Pacifism, libertarianism, and the future of the Republican Party 15

Daniel Greenfield – one of the writers we most respect, and on most issues agree with – argues against Rand Paul’s position on drones and the government’s possible threat to lives on American soil. (See our post Death or due process? March 7, two days ago.)

Rand Paul is anti-war, like his libertarian father Ron Paul. His views on America’s conduct of foreign affairs are like his father’s.

It is chiefly on the issues of foreign policy and war that we part company with most libertarians.

So on these issues we are as critical of both father and son as Daniel Greenfield is. But we do not agree with all he says.

There are Conservative sites that are positively giddy about Rand Paul getting positive mentions from John Cusack [Hollywood leftist critic of the use of drones] and [Maoist Communist] Van Jones. [Feminist pacifist] Code Pink’s endorsement is being treated like some kind of victory.

Are we really getting worked up about getting a pat on the head from the left? …

Even saner heads are calling Rand Paul’s filibuster a political victory. The only place that it’s a victory is in the echo chambers of a victory-starved party. And to Code Pink and Van Jones who are happy to see the Republican Party adopting their views.

The “brilliant victory” was that some Republicans tried to go further on the left than Obama on National Defense. Maybe next they can try to go further left than him on Immigration, Gay Marriage and Abortion. 

And if that doesn’t work, Rand Paul and Jon Huntsman can get together on ending the War on Drugs.

On the issues of gay marriage and the war on drugs we too take a libertarian view. We don’t think that what people do in their private lives is the state’s business. (We notice that marriage is a fading institution, and so anticipate that all unions, whether heterosexual or homosexual, will become civil contracts of the same kind – leaving the religions to decide for themselves who may be married by their rites.)

On abortion our position is not conventionally conservative or libertarian. We think it should be rare and early. The law should speak on the matter only to set a time limit.

We cannot be for uncontrolled immigration as long as the host country is a welfare state.

Daniel Greenfield continues on the subject of drones, which, he says, was a smokescreen obscuring Rand Paul’s real cause:

Most Americans support using drones to kill Al Qaeda terrorists. Most Americans don’t know about the filibuster or care. Most Americans want political and economic reforms, not conspiracy theories.

The Paul filibuster was about drone strikes on American soil, the way that Obama ‘only’ wants to ban assault rifles.

This isn’t about using drones to kill Americans on American soil. That’s a fake claim being used by Rand Paul as a wedge issue to dismantle the War on Terror. Now that he’s manipulated conservative support for that, he can begin moving forward with his real agenda.

Rand Paul is on record as opposing Guantanamo Bay and supports releasing the terrorists. He’s on record opposing drone strikes against Al Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan, saying, “A perpetual drone war in Pakistan makes those people more angry and not less angry.”

This position is no different than that of his father. The only difference is that Rand Paul is better at sticking statements like these into the middle of some conservative rhetoric.

To which we say, endorsing Greenfield’s view: the belief, held by the far left and the libertarian movement, that countries hostile to the United States have been provoked to spiteful bellicose fury by American policies and actions, is wrong. It is ill-informed. America is resented for what it is – free, prosperous, successful, and above all powerful – not (unless in particular temporary instances) for anything it has done or is doing. Obama sympathizes with the resentment, and is doing his best to make the country he presides over less free, less prosperous, less successful, and much less powerful.

That the “war on terror” (ridiculous phrase but referring to something real) is not America’s fault, is the point on which we are in entire agreement with Daniel Greenfield. It is al-Qaeda, he says, which has turned the whole world into a battlefield, not America. And he is right.

Here, in the middle of Rand Paul’s drone rant is what he really stands for and against.

“It’s one thing to say yeah, these people are going to probably come and attack us, which to tell you the truth is probably not always true. There are people fighting a civil war in Yemen who probably have no conception of ever coming to America.”

The people fighting that “civil war” are tied in with Al Qaeda, including the Al-Awlaki clan, whose scion, Anwar Al-Awlaki helped organize terrorist attacks against America and was linked to 9/11.

“… We do know the U.S. drones are targeting people who have never pledged to carry out attacks in the United States, so we’re talking about noncombatants who have never pledged to carry out attacks are being attacked overseas. Think about it, if that’s going to be the standard at home, people who have never really truly been involved with combat against us. Take Pakistan where the CIA kills some people without even knowing their identities. … Think about it. If it were your family member and they have been killed and they were innocent or you believe them to be innocent, it’s going to – is it going to make you more or less likely to become involved with attacking the United States?”

This isn’t about stopping Obama from killing Americans. This is straight-line anti-war garbage.

“You know, or how much – if there’s an al-Qaida presence there trying to organize and come and attack us. Maybe there is. But maybe there’s also people who are just fighting their local government. How about Mali? I’m not sure in Mali they’re probably worried more about trying to get the next day’s food than coming over here to attack us.”

And a politician reciting Michael Mooreisms like these is supposed to stand for a “Conservative Victory”?

“I think that’s a good way of putting it, because when you think about it, obviously they’re killing some bad people. This is war. There’s been some short-term good. The question is, does the short-term good outweigh the long term cost, not only just in dollars but the long-term cost of whether or not we’re encouraging a next generation of terrorists?”

Is this the new conservative position now? That killing Al Qaeda terrorists only encourages more terrorism?

Are we all Paultards now? …

“Ultimately we as a country need to figure out how to end war. We’ve had the war in Afghanistan for 12 years now. The war basically has authorized a worldwide war.”

Not just to end the Afghan war (which should have been ended eleven or so years ago), but to end war as such. Absurd. And Rand Paul thinks that if America does not go to war, there will be no (international) wars.  That belief is naive to an extreme.

And Paul’s statement that America’s going to war in Afghanistan “authorized a worldwide war” is totally false. Islam is at war with the rest of the world doctrinally. The attack by al-Qaeda on America on 9/11/2001 was an act of aggressive, not defensive war, and it was in pursuit of religous ends.

We will quote a little more from the Greenfield article, because his argument is about more than Rand Paul’s position on foreign policy, war, and drones; it is about Conservatism and the Republican Party.

This is Rand Paul’s position. It’s the position of anti-war protesters in 2002. It’s Barack Obama’s original position before he discovered that war wasn’t so easy to end.

If you stand with Rand, this is what you stand with.

Everyone can do what they please, but if you’re going to stand with Rand, then let’s be clear about his positions and agenda. And be clear about whether you share them or not.

No more dressing this up in “Rand Paul is standing up for the Constitution.” That’s the same dishonest claim his father made for years. And none of the even more dishonest, “Drone strikes on Americans in cafes” nonsense.

That’s not what this is about.

1. Do you think that the United States is murdering innocent Muslims and inspiring terrorist attacks?

2. Do you think that if we just leave them alone, they’ll leave us alone?

3. If you think all those things, then wasn’t the left, which has been saying all these things since before September 11, right all along?

Is Van Jones agreeing with you… or are you agreeing with Van Jones? …

The Left believes those things because they are on the side of America’s enemies and want them to win. Rand Paul believes them because he knows nothing about the world beyond the borders of his own country and mentalities beyond the limits of his own imagination.  

The lesson that the Republican Party refuses to learn is that you don’t win by abandoning conservative values.

• You don’t win by going liberal on immigration.

• You don’t win by going liberal on government spending.

• You don’t win by going liberal on social values.

• And you don’t win by going liberal on national defense.

You either have a conservative agenda or a mixed bag. And Rand Paul is the most mixed bag of all, because the only area that he is conservative on is limited government.

If the new Republican position is open borders, pro-terror and anti-values, then what makes the Republican Party conservative?

Reducing conservatism to cutting the size of government eliminates it and replaces it with libertarianism. It transforms the Republican Party into the party of drugs, abortion, illegal immigration, terrorism… and spending cuts. And the latter is never going to coexist with a society based on the former. …

If Rand Paul is the future of the Republican Party… then the party has no future.

I don’t believe that we can win through political expediency that destroys principles.

We tried that in two elections and we lost. Watering down what we stand for until we stand for nothing at all except the distant promise of budget cuts is how we walked into the disaster of 2012.

John McCain in 2008. Mitt Romney in 2012. Rand Paul in 2016. And what will be left?

To be reborn, the Republican Party does not need to go to the left. It doesn’t need to stumble briefly to the right on a few issues that it doesn’t really believe in. It needs to be of the right. It needs to be comprehensively conservative in the way that our opposition now is comprehensively of the left.

If we can’t do that then we will lose. America will be over. It’ll be a name that has as much in common with this country, as modern Egypt does with ancient Egypt or as Rome of today does with the Rome of the imperial days.

We agree that “to be reborn, the Republican Party does not need to go to the left.” And we agree that Rand Paul is wrong about foreign policy and the world-wide war.

But we do not agree that libertarianism is a creed of the Left. How can it be? The Left stands essentially for state control and collectivism – viewing human beings sociologically, as units of a herd.

The American conservative Right stands for freedom of the individual above all. The Republican Party stands for freedom of the individual, therefore small government, low taxes and the free market; for property rights, therefore low taxes and the free market; for the protection of freedom, therefore the rule of law and strong defense. That is the logic of freedom. Those are the values of conservatism and the Republican Party. They are our values.

We certainly do not want illegal immigration and terrorism. Nor to “go liberal on government spending”.

But we do think the Republican Party should bend further toward libertarianism. Not leftwards, but rightwards. Individual freedom must mean that individuals make their own choices, even if those choices are harmful to themselves. What they smoke and whom they bed with are obviously matters of personal choice – while government spending, immigration, and terrorism are matters for the state.

There is a new generation of young Republicans who are conservative in their thinking about freedom under the rule of law, but frustrated by stale authoritarian attitudes towards drugs and homosexuality. They are conservative in their loyalty to the Constitution, but impatient with the religiosity of most conservatives.

Some of them are forming themselves into a new caucus. They name themselves the Republican Reason Caucus. Read about them here.

We think they may, and hope they will, restore vitality to the thoroughly demoralized Republican Party.

British government has violent jihadis trained to be violent 1

The British government believes that the way to rehabilitate released terrorists is to train them to be violent.

This is from an article by Raymond Ibrahim at Front Page:

UK officials have taken naivety and wishful thinking to a new level: not only are some of the most violent Islamic terrorists being released onto the streets, but in order to “rehabilitate” them, they are being trained by a former radical Muslim in one of the most violent forms of sports — cage-fighting, which even the Olympics refuses to acknowledge.

Former radical Muslim”? They’re sure?

CNN’s “Cagefighter ‘cures’ terrorists,” by Nic Robertson and Paul Cruickshank, has the details.  …

And states plainly that “the Probation Service’s Central Extremism Unit, the lead UK government agency dealing with released terrorist convicts, now regularly channels cases” to this “former” Muslim extremist. 

While the entire 2,300-word report is worth reading, for its eye-opening (or eye-popping) qualities, the following lengthy excerpt summarizes:

“In the shadow of London’s Olympic stadium, home of the Summer Games, is a hotbed of radical fundamentalism dubbed Londonistan, from where al Qaeda has already recruited for some of its most ambitious plots. In past months, dozens of convicted terrorists have been released in the UK, including onto the same London streets…. At the same time a no-holds barred fight for security is under way. It is unorthodox, but British officials say it is working, producing results which have never been seen before — and at its epicenter is a veteran Muslim cagefighter. … “Unfortunately, we know that some of those prisoners are still committed extremists who are likely to return to their terrorist activities,” Jonathan Evans, the director of British domestic intelligence service MI5, warned two years ago. The task of managing the re-integration into society of these young men has proved beyond the capabilities of most Muslim community groups.”

They tried? If so, it’s the first we’ve heard of it.

“But one east Londoner, proud to be both British and Muslim, has felt religiously compelled to take on the fight. Usman Raja, the 34-year-old grandson of a Pakistani immigrant is not tall but he is built like an ox, with a close shaven head, short beard, and otherwise pure muscle….Raja is one of the UK’s most renowned cage-fighting coaches… He is also a man of deep ideas, including harnessing Islamic teaching to defeat the ideology of the terrorists.”

What? “Harnessing Islamic teaching”? “To defeat the ideology of terrorists”?

“Three years ago, Raja began taking under his wing some of the most dangerous offenders being released from the highest security wings of the British prison system; men convicted of carrying out terrorism on behalf of al Qaeda in murder, assassinations, bombing, and arson plots. His aim was to rehabilitate them into mainstream society …  Raja tried a novel approach with some of the most challenging freed convicted terrorists; he coached them cage-fighting skills. Raja says it proved a remarkably effective way of breaking them out of their pro al Qaeda mentality and opening up their minds to his counter-extremist message.”

Some questions:

Where is the proof that training violent jihadis in cage-fighting is a great success, “producing results which have never been seen before”? …

The closer one reads, the more it appears that the only proof for Raja’s success is that the released jihadis he is training have not (yet) been rearrested on terror charges.Is that really proof that this approach is working? … Is it inconceivable that they could still harbor the same jihadi inclinations, yet have learned to be patient, in accordance with jihad’s prescribed tactics …  even as they continue training in acts of violence?

Likewise, exactly how does the specific act of cage-fighting help rehabilitate jihadis? Again, the closer one reads, the fewer answers one receives. Instead, one gets more of the usual: during their training, Raja “impresses on them [the released jihadis] that true Islam is spiritual, tolerant and humanistic, and not the narrow-minded, divisive message of hate peddled by self-serving radical preachers,” who exploit the fact that, in Raja’s words, “some of them [UK’s Muslims] are very angry.”

In short, this jihadi cage-fighting business is being hailed by CNN simply because it has all the ingredients to validate leftist ideas: 1) “true Islam is spiritual, tolerant, and humanistic”; 2) jihadis are simply “very angry,” presumably at Western foreign policy; 3) this pent up frustration and hostility is nothing that some good old-fashioned cage-fighting won’t alleviate (apparently “art therapy” and Play Station were deemed insufficient).

On the other hand, this story can also be interpreted according to Islam’s perspective: 1) jihad is not about instantaneous terrorism but long-term preparations. Even the Muslim Brotherhood — which recently boasted “we will be masters of the world, one of these days” — showcases the word “prepare” in their logo, which comes directly from Koran 8:60, which commands Muslims to “prepare” for jihad “so that you may strike terror into the hearts of Allah’s enemies and your enemies”; 2) according to most Arabic legal manuals on jihad, combat sports — cage-fighting being ideal — are essential for jihadis in training.

Despite all this … no doubt those UK officials who myopically think only in the short-term and according to their leftist paradigms are now fully convinced that training jihadis in cage-fighting — that is, preparing them for extreme acts of violence — is the way to go.

Astounding. And yet, on reflection, we should not be surprised by this.

Governments are not only inherently inefficient, they are also inherently stupid.

The terrorist conference 1

Did you hear the one about a crowd of terrorists holding a conference in the name of counter-terrorism? Sponsored by the Obama administration? What’s painfully funny about it is that it really happened.

Diana West writes at Townhall:

The Washington Free Beacon reported this week on the continuing omission of Israel from a U.S.-sponsored organization called the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). At a recent forum meeting in Spain, Maria Otero, U.S. undersecretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights, delivered a speech titled “Victims of Terrorism,” but, in her roll call of victims, she didn’t mention Israel. The conference at which she spoke was described as a “high-level conference on the victims of terrorism,” but Israel wasn’t a participant.

It bears repeating because it is so fantastic: At an international conference devoted to victims of terrorism, the world’s leading victim or, better, leading target of terrorism — Israel — was nowhere in sight, or mind. 

Welcome to the GCTF — U.S. counterterrorism’s new “normal.” This 30-member organization got its official start last September as a “major initiative” of the Obama administration when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced its launch in New York.

It was quite an occasion; Hillary curled her hair. Seated next to her Turkish co-chairman, ensconced amid ministers from Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates …

All of which are or have been breeding-grounds of terrorists, and some of which – Turkey, Algeria, Egypt, Pakistan – are or have been active state sponsors of terrorism …

… and 18 other miscellaneous member-states plus the European Union, she then said the magic words: “From London to Lahore, from Madrid to Mumbai, from Kabul to Kampala, it’s innocent civilians who have been targeted …”

Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ashkelon? Poof, gone. And that’s the point: This new counterterrorism organization, with its related counterterrorism center coming soon to Abu Dhabi, is Judenfrei. Not coincidentally, it is also heavily Islamic. Eleven member-states — slightly more than one-third of the organization’s membership — also belong to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a bloc of 56 Islamic countries working to impose Islamic law (Shariah) on the world. Six of those 11 members additionally belong to the Arab League. Both groups have defined “terrorism” to exclude Israeli victims (sometimes U.S. soldiers), and “terrorists” to exclude groups dedicated to the destruction of Israel, such as Hamas and Hezbollah. It is no wonder the Arab-Islamic members would now unite in “counterterrorism” without Israel.

What is both shocking and shameful, however, is that the U.S. would, too. It shows that the U.S. has implicitly but clearly accepted the Arab League/OIC definitions of terrorism and terrorists.

Their implied definition of terrorism is:  “Israel defending itself”. Their implied definition of terrorist: a Jew.

Under the Bushes … while Israel was not permitted to fight alongside coalition forces, at least it was still recognized for withstanding more than 60 years of Islamic terrorist attacks. Today, under the auspices of the Obama administration, Israel no longer rates mention even as a victim. “Big Satan” has thrown “Little Satan” to the sharks. Which says two things about Big Satan. Our institutions now see the world from the Islamic perspective, and, as far as the sharks go, we’re next.

And this is from politicalmavens.com by Rachel Raskin-Zrihen:

So, there’s this Global Counterterrorism Forum comprised of 32 countries, including the United States, Columbia, Canada, South Africa, Nigeria, Australia and New Zealand. It also includes the European Union, nine European countries, 10 Arab/Muslim countries and three Asian ones.

This group was formed last year, under the United States’ leadership, for policymakers and experts in the counterterrorism field to share insights and best practices.0

Great idea, right?

Inexplicably, however, not included in the forum is Israel, easily in the top three on the list of the world’s most frequent terror targets and likely the most skilled at fighting the scourge. …

Inexplicably? Not at all. It could not be more obvious: Obama loves Islam and hates Israel.

Since no explanation has been offered by our government, we are left to speculate about why this is happening, and I suspect that were they to deign to explain their actions, Obama Administration officials would likely say it’s about getting the nations where the terrorists are spawned to help fight them, without pissing them off by inviting the Jews. It’s the only thing they can say, really. But I’m not buying it. And I’m not the only one.

After it was learned that the United State’s “best friend and closest ally” was excluded from this forum, our country’s officials assured those expressing concern that “a way would be found” to include it.

I find it peculiar, since we created the forum and Israel is among our closest allies and an expert on the issue, that a special way must be found to include it, different from the way the others came to be on the panel, but, evidently, it does.

However, it’s been a year and nothing has changed. Maybe they thought no one would notice.

But, at least two U.S. Senators did notice and wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who attended this forum, and demanded to know why this glaring omission remains uncorrected.

Also, the Simon Wiesenthal Center took exception to the blatant insult, not to mention the stupidity of failing to include the player with the most direct experience with the phenomenon and the best track record at fighting it, and fired off an urgent letter of protest to Ms. Clinton.

The center’s founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier, reportedly wrote of his awareness that Turkey and some others “oppose an Israeli presence,” but notes that – SO THE EFF WHAT?

Are we trying to fight the most deadly dangerous threat to humanity to ever have slithered out of hell, or are we trying to appease the Arabs?

Answer: Obama and Hillary Clinton are trying to appease the Arabs.

Rabbi Hier also said that “having a Global Counterterrorism Forum and not including Israel, is like having a global technology conference and excluding the United States of America.” And, noting “there is no one with more experience at combating terrorism or educating civilians about it, than the State of Israel,” he said, “I think the time has come for the United States to make it very clear why Israel continues to be excluded.”

Me, too. But, I’m not sure we’ll get an honest answer, or, if we do, we’re prepared to hear it.

The first, and most obvious explanation, is that the Arab/Muslim contingent “objects” to the Jewish state’s inclusion. In other words, the bully objects to the victim’s presence at a discussion ostensibly designed to stop bullying.

Bullying is too mild a word, of course, but her point is good.

It’s a phenomenon similar to the so-called Anti-Racism conference in Durban, South Africa, which was actually an officially sanctioned, international Jew-and-Israel-bashing free-for-all, with a name that really only served to add insult to injury.

It’s another act of bullying, right in our face, and we – and by we I mean the United States and the rest of the free, normal-thinking world – is afraid to set the crazies off by defying their demands.

This is unfortunate, obviously, because it’s proof certain that terrorism is working to cow even the world’s greatest powers.

In the light of this, the appointment of an Israeli as the UN Security Council’s top counterterrorism lawyer is simply astounding.

The Washington Post reports:

The United Nations has promoted a former Israeli government attorney to a job as the Security Council’s top counterterrorism lawyer, making him the only Israeli national serving in a senior security position within the U.N. Secretariat …  David Scharia has been appointed legal coordinator for the Counter-Terrorism Committee executive directorate, where he will oversee a team of 12 international legal experts who advise the 15-nation Security Council on its counterterrorism efforts. The appointment would not typically be notable were it not so uncommon for Israelis to reach the upper levels at the United Nations. … Of the more than 44,000 international employees within the United Nations, only 124 are Israeli, according to the U.N. None serve in the top ranks of the most sensitive political jobs, which are responsible for maintaining international security, mediating peace deals and coordinating humanitarian assistance.

Why suddenly is an Israeli appointed to such a job at the UN?

A plausible explanation may be that the UN fears a cutting off of funds by the US Congress. (See here and here and here and here.)

Our preference would be for Congress to cut off all funds to the disgusting UN. The UN should be wiped off the face of the earth. See our post Why the UN must be destroyed, June 12, 2012.

Destruction for dummies 3

Barry Rubin has written the best piece of satire on the destruction of America that we’ve read since Obama started doing it.

It’s title is How to Kill Americans: A Guide to the Really Effective Ways.

Here are some of Rubin’s sure-fire recommended methods, far more effective than the piecemeal terrorist strikes that al-Qaeda goes in for:

Deny them liberty. Americans thrive on high levels of freedom. For them, the ability to make decisions for themselves is akin to oxygen. Reduce this ability to make their own choices and you have deployed the equivalent of krypton to weaken Superman.

Spend them into oblivion. Increasing deficits will saddle future generations with impossible debt.  Government spending and unfunded pension funds, among other methods, will so demoralize Americans that they will fall over like bowling pins. Increase government regulation. America has thrived on free enterprise, initiative, and entrepreneurship. It’s no accident that people speak of the economy being strangled, one of the most effective and popular ways of murdering people.

Teach kids to hate their own country. …

Read it all. Don’t miss it.

Posted under America, Commentary, corruption, Economics, education, food, government, Health, Islam, jihad, Progressivism, satire, Socialism, Terrorism, tyranny, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 15, 2010

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What terrorism is and is not 0

What is terrorism?

First, what it is not. It is not a movement. It is not in itself an ideology.

Terrorism is a method. It can be defined as: The use of violence to create public fear.

It can be used for various ends. The mafia uses it for commercial ends. The Papal and Spanish Inquisitions used it for religious ends. Most often and most urgently it has long been and continues to be used for political ends. It is as old as mankind and is unlikely to fall into disuse while there is human life on earth.

Generally speaking one can class an act of violence as terroristic by asking the question; Does it make most people feel safer or less safe? A terrorist act is designed to make the public feel unsafe: “It could happen to any of us” and “If they get their way we’ll be worse off” versus “If that blow sets us free from fear it was a blow well struck”. So Hamas bombs lobbed into Israel are terroristic, while Israel targeting Hamas leaders holds out the chance of liberation from the true oppressors of Gaza as well as warning them off. Israel kills civilians only by accident, not design. Knowing that Israel does not want to kill civilians, Hamas uses women, children, and hospital patients as human shields.

In the case of tyrannicide, it is not terroristic to kill the tyrant, but if you deliberately kill his wife, kid, or aunt it is an act of terrorism.

Question: If terrorism is a method – therefore allowing one to deny that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter – and terrorism is bad, how do we avoid condemning Horoshima, Dresden, Napalm in Vietnam?

Answer: Britain and the US were not the aggressors in WW2 nor in Vietnam. Nuclear bombs and napalm were not used to terrify but to win. If you are hit with ruthless attack, hit back hard, really hard, no punches pulled, fight to win. War is terrifying, but it is not terrorism. Acts of terrorism are sometimes carried out within war as a different sort of thing, as when Nazis shot all the men of a French village they were occupying in retaliation for one of them being killed by an unknown villager. That was to terrify the whole population, not leaders or military forces, into compliance.

Churchill said, “They wanted total war, they’ll get total war.” Dresden was beautiful, but it was also a place where industry was feeding the German war machine. (There were more than 100 factories there; arms plants, including aircraft components factories, a poison gas factory, and an anti-aircraft and field gun factory; and barracks and munitions stores.)

Napalm was to clear forests so that the hidden enemy could be revealed.

The Hiroshima bomb did end the war.

Question: But strictly logically speaking, Dresden was meant to terrify – that was the proximate aim. And the IRA could say they wanted to win. Is it possible to separate acts of terrorism within a war from terrifying acts of war without reference to whether the cause is good or bad?

Answer: Churchill bombed Dresden to destroy the military targets, hoping also to convince the Nazi leadership that Germany would be bombed flat if they did not soon capitulate. Terror was meant to play its part. Terror is always present in war, but neither side relies exclusively on terror to win it. Yes, the IRA [Irish Republican Army] wanted to win, exclusively by the method of terrorism. If they had won, Northern Ireland would have been less free under their (Communist as much as nationalist) rule than it was as a British province. Terrorists use the morality of their target society against itself. The West hates the deliberate and random murder and maiming of its citizens: the terrorists do not care. Nazism and Communism are terroristic by their very nature. What makes a cause right or wrong is whether its supporters have moral scruples. The allies in WW2 wanted to restore a society that had moral scruples. To do so they had to fight a defensive war – with its inevitable terrorizing – against terroristic powers: Nazi Germany and fascist Italy and their ally Japan (which was not terroristic at home but was very much so toward its prisoners of war and in its conquered territories.)

There are rare times when it is hard or even impossible to say whether an act of violence is terroristic or not – eg blowing up a train carrying arms to an evil power when the train is also carrying civilians. One can only look to the ends in such cases – so yes, the good or bad of the ends counts. Collectivists, not individualists, believe that the end justifies the means. But as with the unwanted killings of civilians in Gaza, the end sometimes is achieved by means that do harm to the innocent.

All collectivism, whether of the egalitarian kind like Communism, or the inegalitarian kind like Nazism and Islam, is intrinsically terroristic. The control of many by the few is terroristic. As big government is the master of the citizens rather than their servant, it is terroristic by nature even if it is restrained in its use of violent force. Only a system which guards individual freedom does not threaten the innocent but protects them from threat. Under what circumstances could you imagine a free society using terrorism? None, if it is to remain a free society. If it has to go to war against another power that threatens its freedom – then yes, it too will terrorize, it too might regrettably find it has killed civilians. But that is not what it aims for, and not what characterizes it.

Terrorism is often called “the warfare of the weak”. It has been allowed to succeed. The Western world is now terrified of offending Muslims because they do not scruple to use random murderous violence in pursuit of their political, religious, ideological ends. They do so within free societies. It is urgently necessary for political leaders to find effective ways of dealing with this evil.

Jillian Becker, July 5, 2010

Jillian Becker was Director of the Institute for the Study of Terrorism, London, 1985-1990.

The wrong war 0

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if somehow, between now and July 2011 when American forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan, the Afghans could be made over into enlightened, fair-minded, peaceable people, free of old tribal conflicts, filled with a thirst for righteousness, respectful of women, eager to become law-abiding free-marketeers, and enthusiasts for establishing the customs and institutions that embody and support true democracy?

It would be more than wonderful, it would be a miracle.

But if that miracle could be worked, wouldn’t the achievement be worth the cost in blood and treasure of the long war America has been waging against the Taliban?

Some think so.

But what is actually happening among these backward, feuding, misogynistic, deeply ignorant people is a continuation of what has always been happening: feuding, subjugation of women, and savage cruelty – of which this is a very recent example from Afghan sources:

Taliban fighters have hanged a seven-year-old boy, claiming he was passing information to foreign soldiers in the volatile southern province of Helmand.

(“Volatile” is good. We like “volatile”.)

And of what is about to happen we are being nervously forewarned by US military commanders, according to this report from the Washington Post:

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that the civilian-military offensive scheduled to begin in the southern city of Kandahar this spring would take months longer than planned. The Afghan government has not produced the civilian leadership and trained security forces it was to contribute to the effort, U.S. officials said, and the support from Kandaharis that the United States was counting on Karzai to deliver has not materialized.

When you go to protect people, the people have to want you to protect them,” Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, said … in explaining why the Kandahar operation has been pushed back until at least September.

“It’s a deliberative process. It takes time to convince people,” he told reporters at a meeting of NATO leaders in Brussels.

But time is short. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said this week that the U.S.-led coalition has until the end of the year to prove to the United States and its allies that their forces have broken a stalemate with the Taliban. …

In Marja, in western Helmand province, where Marines launched a major operation this year, U.S. efforts have been hindered by the absence or incompetence of Afghan officials and security forces and by the Taliban’s enduring resistance. …

Many  officials are despairing behind the scenes.

“Washington is making nice with [the corrupt President of Afghanistan] Karzai, but what good has that done?” a U.S. official in Afghanistan said. … “We need him to step up and take a leadership role, to get his government to support what we’re doing. But he’s either unwilling or unable to do it. …

In Kandahar, U.S. military officials said a complex web of official and unofficial power brokers stands to lose if efficient government and rule of law are imposed. “There are generations of families that have lived off corruption,” said 1st Lt. James Rathmann … who leads a platoon in Kandahar city …

The operational plan drawn up for Kandahar last spring began with U.S. Special Operations forces raids against individual insurgent leaders within the city and in the Taliban-heavy “bands” in surrounding districts. At the same time, U.S. civilians were to help organize shuras, or meetings of local leaders and elders, to offer development aid and encourage them to take political control. By June, more than 10,000 newly deployed U.S. troops were to begin clearing the Taliban from the outlying districts, up to 80 percent of which the military estimates is controlled by insurgents. …

McChrystal  … acknowledged that winning support from local leaders was tougher than expected. Some see the Taliban fighters as their Muslim brothers rather than oppressors; others are afraid of assassination by Taliban hit squads that target government supporters or see no advantage in challenging the existing political power structure.

“There’s no point in clearing an area until you have the capacity to do the hold, to bring governance” that does not now exist, one military official in Afghanistan said. “Without the Afghan government civilian capacity — without a district government that can provide some basic services — you’ll end up with what we’re experiencing in Marja right now.” …

Asked whether the delay leaves time for a decisive outcome by the end of the year, McChrystal was noncommittal. “It will be very clear by the end of the calendar year that the Kandahar operation is progressing,” he said. “I don’t know whether we’ll know whether it’s decisive. Historians will tell us that.”

Decisive? Changing Afghanistan forever? We don’t think so. Even if the Taliban fighters are wiped out in the forthcoming Battle of Kandahar, there will be no lasting change.

The war in Afghanistan is being fought for nothing.

The Taliban were whacked with the first offensive. The US should have withdrawn then, with a warning that if terrorists from Afghanistan attacked American targets again, they’d be whacked harder. The continuing campaign has been tragically pointless.

What American – or “coalition” – forces ought to be fighting is the urgently necessary war against the Iranian regime before it launches its nuclear attack.

Holy murder 4

John Brennan, who is Deputy National Security Adviser – Obama’s chief adviser on counter-terrorism[!] –  instructs the  nation that the terrorist enemy should not be described as jihadist because, he says,  jihad” does not mean “holy war” but only “a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community”, and “there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.” He  insists that “those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in ‘religious terms’.”

Even if, like the Fort Hood jihadist for instance, they shout “Allahu Akbar” as they commit their mass murders?  (Enter Fort Hood massacre in our search slot for several posts on this Islamic atrocity.]

Is Brennan an idiot, or does he think everyone else is?

Here is today’s list of murderous terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Islam. It comes from that excellent, reliable, informative site The Religion of Peace, which publishes such a list every day:

2010.05.28 (Lahore, Pakistan) – Orthodox Sunni terrorists stage a bloody grenade and firearms assault on two mosques belonging to a minority sect. Over eighty worshippers are murdered.

2010.05.28 (Mogadishu, Somalia) – Two children are among three civilians blown to bits by Islamic militia bombers.

2010.05.27 (Mosul, Iraq) – Mujahideen gun down a civilian and mortar a factory, wounding eleven people.

2010.05.27 (Bajur, Pakistan) – A married couple and their son are brutally gunned down in their home by Islamic fundamentalists.

2010.05.26 (Mogadishu, Somalia) – Six people are counted dead following an al-Shabaab militia attack around a city square.

2010.05.26 (Mosul, Iraq) – Three policemen are murdered by Mujahideen.

These are all actions of Muslims pursuing jihad, a duty their religion lays on them.

We wonder what Brennan thinks the Taliban, with whom tens of thousand of American soldiers are engaged in battle, are all about?

Or – expert as he claims to be on counter-terrorism – what he thinks the motive was of the Muslims who carried out the attacks on 9/11?

Much as Brennan and Obama may hate the fact, that was a deeply religious act.

Gate-crashing into history 0

Who or what now holds the office of President of the United States of America?

The answer to the question is itself a question mark.

David Solway asks the question and his answers are questions. Here is part of what he writes:

Who is this guy? And what does so enigmatic a figure augur for the United States and, indeed, for the future of us all? No matter what hypothesis or conviction one espouses concerning his definitive DNA, it seems fair to say that a shadow of the clandestine — or if one prefers, the inscrutable — envelops this president.

Even Obama’s most avid supporters, if they are honest, must allow that, compared to his POTUS predecessors, unambiguously little is known about his antecedents or, for example, the salient facts of his academic career — many of his records are still under seal, his college and university transcripts have not been released and, broadly speaking, his significant documentation is rather flimsy. There is not much of a paper trail here; for that matter, there is scarcely a Hansel-and-Gretel bread crumb trail. How such a man could be elected to the presidency … remains a riddle for the sphinx. …

In any event, there can be no doubt that the dossier is scanty and that this is a truly amazing deficiency. We simply do not have a clear portrait or a crisply factual biography of the president. But what we do know about his close affiliates — America-and-Jew bashing Reverend Jeremiah Wright, former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi, hysterical and racially divisive Cornel West, unrepentant Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, unscrupulous entrepreneur Tony Rezko — is profoundly unsettling. … [T]he asymmetric relation between what we know and what we don’t know must distress any rational person curious about so influential an actor on the current political scene.

That Louis Farrakhan, like millions of others, feels that Obama was “selected” for our times should give us further pause. On the contrary, it may not be out of place to suggest that we are now afflicted with the worst possible president at the worst possible time, with Iran darting toward the nuclear finish line, the Palestinians as intransigent as ever, the Russians moving back into the Caucasus region, negotiating with Venezuela and solidifying ties with Iran, Syria and Turkey, terrorism … on the rise and U.S. citizens increasingly at the mercy of the jihadists, China holding massive quantities of American Treasury notes, Obama considering ruinous cap-and-trade legislation at a time when the AGW consensus is collapsing, the American debt estimated to hit 100% of GDP in 2011 and its unfunded entitlement liabilities totaling over $US 100 trillion, leading to the prospect of monetary collapse. None of these critical issues have been substantially addressed by the president, except insofar as his actions in some cases, lack of action in others, have only exacerbated them. The collateral fact that we really have no valid and comprehensive notion of who exactly is leading us at this crucial historical juncture boggles the mind.

Yes, this riddle of a man, this living quandary named Barack Hussein Obama is so unlikely a president of the United States, it’s as if he has gate-crashed into history.

Saying it with Bart 0

“South Park – we’d stand beside you if we weren’t so scared.”

Posted under Commentary, Humor, liberty, satire, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, April 30, 2010

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How beautiful would be the game 1

England versus USA. Islam versus both.

Al-Qaeda  is threatening to blow up spectators of the World Cup football match between England and the USA in Cape Town this June.

But please remember that Obama does not allow al-Qaeda to be called Islamic.

So for what conceivable reason are these terrorists planning mass murder yet again?    

The report comes from The Sun:

Al-Qaeda have vowed to bomb the World Cup – with England players top of their hitlist.

The terror group pledged to target the match between England and the USA in South Africa in June, warning “hundreds” of fans could die.

A branch of al-Qaeda which last year killed British hostage Edwin Dyer, 61, in Mali made the threats.

They also vowed to target resorts, hotels and car parks used by supporters during the tournament. And they claimed explosive devices which cannot be detected by security scans would be used.

The threats appear on al-Qaeda-linked websites. A statement said: “How beautiful would the game between England and the USA be when broadcast live from a stadium full of spectators – when the sound of an explosion rumbles through the stands. The resulting death toll is in the dozens and hundreds – Allah willing.”

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