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Fighting & Winning The Global War on Terror (WW IV)

a_majoor

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Further to the above post:

http://www.nysun.com/pf.php?id=36587

They Are All Jews Now
BY MARK STEYN
July 24, 2006
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/36587

Afew years back, when folks talked airily about "the Middle East peace process" and "a two-state solution," I used to say that the trouble was the Palestinians saw a two-state solution as an interim stage en route to a one-state solution. I underestimated Islamist depravity. As we now see in Gaza and southern Lebanon, any two-state solution would be an interim stage en route to a no-state solution.

In one of the most admirably straightforward of Islamist declarations, Hussein Massawi, the Hezbollah leader behind the slaughter of U.S. and French forces 20 years ago, put it this way:

"We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you."

Swell. But, suppose he got his way, what then? Suppose every last Jew in Israel were dead or fled, what would rise in place of the Zionist Entity? It would be something like the Hamas-Hezbollah terror squats in Gaza and Lebanon writ large. Hamas won a landslide in the Palestinian elections, and Hezbollah similarly won formal control of key Lebanese cabinet ministries. But they're not Mussolini: they have no interest in making the trains run on time. And to be honest who can blame them? If you're a big-time terrorist mastermind it's frankly a bit of a bore to find yourself Deputy Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Pensions, particularly when you're no good at it and no matter how lavishly the European Union throws money at you there never seems to be any in the kitty when it comes to making payroll. So, like a business that's over-diversified, both Hamas and Hezbollah retreated to their core activity: Jew-killing.

In Causeries du lundi, Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve recalls a Parisian dramatist watching the revolutionary mob rampaging through the street below and beaming: "See my pageant passing!" That's how opportunist Arabs and indulgent Europeans looked on the intifada and the terrorists and the schoolgirl suicide bombers: as a kind of uber-authentic piece of performance art with which to torment the Jews and the Americans. They never paused to ask themselves: Hey, what if it doesn't stop there?

Well, about 30 years too late, they're asking it now. For the first quarter-century of Israel's existence, the Arab states fought more or less conventional wars against the Zionists, and kept losing. So then they figured it was easier to anoint a terrorist movement and in 1974 declared Yasser Arafat's PLO to be the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people," which is quite a claim for an organization then barely half-a-decade old. Amazingly, the Arab League persuaded the U.N. and the EU and Bill Clinton and everyone else to go along with it and to treat the old monster as a head of state who lacked only a state to head. It's true that many nationalist movements have found it convenient to adopt the guise of terrorists. But, as the Palestinian "nationalist" movement descended from airline hijackings to the intifada to self-detonating in pizza parlors, it never occurred to their glamorous patrons to wonder if maybe this was, in fact, a terrorist movement conveniently adopting the guise of nationalism.

In 1971, in the lobby of the Cairo Sheraton, Palestinian terrorists shot Wasfi al-Tal, the Prime Minister of Jordan at point-blank range. As he fell to the floor dying, one of his killers began drinking the blood gushing from his wounds. Doesn't that strike you as a little, um, overwrought? Three decades later, when bombs went off in Bali killing hundreds of tourists plus local waiters and barmen, Bruce Haigh, a former Aussie diplomat in Indonesia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, had no doubt where to put the blame. As he told Australia's Nine Network, "The root cause of this issue has been America's backing of Israel on Palestine."

Suppose this were true — that terrorists blew up Oz honeymooners and Scandinavian stoners in Balinese nightclubs because of "the Palestinian question." Doesn't this suggest that these people are, at a certain level, nuts? After all, there are plenty of IRA sympathizers around the world (try making the Ulster Unionist case in a Boston bar) and yet they never thought to protest British rule in Northern Ireland by blowing up, say, German tourists in Thailand. Yet the more the thin skein of Palestinian grievance was stretched to justify atrocities half way around the world the more the Arab League bigshot emirs and European Union foreign ministers looked down from their windows and cooed, "See my parade passing!"

They've now belatedly realized they're at that stage in the creature feature where the monster has mutated into something bigger and crazier. Until the remarkably kinda-robust statement by the G8 and the unprecedented denunciation of Hezbollah by the Arab League, the rule in any conflict in which Israel is involved — Israel vs PLO, Israel vs Lebanon, Israel vs [Your Team Here] is that the Jews are to blame. But Saudi-Egyptian-Jordanian opportunism on Palestine has caught up with them: it's finally dawned on them that a strategy of consciously avoiding resolution of the "Palestinian question" has helped deliver Gaza, and Lebanon, and Syria, into the hands of a regime that's a far bigger threat to the Arab world than the Zionist Entity. Cairo and co grew so accustomed to whining about the Palestinian pseudocrisis decade in decade out that it never occurred to them that they might face a real crisis one day: a Middle East dominated by an apocalyptic Iran and its local enforcers, in which Arab self-rule turns out to have been a mere interlude between the Ottoman sultans and the eternal eclipse of a Persian nuclear umbrella. The Zionists got out of Gaza and it's now Talibanistan redux.The Zionists got out of Lebanon and the most powerful force in the country (with an ever growing demographic advantage) are Iran's Shia enforcers. There haven't been any Zionists anywhere near Damascus in 60 years and Syria is in effect Iran's first Sunni Arab prison bitch. For the other regimes in the region, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria are dead states that have risen as vampires.

Meanwhile, Kofi Annan in a remarkable display of urgency (at least when compared with Sudan, Rwanda, Congo et al) is proposing apropos Israel and Hezbollah that U.N. peacekeepers go in, not to keep the "peace" between two sovereign states but rather between a sovereign state and a usurper terrorist gang. Contemptible as he is, the Secretary-General shows a shrewd understanding of the way the world is heading: already "non-state actors" have more sophisticated rocketry than many EU nations; if Iran has its ways, its proxies will be implied nuclear powers. Maybe we should put them on the U.N. Security Council.

So what is in reality Israel's first non-Arab war is a glimpse of the world the day after tomorrow: the EU and Arab League won't quite spell it out, but, to modify that Le Monde headline, they are all Jews now.

© 2006 Mark Steyn
 

a_majoor

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Looking longer term (WW V?)

http://cdnjohngalt.blogspot.com/

Barbarians behind the walls

I found this article on The Corner from the Times regarding the follies of multi-culturalism:


ONE of Britain’s most senior military strategists has warned that western civilisation faces a threat on a par with the barbarian invasions that destroyed the Roman empire.

 
In an apocalyptic vision of security dangers, Rear Admiral Chris Parry said future migrations would be comparable to the Goths and Vandals while north African "barbary" pirates could be attacking yachts and beaches in the Mediterranean within 10 years.

Europe, including Britain, could be undermined by large immigrant groups with little allegiance to their host countries — a "reverse colonisation" as Parry described it. These groups would stay connected to their homelands by the internet and cheap flights. The idea of assimilation was becoming redundant, he said.

The warnings by Parry of what could threaten Britain over the next 30 years were delivered to senior officers and industry experts at a conference last week. Parry, head of the development, concepts and doctrine centre at the Ministry of Defence, is charged with identifying the greatest challenges that will frame national security policy in the future.

If a security breakdown occurred, he said, it was likely to be brought on by environmental destruction and a population boom, coupled with technology and radical Islam. The result for Britain and Europe, Parry warned, could be "like the 5th century Roman empire facing the Goths and the Vandals".

Parry pointed to the mass migration which disaster in the Third World could unleash. "The diaspora issue is one of my biggest current concerns," he said. "Globalisation makes assimilation seem redundant and old-fashioned . . . [the process] acts as a sort of reverse colonisation, where groups of people are self-contained, going back and forth between their countries, exploiting sophisticated networks and using instant communication on phones and the internet."

Third World instability would lick at the edges of the West as pirates attacked holidaymakers from fast boats. "At some time in the next 10 years it may not be safe to sail a yacht between Gibraltar and Malta," said the admiral.

Parry, 52, an Oxford graduate who was mentioned in dispatches in the Falklands war, is not claiming all the threats will come to fruition. He is warning, however, of what is likely to happen if dangers are not addressed by politicians.

Parry — who used the slogan "old dog, new tricks" when he commanded the assault ship HMS Fearless — foresees wholesale moves by the armed forces to robots, drones, nanotechnology, lasers, microwave weapons, space-based systems and even "customised" nuclear and neutron bombs. (interpolation by me: this is very much the "RMA" vision, but as we see in Southern Lbanon, sophisticated weapons need sophisticated and real time information to use. This is best done through contact and personal interaction...)

Lord Boyce, the former chief of the defence staff, welcomed Parry’s analysis. "Bringing it together in this way shows we have some very serious challenges ahead," he said. "The real problem is getting them taken seriously at the top of the government."

Ancient Rome has been a subject of serious public discussion this year. Boris Johnson, the Conservative MP and journalist, produced a book and television series drawing parallels between the European Union and the Roman empire. Terry Jones, the former Monty Python star, meanwhile, has spoken up for the barbarians’ technological and social achievements in a television series and has written:

"We actually owe far more to the so-called ‘barbarians’ than we do to the men in togas."

Parry, based in Shrivenham, Wiltshire, presented his vision at the Royal United Services Institute in central London. He identified the most dangerous flashpoints by overlaying maps showing the regions most threatened by factors such as agricultural decline, booming youth populations, water shortages, rising sea levels and radical Islam.

Parry predicts that as flood or starvation strikes, the most dangerous zones will be Africa, particularly the northern half; most of the Middle East and central Asia as far as northern China; a strip from Nepal to Indonesia; and perhaps eastern China.

He pinpoints 2012 to 2018 as the time when the current global power structure is likely to crumble. Rising nations such as China, India, Brazil and Iran will challenge America’s sole superpower status.

This will come as "irregular activity" such as terrorism, organised crime and "white companies" of mercenaries burgeon in lawless areas.

The effects will be magnified as borders become more porous and some areas sink beyond effective government control.

Parry expects the world population to grow to about 8.4 billion in 2035, compared with 6.4 billion today. By then some 68% of the population will be urban, with some giant metropolises becoming ungovernable. He warns that Mexico City could be an example.

In an effort to control population growth, some countries may be tempted to copy China’s "one child" policy. This, with the widespread preference for male children, could lead to a ratio of boys to girls of as much as 150 to 100 in some countries. This will produce dangerous surpluses of young men with few economic prospects and no female company.

"When you combine the lower prospects for communal life with macho youth and economic deprivation you tend to get trouble, typified by gangs and organised criminal activity," said Parry. "When one thinks of 20,000 so-called jihadists currently fly-papered in Iraq, one shudders to think where they might go next."

The competition for resources, Parry argues, may lead to a return to "industrial warfare" as countries with large and growing male populations mobilise armies, even including cavalry, while acquiring high-technology weaponry from the West.

The subsequent mass population movements, Parry argues, could lead to the "Rome scenario". The western Roman empire collapsed in the 4th and 5th centuries as groups such as Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Suevi, Huns and Vandals surged over its borders. The process culminated in the sack of Rome in 455 by Geiseric the Lame, king of the Alans and Vandals, in an invasion from north Africa.

Parry estimated at the conference there were already more than 70 diasporas in Britain.

In the future, he believes, large groups that become established in Britain and Europe after mass migration may develop "communities of interest" with unstable or anti-western regions.

Any technological advantage developed to deal with the threats was unlikely to last. "I don’t think we can win in cyberspace — it’s like the weather — but we need to have a raincoat and an umbrella to deal with the effects," said Parry.

Some of the consequences would be beyond human imagination to tackle. The examples he gave, tongue-in-cheek, include: "No wind on land and sea; third of population dies instantly; perpetual darkness; sores; Euphrates dries up ‘to clear way for kings from the east’; earth’s core opens."

TOP STRATEGIST

Rear Admiral Chris Parry is the armed forces’ chief “blue skies” thinker.

Parry, 52, was educated at the independent Portsmouth grammar school and at Jesus College, Oxford. During the Falklands war in 1982, he was mentioned in dispatches while serving with the Fleet Air Arm on the destroyer HMS Antrim.

Parry is one of Britain’s leading specialists on amphibious warfare. He once commanded the assault ship HMS Fearless, was in charge of amphibious warfare training at Portsmouth naval base and headed a joint British-Dutch taskforce before moving to his post at the Ministry of Defence.

The admiral heads the development, concepts and doctrine centre, set up in 1998 and based at Shrivenham, Wiltshire. It has more than 50 staff and is being expanded to include extra analysts.
 

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http://www.torontosun.ca/News/Columnists/Worthington_Peter/2006/07/31/1710913.html


Diplomacy is futile

Military solutions to conflict are generally quicker and last longer than endless dialogue

By Peter Worthington


It was Mr. Spock, the always logical, incisive "alien" on the Star Trek series, who came up with the phrase that defines our world today: "The purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis."

Think about it. Isn't that what "diplomacy" does best? Procrastinates, confuses, extends.

I don't know if Spock (or his writers) is the original author of that observation, but it's so painfully true that it should give pause to those who advocate diplomacy over action -- which is just about every world "leader."

A case can be made that military solutions are more likely to be lasting than negotiated settlements, especially when dealing with those who have no code or constitution that they honour.

Yet the myth persists that negotiated settlements are preferable. They are, but only among democracies -- which, it should be noted, have never gone to war against one another.

We (meaning the western, civilized world) are involved in seeking diplomatic solutions in several crises today which, it can be predicted with some certainty, won't work but will succeed admirably in prolonging the crisis.

North Korea is one. If Spock were around, his logical mind would be dazzled by the idea that anyone, much less a superpower, would take North Korea seriously. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright does, but she negotiated a deal with North Korea that fizzled, and now seeks to be an international consultant like Henry Kissinger and make lots of money. So ignore her.

As strategic advisor Edward Luttwak has pointed out, international sanctions against Pyongyang over its missiles and nuclear fantasies are pointless because it's "a regime that exports almost nothing and imports even less."

International isolation is no threat to a regime that depends on isolation for survival. It seeks to blackmail the world to send food to feed its army, but not its people. Still, diplomacy ensures the crisis with North Korea will continue.

Iran has been in a crisis ever since the Shah was deposed -- betrayed by America. Negotiations ever since, first attempted by Jimmy Carter with predictable results, have solved nothing.

Iran's intent to develop nuclear weapons has enhanced diplomatic hysteria, which guarantees the crisis will continue -- until Israel loses patience and bombs a nuclear plant.

As for the Israeli/Palestinian crisis which is perpetual motion diplomacy, Israel understands better than most that military action is more likely to resolve a crisis than endless talk. That seems its thinking in the present "war" with Hezbollah.

Looking back at history, one can clearly see that a military solution rather than diplomacy resolved the crisis with Hitler, Nazis, fascism and Japanese militarism.

Hanoi's solution to a divided Vietnam was a military one; diplomacy only prolonged the crisis.

This won't be palatable to many, but throughout history, revolutionary movements or violent uprisings have mostly been defeated when those battling them are even more violent.

If Alexander Kerensky had chosen to be more violent than the Bolsheviks in 1917, Communism might have been defeated.

America in Iraq is a different story. Who knows where we'd be today if the U.S. hadflattened Fallujah when the militant brain trust had gathered there, or if the U.S. hadn't tried to save civilian lives instead of crushing whatever was in their way?

And would Palestinian militancy be what it is today if the Israeli army hadn't used rubber bullets to quell demonstrations?

The U.S. was born in 1776 via action over diplomacy, starting with the relatively minor issue of taxes (cooler heads had urged negotiations).

Spock would likely point out that the purpose of the UN today is not to solve crises, but to prolong them through diplomacy. That way, the status quo of instability never fades.
 

a_majoor

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Defining the battle lines:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2295231,00.html

This is just the start of a showdown between the West and The Rest
Amir Taheri
 
MANY IN THE WEST see the mini-war between Israel and Hezbollah, now in its fourth week, as another episode in a tedious saga of an Arab-Jewish conflict that began with the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, a political version of the “original sin”. The conventional wisdom in the West is that the whole tale would end if Israel were to return the occupied territories to the Palestinians, allowing them to create a state of their own.

But that analysis does not reflect the Middle East’s new realities. All the wars in that region of the past century, including the one between Iran and Iraq in the 1980s, revolved around secular issues — border disputes, the control of territory and water resources, security and diplomatic relations. Although fought in the name of nationalism or pan-Arab aspirations, none had a messianic dimension.

The first two wars of the new century in the Middle East, however, were ideological ones. The United States toppled the Taleban in Afghanistan and the Saddamites in Iraq not in pursuit of territory but in the name of an idea: democracy.

Since 2001 the region has been turned into an ideological battleground between two rival camps with global ambitions. One camp, led by the United States, claims to represent the modern global system of open markets, free elections, religious freedoms and sexual equality. The other camp is represented by radical Islam, which regards the Western model as not only decadent but dangerous for the future of mankind. It hopes to unite the world under the banner of Islam, which it holds to be “ The Only True Faith”.

In the Lebanese conflict, Israel and Hezbollah are the junior proxies for the rival camps. Israel is not fighting to hold or win more land; nor is Hezbollah. But both realise that they cannot live in security and prosper as long as the other is in a position to threaten their existence. A Middle East dominated by Islamism could, in time, spell the death of Israel as a nation-state. A westernised, democratic Lebanon, on the other hand, could become the graveyard of Hezbollah and its messianic ideology. And if the US succeeds in fulfilling George W. Bush’s promise of a “new Middle East” there will be no place for regimes such as the Islamic Republic in Iran and Syria’s Baathist dictatorship.

The present rupture in Lebanon has much to do with who will lead the fightback against the West. For almost a quarter of a century there has been intense competition within the Islamist camp over who could claim leadership. For much of that period Sunni Salafist movements, backed by oil money, were in the ascendancy. They began to decline after the 9/11 attacks that deprived them of much of the support they received from Arab governments and charities. In the past five years Tehran has tried to seize the opportunity to advance its own leadership claims. The problem, however, is that Iran is a Shia power and thus regarded by Sunni Salafists as “heretical”. To compensate for that weakness, Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made the destruction of Israel a priority for his regime. The war triggered by Hezbollah is in part designed to show that President Ahmadinejad is not bluffing when he promises to wipe Israel off the map as the first step towards defeating the “infidel” West.

The broader aspects of the Lebanon crisis are better understood in the Middle East than in the West. For the first time, Israel is under attack from Islamist and Arab secular radicals as “an American proxy”. Writing in Asharq Alawsat, a pan-Arab daily, a Syrian Cabinet minister, makes it clear that the war in Lebanon today is between “the forces of Islam and America, with Israel acting as an American proxy”.

Iran’s “supreme guide”, Ali Khamenei, expressed a similar view this week during an audience he granted in Tehran to Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan President. “What we see in Lebanon today represents the revolt of Muslim nations against America,” he said. “Hezbollah is backed (by Iran and others) because it is fighting America.” President Chávez endorsed that analysis by calling on Muslims and non-Muslim revolutionaries to unite to “save the human race by finishing the US Empire”. Iran’s state-controlled media has said that Lebanon would become “the graveyard of the Bush plan for a new Middle East”.

Tehran believes that a victory for Hezbollah in Lebanon will strengthen President Ahmadinejad’s bid for the leadership of radical Islam. A number of recent events have made his attempt to wrest control more likely. This week several leading Sunni theologians at the Al-Azhar seminary in Cairo issued fatwas that allow Sunnis to fight alongside and under the command of Shia Muslims. The fatwas came in response to a Saudi fatwa that had declared any association with and support for Hezbollah to be haram (forbidden).

More significant was a message from Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s number two. The Salafist radical tried to get hold of Hezbollah’s tailcoats in the hope of winning a share of the expected spoils of victory. He endorsed the idea of a global campaign against the “infidel”, thus abandoning his previous strategy of focusing the jihad on countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. More significantly, he dropped the al-Qaeda claim of fighting a defensive war against the infidel by designating a vast area of jihad from Spain to India.

All that is good news for President Ahmadinejad, who claims that Sunni radicalism has reached the limits of its capabilities in the fight against the global system led by the US and that it is now the turn of the Shia, led by Iran, to be in the driving seat.

“Hezbollah has fought Israel longer than all the major Arab armies combined ever did,” President Ahmadinejad told a crowd in Tehran this week. He also promised that Muslims would soon hear “very good news” about the jihad against the United States.

The idea of Shia leadership for the jihad was further boosted this year when Iran took Hamas under its wings. As a branch of the global Muslim Brotherhood movement, a Sunni outfit, Hamas has exerted its influence to win wider support for Iranian leadership at least as a tactical choice.

Many in the Middle East are alarmed by these shifts of power and dread the prospect of the region entering a new dark age under radical Islamist regimes. For this reason, there seems to be much less hostility towards Israel in the wider Arab world than we might expect in the West. There may be no sympathy for Israel as such but many Arabs realise that the current war is over something bigger than a Jewish state with a tiny territory of 10,000 square miles, less than 1 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s land mass.

This war is one of many battles to be fought between those who wish to join the modern world, warts and all, and those who think they have an alternative. This is a war between the West and what one might describe as “The Rest”, this time represented by radical Islamism. All the talk of a ceasefire, all the diplomatic gesticulations may ultimately mean little in what is an existential conflict.


 

a_majoor

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Newt Gingrich on WW IV:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/10/AR2006081001311_pf.html

The Only Option Is to Win

By Newt Gingrich
Friday, August 11, 2006; A19

Yesterday on this page, in a serious and thoughtful survey of a world in crisis, Richard Holbrooke listed 13 countries that could be involved in violence in the near future: Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Uzbekistan, Somalia. And in addition, of course, the United States.

With those 14 nations Holbrooke could make the case for what I describe as "an emerging third world war" -- a long-running conflict whose latest manifestation was brought home to Americans yesterday with the disclosure in London of yet another ghastly terrorist plot -- this one intended to destroy a number of airliners en route to America.

But while Holbrooke lists the geography accurately, he then asserts an analysis and a goal that do not fit the current threats.

First, he asserts that the Iranian nuclear threat is far less dangerous than violence in southern Lebanon. Speaking of the Iranian-American negotiations, Holbrooke asks, "And why has that dialogue been restricted to the nuclear issue -- vitally important to be sure, but not as urgent at this moment as Iran's sponsorship and arming of Hezbollah and its support of actions against U.S. forces in Iraq?"

In fact an Iran armed with nuclear weapons is a mortal threat to American, Israeli and European cities. If a nonnuclear Iran is prepared to finance, arm and train Hezbollah, sustain a war against Israel from southern Lebanon and, in Holbrooke's own words, "support actions against U.S. forces in Iraq," then what would a nuclear Iran be likely to do? Remember, Iranian officials were present at North Korea's missile launches on our Fourth of July, and it is noteworthy that Venezuela's anti-American dictator, Hugo Chávez, has visited Iran five times.

It is because the Bush administration has failed to win this argument over the direct threat of Iranian and North Korean nuclear and biological weapons that Americans are divided and uncertain about our national security interests.

Nevertheless, Holbrooke has set the stage for an important national debate that goes well beyond such awful possibilities as Sept. 11-style airliner plots. It's a debate about whether we are in danger of losing one or more U.S. cities, whether the world faces the possibility of a second Holocaust should Iran use nuclear or biological weapons against Israel, and whether a nuclear Iran would dominate the Persian Gulf and the world's energy supplies. This is the most important debate of our time. It rivals both Winston Churchill's argument in the 1930s over the nature of Hitler and the Nazis and Harry Truman's argument in the 1940s about the emerging Soviet empire.

Yet Holbrooke indicates that he would take the wrong path on American national security. He asserts that "containing the violence must be Washington's first priority."

As a goal this is precisely wrong. Defeating the terrorists and thwarting efforts by Iran and North Korea to gain nuclear and biological weapons must be the first goal of American policy. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, if violence is necessary to defeat the terrorists, the Iranians and the North Koreans, then it is regrettably necessary. If they can be disarmed with less violence, then that is desirable. But a nonviolent solution that allows the terrorists to become better trained, better organized, more numerous and better armed is a defeat. A nonviolent solution that leads to North Korean and Iranian nuclear weapons threatening us across the planet is a defeat.

This failure to understand the nature of the threat is captured in Holbrooke's assertion that diplomacy can lead to "finding a stable and secure solution that protects Israel." If Iran gets nuclear weapons, there will be no diplomacy capable of protecting Israel. If Iran continues to fund and equip Hezbollah, there will be no stability or security for Israel. Diplomacy cannot substitute for victory against an opponent who openly states that he wants to eliminate you from the face of the earth.

Our enemies are quite public and repetitive in saying what they want. Not since Adolf Hitler has any group been as bloodthirsty and as open. If Holbrooke really wants a "stable and secure" Israel he will not find it by trying to appease Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas.

This issue of national security goals will be at the heart of the American dialogue for some time. If our enemies are truly our enemies (and their words and deeds are certainly those of enemies) then victory should be our goal. If nuclear and biological threats are real, then aggressive strategies to disarm them if possible and defeat them if necessary will be required.

Holbrooke represents the diplomacy first-diplomacy always school. We saw its workings throughout the 1990s, as Syria was visited again and again by secretaries of state who achieved absolutely nothing. Even a secretary of state dancing with Kim Jong Il (arguably a low point in American diplomatic efforts) produced no results; such niceties never do in dealing with vicious dictators.

The democracies have been talking while the dictators and the terrorists gain strength and move closer to having the weapons necessary for a terrifying assault on America and its allies. The arrests yesterday of British citizens allegedly plotting to blow up American airliners over the Atlantic Ocean are only the latest example of the determination of our enemies. This makes the dialogue on our national security even more important.

Richard Holbrooke has established a framework for a clear debate. The Bush administration should take up his challenge.

The writer, a former speaker of the House, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of "Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America."
 

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A very long essay (in fact only part one is published so far), but an astounding read. Follow the link and read all of it:

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/observer/story.html?id=dbf1dd8d-0182-4b4c-9c1a-66d7e2be105d

Age of terror, age of illusions
Part One: I remember the anger I felt watching the endlessly repeated images of the towers collapsing. But there's another kind of anger -- a more cerebral one toward the intellectuals of our time who contributed to all that destruction through their hostility toward the mores and traditions of western civilization.

Robert Sibley
The Ottawa Citizen

Saturday, September 09, 2006

NEW YORK - I still see bodies falling. Standing at my hotel window, overlooking Ground Zero, it's not hard to visualize the flaming towers and the bird-like figures of human bodies plummeting through the air. I especially remember a couple leaping hand in hand into emptiness. In their flapping clothes they looked like big clumsy birds, desperate to fly.

There were others, of course. Dozens. According to one estimate, some 200 people jumped from the North and South Towers in the hour-and-a-half the buildings remained standing after the planes hit the World Trade Center on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Clerks and executives, cooks and waiters, patrons and clients; they leaped in a continuous stream from the four sides of the buildings, from the office windows of Cantor Fitzgerald, the bond-trading firm, from the Windows on the World restaurant that occupied the 106th and 107th floors, from the offices of the insurance company Marsh & McLennan. Writer Tom Junod, in a recent article in Esquire magazine, described the jumpers in heartbreaking imagery: "They jumped through windows already broken and then, later, through windows they broke themselves. They jumped to escape the smoke and the fire; they jumped when ceilings fell and the floors collapse; they jumped just to breathe once more before they died."

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I step back from the window, rolling my shoulders to ease the sudden tension in my neck. It's as though my body remembers the anger I felt watching those endlessly repeated images of the towers' collapse; the roiling storm of smoke and the ashen humanity emerging from the clouds of pulverized concrete and flesh; the shell-shocked relatives stalking the streets with photographs of missing loved ones; the firefighters and police officers crawling over the smoldering mountain of rubble, the mobs dancing on the streets of Damascus and Tehran and Gaza, celebrating mass murder.

But there's another kind of anger, too; a colder, more cerebral anger toward the intellectuals of our time, the cosmopolitans and sophists who, unwittingly or not, contributed to all that destruction through their sophisticated hostility towards the mores and traditions of western civilization.
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The question is, why are so many unwilling to acknowledge the threat Islamism poses to western civilization? More to the point, perhaps, why are so many so quick to blame the West itself, particularly the United States, for the attacks, as though the 3,000 who perished in the collapse of those 110-storey towers, including many Canadians, deserved their fate?

Sept. 11 was what the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel would undoubtedly call a "world-historical moment"; which is to say, the terrorist attacks forced a fundamental shift in the way we think (or should think) about the world. Simply stated: On Sept. 11, 2001, a half-hidden war against western civilization and all that it represents was finally made explicit for all to see. Only the most naive or ideologically purblind deny this. "Is there a war on?" asks Italian philosopher Marcello Pera. "My answer is: from Afghanistan to Kashmir, to Chechnya, to the Philippines, to Saudia Arabia, Sudan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Palestine, Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco, and elsewhere, in a great part of the Islamic and Arabic world, groups consisting of fundamentalists, radicals, and extremists -- the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Jihad, the Armed Islamic Group, and many others -- have declared war, jihad, against the West. They have said it, written it, diffused it in plain speech. Why should we not take action?"

Read the rest.


 

muskrat89

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Here are the people Jack Layton and his ilk want to "negotiate" with..

http://www.youtube.com/v/-HlaVpqUXF0
 

a_majoor

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Four years later, another large group comes on board with the Iraqi government. I suspect that if we use this timeline as a template, by 2010 we should have a large local force fighting alongside our team in Kandahar and the southern provinces:

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htterr/articles/20060922.aspx

Iraqi Tribes Turn on al Qaeda

September 22, 2006: Coalition forces in Iraq have suddenly received the manpower equivalent of three light infantry divisions. They did not suffer any repercussions in domestic politics as a result, and now have a huge edge over al-Qaeda in al-Anbar province. How did this happen? Tribal leaders in the largely Sunni province on the Syrian border got together and signed an agreement to raise a tribal force of 30,000 fighters to take on foreign fighters and terrorists.

These leaders have thrown in with the central government in Baghdad. This is a decisive blow to al Qaeda, which has been desperately trying to fight off an Iraqi government that is getting stronger by the week. Not only are the 30,000 fighters going to provide more manpower, but these tribal fighters know the province much better than American troops – or the foreign fighters fighting for al Qaeda. Also, this represents just over 80 percent of the tribes in al-Anbar province now backing the government.

The biggest gain for the coalition is that they will now have forces on their side that know the terrain in al Anbar province. This is a very big deal in a campaign against the terrorists. When a force knows the terrain, it can make life miserable for its enemies. Just ask any Army unit that has gone through the National Training Center at Fort Irwin. The OPFOR (Opposing Force) has fought there for so long that they know all the good ambush sites. Units coming there for a training session don't have that knowledge – and they pay the price in the exercises held there.

This is just one sign that the tide is turning in favor of the coalition in Iraq. Many of the Sunni leaders have decided that the Shia-dominated Iraqi government is not going away any time soon, nor is the democratic process. As such, the tribal leaders have now decided that it is better to be on their good side rather than to be seen as uncooperative. Constant Arab casualties in al Qaeda attacks – and al Qaeda's desire for a caliphate – have not helped matters any, either.

On the other hand, by signing up with the government, these tribal leaders will hasten the construction of government services, and gain something else just as valuable – the government's gratitude. In essence, the tribal leaders have slowly been won over by a combination of coalition perseverance and al Qaeda strategic ineptness.

This agreement, if it holds, is a win for the United States, which is looking for measurable progress. It is a win for the Shia-dominated Iraqi government, which will now have an easier time in that province. It is a win for the tribal leaders, who will get a few markers they can call in down the road from the government for their assistance. For al Qaeda, now facing the equivalent of three additional light infantry divisions composed of people who will have knowledge of al Anbar province, it is a huge loss. The major downside is that many of the tribesmen still support al Qaeda, and will defy their tribal leaders by continuing to work with the terrorists, or by not being very enthusiastic in fighting the terrorists. – Harold C. Hutchison (haroldc.hutchison@gmail.com)
 

tomahawk6

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There is some skepticism concerning how sincere the Sunni tribes are about this deal. If they go after the foreign fighters hard then we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. If they just go through the motions then we may have to turn the heat up. This is encouraging but proof is in the pudding.
 

a_majoor

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Wait and see is the best policy, but even if 10% of the tribal fighters are effective, that is three traditional Infantry battalions in the field. More probably, they will be an effective home defence force, denying the AQ fighters the ability to use the tribal homes and villages. Cut off from local supplies and intelligence, the AQ will have a much harder time operating, a worthwhile result in of itself.
 

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Officials can't confirm bin Laden death report
23/09/2006 11:15:28 AM 

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Neither the U.S. nor French officials can confirm a French newspaper report claiming al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden died last month in Pakistan.


CTV.ca News Staff

A videotape posted on the Internet early this month, purportedly by al Qaeda, showed previously unseen footage of a smiling Osama bin Laden. 

Citing a leaked French secret service report, regional daily newspaper L'Est Republicain reported Saturday that Saudi Arabia was convinced bin Laden died of typhoid in Pakistan in late August.

The French government said it could not confirm the report and would investigate the intelligence leak.

"The information diffused this morning by the l'Est Republicain newspaper concerning the possible death of Osama bin Laden cannot be confirmed," said a Defence Ministry statement.

French President Jacques Chirac said the report "is in no way whatsoever confirmed"

He said he was "a bit surprised" by the leak, and has asked Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie to investigate how a document from France's DGSE intelligence agency was published in the press.

L'Est Republicain printed what it described as a copy of a confidential document from the DGSE (Direction Generale des Services Exterieurs).

It cited an uncorroborated report from Saudi secret services that the leader of the al Qaeda terror network had died.

The DGSE transmitted the document, dated Sept. 21, to Chirac and other top French officials, the newspaper said.

The report added that Saudi security services were pursuing further details, notably the place of bin Laden's burial.

"The chief of al Qaeda was a victim of a severe typhoid crisis while in Pakistan on August 23, 2006," the document says according to the report, adding that the leader's geographic isolation meant that medical assistance was impossible and that his lower limbs were allegedly paralyzed.

The report further said Saudi security services had their first information on bin Laden's alleged death on Sept. 4.

Meanwhile in Washington, CIA duty officer Paul Gimigliano said he could not confirm the DGSE report.

The Washington-based IntelCenter, which monitors terrorism communications, said it was not aware of any similar reports on the Internet.

"We've seen nothing from any al Qaeda messaging or other indicators that would point to the death of Osama bin Laden," IntelCenter director Ben N. Venzke told The Associated Press.

If it were true, al Qaeda would likely release information of his death fairly quickly, said Venzke, whose organization also provides counterterrorism intelligence services for the American government.

"They would want to release that to sort of control the way that it unfolds. If they wait too long, they could lose the initiative on it."

Reports suggesting that bin Laden was dead, wounded or seriously ill have surfaced over the years, more often during periods when no taped messages from the al Qaeda leader surfaced in the media. But none have proven to be accurate.

However, Saudi sources told CNN's Nic Robertson that they learned bin Laden has been ill with a water-borne disease for the past several weeks.

The IntelCenter said the last time it could be sure bin Laden was alive was June 29, when al Qaeda released an audiotape. In that recording, he eulogized the death of al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq earlier that month.

In Pakistan, a senior official of that country's top spy agency told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that he could not confirm the French newspaper report.

The ISI, or Directorate of Inter-Service Intelligence, official said he believed the report could be fabricated.

U.S. Embassy officials in Pakistan and Afghanistan also said they could not confirm the report.

Gen. Henri Bentegeat, the French army chief of staff, said in a radio debate last Sunday that bin Laden's fate remained a mystery.

"Today, bin Laden is certainly not in Afghanistan," Bentegeat said.

"No one is completely certain that he is even alive."

With files from The Associated Press

I thought this would be the best place for this article . Its probably a pile of horse crap but thought that I would still post it the actual article  was posted on 23/09/2006 11:15:28 AM   at the sympatico web site
 

tomahawk6

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If he is dead it will be a measure of satisfaction, but it wont end the war. I would much rather see a JDAM drop into Ayman al-Zawahiri's living room. Taking him out will really disrupt AQ.
 

a_majoor

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It is a bit difficult to imagine how you can win "hearts and minds" which are so twisted

http://www.macleans.ca/culture/books/article.jsp?content=20060925_133309_133309

The church dance that snowballed

A masterful new work on al-Qaeda and 9/11 explains how a loser cult has metastasized

MARK STEYN

On the fifth anniversary of 9/11, U.S. and Afghan troops in "eastern Afghanistan" -- a vague delineated land that doesn't necessarily stop at the Pakistani border -- captured a man called Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Who?

Well, he was the head of Hezb-i-Islami -- or, latterly, one faction of it. And for a while he was prime minister of Afghanistan, and an opponent of the Taliban, and then an ally of the Taliban. And in recent years he's been Iran's Mister Big in the Hindu Kush. He's believed to be the guy who smuggled Osama's son, Saad bin Laden, and various al-Qaeda A-listers out of Afghanistan and to the safety of the ayatollahs' bosom. He's an evil man who knows a lot of high-value information, if you can prise it out of him.

He made his name in the eighties, when there were so many Afghan refugees in Peshawar that the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, decided to streamline operations and make the human tide sign up with one of six designated émigré groups in order to be eligible for aid. Hekmatyar headed one of the two biggest, with some 800,000 people under his banner. He also has the distinction of being the commander of Osama's first foray into the field. In 1985, bin Laden and 60 other Arabs were holed up in Peshawar doing nothing terribly useful until they got the call to head across the Afghan border and join up with Hekmatyar's men to battle the Soviets near Jihad Wal. So off they rode, with a single local guide. They arrived at Hekmatyar's camp at 10 in the evening only to find the Soviets had retreated and there was no battle to fight. 

"Your presence is no longer needed," Hekmatyar told Osama's boys. "So go back." So the neophyte warriors shot a few tin cans off fence posts, handed in their weapons and caught the bus back to Peshawar: mujahedeen tourists who'd missed the show.

This poignant vignette occurs in Lawrence Wright's masterful work The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road To 9/11. I picked the book up a couple of weeks ago without much enthusiasm, mainly because of a growing suspicion these last five years that a "human interest" view of current events is bound to be misleading. Osama himself seems merely an extreme embodiment of larger globalized trends he's barely aware of. The praise the New York Times heaped on Wright for his portrayal of John O'Neill, the "driven, demon-ridden FBI agent who worked so frantically to stop Osama bin Laden, only to perish in the attack on the World Trade Center," suggested one of those artificially novelistic accounts too obviously aimed at getting a sale to Miramax. And most of the Wahhabist fellows over on the other side are too irrational for the psychological demands of fiction: it would surely be as unsatisfying as reading a detective novel where every character's insane.

But I was wrong. The human comedy in The Looming Tower is very illuminating. Bin Laden, for example, emerges not as the fearless jihadist and scourge of the Soviets but as a laggard and faint-heart with a tendency to call in sick before battle and, if pressed into service, to pass out during it due to his blood pressure. The "nap" he took during the battle of the Lion's Den in 1987 is spoken of by awed al-Qaeda types as evidence of his cool under fire, but it seems more likely he just fainted. In Afghanistan, the local lads were hard and brave, the Arab volunteers they dismissed as "useless." Had the Americans funded the mujahedeen directly, the Afghan resistance of the 1980s might have remained a conventional war of liberation against the Soviet invaders. But Zbigniew Brzezinski, facing the Congressional oversight of post-Watergate Washington, chose instead to run the operation through third parties and plumped for the Saudis' Prince Turki and the ISI. And next thing you know, a more or less straightforward nationalist resistance has become jihad central. The deeply sinister Prince Turki (full disclosure: he's not big on me, either -- "The arrogance of Mark Steyn knows no bounds") used bin Laden's money to attract to Afghanistan a bunch of freaks and misfits from the Arab world and beyond, and their natural tendency to self-glorification did the rest: from the Soviet point of view, the Lion's Den was an inconsequential tactical retreat; to Osama's boys, living in the heightened pseudo-religiosity of jihadism, it was an exhilarating victory, a moment when (as Wright puts it) "reality knelt before faith." When the Soviet empire fell apart a few years later, the bin Laden crowd genuinely believed it was they who had inflicted the fatal blow with their famous triumph at this rinky-dink no-account nickel 'n' dime skirmish the Commies had barely noticed. So their thoughts naturally turned to what they might do for an encore. And, having taken down one superpower, they figured the next move was pretty obvious.

Wright's book is a marvellously vivid recreation of a kind of sustained unreality. My talk-radio pal Hugh Hewitt calls it a "genealogy," and I think that's a very good way of putting it: The Looming Tower is a family tree of jihad, the chain connecting some weirdsmobile in Cairo with another in Riyadh and then Islamabad and then Hamburg and London and pretty much everywhere. One thing it demolishes is the lazy leftist trope that the "root cause" is poverty. The penniless yak herds aren't the problem. The very first words of the very first chapter are "In a first-class stateroom on a cruise ship bound for New York . . ." It's 1948 and inside the first-class stateroom is Sayyid Qutb, the first of a grand parade of privileged middle-class Westernized Muslims for whom a mis-wired encounter with the modern world is enough to make them hot for jihad. There's a sad inevitability when al-Qaeda's head honchos are ready to give up on 9/11 because they haven't any Muslim Westerners who can pull it off, and just at that moment a Hamburg engineering student called Mohammed Atta shows up. In the jihad, somebody always shows up, somebody middle-class and prosperous and educated and perfectly assimilated except for an urge to self-detonate on the London Underground.

It's tempting to think history might have turned out a little differently had that drunken floozy on the ship not come on to Sayyid late one night or the nurse in George Washington University Hospital not been showing quite so much cleavage. But reading of Qutb's sojourn in America in the late 1940s you begin to wonder whether the girl really did come on to him or if the nurse truly disclosed to him the particulars of what she sought in a lover. His disgust at the lasciviousness of America is vaguely reminiscent of the old joke about the spinster who complains that the young man across the street strips naked in full view every night: when the cop says he can't see anything, she explains you have to climb up on the wardrobe and crane your neck up over the skylight. If you're looking for it as assiduously as Qutb was, you'll find it everywhere.

The title of Wright's book comes from the Koran's fourth sura, the one Osama quoted in a speech on the eve of 9/11:

"Wherever you are, death will find you,

Even in the looming tower."

In an Islamist grievance culture, the tower doesn't have to be that tall to loom. The tragedy in Wright's book is that across little more than half a century a loser cult has metastasized, eventually to swallow almost all the moderate, syncretic forms of Islam. What was so awful about Sayyid Qutb's experience in America that led him to regard modernity as an abomination? Well, he went to a dance in Greeley, Colo.: "The room convulsed with the feverish music from the gramophone. Dancing naked legs filled the hall, arms draped around the waists, chests met chests, lips met lips . . ."

In 1949, Greeley, Colo., was dry. The dance was a church social. The feverish music was Frank Loesser's charm song Baby, It's Cold Outside. But it was enough to start a chain that led from Qutb to Zawahiri in Egypt to bin Laden in Saudi Arabia to the mullahs in Iran to the man arrested in Afghanistan on Sept. 11. And it's a useful reminder of how much we could give up and still be found decadent and disgusting by the Islamists. A world without Baby, It's Cold Outside will be very cold indeed.

If there is a solution, it will have to be in finding a way to energize and mobilize the "moderate, syncretic forms of Islam". If not, then the only other solution might lie in "Lighting up the sky", a horrible end state to contemplate.
 

a_majoor

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This war, like most others, is a battle of wills.

http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/004739.html

Recruiting Goals Fall Short

...for Al Qaeda. John Hinderaker at Powerline quotes from a document written by high-ranking al Qaeda officer, discovered in Zarqawi's "safe house" and released recently by CENTCOM;

You have to plow through a lot of palaver to get to the substance of the letter. What I think is most interesting is the picture that it paints of al Qaeda's prospects, especially in light of the recently-leaked fragments of the National Intelligence Estimate purportedly saying that the Iraq war has been a recruiting bonanza for al Qaeda, and that al Qaeda's numbers and support are ever-increasing. Al Qaeda itself seems to see its position quite differently.

Know that we, like all the mujahidin, are still weak. We are in the stage of weakness and a state of paucity. We have not yet reached a level of stability. We have no alternative but to not squander any element of the foundations of strength, or any helper or supporter.

[...]

The most important thing is that you continue in your jihad in Iraq, and that you be patient and forbearing, even in weakness, and even with fewer operations; even if each day had half of the number of current daily operations, that is not a problem, or even less than that. So, do not be hasty. The most important thing is that the jihad continues with steadfastness and firm rooting, and that it grows in terms of supporters, strength, clarity of justification, and visible proof each day. Indeed, prolonging the war is in our interest, with God’s permission.

Though, all things considered, things could be worse for Al Qaeda. Imagine what trouble they'd be in if they also had to contend with a relentless negative media barrage brought about by mid-term elections.

Posted by Kate at October 3, 2006 09:56 PM
 

Edward Campbell

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Here, reproduced from today’s (6 Oct 06) Globe and Mail under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act is an opinion piece by Timothy Garton Ash (Oxford) with which I wholeheartedly agree:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061006.wcoash06/BNStory/specialComment/home
The struggle of our time
Fanatiques sans frontières are on the march, says TIMOTHY GARTON ASH. And we must stand up to them

TIMOTHY GARTON ASH

From Friday's Globe and Mail

Almost every day brings a new threat to free expression. A French philosopher is in hiding, running for his life from death threats on Islamist websites, because he published an article in a French newspaper saying that Mohammed is revealed in the Koran as a "master of hate." A production of Mozart's Idomeneo, which at one point displays the severed (plastic? papier mâché?) head of Mohammed, alongside those of Jesus, Buddha and Poseidon, is pulled off the stage of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, after a telephoned threat of violence was reported to management by local police. And that's just the past week.

Going slightly further back, there's the murder of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh and the murderous hounding of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Salman Rushdie. A British anti-fascist activist is beaten up following the publication of his photograph and address on a far-right website called Redwatch. Animal rights activists make death threats to medical researchers and their families. Christian extremists threaten BBC executives because they broadcast Jerry Springer: The Opera. Need I go on?

Fanatiques sans frontiers are on the march. It's wrong to describe this as a single "war on terror"; our adversaries and their ideologies are so diverse. But if you think we are not engaged in a struggle against manifold enemies of freedom, as potentially deadly as those we faced in the 1930s, you are living in a fool's paradise. In the first decade of the 21st century the spaces of free expression, even in old-established liberal democracies, have been eroded, are being eroded and -- if we don't summon ourselves to the fight -- will continue to be eroded. Free expression is not just the particular preserve of writers and artists. It's a first-order freedom, the oxygen on which other liberties depend. Not for nothing did John Stuart Mill devote a whole chapter in his On Liberty to "the liberty of thought and discussion."

The erosion of free expression comes in many different ways. Most obviously, there is violence or the threat of violence: "If you say that, we will kill you." This is dramatically facilitated in our time by the Internet, e-mail and cellphones. French philosophy teacher, Robert Redeker, went into hiding after an Islamist website called for him -- "the pig" -- to be "punished by the lions of France" as "the lion of Holland, Mohammed Bouyeri did," and then gave Mr. Redeker's home address, photograph and phone number. Mohammed Bouyeri was the slayer of Theo van Gogh.


Down the scale, there is peaceful public protest, sometimes with an implicit threat of violence. There are also other forms of less visible pressure, including the use of economic weapons -- the boycott of Danish goods in some Islamic countries following the Danish cartoons scandal, for example, or the Chinese state's covert pressure on satellite providers, for whom China is a major customer.

Then there's self-censorship in the face of such threats. German Chancellor Angela Merkel aptly described the Deutsche Oper's decision to pull Idomeneo as "self-censorship out of fear." But self-censorship can also flow from a well-intentioned notion of multicultural harmony, on the lines of "you respect my taboo and I'll respect yours" -- what I've described before as the tyranny of the group veto. And there are misguided attempts by democratic governments and parliaments to ensure domestic peace and inter-communal harmony by legislating to curb free expression. The British government's original proposal for a law on incitement to religious hatred was a case in point.

The threats also come from the most diverse quarters. It would be absurd to pretend that Islamist extremists are not among the current leaders in intimidation, at least in relation to Europe and North America. After all, Christians, Buddhists and, indeed, Poseidonites did not -- so far as we know -- threaten violent retaliation because the severed (plastic?) heads of their all-holiest were displayed on a Berlin opera stage. But my opening case-list shows that it's not just jihadists who want to squeeze the oxygen pipe of free expression. Even as I write, news reaches me of a good friend, Tony Judt, a historian of modern Europe and outspoken critic of recent Israeli policy, finding a venue in New York suddenly withdrawn after telephone calls to the host institution, which happened to be the Polish Consulate. (He proposed to talk about "the Israel lobby and U.S. foreign policy.")

According to the Polish consul, those telephone calls came from "a couple of Jewish groups," including the Anti-Defamation League, and "representatives of American diplomacy and intelligentsia." Such phone calls are, of course, not comparable with death threats. But this is all part of a many-fronted, incremental erosion of free expression, even in the classic lands of the free, such as the United States, France and Britain.

What is to be done? First, we need to wake up to the seriousness of the danger. I repeat: this is one of the greatest challenges to freedom in our time. We need a debate about what the law should and should not allow to be said or written. Even Mill did not suggest that everyone should be allowed to say anything, any time and anywhere. We also need a debate about what it's prudent and wise to say in a globalized world where people of different cultures live so close together, like roommates separated only by thin curtains. There is a frontier of prudence and wisdom that lies beyond the one that should be enforced by law. I believe, for example, that Mr. Redeker's article in Le Figaro was an intemperate and unwise one, with its claim that Islam (not just Islamism, or jihadism, but Islam tout court is today's equivalent of Soviet-style world communism -- yesterday Moscow, today Mecca -- and his denunciation of Mohammed as a "pitiless warlord, pillager, massacrer of Jews and polygamist." But once the fanatiques sans frontiers respond by proposing to kill him, then we must stand in total solidarity with the threatened writer -- in the spirit of Voltaire.

Never mind that Voltaire probably never said exactly what is so often attributed to him: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." That famous quotation seems to have originated in an early 20th-century paraphrase. But that was indeed the spirit of Voltaire. The order of phrases is vital. Too many recent responses in such cases, from the Rushdie affair onward, have had this backhanded syntax: "Of course I defend his/her freedom of expression, but . . ." The Voltaire principle gets it the right way round: first the dissent, but then the unconditional solidarity. Now we are all called upon to play our part. The future of freedom depends on words prevailing over knives.

British political writer Timothy Garton Ash is a professor of European studies at Oxford.

Now, anyone who takes us back to On Liberty is on the right track.  (Anyone who has not read On Liberty more than once is unread and should not be allowed to vote.)

Our liberty is threatened by all collectivists – including Christians, Jews and Muslims – who believe that they are possessed of the revealed truth and that they have some sort of obligation to impose that ‘truth’ upon unbelievers, like me.

We need to have a new enlightenment – based upon 19th century English liberalism – to bring liberty back to the West and then spread it to other societies.  English liberalism may not triumph over e.g. Asian conservatism and conservatism is, in my view, quite an acceptable socio-political philosophy.  What is unacceptable – what we must defeat, in military battle, if necessary but certainly in the marketplace of ideas is barbarism.  There are barbaric Muslims and Barbaric Christians, too; all must be defeated.

Let's forget about the foolishly named 'war on terror' and get on with the War on Barbarism.

 

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Let's forget about the foolishly named 'war on terror' and get on with the War on Barbarism.

Now there's one to get behind.  Well done Edward.  +1.
 

a_majoor

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An interesting discussion about WW IV framed as a question of momentum:

http://www.snappingturtle.net/jmc/tmblog/archives/005946.html

October 06, 2006
The Losing Momentum Fallacy

I've been writing about how the US and Al Queda are fighting on a meta-battlefield of serialization and parallelization since at least 2003. The US is fundamentally trying to slow things down, occasionally biting where it chooses, chewing, and swallowing chunks of Al Queda and company at its convenience. Al Queda tries to make it politically impossible to maintain a sustainable pace so that the US is forced by political realities into burnout, leading to an opportunity where Al Queda can actually claim a durable military victory.

Given that well established dynamic, Glenn Reynold's post on losing momentum is so badly framed that it's better to toss it out and start over again. The US Army is now taking 42 year olds. This is a sign of force stretching that is currently manageable but it's a warning sign that Al Queda's efforts are not without effect. Al Queda wants us to speed up, overextending ourselves. We're not there yet but we could get there. Additional force commitments will get us to Al Queda's preffered scenario. So count me as having a different opinion than both Glenn Reynolds and Mohammed of Iraq the Model who would like the US to move much faster. Unfortunately, Mohammed is engaged in magical thinking. We aren't going further and faster because we can't sustain that sort of effort.

Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) posts here: http://instapundit.com/archives/033024.php
Mohammed posts here: http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/2006/10/americas-sinhesitation.html

Since the United States and the Anglosphere West (much less NATO) are not mobilized on a war footing, it is difficult to see just what more could be done. "Bite and hold" on a global scale is painful but manageable given the political will to do more is lacking, and of course the United States cannot ignore other potential threats on the horizon, such as the possible disintegration of the DPRK, or Hugo Chavez attempting to destabilize South America and the Carribean basin.

Clever out of the box thinking is needed. In another post, it was pointed out the Sultan of Oman has access to a reservoir of goodwill and receptive people on both sides of Iran, and runs a relatively modern and moderate state, perhaps he could be persuaded to supply the Diplomacy and Development "D's" of the Three D strategy in his areas of influence. http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/51227/post-458441.html#msg458441

Getting some of that horsepower, or fully engaging India will provide a vast new reservoir of resources which can be deployed to combat, contain or influence (as appropriate) the various States and actors who are working against us.
 
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