Today on Blogcritics
Home » A Return to International Diplomacy

A Return to International Diplomacy

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

One of the key criticisms of the former administration was a noted lack of international diplomacy. With Barack Obama’s new team poised to fulfill the promise of change, his administration must place international diplomacy and foreign affairs at the top of its list.

Recently, however, diplomacy has been viewed as a political weakness, greatly tarnishing our respectability and moral standing throughout much of the world. A return to an era of international diplomacy, especially given the current global recession, would ensure that America could  serve again as the beacon of hope for so many abroad. It is our respectability and reputation that are of the utmost importance, and the process of cultivating that reputation requires a keen understanding of global interconnection.

It is difficult to progress as a nation if we do not recognize the power of globalization and the importance of international relations. The Obama administration must reconnect the bonds with our allies while continually seeking new connections. There is truth to the old adage that there is strength in numbers. If we are to contribute to the advances of the 21st century, we, as a nation, must seek an inclusive approach to international affairs.

The controversial phrase, Bush Doctrine speaks to the nature of preemptive war which, many argue, undermines the notion of peaceful disengagement. To peacefully disengage from conflict can be and often is a better means of preventing conflict. The idea, however, that a country is justified in attacking another sovereign nation before a threat is even presented, is,  I would argue, a contradictory stance. A preemptive war, which is based on fear, actualized or not, cannot aid this nation in any attempt at diplomatic relations.

Our relation with other nations, that is, how that relation is perceived, is a very real thing with very real consequences. The Iran Contra Affair speaks volumes to the reality of perceptions, insofar as much of the conflict could have been mitigated with a transparent government and better diplomatic relations. The process of courting allegiances and investing both diplomatic relations and capital into bolstering our international respectability can only make our global reputation that much stronger.

As the saying goes, our reputation must precede us; this suggests that the thought of an American among foreigners, should not elicit images of arrogance and entitlement. We ought to care about our global perception. We ought to take very seriously the ramifications of any attempts, by domestics or foreigners, to tarnish the good name of America. It is the idea of freedom and democracy that we must protect, because, interestingly enough, those concepts protect us.

Non citizens want to become citizens because of these concepts. The ideas of freedom and democracy have motivated countless millions to flee their respective countries and find a safe haven within our borders. If however, our name is tarnished, if we are losing respectability among international communities, people will not choose to come to America. People will grow resentful of our arrogance, and eventually they will attack us. Preventing that attack, however, does not require the use of force; it only requires the recognition of our global status and a strong sense of humility.

Powered by

About Jason J. Campbell

  • chris

    The years of gun boat diplomacy are long over.The world is a much different place with economic and military modernization changing the landscape of many nations, our old techniques will not work.

  • Ruvy

    The idea, however, that a country is justified in attacking another sovereign nation before a threat is even presented, is, I would argue, a contradictory stance. A preemptive war, which is based on fear, actualized or not, cannot aid this nation in any attempt at diplomatic relations.

    A preëmptive war makes a lot of sense – if a real threat is presented to a country. Examples of this were the actions of the Egyptians and Syrians against Israel in both 1967 and 1973. When one compares the results of the two wars, one sees the difference a preëmptive strike against a real threat makes.

    While Iraq was building a force of chemical and nuclear weapons, it presented a real threat – but not to the United States. Taking down Saddam Hussein was the act of one thug putting down another – much the same way Noriega got taken down. While American soldiers have tried to do good things for Iraqis on the ground, Iraqis understood very well that the big thug in Washington was knocking off the little thug in Baghdad.

    The Bush Doctrine was cooked up to avoid waging a war of revenge on the real enemy whose forces attacked America – the Saudis and the Wahhabi religion of hatred they espouse. It can never be emphasized too strongly that the Bush family were mere Saudi employees. It remains to be seen if B. Hussein Obama got hired by the House of Saud also. I suspect you’ll see the marks of the thobe on him soon enough….

  • Arch Conservative

    As a Republican myself I have had serious doubts about the motivations and executions of Bush foreign policy.

    However this does not mean that I have adopted so bizarre leftist view of the world.

    Case in point……..

    American leftists are under the impression that it is our own fault that radical islamic terrorists wish to do us harm. They believe that if we just change our foreign policy teh threat of radical islam will go away. But this is not the case at all. In European nations today we see more and more every day the demands of radical islamic immigrants who wish to supplant the native culture and law with their own. Sadly too many european citizens and leaders stand idly by and allow this to go on. Europe unlike America had to bear witness with thier own eyes on their own front yards the bloody atrocities of war a mere 65 years ago and because of this one may understand why they’re not anxious to see it again so soon. But there comes a time when’s only choices are stand up and fight again or lose your culture, your national soveriegnty, your very future and that of your children to an invading force.

    There’s no doubt that this is not a war in the traditional sense of war either. Even more important than taking up arms is the need for the Western world to effectively combat the propaganda that is fed to each new generation of young people in the nations that spawn radical islamists.

    It’s 2008 and with Bush gone it’s a sad state of affairs to see that so many are intent on either continuing to blame all of our most pressing problems on him or minimize or ignore them completely.

  • Brunelleschi

    Arch-

    That’s a crock. It is not “bizarre” to look at reality and think about why organizations act like they do. It is crazy to just think that people oppose America for no reason, and we just have to decide to kill them.

    Look at history. The Crusades brutally attacked the Middle East out of greed and faith. Muslims know this. They still talk about the Crusades as if they happened yesterday.

    Bush played into OBL’s agenda. He was telling his followers that Bush would just revive the Crusades, among other things. (Read Imperial Hubris). Bush was stupid enough to prove OBL right as far as that goes.

    The west attacked Iraq to change it’s oil from a nationalized industry to a private one controlled by western money. If you can’t understand that fact, you can’t understand Islam’s anger.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    To add to your comment, #4:

    Even if other countries and cultures agree that the West expansion would bring them “progress,” they’re not as ready as we think to abandon their ways and join the global community of the future. Walter Russell Mead has a great book (God and Gold) describing the paradigm of Anglo-Saxon expansion, which, however successful, creates a great deal of resentment – even among the Europeans.

  • Doug Hunter

    “The Crusades brutally attacked the Middle East out of greed and faith.”

    Your leftist anti-WASP bias is showing. The crusades were a response to RETAKE lands that Muslims had brutally overtaken in the first place. Perhaps it is you who needs a bit of history and perspective instead of just regurgitating propaganda.

  • Brunelleschi

    Doug-

    What a bunch of nonsense!

    The Pope ordered the first Crusade.

    When, EXACTLY, did the Pope have title to Jerusalem, and when did he lose it? European Christians had NO claim to the middle east. They packed their bags and travelled thousands of miles to attack and kill for it.

    Read some real history, not fantasy.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Do you think the church in Rome had nothing to do with it?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    There’s another point he seems to be missing. We’ve been getting away with it for quite some time now, and now it’s catching up with us. If he thinks that the Anglo-Saxon coalition will rule the world, he’s got a surprise coming. It’s a new era, buddy, sorry to disappoint you. You may just have to live, and peacefully, with peoples of different skin color or cultures. So get used to it rather than daydream about the good old glory days. They’re gone!

  • Doug Hunter

    I’m speaking in facts you’re spouting anti-christian propaganda. I stand by my account, which is backed by mound of historical evidence, that the crusades were a response to muslim aggression and the purpose was to retake previously christian lands.

    Those are well established facts which anyone with a modest capacity to read can verify.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    From Wikipedia: “The Crusades were a series of religion-driven military campaigns waged by much of Christian Europe against external and internal opponents. Crusades were fought mainly against Muslims, though campaigns were also directed against pagan Slavs, Jews, Russian and Greek Orthodox Christians, Mongols, Cathars, Hussites, Waldensians, Old Prussians, and political enemies of the popes.

    The Crusades originally had the goal of recapturing Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim rule… The term is also used to describe contemporaneous and subsequent campaigns conducted through to the 16th century in territories outside the Levant usually against pagans, heretics, and peoples under the ban of excommunication for a mixture of religious, economic, and political reasons. Rivalries among both Christian and Muslim powers led also to alliances between religious factions against their opponents, such as the Christian alliance with the Sultanate of Rum during the Fifth Crusade.

    The Crusades had far-reaching political, economic, and social impacts, some of which have lasted into contemporary times. Because of internal conflicts among Christian kingdoms and political powers, some of the crusade expeditions were diverted from their original aim, such as the Fourth Crusade, which resulted in the sack of Christian Constantinople and the partition of the Byzantine Empire between Venice and the Crusaders. The Sixth Crusade was the first crusade to set sail without the official blessing of the Pope. The Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Crusades resulted in Mamluk and Hafsid victories, as the Ninth Crusade marked the end of the Crusades in the Middle East.”

    Possibly not recapturing Christian lands then…

  • Clavos

    Roger and Bru are right. I say it’s high time for the Mexicans to re-take all the land the Gringo racists stole from them.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    You can have california back…texas too…I like AZ though…you can’t have that back.

  • STM

    OK guys, let’s put thus muslim migrants thing into perspective.

    The radicals who have moved to Europe (and Australia) constitute a very small hard core. They might find some fertile ground in a small way in the public housing estates where some of the new arrivals are being resettled when they first land, but the truth is, the vast majority are embracing their new lives and becoming part of the cultural fabric of the countries they move to.

    I listened to a radio talk-back show driving home the other night where the host was talking about calls to ban the burqua (the muslim whole head and body covering for women).

    Most of the callers were muslims who had grown up here. They supported the ban. They also point out that the burqua is not a requirement of being a muslim.

    None of them opposed the wearing of the hijab … but they suggested the burqa had unfortunate connotations when it came to the perception of islam among non-muslim Australisn.

    One guy, a devout muslim, suggested that if people (some muslims) are so concerned about women being seen, they should stay in the house. Another sugggested they shouldn’t have bothered coming here in the first place if it’s that much of an issue.

    The problem is that some among us who are turning their anger towards muslims only want to hear the calls of the radicals among us, who are small in number, but not the voice of ordinary muslim moderation and restraint, which is large but speaking softly.

    This whole argument is totally overblown. Yes, there are some issues, especially of criminality in urging such things as physical violence and so-called jihad, but it’s precisely that: criminal.

    Most muslims I’ve encountered here describe themselves as Australians first and muslims second and have no wish to see sharia law implemented, or even to change the fabric of the community they chose to live amongst.

    As one fellow I know says: “We have the right to live our lives here the way we want and to worship how we wish … we have a better life. Why would we need to change it.”

    That is also a view I’ve encountered in Europe, and I suspect it’s exactly the same among muslim communities in America.

    Seriously, let’s not make more of this than there is. It’s like suggesting all Irish Catholics are members of the IRA, and it’s a crock.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    When, EXACTLY, did the Pope have title to Jerusalem, and when did he lose it? European Christians had NO claim to the middle east. They packed their bags and travelled thousands of miles to attack and kill for it.

    Sorry, wrong. At the time of Jesus, which was hundreds of years before the birth of Mohammed, the middle east was under Roman control. The belief of the medieval Catholic church, based on the Donation of Constantine (which they may not have known was a forgery at the time) was that the church was the legal heir to the Roman Empire. Therefore, in recapturing the holy land from the muslims who did not even exist as a religion at the time of the Roman Empire, they were merely reclaiming Roman territory which was theirs by prior right from invaders of the new religion.

    Now, if you put aside the religious aspect of it, the Europeans still have a valid argument, because Rome was a European power and had held that territory prior to being kicked out by subsequent invaders who were not native to the area either. The Turks were no more native to the holy land than the Romans were and the Romans had a prior claim, so their heirs in the Catholic church or the nations which descended from their empire had a reasonable argument that they were reclaiming their own territory.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Chris,

    I looked at it too, but I was trying to dig deeper. It’s not all that clear from the W’s entry how the whole thing got started. There’s no question of Muslim expansion though, but it’s hard to amass all the pertinent details on a short notice. I even looked at Pirenne’s thesis and “Mohhamed and Charlemagne,” but it’d just take too much time.

    Roger

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    No, Clavos,

    You’re missing the point. It’s always a matter of conquest and has been so throughout history; and I don’t have a particular stake here like defending or attacking Christianity (but you may have). To try to get into the bottom and find out who’s right and who’s wrong takes a lifetime; scholars do it, and even then histories get re-written every so often. I just don’t like to presume, like you or some of your compadres, that the answers are just there at your fingertips. You know that ain’t so and there is always at least another side to every story.

    But there is a larger point that you and your friend Doug here appear to be missing. It’s a different world and the era of conquest is over.

  • Brunelleschi

    Dave-

    That is just retarded.

    Using your logic, American Indians could wait 1,000 years, then use their casino money to blow up America, kill large numbers of people, and claim that it’s just fine. You would have to agree with it.

    Killing is still killing. The Crusades were murder and there is no such thing as a good excuse for murder. We are living with that legacy today, even it you can’t see it due to ignorance.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    STM,

    You may be right about that situation, but we’re dealing here with perceptions and modes of thinking which have been passed on through generations. Besides, Islam is a faith that depends on expansion; it’s part of their creed; and it’s political to the core. Their “Kingdom of God” is the objective to be accomplished here and now, not in the hereafter.

    Roger

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Sorry, Bruni. Your argument holds no water. Why is one invader more entitled to a land than another invader? The crusades were not a situation of a contest between the native population and an invader population, but between two different groups of invaders.

    Killing is still killing. The Crusades were murder and there is no such thing as a good excuse for murder. We are living with that legacy today, even it you can’t see it due to ignorance.

    All war is murder. When the turks invaded the middle east they killed far more people than the crusades did. When Mohammed forcibly converted the region to Islam he killed enormously more people than the turks or the crusaders.

    Your mistake is in thinking that any group of murderers is inherently better or worse than any other.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I have to agree with you on that, Dave, unless you have an air-tight case, which I doubt anyone here does. Any PhD in medieval history out there?
    I didn’t think so.

  • Brunelleschi

    Roger-

    Where do you get that from?

    Islam is just more monotheistic BS.

    Jesus also said that the Kingdom of God would be here, now, in this lifetime. He was referring to the present time, when he lived. He told his disciples that this kingdom would be led by 12 tribes, and guess who gets to lead them? His own crew would, with Jesus as godman’s “agent” when it happens. It was just political BS to gain their allegiance, and it got him executed.

    It’s all just old political myths. I don’t think they were into imperialism, at least not like we see it now. That came later.

    Even now, Arab powerhouses don’t see world domination as a goal. Their “world” is the middle east. They are reacting to imperialism because it drains value and exports it somewhere else. Al Qaeda’s agenda is to boot the Crusaders out one more time.

    Arabs got pulled into the world stage with oil money, but that’s another story. Don’t even get me started on how Texans taught them the business and got the whole mess going…

  • Brunelleschi

    Dave-

    I didn’t say one invader was any better than the other. It just needs to stop.

    Your mistake.

    Read more carefully!

    I also didn’t say anything about the rights of “native” populations in the middle east. Judea was occupied by other powers before Rome anyway. How far do you want to go back?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Bru – I’m curious if you can come up with a verse i nteh bible where Jesus said his kingdom was here…as I recall it, the line was something like…my kingdom is not of this Earth…I think there was another line that went something like the kingdom of god is at hand…

    Please, enlighten me!

  • STM

    Roger: “Their “Kingdom of God” is the objective to be accomplished here and now, not in the hereafter”

    You missed my point entirely. That might be true of the islamists, who might make a tiny proportion of the muslims you or I are ever likely to meet.

    The average, ordinary muslim has no thoughts along those lines beyond wanting their kids to go to school, to have jobs, mortgages, cars, a decent life, etc.

    This whole argument is spurious. We’re talking radical islamists here, not the 99 per cent of muslims who might emigrate to a new country and embrace it.

    Tarring everyone with the same brush and subjecting people to this kind of viewpoint only ostracises them … that’s the trap: and that’s where the seed for radical thought is sown as that then becomes fertile ground for discontent.

    Communities that embrace new migrants don’t have those problms as the new migrants aren’t disaffected.

    I know of one muslim girl who was born here and had her headscarf ripped off by some idiots at a suburban railway station, and was told to “go back where she came from”.

    Let’s not worry about the fact she was born here. In tears, she was telling us: “I’m Australian”.

    This is where this thought process crosses the line into the kind of treatment meted out to the jews in the 1930s and 40s in continental Europe. It’s no different.

    It’s just based on fear of another person’s perceived difference. I say perceived because in many cases, apart from different religious upbringings, they aren’t any different at all.

    We are making them different – and in many cases ostracising them – by subscribing to this nonsense.

    On topic: Obama is right about engaging others … talk might be cheap, but blowing the sh.t out of people and sowing the seeds of hate against the west becomes a very expensive option in so many ways.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    STM,

    No, I got your point of course. I was just saying that in the power/decision making circles that was the view. I sure hope that will change and that we’ll be able to diffuse the situation and winning over great many Muslim away from radicalism.

    Roger

  • Brunelleschi

    Glad to, but I didn’t say it was in the bible.

    I study the historical Jesus. I got that from a lecture series by Bart Ehrman. Do a google on his work. It’s good stuff.

    The bible was written long after Jesus’s death and reflects what his followers wanted to say about what happened. To pick through all the propaganda takes a lot of serious scholarship.

    The part where Jesus was telling his disciples that the kingdom would be here/now and they would each lead one of the 12 tribes again, with him in charge as king/godman’s agent is what Judas told authorities. The bible refers to this as Judas’s betrayal.

    it’s really not rocket science. Jesus was a minor travelling magic show. Judea was under Roman occupation, and Judaism was in the hands of a suckup collaborator. What do you do when you are a political activist with no money and no army, and your opposition is a superpower, and local managers that report to that power? All you have is talk. So, tell everyone that all the existing powers are going down, and you will be there to pick up the pieces.

    Jesus took his crew to Jerusalem during passover to spread the word that the powerful would fall-both the Romans and Jewish managers. It seems pretty naive at this point to think that everyone would just stop what they are doing and say “yeah, sign us up!”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bru (#22),

    First, Muhammad himself set the example. And then the spread of Islam was always connected with and depended on territorial expansion and establishing a caliphate according to the laws of sharia. Of course, some caliphates were more or less secular, like that of Harun al Rashid. When Christ talk of the Kingdom of Heaven here and now, he means it in a spiritual way – so we might follow his example, as per the Sermon on the Mount, for example. But Christ never connected it with establishing a kingdom in the political sense (give Caesar what belongs to …)

    Roger

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bru,

    Re: your later comment, I can’t go by the studies of the historical Jesus. They’re just as muddled and speculative as some would say the New Testament is. I have to go by what is written.

    Roger

  • Brunelleschi

    People who study the historical Jesus do a better job of using “what is written” than people who use those same words to justify what they want to believe.

    When you just crack open a bible, you can find anything you want.

    When you study it correctly, as a scholar, your task is to look at all of it, and understand the motives, sources, biases, etc.

    Anyone can play “read my quote..”

    “His disciples said to him, “When will the rest for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?”

    He said to them, “What you are looking forward to has come, but you don’t know it.””

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bru,

    I would say that’s debatable, especially since the very study of “historical Jesus” is (to some) a psudo-scientific enterprise. Anyways, that didn’t come into being until when … wasn’t A. Schweitzer one of the pioneers in the field.
    I’m not going to debate the scriptures with you because I don’t have a doctorate in theology. But the general consensus seems to be that Christ was not a revolutionary in the sense you’re making him out to be. Anyways, I’m still not certain what hangs on this? What’s at stake?

    Roger

  • Brunelleschi

    Roger.

    It doesn’t really matter. I was just responding to #19. My point was Islam has no monopoly on the “Kingdom of God is here and now” thing.

    History is history. Facts are facts. Historical scholarship is about facts, not beliefs. There is nothing pseudo-scientific about it.

    Taking beliefs and passing them off as facts is not logical, or accurate. The bible is a book of beliefs, one of many. It’s value is we get a look at what people believed in the past, and how they passed those beliefs on. That is all.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bru,

    OK, but Islam makes no bone about it. So are you saying then that Christianity has always had a hidden agenda to dominate the secular world. And I don’t mean to include here papal ambitions or those of the secular rules who used Christianity as a banner (like the Holy Roman Empire). I’m talking only about what’s implicit in the teachings. That would be a very radical view that you are proposing, counter to everyday understanding of it. Anyway, as I answered you on another thread, matters of dogma are of less importance to me than matters of faith, as expounded by such thinkers as Kierkegaard.

    Roger

  • Brunelleschi

    Does Islam really say that? I’m not so sure.

    My understanding of Islam is that it is about unity with God. This means god is so important, that nothing else matters, not property, not family, not world domination.

    Perhaps this talk of world domination is spin. I have studied Islam a a little and don’t remember the world domination part.

    Christ’s agenda wasn’t so much to dominate the secular world. He said it would end, and be replaced by the Kingdom of God. You don’t need to dominate it if it isn’t going to exist after “it” happens.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bru,

    I’ll have to look and my sources and provide you some. So that will take some time. Of course, there’ll always be a counter-argument, as there is, for example, about the nature of Koran itself. But I think that, in conjunction with the study of Islamic expansion, it is not very difficult to come to that conclusion. It is a militant and politically-oriented faith, not like Christianity which was USED on any number of occasions for political purposes.

    Roger

  • Brunelleschi

    Islam has actually tamed beasts as well.

    The mongols were brutal imperialists, but when they got far enough east to find Islam, it actually mellowed them out.

    Explain that!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    You do have two main factions: one are the descendants from Muhammad, and another one; and they’re different as to how they envisage caliphate and also how it was being run – either on a somewhat secular basis and the fundamentalist. I believe that’s the basis for the Sunni-Shiite distinction.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, they were great at allowing peoples they conquered to assimilate, especially in the early periods when the Arab culture was the dominant culture in the worlds in terms of sciences, literature and discovery. I don’t know the exact percentage of Muslims in the world today, but that number speaks to that ability.

  • (Mark) Eden

    It’s good to see more fresh writers, Jason; nice concise set of articles.

    I think that most folks who immigrate to the US of late come because, in a very real sense, our streets are cobbled with ‘gold’ collected from around the world. The money to pay for their labor — their only possession — has been concentrated here.

    At this point, rather than simply protecting and projecting some reified concept of ‘freedom and democracy’, we need to demonstrate to the world that we can keep people fed and housed without further enslaving anyone at home or abroad. Our preemptive actions need to be against starvation and exposure.

    I don’t see how our government as currently structured can be much help in this stuck as it is on supporting production for profit.

    Mark

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    “Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is forgiving, Merciful” Qur’an 9:29

    The fact that the yconverted a few back in the day might have something to do with this passage from the Qur’an…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Right, Andy,

    To avoid their sword was the great motivator.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Mark, #39,

    Yeah, we can’t do that now – speak of freedom or justice in the same breath. It wouldn’t be believable. But fifty years ago, it was still possible.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    I have to agree with you on that, Dave, unless you have an air-tight case, which I doubt anyone here does. Any PhD in medieval history out there?

    Yes. Well, ABD – never turned in my dissertation.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Dave,

    Well, OK then. That’s why your account a few comments back was so cogent. I even wondered how could you think so fast on your feet.

    Roger

  • Baronius

    Jason, I question your comments about the Bush administration. They went to war in Iraq without the entire Arab League rising up against us. The administration helped to keep an expanding Russia and a crazy North Korea in check. They strengthened trading relations around the world, probably being the only country in history to count China, Korea, and Japan as friends. Europe continues to unite without becoming a rival to the US. Then there’s the subtlety with which they maintained close ties with India and a volatile Pakistan. Probably the only friend we lost in eight years was Venezuela, run by a tyrant whose entire raison d’etre is anti-Americanism.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Doug –

    he crusades were a response to RETAKE lands that Muslims had brutally overtaken in the first place.

    No sir, that is NOT true. Much of the land that had been taken by the Moors had already been retaken, and the Moorish states were in decline.

    Palestine and its surrounds had been in Muslim hands for centuries, pretty much since the fall of Rome – and its rulers were NOT affiliated with the Moors who had invaded Spain. To say that they were would be like holding, say, France responsible for the Spanish takeover of the Philippines because both Spain and France were mainly Catholic kingdoms at the time.

    You should also know that the Crusades (only the first of which ever met with real success (but read about the massacre in Jerusalem by the Crusaders)) were by far NOT the biggest threat to Islam at the time. The greatest threat to Islam during the time of the Crusades…was by a man named Genghis Khan. The Crusades (after the first one was ended by the QUITE honorable Kurdish general Saladin) became, in all honesty, a bit of a sideshow.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Andy –

    If you want to claim that Muslims are violent because of the Qur’an, then you should bear in mind that of all the world’s religions throughout the great sweep of history, adherents of ‘mainstream Christianity’ have killed by far the most innocent people in the Name of God.

    I’ve pointed that out many times – refute it if you can.

  • Brunelleschi

    It’s remarkable how Christians started with a minor league traveling magic show preacher who said “Give away all your possessions and follow me, because you won’t need them in the Kingdom ahead.. ” and turned it into a justification for violent imperialism.

    Who made ships and sailed around the world killing and plundering, claiming this land or that for King, or King and god? That was Western European Christians, the most violent religion ever.

    Spain, England, Portugal and France plundered the new world. The Arabs didn’t.

  • Arch Conservative

    Arch-

    “That’s a crock. It is not “bizarre” to look at reality and think about why organizations act like they do. It is crazy to just think that people oppose America for no reason, and we just have to decide to kill them.”

    They not only oppose America but Western civilization in general. This is evidenced by such incidients as the subway bombing in london, the train bombing in spain, the nightclub bombing in bali, the murder of theo van gogh, the rioting in France, the attempt to subvert native culture and law in the Netherlands and other European nations, the calls for a teacher in the Sudan who committed the horrible crime against humanity of allowing a student to name her teddy bear “mohammed.” to be killed.

    It’s not an American problem it’s a global problem Bruno. And I never claimed there was no reason why these radical islmaists are they way they are. there is most certainly a reason why they are the way they are. Flowery language and worthless attempts at overintellectuallized extrapolations to justify their behavior need not be used to determine that reason either. the reason is quite clear…

    “they’re fucked in the head.”

    They are religious fanatics living in the past hellbent on destroying everything that does not conform to their world view through the use of violence.

    This is quite obvious and it always amazes me when I see the lengths to which some people will go to to deny the truth of this reality. It’s quite common to see, as was done on this post, someone change the subject to the evils of Christianity by discussing the Crusades, a series of events that took place almost 1000 years ago and which has no practical bearing on what’s going on in the world today.

    I that for some when they can’t back up their bogus claims that there is no real threat to the world from islamic fanaticism or that the threat is grossly overblown it is so easy to start ranting and raving about the evils committed by this group or that group hundreds of years ago. But the attempts to use those events to explain what’s going on in the world today are laughable to say the least.

    The cold hard truth is that radical islam (notice I said radical islam and not islam, you lefty islamofacist apologists are quite prone to putting words in the mouths of those you disagree with and tossing around socially stigmatized semantic hand grenades like “islamaphobe” that have no basis in reality but really only reveal your inability to discuss the issue on it’s merits) is at war with not just America but anyone and everyone that will not bend to it’s will.

    I submit to you that the foreign policy of many of the nations where radical islam has reared it’s ugly head (Russia, Spain, Bali, Kenya, Australia, France, Denmark, England, the Netherlands, etc etc etc) is very different from that of AMerica. It’s not an AMerican arrogance problem as you and your cohorts would have us believe Bruno.

    Nor are bombs and bullets alone the answer to this most untraditional war. We must wage a different type of war against radical Islam to counter the propaganda that these twisted jihadist fucks are instilling in their four and five year old children with each new generation. We must win the minds and the trust of these young people before they become radicalized.

    One last thing……There is one thing I respect about China despite the myriad of things I loathe about them, most pertaining to the way the government cares nothing for the welfare of it’s people and that is the fact that they would not stand for anyone or anything impugning their sovereignty. People like to gripe about America’s response to 911 but we can only imagine what China’s response would have been had the islamofacists pulled a stunt like that there. I can only hope that they do try to pull such a stunt in China sometime soon and succeed so that China has the reason it needs to answer back with an extremely overblown yet extremely definitive response. Maybe then even morons who like to talk about the Crusades or the evils of George Bush when the subject of radical Islam in 2009 comes up will finally either discuss the real problem at hand or just shut their f-ing pieholes for once and let those who are willing and able deal with the problem.

  • Jordan Richardson

    The basic point behind a lot of radical Islam is that there is a feeling that America’s influence is permeating their own culture far too much. They resent a lot of the sexual content, materialism, and other notions that are beginning to creep into even the furthest corners of the world from Western entertainment.

    While I revel in the sex and materialism, I wouldn’t were I a Muslim and I can understand – to a degree – the notion of resentment many of them carry towards it. Nobody wants to be a terrorist, except those who are mentally ill and those individuals are not confined to Islam or any corner of the world. Instead, many falsely believe that terrorist acts are their last line of defence against the “evils” of American influence.

    Beyond which, America itself has used terrorism around the world to exert its influence in starting military coups, dethroning democratically elected leaders, starting “revolutions,” and so forth. I don’t know that Americans ought to be surprised that other societies do the same or have a desire to do the same to America.

    None of this justifies terrorism, but I think in order to truly understand it we need to clearly define it. It isn’t just “those people over there” that commit terrorism.

    In order to establish what terrorism is, we can look at the CIA’s definition contained in Title 22 of the US Code, Section 2656f(d):

    The term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.

    Also,

    The term “international terrorism” means terrorism involving the territory or the citizens of more than one country.

    Even the most cursory glance of American history, especially American history since World War II, finds an awful lot of activity that fits the official CIA definition of terrorism. United States intervention in Nicaragua, Haiti, Honduras, and Guatemala match the definition. The fiasco involving the Contras, in which the CIA funded the groups that perpetrated numerous attacks on civilians, also comes to mind. And so on.

    So when we look at terrorism and we point fingers at other parts of the world and other cultures, we ought to look at ourselves as well. If the United States aims to lead by example, that example has a lot of shaping up to do.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Bing,

    Good points against a contemptuously dismissive “expert”. Just a quibble with you over names.

    Don’t waste your time with “radical Islam” – that is not what you are dealing with. Your condemnations are of the Wahhabi and all the scum they have influenced – the Moslem Brotherhood, the Deobandy in India etc. These people have addresses – and therefore have coördinates that can be entered into a missile or rocket launcher. Gaza is one of them.

    The Wahhabi are not Moslems at all. They are heretics, who, because they control Makka and Medina, also control a lot of madrassas – and they have filled these madrassas with lies, hatred and falsehood. Their students are killers filled with a holy mission – to force the Wahhabi heresy down everybody’s throat.

    The Shi’a in Persia (who are not Wahhabi) were always this extreme in their beliefs. But the influence and success of the Wahhabi lies has egged them on to think that they can re-establish the Persian Empire, and they are working hard at it.

  • Brunelleschi

    Jordan-

    A good book on America’s terrorism is “The REAL Terror Network.”

    It’s enough to give an ignorant conservative a heart attack.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    It’s quite common to see, as was done on this post, someone change the subject to the evils of Christianity by discussing the Crusades, a series of events that took place almost 1000 years ago and which has no practical bearing on what’s going on in the world today.

    Careful – your American short attention span is showing!

    Before you get steamed about that statement, what you do not realize is that not everyone has short attention spans like we Americans tend to have – myself included. Generally speaking, the older the society, the greater the extent that history looms in their lives…and in a society where it is not unusual at all to walk past mosques and other buildings that are older than ANYTHING made by humans in the Western Hemisphere (with the possible exception of some Mayan/Aztec/Inca architecture)…

    …Arch, it’s not much of a stretch to say they see America as a rash upstart – and if you think that they don’t still bear grudges for the Crusades, you really haven’t been paying attention.

    And FYI, hundreds of thousands of innocents were killed by ‘Christians’ in the Name of God…even in the lifetime of your parents. Look up what happened in Croatia in WWII – so don’t pretend that mainstream ‘Christianity’ doesn’t have far more blood on its hands than Islam does. Frankly, it can be argued that their violence is at its roots a reaction to the violence that ‘Christians’ foisted upon them.

  • Arch Conservative

    Well yes Glenn I have heard that the time frame embraced by others in other cultures can be quite different from my own as an American.

    However it’s also interesting to note that there are those who come from the same nations and the same cultures as these extremists who do not obsess upon nearly millenia old events but rather choose to live in the present and attempt to arrive at non-violent solutions to the problems that exist between themselves and those they disagree with.

    What can be the explanation when we see one individual growing up in a middle eastern muslim nation become a terrorist and we see another coming from the very same environment becomign a peaceful practicioner of the same faith who may have gripes with the West but does not express them violently and does not view every single Westerner as their enemy who must be killed?

    Admittedly I do not have the understanding of what goes on in the middle east as someone like Ruvy, who has lived there but it seems to me that class, as in America may often determine one’s path in life. it’s my understanding that those who do become the islamofascist terorists often do so because they are very poor with limited choices in life from the get go so they are easy pick’ns for the propaganda coming from al queda, hammas and the like. I liken it to the gang problems in Los Angeles where poor inner city black youths with limited options turn to gangs because the gangs provide for them a sense of belonging and a sense of security in this world. on one level I do have sympathy for them but on another more practical level I have no problem whatsoever when someone acting on my behalf takes them out when they become a threat to society at large.

    Oh and I never said Christianity doesn’t have blood on it’s hands Glenn so please don’t claim I did. My point is merely that at the current moment in time radical Islam is much more of a threat to the world than radical Christianity. if you want to go blow by blow citing examples comparing the two faiths and how their extremists are bringing misery to the world in recent years I’d be than glad to do so with you.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Unfortunately, Bing, Glenn is not at all off the mark here. There are some American southerners who refer to “the war”, the American Civil War, as though it happened last week, and there are Persians who refer with bitter hatred to Alexander’s conquest of their country 2,300 years ago! India s filled with sectional rivalries and bitterness and events that took place thousands of years ago get mixed in with last week’s business scandals in the Times of India or The Hindu. And we in Israel talk of the ‘Akeidá, the near sacrifice of Isaac on Mount Moria, an event that took place 4,000 years ago, as though it happened last month or so.

    By these standards, America is a young upstart, and Chris Rose’s comments that America is still a young society ring with resonance here.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Ruvy – thanks. I appreciate that.

    Arch – when comparing religions, one should NOT judge that religion just by their current behavior, but by the WHOLE of their history.

    Why? Because any religion which would claim to be the ONLY true religion (as almost all religions do) should be able to back up such words by NEVER straying from its doctrinal strictures throughout the WHOLE of its history. For instance, Christianity is the religion of peace and goodwill – but how many religious wars have both the Catholics and protestants waged as aggressors? If you know your European history, you must agree that there were several…and even ONE unjust war waged by those of a ‘peaceful’ religion strongly calls that religion into question.

    I refer you to Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. He remarked how, before the Christians took power in Rome they were completely pacifistic, that they would not raise a hand in their own defense (remember Jesus stopping Peter from attacking the Roman soldier?). Once they took power in Rome under Constantine, however, things changed…and ‘Christianity’ was no longer the pacifistic religion that Jesus had instituted.

    So YES, Arch, if you are to judge the truth of a religion, then you must view the whole history of that religion, and if they claimed to be a religion of peace and goodwill but at many points in their history were NOT peaceful…

    …by their works shall ye know them.

  • Arch Conservative

    “Arch – when comparing religions, one should NOT judge that religion just by their current behavior, but by the WHOLE of their history.”

    My objective isn’t to compare religions but to illustrate what the world’s most pressing problems are and how to deal with them.

    That’s the problem with these blogs. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a healthy curiosity and interest in world history but to explore it at the sake of glossing over the real problems we’re faced with at this very moment is foolish.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Bing,

    In order to understand something you need to examine it in all of its dimensions. Height, width, length and TIME. There are four dimensions in space/time, and religions and the nations that are often attached to them are living things that exist in space/time. And not all religions contemplate the world the same way – a point I have tried to drive home to Dan Miller at his fine analysis of whether religion Christianity should influence politics.

    It is for this reason that one studies history. Events that took place 1,500 years ago that seem meaningless today often take on huge meaning when examined in context.

  • Arch Conservative

    Yes but in all dimensions the closer you get to that very specific thing you’re examining the more relevant your observations become Ruvy.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Agreed, Bing. But the point I’m trying to get across to you is that time is not always distance. That is a particularly American notion that something that happened last week, last month, last year, etc loses relevance. It just ain’t so, Bing.

    When I was a kid I made friends with a girl from Napoli. In addition to learning things like how to count in Italian and mumble a few words (enough to get me slapped, anyway), how to appreciate Italian food, how to draw using perspective and hang onto a swing like a spider monkey, I learned an interesting thing about how Italians view architecture and art.

    An Italian and an American will both be impressed by a fabulous work of art, or magisterially constructed building. The American will how say, “how beautiful!” – the Italian will say, “che bella!” The next day, or next week, walking past the building, the American will say virtually nothing at all, barely noticing the structure. The Italian will still stop and say with admieration, “che bella!”

    (Molte grazie, Mara, wherever you are…)

    This continued admiration and reverence (or hatred and desire for vengeance) for or over things past the immediate news cycle is often what makes the difference between the American and the Italian – and often the Middle Easterner, Indian as well.

    Of course I learned all this a a child, fifty years ago, and Italians may take a more American point of view these days. I they do, that would truly be a shame.

  • Jordan Richardson

    A good book on America’s terrorism is “The REAL Terror Network.”

    Thanks! Gonna have to give that a look.

  • Arch Conservative

    No thanks Jordan….I don’t go in for that leftists propaganda.

    I’d rather read something based in reality like Mark Steyn’s “America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It.”

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian aka Meathead

    Archie –

    “It’s a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder…na na na na na, na na na na, oooooo…..”

    FYI, the rest of the modern democracies are leaving us behind – socially and technologically. It shows in our national lack of education and our general population’s lowering life expectancy.

    We are falling behind, Arch – and what do we do? Spend more on ‘defense’ than the rest of the world combined…and then some. And who is involved in the only two hot wars on the planet?

    Most of the rest of the world has learned that peace is better than war. Would that the Republicans would learn the same.

  • Clavos

    Most of the rest of the world has learned that peace is better than war.

    Actually, most of the rest of the world has learned that if they wait long enough, America, in its misplaced eagerness to be “leader of the world,” will carry their water for them.

  • Arch Conservative

    Falling behind who Glenn?

    England?

    France?

    Germany?

    It doesn’t really matter much because at the rate they’re going they will all be under the boot Islamic fanaticism and sharia law well before the end of the millenium as will the rest of Europe.

    “Most of the rest of the world has learned that peace is better than war.”

    Well gee it seems that the reason the French and British are still around today to appreciate that little tidbit of insight is that countless Russians and Americans came to the realization that although they did not want to, they had to wage war given that their only other option was the ultimate forfeit of their past, present and any ability they might have to determine their own future.

    Yes war is not desirable but I’d prefer it to the peaceful capitulation of foresaking of one’s own and identity and ultimately one’s own existence as the USA and it’s European allies were once threatened with and are now aging being threatened with only in a much more subtle manner.

    I am not one to advocate war for war’s sake. In my perfect world as in yours there would be no war Glenn.

    However we don’t live in a perfect world and it perplexes me that people like you cannot recognize that sometimes you have no other choice but to stand up and fight.

    Consider Hiroshima if you will. A horrible thing to do no doubt but today most historians generally agree that it actually saved many thousands of lives because if the bombing had not taken place there was a very good chance that Japan would not have surrendered but rather continued to fight. There had already been plans drawn up by the allies for an invasion of mainland Japan which would have cost many more lives than were lost at Hiroshima.

    So I ask you Glenn…which is worse 80k dead in an instant at Hiroshima or five to ten times that many dead during an alternate ending two WW2 which sees a protracted series of battles on mainland Japanese soil?

    Hiroshima may have been horrible but it was definitive and it saved lives or more accurately it was an extremely horrific event that cost less lives than the other alternatives at the time.

    So everytime I hear someone triviliazing the problem posed by radical Islam today I can’t help but wonder. Do you honestly think that there is any form of diplomacy in 2009 that may be employed by the west that let’s it maintain it’s way of life as it always has been while simultaneously removing the threat of radical islam Glenn? I don’t and if you do I’m sorry but you are a fool.

    Unless we strike a blow that is as equally horrific but also equally as necessary as was Hiroshima, it’s just going to more of the same 3,000 dead here in new york, a couple hundred dead in spain, bali, england, here there, anywhere they feel like striking. over and over and over while people like you call for more diplomacy and restraint.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Um, no. If that were the case, then the other modern democracies wouldn’t be leaving us behind in terms of technology, education, and their respective populations’ overall health.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Arch,

    You’re correct to say that the world without the intervention of the USSR and the USA (involuntary, in the case of the former) in World War 2 would have been very different and probably a lot less pleasant. However (we’ll set aside World War 1 because the US arrived on the scene too late to make much of a difference to the final outcome), I think Britain and her allies would have defeated Germany without the intervention of our cousins on the other side of the pond.

    The tide was already turning in Europe – witness the negation of Germany air supremacy in the Battle of Britain and the subsequent failure of Operation Sealion to materialize. I concede that the material aid we received from the United States was invaluable, but her eventual (and inevitable, as FDR and Churchill knew perfectly well) direct military intervention didn’t change the final outcome of the war in the West, except probably to shorten it.

    What Britain wasn’t capable of doing was to continue to fight on two fronts. In order to prosecute the war against Germany to a successful conclusion, we would have had to abandon Asia – leaving India, Australia and possibly even the Middle East to the Japanese.

    In the case of Russia, Hitler simply bit off more than he could chew. It’s almost as if he’d never heard of Napoleon…

    But the old crow of ‘If it wasn’t for us you’d all be speaking German’ is just nonsense, IMHO.

    Hope you enjoyed your history lesson! :-)

  • Arch Conservative

    I didn’t say if it wasn’t for us. I said if it wasn’t for us and the Russians. You seem to minimize the pacific theatre. If the US hadn’t been fighting the Japanese in the pacific theatre, and for the most part alone, what do you think the Japanese would have done after conquering Asia?

    The simple fact is is that if you take Russia or the USA out of the equation Germany wins WW2.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –
    Before yesterday I considered you a bitter old man – but that was before I became aware of your age. This helps me to better understand what’s really behind your viewpoint. That’s offensive to you…but give yourself time and you’ll say the same thing to others.

    Roger’s absolutely right about WWII. Even if we’d never lifted a finger, Hitler lost the war the day he invaded the Soviet Union. I’ve been studying the war almost as long as I could read…and what we’re taught in school and even in college is sorely lacking when it comes to the reality of the titanic struggle between the Soviet Union and Germany. Frankly, compared to the Eastern Front, we were somewhat of a sideshow. Patton’s desire to attack the Soviets as soon as Germany fell would have been disastrous to us…and fatal to continental Europe.

    When it comes to the A-bombs, the only think I would have done differently is to first give a demonstration of atomic power, to drop one such bomb in a less-populated area within view of the Imperial Palace, with prior warning to the Japanese High Command of exactly what was coming. And YES, this could have been done because by that point in the war our B-29’s were flying across the length of the Japanese mainland without opposition. In fact, Saburo Sakai – one of the greatest Japanese aces (I strongly recommend his book “Samurai!”) notes that in the closing months of the war, he and his squadron had orders to NOT attack the B-29’s, possibly because the high command was wanting to conserve their strength for the coming American invasion.

    Anyway, according to Martin Caidin’s book “A Torch to the Enemy”, the A-bombs only accounted for TWO PERCENT of the overall damage to the Japanese homeland. The remaining ninety-eight percent was caused by the mammoth B-29 firebombing raids. His book puts in clearest detail the horror, the hell the Japanese civilians were put through. The firebombing raids could easily be said to be a war crime…but then one must consider the perceptions of the time. Also, I should note that the History Channel a few months back showed that there was some evidence and testimony that in the final days before their surrender, Japan may have actually tested an atomic bomb on what is now the North Korean coast – but since we presently have no access there, we have no way to verify it.

    So, um, please don’t try to lecture us on WWII.

    Lastly, on your statement:

    Do you honestly think that there is any form of diplomacy in 2009 that may be employed by the west that let’s it maintain it’s way of life as it always has been while simultaneously removing the threat of radical islam Glenn?

    You don’t remember the Cold War that well, apparently. For forty years we were under a FAR greater threat – that of thermonuclear war, nuclear winter…and possible extinction of the human race. There were times when we came with hours of launching nukes at each other! Sometime I’ll tell you how this prospect affected those of us on active duty at the time. I’ll just say this – we knew, we were absolutely certain that WWIII was going to happen. Thank God it did not.

    That’s also when we found that by having the biggest and best economy around, by being the most prosperous and the most honorable (and the most popular), others wanted to be LIKE us. Others including the general populations of our enemies (until we make it easy for the despots by doing stupid things like torture).

    As long as we remain free and open and HONORABLE, even if we are attacked once, twice, ten times, we will prevail – for the general populations even of our enemies will sympathize with us and give us support we could never, ever gain through torture.

    Yes, we DO need a strong military, and there’s no doubt of that. However, you CANNOT have a strong military without a strong economy. That in a nutshell is why the Soviet Union fell.

    But the Islamics? Arch – sure, these guys can hurt us…but they haven’t even a prayer of defeating us. You are VASTLY overstating the threat they pose.

    There’s a great difference between KNOWING history and UNDERSTANDING history, Arch. Bush and Cheney knew history…but they did not understand it. Be careful to avoid their error.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    The simple fact is is that if you take Russia or the USA out of the equation Germany wins WW2.

    Arch, without the involvement of the USA or the USSR it wouldn’t have been a world war.

    Britain would have stopped Hitler. At the very least, he would not have been able to invade the British Isles and would have been contained on continental Europe. Absent the invasion of Russia, his luck would have run out along with the oil in the Romanian/Hungarian fields upon which his military was almost completely dependent.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Glenn,

    While you both know and understand history, and can back up what you say with personal experience (I wasn’t in the military, but can usually back up what I allege with sources in the military) you really do need to comprehend what I see going on – both in Europe and America.

    Geert Wilders produced a 15 film called “Fitna”. The film documents the terror Europe, America and Israel have seen by showing various “Moslem” clerics denouncing Jews ad calling for their murder, calling for the destruction or subjugation of America, and the end of freedom, etc.

    The film raised a firestorm of protest, and now Wilders is being prosecuted for incitement to hatred by the Dutch government. Telling the truth about the Wahhabi terrorists is incitement! That is the path being followed by Europe. Americans, “freer”, demonstrated against Israel’s attack on Gaza by calling for “Jews to the gas!” I would call that a hate crime, but consistently, counter-protesters were chased away by cops “for their own protection”.

    Neither Europeans nor Americans are acting with honor, Glenn. And that is going to kill the remaining freedom you have. It is against that background that your government will muscle the Israeli government into making suicidal decisions, like signing the Oslo Accords. A return to international diplomacy is an admission of the the bankruptcy of the policies of the Bush administration – but your new government will surrender to the Arabs. That is really what this “return to diplomacy” will amount to.

    Don’t believe me,Glenn. Watch, wait and see, and you will see that I am right.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Problem is, if Hitler had been contained on continental Europe and did NOT invade the Soviet Union, that would have given him time to consolidate, build, and entrench his power…and at some point he would have turned to the Middle East to the oil that lay under the Arabian sands.

    Many are not aware that Germany’s economy remained strong through 1944, that rationing in Germany was not started until late in the war. Hitler believed in a strong infrastructure – which was why he wanted the autobahn built in addition to many other public works improvements. If he had taken the time (or been forced to take the time) to consolidate in Western Europe, west of the treaty line of…is it Brest-Litovsk? – he would have been unstoppable, for the time would have allowed him to further expand his industrial base and capacity. Britain would not have stood a chance.

    But his hubris – as with Napoleon’s and Alexander’s, would not allow it.

    One other advantage they threw away – the best and brightest physicists on the planet, thanks to the Nazi hatred of Jews. Without these physicists, even if Germany had been able to keep the heavy-water plant in Norway active (which was one of the prime reasons they invaded Norway), their research was leading them in the wrong direction. I strongly recommend the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Richard Rhodes’ “The Making of the Atomic Bomb”.

  • Clavos

    Um, no. If that were the case, then the other modern democracies wouldn’t be leaving us behind in terms of technology, education, and their respective populations’ overall health.

    Free of the burden (and especially, the expense) of “leading the world,” is exactly why they are.

    Aside from hubris, there is no good reason for US setting itself up to be the “leader,” but plenty of good ones for not aspiring to that dubious title, including (but not limited to) the drain on our treasury and loss of blood.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Gotta disagree strongly. No one else (other than Russia and China) has both the economic capacity and far-reaching military ability to lead…and nature abhors a vacuum.

    If we don’t lead, one of them will. If we choose not to lead, then we have made the choice to acquiesce our international influence to be supplanted by theirs.

    If America doesn’t want one of them to be the big dog, then America’s gotta BE the big dog. Nature abhors a vacuum.

  • Brunelleschi

    Glenn, great job on the history lesson for one of the site’s ignorant fanatics.

    Arch-

    Now for a political lesson and reality check..

    No modern Arab nation, Islamic or secular, has the resources or the motive to turn Europe-much less America- to Islam, or turn to imperialism outside of the middle east. The basis for Islamic world domination isn’t there. It doesn’t work that way. That is why you are wrong.

    The Iran/Iraq war was local. The Kuwait invasion was a secular Arab nation attacking the other to get even for the other stealing oil by cross-drilling. The Israel problem is a Middle Eastern version of the Americans stealing the west from the Indians, except these “Indians” fight back with terrorism. Afghanistan won’t go anywhere-its stuck in perpetual tribal and drug wars. None of them are going very far and they don’t want to anyway.

    What you are seeing in Al Qaeda and similar movements is a reaction to imperialism.

    The west’s imperialism is practically built in, and the middle east knows it. The ME has oil, and the way the west operates, it has no choice but to go after it. Al Qaeda knows this.

    When has an Arab nation attempted an invasion in North/South America? Never. No reason to. Secular Arab nations, like Saddam’s Iraq, fight locally for local reasons. Saddam simply wanted to get richer and more powerful and become the baddest SOB in the neighborhood.

    Most Arabs are not into this Sharia law business, at least not in terms of government. They consider Islam’s leaders as their authority on how to live, and governments are not as important. Governments are the managers that build roads and worry about water, etc.

    In fact, its typical for Arabs to think the rest pf the world thinks the same way, so when they see big time Christian kooks like Fallwell running their mouths about how evil Islam is, they mistakenly think that is American policy in the making and it scares the hell out of them.

    If a secular Arab nation experiences instability, it’s at risk to be taken over by kooks, like what happened in Iran after the Shah, or Afghanistan after the Soviets got run off. In Iran, this was a reaction to the Shah (a CIA byproduct from the 1950s) selling out to the west, and the brutal repression that came with it. They know why the Shah and his repressive security organization Savak happened, it was oil.

    Western imperialism is about property rights and stable access to resources. If an Arab nation has something we want (oil) and it’s been nationalized (like Saddam’s oil was) its a no brainer. The west has to reverse that trend and control rights for itself, to make money and keep it coming. This is why the US can’t pull out of Iraq until the new “Oil Law” that hands the oil over to the west on easy terms is secure, regardless of what Obama wants to do.

    9/11 was not an invasion, it was a reaction. All you need to do is study Al Qaeda’s platform and you would know that.

    Israel has felt the sting of terrorism as a reaction to its own terrorism and invasion of land. America felt it as a reaction to imperialism and support for Israel. Thats reality. This stuff is not happening because some Islamists read they had to do it in an ancient book.

    If America were to pull the plug on Israel and let them humbly settle down or get driven into the sea, and become self reliant for oil and get us the hell out of there, the war on terrorism would be history. We would then leave each other alone, just like we did before someone in America discovered what oil was good for, how rich they could get, and where the oil is.

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Bru –

    9/11 was not an invasion, it was a reaction.

    Well said! Mind if I use that sometimes?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Be careful, though, where & when!

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    *chuckle*

    I’ve got two neo-con friends – it really is fun to poke a stick in an anthill once in a while….

  • Brunelleschi

    If I post it you can use it.

    :)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    That’s the spirit. Once posted, it’s public property. Never mind intellectual rights!

  • Brunelleschi (c)

    How do you like my new name?

    haha

  • http://ex-conservative.blogspot.com Glenn Contrarian

    Bru –

    Does your new name have anything to do with the 70’s disco band Les Chic?

  • Clavos

    If we don’t lead, one of them will.

    I know.

  • Brunelleschi (c)

    Haha no, why?

    The name itself comes from Italian history. Do a wiki on it.

    Brunelleschi was a cranky engineer that ran his mouth and got tossed out of Florence city hall in a fight over a cathedral dome, and he ended up being sponsored by the Medici bank and did what was thought to be impossible.. and it was part of the beginning of the Italian Renaissance.

    The same bank that made a splash with Brunelleschi eventually were the patrons of Donatello, Michaelangelo, DaVinchi, and Galileo..plus they ended up filling the papacy and became the Vatican’s bank. Amazing story.

    These artists and brains just didn’t wake up talented one day, they worked for a bank that was showing off!

  • STM

    Arch (being fairly representative on this score): “Well gee it seems that the reason the French and British are still around today to appreciate that little tidbit of insight is that countless Russians and Americans etc etc blah fucking blah”.

    Here Doc, I’ll stand up for you.

    What a load of bollocks that is, as usual.

    Does American schoolboy history include classes on pig-headed ignorant arsehole-ism or what, because what I hear from Americans is vastly different from the stuff we all got to study.

    The Poms weren’t beaten by a long shot. Doc’s right … they’d never have given in, as they showed in the first few years of the war – the only ones prepared to stand up and fight against murderers, tyrants and despots and they had an empire to call on to keep going, perhaps even being able to move their government to say Canada or Australia if they had to.

    Although they were vastly unprepared for war at the outset – like the US, and for much the same reasons (who’d believe there’d be another conflict just 20 years after the last one) they were still a superpower until AFTER WWII.

    They still had the world’s most powerful navy up to and during WWII and the biggest merchant marine by a long shot. US and British Empire troops were almost exclusively shuttled around the world by the two biggest and fastest liners: Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary.

    During the course of the war, the Poms had the largest air force operating in Europe – mostly consisting of aircraft designed and built there, including a huge bomber fleet that was able to launch the first 1000-bomber raids on Germany in 1942.

    Most Americans have no clue that the British and their empire also fought and defeated the Japanese in Burma and New Guinea and had a full naval task force operating alongside the US in thre Pacific.

    600,000-plus wartime casualties over the full six years of the conflict (not including the Commonwealth nations), double those of America in the same conflict, gives you some idea of the scale of their sacrifice in that victory … in a country that had one fifth the population of the US.

    In a war they didn’t want, either.

    How we who know the truth get sick of the American bragging about this.

    It really is bollocks, and an indication of the ignorance that pervades much thought on the reality of history and its context on the other side of the big pond.

    The problem is, too many Americans believe their own bullshit and get their history lessons from Hollywood. Get your hands off your stalks.

    Yes, we know America and it’s industrial capacity was key to victory, but without Britain holding out and expanding its army and air force while doing so, there wouldn’t have been a victory in Europe – except by the Russians.

    Spare us all the hot cock and bullshit, thanks. It’s been eye-rollingly annoying for a long time, but most of us are too polite to mention it until we get too pissed off to ignore it.

    It should be cringeworthy for you though, especially being the leaders of the free world.

    As we used to say of much of the US military (especially its leaders) … all the gear, no idea.

    Go and read some books instead of watching fiction.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    No modern Arab nation, Islamic or secular, has the resources or the motive to turn Europe-much less America- to Islam, or turn to imperialism outside of the middle east. The basis for Islamic world domination isn’t there. It doesn’t work that way. That is why you are wrong.

    You have zero idea what you’re talking about here. In fact, the level of ignorance of Islam and the rest of the world which you display in this comment is staggering.

    The threat to Europe does not come from a nation. It comes from the demographics of minority islamic populations which do not adapt to the dominant culture, but grow far more rapidly by outbreeding the natives and through ongoing immigration.

    The European nations which face this threat are ill-equipped governmentally or socially to deal with it. They are too accepting, too egalitarian and too naive. Their politicians need the immigrant votes and their socio-capitalists need an underclass.

    Nothing will be done about the islamicization of their societies until it is too late.

    What you are seeing in Al Qaeda and similar movements is a reaction to imperialism.

    Except that western imperialism in the middle east ended years ago. It is native powers who engage in the exploitation now. Al Qaeda is fully aware of this, which is why they have the Saudi royal family high on their list of targets.

    The west’s imperialism is practically built in, and the middle east knows it. The ME has oil, and the way the west operates, it has no choice but to go after it. Al Qaeda knows this.

    Trade is not imperialism. The west has no need to conquer anything in the middle east. We have the best market for their product and they know it.

    Most Arabs are not into this Sharia law business, at least not in terms of government. They consider Islam’s leaders as their authority on how to live, and governments are not as important. Governments are the managers that build roads and worry about water, etc.

    And those religious leaders do support Sharia law, which is why it is practiced even in many of the relatively moderate countries and why the civil governments go along with it.

    In fact, its typical for Arabs to think the rest pf the world thinks the same way, so when they see big time Christian kooks like Fallwell running their mouths about how evil Islam is, they mistakenly think that is American policy in the making and it scares the hell out of them.

    Falwell never said anything like that until AFTER the 9/11 attack, and he died shortly thereafter. You’re also way off base in thinking that Islamic leaders are so naive and ill-informed. They can tell the difference between a crazed fundamentalist preacher and the US government. Your cultural elitism is showing.

    In Iran, this was a reaction to the Shah (a CIA byproduct from the 1950s) selling out to the west, and the brutal repression that came with it. They know why the Shah and his repressive security organization Savak happened, it was oil.

    The Shah imprisoned and killed fewer people in his 17 years in power than his successors killed and imprisoned in their first two years in power. The Shah modernized Iran, he educated the people and he made it prosperous. He was overthrown by a radical minority and since then most of the best educated people and most of the middle class have left the country.

    Western imperialism is about property rights and stable access to resources. If an Arab nation has something we want (oil) and it’s been nationalized (like Saddam’s oil was) its a no brainer. The west has to reverse that trend and control rights for itself, to make money and keep it coming. This is why the US can’t pull out of Iraq until the new “Oil Law” that hands the oil over to the west on easy terms is secure, regardless of what Obama wants to do.

    Utter bullshit. There’s no difference between buying oil from a private provider and buying it from a government. In fact, you can often get better prices with less hassle from a government oil provider. Oil is nationalized in most of the nations the west buys it from – Nigeria, Mexico, Saudi Arabia – ALL of them have oil resources which are effectively nationalized. Are we invading them?

    If America were to pull the plug on Israel and let them humbly settle down or get driven into the sea, and become self reliant for oil and get us the hell out of there, the war on terrorism would be history. We would then leave each other alone, just like we did before someone in America discovered what oil was good for, how rich they could get, and where the oil is.

    If it were just about oil you might be right. We could let millions of Israelis die — well you wouldn’t mind that, apparently — and we could stop doing anything with oil, and everything would be fine. Except that without all that oil revenue the Islamic nations would become far more radicalized and the cultural expansionism which is a fundamental cornerstone of Islam would come to the fore. We’d be lucking if the next development was as relatively harmless as the terrorism we’ve seen thus far.

    Do you have ANY idea how many muslims there are in the world and huge even the small, radicalized portion of that population is? Our government and our covert agencies are totally inadequate to deal with the potential threat, and the kind of disengagement you suggest is one of the surest ways to let the situation grow completely out of control.

    Dave

  • STM

    Dave writes: “Trade is not imperialism. The west has no need to conquer anything in the middle east. We have the best market for their product and they know it.”

    Bingo, Dave … I do get sick of people who enjoy the kinds of lives they do blaming our western political system and our desire to trade, which gives them that lifestyle and the freedoms they enjoy, and our western ideals for the ills of a whole lot of places that if they were looking for what really ails them would find most of the clues in the mirror.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    STM,

    I mentioned it on other sites, but I’ll provide a link: God and Gold.

    It’s an excellent account of the Anglo-Saxon paradigm of Western trade/expansion for the past three hundred years. A must-read!

    RN

  • Brunelleschi (c)

    Dave-

    My source for the “what is Islam about” bits above was pretty much “Imperil Hubris,” and you probably know it was written by a career CIA analyst whose job it was to study and understand Islam and Al Qaeda and similar movements.

    Are you saying that a CIA analyst whose job it is to study this stuff,(for the CIA!) has NO clue and you somehow know all about it?

    If you don’t think that’s funny, you can just get on outa here right now! (Source, Larry the Cable Guy).

    As far as the comments on imperialism, you clearly do not understand the concept.

    I think you are using the term out of context, and I used it right.

    Old School imperialism was when one nation’s representative went to another and planted the flag, declaring the area “owned.”

    Western Imperialism doesn’t work that way anymore. Now it’s all about manipulation and control. It’s packaged for simpletons at home with terms like “restoring democracy,” “spreading freedom…” etc.

    What it is really about is private property rights. Once you understand this, imperialism’s logic is easy to understand. But, you have to want to understand it instead of making excuses for it.

    Just take Iran for example. In the 50s, the CIA helped the Shah to power. He was another Saddam, but as they used to say about Latin American client dictators that were serving the US “He may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he’s OUR son-of-a bitch.”

    The Shah had a repressive security force, Savak. America got what it thought was a foothold and an ally, and it worked until it went too far and he was tossed by a radical Islamic fundamental regime. I’m sure you know about the Iranian hostage crisis, a byproduct of imperialism in the 50s.

    Western imperialism uses local clients to secure private property rights. If something the west wants is in public hands, step one is to apply pressure to privatize it so private, western companies can move in. If they won’t change, the second step is to remove the regime and replace it with one like the Shah’s.

    This happens again and again, and the Arabs know it, the Latin Americans know it, and I know it, but for some reason you don’t get it.

    I have been studying this imperialism since Reagan days, when the US was on the wrong side of history in Nicaragua after decades of abuse from an American client ( the Somoza dynasty). Somoza was the original “He’s our son-of-bitch” guy mentioned above. The people finally threw him out.

    Next came the big lie, that freedom had to be “restored.” Restored? It was already ruined thanks to imperialism. The Nicaraguans were just trying to get past it and pull together and move forward.

    Start at WW2 and look at every war and CIA covert action that the US has conducted. I challenge you to find ONE that does not fit the pattern of securing private property rights, and stopping any obstacles to those rights from developing.

    I have simply explained exactly how it works and took you to school. Next time, slow down and learn something.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Bruni,

    Appeal to facts, reason, any of the above, just won’t work in a dispute like that. You’ve got to convert him. Nothing less would do!

    Roger

  • Brunelleschi (c)

    Dave2-

    Here’s another lesson in western imperialism for you. Try and not react with nonsense this time-

    A true story-

    As the Iraq war approached, a few weeks before it started I was a mod on a busy message board that was about something else, and it had an off topic section. I went there and posted a script of what was about to happen with Iraq. I wish I would have saved it but didn’t. It went something like this-

    The Iraq war is not and can not be about WMD. Iraq’s WMD program is in shambles. The only useful WMD Iraq had came from the US anyway. It was sent by us for them to use against Iran, the place we screwed up in the 50s and it backfired on the Carter admin. How ironic.

    The script-
    -No WMD will be found. It’s not there and hasn’t been since the mid 1990s. (There is a remarkable story how this happened, but no room for it here-read Out of the Ashes)
    -The US is going to secure control of oil on behalf of western private interests. This is about de-nationalizing Iraq’s oil.
    -This will be advertised as “making Iraq free” in all the so-called liberal media, and they will not challenge it.
    -The US will pick another Shah, a puppet, and use this person as a symbol of the new, free Iraq.
    -You will find strategically placed and timed editorials from western educated American-sounding Iraqis in the big papers that will say “Iraq needs this intervention, please help us free my country, we need you, we want to be free too.”
    -A “demonstration election” will be held to install this new puppet. US news viewers will be treated to scenes of Iraqis standing in line to vote. The message will be that we were right, and look at all those people wanting to vote and be free, just like Americans.
    -Iraq will turn out to be an extended occupation. The US will not be able to pull out until the oil is securely in western, private hands.

    As you can imagine, I was called every name in the book. People said I had no clue, exactly like you did above. The reaction was angry. I just reminded people that they will see.

    As time went on, each time the script happened like I said, I went out of my way to remind people that I said this in the beginning. It was pretty funny actually. One by one, the name-callers had to admit I was right and clairvoyant, or they just shut up or left angry.

    It happened exactly as I said, but the only hitch was that the client they picked to replace Saddam was too corrupt himself to hang on to, and they lost that option.

    The Iraqi “Oil Law” that Iraq has been fighting over for over a year is the control mechanism I described above.

    The demonstration election was held. The WMD was not there. The editorials appeared. It was an extended occupation.

    Yeah, I have no clue!

    I lost track of how many people I schooled on this already. I just added one to the list!

  • Arch Conservative

    I was going to reply to Bruno’s ignroant ranting tirade but Nalle beat me to the punch.

    I’m labelled by Bruno as an ignorant fanatic because my eyes are open.

    Traditional European society is slowly but surely becoming the prison bitch of radical Islam. Native birth rates in every major European nation are in freefall while each passing year sees the percentage of muslims in most European nations grow by leaps and bounds. These muslims show no intentions of ever respecting the native law and culture or even expressing simple gratitude to the natives who have taken them in. Rather they exhibit nothing but disdain for the western way of life and demand that the native culture be supplanted by a fundamentalist islamic ideology.

    Muslims in Denmark threaten to behead people over cartoons, Theo Van Gogh is murdered for publicly critisizing islam, there are calls for a teacher in the Sudan to behaded because she allowed a student o name a teddy bear “mohammed”, anti-semitism is on the rise in Europe and according to Bruno I am an ignorant fanatic for wanting to discuss these things instead of glossing over them as he does.

    America is becoming as bad as Europe. Political correctness rules the day in America. It is taboo to in any manner critisize what is going on in the islamic world. If you do you’re labelled with some meaningless eptithet such as xenophobe or islamophobe by baffons such as Bruno. Then there’s the lawsuits. Say something enev lightly critical of the islamic world and you’ll have CAIR suing you’re ass faster than you can say “allah akbah.”

    The NYT times refused to reprint the danish cartoons that made world news for fear of “offending American muslims,” but yet the big apple had no problem celebrating “piss christ” a supposed piece of art which displayed a crucifix in a vat of urine which was funded by the national endowment for the arts.

    Maybe Pat Robertson would do well to emulate the actions of his fanatical muslim counterparts and threaten to behaed the board members of the NEA every time he feels offended by something they do.

    Ignorant fanatic? Hardly….more likely that you’re an ignorant leftist dolt clinging to your bullshit ideals of multiculturalism utopianism and political correctness Bruno.

    Oh and STM…I haven’t, in any of my posts, claimed or even implied that the US was some kind of force of super commandos that stepped in and saved the hapless British so please don’t act as if I had.

    You claim that I don’t have an understanding of WW2 but you yourself don’t mention several key ascpects.

    Virtually every major battle on the seas in the Pacific was fought exclusively between Japan and the US. If it were not for the US Navy the Japanese would have easily dominated the entire Pacific and had been able to turn their attentions elsewhere…helping the Krauts.

    Also you tiptoe around the idea of “american material support” as if it were a rather trivial incidental that did not have any sway on the ultimate outcome of the war. Have you never heard of the Lend Lease Act?

    Please don’t also forget that it was American and Canadian soldiers dying on the beaches of Normandy alongside the British as the Germans were driven back to where they came from. A few years back at the begginning of the war in Iraq I happened to see a guy wearing a t-shirt that said
    “Why are we suprised the French won’t help us get Hussein out of Iraq? They wouldn’t even help us get Hitler out of Paris.”

    You’re sick of Americans bragging about WW2 Too fucking bad! I’m sick of Europeans minimizing our involvement in the war and insisting that the war woulded have ended nearly as well without us. That’s what’s “bullocks” or as we say here bullshit STM.

  • Ma(rk Ede)n

    Brunelleschi (c), I suggest that when you make your argument in the future, you replace the word ‘oil’ with the phrase ‘production of oil’. It’s the act of production and the means to accomplish it that capitalists must keep in private hands.

    rk Ede

  • Cindy D

    RE #89

    Dave,

    Western imperialism uses local clients to secure private property rights. If something the west wants is in public hands, step one is to apply pressure to privatize it so private, western companies can move in. –Brunelleschi (c)

    In order to pave the way for Nafta, Mexico’s President Carlos Salinas de Gortari changed the constitution so that community held lands, used by the indigenous peoples and constitutionally protected from sale after the revolution of 1910, could be privatized and sold. Before Nafta communal lands (ejidos) made up more than half of all the land in Mexico.

    Invasions are hardly needed Dave.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Re #93,

    Wouldn’t you say – hence the importance of such companies as Bechtel and Halliburton as an integral part of the capitalist expansion?

  • Mar(k E)den

    Yes.

  • Brunelleschi (c)

    Arch-

    Calm down. I am right.

    How can I accurately script out the motives and outcome of the Iraq war even before it started if I don’t know anything?

    I called it better than the NYT, CNN, and any other media I was checking at the time.

    What I see from you and GOP junkfood Dave is religious chauvinism. You guys just don’t like Islam.

    Islam is no different that Christianity. It’s just institutionalized ignorance. Islamists react in anger to imperialism with Islamist ideas. Christians think Imperialism is just fine because of their perverted dogmas and arrogance.

    So what if we blow up Arabs to get to what we want? God put OUR oil in the middle east, and those people that oppose us don’t deserve to live. They aren’t Christians anyway, so…..

    No wonder Arabs watched 9/11 on TV and broke out in applause.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Arch (#92),

    There had been a significant reversal in Europe, as a reaction no doubt, as to the previous policies on immigration.

  • Brunelleschi

    Cindy-

    It’s just starting.

    The next wave of imperialism may be privatization of water. Water!

    Big western companies want to “own” water so they can force poor populations to pay them for it.

    Water wars are coming, and I already know who on here will try and make excuses for it!

  • Arch Conservative

    “So what if we blow up Arabs to get to what we want? God put OUR oil in the middle east, and those people that oppose us don’t deserve to live. They aren’t Christians anyway, so…..”

    MM yeah. Your ignorance is boundless. Instead of dealing with what is really going on in the world you offer “you guys just don’t like Islam.” It would be quite comical to see what rationalization your feeble mind would come up with to enlighten the rest of us as to the motivations of muslims that kill other muslims when the hackneyed, “we kill them so we can steal their oil” canard isn’t at your beck and call.

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor. Arch, as I recall, it was only 5 December that you were unbanned for insulting people. Your next ban will either be much longer or permanent…]

  • Brunelleschi

    Name calling and a bad attitude make you look intelligent.

    My guess is you are a Christian.

    If you have something specific to discuss, continue please…

    :)

  • Cindy D

    Brunelleschi,

    So far, my experience chatting here has shown me that “free market” Capitalism is like a religion.

    Those who believe in it will take the whole argument to extremes beyond all sense and even beyond all humanity.

    If it doesn’t work, it’s the government’s fault for interfering. The fact that it never actually existed, not really, is besides the point. The fact that it couldn’t exist (Capitalism as it looks now) without being married to the government is besides the point.

    I still don’t get how they start with the premise that greed somehow will result in fairness. Greed will always find a way through any crack in any system, to serve only itself. Promoting all out greed seems to encourage overlooking any problems it causes and defending whatever it does with some sort of religious faith.

  • Arch Conservative

    “My guess is you are a Christian.”

    I’m socially and fiscally conservative but I’m not a Christian and I would find some evangelical shouting in my face that “I’m going to hell unless I accept Christ,” irritating, just not quite as irritating as some fundamentalist muslim trying to cut my head off because I laughed at a Mohammed cartoon.

    I hate to resort to name calling but you epitomize what I see as being wrong with the western world today. That being that common sense, honesty and the willingness to use these concepts in dealing with our messier problems has been supplanted by political correctness and it’s downright sickening.

  • Arch Conservative

    That should have been “you’re going to hell unless you accept Christ.”

  • Cindy D

    What’s really disturbing to me though, is that everyone, literally everyone who believes in this weird religion is able to dehumanize other people.

    If you told them that children would be able to cut off their fingers and sell them to feed their family. They would tell you that they are all in favor of a market that keeps a family fed.

    They won’t answer questions about their own children being put in such circumstances though.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    I’m socially and fiscally conservative but I’m not a Christian

    Then why are you like that?

    ;-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Is that supposed to be a tautology, Doc?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Seriously, though, that’s very interesting. I’d say that the slight majority of regular commenters on BC Politics lean to the right* – yet as closely as the US Republican Party is associated with conservative Christianity nowadays, it’s surprising that most conservatives here identify themselves as non-religious. (Dave, Dan (M), Clav, Arch, Andy etc.) The only regular commenter who’s a conservative Christian (unless I’m missing someone) is Baronius.

    So is the Republican Party not exactly what it seems, or is BC just highly unrepresentative of the population at large?

    Just interested.

    * Some so far that they require a strong blast of hot air just to keep them from falling down…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I think it’s the latter, Doc. And I hope I won’t insult anyone here, but I happen to think the BC represent too much of the brain power for the Christian Right. So it would be a matter of natural selection, it seems.

  • Clavos

    Doc,

    it’s surprising that most conservatives here identify themselves as non-religious. (Dave, Dan (M), Clav, Arch, Andy etc.) The only regular commenter who’s a conservative Christian (unless I’m missing someone) is Baronius.

    Thanks for “doing the math.” I actually hadn’t realized it, but you’re right.

    So is the Republican Party not exactly what it seems, or is BC just highly unrepresentative of the population at large?

    An intriguing question, indeed.

    I think the answer lies somewhere in the evolving makeup of the society at large, including the Conservative movement. Though the Evangelicals and their brethren get all the publicity, I think that nonreligious conservatives are increasing in our society, just as are nonreligious folks in all strata and niches of our culture.

    Your thoughts?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Dave,

    In that case, how would you account for growth of conservatism if it’s not based in religion? From whence does come the impetus?

  • Arch Conservative

    Then why are you like that?

    ummm… because I have common sense…..

    Just an example……

    I’m pro life not because Jesus wants me to be but because when I look at a picture of an aborted fetus I know it is a human being and not a ball of cells and despite the fact that it is indeed not fair that anyone but a woman should decide what to do with her own body it is also not fair that that poor baby had to die and in recognizing both of these points I see the loss of the baby’s life as a greater loss than the loss of the mother’s ability to go on with her life exactly as she had planned prior to the pregnancy. The easier choice is not always the right choice and I think this is a prime example of that.

    I don’t view the women who opt for the abortion as morally suspect because I imagine it must be a very difficult decision to arrive at but I do take issue with the abortion lobbyists such as PP aka Satan’s little helpers, that use use outright lies to profit from abortion as they lobby for such heinous procedures as partial birth abortion.

  • Brunelleschi

    Arch-

    Try not to get personal and pin your argument to name calling and guessing what someone else is about. Stick to the topics.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    But Arch, you must admit (and in a way you have) that the pro-life vs. pro-choice controversy falls into the category of moral questions which have not yet been decided; both sides have morally legitimate and understandable points of view. Wouldn’t you say so?

    Roger

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Interesting notion, Clav. If the nonreligious population is increasing, you’d never know it from the new churches which seem to be popping up on every brownfield site – in Fresno, at any rate. There’s even a new Unitarian Church here, which suggests that the yes-we’re-religious-but-we’re-pretty-relaxed-about-it brigade is also feeling healthy numbers-wise.

    I reckon the answer to that is that the population of the US in general is still increasing*, and consequently there are ever more people who are still religious who require new churches to serve them.

    * The population of Fresno and other valley towns certainly is, as more and more people flee the astronomical cost of living in LA and the Bay Area, or move here from Latin America for work or from Asia as refugees.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I agree with Clavos; despite all the loud noises made by varying proportions of Christians, particularly in the USA, Muslims almost anywhere, and Jews like our virtual chum Ruvy, the shedding of the fog of religion is, hopefully, the stronger trend of the day.

    That fits with one of my pet theories, that despite all our fabulous achievements, particularly in the last 100 years, this is just the beginning of humanity’s growth into a mature species. The world will be a very different and hopefully much better place in the not so distant future, so long as we manage to avoid disaster now…

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    My source for the “what is Islam about” bits above was pretty much “Imperil Hubris,” and you probably know it was written by a career CIA analyst whose job it was to study and understand Islam and Al Qaeda and similar movements.

    And whose writing was clearly shaped by both the culture of the intelligence community and some hefty political bias.

    Are you saying that a CIA analyst whose job it is to study this stuff,(for the CIA!) has NO clue and you somehow know all about it?

    Yes. I’m saying that it is possible to know a great deal about a subject and still draw incorrect conclusions. It happens all the time. Growing up in the middle east and in constant contact with muslim society, I have had more long-term and direct contact with that society than a CIA analyst would have, and my experience is from a perspective much closer to the subject and much more sympathetic to it than you would find in the CIA.

    What you don’t get here is that I am generally sympathetic to the peoples of the Islamic world, and that my issues with Islam arise from the harm those peoples do to themselves because of political practices and cultural traditions which have their origins in their religion. It holds them back and perverts their societies and governments.

    To look at their situation and find any cause outside of Islam for their problems shows monumental bias or gross ignorance.

    As far as the comments on imperialism, you clearly do not understand the concept.

    I think you are using the term out of context, and I used it right.

    I’d say you’re redefining imperialism to serve your agenda.

    Western Imperialism doesn’t work that way anymore. Now it’s all about manipulation and control. It’s packaged for simpletons at home with terms like “restoring democracy,” “spreading freedom…” etc.

    Then don’t call it “imperialism” since it no longer has the most fundamental characteristics of imperialism. What you’re talking about here are economic and cultural imperialism, which are different and arguably not such a bad thing.

    What it is really about is private property rights. Once you understand this, imperialism’s logic is easy to understand. But, you have to want to understand it instead of making excuses for it.

    Well, I’m all for private property rights.

    Just take Iran for example. In the 50s, the CIA helped the Shah to power. He was another Saddam,

    You see, this kind of ignorance is why it’s pointless to discuss this with you. If you don’t know enough to see how enormously worse Saddam was than the Shah, you’re not ready to talk about the region with informed adults.

    The Shah had a repressive security force, Savak. America got what it thought was a foothold and an ally, and it worked until it went too far and he was tossed by a radical Islamic fundamental regime. I’m sure you know about the Iranian hostage crisis, a byproduct of imperialism in the 50s.

    I’m intimately familiar with SAVAK in a personal way which you clearly are not. Thankfully they all found jobs in SAVAMA and subsequently VEVAK doing the exact same type of work under the new regime – wouldn’t want the torturers and spies to be unemployed. They adjusted quite well to the higher level of direct political assassination which became fashionable in place of imprisoning political dissidents.

    Western imperialism uses local clients to secure private property rights. If something the west wants is in public hands, step one is to apply pressure to privatize it so private, western companies can move in. If they won’t change, the second step is to remove the regime and replace it with one like the Shah’s.

    A popular myth of the socialist left repeated for the umpteenth time in the bizarre belief that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes true.

    What the west wants is access to oil and other resources. There is more than one route to achieving that. When a local government and economy is capable of organizing itself and trading rationally with western businesses to mutual benefit there is no need to apply any pressure or make any changes. Changes – which ultimately benefit both the west and its trading partners – are not necessary unless a country is incapable of doing business on a practical basis.

    This happens again and again, and the Arabs know it, the Latin Americans know it, and I know it, but for some reason you don’t get it.

    Because I can see the counter-examples that you choose to ignore. I can also see that what you call imperialism is a two-way street which brings far more benefits to the client state than it does harm.

    I have been studying this imperialism since Reagan days, when the US was on the wrong side of history in Nicaragua after decades of abuse from an American client ( the Somoza dynasty). Somoza was the original “He’s our son-of-bitch” guy mentioned above. The people finally threw him out.

    The relatively minor struggle in Nicaragua was more ideological in nature than it was imperialistic, as the US didn’t have any real, overriding economic interests in the area. In many ways it was more anti-imperialistic than anything else, because it was motivated by a desire to block the spread of communism and socialism in the region. As for Samoza, the people didn’t throw him out. A faction of the people backed by the soviets and the cubans threw him out.

    Next came the big lie, that freedom had to be “restored.” Restored? It was already ruined thanks to imperialism. The Nicaraguans were just trying to get past it and pull together and move forward.

    Out of curiosity, when was Nicaragua ever “free” as we would define it, under any regime? It certainly wasn’t free under Ortega.

    Start at WW2 and look at every war and CIA covert action that the US has conducted. I challenge you to find ONE that does not fit the pattern of securing private property rights, and stopping any obstacles to those rights from developing.

    The right to own property is a fundamental cornerstone of liberty. Many of our efforts have had as their objective establishing the economic freedom which makes it possible for an economy to grow and develop. Property rights are an essential part of that.

    What troubles me is that you think that giving people economic freedom and opportunity is a bad thing.

    Dave

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    I agree with Clavos; despite all the loud noises made by varying proportions of Christians, particularly in the USA, Muslims almost anywhere, and Jews like our virtual chum Ruvy, the shedding of the fog of religion is, hopefully, the stronger trend of the day.

    Ah, but what of the fog of religion-like beliefs? the green socialist movement has certainly gained a lot of adherents and it is basically irrational and faith-based at core. People could just be moving from one sort of faithist delusion to another.

    Dave

  • Arch Conservative

    “Try not to get personal and pin your argument to name calling and guessing what someone else is about. Stick to the topics.”

    You were the one that was sure I was a Christian, Bruno.

    I was trying to stick to the topics by discussing what’s going on in Europe right now (actually citing examples) with the Muslim immigrants into European nations and you called me an ignorant fanatic.

    What’s happening is very real and I believe cause for alarm if we dig deeper. If you don’t want to discuss it that’s fine. Don’t bother addressing me then.

    “But Arch, you must admit (and in a way you have) that the pro-life vs. pro-choice controversy falls into the category of moral questions which have not yet been decided; both sides have morally legitimate and understandable points of view. Wouldn’t you say so?”

    Didn’t you get from my last post that I believe both sides have their legitimate points? Of course it’s not fair that anyone can tell a woman what to do with her body. I get that. Why don’t pro-choicers get that it’s not fair that an innocent baby has to die so a woman doesn’t have to make tough changes in her life? And what is worse? I believe it’s horrible that we’re becoming so cavalier about the abortion issue that we’re almost at the point where we view having an abortion with about as much emotional attachment and as we do changing the oil in our cars.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    despite all the loud noises made by varying proportions of Christians […] the shedding of the fog of religion is, hopefully, the stronger trend of the day.

    I don’t know, Chris. When I left the shores of Albion seven and a bit years ago, the evangelical Christian movement was booming (so was Islam, for that matter – and not just through immigration).

    The occasional rumblings I hear over in Yank-land – the spreading of such idiotic notions as teaching creationism in school science classes, for example – suggest that the momentum hasn’t slowed much. As one who’s recently returned to the land of your sires, is your perception different?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    #116,

    I tend to agree. But then it would seem that the base of the conservative thought has got to shrink. And I think that Doc’s got a point too. These growing churches are more or less in name only; it’s just a place to congregate – something akin to a conservative social club. Is that what you were saying, Doc?

  • STM

    Arch: “You’re sick of Americans bragging about WW2 Too fucking bad! I’m sick of Europeans minimizing our involvement in the war and insisting that the war woulded have ended nearly as well without us”

    Well actually, Arch, what I’m really fucking sick of is Americans taking all the credit, when they’re only due some of it, and conveniently forgetting all the dying done by other people and their sacrifice to rid this world of the murderous lunatics that were around at the time.

    With too many Americans coming from a position of total ignorance, fuelled by a diet of Hollywood fiction and with really no knowledge of history at all beyond a couple of blockbusters, it’s “Hey, we saved your asses in so many wars”.

    I’ve even read a piece by a university-educated commentator on this site saying it. Hope he doesn’t get to work in foreign affairs. And it’s a common theme.

    So what do they teach you at university over there?

    Sadly, most of the Americans believing that crap wouldn’t even be able to point to Canada on a map of the world and think Europe is a country.

    Why the fuck shouldn’t we get pissed off, because clearly, it’s braggadocio … or as we say in Australia, too much yankee hot-cock and bullshit.

    Unfortunately, if you even care about what others think, and I suspect you don’t even though you should, the ignorance of the great unwashed over there has fouled the reputation of a whole country on the world stage.

    Any wonder Americans are infamous outside the US – virtually everywhere, that is – for their perceived arrogance?

    It’s clearly part of the problem that bedevils you right now, and has very strong relevance to this writer’s post.

    And on your point – I’ve never heard a Brit minimise the American involvement in WWII, nor an Australian, even though lend/lease (the extent of it was huge) sent the British broke.

    Why do you think they played the Star Spangled Banner at the trooping of the colour in front of the Queen at Buck House after 9/11, with so many American tourists looking on through the bars. My knowledge of them tells me they are eternally grateful to have been your allies, and still are, but probably way too polite to ask you to stop bragging.

    I don’t give a shit about polite though – I’m not a Pom.

    The French and the rest might have minimised it, which is what you’d expect, but those on the same side didn’t.

    Which is probably why we all get so pissed off at Americans mininimising our sacrifice to the point that most now think it was non-existent.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Dave @ #117: I’m saying that it is possible to know a great deal about a subject and still draw incorrect conclusions.

    Shall I make the obvious rejoinder, or does somebody else want to do the honors?

    :-)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    But it’s all in the eye of the beholder.

  • Arch Conservative

    Well STM you’re addressing me and not every single American on this blog and I blieve in my earlier post I said it was the combined efforts of the brits, ruskies and americans that won the war….take any one of those three out of the equation and the war would have had a drastically different outcome.

    That can hardly be construed as giving the USA all of the credit.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    And now back to the Arch v. STM cage fight:

    Arch, I’m keenly aware of the debt we owe to the US as regards the outcome of World War 2. As I said, there is no way we would have been able to continue fighting the Japanese without US intervention. We were just too thinly-stretched. There is also the question of lend-lease – which I believe we only finished paying you lot back for a year or two ago.

    The US was initially neutral and a non-combatant in name only. Think of the Atlantic convoys which delivered vital supplies to Britain at extreme risk. Churchill and FDR knew full well that eventually a U-boat would torpedo one too many US-flagged vessels and provide justification for American entry into the war. As it happened, Japan made the final decision easy.

    I’m simply saying that Britain would have defeated Hitler, with or without direct military intervention from Washington or Moscow. Yes, the world would have been very different: probably less pleasant although not necessarily so – in this reality we did, after all, plunge straight into the Cold War, which wasn’t exactly a barrel of laughs.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    What you said is very fair, Arch!

  • STM

    Thanks for the link Roger. I’m going to have a look at the book.

    If you haven’t already had the chance for a look, can I recommend A History of the English Speaking Peoples since 1900 by Andrew Roberts, which is a less turgid read than Winston Churchill’s original four-volume work but a good companion. It’s timely, as it was published in 2006.

    It too has great emphasis on the US role in shaping the modern world, although it also gives a good smattering of thought to the roles played by the other English-speaking democracies.

    One central theme of Roberts’ well-thought out argument (which almost looks at the British-Empire-US-Commonwealth relationship as a kind of modern-day Rome/Byzantium arrangement, in which we’re all interconnected, as we clearly are) is that we should all stop feeling guilty for on the whole, making the world a better place.

    It argues too that we are reluctant warriors, slow to anger and all things considered a rather benevolent bunch.

    I’m with him 100 per cent on that one, despite some obvious mistakes over the years.

  • STM

    Yes, Arch, you have been fair :) Not meant personally the second time around.

    Perhaps I misconstrued your first comment … although in my defence, it did have that old “hey, we saved your asses” ring to it.

  • STM

    Doc’s right too on his analysis. The Poms would have beaten the Germans. Right IS might.

    Either that, or they’d still be going at it as we speak … hammer and tongs.

    That’s assuming the bad guys didn’t come up with the atom bomb first.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    STM,

    That’s the “benign” face of the Western expansion, not “By Fire & Sword” (Sienkiewisz’s historical novel) but by spreading Pax Romana.
    Mead’s book is great because he is fairly objective. His account of resentment on the part of some cultures (including some of the Europeans)to this push is very convincing. Capitalism depends on opening ever new markets; it’s the fuel which keeps the fire going, along with liberal foreign governments so as to make those markets accessible to the general populace.

    Oddly enough, there had been no comment from Mead (he writes for Foreign Affairs, I think) regarding the implications of the present financial crises. The paradigm may be on the verge of breakdown because every one all of a sudden wanted to get rich and quickly. So perhaps he’s just biding his time until the situation stabilizes before offering a prognosis.

    Roger

  • Hope and Change?

    Why is Obama “Air-raiding Villages And Killing Civilians?”
    Obama criticizing Bush in August:

    Asked whether he would move U.S. troops out of Iraq to better fight terrorism elsewhere, he brought up Afghanistan and said, “We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there.”

    From today’s headlines below.

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP)- President Hamid Karzai condemned a U.S. operation he said killed 16 Afghan civilians, while hundreds of villagers denounced the American military during an angry demonstration Sunday.

    Karzai said the killing of innocent Afghans during U.S. military operations “is strengthening the terrorists”

    So King Barry Bashes Bush to get elected then he does the same thing less than a week in office? Where is the media out cry? Where is Harry Reid? Where oh where can they be?

    Gee hope and change is here and it looks like …um..er.you know…same as it ever was!

  • STM

    Obama is launching air raids etc because there are people still out there whose favoured headgear is the tea-towel, and who want to kill us all because we don’t fit their twisted, medieval world view.

    Luckily, Obama’s world view doesn’t appear that different to that of many other US presidents when it comes to dealing with mass murderers.

  • Hope and Change?

    Funny…..when Bush did the exact same thing…The left called him am international terrorist and called for his impeachment…but when King Barry does it we are the world os lucky to have such a thoughtful and caring President concerned about the safety of Americans and the innocent people of the world…

    Hope and change? King Barry = 4 more years of the Bush Doctrine!!!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Not at first, H&C. He had a free pass for quite a long time, especially after 9/11 – including the international community.

  • Hope and Change?

    Roger seems like you are attempting to revise history…the last few years the left has attacked Bush and the military for the same exact thing..admit it!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    H& C,

    My recollection is that the hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan was fully supported. It changed with Iraq.

  • zingzing

    stm: “or as we say in Australia, too much yankee hot-cock and bullshit.”

    you people do horrifying things to the english language. please never say that again.

  • Brunelleschi

    Dave-

    You are shooting with blanks. You didn’t even spell Somoza right.

    I went to Nicaragua myself for the 7th anniversary of the revolution that tossed Somoza out. You can NOT tell me the people didn’t toss him, or that this was planned from the outside by the evil empire. Mexico was the FSLN’s largest supporter during the overthrow. The US tried to stop it, but that became hard when one of Somoza’s hated Guardia shot an American newsman in cold blood and it was on national TV in the states.

    When I toured the country, people showed me some of the cliffs and volcanoes that Somoza’s guard (the future Contras) used to throw victims in.

    Managua, the place Reagan claimed was a communist hell, was partying. FLSN banners were everywhere. People stayed up late playing loud music and having a good time.

    The FSLN was actually tiny when Somoza was overthrown. The rest was just a popular uprising. The middle class had already fled with their money to Miami or whatever. The FSLN took over because there was no one else. They were a symbol of victory and freedom, again due to the fact that no one else was left or organized.

    I had dinner with one of Ortega’s high school buddies, who ran the police in Managua. He lived in a very humble house in a Managua neighborhood. The whole family were enthusiastic FSLN, even his mom, and his sister-who was a friend of mine in California.

    I was at dinner one night, and the restaurant got quiet when a few authorities came in and took a quick look at everyone in there, then in walks Tomas Borge, one of the surviving founders of the FSLN, and he sat down to eat. He was a star to those people-a celebrity-not some hated guard like Somoza’s goons.

    The US interest in preventing democracy was real and significant. It was called “The threat of a good example.”

    Read Inevitable Revolutions by LeFeber and come back and tell us how wrong you are. :)

    On the streets, in shops, and markets, you would find young people in FSLN uniforms and AK47s, but they were relaxed and the people around them were relaxed-just like if you ran into some uniformed Marines in a Wal Mart in the states. The people knew who their protectors were. This was in direct contrast to El Salvador, my next stop, where authorities scared the heck out of people, because they knew who was making thousands of people disappear. I know people personally whose name was printed in the San Salvador paper as targeted by death squads-they actually ran ads!

    The test for me as far as who is full of shit about this situation is if they keep repeating the lie that this whole thing was caused by the USSR and Cuba. You failed. You are simply full of shit.

    I was there. I talked to a lot of people, toured the country, saw it myself.

    Closing thought-I was riding in the back of a pickup in the Nicaraguan boonies on the way back from the beach, and an older guy was hitchhiking. Our driver waved him away. We said, “no, there is room,” so the guy gets in the back of the truck. As we were going past a large sugar can field, I asked whose field was it-

    His answer-“During Somoza, he owned everything and kept us poor. Now we are free and this belongs to the people.”

    It doesn’t matter if you want to sit in your comfort in North America and say this guy is full of shit. He lived what he lived and that was his answer.

    It is supreme arrogance to try and tell someone else how to live and if they are right about it or not. It’s their country and their revolution, not your’s!

  • Hope and Change?

    What does Hope and Change Look Like to the World Community…

    “Obama’s Military Air-raiding Villages And Killing Civilians”

    All Hail King Barry!!..the world community, like all Americans who voted for him, are commanded to fall on your knees and..er…um..you know…

  • Brunelleschi

    I knew before the election that Obama was actually going to double the troops in Afghanistan as Iraq winds down. Obama is not going to run away or stay and do it half-assed.

    Obama, even as president, doesn’t have the power to just cut and run, at least not if he wants to keep Washington together. The war system has too much momentum even for the messiah.

    Obama would do well to totally get aggressive and find OBL, wipe out all the Al Qaeda he can, the get the heck out and work on making America a different place and remove some of the problems that caused an Al Qaeda in the first place.

    If Obama thinks he can stay and do nation building, it will be expensive, people will be killed and in the end the score will be

    USSR-0
    USA-0
    Afghanistan-2

    Anyone who tries to re-invent Afghanistan is only chiseling their name in water.

  • paulwhoispablo

    Nalle is always defending US Imperialism,and has no compunction whatsoever in being an apologist for clandestine US involvement in criminal acts that have included torture, murder, kidnapping,and thuggery in general in keeping people from other countries from determining their own fate and destinies.

    Whether it is the Shah, Pinochet, or Somoza you will find Nalle acting as if these tyrants were actually of a more humanitarian bent. It is all utter hogwash, he should be ashamed of himself but he is not. Which is one of the many reasons that I find Dave’s suggestion that he is a libertarian laughable on its face. He represents the status quo, the military industrial complex, and the myth of Al-CIA-da.

  • Brunelleschi

    Dave-

    If you want to worship the alter of private property and claim that liberty is heaven, that sounds like a mix of the bible and John Locke.

    America’s preoccupation with private property as the cornerstone of liberty came from Locke. But that was 18th century political writing. Those same champions of liberty saw ownership of slaves as liberty too, since slaves were property.

    Ironic!

  • Brunelleschi

    paulwhoispablo

    You nailed it.

    Dave sounds more like a GOP pageboy learning his catechisms every time he tried to defend this bullshit.

    There is more to reality than a losing political parties talking points. Even they know deep down its bullshit. Dave isn’t smart enough to know he’s been fooled.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    I went to Nicaragua myself for the 7th anniversary of the revolution that tossed Somoza out. You can NOT tell me the people didn’t toss him, or that this was planned from the outside by the evil empire. Mexico was the FSLN’s largest supporter during the overthrow. The US tried to stop it, but that became hard when one of Somoza’s hated Guardia shot an American newsman in cold blood and it was on national TV in the states.

    I think the fact that you toured Nicaragua when you did and why you did tells us most of what we need to know about your level of objectivity on these issues of international policy.

    When I toured the country, people showed me some of the cliffs and volcanoes that Somoza’s guard (the future Contras) used to throw victims in.

    Yeah, Somoza sucked. No question. So did the Contras. So did Ortega. So have most of the regimes in the region and in Nicaragua’s history. Sorry, I forgot your point…

    Managua, the place Reagan claimed was a communist hell, was partying. FLSN banners were everywhere. People stayed up late playing loud music and having a good time.

    When I lived in Soviet Russia there was a great deal of partying and having a good time. Quite a bit of it was mandatory and the alternative was a very bad time in the Lubyanka.

    The FSLN was actually tiny when Somoza was overthrown. The rest was just a popular uprising. The middle class had already fled with their money to Miami or whatever. The FSLN took over because there was no one else. They were a symbol of victory and freedom, again due to the fact that no one else was left or organized.

    Yep, if things get bad enough then even commuinism is better than the alterantive.

    I was at dinner one night, and the restaurant got quiet when a few authorities came in and took a quick look at everyone in there, then in walks Tomas Borge, one of the surviving founders of the FSLN, and he sat down to eat. He was a star to those people-a celebrity-not some hated guard like Somoza’s goons.

    Did you ask the middle class who lost their homes and fled the country if he was a goon or a hero?

    The US interest in preventing democracy was real and significant. It was called “The threat of a good example.”

    On the streets, in shops, and markets, you would find young people in FSLN uniforms and AK47s, but they were relaxed and the people around them were relaxed-just like if you ran into some uniformed Marines in a Wal Mart in the states. The people knew who their protectors were. This was in direct contrast to El Salvador, my next stop, where authorities scared the heck out of people, because they knew who was making thousands of people disappear. I know people personally whose name was printed in the San Salvador paper as targeted by death squads-they actually ran ads!

    This is like comparing a child molester to a mass serial killer and saying the child molester is a good guy because at least he didn’t kill hundreds of people.

    I was there. I talked to a lot of people, toured the country, saw it myself.

    Out of curiosity, were you allowed to drive yourself around and go wherever you wanted and talk to anyone you wanted? In my experience in similar situations, probably not.

    His answer-“During Somoza, he owned everything and kept us poor. Now we are free and this belongs to the people.”

    Everything belonging to the people is the same as everything belonging to the state.

    It is supreme arrogance to try and tell someone else how to live and if they are right about it or not. It’s their country and their revolution, not your’s!

    I’m all for them having their revolution and letting them do the best they can with it. But when there are opportunities to support and encourage people to be free, I don’t think we should automatically pass on them. And when there are obvious cases of oppression we ought to oppose them.

    The US certainly should have opposed Somoza, but opposing one form of oppression by supporting another is never the right answer.

    Dave

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle


    Whether it is the Shah, Pinochet, or Somoza you will find Nalle acting as if these tyrants were actually of a more humanitarian bent.

    I defy you to find one example where I’ve defended Somoza. Pinochet and the Shah are a different story.

    America’s preoccupation with private property as the cornerstone of liberty came from Locke. But that was 18th century political writing. Those same champions of liberty saw ownership of slaves as liberty too, since slaves were property.

    This is a blatant lie. The major 18th cenutry philosophers were firmly opposed to slavery. Edmund Burke who was in many ways Locke’s successor and certainly the philosopher of that era I look to most was adamantly opposed to slavery and launched the movement which eventually ended it in much of the world.

    BTW, if you side with Pablo you’ll start getting taken about as seriously as he is.

    Dave

  • paulwhoispablo

    I never hoped or expected to be taken seriously by you Nalle, which is why I find you so amusing to annoy.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Pablo,

    Welcome to the thread. It’s always good to see a spirited and relentless fighter for truth and justice.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    And if you move Pablo out of the way you might find one.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    I love your love-hate relationship you have one for another.

  • Brunelleschi

    Dave-

    I think you have chronic argue-itis.

    When you arrive at a place like Managua and walk out of the airport, you are greeted by a lot of people offering rides. Its easy and cheap to get around one your own.

    I fail to see why if I go there, and say what I saw to be true-like how relaxed the population was with uniformed kids (some of them very cute young ladies) in FSLN uniforms-that you can’t accept it. It was fact. No one felt repressed by these people.

    The tiny middle class, many living in comfort with ties to Somoza, had already fled by July 19, 1979 the day Somoza fell. He fled to South America, and “someone” followed him and eventually blew up his Mercedes with a bakooza with him inside. The Nicaraguans cheered. hehe

    I didn’t say Locke was for slavery! Locke was where the FF’s got their ideas on private property as key to maintaining stability. Protect private property from seizure from a despot, and people will be free (Liberty). I just pointed out the irony that in practice, this meant slaves, as private property themselves, didn’t get liberty. Liberty was for a select few. That was 18th century. Time to move on, don’t you think?

    “The US should have opposed Somoza..”

    Read your history, we put that dynasty in place! Washington knew it was propping up a dictator, and his dad before him. That is how the US operated in Latin America. Read some history before running your mouth (fingers).

    “Everything belonging to the people is the same as everything belonging to the state.”

    What’s your point? I just mentioned what one random hitchhiker
    told me. I didn’t bother to argue with him. It’s just a little peek into life somewhere else to help you understand that your view is not everyone else’s.

    The FSLN were not communists. That’s Reagan spin. The FSLN was formed on a platform of nationalism in 1961. Marx was not their motivation. Freedom was.

    Finally, as far as objectivity, I am smart enough to know the difference between a PR tour and an objective look around. In the US, we were pounded daily by reports of how hellish Nicaragua had become. There is your lack of objectivity. Don’t go pointing a finger at me because I know the truth. :)

    In fact, one of the more frequent comments I got from sitting in coffee shops chatting was this “What the heck is wrong with your government? Why are they saying such things as we are not free? Now you have seen for yourself. What do you think will happen when you go back and tell people this stuff in the news in North America is complete nonsense?” I had to say “Sorry, I can write, but no one listens to the truth up there.” Your bullshit proves me right.

    Funny story too- The place is poor of course, so streets were not lit well at night. I was walking by myself late at night after a coffee shop chat (they were full of people having the conversation I described above), and since I was watching the ground to not trip, I literally walked into an armed guard holding an AK47 that was guarding an embassy. Doh!

    We scared each other, and I just said “Ola!” And he did too and I kept walking. No big deal. Hardly a communist hell.

    Every Thursday, at the US Embassy in Managua, US citizens that were in country would assemble outside to demonstrate what a bunch of bullshit this all is. I had to see this. I find several dozen Americans there doing what demonstrators do, and the gate was guarded by some FSLN on the outside. Just behind the fence, a stern-faced Marine in dark shades stared out at the crowd with a pouty face. I walked right up to the gate, stared him down, and he wouldn’t flinch. “You KNOW this is bullshit don’t you, and you know this isn’t right.” No response. I looked over at the 2 FLSN that were there to guard me from my own embassy, and gave them a look to show my frustration at how absurd this whole scene is, and they just laughed. They knew it too.

    And you think you know better? You don’t.

  • paulwhoispablo

    Roger,

    Believe me there is no love lost between Nalle and I.

  • Brunelleschi (c)

    He’s loveable for his ability to act right and be completely wrong, and can’t see it.

    It’s shallow and typical from the junkfood-thinking right.

    Maybe we should use the term “GOP Junkthink” (c).

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Pablo,

    Maybe if you & Dave had a beer together somewhere in depths of Texas, that all could change.

  • Clavos

    On the streets, in shops, and markets, you would find young people in FSLN uniforms and AK47s, but they were relaxed and the people around them were relaxed-just like if you ran into some uniformed Marines in a Wal Mart in the states.

    I wouldn’t shop at Wal-Mart on a bet; it’s waay too tacky a store, but if by some extreme misfortune I should find myself in a Wal-Mart and then find myself confronted with armed Marines, I would be decidedly UN-relaxed about it.

  • Brunelleschi (c)

    HAHA! Good one.

    I guess I could have said train station.

  • paulwhoispablo

    Roger,

    Seeing as how Nalle is a lover of reggae music I might partake of a joint with him, but I reckon he is far too straight (that is in the hip sense folks) to actually enjoy da herb, and what it can do in opening up the mind from the incessant conditioning rampant in our country.

    Kinda reminds me on how Clavy claims he likes the Grateful Dead’s music, but never saw them live. He only had 30 fucking years to see them, just a tad bit late to see the best band of the last 50 years.

    A beer in Texass with Nalle? No thanks, it would probably be a Coors(as in Adolph Coors) lite, I don’t partake of the silver bullet, and in particular their fascist politics of the last 30 years.

  • Mark (Ede)n

    A joint!!?? Geeze Pablo, that shit’ll make you paranoid. (Just kidding.)

    Mark

  • paulwhoispablo

    Mark,

    No, the drug that makes you paranoid is called cocaine, you know the one that Nalle’s family employer with the help of people such as Oliver North, and Barry Seale helped smuggle into our country and get half of the ghettos addicted to crack. Now that shit makes you paranoid, and I don’t touch that karmic poison.

    I like get up, stand up, fight for your rights, aint got no birthcertifate on me mon, and redemption song, as I inhale the female sweet sticky herb from Jah.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    Well, you know Pablo. Your idea might be better if you manage to talk him into it. My hunch is that he’s much more personable once you meet him than what he appears on the written page. Who knows? You might turn him yet into a raving liberal.

  • Clavos

    Kinda reminds me on how Clavy claims he likes the Grateful Dead’s music, but never saw them live. He only had 30 fucking years to see them, just a tad bit late to see the best band of the last 50 years.

    I don’t go to anybody’s live concerts, (or, for that matter, sports events, NASCAR races, or Presidential inaugurations), pablum.

    Theater, the symphony, and the ballet are about it for me.

    Hate mixing with the hoi-polloi.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    How about one-on-one, before your marriage days?

  • STM

    Zing: “you people do horrifying things to the english language. please never say that again.”

    At least don’t have weird accents though like you guys.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ Roger Nowosielski

    “too much yankee hot-cock and bullshit”

    I kind of like that, Zing. Colorful and to the point!

  • zingzing

    hot cock? colorful? i suppose so.

    and stm, if there’s one thing i would say about australians, other than that they have no business making music, it’s that they should never open their mouths.

    :o

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Happy Australia Day, Stan.

    You too, zing.

  • zingzing

    yay! is australia day akin to our independence day, or is it just a celebration of australia… like if we had a “happy america day!” thing going on. australians shouldn’t make holidays, they should just be happy with the ones god and the british let them have.

    i must stop. sorry stan. it’s just a bit of fun.

  • Cindy D

    Good songs Pablo.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle

    Brune, Nicaragua may be the peoples paradise you describe it as being. My knowledge of it is mostly historical, and it’s certainly been a hell hole for most of its history. Beyond that, my first-hand experience with revolutionary regimes in other parts of the world has led me to have low expectations for freedom, especially when they are founded in socialist or communist ideology, though functionally there’s not much difference between a dictatorship of the people and a dictatoriship of anyone else.

    So I’ll take your word that Nicaragua is perfect. I had heard that it came out of the whole mess better than would be expected. But if that’s the case it’s the rare exception rather than the rule for such small nations. In most other cases it has taken a transitional government, usually under a moderate dictator like the Shah or Pinochet to lay the groundwork and develop the middle class and economic infrastructure to support representative government and freedom.

    From what I can tell, aside from their total ban on abortion they’ve had a fairly decent human rights record for the last decade, which is more than most of their neighbors can claim.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    Wonder why there are so many Nicaraguans in Miami?

  • Brunelleschi

    See above. They took their money and ran when Somoza was about to fall.

  • Brunelleschi

    Dave Dave Dave-

    If you are going to just argue off the top of your head, why even do it? If you are just going to put words into someone’s mouth, and argue THAT, it’s a strawman argument.


    “Nicaragua may be the peoples paradise you describe it as being.”

    I didn’t say that at all. It just was far from what you were being told by the admin and the “liberal” media.

    “… it’s certainly been a hell hole for most of its history.”

    Yeah and WHY? Read Inevitable Revolutions by LaFeber. It was a hellhole because hellish dictators were installed by the US. The US has invaded Nicaragua like 14 times.

    “.. low expectations for freedom, especially when they are founded in socialist or communist ideology…”

    You believed propaganda at the time. It was neither.

    “..So I’ll take your word that Nicaragua is perfect….”

    I didn’t say that. Strawman.

    “.. a moderate dictator like the Shah or Pinochet to…”

    MODERATE? That’s like saying we should separate moderate murderers from bad murderers in prison! Neither were moderate. I suspect you tacked the moderate label on because they were US puppets, and you don’t have the ability to think of the US actually doing something wrong.

    “..they’ve had a fairly decent human rights record for the last decade, which is more than most of their neighbors can claim…”

    That’s because they did manage to keep the US out, and their neighbors couldn’t.

    If you don’t meddle in another nation’s affairs, they do tend to settle things themselves. Unfortunately most of Central America never had that chance.

  • STM

    Zing: “yay! is australia day akin to our independence day, or is it just a celebration of australia”.

    We’re intensely patriotic, but not overtly patriotic. No hand on the heart stuff at school assembly or during the national anthem. The only day I’ll ever fly the flag is on Australia Day, when it’s everywhere. But take us to the cricket or the rugby and we’re insane.

    But yes, it is a bit like Independence Day, although like I say, the patriotism thing isn’t so obvious and most Aussies just think it’s great to have another day off (and thus a three-day weekend) in the middle of summer – we get a million public holidays and long weekends in this country on top of the minimum four weeks’ a year annual leave (I get seven weeks) after one year of employment.

    Everyone’s out today having a barbecue, on the boat, drinking beer, at the beach, having lucnh and getting on the vino, down on the Harbour watching the displays, watching the ferry boat races, etc etc.

    That’s what we really enjoy … as you’d expect for a country whose national day actually celebrates the arrival of the first fleet of convict transports in Port Phillip (Sydney Harbour) over 200 years ago to set up a colony to replace the lost American colonies.

    I think this is the reason we are the way we are … we’ve got the convict gene, hate authority and authority figures, dislike people putting on airs and graces (which explains our love-hate relationship with our British and American cousins) and if we were any more laid back, we’d be falling over.

    Perhaps what we are really celebrating is the fact the British sent all the party people of the British Empire to the best place, instead of leaving them on that rock in the north sea while all the good folk packed up and left Britain to come here.

    Now the buggers are knocking down the door to get in, along with everyone else, but that’s another story.

    It’s a triumph of the human spirit that all those convicts remained here in what was at that time a very, very, very harsh land to build one of the world’s great modern democracies.

    On today: It’s a bit cooler than usual today after 45C temperatures during the past week, so there are millions out and about.

    Truly, this is God’s Own Country when it comes to enjoying the great outdoors. If you live here, you just never need to go on holidays.

    Sydney: think a cross between Honolulu (for the beaches), Miami (for the waterways and outdoors lifestyle), San Francisco (for the lifestyle generally, but without the fuss and with a whole lot less chardonnay-drinking liberals who embrace democratic socialism without ever getting their hands dirty) and London (for our still obvious British hangover).

    Sadly though, I’ve had to go to work today just like any other public holiday – which is the real reason I get seven weeks’ a year leave.

    I did whack the old Blue Duster on the back of the car today (merde! a Peugeot) … I should be driving a Holden or a Ford. Next time.

  • STM

    Thanks Doc … Australia Day this year also coincides with Chinese New Year, and since we have a huge population of Chinese Australians, the old Sydney town’s been a party town over the weekend.

    Tonight it’ll go bananas down in Chinatown, with lots of fireworks on the harbour.

  • Cindy D

    …it [takes a totalitarian dictatorship]…to support…freedom.

  • Brunelleschi

    Translation-A nation is part of the “free world” if we are free to make money there, regardless of if the people are free.

    The ultimate bullshit was South Africa, under apartheid, was considered part of the free world. That is because whites had private property rights-so it must have been a democracy..right?

    :)

  • STM

    Sorry Brun, South Africa wasn’t considered part of the free world, not by my country, yours or by Britain, which led the international movement to end apartheid and to bring down the Afrikaner-led white government.

    There were trade bans and embargoes in place and serious political and economic pressure applied.

    Interestingly, in Australia we’ve had just as many white south africans migrating (seemed to be mostly South Africans of anglo background) during the apartheid years as we do in the period since the ANC took over (many of whom now seem to be Afrikaners of Dutch descent).

    A good many of them are in Perth, Western Australia, which is the first stop on the continent for those coming across the Indian Ocean from South Africa, although I did go to a local shopping centre in a nearby suburb of Sydney the other week that is known as a South African ghetto (some ghetto, though … you won’t buy a house there under $1 million) and every second accent was South African.

    One of my daughter’s new schoolfriends is South African … they only arrived a year ago from Pretoria and are here to stay.

    This place seems to be the preferred destination for those who’ve had enough one way or the other over there. I suppose we’ll have a few more conservative voters from that latest influx.

  • Clavos

    They took their money and ran when Somoza was about to fall.

    Wonder why they’re still coming in droves?

    I guess one Third World place is like all the others, and Miami does have its proximity to the USA going for it.

  • STM

    And it might sound like madness when you’re choosing new countries to move to, but one of the big reasons they come here, apart from the political and economic stability and the similar weather, is that they are sports fanatics who love cricket and rugby.

    South African rugby teams play in two three-nation rugby competitions involving teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa (The Super 14, a state/province/city franchise tournament of yes, 14 teams, and the Tri-Nations rugby, a tournament at international level), and South African cricket team is here at the moment.

    It means they can see their South African teams play all the time in Australia and New Zealand, and can follow the same sports they’ve grown up with, even though they’re no longer living in South Africa.

    I guess they are looking for some familiarity in their lifestyles, although Australian attitudes are, ahem, generally rather different, to say the least.

    In fact, they are belting the sh.it out of us in a day-night cricket game in Adelaide as I speak. Not enough to be rugby world champions, they are now going out of their way to pinch our cricket crown.

    Oh, the horror.

  • http://www.fontcraft.com/rod/ Dave Nalle


    In that case, how would you account for growth of conservatism if it’s not based in religion? From whence does come the impetus?

    Well, I’m sure that there are many reasons, but certainly for some it’s a desire for freedom, which they conclude comes in the form of greater self reliance and less interference from government.

    You may want to argue the point, but the common belief is that the left is the side of bigger government and more control over our day to day lives, and that the right and the conservative side generally wants to minimize government and let us live the way we want to.

    The religious conservatives really don’t fit into this at all, because they want government to leave them alone while at the same time they want government to impose their bizarre beliefs on everyone else. They’re indistinguishable from the left in this regard.

    I think Mike Huckabee was the perfect example of how bad this can get. A theocratic leftist. There ought to be a place for him in the Democratic party, because he sure shouldn’t be a Republican.

    Dave