Dan Simmons’s message from the future

I very seldom post just to forward my readers to someone else’s writing, but SF author Dan Simmons has earned it with this potent warning. Read the whole thing. Because it is indeed our future, unless we wake up.

221 thoughts on “Dan Simmons’s message from the future

  1. What a frightening way to put it. Frightening and prophetic. I will hope we can realize what the real enemy is while they are still weak enough.

    The 6 Days War and the rise of the PLO were, for me, the first indicators of open war. The acceptance of Arafat as a “head of state” was my first indicator we were going to be stupid about the war.

    Thanks for the link.

    cheers,

    gary

  2. As I have written here before, if the practitioners believe in the prophecy, it’s a religion. If they believe they are instrumental to fulfilling the prophecy, it’s a cult. I’ll admit to knowing as little as any Westerner about Islam. But I can observe behavior.

    Quite a read. Thanks.

  3. That was fucking brilliant. Should I feel stupid that I don’t know what the “three words” are? I’m guessing maybe they are a standard Muslim “goodbye”, much like the reflexive “Salla Allahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam” (“peace be upon him”) required after mentioning Muhammad (saas). I’ve googled to no avail. Any help?

  4. Yes, I quite concur that things look bad.
    However I strongly suspect that things are actually no worse now than they were in ’68 when STAND ON ZANZIBAR was published. It too looked reasonable at the time, and naieve less than ten years later.

  5. Nonsense. Terrorists simply don’t have the funds and material means for that. Even if the goverments of those rich Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait etc. – who play moderately nice with the West would be overthrown, and oil money would land in the hands of the terrorists, they simply don’t have the technology to manufacture world-conquering weapons.

    I am not ignorant about the danger of Islam, but it will be a century-long game of petty terrorism and crime and counter-terrorism and rather than a big war that destroys civilization.

  6. the last three words would refer to 1-3 disasters happening which are worse than any of the preceeding.

    I’d guess that Dan didn’t even have any three disasters-to-be in mind, but simply left them to the imagination of the reader. Much like Alfred Hitchcock would always leave the gory details to the imagination, since it’s so much better at getting your personal worries than is a special effects makeup pro.

    In any case, rest assured that the last three words would not only be worse than any previous disasters, but will amost certainly come to pass, since reality usually turns out worse than fiction.

    Candidates:

    4 billion people
    La Palma Island
    Mutant airborne ebola
    President Hillary Clinton
    background radiation dectoupled
    no drinkable water
    internet porn vanished
    Islamic elevator music
    Yellowstone volcanic explosion
    La Palma Island
    global thermonuclear war

    hanzie

  7. > they simply don’t have the technology to manufacture world-conquering weapons.

    I beg to differ on that, Little boy the first atomic bomb used 60 kg of u-235 ’132 lbs.’ with a conventional
    explosive to go critical…

    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Boy

    according to weapon designers the same technology needed to build a volkswagen is all that is needed
    to build a ‘crude nuke’.

    all they need now is the u235… enriched… and i dont want to talk about plutonium

    also see article from Dr. Bill Wattenburg.

    http://www.kgoam810.com/djadditionalinformation.asp?djid=3552

    scroll down to -> Our really big terrorism vulnerabilities

    article is in pdf format

  8. Chillingly beautiful essay. I like how he paints himself as a typical liberal getting chastised for his innocent ignorance by the time traveler. I wonder if he is a very recent convert to the cause of fighting against Islam.

  9. (Shenpen):Nonsense. Terrorists simply don’t have the funds and material means for that. …”

    I think you missed principal point of the story. One of the weapons they have is us; our reluctance or even inability to coome to terms with who the real enemy is. When the leader of Iran says he wants to wipe Israel from the face of the Earth, there are not just some, but a substantial number of Westerners who think “Well, he says that but he doesn’t really mean it”.

    There are no mixed signals being sent here. In the future, we will all finally come to realize that.

  10. Let us not forget that Isreal handed the Arab world its collective ass not only in 1967 (The Six Day War) but again in 1973 (the Yom Kippur or “October” War), and that Isreal is quite likely nuclear-enabled to the tune of 100-200 “devices’. Even if “America” has lost its will to fight (which I doubt), Isreal has not, and will defend themselves to the upmost if necessary.

    ESR, why do you put so much stock in stories from an avowed author of fiction, yet decry “the Bible” as a bunch of scary children’s stories? They both have the same chance at veracity.

  11. When the leader of Iran says he wants to wipe Israel from the face of the Earth, there are not just some, but a substantial number of Westerners who think “Well, he says that but he doesn’t really mean it”.

    What he actually said was that Israel *should* be wiped from the map – not who should do it. But as Israel almost certainly has submarine-launched cruise missiles for delivery of its little buckets of sunshine, why are *you* so convinced the Iranians are bent on committing national suicide?

  12. Jim, I’m not going to presume to speak for Eric…but, speaking for myself, you’re comparing Apples and mainframes. The difference is that the story Eric linked to is not intended to be taken as a literally true historical account, as the proponents of the Bible claim for it. Simmons was merely writing a piece of cautionary fiction, and he never claimed anything else.

  13. adrian10, what makes you think the Iranians think a nuclear attack on Israel would be national suicide? After all, Allah will protect His own. The Quran says so.

  14. >I’d guess that Dan didn’t even have any three disasters-to-be in mind, but simply left them to the imagination of the reader

    That was my interpretation as well.

    >The difference is that the story Eric linked to is not intended to be taken as a literally true historical account, as the proponents of the Bible claim for it.

    True, but there’s a deeper difference. Believing Bible stories depends on retrospectively crediting the existence of miracles and divine intervention, events that break the normal causal regularities we observe in our surroundings.

    Simmons’s story is plausible because, if one has been paying attention, the causal predecessors to his imagined future are observable all around us.

    >I like how he paints himself as a typical liberal getting chastised for his innocent ignorance by the time traveler.

    The darkest, funniest bit is when he comes so near to literally shooting the messenger. Perfect metaphor for the typical liberal’s response.

  15. In any case, Simmons’s Greek history is directly upside-down. The Athenians lost at Syracuse not because they thought the Syracusans were going to be their friends, but because after the butchery on Melos (mentioned in the story) the Athenians thought everyone (except Sparta) would roll over and play dead the minute the great Athenians came on the scene. Thucydides says as much in the excerpt Simmons gives.

    Furthermore, the word “democracy” in this context is seriously misleading. We’re used to modern history, in which democrats aren’t generally imperialists, but in ancient Greek history, the more democratic at home, the more imperialist abroad. The Spartans fought with and defeated Athens because they saw Athens becoming the Athenian Empire, and they wanted local self-determination. The resulting war was, of course, destructive of both sides’ hopes.

    As for the notion that Athens vs. Sparta was for hegemony over the known world, it’s preposterous. The great powers at the time were Egypt and Persia, and everyone knew it. Greece was primarily a playground for their ambitions; the Greeks’ role as a world power began in Alexander’s day, or his father Philip’s — the first person to actually unify (i.e. conquer) the Greek city-states.

    As for insufficient ruthlessness, there was a lot of talk in the U.K. in 1946 — Tolkien mentions it in one of his letters — about setting up extermination camps for the Germans. After all, they had supported and defended for twelve years a regime that had planned and waged both agressive warfare and genocide. (In politics, obedience and support are the same thing.) Would that have been sufficiently ruthless to eliminate the threat of Nazism? Sure. Would it have been justified by Realpolitik? Hardly.

  16. Excellent short story. Potent portentious words. It certainly brought to the surface some chilling suspicions…ugly stuff that we seem to have a blithe tendency to repress, for our own misguided peace-of-mind, if for no other reason.

    The impact of the ‘final three words’ hit me in an almost Lovecraftian manner…

  17. In addition, the Athenians fought on for a long while after Syracuse; it was the Persian intervention / support of Sparta and Lysander that really did Athens in.

  18. Ps. That’s what I find unconvincing about the doomsday scenario he writes about – there’s no superpower to intervene on the other side, so the US’s “defeat” is unlikely. Not to say the Islamists couldn’t cause us a world of hurt, but conquest is unlikely.

  19. I’m not sure I believe that, Pompey. The main problem with Europe is that it is lacking in the basic will to use power; it has more than ample resources. If Islam manages to conquer Europe, it could put those resources to work in a hurry, as it has more than ample will.

  20. Yeah, but Europe is changing. Tony declared that immigration to the UK is a privilege, not a right. Angela Merkel declared that eleceted or not (Hamas), the EU won’t give financial support to a terrorist goverment. Denmark, Norway awoken due to the cartoons story. And even in France this Sarkozy guy seems to have found his nuts – I expect him to be elected the next Prime there, actually, he is a kind of de facto Prime right now as Chirac doesn’t seem to be able to follow up on the events.

    If America can and is willing to play jyhad-bait in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places for ten more years, drawing terrorist attention upon their troops and thus away from Europe, Europe will completely wake up. The process has started, only it’s slow. And the new EU states, who never has the chance to sleep into fat-assed welfarism will speed up the process, I think.

  21. >> If America can and is willing to play jyhad-bait in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places for ten more years, drawing terrorist attention upon their troops and thus away from Europe, Europe will completely wake up.

    What will that do to us (U.S.) in the meantime? I do not want to sound greedy, but do we really need to expend all those resources ALONE?!?! I know that we may not have any other choice, but DAMN THIS SUCKS!!

    Oh well! At least we (may) have one ally in this fight, Iraq. I heard, from ESR’s Gun Porn post, that the people of Iraq have, largely, dropped their support of terrorists after the numerous suicide bombers killed so many Iraqi citizens.

  22. > True, but there’s a deeper difference. Believing Bible stories depends on
    > retrospectively crediting the existence of miracles and divine intervention, events
    > that break the normal causal regularities we observe in our surroundings.

    Ho ho! And >time travel Simmons’s story is plausible because, if one has been paying attention, the causal
    > predecessors to his imagined future are observable all around us.

    Only if you have faith, my son. As others have pointed out, Simmons gets his facts screwed by accurate historic interpretation.

    Bible believers (don’t look at me that way, I’m making a point) will point to parts of ithe Bible such as Ezekiel 35-39 (or so) and suggest that “this was all predicted”.

    Face it, both you and those who “believe in the Bible” find the respective stories highly supportive of your respective positions, (“this is our future!”) so you are (both) willing to look past the impossible parts of the story in order for it to become “truth”.

  23. A nice piece, although I do have some problems with plausibility….

    Iranian nuclear strikes on US regional military bases, plus Isreal, with Sahib-2 missles, followed by declaring the immediate re-establishment of the Caliphate, seems a vaguely reasonable plan. If you could swing a big enough faction in the House of Saud it might even work.

    But direct attacks against the US – probably Europe, but certainly the US – would have to wait… 10, 20 years? I can’t see how retaliation before then would be less than devastating. Plausibly deniable terrorist attacks with WMDs, maybe, screwing up the economy, placing statements from public faces…

    Well, maybe. But if it does come down to all-out genocidal war, my money is still on the West, history’s all-time Champeen.

    A more likely and possibly more dangerous scenario is the rise of some form of fascism – European, American, Asian, or otherwise – in response to such a threat…

  24. Goddammit, what were the three words?

    Good essay but I seriously doubt islamofascists’ ability to pull off global dhimmitude. The Soviet Union couldn’t do it, so how can a rag-tag bunch of losers?

  25. >Good essay but I seriously doubt islamofascists’ ability to pull off global dhimmitude. The Soviet Union couldn’t do it, so how can a rag-tag bunch of losers?

    Simmons’s story doesn’t project global dhimmitude, but rather a Europe dominated by Islam
    and exporting terror elsewhere. At least, that’s how I read it.

  26. I suspect you’re right, Redneck, and the cataclysmic future of a global caliphate is likely a fully-extended doomsday scenario…but I do not doubt that this is an accurate vision inside the *minds* of a lot of these goons, and that if they could do it, they would.

    I am also equally certain that they will bring immense pain and suffering in their savage attempts along this path…and that Europe is first in line for a very rough ride.

  27. Ah, that is more plausible given our immigration here in Europe (I have only lived in Denmark and Sweden myself but the others seem just as affected), but still I see it as farfetched.

    What reason is there to believe that muslims will take over Europe? They are still in the minority, 10% at most I think…

    Sure, we have had lots of problems with crime, unemployment and honor killings and such but those problems are still relatively mild.

    Sorry, I just can’t buy the whole rabid this-is-a-dire-threat rhetoric ;) At least not yet…

  28. Dan Kane: I fully agree with that, but I do think that terror bombings and such are like school shootings; very spectacular but extremely non-lethal in the statistical sense. Well, unless they acquire nukes.

  29. Oh well. I took the three words to be the names of his three grandsons. A futile attempt to protect them.

    Anyhow, very good read, and well organized.

  30. > Goddammit, what were the three words?

    “You (we) are fucked.”

    > I seriously doubt islamofascists’ ability to pull off global dhimmitude. The Soviet
    > Union couldn’t do it, so how can a rag-tag bunch of losers?

    Nazi Germany couldn’t do it either, and the parallels (as illustrated by the story) are fierce. Lets not forget that FDR, one of America’s most controversial leaders presided over all but the last month of the war with Germany. Conservatives claimed that he undermined states’ rights and individual liberty. Leftists found him timid and conventional in attacking the Depression. Others thought him devious and inconsistent and uninformed about economics.

  31. Yes, FDR was an asshole who undermined freedom. Nazi Germany was dangerous as all hell and only went down because of bad timing on the part of Hitler. What is your point?

    These islamofascist losers aren’t even in the same ball game.

  32. Quite so…even 3000 dead in NYC didn’t bring about the end of the world…

    With its massive superiority in terms of wealth, technology and firepower, even America couldn’t conquer Europe, but these freaks are willing to do things we are not…which will become most apparent if we allow them to acquire nukes.

    Those nukes will do the kind of damage that no amount of dead schoolkids or planes in buildings can accomplish…

  33. The three words? Phobos, kerdos, doxa.

    This is classical Greek for fear, self-interest, reputation.

    The story translates the last word as honor. But Liddell and Scott’s Greek lexicon defines doxa as “the opinion others have of one,” for which reputation seems a better one-word translation.

  34. > Goddammit, what were the three words?

    “Allah is Cthulhu”
    You go insane.

  35. > “Nazi Germany was dangerous as all hell and only went down because of bad
    > timing on the part of Hitler.”

    “Bad timing”? I think not.

    When the German Army invaded Russia in June 1941, Germany could have potentially defeated Russia and won the war. Germany’s initial victories were tremendous. Russian losses in men, equipment, and land, were unbelievably large, but Russia is an even larger land mass, with endless resources, tough soldiers, a winter climate is terrible for anyone not fully equipped to deal with it. The German military was definitely NOT equipped for the Russian winter, and knew it.

    The first several weeks of the invasion brought so many German successes such that Hitler, over-confidently decided that he wanted to occupy the resource rich Ukraine in the South even before taking Moscow, the heart of Russia. In order to accomplsih this, he ordered a halt to the advance of army group “Center” toward Moscow and to give its two tank divisions to army groups “North” and “South”. This was quite likely Hitler’s greatest single tactical error.

    After spending more than a month on this diversion, in September 6th 1941 Hitler must have realized that he was running out of time in his race to defeat Russia before winter, which his war plan considered “a major condition with no alternative”.

    Only then did Hitler order his generals to concentrate everything in an all-or-nothing bid to take Moscow “In the limited time before winter”. Army group “Center” received its two tank divisions back, plus a third divisions of tanks, as well as additional air units. On October 2nd 1941 the German military began its final assault on Moscow. In the 2nd week of October, there was a confident German public radio announcement that the outcome of the war has been decided and Russia was defeated.

    Alas (for Germany), the Russian winter began. Rain brought deep mud, which slowed the German tanks and infantry almost to a standstill. The advance resumed a month later, when the mud was frozen as the temperature dropped. In German cities an emergency effort began to collect winter clothing for their unequipped soldiers in Russia, who still fought in their summer uniform.

    By the end of November 1941, the German armor front lines advanced to just 27km from the center of Moscow, stopped by strong Russian resistance, while the temperature dropped to around -34C (-29F). The foremost German observers could see the tips of the towers of the Kremlin, but General Erich Hoepner, the commander of Panzer Group 4, reported that his force had “reached its utmost limit, with physical and mental exhaustion, unbearable shortage of personnel, and lack of winter clothing”.

    General Wagner, the German army’s top logistics officer also wrote a report that was summarized by the chief of staff with “we have reached our limit in terms of personnel and equipment”.

    On December 6th 1941, the Russian army counter-attacked the exhausted Germans with massive fresh reinforcement units that came from Siberia and the far East, and forced the German armies, for the first time, into a deep humiliating retreat.

    The following day, the Soviet news agency announced the first German defeat since the invasion started. On the same day,the US joined the war (we all know why), bringing with it an immense military potential. On that same day Hitler ordered to cease the attack and shift to defense. On December 11, 1941, Hitler declared war on the US, in an attempt to gain Japan’s support in attacking Russia. It didn’t work, but FDR was, by this single action, given all that he needed to bring the fully into the war with Germany.

    A week later, General Hoepner reported “my 22 divisions face 43 Russian divisions, none of my divisions is capable of attack or of defending against a stronger force. All my positions are endangered. No fuel, no food for the horses, the soldiers fall asleep standing, everything is frozen, the soil is frozen a meter deep, which makes digging impossible.”

    As Paul Johnson writes, “at this stage it was clear that Operation Barbarossa failed. A totally new strategy was needed”.

    Instead of that, on December 19, 1941, Hitler, relying on his “experience” as a WWI Corporal, appointed himself the new commander-in-chief of the German army, and personally commanded the daily war management from that point forward. Hitler forbid any further retreats, a move that cost the German military almost a third of its manpower in Russia before the end of that winter. The German Army should have saved their scant Panzer forces, consolidated them into powerful formations, and then launched counter attacks to regain the strategic initiative once the Russia was over extended and exposed. Hitler’s decisions to hold at all costs and attack or defend in fixed positions played directly into the strengths of the Russians. German strength was in their superior mobility and flexibility in a fluid combat environment. Blitzkrieg couldn’t work durring the Russian winter.

    From that point on, Germany the eventual defeat of Germany was a matter of time. Germany attemped to move forward again once the winter ended, and again a year later when the next winter ended, but it was never successful. By early February 1943, it was clear that the German Sixth Army, trapped in Stalingrad, would have to surrender.

    By capturing Stalingrad instead of going for the oil in the Caucuses. Hitler lost the entire Sixth Army for no gain. By failing to secure fuel supplies, Germany lost the Battle of the Bulge for lack of fuel for its (superior) tanks.

    It was Hitler’s disorganized, dictatorial leadership and his increasingly blind faith in the power of will versus massive, well-supplied Soviet armies that lost the war. Time and time again, Hitler’s interference in Field Marshall Manstein’s Panzer group operations left much of Manstein’s forces perilously exposed to Soviet encirclement. By Spring 1944, Hitler tired of Manstein’s repeated demands for a Wehrmacht Commander-in-Chief and, fearing Manstein’s increasing personal prestige in the homeland, forced Manstein’s resignation and retirement from the army.

    Manstein’s resignation took with it any internal resistance to Hitler’s strategic and tactical blunders. Hitler repeated his mistakes, refusing to trust his generals to make tactical decisions as needed in the field. Rommel could not counterattack on D-Day day without Hitler’s support and Hitler convinced D-Day a feint as a result of false intelligence. When he finally released Panzer reserves, they were destroyed from the air by British Typhoons with rockets.

    Hitler’s overconfidence led directly to both Germany’s defeat on the Eastern front and an earlier victory for the Allies than would otherwise have been possible.

    It seems obvious in hindsight that Hitler gambled everything by invading Russia, and that attacking Russia and failing to defeat it could only mean that Germany would eventually be defeated.

  36. The Brook and Epstein article is a piece of trash from beginning to end. On their reasoning, I as a northbound pedestrian on the sidewalk of a southbound street have a perfect right to shoot any drivers of oncoming cars: after all, they present an immediate threat to me — a twitch of the steering wheel, and I’m history– and at least some of them are in fact hostile to me for a variety of reasons. Furthermore, “threat” is commonly defined by actual warriors as a matter of capabilities (which can be measured) rather than intentions (which the Devil himself knoweth not, at least in advance of action). And while we do put people in jail for death threats, we do not yet treat them as the moral equivalent of murderers.

    And once again, the facts don’t support the theories. The march through Georgia at best shortened a war that was all but won and that from a military viewpoint was hopeless from the start; the same is true of World War II as against the United States. And if the acts of citizens of a state are acts of state, as may well be the case, what possible justification could 9/11 provide for attacking Iran?

    I found this particularly chilling: “A nation that threatens innocent nations thereby forfeits its right to exist and deserves whatever consequences innocent nations visit on it.” Given the willingness of the authors to treat civilians as fully responsible for the acts of their governments, there is every justification on Brook and Epstein’s view not only for conquering Iran but for exterminating its citizens.

    The revolting justification of torture is the final straw. Torture, we are told, will harm only the guilty: actual opponents of the regime will not be tortured, because they will be glad to tell all they know voluntarily. But how can one know that a POW has told all he knows? Indeed, the innocent will probably be tortured more severely, precisely because they have little or nothing to tell. Fortunately, this makes no practical difference to B & E, who will not be sent to the ovens for any little war crimes their government may have committed here and there.

  37. As a reader, I like that text. As a human however, and a s a concious being, I completely reject it. I simply refuse to say that the terrorists are true muslims, and that Islam is a danger on itself. Why should it be? There is hardly a difference between te Qu’ran and the Bible. In fact, the Qu’ran endorses the Bible as a holy book, and Jesus as a prophet.

  38. Quite so…even 3000 dead in NYC didn’t bring about the end of the world…

    With its massive superiority in terms of wealth, technology and firepower, even America couldn’t conquer Europe, but these freaks are willing to do things we are not…which will become most apparent if we allow them to acquire nukes.

    Those nukes will do the kind of damage that no amount of dead schoolkids or planes in buildings can accomplish…

  39. Yes, FDR was an asshole who undermined freedom. Nazi Germany was dangerous as all hell and only went down because of bad timing on the part of Hitler. What is your point?

    These islamofascist losers aren’t even in the same ball game.

  40. More assertions, this time in story form. The idea that Islamic nutcases are going to be able to overthrow the Western powers is laughable. Please stick to writing rinky-dink C programs and embarassing the Open Source people, esr.

  41. (Dominic van Berkel): “As a human however, and a s a concious being, I completely reject it. I simply refuse to say that the terrorists are true muslims, and that Islam is a danger on itself. … In fact, the Qu’ran endorses the Bible as a holy book, and Jesus as a prophet.”

    That is exactly the error the story brings to light. It doesn’t matter, in any practical sense, what the written texts profess, good or bad. What matters is the bahavior of the religion’s practitioners. I know that the billion +plus followers of Islam throughout the world are not all practicing terrorists. But they almost all seem ok with it. Where is the outrage in the Muslim world against terrorism? Where is the introspection? Intellectual discourse? Courage? Leadership away from a culture of hatred?

    Take, for example, their concept of martyrdom versus ours. We in the US would consider Martin Luther King a martyr. One who is murdered by an adversary while engaged in a noble pursuit. But most practicing muslims prefer to believe that a suicide bomber blowing himself up in a pizzaria killing Israelis is a martyr. It is a total convolution of our concept of martydom, save for the fact that the ostensible “martyr” actually dies.

    I wonder if most in the Muslim world would consider Anwar Sadat a martyr. Because, to me, he is the only leader in the Muslim world who I recall exhibiting any real courage in my lifetime. And look what happened to him. Seems the rest of them got the message.

  42. > If America can and is willing to play jyhad-bait in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places for ten more years, drawing terrorist attention upon their troops and thus away from Europe, Europe will completely wake up.

    Is there any supporting evidence for that belief or is it just wishful thinking?

  43. Is there any supporting evidence for that belief or is it just wishful thinking?

    We’ll know in a decade or two. You’re always asking for “evidence” for things where only time is going to tell. Personally, I think if the Islamists keep pushing in Europe people will start asking more pointed questions, and there’ll be a hell of a backlash – I mean, rape as a “custom”, that’s going to make someone *angry* eventually no matter how much training in pee-sitting’s been forced on them.

    The idea popular here that Europe has been so permanently emasculated by socialism that it’s now forever incapable of standing up for itself in the face of a takeover by a baser but more virile culture which is going to outbreed and displace it looks to me like little more than an exercise in implicit self-flattery (“We manly Americans (and Israelis), by contrast…”). You’re welcome to it, but I’ll be making my plans and investments based on other considerations.

  44. Adrian: Good luck. I’d like to see a Europe that was willing to stand up instead of roll over, but so far I see no reason to think that’s what will actually happen.

  45. adrian10, what makes you think the Iranians think a nuclear attack on Israel would be national suicide? After all, Allah will protect His own. The Quran says so.

    Individuals may behave that way, but there aren’t many precedents for nations doing it, especially in a nuclear age when everybody knows what would happen. Why do you have to believe the Iranians are that dumb?

    The main problem with Europe is that it is lacking in the basic will to use power; it has more than ample resources. If Islam manages to conquer Europe, it could put those resources to work in a hurry, as it has more than ample will.

    As happened before the end of apartheid, if there was any live prospect of Muslims gaining electoral power in a European country like France I’m sure the country’s nuclear deterrent would be discreetly disassembled or transferred to America (or somewhere) for safekeeping. It’s not going to happen overnight, after all.

  46. Jim– Nazism was doomed from the start, because they ignored economics. They were short on crucial supplies and thought that that ersatz supplies (coffee from sawdust; oil from coal) could suffice. That doesn’t mean that victory would be (was) easy; merely that it was assured.

  47. > The idea popular here that Europe has been so permanently emasculated by socialism

    The emasculation doesn’t have to be permanent, it just has to exist at the wrong time.

    I don’t think that socialism is Europe’s biggest problem. I think that the US providing security against the USSR is/was.

  48. I don’t think that socialism is Europe’s biggest problem. I think that the US providing security against the USSR is/was.

    Could be. Similar problem here in Japan. Letting another country look after your cojones for you breeds all sorts of weirdness. But now the USSR’s gone, arguments for Europe arming up (when they really need to be thinking about funding their pension systems properly) are even harder to make. To play catch-up with the US in the power projection stakes? Not an interesting project. And Islam may be a demographic threat, but it’s hardly a military one.

  49. Andy:

    “Is there any supporting evidence for that belief or is it just wishful thinking?”

    The evidence is the aforementioned declarations of politicians.

    Adrian:

    “But now the USSR’s gone, arguments for Europe arming up are even harder to make.”
    History teaches that if a country is unwilling to support their army will get the army of one of their neighbors to support… And armies play an important psychological role as well – veterans getting into business and politics help directing the general mental state of the nation towards a healthy direction. We need to find some means to protect ourselves, because USA might any time become tired of that and retreat back into a new kind of isolationism. They don’t really have patience for losers. Of course, the new army needs not be the classical mass army of the past, but rather a small, swift and extremely well armed and trained force of specialists – something like a SAS or SWAT but on a somewhat bigger scale, a few tens of thousands. Actually the EU is going towards this directions – Eurofighter etc. – just too slowly.

    “To play catch-up with the US in the power projection stakes?”
    No, to be able to defend ourselves if the USA might retreat into a new isolationism. Although Pat Buchanan getting elected to President doesn’t have much chance, would you risk our long-term survival on that such things will never happen?

    “when they really need to be thinking about funding their pension systems properly”
    The basic problem of the pension system is the baby boom of the late forties and fifties and the drop in childbirths later – active workers need to support too many pensioners. This is a deadly cycle, as one of the reasons people don’t have enough children is that they need to support too many pensioners. I don’t know how can this be solved but I’m afraid no reforms in the pensions system would really help. The only hope can be that the delta of the drop of childbirths from the eighties to today is less than the delta drop of childbirths from the fifties to the eighties, so in ten or fifteen years the active worker / pensioner ratio might naturally become better.

  50. Andy:

    “I don’t think that socialism is Europe’s biggest problem. I think that the US providing security against the USSR is/was.”

    I’m not so sure. For example, the Bundeswehr was quite a decent army with the Leopards etc. Or, the Falklands proved the UK can still pack quite a punch.

    I rather think the reason of the problem is the coincidence of the fall of the USSR and the political success of social democrats – the Left never really liked spending on armies and the fall of the USSR gave a false message of safety – to both sdies. (I mean here in Hungary, at the fall of the Iron Curtain we felt quite a relief that the danger of WWIII is over now, because the Soviet doctrine was for WWIII that we attack the Italian mountain corps providing a diversion for directing attention away from the main Soviet operation on West Germany – which would of course be nothing but a spectacular way of commiting suicide en masse… )

    But this kind of relief has been overdid – good that everybody’s glad that the danger of WWIII is over but that does not mean there won’t ever be any wars.

    And maybe it sounds awfully un-libertarian, but rebuilding the armies might even offer a solution to the current economic problems as well: unemployment, industry outsourced to the Far East etc. …

  51. Scanian Redneck:

    “I assume you have all read this: http://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2006-spring/just-war-theory.asp

    Yeah, scary stuff. Actually I think this article shows complete moral insanity. Goverments are supposed to represent the will of their citizens, and self-defense and altruism are both normal parts of human thinking, both appear in the mindset of the citizens, and therefore both needs to represented, striking a careful balance between them – therefore I think the Just War theory is closer to the will of the citizens that this “selfish war” theory.

    Another problem with the article is that it claims that the cowardice of civilians to overthrow dictators makes them valid target – I have to say a strong NO to that. I think it must be a prime moral imperative, that no one should be punished for being coward, for being passive, for submitting to the will of dictators, because I think fear and cowardice is a such a general, such a common, such a widespread human fault we have to understand and accept. No one should be forced to become a hero, heroism, freedom fighting etc. is an admirable “extra”, not something to be demanded.

    This is also the reason I have trouble accepting ESR’s theory of “enablers of barbarians” – turning the blind eye towards atrocities committed by one’s ilk, being passive, not speaking up, having a “I don’t do anything bad, I just work and support my family, what others do is not my responsibility” mindset is such a common, such a general human fault that it simply MUST be accepted, or else 90% of humanity throughout the history would need to be condemned. Why does anybody think that the fat, comfortist Joe Average of the West would behave better in a similar situation? Germans in the Nazi era, Eastern Europeans in the Commie era didn’t behave any better, save for a handful of heroes. The common people are always comfortist and are interested in nothing but the survival, and, if possible, the well-being of their families. My opinion is root out the barbarians first, then the enablers will simply have nothing to enable, then present liberty and consumerism, thus luring the enablers into harmless cowards similar to the harmless cowards the majority of the West consists of.

    Heroism should never be demanded, or forced, and cowardice and comfortism should be accepted as a general, common, therefore normal human fallacy.

    That said, the article is right in some practical considerations. It is right that civilians need to be targeted, albeit not with weapons but with propaganda. It is right that installing democracy in the Middle-East might not be the best solution – a benevolent semi-democratic monarchy might fit better.

  52. The worst case scenario, look at what “true lies” suggested. Therefore no long development phase for their bombs, one container in a yard. Next day, mushroom breakfast.

    How many ex-soviet warheads could they have bought and stashed HERE.

    Don’t believe it, if a druggie can smuggle a Container load, why can’t they.

    Poll tax for Islam, if they can. We Bloody well Will.

  53. One more idea: that the article is wrong can simply be proven by the fact that no political movement agrees with it: neocons believe in Just War, palocons believe in isolationism, and demos believe in I dunno what, but certainly not this. So why should a democratic goverment do something that directly contradicts the wishes of it’s citizens?

  54. Shenpen – I don’t know about the Eurofighter, looks like the Euro version of one of those huge American pork foundries that are impossible to kill because too many voters are feeding off them to me. Who’s it supposed to fight?

    No, to be able to defend ourselves if the USA might retreat into a new isolationism.

    But from whom? Russia? We’re big energy customers, it doesn’t make sense. Apart from them, Europe seems to have quite enough firepower to deal with any of its neighbours who might want to attack it, including Iran.

    Or, the Falklands proved the UK can still pack quite a punch.

    Oh please, we barely managed it. The Argentines had something like five Exocets and scored hits with two of them. And there are much worse things than Exocets around now.

  55. But from whom? Russia? We’re big energy customers, it doesn’t make sense.

    War rarely makes much sense. Before WWII France and Germany were among each others best customers.

  56. The main problem with Europe is that it is lacking in the basic will to use power

    Europe has no will, has no power, and does not have the instruments of power readily at hand. There are exceptions – the Polish military is well regarded, and of course the UK. There are elite units within other armies that are respectable, especially Italy and Spain and even France. But with the exception of the UK, Russia, and possibly Poland, it would take at least a year for any European nation to have an effective force.

    NATO has lost its teeth as well.

    Except in scale, Europe is roughly where the US was in the Pacific in 1939 and 1940 – unprepared, ill equipped, and arrogantly ignorant of the military threat.

    We’re big energy customers, it doesn’t make sense.

    OK, so commercial interests trump military, political, and religious reasons? That must be why Germany declared war on the US in 1941. Or Japan nearly annihilated Pearl Harbor. Or Carthage attacked Rome. Or the Caliphate attacked the pan-Christian fleet at Lepanto.

    Market share is no defense.

    Or, the Falklands proved the UK can still pack quite a punch.

    The Falklands were a vast success by any standard other than a leftist, reductionist one. Iraq proves that the UK still has it as well.

  57. Haha. How the world goes around. The reason Don can (mis) interpret the lesson about Syracuse is that classic Greek and Roman texts were preserved during the middle ages by the culturally sophisticated Islamic Empire while Catholic Europe was busy bickering, eating with their hands, and occasionally organizing rag-tag religion wars against the Middle East.

    On another note, let’s consider this. What do Islamic terrorists (Not islamic governments such as Iran) have? A few bombs, willingness to sacrifice themselves for the ’cause’. AT the higher end of the spectrum, as a worse case scenario, a few mild nuclear devices. Which they would hardly be able to get through airport security to detonate somewhere. Even the enriched uranium or plutonium would be impossible to get in significant quantities.

    What does the West have? A standing army and a large potential force of draftees. Airplanes. Aircraft carriers. Intercontinental ballistic missiles loaded with nukes orders of magnitude more powerful than anything you can make with ‘Volkswagen beetle technology’. NATO. Cruisers. And if all else fails, survivalist nuts and gun nuts.

    More people die in car accidents every year than to Islamic terrorism. The very purpose of terrorism is to cause this kind of panic.

  58. Jim Thompson:

    Your refutation of “Nazi Germany was dangerous as all hell and only went down because of bad timing on the part of Hitler.” is correct in the many details on the war with the USSR but – as interesting as these details are – is IMHO somehow garbled concerning the big picture, best shown at this point:

    “It was Hitler’s disorganized, dictatorial leadership and his increasingly blind faith in the power of will versus massive, well-supplied Soviet armies that lost the war. Time and time again, Hitler’s interference in Field Marshall Manstein’s Panzer group operations left much of Manstein’s forces perilously exposed to Soviet encirclement. By Spring 1944, Hitler tired of Manstein’s repeated demands for a Wehrmacht Commander-in-Chief and, fearing Manstein’s increasing personal prestige in the homeland, forced Manstein’s resignation and retirement from the army. ”

    The indisputable fact of Hitler’s interference with tactical decisions of commanders in the field combined with these commander’s post-WWII memoirs has created exactly the myth you try to refute, namely that all these brillant generals (Manstein, Rommel, von Rundtstedt) would have won the war if it had not been for this loonie-in-chief.
    The opposite position in the beginning of the cited part of your post (“Hitler’s disorganized, dictatorial leadership and…”) is much more convincing, even more so because it is *not* confined to warfare but the Nazi state as a whole, organized as ist was as a maze of competing organizations with overlapping competencies or simply competing in parallel (e.g. at least three organizations for espionage abroad) . H.P. WIllmott very convincingly describes in “The Great Crusade” the result especially for the war economy: even the UK outproduced Germany with very much inferior workforce and production capacity.

    This seems to amount very much to the “blind faith in the power of will” but my problem with your post (to put it in in a nutshell) is that in WWII german, ehem, leadership for the second time in 25 years neclected the necessities of (modern) warfare for the planning of battles an, as a consequence, won a whole lot of battles and lost the war.

    Assuming this reading of the basic reasoning for the way WWII developed we could speculate which side of the then-warring parties a hypothetical “Islamic Caliphate” warring against “the West” would liken – esr seems to bet on stalinist USSR for reasons i can’t imagine.

  59. >AT the higher end of the spectrum, as a worse case scenario, a few mild nuclear devices.

    >Which they would hardly be able to get through airport security to detonate somewhere.

    B. Dias

    I have a scenario for your consideration, suppose a few mild nuclear devices were to arrive at any
    of the large international shipping ports where thousands of shipping containers come and go
    “world commerce”. suppose one or two of them detonate with a third used as blackmail…

    buy the way most of the shipping containers are not inspected, it is to costly…

    what scenario do you think will follow this?

    >Even the enriched uranium or plutonium would be impossible to get in significant quantities.

    As the world leaders and the united nations twiddle there thumbs, the centrifuges in iran are
    secretly spin, spin, spinning away.

    Why hide it?

    oh! allow me to add one to hanzie’s list… ‘international shipping containers’

  60. Like I said, terrorists, not governments. I get the feeling that the minute any connection between the Iran government and a terrorist attept is proven, Iran ceases to be Iran and becomes what is technically known as ‘a smoking crater’. Besides, what are nukes without the means to deliver them besides FUD devices?

  61. Besides, what are nukes without the means to deliver them besides FUD devices?

    We come for the scintillating conversation, and we get this.

    The USSR coped with non-ballistic delivery methods for 20 or 25 years. The so-called suitcase bomb is the example. If someone wants to detonate a nuke, there are myriad ways to deliver to target, including dropping it from a bomber, using a missile, stowing it in a shipping container, planting it in the hull of a ship and parking the ship 6-7 miles off a coastline.

    Also, consider dirty bombs, which are conceivably better terror weapons.

  62. Except in scale, Europe is roughly where the US was in the Pacific in 1939 and 1940 – unprepared, ill equipped, and arrogantly ignorant of the military threat.

    So, by all means lay it out for us, since your eyes have apparently been opened. Jihadis creeping across the Med in tiny boats late at night? Doesn’t look like a case for tripling military budgets at first glance? A Russian missile attack for no reason? Not much to be done about it unless you believe in the Star Wars fairy.

    OK, so commercial interests trump military, political, and religious reasons? That must be why Germany declared war on the US in 1941. Or Japan nearly annihilated Pearl Harbor. Or Carthage attacked Rome. Or the Caliphate attacked the pan-Christian fleet at Lepanto.

    Commercial interests and the others interlink, in fact. But Europe has *done* arms races, and it so bit them on the ass, because they didn’t understand the American insight that producing weapons is more profitable than consuming them, particularly consuming them at home.

  63. > For example, the Bundeswehr was quite a decent army with the Leopards etc.

    How many do they have, and how do they move them somewhere else?

    Suppose that there was a problem best solved with significant military force. Could Europe do it?

    “Soft power” may be the only weapon in Europe’s quiver, but that doesn’t make it effective or the best approach.

  64. Not much to be done about it unless you believe in the Star Wars fairy.

    There’s a strategy for you. Throw up your hands and despair that the world is unfair and that nothing will work anyway. Adrian, you’re European of some flavor right?

    QED.

    Commercial interests and the others interlink, in fact.

    Yes. But your point was that market share was a credible defense. It’s not, for a variety of reasons.

    Europe is still doing arms races – Great Britain is very much alive in an arms race, as is Turkey. Of course, Russia. The stakes and strategies have changed because the politics have changed.

    Your rhetoric is old, though, A. Do you really think that an arms race is simply capitalism by another name that needs to be attacked by Marxist zeitgeist such as yours? Come on. The argument is old and is based on old premises. This is a new day. If you want to attack with memes, try the fascist ones that are coming back in style.

  65. John Cowan — your viewpoint IMHO belongs to the naive and quaint world of 9/10.

    In this new era there are no limits and no front lines and rear. You are a target, just for existing, as am I. This is reality, as we observed on 9/11 the very fact that we exist is enough to drive the Ummah to destroy us. Whenever and wherever we can be found, and the opportunity presents itself.

    No one cares that France or Brazil have nukes, because they don’t threaten anyone. When Iran’s President denies the Holocaust and then threatens to finish it; or senior officials go on about how Tom and Jerry are a “Jewish plot” to rehabilitate the image of Jews as “dirty mice,” not to mention their hanging of a rape victim, and other daily monstrosities, it’s safe to say Iranian nuclear arms represent a direct threat to the imminent destruction of several US cities. Iran believes it can win, just like Hitler, Tojo, and Mussolini did.

    That is reality. You may want to bury your head in the sand, but the rest of us don’t.

    I do not believe that the Ummah can “win.” I do believe that they think it so, if they just kill “enough” Americans. Yamamoto thought that he could kill enough Americans so that the bloodshed would deter any further war effort. He got the Tokyo Firestorm and Hiroshima, and Nagasaki for his troubles.

    Reasonable and direct action now to destroy Iran’s nuclear program and their infrastructure could save their lives along with ours. They can’t make nukes if they have no power, the US has the ability to bring Iran back to the Dark quite literally. And it should use it.

    The demise of the Soviet Union led to all these independent actors free of their Cold War leash able to do what they want, and feel that attacking the US has zero consequences. Saddam’s removal and the Taliban’s is not enough. If you don’t seriously make the cost of such actions and support blindingly obvious you’ll only get more of it. And guarantee slaughters like Tarawa, Okinawa, and Tokyo.

    What is “torture” compared to several of our cities lost and ALL of theirs? Six million US dead and 70 million of theirs? Believe me if it comes to that it will be a war of survival and we will start killing till there’s no one left to fight us. Sadly all to avoidable.

    Like I said, quaint and naive like buggy whips and handle bar mustaches.

    Adrian — if the US declines to defend Spain from takeover by Morocco, there is nothing stopping the people of that country from re-conquering them. Spain could not fight their way out of a wet paper bag. Many millions of poor people across from Europe and lots of “stuff” in Europe for them to steal, and Europeans to enslave. Islam of course encourages this as a matter of religion. Already the Ummah is demanding return of Spain, Sicily, southern Italy, parts of France, and Central Europe right into Poland. All formerly ruled by Muslims and by Sharia required to be returned to Muslim rule by force of arms. Even Tony Blair would surrender to Muslims demanding Sharia in the UK with nothing more than a whimper. That’s Europe. Unable and unwilling to fight.

    B. Dias — the BYZANTINES preserved the Classic texts. Muslims felt then and now that the history of the infidel was of no use or interest. You might remember the Byzantines. The Muslims conquered them. Terrorists and Muslim governments are the same. The same people, same families, same tribe, same interests. Their employment as a “magic sword” is what Muslims feel is their equalizer. It’s not, you are right our reaction will be to decimate them. However direct action now could avoid that bloody scenario. Sitting on your ass has it’s costs too.

    Iran’s Shahab 3 has a range of around 1,000 miles. They can be launched from freighters. They are impossible to stop. Iran’s leadership has reason (their experience with Americans was of torturing US Embassy hostages) to think the US will just roll over and play dead if they attack us. Certainly domestic politicians on the Left encourage that thinking.

  66. There’s a strategy for you. Throw up your hands and despair that the world is unfair and that nothing will work anyway.

    You know how to stop these? The key is the violent dodging they do in their final approach phase, a trick they came up with to counter American developments in point defence. Big rewards await you if you’ve figured out a way to deal with it. Some say multigigawatt lasers in orbit will be just the ticket, but there are a couple of minor technical hurdles to overcome first.

    So anyway, what’s this military threat we’re so “arrogantly unaware” of?

    Europe is still doing arms races – Great Britain is very much alive in an arms race,

    Which particular systems do you see the UK doing arms races in, and against which potential adversaries? They’re trying to upgrade a few things, but what I’ve seen of it looks pitiful, largely because they’re being dragged along behind the Americans. And don’t talk to me about white elephant Eurofighters.

  67. Adrian — if the US declines to defend Spain from takeover by Morocco, there is nothing stopping the people of that country from re-conquering them. Spain could not fight their way out of a wet paper bag. Many millions of poor people across from Europe and lots of “stuff” in Europe for them to steal, and Europeans to enslave. Islam of course encourages this as a matter of religion. Already the Ummah is demanding return of Spain, Sicily, southern Italy, parts of France, and Central Europe right into Poland. All formerly ruled by Muslims and by Sharia required to be returned to Muslim rule by force of arms. Even Tony Blair would surrender to Muslims demanding Sharia in the UK with nothing more than a whimper. That’s Europe. Unable and unwilling to fight.

    Look, this may be plausible to people who’ve whipped themselves into a frenzy over imaginative interpretations of 9/11, but not many people in Europe take it seriously. Huge numbers coming across and needing to be put in refugee camps we can imagine. But conquering hordes? What *with*? Pitchforks? As I said elsewhere, if they push too hard I’m confident there’ll be a backlash eventually, pogroms and everything. You’re certain there won’t be. Fine. Nothing to do but wait and see who’s right, is there?

  68. >John Cowan — your viewpoint IMHO belongs to the naive and quaint world of 9/10.

    >In this new era there are no limits and no front lines and rear. You are a target, just for existing, as am I. This is reality, as we observed on 9/11 the very fact that we exist is enough to drive the Ummah to destroy us. Whenever and wherever we can be found, and the opportunity presents itself.

    While I agree with your general assessment that Iran shouldn’t have nuclear weapons (dead obvious), your claims that the world ‘changed’ on 9/11 is mere assertion. Although it’s a great personal tragedy for the victims and their families, the reality is that ~5000 people is a drop in the bucket. A couple of drop-kick 3rd worlders killing some Americans is only a world-changing event because of the West’s gross overeaction.

  69. .. actually i am aware about this situation of world. I think that, it is a different ‘social evil’ in special mixture (combination), evil knew how to make it: facism + religion. You can`t fight religion but poorly facism embedded (built in) with it. It is a new ‘hybrid’ kind of ‘social virus’, our civillization is being tested. EVIL MUTATION. RED ALERT. Can human civillization survive? if not we won`t go to Mars :-) ..

  70. I sorta got the impression the three words were:

    “I am you”

    That would definitely knock me off my feet if a time traveller said that to me after all that speech.

  71. Adrian,

    “if they push too hard I’m confident there’ll be a backlash eventually, pogroms and everything.”

    And this is exactly what would better be avoided. I mean camping happily in lukewarm liberalism and awaiting that some time fascist mobs will arise with pogroms etc. and save our asses doesn’t sound like a farsighted strategy to me – why not opt for a heavy-handed, strict, conservative, but still democratic and reasonably humane way while we have the chance?

  72. why not opt for a heavy-handed, strict, conservative, but still democratic and reasonably humane way while we have the chance?

    Because I said “if” there. I don’t accept the consensus here that they will inevitably do it just because someone has outlined plans to on muslim-assholes-r-us.com.

  73. Shenpen:

    “Fascist mobs will arise with pogroms etc.”

    It’s already happening – for “fascist” read “Islamic”: “In Sweden, an anti-Semitic crime is reported to the police once every three days.” France is worse.

    Perhaps it is an exaggeration to call synagogue firebombings, grave desecration, beatings, and a handful of murders “pogroms”, but you can bet pogroms aren’t far behind.

    That quote and much more in a follow-up on the Swedish situation from Fjordman here:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/010932.php#c200334

    I read the other day that over the same time period there were 9 anti-Semitic attacks in the US, 14 in the UK, and 100 (one hundred) in France. France has a similar population size to the UK (about 60 million) but many, many more Muslims – some 8-9 million. France is already heading for (probably now unavoidable) catastrophe:

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=21957

    http://www.macleans.ca/culture/books/article.jsp?content=20060410_124576_124576

    The US must slam the doors of immigration from the Islamic world before it is too late.

  74. Adrian: Look, this may be plausible to people who’ve whipped themselves into a frenzy over imaginative interpretations of 9/11, but not many people in Europe take it seriously.

    That’s exactly the problem. They should.

    BIG:HACKING: your claims that the world ‘changed’ on 9/11 is mere assertion. Although it’s a great personal tragedy for the victims and their families, the reality is that ~5000 people is a drop in the bucket.

    The 2986 people who died in the 9/11 attacks were no less (and no more) significant than the 1177 people who died aboard USS Arizona on 7 December 1941. The significance is not in the number of people killed; it’s in the fact that the American people were galvanized into action. That is world-changing.

  75. Although it’s a great personal tragedy for the victims and their families, the reality is that ~5000 people is a drop in the bucket.

    We choose not to be so cavalier about mass death in the US. None was insignifcant. I won’t comment on the clearly humanistic feelings that lead me to that other than to say a society that dismisses its murdered dead is in danger of far more than military strikes.

    But it’s worth noting that the disgusting reductionist logic that leads you to say that 5000 people are a drop in the bucket also leads me to the following conclusions:

    + The death of these particular citizens had repercussions throughout the world banking community. The number of dollars lost worldwide was in the tens-of-billions.

    + The loss of data and trade information from the loss of the buildings was an additional hit to the world financial comunity. This was a tremendous risk to the world debt markets particularly, ironically because of the unforeseen risk.

    + The closing of the NYSE and other American markets cost the world financial community in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

    If you choose to not value the lives, then you should value what they worked at and what they stood for. Even a minimalist accounting of the cost of 9-11 acknowledges the catastrophic consequences of hitting one of the centers for world commerce, industry, and banking. And an ungrateful world experienced a mere 6 days of downtime.

    Got that? In 6 days, America, her government, and her financial leaders engineered a mega-Morganesque bailout of the world economy. This is the same economy that supports Europe’s standard of living and holds promise for the impoverished economies of third world nations seeking to get a toe hold in the 22nd century economy. To my knowledge, there were no defaults of note.

    The simple point, in deference to Adrian, is that America is strong enough to suffer a crippling blow, get up, dust ourselves off, and continue to be a leader in the world economy. For everyone’s benefit. We suffered so that you wouldn’t have to, which seemed to foreshadow so much.

  76. I wonder how much a threat we will see from the handful of Muslim nations, most of whom are so poor and poorly educated that they can barely afford to fight with each other, and who can barely bring themselves to fight with us because they are so busy hating each other.

    I do take very seriously the fact that there are millions of people being raised to believe that we deserve to die; but I also think this is one fight we already won long ago, using economic means (economic oppression that now makes them hate us more, but it worked for us in a sense).

    I agree the terrorist attacks will probably get worse before they get better.

  77. >We choose not to be so cavalier about mass death in the US. None was insignifcant. I won’t comment on the clearly humanistic feelings that lead me to that other than to say a society that dismisses its murdered dead is in danger of far more than military strikes.

    I didn’t suggest that anyone ‘dismiss’ the deaths. I said there was an overeaction. The rest of your post continues with this theme, answering points that I never even brought up. I will answer your points, however.

    >But it’s worth noting that the disgusting reductionist logic that leads you to say that 5000 people are a drop in the bucket also leads me to the following conclusions:

    >+ The death of these particular citizens had repercussions throughout the world banking community. The number of dollars lost worldwide was in the tens-of-billions.

    And this changed the world fundamentally.. how?

    >+ The loss of data and trade information from the loss of the buildings was an additional hit to the world financial comunity. This was a tremendous risk to the world debt markets particularly, ironically because of the unforeseen risk.

    So be more prepared next time. The jump from this to “THE ISLAMISTS ARE RE-ESTABILISHING THE CALIPHATE OH GNOEZ” is astounding.

    >+ The closing of the NYSE and other American markets cost the world financial community in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

    See above.

    >If you choose to not value the lives, then you should value what they worked at and what they stood for. Even a minimalist accounting of the cost of 9-11 acknowledges the catastrophic consequences of hitting one of the centers for world commerce, industry, and banking. And an ungrateful world experienced a mere 6 days of downtime.

    Oh cry me a river. I already said it was a great personal tragedy, but you seem intent on continuing to play sympathy card. I never said the US wasn’t an economic centre of the world, and I never said 9/11 didn’t have wide-spread consequences. I said it wasn’t world-changing.

    >Got that?

    Yes I can read it. This is the Internet, remember?

    >In 6 days, America, her government, and her financial leaders engineered a mega-Morganesque bailout of the world economy. This is the same economy that supports Europe’s standard of living and holds promise for the impoverished economies of third world nations seeking to get a toe hold in the 22nd century economy. To my knowledge, there were no defaults of note.

    I don’t live in Europe, and I haven’t even brought Europe up. I know the esr-fans love to take any cheap-shot they can at the ‘European Ingrates’, but it’s plainly irrelevent here. With every paragraph you expose your insecurity about the US’s place in the world. Why else do you repeat it over and over when it wasn’t brought up in the first place?

    >The simple point, in deference to Adrian, is that America is strong enough to suffer a crippling blow, get up, dust ourselves off, and continue to be a leader in the world economy. For everyone’s benefit. We suffered so that you wouldn’t have to, which seemed to foreshadow so much.

    How is any of this relevent? I didn’t say 9/11 wasn’t a bad thing. I said it doesn’t change the world fundamentally. Are you developmentally challenged?

    Congratulations on posting 8+ paragraphs without answering my post.

  78. >BIG:HACKING: your claims that the world ‘changed’ on 9/11 is mere assertion. Although it’s a great personal tragedy for the victims and their families, the reality is that ~5000 people is a drop in the bucket.

    >The 2986 people who died in the 9/11 attacks were no less (and no more) significant than the 1177 people who died aboard USS Arizona on 7 December 1941. The significance is not in the number of people killed; it’s in the fact that the American people were galvanized into action. That is world-changing.

    That last sentence is exactly what I said in the post you’re responding to. I implied that you were galvanised into the wrong action, however. Note that the poster has omitted the last (and most key) sentence of that post.

    I do not deny that terrorism is a significant, emerging threat. However, the grossly exagerated and clumsy reaction from the West has made the problem worse rather than better.

  79. BIG_HACKING: The West’s reaction to 9/11 is exactly the same reaction as it was to Pearl Harbor, and that’s because it’s a reaction to the same thing: an open declaration of war. I don’t consider it an overreaction at all.

    Weak-kneed Europeans might, but that just shows their own weakness in the face of threatened or actual force.

  80. The West’s reaction to 9/11 is exactly the same reaction as it was to Pearl Harbor, and that’s because it’s a reaction to the same thing: an open declaration of war.

    In Europe we have this old-fashioned notion that only states can declare war. Extending the privilege to diffuse international organisations raises difficult questions.

  81. I do not deny that terrorism is a significant, emerging threat. However, the grossly exagerated and clumsy reaction from the West has made the problem worse rather than better.

    What it is, is that there are two kinds of people – September 10th people, who want to try to keep things in proportion, and September 12th people, who had an epiphany on the intervening day and realised that a sense of proportion was just one of the things that was going to have to be sacrificed in the upcoming struggle against bad men with beards plotting our downfall. For the September 12s, this is an inter-civilisational struggle to the death, and anyone who disagrees is dangerously close to being more a part of the problem than a part of the solution.

  82. Adrian: In Europe we have this old-fashioned notion that only states can declare war. Extending the privilege to diffuse international organisations raises difficult questions.

    If the Islamofascists of the world (if not Islam itself) have not declared war on the decadent, Godless West, then just what has happened?

    This is yet another demonstration of the fact that world peace is impossible, because it requires global unanimous consent. The Islamofascists don’t care whether we grant them the privilege of declaring war. They’re going to damned well do it anyway.

  83. Scanian Redneck said:

    What reason is there to believe that muslims will take over Europe? They are still in the minority, 10% at most I think…

    Sure, we have had lots of problems with crime, unemployment and honor killings and such but those problems are still relatively mild.

    In France the numbers are somewhat higher and how do the various populations skew demographically? In particular, I know that there are a lot more middle aged and old Europeans, but how about in the military aged male segment of the population? Do Europeans in that group even outnumber the Muslims in that demographic any more?

    As you say, the problems are still relatively mild implying that you think they might get worse. How much worse before it is worth doing something about it?

  84. >davidf Says:
    >Fill me in on how the East has reacted…

    I was neither drawing comparison nor commenting on the East, so this is an irrelevent question.

    >Jay Maynard Says:
    >BIG_HACKING: The West’s reaction to 9/11 is exactly the same reaction as it was to Pearl Harbor, and that’s because it’s a reaction to the same thing: an open declaration of war. I don’t consider it an overreaction at all.

    The comparison is faulty because Japan and ‘the terrorists’ are different entities with different characteristics. While Western overeaction is fuel for terrorist recruitment, the same cannot be said of Japan in WWII. These historical comparisons are appealing when you’re set on arriving at a particular conclusion, but can we just ditch them? They’re noise that is getting in the way of a pragmatic discussion.

    >Weak-kneed Europeans might, but that just shows their own weakness in the face of threatened or actual force.

    You are again making the jump from “terrorists blew up my buildings” to “it’s cowardly to not attack rogue states”. When does _your_ tour of Iraq finish? Deciding to send a small portion of the population off to war does not amount to bravery on the part of a nation. Once again, your zeal in attacking Europe’s supposed ‘weakness’ only exposes your own insecurities, particularly when you keep bringing it up unprompted and where it is irrelevent.

  85. If the Islamofascists of the world (if not Islam itself) have not declared war on the decadent, Godless West, then just what has happened?

    The canonical response is that 9/11 was a *crime* – an enormous one, but a crime nevertheless, which required *police* work (on a big scale) to bring the perpetrators to justice. If they’ve declared war, who do we declare war back on? One Muslim state at a time, the way we’re doing now? It’s not bringing a lot of visible improvements in the situation that I can see.

  86. These historical comparisons are appealing when you’re set on arriving at a particular conclusion, but can we just ditch them?

    But…they’re so SATISFYING.

    Once again, your zeal in attacking Europe’s supposed ‘weakness’ only exposes your own insecurities, particularly when you keep bringing it up unprompted and where it is irrelevent.

    But…we’ve got CARRIER BATTLE GROUPS! How could we be insecure?

  87. You’ve all missed some subtle hints. The author bring up the “Grandfather paradox” and the visitor dismisses it with “would you want to kill your grandfather?” Later the visitor calls the author Grandfather. Get it? The 3 words told him that he was threatening to kill his last remaining Grandson, the same Grandson he put into danger by getting him on the list in the first place.

    It’s obvious that many of you have no military training at all. You’re all speaking of “Battle Groups” and “Declared War” like that is the only type of hostility. Get a clue, buy it if you have to. The US is very strong militarily, that is the last place to strike it. Alternate weapons. Street riots, simple rapes and murders until they become so commonplace as to not warrent attention anymore (as in Eurabia now). Why put on a uniform and fight by some silly rules? That’s the surest way to failure. They are already fighting in Europe and you putzes don’t even realize it yet. That Swedish girl is a casuality. They are fighting, and winning, guerilla warfare in Europe already.

    Some of you are looking at the sizes of the “formal” military forces at hand within the middle-east. Not much threat are they? But Islam is in the billions. Look at what is happening in Thailand. No middle-east armies are fighting there but Islam is winning there none the less. The Philippines too. It’s spreading. Sweden. Holland. France. You’ve not seen a single person in uniform there (from those middle east armies you love to mention) but war is being fought there anyway.

    My guess is Europe as we know it is gone. Frankly I don’t care. I will not offer my children for Europe. For America we will, and have, fight. Not for Europe.

  88. The canonical response is that 9/11 was a *crime* – an enormous one, but a crime nevertheless, which required *police* work (on a big scale) to bring the perpetrators to justice.

    This is really funny. For a moment, consider what is required for there to be a crime – a law or a standard of law that is broadly applicable, as well as a societal compact, usually tacit, whereby everyone agrees to abide by the law. Only then may a line be drawn between law-abiding and law-breaking individuals, or their acting in concert in a group. There are a few corollaries as well – the applicants to the contract have to decide on enforcement mechanisms, penalties, and so on. Finally, there has to be some implicit value created by adhering to the law, as well as value that the law will protect.

    We’re not to the funny part yet.

    So pretend that your glib notion of crime and punishment actually might find some reality in the international arena. Who, exactly, would decide that terrorist acts are crimes? What would be the mechanism of enforcement? What value is preserved by adherence to the law? What value is created by adherence to the law?

    Still not funny. Wait for it.

    The answers to the above questions don’t really need to be abstract. It’s easiest to answer in the negative, because that is based on reality. You might be tempted to give answers like International criminal courts, or the UN, or some such. But that would be absurd, because then you would be relying on the same feckless organization that had every opportunity for 38 years to punish terrorism and other such “crimes.” Quick reminder – Arafat was the darling of both the Hague and the UN.

    OK. So we’re getting to the funny part.

    What you would be left with would be the notion that there is no broadly applicable law that international bodies will agree to, enforce, or administer punitive rulings in the service of. This is another way of saying the UN is a joke. What’s more, there is no value to be preserved in the international community around which a law might be written / exercised, because “A world without America” is not a value, its’ a fantasy. Finally, and this is key, there is no value gained by adhering to whatever ephemeral gas passes for the rulings of these trans-national bodies.

    Sadaam, for example, ignored 17 or so UN resolutions. He did so because he gained nothing by adherence and everything by transgression. No nation-state stepped in to publicly decry these transgressions, there was no shaming Iraq into compliance, there were no international moves to enforce the resolutions, there was no outcry, and in fact, value was found in explicitly circumventing the law.

    So let’s agree that there is no international law, no enforcement mechanism, no value in preserving, and no value to be preserved. Perhaps that lies in our future. It ain’t here now.

    Presumably then, you would have the US say that those countries harboring terrorists would and should abide by US laws, US enforcement mechanisms, US values, and US value systems. Bad Latin – In Loco Lex.

    Getting funnier now.

    And yet there is an outcry over Guantanamo Bay, which is as humane a facility as you would find in most of the countries decrying it. This facility is exactly in line with what you’re asking for – international facility for the legally challenged. And yet it is very much an expression of American laws, values, and enforcement. It exists, of course, to hold enemy combatants, but enemy combatants as defined by US Code.

    Funny. See?

    US Code, because there is no international code that is enforceable, enforced, has value, or perpetrates value. US Code because international law cannot distinguish words such as “enemy”, and because the US does have enemies that need to be dealt with. US Code, because frankly, we were the ones attacked.

    So leave aside that international law is an illusion. And forget for a minute that the US is going to great lengths to abide by a rule of law in an internationally acceptable way that precisely follows the logic of the “terrorism / 9-11 is a crime” mentality. And simply conceptualize (for future reference) that the US is one of the only players in the game actually trying to obey any goddamned law at all rather than making them up as they go along.

    Because now we get to the funny part.

    If they’ve declared war, who do we declare war back on? One Muslim state at a time, the way we’re doing now?

    Exactly. Who do we declare war on when our enemy operates separate from the states that they hide behind, and the states they hide behind claim no ties to the enemy? If you were adhering to the rule of law, that is, the notion that you should attempt to abide by the spirit of the law when no law exists, you might try to form coalitions to cement a common, tacit notion of what is being fought for, who is being fought, and when you will stop fighting. You might encourage your enemies to be tried within judicial systems of their peers, outside of your direct oversight. You might try to work with national governments to define, expose, and bring your enemy to justice. When a state will not work with you, you might go so far as to declare war on them, a declaration that is legal both nationally and internationally, and your efforts at justice might take months or years to play out, because far from salting the ruins of Carthage, you encourage democratic reforms that coincidentally encourage societies based on the rule of law wherein you may find your justice. Finally, instead of putting the heads of your enemies on spikes at the gates to your palace, you seek to arrest, try, and convict your enemies to a great extent. In other words, you declare war, one Muslim state at a time.

    You see the humor, I’m sure.

    To a fault, we’ve pursued this like a criminal manhunt, not a war. In place of non-existent or feckless international laws, we’ve transparently abided by our own and where possible, by the UN’s. In place on non-existent or feckless international enforcement, we’ve declared war, worked with states, and sought coalition. In place of non-existent or feckless international punitive measures, we’ve provided a transparent facility for the imprisonment and holding of these same international “criminals.” In nearly every case, we have pursued the wrongs done to us humanely, civilly, legally. We have operated within everyone else’s codes of laws. We have cooperated and compromised to form coalitions so that the societal contract that our Founders believed was important wouldn’t be sarificed in our pursuit of justice. We have abided by that contract when the rest of the world ignores it, when our enemies hide behind it, and when disaster looms because of it. We have abided by the rule of law in our hunt for the killers so that we never have to say that the ends justify the means.

    And by the way, Iraq was not a Muslim state.

  89. Thing *is*, you’ve hardly been bothering to *chase* the killers, having got yourselves wrapped up in Iraq instead, along with fantasies of “remaking the Middle East” – just like Japan, but with keffiyehs! Osama? Boring! Let’s kick random raghead butt! Whee!

    If you were doing a competent job of it there’d be no Euro-cavilling.

    And by the way, Iraq was not a Muslim state.

    Muslim state, state with Muslims in it, whatever.

  90. The Euro-vacillation has nothing to do with Iraq. It has to do with the lethargy that is Europe. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “soft power” is an expression invented by those with no power in an attempt to excuse their lack of power. England, like France, lost the will to fight during WW1. They’ve never recovered it. It looks like that has infected the Germans now too. Europe is now reaping the harvest. More non-integrated gents from the middle-east will be coming your way. As they gain numbers they will gain power. The power they will have will be to subvert and dominate from within. That is something an army cannot fight. What happens when 50% of the French army is muslim? Going to call that out to quell riots in the burbs? Not a prayer.

    Quite frankly I somewhat enjoy the idea of what’s coming. It was earned. It’s being earned every day. Enjoy.

  91. It’s obvious that many of you have no military training at all.

    Might be why we’re not claiming to.

    You’re all speaking of “Battle Groups” and “Declared War” like that is the only type of hostility.

    I’m the only one speaking of battle groups. And I’m taking the piss.

  92. Quite frankly I somewhat enjoy the idea of what’s coming. It was earned. It’s being earned every day. Enjoy.

    Eric has already introduced us to the world of preemptive schadenfreude, actually.

  93. DDG: I will consider reading your post when you learn to a) keep your postings reasonably brief, and b) split your writing up into paragraphs.

  94. First of all, please learn to write in brief paragraphs.

    >The Euro-vacillation has nothing to do with Iraq. It has to do with the lethargy that is Europe. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “soft power” is an expression invented by those with no power in an attempt to excuse their lack of power. England, like France, lost the will to fight during WW1. They’ve never recovered it. It looks like that has infected the Germans now too. Europe is now reaping the harvest. More non-integrated gents from the middle-east will be coming your way. As they gain numbers they will gain power. The power they will have will be to subvert and dominate from within. That is something an army cannot fight. What happens when 50% of the French army is muslim? Going to call that out to quell riots in the burbs? Not a prayer.

    What does immigration policy have to do with “the will to fight”? This paragraph is incoherent.

    >Quite frankly I somewhat enjoy the idea of what’s coming. It was earned. It’s being earned every day. Enjoy.

    So you’re saying you’re a jerk? Well then you’ll fit in well here.

  95. The Muslims that are in Europe didn’t jump from the ground fully formed, most immigrated there. As more and more show up and commit crimes, demand their own laws, and attempt to make everyone else conform to their standards the weak-willed socialists of Europe will knuckle under; witness Malmö.

    Perhaps next time you can have your mommy help you with your comprehension issues wee-cracker. Alternatively you can try http://www.rif.org. What’s with putting “BIG” in a aka anyway? Does it help you feel important? If so have at it.

  96. > In Europe we have this old-fashioned notion that only states can declare war. Extending the privilege to diffuse international organisations raises difficult questions.

    Yet, non-state organizations can wage war. If the relevant state either can’t or won’t deal with them, what then?

    > Thing *is*, you’ve hardly been bothering to *chase* the killers,

    Umm, the 9/11 killers are dead.

    It’s sort of pointless to chase killers when there’s a killer-producing machine that will just crank out more. If said machine is a state, Adrian10 seems to feel that war is a legitimate response.

    A while back, I wrote that the third characteristic that US foreign policy revolves around is “If you kill Americans, or tolerate those who do, we’ll try to kill you.” I didn’t say whether that characteristic was good or bad, just that it is.

    What should we do about folks who tolerate those who kill Americans?

  97. Perhaps I went through all these comments too fast, but I didn’t see anyone mention this quote, “ Enjoy these last days and months and years of your slumber, Grandfather,” said the scarred old man. What a neat twist! Just what a good writer would come up with.

  98. “What should we do about folks who tolerate those who kill Americans?”

    As long as we’re strictly talking about those that *do not* actively enable (in any way) terrorists, but *only* that they do not condemn them…I say *isolate them*. Let them live their lives in a world of their own choosing absent any of the benefits of an American presence. Sever *all* economic ties with them, and perhaps also any nation that deals with them (although such indirection could well be argued as being futile).

    IOW…flush the chumps.

  99. As an afterthought…I think it’s kinda difficult to find clear examples in reality that *only* fail to condemn.

    Frequently, it seems that such a stance is adopted as a political subterfuge, giving the illusion of distance from the terrorists…but ‘failing to condemn’ typically goes hand-in-hand with failing to identify and/or prosecute the guilty, which I would say steps firmly into the realm of ‘actively enabling’ terrorism, inasmuch as such safe-havens do.

  100. Russ, your “economics is everything” chat is tiring. Are you aware that you’ve cut me off from posting to fsb via your ill-considered “you can’t send me mail, you bastard” filtering?

  101. >The Muslims that are in Europe didn’t jump from the ground fully formed, most immigrated there. As more and more show up and commit crimes, demand their own laws, and attempt to make everyone else conform to their standards the weak-willed socialists of Europe will knuckle under; witness Malmö.

    You have not answered my question, which is what immigration policy has to do with “the will to fight”. You’ve only connected it with an short-sighted policy making. You still haven’t demonstrated why the people of Europe have no “will to fight”.

    >Perhaps next time you can have your mommy help you with your comprehension issues wee-cracker.

    Next time you might want to save the ridicule until you have made a valid point. Nobody has answered the big questions I’ve raised, it’s just been more of the same “Europe is weak, GOD-DAMN America rules!”

    >Alternatively you can try http://www.rif.org. What’s with putting “BIG” in a aka anyway? Does it help you feel important? If so have at it.

    YHBT, moron.

  102. >A couple of drop-kick 3rd worlders killing some Americans is only a world-changing event because of the West’s gross overeaction.

    What would have been your reaction?

  103. Yet, non-state organizations can wage war. If the relevant state either can’t or won’t deal with them, what then?

    It’s “states” – these organisations tend to be pretty multinational. Gonna attack them all? At some point this is going to start interfering with other people’s economies.

    Umm, the 9/11 killers are dead.

    Lord, the literal-mindedness. I meant the guys who set it up. Where I said “Osama? Boring!” was supposed to be a hint.

    A while back, I wrote that the third characteristic that US foreign policy revolves around is “If you kill Americans, or tolerate those who do, we’ll try to kill you.” I didn’t say whether that characteristic was good or bad, just that it is.

    And your actions against Saudi Arabia have been? I mean, apart from moving your troops out like Osama wanted?

  104. >What would have been your reaction?

    This is beside the point – I was pointing out that the reaction was ham-handed and over-done, not suggesting an alternative. However, I do believe in taking measured, thoughtful action. Invading Iraq because it’s an “imminent threat”, then having to change your reason for doing so several times amounts to something of a debacle. The invasion of Iraq has more to do with people wanting to go down in the history books than the pragmatic defense of civilisation.

  105. >I do believe in taking measured, thoughtful action.

    i see your point.

    Let me tell you what my reaction to 9/11 would have been…

    1. a military draft up to 6 million that would be deployed.
    2. a million to clean up bin laden in Afghanistan. ‘Marine and Airforce’
    3. another million to seal the borders of Afghanistan. ‘Airborne’
    4. the same in Iraq. ‘ for saddam’
    5. the remainder in ready for the next threat. Iran?

    imagine the media coverage?

    Well thats my 2 cents anyway.

  106. BIG_HACKING said
    >What would have been your reaction?

    This is beside the point – I was pointing out that the reaction was ham-handed and over-done, not suggesting an alternative. However, I do believe in taking measured, thoughtful action. Invading Iraq because it’s an “imminent threat”, then having to change your reason for doing so several times amounts to something of a debacle. The invasion of Iraq has more to do with people wanting to go down in the history books than the pragmatic defense of civilisation.

    You are missing the picture. Let me try to explain it to you.

    Invading Iraq is the moderate option. President Push is motivated by his Christian faith to make this attempt to guide the Muslim middle east towards a path where they can live with western civilization in peace.

    The alternative is to exterminate all 1 billion Muslims and make their religion as extinct as the horrific bloody religion of the Aztecs.

    I am not sure that President Bush is going to be able to pull off his measured, thoughtful moderate plan. I do know what is going to happen, though, if he does not. Those “criminals” who do not have the right under the Treaty of Westphalia to declare war are going to be emboldened to do something worse than 9/11 and even a President as clueless or gutless as Al Gore will have to respond. We will nuke the Muslims off the face of the earth and the Europeans won’t do any more about it than they did about Rwanda or Srebinica or than they are doing right now about Darfur.

  107. Sweet Seven Seas, I forgot the Navy

    There in the remainder is the Navy,
    Iran has a large border with the gulf waters,
    Navy knoweth the persian gulf…..

  108. “Nobody has answered the big questions I’ve raised, it’s just been more of the same “Europe is weak, GOD-DAMN America rules!””

    So now we’re down to asking for help in understanding it all. Why not try going away until you’ve actually thought any of this through? Ah, that would require cognitive processing. Sorry, you’ve already demonstrated a lack in that area. So why not just go away altogether? Simpleton.

    Davidf: You’re still thinking in conventional terms. Iran already has demonstrated the ability to operate through proxy forces. Have you already forgotten Terry Anderson?

  109. Yes Joe,

    Thanks for that reminder.

    I did forget about our brave Marine abducted by ‘Hezbollah (Party of God) Shiite Muslims’
    in 1985.

    This crap has gone on way to long, and i wonder how involved president
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was at the time.

    i shall look further into proxy forces.

  110. Jim — *I* cut you off? If you cut down a tree, and it falls on you and kills you, is that murder or suicide? I can’t help it if you’re a jerk — only you can fix that problem. Given your current manner of expressing yourself, your “contributions” to fsb would not be positive contributions. Again, that’s your problem, not my problem.

  111. I have a question about Iran’s nuclear pursuits that will probably go unanswered.

    If they only want nuclear power for peaceful purposes, why not contact Mitsubishi in Japan and order a state-of-the-art reactor and have it installed by experts? Why go to all that trouble of reinventing the wheel? Why all the cloak and dagger stuff? That’s more than enough to raise my suspicions.

  112. >Joe says:
    >So now we’re down to asking for help in understanding it all. Why not try going away until you’ve actually thought any of this through? Ah, that would require cognitive processing. Sorry, you’ve already demonstrated a lack in that area. So why not just go away altogether? Simpleton.

    This is a) not funny, and b) childish. You have failed to make any sort of point here. I invite you to take another cheap shot at me and see if it helps your argument.

    >Mark in Texas Says:
    >Invading Iraq is the moderate option. President Push is motivated by his Christian faith to make this attempt to guide the Muslim middle east towards a path where they can live with western civilization in peace.

    >The alternative is to exterminate all 1 billion Muslims and make their religion as extinct as the horrific bloody religion of the Aztecs.

    I think you’re getting back to the assertion in the original post here. The claim that Muslims are going to overun the Western nations is at least less-than-obviously true, and requires some backing, not to mention the claim that large-scale military intervention is the answer.

    Yes, the Middle East is full of uneducated, religious nutcases, but what is bringing war to their door-step doing to solve the problem? What are we going to do? Invade them, then tell them to abandon their backwards ideas? I don’t think that is a particularly convincing approach.

  113. I have a question about Iran’s nuclear pursuits that will probably go unanswered.

    Don’t be such a pessimist.

    If they only want nuclear power for peaceful purposes, why not contact Mitsubishi in Japan and order a state-of-the-art reactor and have it installed by experts? Why go to all that trouble of reinventing the wheel? Why all the cloak and dagger stuff? That’s more than enough to raise my suspicions.

    There’s an element of national pride here. I reckon they want the option of nuclear weapons, whether they decide to go for them or not, and they don’t want anyone else to be able to veto it. If they *do* go for nukes, they’ll probably want them for deterrence, seeing as various people are talking about strike options in some detail. But lots of people here think no, they’re going to use them in suicidal attacks on Europe or Israel because it says “Smite Ye The Infidels While Their Back Is Turned” in the Koran. Or something. So we’re probably going to attack them. Precious metals are looking lively, anyway.

  114. Egads…I almost agree with adrian for once…wonders will never cease.

    “There’s an element of national pride here”
    Perhaps. A kind of pride that stems from celebration of strength from violence, maybe. Murderous pride.

    “If they *do* go for nukes, they’ll probably want them for deterrence…”
    OK…here’s where we diverge…*probably*?…*deterrence*?…perhaps you missed a few speeches from the Iranian chief goon – something about wiping Israel off the map – I don’t quite see how the rhetoric can be taken as anything other than an indication that they *probably* would like nothing more than to glass a bunch of Jews. For starters.

    “But lots of people here think no, they’re going to use them in suicidal attacks on Europe or Israel because it says “Smite Ye The Infidels While Their Back Is Turned” in the Koran”
    Is it irrational to not only judge them by the words of their religion, but also by their willingness, both rhetorical and executed, to fulfill those words? What has occurred to lend any credence to the notion that they *wouldn’t* do such a thing?

  115. > I meant the guys who set it up.

    The infrastructure in Afghanistan is gone.

    > And your actions against Saudi Arabia have been?

    Are the only alternatives “everything” and “nothing”? (We do have them shooting their own folks. Perhaps not enough, perhaps the wrong ones, but ….)

    But – I’ll bite. What would Adrian10 support the US doing about SA?

    BTW – Libya turned in a program that wasn’t on the radar. Must have been a coincidence.

  116. The infrastructure in Afghanistan is gone.

    So are the guys. To Pakistan, afaict.

    But – I’ll bite. What would Adrian10 support the US doing about SA?

    Get serious about energy independence.

    BTW – Libya turned in a program that wasn’t on the radar. Must have been a coincidence.

    Yeah, I remember, you could cut the self-congratulation with a knife. Libya, Regional Superpower, Chickens Out – We Rule!

    Wake me up when something important happens.

  117. Perhaps. A kind of pride that stems from celebration of strength from violence, maybe. Murderous pride.

    Well, no. AFAICT most ordinary Iranians support the nuclear program. Persia used to be important, back in the day. Seems normal enough to aspire to be again.

    OK…here’s where we diverge…*probably*?…*deterrence*?…perhaps you missed a few speeches from the Iranian chief goon – something about wiping Israel off the map

    “Israel *should be* wiped off the map”.

    Careful choice of words there, I’d say. I know you guys are inclined to give the Jews a free pass forever because of the Holocaust and stuff, but people like Middle-Easterners whose countries were mere spectators to the whole thing (as opposed to the US and Britain, who got very tight with visas at one or two crucial points) are a lot less sentimental about it. And an ethnocracy – a state constitutionally set up to be ruled by just one of its ethnic groups – isn’t something they’re inclined to accept indefinitely, particularly when it appears to have been planted in the middle of their territory to keep an eye on them.

    But that doesn’t mean they want to commit suicide.

    Is it irrational to not only judge them by the words of their religion, but also by their willingness, both rhetorical and executed, to fulfill those words?

    Rhetoric is rhetoric. What have they executed that you’re taking as an indication that they’re willing to risk certain Israeli retribution for any nuclear strike?

  118. >> But – I’ll bite. What would Adrian10 support the US doing about SA?

    >Get serious about energy independence.

    Try again – Reducing/eliminating the demand from the US would reduce the price paid by Euros and China but wouldn’t affect SA’s income enough to make a difference in its ability to do the things that we care about.

    Perhaps the next answer will tell us what the “doing” accomplishes and why.

  119. Adrian10 in response to Andy Freedman said

    But – I’ll bite. What would Adrian10 support the US doing about SA?

    Get serious about energy independence.

    You mean by doing something like letting the price for gasoline in the US head up to $3.00 a gallon while production of ethanol is constrained only by the capacity of engineering engineering firms to build new plants? Where Detroit car makers seem to be betting their future on producing Flexile Fuel Vehicles?

    Surely that ‘s a step in the right direction, although you wouldn’t know it to hear the Democrats mutter about conspiracies to enrich Haliburton or Sierra Club spokesmen complain that it’s just not green enough.

    My feeling personally is also that it is not enough. I’d like to see US Taxpayer dollars going to Jamaica and other Carribean nations to help change their failing sugar industries into thriving ethanol producing infrastructure.

    Then I’d move on to do the same thing in those parts of Africa where they have governments stable enough to pass the laugh test. Heck, with enough US energy dollars going to Africa instead of KSA, maybe some of those countries could get their life expectancies up into the 50s.

  120. “This is a) not funny, and b) childish. You have failed to make any sort of point here. I invite you to take another cheap shot at me and see if it helps your argument.”
    That was kind of fun to watch. Bluster in here with insults, then reduced to pleading for help in understanding what is beyond your ken, now reduced to a snivel.

    “Yeah, I remember, you could cut the self-congratulation with a knife. Libya, Regional Superpower, Chickens Out – We Rule!
    Wake me up when something important happens. ”

    That’s pretty funny. A very large, reasonably well hidden, multinational program to develop nukes takes place under the noses of those oh so effective international organizations is exposed as a result of Iraq. Yet that’s not “important.” Would have been when London was reduced to glass.

    “Get serious about energy independence.”
    This would help in stemming the flood of radical muslims to other countries how? It would tone down their desire to inflict 10th century on us how?

    Quips. Not even very good ones. England has been reduced to Galloway and Livingston. Quite the comedy troop. That’s about the extent of Europe’s troops. Time will turn this into high comedy.

  121. >That was kind of fun to watch. Bluster in here with insults, then reduced to pleading for help in understanding what is beyond your ken, now reduced to a snivel.

    I only insulted people who took shots at me first and were wrong. You are yet to make any points against me. Your claim of me ‘pleading for help’ is also a complete misrepresentation of what I’ve said. I raised questions as to the validity of your argument, which hardly constitutes ‘pleading’ for help.

    I repeat: you are yet to successfully shoot down anything I’ve said. You bring only insults and assertions to the table. I suspect you will answer this with another non-point, however. If you want to convince me (and I’m sure others too), tell me how you think we will convince the occupants of the Middle East to give up their backwards ideas after we’ve invaded them?

  122. Joe: My bad, I insulted you first. I forgot you were just being an all-round jerk right from the start.

  123. He needs “It’s In the Koran” as the background music. :-) (And you all need to read some Ayn Rand, but I’ve said that so many times I’m about ready to give up hope you’ll listen.)

  124. >And you all need to read some Ayn Rand.

    I like Ayn Rand,

    From Wikipedia,
    “In 1931, Rand became a naturalized citizen of the United States; she was fiercely proud of the United States, and in later years said to the graduating class at West Point, “I can say–not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political and esthetic roots–that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.”

    havent read her, i will check the local library

  125. Try again – Reducing/eliminating the demand from the US would reduce the price paid by Euros and China but wouldn’t affect SA’s income enough to make a difference in its ability to do the things that we care about.

    Perhaps the next answer will tell us what the “doing” accomplishes and why.

    Should have thought it was obvious – free you up to stop pussyfooting around with them. Who cares if they have leverage over the feckless Euros and Chinese, if their leverage over you is reduced?

  126. “In 1931, Rand became a naturalized citizen of the United States; she was fiercely proud of the United States, and in later years said to the graduating class at West Point, “I can say–not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political and esthetic roots–that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.”

    First-generation immigrants kiss ass. It’s practically in the rules. Look at the way people talk about Soros for supporting the Democrats.

  127. A very large, reasonably well hidden, multinational program to develop nukes

    Well, they had some centrifuges, yes. I didn’t find an ETA for the time when an actual nuke was due to roll off the production line and land in Trafalgar Square – perhaps you can help?

  128. .. I choose and still believe in American`s will to fight terrorism (after seeing how their effort in keeping this world from old evil like NAZI, the old Japan-asia`s imperialism, Italia-fascist-Mussolini, USSR-Stalin`s Great terror, etc. ). The old idioms said that If there is smoke then there is fire .. so if there is bomb and terror at US embassy, Bali (Kuta beach), Jakarta (Marriot hotel & Australian embassy) Phillipines, India (Kashmir) then there is wrong with their holybook (quran) .. If they teach about peace i think .. logically, there will no violence. Remember, in history we will read how they spread their teaching by millitary conquest (sword of Mohammedan).

    Egypt after islam`s conquest has dead cultures .. no more great sphinx. They are killing the rich of cultures another civillization. Here in Indonesia i still read & hear many of propaganda of their “peace” .. after all, i don`t believe in them. Pure moeslem here not have dog because it`s forbidden (read Bukhari`s hadist). I imagine if most of this planet is pure moeslem, dogs will disappear :- ( … i am not hate them but worry about their teaching. We not solve the problem if their teaching still “echos” on this planet. Our grand-grand children will face the same problem with their grand-grand children. We must stop this teaching. I urge.

  129. > Should have thought it was obvious – free you up to stop pussyfooting around with them.

    “Stop pussyfooting around with them” often means “kick them around”. Is that what Adrian10 means here, that he thinks that the US should use hard power against SA?

    If so, why is it dependent on energy independence? Note that using hard power also reduces their leverage, as does simply taking the oil fields.

  130. “Stop pussyfooting around with them” often means “kick them around”. Is that what Adrian10 means here, that he thinks that the US should use hard power against SA?

    You should just give yourselves more options. In fact, think the Saudi government is quite sincere in their desire not to piss off America any more. But lower down, they might not all be on the same page.

    If so, why is it dependent on energy independence? Note that using hard power also reduces their leverage, as does simply taking the oil fields.

    There’s nothing that simple about “taking the oil fields” if Iraq is any guide, though one could possibly hope that the Saudis would turn out to be fatter and less feisty on the resistance front. But your economy as it stands couldn’t take the price spike that would result, not to mention the geopolitical effects. Energy independence (or more realistically, reduced energy dependence) would improve your chances in that area. And you wouldn’t have to use hard power, just to be able to make a plausible threat of doing so.

  131. “Well, no. AFAICT most ordinary Iranians support the nuclear program.”
    I bet they do, rightly so…but you’re talking about two very different groups of people now. Most ordinary Iranians are in the business of living their lives, so it should come as no surprise that, among (I’m sure) plenty of grumbling about ‘the damn Jews’, they look forward to a greater abundance of energy. Very sensible. Now look at the incentives underlying the leaders. You must not confuse the two.

    ” “Israel *should be* wiped off the map”
    Careful choice of words there, I’d say…”
    Fine. I accept this as a literal quote. Are you prepared to discount it simply because it does not specifically state “we *shall* wipe Israel off the map”? What do you think is being stated? Words such as these are *very carefully* chosen to establish legitimacy for some future event. A naive ‘sticks & stones’ dismissive rationale is dangerous. Of course, such flippancy is easy when one’s life is far from being threatened…

    “I know you guys are inclined to give the Jews a free pass…And an ethnocracy – a state constitutionally set up to be ruled by just one of its ethnic groups…planted in the middle of their territory…”
    blah blah blah…we get it…nix the anti-Israel apologist blather and conserve your bandwidth ;-) So what? I happen to view ‘nation building’ pretty dimly, but sometimes it’s just damned unavoidable. Israel simply *is*, and shall be, end of story. The history of mankind is littered with the push-and-shove of territorial squabbles. No amount of complaining about the ‘Jewish presence’ on land that has historical significance for them is going to justify their annihilation, surely you agree?

    “But that doesn’t mean they want to commit suicide”
    Again, depends which ‘they’ you are referring to…and presupposes a rationale similar to our own, which may be a risky thing to project…especially given the unimaginable costs of being wrong. I sincerely hope you’re right…but our hopes and wishes will be of no consolation to the whiff of Yiddish vapor that might become of Israel if we do nothing.

    “Rhetoric is rhetoric”
    Oftentimes yes…superficially…other times it speaks volumes if you care to listen.

    “What have they executed that you’re taking as an indication that they’re willing to risk certain Israeli retribution for any nuclear strike?”
    As of now, nothing I could swear to…and I hope we don’t let it get that far, because we’ll be over the event-horizon if we do. The stakes are far too high to tolerate this insane game of bluff.

  132. > There’s nothing that simple about “taking the oil fields” if Iraq is any guide

    Iraq isn’t “simply taking the oil fields”. In fact, it isn’t taking the oil fields at all, so it isn’t a guide.

    Simply taking the oil fields (and associated facilities) ignores the rest of the country. That reduces the area of control required and interaction with the locals. That’s a much easier security problem. (It sucks for the locals, but ….)

    And, unlike energy independence, taking the oil fields completely shuts off the revenue.

    > And you wouldn’t have to use hard power, just to be able to make a plausible threat of doing so.

    In other words, we’re back to “can’t use hard power”. Adrian10′s would support the US not using as much oil and talking at the Saudis.

    We’re already talking at the Saudis. Their ability to say no does not depend on “leverage over the US”, it depends on revenue, which isn’t significantly affected by Adrian10′s plan.

    Or, is he suggesting that the Saudis would be less likely to say no if they had somewhat less revenue, and none from the US? Why?

  133. “In 1931, Rand became a naturalized citizen of the United States; she was fiercely proud of the United States, and in later years said to the graduating class at West Point, “I can say–not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political and esthetic roots–that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.”

    Now that’s my kind of lass :-)

  134. Jim Rockford: I was here in NYC on 9/11 (about two kilometers from ground zero), I’m still here, I thought the military response was bug-brained then, and I still think so. 9/11 was a crime, just like the 1993 WTC bombing, or the Murrah Building bombing for that matter.

    As for “the destruction of several U.S. cities”, that’s a ridiculous overreaction, and people have commented on it sufficiently. I will point out that Hitler was on record on the subject: “I do not know how one defeats the United States of America”.

    What is torture? It’s excruciating pain. It’s sleeplessness. It’s having water poured into you and a cheesecloth placed over your mouth so that as you gasp to breathe you inhale the cheesecloth, which is then ripped out. It’s electric shocks through your genital organs. It’s hanging upside down over a slow fire while your body fat melts and drips into the fire. It’s having vesicants placed on the soles of your feet. It’s hanging from a hook so that your feet almost reach the ground — but not quite. It’s rape in any orifices you happen to possess. It notoriously gets the answers the victim thinks the torturer wants to hear. It’s pretty useless. esr doesn’t defend it.

    As for mediaeval Muslims having no interest in Greek antiquity, try again elsewhere. That won’t fly in the reality-based regime.

  135. “Well, they had some centrifuges, yes. I didn’t find an ETA for the time when an actual nuke was due to roll off the production line and land in Trafalgar Square – perhaps you can help?”

    Pretty similar to what was said when the Rheinland was re-occupied in 1936 isn’t it? The more things change the more they remain the same. I suspect if the program hadn’t been discovered, and you had seen one go off in Trafalgar Square, your response would be “you people didn’t look hard enough.” Typical guy in a lawn chair carping on whichever way it goes.

  136. “Joe: My bad, I insulted you first. I forgot you were just being an all-round jerk right from the start.”

    Check your first post in this group of comments wee wannabe. As you have displayed less than desirable reading skiils, I’ll even help you. It’s the April 7th, 2006 at 6:25 pm post. You come from nowhere, a nobody, and insult the host. You have the temerity to tell him that he embarassing the Open Source people. While we’re aware of ESR’s contributions to Open Source, we’re unaware of your’s. At that point the only thing we know about you is that you’ve entered the host’s site and promptly insulted him. That and you have delusions of importance based on the wee-wannabe moniker. Your next post, , at April 9th, 2006 at 3:49 am, furthers your reputation as you advise us 5,000 lives are a drop in the bucket. Who gave you the right to discount them?

    So you get treated poorly and nobody takes your questions seriously. What point is there is answering a cretin? Perhaps if you learned some manners people would respond to actual questions. You’ve not demonstrated simple manners so you get treated as a cretin. Do the math.

  137. As usual, Christopher Hitchens appears to be the Orwell of this conflict and Adrian, Stas and all the rest appear as the typical appeasers of the Euro-left. You sound just like the folks in the 1930′s who refused to do a thing about Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, Stalin and all the rest of their murderous brethren. In the 1920′s, when Hitler was telling us exactly what he planned to do to Europe, Jews, Slavs and all the other “untermenschen”, we laughed. Look at the little guy with his funny mustache, full of hate, screaming and yelling and has a silly salute. Couldn’t even pull off a proper putsch, could he? But he’s got a flag, that must be worth something. And a book, too. Yeah, but he doesn’t have any weapons, those are all controlled by the Weimar Republic. So, he screams and yells and beats up commies and labor union members in the street, so what? Where’s the threat?

    Oh gee, he’s dictator of Germany. Oooops. But, he’s only got 100,000 man army and no tanks, so that’s okay cause we have our wonderful Maginot Line and English Channel. And, it’s only Germans, Jews and commies getting tortured, beaten and killed. And on and on ad nauseum the appeasement and ignoring went until suddenly he conquered half of Europe, filled his gas chambers with 11 million people and plunged the world into a war that killed 100 million people. And if Britain or France or America had tried to intervene in 1936, the Adrian of the time would have been bleating the same noise about Hitler not being a threat, the overreaction, the chest thumping, and all the rest. Because they did every time their governments tried to be tough with Hitler and Stalin and Mussolini and Tojo.

    First They Came for the Jews

    First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.

    Pastor Martin Niemöller

  138. And if Britain or France or America had tried to intervene in 1936, the Adrian of the time would have been bleating the same noise about Hitler not being a threat, the overreaction, the chest thumping, and all the rest. Because they did every time their governments tried to be tough with Hitler and Stalin and Mussolini and Tojo.

    One of the minor differences between Ahmedja-wotsisface and Mr Moustache that you (and Bush) may not have noticed is that Hitler escalated steadily – the Rhineland, Austria, the Sudetenland, then the rest of Czechoslovakia prior to Poland. And the appeasers were active all along, but a lot of those guys had been through WW1 and I haven’t got time to rail about their lack of prescience. Whereas the Iranian crime list currently consists of uttering an opinion about Israel which happens to be widely held out there, and (presumably) activating a program which, if successful, would merely make it much more difficult to attack Iran without much risk.

    But no, it’s 1939 all over again round here – except with a Hitler determined to commit national suicide. Better attack him just in case, eh? Nip it in the bud. Future generations (of Israelis) will thank you.

    If you don’t fuck it up.

  139. Ummmm, Adrian, I’m not talking specifically about Iran. Didn’t say a word about Iran. I realize everyone else is frothing at the mouth about Iran. I’m not particularly worried about the Iranian government’s direct actions. OTH, their indirect actions in arming and supporting a variety of violent extremists, that I worry about. I’d also say that two things should be seriously considered in looking at whether Iran has been “bad”, or not is that after an 8 year war against Iraq they weren’t in much position to be active in the Middle East. Which, of course, was the point of the US, France and the UK supporting our other favorite mustachio’ed fascist. Especially considering that around 1981/82 the Ayatollah’s sure looked like they planned on exporting the revolution from Persia to the other Persian Gulf states. But, how quickly we forget all of that in favor of the next means of bashing folks.

    After that, during the 90′s there was no reason for Iran to be particularly active militarily. The US was busily taking care of Iraq for them and they figured it was only a matter of time until they could over Basra and Mesopotamia. Sadly, they didn’t pan out all that well. That said, they’ve spent plenty of time exporting terror hither and yon, quite a bit of it directed at the good ole “Great Satan”. And, of course, between 1933 and 1936 there wasn’t any actual expansionist behavior by the little dictator. And the Rhineland only made sense, it was German after all. And rearming made sense, of course, because the Treaty of Versailles had emasculated Germany. And on and on the apologies went. And you still sound just like them. It’s not 1939, more like 1935-36. And you sound just like the folks who apologized for Hitler, including Mr. Churchill, who went on to see the error of his ways, or FDR telling the world how wonderful Benny Mussolini and the Fascists were.

  140. >Iran already has demonstrated the ability to operate through proxy forces.

    Joe, my first solution needs refinment,
    still working on it….

  141. >First-generation immigrants kiss ass. It’s practically in the rules.

    How crass to bag on a philosopher:novelest
    and one no longer living on earth for that matter..

    are you serious what you blog?

    if so, one can only hope the gods of karma are still active,
    sanskrit,vedic,whatever…

    by the way another first-gen was none other than Albert Einstein

  142. >and all the rest appear as the typical appeasers of the Euro-left.

    Eric C.
    i am suggesting something, and it’s not to late!

    see
    davidf
    April 10th, 2006 at 10:23 pm

  143. Oh, it’s definitely not too late. Far from it. The question is, do we want to get all the way to August, 1939 before we decide to stop pretending it isn’t a problem? And that isn’t really addressed at you davidf. It’s addressed to all of these folks who think it’s no big deal that folks like Iran (and Saddam, for that matter) and Hamas and bin Laden and all the rest want to commit genocide and establish a Caliphate and force us non-believers into Dhimmitude. They can’t accomplish those goals today, any more than Hitler could accomplish his goals in 1933. That doesn’t mean you wait until everything balances on the knife’s edge of disaster and millions will die to prevent the much worse outcome from happening.

  144. Ummmm, Adrian, I’m not talking specifically about Iran. Didn’t say a word about Iran. I realize everyone else is frothing at the mouth about Iran.

    Well, who else? With all the thirties parallels, who should we be attacking? Syria? We’ve already done the low-hanging fruit thing with Iraq, to debatable effect.

    After that, during the 90’s there was no reason for Iran to be particularly active militarily. The US was busily taking care of Iraq for them and they figured it was only a matter of time until they could over Basra and Mesopotamia. Sadly, they didn’t pan out all that well.

    I wouldn’t speak too soon. Sounds like Iranian intelligence has a *very* favourable operating environment in southern Iraq, a bit like America with the Kurds. Not sure they’d want to take it over in any case – having a huge amount of influence there would be less disruptive.

    And, of course, between 1933 and 1936 there wasn’t any actual expansionist behavior by the little dictator.

    So who do you expect to start expanding, and where?

    You must have *some* scenario.

    And you sound just like the folks who apologized for Hitler, including Mr. Churchill, who went on to see the error of his ways, or FDR telling the world how wonderful Benny Mussolini and the Fascists were.

    Practically everybody was impressed with Musso. And I’ve always had a soft spot for the Italian Fascists, because they just could not be arsed with the Final Solution. They let loads of Jews escape, but I don’t know if the Israelis remember it any more – can’t say anything good about a Fascist, after all.

  145. Oh, on the three words–my two guess are either some date (month, day, and year) or (and this one I prefer) “oderint dum metuant”. Fits nicely with the classical theme of the piece, even if it was a Roman thing. (Or perhaps especially since, given that the Romans have to be considered to have outperformed the Athenians when it came to standing up for themselves.)

  146. >Oh, it’s definitely not too late. Far from it.

    Eric C.
    no offense taken..

    yes what you say reminds me of what Ortega said,

    “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it”

    back to my book…

  147. Well Adrian, I’m not sure anyone could have predicted, in the late 20′s and early 30′s, what the WWII scenario would be very easily. But, if I had to guess, I’d say that Wahabi’ism and Saudi Arabia and Shi’ites and Persia/Iran are the natural places to be concerned with today. But, in many ways, the real issue is the rise of virulent and extreme Islamists and the power they can, potentially, gather to themselves. I think the refusal to believe that “old europe” is in danger is a bigger issue than any conventional military threat. The refusal to see the threat, the continuing appeasement in old europe of the Muslims, the continued abdication of your society and values in favor of those dictated by immigrants with massively different values, this is what we see looking at Britain and France and Germany. Now, the Neocons see different things, but you consistently confuse those of us who don’t agree with you.

  148. Ok, so now I’m blogging in the comments of Eric’s blog. Whatever.

    Few points, tie them in the end.

    When the German’s invaded France, what they did that was interesting and unexpected is that they climbed into the Allied decision making cycle. This gave them an advantage that was unbeatable.

    The Vietnamese weren’t stupid. They did the German’s one better by climbing into the US decision making cycle, not to anticipate the moves, but to influence them.

    The Soviets did the same thing as the Vietnamese on a larger scale. Not only did they begin to influence the decision making cycle but they actively recruited fellow travelers and direct supporters. Good example was the “anti-nuclear” protests in Europe in the ’80s. These protests weren’t “anti-nuclear” in that they didn’t care about the Soviet SS-20s, they cared about the US missiles.

    The Muslims aren’t stupid. They can also learn from history. The Soviets used proxy forces (Cuba in Africa, Koreans in Korea, Vietnamese, etc).

    European’s, like Adrian, are wedded to the 100 year old concept of war. One declares war on another country, everyone wears uniforms, ships steam around, etc. Nice rules by the way. Signed by “Gentlemen” dealing with other “Gentlemen.” They were never designed to handle the reality of war. POWs are to be treated well right? Medics are “non-combatants.” Did the Japanese conform to these rules? The Koreans? The Vietnamese? The Iraqi’s? Is eating POWs allowed? Cutting off their heads?

    So we have violent Islam on the rise. While some want conventional warfare with “countries” they aren’t going to get it. The Muslims are going to climb into your decision cycles and influence them. They aren’t going to “play by the rules.” Asymetric warfare. Unconventional. Not controlled by a central command structure (as they are aware of the danger of that – cut off the head and the body whithers). They are going to send large numbers of “emmigrants” to Europe. This would, and has, occurred naturally and they are also going to take advantage of that. Ships can’t stop the Muslims already in France, Sweden, etc. While the Europeans are going to try to “accomodate” them the Muslims are going to conduct unconventional warfare. Lower the thresholds. Commit random crimes, make demands, and fund more radical “churches.” Churches are “safe havens.” Witness the fire coming from Mosques in Iraq. They know the west has qualms about violating the “churches.” This makes them safe havens to radicalize the faithful, hide weapons, provide shelter for the hunted, etc.

    The pain threshold will continue. Europe cannot deal with it. Iran sending a nuclear missile at Europe is suicide. Providing one for transport to people already in the target country is so much more fun. Hard to track and hard to pin blame.

    They know the weaknesses of the west. The Europeans are particularly weak willed. Crime is already escalating. It will get worse. They aren’t playing by your rules. You are playing by theirs. Check this out:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/04/12/wterr12.xml

    Who is winning? They see weakness. Because it’s there. They’ll use it. Their proxy forces are already inside the house. Europe will suffer a lot of pain before they finally grow a pair. Pain that they, through 50 years of habit, will have a hard time tossing off. It cannot be prevented. Quite frankly it’s deserved.

    How many will suffer before they realize that you can’t treat others as if they are you? An idealist treats others as they want them to be. A realist treats them as they are. Europe is in an idealistic stage. That’ll be beaten out of them.

  149. I haven’t heard about the Caliphate/dhimmi thing coming from Shias, I thought that was a Sunni speciality (and I regard it as pretty farfetched – yeah, some of them would *like* to do it, but I need to see more evidence that they’re getting into striking distance before I feel threatened). The Shias have often been oppressed by Sunnis as heretics.

    Europe definitely has some non-assimilation problems which bear watching. Britain may give some mouthy mullahs house room on free speech grounds, but I doubt the sort of thing that’s happened in Sweden would get going there – peecee has pretty shallow roots, and a big chunk of the press objects to it very strongly. And I see France and Germany (and Sweden) reaching a tipping point eventually if the Islamists keep pushing their values.

    I think the neocons find these fears kind of useful, yes. And I can hear a lot of echos of America-uber-Alles around here which seems to jibe with their supposed program, though not from you particularly.

  150. How crass to bag on a philosopher:novelest
    and one no longer living on earth for that matter..

    are you serious what you blog?

    It’s not just her, really. There’s long been a kind of expectation in the US that newcomers praise the place to the skies, and diss where they came from into the bargain. Ones like Soros who criticise things get quite a lot of abuse.

    if so, one can only hope the gods of karma are still active,
    sanskrit,vedic,whatever…

    Someone will say I was a jerk after I’m dead?

    I can handle that. Doubt I’ll get accused of ass-kissing, at any rate.

    by the way another first-gen was none other than Albert Einstein

    He wasn’t that prone to wearing the brown lipstick.

  151. Adrian wrote: “He wasn’t that prone to wearing the brown lipstick.”

    Uhhhh, that was the point. To illustrate a larger point.

    Adrian wrote: “here’s long been a kind of expectation in the US that newcomers praise the place to the skies, and diss where they came from into the bargain.”

    If you don’t think the place is better than where you came from, then what the heck are you doing here? I look at just about every other country out there and have no wish to emigrate. I’ve also travelled through, and lived in, most of Western Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the Far East (not so much there, just Japan and Korea), and know how the reality matches the perception. That simply reinforces my view of “nice places to visit, awful places to live”. If I happen to find a better choice than the USA I’ll gladly move there. I’m wedded to the ideas that underly the USA, not the piece of land.

    On to the other stuff.

    I keep telling you, I am not focusing on one specific group, nation, etc. here. Sunni Wahabi’ism, extreme Shia sects, it matters not. They are manifestations of a religion and culture that is aimed at subjugating non-believers. They are the symptoms, not the disease. Osama is a symptom. Killing Osama doesn’t fix it. Blowing up Iran’s nuke facilities doesn’t fix it either. Coercing the corrupt Saud dynasty will achieve very little. History shows two ways to change a culture dramatically enough that they are no longer bent on conquest, genocide and pillage. One is the rather longish one followed by the Anglosphere: religious reformation and enlightenment. The other is the much shorter process that we subjected Japan and Germany too. Smash the culture completely and rebuild it.

    In a world of nuclear and biological weapons and jet aircraft I don’t think we can spend 400 years waiting for Islam to go through reformation and enlightenment. So, we need to find a way to create a pressure cooker environment that will dramatically speed up the process. Either that, or we return to the proto-fascism of Winnie and FDR. As long as Europe continues to resist the idea that reformation is necessary, they continue to move themselves closer to the return of the fascist response to the threat.

  152. >I keep telling you, I am not focusing on one specific group, nation, etc. here. Sunni Wahabi’ism, extreme Shia sects, it matters not. They are manifestations of a religion and culture that is aimed at subjugating non-believers. They are the symptoms, not the disease. Osama is a symptom. Killing Osama doesn’t fix it. Blowing up Iran’s nuke facilities doesn’t fix it either. Coercing the corrupt Saud dynasty will achieve very little. History shows two ways to change a culture dramatically enough that they are no longer bent on conquest, genocide and pillage. One is the rather longish one followed by the Anglosphere: religious reformation and enlightenment. The other is the much shorter process that we subjected Japan and Germany too. Smash the culture completely and rebuild it.

    Eric C. speaks my thoughts with clarity and exactness here.

    >In a world of nuclear and biological weapons and jet aircraft I don’t think we can spend 400 years waiting for Islam to go through reformation and enlightenment. So, we need to find a way to create a pressure cooker environment that will dramatically speed up the process. Either that, or we return to the proto-fascism of Winnie and FDR. As long as Europe continues to resist the idea that reformation is necessary, they continue to move themselves closer to the return of the fascist response to the threat.

    And here as well.

    You’re not an idiot, Adrian. But you’re mired in such a deep sink of denial that you might as well be. This would bother me far less if you were the only person likely to pay for the consequences.

  153. Adrian, by the way, the people that I admire and respect from the 1920′s and 1930′s ,which includes neither Winston Churchill nor Roosevelt, didn’t think well of Mussolini at all. Excusing the semi-fascism of FDR and his praise for Mussolini with the excuse that “everyone was doing it” doesn’t hold much water for me.

  154. Adrian, by the way, the people that I admire and respect from the 1920’s and 1930’s ,which includes neither Winston Churchill nor Roosevelt, didn’t think well of Mussolini at all.

    Name these guilty men. A lot of people were impressed with him, anyway. Cole Porter wrote a song about him ffs.

    Excusing the semi-fascism of FDR and his praise for Mussolini with the excuse that “everyone was doing it” doesn’t hold much water for me.

    It’s easy to be wise in hindsight.

  155. HL Mencken, Ayn Rand, Louis Brandeis, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, to name just a few. There are many people to admire and respect based on their positions, thoughts, writing and actions during that era. That the politicians turned to fascism and socialism as a response to the aftermath of WWI and the Great Depression does not mean we must admire them or excuse them. That the mass of people followed their lead doesn’t mean anything either. A nifty, but essentially meaningless, statement such as “it’s easy to be wise in hindsight” just means you aren’t willing to tackle the hypocrisies involved. Hand in hand with that appears to be an unwillingness to tackle the “lessons learned”.

  156. Adrian wrote: “He wasn’t that prone to wearing the Fbrown lipstick.”

    Uhhhh, that was the point.

    Well, I never said they *all* did it. It’s a tendency, and your subsequent explanation makes sense to an extent. But it lacks some of the flavour of, say, this.

    The other is the much shorter process that we subjected Japan and Germany too. Smash the culture completely and rebuild it.

    Not enough parallels for my liking. They both had very strong (a little *too* strong) national consciousness, and they were invested as nations in the war, which made it possibly for them to turn around and throw themselves into economic expansion afterwards instead (they also had damn good intellectual infrastructure, a world-class work ethic and experience of democracy). By contrast, I doubt ordinary Muslims have any great commitment to pie-in-the-sky Caliphates muttered about by wild-eyed guys in mosques on Fridays, and probably aren’t going to react to various forms of regime-decapitation (or whatever you have in mind for them) with a sudden burst of enthusiasm for Western materialism. Part of this is about the social effects of oil, too – wealth comes from access to resources rather than hard work in many of these countries, which makes a Wirtschaftswunder even less likely.

    You’re not an idiot, Adrian.

    Well, I’m touched, nearly.

    But you’re mired in such a deep sink of denial that you might as well be.

    …but the left hand taketh away.

    This would bother me far less if you were the only person likely to pay for the consequences.

    Alas, I’m thinking about consequences which are a little more short-term, like what’ll happen to energy prices in Japan if someone attacks Iran.

    Selfish of me, I realise.

  157. A nifty, but essentially meaningless, statement such as “it’s easy to be wise in hindsight” just means you aren’t willing to tackle the hypocrisies involved. Hand in hand with that appears to be an unwillingness to tackle the “lessons learned”.

    I just don’t see the point in judging people who were seduced by the promise of fascism *before* it had committed its great atrocities. It was a fucked up time in some ways.

    Asimov was only born in 1920. Precocious guy, though. Hey, I never knew he died of HIV from a transfusion. Well, well.

  158. Russ,

    You filter access to your mailserver in an effort to cut me off from posting to the OSI board because you couldn’t handle the truth.

    Eliminating my ability to post to fsb was, of course, a side-effect.

    Clearly you don’t understand free speech, and, for that matter, free software.

    perhaps you are a racist, afterall.

  159. Adrian: “I just don’t see the point in judging people who were seduced by the promise of fascism *before* it had committed its great atrocities.”

    That’s because you are a statist, I would venture to guess.

  160. > I just don’t see the point in judging people who were seduced by the promise of fascism *before* it had committed its great atrocities.

    It does tell us something about their ability to see how things are going to work out (if they change their mind) or their actual position (if they don’t).

    Besides, fascism’s end-game wasn’t much of a secret after Mein Kampf. Why should folks who ignored that get a pass?

    > It was a fucked up time in some ways.

    That’s precisely the time that ability to see how things are going to work out is most important.

  161. That’s because you are a statist, I would venture to guess.

    Not as far as I know. Is this one of the Key Tests for True Libertarianism?

    I hate it when people don’t tell me about those.

  162. Heh, I don’t qualify as a “true libertarian”, so I don’t know.

    You appear, to me, to be someone who thinks that state/government based solutions are just fine for many things. You don’t appear to have particular issues with state power, in general. Ergo, a “statist”. Fascism was immoral long before the atrocities of WWII and the death camps was known. Excusing people who cheered on fascists and adopted semi-fascist positions of their own appears to indicate that you aren’t opposed to power invested in the state, in general, just when it has an outcome you don’t like.

    I could be reading that wrong, I’m open to other input.

  163. Hi Eric, thanks for the link to Dan Simmon’s writing. It was a rather disturbing and a very misleading peice of writing though. I have no idea how to reach him and let him know about the errors he made while giving out informations on Islam and the Muslims so I thought I post you a message, at least, people who are commenting about the article would know exactly which parts of the article to ignore.

    Fisrt, I am sure Simmons got the idea about the Century War from the Quran itself. The Muslims do believe that there would be a century war but the results won’t be as catastrophic as Simmons has assumed. I am a writer myself and the first rule of being good at it is not to “assume” because that basically, makes a ‘ass’ out of u(the readers) and ‘me’(the writer).

    Second, comparing the Mulims with the barbaric Spartans and the Athenians with a the ones who have been attacking innocent Muslims for no valid reason is quite hilarious don’t you think? If anyone disagrees please watch the documentary 9/11 and read the Times issue on the Abu Ghraib prison.

    Third, Our Prophet (pbuh) in his last speech said “My followers, donot hate or harm the Christians or the Jews and respect other religion the way you respect yours”:Hadith Malik 511:1588.

    Some might argue that Simmons were just talking about the terrorists of 9/11 (in which case it would have been perfectly fine) but pulling in our Prophet(pbuh) and then distoting his speech is like pointing fingers at every single Muslims on earth (that includes all the good Muslims). I can assure you, a good Muslim is just like a good Christian. We not only believe in the Quran but also in the Bible. Just like our Prohet (pbuh) ordered us to do, We DO respect other religion. We love our Prophet (pbuh) just the way a Christians loves Jesus. Believe it or not, I personally know a lot of Muslims who visit the churches here because they find peace there. Have you yet found any Muslim writer disrespecting Jesus or your religious beliefs? Then why hurt ours?

    Eric, I am sorry if I have taken too much of your bog space putting up my comment here. I just couldn’t sleep with the thought of so many of you collecting distorted views of our religion.

  164. Mehrin wrote:
    “Have you yet found any Muslim writer disrespecting Jesus or your religious beliefs? Then why hurt ours?”

    .. Mehrin I have seen here in Indonesia, A true muslim will do that. The concept of “people of book”, kafeer, etc. Please give me a logic reason based on your “holybook” about many of paradoxes in it. Teach love and also hatred. Inconsistent. I know many of moeslem lazy to read their holybook. Many of them only learn to remember the verse but not to argue it. Read history of Mohammedan military army in the past and you will see how they acted. When Mohammedan conquer North Africa, India .. why you`re so arrogant?? Read history. Objectively.

  165. Mehrin,

    It’s not “disrespecting Jesus or [our] religious beliefs” that has inflamed the West’s anger. Hell, I don’t have any religious beliefs; and besides that, there are plenty enough people in the West doing the disrespecting of Jesus that criticism from Muslims is redundant.

    Perhaps you should visit

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com

    and see what your fellow Muslims are up to, and then compare the silence of your governments, religious leaders, and moderate masses with reality.

    The West seems to have this strange aversion to religious-infused suicide bombers proclaiming the superiority of Allah as they explode themselves in ways calculated to inflict as much damage as possible on infidels. Is this a misunderstanding? Pray tell, enlighten us!

  166. You appear, to me, to be someone who thinks that state/government based solutions are just fine for many things. You don’t appear to have particular issues with state power, in general. Ergo, a “statist”.

    I admit I don’t know how to get rid of states. It seems as things stand that anyone who relinquished their state would put themselves at the military mercy of anyone who didn’t. I suppose I also suspect that we’d have trouble living without the products of some of the economies of scale states make possible. But I’m opposed to a great many of the things states do.

    Fascism was immoral long before the atrocities of WWII and the death camps was known. Excusing people who cheered on fascists and adopted semi-fascist positions of their own appears to indicate that you aren’t opposed to power invested in the state, in general, just when it has an outcome you don’t like.

    To me, this implies that those Germans and Italians may have been fooled, but if *you’d* been there, you wouldn’t have been. And it’s very easy to make unfalsifiable statements. I mean, by all means admire those who had the prescience to see (or guess) where things were going. But as for mapping the whole situation onto the modern-day threat of Islam…well, I need a little more evidence.

  167. Adrian10, assuming that other than it being a different year I was present in the 1920′s and the same person, I would be opposed to fascism. You can judge the reality of that for yourself, but my principles and ethical values are opposed to concentrations of power and investing any but the most limited amounts of control in the state. My basis for that is my opposition to authoritarianism and the desire to invest power in the state.

    People like Mencken who opposed fascism, whether in Germany or the USA, did so because they were liberals (in the classic sense of the word, not the modern semi-socialist sense), not because they foresaw death camps and WWII. Either you stand for your principles, or you don’t.

  168. Adrian10, assuming that other than it being a different year I was present in the 1920’s and the same person, I would be opposed to fascism.

    I guess the extent to which we’re all a product of our times makes this a pointless exercise for me, then. I reckon the Germans in particular went through some horribly corrosive experiences which are quite difficult for us to imagine, and were willing to grasp at any straw as a result, apart from an unusually strong few.

    You can judge the reality of that for yourself, but my principles and ethical values are opposed to concentrations of power and investing any but the most limited amounts of control in the state.

    There is no greater concentration of power than the military IMO, even if having it under civilian control is nicer than the alternative.

    People like Mencken who opposed fascism, whether in Germany or the USA, did so because they were liberals (in the classic sense of the word, not the modern semi-socialist sense), not because they foresaw death camps and WWII.

    I doubt the two can be separated that tidily. Though I like what I’ve read of Mencken’s work, and should read more.

    Either you stand for your principles, or you don’t.

    It’s where we try to apply this to What To Do About Islam that I start to get uncomfortable.

  169. Sakharov wrote: .. Mehrin I have seen here in Indonesia, A true muslim will do that. The concept of “people of book”, kafeer, etc. Please give me a logic reason based on your “holybook” about many of paradoxes in it. Teach love and also hatred. Inconsistent.

    …Sakharov, the word kafeer means a non-believer of Islam. It is used to pull down a demarcation between the Muslims and people of other religion. I can assure you, it is not a word of offense it is just a distinction.
    About People of the book, Ahl al-Kitab (Peoples of the Book) is not, in my opinion, a title of privilege or honour. If we were to do so it would be little the grand purpose of the whole concept. This concept was introduced in Islam, in my opinion, to end all historical rivalry in the matter of religious dominance. It was intended to focus the attention of religious leaders on the more sublime purpose of the divine teachings towards the purification of human souls and the seeking of wisdom and eternal truth to attain deliverance from human suffering in both worlds. Without going into any details about who make up of Ahl al-Kitab, it is sufficient to say that anyone who believes in one God as Creator, produces a Book sent to a prophet of God and conforms to the eternal theme of divine guidance and law can be regarded as Ahl al-Kitab.

    Islam doesn’t teach hatred. What you are referring as “hatred” is counter-attack. Its Arabic term is Kisaas. The ugly war happenings in the past are a part and parcel of every war fought here on earth…isn’t it?

    You are right when you say that there are many Muslims who are too lazy to read their holy book…that is exactly why there’s so much of confusion about the religion isn’t it? And how exactly are you finding me arrogant?…please clarify.

  170. diablovision says: It’s not “disrespecting Jesus or [our] religious beliefs” that has inflamed the West’s anger…

    I can’t be this sure about the anger of the East…..I have visited the website you advised and got really confused as to what exactly raged you about it when you said “see what your fellow Muslims are upto”…If you could bring more clarity to this area, I might be able to give you a satisfying reply. In case, you just wanted me to compare between the preaching of non- violence in that site with the devastation of our country …you should read up http://iwrnews.org/tasneem. You should know we are protesting more strongly than ever before. Going against the religious leaders and the government is not easy. Protesting writers had been thrown out of the country, journalists got arrested, articles got confisticated, reporters got murdered…but still we haven’t given up…as much as we can we are fighting for what is right.

    When you talk about the aversion of the West to religious-infused suicide bombers…correct me if I am wrong, but I get this strange feeling that you are mocking me….Every sane Muslim hates these suicide –bombers as much as the West does…or perhaps more, provided that it is for them you have started hating us and questioning our beliefs. These power hungry maniacs has distorted minds of the west that jihad is a ‘holy war’ against ‘infidels’ is a wholly misplaced and utterly wrong concept. Both of the terms ‘holy war’ and ‘infidels’ are the remnants of crusaders era perpetrated by Christian armies. They do not exist in Islamic theology. Nonetheless, these terms have found their way into the Muslim extremists’ movements’ vocabularies and they use them freely for their convenience to give their conflicts a religious colour and to mobilise people to their cause. Islam has no concept of waging a war to convert people as such conversions will not be valid according to its own principles please understand.
    Despite all the contradictions we are working here with, its peculiar how no one has agreed with me about the mistakes Dan Simmons made while writing his ‘prophecy’…

  171. Mehrin wrote:
    >You are right when you say that there are many Muslims who are too lazy to read their holy book…that is exactly why there’s so much of confusion about the religion isn’t it?

    It is not make me doubt that`s why they don`t know what your quran`s contain of hatred. They only hear propaganda from your mullah. Osama read it all that`s why they become terrorist and command suicide bomb. He is doesn`t respect life itself. You get it.

    Hatred .. of course. Many of hatred to kafeer. If we search word “hell” in your holybook we will find it almost up to 90%. Intimidating type of religion. Punish (or will be killed if you become ex-muslim) and reward. It`s childish concept.

    >The ugly war happenings in the past are a part and parcel of every war fought here on earth…isn’t it?

    It`s not make me doubt, that`s why there is no sin of your moeslem Mohammedan military army in the past which kill many of human. Like Osama today. Actually i found where there is moeslem there is always be war. Please don`t with war or kill human if you struggle for something. Gandhi did it without war.

    >It is used to pull down a demarcation between the Muslims and people of other religion. I can assure you, it is not a word of offense it is just a distinction.

    .. hmm, inconsistent with concept of egalitarian.

  172. Inspired by Mr. Simmons’ fiction, I have prepared a little fiction of my own. Of course, as a writer I cannot hold a candle to Simmons, but I have run with Simmons’ admonition that we learn from history. My tiny tale is a simple comparative tale of the rise and fall of America/Athens. I do not offer it as either definitive analysis or competent fiction. But it’s a cute mental ploy.

  173. Oops! I forgot to add the tale itself! Here it is:

    Many {60|2400} years ago, the West tottered on the edge of disaster. A powerful enemy {Germany|Persia} threatened to conquer the world and destroy freedom. But one country {America|Athens} led the battle against the enemy and triumphed, saving the world from tyranny. This great victory ushered in a new golden age in which {America|Athens} led the world in science, art, and trade. Realizing the need for unity, a new international organization {United Nations|Delian Confederacy} was formed to insure that the world would never again be threatened by tyranny.

    At first, it looked as if a glorious new age had dawned. As the beneficent leader of the free world, {America|Athens} helped other countries and acted as the ultimate guarantor of their security. But after a while, {America|Athens} began to feel its power, and to regard its leadership as a right rather than a responsibility. It was furious that lesser nations in the {United Nations|Delian Confederacy} would dare question its policies. It often invaded small countries to enforce its own concept of justice. And when other countries lodged objections, it ignored them, thinking that its vastly greater power rendered their objections meaningless.

    Slowly the goodwill that had been earned through so much sacrifice was dissipated by {America’s|Athens’} overbearing behavior. Slowly diplomatic support for {America|Athens} dissipated. And then {al-Qaeda|Sparta} declared war on {America|Athens}. Each side scored victories against the other. {America|Athens} was bursting with angry pride; a historian wrote that {America|Athens} was full of “young men whose inexperience made them eager to take up arms.” Based on inaccurate information and a sense of self-righteousness, and placing its trust in a charismatic but unwise leader {Bush|Alcibiades}, {America|Athens} attacked {Iraq|Syracuse}. {America|Athens} claimed that it was defending {the Iraqi people|Leontini} against {Saddam’s|Syracuse’s} tyranny, but most other countries saw the attack as unjustified. Worse, {America|Athens} underestimated the amount of military force required to carry out the plan. Alarmed by this unprovoked attack, others began to provide aid to the resistance.

    Eventually all of {Islam|Sicily} was united against {America|Athens}. The military adventure failed and {America|Athens} was defeated. Its economy was ruined by the costs of the war. The defeat signaled to the entire world the end of {American|Athenian} supremacy, and more countries turned against {America|Athens}. The government was consumed with political conflict and gross abuse of the laws; many people suffered from the political turbulence. Yet {America|Athens} still had the finest military in the world, and the conflict continued to grind on for more than a decade, with successes and failures on both sides.

    Inevitably, the weight of numbers exacted its toll. The {American|Athenian} military was worn down by all the fighting. It took years for the {Americans|Athenians} to accept the brutal reality that they were no longer the greatest and most powerful country in the world. Exhausted by war, broken by poverty, torn apart by political discord, {America|Athens} negotiated a final humiliating end to the conflict. It never recovered, receding into the mists of history as a once-great nation broken by its own pride.

  174. The “shooting the messenger” metaphor is cute, but a bit misleading.

    Because what this messenger from the future is really doing, is taking all the hope out of his victim’s life, and providing no opportunity of escape. Taunting him with the futility of his life and glimpses of unavoidable pain to come. And being quite an asshole about it, too. It felt as if the messenger was blaming his victim personally for the events that he was predicting; as if he were implying that if the victim knew enough ancient Greek history then Western civilization would have been safe, but he didn’t study so he has to sit there and listen to a list of horrors that await him. The message was clearly intended to mess with his head, as I can’t imagine how it could possibly have helped him, unless he lost so much sleep he couldn’t leave the house, and never ended up getting married and having grandchildren.

    Also, the messenger in the fictional world gave his 2005 prophecies in January 2005, which is necessary to establish credibility. But when we emerge from the story, I get the feeling the author doesn’t want us to remember that he wrote those 2005 prophecies in 2006, lest we realize that the messenger’s post-2006 prophecies are essentially educated guesses. Indeed, what’s the point of writing such a story unless the reader walks away staggering and gibbering as if we’d just been visited by a time traveller?

    The messenger’s criticisms sound to me much like the parking tickets that Kyle’s dad gave out to SUV’s at the hardware store in South Park. “How dare you not be smart enough to share my opinions? I’m not the one doing anything wrong, YOU’RE the one who ruined the environment/let Europe fall under shari’a law!” They left out the part where the messenger smelled his own fart and licked his lips.

    Forgive me if I get a few details wrong, as I’m writing about my initial impression of the story. The page 404′d so I couldn’t refer to specific details or refute faulty memories. I just remember the messenger being incredibly smug and leaving his victim in a world where he was completely helpless in directing his own fate.

  175. > Every sane Muslim hates these suicide –bombers as much as the West does…or perhaps more, provided that it is for them you have started hating us and questioning our beliefs.

    Yet, nothing is being done about them. So, either there aren’t any sane Muslims or the above is false.

    Telling me that they’re not good Muslims doesn’t count for anything.

  176. Andy, rather than speculate, why not rely on some polling results? The Pew Global Attitudes project has been monitoring opinions around the world for years now. They published a report on Muslim attitudes towards Islamic extremism at http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=248

    A quickie summary: In answer to the question “Violence against civilian targets is justified”, the following percentage of respondents answered “Often” or “Sometimes”:

    Jordan: 57%
    Lebanon: 39%
    Pakistan: 25%
    Indonesia: 15%
    Turkey: 14%
    Morocco: 13%

    These numbers represent substantial declines from the previous survey in the summer of 2002.

    You can see that the answer isn’t black and white. Yes, in Jordan, a lot of people think that violence against civilians is justified. But in the other countries such people are a minority. For greater understanding of these issues, I strongly urge you to read the entire report.

  177. > Andy, rather than speculate, why not rely on some polling results?

    I’m not speculating, I’m observing actual behavior.

    I don’t care what they say that they believe if their behavior is different.

  178. But Andy, what is “their” behavior? The behavior of hundreds of millions of people is a rather complicated phenomenon; don’t you think that boiling all that activity down to a single black-and-white proposition is rather simplistic? You say that “nothing is being done” about suicide bombers — are you honestly claiming that, among all the hundreds of millions of Muslims, not one single person has made any attempt to discourage someone they know from becoming a suicide bomber? That not one single person has done ANYTHING whatsoever to halt such activities? Surely you do not claim that kind of omniscience.

    Look at it this way: in the last 10 years, there have been perhaps a thousand suicide bombing attacks all over the globe. During that same time, there have been at least as many multiple murders (where one person kills more than one victim) here in the United States. If the existence of a thousand suicide bombers proves that Muslims are doing nothing about suicide bombers, then the existence of more than a thousand multiple murderers in the USA proves that we are doing nothing to stop murder, right? ;-)

  179. Andy’s line of reasoning seems to lack in shades of gray, a bit too black and white to me. Looking from the land of Eurotrash, the same line of reasoning could be applied to US. All these violent killings of innocents with hand guns — and seems nothing is done about it, we certainly don’t have that here!?

    In France local Muslim leaders have officially condemned suicide bombings, and I count that as doing something.

    And on another post Jim talks about take over of Spain by Morocco… that made me smile. The North Africans in Spain and Italy come there in vast mast majority to look for work, they do the gardening and construction to a big part. Again to me it looks like in similar vein that the US is being taken over by Mexico, and our grandchildren will be having these chats in Spanish… ;-)

    Being here in the “trenches”, I don’t see any Islamic grand plan to conquer Europe. There is restlessness of unemployed youth in suburbs, but those kids are not religious fanatics.

  180. Sakharov, Its not decent to laugh at someone’s ignorance but the depth of yours is really making me laugh…LOL!!! Sorry:p First, Have you ever read the Quran yourself? I highly doubt it…oops! I forgot, then you would have transformed into some hideous creature like Osama, right?You don’t have the slightest idea on any Ayats of the Quran nor do you have any idea about the Islamic Law. You only hear and read distorted cheap fictions of 15 minutes fame craving writers like Simmons. You only see what is shown about Muslims on the news channels run by people like you, totally unaware of the religion. The distorted views have settled so firm in you that you hate to broaden your “knowledge” and adopt what lawyers call the teleological approach.No matter how many times you collide with the fact that we muslims are really peace-loving people, you just won’t admit it…nope. And Osama is not my best friend. We are well aware of the fact that the monster doesn’t respect life.

    Sakharov writes: If we search word “hell” in your holybook we will find it almost up to 90%. Intimidating type of religion. Punish (or will be killed if you become ex-muslim) and reward. It`s childish concept.

    Doesn’t the word “hell”exist in your holy book? I’m sure the description of hell in your holy book is not “a place where saints would be sitting in white clouds playing golden harps” or is it? 90% of the Quran is filled with the word “Hell”? Now I am more positive of the fact that you are critising a Book you haven’t even bothered to read! Oh right! You were scared that it would transform you to Osama…sorry I keep on forgetting…my mistake. “be killed if you become an ex-muslim”? Now which magazine or silly novel provided you with that concept?
    Punish and reward is a childish concept? What is the concept of your religion?

    Sakharov writes: Actually i found where there is moeslem there is always be war.

    You actually found that where there are Muslims there will always be war? Hmm…so I am presuming the first as well as the second World War was started by the Muslims? And the war on Iraq, Afganistan now the threats on Iran and Venezuala, are all done by the Muslims?….Wow!

    Sakharov writes: Please don`t with war or kill human if you struggle for something. Gandhi did it without war.

    Heard about Qaidi Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah?

    Sakharov writes: hmm, inconsistent with concept of egalitarian.

    Read: http://www.secularislam.org/women/afshari.htm
    http://www.secularislam.org/law.htm

  181. Re: Chris Crawford’s “…behavior of 100s of millions of people is a rather complicated phenomenon…”

    And to think, since so many behaviors can’t be gauged and predicted and graphed intelligently, then marketers may as well just throw up their hands and try to sell us things haphazardly?

    Not exactly. In fact certain thinkers have actually founded and continue to improve a whole science where they intelligently map and predict where and how and when and who buys what (and how and where and… you get the point).

    Using this science–in the marketplace–has proven again and again to be very profitable… for those who use it wisely. And, subsequently, wise business owners have repeatedly sought the services of those from this science.

    There are others though, people like myself, people who use this science to study masses of people… well, just to study them.

    We are called “Sociologists.”

    Now many may poo pooh our findings… especially when our findings concern hot button topics like how it’s verifyably self-defeating to be racist or classist or ageist or sexist or etc. And in my opinion we’re all a little -ist one way or another, some days more than others. So being a little -ist is nothing to be ashamed of.

    The problems start to happen when you get a whole nation, for instance, that gets a little too, let’s say, racist… and takes it too far.

    To illustrate, let’s go to the gridiron. Say you pit the Dallas Cowboys against your local high school team’s cheerleaders. And it’s a very important football game. There’s a lot riding on it. And one of the cheerleaders has a hangnail. And this jagged piece of her broken fingernail actually scratches one of the Cowboys. He even bleeds. It’s rumored she did it on purpose. Then the football players defeat the cheerleaders on the field, torturing and raping them all. Final score: 482 to 0.

    This is what’s going on with the Muslims vs. the racists at this site. I know I shed a few tears when I heard about my fav football player getting scratched. That’s because I’m very very patriotic.

    A nation could be the most powerful militaristic force on the whole planet in all of history. But if this nation finds itself having to battle the aggregate of all the other nations, it won’t win. All we’re doing by unnecessarily squashing a couple of tiny countries like Iraq and Afghanistan is potentially causing the whole world to allign against us. It’s a potential now; it’s becoming more and more likely.

  182. Herbie, I’m not sure what point you are making with your comments on sociology. I am not suggesting that the behavior of groups of people is beyond comprehension, I am saying that reducing the behavior of huge groups to black-and-white statements is an oversimplification.

  183. > But Andy, what is “their” behavior?

    In summary, it is supportive. At best, it is uninvolved, but even then there’s the suggestion that they’d help given more opportunity.

    Yes, suicide bombers often kill other Muslims. Amazingly enough, they don’t seem all that concerned about that. They’re doing nothing about the ones who kill others.

    > If the existence of a thousand suicide bombers proves that Muslims are doing nothing about suicide bombers

    No one said that the existence of the bombers proved that they were doing nothing. (It does, however, speak to the effectiveness of their actions.)

    Instead, we’re pointing to the lack of actions that are even remotely aimed at stopping said suicide bombers. Instead, we’re pointing to the “Islamic charities” that send money. We’re pointing to the folks who say one “killing innocents is wrong” in english and “kill the jews and americans” in arabic.

  184. Crawford seems to think that any Muslim who works against the Jihadists disproves the idea that Muslims as a whole have picked a side.

    In other words, Germany wasn’t at war with the US during WWII because there were Germans (in Germany) who worked for the Allies.

    There are hundreds of millions of Muslims in the world. Of those that can do something, the vast majority have picked a side. Of those who can’t, the vast majority are supportive of that choice.

    Or, we can take their word for it. Note what they do to “traitors”. In fact, they even use unfounded accusations of said treason as a way to settle scores.

    But, I’ll bite – suppose that they’re only 99% pure. How should we treat the mass differently than we would if they were 100%? (Yes, when we come across one of the 1%, we should treat him differently, but that’s not the issue here.)

  185. “The darkest, funniest bit is when he comes so near to literally shooting the messenger. Perfect metaphor for the typical liberal’s response.”

    Yeah, those damn liberals, always shooting the messenger.

    In a totally unrelated story, yesterday President Bush said he had no plans to get rid of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld amid calls for his resignation by 7 retired generals, but today Press Secretary Scott McClellan stepped down.

  186. Andy, you continue to emphasize a black-and-white approach to a complex issue. You say that the vast majority of Muslims have “picked a side”. The problem here is that you are assuming that the sides are “with us or agin’ us”. That simply isn’t true. Consider the many problems in this world: cancer, poverty, global warming, racism, and bad puns. Surely you have not taken action against every single one of the world’s ills. Does the fact that you have not, say, taken action to cure cancer mean that you are in favor of cancer? Of course not! In the same way, it’s unfair to condemn hundreds of millions of Muslims because they’re not each and every one of them out searching for terrorists.

    We know that some Muslims support terrorism. How many? The Pew results suggest that it’s probably somewhere around 25%. That’s a very high figure — but it’s still a minority. We should act accordingly.

  187. The breakdown among Muslims who have done or said something publically (to the home audience – talking to Americans doesn’t count) is very different from Crawford’s 25%.

    It may be that the folks who we don’t know about are different from the ones we do, or the folks who haven’t acted yet are different, but that’s a slim reed.

    BTW the basis for Crawford’s position, that 75% disagree with “Violence against civilian targets is justified” is not the same as disagreeing with bombing Jews. Crawford “forgets” that the official Palestinian position is that any Jewish target is a military target….

  188. Andy, when you say that “The breakdown among Muslims who have done or said something publically (to the home audience – talking to Americans doesn’t count) is very different from Crawford’s 25%.” I have to ask, where’s your data? Have you analyzed everything that has been said and printed by Muslim speakers and writers in the last ten years and categorized those comments and measured the percentage of those that advocate terrorism? I very much doubt it. The Pew results are based on interviews with a representative cross-section of Muslims.

    My guess is that you have selected a highly skewed sample of statements from Muslim fanatics, and believe those to be representative of the average Muslim. The problem with this approach is that it is NOT representative of all Muslims — it is representative of those Muslims that you have selected. Using this kind of reasoning, I could:

    Present thousands of quotes from shock jocks to prove that all Americans are foul-mouthed asses.
    Present thousands of quotes from gays to prove that all Americans are gay.
    Present thousands of quotes from hard-line Christian fanatics to prove that all Americans hate Islam.
    Present thousands of quotes from Republicans to prove that all Americans are conservative.
    Present thousands of quotes from Democrats to prove that all Americans are liberal.

    Even worse, I could present thousands of quotes from discussion boards like this to prove that people who discuss politics on the Internet are foul-mouthed, narrow-minded, opinionated, ignorant, illiterate, and threatening. (Well, maybe not THIS board — people are quite polite here.)

  189. Is Crawford’s supporting argument for citing a poll asking an irrelvant question that without it he wouldn’t have any data? Wowsers.

    I wonder why it’s so important to Crawford that Muslims not have a largely monolithic position. Note that the Muslims involved in the discussion don’t seem to have any problem with that idea.

    Or, is it this position that he objects to?

    Me – I’d love for there to be a diversity of position on this issue. However, I don’t confuse my desires with other people’s actions.

    If there actually was the diversity that I’d like to see and that Crawford insists exists, he’d find it easy to provide relevant supporting data, or even anecdotes. Instead, he trots out an irrelevant poll question.

    Maybe next he’ll cite Bush’s blather on the issue. (I’ll guess that Crawford isn’t willing to accept all of Bush’s positions based on Bush’s say-so, so I’ll ask what makes this one special.)

  190. ‘Ere, that’s *the* Chris Crawford. You could at least do him the courtesy of dropping your dreadful little third-person affectation.

    OTOH, he may appreciate the distancing effect himself.

  191. Andy, you’re starting to get nasty, so I’m going to drop out of this discussion. I’ll close by suggesting again that you consult the Pew data that I referred to earlier — if you give it fair consideration, I believe that you’ll change your opinions on this matter.

  192. The story by Simmons was clearly written as an exercise in bringing together the emotions of fear, mental confusion and impending doom in a classical sci-fi plot setting. Whether the “Time Traveler” is really the author’s alter ego, I am not prepared to say. Despite having been a sci-fi reader for over 40 years, I never read a book of his.

    So whether the errors & distortions are just those of the “Time Traveler” or are really Simmons’, the fact remains it is really no more than a jumble of well-crafted words designed to instill a feeling of fear [at least.]

    Factual inaccuracies? Many. One example:

    Your dhimmi poll tax will be called jizya,” said the Time Traveler. His voice suddenly sounded very weary.“Your land tax for being an infidel, even for fellow People of the Book – Christians and Jews – will be called kharaz. Both of these taxes will be in addition to your mandatory alms – the zakat.

    Zakat is a religious obligation of Muslims only. Under traditional Islamic governments [the Khalifas] a Dhimmi has to pay jizya specifically because he does not pay any zakat!
    Fact is, most Europeans pay a higher percentage of their income in tax now to their socialistic governments than Dhimmis ever paid to a Khalifa. The USA isn’t far behind. Paying jizya would constitute a bigger TAX BREAK than anything Republicans have ever pushed through Congress! Hell, even mediaeval European serfs under cruel Christian lords only gave 33.3% of their crop! One reason most of the Christian Roman [AKA "Byzantine"] Empire collapsed like a house of cards before the Muslims is that thevast majority of the people and even the Roman armies preferred living under Islam! Lower taxes, and Monophysite and Nestorian and Arian Christians had just as much right to worship according to their own lights as Orthodox Catholics did.

    Also, one of the privileges accorded People of the Book was the right to trial under their own religious laws and judges, not under Islamic law, provided they had not committed a personal crime [murder, theft, etc.] against a Muslim.

    This tolerence for other religions is not present in the history of the USA. Check out the persecutions of the Mormons, for example, including military action against them after they left the USA and moved to Utah. Or Native Americans who were forbidden as children to speak their own languages and forced to go to Christian mission schools. Or the Branch Davidians, for a more recent example of what happens when the Government doesn’t like your religion. And has the power to ignore the Second Amendment when it chooses.

    Another problem is his mischaracterization of tribal and cultural anomalies as being somehow part of Islamic law, and assuming that European Muslims would somehow start to act like superstitious peasants from a different race and culture. “Honor killings” occur in Latin America, non-Muslim parts of Africa and Asia and other places where “machismo” is part of the culture. Europe used to have them too. The custom of dueling was often referred to as “satisfying a matter of honor.” It’s not just about sex. Sex makes good newscopy, though!

    The bit about

    I give you eight million Jews dead in Israel – incinerated – and many more dead Jews in Eurabia and around the world

    . . . assumes that the anti-Zionism current in Arabia is the same as hatred of the Jews, on the part of Islam and Muslims, which is historically ridiculous. It is however currently part of the Zionist anti-Muslim propaganda that is everywhere in the US media.

    Historically, when the Christians reconquered Spain and instituted the Inquisition to wipe out other religions, most Jews fled [actually, they were expelled] and were officially given sanctuary in the Ottoman Empire by the Muslim Khalifa / Turkish Emperor. Prior to that, when Muslim rulers controlled Spain, was the period known as the Jewish Golden Age. The time of Maimonides, Moses ibn Ezra . . . while it was not paradise on earth, it was better treatment than Zionists want you to believe. See:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_age_of_Jewish_culture_in_Spain
    I could go on and on. The conclusion? It’s a fictional horror story, people! It’s supposed to be scary. It’s not a basis for foreign policy, fer’goshsakes!

    Of course, if you believe that when GWB “talks to Jesus” that Jesus answers him back, maybe it is the “category error” between fantasy and reality that needs addressing!

    Parting note from my old copy [can you believe a 600-page hardcover book used to cost $7.95??] of Time Enough for Love p. 364:

    More from the Notebooks of Lazarus Long: To stay young requires unceasing cultivation of the ability to unlearn old falsehoods.

    Lazarus Medium’s addendum: “. . .and see through current war propaganda.”

  193. Any idea how much support the Andy Freemans of this list have in the US? I mean not only Andy but also others who share his views of the world. Am I correct in counting our honorable host ESR in the same set, even if he presents his ideas with more eloquence?

    At least in Finland where I come from, and most of western Europe I’d guess, these views are so politically incorrect that those expressing them are a very marginalized bunch indeed.

    But perhaps its the weak European knees affecting my thinking…

  194. Any idea how much support the Andy Freemans of this list have in the US?

    Pretty marginal afaict, though polls like this (from February, saying 82% think a nuclear Iran would hand nukes out to terrorists like candy at Halloween) don’t give *that* much cause for complacency.

    If you wanted to be charitable you could say they’re a bit ahead of their time. Of course, a substantial terrorist attack on US soil would bring a lot more round to their way of thinking.

  195. Hey Chris Crawford:

    In your response to me you said: “I’m not sure what point you are making…”

    When I typed this:

    “A nation could be the most powerful militaristic force on the whole planet in all of history. But if this nation finds itself having to battle the aggregate of all the other nations, it won’t win. All we’re doing by unnecessarily squashing a couple of tiny countries like Iraq and Afghanistan is potentially causing the whole world to allign against us. It’s a potential now; it’s becoming more and more likely.”

    I was basically saying something like this:

    “Slowly the goodwill that had been earned through so much sacrifice was dissipated by {America’s|Athens’} overbearing behavior. Diplomatic support for {America|Athens} declined, but the {Americans|Athenians} believed that they were so powerful that they did not need diplomatic support. Then {al-Qaeda|Sparta} declared war on {America|Athens}. Each side scored victories against the other. {America|Athens} was overcome with angry pride; a historian wrote that {America|Athens} was full of “young men whose inexperience made them eager to take up arms.” Based on inaccurate information and a sense of self-righteousness, and placing its trust in a charismatic but unwise leader {Bush|Alcibiades}, {America|Athens} attacked {Iraq|Syracuse}. {America|Athens} claimed that it was defending {the Iraqi people|Leontini} against {Saddam’s|Syracuse’s} tyranny, but most other countries saw the attack as unjustified. Worse, {America|Athens} underestimated the amount of military force required to carry out the plan. Alarmed by this unprovoked attack, others began to provide aid to the resistance.

    Eventually all of {Islam|Sicily} was united against {America|Athens}. The military adventure failed and {America|Athens} was defeated. Its economy was ruined by the costs of the war. The defeat signaled to the entire world the end of {American|Athenian} supremacy, and more countries turned against {America|Athens}. The government was consumed with political conflict and gross abuse of the laws; many people suffered from the political turbulence. Yet {America|Athens} still had the finest military in the world, and the conflict continued to grind on for more than a decade, with successes and failures on both sides.

    Inevitably, the weight of numbers exacted its toll. The {American|Athenian} military was worn down by all the fighting. It took years for the {Americans|Athenians} to accept the brutal reality that they were no longer the greatest and most powerful country in the world. Exhausted by war, broken by poverty, torn apart by political discord, {America|Athens} negotiated a final humiliating end to the conflict. It never recovered, receding into the mists of history as a once-great nation broken by its own pride.”

    These last three paragraphs are from your site, specifically your “War is sweet to the inexperienced” update.

  196. Hey Chris, I just wanted to thank you for all the things you wrote in this blog. Your opinions were not only logical they were indeed, very true. When I first started commenting there, I thought, I was actually arguing with a bunch of mentally challenged people. Their arrogance in being ignorant actually worried me to wonder whether the entire west has gone so blind in hatred. Its a scary thought really…very scary. But your point of views has given me a lot of hope. I am sure there are more people like you out there and someday soon all these attacks on our belief as well as on our Prophet (pbuh) would just stop. I sure hope the number of Any Freemans are lesser though. You are right when you said War is sweet to the inexperienced.

    Thank you for being human.

  197. > Slowly the goodwill that had been earned through so much sacrifice was dissipated by {America’s|Athens’} overbearing behavior. Slowly diplomatic support for {America|Athens} dissipated.

    Ah yes, the fantasy that any country has ever acted contrary to its perceived best interests because of accumulated “goodwill” towards another.

    Feel free to provide three examples.

    Heck – feel free to provide an example of any country giving support to the US because of said goodwill in the past when the US supposedly had it.

    What, this goodwill didn’t do us any good in the past?

  198. Joe,

    The ‘proxy war’ element is a huge problem… the more i read about it, more questions arise!
    my gut feeling is we will have to fight fire with fire, proxy with proxy, holy war with holy war.

    I think this will involve Mecca, and all states with mosque that preach terrorism.

  199. Amazing to see how naive so many posters were just 4 years ago in 2006. Slowly, then more rapidly, the truth about this ideology has come out. And Strongbadag: You are so right.

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