Too late for healing

“To be a Muslim is to support Al Qaeda.”

That would be one direct intepretation of “How About a Hirohito Monument at Pearl Harbor?” – the title of Jennifer Rubin’s latest post on our favorite topic.  For Rubin, apparently, an Islamic cultural center with worship area two blocks from Ground Zero would be the equivalent of a monument to the Japanese Emperor, at the site where the armed forces of Imperial Way Japan attacked the United States.  In other words, the hijackers of 9/11 and their terrorist organization are equivalent to the armed forces and sovereign government of a nation, and Islam (the term that corresponds to “mosque”) is the equivalent of that sovereign nation.

Which is exactly what Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri think about the hijackers, Al Qaeda, and the House of Islam.

Once again:  Islamophobia and Extreme Islamism amount to the same thing:  “Fight them all together.”  In every way that matters, Islamophobes like Rubin and Islamist Extremists both believe, and demand that you believe, that the terrorist jihadists are the true and legitimate leadership for a world empire comprised of 1.5 billion human beings, 1.5 billion human beings inherently different from all of the rest of us.  And that a war, what Rubin calls a “civilizational war,” is necessary, desirable, and already under way.

I’m not sure what Rubin thinks she means by “civilizational war,” what she imagines it will entail if conducted in the manner she sees fit. I doubt she’s given it very much thought.  She seems to be too busy blogging to listen to herself, to reflect on what she’s supporting, to think about what other major Western political movements have liked to pose as defenders of the sensible populace, as the enemies of the intelligentsia, and as fighters in the elementally necessary “civilizational war” that somehow is always already on the verge of being lost to the cunning inferiors.

To me, “civilizational war” is the language of holocaust, whether upper- or lowercase, but, even apart from the language of international violence bis zum bitteren Ende, just on the question of the minimal consensual values of American democracy, how are we to take a sentence like this one:  “What passes for the liberal intelligentsia is convinced that we have no right to protect the sensibilities of our citizens (whom the left scorns as brutes and xenophobes)…”?  The sensibilities of our citizens?  Isn’t that the justification for every self-righteous idiocy standing firm against every advance by every minority group, every creative or scientific discovery, every new idea?  I find it incredible to read such a tragicomically repugnant, unself-conscious statement in the virtual pages of a would-be respectable intellectual journal of political opinion. How fitting, and sad, that Rubin writes such words while also approving of the Anti-Defamation League’s disgraceful decision to jump on the “anti-mosque” political bandwagon.  And she disparages “the left” as “loony.”

I don’t know about “our citizens.”  But I do know that you’ll sometimes find “brutes and xenophobes” in unexpected places.

I hope Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf fights for his project, and that the people who have backed him thus far continue to stand behind him.  Statements like Rubin’s and the ADL’s make it ever clearer that “healing” is necessary.  But I also wouldn’t blame him for canceling his intended gesture, upon the determination that the wound to our spirit was fatal after all.


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127 comments on “Too late for healing

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  1. You must know that you are wrongfully tarring J Rubin and others who want no mosque there as “Islamophobes”. No wonder you see nothing wrong with parroting the phony charge that the Tea Party is ‘racist’.

    Was Rudy G an Islam hater when he told a Saudi Prince to keep his friggin money, because it came with a certain smelly mindset-outlook?

    A mosque in that location proposed by those with fainthearted attitudes toward the Islamo-fascists does not pass the smell test.

    Some people loose their sense of smell. You seem to be so driven by sophomoric intellectual word play that perhaps your nose has unhooked itself from your brain.

    So, may I respectfully suggest that there is a turd in your punch bowl sir. Don’t drink it!

    Yes, everybody knows that most Muslims in the west are like the fine Moslem lad in the movie, “The History Boys.”

    The silence of the Moslem majority is deafening, however. In fact, their supposedly mainstream western organizations seldom speak out to condemn and isolate and capture the murderers. Instead, they air constant grievances and complain about ‘Islamophobes’ like you do. Instead, they continue to insist on additional goodies in the UK for government funded segregated schools, and special courts for wife beaters and the like.

    The Japanese-Americans who covered themselves in honor in 1943 in Italy brought shame upon an America which incarcerated their mothers and sisters. Where are the honorable western Moslems today? What have they done to truly stand up for free expression and human rights? What have they done to protect Ayan Ali Hirsi and Salman Rushdie?

    Oh, that’s right, they are Islamophobes too, RIGHT?

  2. @ Zoltan Newberry:
    Someone took your security blanket away from you, and so you cry some more.

    “What passes for the liberal intelligentsia is convinced that we have no right to protect the sensibilities of our citizens.” You really want to get behind that sentence? Behind the kind of people who, presented with a political, intellectual, or cultural challenge, have being saying that or some slight variation for thousands of years? If so, I don’t want to be anywhere near your asylum, and don’t want you anywhere near mine.

    Rudy G’s gesture was a useful demagogy that served its intended propagandistic purpose at the time, rendering shades of gray as black and white, exactly as described in the first sentences of my prior post. Because you’re happy to play dumb and nurse your resentments for the rest of your life until the end of your days – if I can take your repeated comments under whatever latest moniker at face value – you may very well continue believing and believing in the godly perfection of Rudy G’s defiant act, and the requirement that we fall down and worship it forever.

    Among other things, that approach relieves you of the burden of ever actually responding to an argument with your brain. You can just lash out instead, again, and again, and again. That’s what so great about anti-intellectual political movements for the people in them: They declare thinking itself to be suspicious, eventually they forbid it completely, all difficult moral and intellectual burdens lifted, and the horror becomes unstoppable. At that point, the only remaining dignified thing to do is to walk silently to your execution, because there’s nothing but things doing things to other things, no authentically human contribution to be made.

  3. Who gets to say no to the Islamic Bldg? The City of New York gets to first,then they go to court and the “NO”is challanged in State and Federal Court. If the “NO” is upheld,The Islams prepare their brief for SCOTUS,if the “no” loses,NYC goes to SCOTUS,so SCOTUS may be the decider. In my opinion,there is no Constitutional reason that SCOTUS can say “NO”.

    PS,who owns the land the Islams want for the bldg? The City or Privately owned? If Privately owned,isn’t this just a Free Market issue,Zoltan?

  4. @ CK MacLeod:
    Rudy Guiliani’s was just fine in not accepting that money and accepting the money would not have been.

    There’s no reason to link that with building Corboda House and Zoltan shouldn’t be attempting to equate the two things.

  5. He didn’t cotton to Arafat either who had the death of at least two American diplomats on his hands. Maybe if the Sauds in parnership with
    the Soviets had not been the underwriters of Fatah, if the textbooks
    they issue didn’t call those they consider the people of the book ‘ pigs and dogs’. Maybe if the bounty of the regime was more equitably
    distributed past the 7,000 princes, there would grounds for discussion

  6. “The ADL tried to explain it in personal terms to the dim set:
    We are ever mindful of the tragedy which befell our nation there, the pain we all still feel — and especially the anguish of the families and friends of those who were killed on September 11, 2001. …
    [U]ltimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain — unnecessarily — and that is not right.”

    JRUB quoted the above to support her opinion,but as a lawyer,she knows that Constitutional RIGHTS trump what some individuals’ opinion is about “what is right”.
    Question:How many innocent Muslims did the 9/11ers murder?***

  7. ***
    “PARTIAL List of Muslim 9/11 Victims:
    Note: This list is as yet INCOMPLETE and UNCONFIRMED. It has been compiled from the Islamic Circle of North America, the Newsday victims database, and reports from other major news organizations. The victims’ ages, employers, or other personal information is included when available, along with links to further information or photos.
    http://islam.about.com/blvictims.htm

    We still don’t have a complete list of Muslim victims after nine years? What the hell is that all about?

  8. @ Rex Caruthers:
    I’ve heard different estimates. 10s at least.

    There’s a certain elephant that JRub and the ADL can’t bring themselves to acknowledge about how their own opposition to the project will be interpreted. Very similar to Zoltan’s elephant, I think. But if you don’t mention it, and overcome it (I don’t think it can be done, but you must try), you leave it to the observers – and future observers – to interpret it for themselves.

    In a few years, assuming the character assassination of Rauf and the attacks on his associations succeed – meaning the project collapses – here’ the call: “All together now, population of the world, who killed the Ground Zero Mosque?”
    Anyone care to shout the answer?

  9. Same goes for Castro, back when he wasn’t officially ‘the Walking Coma” as Luque Escalona, dubbed him even the likes of Barbara Walters got the ‘tingle up her leg’ , Steyn has pointed out the proscriptions against ferengi, doin’t often apply in other places, in his native Canada, You can be as reactionary and chauvinist if you are the other, you will not get a Human Rights complaint. Al Ghosaibi could pen a ode to ‘martyrs’, and the complaints are few and far between.

    I’t’s curious how for about a 1,000 years, Islam’s seat of authority moved from Cairo to Damascus to Baghdad to Istanbul , which makes the Wahhab claim dubious to say the least

  10. fuster wrote:

    Rudy Guiliani’s was just fine in not accepting that money and accepting the money would not have been.

    It was a cheap, crowd-pleasing, rallying gesture. I didn’t say it was the wrong thing to do. I just said what the thing that was done was.

  11. @ Rex Caruthers:
    OMG – you linked to an article by Stephen Walt! Don’t you realize what you’ve done! Someone Zoltan and narciso like called him an anti-Semite, so that means that there’s nothing he ever said or can say that anyone should ever take into account, unless he or she also wants also to be considered an anti-Semite. Furthermore, by definition – DEFINITION, dammit – the opposite of everything he says, with possible exceptions for the weather and the time of day (presuming they can be checked), should be considered true, until and unless John Podhoretz says different.

    Got that?

    And he’s right that those are low-ball estimates. In addition, for U.S. enemies and even for some would-be friends, the “we” includes U.S. allies and clients far in addition to Israel, and going back for a very long time.

    Not sure if I wish I had read that before the Other 9/11 Truth post. Yet, as I’ve been saying all along, I think most people who have been paying attention and are capable of thinking about it “know” all of that, but learn at a relatively early age, usually, to get over the initial sense of something unimaginably out of balance. Anyone of Vietnam age or not too much younger probably got “that” out of his system, turned it into a dull, minimizable, forgettable, what you gonna do?, mere fact a long time ago.

  12. Hey Coooooolin!

    Did you rip off my avatar as a result of my failure to properly appreciate your nuanced mastery of all the subtleties which make life truly progressive and meaningful, my frem?

  13. Don’t have any idea what you’re talking about, Z. Your avatar, which you have dishonored so egregiously, is sitting up there plain as day for me, right next to your comment. When you sign in under other e-mail addresses, it doesn’t know how to find you, and keeps me up at night whining pathetically and scratching at the virtual door.

  14. Walt like Freeman, seems to think anything the Sauds do is ok, REally
    was the Israeli lobby the big issue in 2006, or was it the lobby of the Arabians including the UAE and Quatar emirates, they did lose out on Dubai ports, which struck me as ironic since that was a British flub
    by selling out P&0. but their influence certainly was felt though the Levick group with the cooperation of the Sorosphere

  15. It seems the good professor is straining too hard for that contribution from Prince Talal. I have come to the conclusion that it might have been better for Saddam to have invaded Saudi Arabia, true we would
    not likely have the bases there, but Bin Laden wouldn’t have that as
    an excuse. as our repeated stagings there, were his rationale for attacking us in part, he uses the lower number for the Iraq campaign
    so there’s a saving grace there, So how many professor will clean the
    slate,

  16. narciso wrote:

    So how many professor will clean the
    slate,

    That’s not his recommendation. It may be the eventual result of yours, someday probably far off. Your, and JRub’s, and Zolt’s alternative – though you prefer to keep your eyes on almost every other thing – appears to be to keep on keeping on, hoping that someday we hit tilt.

    I have come to the conclusion that it might have been better for Saddam to have invaded Saudi Arabia,

    That might be an interesting counterfactual – but I think that, like most, it will start to look inconceivable once you examine it a little more closely.

  17. So one of our betters in the ‘Ruling class’ seems to rationalize the deliberate murder of civilians, and he left out the muslims at the WTC,
    in the civilian body count. Freeman another one of the species, he bows to all oligarchs equally, Chinese, he was the one who relayed
    the threat to nuke LA, if we defended Taiwan, has made similar
    statements over the years. Usually thecommenters at Foreign Policy are very nonchalant about such thing, but this one hit a nerve

  18. @ narciso:
    Now that’s silly. He wasn’t trying to justify 9/11. He was obviously trying to justify 100 9/11s, though, considering the shortage of 100-story skyscrapers and very limited number of Pentagons, we’d probably have to have 200 or 300 9/11s just to even things up. Who could have a problem with that?

  19. My quarrel in this instance is with Rex, who brought Walt’s ham handed
    essay to the forefront. Youre’ being tongue and cheek with that last statement, but this is exactly the way that Saudi imam, that authorized a fatwa that involved nuclear weapons think

  20. @ narciso:
    I thank Rex for bringing up Walt’s completely reasonable little blog post – it saved me the time of working up my own tally.

    Apparently, your view is that being aware of factors that may influence the other side, its reluctance to see things our way, and its embrace of ideas and methods that strike us as desperate and cruel is treason. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but your view appears to be that opening one’s eyes, clearly assessing the situation, establishing attainable goals, and determining how to proceed is only for terrorists, traitors, and useful idiots. Right-thinking people just keep on doing whatever they’ve been doing without a second thought, as long as they can get away with it, and if other people don’t like it, it’s their problem (see prior sentence).

  21. narciso wrote:
    My quarrel in this instance is with Rex, who brought Walt’s ham handed
    essay to the forefront.

    Your problem is with Walt,not me,is it his “facts” or his interpretation of those “facts” that is the matter? Actually,what is the matter is your belief that we are never responsible in any way for the bad stuff that happens to us. Because the TRUE God is on our side?

  22. What id really the point of Walt’s essay, it’s to say ‘we asked for it’ or
    as some one else put it, ‘chickens coming home to roost’ it’s a small step to justifying that action, and encouraging others, that was the gist of Aulaki’s dual narrative, [ost 9/11.the one Robert Wright glommed on to before the bodies were even buried in Killeen.

  23. narciso wrote:
    What id really the point of Walt’s essay

    For every action/opposite equal reaction
    no action/no reaction
    laws of History as well as Physics

  24. @ narciso:
    No, it’s a step YOU take, because that’s how your mind works. Walt’s point was simple. It was the title of his post. “Why do they hate us?” He’s not the first person to ask that question. He won’t be the last. He describes an incident. Someone said, maybe it would help if you stopped killing them.

    Apparently, that’s too painful for you to contemplate. Why, if we stopped killing them, maybe that would indicate to someone somewhere that we thought killing them was a bad thing…

  25. And as for Jeremiah Wright, yes, I know, it’s even more blasphemous than G-D America. How could anyone even say such a thing?

    Wright’s fault wasn’t the intellectual content of his sermon, it was the emotional thrust – the scary black man shouting wrong things. But I think he’s basically a lot more sane than Pamela Geller, and more interesting to listen to, too (not saying much…).

    A mature nation would have said: The barbarians struck us. We need to punish them, but we also need to stop stirring them up so much and get more of them on our side. Come to think of it, that’s kind of what we did, but it interferes with the conservative liturgy of 2010 to admit it. What was the Bush policy of “democracy promotion” other than an admission that our prior policy of a couple of generations was wrong? What was his policy of asserting respect for Islam and reaching out to moderate Muslims other than an admission that we hadn’t communicated it previously, or that doing so might help prevent future 9/11s? What was our intervention in Afghanistan other than a tacit admission that our abandonment of Afghanistan had been a mistake?

  26. So which is it, when we support democracy, they hate us, when we support odious regimes like the Sauds and the Mubaraks they hate us,
    when we detain terrorists like those at Gitmo, ditto. I don’t care the
    race of the idiot who supports this contention, either a Baathist Wasp apologist like Edward Peck, & Charles Freeman, or Alberto Fernandez in the Public diplomacy section, apologizing for Hezbollah or Jeremiah Wright, now the fact that he chose to associate with Quaddafi and
    Castro, that’s a little more on point, I have as much disdain for Howard
    “Yeargh” Dean as I have for Barack Obama, you should know that by now

  27. @ narciso:
    I see. We spent a few years tripping on our shoelaces and oh yeah by the way bringing around 33 9/11s to a country less than 1/10th our size, but we said some nice things about democracy before getting the heck out, and because of that the entire Islamic world is going to turn on a dime, forget 200 years or so, trust our every word and intention, and, if they don’t, right now already, let’s adopt a policy of hating them even harder than they hate us, and matching it with firepower, world without end.

    Who could have any doubts about that working?

  28. Yes we hate those who turn children into living bombs, and those who empower them to do so. Imam Rauf is more on that side of the line than Zuhdi, or Suleiman Schwartz or Ali Ahmed, or Fouad Adjami, THey cultivate the likes of Major Hassan, and encourage him, and Faisal Shahzad to turn against the country they pledged allegiance to.

  29. narciso wrote:

    those who turn children into living bombs, and those who empower them to do so. Imam Rauf is more on that side of the line

    dammit, that’s just horsehockey flambe and it don’t just half-stink.

    how the hell do you empower somebody to turn out suicide bombers, narc?
    don’t you have to act to help in some way, or to say it’s a good idea ?
    any evidence about Rauf?

    what has Rauf done to help suicide bombers that you haven’t?

  30. those who turn children into living bombs,

    Which children? I’m not aware of many instances of children being “turned into living bombs.” I’m certainly aware of many children being killed, and of plans, apparently, to kill more of them. I’m also aware of many children being blasted to pieces by our bombs. Walt’s numbers would suggest rather more in the latter category. But they don’t count, right? Or count very much?

    And what basis do you have for again defaming Feisal Rauf. “More on that side of the line”? What is that supposed to mean? I wonder how many “lines” I could put you on the wrong “side” of, by some margin.

    Then here we go with the musical “they”‘s again. We started out asking why “they” hate “us,” and providing some support for one set of reasons why they might. Now, I guess, we’ve temporarily gotten past the point where looking at the reasons is something other than treasonous blasphemy. Then suddenly we’re in the land of defining the entire “them” interchangeably with the extremists, by collapsible chain of association.

    If we did everything right, it might take generations before there was no one left trying to convert the Hassan’s and Shahzad’s into operatives, and occasionally scoring successes, and we’ll still have the luxury of getting shocked by the deaths of 13 soldiers. If we do things wrong, then what Hassan did won’t even register for us anymore. In a lot of places where we’re busy, they’re already long past that point. Why do you think they raise their children to admire suicide bombers? Because they’re naturally perverted? Because they like it?

    We also raise our children to admire sacrifice, you know. Most, possibly all societies do. It’s usually the most touching part of any war movie. Dulce et decorum… Greater love hath no man… Oh no, it’s even in that evil holy book of the deceiver or whatever Sully was just saying in the other thread! You ever read the Sharpe novels? Remember all those wonderful “Forlorn Hope” detachments?

    You should read MATTERHORN. First of all, I think you’ll like it. Second of all, because it has passages like this:

    “He would not slip into the jungle and save himself, because that self didn’t look like anything worth saving. He’d choose to stay on the hill and do what he could to save those around him. The choice comforted him and calmed him down. Dying this way was a better way to die because living this way was a better way to live.”

    Is that alien to you? Is that really so far away from what a “martyr” is said to experience?

    You’re aware, I suspect, that we haven’t given a Medal of Honor to a living soldier since 1973? Does that mean we have a culture of suicide warriors?

    Life itself is a losing proposition justified by sacrifice for something larger than the individual.

  31. When you start with Nahoul the bumblebee in Gaza, or Basmallah the six year old in Arabia, now she’s probably about 10. When they showedthe ‘Siege’ back in ’98, it seemed alarmist, based on what Lawrence Wright saw in Egypt he was lowballing it, yes Zwick’s script had to have the obligatory evil American General, practicing an early form of rendition. The Kingdom, which also engages in too much moral equivalence for my taste, and Bawer’s for that matter but illustrates the end result of all these enterprises.

  32. When you start with Nahoul the bumblebee in Gaza,

    That’s a TV show, not a “living bomb.” Who are or were the “living bombs”?

    The “end result” of THE KINGDOM was a renewed cycle of violence, as I recall. Somewhat similar to MUNICH, on the level of message – not a film I greatly admired when it came out, but I may take another look at it one of the days – memorable, especially the final image, of course.

  33. Before the “Lethal Weapon” like ending in Suweidi, (actually UAE) they
    were really interested in solving the crime, I know a very reactionary
    thing, the animals. It really does highlight the mindset in the KSA, fostered by deferring to the Ilkwan Ulema, Now in our entire long
    history with the Russians,they never prompted someone to attack
    a military base, that was the kind of fever dream in Walter Wager’s “Telefon” it really is becoming impossible to have a civil conversation, if you want this to me, just you and Rex and Michigan J, have it, but don’t pretend it has anything to do with the original

  34. “For a long time now, the ADL seems to have assumed that it could exempt Israel from the principles in its charter and yet remain just as faithful to that charter inside the United States. But now the chickens are coming back home to America to roost. The ADL’s rationale for opposing the Ground Zero mosque is that “building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain—unnecessarily—and that is not right.” Huh? What if white victims of African-American crime protested the building of a black church in their neighborhood? Or gentile victims of Bernie Madoff protested the building of a synagogue? Would the ADL for one second suggest that sensitivity toward people victimized by members of a certain religion or race justifies discriminating against other, completely innocent, members of that religion or race? Of course not. But when it comes to Muslims, the standards are different. They are different in Israel, and now, it is clear, they are different in the United States, too”
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-08-02/the-anti-defamation-leagues-ground-zero-mosque-hypocrisy/2/

  35. @ narciso:
    A “civil conversation”? I haven’t noticed any incivility directed at you personally. I do see you continually making accusations, from corruption to treason, against individuals – Rauf, Walt, and others – based on little more than your assumptions, sometimes outfitted with nebulous conspiracies. And I see us reacting to them.

  36. REX ON ECONOMICS:

    Here’s a breather before we get back to the Islammaniacs. NRO finally has an economic opinion that is truthful. Narciso,you should be appreciative of efforts to bring relevant info to ZC,in some cases years before the Official channels.
    “The problem with the way we count economic growth is that it focuses on SPENDING*, not investment, efficiency, entrepreneurship, or technological innovation. Anything that boosts SPENDING* is automatically assumed to produce growth. SPENDING*, no matter what the source, is the lever government pulls to produce jobs and income.
    This is the GROWTH ILLUSION* embedded in economic forecasts and in the way we calculate GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT, and we are seeing its negative effects in the anemic numbers posted by the general economy. Increases in nondefense spending are almost exclusively redistributions of revenue from one group (working individuals, or future generations through debt) to current non-earners or non–wealth producers. Even the business spending may be illusory, particularly if the increases in inventory built by domestic manufacturers were based on distortions from gimmicks — cash-for-clunkers, housing tax credits, or stimulus infrastructure projects that literally involved digging holes and then filling them back in again. That’s hardly a recipe for growth, but the GDP estimates and economic models forecasting future growth don’t take this into account; they report these expenditures as spending and therefore economic growth”
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/242159/growth-illusion-samuel-r-staley
    ****My estimates of a Ten Trillion $ economy as opposed the the Official 16$Trillion # is looking good,BUT IT MAY BE TOO HIGH. The disparity between the official #s and the “TRUE” #s is the structurial reason for large entities like Empires to collapse SUDDENLY
    as did the USSR. Narciso if you care as much as you claim about your nation,how about joining me in the TRUTH ABOUT OUR NATIONAL ECONOMICS CLUB which is headquartered right here at ZC. So far most of the Conservatives that post opinions here have rejected membership,but as you have shown more sticktoitivness than JEM,JED,Geoffrey Brittain,and so many others,your joining would be a victory for truth in #s.

  37. Well Rauf came out in support of Rowan William’s support for Sharia courts, which unlike rabbinical courts in NY are not nearly the same thing. He is allied with those enterprises, only the likes of Armstrong
    and company, who misrepresent the past as assiduously as Hedges
    does the present

    You assume our quarrel with Wright is about race not ideology, well we despise his argument from Peck or spoiled wannabe Gramscian William Ayers. or Peck, Freeman, Walker et al

  38. So much has actually been produced in terms of goods and services, that is the fundamental question, that would be the true measure of GDP

  39. What next? Those damned Uppity Moslems have opinions on our Documented Victory in Iraq,TROUBLEMAKERS!

    US watches from sidelines as Iraqi leadership unravels
    Mohamad Bazzi
    “Last Updated: August 01. 2010 7:01PM UAE / August 1. 2010 3:01PM GMT In the middle of last month, US military officials handed Iraq’s interior minister a large, gold-coloured key to mark the transfer of Camp Cropper, the last prison in Iraq under US control. “Now there is some rule of law,” one Iraqi official gushed at the ceremony.
    But just five days later, four prisoners who were leaders of one of Iraq’s most violent insurgent groups escaped. Iraqi officials believe that the detainees, members of an al Qa’eda offshoot called the Islamic State of Iraq, were driven out of the prison by the new warden, who has also disappeared”
    http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100802/OPINION/708019958/1006/

  40. Beinart is being disingenous to be very charitable, in the abstract I would agree, the particulars are just not so. If we invaded Saudi Arabia
    as is your preferred want what Luttwak suggested in ’75 in Harpers, that would be the unfortunate reality

  41. narciso wrote:
    So much has actually been produced in terms of goods and services, that is the fundamental question, that would be the true measure of GDP

    That would be great if we had an accurate way to value those Gs&Ss,but we don’t,we have a paperbased floating system that changes daily,making “value” into a subjective factor,an opinion,this reality has turned our economy into a Casino.

  42. If we invaded Saudi Arabia as is your preferred want

    As a Mature world Empire,we needed to make an Imperial Decision on the Question “Who is best qualified to be in charge of the World’s Energy Supply,A Western Democratic World Class Empire,or those ridiculous “Royal” families that via an accident of Geology,”OWN” those resources. Well,we made that decision,and that decision determined our short term viability as a First Class Empire,2nd and 3rd class is now our short term prediciament,unless we change our minds,if its not too late.
    We have a lot to learn from Augustus Caesar about how an Empire operates,but we are still too Immature to admit the Hard Realities of Empire Stewardship,much less even admit that we are Imperial.

  43. narciso wrote:

    Beinart is being disingenous to be very charitable

    No, that’s not being “charitable,” that’s just being opinionated in an insulting way, on no apparent basis other than ideological prejudice. You don’t like his message, so you call it dishonest.

    Well Rauf came out in support of Rowan William’s support for Sharia courts,

    Deport him! Yesterday!

    How about a constitutional amendment – underlining that voicing an opinion construed as supportive of Sharia law be herafter considered treason? I betcha Andy McCarthy, Pamela Geller, Jennifer Rubin would favor it. Civilizational war, doncha know. And even the ADL could justify it – speaking favorably of Sharia being so painful to certain people.

  44. @ Rex Caruthers:
    We made a Roman-like deal with the local client elites, a bit more generous to the elites themselves, but it’s not as though the Romans were a model of consistency. Often they, or governors acting on their own recognizance for for their own benefit and against the Roman interest, would pillage and plunder past the point of finding means to carry the treasure west. In other places, a local potentate would swear allegiance, and be left pretty much to his own devices. Over time, things would tend to even out, especially as rights of citizenship began to be distributed more broadly, but eventually it was an ungovernable mess.

    All past empires reached their own administrative limits to growth, overstretched their lines of communication and supply, and became vulnerable to corruption, decay, and external threat. The theory of administration of the American neo-empire attempts to circumvent that problem by radical decentralization within the context of a global progressive project, world “federalism” you might say, though with much less power at the world center than at the U.S. national center. Anything else pretends to combine vastly unlike entities – the world’s nations at current radically unequal levels of development – into a single homogeneous structure.

    Saudi Arabia’s oil resources are a small part of that all. The deal achieved what it was intended to achieve for a very long time, including up to the present moment.

  45. OMG,Is this REX again,or a Ghost from the Reagan Admin,David Stockman?

    (1)”IF there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation’s public debt — if honestly reckoned to include municipal bonds and the $7 trillion of new deficits baked into the cake through 2015 — will soon reach $18 trillion. That’s a Greece-scale 120 percent of gross domestic product, and fairly screams out for austerity and sacrifice. It is therefore unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to insist that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase.
    More fundamentally, Mr. McConnell’s stand puts the lie to the Republican pretense that its new monetarist and supply-side doctrines are rooted in its traditional financial philosophy. Republicans used to believe that prosperity depended upon the regular balancing of accounts — in government, in international trade, on the ledgers of central banks and in the financial affairs of private households and businesses, too. But the new catechism, as practiced by Republican policymakers for decades now, has amounted to little more than money printing and deficit finance — vulgar Keynesianism robed in the ideological vestments of the prosperous classes.”
    (2)CHECK THIS ONE OUT
    “This approach has not simply made a mockery of traditional party ideals. It has also led to the serial financial bubbles and Wall Street depredations that have crippled our economy. More specifically, the new policy doctrines have caused four great deformations of the national economy, and modern Republicans have turned a blind eye to each one.
    The first of these started when the Nixon administration defaulted on American obligations under the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement to balance our accounts with the world. Now, since we have lived beyond our means as a nation for nearly 40 years, our cumulative current-account deficit — the combined shortfall on our trade in goods, services and income — has reached nearly $8 trillion. That’s borrowed prosperity on an epic scale.
    It is also an outcome that Milton Friedman said could never happen when, in 1971, he persuaded President Nixon to unleash on the world paper dollars no longer redeemable in gold or other fixed monetary reserves. Just let the free market set currency exchange rates, he said, and trade deficits will self-correct
    It may be true that governments, because they intervene in foreign exchange markets, have never completely allowed their currencies to float freely. But that does not absolve Friedman’s $8 trillion error. Once relieved of the discipline of defending a fixed value for their currencies, politicians the world over were free to cheapen their money and disregard their neighbors.
    In fact, since chronic current-account deficits result from a nation spending more than it earns, stringent domestic belt-tightening is the only cure. When the dollar was tied to fixed exchange rates, politicians were willing to administer the needed castor oil, because the alternative was to make up for the trade shortfall by paying out reserves, and this would cause immediate economic pain — from high interest rates, for example. But now there is no discipline, only global monetary chaos as foreign central banks run their own printing presses at ever faster speeds to sop up the tidal wave of dollars coming from the Federal Reserve.”
    (3)
    The second unhappy change in the American economy has been the extraordinary growth of our public debt. In 1970 it was just 40 percent of gross domestic product, or about $425 billion. When it reaches $18 trillion, it will be 40 times greater than in 1970. This debt explosion has resulted not from big spending by the Democrats, but instead the Republican Party’s embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don’t matter if they result from tax cuts.
    In 1981, traditional Republicans supported tax cuts, matched by spending cuts, to offset the way inflation was pushing many taxpayers into higher brackets and to spur investment. The Reagan administration’s hastily prepared fiscal blueprint, however, was no match for the primordial forces — the welfare state and the warfare state — that drive the federal spending machine.
    Soon, the neocons were pushing the military budget skyward. And the Republicans on Capitol Hill who were supposed to cut spending exempted from the knife most of the domestic budget — entitlements, farm subsidies, education, water projects. But in the end it was a new cadre of ideological tax-cutters who killed the Republicans’ fiscal religion.
    Through the 1984 election, the old guard earnestly tried to control the deficit, rolling back about 40 percent of the original Reagan tax cuts. But when, in the following years, the Federal Reserve chairman, Paul Volcker, finally crushed inflation, enabling a solid economic rebound, the new tax-cutters not only claimed victory for their supply-side strategy but hooked Republicans for good on the delusion that the economy will outgrow the deficit if plied with enough tax cuts.
    By fiscal year 2009, the tax-cutters had reduced federal revenues to 15 percent of gross domestic product, lower than they had been since the 1940s. Then, after rarely vetoing a budget bill and engaging in two unfinanced foreign military adventures, George W. Bush surrendered on domestic spending cuts, too — signing into law $420 billion in non-defense appropriations, a 65 percent gain from the $260 billion he had inherited eight years earlier. Republicans thus joined the Democrats in a shameless embrace of a free-lunch fiscal policy.
    The third ominous change in the American economy has been the vast, unproductive expansion of our financial sector. Here, Republicans have been oblivious to the grave danger of flooding financial markets with freely printed money and, at the same time, removing traditional restrictions on leverage and speculation. As a result, the combined assets of conventional banks and the so-called shadow banking system (including investment banks and finance companies) grew from a mere $500 billion in 1970 to $30 trillion by September 2008.
    But the trillion-dollar conglomerates that inhabit this new financial world are not free enterprises. They are rather wards of the state, extracting billions from the economy with a lot of pointless speculation in stocks, bonds, commodities and derivatives. They could never have survived, much less thrived, if their deposits had not been government-guaranteed and if they hadn’t been able to obtain virtually free money from the Fed’s discount window to cover their bad bets.
    The fourth destructive change has been the hollowing out of the larger American economy. Having lived beyond our means for decades by borrowing heavily from abroad, we have steadily sent jobs and production offshore. In the past decade, the number of high-value jobs in goods production and in service categories like trade, transportation, information technology and the professions has shrunk by 12 percent, to 68 million from 77 million. The only reason we have not experienced a severe reduction in nonfarm payrolls since 2000 is that there has been a gain in low-paying, often part-time positions in places like bars, hotels and nursing homes.
    It is not surprising, then, that during the last bubble (from 2002 to 2006) the top 1 percent of Americans — paid mainly from the Wall Street casino — received two-thirds of the gain in national income, while the bottom 90 percent — mainly dependent on Main Street’s shrinking economy — got only 12 percent. This growing wealth gap is not the market’s fault. It’s the decaying fruit of bad economic policy.
    The day of national reckoning has arrived. We will not have a conventional business recovery now, but rather a long hangover of debt liquidation and downsizing — as suggested by last week’s news that the national economy grew at an anemic annual rate of 2.4 percent in the second quarter. Under these circumstances, it’s a pity that the modern Republican Party offers the American people an irrelevant platform of recycled Keynesianism when the old approach — balanced budgets, sound money and financial discipline — is needed more than ever.”
    David Stockman, a director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, is working on a book about the financial crisis
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/01/opinion/01stockman.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=opinion

  46. CK/Saudi Arabia’s oil resources are a small part of that all. The deal achieved what it was intended to achieve for a very long time, including up to the present moment.

    Our bankruptcy wasn’t part of the deal,check out Stockman’s analysis above,the 1971 deal was the basis of the Deal “Achieved”,it was a very bad deal for us,but as I said above,we had a choice,The Imperial Way,or the Capitalist Way,we chose to become a Bankrupt Oligarchy rather than The PAX AMERICANA,1970-2070.

  47. @ Rex Caruthers:
    Rex – you really do need to stop in at Recommended Browsing more often. Have you ever? It’s set up so that you can add links yourself using a VERY simple form, and so that we all can in theory discuss stuff that no one quite feels inspired to post on.

    When I linked that article yesterday, I was thinking to myself, “this is about as close to RCARianism as you’re likely to see in a mainstream publication.”

  48. We have prisoner break outs in Texas, all the time, that doesn’t mean the warden is in on it, Bazzi doesn’t he write for Minitrue, I mean the AP. Loomis did negotiate that first deal, he had been out of the public eye, for 25 years before, just as St. John Philby had been on the outs.

    How much of the cold grey 70s, does Stockman want to relive, the Rubicon series gives somewhat of that flavor. Where is his critique of the new multitrillion dollar entitlements and Old one like protruberances like the Fin Reg bill

  49. Where is his critique of the new multitrillion dollar entitlements and Old one like protruberances like the Fin Reg bill

    (1) The nation’s public debt — if honestly reckoned to include municipal bonds and the $7 trillion of new deficits baked into the cake through 2015 — will soon reach $18 trillion.

    (2) When it reaches $18 trillion, it will be 40 times greater than in 1970. This debt explosion has resulted not from big spending by the Democrats, but instead the Republican Party’s embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don’t matter if they result from tax cuts.

    (3) As a result, the combined assets of conventional banks and the so-called shadow banking system (including investment banks and finance companies) grew from a mere $500 billion in 1970 to $30 trillion by September 2008.

    (4)But the trillion-dollar conglomerates that inhabit this new financial world are not free enterprises. They are rather wards of the state, extracting billions from the economy with a lot of pointless speculation in stocks, bonds, commodities and derivatives. They could never have survived, much less thrived, if their deposits had not been government-guaranteed and if they hadn’t been able to obtain virtually free money from the Fed’s discount window to cover their bad bets.

    It’s all there,Trillion dollar Entitlements to the Financial Community,and a trickle of it goes elsewhere.

  50. Tax cuts were about what 10% of that number, and that is not counting the revenue from that transaction, wait what productive labor was Stockman doing in the mid 80s,carving up companies like
    Thanksgiiving turkeys for the Blackstone group, along with Pete Petersen. So in the 90s when Clinton did raise taxes, but engaged in
    “Enron accounting’ except in the sinew of one our only constitutional
    obligations, the military what was that about

  51. @ Rex Caruthers:
    Rex – you really do need to stop in at Recommended Browsing more often. Have you ever? It’s set up so that you can add links yourself using a VERY simple form, and so that we all can in theory discuss stuff that no one quite feels inspired to post on.

    RCARISM doesn’t get relegated to the Bench. Just because the Zombies aren’t comfortable/knowledgable/confident/interested with Economics,they still get the benefits. Those that knew better for a long time like Stockman,are now coming out of the Fiat Closet to survey the wreckage of 1971. BTW,the first major critic of 1971 was an Economic Journalist named ADAM SMITH(Wrote in the Sixties),who taught me a lot of RCARIAN basics. The point is that what has happened to us historically from 1963 to the Present,cannot be comprehended without the Filter of 1971,that’s my job,and I’m First String on the Economic Team.

  52. Has anyone looked at the sky lately?
    Did I go to the wrong place?
    This reminds me of a not so wonderful dream: I went to schul expecting to see many friends there. Instead of Ashre and Alenu, everybody, including a few friends, were singing I aint Gonna Study War No More and God Damn Amerika. The Gabbai asked me to go up onto the pulpit, but when I got there, my beloved Rabbi was wearing a priest’s collar and muttering about Israeli atrocities. I kept looking for our Torah, but there was no Ark, no Torah.

    Did I come to the wrong place?

    Narciso, I recognize you I think. I think you are the only one left and it’s three against one because everyone else is like me I think. Everyone else doesn’t recognize this new home of the multicultural nit pickers, moral relativists, and historical deconstructionists.

    I keep hearing that the government has its eyes on the internet.

    Could it be that Janet Neapolitanio has taken over this site?

    The land of make believe?

    Stalin.com (salon.com)?

    Janet Reno?

  53. I keep checking for the Twin suns of Tatooine, because we surely can’t be on Earth, Or if the city blocs keep folding up as in Inception. Salon was a project of Hambricht and Quist, by a colleague of William Perry who was in partnership with the chinese version of DARPA, it was well worth the cost, Boehlert ended up at Media Matters, Tapper
    at ABC, Talbot went quietly insane, as his journey into JFK conspiracism ‘Brothers’ shows

  54. it’s about 98.72% depressing

    What is depressing to me is how difficult simple concepts are for so many smart,well educated people. Experiment:just ask anyone to define Inflation & Deflation,they usually get them wrong. Correct answers:Inflation is when the purchasing Power of the doillar decreases due to the Central Bank increasing the currency supply. Deflation is when the purchasing power of the Dollar increases due to the Central Bank decreasing the currency supply. Try it at a party,it’s fun.

  55. It’d like Rooney’s lecture to Howard Beale, Chaveysky’s little monologue
    on the nature of multinationale finance and power, or some of Trevanian’s novels on the subject, like Shibumi

  56. depressing

    Really it just the laws of large #s,in the short run,anything can happen,but in the long run,like any Casino,the House always wins,and when all the BS is boiled away,Government is always,the House under a Fiat system. Under a Gold system,there is no house,because the Economy is no longer a Casino,and currency has a fixed value,rather than the flavor of the day,any attempt to unfix the value of the currency,results in very predictable outcomes,like De or In Flation.

  57. @ Lotus Feet:
    Yeah, kind of too bad that the rightwing ideologues who could at least pretend to make an argument chickened out and checked out a long time ago. I don’t blame them, really. When the conservative movement is at the point that pretend-smart people like Jennifer Rubin are speaking up against the evil intellectuals and finding new things to like about Sarah Palin, or like William Kristol, so desperate to tack with the idiot wind, are talking about a 13-story building in Manhattan “towering” over Ground Zero (future site of America’s tallest structure + skyscaper park) from two+ blocks away – it probably seems more important to practice dumbing down than to think things through.

  58. Ah Rex lets not pretend that gold is the be all and end all, recall 1873, 1893, 1907, 1920 among just a few examples, but it does lend a certain degree of stability

  59. narciso wrote:
    Ah Rex lets not pretend that gold is the be all and end all

    What do you suggest in its place? And don’t blame Gold Backing for dishonest politicians’ manipulation of the Gold Standard to cover their promises/Indebtedness in any year. It’s always the same game,change the rules to have a free lunch. There’s two choices paper or Gold,that’s it.

  60. @ narciso:
    Nothing new from JRub, except maybe how happily she slides into religious polarization. She’s actually happy to imagine Jews lining up on one side, “pro-Muslim leftists” on the other. Apparently it’s a zero sum Jews vs Muslims thing for her. Very sad. Very deluded. Very destructive.

  61. • Who is to blame? Milton Friedman. In 1971, he persuaded President Nixon to unleash on the world paper dollars no longer redeemable in gold.

    More on Stockman:
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/08/gop-destroyed-the-u-s-economy/

    The details are what makes Stockman’s take so astonishing. Here are his most important observations, of which I find little to disagree with:

    • The total US debt, including states and municipalities, will soon reach $18 trillion dollars. That is a Greece-like 120% of GDP.(180% according to RCAR)

    • Supply Side tax cuts for the wealthy are based on “money printing and deficit finance — vulgar Keynesiansism robed in the ideological vestments of the prosperous classes.”

    • Republicans abandoned the belief that prosperity depended upon the regular balancing of accounts — government, trade, central banks private households and businesses.

    • Once fiscal conservatism was abandoned, it led to the serial financial bubbles and Wall Street depredations that have crippled our economy.

    • The Nixon administration defaulted on American obligations under the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement.

    • Who is to blame? Milton Friedman. In 1971, he persuaded President Nixon to unleash on the world paper dollars no longer redeemable in gold.

    • According to Friedman, “The free market set currency exchange rates, he said, and trade deficits will self-correct.” What actually occurred was “impossible.” Stockman calls it “Friedman’s $8 trillion error.”

    • Ideological tax-cutters are what killed the Republicans’ fiscal religion.

    • America’s debt explosion has resulted from the Republican Party’s embrace, three decades ago, of the insidious Supply Side doctrine that deficits don’t matter if they result from tax cuts.

    • The GOP controlled Congress from 1994 to 2006: Combine neocon warfare spending with entitlements, farm subsidies, education, water projects and you end up with a GOP welfare/warfare state driving the federal spending machine.

    • It was Paul Volcker who crushed inflation and enabled a solid economic rebound — not the Reagan Supply Side Tax cuts.• Republicans believed the “delusion that the economy will outgrow the deficit if plied with enough tax cuts.”

    • Over George W. Bush 8 years in office, non-defense appropriations gained 65%.• Fiscal year 2009 (GWB last budget): Tax-cutters reduced federal revenues to 15% of GDP — lower than they had been since the 1940s.

    • The expansion of our financial sector has been vast and unproductive. Stockman blames (tho but not by name): 1) Greenspan, for flooding financial markets with freely printed money; and 2) Phil Gramm, for removing traditional restrictions on leverage and speculation.

    • The shadow banking system grew from a mere $500 billion in 1970 to $30 trillion by September 2008 (see Gramm, above).

    • Trillion-dollar financial conglomerates are not free enterprises — they are wards of the state, living on virtually free money from the Fed’s discount window to cover their bad bets.

    • From 2002 to 2006, the top 1% of Americans received two-thirds of the gain in national income.

    David Stockman,silent from 1971 to the present on the 1971 DEFAULT”

  62. @ CK MacLeod:

    “towering”

    There’s a neurological explanation for that.

    Conservatives tend to use dopamine as the neurotransmitter of choice while liberals favor seratonin.

    Dopamine is the nt for the upper visual field, religiousity and moving mass.

    AQ also is a conservative (in its culture) phenonomen. They and US conseravatives have identical nt styles.

    The dopamine system also prefers clarity and dislikes ambiguity.

    Looking up from streeet level, US conservatives will perceive the mosque as both replacing the WTC and towering, dominating the landscape, because of the symbolism they perceive.

    I’m not saying this explains everything, or that people are powerless in the face of the nt styke they are born with. I am saying it is an important factor in how we organize and understand the world.

  63. And Rumsfeld and Cheney administered much of he wage and price controls, one learns from one’s experiences. The total debt is the tens of trillions of dollars, neither defense spending nor tax cuts really play
    that large a role.

    J street, like most appendages of the Soros org, are imminently gullible when it comes to Salafi and Hambali maneuvers, where are the Hanafi in all this

  64. @ bob:
    I’d accept that the “nt style” helps to shape responses and initial and sometimes overriding tendencies, but I think in Kristol’s particular case, both his positioning and how he describes it, opportunism and the unconscious/linguistic echo of the “towers” are more determinative.

    I held out some hope as of a month or two ago that either the Standard/William Kristol or the National Review/Rich Lowry would present an alternative viewpoint along with the dominant one, or at least acknowledge the main elements of the opposing case and raise a warning flag against the bigots aligned on their further-right flanks.

    I know that at that time the issue was just hitting Kristol’s radar. He probably thinks that the neo-Joe-McCarthyite stance the Standard has taken at least looks superficially less contemptible than the Andy-McCarthyite stance at NR. But, like the lady said, everything that rises must converge, and the right is, relatively speaking, on the rise right now.

  65. Does the fact that a Wahhabi cleric was certifying all the Moslem chaplains, one of those quarrelsome Alamoudis, all the while pretending
    to be reasonable and right. give you any cause Then again we must accept the ‘phantom flushed Korans’ from the publication that was sold for a dollar today. And really Al Shehri was tortured exactly like Bond in “Casino Royale”, and the Tipton Three were innocent except
    for the training at Al Faruq, but other than, ‘who is being naive’

  66. @ CK MacLeod:

    Absolutely.

    I was speaking more to the imagery. The dopamamine style prompts one to look up and into the distance, while the seratonin style prompts one to look down. Some theorize that the dopamine style is responsible for the development of religion, which abounds in imagery that is up and in the distance. (Gives a different point of analysis of SP’s Alaska/Russia remarks).

    Many surveys have documented the greater religiosity of conservatives compared to liberals who tend towards spirituality or agnosticism.

    Again, I’m talking tendencies. Plenty of conservatives are spiritiual or agnostics and plenltuy of liberal are religious.

    This stuff operates in various parts of the brain not the pre-frontal cortex, which is where the executive functions of the brain reside. Your points pertain to prefrontal functions, while mine pertain to other areas.

  67. She [Princess Neoterica] seems to be too busy blogging to listen to herself, to reflect on what she’s supporting, to think about what other major Western political movements have liked to pose as defenders of the sensible populace, as the enemies of the intelligentsia, and as fighters in the elementally necessary “civilizational war” that somehow is always already on the verge of being lost to the cunning inferiors [2] .

    Lack of personal acquaintanceship with Her Neoimperial Highness prevents this coarse and illiterate keyboard from being quite sure that the Zombiemaster’s account is mistaken. Nevertheless, in the abstract, it seems quite possible to me that H.N.H. may be always thinkin’ of very little else than how Hyperzionism is utterly not to be compared with “other major political movements,” East, West, South or North.

    “Not to be compared with” because ABOVE comparison, needless to say: Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi. [1]

    Healthy days.

    ___
    [1] A favorite political proverb of the late Buckley Minor, that was. Naturally, bein’ but a dhimmy, his notions on the exact identity of the Zeuslike supracomparands would not entirely coincide with those of her Neoimperial Highness.

    Still, I daresay Neocomrade Buckley might qualify as, say, “provisionally civilisational” from even the strictest Castle Podhóretz point of view.

    [2] The esteemed ZM might give his own words some thought. At any rate, if he happens to have developed a theory of why almost all conspiratorialists prefer to have their fiendish enemies cunnin’ rather than dumb as stumps, perhaps he would tell it to us? Whatever happened to “The Devil is an ass“?

    Furthermore, might not H.N.H. be questioned along these lines as to what the shibboleth of Superior Civilisation may be, if Natives have been admitted to be not inferior in cunnin’?

  68. That is spectacular ignorant of history, “I award no points, and god have mercy on your soul” when you have a theocratic zysgy like with
    Czarist Russia, where Podestedenev was both state counselor and
    eclessiastical authority, along with associates like Ignatiev and Trepov
    spreading these lies from the Interior Ministry and other points, the lies of the Protocols that when you arrive at the Pogroms that began around 1881. Similarly the Sauds who have appropriated this function
    and through their madrassah spread hatred of Jews and Christians, well
    they are now one step closer to their biggest megaphone

  69. @ JHM:
    I think H.N.H. thinks, if that’s the right word, that all right-thinking people – 52% in all the latest polls on whatever subject – are born knowing that there is no contradiction between Hyperzionism and everything else that 52% of everyone are born knowing.

    As for conspiratorialists and their enemy images, consistency is the hobgoblin of mind. The Devil may be an ass (in the long run), but that doesn’t prevent him from being cunninger than the average bear, or cunning enough and more for whatever present rhetorical purpose, not to be confused with any prior or future rhetorical purpose. 52% of the sensible populace can be counted upon to resist all merely cunning attempts to make sense of anything at all.

    If I’m willing to do irrevocable violence to the inferior himself, why should I hesitate to do violence to logic, a mere abstraction, chiefly of interest to decadent intellectuals? At the same time, my refusal of the restraint of reason is a demonstration of my fearsomeness. It’s the discursive equivalent of demonstratively hanging a Muslim, who had hitherto been on your side of the lines, in order to impress both sides with your determination to fight to the bitter end, no quarter – an effective tactic employed by de la Valette in the glorious defense of Malta against the Moorish swarm. It’s a rhetorical lifting of the kilt and demonstrative self-exposure to the enemy. Or, for another equivalent, in the words of another knight, “I spit in your general direction.”

    Anyway, our Civilization is Superior because it’s ours, and ours because it’s superior. Bear that in mind.

  70. @ narciso:
    Yes, the Standard’s Islamophobic hit man may on occasion strike at a target not worth defending. However, a history of the Middle Ages that sought a global and balanced perspective could devote greater attention to the rise of Islam than to some other “civilizational” phenomena without being considered disproportionate.

  71. He’s a Sufi, CK, he’s stuck up for the folks in Albania and Bosnia, in fact that really was his conversion experience. This is the pattern
    that the major Ilkwan affiliated organizations seem to endorse, a totally ahistorical look at Islam after the 8th Century, it did split into
    competing factions, and sources of authority, Ummayad, Abbasid,
    Fatimid, Seljuk Ottoman, it’s really only this last century that Arabia
    seized back the imprimatur.

    Now mind you they might have endorsed more ‘Carolingian Jihad’ type categorization, but a book about the Medieval Period that
    really omits the Christian influence, in order to be even handed

  72. @ narciso:

    I’ll have you know that I may reluctantly attempt a civil conversation, but I miss having more people around spewing disgusting and not really sane nonsense.
    It was good to see a brief reappearance from Howard.

  73. Come on, Lagushka, you may pretend but you know this enterprise, if one can call Park Place 51, is not right, there have been 10 plots in around the NY area since 9/11 and they have all revolved around mosques or other enterprises of a Salafi nature. JMH’s pomo pastiche
    is mildly interesting like acrostics to figure out. Now the citizens of your fair town clearly are opposed, and there is little to commend it.
    I don’t agree with everything Pamela says, but sometimes one has to be crystal clear in what one is dealing with. My hope is more with Adjami and Jasser and co, who have not waivered in support of this
    country’s efforts rather than other folks like Beinart and Cohen,
    who don’t even pretend to understand the situation

  74. @ fuster:
    I didn’t see any frogs in that thread, though I did see someone who claims to kiss frogs, so I can understand why you might be interested. Is there some place where the amphib-on-amphib action is furiouser up to your neck? And I’m not talking about one of those frogball things you posted once.

  75. @ fuster:
    Always good to be reminded of the ambidextrousness of non-niceness. I’ll just take in on faith that M. Rick’s censoriousness is not justified.

    If you’d care to deliver a blow-by-blow account, critique, reconstruction, or even just a bit of a tirade, I suspect that the few conservos who still wander by these parts would be grateful.

  76. @ CK MacLeod:Of course it’s justified!
    They put up a post from Gareth Porter and I said that he was a genocide denier, liar and flak for the Khmer Rouge.
    What else could they do with an unreasonable animal such as myself.
    I linked to his book about Cambodia
    and mentioned his notorious denial of the Hue Massacre as well!

    Since there is no way to deny that he said the stuff (which he repeated in front of the US Congress more than year after publication of the book),
    and no way to defend his lies,
    what else could they do but administer a severe rebuke to me?

  77. Even after the Journolist collapsed that’s just a nasty place you hang around there, The Lebanese Army which is likely Hezbollah dominated
    in that neck of the woods. Then again I’m sure they are terrified of tea partiers there

    Now CK, maybe it’s my very persistent nature but there’s a reason that most of the old gang, JEM, Adam, GB don’t hang around here
    anymore, you have turned this place into the “Argument Clinic”
    and even the most obvious things have to be debated, THat gets
    very tiring after a while

  78. @ miguel cervantes:
    Who’s “GB”? JEM made it very clear why he left: He couldn’t stand someone challenging his ideological credentials on this very topic. Others dropped out for similar reasons – some admitting as much – and, unlike the frog, I don’t miss them much, especially the ones who found particularly disagreeable ways of registering their disagreement.

    Adam, I’m not sure about. I think he enjoyed what you call “argument clinic.” He may be on some Summer sabbatical. If he just wanted to go to someone’s “rightwing agreement clinic,” so be it.

  79. @ CK MacLeod:

    dammit, you and Sully pushed each other into adopting stances that were more pose than not.
    and besides being fun, Sully usually is what passes for a grown-up around here.

  80. Oh, right GB. One of his other favorites is that WE ARE GOING TO LOSE A CITY TO NUCLEAR TERROR. Another is that OBAMA PLANNED TO DESTROY THE U.S. BECAUSE HE HAS TO KNOW THAT THOSE ARE THE INEVITABLE RESULTS OF HIS POLICIES. Another was that DOSTOEVSKY WAS SHALLOW or something. I guess I really shoulda bent over backward to pretend all that was pretty darn fascinating. Another alternative, possibly a better one, would have been to cease participating in the comment threads at all, confining myself strictly to arguing with other wonderful people who write actual posts rather than directly with the commenting hoi polloi – at most occasionally responding to a comment on the level of a post. Would likely have served me better at HotAir, too, if the objective was merely to “have a gig” and “build a readership.” Next non-life, maybe.

  81. True he was more a very wet Tory, soaking, in fact, Baldwin was almost as bad, and lets not even bring up Lloyd George,by that point in time.

    For all my occasional frustration with you LG, you do have your moments when you’re not baiting me or someone else. I don’t understand how Gareth Porter really gets the time of day, then
    again, you read the Hitchens take on Chavez, and the comments
    therein. I do know but I still don’t get it

  82. Yes some are a real peach, but Quellist Kate, and the character from
    ‘Airplane’ is just as rude at times, in their insinuation and you are not nearly as hard on them

  83. @ miguel cervantes:
    Can’t say I’ve been following Porter’s life and career, but the material in fuster’s dossier is old stuff. He may have been a twisted wrong ideologue, but it’s not like he killed all of those people with his bare hands. Is having been wrong about something enough to render everything else he says for the rest of time useless?

  84. @ fuster:
    I only ever deleted naughty naughty things. And look what a polite and well-mannered amphib you’ve grown up into! (Most of the time, you asked to be deleted.)

  85. Sadly, what started out as a jovial and stimulating community of zombies has become boring weak tea, thanks to our creator-host’s sudden need to take over and preside over senseless exercises in nitpicking and endlessly frivolous verbosity.

    Colin, you’ve proven yourself a master at creative destruction and a great disappointment to many of the original exiles from Commentary.

    What on earth happened to you, to your common sense?

    Has this happened many times before?

    Not a good thing, my frem.

  86. Only when they seem to be making the same mistake, does anyone think the Taliban will be nicer this time around, if it takes over. That’s a pretty big mulligan to consider

  87. @ CK MacLeod:

    Try reading his piece from Feb 2009 when he reported that Gen Petraeus, along with co-cabalists Odierno and Keane, had, in a frenzy of usurpation, forced Obama to abandon his plan to withdraw the combat troops from Iraq by Sept 1, 2010 and instead the war would be intensified.

    Porter writes for something called Interplanetary (?) PressService.

  88. IPS that was the outfit that allegedly had Mullen dissing Petraeus , right around the time of his hearings on the hill, IPS, is really from
    that other group of tadpoles,the Institute for Policy Studies. I’m
    impressed Frog yet again

  89. @ fuster:
    How about just plain stupid? Left-liberal Jewish dudes support a left-liberal political organization… Oi gevalt, it’s a conspiracy!

  90. Except their influence is much greater than the numbers would suggest, and they don’t do it honestly, but give a pretense to transparency

  91. @ CK MacLeod:
    Ut’s more than just stupid, the guy is just another dude trying to equate lack of support for whatever Netanyahu’s government attempts with opposition to Israel or America’s alliance with it.

    J Street, Ackerman and Yglesias are all Zionists and describe themselves as such.

  92. @ miguel cervantes:
    “Don’t do it honestly”? The guys were making very public statements of their support for this new publicity-seeking lobbying/PR organization. Ackerman, Yglesias, Alterman these are guys who seize every conceivable opportunity to push their politics through the plate glass windows of your face. I mean this is a truly ludicrous angle of attack. Criticize Chuck Todd, as Todd has criticized himself, or other mainstream journalists for participating, if you want, but trying to turn the J-list into a revolutionary conspiracy, branding all participants as enemies of the United States of Right-Thinking People, is… weird. Hard to tell whether it’s funnier than it’s scary, or vice versa.

  93. @ CK MacLeod: Beside funny and scary, it’s also plain ignorant.
    People don’t know that traditional beat reporters used to sit together in “press rooms” during the day and bar rooms half the night and talk the same type of stuff?

  94. That may be true, but that’s not what’s supposed to happen, it really strikes one as collusion, they almost did force us out of Iraq, if Bush
    hadn’t been as stubborn, which would have been the kind of gift the Wahhabs didn’t have since 1805.

  95. miguel cervantes wrote:

    they almost did force us out of Iraq

    WAKE UP! Spencer Ackerman didn’t almost force us out of Iraq. 10s of thousands of Iraqi casualties, thousands of US casualties, corpses bearing signs of torture piling up in the streets, mass kidnappings executed by in broad daylight by insurgents wearing government-issued American-provided uniforms, corruption on a fabulous scale – in short, a seemingly dysfunctional, hopeless, and immensely costly, ill-conceived and poorly executed occupation effort going nowhere is what almost forced us out of Iraq.

  96. Yes they pulled their own version of Tet, specially around the time of the Samarra mosque bombing, but that really was the last gasp of Zarquawi and company, but to Engel and Ricks, and a whole host of
    others, Steele of the Guardian, it was time to get out, and they got
    the story wrong. Not as wrong as Saigon or Phnomh Penh 1975, ended
    up being, And Gareth Porter was still playing that game as of the previous spring, with regards to Afghanistan, same playbook.

  97. No I’m not, you’re just willing to accept misrepresentations, omissions
    and out right lies whether directed at Israel or us directly. As with most things the Facade behind park 51, is just that, I am not surprised
    that Goldberg, Cohen, Beinart, would be taken in this way, but I did
    have certain expectations that you wouldn’t

  98. @ miguel cervantes:
    The subject was your statement that “they” – Journo-listers, directly by context – “almost did force us out of Iraq.” To show how your mind works, the next “they” was Tet, and then the next “they” is journalists like Ricks and somewhere in there is a possible “they” the resistance in Iraq. The first general they – leftwing critics of the war – were probably more right than the public opinion leaders on the right, who were mainly in the “it’s working ok just needs time the newspapers don’t cover water treatment projects enough cuz they’re biased” + “criticizing the war emboldens the enemy.” Finally, in response to the massive clusterfark of the occupation under Bremer, Sanchez, Casey, and others, and the repudiation at the polls in Nov 06, Bush changed course in critical respects, though there is potentially much more to be said about what the real change was by that point. That may really just be the official, Petraeus hagiographic, Bush spine of steel public story; the truth may remain hidden somewhere deeper than that, but, however you look at it, the role of strident leftwing critics of the war effort was arguably somewhere between irrelevant and positive vis-a-vis conduct of the war itself, and much more effective in undermining political confidence in the Bush Administration generally.

  99. AQiM, remembered hoe Beirut and Mogadishu, forced an American retreat from the Levant and the Horn of Africa respectively. They also know how Tet was a tactical failure, but thanks to Cronkite a propaganda success. Bush even referenced Tet, in those final days.
    Yes Bremer messed up the first round, however it would turn out
    that the governing core would still come from the Iraqi exiles, whether Allawi, Jaafari or even Maliki who was opposed to the invasion. No their function as well as the Iraq Study Group, yet another clique of factotums was to give up, in so many words, so was the brain trust around the future Vice President and President
    (Galbraith, Power, Zinni, et al) I’ll leave out MoveOn’s noxious role
    for another time

  100. @ miguel cervantes:

    I don’t remember anything about Beinart being against the war in Iraq and know for a fact that he was a strong supporter of the invasion.
    Beinart’s foreign policy ideas, as far as I know, call for a large US presence and a full-throated advocacy of democracy around the globe.

  101. Yes so did Ackerman and even Yglesias, but then they forgot why they
    had chosen to support, the operation.although the former was first by spreading Joe Wilson’s lies, off the back. Much like the liberals like Moyer, Halberstam, Cronkite who pretended they had not been part of the process. Halberstam more than most, since he pushed the removal
    of the Diems, Thomas a Becket style”

  102. @ miguel cervantes:that was some authentic Iberian gibberish, mickey.

    people’s positions on iraq changed with finding out that we had been lied to by the government and with the reporting of the facts about just how utterly inept was our effort at occupation.
    additionally, going to Iraq and finding out how repugnant the members of the “new” Iraqi government were and how repugnant most of our soldiers found the Iraqi people to be, forced some rethinking.

    That’s not forgetting, that’s learning.

  103. AS with the DGSE, the BND, (who didn’t allow us to interview Curveball)
    the SVR, the Egyptian and Jordanian Mukharabats, now what was the brilliant alternate plan, State wanted Pachachi, the Allosaurus of the Jurassic period, CIA wanted one of the Kurd killing generals, but he bit the bullet too soon. DeBathification, had to occur at some point, for
    justice for the Kurds, and the Marsh Arabs, The REpublican and Special
    Republican Guard were the ones who ran most of these operations

  104. @ miguel cervantes:

    in the worms of Bud Dolan,

    Miggy’s Farm

    Well, I wake up in the morning
    Fold my hands and pray for rain
    List’ning to a head full of ideas
    That are drivin’ me insane

    You keep jumping the shark on a hot tin roof.

    None of that crap means anything you just cited is central, pertinent or cogent.

    That we consistently had bad choices to make and consistently made them badly is no reason not to re-evaluate our depth of support or strength of commitment.

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Too late for healing"
  1. […] conjured up and popularized by Andy McCarthy and Raymond Ibrahim:  Adopting this view requires an excess of Dopamine rummaging around your brain or some other distortion of the senses that turns a 13-story building […]

  2. […] In my view there are plenty of horror stories, heaps of corpses, records of unimaginable woe to go around, even without involving the Mongols, the Romans, the Persians, and other geographically and temporally near or distant conquerors, and, if you do the math… well… a chauvinist of the West may prefer not to run the equations, even and especially if confined to the last generation or so (further discussion here). […]

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