Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Mufti Muzzler

Warning: If you are someplace where laughing out loud would be awkward, do not click here.

Hat tip, Charles Johnson


Truth said...

Just for the sake of comparisson, how many people on here would feel that was offensive if that show did that to the Pope?

Paul E. Zimmerman, M.A. said...

Good catch, Mike! Thanks for the laughs! :)

Barenjager said...

Go back in time. It did happen to the Pope in 1517. The world has been a better place since the day.

If the Catholics were still running around behaving as princes and inquisitors, I'd certainly support it happening again.

When religions or those cloaking themselves in the vestiges of religion get out of line, it's good for people to confront them. Otherwise, you get Rajneeshpuram, Jonestown, Waco and Heaven's Gate.

The world has that problem right now and its name is Islam. Islam didn't start out evil any more than the above cited tragedies did. Unfortunately, the problem has gotten far bigger than the followers of a single charismatic leader.

Do I support confrontation of those who help spread the cancer of Jihad? So long as they occur within the confines of legal action, you betcha! Would I be offended if it happened to the Pope, the President of the LDS Church, or any other religious leader? If they ever get as far out of line as this Islamist yahoo, I absolutely would not.

Truth said...

I don't think its fair or actually correct to say that the violence which is happening is actually representative of Islam however. There is no doubt that those who instigate the violence use Islam as a means to excuse what they are doing, but the majority of Muslims do not condone the violent actions taken by the people, and I think something we need to stop doing as Americans is using language which labels all Muslims as violent jihadists, becuase the only result which can realistically come of that is the further alienation of moderate Muslims.

As for the comparison between this Sheik and the Pope, both have said offensive things, and neither has been convicted of a crime. Thus, legally speaking, they are both on equal terms.

Barenjager said...

In the world of violent groups, you are either for or against. there is no middle ground.

Silence and inaction are the same as acceptance and support. Ask the Jews and Gypsies who survived the Nazis. Ask the Chinese and Burmese who survived the Japanese occupation of their homelands. Ask a Cuban escapee. How about those who lived through the days of the DDR?

People's lives are at stake. our very way of life and the advancement of mankind are at stake. this isn't some silly assed poltical science class debate. At the core, this arguement is about the merits of the progress mankind has made since the end of 15th century.

Language does matter. If we speak in reverent tones regarding Islam, Islamists will not change. They will not stand and fight the corrupters within their ranks. Why should they risk becoming the next victim if they can stay comfortable by keeping their mouths shut?

It is my opinion, having traveled to many of the third world toilets that constitute the cradle of Islam, that the ONLY way to eradicate the problme is to eliminate Islam or cause enogh discomfort to it's practicioners to police their own.

Ask yourself why it would work any other way then tell us the answer you get. I'm not interested in hearing what some ding dong on TV said or what your poor, misguided liberal arts educated teacher said or what some dipstick causnik professor said. I want to hear your thoughts in your words.

Please do us the courtesy of speaking YOUR mind. Not the opinions of others.

Truth said...

Well in case you were wondering the post I made before was my personal opinion. If you want it again though here it is.

For the past several decades the US has been a very dominant power in the Middle-East, we do pretty much what we want, we've instigated revolutions and backed governments who in many respects committed genocide against their own people (note: Saddam) and have meddled extensivly in the domestic political affairs of those countries. What we are doing now is no different. We continue to back many regimes which refuse to allow true democratic reform (Egypt and Saudia Arabia for example), and then make excuses such as "they're moving towards democracy". These countries have been "moving towards democracy" for years, and we're perfectly content with their slow pace of progress because they are governments which support America. Of course what this means is that dissenting political groups have been cracked down on to the point we see now, where sadly the only voice of dissent which has a chance of being heard in these countries are groups like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood (one of the reasons they are so popular is that they offer critical services such as education and healthcare which are not provided by the government). Yes, these groups are Islamic but thats not the actual problem. The problem is that with no peaceful means of expressing dissenting opionions in many of the Middle-Eastern countries these groups have turned to violence.

Now, is that somewhat black and white, yes, to say that a single factor caused this is of course naive. However, this is a major factor, and because we continue to support these governments which refuse to allow true democratic participation we have in large part become the enemy.

Sadly the response of many Americans to this violence however is only to see that many of these groups are Muslim, a group many Americans don't come into contact with a lot which I believe makes them afraid (a fear of the unknown kind of thing). As the media tends to report predominatly on Islam in regards to terrorist groups people many people assume that Islam is a violence religion and that all Muslims are suicide bombers who hate America, something I think all of us know is far from the truth.

Now I'm not saying by any means that groups like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood should be accepted in their current form. But I do think that they are playing as Islamic groups and they love when Americans attack Islam as a religion, because this is a very religious area and when we attack people's religion people percieve that as an attack on themselves, and join Hamas and such as a way to fight back.

If we were trully serious about stopping Islamic terrorists we would do two main things. The first we are already doing, capturing or killing as many terroirsts as we can and stopping anything they may be planning. The second effort which needs to go hand-in-hand with this if we ever hope to make any progress is to give these people a voice in their government and a reason to be hopeful. Living in a place with limited civil rights, where your voice in the government is almost non-existant does not breed either of these things. We need to put serious pressure on Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and so on to make true democratic reforms and give their people a real voice in government. At the same time we need to make sure they provide basic services such as education and healthcare to their people, so that they are not dependent on terrorist groups for those things. This will weaken these groups to the point that we can trully defeat them. And furthermore, we need to recognize the difference between Islamic terrorists and the majority of peace-loving Muslims and stop lumping the two together. If we continue to do that, and continue to attack the Muslim faith then we do nothing except make people feel antagonistic towards America and more likely to join a terrorist organization fighting against us.

If you think about it, would you be likely to change your religion if someone from a different country who predominatly practices a different religion kept attacking it as violent and made jokes about what preists wore, or would you become angry and quite possibly less likely to change?

Barenjager said...

You are mistaken on a number of points.
1. The US has not been a dominant power in the ME. We had practically no military presence in the area until 1990. We haven't had a real candestine effort in the area since the fall of the Shah of Iran and the Europeans, Russia and China have spent more in the area than we have in the past 20 years. The only influence we have is with the support we give to those who ask for it. Our "meddling" is pretty weak in comparison to that of others.

2. You contend we only see Islamic violence in the media. Is that because there's a vast media conspiracy to hide other violence in the world? Is there some great Bhuddist bombing campaign we're missing? Are Christians travelling the globe to wage holy war against peoples of other faiths? I submit that we see Islamic violence because that's what's out there.

3. Fight back? Who did we attack to precipitate Muslim violence against the US? In what way does killing innocent people constitute fighting back?

4. Religion does change with pressure. Again, I'll point to two of the most prominent examples in our history. The Catholics quit the inquisitions because the people wouldn't stand for it any more. The Mormons gave up polygamy and allowed blacks to hold the priesthood because it was demanded of them, not because they wanted to.

I invite you to show me where I've made a mistake in fact or reasoning in these points.

Truth said...

US influence in the Middle-East has always been prevelant, starting first and foremost with our support of Israel. Like it or hate it, that has caused resention throughout the Arab world and has meant we have been continually involved in the Middle-East. Then there is our continued support of countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt economically and militarily. And militarily doesen't necessarily mean troops, but it does mean we sell them weapons we have been used against their own people, such as what happened with Afghanistan and Iraq. Then of course there is Iran, where we overthrew the democratically elected government and re-instated the Shah, a move which continues to cause resentment in Iran just as their holding the American hostages continues to cause resentment here. We have always been involved in the Middle-East, regardless of whether or not there are troops on the ground or not. And because many of the actions we take are controversial to many Muslims even though Russia and China may intervene more, we are still do our fair share of intervening in the Middle East, and now do more than both of those countries.

For your second point, there is violence across the globe (In today's news violence anywhere from Idaho to the Philippines). I mean, think of the Genocide in Darfur and the constant civil wars in Africa to name a few constant conflicts. What I meant by my comment however, was that most of the media time which focuses on Islam tends to be predominatly about Islamic terrorists, and since many people don't know much about Islam as a religion that very heavily influences how they view Muslims in general.

As for who are they fighting back against, its the west and in particular the United States. This ranges in anything from our support of Israel or the invasion of Iraq, way back to the overthrowing of Iran's government and the continued support of very militaristic regimes such as Pakistan, Saudia Arabia, and Egypt. If someone supported a government which limited your political and civil rights, overthrew or didn't recognize democratically elected governments when they didn't like who won the elections, and had been continuing these policies for years don't you think it could make people very resentful and agry towards the US, especially when much of the rhetoric concerning the Middle East coming from the US lumps all Muslims togethere with the terrorists?

Yes, religion does change with pressure, but that pressure cannot come in the form of an attack by those in different countries who by and large do not practice the religion they are criticizing (in this case Islam). Catholocism changed due to internal pressure, and the Mormons were forced to change in large part because they are located in the United States. However when we tell people living in other countries that they need to change their religion to something we like more that is not likely to motivate Islam to change in the direction we want to see it go. What we need to be doing is in large part what I stated before; combining our current military strategy with one that focuses on the domestic problems which are not terrorism which currently face Middle-Eastern countries (such as a lack of infastructure, healthcare, education, and jobs). At the same time we show that America is a friend of the Middle East we need to be saying that Islam is a peaceful religion that does not foster terrorism, and stop attacking moderate Muslims and pushing them towards extremism and terrorism. Phrases like "third world toilets" or to say that "The world has that problem right now and its name is Islam" only help the terrorists by driving more and more people to their side.

If we want Muslims to take action against the fundamentalists which are using the religion of Islam as a sheild for their actions then we must present ourself as a friend for the Muslim people to count on, and not give ourselves the image of an invading power who cares soley for itself.

Barenjager said...

I am interested in your sources of information on these matters. They don't match my personal experiences and education. Perhaps you've tapped into sources I missed during my years of dealing with these issues.

Why aren't the Islamists attacking Russia and China? They're as deeply involved in region as we are and the Russians much more directly assaulted Muslims in Afghanistan. Not only that, they support the factions in the former Yugoslavia that attempted to eliminate Muslims. Look at most of the military equipment in the ME. It's Soviet, not US. By that measure, they should be under attack, not us.

BTW: Darfur's problems are rooted in Islam. Islamic Arabs are trying to eliminate non-Islamic Africans. Philippine terrorism is also Islamist.

Truth said...

For sources I'm not entirelly sure what you were looking for, but here are a few things, please let me know if you would like anything else.

US support of Egypt:

Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt:


As for the reason Muslims don't hate Russia and China as much as they hate us, it's because their actions are not as controversial as ours. Neither of them provides the kind of support we do to Israel, and the stationing of our troops in Saudia Arabia both made it easy for terrorist leaders to recruit people to fight the US. At the same time we have a history of supporting harsh and brutal rulers (note: pakistan today and the Shah in Iran) in the Middle East, so long as they are supportive towards us. In many ways its the same thing going on in South America, where we supported all sorts of terrible rulers and militant groups, and as long as they continued to support us over the Soviet Union we didn't care what they did to their people. Now new people have come to power however, and the people's anger at US support of these terrible rulers (especially while telling the Soviets to allow democracy and greater human rights) has come back to haunt us. As for the military equipment, a lot of it is from the US; as seen in Israel, Egypt, Saudia Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to name a few. If you would like I'm sure I can find some exact numbers, but I would imagine that you will agree we provide substantial military aid to the Middle East.

As for Darfur, a lot of that conflict is about oil, and moving the people in Darfur out of their homes so that the government can control the oil reserves. In this case its very true that these Islamic Janjaweed militias are at fault, however going back somewhat there was a brutal civil war between the Muslims and Christians in which both sides committed atrocities. As for the Philippines, it is true the main seperatist groups are Muslim. Once again however both sides are guilty of the killing and displacement of civilians.

I'm not saying that Muslims are blameless in the current conflict, they are equal partners with the US in terms of what is happening (I say equal because many of the reasons they fight are due to the foreign policy decision I have mentioned). What I am saying however is that treating all Muslims as terrorists, and saying that Islam is a religion which encourages violence is incorrect and detrimental to our foreign policy goals and moreso to our troops abroad who will have to fight escalating levels of violence as more and more Muslims are pushed to the terrorists by that type of language.

April E. Coggins said...

Absolutely, let's be a pacifist, isolationist, world power. Or better yet, let's give the world power over to some other country. Such as Saudi Arabia, Mexico, or China. The worlds citizens would be much better treated than they are now. We would save so much money from our defense department that we could solve our country's health crisis! And no one would ever be hungry again. That is until Africa ran the food supply and our health care industry.

Truth said...

April, I'm pretty sure I haven't suggested any of those things.

If you will please note, I have in fact said the US needs to become increasingly involved in the Middle East and yet make that new involvement diplomatic and economic instead of the military-heavy involvement we have now; with the goal of encouraging real democracy and reform in the region. Not once have I said we should give power to Russia or China, as I think we do a far better job with it than they would, and furthermore that is an entirelly seperate conversation from the one which we are having here.

Barenjager said...

I'm not ignoring you. I just don't have much time right now. Look for more later.

Truth said...

Barenjager, don't worry about it. I've got lots of free time because I'm on summer break, but I understand that not everybody has that, I look forward to your post.

April E. Coggins said...

"For the past several decades the US has been a very dominant power in the Middle-East, we do pretty much what we want, we've instigated revolutions and backed governments who in many respects committed genocide against their own people (note: Saddam) and have meddled extensivly in the domestic political affairs of those countries." The paragraph goes on, but it illustrates the view of people who believe the US is responsible for all ills in the world. The world would be a peaceful place if the US would just try to get along. According to this view, we go about causing civil wars, put cruel dictators in place and somehow profit from the disfunction of other countries. The evils of slavery, starvation, terrorism, etc., only happen because of a huge misunderstanding. The US needs only to discretely inform the guilty country of their faux pas, and the erring country will immediately apologize and then correct itself. And if they don't, we'll quietly talk to them again.

April E. Coggins said...

"and furthermore that is an entirelly seperate conversation from the one which we are having here." No, it's not. This is my view point of the conversation. Sorry if it interupts your vision of the conversation.

Truth said...

April, I never said the world would be better if the US had left the Middle-East alone, what I was saying (as I indicated in the paragraph you quoted) is that the US has been very extensivly involved in the Middle-East and that a number of times (though not always clearly) that involvement has been due to goals other than influence in the Middle-East (for example, stopping communism). As we tended to have bigger problems we were known to support dictators who even we reffer to as terrible (again note, Saddam). It's no secret that we supported both him and Iran when they were fighting, because it was convinient for us, not because it was best for the Middle-East. I used these examples, as I'm sure you noticed, to illustrate why a number of Muslims don't like the United States. Not once did I say anything to the effect of the US should stay of of world politics, nor have I said "let's be a pacifist, isolationist, world power. Or better yet, let's give the world power over to some other country. Such as Saudi Arabia, Mexico, or China." I would kindly ask you to please stop putting words in my mouth.

Barenjager said...

Truth, et al,

I am short on time for the next few days and it is likely this thread will drop off before I have time to post again so I'll provide my final comments on the matter.

It is my view after a lifetime of study in the fields of military history and politics that the current situation in the Islamic world and the Middle East in particular had their genesis in the waning years of WWII and the ten years immediately thereafter.

Ultimately, the blame can be laid at the feet of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower with Truman being the chief culprit. He failed twice at critical points which shaped the world over the course of the last seven decades. The first time was his failure to recognize the threat Soviet Russia posed to the world and again when he failed to face China down. Both times he disregarded the advice of his senior military and intelligence leaders.

The result was the Cold War and all the proxy wars and attendant political maneuvers that followed. Eisenhower had the opportunity to fix some of the things Truman screwed up but became entrapped by short term tactics which he pursued to the detriment of strategic actions.

One of the results which still bear tragic fruit was the way political boundaries were drawn in the ME and the system of puppet states that evolved there from. We (along with other western powers) allowed borders to be drawn which ensured political, ethnic and religious strife for decades to come. This occurred in the ME as well as India/Pakistan/Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indochina.

We propped up the governments of Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel while the Soviets did the same in Egypt, Syria, Jordan and others. Meanwhile, China was preoccupied with consolidating its powerbase along its borders.

To say the US is the current focus of Islamic terrorism due to our "meddling" is only partially correct. Other states are just as guilty of such activities. That doesn't excuse all the things we did, it just makes us one of several players who committed similar acts.

In my opinion, the major difference and the one factor that makes us the prime target is our propensity to try and be seen as the most benevolent of the bunch. The players have rightfully assessed the situation and see us as the softest target with the lowest likelihood of retaliating in a meaningful way. They don't screw with the Chinese because they know with certainty they will be crushed. Human rights and political correctness be damned. The Chinese won't put up with the crap we do. Ditto for the Russians. As an example, I give you Chechnya. When the Russians take small arms fire from a town, they rubbleize it. No worries about collateral damage. They just do what it takes to make the opposition go away.

We don't do that. We agonize over every sob story. We tear ourselves to shreds when CNN shows us a pathetic picture. Our political "leaders" are driven by public opinion polls which are driven by people who bleed for the "innocent" casualties they see in the news.

No, we aren’t the target because we are involved in ME politics. We are the target because we don't have the will to deal effectively with the savage, 15th century goons who use our good nature against us. They know that we can be bought off for the price of a few casualties. They know the other major players can't so they attack us. If we fall, the others will soon feel the brunt of Islamic terrorism. It's the domino theory played slowly. In the end, I don't think it will work any better for them than it did for us or our opponents during the Cold War but in the mean time, we will bear the pain if we don't step up and crush the thugs....and their collaborators and those who remain silent while giving tacit support.

If this means bombing and starving entire villages, so be it. I'd rather a thousand of them die than one of us. Until they fear us as much as they do the Chinese and Russians, we will not see an end to this lunacy. Remember, Nazi Germany didn't surrender because its military was defeated. It surrendered because the populace was finally subdued and battered into submission. When you deal with fanatics, you must take drastic measures.

Truth said...

Barenjager, you're correct in pointing out the differences between us, and the Chinese and Russians. However it is exactly this difference which has allowed us to become such a great nation and yet one which people look up to and see as a beacon of hope. People don't go to China or Russia for human rights and democracy like they do for the US, and that is something we should be proud of.

On a more general level, sacrificing these principals and allowing ourselves to stoop to the level of the Chinese is not something we should aspire to. Why being overly willing to bomb entire villages of people who may or may not even be involved in violence is something to be desired is beyond me, however it is not the way things are done in America as here we have a system of innocent until proven guilty.

On a more focused level (in regards to the Middle East), bombing entire villages would not subdue people in the same way the attacks on Pearl Harbor and September 11th didn't subdue Americans. Instead it serves as a rallying point, for Sunnis and Shi'ites to put aside their religious differences and fight against us. We then lose the moral high ground, not only in the Middle East but also in the world, and become the aggressor. Once this happens all it takes is an OPEC embargo against the US to cripple our military and economy, and realistically the American people are not and would not be willing to fight a war of aggression in the Middle East for oil if the entire region was allied against us, nor should the American people ever have that will in my opinion. If such a war were ever to happen, and rest assured it is very likely if we undertook the action you seek to engage in, then America's economy will crumble and we will lose our dominant position in the world.

What we need, in my opinion, is exactly what the Iraq Study Group recommends; namely benchmarks for security, national reconciliation and such, combined with a true international diplomatic effort which involves Iran and Syria to help out rather than hinder our efforts. Reducing ourselves to the level of China or Russia is not something I will ever advocated, and the Iraq Study Group very plainly states that "Current US policy [in Iraq] is not working" and "Making no changes in policy would simply delay the day of reckoning at a high cost".

Tell me, why is democracy such a bad thing?

BTW: I can't guarantee anything, but I will try to remember to coninue to check this post for the next week or so.

Barenjager said...

Philosophical arguments about who we want to be aside, which is it; are the terrorists leaving the Russians and Chinese alone (relatively speaking) because they fear the iron fist or does the iron fist not work? You make both arguments in your post.

I would agree the iron fist does not work in a limited warfare scenario. It becomes a game of "whack-a-mole." I suggest we start overtly and aggressively killing leaders and vocal advocates of jihad wherever they may be. If that causes collateral damage, so be it. They'll get the hint and "decollateralize" themselves rather quickly.

Truth said...

To clear up my position, I'm decidedly against the idea of accepting any civilian casualties that can be avoided, even if it makes our troops jobs harder. As I stated it does force us to concede the moral high-ground, which in the long run nullifies any gain we might have made by brutal tactics which seem reminicisnt of Saddam.

In addition, it very easily could lead us to the very situation Israel has been facing for years. They bomb, invade, and bulldoze Palestinian areas and have for decades, and yet missles continue to fall inside Israel. I'm not saying they should stop, but I am saying that their actions have made it almost impossible for them to solve their conflict without outside help, and has led to an incredible amount of animosity within the rest of the Middle East.

Furthermore, how does somebody decollatoralize themselves? Do they leave their homes and flee where few people are? Or would you have them turn on the militants so that not only are they possible targets for the US but also possibly targets for the insurgents. As I've said before this kind of action does not work. There is not the domestic or international will to allow hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians to be killed even if it means making life for our troops easier. Furthermore there is little to no proof in modern history of brutal tactics breaking the back of a rebellion, except in those insances which we condemn and take action against (once again I'd like to use the example of Saddamn in Iraq).

Are you really willing to stoop to the level of Saddam Hussein in order to secure Iraq, and if so have we really accomplished anything?

Barenjager said...

There is little evidence of insurrections being broken by LIMITED action. That is a phenomenon of the post WWII world. With the advent of the Cold War came the concept of "police actions", "conflicts" and "proxy wars" as an acceptable way of doing business.

As I stated before, I believe this was a mistake. Look a little farther back in history and you'll see plenty of examples of insurrections and insurgencies being broken by military force. In the long run far fewer people died as a result of all out war than in the contained conflicts of the modern era.

How does one decollateralize? How about denying aid and comfort to the bad guys? How about letting us know where the bad guys are so we can target them with greater precision? Wouldn't you rather have a team come in and capture or shoot only the bad guys than have your neighborhood bombed? Should they leave their homes if that's the only option? You bet!

Just because the current administration doesn't have the gumption or imagination to fight an effective campaign, doesn't mean it can't be done. You don't have to fight insurgencies in the manner the Russians employ in Chechnya or the way Israel deals with the Palastinians.

There are solutions such as segregation and isolation, throttling of resources, relocation of populations to sterile and controled areas, and other tactics. Unfortunately, our political leaders screwed up the assesments on the front end and failed to recognize the need to do such things. The situation was further exacerbated by making the mistake of removing people from positons of responsibility because of their affiliation with the Baath party.

In the end, Iraq is just a symptom of the problem. Islam is the root. Islam must reform or an all out war between free peoples of the world and Islam will result. The horse has fled the barn. People who have tasted and know freedom will not willingly revert to slavish devotion to the Mullahs.

Truth said...

Well I will agree with you in that removing people just becuase they were members of the Baath party was a mistake, but other than that there is no factual evidence in recent times to back up your claims.

If you will note, despite claiming we should deal with Iraq like Israel or Russia would, you fail to note that both of them have been fighting their conflicts for decades. Now, I don't know about you, but I know that I myself and from what all polls are saying a majority of the American people are not willing to be in Iraq for decades. Furthermore, what you are suggesting is plain and simply war crimes.

Relocating mass amounts of people is something Saddam did that we still decry (his attack on the Kurds and their subsequent migration away from him), is that something you are willing to accept? Furthermore let me ask you, since they are both very similar, do you support what the US did to Japanese citizens during World War II, forcing all of them on the West Coast into camps without any proof or legal standing that suggested they were working with the Japanese? What you are suggesting has no support internationally or domestically, and is morally wrong and goes against everything this country stands for and everything this country is trying to promote in Iraq.

Furthermore we are not in a position to declare war with Islam. Our military is stretched very thin as it is, and there is no public suppport for a draft. If we went to war with Islam we would lose if for no other reason than they control the oil supplies, and they will destroy them before they hand them over to us. Furthermore, that sparks unreast not only in the Middle East, but also in the South Pacific and isolates us from the rest of the world. We cannot and should not for any number of reasons, including some which I just listed, say that Islam must reform or war will break out. Neither can we hope to accomplish our goals in the Middle East purelly with military force, as the Iraq Study Group noted.

For all of your talk, you know that what you present is neither A) realistic or B) supported by anything but a fraction of people within the US and an even smaller fraction internationally. As such, all you are doing is encouraging our leaders and our troops to throw away their morals and to win at any cost. I am not willing to have the human rights record of China, Russia, or Berma regardless of the situation, and we both know that neither are our politicians and neither are most of the American people. Perhaps in future discussions we could discuss realistic and possibly even moral strategies.

Barenjager said...

Again, you speak from a position of ignorance and weakness.

I've been there. I've fought the fight and I know of which I speak. Not from reading or hearing but from doing. Until and unless you gain similar experience, please don't presume to lecture me on what will and won't work and why.

I spoke of things which I've seen work....until the press gets their teeth into it and people like you, who are too cowardly to actually make the personal sacrifice of service begin to howl it down.

I'm sick and tired of little chicken shits like you and your "liberal" (read cowardly) ilk sit in safety and bitch about the activities of those who ensure your right to spout off in ignorance and cowardly self interest.

GO TO HELL! Now, I've exercised my rigth to free speach which I've EARNED. What have you contributed to the process?

To the rest of you who may read this; I apologize for loosing my temper and using strong language. To those who come onto this blog to take potshots at the ideas which it was created to express; You may say whatever you wish but know that I hold you in utter contempt for intellectual laziness and moral cowardice.

Truth said...

Barenjager, I have the same right to freedom that you do, and while I admire and respect your military service it does not automatically make your opinions any more or less valid than mine. If you are to say "I saw this in the military" that is different, but when you say "I served in the military and you are clearly wrong because of it" that isn't true and isn't a defensible position (as I'm sure Paul knows from teaching philosophy).

And, if you have seen places where a brutal crackdown has stopped a rebellion please share it, but until then all you are doing, in essence is saying that I'm wrong without backing it up.

Furthermore let me tell you what I think is funny Barenjager. Compared to most of the people who post on here I'm a flaming liberal, and yet in reality I considering myself a moderate. As such, many of the views I have been expressing are held by the majority of the American people (go to pollingreport.com to check out some of the latest polls on Iraq for example), so when you call tell me my views are wrong I invite you only to realize that what I am saying at its most basic level is the same as what most Americans are saying. Are you calling everybody who disagrees with you a coward, and saying that anyone who believes that stayin the course is bad is a liberal? If so I guess you might as well already conceed 2008, becuase that's a majority against you.

Once again I would like to ask you, are you willing to stoop to the level of Saddam in Iraq or in some respects Hitler in Nazi Germany (with the forced migration of Jewish populations into "sterlized areas"), because that is what you have in many ways suggested doing. I'm not asking for a roundabout "you're a coward" answer, but an answer to my question. I believe the United States should have the moral authority and not just the military power to be the leader of the free world, do you?