Friday, January 28, 2005

Clash of Civilizations and Enemies Within

A new kid on the block joining The Diplomad and The Daily Demarche is the New Sisyphus among the underground world of the Dept. of State foreign service officers in the blogoshere. They have a very good essay comparing the two schools of thought in the West about what the root cause of terrorism is and what type of war we should be fighting. The Muslim Rage School vs The Clash of Civilization School and compares what the terrorists themselves and Zarqawi in particular are saying. If we do not learn from them what they stand for and continue to follow in the footsteps of Neville Chamberlain and remain in denial, the price we have to pay will be so much more in the future.

“Visit any museum of tolerance or Holocaust memorial and you'll find amble prose
lamenting the fact that Western leaders failed to heed the clear warnings,
failed to understand that these apparently crazy people meant exactly what they
said and said exactly what they meant. Exactly because they were reasonable,
honorable men, people like Prime Minister Chamberlain were unable to comprehend
that buffoons with dangerous ideas could actually be serious about what they
intended.The result was a wholly preventable war that took the lives of tens of
millions of people. Today, a similar bunch of madmen are stating clearly what
they intend. And, sadly, except for the President of the United States, most
Western leaders are again pretending that barbarism does not exist.Now, as then,
their lack of imagination, empathy and understanding will end up costing us a
price in blood we could well avoid…”
Read the whole thing.

Among those of one school are the likes of Senators Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Barbara Boxer, Carl Levin and a host of other Legislators who were, at the time, behind the invasion of Afghanistan and the fall of the Taliban because that country and its regime were harboring terrorists that were responsible for numerous acts of terrorism against us and our allies. We did not go in to that campaign for one man, Bin Laden, we mounted that campaign to hunt down the Al Qaeda. Afghanistan is no longer a haven for them and has since held an election and has a democratically elected government. So where is the Al Qaeda concentrated today? Iraq.
And what do the nattering nabobs of negativity want to do? Cut and run. Senator Kennedy’s latest rant at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies he said "The US military presence has become part of the problem, not part of the solution," He then went on to say "We thought that victory on the battlefield would lead to victory in the war, and peace and democracy for the people of Vietnam," Kennedy said. "We did not understand that our very presence was creating new enemies and defeating the very goals we set out to achieve. We cannot allow that history to repeat itself."

A day before Kennedy's address, a group of 23 House Democrats introduced a resolution calling on President Bush to begin the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq."Our very presence in Iraq is the cause of much of the violence," said Rep. Lynn C. Woolsey (D-Petaluma), one of the sponsors. "We have a moral responsibility to leave in order to stem the violence." But several prominent Democratic critics of the administration's Iraq policies stopped short of endorsing Kennedy's pullout proposal."To announce we're going to draw down now in the face of the election, I think, is counterproductive," said Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr.(D-Del.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Iraq is where the enemy is, and where our enemies are is where we should be, fighting an offensive war not retreating in the face of our enemy, wringing our hands and saying ‘can’t we all just get along’. Sen. Kennedy is fond of talking about Viet Nam so let me hark back a tad farther in time to Germany, post WWII. How long was it after the war did we cede Germany its sovereignty? Ten years, 1955. In this current campaign we did it in less than two years. We might also take a look at Japan and in another light remember the Kamikazi of that war and the propaganda of the enemy then and the role our media played in that war and how it compares to todays conflicts. Bill Roggio at The Fourth Rail has an excellent summary of that conflict and comparison to today. I made some of the same points here.

UPDATE: Great minds think alike. Here is Preston at Junkyardblog. Heh.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

A Multi-front War

A Multi-front War

This has been said many times by many people better at this than I am but I felt a need to say it again. Most people will be in agreement that we are in a war against terrorists and their groups who have proclaimed a Jihad against the United States and the entire western non-muslim world. I submit that they are also engaged in Jihad with the non-western world including Muslims that do not walk in lockstep with their idea of radical Islam. Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda 'The Base' is the focus by many of this war but I find this to be a bit too narrow a focus and we need to widen our understanding about who and what we are having to fight. AQ is a blanket name under which many different organizations in many different countries identify themselves, for strategic reasons and for a sense of legitimacy in the terrorist fraternity. So much for stating the obvious.

One front that has also been talked about is the tacit approval of these murderers and terrorists as evidenced by the deafening silence from the "moderate Muslims". Many give lip service to the subject by such profound memes as "We condemn these acts" and "They do not reflect the mainstream of the Muslim people". Saudi Arabia, "our ally in the war on terror" continues to fund and back the Madrassa hate factories, the most recent noted is the 4,500 new ones being planned for Southeast Asia.

We note with some trepidation the Islamization of Europe and the effect it is having on some of their political decisions.In our smugness about Europe and what is taking place there we need to take note of the beam in our own eye as well. CAIR, the Council of American Islamic Relations. compares itself to the NAACP for Muslims. In reality, CAIR is something quite different. For starters, it's on the wrong side in the war on terrorism. One indication came in October 1998, when the group demanded the removal of a Los Angeles billboard describing Osama bin Laden as "the sworn enemy," finding this depiction "offensive to Muslims." CAIR consistently defends other militant Islamic terrorists too. The conviction of the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing it deemed "a travesty of justice." The conviction of Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh who planned to blow up New York City landmarks, it called a "hate crime." The extradition order for suspected Hamas terrorist Mousa Abu Marook it labeled "anti-Islamic" and "anti-American.". Another group that could be called a fifth column is tha Muslim Brotherhood. These men are part of an underground U.S. chapter of the international Muslim Brotherhood, the world's most influential Islamic fundamentalist group and an organization with a violent past in the Middle East. But fearing persecution, they rarely identify themselves as Brotherhood members and have operated largely behind the scenes, unbeknown even to many Muslims. This Chicago Tribune article is an excellent look at this organization and its ultimate goals.
These are just two of the various groups operating in our country.

Our neighbor to the north has even allowed Sharia law to overide their own laws and constitution, thereby allowing the first step toward an Islamic Republic on our border.

Also on the home front is the witting accomplices of much of the main stream media and wire services. Reuters and the AP have apparently been joined by the New York Times in refusing to use the word terrorist.

Headline: Top Rebel in Iraq Says War With U.S. May Last for Years

The most wanted insurgent in Iraq acknowledged... that a top guerrilla leader had died in fighting in Falluja... the militant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi... The audio message, posted on a guerrilla Web site... In the message, Mr. Zarqawi said Omar Hadid, a leader of the Falluja resistance and one of the most wanted guerrillas in Iraq...
The article goes on to describe other actions in Iraq:

Guerrillas in Mosul, the embattled northern city, tried to overrun Al Salam Hospital... Guerrillas also set off an explosion outside a British military base six miles southwest of Basra, wounding several Iraqi civilians … The Army of Ansar al-Sunna, one of the most militant groups in Iraq... The abductions are often organized by criminal gangs that try to get payments for the victims from their home countries or employers, or from politically motivated rebel groups... The Chinese government said it was negotiating to free eight Chinese workers who were abducted recently and turned up Tuesday in a videotape released by insurgents. Their captors are demanding that the Chinese government clarify its position on the war... insurgents were likely to try to take hostages... insurgents would consider a prominent kidnapping to be "'the perfect backdrop" to the elections …

From Bill Roggio...Examples of the media's negative portrayal of the fight against tyranny and terror can be seen in the media's reactions to President Bush's inauguration speech. Note this headline from The Scotsman: "A shiver runs round the world as Bush bangs the drum for 'fire of freedom'". A shiver? From who? Iran? Syria? Europe? Shouldn't the call for liberation from oppression and brutal regimes and ideologies be trumpeted by the very organizations that thrive on freedom? What do they fear?

The media and their mantra of "if it bleeds, it leads" and "good news is no news" feed into the thinking and the underlying hope of some of the left wanting to see failure and the belief that America is to blame for whatever is wrong with the world, it's our fault and if we were a third world impoverished country then at least the rest of the world would love us again.

Other forces at work are the anarchists/pacifist demonstrators that seem to garner all the news. Many of these are the same ones who made up the drug fogged protestors of the 60's and 70's and are trying to relive their heydays while the new generation of this group are trying to make their own memories of being from their hip generation. Many of these newbies have no idea what they are protesting and why, they are just protesting.

I apologize for the longer than usual rambling but I would also like to say that part of the problems we are having on our home front in this war is our fixation on immediate gratification. We tend to think of wars and goals achievable within months, not years. Anything longer becomes a "quagmire."

Thursday, January 20, 2005

President Bush made a short Inauguration Speech by some standards but it left no one with the question "where's the beef". The gentlemen at the Daily Demarche has an excellent overview of what this day means and also how it is being reported in the world press. A must read...that is an order.

It seems that I cannot post without mentioning something from Arthur Chrenkoff (no, we don't have a 'thing' and besides I hear he is not that pretty)....

Freedom versus devil

Two messages delivered today to millions of people on the opposite sides of the world. Different audiences, different topics, yet both hopeful and encouraging in their own ways.

"The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands... The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world... Freedom. This is a cause that unites our country and gives hope to the world... We have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom, and America will always be faithful to that cause."
And the other:
"The greatest affliction to strike the nation of Islam came from some of its own sons, who were lured by the devil... They have called the nation infidel, they have shed protected blood and they have spread vice on earth, with explosions and destruction and killing of innocents... Because Muslims have strayed from moderation, we are now suffering from this dangerous phenomenon of branding people infidels and inciting Muslims to rise against their leaders to cause instability... The reason for this is a delinquent and void interpretation of Islam based on ignorance ... faith does not mean killing Muslims or non-Muslims who live among us, it does not mean shedding blood, terrorising or sending body parts flying."
The first quote comes, of course, from president Bush's inauguration speech; the second from a sermon by Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudeis, the preacher at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, addressing some 2 to 2.5 million pilgrims during the annual Hajj. pilgrimage.

More later. Speaking of Moore, his body guard was arrested in NY for carrying an unlawful handgun. We should all be disarmed but not the Hollywood ignoratti, or is that illiteratti? Illigitamatti?

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Insane Cyclists and Others

Bill Roggio gives a shot at understanding insanity and the dangers of cyclists. He even brings Einstein into the discussion. Abu Mazen could not be reached for comment. He did however tell the bad boys to chill for now. That will go a long ways toward ME peace.

Notes and Quotes

This is from Steven Vincent In The Red Zone and gives an indication about the upcoming elections in Iraq that you won't get from the MSM.

Iraq's new constitution, to be drafted by the newly elected national assembly, will not be inspired by sectarian considerations and...the voice of all Iraqis must be heard in the debate on the constitution
-- Ayatollah Sistani spokesman Hamid Al-Khafaf, speaking in Cairo
Iraq's Sunnis must be represented in any future government regardless of the election results.
-- Abdul-Aziz Al-Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and a front-runner for Iraq's new Prime Minister
We will accept and give full support to a Shia-dominated government provided that it draws a timeline for the withdrawal of occupation troops.
-- Harith Al-Dhari, head of the Muslims Cleric's Association, the main Sunni political organization, speaking to Al-Hayat newspaper
Elections should not be the endgame but only the beginning of a long process...In the end, what we want is a government that represents the interests of all Iraqis and not those of a sect or ethnic group. Our judgment will be based on the agenda of the government rather than its composition.
-- Iyad Al-Samarrai, spokesperson for the Iraqi Islamist Party, a Sunni group
(Omayma Abdel-Latif, Al-Ahram Weekly)
The elections aim to separate the Iraqi from his religion. When people vote for politicians, secularists, those who co-operate with the occupation--they will not think of God.
-- Moqtada al-Sadr
(Steve Negus/Dhiya Rasan, Financial Times)
Beware of henchman who speak in the name of Islamic parties and urge people to participate in the election.
-- Osama bin Laden
Lastly, consider this comment from the New York Times about the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

On a related note Chrenkoff has a post on the MSM and some really convoluted thinking.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Sloth and stuff

Ok, I have been slothful in my posting of late. Now that I think about it I am just plain slothful. It has gotten so bad that I refuse to check if slothful and gotten are real words. I have been working on another Bozone Awards post but there is so much coming in everyday that it becomes passe' ( forgive the French ) before I can finish. Just to satisfy both of my readers, I will tell you this, the UN is on site and will be holding meetings in their continued efforts to lead the effort to provide food to two million people. We can now relax a little.

Good old Seymour Hersh has either revealed state secrets or he has been used by the Administration as a tool for disinformation. On the one hand he should be prosecuted or on the other hand given one of those Darwin Awards or maybe a Bozone. Apparently I am not the only one musing about whether Sy has been an unwitting shill.

Jeff Jarvis of the Buzzmachine has a little thing to say about the Times irresponsibility to not only its readers but to its victims. This is yellow journalism as its best or worst with lives at stake.

Sarah Boxer's story on IraqTheModel in today's New York Times Arts section is irresponsible, sloppy, lazy, inaccurate, incomplete, exploitive, biased, and -- worst of all -- dangerous, putting the lives of its subjects at risk. . . .

So here is a reporter from The New York Times -- let's repeat that, The New York Times -- speculating in print on whether an Iraqi citizen, whose only apparent weirdness and sin in her eyes is (a) publishing and (b) supporting America, is a CIA or Defense Department plant or an American.

Ms. Boxer, don't you think you could be putting the life of that person at risk with that kind of speculation? In your own story, you quote Ali -- one of the three blogging brothers who started IraqTheModel -- saying that "here some people would kill you for just writing to an American." And yet you go so much farther -- blithely, glibly speculating about this same man working for the CIA or the DoD -- to sex up your lead and get your story atop the front of the Arts section (I'm in the biz, Boxer, I know how the game is played).

How dare you? Have you no sense of responsibility? Have you no shame?

I have been watching Condi Rice and her confirmation hearing. It has been a good hearing except for (so far) two members questioning. John Kerry finally showed up to a committee after several years absence and made a total fool out himself although he never mentioned that he served in Viet Nam. The other moment was Barbara Boxer who just should be a total embarassment to her State and to her Party. At least she didn't cry on cue but she did seem close a time or two. I'll try to post the appropriate transcript when available.

This just in..Generalissimo Francisco Franco and Yasser Arafat are both reported to be in stable condition

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

What it means to be an American.

This comes to me from Doug Gilmore and is reprinted in full by permission...

What it means to be an American.

The title sounds daunting - after all, there are nearly 300 million Americans and therefore lots of opinions (Americans being amongst the most opinionated people on earth). It also sounds pretentious – who am I to define what being an American means? But I believe there is some common ground that most Americans would agree on. Note that I said most – it is impossible to get all Americans to agree on anything. If you were to place 100 randomly selected Americans outside in a pouring rainstorm, at least 3 would disagree that it was raining.

So what does it mean to be an American?

First and foremost, Americans are optimists. It is part of our national culture, born of the dreams of immigrants since the 1500’s that braved months at sea, driven only by the wind, to come to a strange land where they hoped for something better. Perhaps it is genetic and is part of our DNA passed down by our forefathers who came here because they believed they could make a better life for themselves and their posterity. For many of those who stayed home in Europe, there was more acceptance of “the way things were” and less appreciation for “the way things could be”.

Bobby Kennedy said “Some folks see things as they are and ask why. I see things as they are and ask why not.” This is the quintessential American Ideal. To be sure, perhaps 20% or so of our population are descended from folk who came to this country involuntarily, but even within that group, there was a spirit of looking forward to the future. Americans believe there is no problem that cannot be surmounted. The times when our nation has faltered have been when we have succumbed to fears of malaise. Our greatest times of triumph have been when we have focused on our optimistic vision of the Republic, of our communities and of the world. Europeans don’t share this optimism. Perhaps it’s the weight of history, the burden of 3,000 years of monarchies, dictatorships, communism, fascism, endless wars, and terrible pogroms. As a recent Italian visitor said in my home, “Europe is like an old man who is resigned to his life. America is like a young person who truly believes they can make the world a better place.”

Secondly, Americans are fighters. Americans have always held that there are some things worth dying for. Back when the Cold War was raging, I had a discussion with a young man from Europe who quite frankly told me that he would rather be alive and under communist enslavement that to die for the “abstract” (his words) idea of freedom. He maintained that life was more important than liberty. This fundamentally flies in the face of what most consider the American Ethos. From the rallying cry of Patrick Henry’s “Give me Liberty or give me Death” to John F. Kennedy’s “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty”, Americans have been willing to sacrifice everything for what the young European described as “abstract”. The Judeo-Christian heritage of the overwhelming majority of Americans taught them that the Jews of old were a free people who later surrendered their freedom to monarchs because they feared their enemies more than they appreciated liberty. And they ended up with neither security nor liberty, proof of Benjamin Franklin’s edict: They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.

Thirdly, Americans laugh and they laugh at themselves. Americans have always been a laughing bunch. From the beginnings of the Republic with Benjamin Franklin’s wit that diffused the egos in the Continental Congress and later, the Constitutional Convention, to the acerbic satire of Samuel Clemens who showed America a part of herself that wasn’t always good, but could be fixed (see – optimists fix things), to the joking of Theodore Roosevelt and even now, with Jon Stewart. We like to joke about ourselves and rib ourselves and it keeps up from becoming quite so full of ourselves. Some nations have real problems with mocking themselves. Perhaps it is part of our heritage descended from the Scots, Irish and Welsh who came to these shores. Europe and much of the rest of the world suffer too much from Nietzche’s idea of laughter as a medicine to be taken reluctantly: Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter. Americans understand laughter to be something they need to wallow in, something they WANT to wallow in, as Henry Ward Beecher put it: “Mirth is God's medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it.”

Fourthly, Americans are individualists. This has created problems on occasion, but it is the very idea of the hardy individualist that has been a vigilant protector of the defense of liberty. Sadly, this idea is under attack today and hopefully, we will not proceed down the slippery slope of communalism. It does take a village to raise a child, but the parents bloody well need to be the primary responsible parties. We believe that the individual is important and valuable and that the concept of the individual is an essential part of protecting the nation from becoming a dictatorship of the majority. We rejoice in our individual quirks. Whereas quirks in Europe get you shunned, quirkiness in America has always been excused as “eccentricity” or, in the old parlance, “a bit queer”. As such, Americans believe that individualism is something to be admired, not admonished.

Fifthly, Americans have, of all people, believed from the beginning that freedom and liberty was their God-given right. From the concept that God spoke directly to man and walked with man in the garden, to the Old Testament’s admonition against about surrendering freedom to monarchs to the modern day teenager screaming about “my rights”, Americans believe that we were born free and that government exists at our pleasure, not the other way around. Americans believe that the Constitution frames the powers of the government and that it does not declare what the rights of the people are. The rights of the people are paramount and the Constitution only acts to tell the government what it cannot do to the people while it is doing what the people want it to. Americans understand that the government has a role and that role is to provide for the citizens what they individually would not be able to do. The government exists to defend this nation from attack and to protect the individual from the bully, whether that bully is another individual or even society itself. Most of all, Americans understand the nature of government is to free the individual to meet his or her highest potential. In the words of Justice Louis Brandeis, commenting on the Preamble to our Constitution: Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the State was to make men free to develop their faculties.

And finally, Americans are proud to be Americans. Americans are not ashamed of the American Flag. Americans are not afraid to proclaim their heritage. Americans do not hide behind the flag of another country. Americans admit that America is not perfect, but we full well believe we live in a very, very special place. We do not believe there is no merit to other nations, but we believe there is a reason why the Statue of Liberty stands in our harbor. We believe that we are the “city on the hill” that Ronald Reagan described us as. And we believe that our optimistic, fighting, laughing, individualistic freedom loving IDEALS are the ideals that allow mankind to achieve his highest purpose on earth.

That’s what I believe an American is. I’m not dumb enough to believe that all Americans agree with me. I do believe that those who would take issue with these Ideals either have an axe to grind or maybe are just expressing their own individualism. If it’s the former, they need to get over it. If it’s the latter, I applaud them. I’ve traveled around a large portion of this globe and have met wonderful people and seen beautiful places in different parts of the world. But America is home. America is still where millions of people clamor to come. And we are still “the bright shining light, piercing the darkness.”

© Doug Gilmore 15 January 2005

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Administration Responds

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20016

Dear Concerned Citizen:

Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of
the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees currently being held at Guantanamo
Bay, Cuba. The President has asked that I respond to you personally and
I am most happy to do so.

Our administration takes these matters seriously, and your opinion was
heard "loud and clear" here in Washington. You'll be pleased to learn
that, thanks to the concerns of citizens like you, we are creating a new
division of the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "Liberals
Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short. In
accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to
place one terrorist under your personal care.

Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for
transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next Monday.
Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be
cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your
letter of admonishment. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some
assistant caretakers. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that
your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so
strongly recommended in your letter.

Although Ahmed is sociopathic and extremely violent, we hope that your
sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help
him overcome these character flaws. Perhaps you are correct in
describing these problems as mere cultural differences. He will bite
you, given the chance.

We understand that you plan to offer counselling and home-schooling. Your
adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can
extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers.

We do not suggest that you ask him to demonstrate these skills at your
next yoga group. He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive
devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those
items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.
Ahmed will not wish to interact with your wife or daughters (except
sexually) since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is
a particularly sensitive subject for him, and he has been known to show
violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress
code that Ahmed will recommend as more appropriate attire. I'm sure
they will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the bhurka - over time.
Just remind them that it is all part of "respecting his culture and his
religious beliefs" - wasn't that how you put it?

Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like
you, who know so much, keep us informed of the proper way to do our job.
You take good care of Ahmed - and remember...we'll be watching.
All here wish you the very best of luck.

I remain, cordially,

Donald Rumsfeld
Secretary of Defense

NOTE: It is my understanding that this letter and its authenticity has been verified by Mary Mapes and an un-impeachable source. Sources close to the White House have had no comment. Our source, code name "Bux" is, as of this posting in an undisclosed location for personal safety reasons. The letter is being studied to determine if it was personally signed or done by a Borg...uh..machine. "If this is a fraud, I want to be the first to break the story..Tom Heard"

Sex, Death and Flyfishing

Calm down, it's a book. Why am I writing about a book? Some of my friends and I are always e-mailing each other with recommendations on books that we have read or are reading. This is one of mine that I just recently finished. Who cares? Apparently one of my fans (cough). It/he/she wanted to know just what it was that I read. There were some mentions of Mien Kampf and others. As a matter of fact I have read that and somewhere I have a copy of Mao's "Little Red Book". Madeline Murray-O'Hair always had a bible too. One must know thine enemies as well or better than thy friends.

The book which started this post is excellent and since I am a flyfishing fanatic (you don't have to be good to be a fanatic do ya?) I thought that would be a good place to start about my reading habits. I might have what some would call an ecletic reading list and interests. Next on my "to-do" list is Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America . Just finished a Tom Clancy non-fiction with Gen. Carl Stiner about the growth and maturity of our Special Forces, Shadow Warriors.

I know that this is an admission that will have world changing ramifications but I also read newspapers and OMG blogs. OK, now that I have outed myself, I feel better.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


I saw a O' Factor last night and was not paying a lot of attention. (as usual) and caught what I thought was a suggestion that Clinton replace Annan as Sec.Gen. of the UN. I thought it was a joke and made in a sarcastic moment as bait for Mr. Holbrook, who was the guest. As I've stated here before, I run hot and cold on O'Reilly but come to find out he was serious. This AM I look for a story about it to see if what I heard was from too much beer or that is what he really said. Yep, that's what he said. Back in February of 2003 there were reports of a "major international move" to engineer Clinton into the post. In October, a United Press International report said Clinton "definitely wants to do it." According to the report, Clinton's candidacy would receive overwhelming support from U.N. member states, particularly in the Third World. O'Reilly, you never cease to amaze.

Potpourri...UN, Torture, Tsunami, Al Qaeda

For an insightful look at the UN's roll in the ongoing disaster relief effort in the far east, check out the fellas at the Diplomad. They have several posts on what the UN is doing and what the US, Australia, Japan and the "core group" are doing. Caution, blood pressure meds are recommended before reading. The humor is as good as the sarcasm.

The Belmont Club has a good post on "torture" and its role or lack of a role in todays world. My only problem with the piece is that they are discussing the type of traditional torture that we all used to associate with that term. The term torture as used by the MSM and the far left is now meant to include A.) Not enough nap time. B.) Not providing a Barcolounger to subjects during questioning. C.) Not providing the detainees with the O.J. Dream Team. D.) No cable or satellite feeds of Al Jazeera in cells.. but I digress . They make a good point about the effect on this controversy in regard to upcoming confirmation hearing for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Arthur Chrenkoff, as always, has an excellent post. This one is on the tsunami and the disaster relief efforts underway with many links worth following. Arthur, being an Aussie is close to the action and has proved time and again his talent of putting it all together.

Bill Roggio over at The Fourth Rail has a post on the security and possible vulnerability of our people envolved in the rescue efforts with the possible opportunity for Al Qaeda to strike us over there while we are involed with saving lives. Here is an exerpt from the article...

The size and scope of the crisis may necessitate the dispersal of the USS
Abraham Lincoln Strike Group and the 15th MEU, and may create an opportunity for
terrorists to strike at American forces while operating in a humanitarian
assistance posture. The South Asia Analysis Group
(SAAG) foresees such a possibility
, particularly because U.S. forces will be
operating in nations where terrorist groups have a presence (hat tip to Rantburg).
13. The
large-scale deployment of highly visible US troops in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and
Thailand could make them attractive targets for Al Qaeda, the Jemmah Islamiyah
and other jihadi terrorist organisations and add to the internal security
problems of the affected countries. It would be wishful-thinking to believe that
because of the enormous tragedy, the jihadi terrorists will refrain from acts of
terrorism in the Tsunami-ravaged countries due to a fear that this could
antagonise the local population. They have never cared for public opinion and
fears of public revulsion have never been an inhibiting factor for them.
The tragedy in Thailand has not prevented the jihadi terrorists from continuing
with their acts of terrorism in the Muslim majority provinces of southern

Read it all, it is worth your time, really.

The Junkyard Blog has more about the "Politics of Torture" and why it should or should not be a subject of the Senate confirmation hearings. Included are some of the thoughts of our favorite gay rights advocate Andrew Sullivan. I think the term "tied at the hip to the Dems" is a good description of Sullivans take on the hearings. heh.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Update on "When Devils Walk the Earth"

After posting the excert from a Ralph Peters book below, I was informed by Robert Hessen, a Senior research Fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford that the book was actually Peters 2002 "The Road to Terror" and was the title of the 2nd Chapter. With his permission I post his e-mail with thanks for setting the record straight and making an honest man outta me.

Dear Tom Heard:
You write: "This essay is extracted from Ralph Peters' new book, "When Devils
Walk the Earth."

Actually, this is NOT a new book, but rather a chapter (#2) of
his book, The Road to Terror (not to be confused with his
latest, The Road to Baghdad). Thanks for linking to it, since
I had never read the chapter before.

Robert Hessen
Senior Research Fellow
Hoover Institution
Stanford University
Stanford CA 94305

After doing a little more reasearch (you should have done it before now...ed ) I ran across this from the Air and Space Power Journal.:

Document created: 4 September 03
Air & Space Power Journal - Fall 2003

Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World by Ralph Peters. Stackpole Books (http://www. storefront), 5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17055-6921, 2002, 368 pages, $22.95 (hardcover).

Ralph Peters had an interesting military career that included service in the Executive Office of the President. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in order to speak freely about what he considered problems in the US military and political policies. Although one can disagree with his points of view, they do force readers to think about the future of our armed forces. Beyond Terror includes 16 essays that Peters published in such journals as the US Naval Institute’s Proceedings and the Army War College’s Parameters, as well as a few chapters written specifically for it. The book deals with problems as varied as the root causes of intelligence failures, the need for linguists, and the problem of retired flag officers assuming positions in private defense-contracting firms.

Peters- who seems to embrace Samuel Huntington’s theory of the clash of civilizations, which many academics reject- begins by discussing America’s place in history, arguing that the United States should not be ashamed of its military and industrial might. He feels that we often support dictatorships and corrupt regimes in the name of political expediency when we should be throwing our instruments of national power behind people who want self-determination. About the world of Islam he writes, “[Muslims] must decide whether to wallow in a comforting that warms the heart with hatred of others” (p. 6), a statement that is too simplistic and minimizes efforts to really identify what is currently wrong with Islam. For example, one glaring problem is the inability of Sunni Islam to reinvent itself through an Islamic concept called Ijithaad (analytical reasoning), which senior religious officials foolishly banned in the ninth century.

“When Devils Walk the Earth,” the chapter on terrorism, offers an excellent analysis of two different types of terrorists: the practical and the apocalyptic. The former have a political agenda and want to ascend to power, so utterly destroying the infrastructure they intend to govern makes no sense. The latter are the more dangerous type because they believe they are the hand of God. Unlike practical terrorists, the apocalyptic terrorists do not listen to reason- after all, they have God on their side. Peters candidly states that the apocalyptic faction must simply be destroyed. Clearly, Beyond Terror is a controversial book but an important one for readers interested in forecasting strategy and policy.
Lt Comdr Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, USN
Washington, D.C.

After doing some more research on Dr. Peters, I added his works to my books-to-buy list. Thanks again to Robert Hessen and also to John Ray at Dissecting Leftism for the link to the previous post. Otherwise I would have remainded blissfully ignorant.