Thursday, June 08, 2006

This is what we have to endure, part three

Continuing directly . . .
and an outpost for a stabilizing American military presence in the Middle East for as long as it is needed.

Why would we want to do that? Where has a permanent military presence ever been a "stabilizing" influence without the applied threat of force? How is that an American ideal? What Constitution have you been reading?

The European nations could have done this, but they didn't, and they won't.

Hmm. Maybe they know something we don't? After all, they are a lot closer to this area than we are; they might have some insight into the locale that we aren't privy to.

The so-called "Coalition Forces" are, in most cases, little more than a "Token Force" to keep face with the US. And once attacked, like the train bombing in Madrid, they pull their forces and run for home.

Exactly. They know a sure losing battle when they see it. Why don't we?

We now know that rather than opposing the rise of the Jihad, the French, Germans, and Russians were selling them arms - we have found more than a million tons of weapons and munitions in Iraq.

Over the course of the last 20 years, just like we were. Those arms don't melt away once we don't want them to exist, you know. And again, Iraq had no jihadist forces in control of anything until we invaded.

If Iraq was not a threat to anyone, why did Saddam need a million tons of weapons?

There's no argument that Saddam Hussein was a threat to his neighbors and his citizens. What you've been saying throughout this whole piece, though, is that he was a threat to us. That's simply untrue. Your argument has no internal logic.

And Iraq was paying for French, German, and Russian arms with money skimmed from the UN Oil For Food Program (supervised by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and his son) that was supposed to pay for food, medicine, and education, for Iraqi children.

So, they were selling their natural resources and spending the money in ways they chose? So what? Corruption exists. I'm stunned. Ask Duke Cunningham, Jack Abramoff, and Tom Delay about that . . . The money isn't the issue, the purchases are, and we're as guilty (if not more) than any of those countries in filling their shopping carts.

World War II, the war with the German and Japanese Nazis, really began with a "whimper" in 1928. It did not begin with Pearl Harbor. It began with the Japanese invasion of China.

See above in re: 1928. How is a military invasion a "whimper". I bet the Manchurians and the Chinese would beg to differ with your characterization. And second, Pearl Harbor? Who thinks that started WW2? What about the invasion of Poland and the ensuing 2 years+? What strawman are you trying to knock down?

It was a war for fourteen years before America joined it. It officially ended in 1945 - a 17 year war - and was followed by another decade of US occupation in Germany and Japan to get those countries reconstructed and running on their own again ....

I must have missed something. When, exactly, did our "occupation" of those countries end? We still have bases there with permanent garrisons, don't we? Get your facts straight before trying to draw conclusions from them, ok?

World War II cost the United States an amount equal to approximately a full year's GDP - adjusted for inflation, equal to about $12 trillion dollars, WWII cost America more than 400,000 killed in action, and nearly 100,000 still missing in action. [The Iraq war has, so far, cost the US about $180 billion, which is roughly what 9/11 cost New York. It has also cost over 2,300 American lives, which is roughly 2/3 of the lives that the Jihad snuffed on 9/11.] But the cost of not fighting and winning WWII would have been unimaginably greater - a world now dominated by German and Japanese Nazism.

So, why exactly are you quoting statistics at me? Your last sentence makes them moot, doesn't it? Not that I agree with your assertion anyway. (Oh, yeah, you might want to watch how you use the term "Nazism". The Japanese were a monarchy; there was no "state-owned" anything there. They didn't even have a "fascist" style of government.)

Americans have a short attention span, now, conditioned I suppose by 1 hour TV shows and 2-hour movies in which everything comes out okay.

Or their lack of focused reading or retaining, like you appear to have.

The real world is not like that. It is messy, uncertain,and sometimes bloody and ugly. Always has been, and probably always will be.

So why should we exacerbate that? Shouldn't we instead use our resources to improve the world and reduce the ugliness?

If we do this thing in Iraq successfully,

Where is your evidence we are capable of doing that?

it is probable that the Reformation will ultimately prevail.

Unless, that is, your Jihadists aren't in Iraq and are completely unaffected by our "occupation". How far away was East Germany from our base in West Germany? Our presence didn't do much there, did it?

Many Muslims in the Middle East hope it will.

Perhaps. Where is the evidence to support that conclusion, however, and why haven't they stepped up to "help us"?

We will be there to support it. It has begun in some countries, Libya, for instance. And Dubai. And Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Dubai? Um, they are not democracies, are they? And they are certainly not "Reformist", by any stretch of the imagination. All that besides, we didn't invade any of their countries and try to impose our way of thinking on them, either, so what's your point?

If we fail, the Inquisition will probably prevail, and terrorism from Islam will be with us for all the foreseeable future, because the Inquisition, or Jihad, believes they are called by Allah to kill all the Infidels, and that death in Jihad is glorious.

So our objective should be to isolate extremists and eliminate the sources of their discontent. Attempting to exterminate them, on the other hand, not only smacks of Hitler's "Final Solution", but also creates martyrs and implacable foes.

The bottom line here is that we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism until we defeat it, whenever that is. It will not go away on its own. It will not go away if we ignore it.

Who's arguing to do that? Anyone? Peddle your strawmen somewhere else.

If the US can create a reasonably democratic and stable Iraq,

Not very likely, given their short and radically unstable non-democratic history, is it? Name one other instance of a country created by Westerners drawing lines on a map in the 20th century ending up democratic that has the same discord as Iraq.

then we have an "England" in the Middle East, a platform, from which we can work to help modernize and moderate the Middle East.

Please. That is so obviously crazy as to be laughable. Besides, I thought the "rational and well-educated" Saudis already represented our "platform" there. You seem to think they are, at any rate . . . How many do we need?

The history of the world is the clash between the forces of relative civility and civilization, and the barbarians clamoring at the gates. The Iraq war is merely another battle in this ancient and never-ending war. And now, for the first time ever, the barbarians are about to get nuclear weapons. Unless we prevent them. Or somebody does.

Your description of what "history" is reveals your incredible ignorance, let alone your depiction of our aggressive pre-emptive strike against Iraq as being somehow "civil". Seeing history as having some sort of overarching "sweep" or narrative like this is a remnant of colonialist imperialism belief. It was used for centuries to justify the enslavement of Africans and the colonization of the entire world outside of North America and Europe (since we were bringing Christianity and civilization to uncivilized heathens), and no serious historian of any repute is left alive who thinks in those terms. We are not engaged in some endless struggle against "barbarians"--"civilized" people lived in Iraq for thousands of years before Columbus ever sailed anywhere, so who's really the barbarian, anyway?--only a bigot would think we are.

The Iraq war is expensive, and uncertain, yes. But the consequences of not fighting it and winning it will be horrifically greater.

Says you. How does your kind think Russia "lost" the Cold War? By spending their economy into a black hole trying to remain a military power on par with us, right? How will following them down that rabbit hole help the world, exactly? Our economy is already in a shambles--even you think that, as witnessed by your statements above--so how is spending even more on warfare going to help?

We have four options -
1. We can defeat the Jihad now, before it gets nuclear weapons.
2. We can fight the Jihad later, after it gets nuclear weapons (which may be as early as next year, if Iran's progress on nuclear weapons is what Iran claims it is).

3. We can surrender to the Jihad and accept its dominance in the Middle East, now, in Europe in the next few years or decades, and ultimately in America.
4. Or we can stand down now, and pick up the fight later when the Jihad is more widespread and better armed, perhaps after the Jihad has dominated France and Germany and maybe most of the rest of Europe. It will be more dangerous, more expensive, and much bloodier then.

I reject your options. You have omitted possibly the most efficient and certainly the least violent option, and the one most reasonable people would use: to help spread peace and prosperity through offering education, food, and other tangible aid to those who want it desperately, and reducing our dependence on the only natural resource (oil) these countries possess so as to eliminate the need for control over it. If we were the good guys you think we are, don't you think the jihadists would lose recruits pretty fast? If we don't give people a reason to hate us, they won't. Pretty simple, really. Sanctions work, if that fails. Ask Saddam Hussein (who had no WMDs and was not a threat to anyone outside his borders) or Qaddafi (who, by your own admission, is not so much of a threat anymore) if being isolated and unable to procure needed food, medicine, or anything else is a method of retaining power.

Yes, the Jihadis say that they look forward to an Islamic America. If you oppose this war, I hope you like the idea that your children, or grandchildren, may live in an Islamic America under the Mullahs and the Sharia, an America that resembles Iran today.

Right. And how are they going to do this, exactly? Only if our country collapses on itself through economic suicide. So what if they get a bomb. Even if they do (not a sure thing, by the way), they have limited means of delivering it (if any). Even if they bomb somewhere, even if it kills the President, what then? We surrender? Not likely. We are still the owner of most of the nuclear weaponry on the planet--by far. One bomb against our entire arsenal? Right. The threat of weapons is their true power, and our fear of that threat. The actual weapon itself is pretty puny by comparison to what we have. Get real.

We can be defeatist peace-activists as anti-war types seem to be, and concede, surrender, to the Jihad, or we can do whatever it takes to win this war against them.

Nice to live in your black and white world, is it? Sounds pretty bleak to me. Kill or be killed? Very "civilized" of you. We don't have to "surrender" to anybody, because nobody's asking us to, and what exactly would be the result of "surrendering"? The jihadists would then have no enemy to fight. Without an enemy, they would have a pretty hard time convincing young people to kill themselves for "the cause", wouldn't they?

The history of the world is the history of civilizational clashes, cultural clashes. All wars are about ideas, ideas about what society and civilization should be like, and the most determined always win.

Bullshit. Modern wars are about power and frustration. Your favorite war was one of geographical greed; Hitler thought Germany needed more "living space", and the Japanese wanted to create a supportive geographical base of operations ("The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere"). The problem was, other countries were in the way, and they had no intention of giving up their own sovereignty. Frustrated by this, both countries attacked their neighbors militarily to overpower them, and war ensued. Neither country was interested necessarily in ruling the world or changing the "culture" or "society" of countries not in their way geographically. Hitler thought Great Britain could be his ally, for example, even though both countries shared neither a common language or societal structure.

Those who are willing to be the most ruthless always win.

Really? Hitler won? Or were we "more ruthless"? Yikes! Wrong.

The pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them.

How ridiculous. I thought you were trying to be serious.

In the 20th century, it was Western democracy vs. communism, and before that Western democracy vs. Nazism, and before that Western democracy vs. German Imperialism. Western democracy won, three times, but it wasn't cheap, fun, nice, easy, or quick. Indeed, the wars against German Imperialism (WWI), Nazi Imperialism (WWII), and communist imperialism (the 40-year Cold War that included the Vietnam Battle, commonly called the Vietnam War, but itself a major battle in a larger war) covered almost the entire century.

Um, the Soviet Union (not exactly a bastion of "Western democracy") fought against Nazism, too, remember? And pre-Revolutionary Russia fought--and lost--against "German Imperialism", too. Not only that, but in both of those cases, Germany was not the only enemy anyway, and in WW1, all countries on both sides had imperial/colonial holdings--Germany was one of the least invested in overseas possessions. As far as communism goes, aren't the Chinese still Communist? Have we defeated them? It seems to me that they are "winning", given the relative states of our economies . . .

The first major war of the 21st Century is the war between Western Judeo/Christian Civilization and Wahhabi Islam. It may last a few more years, or most of this century. It will last until the Wahhabi branch of Islam fades away, or gives up its ambitions for regional and global dominance and Jihad, or until Western Civilization gives in to the Jihad.

What an outrageously narrow mind you have. Wahhabi Islam is a minor faction within the religion, and there are many ways to coexist peacefully with it. Extermination is not an answer to anything, unless you think Hitler's (or Stalin's) methods were sound.


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