing Tibetan refugee camps. Meanwhile, the US later embarrassed itself by backing Pakistan against the Bangladesh Independence movement.

  • moonraven

    Alec,

    Is there a POINT somewhere in your comment?

    I sure as hell don’t see one.

    Consider this: Most if not all restaurants in the US have a policy of refusing to service to anyone they do not choose to serve.

    (I remember Ernest Borgnine (?) throwing his diner sign to that effect on top of Rock Hudson’s chest after he knocked him to the floor in Giant.)

    Your funniest bit, however, is this:

    “I’m not even willing to come out and say that we’d have trouble putting down a giant Islamic empire if one developed. But the cost of doing so in money and human lives would be horrendous, and if we merely tried to contain such a development or ignored it, an awful lot of harm would be done around the world and to innocent people and nations in the process.”

    And what about even that TINY country in the Middle East called Iraq?

    Ever heard of it?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    My objection was to the tone of this piece, and the tone of the responses from those who agree with Dave. This kind of huff-and-puff we-must-be-strong-and-kill-the-beast belligerence makes the world a worse, more dangerous place. It will never, not ever, move us closer to security and peace. And it will convert more Arab moderates to opposing us and, verbally at least, supporting the Islamists.

    The fact that more than one person suggested “just nuke ‘em” and the author of the piece and others basically welcomed this as a pleasant if impractical fantasy – rather than shouting it down as disgusting moral idiocy – is repugnant.

    To claim that the majority of Iranians are Islamist radicals is similar to claiming that the majority of Soviet citizens in the 1970s were Communist radicals. The Soviets had sham elections too, but no one would have thought to use the results as a measure of what Russian citizens really felt.

    And I find the “this is bigger than America, bin Laden, and Iraq” argument just pompous. Utterly unproven. It comes close to the level, intellectually, of the theories being put forth on that other, more loony 9/11 thread with the Grassy Knoll weirdos trying to outdo each other.

    It’s just as possible to argue that the Islamists were losing, were at the end of their rope, before 9/11. They had tried unsuccessfully to get the ‘Arab street’ to rise up in revolution against the governments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and the Street didn’t respond. So they launched one last big attention getter with planes as bombs, probably having no idea it would have such a gigantic aftermath.

    There’s never been another attack like it, and the attacks in London and Spain and Bali were all by local groups and not nearly as large-scale. I believe, though I can’t prove, that this is because there is no ‘world-wide network’ of terror…just a number of dangerous yet tiny groups of malcontents. [The most recent ones in London were pathetically inept.] And nearly all the ‘terrorists’ arrested in this country since 9/11 were barely worthy of the name. None of them actually did anything, though some may have talked about it.

    If we had responded differently after 9/11, had used both military force and diplomacy in ways that would maintain the sympathy of the rest of the world [instead of making us pariahs], the Islamists might have dried up and withered away. Instead, we’ve spent six years basically saying, ‘Nyah, nyah, come on, hit us again, we triple dare ya!’ And maybe now they will.

    I know the establishment line is that Bush’s policies have prevented further attacks. I just don’t believe it. Those policies have distorted and spat on the Bill of Rights and the Geneva Conventions, and have decimated the ability of our military to respond to real, as opposed to imagined or manufactured, threats. But they haven’t made us safer….quite the opposite.

  • Alec

    moonraven – RE: Consider this: Most if not all restaurants in the US have a policy of refusing to service to anyone they do not choose to serve.
    (I remember Ernest Borgnine (?) throwing his diner sign to that effect on top of Rock Hudson’s chest after he knocked him to the floor in Giant.)

    Uh, that was a movie, not reality. Ernest Borgnine did not appear in the film. But wasn’t the point of this scene to demonstrate that bigotry was bad? Maybe they re-edited it in your neighborhood.

    And pharmacists are licensed to dispense legally prescribed drugs. Are you suggesting that a pharmacist can disregard state licensing authorities and arbitrarily decide whether or not to fill a prescription? So, a pharmacist could say to an elderly person, “I refuse to give you your heart medication. I think that you have lived long enough.” Would this be in the angry libertarian alternate universe?

    RE: Your funniest bit, however, is this…

    Uh, you quoted my reference to Dave Nalle’s earlier post, not anything that I wrote.

    Thanks for playing.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    1. May I suggest you don’t get so involved with your town festival next year. It seems to make you excessively grouchy.

    I’m running one less festival than usual this fall. I ought to be the picture of calm or at least 33% calmer. It’s more the 9/11 truthers who piss me off, and the ability to read but not have time to respond to some of the stuff I see on BC.

    2. What makes you think Syzygy has first-hand experience of Iraq?

    My mistake. Like I said I’m moving pretty fast here. I mistook his second hand comments from the Argresto book for first hand. However, my basic point stands – that someone who brings some knowledge even from a book to the discussion ought to be given a bit of respect and consideration.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    Alec, surely there are some Hindus who wonder if a Sikh should be prime minister. Let’s not be coy here: some Americans don’t want a Mormon president, but none of them have blown up a bus over it. There’s no land dispute between Utah and Colorado. I respect India (except for its culture) and think they’ve done an amazing job governing themselves in awful conditions. The presence of Islam hasn’t made their job any easier.

  • Lumpy

    Regarding the earlier comment on the difficulty of controlling the population in a totalitarian system. The mistaken assumption here is that the people would opppsw the regime. When they support the regime and are motivated by religion they donlt require much suppression.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    oh yeah Lumpy..like..i dunno, the Holy Roman Empire?

    those folks sure lasted a while, but could they in today’s world?

    on and on…Gandhi said it well when he stated that in the entirety of human history, “evil” always loses in the end…

    just a Thought

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    please provide sources for your claim about those ‘tens of thousands of operatives’ as some of us haven’t seen anything that supports it -

    Then you bone up on some of what’s going on in the Middle East. However, unlike Moonraven who never backs up anything she says I’ll gladly provide some support.

    Here are a few links, mostly dealing with the deployment of Revolutionary Guard units in other countries. The Revolutionary guard have over 100,000 men and are the primary covert and asymmetric warfare arm of the Iranian government, with units operating in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and through their association with Hezbollah, which is basically part of their organization, they have agents just about everywhere in the world.

    General info on the Revolutionary Guard

    Revolutionary Guard in Iraq

    Revolutionary Guard in Iraq

    Extensive thinktank report on military capabilities of the Revolutionary Guard in PDF format

    I can provide dozens of other articles if you like.

    Dave

  • Tony

    This might be one of the first times in a long time in the “regular world” of blogs and links I stumble upon by chance that I’ve seen someone actually admitting that people are different. I can’t draw a definite conclusion from this piece, but it’s something at least, even if it goes in directions that are unwise.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “India is another case altogether. Do you really understand the extent to which India strives to make equality and respect for all its peoples a tangible reality?”

    One word:

    Caste

  • Clavos

    Bingo, RJ!

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “The fact that more than one person suggested “just nuke ‘em” and the author of the piece and others basically welcomed this as a pleasant if impractical fantasy – rather than shouting it down as disgusting moral idiocy – is repugnant.”

    “Shouting it down” is what the Left is best at…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “It’s just as possible to argue that the Islamists were losing, were at the end of their rope, before 9/11. They had tried unsuccessfully to get the ‘Arab street’ to rise up in revolution against the governments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and the Street didn’t respond. So they launched one last big attention getter with planes as bombs, probably having no idea it would have such a gigantic aftermath.”

    Riiight.

    Because it’s reasonable to think that tens of thousands of Islamic lunatics around the world, who had dedicated their entire lives to jihad, and with the nation-state of Afghanistan acting as a training camp and safe-haven, would have just shrugged and given up if Bush had not responded to 9/11.

    Riiight.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    BJ Clinton did almost nothing in response to the first attack on the WTC, the bombing of the Khobar Towers, the bombing of two American embassies in Africa, and the attack on the USS Cole.

    And yet the Islamic extremists still attacked us on 9/11.

    Clearly, not responding to the repeated attacks on, and mass-murder of, our citizens was not a very strong deterrent…

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Actually, Osama himself stated in an interview that he was emboldened by our cutting-and-running from Somalia (again, on BJ Clinton’s watch).

    Sorry, pal. Your attempts at historical revisionism will not go uncommented upon.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “And nearly all the ‘terrorists’ arrested in this country since 9/11 were barely worthy of the name. None of them actually did anything, though some may have talked about it.” [emphasis mine]

    Correct. Those attacks were prevented from occurring thanks to a proactive, anti-terrorist Bush administration, which has been aided greatly by the Patriot Act (which you surely would like to see repealed).

  • Arch Conservative

    “The fact that more than one person suggested “just nuke ‘em” and the author of the piece and others basically welcomed this as a pleasant if impractical fantasy – rather than shouting it down as disgusting moral idiocy – is repugnant.”

    How fucking repugnant was it on August 6, 1945?

    It saved many many lives on that day.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Arch Conservative

    Gee …..I guess the next time I see one of the left leaning BC editors sticking up for the ACLU I can call them hypocrites.

    They censor me for calling someone an asshole and then stick up for an organization that provides legal defense for the first amendment rights of pedophiles like NAMBLA.

    I guess the words perspective and objectivity are missing from the Blogcritics dictionary.

  • troll

    thanks for the sources Dave – Cordesman’s work is an interesting read…but you’ll have to come up with more to justify your exaggerated claim of “tens of thousands of operatives all over the world”

    Cordesman reports that al Quds (the branch of the IRG responsible for foreign activities comparable to our CIA) was recently scheduled to be increased in size to 15 thousand with significant responsibility within Iran (think Langley and its administrative branches/training centers around the US) in addition to its foreign activities – this doesn’t fit with your notion of “tens of thousands of operatives” available for foreign deployment

    and while Cordesman states that there are al Cuds operatives is many countries (think CIA-like spying ops) he points out that its primary focus of activity is in the usual suspect areas: Iran’s neighbors (Iraq and Afghanistan) – Lebanon – Gaza and the West Bank – and Sudan

    …by overstating the case you weaken it (here think WMDs)

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Arch, re your #107: ahahahahaha hahahahahahahaha mwuahahahahah ahahahahahah hahahahahahahahahahah
    ohmigoawd, ahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahah mwuahahahahahahah *gurgle* hahahahahahahahah hahahahahahahaha ahhhhaaaaaaaa!

    Fuck me, that’s the funniest thing i’ve read in weeks – and that includes three Bill Bryson books.

    Not only are you the living personification of someone who has no fucking clue what perspective or objectivity mean, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    hahahahahahhahahahahahahah hahahahahahahah man, you’re funnier than moonraven and more full of double speak than someone with two tongues. What a loon! hahahahaha hahahahah hahahahahahahahaha!

    *wipes tears of laughter from eyes and struggles in vain to get up off the floor* Oh man! Here, have a quote from someone you surely look up to:-

    Frink: Oh, no, please no. I have a funny story if you listen. I even wrote theme music, here listen.
    Ha ha, mm-m hey hey, Professor Frink, Professor Frink, He’ll make you laugh, he’ll make you think,
    He likes to run, and then the thing, with the… mm-m person… Oh boy, that monkey is going to pay.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    thanks for the sources Dave – Cordesman’s work is an interesting read…but you’ll have to come up with more to justify your exaggerated claim of “tens of thousands of operatives all over the world”

    Did I not include links on Hezbollah and the activities of the Republican Guard outside of Iran? The RG has about 125,000 men. They’ve got people deployed in Lebanon and Iraq. Hezbollah basically works for the Iranians and they have cells in scores of countries, including on many US university campuses. I’d have sworn I included links on both of those things.

    Al Quds is a recent development to augment these resources and provide Iran with the kind of services Hezbollah was giving them, but more directly.

    To say they have ‘tens of thousands’ of operatives outside of their country is if anything an understatement.

    Dave

  • http://india.gov.in/govt/constitutions_india_bak.php#eng Cindy D

    Clavos and RJ-

    RE: Indian Caste System.

    Just three words:
    Constitution of India

    Right to Equality

    14. Equality before law.—The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

    15. Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.—(1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.

    It goes on to make illegal discrimination in all facilities designed for use by the general public.

    …17. Abolition of Untouchability.— “Untouchability” is abolished and its practice in any form is forbidden. The enforcement of any disability arising out of “Untouchability” shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.”

    Those backward, freedom-hating, bastards actually use the word constitution. I wonder if there is any parallel to be drawn between historical USA slavery (despite the fact that ALL men are created equal) and the Indian caste system.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    RJ:
    “Sorry, pal. Your attempts at historical revisionism will not go uncommented upon.”

    I’m speculating about the recent past, not revising history. There are many gaps in our knowledge about Islamists and their plans and intentions both before and after 9/11. Pretending that you know everything and that I’m making up fiction is just smartass rhetoric, not real argument.

    You accuse ‘the Left’ of shooting things down. Yet your entire comment-output on Blogcritics consists of smirking frat-boy one-liners.

    Bin Laden had basically been exiled to Hillbilly-land, aka the Taliban’s Afghanistan. [“Tens of thousands” of followers, my ass. Talk about revisionism!] No one else would have him. His influence began to go way up only after we named him Public Enemy Number One. And then we proceeded to provide him with recruiting posters: Iraq; Abu Ghraib; Guantanamo. We have helped to empower Al Qaeda through Bush’s boneheaded policies.

    I didn’t suggest doing ‘nothing.’ I suggested that if our policy hadn’t alienated most of the rest of the world, including allies in western Europe, we’d be stronger and the Islamists weaker. We got here because the Bushies proclaimed not to care what the rest of the world thinks of us. This was folly.

    “Those attacks were prevented from occurring thanks to a proactive, anti-terrorist Bush administration, which has been aided greatly by the Patriot Act (which you surely would like to see repealed).”

    Easy to say, impossible to prove. No big plots, not any, not one, have been revealed in any of these arrests or trials. Do you just believe whatever the government tells you, without any proof? You and Nalle have called me naive…and you’re not?

    And yes, I object to the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping and holding prisoners without charges: pretending the Bill of Rights is irrelevant, in order to fight a mythical ‘war,’ supposedly in the name of Freedom and Democracy! It’s the equivalent of “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”

    This Alice-in-Wonderland doublespeak is hurting our country and making the world a more dangerous place. It too “will not go uncommented upon.”

  • troll

    Dave – Stoll in your NY Sun link reports “hundreds of IRG in Lebannon”

    your Debka link doesn’t report the numbers of IRG deployed in southern Iraq to ward off a US invasion – and the primary function of the 125,000 strong IRG as described by Cordesman is national defense

    …however – if you are including all of Hezbollah in the ranks of Iranian operatives then you are correct

  • Clavos

    “I wonder if there is any parallel to be drawn between historical USA slavery (despite the fact that ALL men are created equal) and the Indian caste system.”

    There is indeed a parallel, but with one significant difference: slavery (in the USA) no longer exists (though admittedly there do continue to be problems with racism), while the caste sytem in India is very much alive and kicking, despite their freshly minted “constitution.”

    From the Indian newspaper, The Hindu, edition of Saturday, August 18, 2007:

    “It is well known that caste discrimination against Dalits is rampant in India. In an overt form, it is both a political reality and social fact. Dalits are subjected to violence, especially in rural areas, their women raped, and their land stolen. Dalits perform the most dangerous and odious forms of labour in Indian society including that of manual scavenging (removing human or animal waste) or performing low-end ‘dirty’ wage labour in tanneries.”

  • Dr Dreadful

    Clavos, that’s true, but I think Alec’s point was that India is at least striving to achieve equality in spite of its history. As in America, though, constitutional ideals have often been systematically ignored in the name of economic and political expediency.

    Some measure of India’s success in this is surely that despite much internal and external strife, the world’s largest democracy is still stable and thriving sixty years after independence.

  • Cindy D

    Well, unlike most of you, I have developed a plan. We could enlist the following people: Franco, Lumpy, Ruvy, RJ, JOM, Syzygy, Arch, their counterparts in the larger population and the progeny and relations of the whole lot, into an army whose job it would be to nuke-up, blow-up, or otherwise eliminate whoever needs it.

    Please don’t object to my plan on the grounds that it is ridiculous. It is the same exact type of plan the aforementioned have proposed in their posts. The only difference is that if a person’s first reaction is to destroy people, then I think they and their families should be the ones to get out there and do the job.

    This would serve the additional purpose of either stirring some remote twinkling of humanity within them or at least the sane world would be rid of them.

  • Cindy D

    Clavos,

    So, basically you’re pointing to a difference in timing rather than a difference in values.

    Parallel:

    “…though admittedly there do continue to be problems with racism…”

    “It is well known that caste discrimination against Dalits is rampant in India.”

  • troll

    Cindy – I think that you’ve stumbled onto the administration’s strategic plan for the future

  • Cindy D

    Or, better said–what Dr Dreadful said in #115,#116

  • Cindy D

    You think so troll?

    I thought the administration that supported the Iraq war was busy aiming “be all you can be” advertisements at its best target market while excusing its own children from being “patriotic” participants because they’re too busy doing things like, well, living.

    Unfortunately, they couldn’t support such a plan without subjecting themselves to it. So, therein lies the downfall of my plan.

  • Clavos

    “So, basically you’re pointing to a difference in timing rather than a difference in values.”

    No, not exactly. The caste system (slavery) in the USA no longer exists, while in India, it’s still very much alive and thriving.

    Discrimination on the part of some elements of our society (a minority of racists) is a far cry from an institutionalized caste system, wherein an entire segment of the population is prevented from enjoying the full benefits provided by the constitution. Read the article I cited; it goes way beyond mere discrimination in India.

  • moonraven

    This has gotten WAAAAAAAAY too silly.

    Not a single commentator has had the slightest experience with Muslim cutlture or the Middle East.

    Yet you think you can read the minds of a billion and a half people–simultaneously.

    Most vacantly gringo beahvior I have seen yet on this vacant site.

    And Nalle, as usual, providing as sources for his ignorant comments the Usual Right Wing Propaganda sites (euphemistically called “conservative think tanks”).

    You folks are all completely fucked.

  • Maurice

    #122

    you are guilty of exactly what you are accusing others of ->


    — September 13, 2007 @ 16:58PM — moonraven

    In Idaho you are either a skinhead survivalist or a Mormon.

    I think it’s YOU that’s weird.

    You have no idea what life is like in Idaho and you certainly are making yourself look hypocritical here.

  • troll

    *Usual Right Wing Propaganda sites (euphemistically called “conservative think tanks”)*

    moonraven…haven’t we established that pretty much all information left/right up/down true/false is propagandized grist for the politics mill – ?

    I have no reason to dismiss Cordesman’s facts and figures out of hand but would certainly want ‘independent verification’ before investing money in his stock

    what bothers me rather than Dave’s choice of sources is his penchant to go beyond them in his claims adding his own twists based on logical extrapolation and political license

    …and certainly you’re correct that we’ve seen the high quality of intel and planning that these think tanks can crank out as in the run up to our latest misadventure in the middle east

  • Cindy D

    Clavos,

    I did read your link and thought it was an excellent article.

    I agree with you, my parallel leaves something to be desired.

    Let me try to say what I mean from a different angle (while keeping in mind Dr Dreadful in #115,116 said much better, what I meant to express):

    Declaration of Independence ratified July 4, 1776 (all men are created equal)

    …almost one hundred years later…

    13th Amendment – Abolition of slavery, enacted December 6, 1865

    …almost 150 years later…

    19th Amendment – Women’s Suffrage, enacted August 18, 1920

    Gay people still are not equal.

    The caste system in India is said to date to about 1200 BC. It is an ancient socially and politically entrenched system. Yet, from your article, the Prime Minister himself likened caste discrimination to apartheid.

    I would never claim that the caste system isn’t abhorrent or pretend that everything is rosy over in India.

    My point is that India is striving for the same freedoms and equalities that we hold valuable. We are only a couple of hundred years old and still it has taken and will continue to take us time to make progress. India cannot be simply dismissed as a country that has no regard for the values we hold dear.

  • moonraven

    troll,

    What bothers me about Dave:

    His arrogance
    His lying
    His cloning himself
    His pretensions to being an intellectual
    His redneck attitude

    I guess you could say that his screwball political ideas are the least of his sins, so far as I am concerned.

  • Clavos

    You’re obviously doing a lot of things right, Dave.

    You’re on mr’s Honor Roll.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Bin Laden had basically been exiled to Hillbilly-land, aka the Taliban’s Afghanistan.

    Yes, after BJ Clinton had turned down Sudan’s offer of turning Osama over the US…

    [“Tens of thousands” of followers, my ass. Talk about revisionism!]

    So who were all those people dancing in the streets and passing out candy to children on 9/11? Moderate, pro-American Muslims?

    No one else would have him.

    Yeah, except Afghanistan, from which he plotted 9/11…

    His influence began to go way up only after we named him Public Enemy Number One.

    BJ Clinton did that, remember?

    “On June 7, 1999, bin Laden became the 456th person listed on the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, following his indictment along with others for capital crimes in the 1998 embassy attacks.” [emphasis mine]

    And then we proceeded to provide him with recruiting posters: Iraq; Abu Ghraib; Guantanamo.

    According to Osama himself, Clinton’s retreat from Somalia was the best “recruiting poster” al-Qaeda ever had…

  • Egbert Sousé

    “BJ Clinton did almost nothing in response to the first attack on the WTC…”

    Maybe if he and the country hadn’t been distracted by Republican obsession with his extra-martial sex, more could have been done, but of course, everything was just him wagging the dog. You Republican puritans are partially to blame for 9/11.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    The first attack on the WTC occurred in 1993. Monica Lewinsky wasn’t in the White House, performing extramarital fellatio on the leader of the free world, in 1993.

    Please try again.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Just so we’re clear:

    Osama bin Laden and his fellow travelers were attacking the United States and killing our citizens five years before BJ Clinton was caught lying under oath about an extramarital affair with a chubby unpaid subordinate less than half his age.

  • Egbert Sousé

    And just so we’re clear: your childish antics show you might very well be a “stupid, dishonest partisan hack.”

    “Clinton had turned down Sudan’s offer of turning Osama over the US”

    According to the The 9/11 Commission Report, Chapter Four, “Sudan’s minister of defense, Fatih Erwa, has claimed that Sudan offered to hand Bin Ladin over to the United States. The Commission has found no credible evidence that this was so.”

    The report also stated, “Sudanese officials, whose government was under international sanctions, offered to expel Osama bin Laden to Saudi Arabia in the mid-1990s provided that the Saudis pardon him. The Saudis refused because they had already revoked his citizenship and would not accept him in their country.”

    What’s your proof to dispute their findings?

    Both administrations failed to protect the country from Al Queda, and your ill-informed, one-sided jabbering accomplishes just as much as the the idiots who think 9/11 was an inside job.

    Every time you write “BJ Clinton,” you announce to the world your complicity in the distractions that allowed 9/11 to happen. You’re an embarrassment to US citizens everywhere, and a disgrace to those who fight on the front lines of this war who sacrifice their lives, so you have the freedom to be an idiot.

  • Zedd

    There is a tendency for Western countries to expect the rest of the world to make the same evolutionary steps as they have made, at the same time and in the same way. These immature expectations are the cause for a great deal of the world’s challenges and the uneven distribution of wealth. The shunning of people who are not “Europeanesque” is in indication of a retarded mindset, one far behind what we purport our sophistication, civility or cultural maturation to be.

    Also citing the existence of the caste system in India as an example of why that country cant be considered to be making STRIDES in promoting progressive democratic notions is perplexing, especially coming from people with our history.

    India is making the first steps in stamping out this deplorable system. In India it is known and acknowledged publicly that this system is deplorable. America was fully hypocritical by pretending that Africans weren’t human even though they boinked and procreated with them with regularity.

    Americans tend to have expectations of a Hollywood conclusion for everyone but themselves. We framed a document to live by and didn’t practice the most basic aspect of it for 100yrs. India just instituted these policies, it will take time for them to take full affect in the hearts and minds of the Indian people.

    We would attack a nation and destroy their government and actually expect that all will be well in a year or so because our expectations of reality for others is based on childish fantasy. We disrespect everyone on the globe and expect infinite gratitude and respect, when China tells us to “shut up” we are stunned and find fault in them for not behaving like the folks in the movies do; fawn all over us and thank us for being who we are.

  • Clavos

    While not yet 100 years old, the Indian constitution was not “just instituted,” it was ratified on November 26, 1949.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    RJ:
    “an extramarital affair with a chubby unpaid subordinate less than half his age.”

    “…BJ Clinton BJ Clinton BJ Clinton BJ Clinton…”

    It’s good to see how well RJ sticks to the topic at hand, and how seriously he treats the subject. He has apparently memorized the Limbaugh playbook and quotes it at will, relevant or not.

    Only very rarely have his comments here ever shown an inkling of original or interesting thought. Just repetition of boilerplate from others. And always in attack-dog mode [on ‘the left-leaning MSM’ ad nauseam], with dumbass juvenile humor, rather than carrying on a real discussion with real arguments.

    On this issue especially, but others as well, the Left/Right dichotomy just doesn’t work. The repetitive insult humor doesn’t apply. If they let you into law school, you must have a brain in there somewhere. Use it, and demonstrate its use. We’ll all be better off.

  • http://www.medialens.org/articles/the_articles/articles_2001/de_marr_chomsky.html Cindy D

    “Every time you write ‘BJ Clinton,’ you announce to the world your complicity in the distractions that allowed 9/11 to happen.”

    I couldn’t have written truer words, even if I were, say, Noam Chomsky.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    The dead certainty with which Mr. Nalle and his band of war-mongers discuss Islamist radicals – who they are, how many of them they are, what their plans are – is what’s most disturbing to me about this piece and the comments it has drawn.

    There’s a lot we don’t know about Al Qaeda, bin Laden, Iran, even who the insurgents are in Iraq. Why do so few of the posters on here admit the gaps in our knowledge? Why is everything so black and white, absolutist? Where does that get us? [The stubborn ‘we’re never wrong’ attitude of the Bush administration may provide a clue as to where it gets us.]

    The 21st-century Islamist radicals may identify with their medieval forebears. That certainly doesn’t mean there’s a 1,000-year unbroken line of succession in their anti-Western efforts, as Dave suggests.

    It was the life and writings of the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966) that started the current trend toward violent radicalism. He had spent time in the US in the 1950s, and was appalled by our ‘immoral culture’ [exemplified by teenage dance parties]. Returning home to Egypt, he began a radical movement opposing the government there and encroaching Western values.

    Zawahiri and bin Laden built on these ideas and eventually turned toward US-related targets. But not until the 1990s. And there is disagreement among knowledgable people about who’s in charge and what the level of involvement was/is for each of the individuals and groups involved. Is bin Laden just a ‘money man’ and public figurehead? People have educated guesses, but no one knows for sure. The precise links between Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the supposed mastermind of 9/11, and bin Laden’s al Qaeda in Afghanistan, are still murky, undefined.

    The Iranian Revolutionary Guard are not likely to be big fans of al Qaeda. They probably hate each other…they’d certainly never share power anywhere.

    And where do the Wahhabists of Saudi Arabia fit in? Surely they’d rather go to war with the IRG than join them. And bin Laden is in permanent exile from Saudi Arabia.

    So how can Nalle and others speak so definitively about these people as if they are a coherent movement, a single threat? Yet he insists on it, and others chime in, and we continue to fight our undefined, and to me mythical, “War on Terror.”

    Maybe I’ll get around to writing an article about this soon, so everyone can write me hate mail. Fun.

    In the meantime, please see The Power of Nightmares, available on Google video. It’s the most brilliant [and surprisingly entertaining] documentary yet done on this subject.

  • Clavos

    Here’s a possible solution:

    1. Withdraw ALL US troops WORLDWIDE, back to the US.

    2. Once here, honorably discharge 50% (or more) of them, with full veterans benefits.

    3. Deploy the remainder as a “Home Guard,” to guard both coasts and both borders, but keep them on US soil.

    4. Announce to the world we will no longer “interfere” with ANY other nation for ANY reason; they no longer have to fear US intervention anywhere, but we will vigorously defend our homeland, to whatever degree is necessary to keep it secure.

    4. Sit back and wait to see what happens; under NO circumstances stick our nose anywhere other than right here; not in the Middle East, not in Asia, not in Africa, not even Europe, or the rest of this hemisphere.

    5. If ANY group (or nation) comes at us HERE after that, hit ‘em with everything we’ve got.

    6. Continue to mind our own business, no matter what happens elsewhere in the world.

    Sounds kinda like Ron Paul, come to think of it.

  • Zedd

    Clavos,

    But the caste system is not one that is endorsed by the government. Slavery was. Africans were designated as subhuman so that they wouldn’t be considered under the Constitution. That is the larger point that was being made. I’m sorry you missed it.

    I shall be more detailed in unveiling the jist, I mean gist of my commentary for you.

    Also the political issue regarding castes has been a hot button in India for 20yrs.

  • Zedd

    Clavos,

    Not a good idea if we caused the turmoil in those countries that our troops are in.

  • Maurice

    Clavos #138 – Right on, my man…

  • Zedd

    Maurice,

    Shame on you. That proposal is childish at best (sorry Clav) and at the very least, a passive aggressive attempt at blackmail.

    We throw our weight all over the globe, manipulating the world because of our might and our spending power. When people tell us they don’t like it, we threaten to abandon their shores, leaving them unprepared and unprotected, even though WE forced our “protection” on them?

    What would you call that?

    Some would call that a shake down or the tactics of the school yard bully.

    We caused the demolition of a 10,000 yr old civilization in a day and dare pretend to be the victims.

  • Maurice

    Hi Zedd,

    thanks for the reprimand. You will notice Clavos prefaced his suggestion with “.. a possible solution”. I believe he was purposely exagerating to make a point.

    I was just saying, “got your point man”. Read his enumerated exagerations again and see if you get his meaning.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Wars, you idiots, cost money – lots of money. In addition, they cost blood.

    So to the person who suggested that those of us who want to nuke the bastards attempt to do so – provide me with sufficient nuclear hardware and I’ll be more than happy to nuke Riyadh, Teheran and Qom – and save you all the moral degradation of having to dirty your oh so fuckin’ moral souls over the matter. Spare me your moral finger-wagging, you damned hypocrites!

    I’ll do it for my sake – certainly not for yours. You Americans are too damned stupid to figure out that if you go to war, you go to win – or get the fuck out of the way – before a bullet finds you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    ah Ruvy..hope you had a good New Years…but your mood seems blacker than usual…think a Moment, and set down your broad brush, eh?

    “you go to win” – please do define “win”

    therein lies the rub

    Excelsior?

  • bliffle

    The real Clash Of Cultures is the smear campaign of the neocons against any US citizen who doesn’t pledge fealty to their warped values. And Fellow Travelers, like nalle, clavos, etc., who COULD know better join into the demagoguery just for the excitement of being in a lynch mob.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    I actually like Clavos’s #138. It’s a fantasy, but kind of a pleasant one.

    And at least it didn’t involve telling anyone else how awful or stupid they are. I know, I’ve done my share of that too. Enough for a while.

  • Irene Wagner

    Did somebody mention RON PAUL?

    Clavos’ #138 sounds like Switzerland, too. That approach to national security seems to be working fine for the Swiss. Why not us?

  • Irene Wagner

    The Americans have more enemies now than Switzerland ever had, but it’s not too late to find a different way.

    How to tame the beast? Escalation of violence escalates violence. The ultimate in escalation is annihilation. The US DID save millions of lives short-term in August 1945. If only we could have wiped away bomb-making technology along with Hiroshima and Nagasaki! Now, with every RUMOR that a rogue nation has so much as started to assemble the raw materials for WMD, America gets paranoid, and needs to go on the OFFENSIVE, as it did in Iraq. The beast was not tamed by bombing Japan: it merely transmogrified.

    You can keep the beast away from your door, and SHOULD keep the beast away from your door, through violence if necessary. The US Constitution provides for that. That’s not TAMING the beast though. But that’s as far as is Constitutional, and REASONABLE in fact, for the US to get involved in wrestling beasts.

    Having a Project for a New American Century (PNAC) vision for taming Every Beast on the Planet that in Some Way Stands in the Way of American Interests is as naive as burying one’s head in the sand and pretending all the Bad People have gone away.

    But HOW to TAME THE BEAST?

  • Irene Wagner

    In this last post I’m not talking about Ron Paul–the government has nothing to do, neither should it have anything to do with the process I’m about to describe. I’m all for getting the government out of the foreign war making business so its citizens, in private endeavors, can be freed up to tame the beast, one individual at a time.

    Someone suggested brain-washing. BINGO. The beast needs to have its brain washed with TRUE Christianity, not the violent worldly kind, but the kind instituted by its founder, a worldview of forgiveness and kindness. This isn’t a mission for wimps, and I’d rather my son or my daughter die trying to turn a hostile enemy into a friend, than to send him off to a futile War against Terror that’s never going to end.

    Interesting article on TAMING THE BEAST (in Muslims and ourselves.)

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “your mood seems blacker than usual….”

    Gonzo, I wasn’t in that black a mood. Then I started reading the comments here after getting on. That was a mistake.

    “‘you go to win’ – please do define ‘win'”

    YOUR country was attacked by Saudi and Egyptian terrorists, Al Qaeda, (we’ll stipulate, for argument’s sake, that the Bush administration was not in on the plan, looking to set up the atmosphere for a dictatorship).

    YOUR “intelligence” says that the leader of these terrorists is in Afghanistan. Your armed forces overthrow a terribly oppressive Taliban regime there – but fail to capture bin Laden. At the same time, your government passes an “anti-terrorism” law that leaves your constitution with less legitimacy than a used car ad.

    Let’s roll the tape back to 2003 for a moment.

    So what’s the next move? Remember, we’re talking “to win.” Given that the ideological base of the terror that plagues you is Riyadh and the Wahhabi movement, the next move is to undo the mistake that Prescott Bush made in the making of Saudi Arabia – and undo Saudi rule over the Arabian peninsula and roll the Wahhabi pigs back into the desert where they belong.

    Evacuate Americans from Riyadh and surrounding areas and

    1. NUKE RIYADH.

    This cuts off the head of the Wahhabi snake and ends Wahhabi funding of madrassas world-wide. You have just cut off the head and the balls of the Wahhabi terrorism movement, along with taking away its wallet.

    2. OCCUPY ARABIAN OIL FIELDS AND NATIONALIZE THE OIL.

    This allows you to knock the price of oil to Americans down to the $20/bbl range and kickstarts your economy. The “Havemores” have more – and so does everybody else in America. In addition, everybody buys cheap oil from America – or the other oil producers (like Venezuela) cut their prices.

    What about the boys in Teheran? They would definitely get ideas without a huge Saudi presence in the Gulf. Even though you will have robbed them of their big source of revenue, they will still dream of the Persian empire stretching all the way to the Mediterranean.

    Destabilize the regime there. If that doesn’t work, go straight for their messianic balls and

    3. NUKE QOM.

    This is the Shi’a holy city in Iran. Message: “your god will not protect you from us.”

    Does this cost a lot of lives? YES. Does it cost a lot of American lives? NO. Does it cost a lot of American money? NO. Does it bankrupt you, as the present policy already has? DEFINITELY NOT!

    Does it create a pressure boiler effect to undo the “anti-terror” legislation in your country? YES!

    What about Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction? (you thought I forgot?) Well, if I was a rapacious thug like Saddam Hussein, and I saw that the US was willing to nuke Riyadh and Qom, I’d concentrate on raping young Arab girls and forget about getting myself and my country nuked. Let somebody else worry about destroying Israel….

    This doesn’t stop the pricks in the State Department from trying to undo that “other mistake”, Israel – but YOU win your war on terror, et a measure of freedom back and stay on top of the hill.

    That’s not winning? Are you like Ehud Olmert? – Tired of winning?

    Right now, you guys are at the bottom of the scum scrum….

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    This NY Sun article details how the Saudis are effectively running terror networks world-wide. Let’s take a look at some of the details:

    Six years after visiting its brand of terror on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia has become a world-class exporter of Islamist violence.

    The toll is grisly: Well over 3,000 Saudi citizens roaming the world — and just as many schemers are actively involved at home — are managing terrorist networks and planning and executing suicide bombings and jihadist attacks that span the globe:

    • More than 30% of the insurgents fighting the Lebanese army at the siege of the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp, which claimed a toll of well over 300 during the past three months, were Saudi fighters.

    • Between 20 and 30 Saudis intending to be suicide bombers cross into Iraq every single day. Several thousand more are there fighting, tasked with killing Americans and the aShiite Muslims they view as apostates.

    • The ranks of Al Qaeda have been fattened in the past three years, once again with Saudi recruits. More than 1,000 Saudis are currently training in a Qaeda camp in Syria, which itself is the subject of contentious negotiations between Saudi Arabia and the Syrians, who still refuse to arrest them or shut down the camp. Young Saudi men are also training in Al Qaeda camps in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran.

    • At least 700 Saudi nationals are held in Iraqi and another 100 in Jordanian jails, all of them charged with terrorist acts or intentions.

    • The killing fields that are stocked with Saudi jihadists now include not only Iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan, but Somalia, Malaysia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sudan, the Philippines, Yemen, and, of course, Saudi Arabia itself.

    • The main funding source for every radical Islamist movement in the world today, from the Muslim Brotherhood to Hamas, has Saudi origins, and their funders include the country’s billionaire businessmen and its royal family.

    Have you figured out the idea yet? Can you say “Wahhabi terror network” without being afraid of some prissy bitch calling you out for being a bigot? Can you see reality yet?

    No, huh?

    Lets try this , from ABC News, forwarded to me via IMRA.

    Brian Ross Reports:

    Despite six years of promises, U.S. officials say Saudi Arabia continues to look the other way at wealthy individuals identified as sending millions of dollars to al Qaeda.

    “If I could somehow snap my fingers and cut off the funding from one country, it would be Saudi Arabia,” Stuart Levey, the under secretary of the
    Treasury in charge of tracking terror financing, told ABC News.

    This is why you need to NUKE RIYADH and redeploy your soldiers south to Arabia and take over the Arabian oil fields so you can drive down the price of oil to $20/bbl and end the drain on your own economy. This is also why you need to NUKE QOM and effectively end the rule of the mullahs in Iran, scare the shit out of whatever arises on the rubble, and take over Iranian oil fields.

    When you are paying 60 cents for a gallon of gasoline, when banks feel free to lend to expand and to create MANUFACTURING businesses in the United States, that is when you will see the benefit of maintaining a military in the Middle East.

    It won’t happen. The traitors who ru(i)n your nation will not allow it to happen. But the policy I outlined above is your best bet for staying on top of the shit-heap in the world.

    Oh, and Irene. Keep the missionaries out of the Arab world. The Arabs like them as much as we do – but they are not afraid to shoot them in the head. They already believe in one G-d. They do not need Christianity. They need to humanize (to the degree that this possible) Islam.

    That means putting the Sufis on top of their religious order. To someone who believes in one G-d, Christianity, and all the bullshit it entails, is merely a philosophical waste of time.

  • troll

    Ruvy – your suicidal ideation and disregard for human life never ceases to amaze me

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Ruvy – your suicidal ideation and disregard for human life never ceases to amaze me…”

    troll,

    Is that all you can say to someone who is willing to figure out a way to

    1. Bring lots of your boys home,
    2. End the Wahhabi and Irani terror threat,
    3. Junpstart your economy, and
    4. Increase America’s standing in the world?

    Indeed, no good deed goes unpunished….

    If you want to live in a great and prosperous country, your country must be willing to bust heads and act with brutality. Otherwise, America will go the way of the Hittites and the Alans – forgotten in the trash-heap of history. Take your pick – it’s no skin ff my nose…

  • Cindy D

    Re: #144

    “…provide me with sufficient nuclear hardware…”

    Sorry Ruvy, but, this isn’t the way it works. It’s pretty obvious that that unwholesome schema through which you filter reality seems to cast you in some Hollywood role. As if, to the rest of the world, you are actually some one of more importance than anyone else.

    I interrupt this daydream to bring you the facts that apply to real people in the real world. You know, the ones you have no trouble expending in your violent fantasy world.

    It’s quite simple. You get in the line with the rest of the grunts. If you have a college degree then you can be an officer. If not you might want to carry an extra toothbrush to scrub the floor with (you are sure to piss-off someone).

    Oh, and don’t forget to bring everyone you care about with you to enlist. It’s easy to expend people you don’t care about.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, that fact that you actually think these are good ideas only goes to show how correct troll is; you aren’t figuring out the solution to anything except how to make sure that the amount of hatred and lust for revenge in the world is maximised.

    I just give thanks that you aren’t in charge of anything more powerful than a rifle because your recklessness is matched only by your naive inability to think things through with any clarity at all.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Cindy,

    I am nobody special. I am very expendable in a society where people’s lives are worth a little more than the price of herring. Don’t believe me. Just ask one of the 10,000 people expelled from their homes by the Israeli government. They are expendable, too. But my oh my – the challenge I answered was YOURS!

    Let’s see. you wrote, “Well, unlike most of you, I have developed a plan. We could enlist the following people: Franco, Lumpy, Ruvy, RJ, JOM, Syzygy, Arch, their counterparts in the larger population and the progeny and relations of the whole lot, into an army whose job it would be to nuke-up, blow-up, or otherwise eliminate whoever needs it.”

    And you didn’t like how I was willing to take you up on your idiotic idea.

    Listen, Cindy. I’m not some fool in America who sits in an armchair spinning up ideas for nuking people. Where I live, I’m in danger of being shot at all the time. Just a few hours drive away from me, in Syria, the Syrians are putting together a nuclear missile pod to kill thousands of people like me. This is in addition to all of their other weapons.

    Unlike everybody else you mention in that stupid challenge of yours, I am in danger of being killed daily. And if nukes are dropped, I’d be in danger of radiation coming east from Tel Aviv (which is mos likely), or (a lot less likely) either as a back draft from Riyadh, or when the air over Riyadh or Qom came over the mountains of Samaria.

    So when I come up with a plan to save your fuckin’ bacon from the fire – all those AMERICAN kids who signed up to go to ware and are not so sure that they made the right choice – you shouldn’t bitch.

    Face it, Cindy. YOUR leaders are ruining YOUR country and YOUR lives, just like MY leaders are ruining MY country and MY life. I’m putting forth alternatives that might save your country. Don’t whine about them. Pay the fuck attention. You might learn something about staying alive in a very hostile world.

  • troll

    Ruvy – I probably should have said more but I thought I’d save Chris the editing effort

    advocating the slaughter of millions is not a ‘good deed’

    …you’re a bright guy – why give up on your past efforts to come up with non ‘zero sum’ approaches to conflict resolution – ?

    keep focused on the reality that if it works at all then it will work for all – your enemies included

    alternatively we could add Jerusalem Mecca Rome Salt Lake City etc etc to your controlled demolition list or target every temple mosque cathedral meeting house church with one of those special hydrogen bombs used to destroy the WTC

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Also, the fact that you have chosen to put yourself in possible harm’s way does not in the tiniest little bit mean that your opinion is any better than anybody else’s.

    All we are learning from your deranged ranting is that you are war crazy and understand nothing about either people or war.

  • Cindy D

    Ruvy in Hollywood,

    “And you didn’t like how I was willing to take you up on your idiotic idea.”

    Actually, how you replied was entirely consistent with the very point of my idiotic idea.

  • Irene Wagner

    Ruvy in Jerusalem: I don’t want to be a “prissy bitch” (wee-ohhhhhhhhhhhh) and dismiss all your hard work. I’ll tuck all that spectacularly ruthless strategy in my bag of tricks for the next time I’m playing RISK. OK, I’ll quit playing the bitch for now, which should be easy ‘cuz I’m so dang prissy.

    I understand that you are currently engaged in protecting your own country, your very village, from attack. I imagine the rest of us would use similarly strong language if we were writing about “the enemy” from a position where we could actually hear the artillery.

    But most of us responding to you are not in that case, Ruvy, and most of us want to keep it that way. Your way of dealing with intruders within your (recently and, in some cases, questionably established) borders is not a sane way to deal generally with the members of a particular ethnic group worldwide. Never again? Remember?

    Change the names of Nagasaki and Hiroshima to Riyadh and QOM, and you’ve pretty much started a new old story for history to repeat. Within 10 years of the victories of 1945, the threat of domination by Japan and the Nazis had been replaced by the “specter of Communism,” the A-bombs replaced with napalm.

    Anyone want to place bets on what the next unimaginably EVIL plan for world domination will be once the threat of Wahabiism has been wiped out? I’m thinking some of us Americans can’t see the forest for the trees. Don’t ask Americans to execute this plan of yours Ruvy. You’d be feeding the beast, not taming it.

    ***
    As for the rest of you, thankyou for not muddying the waters by starting another tiresome atheistic campaign on this thread. I’m sure all of us have ideas about how we can avoid ending up in Ruvy’s desperate position. My own way of reducing violence in the world (by introducing the violent, one at a time, to the Prince of Peace) of course will not appeal to many of you. Personally, I’m praying for and working for the vision of changing from violent to peaceful the hearts of village tribesman, and then the families who are led by them, in village after village.

    As long as your ideas aren’t the tired old “nuke Evil out of existence” strategy, I’d say, go for them with all your might and main.

  • Clavos

    Irene,

    “As for the rest of you, thankyou for not muddying the waters by starting another tiresome atheistic campaign on this thread. I’m sure all of us have ideas about how we can avoid ending up in Ruvy’s desperate position. My own way of reducing violence in the world (by introducing the violent, one at a time, to the Prince of Peace) of course will not appeal to many of you. Personally, I’m praying for and working for the vision of changing from violent to peaceful the hearts of village tribesman, and then the families who are led by them, in village after village.”

    May I suggest you refrain from your tiresome proselytizing if you want to keep it that way?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I’m sure all of us have ideas about how we can avoid ending up in Ruvy’s desperate position.

    I imagine that if we avoid following some religious delusion and moving to an active war zone we’ll be okay.

    dave

  • Maurice

    Dave

    ..ever the pragmatist…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Ruvy, I’ll concede your basic point that there’s a lot that Saudi Arabia has to answer for and that they’re probably as much of a threat in their way as Iran is. Certainly one of the two sides in the conflict in Iraq is as heavily backed by the Saudis as the other is by the Iranians.

    However, that doesn’t justify nuking Riyadh any more than we should nuke Tehran. The situation in dealing with those two powers is hardly the same as with Japan at the end of WW2. Nuking Japan came at the end of a long struggle. In the current conflict it would be premature and preemptive, much though it might benefit Israel.

    Dave

  • Lumpy

    If we’re going to nuke people let’s do the whole world a favor and nukw France. Who wouldn’t breathe just a bit easier?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Lumpy,

    Just as long as you remember that if it wasn’t for France you wouldn’t currently be here typing your special brand of bullshit.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    All of you seem to be missing the point of what I am telling you.

    Your country is near bankrupt. So if you seek a solution to the mess you are in, you either lay down the guns, tuck your tails between your legs and run away – like the Spanish did in Iraq after suffering one terrorist attack. Or you find a cheap, quick and deadly solution to your problems.

    1. Your enemy is Riyadh, not some Sunni and Shi’a who want to duke it out over the swamps of the Tigris.

    2. If you pull out of Iraq, you lay a red carpet out for the mullahs in Teheran to take over, and extend their empire from Iran through Iraq to Syria to the Mediterranean. That empire is the cat’s paw for Russia and China. That is not good for you.

    So, any solution to get your bacon out of the fire has to be cheap, deal with Riyadh quickly, and scare the shit out of whoever runs Teheran. That is where the nukes come in – and why.

    And it is cheaper to use nukes and win than to lay down your guns and run away – both logistically in the short run, and from the point of view of what kind of standard of living you have in the long run.

    I want to make it clear that the ideas laid out in my comment #152 do not help Israel. THEY HELP THE UNITED STATES.

    So I have not been talking about what is good for Israel here. What is good for Israel is the fall and destruction of the United States of America, and the fall and destruction of the European Union. I haven’t talked about that at all.

    I have been talking about what is good for YOU.

    I don’t care what you think of my morals, or of my seeming viciousness. All that is meaningless to me. The advice you get from me is cold and calculating, designed to keep your country alive when it deserves to fall into history’s dustbin for its profligate stupidity.

    Call it my contribution to charity.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Leaving aside the ridiculous notion that we are going to nuke anybody…

    Saudi Arabia is officially our ally, unlike Iran. We have been more or less tolerant, even supportive of the repressive Saudi regime, just as we have been of the repressive Egyptian government. This in fact is one of the reasons we are on the shit list of some prominent Islamists.

    People on this thread blithely talk about al Qaeda, the Saudis and the Iranians as if they form a unified enemy, when in fact they all despise each other, possibly even more than they despise us.

    There are also those who believe Iran was miffed that we didn’t cozy up to them more after they provided some help in Afghanistan. That was back when we were still refusing to talk to Iran on a diplomatic level. Axis of evil, dontcha know.

    Apparently now Condoleeza Rice and Dick Cheney are engaged in an internal administration struggle over whether to use diplomacy or threats to engage Iran. It may be too late for Condi to succeed in this, but I hope she is able to talk some sense into the Bushies.

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    “What is good for Israel is the fall and destruction of the United States of America, and the fall and destruction of the European Union.”

    Ruvy, I used to think you were an intelligent person. I still do. But I’m also seeing a devious side now. So we go in, nukes blazing, start WWIII, We and Europe are destroyed as a result, along with most of the Middle East and Israel is left to ring in a brave new world.

    What a crock! Israel would be among the first to be destroyed in that melee.

    I suggest you do your own damn nuking, and leave us out of it.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    This is for Irene:

    The beast of evil, the “yétzer hará” is the exploitation of one gender/person/tribe/country by another gender/person/tribe/country. Until the messianic redemption of mankind, when the “yétzer hará” is destroyed, the beast of evil will continue to plague us, and peace will be a delusion. War is the extreme level of exploitation. Society is best served by the absence of war.

    So, the best thing is to finish wars as quickly as possible, to reduce the extreme evil and extreme level of exploitation that wars introduce into society.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Handyguy in his bubble of unreality.

    “Saudi Arabia is officially our ally, unlike Iran. We have been more or less tolerant, even supportive of the repressive Saudi regime…”

    “People on this thread blithely talk about al Qaeda, the Saudis and the Iranians as if they form a unified enemy, when in fact they all despise each other, possibly even more than they despise us.”

    Al Qaeda and the Saudi royal family are the same outfit with different heads and slightly different goals. They are both Wahhabi. Al Qaeda is interested in establishing a Moslem Caliphate, and the Saudi royal family is interested in running a country. Their fights get violent, but family fights tend to be that way. And it would most likely be the ibn Sauds who would be the Caliphs if al Qaeda got their way.

    Both despise infidels like you and me.

    The Shi’a hate the Sunni and the Wahhabi, but not as much as they hate the infidel. The Wahhabi hate the Shi’a and the Sunni, but not as much as they hate the infidel. The Sunni think that the Shi’a are fake Moslems and are not sure what to do with the Wahhabi.

    Who is officially America’s ally is irrelevant. The Wahhabi/Saudi enmity for America’s institutions is revealed by CAIR’s internally expressed ideas that Islam (meaning the Wahhabi religion they represent) should be supreme in America.

  • Clavos

    I’ve said this before:

    I think Ruvy’s right about the Wahhabis, in particular the Saud family, “officially” our allies or not. I believe the Saudis have been our “allies” only because we have been the chief market for their only commodity. That in itself is ironic, for without American and British geologists and engineers in the employ of the oil companies, they Saud family and all their subjects would still be herding camels in the desert and living in tents, without a clue aboyut what’s under the sand.

    Now that the oil market in China is growing so rapidly, and because there are no restraints on the Chinese insofar as emissions are concerned, it will continue to grow as a market much more rapidly than any other part of the world, we can expect the Saudis to begin (if they haven’t already) to shift their “friendship” to the new market.

    We have NO friends in the Muslim world (nor does Europe or any other non-Muslim culture), and never will. Muslims have been at war with non-Muslims for centuries; they are not going to stop now that, after centuries of frustration, they finally have the wherewithal to finally actually accomplish their long dreamed-of conquest of the non-Muslim world.

    It’s time to stop hiding our heads in the sand and figure out what to do about them.

  • troll

    Ruvy has finally convinced me…I’m off to Shillelagh to arm myself

    …according to rabbis with whom I’ve discussed this issue of late and legalistic interpretations of Maimonides that I’ve read what Ruvy is up to here threatening the use of nukes and trying to convince others to use them is perfectly acceptable under religious law however due to a requirement to afford the innocent and nonaligned egress from a war zone the actual use of them wouldn’t be

    but I’m sure other rabbis could be found who disagree – in fact back during that squabble with ‘the party of god’ the high religious authorities in Israel decided that the whole concept of innocence was out and war against civilians in Lebanon was ok….a politically convenient interpretation with which a properly constituted Sanhedrin might take issue

    …and back in the real world Clavos is correct that the scope of the problem had best be acknowledged and solutions sought – we have no friends in the middle east

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Ray,

    It is a shame you only quote half a paragraph when reading.

    I do not seriously think that your nation will use its nukes, even though that is all you have to save your sorry asses at this point. If you keep printing money to pay for this war in Iraq, along with the super-expensive oil, it’ll all be Monopoly money “not worth a continental”.

    But more to the point, Ray, if I really wanted to be devious, all I’d have to do is to shut my trap and let you fools go to hell in a hand-basket of your own making – which you are doing anyway. All I can do is try to enlighten some of you. If all you do is get emotional when you hear something that isn’t to your liking, nu – you will not learn a damned thing…

  • REMF

    “If we’re going to nuke people let’s do the whole world a favor and nukw France. Who wouldn’t breathe just a bit easier?”
    – Lumpy

    And what makes you think you’re better than France, ch—–hawk?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Ruvy – i guess there is no changing those who foam at the mouth and are willing to kill the innocent along with the guilty in the name of some unproven “greater good”

    so..just as an exercise, let me set aside all ethical compunction, as you appear to have, and take a look at how to solve this problem with application of massive explosions…

    your targets are NOT optimal…instead , in reverse order of importance

    Medina
    Mecca
    Jerusalem

    you remove the two Holy cities and the Temple Mount by turning all three into green smoking glass for the next few thousand years…problem solved, and you have equally pissed of everybody so no one can say you weren’t fair about it

    it also shows that “god” is not protecting any mosque or temple, or “chosen” people of any kind by wiping out the holy cities

    NOW do you see how ridiculous and bloodthirsty the entire idea of solving political issues with nuclear weapons are?

    Excelsior?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Gonzo,

    Are you going to teach grandma how to steal sheep?

    Jews ave already gone through two destructions of Jerusalem, and two destructions of their Temple. Not only was Jerusalem destroyed two thousand years ago, the Romans embarked on a several centuries long campaign of genocide (trains, Zyclon B, and gas chambers speed things up considerably) which was continued by the Christians when Constantine decided that having Christians as soldiers was a good idea.

    It has taken us two thousand years to recover from the last destruction of Jerusalem.

    So it is very very clear to me how effective it is to destroy a holy city and its temple. My recommendations for destroying Qom are not based on foaming at the mouth, they are based on the effectiveness of the Roman savages in nearly destroying Jewish civilization two thousand years ago.

    If destroying Jerusalem nearly destroyed Judaism, what effect do you think nuking Mecca would have on Islam?

    I suggest to you that it would be like cutting the head off a chicken!

    Nota bene, I did not say “nuke Mecca.” Not on this thread anyway…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    i know which you said and which you didn’t , Ruvy

    and you well know i am fully cognizant about the history of Jerusalem, and it’s tribulations

    hence why it is top priority on my faux “nuke list”

    imo, the Mosque on the Temple Mount as much as the Black Stone in the Kaaba would require removal, this has the added benefit of rendering all of Jerusalem uninhabitable, thus removing the main source of contention between you kooky Semites (both Arab and Jew)

    not trying to teach anyone about sheep at all, Ruvy…merely demonstrating that even going over the top as you have, that same *logic*, when followed to the fullest, requires many Players to suffer loss in order to get past current struggles and move onward

    but the point is both moot and lost, but at least i tried

    Excelsior?

  • Zedd

    I find it intriguing how you gentlemen buy into drama more than the female participants on BC.

    I mean when Ruvy or MR start their thing, you guys just pull off your earrings kick off your heals grease your arms and legs in prep for a rumble. Even Alessandro the gentleman among you just cant resist.

    Let it go boys.

    Although it is rather enjoyable to read MR as she makes mush out of ALL of you. It is deliciously divine to behold, dripping; a wonderful testament of Gods creativity!! You just keep coming back for it too.

  • Irene Wagner

    What to Do While You’re Waiting for Messiah…
    How about that as the title for the article you’ve been thinking about writing, Ruvy from #171?

    You and I will spend that waiting time doing different things. I won’t put a “second” to the suggestion that you’ve relocated to the middle of a war zone because you’re following a religious delusion. You know What led you there, and I know What led you there.

    What we differ on is what you’re there to do. The nation of Israel came by much (not all) of the land it occupies now “fair and square” in 1947. It was a miracle of God’s preservation that the Hebrew race survived, maintaining its cultural identity, through centuries of persecution, to see that day. It had PRECIOUS little to do with succor from Christians, and it didn’t happen because God’s Chosen People had been kicking ass all over Europe for two millenia, either.

    Do you know what I’m trying to say, Ruvy? I’m not advocating that Israel go defenseless, but maybe…a little more waiting and a lot less aggression…is what God had in mind before He in His good time fulfills the REST of the promises regarding historical boundaries, etc.

    Agreed, there will be no lasting peace “until Shiloh come, and unto him will the gathering of the people be.”(Gen.) Agreed this is a hostile world. But as those who wait for Messiah, shouldn’t we also be his harbingers, Ruvy? “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.”(Isa.)

    Putting an end to war violently just lays the groundwork to “justify” the next round. I’m for putting an end, not to all wars (I’m not that starry-eyed), but to the wars I can do something about, by playing a small, small, small part in eliminating some of the causes that make them happen in the first place. Lack of potable water? Land disputes that might be settled equitably? A belief that God is an aloof entity whose interest and delight in his creatures is only sparked when they lob deadly missiles at one another? Life is more than a Hockey Game. It’s about Loving One Another. BTW, Sorry for proselytizing, Clavos, but I think you can handle it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    oh Zedd…and here you go with the same broad brush that many others wield, when you should know far better

    the history twixt Ruvy and myself goes a long way around here…but it is much more good natured than one might suspect due to Respect between us based on said history

    what YOU perceive as “drama” in some instances might indeed be nothing more than conversations utilizing analogy, metaphor and perhaps even…dare i say it, exaggeration?

    as far as “let it go”…my humblest Apologies, but YOU do not get to set the rules of engagement

    enjoy the Entertainment, or hop in, if you think you can keep up…but hey..anyone that thinks MR is anything other than some digital satirist’s wet dream probably takes JoM seriously too

    thanks for sharing…

    Excelsior?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    There are several people on here I won’t respond to, even when they address me directly: they are either too crazy or too stupid or too deaf to carry on a conversation. They just shout the same things over and over again. Not worth it.

    My movie review today got more readers than I’ve ever had on here before…maybe I should stick to that part of the site. But who can resist these arguments, now that I’ve found out I’m smarter than most of the loudest voices on here anyway. Especially the ones who call me naive.

  • Catey

    ::cough-cough:: dripping?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    then Irene, you leave yourself wide open to having those messianic predictions disputed based on the old dictum of “who said so?”

    much of the strife can be worked out, IF you could remove the fanaticism that clouds Reason with hollow prophesy of Men who claim to know the Mind of God

    Maimonedes and Paul (Saul of Tarsus) as well as Iraneus and Mohammed would be fine places to start with careful examination and analysis…each being crucial figures in the chain of “God said so” proclamations which have heavily influenced civilizations and inform this current Conflict

    until and unless you have Leaders who can express Power over their respective populations that can set the Works of those four Men aside and Reason together…the Conflict itself is insoluble, imo

    do note that i give full credit and Admiration to those of Faith who exemplify the noble aspects of their Religions, extra credit to those who have striven against senseless dogma that conflicts with prime Ethics…

    i merely lack said Faith, and thus remain apostate and heretic

    Excelsior?

  • bliffle

    Looks like Ruvy is an incarnation of Michael Ledeen.

    Where is Ledeen these days?

    Faster, faster! I must know the answer!

  • Irene Wagner

    Gonzo Marx, why do you end each of your posts with the word “excelsior?”? Could I ask you not to merely translate, but to explain?

    Also, Gonzo Marx, has God ever said anything to you?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    /sigh

    ok…from 1966-1992, every month there was Stan Lee’s Soapbox…he always ended with “Excelsior!”, which means “always upward” or “tiny wood shavings used in taxidermy”

    i ask it as a Question, as a reminder to myself as well as my way of saying “30” at the End of my mad typings

    as to your second Question…no

    Excelsior?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    Lots of us remember Stan Lee’s Soapbox, and that closing ‘Excelsior!’ very fondly. I guess all of us who remember are also comic book nerds of some stripe…who can’t keep away from our PC keyboards now!

  • Irene Wagner

    Thanks Gonzo Marx and Handyguy.

    I hope you do one day, Gonzo. :)

    To infinity and beyond!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    well Irene…you might think that this Article counts…

    is it a Laugh, or esoterica?

    you decide

    Excelsior?

  • Irene Wagner

    I’d already read that article, Gonzo, and it’s a little bit of each I’d say.

    But then laughter itself has always seemed pretty esoteric to me.

  • Clavos

    “But then laughter itself has always seemed pretty esoteric to me.”

    From Merriam-Webster:

    Main Entry:

    es·o·ter·ic Listen to the pronunciation of esoteric
    Pronunciation:
    \ˌe-sə-ˈter-ik, -ˈte-rik\
    Function:
    adjective
    Etymology:
    Late Latin esotericus, from Greek esōterikos, from esōterō, comparative of eisō, esō within, from eis into; akin to Greek en in — more at in
    Date:
    circa 1660

    1 a: designed for or understood by the specially initiated alone b: requiring or exhibiting knowledge that is restricted to a small group ; broadly : difficult to understand 2 a: limited to a small circle b: private, confidential 3: of special, rare, or unusual interest
    — es·o·ter·i·cal·ly Listen to the pronunciation of esoterically \-i-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

    Why, Irene?

    Seems like an unusual way to regard laughter…

  • Irene Wagner

    GoMar–I’m wondering if my words will come out blue because of you. *esoteric laughter*

    Seriously, if it hadn’t been for the fact that you’d already thrown the words “esoteric” and “laughter” into play, I might have chosen “mysterious” rather than “esoteric.”

    But “esoteric” works. Humor (except for private jokes and perhaps satire and definitely irony) isn’t difficult for most folks to understand; by this I mean that they can “get” the joke.

    But laughter itself is difficult to understand. It’s as common as kindness or faith or love. It’s a gift, too, I think.

  • Irene Wagner

    Oh sorry Clavos. I suppose I should’ve been addressing YOU. LOL.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    a Gift?…perhaps

    what do we laugh at?…Pain of course, usually someone else’s

    is it a Gift to Laugh at the face of Pain?

    well, it IS an intrinsic human trait…

    but i digress

    Excelsior?

  • Irene Wagner

    But laughter is not a fitting end to an article about 911, although we all needed some comic relief. See mysteriously, it always bubbles up, even in the very darkest of contexts.

  • Irene Wagner

    No not a gift to laugh AT the face of pain.
    A gift to laugh IN it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    rare indeed is One who can laugh in that Face, especially since the connotation implies it would be one’s own Pain being laughed at (how do you laugh in the face of another’s?)

    no..for the vast majority it’s AT said face, imo

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    “But laughter is not a fitting end to an article about 911…”

    actually, Laughter is THE fitting End to the entire mess…when one mocks and Laughs at something, it cannot “terrorize” you…

    just a Thought

    Excelsior?

  • Irene Wagner

    Right. It can still kill you, but it can’t terrorize you. I think you’re talking about scornful laughter, though.

    The “esoteric” laughter I was referring to earlier was more of a joyful transcendant laughter. Hopeful, maybe?

  • Irene Wagner

    Faith is that kind of hopeful laughter, Gonzo Marx, neither mocking nor scornful, but energizing, cleansing.

    No, laughter isn’t a fitting end to any serious challenge, any more than getting dressed for work in the morning is the same as putting in an honest day’s labor.

    Speaking of preparing for an honest day’s labor…sleep is a prerequisite, too. I’d better sign off. To infinity, etc. etc.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    “Faith is that kind of hopeful laughter, Gonzo Marx, neither mocking nor scornful, but energizing, cleansing.”

    so it’s like sneezing?

    sorry, Faith does not equal Laughter..one is a salve, the other Defiance

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.libertyrepublican.com Dave Nalle

    The dead certainty with which Mr. Nalle and his band of war-mongers discuss Islamist radicals – who they are, how many of them they are, what their plans are – is what’s most disturbing to me about this piece and the comments it has drawn.

    Because you’d rather have us focus on irrelevancies and manufactured scandals than on real threats which the people to whom you’ve pledged your loyalty are downplaying for political reasons.

    There’s a lot we don’t know about Al Qaeda, bin Laden, Iran, even who the insurgents are in Iraq. Why do so few of the posters on here admit the gaps in our knowledge?

    I find it quite sufficient to stick to what we DO know. That’s more than scary enough. None of us knows everything about anything, but in this case we do have an awful lot of data to work from.

    Why is everything so black and white, absolutist? Where does that get us? [The stubborn ‘we’re never wrong’ attitude of the Bush administration may provide a clue as to where it gets us.]

    You seem to be missing one of the central points of my article. What WE think doesn’t matter. We can view the world in as many shades of gray as we want. The problem is that this does NOT change the black and white worldview of the terrorists.

    The 21st-century Islamist radicals may identify with their medieval forebears. That certainly doesn’t mean there’s a 1,000-year unbroken line of succession in their anti-Western efforts, as Dave suggests.

    Where did I suggest such a thing? It’s a far cry from holding grudges to some sort of mythical millenium long continuity of leadership. They look back to Saladdin and Ali and Suleiman the way you look back to FDR. The point is that they miss their empire and their sense of destiny and power and they’re willing to go to extremes to get it back.

    The precise links between Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the supposed mastermind of 9/11, and bin Laden’s al Qaeda in Afghanistan, are still murky, undefined.

    Not in the mid of bin Laden who has taken credit for 9/11 and was certainly very closely involved in other terrorist acts in the last decade. But note that in my article I clearly said that we should be focusing on the larger problem, not just bin Laden.

    The Iranian Revolutionary Guard are not likely to be big fans of al Qaeda. They probably hate each other…they’d certainly never share power anywhere.

    And where do the Wahhabists of Saudi Arabia fit in? Surely they’d rather go to war with the IRG than join them. And bin Laden is in permanent exile from Saudi Arabia.

    This was all addressed in the article. What we’re seeing in Iraq is a power struggle between these two groups to see who will come out on top and control the future of Islam as a force in world politics. It may not ultimately be decided in Iraq, but they are certainly fighting the battle there.

    So how can Nalle and others speak so definitively about these people as if they are a coherent movement, a single threat? Yet he insists on it, and others chime in, and we continue to fight our undefined, and to me mythical, “War on Terror.”

    You clearly didn’t pay attention to the article or much ofthe discussion which came after it. Right now we have an opportunity while they are at each others throats to do something to curb the expansion of radical Islam. Eventually they will resolve their current difference one way or another, and then the problem will become much worse.

    Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Irene,

    To comment #181 and others.

    I haven’t forgotten about the article on the Jewish concepts of the messiah. I have been a tad busy…

    Those concepts seem esoteric to some, ridiculous to others. I see them being played out around me. Here. Now. They do not have this former agnostic convinced because they are a better flavor of snake oil than agnosticism. Agnosticism still informs a lot of what I think and still informs a lot of the way I think.

    The proof of the puddin’ is in the eatin’, and the issue of the messianic concepts is not so much a question of “Who said so?” as Gonzo asks, but rather, “He said so, I laughed at him, and now what the SOB said is coming true. Oh shit! I better run for cover!”

    Fortunately for me, I got to this point a while ago. The majority of you haven’t gotten there at all, and a lot of you are not so far along the road as I. Most of y’all have a longer run to the Root Cellar than I…

    That is why I’m Convinced that someone will break out the nuclear cigarettes and smoke them – but that Tel Aviv will be the ash tray rather than Jerusalem, Qom or Riyadh…check out Zechariah 14:4-15.

    The North Koreans are preparing a brace of nukes for the Syrians – at least that is what the foreign press has been claiming for a while now…

    At some point the Syrians are going to fuck up bad – and Damascus will be a rubble. But who will make it so? I do not know.

    Jerusalem lies on a series of earthquake faults – the Temple Mount on one and the Mount of Olives on another. In a big enough quake, the Mount of Olives could split, and a stream of water come flowing like a geyser (“living water” in the Hebrew), flowing to the east and to the west….

    The pressure for a quake is building up under Jerusalem – in more ways than one…

    Remember that I do not speak for the Israeli government. That régime will fall attempting to dismantle the state in order to serve its foreign masters, the Americans and Europeans. It will do no good, only evil.

    I took a break to eat breakfast while writing this. Two jets streaked over us, faster than sound. For the last several minutes, there has been a very low rumble in the distance…

    The only good news (for us) in all of this comes far from Israel and is stuff that you would hardly comprehend… So we’ll talk about that some other time.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “Faith is that kind of hopeful laughter, Gonzo Marx, neither mocking nor scornful, but energizing, cleansing.

    Smart girl, that Irene. A story for you Gonzo, from the Midrash.

    Rabbi ‘Akiva and two of his disciples were walking near the ruins of the Temple when they saw a fox running through. The disciples started to sob in sorrow. Rabbi ‘Akiva started to laugh with joy.

    One of the sobbing disciples turned to ‘Akiva with indignation and reproach, pointing to the ruins,

    “A fox, Rav ‘Akiva, and you’re laughing?”

    Rabbi ‘Akiva answered,

    “If the prophecy of a fox running through the ruins of the Temple came true, than we know that the prophecy of Redemption will come true also.”

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, thanks for the funny story. I got the following from it:-

    1. People at that time were very gullible and trusting because they didn’t know how to think.

    2. You are straight out of that time and have learned nothing in all those years.

    3. Blind faith is the enemy of humankind.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dave,

    “‘The dead certainty with which Mr. Nalle and his band of war-mongers discuss Islamist radicals – who they are, how many of them they are, what their plans are – is what’s most disturbing to me about this piece and the comments it has drawn.’

    [DN] Because you’d rather have us focus on irrelevancies and manufactured scandals than on real threats which the people to whom you’ve pledged your loyalty are downplaying for political reasons.

    ‘There’s a lot we don’t know about Al Qaeda, bin Laden, Iran, even who the insurgents are in Iraq. Why do so few of the posters on here admit the gaps in our knowledge?’

    [DN]I find it quite sufficient to stick to what we DO know. That’s more than scary enough. None of us knows everything about anything, but in this case we do have an awful lot of data to work from.

    ‘Why is everything so black and white, absolutist? Where does that get us? …..’

    [DN]You seem to be missing one of the central points of my article. What WE think doesn’t matter. We can view the world in as many shades of gray as we want. The problem is that this does NOT change the black and white worldview of the terrorists.”

    Dave, you have certainly defined most of the problem very clearly. Whether you are willing to admit it or not, each day your country spends in Iraq costs you billions that you don’t have. And at this point, you really have no business there except to keep Iran out. All the rest is bullshit.

    What puzzles me is not that you do not like my solutions – they are ugly ones that one is forced to reach in extremis. What puzzles me is that you do not seem to realize that you are in a condition of extremis, and that these solutions, ugly as they are, offer you a way out of the hole your leaders have dug for you. And they allow you a way to TRY to rein your economy and currency from going over the cliff they are headed for.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Chris,

    Thanks for the comments. They tell me the following.

    1. You do not know the difference between wisdom and humor.
    2 Your faith in modernity is blinder than my informed faith in the Torah, Tana”kh and Talmud.
    3. Blind faith is the worst enemy of mankind.
    4. You are a victim of your own blind faith, and will suffer for it in time.

    A pity. You’re an intelligent guy, even if I don’t always agree with you.

  • bliffle

    “We have to understand that we’re fighting a war against people who think that they are engaged in a cosmic battle…”

    At first I thought this was a quote from OBL regarding Bush and company.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Gonzo,

    A last point for you to chew on with the sausage egg and cheese croissant and coffee…

    “you remove the two Holy cities and the Temple Mount by turning all three into green smoking glass for the next few thousand years…problem solved, and you have equally pissed of everybody so no one can say you weren’t fair about it

    it also shows that “god” is not protecting any mosque or temple, or “chosen” people of any kind by wiping out the holy cities….”

    The destruction of Jerusalem was a real kick in the balls for the Jewish faith. But we Jews have gotten by without Jerusalem for a long time, and G-d forbid, were it destroyed yet again, we would figure out how to get by without it again. Deprivation is the mother of creativity.

    The Moslems have not experienced this yet. The closest they have come (and that wasn’t all that close) was being driven out of Spain several centuries ago and being defeated at Vienna by King Jan Sobieski (PBUH) of Poland. Both events together basically knocked them for a loop for a long time, and they are first recovering now.

    Speaking speculatively, knocking off Mecca and turning it into nuclear glass would knock them out for a century at least, while they psychologically absorbed the blow. We already know what it feels like to suffer that kick to the balls. The Moslems would find out how much it hurt. And they are not expecting it either….

    Even when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, we had some clue of what it could be like.

    For the Moslems, this would be a whole different level of psychic pain.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Dear Ruvy, thanks for the imaginative aping of my response to you, it showed real originality.

    To expand on your predictable responses:-

    1. You do not know what wisdom is as you are an unthinking member of a cult, although I grant that your deranged predictions of doom are as hilarious as they are wrong. I would invite you to make a bet on them and your other inane prediction for 20 years hence but you don’t have anything I want. Heck, you don’t have anything of value!

    2. Your presumption that I have faith in modernity is illfounded. I have faith in people to transcend the situations they find themselves in, in other words to grow. People like you are simply fearful brakes on human growth and development that lack the integrity or the wisdom to let go of their failing beliefs.

    3. Other than a few vague guiding principles, I don’t believe in very much at all. Ergo, I DON’T suffer from blind faith.

    4. Stuff your vague intimations of doom in the same gloomy space as the rest of your bleak perspective, you know, that place where the sun never shines! ;-)

    5. I honestly can’t tell anymore if you’re intelligent or not. I used to think so, but you’ve taken to saying such a lot of blatant nonsense in the last year or so, in such a stubbornly determined way, that I’ve come to doubt that quite substantially. It seems to me now that your head is full of such faith inspired nonsense that you could no longer think your way out of anything more challenging than a paper bag.

    Finally, although I oppose the use of force as an instrument of policy and in particular the entirely dubious pre-emptive first strike concept of the current US administration, if one were to consider the ultimate failure of using nukes to resolve current Middle Eastern issues, I completely agree with gonzo’s idea that starting with Jerusalem is the way to go.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Dave –
    Thanks for finally at least acknowledging my posts. But your tendency to sweep aside almost any and every statement that differs from your thesis as ‘irrelevancies’ does not lead to dialogue or a conversation. It comes closer to being a rant, or at best a monologue.

    Nuances do matter. Vast generalizations can easily lead you to the wrong conclusion. People who disagree with you may actually be providing you with valuable information. Admitting you don’t know everything is a good first step.

  • troll

    while blind faith might be the enemy of humanity as Chris and Ruvy maintain…they were influential for rockers back in the late 60s – something of a powerhouse combination

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    I thought I was the only one in the politics section getting that allusion, troll, but should have known you would get it.

    I love the irony of Ruvy dissing the mainstay of his life though; it’s like a robot objecting to its programming. Delicious!

  • Leslie Bohn

    “…in the Presence of the Lord…”

  • gonzo marx

    “can’t find my way home…”

    but back to Ruvy in #211…no eggs or coffee for me, and no sausage in the last year (except for when i make my Italian gravy)

    and all three of my *targets* were chosen for Reasons…

    but i digress

    Excelsior?

  • Nancy

    Ruvy, a far more effective solution to the mid-east crisis by the US would be for us to quietly develop a vaccine to a virulent strain of flu, such as the 1918 strain – which in fact we have samples of, directly from tissue from burials in Alaska. Once enough vaccine is prepared, quietly start to administer it to as many Americans as will take it without squawking or protesting (as so many do, who think it’s going to give them something instead). If they don’t want it, they don’t want it. Boosters for all takers the next few years. Then, in year 5: let’er rip. Send out a dozen or so walking infectious bombs to the mideast, & watch ‘em drop. Denizens of the middle east (or China, or anywhere else without the vaccine) will be so busy burying the dead, they won’t have time to kill each other or attack us. Of course, this means any American too stupid or lazy to get the vaccine will also die, but hey: that’s the way the DNA crumbles, I guess. That is, IF you’re going to go the apocolypse route, IMO this is a better way to do it. Cheaper & less messy, & also less provable in an international court of law, what?

    The interesting (& slightly off-putting) thing about such an idea is that China, Russia, & various other regimes have long been interested in & experimenting with such plans. The only reason they haven’t carried it out is because they can’t match US vaccine-mfg as far as volume, enough to safety their own populations, & any attempt to outsource such vaccines would raise a red flag w/WHO & the CDC, to say the least. I’m pretty sure we’ve got similar stuff in the pipeline, at least theoretically. There is at least one bug ready, but only enough vaccine exists, I understand, for the bigwigs in US govt. & their wealthy friends. They can’t release it because it would only decimate their workforces & drive up labor prices – otherwise none of them would turn a hair about letting loose the dogs of infection, as it were.

    Anyway, flu is a lot easier in the long run than bombs, donchathink?

  • gonzo marx

    it lacks the psychological dynamic of the smoking glass radioactive crater, Nancy…and you want everyone to know who did it to shut down your opposition

    hell..if the next POTUS wants to stop the shyte over in that part of the world, all they have to do is call all the leaders over there the day after inaguration and let them know…ONE “terrorist” attack by ANYBODY on the U.S. means Mecca and Medina are vaporized

    watch how fast all those regimes shut down the cells

    that is the sabre rattling way to do it..not MY Way…

    Excelsior?

  • Nancy

    No…I’m just musing along Ruvy’s lines, but trying for improvement as far as effort & cost as well as ultimate effects. See, you can let people know Who Did It AFTER the fact (if indeed non-vaccinated people don’t guess when a significantly high percentage of the US doesn’t get sick). What is more important: wiping out your enemies for good – or telling them about it? If they’re all dead, you don’t have to bother, but you CAN warn anyone else still around who might be thinking of giving you grief, by simply pointing to the rotting carcasses lying around because there’s no one left to bury them. Point taken, no? Speak softly & carry a really, Really, REALLY big stick?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Thanks for finally at least acknowledging my posts.

    Handy, I know your ego is tender, but as I noted earlier I’ve been running a festival and away from the computer for most of the weekened.

    I do wonder why I bother to respond to you, though, when all you can give me back is this:

    But your tendency to sweep aside almost any and every statement that differs from your thesis as ‘irrelevancies’ does not lead to dialogue or a conversation. It comes closer to being a rant, or at best a monologue.

    Dismissing irrelevancies and attempts to distract as what they are isn’t the problem. The problem is your attempt to avoid facing the fundamental truth of what I’m saying by bringing up straw men and distractions.

    Nuances do matter. Vast generalizations can easily lead you to the wrong conclusion.

    Generalizations lead to general conclusions. So long as you don’t apply general conclusions to specific individuals there isn’t a problem.

    People who disagree with you may actually be providing you with valuable information.

    At the very least they point out the delusional beliefs which I ought to make an effort to counter.

    Admitting you don’t know everything is a good first step.

    It’s an easy one to take. Much harder is admitting that the basic principles you operate on are fundamentally wrong, but I’ll keep trying to help you get there.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Ruvy:

    I’m not about to join you on the bandwagon for nuking places to reduce the cost of the Iraq war. If I were to I’d put Tel Aviv at the top of my list and probably reserve at least 2 more nukes for Israel.

    But I think we can do better than that. We need to reduce our presence in Iraq, let the Saudis and Iranians weaken each other and then hammer whichever one survives 20 years down the road, which gives us plenty of time to build up for that conflict.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Fine, now I get it:
    Nalle is always right, and anyone who disagrees with him is delusional and/or irrelevant. It makes life so simple!

    Unfortunately, a lot of us still believe your premises are false and/or unproven. And that despite your absurdly arrogant claims to the contrary, the things we don’t know – and the things you don’t know – are of course relevant. They couldn’t be more relevant.

    I am certainly not delusional, thanks very much for your concern. And whatever you may mean by “the people to whom you have pledged your loyalty,” you are often dead wrong in your assumptions about me.

    But this certainly isn’t just about me. You often ignore the best arguments people make against your posts, and pick out a minor bit to belittle them and declare them ‘irrelevant.’ And then your favorite tactic is to just say, ‘You completely missed the point.’ And move on to the next victim.

    And you’re the editor of this section?? You often seem more interested in stifling discussion than promoting it. Why is that?

  • Dr Dreadful

    handy, Dave does occasionally admit when he’s wrong. The trick is to definitively prove to him that he’s wrong, which is a bit like trying to nail down flubber…! But it has been known.

    I do think your ‘picking out a minor bit’ accusation is a bit unfair. Dave often takes the time to post quite lengthy responses to people’s comments. His usual MO is to take a paragraph at a time and then put his rebuttal underneath it. I know, because he’s done it to me a few times!

    His tone can be high-handed, yes, but his method I would say falls more under the heading of nit-picking than cherry-picking!

  • moonraven

    [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor.]

    The only salient issues from this thread are:

    1. Is Ruvy inteligent? Answer: Yes, but he is clearly insane–his presence in Israel defending the crock of shit about being The Chosen has amply demonstrated that.

    (There’s is nothing inherently wrong with being insane–UNLESS you are a war-mongering maniac like he is.)

    2. Why do the rest of you bigots even give a shit about the Islamic world? You know nothing about it. Hell, come to think of it you also know absolutely nothing about the country you are living in!

    [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor.]

  • gonzo marx

    and you cum by just to show you can catch the results in your beak?

    moonraven = virtual bukkake!

    good to know, imo

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Fine, now I get it:
    Nalle is always right, and anyone who disagrees with him is delusional and/or irrelevant. It makes life so simple!

    Would that life were that simple and I could be dictator of the world and set everyone free and spread happiness and light from corner to corner.

    Unfortunately, a lot of us still believe your premises are false and/or unproven.

    Ok, then tell me which ones. I’ll respond to specifics with specifics.

    And that despite your absurdly arrogant claims to the contrary, the things we don’t know – and the things you don’t know – are of course relevant. They couldn’t be more relevant.

    I’m sure they ARE relevant. The problem is that the things we don’t know are THINGS WE DON’T KNOW. And therefore, not knowing what the hell they are, we can’t very well make decisions based on them. We can try to find out as much as we can, but at some point you have to take what you do know and use that as a basis for actually doing something.

    I am certainly not delusional, thanks very much for your concern. And whatever you may mean by “the people to whom you have pledged your loyalty,” you are often dead wrong in your assumptions about me.

    You know what they say about assumptions. But the problem is that sometimes they’re all we’ve got. In the absence of more concrete knowledge about you I can only draw inferences from what I see you post on here. If I’m drawing the wrong ones, straighten me out. I’d love to be better informed.

    But this certainly isn’t just about me. You often ignore the best arguments people make against your posts, and pick out a minor bit to belittle them and declare them ‘irrelevant.’ And then your favorite tactic is to just say, ‘You completely missed the point.’ And move on to the next victim.

    Hit me with a couple of examples. I can miss the point of a comment just as easily as you or anyone can. I tend to pick up on what I see as significant and also capable of being addressed. You may notice that I largely ignore Moonraven and Ruvy. I have no argument to make against their mainly faith-based perspectives so I just move on to what I can deal with rationally.

    And you’re the editor of this section?? You often seem more interested in stifling discussion than promoting it. Why is that?

    Are people still discussing this article a week after it was written? Are you still discussing it?

    I’m not interested in stifling discussion, I’m interested in provoking it, and I do a damned good job if I say so myself. Nothing would stifle discussion faster than everybody agreeing on everything. That’s not even a discussion. If you can’t handle disagreement and people not sharing your perspective then you ought to be on Daily Kos.

    If I didn’t want to hear what people of very different background had to say I’d be posting over on FreeRepublic – though I’d still have some problems with the Theocons over there.

    Oh, and Dr. D – thanks for posting your defense of me 3 times. I liked it just as much every time. But I still deleted two of them.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Nonsense, Nalle.

    As usual.

    You have never presented any evidence for anyof your antediluvian claims.

  • moonraven

    Gonzo: How gross you are. Iwouldn’t be caught dead with my beak anywhere near your puny semen.

  • gonzo marx

    well mr, not too worry, it will wash right out of your feathers…

    you don’t want to get hit with the spray either catch it all in yer beak, or stop using phraseology like “jerking off” and i’ll let it be

    get nasty and ya can’t whine when someone hoses ya down

    goose and gander kind of thing, so to speak

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    Ah, gonzo, you do have yer brilliant moments, mate.

    LOL.

    And LOL again.

  • Maurice

    gonzo #188

    I always just assumed you were from New York. The state motto is “Excelsior!”.

  • Lumpy

    I remember when the contente of packages were protected by excelsior.

  • gonzo marx

    Maurice…sort of, born in Yonkers, raised on the Jersey Shore…it’s just as i said, a rare moment of full disclosure

    Lumpy – obviously has chosen definition #2…not surprising

    Excelsior?

  • Nancy

    The stuff is as flammable as dried pine needles; hence it is no more as packing. Or it’s supposed to be.

  • moonraven

    gonzo:

    When you guys stop using this site to jerk off I will be happy to stop pointing out your behavior.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    mr – when you can swallow better, you will not have to clean out your feathers so much and i will be more than happy to then stop “downloading” on you at whim

    “contemplate that upon the Tree of Woe” – Thulsa Doom

    Excelsior?

  • moonraven

    My feathers, like the rest of me, are ALWAYS pristine.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Chris,

    Tossing pearls in front of swine is a waste of time.

    So, we’ll just make these points:

    Personal attacks are not allowed. Please read our comment policy. That appears on every single thread….

    Eloquent ad hominem attacks are still personal attacks. A knife in a gilded package used to stab is still a stabbing knife.

    Keep that in mind. As for the rest, tossing pearls in front of swine is a waste of time. I’ve wasted enough time…

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Well, I tried to keep it on topic, but I guess 230 comments is a good run.

    Dave

  • Dr Dreadful

    Oh, and Dr. D – thanks for posting your defense of me 3 times. I liked it just as much every time. But I still deleted two of them.

    You’re welcome, although I didn’t mean to post it that many times – I’m not that fond of you!

    It’s been happening for a week or two and has something to do with the IP address I was posting from… so any time you see a multitude of Dreadfuls is when you’ll know I’m not commenting from home.

    Just be very, very afraid if I ever post whole articles from that computer – I may just crash the whole site. If this happens, sorry in advance and I plead the Fifth.

  • Zedd

    Gonzo,

    #182 was a great rebuttal. I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was kinda creepy because I probably would have said the same thing to me :o) Sounds a bit arrogant but I don’t mean it that way. Its just my kind of humor or jab.

    But I disagree about MR. I think she is quite clever, amazingly so actually. That is why you “testostoronized” sorts can’t get enough of her. You want to dethrone her. Give it up. Not happening.

    Now as for Ruvy, I enjoy him as well. I would point out that you have not made any headway yet Gonzo. However your comments do illuminate the flaws in his logic (to everyone else but him).

  • bliffle

    “ONE “terrorist” attack by ANYBODY on the U.S. means Mecca and Medina are vaporized…”

    It’s a wonder people still state this tactic, but I suppose they are deprived.

    Easily refuted by the Agent Provacateur argument.

    This is too easy.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    deprived and depraved i may be, bliffle…

    but the comment you quote out of Context was Jest of exaggeration, demonstrating Absurdity in all it’s Folly

    it would take quite a lot for me to ever seriously advocate use of nuclear weaponry, i wouldn’t rule it out entirely…but can’t easily see any justifiable circumstance, imo

    Zedd – i gave up trying to “make headway” a while ago…doesn’t mean i won’t screed when the Mood overtakes me, just that i never even pretend anyone’s Opinion is going to change

    mr – you missed a few spots

    Excelsior?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Nancy,

    It appears that Dave Nalle is editing another article of mine. Or he was and has left it sitting in pending. Editing, like legislation, is a process best compared to sausage making, and unless you like to chuck your cookies, it is best not discussed in too much detail.

    You are the only person who has answered my suggestions without indicating that they themselves are totally in denial over reality.

    I made an ugly suggestion for a cheap, fast policy to save YOUR butts now that your traitors for leaders are about to toss your country into its well deserved trash heap. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of “put” orders betting on a collapse in the market – hence a collapse in your economy – expire the day before Yom Kippur. So something is definitely up.

    Gonzo hauls out Principle after high flown Principle to somehow convince me that using nukes in extremis is not wise but ridiculous. And hauls out nuking Jerusalem to try to scare me. Zedd snickers along, agreeing with him. Ray Ellis thinks that I’m some kind of devious Jew trying to destroy his country. Mr. Nalle, recognizing the validity of my underlying arguments, lets the sympathies developed over years of growing up with Arabs come out: he’d nuke Tel Aviv before he would touch the shitheads in Riyadh. I won’t comment on Marthe Raymond, the lady who hates guys who jerk off, or on Handyguy. Neither deserve comment.

    Finally, comes Christopher Rose, whose job is to enforce a comments policy of no personal attacks. He gilds his stabbing knife and digs in with the ad hominem shit, figuring that $5 dollar words won’t be recognized for the personal attacks they are….

    But you actually recognize my intent and suggest an alternative – a plague.

    Rashi, in interpreting Zechariah 14:12, the line that to me looks like a nuclear attack on Tel Aviv, interprets it to mean “plague”, which is what the Hebrew text says. If Rashi’s interpretation of Zechariah is right, and assuming that the prophecy comes true, you will have hit the jackpot. In fact, by suggesting the 1918 Spanish flu as a model, you probably are close to the plague that, if it actually does hit, will be the one that does the job: the bird flu.

    And if the bird flu does indeed hit, the dead will stink in the streets all over the world. There is NO cure, and NO vaccine.

    Of course, both the nuclear missiles hitting Tel Aviv and the plague could be true….

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, it is not a personal attack when the statement is true. Your beliefs are thousands of years out of date, you do belong to a cult and your mass murderous suggestion is stunning in both its brutality and naivety. No attack, simply the truth.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “…your mass murderous suggestion is stunning in both its brutality and naivety.”

    Chris, when you get your head out of De Nial, have your wife give you a towel to dry behind your ears, and good strong soap to get rid of the stinky fish smell…. Try reading a little history about massacres, and you’ll realize that what I’m talking about is not pretty, but nothing like the what the huns of history have done, and continue to do in several places around the world. Which is worse, Chris? A quick death in a nuclear fire, or the daily suffering of millions of young kids, both boys and girls, who daily suffer the lash of starvation, forced prostitution, sexual abuse, poverty and injustice in the societies they live in, whose lives are reduced to hopeless unhappiness from year after year of persecution? Those kids are innocent, too. There are things that are worse than dying in a nuclear holocaust. Suffering persecution in injustice with no hope at all is worse than dying.

    “Your beliefs are thousands of years out of date,…”

    First of all, who picked you to decide what is out of date or not? Second of all, reading a lot of your comments, I’m not even sure you understand what the phrase even means. Finally, you do not know the half of my beliefs that you can classify them – you probably cannot understand most of them.

    “…you do belong to a cult…”

    Cult, Chris? The militant atheist calling the kettle black? What cult do I belong to? I am a Jew. Are you suggesting that a Jew who believes in G-d is no better than the crazies who condemn religion as blind faith? I think not, young man.

    Is Baronius, or Stan Denham, both Catholics, members of a cult, too? Is Irene Wagner a cultist? How about the Protestant pastor from Hawaii, the Bird of Paradise? What about my fellow Jews, Mark Schannon, Elvira Black, Howard Dratch, and the fellow whose screen name is “Obnoxious American?” Are they too, members of a cult.

    If so, the hatred being spewn here is yours, not mine.

    “Culto” in Spanish may mean religion – but in English it is a derogatory term, reserved for the fringe crazies who can recognize or tolerate no ideas other than their own. That sounds an awful lot like you, Mr. Rose.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Wrong, wrong and thrice wrong.

    I vsuppose it’s true that a quick nuking is no worse than what the “huns of history” have done. If you’re blithely oblivious to how the survivors and their allies would react, as you so curiously are whilst simultaneously holding grudges for events that happened before you were born. This is naivety.

    I didn’t pick your beliefs as being out of date, they simply are. Your belief system is based on some vague events of about 5,000 years ago, long before almost anything of our lives existed. Before factual knowledge about our world and the universe it sits in was known and long before the complexity of our times was formed.

    It’s simply not necessary to know the minutiae of your petty world view, it reeks of bitterness and hate and that’s enough for me to know it’s wrong.

    As I’ve told you several times before but your bigoted and firmly closed mind refuses to even notice, let alone accept, I’m not a militant atheist. Outside the pages of BC that attract extremist cult members, religion as you perceive it simply does not exist. Of course, an ego as vast and full of self importance as yours can’t accept that a few remarks rejecting the lunacy and lies you and other faithists vent forth is just that; you NEED to make me out to be an extremist in order to attempt to justify your own madness.

    I am suggesting that all people who believe in the one god concept are cult members and that you all have nothing but meaningless psychobabble and rigidly inflated egos to justify your similar causes.

    You characterise my view as hatred, which is entirely false. Indeed, it’s nothing more than another shabby deceit by the deceived that tries to demonise those not taken in by this grandest of con tricks, this cruel deception of people’s innate search for meaning in life. My words come more in sorrow than anger but don’t mistake my compassion for weakness. Ultimately, the goodness in we humans will overcome this false god of yours, because in the end, the truth will out and sanity will prevail over sickness and deceit.

    I don’t quite follow why you bring it up as I’m writing in English but “culto” in Spanish does not mean religion, it means exactly the same as it does in English. I recognise your ideas and I tolerate them, but that doesn’t mean I should treat them with respect when they are based in fiction and wishful thinking rather than culture, thought or honesty, never mind genuine loving spirituality.

    You are a cult member whether you like it or not. Learning to live with it would be a brave but unlikely step forward, as you clearly shrivel and spew venom when faced with clear thinking and an open heart…

  • Clavos

    Actually, according to my Velázquez dictionary (considered to be “the preeminent authority in bilingual Spanish-English dictionaries), “culto” as an adjective has as it’s first (preferred) meaning:

    “1. Pure, elegant, correct…
    2. Affectedly elegant.
    3. Polished, enlightened, civilized.”

    And, as a noun:

    “1. Speaking in general, respect or veneration paid to a person, as a testimony to his superior excellence and worth.”

    It is not until one adds such modifiers as “divino,” “sagrado,” or “religioso” to the noun that it begins to take on a meaning similar to that of its English counterpart.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Actually, the pre-eminent authority on Spanish is the Real Academia Española, not your Velázquez.

    They say

    1. adj. Dicho de las tierras o de las plantas: cultivadas.

    2. adj. Dotado de las calidades que provienen de la cultura o instrucción. Persona culta. Pueblo, lenguaje culto.

    3. adj. p. us. culterano.

    4. m. Homenaje externo de respeto y amor que el cristiano tributa a Dios, a la Virgen, a los ángeles, a los santos y a los beatos.

    5. m. Conjunto de ritos y ceremonias litúrgicas con que se tributa homenaje.

    6. m. Honor que se tributa religiosamente a lo que se considera divino o sagrado.

    7. m. Admiración afectuosa de que son objeto algunas cosas. Rendir culto a la belleza.

    8. m. cultivo.

    9. adv. m. Con cultura de estilo.

    culto de dulía.

    1. m. Rel. El que se tributa a los ángeles y a los santos.

    culto de hiperdulía.

    1. m. Rel. El que se tributa a la Virgen.

    culto de latría.

    1. m. Rel. El que se tributa a Dios.

    ~ externo.

    1. m. Rel. El que consiste en demostraciones exteriores, como sacrificios, procesiones, cantos sagrados, adoraciones, súplicas, ofrendas y dones.

    ~ indebido.

    1. m. Rel. El supersticioso o contrario a los preceptos de la Iglesia.

    ~ interno.

    1. m. Rel. El que se tributa a Dios interiormente con actos de fe, esperanza y caridad.

    ~ superfluo.

    1. m. Rel. El que se da por medio de cosas vanas e inútiles o dirigiéndolo a fines distintos de los aprobados por la Iglesia católica.

    ~ supersticioso.

    1. m. El que se da a quien no se debe dar, o se le tributa indebidamente aunque lo merezca.

    Whilst my more commonly used dictionary goes with the more commonly used English definitions.

  • Irene Wagner

    Ruvy in Jerusalem–the tale you told of the fox the temple and the rabbi was one of the most beautiful things I’ve read all week (next to Proverbs 16:11). Your military proposal for America was one of the most horrific, until I concluded that something similarly was likely to happen anyway, and then THAT became the most horrific thing.

    People are not two-dimensional, that’s for sure.
    Christopher Rose, don’t you think it’s about time to revise the Personal Attack blurb at the top of the comment box to “Please read our Comment Policy BEFORE you make personal attack?”

  • Clavos

    “Actually, the pre-eminent authority on Spanish is the Real Academia Española, not your Velázquez.”

    I am, of course, well aware of the Real Academia (and probably was long before you were even alive), but in any case, it behooves you to re-read my comment (this time for comprehension), wherein you will note I did NOT say that Velázquez is “the pre-eminent authority on Spanish.”

    You will further note that I indicated that the definition of “culto” that coincides with the English “cult” falls, as you’ve indicated above from the real Academia source, as a third or even fourth definition, indicating it’s not the most common use of the word. The most common usages, as I assume you know, are the first given. This is how all dictionaries are organized.

    But then, you knew that, didn’t you?

  • Irene Wagner

    PSALMS 16:11 not Proverbs 16:11. And a few missing commas. It’s because I’m in a hurry? Got to run.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Irene, no I don’t. As I said, the truth isn’t a personal attack, even if it is unpleasant. Please leave the comments policy to me whilst you concentrate on speaking in proverbs, psalms or tongues!

    clavos, exactly how old do you think I am? The RAE also does translation dictionaries and it follows that they are also the official and therefore best source.

    Actually, I didn’t know that the most common usages come first but, as I said, the dictionary I use on a daily basis had the same meanings as we associate with the word in English. I assumed they were the most common.

    To support my original point, that ruvy and the other one god theorists are cult members, if you put define:cult into google, the first result is “adherents of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices”.

  • Clavos

    Chris, How old do you think I am?

    I believe you’re in your early to mid forties, which would make you young enough (barely) to be my son.

    I wasn’t disputing your definition of Ruvy and other cultists (or of the word cult in English), just the primary (and most common)usage of the word in Spanish, which usually has nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with culture and refinement.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Wrong on both counts i’m afraid; I’m not that age and I have never heard the word culto used in any way except to do with cults during my six years here. I’m returning to England at the end of the year by the way.

  • Clavos

    Wrong on the count of your age, mayhap. But both your and my dictionaries show I was correct about culto.

    So, how old are you?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Older than me, and that’s all that matters!

    ;-D

  • Clavos

    That old, huh?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I’m used to being one of the oldest folks I run into online, but I know that Clavos is older than I am. But still not old, oh my no.

    And if I can add the blatantly obvious insight of someone whose Spanish is primarily adapted to giving simple instructions to tile layers and landscapers, there are substantial differences between Spanish as it is spoken in Spain and as it is spoken in Mexico. This may account for your different uses of the word ‘culto’.

    Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Irene,

    I looked up Psalm 16 in my Hebrew Tana”kh (my son has the English – Hebrew Artscroll volume).

    My translation of line 11:

    “You will (May You) inform me [of the] path of life; satisfying joy [is] Your Face (countenance); [it is a] delight [to be at] Your right side forever.”

    King David was very good at putting these things on parchment. I have to tell you that Hebrew is very brief in the way it expresses things. All the words in [brackets] have to be read in to the context of the few words in the text. The words in (parentheses) are alternative forms that give the text a little poetry in English.

    The text of Hebrew words alone reads as follows:

    “You will inform me path of life; satisfying joy Your Face; delight Your right side forever.”

    Learning Hebrew is mastering thinking in this style. When you are five years old, it is easy. When you are ten years old, it takes some six months to do. When you are fifty years old, it can take a lifetime.

    Let’s give that line from Tehilím a proper translation:

    May You inform me of the path of life; satisfying joy is Your Countenance; it is delight to be at Your right side forever.” [Tehilím/Psalms 16:11]

  • bliffle

    Shouldn’t a “war on cultures” be fought on canvases with oils, or in symphony halls by orchestras?

    Our new battle cry:

    “Our Georg Solti is mightier than anybody you’ve got!”

    And he’s been dead about 15 years. But he’s still collecting Grammies.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Dave, it still amuses me that, having learned some Spanish, I now perceive that Texas is more properly called Tejas, which of course means tiles!

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Actually, Chris–in this context. The Tejas were an indigenous people who lived in what is now East Texas. Just so you know. . .

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    And presumably made tiles with all that red earth you have down there?

    Actually, Wikipedia says “The state’s name derives from táyshaʔ, a word in the Caddoan language of the Hasinai, which means “friends” or “allies” “.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Wikipedia also says “Texas ranks first among the 50 states as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The state’s annual carbon dioxide emissions are nearly 1.5 trillion pounds. Texas would be the world’s seventh-largest producer of greenhouse gases if it were its own country, emitting more carbon dioxide than France, the United Kingdom, or Canada.”

    Curiously, it doesn’t say how much of that contribution comes from Dave and you chattering away! :-)

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Heh heh, Chris. The Tejas were part of the Caddo Nation. And yes the red earth is prevalent in East Texas, due to its volcanic prehistoric past, which, of course was only a few thousand years go.

    Don’t even get me started on greenhouse gases here–I live in Dallas!

  • Irene Wagner

    Ruvy, I started wanting to learn Hebrew about five years ago, but still haven’t done much about it yet. I do check the Hebrew (and Greek) translations in Strong’s Exhaustive concordance from time to time–it allows me to “string pearls” that I might miss otherwise!–and the Hebrew word given for “countenance” is “paw-neh'” which also has “face” given as a definition.

    The KJV translator-poets came up with this for Psalms 16:11 “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forever more.” The Tehili’m translation you gave is also beautiful.

  • Irene Wagner

    [Nasty comment about Christopher Rose’s deleted by author her own self.]

    Please leave the comments policy to me whilst you concentrate on speaking in proverbs, psalms or tongues!…Christopher Rose

    I’ve gone absolutely MADDDDDDD with power.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Irene,

    Just got back from village guard duty. Sat in silence for three hours with an M16, a clicker to open the gate, and an old solitaire game brought from the States.

    One can say a great deal in Hebrew using very few words. That’s the nature of the language.

    In my Hebrew-English dictionary “pen” means facet or face – its plural, “paním”, means face or countenance. From what I can deduce, “pen” means “one side of the face” in actuality, while “paním” means both sides.

    To face someone – to turn to him – is “lifnót”. Aní ponéh elékha – I turn to you, or I appeal to you – is a phrase much heard in charity appeals here. “Lifnéi” – to the face of, or in front of; “mifnéi” – from the face of, or away from.

    All these are derived from the root word “pen” or “panáh”.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    so the “pen” is mightier than the…

    but i digress…

    Excelsior?

  • Irene Wagner

    Gonzo Marx…A+ on your religion quiz! God’s pen, in Ruvy’s Hebrew translation as “face” OR in its English translation as “writing implement”, most certainly is mightier.

    To look, unpurified, upon God’s face is to die. (Luckily for us, anybody can listen for him, and after a struggle perhaps, hear.)

    And his Word (the Purifier) “…is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword
    piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Epistle to the Hebrews)

    And Ruvy, I’ve prayed for the peace of Jerusalem for a long time. Shalom.

    To infinity and beyond!

  • Lumpy

    I’ve talked to god and he tells me he’d really appreciate it if you’d all stop talking like you’re his appointed voices and go out and just treat other people decently.

  • Dr Dreadful

    #269:

    Irene, are you the comments editor now?

    What have you done with Chris? Show me where you buried the body.

  • Maurice

    gonzo #234

    Motorhead? Enjoyed it although I am more of a Oscar Peterson man myself….

    At any rate you made me smile….

  • gonzo marx

    glad ya enjoyed it, Maurice…that clip/song is pretty autobiographical for me…that version holds a special place

    but i digress…

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    Maurice,

    I’m a Peterson fan, too. Hadn’t seen that clip before; very nice.

    Do you like Bill Charlap?

  • moonraven

    And, just one comment before going for a delicious lunch: The US has now killed more Iraquis than Saddam Hussein did.

    Congratulations, barbarians!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Maurice

    Clavos #277

    thanks for the link. I had not heard of Bill before. Have you heard of Gene Harris? Check him out. You might like him. We were lucky when he retired here in Boise. Now we have an annual Jazz Festival in his honor.

  • moonraven

    Ah shit, his own private Idaho.

    Again.

    Yet he didn’t even know that CDA is both a city in Idaho and a Native American tribe.

    Nice work, tenderfoot.

    I come from that country and I know horseshit when I see it.

    And baby, it’s you.

    Badadadadadada…..

  • moonraven

    (Shirelles version, of course. 1962. The year I graduated from high school in shitkicking Ellensburg, Washington.)

  • Irene Wagner

    #274 Donated it to science, Dr.D., per his last request.

    * brandishes Magic Deleting Wand *

    And my next wwwwictim….

  • Clavos

    Maurice,

    Yes, I am aware (and very much like) Gene Harris’s work, in large part because I’m also a Ray Brown fan.

    Have you seen this rendition of Summertime?

    Also, if you’re not already familiar with it, I listen a lot online to KPLU in Seattle, which plays good jazz (and some good blues, too) 24/7.

    If you have broadband, give it a listen; I think you’ll like it.

    And lastly, here’s an interesting clip from this year’s Gene Harris Jazz Festival. The audio is not so good (it’s amateur made), but it’s fun.

    Enjoy!

  • Irene Wagner

    I only like Magic Delete Wands when they’re imaginary.

    If this sort of thing escalates our enemies will be closer to home than Tehran. :(

  • Clavos

    Sure looks like a set-up to me.

    The kid must be a serious drama student; he’s certainly got the histrionics down pat.