Who “they” is

This ad from the Republican Trust PAC – over 100,000 views on YouTube – has been rejected by NBC and CBS for airing.  Note the, um, not especially subtle symbolism used in the “starter” image:

Though NBC spokesperson Jennifer Riley arguably could have gone much further, her explanation is strong on one main point:

An ad questioning the wisdom of building a mosque at ground zero would meet our issues of public controversy advertising criteria. However, this ad which ambiguously defines ‘they’ as referenced in the spot makes it unclear as to whether the reference is to terrorists or to the Islamic religious organization that is sponsoring the building of the mosque. Consequently, the ad is not acceptable under our guidelines for broadcast.

The response from National Republican Trust spokesperson Scott Wheeler reinforces Riley’s argument:  “‘They’,” he said,” is a reference to the people who are putting up the money with the intent of provoking us.”

My personal view is that we can safely consider Wheeler and friends well and truly provoked, possibly beyond reason as well as beyond any notion of what really is provoking them – or possibly provoked by the notion that they can seize upon and manipulate popular emotions for their own purposes.

(h/t to narciso for linking to the Ben Smith column linked within the post.)


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108 comments on “Who “they” is

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  1. ” We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children ”

    was not included in the final musical selection for the ad

  2. Next thing you know they’ll want to turn the Washington Monument into a minaret. Thousands of swarthy men who haven’t discovered underarm deodorant parading around the National Mall beating themselves with chains. Our next President, President Hillary Clinton, will wear a veil and chador out of respect, and B Hussein Al Obama will be Secretary General of the UN, now headquartered in Khartoum. Instead of The National Anthem, Giants and Jets games will begin with a call to prayer.

    No more Illinettes. No more Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. The cabbies will all be Jews.

  3. Not that long ago, the swarthy cabbies with the body odor were Jews, Zolt.
    Try to remember that while you’re spewing your ship.

  4. Blaming Islam for the mass world wide madness that we discuss so often is no different than blaming the Lutheran church for Naziism,or the Catholic church,Hitler was reared Catholic,or Judaism for Marxism(Let’s blame the Jews for the Gulag),or the Russian Orthodox Church for Communism,or Buddhism for the holocaust in Cambodia,or for the Japanese attack on the US.
    During the entire WW2,I don’t recall any animus toward any religion for the carnage. Maybe Shinto was blamed for Kamikazism??

  5. Rex, Luther and Hitler were four hundred years apart, and that cocktail of hatred cooked up by the Okrana to save theirdying regime has more
    to do with it, as well as the Neo Nordic traits of the Thule Society, yes
    all dangerous lunacy, The Sauds are like that in a fundamental way,
    their demographics are all out of kilter, they feed this obscurantist gruel to the masses, ensuring their own demise at least in the mid range

  6. “their demographics are all out of kilter, they feed this obscurantist gruel to the masses, ensuring their own demise at least in the mid range”

    Sounds like a description of US as much as THEM.

  7. Yes I knew you were going to go there, and there is a similar attitude formation pattern in the academy with PC, AGW et al. But seeing as they have very little other resources, well when they start ramping up their nuclear program, after the Iranians, they’ll be well set up

  8. Luther and Hitler were four hundred years apart

    Mohhamend and Atta were 1300 years apart.
    What was Luther’s attitude towards Jews*

    *Don’t Fudge,I have my Luther quote book handy.

  9. He was not congenial to them, I’m just saying Lutheranism isn’t the Phantom Menace, neither was Christianity, unlike what Goldhagen
    tries to impute. Now I understand that life in the Middle East is famously complex, I’ve read both of Al Alswanyi’s books on the subject

  10. neither was Christianity

    Neither is Judaism,Hinduism,Taoism,Buddhism,

    Of all the major religions,Only ISLAM has that distinction?

  11. Yes, at this time, Christianity had it’s ‘Wild and Crazy” period, Judaism
    probably did too, meanwhile Zero hedge reveals China has a bubble
    5 times as large as ours “Great Ctluthu’s Ghost”

  12. Yes, at this time, Christianity had it’s ‘Wild and Crazy” period, Judaism

    Right. We woke up one day – no one knows the exact date, as far as I’ve heard – and were washed of all our sins, then sprayed with moral Scotch-Gard so that no new sins can leave a stain. Our actions advance the moral truth known to a small minority of conservatives – everyone else being on the other side whether they know it or not, though somehow the victory was won anyway. That’s how powerful that moral truth is: It can triumph even though it’s carried forward only by a small percentage of Americans whose main contribution is to watch Fox News or scan the internet in a rage. It remains embattled, but the key is to tell ourselves over and over again that it’s her fault for not listening to us that’s why we had to hit her.

  13. Yes, at this time

    So then it’s the nature of Religion itself to experience “a wild and crazy time”,therfore Islam should be dealt with based on the actions of its “adherants” but not judged as inherantly “Evil” because the adherants of any religion or, ISM for that matter, can take it to the Darkside.

  14. You’re still focusing on the Pornocracy of Pope Paul V, and the Belisarius era, to excuse the chiliastic nature of Islam today

    Buchanan is back from the era, when a Nobel, meant something, but he does ask the fundamental question what it is the real value of money and the economy

  15. Buchanan is back from the era, when a Nobel, meant something, but he does ask the fundamental question what it is the real value of money and the economy

    He does more than that,he places that question at the heart of the Economic Crisis,and he poses the opinion that our choices which have defined money have been wrong for decades. I appreciate you taking some time to look at that.

  16. @ narciso:
    America’s deep and thoroughgoing implication in the ills of Islam goes back all the way to the last time any of us filled up his gas tank, to start with – as you well know, except when it pleases you to forget.

  17. Yes I’m keenly aware I have a Chavez Gas (CITGO) down the Bloc, Exxon the ones who fumbled the ’69 and ’89 spills not that farther away, as well the company that put the A in ARAMCO, Chevron, but seeing as unicorn dust isn’t a available substitute fuel source

  18. @ narciso:
    You’ve just fully conceded one major, concrete, inescapable, constantly renewed share of responsibility on “our” part for creating, instigating, motivating, arming, and constantly/cyclically re-creating the enemy you’re so happy to slap around. That’s not the only share – since, even without oil, America’s implication in the shaping and enforcement of the New World Order would be paramount.

    Yet, next go-around, I suspect it will all be the fault of the Salafis and whichever other enemy of choice in obscure collaboration and conspiracy with “them,” and any recognition of that share of responsibility – in its intersecting practical and moral dimensions – will be inexplicable, morally defective surrender to “them.”

    For some reason the utter dysfunctionality – moral as well as concrete dysfunctionality – of this arrangement escapes you, over and over again. The failure to recognize it renders any attempt to criticize and interpret events that occur along the “clash of civilizations” axis as utopian and merely ideological as the strategic blindness of those on the left, for instance, when they argued for an immediate pullout from Iraq in 2007, or in favor of carbon reduction schemes more socially costly than the harms they’re supposed to prevent.

  19. “The GOP’s basic problem is that many Republicans equate Christianity, or at least Judeo-Christianity, with Americanism. They do not believe it’s possible to truly uphold American ideals unless you identify with the religious traditions that supposedly underlie those ideals. In a country with a growing Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Mormon and atheist population, that’s a significant source of political bigotry. Is it good that the South Carolina GOP has embraced a South Asian woman? Of course. When that woman can practice whatever religion she wants, without fear that it will wreck her political career, then Republicans will truly deserve to crow.”
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-07-15/the-gops-phony-religious-diversity-peter-beinart-on-nikki-haley/?cid=bs:archive1

  20. Right, let me translate if she were a down the line leftists, we would happily accept her, otherwise she is not legitimate. Just like Thomas,
    Rubio, West, Palin and Jindal, we saw they played that game in 2003

  21. “Jindal was raised Hindu and converted to Catholicism; Haley is a Sikh who became evangelical. There’s no reason to doubt the sincerity of their conversions. But both also seem aware that maintaining the non-Western religious traditions of their birth would have imperiled their political careers. In 2007, when Congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution recognizing the Hindu and Sikh festival of Diwali, Jindal abstained. Before running for governor, Haley noted that her family attended a Sikh Temple as well as a Methodist Church, but today she studiously avoids any reference to being born Sikh and as the campaign has progressed, her website has been updated to stress in increasingly emphatic terms her devotion to Jesus Christ. That’s hardly surprising given that the co-chairman of one of her Republican gubernatorial rivals circulated an email claiming that Haley “can’t seem to make up her mind about her faith.”
    Explaining a faith that is not strictly monotheistic would be challenging in any political environment, but the barriers to religious diversity are clearly highest in the GOP. The South Carolina Republican Platform, for instance, declares, “We recognize the Judeo-Christian ethic embraced by our founding fathers and call upon our state and nation to return again to the values that made America and the American people great.” It’s less likely that Haley would have had to hide her Sikh heritage had she been running in, say, a Democratic primary in California, as opposed to a Republican primary in a state whose GOP-dominated legislature recently tried to put a Christian message on license plates”

  22. Yes there are bigoted people all over, the Governor who put the Confederate flag back in the Capital was one, I’m sure they would have made a fuss about such a thing. Interesting how she represented
    this supposedly intolerant Tea Party instead of those good old boys like Bauer and McMaster. It makes one think that there is another agenda at play. She adopted her husband’s religion, that’s just evil

  23. Oh I’m reminded of what happened in Conneticut, at a touch but pivotal patch in the Iraq War, when Lieberman was considered not
    sufficiently instep they brought in the mosy louche Wasp lefty,
    Lamont and the campaign spear headed by the Frog’s good friend
    Jane Hamsher went all black face on him, for reasons passing understanding

  24. What about, “East is East,West is West,never the Twain shall meet”
    They meet in Jindal and Haley
    LOL
    or One Flew East,One Flew West,
    ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST.

  25. @ Rex Caruthers:

    A word from an agnostic. The Declaration of Independence does refer to “Creator” in the singular, so it’s not completely impossible that folks who immigrate here and intend to fully integrate into the prevailing culture may tend also to migrate toward monotheistic religions.

  26. @ narciso:

    You’re wrong to refer back to that wholly pure of heart opposition to Lieberman as though it indicates any sort of bias. The left took out after all Democratic Senators who supported the war just as vociferously.

  27. @ Rex Caruthers:

    I wonder how many economists and writers CATO had to interview in order to find one who expresses his thoughts as crisply, clearly, concisely and grippingly as James Buchanan.

    Can someone explain to me what he was getting at in one paragraph?

  28. I suppose so, but they went the extra mile for Lieberman, who did prompt the net roots, to this extra flourish

  29. Sully wrote:
    @ Rex Caruthers:

    I wonder how many economists and writers CATO had to interview in order to find one who expresses his thoughts as crisply, clearly, concisely and grippingly as James Buchanan.

    Can someone explain to me what he was getting at in one paragraph?

    He is opining that the eye of the financial hurricane is rooted in our nations inability to be consistent in protecting the value of our currency. We have to choose the Economic values thatmaintain prosperty over the long run and JB suggests that Security, Stability,and Predictability should be those Primary Values. JB thinks that we need a Constitutional Imperative to remove Anarchy from the Monetary system because without that our economy is too dependent on the opinion of what’s fashionable in Financial circles at any time.

  30. @ Rex Caruthers:
    More concise than my effort currently under way. But for Buchanan’s idea to catch on, someone will need to work to popularize it – and it could be done.

  31. Sully/Can someone explain to me what he was getting at in one paragraph?

    From an Egoistical viewpoint,JB is saying (with infinitely better writing)what I’ve been saying for years,since 1971*,that a Fiat money system with all its permutations is too unreliable to be our core system,and there’s nothing in the Constitution that mentions that kind of system but refers to “coining money and regulating its value”. Laissez Faire doesn’t work for Monetary Economics.
    *Notice JB makes a big point about 1971

  32. @ Rex Caruthers:

    A very good question, but perhaps to be answered after pondering the fact that in the school and church I attended as a youth the primary object of veneration for the majority of the parishioners and some of the priests wasn’t a member of the Trinity, or at least that’s how it appeared to me.

  33. @ Rex Caruthers:

    That fellow Buchanan is clearly educated to a point so far beyond you that he’s reached an ethereal realm almost completely detached from reality.

    It’s not you who should feel gratified that his conclusion matched yours (taking your word for it that he actually reached a conclusion). Rather he should feel gratified that his outpouring of hig blown academic semi-sense ended with a conclusion that matched your common sense analysis.

  34. @ Sully:
    He’s 90 years old, and won a Nobel Prize in 1986. He was speaking to a conference of eminent economists from around the world, and he doesn’t have the time or inclination to simplify for the masses. What the masses do with his ideas is something he’s unlikely to live to see or care about much if he does live to see it. Yet for all the apparent difficulty of his language, he sees right to the center of a fundamental problem of economics and politics, and points to a beautifully simple, elegant, and deeply American solution that also has a certain sense of inevitability about it.

    A man like that, offering this, deserves respect.

  35. Ah, Spencer, you were making so much progress, with the Mattis and McMaster pieces, then he had a relapse, misundestanding da’wa

  36. Yesterday Karl Rove wrote about his primary regret as Bush’s Chief of Staff. Today Andrew McCarthy of NRO responds to Rove’s regret.

    “The American people went to war after the 9/11 attacks because they accepted the urgency of defeating our terrorist enemies and the countries that facilitated them. Support for the war flagged when the government’s objectives parted ways from the public’s. When the Bush administration decided to highlight Iraq’s WMD, it sold too short the terror ties that were the only coherent connection to the casus belli on which the nation agreed. When the WMD did not materialize, the result of “look forward, not back” was to portray nation-building — a goal the public never agreed to — as the dominant purpose of our prohibitively costly presence in Iraq, an ungrateful Muslim country that generally despises Americans.
    WHILE THE PUBLIC GRASPED THE CONNECTION BETWEEN ISLAM AND JIHADIST TERROR, THE ADMINISTRATION CLAIMED THERE WAS NO REAL CONNECTION, THAT TERRORISM WAS A PERVERSION OF ISLAM,THE RELIGION OF PEACE. While the public endorsed the proposition that any government abetting jihadist terror against the United States is an enemy, the administration sat on its hands as Iran continued murdering Americans and building its nukes. It made less and less sense that we were expending blood and treasure in Iraq, whose terror ties were seen as a minimal threat to the United States; meanwhile, we were doing nothing about the mullahs in Iran, their Republican Guard, and their forward militia, Hezbollah. Tehran’s terrorist regime was understood to be implacably anti-American, yet the administration assured us it could be brought around diplomatically — even as President Bush argued that there was no point negotiating with terrorists.”

    As with anything in the real World,if the Base isn’t solid,what you build on that base won’t hold. The Solid base,in addition to AM’s remarks,should have been constructed of the following materials. Since 9/11 was an assault equal to Pearl Harbor,the response should have been(1)A Congressional Declaration Of War(2)A Draft(3)A WW2 response to that Attack. There would have been no resistance to implementing all 3 items on 9/12. Had we a World Class Leader in charge at the time,a Churchill,Lincoln,Roosevelt,even a Kennedy Truman or Eisenhower,is there any doubt that REAL war would have been waged. Unfortunately,looking through the eyes of J Swift,we are the Lilliputians.
    http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=NzkzOGU1ZjA3YTYyZTAxNTUwMTI0ZWM4OWE3ZTM1OWM

  37. Sully wrote:
    @ Rex Caruthers:
    A very good question, but perhaps to be answered after pondering the fact that in the school and church I attended as a youth the primary object of veneration for the majority of the parishioners and some of the priests wasn’t a member of the Trinity, or at least that’s how it appeared to me.

    The Worship of Mary became a Cult of sorts through the Middle Ages and still remains strong even today.

  38. No, we are Gulliver, the Lilliputians are all those who would tie us down, The late Hunter Thompson speculated that was exactly the course we would have followed in the weeks after 9/11. The problem
    was fundamentally Afghanistan and Iraq were and are proxy fights, against AQ which is but a symptom of radical Islam

  39. No, we are Gulliver

    In Book one,Gulliver was big but not too bright,in Book two Gulliver was small,but a lot smarter. Which Gulliver are we? & BTW,Who are the Yahoos?

  40. If President Obama would read something,I would have him read:
    “FDR Yes, Obama No”
    FDR solved a financial crisis by Conrad Black

    “Coming in to office in March 1933, Roosevelt found unemployment at between 25 and 33 percent, depending on which unofficial source is relied on (the states kept these numbers, rather haphazardly, and the Hoover administration was not much interested in precision); and there was no direct federal aid for the jobless. The banking and stock- and commodity-exchange systems had collapsed and shut down. The stock market was down by 90 percent, the money supply had shrunk drastically, there was severe deflation, and 45 percent of the country’s residential accommodation was under threat of mortgage foreclosure. All farm prices were below subsistence levels. Roosevelt instituted gigantic programs that would today be called workfare in the fields of infrastructure and conservation

    After FDR’s landslide reelection in 1936, unemployment had been reduced by more than half from 1933, to about 12 percent in a 5 percent larger work force; the public-works and conservation programs absorbed 70 percent of the remaining unemployed; and direct relief assured at least the subsistence of the remainder.

    “Unemployment was below 10 percent on Election Day 1940”

    http://article.nationalreview.com/438155/fdr-yes-obama-no/conrad-black?page=1

  41. And Finally/To Narciso

    A devastating but accurate analysis of Obama comes from the Left,The Left has given up on him,that means he is finished

    The Fall of Obama
    By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

    “A hefty percentage of Americans believe that he is a socialist – a charge as ludicrous as accusing the Archbishop of Canterbury of being a closet Druid. Obama reveres the capitalist system. He admires the apex predators of Wall Street who showered his campaign treasury with millions of dollars. The frightful catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico stemmed directly from the green light he and his Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, gave to BP.”

    “It is not Obama’s fault that for 30 years America’s policy – under Reagan, both Bushes and Bill Clinton – has been to export jobs permanently to the Third World. The jobs that Americans now desperately seek are no longer here, in the homeland, and never will be. They’re in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Indonesia.
    No stimulus program, giving money to cement contractors to fix potholes along the federal interstate highway system, is going to bring those jobs back. Highly trained tool and die workers, the aristocrats of the manufacturing sector, are flipping hamburgers – at best – for $7.50 an hour because U.S. corporations sent their jobs to Guangzhou, with the approval of politicians flush with the money of the “free trade” lobby.
    “It is not Obama’s fault that across 30 years more and more money has floated up to the apex of the social pyramid till America is heading back to where it was in the 1880s, a nation of tramps and millionaires. It’s not his fault that every tax break, every regulation, every judicial decision tilts toward business and the rich. That was the neoliberal America conjured into malign vitality back in the mid 1970s.

    “But IT IS Obama’s fault that he did not understand this, that always, from the getgo, he flattered Americans with paeans to their greatness, without adequate warning of the political and corporate corruption destroying America and the resistance he would face if he really fought against the prevailing arrangements that were destroying America. He offered them a free and easy pass to a better future, and now they see that the promise was empty.

    “IT’S Obama’s fault, too, that, as a communicator, he cannot rally and inspire the nation from its fears. From his earliest years he has schooled himself not to be excitable, not to be an angry black man who would be alarming to his white friends at Harvard and his later corporate patrons. Self-control was his passport to the guardians of the system, who were desperate to find a symbolic leader to restore America’s credibility in the world after the disasters of the Bush era. He is too cool.

    “So, now Americans in increasing numbers have lost confidence in him. For the first time in the polls negative assessments outnumber the positive. He no longer commands trust. His support is drifting down to 40 per cent. The straddle that allowed him to flatter corporate chieftains at the same time as blue-collar workers now seems like the most vapid opportunism. The casual campaign pledge to wipe out al-Quaida in Afghanistan is now being cashed out in a disastrous campaign viewed with dismay by a majority of Americans.

    “The polls portend disaster. It now looks as though the Republicans may well recapture not only the House but, conceivably, the Senate as well. The public mood is so contrarian that, even though polls show that voters think the Democrats may well have better solutions on the economy than Republicans, they will vote against incumbent Democrats in the midterm elections next fall. They just want to throw the bums out.

    “Obama has sought out Bill Clinton to advise him in this desperate hour. If Clinton is frank, he will remind Obama that his own hopes for a progressive first term were destroyed by the failure of his health reform in the spring of 1993. By August of that year, he was importing a Republican, David Gergen, to run the White House.

    “Obama had his window of opportunity last year, when he could have made jobs and financial reform his prime objectives. That’s what Americans hoped for. Mesmerized by economic advisers who were creatures of the banks, he instead plunged into the Sargasso Sea of “health reform,” wasted the better part of a year, and ended up with something that pleases no one.

    “What can save Obama now? It’s hard even to identify a straw he can grasp at. It’s awfully early in the game to say it, but, as Marlene Dietrich said to Orson Welles in Touch of Evil, “your future is all used up.”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/cockburn07162010.html

  42. Blind squirrel catches a nut or two, Bp’s alliance with Obama is due to
    their espousal of ‘cap ntrade’ which is inherent in their slogan “Beyond
    Petroleum. this strategy along with the new financial reform bill, which
    Cockburn tacitly approves, will drive even more manufacturing jobs offshore. Of course Sutton/Dillinger will do nothing of what has been promised, it’s not supposed to, just like the stimulus or even TARP haven’t lived up to billing

  43. narciso wrote:
    Blind squirrel catches a nut or two

    All his Caucasian support is badly eroded. The Republicans can only defeat themselves by nominating a loser. Of Course,the same national economics will continue to haunt the winner,so in 2016,the other party will reclaim the Govt. and so it will go.

  44. @ Rex Caruthers:
    McCarthy makes some intelligible points but overall is completely out of his mind and in a sickeningly irresponsible way. He seems to think that the public, if properly stimulated by aggressive demagoguery, might have swung around in favor of a global war on “Jihadist Terror” as an aspect of Islam, the struggle to be elaborated on the basis of an undifferentiated, reciprocally escalating hostility toward Muslims. It’s a formula for turning us into everything we hate.

    Still can’t figure out why you’re stuck on the draft. It would have been terrifically wasteful, and the statement 9/11 was equal to Pearl Harbor is silly. Pearl Harbor was an act of war by a nation-state that had already built a sizable empire and possessed large, well-equipped armed forces and the will to use them. AQ was none of that: It’s an empire only in its dreams.

    What’s particularly strange is that you’re so clear on what a mistake WWI was for us in your view, yet you somehow seem to believe that WWIII would have the shape of a winning business deal, not to mention a morally and politically sound adventure.

  45. Right one thinks of the Sudanese expedition that begins with “Chinese”
    Gordon” and ends at Omdurman, the subject of Mason’s “The Four
    Feathers” small unit warfare is the key, not large standing armies

  46. What’s particularly strange is that you’re so clear on what a mistake WWI was for us in your view, yet you somehow seem to believe that WWIII would have the shape of a winning business deal, not to mention a morally and politically sound adventure

    Not so strange,having a Draft forces those in charge of a War to Win and Win quick. WW1,which I view as a mistake,is an example,WW2,which I view as a partial mistake*,is another example. Vietnam is an example of a Draft based war which the planners couldn’t figure out how to win,so the Draftees put huge upward pressure/stress on the commanders”to shit or get off the pot”. The commanders didn’t like that,so they got rid of those pesky citizen soldiers. Imagine if we had had a professional army for the Vietnam War;we’d still be there.
    *I believe we should have fought a one front war against Japan,and once that was over,then take a look at what is needed in Europe,and make decisions about that at that later time frame. In other words,let Russia and England take care of their own Empires. It was never about helping the Jews in any case.

  47. It’s a formula for turning us into everything we hate.

    Could Islamics hate us any more than as we are now?

    We are already turned into what we hate to a large degree. But what

    do we hate?

  48. Well World War One’s consequences were far and wide, ir gave us the Balfour declaration, it freed the Wahhabi from their pen in the Nejd, it did devastate a whole generation of Englishmen, the “Black Adder series” takes a very ‘black” humor look at things, It led to the occupation of Mesopotamia

    Now it’s very possible, that had we conducted the war in stages, Hitler
    might actually have succeeded at the Final Solution, surely that’s not what you meant

  49. Now it’s very possible, that had we conducted the war in stages, Hitler
    might actually have succeeded at the Final Solution, surely that’s not what you meant

    What I meant was that the Jews were not a factor in our decision to fight a two front war in WW2. Also,the Jews were not a factor in our insistence on an unconditional surrender by Germany,that insistence cost the lives of several Million Jews.

  50. @ Rex Caruthers:

    I think it was pretty clear then and it’s still clear now that Japan might run wild for a while; but it had no potential to achieve a position, production potential, etc. that could prevent us from winning over it whenever we chose. Germany, on the other hand, if it conquered Russia and drove Britain out of the war, had the potential to be unbeatable. Hence the Europe first decision, which had nothing (or at least very little) to do with what the Germans were doing to anyone in already conquered Europe.

    And that was a right decision. Nation states should only fight major, full mobilization, wars for survival since the act of drafting a major portion of the population for purposes less than survival is itself an evil of large magnitude.

  51. Sully/ Nation states should only fight major, full mobilization, wars for survival since the act of drafting a major portion of the population for purposes less than survival is itself an evil of large magnitude.

    Sully, The problem has been undeclared wars that are defined as “minor”,”Police Actions” that are not wars of survival. Maybe we’re on the same page here?? but requiring Declarations and a Draft will weed out these “limited”wars as it weeds out the all professional Military.

  52. @ Rex Caruthers:

    The problem has been undeclared wars that are defined as “minor”,”Police Actions” that are not wars of survival. Maybe we’re on the same page here?? but requiring Declarations and a Draft will weed out these “limited”wars as it weeds out the all professional Military.

    In a perfect world you would be able to distinguish between a minor police action and a significant war; but that turns out to be hard. I think congress tried to address this by putting a limit of 60 days or 120 days on the president’s latitude to order troops into action without some sort of congressional action; but that has become a dead letter because in practice it’s all but impossible in a political sense for congress to pull the funding plug while troops are in action.

    So we’re back to square one. Clearly the president needs the power to order something like the drone strikes in Afghanistan, Yemen, etc. on a real time basis without a declaration of war; but it’s hard to stop whoever is president from turning that power into the power to enmesh us in a real war.

    As to our current situation I think the problem is that even those of us who think we’re at war because war has been made on us don’t come close to agreeing on who we are at war with so I imagine it would be pretty hard to write a declaration.

    I could write a declaration of who I think we are at war with; but I suspect that would launch CK into orbit even though it wouldn’t necesarily surprise him.

    I would actually be interested in seeing precisely who CK thinks we are at war with.

    Who do you think we are at war with right now?

  53. Who do you think we are at war with right now?

    I think we are at war with the Muslim countries of the Near East over oil,but we’re not allowed to have a direct oil war,so we pretend it’s about National Security.

  54. I would actually be interested in seeing precisely who CK thinks we are at war with.

    If JED hadn’t stricken us from the book of the Optimistic Living, she might be here to explain to us how they defined “war” for her when she was in officer’s school.

    My impression is that the legal and historical definitions are complex and subject to opinion. Otherwise, I think it’s a semantic question, and I don’t see why Congress wouldn’t be capable of “declaring” “war,” but handling the thing otherwise in pretty much the exact same way it’s handled our “undeclared” wars or war-like enterprises, and vice versa.

    It’s very similar to the question we had our fill of last year regarding “torture.” What do we need to achieve? What are the trade-offs? Even, what do we gain or lose by calling it “war” (or “torture”) or not doing so?

    I’m also nowhere near as confident as Rex seems to be about determining “what would have happened” if we had or hadn’t done x, y, or z. I think everything big that’s ever happened pretty much had to be that way, and the lucky breaks even out over time.

  55. Right we are in a proxy war with certain elements of the Salafi/Hambali
    school, generally Wahhabi if old school Arabia, or Deobandi if arisng out
    of the Indian Subcontinent, now AQ is the largest faction, but it is in itself a franchise operation, with North Africa (AQAM, former GSFC)
    East Africa (al Shahaab) South Asia (Gemaa, Abu Sayyaf)

  56. Rex Caruthers wrote:

    I think we are at war with the Muslim countries of the Near East over oil,but we’re not allowed to have a direct oil war,so we pretend it’s about National Security.

    Very strange war, where we at great expense protect the ability of our allies to pay the sovereign governments of those countries billions and billions of dollars for their oil. It’s a very stark version of the general pattern that’s been in evidence ever since the “age of discovery” brought the West into general contact with the rest of the world.

  57. Theres’s no oil in Afghanistan and maybe some in Pakistan, one recalls one of the BCCI archipelago, Attock Oil. BP is Anglo Persian, which George reminds us was behind Ajax, but the latter would not have succeeded without an underlying rebellion by the Mullah and the
    Bazaaris as Taheri has pointed out

  58. Very strange war
    We are trying desperately to avoid the appearance of the probable outcome of this Chess Game,but looking forward about twenty moves,we checkmate Opec with our Nuke Queen. It may be that the Nuclear Weapon Community cuts a deal with OPEC to independently manage the distribution of the oil.
    For two decades,We’ve given China a green light to control natural Resources in Africa,what are we thinking?

  59. narciso wrote:
    Theres’s no oil in Afghanistan

    It keeps us in the general vicinity,knight threatens pawn. \

    The logic of the game is inescapable,In the long run,can the US remain a customer as the product it requires heads towards a price point that bankrupts our private economy. $100 Barrel.

  60. What drove us toward 100-140 oil, mostly speculation by Phibro formerly CitiGroup now Solomon and Goldman, interesting Lehman’s
    Ed Morse, who used to work for the Energy Office of State, bet the otherway. Now this moratorium just is going the wrong way fundamentally, no big surprise, and cap n trade, that’s wrong on stilts

  61. @ Rex Caruthers:
    Nope. That’s not the issue. $100/bbl wouldn’t break our economy. Not even close. I won’t repeat the analysis from other discussoins, but we could easily handle a world market at $100/bbl oil. It would cost us a lot less than a major war.

    One conspiracy theory in the Arab world is that we plan to finish using up all of the easily and cheaply available oil, then toss their countries on the historical scrap heap and corner the market ourselves with the currently off-limits off-shore and other sources as a bridge to some combination of long-term alternatives. There’s just enough factual basis to the scenario to make it plausible.

    Relatively small-scale adventures to the Middle East and Central Asia have been fantastically expensive. A major war would throw us into incredible deficits. And a major aggressive war would upset our relations with the entire rest of the world, even if we tried, Nazi-like, to cut chosen allies in on the larceny. It would probably also require the permanent elimination of republican democracy. And for what?

    We could establish true energy independence with a lot left over for a lost less than the costs of a major war of conquest and larceny. But the messy set of compromises we’re involved in now are cheaper than either. For now.

  62. @ Rex Caruthers:

    I think we are at war with the Muslim countries of the Near East over oil,but we’re not allowed to have a direct oil war,so we pretend it’s about National Security.

    I yield to very few in the intensity of my cynicism and the depth of my low opinion of the competence of politicians; but even I don’t believe our politicians are stupid enough to have run the war since 9/11 the way they have if their objective is to fight “the Muslim countries” over oil.

  63. @ Sully:
    Bless you, Sully. Thinking that we’re fighting for the oil, rather than we got stuck there because of the oil, is shallow.

  64. Sully/ but even I don’t believe our politicians are stupid enough to have run the war since 9/11 the way they have if their objective is to fight “the Muslim countries” over oil

    Of Course you’re right,it is not a conscious disposition. What I’m saying is that Oil like any great resource has a magnetic attraction to the Reptillian brain(Examples besides Oil are the Gold Rush and the Silicon Rush). A conscious strategy won’t emerge for a while,in the meantime,the logic of our plight is operating sublimally. So they run the war the way they have,accidently and opportunistically,to transition to the BIG plunge when necessary. Because I think that a “Western”takeover of the Oil Resources is very likely,I am saying that It should become our strategy ASAP.

  65. Rex there’s nothing reptilian about it, it’s an integral part of our economy, even you replaced it as fuel, (switchgrass, hydrogen,
    solar) you still have all the other building blocs made from it. Which makes this drilling moratorium criminally stupid, every curtailment we
    have done against domestic capacity, has empowered foreign powers

  66. Narc/REPTILIAN

    I was referring to the fact that we need to position ourselves to be in a favorable strategic position to take control of the oil IF NECESSARY* without appearing to do so,even to ourselves.

    *And it will be necessary. We are Dinosauers and the meteor hits the day either the oil runs dry or becomes too expensive to buy and still stay in business.

  67. Well then call it Hegemonic, not reptilian, the latter indicates a irrational response, I don’t buy into peak oil, it’s too easy a cop out

  68. Well then call it Hegemonic, not reptilian, the latter indicates a irrational response

    I/ll stand by Reptillian/Primitive,not Irrational,Survival Mode,Fight or Flight, but,like the Dinosauers,we’re to big and stupid to survive the dominance of the small sharp toothed ferrets that are coming our way.

  69. narciso wrote:

    From my favorite Sufi,

    Huh?

    But I can see why the piece appealed to you. Just the kind of guilt by association pseudo-argument that you feed on.

    Schwartz is to be congratulated for merely participating in guilt by association while successfully suppressing the Islamophobia behind most of the “widening protests.” But it still amounts to a guilt-by-association smokescreen for the curtailment of someone else’s freedom of association, speech, and religion:

    Non-Muslim defenders of Rauf—including Cuomo and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg—have rejected demands for investigation of the ideological and financial underpinnings of the Ground Zero mosque. They have argued that such an inquiry would violate the First Amendment guarantee of free exercise of religion. But faith should not serve as a pretext for extremist or potentially criminal activities.

    In effect, he concedes that the inquiry WOULD violate freedoms, but pleads a kind of “clear and present danger” excuse for going ahead and violating them.

    The “pretext” he mentions exists only in his mind, and is justified strictly by connections, or connections to connections, or associations with connections to connections, that don’t amount to anything remotely approaching a clear and present danger. Instead, he shows that the sponsors may be connected to, or have connections to people have connections to, or may be associated with people who have connections, to people with whom all good right-thinking people disagree.

    I mean this is unbelievable, regarding Rauf’s wife:

    She is the niece of Dr. Farooq Khan, formerly a leader of the Westbury Mosque on Long Island, which is a center for Islamic radicals and links on its website to the paramilitary Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), the front on American soil for the Pakistani jihadist Jamaat e-Islami.

    She’s the niece of someone who formerly led a mosque that has links on its website to a front group? Sheesh. I know the Westbury Mosque has been a problem, but this standard – promoter linked to man linked to suspicious group – is ridiculous. Other apparent new standards, via Lazio/King, for being able to build a cultural center in Manhattan are that you conform to government-approved language on terror designation, and that you remain uninvolved with leftwing-pacifist organizations. You also aren’t allowed to have any connections with the consensual mainstream leadership of the Arab world, like Amr Moussa – if they disagree with you on the Gaza Blockade, along with the majority of US allies.

    It’s not as obviously repugnant as Pamela Geller shouting about evil Muslims – but it’s still repugnant.

    I wonder how many Catholic churches in New York, Florida, and beyond were built with money or support from people whom someone might be able to connect as directly to suspicious activities, criminal and political conspiracies, acts that many people consider terrorism, and so on.

    The opponents of the project want to suppress people who think differently than they do, and will grasp at any excuse.

  70. He has spoken out against Wahhabi infiltration in the Balkans, which has given Pamela an unfortunate opening on occasion, and named the enemy much more plainly. You think it’s really an accident they called
    it Cordoba, although it’s Park Place 51, the gig is up

  71. @ narciso:
    Possibly they reacted to the Islamophobic stupidity that led to the attack on the name “Cordoba.” I take it you actually believe that comical “symbol of conquest” theory about the project?

  72. Mike Totten is incisive in his opinion that Obama might take war to Iran. It wouldn’t surprise me. This is a case where the Left meets the Right in agreeing on what Obama might do,of course,the motivation that each assigns to this potential is vastly different. Totten describes Obama as a variant of Wilsonianism,Cockburn describes Obama as the Gopher of Big Business and the Pentagon.
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/totten/329901

    Jennifer has written an incisive piece also,right up to the last paragraph,in which she regresses to her usual Rubionic platitudes.
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/329931

  73. @ CK MacLeod:

    guilt-by-association

    The other day, unless I’m misremembering, you asserted that buyers of Middle Eastern crude share guilt by association since their money spawned and feeds the extremism.

    And, in another thread you hold with the NAACP that Tea Party people are responsible for purging those who associate at their rallies without pure motives. And you appear to go further and argue that the mere holding of certain ideological beliefs about the size of government grants a group of people the right to believe that another whole group of people is guilty of meaning them harm.

    How do those jibe with your position here?

  74. I’m sure as with “Inception” there’s an alternate dream world where SEIU is being attacked by tea partiers, wheres Mosques are being burned down by Christians, where some crazed veteran is attacking
    the Harvard campus, but then I woke up, and figured it must have been some bad bad mu shoo pork

  75. Sully wrote:

    @ CK MacLeod:
    guilt-by-association

    The other day, unless I’m misremembering, you asserted that buyers of Middle Eastern crude share guilt by association since their money spawned and feeds the extremism.

    This should be elementary: “Guilt by association” is a phrase for the opposite of co-responsibility, for the fallacious assignment of responsibility merely on the basis of association. Guilt by association is “You met with” or “You are the niece of a man who” or “People like you have done” – not you failed to, you are one of the people who, you turned a blind eye because you directly benefited from, you blame others for problems you have caused or significantly contributed to.

    It goes without saying that being responsible for something will associate you with it. It does not go without saying that merely being associatable with something or someone makes you responsible.

    And, in another thread you hold with the NAACP that Tea Party people are responsible for purging those who associate at their rallies without pure motives.

    “Pure motives”? The NAACP argument is that if the TP does not condemn the David Duke, Mark Williams, and other types, then it becomes responsible for promoting them and facilitating their agenda. My argument is further that the TP agenda itself will have the tendency to be racially divisive and to impact minorities disproportionately, and that serious people pursuing small government/”federalist” and ultra-patriotic politics would actively confront this problem in an effort to broaden the movement and their vision.

    And you appear to go further and argue that the mere holding of certain ideological beliefs about the size of government grants a group of people the right to believe that another whole group of people is guilty of meaning them harm.

    See above. Hold whatever beliefs you want. When you go about seeking to make changes on their basis, they become the concern of others. The TP isn’t about a lot of people saying “Hey these are the wonderful things I believe,” it’s about trying to get something done – or trying to stop other things – through political activism.

  76. For some good examples of guilt by association (as well as ideological presumptions and cultural biases treated as objective and universally obligatory) look at that typically loathsome piece from PajamasMedia linked above by narciso..

  77. That is the argument that Arianna Huffington who owes part of her fortune as with the Brown family to Indonesian oil tried to make about SUVs for a time. Now most of the bill of indictment that the NAACP is
    ‘checkered’ to be very charitable; the spitting, the epithets, the violence reminiscent of the 70s, as Nancy Pelosi put it; like the SLA, the Black Liberation Army, you can chalk up Jim Jones as part of the picture, and balance it out with Dan White

  78. There was Dale Robertson, then some Larouchites and probably some
    provocateurs from “Crash the Tea Party’ but it not organized along racial lines, as opposed to the New Black Panther Party,

  79. The New Black Panther Party is an ant. The Tea Party is an elephant (for now). Please make a note of the difference.

    There was Dale Robertson, then some Larouchites and probably some
    provocateurs from “Crash the Tea Party’ but it not organized along racial lines

    Uh-huh. In my experience, the majority of “Tea Party Americans” exhibit insensitivity, often aggressively and demonstratively. The whole GZ Mosque discussion has been typical.

    As their/your “I’m not a bimbo!” “don’t give an inch” reaction to the NAACP demonstrates, TP Americans tend to reject and denounce invitations to self-examination and self-criticism, as though admitting imperfections and taking responsibility for anything outside their preferred definitions of terms is a sign of weakness. Those are the mental habits of bigots.

    Like many on the far left, they offer an image to the unaffiliated that says “whether or not some of what they say makes sense, god help us all if they’re ever in power.” It’s nothing that Nancy Pelosi said, or the appearance of a Larouchie at a rally, that has finally led people, young people especially, to associate the Tea Party with the far right/reactionary/culturally defensive wing of the Republican coalition, captured by Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck – in other words, just the kind of people who seem perfectly normal and reasonable to you, while the rightwing punditry struggles to define it more moderately

    That’s who the TP is, that’s how the TP acts, that’s all the TP has to offer. The opportunity to catch this year’s political wave was just too juicy to resist, and they’re only human.

  80. Have you been missing the tone of the coverage on every network but Fox, on every newspaper except possibly the WSJ and the Post, almost
    every publication, except a select few, The DHS memo, which focused
    on Christian prolife veterans, but didn’t flag the likes of Mutallab or
    the Little Rock recruitment post shooter or Shahzad or Hassan, or for
    that matter Bedell, Stack, or Bishop, you don’t get the template here

  81. Gee, I thought the Tea Party was about limited government and restraint on spending, and had nothing to do with race, religion or cultural resentment (or whatever leads you to bring Bedell, Stack, or Bishop into this discussion).

    The “template” is that you want the Tea Party to be a Rightwing Judeo-Christian Power Movement, and that you’re upset that anyone has the poor manners to point it out, to tie the TP to its natural and vocal would-be political allies and compare it to its historical precursors, to consider the implications of its agenda, and to view its ideological underpinnings and carefully nurtured hurt feelings as anything other than Objectively Superior Truth.

  82. @ CK MacLeod: and if they didn’t know that narc and people just like him were going to read that stuff and buy into it, they would never have published it.
    narc is responsible for everything wrong in the universe, at the very least.

  83. @ Ill Papa Fuster:
    I’m not sure that there are a lot of “people just like” our narc. Not that there aren’t many who share his predispositions, but I think there are relatively few who collect and assemble “evidence” with his diligence.

  84. CK MacLeod wrote:
    @ Ill Papa Fuster:
    I’m not sure that there are a lot of “people just like” our narc. Not that there aren’t many who share his predispositions, but I think there are relatively few who collect and assemble “evidence” with his diligence

    The NARC is invaluable for his creativity in framing arguments,and also,he really knows a lot.

  85. @ Rex Caruthers:narc knows, and can recall, an incredible amount of information. he has a lively and sly wit and I much enjoy it.

    and his creativity in framing arguments transcends any and all bounds of logic known to mortal men and frogs.

    he should be turned into a newt until he gets better at honesty in argumentation.

  86. About a hundred years ago, the NAACP arose out of real pressing circumstances, the equivalent of the Sharpsville of American Apartheid, Dubois did a lot of ill advised things since then, endorsing
    Wilson, tolerating fascism in the early period, ultimately turning to Marxism, but it was necessary and right then. Likewise I might have had some difference of opinion about the conclusion of MLK’s politics, but there was no doubt of his integrity and conviction. This is also why I find Rex’s ephemeral endorsement of secession as a foolish gambit, we saw what happened when we didn’t intervene for nearly 60 years

    Now a point of personal privilege, Williams had been aggrevating me for a while with his ham handed arguments, it’s go he is no longer
    the go to person on TPX, but that doesn’t mean that the principles
    aren’t sound

  87. Thanks for the compliment Rex, and Frog, and CK, in your own way,
    I was just pointing out how you could just as easily make the arguments that lefties and anarchists are just as upset in the Obama
    period, and how some like Bishop were protected by the local authorities, for the better part of 25 years.

  88. @ narciso:

    newtciso, we don’t need more bad arguments. give us a couple of solid honest ones where you respond to discussion instead of slithering sideways. then we’ll know that the rest of the time you’re kidding and not a newtjob.

  89. It’s the Inception twostep, you walk right up the street curving toward infinity, someone watch the thing so I figure out what’s going on in the film, it makes “Dreamscape” seem conventional. I liked him in the Departed, but Monahan couldn’t wring the same magic out of
    DiCaprio in “Body of Lies”, Now Jerry Pournelle feels an eerie bit of deja vu with all this NASA obeisance to the technophobes, and Heinlein would certainly say it’s the crazy years, although he was off by 20

  90. @ narciso:

    That’s our newtjob!!

    (DiCaprio is a lousy actor)

    your problem is garlic, leastwise in the early stages, when it’s still just a shoot sprouting.

    yep, you can’t, it seems, and don’t try to correct me if I’m wrong, because that’s not really in the tradition of patriarchal Latin culture (such as it is), yep, yep, mostly early-on you got to get away with sprouting shoot all over this blog cause people affirmatively acted on your comments thinking that you didn’t really unnerstand the King’s American like you oughta.

    now what, I ask?
    can you be saved by being sent to a charter camp for the logically absent?

  91. Did you run that through babelfish, i’ve had that problem when I translated to Dutch, I was remarking on the crazy ness of example McConnell choosing to leave the implication on the ground, about racism in the te party,Biden arguing the stimulus wasn’t big enough, Al Megrahi being released on a phony diagnosis, focusing on diplomacy and AGW legerdemain instead of aerospace technology, out side of Baikonur in Kazakhstan what other launch sites doe we have oversees

  92. @ narciso:
    so newnarc, old crumpet, bit of a wet bird when from the foo is on the other shoot, can we stipulate? That DiCaprio mannequin is he at most withal and else little.
    likewise, is there a reason why you don’t answer and instead dice with danger when clarity is called for in the moment?
    do you even pretend to any loyalty to the Laws of logic enshrined by out Forefathers and beloved of True-Blue Americans?

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