Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Even Australia Has A Muslim Problem


Enough is Enough – You Bet!

A flier advertising a Rally on Saturday 29 July in Bankstown, called Muslims Speak Out: “Enough is Enough”, had my heart leaping for a minute. At last, some brave Muslims were prepared to admit what most thinking Australians know – that we are in danger of being subjugated under the continuous onslaught of Islamisation, and if we’re not careful, we’ll end up like France, or heaven forbid, England!

However, my joy was shortlived. The sub-heading read “Help Protect Muslims in Australia”. So it’s Muslims calling on Australians to speak out against oppression.

Who is being oppressed? You’ve guessed it, MUSLIMS!

Who is organising this event?

Again, you’ve probably guessed it – none other than Hizb ut Tahrir, Australia. Contact Wassim Doureihi for details.

Billed as “a Public rally to demonstrate the Muslim community’s condemnation of the government and media driven fear politics.”

The rationale for the rally “denouncing the sensationalism that seeks to demonise an entire community….with its anti Islamic hysteria primarliy directed at the new and confident generation of Australian-born and raised Muslims.”

The flier lists a cornupcopia of speakers, plus messages from our Mal pants-down Fraser and Adam Houda.

So what are the Issues? According to Hizb:

Free Market Meets Outer Space

If more evidence of the power of the free market were needed—and it isn't—we should look no farther than the Mojave desert, where the free market is finally coming to space exploration. The result is the kind of vibrant energy and new possibilities that science fiction writers once envisioned, but which NASA's big government bureaucracy has proven unable to deliver.

"Starship Enterprise," Glenn Reynolds, Wall Street Journal, July 29 In the old days of science fiction, the recipe for conquering space was simple: take some genius rocket scientists, maybe add a rich guy who shared the dream and provided funds, stir in a lot of backyard-style tinkering, and soon you'd have a spacecraft that did the job. From E.E. Smith's "The Skylark of Space" (1928) to Robert Heinlein's "Rocket Ship Galileo" (1947), the assumption was that spaceflight would take off pretty much the way aviation had taken off, thanks to the skilled hands of dedicated amateurs who would blaze a trail soon to be followed by big business and big government.

It didn't work out that way, of course….

As NASA has lost its glow in recent years, space enthusiasts have begun to wonder whether early science-fiction writers might have been right after all. And indeed, private-sector space initiatives are heating up again. So far, as Michael Belfiore shows in "Rocketeers," the results look promising….

On Memorial Day weekend, in Dallas, I attended the National Space Society's International Space Development Conference for the first time in more than a decade, and the change was striking. In the early 1990s, the gathering had the atmosphere of a Star Trek convention; now it's something different, with Brioni-suited venture capitalists and prosperous, big-firm lawyers filling auditorium seats and schmoozing with tech-geeks between panel discussions. Shortly afterward, it was announced that Northrop Grumman was buying Burt Rutan's company outright. The amount paid was undisclosed, but Old Space clearly wants a piece of NewSpace and is willing to pay serious money to get it.

The combination of lavish investment, entrepreneurial zeal and technological inventiveness may well give a big lift to nongovernmental efforts at space exploration…. If we ever see cities on the moon or Mars—the kind of thing science fiction once promised so enticingly—I'm betting that the lion's share of credit will go not to NASA but to 21st-century rocketeers.

The Old Bad Ideas Never Die

They just smell that way....
I am always amazed to observe how ideas that are long-discredited refuse to die. Call them "intellectual zombies"; they are exploded and refuted over and over again, by decades or centuries of factual evidence, yet somehow they can't quite be coaxed into the grave. It is a testament to what happens when intellectuals deduce their own preconceptions onto the world instead of developing their ideas from observation of the world.

I was struck by the influence of these zombie ideas when I came across a Los Angeles Times column by militant pessimist Niall Ferguson, who is explicitly trying to revive the doctrines of Thomas Malthus, who predicted that human population growth was unsustainable—200 years ago.

The article below is a more subtle example. While this article is correct in pointing out the danger of China's economic growth—the fact that the Chinese government is using the new wealth to augment its military—he also attempts to revive the old doctrine of mercantilism, in the form of the idea that every country is competing over a fixed amount of wealth, so trade that benefits one party must necessarily harm everyone else. It's an expression of the anti-capitalist presumption that the economy is a "zero sum game," in which one man's profit always comes at the cost of another man's misery.

That doctrine, too, has been refuted by centuries of evidence that free trade is mutually beneficial—yet somehow, it lives on.

"Alarm Bells on China," William Hawkins, Washington Times, July 30 Release of International Monetary Fund economic growth projections for 2007 set off a rash of misleading headlines. Many claimed that because China will lead the world with a national gross domestic product growth of 11.2 percent, it is the "engine of the global economy." This implies what is happening in China benefits the rest of the world, when in fact it is really only empowering China….

The "global economy" is not based on the "harmony of interests" once envisioned by 19th century classical liberals, but on cut-throat competition. Winners and losers in these commercial contests impact the national societies in which they operate. Where factories and research labs are located, where high-skilled jobs and workers reside, where income is earned, spent and invested and where education and enterprise are fostered make all the difference in the world. There is no world community in any meaningful sense. Energetic nations rise, complacent ones decline. If globalization is anything more than a catch phrase, it means the age-old struggle for wealth and power is now waged worldwide. It matters more than ever who comes out ahead.

The IMF data show that among the advanced English-speaking countries, which Americans are accustomed to thinking are the basis for international security and progress, the United States, United Kingdom and Australia are all running large current account deficits. Only Canada is in rough balance. This means they are losing the economic contest to more vigorous rivals elsewhere.

A common failing in all these states is the continued embrace of 19th century "free trade" theory—largely conceived in the British Isles, which has disarmed them in the global struggle.

Lying Environmentalism Is Exposed!

I've been posting updates on more and more evidence that the concept of "renewal energy" is a fraud. Environmentalists claim that we would not have to shut down civilization in order to comply with their philosophy, that we just have to seek "alternatives" to fossil fuels and nuclear power—yet they ultimately oppose every single one of these "renewable" alternatives, from hydro-electric dams to wind farms to ethanol.

Well now it's official.-- an article whose headline says it all: "Study: Renewable Energy Not Green." So what power source are left that are green? Interestingly, the author of this study does advocate nuclear energy—but that suggestion is quickly shot down by other environmentalists, for whom opposition to nuclear power is a founding dogma.

So that leaves us with nothing—except more evidence that environmentalists are not opposed to some one particular source of power; they are opposed to any source of power that can be used to run an industrial civilization.

"Study: Renewable Energy Not Green," Sara Goudarzi, LiveScience.com, July 25 Renewable energy could wreck the environment, according to a study that examined how much land it would take to generate the renewable resources that would make a difference in the global energy system.

Building enough wind farms, damming adequate number of rivers and growing sufficient biomass to produce ample kilowatts to make a difference in meeting global energy demands would involve a huge invasion of nature, according to Jesse Ausubel, a researcher at the Rockefeller University in New York.

Ausubel came to this conclusion by calculating the amount of energy that each renewable source can produce in terms of area of land disturbed.

"We looked at the different major alternatives for renewable energies and we measured [the power output] for each of them and how much land it will rape," Ausubel told LiveScience….

You can convert every kilowatt generated directly into land area disturbed, Ausubel said. "The biomass or wind will produce one or two watts per square meter. So every watt or kilowatt you want for light bulbs in your house can be translated into your hand reaching out into nature taking land."…

Ausubel thinks that a better alternative to renewable energy resources would be nuclear power, which would leave behind far less waste than other alternatives….

Gregory A. Keoleian, co-Director for the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan, thinks more in-depth analyses are needed before dismissing renewables and considering nuclear power as a viable option.

The Struggle For Pakistan Continues...

Having attempted to appease Islamists in Pakistan's tribal regions, Pervez Musharraf is now facing a large-scale new uprising after cracking down on an Islamist group in the heart of the Pakistani capital. Most recently, Islamists have seized a mosque in one of the outlying provinces and vowed to make it into a new home for the fanatics ousted from the Red Mosque in Islamabad.

The thorny dilemma we face in Pakistan is that if we allow Musharraf to fall, we don't know whether it would be Pakistan's liberals or the Islamists who would take over—and gain control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

The article linked to below, therefore, argues for another solution: using US influence to forge an alliance between Musharraf and Pakistani liberals, an alliance that the leader of the liberals, exiled former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, is currently haggling over.

I don't think this option is quite forceful enough, but is at least important to grapple with the question of what to do with Pakistan—something most of the mainstream media has not yet done.

"The Pakistan Dilemma," Wall Street Journal, July 28 Today, Pakistan remains in a parlous state, and it's an open question how long Mr. Musharraf will remain in power. Yet it's also not clear whether or how Pakistan would be better off if its President-General were somehow deposed. For the Bush administration, Pakistani succession is, after Iraq, its toughest foreign policy dilemma….

[Waziristan] has become a new staging ground for attacks on Afghanistan, and left unchallenged it will become the same for attacks on America. Yet according to press reports, the US has declined to attack al Qaeda targets in the border region for fear of undermining Mr. Musharraf's rule. This status quo can't continue, as American officials are increasingly making plain in more forceful public and private statements….

The coming months will present Mr. Musharraf with some fateful choices. If he agrees to resign his military commission, he could strike a power-sharing agreement with non-religious opponents (he has reportedly held secret meetings with Ms. Bhutto)….

Though the Bush administration is glibly mocked for making Mr. Musharraf an "exception" to the Bush Doctrine, the US has no interest in destabilizing a nuclear-armed government already under a jihadist threat. Jimmy Carter made that mistake with the Shah of Iran, another imperfect Muslim ruler whose successors were infinitely worse….

What the US can do, however, is nudge Mr. Musharraf toward a compromise with his non-radical opposition that would restore genuine democracy while strengthening his ability to challenge the jihadists.

Selling Weapons To The Saudi Enemy

We're winning the war inside Iraq—but what we're not winning is everything that involves the need for action outside Iraq.

Crucially, the Iraqi insurgency is not (and never was) a spontaneous uprising but instead has been carefully cultivated by Iran and Syria to serve their interests by tying down American troops and (the Iranians hope) dealing us a paralyzing defeat. Michael Ledeen has another excellent report on how the Iranians are trying to sabotage Iraqi politics to make up for the fact that their proxies are losing on the battlefield.

But I've been harping on Iran for some time, so let's look at another important threat in this regional war: our friends the Saudis, who it turns out are surreptitiously supporting—or at least tolerating—the Sunni insurgents in Iraq. So naturally, we're selling the Saudis sophisticated weapons.

The Daily Telegraph points out that these weapons sales, perversely "balanced" by massive increases in weapons sales to Israel, are meant to strengthen the Saudis to counter the threat from Iran. But the last time we pursued the strategy of arming a Middle Eastern dictatorship to make up for our refusal to confront Iran, we were selling arms to Saddam Hussein.

The article below makes the case for Saudi complicity in terrorism as an act of war and demands, somewhat vaguely, that the Saudis be "compelled" to stop their support for fundamentalist fanatics.

"The Saudi Connection," Stephen Schwartz, Weekly Standard, July 30 Almost six years after September 11, 2001, and more than four years since the beginning of the US-led intervention in Iraq, the American government and media have begun to admit something every informed and honest Muslim in the world has known all along. That is: the "Sunni insurgency" in Iraq, as well as 9/11 and certain acts of extremist Sunni violence inside Iraq before then, are consequences of the official status of the ultra-fundamentalist Wahhabi sect in Saudi Arabia, Iraq's southern neighbor. Saudi Wahhabi clerics have preached and recruited for terror in Iraq; Saudi money has sustained it; the largest number of those who have carried out suicide bombings north of the Saudi-Iraqi border have been Saudi citizens….

Seven paragraphs down, the story quoted the Times about the real issue: "the Saudis had offered financial support to Sunni groups in Iraq and US officials were increasingly concerned about its close Arab ally's 'counterproductive' role in Iraq."

"Counterproductive" is a euphemism for Saudi state subsidies to Wahhabi clerics who demand the genocide of Shia Muslims, urge young men to go north and sacrifice themselves to that end, and preach eulogies after their deaths. It is also a diplomatic way to describe the official Saudi policy of ignoring financial contributions by rich Saudi citizens to support Wahhabi terror in Iraq. Others might call such behavior acts of war rather than merely "counterproductive."…

Then came the bald truth: "the majority of suicide bombers in Iraq are from Saudi Arabia [and] about 40 percent of all foreign fighters are Saudi. Officials said that while most of the foreign fighters came to Iraq to become suicide bombers, others arrived as bomb makers, snipers, logisticians and financiers."…

Why has there been so little media interest in the role of Saudi money and influence in Iraq and elsewhere? The best explanation is media cooperation with the official US preference for the "quiet, behind-the-scenes influence" that one administration after another has defaulted to in dealing with Saudi problems, and which the Saudis exploit to continue their deceptive ways….

How many more American and Coalition soldiers, as well as innocent Iraqis, will be killed before the Saudis are compelled to end their support for terrorism in Iraq?

We Are Winning The War!

While the Democommie Congress is hatching new plans for defeat in Iraq, and the American people are confused, with some voters criticizing the Democratic leadership for mandating defeat and others criticizing Democrats for not mandating defeat fast enough.

But two critics of the Bush administration are reporting—in today's New York Times, no less—that General Petraeus's new counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq is working. This report confirms a clear pattern in Iraq: the enemy is beginning to break—if only we don't break first.

"A War We Just Might Win," Michael E. O'Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack, New York Times, July 30 Viewed from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration's critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily "victory" but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated—many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference….

We traveled to the northern cities of Tal Afar and Mosul. This is an ethnically rich area, with large numbers of Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens. American troop levels in both cities now number only in the hundreds because the Iraqis have stepped up to the plate. Reliable police officers man the checkpoints in the cities, while Iraqi Army troops cover the countryside. A local mayor told us his greatest fear was an overly rapid American departure from Iraq….

The additional American military formations brought in as part of the surge, General Petraeus's determination to hold areas until they are truly secure before redeploying units, and the increasing competence of the Iraqis has had another critical effect: no more whack-a-mole, with insurgents popping back up after the Americans leave….

A major factor in the sudden change in American fortunes has been the outpouring of popular animus against Al Qaeda and other Salafist groups, as well as (to a lesser extent) against Moktada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.

These groups have tried to impose Shariah law, brutalized average Iraqis to keep them in line, killed important local leaders and seized young women to marry off to their loyalists. The result has been that in the last six months Iraqis have begun to turn on the extremists and turn to the Americans for security and help. The most important and best-known example of this is in Anbar Province, which in less than six months has gone from the worst part of Iraq to the best (outside the Kurdish areas)….

[T]here is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Soft Fuzzy Face That Hides Disaster

I have often tried to point out to America the dangers of multiculturalism, that soft-fuzzy face of policies that, carried to their logical conclusion, will destroy everything we have worked and sacrificed to achieve. Democracies like ours are full of well-intentioned people who want desperately to be “fair”, and in Great Britain and in the USA, the well-intentioned among us are unwitting allies of those who hate us and hate themselves.

The theoretical definition of multiculturalism is deceptively unthreatening: to treat all cultures as equals. Of course, this is absurd; a cannibal culture on a remote island consisting of people who sacrifice humans and only live into their forties is obviously an inferior culture, but this isn’t the worst of it. Multiculturalism, in practice, elevates the cultures of immigrants above our own unique American culture, even though it also makes no sense to celebrate the culture you risked everything to escape – and place it above the American culture to which you made your escape.

Nowhere is multiculturalism more dangerous than in its role in masking the dangers of Islamic fanaticism and even subverting attempts to defend ourselves from its extremes. The attempts of CAIR and other Muslim organizations in trying to punish people who report suspicious activities is a case in point, because these Muslim groups were supported by liberal Democrats for the reasons given above.

Great Britain has been even more dedicated to multiculturalism than has the left in America. According to the following article, though, the Brits are seeing the error of their ways:


Has Britain Had Enough?
By Hal G.P. Colebatch, The American Spectator
Published 7/27/2007 12:07:15 AM

I recently criticized the British government's award of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie on the grounds that such an action recruited for Islamic extremism without hurting it.

However, it now looks as if, at long last, the British government is getting tough with deeds as well as gestures. Three Islamicists who led protests and demonstrations in the "Cartoon jihad" have received hefty six-year jail sentences from a British court for incitement to violence, while a group of failed suicide-bombers have drawn 40 years each -- and there has been no obvious protest about such a term being a "crushing sentence." The popular consensus seems to be that they should be crushed.

Islamicists may be about to find out, as others have before, that Britain, given sufficient provocation, is not as soft and decadent a society as it sometimes looks.

Although the Tories under David Cameron are still apparently paralyzed with fear over the possibility that they might be called nasty if they show any awareness of a clash of civilizations, it seems that the recent failed car-bomb attacks at London and Glasgow have marked a paradigm shift in British attitudes. Perhaps the fact that those involved were doctors and other professionals was the tipping-point, being taken by many as showing in unmistakable terms what the clash of civilizations is all about. As far as the Internet is any guide to popular opinion -- and it is -- the mood now is of that sort of rage that doesn't go away.

John Smeaton, the Glasgow airport baggage-handler who tackled the terrorists, and who when interviewed issued the memorable warning, "Coom ta Glasgie an' we'll set aboot ye!" is a popular hero throughout Britain, quite transcending the English-Scottish divide that has been coming to look menacing and ominous lately.

The endlessly promoted slogan of "celebrating diversity" (a few years ago the head one regional police force claimed the enforcement of this was part of police duties) is looking very sick. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, George, Lord Carey, has recently publicly urged Prime Minister Gordon Brown to control immigration. Carey, who as Archbishop was notably gentle and conciliatory, said pretty forthrightly that he hoped the new Prime Minister "will not forget the importance of Christian identity at the heart of being a part of the United Kingdom." So it's not the influx of Catholic Polish workers that he is referring to. A few years ago, probably even a few months ago, any public figure, Archbishop or not, who made such a statement would have declared a pariah and hounded out of public life. Such was the fate of Enoch Powell once upon a time. Today the main criticism of Carey's statement is: "Why didn't he say it sooner?"

Opinions that would have been dismissed as off the planet a few years back are now mainstream. In the big-circulation middle-market Daily Mail, senior journalist Max Hastings said: "Lord Carey's remarks show that it is not extremist, or fascist, or even illiberal to demand vastly more stringent immigration controls. It is vital common sense." The whole concept of multiculturalism which has been official policy for decades (though it is hard to say who exactly started it and when) is under attack, not from the fringes but from the broad center. The Daily Express, the other major middle-market British paper, stated in a recent editorial, headed "We should abandon the failed policy of Multiculturalism," that, in response to the latest attempted terror outrages, the Government should certainly consider new powers for the police. But, more importantly, it should examine its own policies and abandon those which are making matters worse.

That may mean no state funding for Muslim faith schools and must mean an end to so-called "chain migration" under which young British Muslims are pressured into marrying foreigners to afford their extended families a route into the UK.

It is surely also time for the Government to consider a legal ban on the burkha in public places. This is a nation where law-abiding citizens are not ashamed to show their faces.

In the major London paper, the Evening Standard, David Sexton wrote: "All this veil wearing is plain offensive." He continued:

The Commission on Integration and Cohesion has issued some feeble recommendations urging local authorities and government departments not to pander so much to immigrant communities. All well and good, all long overdue....We've all been too deferential, for example, about the veil, the hijab, the niqab. I find such garb, in the context of a London street, first ridiculous and then directly offensive. It says that all men are such brutes that if exposed to any more normally clothed women, they cannot be trusted to behave -- and that all women who dress any more scantily than that are indecent. It's abusive, a walking rejection of all our freedoms.

More than 200,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Prime Minister to prevent a gigantic new mosque, funded by the fundamentalist Tablighi Jamaat sect, being built near the Olympics site in east London. A number of terrorists are said to have had connections with Tablight Jamaat. The center-right think-tank Civitas has also raised concerns about the mosque which will hold 12,000 people, four times as many as Britain's largest Christian building, Liverpool's Anglican cathedral.

Civitas said: "Are we sure, as a nation, that we want by far the largest place of worship in our land to be sponsored by an organization which holds views directly opposed to our democracy and a religion which, in many parts of the world, denies essential freedoms?"

Opinions penned by the young war correspondent Winston Churchill in 1899 in his book The River War, long regarded as something not merely unfortunate but literally unmentionable, are now being widely circulated and cited:

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property -- either as a child, a wife, or a concubine -- must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men....

Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.

This is the country in which, a few years ago, police rampant to celebrate diversity made a lady take a collection of toy china pigs off her window-sill lest passing Muslims be offended (though none had complained). The times they are a-changing.

Hal G. P. Colebatch, a lawyer and author, has lectured in International Law and International Relations at Notre Dame University and Edith Cowan University in Western Australia and worked on the staff of two Australian Federal Ministers.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

KEEP AN EYE ON NETANYAHU

With the rising threat of a war which will eclipse all others on the horizon, the fortunes and hence the leadership of tiny Israel is a very overlooked key to the future state of the world's peace. Considering the malignant Islam threat that is focusing on the annihilation of Israel for the moment (today Israel, tomorrow the west), the occupants of this tiny sliver of land may well be the proverbial boy with his finger in the dike.

Their poor leadership over these past years under an indecisive and puppet leader, Olmert has created a leadership vacuum in desperate Jewish Israelis who have the spirit to do what needs to be done but noone to lead. Not only has Olmert groveled and appeased the Islamist neighbours time and time again, he quakes before the all important foreign media who influence the opinions of the world for and against Israel.

The whisper in the wind to replace the hapless Olmert is the head of the opposition, former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu and Olmert literally can't stand each other. There is no question of this, and yet Olmert, who hates speaking to the foreign press, sends them over to Netanyahu to speak for the Israeli government. Why is this? Well apparently Netanyahu has been doing this for years and for other governments (specifically Ehud Barak's). He has no problem speaking to the press and looks completely at home doing so.

So who is he? Well, he was the foreign minister of Ariel Sharon. Whatever you might think of some of Sharon's tactics, he was a fighter when in power, in the tradition of some of Israel's other greater lions, like Moshe Dayan. From all appearance, Netanyahu looks to be a lion in his dealings with the Arabs and with that other savage enemy, the foreign press.

Netanyahu loves the Fox media and hates the BBC, in terms of friends and enemies of Israel. Understandable, considering that one is Conservative (as evidenced by the Left's rabid thrashing against it) and one is a cesspool of Leftist propaganda. His response to the media on Israel's infamous 'disproportionate' response is a quickfire reference to actions taken by England during previous wars, such as the leveling of German cities like Dresden with huge casualties. He points out that appeasement actions like the giving up of the Gaza Strip have gotten Israel nowhere.

What Israel needs is a firm, decisive leader who is unafraid to confront and defend, both against the Islamist enemy but also against that other fickle foreign entity, sometimes friend, usually enemy, the media.

SOURCE
Cross-posted here

Will Giuliani Need Plumbers?

It is amazing to me how many times in the course of our history, serious issues have taken a back seat to trivial and often foolish diversions that were politics-driven. Does anyone remember Quemoy and Matsu – nondescript islands off the coast of China whose status probably enabled John Kennedy to defeat Richard Nixon in 1960? Does anyone remember the “brainwashing” of George Romney or the pubic hair in the Coke can? How about the videos that someone in Judge Bork’s family viewed – videos that were gleaned from receipts fished out of the Bork family garbage by people who want to kill babies in the ninth month, regardless?

I raise this point because of two diversions that are ongoing right now – diversions that Congressional Democrats have tried their best to manufacture into scandals. In the first instance we have two holdover, liberal Democrats, Valerie Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson, who decided that they knew better than the elected President of the United States what the policy of the country should be – and then set out to undermine that policy through lies and deceptions. In almost any other country they would have been executed after a summary trial, but in this country, they are heroes to those liberals who also disagree with our policy and for whom the end justifies any means. They don’t seem to realize that the actions of the Wilsons undermine our Constitution.

Instead of confronting their disloyal, fifth-column activities, we have found ourselves bound up in arguments over who might have outed Plame when outing her was meaningless, and who said what to whom, and in what order, when there was no underlying crime. Even with a well-documented appointments book, I sometimes can’t remember what I did last Monday.

At the same time thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars are being expended over the firing of a few federal prosecutors, ignoring completely that the President has complete and unassailable authority to hire and fire said prosecutors for any reason he wishes – for political or any other reason, and also ignoring completely that Democrat President Clinton abruptly fired 92 of the 93 federal prosecutors in the first week of his first term in office. It was widely thought at the time that he did so to shut down the Whitewater investigation and to reward Democrat activists. Although there was an outcry because of the Whitewater connection, it was short-lived, and I don’t recall that there was any investigation of his actions.

It may well turn out that Attorney General Gonsalves mishandled and underestimated the intensity of the political smearing operation being assembled against every aspect of the Bush Administration, but in the end, the firings will stand.

I have written before of the thousands of liberal appointees and government employees who try every day to undermine and undercut whatever policy of President Bush’s that they disagree with. Many problems we face are almost beyond solution. These problems become even harder to solve when almost everything you try to do is undermined by the very people who are sworn to carry out the policies of whatever president they are currently serving.

Our next Republican President needs to have much more of a mean streak than does President Bush – first to defend himself quickly and vigorously when smeared – and second to put in place people and procedures who will make sure his policies are given a fair chance to succeed. Maybe Nixon’s ‘plumbers’ weren’t such a bad idea. We had no idea then what was really going on.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

SAUDI MONEY BUYS 'TOLERANCE' EDUCATION

If the Marxist ideologues weren't enough of a threat in their determination to get their nefarious clutches on our children, the Saudis are buying their way into the seizing of young hearts and minds. Though this post is based on a situation in the U.S., you can be sure that it's going on all over the west as Saudi money has spread its creeping fingers far and wide.

The basic outline of this Saudi school initiative was exposed in 2004, by Sandra Stotsky, a former director of a professional development institute for teachers at Harvard, and a former senior associate commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Education. Stotsky found that Harvard trained primary/elementary school teachers were being encouraged to celebrate the life and teachings of Mohammed and the 'revelations' of Islam.
According to Stotsky, if Harvard’s outreach personnel had designed similar classroom exercises based on Christian or Jewish models, “People for the American Way, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the A.C.L.U. would descend upon them like furies.”

Oh yes, the A.C.L.U. never misses a chance to tear down our own cultural heritage. How on earth did the Islamists get into our education system? With their filthy money, of course. In Australia, the Emirates own (or have large vested interests in) countless organizations from the Randwick Racecourse to Collingwood football club. In the U.S. the story is pretty much the same with both Jimmy Carter and the Clintons known to be on the Saudi payroll. Why would they not logically also be looking at targeting the upcoming generation?
The full extent of Saudi curricular funding, and the magnitude of its influence over university outreach programs funded under Title VI, was only revealed in late 2005 by a special four-part investigative report by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). As the JTA put it: “Saudi Arabia is paying to influence the teaching of American public schoolchildren. And the U.S. taxpayer is an unwitting accomplice....Often bypassing school boards and nudging aside approved curricula....These materials praise and sometimes promote Islam, but criticize Judaism and Christianity....Ironically, what gives credibility to...these distorted materials is Title VI of the Higher Education Act....Believing they’re importing the wisdom of places like Harvard or Georgetown, they are actually inviting into their schools whole curricula and syllabuses developed with the support of Riyadh.”

And they wonder why we want to home-school our children. The public education system is an ideologically-loaded, dumbed down shambles, not only with Leftist pigswill but also Islamist trash.

Stotsky has published a book called 'The Stealth Curriculum: Manipulating America’s History Teachers'. You can read more about it here.

HAT TIP: Hang Right Politics

Cross-posted at The Midnight Sun

Some Muslims Have Second Thoughts On Jihad


RIYADH — The last time Ahmed Al Shayea was in the news, he was in the hospital at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, being treated for severe burns from the truck bomb he had driven into the Iraqi capital on Christmas Day 2004.

Today, he says, he has changed his mind about waging jihad, or holy war, and wants other young Muslims to know it. He wants them to see his disfigured face and fingerless hands, to hear how he was tricked into driving the truck on a fatal mission, to believe his contrition over having put his family through the agony of believing he was dead.

At 22, the new Ahmed Al Shayea is the product of a concerted Saudi government effort to counter the ideology that nurtured the 9/11 hijackers and that has lured Saudis in droves to the Iraq insurgency. The deprogramming, similar to efforts carried out in Egypt and Yemen, is built on reason, enticements and lengthy talks with psychiatrists, Muslim clerics and sociologists.

The kingdom still has a way to go in cracking the jihadist mind-set. Most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, and Saudis make up nearly half of the foreign detainees held in Iraq, according to Mouwaffak Al Rubaie, Iraq’s national security adviser. They number hundreds, he said this month following a visit to Saudi Arabia. Dozens more are fighting alongside Al Qaeda-inspired militants at a Palestinian camp in Lebanon.

Saudi authorities don’t say how many have passed through their rehabilitation program, but they are thought to number several hundred, including returnees from Guantanamo.

Al Shayea says his change of heart began when he was visited by a cleric at Al Ha’ir Prison in Riyadh following his repatriation from Iraq.

He says he put two questions to the cleric: Was the jihad for which he travelled to Iraq religiously sanctioned? And were the edicts inciting such action correct in saying the militants should not inform their parents or government of their intentions?

No and no, came the reply.

“I realised that all along I was wrong,” Al Shayea told The Associated Press in a two-hour interview at a Riyadh hotel before returning to an Interior Ministry compound that serves as a sort of halfway house for ex-jihadists rejoining Saudi society.

‘Instruments’

“There is no jihad. We are just instruments of death,” he said.

The Rest Of The Story

What? Bush Had Tillman Murdered?

WASHINGTON – The highly trafficked "progressive" website DailyKos, which boasts contributors including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is suggesting football star Pat Tillman was murdered in Afghanistan on orders from the White House.

The theory behind the conspiracy? "It was well-known he (Tillman) was against the war in Iraq," explains the DailyKos diarist Dburn.

The blog references an appearance by General Wesley Clark on MSNBC's "Keith Olbermann's Countdown" discussing the latest developments in the story of the athlete killed in Afghanistan, presumably by friendly fire from within his Army Ranger unit.

"Wesley Clark was on and believes the orders came from the very top as Tillman was a political symbol," explains the blog. "No indication if orders were to murder him, but at least to cover it up. I'm not speculating at this point. But I saw in another diary where they claimed executive privilege in the Tillman case. It's starting to look beyond bad."

Clark, however, never even remotely suggested the possibility of any high-level conspiracy to kill Tillman. In fact, he was questioning where, in the chain of command, was the decision made to cover up the truth about what happened to Tillman.

The Rest Of The story

The Proper Queer Response To Islam

Gay Artist Burns Rare $60,000.00 Koran

NEW YORK, July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Charles Merrill, the artist who
recently edited the Holy Bible with a black marker and pair of scissors,
has lately burned a rare Islamic Holy Book, The Koran, valued at
$60,000.00, in an undisclosed Chicago location. "The purpose of editing and
burning Abrahamic Holy Books is to eliminate homophobic hate," Merrill
stated. "Both ancient books are terrorist manuals."

He continues, "I inherited the rare Islamic book from my late wife,
Evangeline Johnson Merrill. As the daughter of the founder of the
international pharmaceutical giant, Johnson and Johnson, Inc., doors of
kings and queens opened to her around the world. Evangeline was given the
rare manuscript by the late King of Jordan when she was on a mission for
the United Nations in the 1950's."

"Airplanes are flown into buildings because of words, and hate crimes
against gays," Merrill said.

Merrill is a self-made millionaire, artist, fervent atheist and cousin
of the co-founder of Merrill Lynch.

Broadway Gallery is pleased to present Charles Merrill, artist, gay
activist and iconoclast. Merrill's exhibition incorporates themes of LGBT
activism and the spiritual customs associated with indigenous cultures in
his work.

Using boldly colored acrylic and oil paint on large canvases, many are
geometric compositions with recurring motifs of triangles, circles, lines,
and arrows. The upside-down pink triangles in his work originate from a
sinister source -- it was the emblem that gays had to wear in Nazi
concentration camps.

Notably, another form of Merrill's activism is his altruism. All
proceeds from works sold at his show at Broadway Gallery benefit the
Williams Institute UCLA Sexual Orientation Legal Think Tank. Merrill wants
"to make social change, educate, to leave the world a better place for the
next generation of oppressed people."

The Rest Of The Story

San Diego=1, Muslims=0

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego school that drew international attention for setting aside time for Muslim students to pray in the classroom will no longer do so, it was reported Friday.

Instead, Carver Elementary’s schedule will be reconfigured so students can say their required midday prayers during lunch. Courts have long upheld students’ rights to pray on their own during lunch or recess, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. When the new school year begins, Carver will have two lunch periods, including one that will fall when Muslims typically say their midday prayer — between 1 and 2 p.m., the newspaper reported.

Another controversial element of Carver’s educational program geared toward Muslim students — single-gender classes — will be eliminated, the Union-Tribune reported.

Superintendent Carl Cohn stressed in a July 18 memo that single-gender education is legal under federal law, but at Carver it “has become a serious distraction from learning rather than a vehicle to promote learning,” according to the newspaper.

Carver added the single-gender classes and a daily 15-minute in-class break for voluntary prayers last September after it absorbed a failed Arabic language charter school that served primarily Somali Muslims.

The Complete Article

The Pope's Secretary Warns Europe About Islam

The Pope's private secretary has given warning of the Islamisation of Europe and stressed the need for the continent's Christian roots not to be ignored, in comments released yesterday.

"Attempts to Islamise the West cannot be denied," Monsignor Georg Gaenswein was quoted as saying in an advance copy of the weekly Sueddeutsche Magazin to be published today.

"The danger for the identity of Europe that is connected with it should not be ignored out of a wrongly understood respectfulness," the magazine quoted him as saying.

He also defended a speech that the Pope gave last year that linked Islam and violence, saying it had been an attempt by the pontiff to "act against a certain naivety".

In the speech during a visit to Germany in September, the Pope appeared to endorse a view, contested by most Muslims, that Islam's followers spread their religion in its early days by violence.

The Complete Article

The Saudi Money Connection With Terrorism

My Dad always used to say.... Son, if you want to know the truth, follow the money....... OK.....
Here's my take on a major Saudi contribution to the spread of Islamofascism: They serve as the terrorist banker. We pay them for their oil...Our money is diverted to those groups like Al Qaeda who seek our destruction.

The Growing Saudi Conundrum

Well, six years after 9/11, the Saudis continue to be a major obstacle in the fighting radical Islam, while remaining a necessary partner because of the oil reserves.

Two recent stories shed a clear light on the huge damage the Saudi royal family and business elite continue to do in hindering meaningful progress is shutting down the hate speech, bigotry and twisted theology that drive the jihadist movement, financed by these actors.

The first was in the Wall Street Journal by Glenn Simpson, outlining the role of the al Rajhi family and banking institutions in funding radical Islamists, and what the U.S. knew about the activities.

In every case when U.S. officials could and should have been raising the issue publicly to force action, the administration opted for “quiet diplomacy,” resulting in nothing.

While there is only circumstantial evidence the Al Rajhi network directly aided terrorists, it is clear that Islamic banks, while mostly doing legitimate business, are the institutions extremists rely on. Why? In part because they are sharia compliant, and in part because the Islamic banks are largely exempt from Western (pagan) banking regulations, and have virtually no transparency requirements.

The article drops another interesting tidbit in the middle: That Saudi Arabia has never set up the commission, promised several years ago, to oversee Saudi charities, the lifeblood of many Islamist groups.

And, my sources tell me, they never set up the Financial Intelligence Unit either, and there has been virtually no cooperation on the financial side at all.

In essence, we still have the rivers of money flowing to spread wahhabism around the world, with no control, oversight or interest in stopping the spread of that venom. Hardly bolsters the claim of the Saudis being a “strong partner in the war on terror.” I wonder what a weak partner would look like.

The second shoe to drop is the splits with the Saudis over Iraq-a mess to be sure, and one with no easy answers. As the International Herald Tribune reports, the Saudis are intent on crippling the Shi’ite led government there and trying to use apparently forged documents with U.S. diplomats to convince them it is all an Iranian plot, let by the prime minister.

And perhaps it is, the waters are murky enough for many interpretations.

But aside from using apparently-forged documents to go after prime minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki (and there is plenty to go after there), the most interesting thing is the number of Saudis still making their way to Iraq to fight U.S. troops. And, of course, the very little effort the Saudis put into stopping them.

This goes back to the first point-no controls on the spread of wahhabism, so how can one try to control or punish the behavior this teaching so strongly encourages? The short answer is one doesn’t, and the Saudis don’t. They have learned that talking, especially if done in very good English, will buy them all the time they need to play their lethal double game. Six years have proven them to be correct.

--Douglas Farah

The Myth Of Muslim Toleration

Here we have the real trahison des clercs. The myth of the Golden Age of Inter-Faith Utopia is just that--a myth. Islam, that is, the Koran, Muhammad and his deeds and words, Islamic law and its interpretation, has always been totally intolerant in theory and in practice of non-Muslims. Christians, Jews, heretics, apostates, unbelievers, and atheists--indeed, as Bernard Lewis has reminded us, tolerance would have been seen not as a merit but as a dereliction of duty.(2) How could it be otherwise, given that Islam is monotheistic? Monotheism is inherently intolerant, as Hume and Schopenhauer clearly saw, and this same thesis provides the philosophical framework for The Satanic Verses. Schopenhauer writes:

Indeed, intolerance is essential only to monotheism; an only God is by nature a jealous God who will not allow another to live. On the other hand, polytheistic gods are naturally tolerant; they live and let live. In the first place, they gladly tolerate their colleagues, the gods of the same religion, and this tolerance is afterwards extended even to foreign gods who are, accordingly, hospitably received and later admitted, in some cases, even to an equality of rights.... Thus it is only the monotheistic religions that furnish us with the spectacle of religious wars, religious persecutions, courts for trying heretics, and also with that of iconoclasm, the destruction of the images of foreign gods, the demolition of Indian temples and Egyptian colossi that had looked at the sun for three thousand years; all just because their jealous God had said "Thou shalt make no graven image," and so on."(3)

The Complete Article

Clausewitz On Fighting Islam

Clausewitz studied, analyzed, and wrote about war in the abstract to deconstruct war into its component parts, not to lay out a prescriptive set of “rules” or “laws” governing the conduct of warfare. Clausewitz saw war as a complex human endeavor that could not be reduced to a series of unbending commandments; rather he used his personal experience in seven campaigns fighting France, supplemented by years of study of Napoleonic warfare to identify the enduring elements of war and to understand how they function. In this regard Clausewitz differed from his military strategist contemporaries, Antoine-Henri Jomini and Heinrich Dietrich von Bulow, who believed that war could be reduced to invariable scientific principles that were to be followed in cookbook fashion. Over the years Jomini’s and von Bulow’s boilerplate approach has been found wanting. As a consequence, Clausewitz’s On War is the enduring work that military specialists usually turn to when they seek a theoretical framework from which they can analyze, test, and evaluate the intellectual aspects of warfare situations.

In past essays I have referred to the wisdom of Clausewitz in analyzing the combat in Iraq (here, here, here, here, and here). I believe it is necessary to revisit Clausewitz again in the search for answers as to why the US strategy in Iraq is not succeeding as the Bush administration and the Pentagon had anticipated four long years ago.

Thde Complete Article

Venezuela, Iran, Britain And Other News Stories


One story I have been wanting to offer updates on, but which has not made it onto my list of top news stories for a while, is Venezuela. No, the Venezuelan regime of Hugo Chavez is not a direct threat to the United States—but it is an illustration of the foreign policy equivalent of the "broken window effect." It could have been prevented at little cost if the US and other nations had supported a 2002 rebellion against Chavez's nascent dictatorship. We didn't, and now Chavez is engaged in a regional arms buildup and has allied Venezuela with Iran. But Chavez is tired of being called a dictator, so he has a new plan to show what an enlightened fellow he is: he has given orders to deport any visiting foreigners who criticize his regime.

Another story I have been covering, but which bears repeating, is the unrecognized Iran hostage crisis: the arrest by Iran of four Iranian-Americans on trumped-up charges of spying. Mark Steyn and Jeff Jacoby have been giving this story the attention it deserves—and justly criticizing the mainstream media for ignoring it.

The War on Terrorism continues to fulfill its function of exposing the left as traitors to the West. Christopher Hitchens reports that British far left politician George Galloway has been official exposed as having taken direct bribes from Saddam Hussein. But as Humbert Wolfe famously observed:

You cannot hope to bribe or twist, thank God! the British journalist. But, seeing what the man will do unbribed, there's no occasion to.

In that spirit, some American journalists seem to have been caught publishing a fabricated account of alleged American atrocities in Iraq.

Finally, it looks like I may have to give up making fun of the French—because it's getting too easy, and it no longer seems sportsmanlike. Leftist French intellectuals are apparently upset at new French President Nicholas Sarkozy for jogging. French intellectuals are apparently appalled by physical exercise because it is too this-worldly and too individualistic. French philosopher Alain Finkelkraut complains, "Jogging is management of the body. The jogger says I am in control. It has nothing to do with meditation." Finkelkraut prefers walking, or, as the Times of London puts it, the "promenade." It's not clear whether the original French would perhaps be better translated as "to mince" or "flounce."

Like I said, it's getting too easy.

On a more serious note, French intellectuals seem determined to demonstrate how a Platonic/Cartesian approach to the intellect—the notion that dealing with ideas means floating off into a world of abstraction detached from physical existence—thoroughly destroys man's fitness (in all senses of the word) for life in this world.

No Explanation Necessary


Posted by request. My latest acquisition

The Gunslinger

Friday, July 27, 2007

General Patton Speaks On Iraq


Get out of the damn chat rooms and listen up!

Day By Day Today

THE WAR MUST CONTINUE UNTIL VICTORY!

Toppling and disarming Saddam Hussein was accomplished quickly in 2003, and if that were all that were at stake, we could have packed up and returned home by now. But that is not all that is at stake.

America has long since demonstrated that it has the military power to quickly topple any hostile regime in the Middle East—but we have not demonstrated the persistence and moral certainty necessary to do the work that is not quick: the work of establishing a new regime to replace that dictatorship. This is the task that requires American to find the moral and intellectual fortitude to endure through a long conflict.

This task is not optional, and in fact a self-imposed failure at this task will cripple America in the War on Terrorism.

The opposition to the war on the right is the opposition that really matters, since it will require Republican votes in Congress to pass any legislation mandating a retreat from Iraq. That opposition to the war has been growing among those who believe we should never get involved in a counter-insurgency war. This is the type of conservative whose central foreign-policy principle is opposition to the use of the US military for "nation-building" (an opposition President Bush stated, ironically, in his first presidential campaign).

But "nation-building" has always been a false issue. It was the conservatives' indirect way of opposing altruistic military missions in places where the US had no vital interests at stake, such as Bosnia. But the conservatives did not dare to reject altruism as such, so instead they chose "nation-building" as an artificial stand-in—focusing on a non-essential as an excuse to evade the essential one.

In fact, the propriety of "nation-building" depends on what nation you are trying to build, and why.

In Iraq, the need to create and support a new government there—one that is not likely to be a threat to the United States—flows directly from the decision to invade. After all, there is no point in toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein, only to see it replaced by an equally hostile rival—whether al-Qaeda in Iraq or the Iranian-backed Mahdi Army.

Thus, the shifting goal of the Iraq war should be no surprise. We invaded to pre-empt Saddam Hussein's acquisition or use of chemical and nuclear weapons—but we had to stay to avoid handing Iraq over to the control of our other enemies. And that involved creating and defending a new government, which turned out to require a "nation-building" counter-insurgency war.

As I hinted at in the first part of this article, the greatest proof that the Bush administration did not invade Iraq primarily to spread "democracy" is the fact that they made no preparation to use military force to achieve that goal. The invasion was designed only to topple Saddam Hussein's regime, with the assumption that a relatively free society would simply emerge on its own in the absence of a tyrant to suppress it. And the administration assumed that this new liberal society would require only our diplomatic and political support—since that is the only real support it offered.

Even as late as 2006, when we were beginning to use counter-insurgency techniques in Iraq, the overall military strategy (now usually referred to as the "Rumsfeld-Casey strategy") was simply to keep the insurgents suppressed until we could goad the Iraqis into achieving a grand political reconciliation. The handover of sovereignty to the interim government, the drafting of a new constitution, the Iraqi elections in 2005 and 2006—all of these events were supposed to create that political breakthrough, on the assumption that a political reconciliation would cause the insurgency to wither away. It was assumed that purely political means could be used to win a military conflict (an illusion that still holds sway among many members of Congress). It is only now that General Petraeus is attempting to implement a unified political and military strategy against the insurgency.

Fighting this kind of counter-insurgency war is unavoidable because an insurgency is the strategy our enemies have chosen—and they chose it because it hits us directly at two of our crucial weak spots.

America's two crucial weak spots in war are the pragmatism and moral timidity of the right—and the active Western self-loathing of the left.

The first weak spot, for example, causes such strategic errors as the belief that we could fight a war narrowly within Iraq, without fighting a larger regional conflict against Iran and Syria. That decision allowed those two dictatorships to create and support the insurgency with impunity.
The second weak spot furnishes the left with a moral fifth column, a wide cultural movement within the West that will seek to exploit any errors and setbacks in the war as proof that we are morally unfit to fight it and must surrender. (And when the left can't find evidence of our moral unfitness, they will fake it.)

A terrorist insurgency is perfectly aimed at these two weak spots. The right's timidity will prevent it from taking decisive action against the sponsors and supporters of the insurgency, causing the war to drag on longer than it needs to—and the longer the war lasts, the more the culturally influential left will chip away at public support for it.

Our enemies know that these are our weaknesses, because we have proved them again and again, in Somalia, in Beirut—and particularly in Vietnam. These are the examples they look to in pursuing this strategy.

Insurgency war is not only aimed at our weak spots; it is also well suited to our enemies' capabilities. It is an inexpensive war to maintain in terms of manpower, weapons, and technology. It requires, not massive armies and fearsome warships, but a few thousands car bombs and a few hundred suicide bombers. This is a war our enemies know they can sustain. They are short on military and economic power—but long on ideological indoctrination and religious fanaticism, precisely the resources called for by an insurgency.

But there is one final, broader reason why an insurgency war is a strategy peculiarly suited to the advocates of modern Islamic totalitarianism. I used to grumble about the use of the term "War on Terrorism," citing the objection that terror is a tactic, not an enemy. But I eventually accepted the term, in part because terrorism is a tactic that is distinctive to our enemy and describes his particular methods and goals. The same applies to an insurgency, which is a terror bombing campaign writ large.

Consider how the threat of radical Islam differs from the old Middle Eastern threat of Arab nationalism. Arab nationalism was a blend of Communist and Fascist ideology that envisioned a united Arab dictatorship led by a military strongman—the role coveted by a succession of dictators, from Nasser to Saddam Hussein. Nasser's ambitions were thwarted forty years ago in the 1967 Six Day War against Israel, and Arab nationalism further withered with the defeat of Saddam Hussein in the 1991 Gulf War. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 killed Arab nationalism definitively. But note that this old dictatorial vision was one of large armies, masses of bureaucrats, and the conventional conquest of Middle Eastern lands to be controlled by an organized, all-powerful state.

For all their talk of an Islamic "caliphate," today's Islamists do not really have such an organized vision. Their ideology is not taken from Lenin but from Mohammed—a cruder, more primitive source. It is a charter, not for a modern state, but for tribal gang warfare, and the rule of the Islamists has been dominated by the capricious whim of holy warriors, usually without much pretense of scientific organization or the rule of law.

This can be seen in many of the societies where Islamists have risen to power: their model of the ideal society has been on display in Somalia, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Gaza, and Waziristan. It is best described as anarcho-totalitarianism: total control over the individual, not by an organized state, but by roving criminal gangs of religious zealots.

This can also be seen in a far more organized society which still holds the principles of Islamism in its black heart: Saudi Arabia. I recently came across an eye-opening article about the Saudi religious police, who enforce its strict Islamic law. I had assumed that these religious police were endowed with some kind of formal legal authority under the direct charter of the Saudi rulers. It turns out this isn't true. The Saudi government's only constitution is the Koran—literally—and the religious police are simply vigilantes who cite the Koran as their authority to use force against Saudi citizens. (The article, incidentally, is about attempts to subject these religious police to legal scrutiny and some rudiments of the rule of law.)

You can see how a terrorist insurgency is suited to this nihilistic vision. The insurgency in Iraq primarily seeks to sow chaos—which is all that its kidnappings, revenge killings, and car bombings can actually achieve.

So these are all of the reasons why we have to learn to fight and win a counter-insurgency war: it is the kind of war that is best suited to the goals and capabilities of the enemy—and best calculated to hit us at our weaknesses. Conservatives are correct that withdrawal from such a conflict will convey weakness to our enemies, but it is not just a generalized weakness. It is a specific weakness: the unwillingness to fight and win a counter-insurgency war. In ratifying this weakness, we will be telling our enemies: here is where and how to strike us, if you want to defeat us every time.

Let's say, for example, that we were to withdraw from Iraq now—then set out at some later point to topple the Iranian regime. Don't you think the remnants of that regime—even if they were defeated in a conventional conflict or faced an uprising from their own people—would have every incentive to turn Iran into another terrorist "quagmire," replicating the model that succeeded for them in Iraq? That would be the message of a successful Muslim insurgency in Iraq: that the US may always win on the conventional battlefield—but the Islamists will always win in the unconventional battle that follows.

The enemy's incentive to use this strategy against us is far too strong. We're going to face it again and again until we demonstrate that we have learned how to break a Muslim terrorist insurgency. And on that issue, Iraq is a test we cannot fail.

Surrender in Iraq would validate the terrorist insurgency as an infallible winning tactic. It would validate that tactic far more thoroughly than our previous retreats from Somalia and Beirut, and losing this time would make it ten times harder to demonstrate our ability to win a counter-insurgency war in the future.

On the positive side, facing down this insurgency and defeating it provides us with an excellent opportunity to discredit the cause of Islamism. The Islamists share one crucial characteristic with the old Arab nationalist strongmen: they promise their followers strength. They promise victory and conquest as a balm for the deep-seated Muslim sense of inferiority and humiliation. Bin Laden described the theory behind his international terrorist crime spree as the "strong horse" theory: the people will support his cause because they regard it as successful, while they see the enemy as weak.

Winning in Iraq would have a unique power to discredit the view that the terrorists are the strong horse. The terrorists already know that they can't win in a conventional, stand-up fight. A victory in Iraq would tell them that they can't win an insurgency, either. The Islamists would come across, to their supporters and sympathizers in the Arab and Muslim world, as just another group of posturing failures who promised greatness and delivered humiliation.

There are two things we ought to do to win the counter-insurgency war. The first is to follow the new counter-insurgency strategy employed by General Petraeus within Iraq, a strategy based on intensive study of previous counter-insurgency wars. The second is one that is not being tried: to starve the insurgents of funding, training, weapons, and support by toppling the regimes outside of Iraq who are supporting the insurgents.

But there is one prerequisite that makes these other measures possible: we have to stay in Iraq and keep fighting.

The Complete Article

NEWSWEEK POLL ON ISLAM


A new Newsweek Poll on American attitudes toward Muslims and Islam has found that 46 percent of Americans believe that the United States is taking in too many Muslim immigrants.

IRS Cannot Collect Taxes?

The Internal Revenue Service has lost a lawyer's challenge in front of a jury to prove a constitutional foundation for the nation's income tax, and the victorious attorney now is setting his sights higher.

"I think now people are beginning to realize that this has got to be the largest fraud, backed up by intimidation and extortion and by the sheer force of taking peoples property and hard-earned money without any lawful authorization whatsoever," lawyer Tom Cryer told WND just days after a jury in Louisiana acquitted him of two criminal tax counts.

And before you consign him to the legions of "tin foil hat brigades" who argue against paying taxes, and then want payment to explain how to do that, he addresses the issue up front.

The Rest of The Article

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Vile Anti-Military Leftist Movie Surge From Hollywood



Of course, THE NEW YORK TIMES (a.k.a. "THE NEW YORK TREASON") is very proud to announce the coming attractions that I predict will sell few tickets at the box office. The Right Wing Response Here

July 26, 2007
While Real Bullets Fly, Movies Bring War Home
By MICHAEL CIEPLY

LOS ANGELES, July 25 — On a night four years ago, five soldiers back from three months in Iraq went drinking at a Hooters restaurant and a topless bar near Fort Benning, Ga.

Before the night was over, one of them, Specialist Richard R. Davis, was dead of at least 33 stab wounds, his body doused with lighter fluid and burned. Two of the group would eventually be convicted of the murder, another pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and the last confessed to concealing the crime.

Now some in Hollywood want moviegoers to decide if the killing is emblematic of a war gone bad, part of a new and perhaps risky willingness in the entertainment business to push even the touchiest debates about post-9/11 security, Iraq and the troops’ status from the confines of documentaries into the realm of mainstream political drama.

On Sept. 14, Warner Independent Pictures expects to release “In the Valley of Elah,” a drama inspired by the Davis murder, written and directed by Paul Haggis, whose “Crash” won the Academy Award for best picture in 2006. The film stars Tommy Lee Jones as a retired veteran who defies Army bureaucrats and local officials in a search for his son’s killers. In one of the movie’s defining images, the American flag is flown upside down in the heartland, the signal of extreme distress.

Other coming films also use the damaged Iraq veteran to raise questions about a continuing war. In “Grace Is Gone,” directed by James C. Strouse and due in October from the Weinstein Company, John Cusack and two daughters struggle with the loss of a wife and mother who is killed on duty. Kimberly Peirce’s “Stop-Loss,” set for release in March by Paramount, meanwhile, casts Ryan Phillippe as a veteran who defies an order that would send him back to Iraq.

In the past, Hollywood usually gave the veteran more breathing space. William Wyler’s “Best Years of Our Lives,” about the travails of those returning from World War II, was released more than a year after the war’s end. Similarly Hal Ashby’s “Coming Home” and Oliver Stone’s “Born on the Fourth of July,” both stories of Vietnam veterans, came well after the fall of Saigon.
“Media in general responds much more quickly than ever before,” said Scott Rudin, a producer of “Stop-Loss.” “Why shouldn’t movies do the same?” He said his film was deliberately scheduled to be released in the middle of the presidential campaign season.

That impetus for immediacy is driving other filmmakers and studios as well. In October, for example, New Line Cinema will release “Rendition,” in which Reese Witherspoon plays a woman whose Egyptian-born husband is snared by a runaway counterterrorism apparatus. Paul Greengrass, the director of “The Bourne Ultimatum,” in which the bad guys belong to a similar rogue unit, is adapting Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s book about the Green Zone in Baghdad, “Imperial Life in the Emerald City,” for Universal Pictures.

Brian De Palma’s “Redacted,” focusing on an Army squad that persecutes an Iraqi family, is to be released in December by Magnolia Pictures. And Sony Pictures is developing a film based on the story of Richard A. Clarke, the former national security official and Bush administration critic.

Among the new films, “Valley of Elah” is sure to be one of the most closely examined, thanks to Mr. Haggis’s credentials — he shared an Oscar for writing “Million Dollar Baby” and was nominated for another as co-writer of “Letters From Iwo Jima” — and because of his opposition to United States policy in Iraq.

“This is not one of our brighter moments in America,” Mr. Haggis said in a telephone interview from London, where he is still working on the film’s music. “We should not have gotten involved.”

Still, Mr. Haggis insisted that “Valley of Elah” — the title refers to the site where David fought Goliath — was not intended to enforce his point of view. Rather, he said, it is meant to raise questions about “what it does to these kids” to be deployed in a situation where enemies are often indistinguishable from neutral civilians, and the rules of engagement may force decisions that are difficult to live with.

Despite some obvious fictionalization — the Fort Benning case did not involve the authority-challenging local detective and single mother played by Charlize Theron — the film hews closely enough to fact that Mr. Haggis is considering a dedication to Specialist Davis.

But whether the case truly speaks for returning veterans will not be easily settled, even with help from Warner Independent. The studio plans to supplement some of its promotional screenings with panel discussions of post-traumatic stress disorder, a factor raised in the movie.
“The issues are similar to what a lot of us are coping with,” said an approving Garett Reppenhagen, an Iraq veteran who saw “Valley of Elah” last week at one of the first such screenings in Washington. Mr. Reppenhagen, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, helped recruit viewers for the screening.

By contrast, Dennis Griffee, a wounded veteran who is national commander of the Iraq War Veterans Organization, said he turned down a request to become involved with the film after learning that Susan Sarandon, a vocal opponent of the war, had a prominent role.
“At the very least it is offensive,” Mr. Griffee said of what he sees as a widespread refusal to acknowledge the troops’ pride at achievements in Iraq. He added that virtually every member of his platoon wound up in college, not jail, on return.

Ilona Meagher, who wrote “Moving a Nation to Care: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and America’s Returning Troops” (Ig Publishing) and has joined Warner’s promotional effort, acknowledged that the Davis case was among the most extreme of some 170 stress-related episodes she had documented since 2005. “We all know that human beings respond/are moved by stories that are more extreme in nature,” Ms. Meagher wrote in a follow-up e-mail message.
In listing its Top 10 crime stories of last year, in fact, The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer in Georgia counted only two involving the 25,000 soldiers who are typically stationed at nearby Fort Benning.

Edging his film away from the real case, Mr. Haggis shot mostly in New Mexico and operated without military approvals that would have been required at Fort Benning. He originally wrote the script for Warner Brothers, which eventually agreed that the movie should be financed by Summit Entertainment and NALA Films on a budget that has been reported at about $23 million. The companies are clearly banking on the considerable appeal of Mr. Jones and the potential for awards to overcome perceived audience resistance to Iraq-theme movies.

MGM took in only about $44,000 in domestic ticket sales with Irwin Winkler’s “Home of the Brave,” another returning-vet picture that was released late last year. “We couldn’t get anybody to go see it” despite positive test screenings, Mr. Winkler said. He speculated that the audience might prefer a longer interval before viewing events as troubling as war.

Polly Cohen, president of Warner Independent, views Mr. Haggis’s film in broader terms. “To me, it’s a father-son story,” she said.

For Mr. Haggis, however, selling that story brings some complications: His movie does not see its son quite the way the real-life father sees his own.

“My son saw some war atrocities over in Iraq, and they had to murder him in order to keep it quiet,” said Lanny Davis, a retired Army staff sergeant whose efforts sparked the investigation at a time when his son was assumed to be absent without leave. The atrocity question did not figure significantly in the real-life trial, but the movie puts a twist of its own on the issue.

On another point, however, Mr. Davis had no quarrel with Mr. Haggis. “I’ve been thinking about flying my own flag upside down,” Mr. Davis said. “This isn’t my America, the one I stood up for.”

Day By Day Today

Moonbat Leftist Wants To Kill For Peace



Idahoan faces federal court hearing today in e-mail threat case linked to Hill Air Force Base

By Brock Vergakis
The Associated Press
Salt Lake Tribune

An aircraft mechanic sent e-mails to the FBI claiming he had planted explosives at Utah's Hill Air Force Base and planned to take six hostages in Idaho, authorities said Wednesday.

Five buildings were evacuated Tuesday after the e-mails began surfacing, but the threat turned out to be false and no hostages were taken, FBI agent Tim Fuhrman said.

William Stiffler, 39, was unarmed when he was arrested Tuesday in Malad, Idaho, as he prepared to board an employee shuttle to the base, Fuhrman said.

Stiffler has worked on C-130 planes at Hill since 2001. He was arrested for investigation of making threatening communications through the Internet and was expected to appear Wednesday in federal court in Salt Lake City.

Fuhrman said FBI headquarters received an e-mail from Stiffler about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, followed by another with similar content three hours later. He said the six people who were to be taken hostage according to the e-mails were found unharmed; each had a connection to Stiffler but were not affiliated with the base.

Stiffler didn't identify himself in the e-mails, but Fuhrman said the FBI was familiar with him. He did not elaborate on why.

Linda Medler, vice commander of the 75th Air Base Wing, said all 24,000 employees at the base undergo a background check. It was unclear if Stiffler has a criminal record.

''This one was pretty unexpected," Medler said.

The Case For Bombing Iran

Although many persist in denying it, I continue to believe that what September 11, 2001 did was to plunge us headlong into nothing less than another world war. I call this new war World War IV, because I also believe that what is generally known as the cold war was actually World War III, and that this one bears a closer resemblance to that great conflict than it does to World War II. Like the cold war, as the military historian Eliot Cohen was the first to recognize, the one we are now in has ideological roots, pitting us against Islamofascism, yet another mutation of the totalitarian disease we defeated first in the shape of Nazism and fascism and then in the shape of Communism; it is global in scope; it is being fought with a variety of weapons, not all of them military; and it is likely to go on for decades.

What follows from this way of looking at the last five years is that the military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq cannot be understood if they are regarded as self-contained wars in their own right. Instead we have to see them as fronts or theaters that have been opened up in the early stages of a protracted global struggle. The same thing is true of Iran. As the currently main center of the Islamofascist ideology against which we have been fighting since 9/11, and as (according to the State Department’s latest annual report on the subject) the main sponsor of the terrorism that is Islamofascism’s weapon of choice, Iran too is a front in World War IV. Moreover, its effort to build a nuclear arsenal makes it the potentially most dangerous one of all.

The Iranians, of course, never cease denying that they intend to build a nuclear arsenal, and yet in the same breath they openly tell us what they intend to do with it. Their first priority, as repeatedly and unequivocally announced by their president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is to “wipe Israel off the map”—a feat that could not be accomplished by conventional weapons alone.

But Ahmadinejad’s ambitions are not confined to the destruction of Israel. He also wishes to dominate the greater Middle East, and thereby to control the oilfields of the region and the flow of oil out of it through the Persian Gulf. If he acquired a nuclear capability, he would not even have to use it in order to put all this within his reach. Intimidation and blackmail by themselves would do the trick.

Nor are Ahmadinejad’s ambitions merely regional in scope. He has a larger dream of extending the power and influence of Islam throughout Europe, and this too he hopes to accomplish by playing on the fear that resistance to Iran would lead to a nuclear war. And then, finally, comes the largest dream of all: what Ahmadinejad does not shrink from describing as “a world without America.” Demented though he may be, I doubt that Ahmadinejad is so crazy as to imagine that he could wipe America off the map even if he had nuclear weapons. But what he probably does envisage is a diminution of the American will to oppose him: that is, if not a world without America, he will settle, at least in the short run, for a world without much American influence.

Not surprisingly, the old American foreign-policy establishment and many others say that these dreams are nothing more than the fantasies of a madman. They also dismiss those who think otherwise as neoconservative alarmists trying to drag this country into another senseless war that is in the interest not of the United States but only of Israel. But the irony is that Ahmadinejad’s dreams are more realistic than the dismissal of those dreams as merely insane delusions. To understand why, an analogy with World War III may help.
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At certain points in that earlier war, some of us feared that the Soviets might seize control of the oil fields of the Middle East, and that the West, faced with a choice between surrendering to their dominance or trying to stop them at the risk of a nuclear exchange, would choose surrender. In that case, we thought, the result would be what in those days went by the name of Finlandization.

In Europe, where there were large Communist parties, Finlandization would take the form of bringing these parties to power so that they could establish “Red Vichy” regimes like the one already in place in Finland—regimes whose subservience to the Soviet will in all things, domestic and foreign alike, would make military occupation unnecessary and would therefore preserve a minimal degree of national independence.

In the United States, where there was no Communist party to speak of, we speculated that Finlandization would take a subtler form. In the realm of foreign affairs, politicians and pundits would arise to celebrate the arrival of a new era of peace and friendship in which the cold-war policy of containment would be scrapped, thus giving the Soviets complete freedom to expand without encountering any significant obstacles. And in the realm of domestic affairs, Finlandization would mean that the only candidates running for office with a prayer of being elected would be those who promised to work toward a sociopolitical system more in harmony with the Soviet model than the unjust capitalist plutocracy under which we had been living.

Of course, by the grace of God, the dissidents behind the Iron Curtain, and Ronald Reagan, we won World War III and were therefore spared the depredations that Finlandization would have brought. Alas, we are far from knowing what the outcome of World War IV will be. But in the meantime, looking at Europe today, we already see the unfolding of a process analogous to Finlandization: it has been called, rightly, Islamization. Consider, for example, what happened when, only a few weeks ago, the Iranians captured fifteen British sailors and marines and held them hostage. Did the Royal Navy, which once boasted that it ruled the waves, immediately retaliate against this blatant act of aggression, or even threaten to do so unless the captives were immediately released? Not by any stretch of the imagination. Indeed, using force was the last thing in the world the British contemplated doing, as they made sure to announce. Instead they relied on the “soft power” so beloved of “sophisticated” Europeans and their American fellow travelers.

But then, as if this show of impotence were not humiliating enough, the British were unable even to mobilize any of that soft power. The European Union, of which they are a member, turned down their request to threaten Iran with a freeze of imports. As for the UN, under whose very auspices they were patrolling the international waters in which the sailors were kidnapped, it once again showed its true colors by refusing even to condemn the Iranians. The most the Security Council could bring itself to do was to express “grave concern.” Meanwhile, a member of the British cabinet was going the Security Council one better. While registering no objection to propaganda pictures of the one woman hostage, who had been forced to shed her uniform and dress for the cameras in Muslim clothing, Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt pronounced it “deplorable” that she should have permitted herself to be photographed with a cigarette in her mouth. “This,” said Hewitt, “sends completely the wrong message to our young people.”

According to John Bolton, our former ambassador to the UN, the Iranians were testing the British to see if there would be any price to pay for committing what would once have been considered an act of war. Having received his answer, Ahmadinejad could now reap the additional benefit of, as the British commentator Daniel Johnson puts it, “posing as a benefactor” by releasing the hostages, even while ordering more attacks in Iraq and even while continuing to arm terrorist organizations, whether Shiite (Hizballah) or Sunni (Hamas). For fanatical Shiites though Ahmadinejad and his ilk assuredly are, they are obviously willing to set sectarian differences aside when it comes to forging jihadist alliances against the infidels.

If, then, under present circumstances Ahmadinejad could bring about the extraordinary degree of kowtowing that resulted from the kidnapping of the British sailors, what might he not accomplish with a nuclear arsenal behind him—nuclear bombs that could be fitted on missiles capable of reaching Europe? As to such a capability, Robert G. Joseph, the U.S. Special Envoy for Nuclear Non-Proliferation, tells us that Iran is “expanding what is already the largest offensive missile force in the region. Moreover, it is reported to be working closely with North Korea, the world’s number-one missile proliferator, to develop even more capable ballistic missiles.” This, Joseph goes on, is why “analysts agree that in the foreseeable future Iran will be armed with medium- and long-range ballistic missiles,” and it is also why “we could wake up one morning to find that Iran is holding Berlin, Paris or London hostage to whatever its demands are then.”
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As with Finlandization, Islamization extends to the domestic realm, too. In one recent illustration of this process, as reported in the British press, “schools in England are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils . . . whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.” But this is an equal-opportunity capitulation, since the schools are also eliminating lessons about the Crusades because “such lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.”

But why single out England? If anything, much more, and worse, has been going on in other European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, and the Netherlands. All of these countries have large and growing Muslim populations demanding that their religious values and sensibilities be accommodated at the expense of the traditional values of the West, and even in some instances of the law. Yet rather than insisting that, like all immigrant groups before them, they assimilate to Western norms, almost all European politicians have been cravenly giving in to the Muslims’ outrageous demands.

As in the realm of foreign affairs, if this much can be accomplished under present circumstances, what might not be done if the process were being backed by Iranian nuclear blackmail? Already some observers are warning that by the end of the 21st century the whole of Europe will be transformed into a place to which they give the name Eurabia. Whatever chance there may still be of heading off this eventuality would surely be lessened by the menacing shadow of an Iran armed with nuclear weapons, and only too ready to put them into the hands of the terrorist groups to whom it is even now supplying rockets and other explosive devices.

And the United States? As would have been the case with Finlandization, we would experience a milder form of Islamization here at home. But not in the area of foreign policy. Like the Europeans, confronted by Islamofascists armed by Iran with nuclear weapons, we would become more and more hesitant to risk resisting the emergence of a world shaped by their will and tailored to their wishes. For even if Ahmadinejad did not yet have missiles with a long enough range to hit the United States, he would certainly be able to unleash a wave of nuclear terror against us. If he did, he would in all likelihood act through proxies, for whom he would with characteristic brazenness disclaim any responsibility even if the weapons used by the terrorists were to bear telltale markings identifying them as of Iranian origin. At the same time, the opponents of retaliation and other antiwar forces would rush to point out that there was good reason to accept this disclaimer and, markings or no markings (could they not have been forged?), no really solid evidence to refute it.

In any event, in these same centers of opinion, such a scenario is regarded as utter nonsense. In their view, none of the things it envisages would follow even if Ahmadinejad should get the bomb, because the fear of retaliation would deter him from attacking us just as it deterred the Soviets in World War III. For our part, moreover, the knowledge that we were safe from attack would preclude any danger of our falling into anything like Islamization.
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But listen to what Bernard Lewis, the greatest authority of our time on the Islamic world, has to say in this context on the subject of deterrence:

MAD, mutual assured destruction, [was effective] right through the cold war. Both sides had nuclear weapons. Neither side used them, because both sides knew the other would retaliate in kind. This will not work with a religious fanatic [like Ahmadinejad]. For him, mutual assured destruction is not a deterrent, it is an inducement. We know already that [Iran’s leaders] do not give a damn about killing their own people in great numbers. We have seen it again and again. In the final scenario, and this applies all the more strongly if they kill large numbers of their own people, they are doing them a favor. They are giving them a quick free pass to heaven and all its delights.
Nor are they inhibited by a love of country:

We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.
These were the words of the Ayatollah Khomeini, who ruled Iran from 1979 to 1989, and there is no reason to suppose that his disciple Ahmadinejad feels any differently.

Still less would deterrence work where Israel was concerned. For as the Ayatollah Rafsanjani (who is supposedly a “pragmatic conservative”) has declared:

If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession. . . application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world.
In other words, Israel would be destroyed in a nuclear exchange, but Iran would survive.

In spite of all this, we keep hearing that all would be well if only we agreed—in the currently fashionable lingo—to “engage” with Iran, and that even if the worst came to the worst we could—to revert to the same lingo—“live” with a nuclear Iran. It is when such things are being said that, alongside the resemblance between now and World War III, a parallel also becomes evident between now and the eve of World War II.
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By 1938, Germany under Adolf Hitler had for some years been rearming in defiance of its obligations under the Versailles treaty and other international agreements. Yet even though Hitler in Mein Kampf had explicitly spelled out the goals he was now preparing to pursue, scarcely anyone took him seriously. To the imminent victims of the war he was soon to start, Hitler’s book and his inflammatory speeches were nothing more than braggadocio or, to use the more colorful word Hannah Arendt once applied to Adolf Eichmann, rodomontade: the kind of red meat any politician might throw to his constituents at home. Hitler might sound at times like a madman, but in reality he was a shrewd operator with whom one could—in the notorious term coined by the London Times—“do business.” The business that was done under this assumption was the Munich Agreement of 1938, which the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared had brought “peace in our time.”

It was thanks to Munich that “appeasement” became one of the dirtiest words in the whole of our political vocabulary. Yet appeasement had always been an important and entirely respectable tool of diplomacy, signifying the avoidance of war through the alleviation of the other side’s grievances. If Hitler had been what his eventual victims imagined he was—that is, a conventional statesman pursuing limited aims and using the threat of war only as a way of strengthening his bargaining position—it would indeed have been possible to appease him and thereby to head off the outbreak of another war.

But Hitler was not a conventional statesman and, although for tactical reasons he would sometimes pretend otherwise, he did not have limited aims. He was a revolutionary seeking to overturn the going international system and to replace it with a new order dominated by Germany, which also meant the political culture of Nazism. As such, he offered only two choices: resistance or submission. Finding this reality unbearable, the world persuaded itself that there was a way out, a third alternative, in negotiations. But given Hitler’s objectives, and his barely concealed lust for war, negotiating with him could not conceivably have led to peace. It could have had only one outcome, which was to buy him more time to start a war under more favorable conditions. As most historians now agree, if he had been taken at his own word about his true intentions, he could have been stopped earlier and defeated at an infinitely lower cost.

Which brings us back to Ahmadinejad. Like Hitler, he is a revolutionary whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it in the fullness of time with a new order dominated by Iran and ruled by the religio-political culture of Islamofascism. Like Hitler, too, he is entirely open about his intentions, although—again like Hitler—he sometimes pretends that he wants nothing more than his country’s just due. In the case of Hitler in 1938, this pretense took the form of claiming that no further demands would be made if sovereignty over the Sudetenland were transferred from Czechoslovakia to Germany. In the case of Ahmadinejad, the pretense takes the form of claiming that Iran is building nuclear facilities only for peaceful purposes and not for the production of bombs.

But here we come upon an interesting difference between then and now. Whereas in the late 1930’s almost everyone believed, or talked himself into believing, that Hitler was telling the truth when he said he had no further demands to make after Munich, no one believes that Ahmadinejad is telling the truth when he says that Iran has no wish to develop a nuclear arsenal. In addition, virtually everyone agrees that it would be best if he were stopped, only not, God forbid, with military force—not now, and not ever.
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But if military force is ruled out, what is supposed to do the job?

Well, to begin with, there is that good old standby, diplomacy. And so, for three-and-a-half years, even pre-dating the accession of Ahmadinejad to the presidency, the diplomatic gavotte has been danced with Iran, in negotiations whose carrot-and-stick details no one can remember—not even, I suspect, the parties involved. But since, to say it again, Ahmadinejad is a revolutionary with unlimited aims and not a statesman with whom we can “do business,” all this negotiating has had the same result as Munich had with Hitler. That is, it has bought the Iranians more time in which they have moved closer and closer to developing nuclear weapons.

Then there are sanctions. As it happens, sanctions have very rarely worked in the past. Worse yet, they have usually ended up hurting the hapless people of the targeted country while leaving the leadership unscathed. Nevertheless, much hope has been invested in them as a way of bringing Ahmadinejad to heel. Yet thanks to the resistance of Russia and China, both of which have reasons of their own to go easy on Iran, it has proved enormously difficult for the Security Council to impose sanctions that could even conceivably be effective. At first, the only measures to which Russia and China would agree were much too limited even to bite. Then, as Iran continued to defy Security Council resolutions and to block inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that it was bound by treaty to permit, not even the Russians and the Chinese were able to hold out against stronger sanctions. Once more, however, these have had little or no effect on the progress Iran is making toward the development of a nuclear arsenal. On the contrary: they, too, have bought the Iranians additional time in which to move ahead.

Since hope springs eternal, some now believe that the answer lies in more punishing sanctions. This time, however, their purpose would be not to force Iran into compliance, but to provoke an internal uprising against Ahmadinejad and the regime as a whole. Those who advocate this course tell us that the “mullocracy” is very unpopular, especially with young people, who make up a majority of Iran’s population. They tell us that these young people would like nothing better than to get rid of the oppressive and repressive and corrupt regime under which they now live and to replace it with a democratic system. And they tell us, finally, that if Iran were so transformed, we would have nothing to fear from it even if it were to acquire nuclear weapons.

Once upon a time, under the influence of Bernard Lewis and others I respect, I too subscribed to this school of thought. But after three years and more of waiting for the insurrection they assured us back then was on the verge of erupting, I have lost confidence in their prediction. Some of them blame the Bush administration for not doing enough to encourage an uprising, which is why they have now transferred their hopes to sanctions that would inflict so much damage on the Iranian economy that the entire populace would rise up against the rulers. Yet whether or not this might happen under such circumstances, there is simply no chance of getting Russia and China, or the Europeans for that matter, to agree to the kind of sanctions that are the necessary precondition.
_____________

At the outset I stipulated that the weapons with which we are fighting World War IV are not all military—that they also include economic, diplomatic, and other nonmilitary instruments of power. In exerting pressure for reform on countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, these nonmilitary instruments are the right ones to use. But it should be clear by now to any observer not in denial that Iran is not such a country. As we know from Iran’s defiance of the Security Council and the IAEA even while the United States has been warning Ahmadinejad that “all options” remain on the table, ultimatums and threats of force can no more stop him than negotiations and sanctions have managed to do. Like them, all they accomplish is to buy him more time.

In short, the plain and brutal truth is that if Iran is to be prevented from developing a nuclear arsenal, there is no alternative to the actual use of military force—any more than there was an alternative to force if Hitler was to be stopped in 1938.

Since a ground invasion of Iran must be ruled out for many different reasons, the job would have to be done, if it is to be done at all, by a campaign of air strikes. Furthermore, because Iran’s nuclear facilities are dispersed, and because some of them are underground, many sorties and bunker-busting munitions would be required. And because such a campaign is beyond the capabilities of Israel, and the will, let alone the courage, of any of our other allies, it could be carried out only by the United States.* Even then, we would probably be unable to get at all the underground facilities, which means that, if Iran were still intent on going nuclear, it would not have to start over again from scratch. But a bombing campaign would without question set back its nuclear program for years to come, and might even lead to the overthrow of the mullahs.

The opponents of bombing—not just the usual suspects but many both here and in Israel who have no illusions about the nature and intentions and potential capabilities of the Iranian regime—disagree that it might end in the overthrow of the mullocracy. On the contrary, they are certain that all Iranians, even the democratic dissidents, would be impelled to rally around the flag. And this is only one of the worst-case scenarios they envisage. To wit: Iran would retaliate by increasing the trouble it is already making for us in Iraq. It would attack Israel with missiles armed with non-nuclear warheads but possibly containing biological and/or chemical weapons. There would be a vast increase in the price of oil, with catastrophic consequences for every economy in the world, very much including our own. The worldwide outcry against the inevitable civilian casualties would make the anti-Americanism of today look like a love-fest.

I readily admit that it would be foolish to discount any or all of these scenarios. Each of them is, alas, only too plausible. Nevertheless, there is a good response to them, and it is the one given by John McCain. The only thing worse than bombing Iran, McCain has declared, is allowing Iran to get the bomb.

And yet those of us who agree with McCain are left with the question of whether there is still time. If we believe the Iranians, the answer is no. In early April, at Iran’s Nuclear Day festivities, Ahmadinejad announced that the point of no return in the nuclearization process had been reached. If this is true, it means that Iran is only a small step away from producing nuclear weapons. But even supposing that Ahmadinejad is bluffing, in order to convince the world that it is already too late to stop him, how long will it take before he actually turns out to have a winning hand?

If we believe the CIA, perhaps as much as ten years. But CIA estimates have so often been wrong that they are hardly more credible than the boasts of Ahmadinejad. Other estimates by other experts fall within the range of a few months to six years. Which is to say that no one really knows. And because no one really knows, the only prudent—indeed, the only responsible—course is to assume that Ahmadinejad may not be bluffing, or may only be exaggerating a bit, and to strike at him as soon as it is logistically possible.
_____________

In his 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush made a promise:

We’ll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world’s most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world’s most destructive weapons.
In that speech, the President was referring to Iraq, but he has made it clear on a number of subsequent occasions that the same principle applies to Iran. Indeed, he has gone so far as to say that if we permit Iran to build a nuclear arsenal, people 50 years from now will look back and wonder how we of this generation could have allowed such a thing to happen, and they will rightly judge us as harshly as we today judge the British and the French for what they did and what they failed to do at Munich in 1938. I find it hard to understand why George W. Bush would have put himself so squarely in the dock of history on this issue if he were resigned to leaving office with Iran in possession of nuclear weapons, or with the ability to build them. Accordingly, my guess is that he intends, within the next 21 months, to order air strikes against the Iranian nuclear facilities from the three U.S. aircraft carriers already sitting nearby.

But if that is what he has in mind, why is he spending all this time doing the diplomatic dance and wasting so much energy on getting the Russians and the Chinese to sign on to sanctions? The reason, I suspect, is that—to borrow a phrase from Robert Kagan—he has been “giving futility its chance.” Not that this is necessarily a cynical ploy. For it may well be that he has entertained the remote possibility of a diplomatic solution under which Iran would follow the example of Libya in voluntarily giving up its nuclear program. Besides, once having played out the diplomatic string, and thereby having demonstrated that to him force is truly a last resort, Bush would be in a stronger political position to endorse John McCain’s formula that the only thing worse than bombing Iran would be allowing Iran to build a nuclear bomb—and not just to endorse that assessment, but to act on it.
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If this is what Bush intends to do, it goes, or should go, without saying that his overriding purpose is to ensure the security of this country in accordance with the vow he took upon becoming President, and in line with his pledge not to stand by while one of the world’s most dangerous regimes threatens us with one of the world’s most dangerous weapons.

But there is, it has been reported, another consideration that is driving Bush. According to a recent news story in the New York Times, for example, Bush has taken to heart what “[o]fficials from 21 governments in and around the Middle East warned at a meeting of Arab leaders in March”—namely, “that Iran’s drive for atomic technology could result in the beginning of ‘a grave and destructive nuclear arms race in the region.’” Which is to say that he fears that local resistance to Iran’s bid for hegemony in the greater Middle East through the acquisition of nuclear weapons could have even more dangerous consequences than a passive capitulation to that bid by the Arab countries. For resistance would spell the doom of all efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and it would vastly increase the chances of their use.

I have no doubt that this ominous prospect figures prominently in the President’s calculations. But it seems evident to me that the survival of Israel, a country to which George W. Bush has been friendlier than any President before him, is also of major concern to him—a concern fully coincident with his worries over a Middle Eastern arms race.

Much of the world has greeted Ahmadinejad’s promise to wipe Israel off the map with something close to insouciance. In fact, it could almost be said of the Europeans that they have been more upset by Ahmadinejad’s denial that a Holocaust took place 60 years ago than by his determination to set off one of his own as soon as he acquires the means to do so. In a number of European countries, Holocaust denial is a crime, and the European Union only recently endorsed that position. Yet for all their retrospective remorse over the wholesale slaughter of Jews back then, the Europeans seem no readier to lift a finger to prevent a second Holocaust than they were the first time around.

Not so George W. Bush, a man who knows evil when he sees it and who has demonstrated an unfailingly courageous willingness to endure vilification and contumely in setting his face against it. It now remains to be seen whether this President, battered more mercilessly and with less justification than any other in living memory, and weakened politically by the enemies of his policy in the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular, will find it possible to take the only action that can stop Iran from following through on its evil intentions both toward us and toward Israel. As an American and as a Jew, I pray with all my heart that he will.

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About the Author

Norman Podhoretz is the editor-at-large of COMMENTARY. His new book, World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism, will be released by Doubleday on September 11, 2007. Watch an interview with Mr. Podhoretz on his article "The Case for Bombing Iran" in the June issue of Commentary.

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Footnotes

* However, a new study by two members of the Security Studies Program at MIT concludes that the Israeli Air Force “now possesses the capability to destroy even well-hardened targets in Iran with some degree of confidence.” The problem is that all of the many contingencies involved would have to go right for such a mission to succeed.