Archive for February 2006

Jihad Video – Or, how many infidels have you killed lately?

February 28, 2006

Look at all that blood. Look at the Jihad Cartoon riot. It’s like their own Mardi Gras. We celebrate life, they celebrate death.

Death is their language, and no diplomay will work without speaking their language, the language of death.

[Link added after import from blogspot erased title-link]

VDH Archive Cric key

February 28, 2006

For some reason Cri key doesn’t have the article, but I found it using the search function. I wonder if they wanted to delete this article for some reason, but missed the printer friendly one.

Western nations are slow to anger, but lethal in their fury

Victor Hanson .
Military Historian

This interesting piece from military historian Victor Hanson explains why the West – specifically the Americans – will prevail over whoever they take on.

Yet Osama bin Laden has made a fatal miscalculation. Like everybody who scoffs at the perceived laxity of Western democracies, these murderers have woken an enormous power from its slumber, and retribution will shortly be both decisive and terrible. The bloody wages of this ignorance of the power of a free people aroused are age-old and unmistakable – Xerxes’s 60,000 washed ashore at Salamis, 80,000 of the Sultan’s best floating in the waters off Lepanto, 100,000 lost in the streets of Tokyo.

Western nations at war, from the Greeks to the present, are not weak but enormously lethal – far out of proportion to their relatively small population and territories. This power is not an accident of geography, much less attributable to natural resources or genes, but rather found in its very ideas and values. The foundations of Western culture – freedom, civic militarism, capitalism, individualism, constitutional government and secular rationalism – when applied to the battlefield have always resulted in carnage for their adversaries.

Such ideals were apparent almost immediately this time aroung – with the decision of doomed airline passengers to storm their hijackers; with Congress freely voting vast sums of capital for military operations; individual rescue workers, aided by sophisticated and huge machines, on their own initiative devising ad hoc methods of saving victims and restoring calm to a devastated city.

Neither the genius of Hannibal nor the diseases of Africa nor the fanaticism of the Mahdists have stopped Western armies. Occasional lapses such as last week’s have prompted not capitulation, but responses far more deadly than their enemies’ temporary victories.

In our peace and affluence, and in awe at the suicidal fanaticism of our enemies, we Americans of this complacent age have forgotten these iron laws of the Western way of war – Alexander the Great destroying an empire of 70 million with an army of 40,000, Cortes wrecking an imperial people of two million in less than two years, or a small band of British redcoats ending the power of Cetshwayo and his Zulus for good in less than a year.

The arsenal at tiny 16th-century Venice – based on principles of market capitalism and republican audit – launched far better and more numerous galleys than those of the entire Ottoman navy. At Midway, American code breakers – the products of free universities, nursed on egalitarianism and able to investigate without political and religious censure – helped to win the battle before it had even begun.

In the months to come, American ground and air forces, with better weapons, better supplies, better discipline and more imaginative commanders – audited constantly by an elected Congress and President, criticised by a free press – will shatter the very foundations of Islamic fundamentalism.

Indeed, the check on the great power of Western armies through the ages has rarely been enemy spears or bullets, but the very voices of internal dissent – a Bernardino de Sahagun aghast at his people’s cruelty in Mexico, a Bishop Colenso remonstrating against the British government about the destruction of Zululand or an American co-ed marching to end the war in Vietnam.

The Taliban and other hosts of murderers at bases in Pakistan, Iraq and Syria may find reprieve from Western clergy and academics, but they shall not from the American military.

America is not only the inheritor of the European military tradition, but in many ways also its most powerful incarnation. Our multiracial and radically egalitarian society has taken the concepts of freedom and market capitalism to their theoretical limits. While our critics often ridicule the crassness of our culture and the collective amnesia of our masses, they often underestimate the lethal power that accrues from such an energetic and restless citizenry, where past background means little in comparison with present ambition, drive and ingenuity.

Our creed is not class, breeding or propriety, but machines, brutal competition and unchecked audacity. These are intimidating assets when we turn, as we shall shortly, from the arts of production to those of destruction.

The world, much less the blinkered fundamentalists, has not seen a United States unleashed for a long time and so has forgotten all this. Americans are kind, and they are a generous people. But when wronged, held in contempt and attacked in peace, they define victory as the absolute annihilation of their adversaries.

So we are a schizophrenic people of sorts, a nation of amateurs that can almost magically transform itself into a culture of professional killers. In 1860, Grant was a clerk and Sherman a failed banker and then teamster; in 1865, they were cruel masters in the art of unmitigated carnage, their huge armies the most deadly of the age.

My father was a peaceful farm boy in 1941. Within a mere 24 months, he had been turned into a brutal agent of the apocalypse as he and other tyros in thousands of monstrous new B-29s rained death upon the cities of Japan – without guilt or apology, proud that their napalm was ridding the world of Japanese militarism.

When we, as smug students of the 1970s, remonstrated against him for his past vengeance, he scoffed at our naivety: “I’d be proud and ready to do it again.” And so he would, and so we may now as well.

Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian and most recently the author of Why the West Has Won, Carnage and Culture From Salamis to Vietnam, which will be published shortly by Faber

Tom Clancy on Terror – Or What did people talk about after 9/11

February 28, 2006

What the field intelligence officers do is no different from what Special Agent Joe Pistone of the FBI did when he infiltrated the mafia under the cover name of Donnie Brasco. The purpose of these operations is to find out what people are thinking and talking about. However good your satellites are, they cannot see inside a human head. Only people can go and do that.

But America, and especially the American news media, does not love the CIA in general and the field spooks in particular. As recently as two weeks ago, CBS’s “60 Minutes” regaled us with the hoary old chestnut about how the CIA undermined the leftist government of Chile three decades ago. The effect of this media coverage, always solicitous to leftist governments, is to brand the CIA an antiprogressive agency that does Bad Things.

In fact, the CIA is a government agency, subject to the political whims of whoever sits in the White House and Congress. The CIA does what the government of which it is a part tells it to do. Whatever evil the CIA may have done was the result of orders from above.

The Chilean event and others (for example, attempts to remove Fidel Castro from the land of the living, undertaken during the presidency of JFK, rather more rarely reported because only good came from Camelot) caused the late Sen. Frank Church to help gut the CIA’s Directorate of Operations in the 1970s. What he carelessly left undisturbed then fell afoul of the Carter administration’s hit man, Stansfield Turner. That capability has never been replaced.

It is a lamentably common practice in Washington and elsewhere to shoot people in the back and then complain when they fail to win the race. The loss of so many lives in New York and Washington is now called an “intelligence failure,” mostly by those who crippled the CIA in the first place, and by those who celebrated the loss of its invaluable capabilities.

What a pity that they cannot stand up like adults now and say: “See, we gutted our intelligence agencies because we don’t much like them, and now we can bury thousands of American citizens as an indirect result.” This, of course, will not happen, because those who inflict their aesthetic on the rest of us are never around to clean up the resulting mess, though they seem to enjoy further assaulting those whom they crippled to begin with.

We don’t do God, we do Palestine

February 28, 2006

Amir Taheri article.

A look into the past – Or reading history the 21st century way

February 28, 2006

When the military prepares for action, the public debate is usually a simple either/or: Will there be peace, or will there be war? Not so now. Fresh from the bloody assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, there are at least six choices before us, each with its own subgenres and mutant variations. None is perfect, and one is actually insane. But each is worth examining, if only to understand what people actually mean when they call for war, peace, or some other path they can’t quite articulate.

Here, then, are our choices, beginning with the least violent and ending with the most:

1. The Gandhi Option

Some favor no military response to the attacks at all. In its flaky form, this position involves wishing really hard, perhaps while holding someone’s hand, that hatred and violence will disappear from the world. Not every pacifist is so naive, though, and there is a more sophisticated case for military inaction.

This argument points out that terrorists do not come from nowhere. They respond to particular policies of the country under attack. If, as the evidence suggests, the assault was masterminded by Osama bin Laden or his allies, then it may well be easier to adjust our foreign policy than to hunt down every terrorist in the Middle East, especially since that hunt might inspire yet more Middle Easterners to turn to terrorism. Wouldn’t it make more sense just to stop these clumsy interventions into other people’s battles? Why make ourselves a target for every tin-pot maniac in the Third World?

A variation on this argument notes that many of our present foes–including Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein–were originally built up by the United States to fight the enemies of an earlier day. One can only wonder what our allies in a new war might do to us several years later.

There are two problems with the Gandhi option. The first relates not so much to the position itself as to some of the people who have been advancing it. Obsessed with finding what “we” might have done to “deserve” this–as though anyone deserves to die this way–the hairshirt faction has conjured a list of sins far removed from anything that could have inspired the attacks. When the filmmaker Michael Moore speculated about the terrorists’ motives, for example, his rambling ruminations touched on missile defense, America’s withdrawal from the Durban conference on racism, and even our rejection of the Kyoto accords on global warming. Evidently, Moore believes that we are being attacked by European diplomats.

In the real world, we are being attacked by a group that–judging from the fatwah issued by Osama bin Laden in 1998–objects to America’s military presence in Saudi Arabia, to its sanctions against Iraq, and to its support for Israel. The point of reexamining U.S. foreign policy in the wake of the attacks is not to find everything about it that you might want to change, from Star Wars to Kyoto. It is to find the parts that might be putting us in danger, even if you’ve supported them until now. In the next few months, a lot of Israel’s American supporters will be wrestling with a difficult choice: Israel’s security, or their own? Many will choose the latter.

The other problem with Gandhianism goes deeper. Watching the World Trade Center towers collapse last week, desperately aware that thousands of people were inside them, most Americans did not merely crave greater security. They wanted justice. If nothing is done to capture the people responsible for that atrocity, it will be hard to claim that justice has been done.

I do not truly think that after the Madrid bombings, the bombings in July in Britain or the Cartoon riots that anyone can seriously say that “Ghandism” is an option that would bring security. Please, get real before you die. For the predictions made here, were not correct.

2. The Kojak Option

And so we come to option two. A terrible crime has been committed. The immediate perps are now dead, but the conspirators behind them are alive and free. They may be plotting further, even worse assaults. We still aren’t sure who they are or where they are, but we have some significant leads. So it’s time for some expert policework, to track down and capture the people who did this.

The advantage to this approach is that it meets the demand for a response while keeping that response targeted at the criminals. As such, it upholds justice in two ways: by meting it out to the murderers who killed 5,000 people in one day, and by refusing to replicate their crime by killing anyone unfortunate enough to live in the same country as the terrorists.

There are two disadvantages. One of them I’ll describe later, as it undermines the next two alternatives as well. The other is that, in tracking terrorists through the mountains of central Asia, it won’t be easy to stick to all the legal niceties that policemen are supposed to observe. And if it comes down to letting the likely culprits escape or abandoning due process, most Americans will choose the latter. At the very least, they will say, let us consider response three:

Why don’t you google Sami Al-Arian. Al as in Al-Jazeera, Al-Zarqawi, and Al-Sadr. Then tell me about this perfect policework that will bring the United States both justice and security.

It seems apparent that police powers neither bring terroists to justice nor prevents people from being bombed, if police powers are not allowed to go beyond normal civil liberties. And normal civil liberties are cherished too much by the author, to ever give it up for a complete Kojak Option, which is called Fortress America and the elimination of all human rights in this nation. Because when the police fail to stop and jail terroists, the people will demand that the police protect the citizens, and the police will say “what about the human rights that prevent us from preventing crime rather than arresting the criminals after the fact?” And people will say with an immediate applause, “we care more about our lives than arresting them after we are dead”.

For a Libertarian, the reasoning of the author has not thought through. Perhaps we may excuse that lack since it was soon after 9/11. But of course, the Libertarian Party has not gotten any better. They still get it wrong in many ways.

3. The Bronson Option

If we cannot be policemen, let us be vigilantes. We could still limit ourselves to hunting the perpetrators, taking care to leave innocent civilians out of the fight. But we won’t have to prove their guilt to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, we could combine the goals of a policeman with rules more akin to those of war. (Some libertarian variations on this idea call for literal vigilantism, with privateers rather than soldiers leading the fight.)

If a foreign government turns out to be involved in plotting the attack, then it isn’t merely the rules of war that might be invoked. A violent attack on the U.S. by another state would land us in response four:

This is otherwise known as guerrila warfare using Spec Ops operators and Navy SEALs, independent of the rules of war and international treaties through black on black ops.

It works, but you can’t win wars with only Spec Ops. You need a real army, real diplomacy, and massive pyschological operations and eliminations of enemy logistics.

4. The Bugs Bunny Option

This one’s named for the great American who, when attacked, routinely remarks, “Of course you realize this means war.”

This would be a limited war, aimed not at “rooting out terrorism” but at treating those terrorists who are affiliated with foreign governments the same as those who are independent agents. As with Bronsonism and Kojakism, it limits its fire to the conspirators and their henchmen, leaving civilians spared. If you’re looking to bomb cities or occupy Afghanistan, you’ll have to go well beyond Bugs.

These last three responses share a problem. If the Gandhi option addresses the question of security while leaving justice undone, the others aim for justice but leave us insecure. Arrest or kill Osama bin Laden, and his lieutenants will take over his war. Capture them, and other branches of his very loose network will step into the breach. Bring down a government, and heaven knows what might take its place.

And that brings us to the biggest decision. Do we defend ourselves against this attack, whatever that entails, and then withdraw from the Middle East, fusing a rigorous and vigorous self-defense with non-intervention in other nations’ affairs? Or do we dig in for a long fight against the social landscape of the Mideast? Do we, in the words of The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman, fight “a long, long war” against “all the super-empowered angry men and women out there”?

Many people thought that Afghanistan was the perfect limited war. But of course, Afghanistan is far beyond option 4. This brings into play the option many people have thought about, cut and run. Start a war but never finish it. Join a war in Vietnam but never finish it, cut and run.

5. The Caesar Option

If you prefer this alternative–if you favor a long war against a ubiquitous enemy–then be aware of the likely consequences:

• The war will not merely be long. It will be perpetual. We will not be fighting an army, after all, but a tactic–terrorism–that can be adopted by small cells anywhere in the world. More: We will be fighting a mindset, one which will probably be inflamed still further by the battle against it. We will never know when the war is over, or when we’re finally safe. Innocent civilians will die–not just abroad, but here (as if we needed to be reminded) in America.

• The U.S. will become a garrison state. When you’re fighting a perpetual war against an enemy that operates without borders, citizens will become suspects. Privacy, due process, freedom of association, and freedom of movement will be curtailed. Given politicians’ predilections, the same fate will likely befall free speech and the right to bear arms.

• Whatever authoritarian measures afflict us domestically will be meted out several times over to states abroad, since that will be where most of the actual terrorists live. Dictatorship, of course, is nothing new in the Middle East. But now the governments will be answering to the United States, which can scarcely trust the Taliban to do its terrorist-hunting for it. America will have to act forthrightly as an empire.

In short, the Caesar option will probably fail to bring us security or justice. The only way around this would be not just to dominate the potential terrorists of the Middle East, but to wipe them out. Incredibly, there are those who are proposing just this.

Those who criticize Bush often times said that Bush didn’t prepare us for a long war. But even for a Libertarian, the author saw the long war occupation hazard after 9/11. Check the date of the article.

Don’t tell me Libertarians, in favor of cut and run and perfect Kojak police work, were smarter on September 21, 2001 than the critics of Bush is right now. Because if you do, I just might agree.

In short, the Caesar option is both just and it secures America, something which Ghandism and policework are incapable of doing. To deter terroists, one must deter the state sponsors of terror, and the only way to do that is to speak in their own language, military force. Invade Iraq, and you will frighten Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and various other countries like Libya to tell the Al-Qaeda terroists not to attack America for fear that their country will themselves be the target of American wrath. The Middle East understands the sleeping giant, if you just wait us out, we will fall asleep and you can do whatever you want, like Iran reconstituting their WMD programs. This is part of the reason why Al-Qaeda has not launched a successful attack on US soil, their foreign nation backers have pulled the plug so to speak and told Al-Qaeda to attack Iraq, not the US. Because the danger is now in their backyard, they are no longer free to launch offensives against US children, women, and men living and working in civilian buildings.

The fanatics may not fear dieing, but the state sponsors in the form of totalitarian dictators will always feel for their own lives and fortunes. They are human after all.

By detering state sponsors, this removes the pressure from the police inside the United States to drastically cut human rights in return for safety. It removes the Catch 22 from people’s minds, no longer are American civilians forced to choose their life over their human rights, now they can have both. Regardless of how spoiled it will make them.

In addition to that, the Caesar option allows US troops a super opportunity to kill and capture terroists. The Libertarian seems to think in a guerrila war you are supposed to kill all the terroists. Why would you do that when you can capture them and drain them of information that could save American lives?

Obviously the author’s bias against Empire building and Empires in general or any “long war” has caused him to see reality with blinders on, check your premises as Ayn Rand once said.

As it has been said in the past, fighting a guerrila war against terrorism or terroists or state sponsors, is like eating soup with a fork. If you have enough will and determination, you will eat it to the dredges. If you don’t eat it, you will go hungry. Catch 22.

Other Catch 22s are the Kojak Option. Either police will stop terroist attacks through a great increase in police powers over human rights, or police will not stop attacks which will cause the people to cry for more power to the police. Catch 22.

6. The Strangelove Option

Not long after the attacks, Sam Donaldson asked the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, whether we can “rule out” the use of nuclear weapons. He received this response:

“We have an amazing accomplishment that’s been achieved on the part of human beings. We’ve had this unbelievably powerful weapon, nuclear weapons, since, what, 55 years now plus, and it’s not been fired in anger since 1945. That’s an amazing accomplishment. I think it reflects a sensitivity on the part of successive presidents that they ought to find as many other ways to deal with problems as is possible.”

“I’ll have to think about your answer,” said Donaldson. “I don’t think the answer was no.”

“The answer was that that we ought to be very proud of the record of humanity that we have not used those weapons for 55 years,” replied Rumsfeld. “And we have to find as many ways possible to deal with this serious problem of terrorism.”

Where Rumsfeld weasels, others step boldly. “At a bare minimum, tactical nuclear capabilities should be used against the bin Laden camps in the desert of Afghanistan,” Thomas Woodrow, formerly of the Defense Intelligence Agency, declared in The Washington Times. In the pundit class the talk is even nastier, with Col. David Hackworth among others suggesting that portions of the Middle East should “glow” with radiation.

Maybe they’re just bluffing. Maybe they’re just trying to convince the world that Americans are batshit crazy when we’re mad, and that the terrorists damn well better be scared. The trouble is, they’re scaring me too.

Nuclear weapons always were a good psychological weapon, regardless of how many it killed. Because it is the ultimate barometer of national will and the will of the leadership. Iran knows this very well, it has always wanted to be strong.

If you don’t convince Iran that America is batshit crazy when you piss us off, then Iran is going to stop because…. they like us? Is that why they invaded sovereign US territory and took our embassy staff hostage, because they liked us?

Don’t be a fool, 9/11 wasn’t that far off from your time in history even if the Iran nuclear confrontation is.

Talk to the Japanese about if Americans are bluffing or not. The Japanese understand the will to power, in ways the Libertarians do not and never will.

So which path do we take?

I’ve long opposed American intervention abroad. Self-defense, however, is an entirely different matter. Obviously, the Kojak model is ideal, but I can live with Bronson or Bugs. The important point is to aim our fire at the murderers, not at civilians or at anyone who merely happens to be a usual suspect–and to limit ourselves to a well-defined mission, rather than a vague, all-encompassing “war on terrorism.” The Caesar option would lead to further tragedy; the Strangelove path, to utter disaster.

Oh, and pray tell, how will you aim it at the terroists when they dress like civilians, get help from civilians, are civilians, and use civilian shields? You can limit yourselves to a well-defined mission but human nature has no limits you may impose upon it.

That’s what you people said about MaD in the Cold War, “utter disaster”. You people have never understood human nature or human psychology, please don’t act as if you do after 9/11.

At the same time, we will have to take a hard look at what the pacifists are saying, even if we reject absolute nonviolence.

Do you really want me to take a hard look at what pacifists are saying? Okay, I will.

But if there’s a principle underpinning other liberal principles such as free speech, or perhaps a proviso that qualifies liberal freedoms, it’s the principle of not causing harm by our actions. The cartoons, as intentionally provocative, cause harm. This weakens any claims for protecting freedom of speech against encroaching “self-censorship.”

The pacifists aren’t saying much for freedom of speech, want to bet freedom to life and the pursuit of happiness is next?

UPDATE Put the link in the title, since I discovered by help from a Tom, that somehow the link couldn’t be found.

Leo Strauss – Father of Neoconservatism

February 27, 2006

But the problem with the neoconservative version of liberalism is that it is not really liberal at all. Classical Anglo-American liberalism was emphatically not a “fighting faith.” It was sceptical of all extreme faiths, religious and political. And although it fought when it had to, against aggressors such as Napoleon and Hitler, its preferred means of promulgation were trade, enlightenment and international law. The new liberalism is quite different. It is no longer cosmopolitan, but nationalist; no longer pacific, but warlike; no longer sceptical, but zealous. Its model is Israel, that artefact of political and military will. What this new liberalism offers is not peace or prosperity, but redemption from the banality of commercial civilisation. Writing recently in the Telegraph, the Conservative researcher Danny Kruger—initially a supporter of the Iraq war, now a sceptic—found his former motives well expressed in a passage from Evelyn Waugh’s Unconditional Surrender: “Even good men thought their private honour would be satisfied by war. They could assert their manhood by killing and being killed. They would accept hardships to recompense for having been selfish and lazy.”

The spiritual elite Strauss refered to is better known today as American patriots and the military core of values.

Classical Anglo-American liberalism was dominated by an ethnic group called the Scots and Irish. They formed the backbone of what is now known as Jacksonianism, and they were very very violent.

If cosmopolitan means a greater understanding of cultures, then neoconservatism is very cosmopolitan. If cosmopolitanism means a defunct ideology centered around adolescent multilateralism, then no, neoconservatism is not very cosmopolitan.

People that believe Israel is warlike does not know what war is. Their bias and ignorance is starting to show with such remarks.

But the Bush administration’s patriotic and martial tone, and its apparent indifference to the fate of nations touched by its democratising zeal, speaks strongly in its favour.

It is a deep cynicism to believe that neoconservatism cares so little for the martial military that we would sacrifice thousands of our own in Iraq, for domestic purposes of unity. Iraq has not unified America, it has divided her, as chaos theory would have foretold. The more freedom, the greater the chaos and the greater the chance of disunity and entropy.

The author is correct to say that neoconservative’s liberalism isn’t really liberal. Not in the Jeffersonian or Wilsonian sense. To American patriots and tough Marines on the front lines, liberty comes from sacrifices of blood and treasure. To us, it is the pure distillation of the 2nd Ammendment. For liberty to survive, one must have military force and violence to ensure the survival of freedom. Or else a few Arab street demonstrations will witness your prostration to their demands.

It is two sides of the same coin. Leo Strauss wrote about the decadent morality that democracies breed, producing such effects as the voting of Socrates’ suicide and the Athenian’s gross incompetence and delays. Leo Strauss knew Chaos Theory and entropy before the physicists found out themselves. Because Leo Strauss had studied human nature, and realized that human nature could either decay into destruction or grow to become a beautiful crystaline structure unrivaled in the creation of man.

There are many different aspects and variables occuring here. The Cartoon Riots, Islamic Jihad, the weakness of Western civilization, and the evidence that the veneer of Western freedoms are pulled away so easily.

Strauss’s own response to this predicament was, as we have seen, to cultivate pockets of wisdom in the interstices of mass society, hoping that they would, over time, impart their “tone” to the republic as a whole. But his solution was too subtle, too elitist for modern tastes. His neoconservative descendants realised that the goal of awakening civic virtue could more easily be achieved by transforming liberal democracy itself into a fighting faith, into an object of worldwide struggle and sacrifice. They sought to pull outwards, not upwards. The collapse of the Soviet Union gave them their chance. Many became fierce champions of the same liberal democracy that Strauss himself had viewed with such scepticism.

The American military is the transformation of liberal democracy into a Spartan State with a Roman citizenry. Every patriot educated by the internet is the “pocket of wisdom”. Leo Strauss strived to find the solution to our culture wars even before he realized that there would be a war.

It is the military virtues that sustain civilization and protect it from the ravages of barbarian hordes. It is the civic virtues that grow a civilization into greatness and power.

Those two dichotomies, the military and the civilian, are necessary to keep each other alive in a symbiotic relationship. Strauss saw the decay that liberty would bring. Where would there be the discipline necessary to protect America? The discipline comes from the military. It comes from the liberty Americans have in volunteering or not volunteering for the military. It creates a select few, an elite, called “veterans” that are upheld as honest, brave, and intelligent.

It was not the neoconservatives that made America what they were. But the people, which when given liberty, used it to fullfill their greatest potential. Engineers became engineers, killers became Marines, and thus we have the sheepdog and the sheep.

There is no moral connotation to killer, sheep, sheepdog, engineer, doctor, lawyer (ok, skip lawyer), or judge. It takes all kinds of people to make a world work, and there is a place for everyone.

But Strauss’s most important bequest to neoconservatism was his revival of moral language. He wrote robust, classical English, full of epithets such as “honourable,” “noble,” “mercenary” and “vulgar.” One word he did not use was “evil.” No doubt he considered it unsuited to the secular discourse of politics. But that has not stopped his successors. The routine attribution of evil to political enemies is one of the less pleasant traits of today’s neoconservatism.

I would ask that the author not remind us that it is the Democrats that yelled that Bush was Hitler, Evil, and so were the Republikkans.

The worst that the Republicans can be said to say, is that Democrats support evil.

Atheism is a religion all on its own, and so is Leftism. That bears to be said, given that evil and good are religious vocabulary and not political vocabulary.

When Dick Durbin says that GitMo is a Gulag, he believes that GitMo is Evil. When Ted Kennedy says you are a racist, he believes that you are an evil person. (Link goes to how Ted murdered a woman he wanted to have sex with)

I take issue with the fact that the author did not mention President Bush using the word “honor” in his speech blitz last winter.

But the neoconservative cure is, alas, worse than the disease. For the sad fact is that historical guilt is now all that remains of the political conscience of the west. In unburdening ourselves of it, we are in danger of unburdening ourselves of any inhibition whatsoever. The Victorians were restrained in their imperial zeal by a long tradition of prudent statesmanship, as well as by a Christian sense of the corrupting effects of power. Strauss himself, if not a believer, had a sincere respect for religious faith. He understood the sacred awe before the limits of human power that the Bible calls “fear of God” and the Greeks expressed in the concept of dike, or cosmic justice. What restraints now remain? What is to prevent Strauss’s heirs, inheritors of a vulgarised version of their master’s teaching and confronted by no internal or external obstacles, from inflicting their fierce love upon the whole of humanity?

What are the neoconservatives and America constrained by? That is easy to answer.

We are constrained by the virtues of honor, duty, sacrifice, loyalty, compassion, independence, patriotism, courage, and determination.

Discipline and loyalty from the military. Compassion from all. And independence, courage, and sacrifice by the civilians backing our military to the hilt.

You ask us what contrains us in our human endeavours, and I say, the nobility of the human spirit. You ask what obstacles stops us from inflicting the tough love of honor and liberty, and we say the vices of corruption, hate, and superstition.

Arguments for why propaganda is important

February 27, 2006

if it hadn’t been accompanied by a curious charge about who had done it: the Mossad. The Jews.

Their propaganda is very good and has had generations to filter into people’s consciousnesses. It is very strange to believe that so many people can be fooled, but indeed technically it is not only possible, but easy.

Prayers for the Assassin delves into this topic in rather more depth, and imagines an Islamic States of America after the Jews dropped nukes on Washington DC and New York.

But he was clearly a crackpot, with some unusual ideas.

I once used a link to Steven Den Beste to argue for why Bush wasn’t as open as he could have been leading up to the Iraq War, and my debate opponent called Den Beste a crackpot as well. Which lead me to believe that there are crackpots and then there are crackpots.

I would rather term it was anti-Zionism rather than anti-Semitism because the foundation seems to heavily rest upon the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. I know they have their own reasons for divorcing the two, but to me it was always the Zionist conspiracy people refered to.

I would go one step further. The terroists know what the likely results would be. So the terroists attack people for the precise purpose of using it as propaganda in order to make people believe the worst of America and the best of them. Sadr and Abu Musab probably were in league with each other in the bombing of the Golden Dome Shrine. Sadr had the infiltration support necessary to remove and get info on the Shia militia guarding the shrine. Abu had the operational knowledge, the training, the muscle, and the bloodthirsty fanaticism to carry the operation out.

They all knew that the actual physical damage is minimal to the damage that they could cook up through their lies, distortions, and inciting of Civil War.

Like Rumsfield said, our enemies are experts and total masters of digital propaganda, armed propaganda teams, and even more astutely, the human psychology and how to manipulate it to create power and violence.

That ability almost completely offsets our superior technology.

Because as Napoleon said, in war, the morale is to the physical as is 3 is to 1. He was perfectly correct.

One of the problems in an asymmetrical warfare is that you have to bring symmetry to it. Counter violence with violence. Counter propaganda with propaganda. If you try and counter propaganda with violence or violence with propaganda, a Quagmire will result.

The logic is very weird. Because if the Jews did 9/11… why would America and the jews be reluctant to wipe out the Middle East with our nukes, if we were willing to blow up 3,000 of our own citizens?

It is amazing what their propaganda can do to bypass human logic. Just amazing.

The entire WMD thing was, in effect, a conspiracy theory.

I suppose we are to believe that the conspiracy theory saying that Saddam killed the Sheat and the Kurds with chem weaps was false, that in actuality the Jews were behind it, eh?

No need to go round and round on different interps of conspiracy theory, as long as we know they are ubiquitous, not found only among Muslims.

And why exactly is that important to know?

Your thoery on anti-americanism sounds like a conspiracy theory itself!

As you can see, good propaganda can destroy bad propaganda. As powerful violence can destroy weak violence.

The aim of propaganda is to convince, to persuade, and in some cases to coerce. The side that is able to do that the best, will own the battlespace of men’s minds. And anything else will be destroyed for the intruding idea that it is and never integrated into a person’s mind.

It is as if you are going to take a fortress and once taken, you can use it to defend against your enemy’s invading armies.

This is the true battle between winning hearts and minds.

It is as real as the battlefields the Marines fight on in Iraq. And perhaps even more important.