Children at risk

I have one more school children post I want to do today, and this one is scary and depressing. It’s also not new, because it’s an issue that’s been around and about which I’ve blogged before: the possible terrorist threat to our children. Danny Lemieux gave me the heads up about the latest column on this subject, this time from Jack Kelly. He spells out, first, some disturbing factual trends:

• U.S. forces seized in 2002 an al Qaida training tape of a practice assault on an abandoned school in Mir Bach Kot in Afghanistan. The terrorists were barking commands in English.

• U.S. forces in Iraq found on a captured al Qaida computer building plans for schools in six states.

• In May of 2006, two Saudi students at the University of South Florida boarded a school bus. They were “cagey and evasive” in explaining why they boarded the bus, said a spokesman for the Hillsborough County sheriff.

• In March, the FBI issued a bulletin to law enforcement warning that Muslims “with ties to extremist groups” were signing up to be school bus drivers.

• A Houston television station reported in August that 17 large yellow school buses have been stolen.

Al Qaida prefers middle schools because the girls are old enough to rape, but the boys aren’t big enough to fight back, says retired Army LtCol. Dave Grossman, who runs a private security firm.

Kelly believes that Al Qaeda’s goal, if it does attack schools, is to turn the American people into slavering anti-Muslim monsters, who can then be used for propaganda value to unite Muslims into a global jihad.

Kelly also thinks that, with the situation in Pakistan so inflammatory, this is a window of time in which Al Qaeda will act, since it wants to tip the balance on the global scene.

The rest of Kelly’s article looks at whether the Democrats can stand before voters and credibly claim to have protected them from this kind of threat, or to have thought through a response in case, God forbid, something does happen.  It’s the weakest part of his article, but you should read it anyway and draw your own conclusions.

47 Responses

  1. There are some logical flaws in this article:

    a practice assault on an abandoned school in Mir Bach Kot in Afghanistan.

    Did the al-Qaeda have a choice between, say, an abandoned bank, an abandoned police station, an abandoned McDonalds, and an abandoned school? If so, there might be some merit in this point. If the abandoned school was the only convenient structure to use, then I think this point is useless.

    U.S. forces in Iraq found on a captured al Qaida computer building plans for schools in six states.

    There might be something to this, but I’d like to know more about the context before I draw conclusions. What other information was on the computer? Were they part of a huge collection of building plans for government facilities all across the country? If so, the inclusion of six schools would not be so significant.

    In May of 2006, two Saudi students at the University of South Florida boarded a school bus. They were “cagey and evasive” in explaining why they boarded the bus, said a spokesman for the Hillsborough County sheriff.

    This strikes me as more odd than suspicious. If you want to attack kids on a school bus, you really don’t have to actually board the school bus — which in any case would give away your intentions. It’s not as if school buses have complicated layouts that require lots of photographs. Besides, there’s another possible explanation: “Hey, Yusuf, look! There’s a school bus! We don’t have to walk home — let’s just take the school bus. It’s free, and we’re students, and so we have a right to use it just like anybody else, right? Sure can’t hurt to try, can it?”

    In March, the FBI issued a bulletin to law enforcement warning that Muslims “with ties to extremist groups” were signing up to be school bus drivers.

    How many Muslims with ties to extremist groups were signing up to be school bus drivers? Hundreds? Two? Again, this seems like a giveaway rather than a serious tactic. Do you really need to have a driver on the bus to hijack it? Wouldn’t it be much easier and less risky to simply wait in a car at the bus’s first stop, jump out, and board the bus?

    A Houston television station reported in August that 17 large yellow school buses have been stolen.

    17 large yellow school buses are kinda hard to hide. Can you imagine a better way to provide leads to the FBI than to park 17 large yellow school buses at your hideout? C’mon, folks, this is just common sense!

    Al Qaida prefers middle schools because the girls are old enough to rape, but the boys aren’t big enough to fight back, says retired Army LtCol. Dave Grossman, who runs a private security firm.

    This is real idiocy. “OK, Abu, you’ll take over as the driver; Omar, you’re the guard, and Yussuf, you’re the designated rapist.” You’d get a lot more terrorism done if you used Yussuf on another team. Besides, can’t you hear the complaints: “Aw, gee, boss, can’t I be the designated rapist?” Bad for morale.

    There’s no question that hitting schools is an item on any terrorist’s list. But there are much better ways to incite terror than hijacking school buses. Here are just a few:

    1. One suicide bomber with a car bomb drives up next to the line of school buses just as they get loaded with students.
    2. Two suicide attackers with automatic weapons drive to the school and park directly in front of the first bus in the line, blocking it. One guy goes down each side of the line of buses, filling them with automatic weapons fire. The kids are trapped inside and sitting ducks. Toss in a few grenades for good measure.
    3. Apply that IED technology that has been so refined in Iraq and use it against school buses. A few dozen teams could set up hundreds of these things in the days before the attack, and then set them all off within an hour’s time.
    4. On the day after Thanksgiving, send a dozen suicide attackers into a dozen shopping malls. Shoot up the place. Clobber the US retail economy and really take the fun out of Christmas.
    5. When the Santa Ana winds get going, drive around Southern California with a van full of flares, tossing them into brush. All those fires converge into a firestorm.

    See? I came up with these ideas in ten minutes. Don’t you think that the al-Qaeda people have an even longer list? Do you really think we can stop them from perpetrating such outrages if they set their minds to it? None of this requires a lot of money, or nuclear weapons, or a lot of people.

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  3. So, Ophi, what do you suggest is the proper response?

  4. If someone had told me on Sept. 10, 2001, that 4 planes would be brought down killing almost 3000 people with boxcutters, I would have laughed.

    Then I would have said, “Well why bother with the possibility of getting snagged by security and unruly passenegers? Why not simply drive cars laden with explosives under multiple buildings across the U.S. and have them go off simultaneously?”

    Ophi – What does it matter how quickly someone can come up with the most scenarios?

    The question in my mind is: What do we do to prepare? How do we respond? And which of the presidential candidates is most likely to be someone I trust to respond in an appropriate manner?

    Deana

  5. If someone had told me on Sept. 10, 2001, that 4 planes would be brought down killing almost 3000 people with boxcutters, I would have laughed.

    Gee, that wasn’t my reaction. My first reaction was, “Well, it finally happened.” There was an action novel about a similar attack back in what, 1994?

    Why not simply drive cars laden with explosives under multiple buildings across the U.S. and have them go off simultaneously?

    Actually, they tried that with the WTC in the 90s. It didn’t work.

    What do we do to prepare? How do we respond?

    Now HERE’S where you and Danny are getting down to the real issues. And the point I was implying above is a brutal one: there is nothing we can do to render ourselves safe against mass murder — and it’s only going to get worse. There are a zillion good ways to wreak havoc in highly developed country. And we simply cannot afford to put heavily armed guards in every school, shopping mall, bus stop, train station, public auditorium, and other vulnerable location in the country. It will cripple our economy to turn our country into a terrorist-proof fortress.

    Nor is there any good way to prevent terrorists from entering the country. Sure, we can catch the obvious ones, but there are thousands of foreigners entering the US every day, and we can never be sure that one of them isn’t a long-term plant. Moreover, all the wiretapping in the world can’t catch the good ones. We’re only catching the turkeys.

    Moreover, all the military action in the world can’t stop them either. We haven’t made any significant progress in Afghanistan lately — indeed, things may well be getting worse. In Iraq we’re making progress, but it’s way too early to declare victory. And the rest of the Islamic world continues to breed anti-American ideologues in their thousands.

    It’s interesting that you ask “How do we respond?” It’s a little late to respond to a terrorist strike. Our energies must be put on reducing the probability of a successful strike. Going off and bombing somebody seldom accomplishes much.

    We can improve our odds with enhanced security. We can and should make more stringent efforts to identify terrorists inside our country. (However, we should pursue effective courses, not tactics driven by anger or fear).

    But most of all, we need to spread our efforts all over the world. We need to extinguish terrorism everywhere, because it’s too easy for terrorists to move around. And that cannot be done militarily; diplomacy is our only recourse.

    I have to go just now, but I’ll come back later today with an outline of diplomatic strategies that I think can reduce terrorist activity.

  6. And that cannot be done militarily; diplomacy is our only recourse.

    Reminds me of a bandit telling the caravan master that submitting to banditry is their only recourse. True… but only technically.

  7. Al Qaida prefers middle schools because the girls are old enough to rape, but the boys aren’t big enough to fight back, says retired Army LtCol. Dave Grossman, who runs a private security firm.

    There’s different layers of security. Some of it is spycraft oriented, others are simply security measures as done by Blackwater and Grossman.

    The first defense is usually called a good offense, which is what Iraq and Afghanistan are. Projecting power unto the world stage so that dictators and other nations that might be thinking about supporting terrorism with weapons and funds, start thinking about their own hides instead of thinking about how to grievously wound the US.

    The second line of defense is intelligence. Knowing who comes into your borders and where they came from and what kind of connections this person has, is a great tool for catching terrorists once they get into the US or stopping terrorists from getting into the US.

    Last, we come to the third line of defense, which is direct site to site defense. The actual security apparatus, guards and what not, you see on campus and around other sensitive sites. The third line of defense has its own bureacracy and hierarchy, such as intel sharing and turf wars.

    When all defense lines have been pierced, then you call in the First Responders, who hopefully will have the total resources of the three tiers of defenses at their disposal or in support. This will allow the damage to be limited and the attackers to be executed. There is essentially no where you can run to in this country once you have conducted an attack, unless you are close on the borders of Mexico or something. But even then, a President might be forced by public pressure to order a full military expedition to grab the terrorist if the local governments refuse to extradite him or them. It becomes a thorny political question, but in the end, terrorists once they conduct an attack, cannot evade the security forces of the US for long.

    The actual defense of a site is pretty weak, as we all know. The reasons are not so much lack of funding, training, and what not so much as the fact that you literally cannot harden potential terrorist sites without instituting a police state inside America. You literally cannot create an adequate level of protection for each and every site without secret police powers. You could protect every site in America from attack, but you would then need to have everyone be armed. In this case, the government will never allow that, because they are jealous of their security powers already. They are not going to give them up to you or anyone else.

    A simple example of how the third line of defense supports the second line is with visas. Currently any Arab persons coming in on a VISA from the ME is immediately tagged for scrutiny. If those same people start gathering around and acting like they are “organizing” or “plotting” something, then the FBI goes into action and even with limited police powers they are able to acquire much in terms of intel. It is why all those attempted terrorist attacks were caught. You would always have some “Arab” guy organizing some kind of “group” that would then immediately get caught on the FBI radar because these people are amateurs, not professionals. They don’t know how to cloak their activities, they are not really experienced criminals even. The mob is the mob because they are organized. There is no terrorist inter-cell cooperation or organization here in the US, at least not in the hands of Al Qaeda. What this means is that each cell has to organize together, buy explosives, and train their own members. This takes time. Time for the FBI to see what the hell you people are doing.

    If foreign governments did not have the examples of Iraq and Afghanistan to cow them into some kind of submission, then those foreign governments would use their VISA programs and diplomatic powers to take terrorists from the Middle East, give them new identities with perfect data using local government resources, and then send them to the US from the local terrorist allied government. Since the local government is NOT in the Middle East, their citizens are therefore NOT immediately obvious and flagged for FBI scrutiny.

    Think about the Southern border. If the Mexican government decided that it would be nice to rake in some extra cash from Jihadists in Pakistan, they could easily smuggle in terrorists that look like Mexicans, with illegally forged papers, across the Southern border. When the terrorists blend into the illegal alien population, how exactly would the US be able to locate them or even know about them, given the huge numbers? If the FBI started “searching”, you know exactly what the response would be. ACLU and MoveON would be the first to attack the security defenses of the US for being racist and what not.

    Flight 93 is a perfect example of the last line of defense. Actual On Site resistance. Americans rose up and stomped the terrorists’ bodies into mush. However, it is not a very effective defense because it would have meant that all the outer defenses had been penetrated. On 9/11, you saw the consequences of that. It is far better to stop an attack at the outer defensive line than at the inner last line.

    Grim Beorn has an easy solution for hardening American schools from attacks. He recommends that everyone becomes armed and trained in the usage of firearms. This way, there is practically no way that a terrorist attack can handle the local on site resistance, not at least until local security forces arrive and put down the insurrection. Hard.

    Even if everyone isn’t able to do it, you can still get enough to harden a school from “easy target” to “suicide attempt”. Flight 93 didn’t have to win over the terrorists and regain control of the plane to prevent the terrorists from killing more people, after all.

    This is the American tradition. This should be America’s Jacksonian tradition. Yet many people are interested in “soft power”, as if that will save me or you, Deana, from death.

  8. In response to the “international diplomacy” fantasy, here is something Deana, Danny, and company might benefit from reading. They of course already know the detriments of “diplomacy”, but this simply puts it into very stark and irrefutable terms.

    THE State Department has announced that it will force 50 foreign service officers to go to Iraq, whether they want to or not. This is the biggest use of “directed assignments” since the Vietnam War, and it represents a long-overdue response to complaints that diplomats aren’t pulling their weight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    http://cannoneerno4.wordpress.com/2007/11/03/hope-is-not-a-plan-and-if-youre-depending-on-interagency-youre-wrong/

  9. Terrorism is a directed use of violence, so pay no attention to Op’s attempt to try to make terrorism out to be so easy to conduct and so hard to stop, without his pet policies that is.

    Like any use of vilence, it is a thing of skill, not luck or circumstance. It requires preparation and knowledge. There are always counters to it. There are always things that can and do go wrong.

    America is a very lawful nation. Not as lawful as Germany, of course, but law abiding enough. This very trait makes any attempt to use violence, coordinated violence at that, extremely hard. The Left does not understand this because to the Left, the use of any physical violence is crude, rude, and simplistic. It is nothing a but “winning a football game” as viewed by the Left. True use of violence is a bit more complicated than that.

    Terrorism flourishes in chaotic climates such as the Middle East. Mexico and the Southern border would be a good swamp to breed in, if you ask me. But for the rest of America? A very hard thing to attack, really. Especially with Iraq taking up most of the trained and experienced Jihadists and their precious foreign resources. America definitely doesn’t want the enemy to start thinking about combining terroist ruthlessness with Mexican border corruption and crime (drug cartels).

    America would be wise to do everything in her power to distract terrorists from looking at the US with any real degree of attention. The inner defenses of the United States is still in its infancy. It needs time and wisdom to grow stronger, just like a child.

    Some people are more interested in exploiting children in Africa, though, than protecting human civilization. That’s sad, of course, but then so is terrorism and piracy. They all must be eliminated. In due time, they will see who is the better user of violence and terror.

  10. OK, I promised an outline of what has to be done to defeat terrorism.

    The first step is to get out of Iraq. So long as we are there, we provide terrorists with a training ground and, more important, a great recruitment incentive.

    Second, we need to force a settlement in the Israel/Palestine conflict. I think it should include a return to 1967 borders with the old city of Jerusalem being internationalized, the west side Israeli, and the east side Palestinian. As part of this, all Jewish settlers in the Palestinian areas should be required to return to Israel. The new Palestinian state would consist of the West Bank and Gaza. The US pays Israel to build a new border wall along the 1967 borders. Israel would also return the Golan Heights to Syria. As part of this deal, the Islamic nations would recognize Israel (they’ve already indicated that they are willing to accept this).

    Third, we should tighten up the international financing system considerably. Right now it is too easy to launder money. That can be made much more difficult with the proper accounting controls.

    Fourth, we should build an international anti-terrorism network that combines data from all the police forces of the world. We’d need to establish a lot of safeguards to insure that the data is not abused, but a better coordination of efforts will surely increase our chances of catching the terrorists on their home turf. We’ll have to recognize, however, that the term “terrorist” means different things in different countries, and the only way this works is if we build a definition of “terrorist” that all nations can subscribe to. This will require compromises on our part.

    Fifth, we’ve got to get down off our high horse and start taking a more cooperative attitude. American pride is hurting America. If we want to nail terrorists, we need other countries’ help, and we won’t get that by treating them like dirt. We cannot beat terrorism all by ourselves.

  11. You have obviously given this a lot of thought, Ophi. But, It’s like one of the harsh lessons that I have had to learn in life: it’s the assumptions that eventually do you in. More later, although, in fairness, there is so much here to work with I don’t know where to begin. “Going off and bombing people seldom accomplishes little”? Huh?

  12. Ophi,

    I’ll only deal with # 5. For far too long, other countries have envisioned cooperation as a good cop-bad cop routine, where we always get to play bad cop and they get to roam the world telling everyone what thugs we are.

  13. Ok…I’ll take on #2, for now. Ophi, the Palestinian question will never be settled by giving ground.

    There is no middle ground for them…only the 100% destruction of Israel. If you doubt me, browse the MEMRI website to see what Muslim Arab children are being taught about Israel and the Jews in School. The only way the Palestinians will change is when, as Golda Meir said, Palestinian mothers learn to love their children more than they hate the Jews. Ain’t gonna happen.

    The other Arab countries are lying – practicing taqiyeh. They will never accept Jewish kuffars in control of “Arab” land, historical claims notwithstanding. Especially, when the Jewish kuffars are so successful.

    Perhaps when Bush has succeeded in changing the political and power dynamic of the Middle East, things will change (we’ll soon find out, the way things are going :-)) But not now.

    And no American will ever agree to guarantee Israel’s security with troops. The Israelis know it and we know it. Israel also knows that nobody else will guarantee Israel’s right to exist except…Israel.

    This may be hard to grasp, Ophi…but other people don’t necessarily think or see the world the way we do.

    Salaam Aleiykum

  14. expat, the solution for the problem you describe is for us to stop playing bad cop. That pretty much takes the wind out of their sails, doesn’t it?

    Danny, your belief that the Arabs will never accept the State of Israel is belied by the facts. I believe that all of the Arab states signed a declaration last year flatly stating that they would recognize Israel as part of a general settlement. You say that they are lying. Suppose they are. Suppose they sign a general settlement with Israel, guaranteed by the US, the EU, and Russia. Then suppose they violate that treaty. Do you really think that the US, the EU, and Russia will all yawn and ignore it? After all that work, all that effort, all that money, all that blood to obtain peace in the Middle East, the West would just ignore it if the Arab states blew it to hell? That’s preposterous!

    Again, the Palestinian government (pre- and post-Hamas) has always accepted the fact that any general settlement would require them to recognize the state of Israel. I believe that this undertaking goes as far back as the Oslo Accords.

    Perhaps when Bush has succeeded in changing the political and power dynamic of the Middle East, things will change (we’ll soon find out, the way things are going :-))

    No way. The best we can accomplish is to stabilize Iraq long enough to declare victory as we bug out. As soon as we leave, they’ll revert to business as usual power struggle, and the Shiites will emerge triumphant.

    And no American will ever agree to guarantee Israel’s security with troops.

    Read Kissinger’s memoirs of the Yom Kippur War crisis. We went to DefCon 3 and the Soviets responded likewise. It was definitely touch and go with the Soviets for about a week.

    You say that the Palestinian question will never be solved by giving ground. I infer that you are quite happy with the situation as it is — with the Arab-Israeli conflict providing a slow, steady burn that keeps terrorism alive and well. You certainly have no alternative to offer other than a continuation of the current situation. So I ask you, “How many Americans have to die before you are willing to take the bull by the horns and solve the problem?”

  15. How about this solution:

    Muslims quit killing people.

    It’s really simple, requires no effort on their part, and would end most of the war and violence in the world today.

    So why don’t they do it?

    Because they don’t want to stop killing people. The Prophet told them it’s a good thing. He led by example, slaughtering his own enemies during his lifetime and encouraging his followers to do the same until there are no non-Muslims left on Earth.

    Diplomacy won’t stop them.

    Muslim violence will end when there are no Muslims.

  16. Trimegistus offers us a solution to the problem: genocide. Unfortunately, there are some practical problems with this solution. His forbears had quite a problem organizing the genocide of a mere 6 million Jews. He wants to wipe out a billion Muslims. That’s going to be difficult. Let’s see, the Nazis had about a dozen death camps in full operation — Trimegistus will have to organize more than a thousand death camps to work at the same percentage rate. The poison gas alone would prove rather expensive, but even more expensive would be all the trains taking them all to the death camps. And then there’s the problem of disposing of all those bodies. It would take a lot of ovens to burn them all. Of course, I’m sure you’d have no problems recruiting a sufficient number of camp guards for such a big operation — I’ll bet you could find some likely recruits right here at this forum. I suppose that you could recover some of the costs by extracting gold fillings from the teeth. Do you have any ideas about making lampshades from their skin? Or perhaps you could defray costs with some medical experiments upon Muslims before you kill them. Do you think you’re up to the challenge, Trimegistus?

  17. I am sorry for the triple posting. For some crazy reason the WordPress software refused to publish them. I thought it might be a problem with the word representing the political party of Germany during World War II, so I kept trying variations, and nothing seemed to work. Now all of a sudden all three postings appear. Sheesh!

  18. This is the most absurd crap I’ve read in quite some time.

  19. Ophi –

    I simply cannot believe you are being serious in your 4:27 post.

    I have to go to class all day so I do not have time to respond properly but quickly, what makes you think that the U.S. getting out of Iraq would somehow dissolve the “recruitment incentive”? For the last several decades, there has been no end to what pretext Muslims will use as a recruitment incentive. When you believe that your goal is to submit the world to Islam, no pretext is necessary.

    With regard to your comment about building some international police / crime-sharing force in which just one of our duties would require us to come up with a definition of “terrorist” that we all can feel good about . . . Are you even listening to yourself???? Have you not been watching the UN for the past 20 years?? How often do they come up with consensus on anything??

    The real tell-tale sign though is your comment that coming up with that one definition of terrorist would ” . . . require compromises on our part.”

    Of course it would. We would have to compromise to the definition of whatever the Iranians said it is. Or whoever. The Palestinians, the Egyptians, the Russians, Bolivians, everyone else in the world would get to define terrorists – the Americans would be the only ones to compromise.

    Which makes your last point a given. The problem is all ours.

    Deana

  20. I think that the Muslim-American scholar, Fouad Adjami, had a perfectly descriptive term for this, Deana. He referred to such utopian abstractions as “dream castles”.

    Ophi, I knew that the Oslo accords were a sham within a year of their signing – when it was reported but totally ignored by the media that the Palestinians were teaching their children to wage endless war against Israel. I am afraid that you live in a fantasy world. Sorry, my friend, but you really have no clue about Islam and the history and nature of either Israel or the Islamic world.

    When people take at face value signed pieces of paper from people who violate such statements at a drop of hat, they indulge in dream castles. When they rely upon “guarantees” by the UN and Russia, they live in an alternate universe.

    I understand how you and your fellow travelers are heavily vested in an American defeat in Iraq and that discussion thereon is pointless. Should we succeed, more dream castles will crumble into nightmare. On this point, you should look deep into your soul and I cannot help. However, I humbly admit that I was mischievously jerking your chain.

    As Reagan said…”trust, but verify”. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “…and carry a big stick”

    Finally, as you always harp on about non sequitur comments, your response to Trimegistus was way uncalled for. He never said anything about genocide and his comments about Islam and the Koran are right on the mark. However, your rant revealed much about how you think and it isn’t pretty.

    The acts that you decry, incidentally, are those that have largely committed by socialists (i.e., Nazis and communists)- people who also sat in armchairs and created utopian dream castles turned nightmare…all in the name of improving society in an oh-so logical way. What they did represented the logical end-point of the secular socialism.

  21. Any agreement on Israeli and Palestinian statehood brokered by a US/European/Russian council would fail because two of those three would not provide troops when the Palestinians attacked Israel. The Russians are playing their long term game of keeping the West unbalanced by minor conflicts. The rising anti-Semitism in Europe would preclude their participation in a military action in support of Israel.
    While we did go to Defcon 3 in 1973 in response to Soviet military concentrations in the southern USSR, it was as much in support/protection of Turkey as it was for Israel. I was in a Minuteman III launch capsule at the time. While I would like to think we would commit troops to the protection of Israel now, the behavior of the main sewer media and the comments of some of our more liberal politicians makes me wonder.
    We win the war on terror by winning in Afghanistan and Iraq, staying there and changing the Muslim dynamic, (the only good non-Muslim is a dead non-Muslim), and bring them slowly out of the 7th Century. And we remain vigilant at home and around the planet.
    How long will it take? Quite a while.
    Who does it? We, the United States, are the only ones that can. With some help from our friends.
    Al

  22. OK, I promised an outline of what has to be done to defeat terrorism.

    The first step is to get out of Iraq.-Op

    Is it just me, or is that like Republicans saying “In order to stop terrorism, first we kill all the reporters”?

    Technically true but… not really practical nor a more cooperative attitude.

    “Fifth, we’ve got to get down off our high horse and start taking a more cooperative attitude.”

    Second, we need to force a settlement in the Israel/Palestine conflict. -Op

    The proto America shows its proto intimidation needs, in a time when the Left ascends to absolute power.

    Certainly I am not against motivating Israel into nuking Palestine or some other hard core tactics, but we’re the wing nuts. We are expected to do such. But for a Leftist “international cooperative” guy to advocate forcing a “settlement” on foreign and sovereign people and their governments? Quite a lot of hubris there, if not cognitive dissonance.

    I think it should include a return to 1967 borders with the old city of Jerusalem being internationalized

    That would really give the UN bureacrats a hard on. They will simply get access to more women, prostitutes, girls, and boys.

    expat, the solution for the problem you describe is for us to stop playing bad cop. That pretty much takes the wind out of their sails, doesn’t it?-Op

    Given that Germany cried a river when US troops were trying to get out of their country, no it doesn’t take the wind of their sails.

    No way.

    Indeed, no way folks. Op has integrated the assumption that Bush is the problem. He will never recognize that Bush is solving the problems that Op’s policies are creating. That would be very bad for Op’s self-identity and assurance. Must all have our identites and assurances, after all.

    The best we can accomplish is to stabilize Iraq long enough to declare victory as we bug out.

    The Germans would love to see that. They would also love to have the US troops return to German bases in order to spend US currency in German military towns.

    It’s all about self-interest in the end. “International cooperation” is nothing but an illusion, and a very malevolent scam at that.

    they’ll revert to business as usual power struggle, and the Shiites will emerge triumphant.-Op

    When the Left uses the word “triumphant”, they inevitably give away their assumtions and philosophical premises about what it means to triumph. To “triumph” means in their world view to finish killing off the enemy. It doesn’t mean a peaceful situation, it doesn’t mean a prosperous situation, and it sure as hell doesn’t mean a free situation.

    MacArthur when dealing with Japan and Hirohito disagreed. To Triumph means to ensure the peace as well as win the war. To the Left, “ensuring the peace” is like saying “Protect the US Constitution”. It only means what they want it to mean.

    It is sad, but that is just the truth there.

    Read Kissinger’s memoirs of the Yom Kippur War crisis. We went to DefCon 3 and the Soviets responded likewise. It was definitely touch and go with the Soviets for about a week.

    Op, is your organization still in the dark age or something? The COld War is over.

    I simply cannot believe you are being serious in your 4:27 post.-Deana

    Study philosophy, Deana, and many things will become clear and believable ; ) I promise.

    Sorry, my friend, but you really have no clue about Islam and the history and nature of either Israel or the Islamic world.-Danny

    The problem is not that he doesn’t have a clue, Danny. The problem is that Op does have a clue, and that clue was given to him by enemies of human progress, aka Communism, Socialism, and Islamic fascism.

    When you are the spear point of the enemies of liberty and security, then it is far worse than if you were simply ignorant of things.

    Everyone is responsible for their actions, even if it is due to morale luck. A person that kills a child on the road is responsible for that act, even if he could have avoided so if he had misplaced his keys or stumbled over a rock on the way to the driver’s seat. Ignorance is no excuse. bad luck is no excuse.

    With some help from our friends.

    Our real friends. Not the UN. Not the EU bureacrats posing as the new aristocracy. And certainly not spymasters and psychological warfare experts. The US has so few of the last two that anyone we meet might as well be an automatically designated enemy. Competent spymasters, so Tenet doesn’t count.

  23. The problem is all ours.-Deana

    Obviously, Deana. The problem is all ours, but it will be in the hands of the Egyptians, Saudi Arabians, and Syrians on the human rights commission to solve the problem of American atrocities and what not.

    Remember, only enlightened international cooperation can repair the damage done by the unilateral Bush.

  24. I am always amazed how so many people really and truly believe that all the world’s problems can be solved by exchanging soothing words over a UN cocktail party. Why can’t we just all get along. Halloooo….!

  25. Snake-handler:

    I’m serious — Muslim violence will end when there are no more Muslims. This could take the form of genocide, which would be a historical tragedy I hope we can avoid. It could also be accomplished by destroying Islam as a religion. I think that unleashing Western rational skepticism and Christian evangelism would go a long way toward undermining the Muslim religion. It will either dissolve the way Christianity has done in Europe, or turn into something which allows its believers to coexist with the rest of humanity.

    Are you going to call me a bigot? Fine, I’m a bigot. I think that Islam is a dangerous ideology and should be stamped out. While we’re on the subject, I’m also bigoted against Naziism, Communism, Aztec human sacrifice, slavery, and cannibalism. I make no apologies for my intolerance. Deal with it.

  26. Ophi, read the Koran and research the life and values of Mohammed when you have some free time. It will hopefully open your mind to what the heck we are talking about. Right now it just reads like you are whistling in the wind.

  27. OK, there’s way too much here for me to respond to, but I’ll try to address the major points:

    Deanna writes:

    what makes you think that the U.S. getting out of Iraq would somehow dissolve the “recruitment incentive”?

    Nothing whatsoever, and I never said anything to that effect. I have said over and over that we cannot eliminate terrorism, we can only reduce its threat. You’re engaging in the black and white thinking that seems to be quite the penchant of this group: if a strategy does not completely solve the problem, then it must be completely useless. My point is that the US presence in Iraq increases the recruitment rate. Ergo, eliminating the US presence in Iraq will decrease the recruitment rate.

    When you believe that your goal is to submit the world to Islam, no pretext is necessary.

    Yes, and how many Muslims believe that? 100%? 10%? 1%? The goal here is to reduce the number of Muslim extremists. But when you bomb their homes and kill their women and children, that tends to make them more extremist.

    You suggest that it would be impossible to establish a common definition of “terrorist”. I disagree. The problem in getting agreement on such a definition is that each country wants to define the term to exclude its clients and include its enemies. Thus, America will want to have Islamist terrorists included, but not any “freedom fighters” opposing the regimes in Iran, Venezuela, Tibet, Myanmar, etc. Many countries will want to include dissidents who publish tracts that “tend towards violence”. And the US will agree that Islamists who preach hatred against the US should be included in that definition — but NOT “advocates of freedom”. This problem can be solved by confining the definition to criminal purposes. Remember, this is not a joint resolution condemning bad guys. It is an agreement to combine data on the criminal activities of people. If a Chinese dissident is giving lectures in the US, then we have no criminal files on him to give to the Chinese government. The idea here is to avoid the ideology and focus on the pragmatic. I agree that we’ll never get a perfect resolution, but I think that we can come up with something useful by extending existing concepts of extradition treaties to a new sort of treaty. And how could something like that possibly hurt?

    The Palestinians, the Egyptians, the Russians, Bolivians, everyone else in the world would get to define terrorists – the Americans would be the only ones to compromise.

    Um, that certainly hasn’t been the case for some time now. We sure weren’t very compromising on Kyoto, Iraq, or Afghanistan, were we?

    Ophi, I knew that the Oslo accords were a sham within a year of their signing – when it was reported but totally ignored by the media that the Palestinians were teaching their children to wage endless war against Israel.

    Did the Oslo accords include specifications on what the Palestinians and Israelis were to teach their children? If not, what’s your beef? The Israelis continued building settlements in the Occupied Territories after Oslo — which was, I believe, a violation of the letter, not just the spirit of the accords. I’m not sure — do you have any particular knowledge on that?

    I am afraid that you live in a fantasy world. Sorry, my friend, but you really have no clue about Islam and the history and nature of either Israel or the Islamic world.

    Look, if you have a case to make, then make it. If all you have to offer is childish mudslinging, do it at your nearest public playground.

    I understand how you and your fellow travelers are heavily vested in an American defeat in Iraq

    I challenge you to produce any quote from me justifying that slander. Failing in the production of such evidence, an honorable man would retract the statement and apologize for it. However, if this vague statement:

    However, I humbly admit that I was mischievously jerking your chain.

    was meant to apply to the statement immediately above, then I am mollified.

    your response to Trimegistus was way uncalled for. He never said anything about genocide

    Perhaps you failed to notice his statement:

    Diplomacy won’t stop them. Muslim violence will end when there are no Muslims.

    I could put together a decent defense of that statement by noting that it doesn’t come right out and say “We should kill all Muslims”. And the same defense could be used for Henry II’s question “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?” (For those of you who aren’t up on medieval history, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was locked in a conflict with Henry II, when, in a moment of rage, Henry II uttered something like these words. Some of his adherents therefore went to Canterbury Cathedral and murdered the archbishop at the altar.) After all, Henry II didn’t come right out and say “We should kill Thomas Becket.”

    This paragraph really goes wild:

    The acts that you decry, incidentally, are those that have largely committed by socialists (i.e., Nazis and communists)- people who also sat in armchairs and created utopian dream castles turned nightmare…all in the name of improving society in an oh-so logical way. What they did represented the logical end-point of the secular socialism.

    Although “Nazi” was a contraction for “National Socialist” (in German), the Nazis were anything but socialists. They were fascists and they were violently opposed to the communists, who WERE socialists.

    As for improving society by applying reason, I remind you of the Founding Fathers, true children of the Age of Reason. Their writings drip with references to rationalism and reason, and many of them were quite secular in approach. And they were definitely idealists dreaming of building a completely new society. Do you dismiss their product as unworthy?

    Al writes:

    Any agreement on Israeli and Palestinian statehood brokered by a US/European/Russian council would fail because two of those three would not provide troops when the Palestinians attacked Israel.

    Um, if the Palestinians were to attack Israel, the Israelis would stomp on them. The IDF is quite capable of defeating all of the armies of its neighbors combined, as it has already done many times before. The US has never had to commit troops to defend Israel.

    The rising anti-Semitism in Europe would preclude their participation in a military action in support of Israel.

    That’s bull. You have no evidence to support that. The EU has adhered to the terms of the treaties it has signed with more fidelity than the US has. If the EU signs a treaty requiring it to commit troops, all the evidence suggests that it will do so. My guess is that they won’t promise to commit troops, but will instead agree to provide weapons, supplies, and other logistical support — which is all that the IDF needs to clobber any Arab opponent. Treaty guarantees do not necessarily require combat troops.

    We win the war on terror by winning in Afghanistan and Iraq, staying there and changing the Muslim dynamic, (the only good non-Muslim is a dead non-Muslim),

    That strategy guarantees failure. As I have explained many times before, we can reduce the level of violence in Iraq to acceptable levels, but we cannot force them to make democracy work. These people have 4,000 years of history, not one year of which includes democracy. Democracy is not achieved by simply holding elections. You have to establish a deep respect for the rule of law, and a common trust that everybody else will honor that rule of law. That doesn’t exist now, and it takes generations to develop. And you forget that the aggressive form of Islam you describe is confined to a minority.

    I’d like to expand upon this point. You guys are all quite certain that the majority of Muslims are bloodthirsty murderers and rapists who delight in terrorism. I suspect that comes from talking to each other and never getting a different point of view. Here’s a collection of statements from Islamic religious big shots on terror. I’m sure that you’ll be absolutely astounded to discover that all these people condemn without reservation the use of terror. Read those pages and then ask yourself, “Why have I allowed myself to be so horrendously misled?”

  28. Well, after reading Trimegistus’ 9:38 posting, I’m sure the rest of you will terminate your attempts to defend him.

    Danny writes:

    Ophi, read the Koran and research the life and values of Mohammed when you have some free time. It will hopefully open your mind to what the heck we are talking about. Right now it just reads like you are whistling in the wind.

    What stupid presumption on your part! Yes, I have read the Koran, and I have read a great deal about Islamic beliefs — and, I will add, I have read commentary on Islamic beliefs from Islamic scholars through the ages. I agree, I find many of their beliefs abhorrent. I also find some of the beliefs of modern Christians abhorrent. To put it briefly, I’m a New Testament kinda guy. The Old Testament, however, is no better than the Koran — or, to put it another way, the Koran is no worse than the Old Testament.

    Christianity was able to transcend its ancient barbarism primarily because of the Age of Reason. The Muslims have not yet had their Age of Reason. And it would seem that some Christians have not yet had their own personal Age of Reason.

  29. Ophi, you give us so much to which to respond. Until I have more time to devote to properly honor you with a response, let me just pick on one small point:

    “Fascism” refers only to a highly centralized, totalitarian form of government authority, as symbolized by the Roman fasces. “Communism” is Fascism whereby government control of political authority is combined with government control of the economy and social relationships. Socialism is Communism “lite” – it shares its economic theories and on remaking society. However, it lacks the authority over society and has historically been able to govern within a democracy.

    Fascism and Communism (or Socialism) are not un-complementary – Communists govern as Fascists whereas Fascists that adopt Communism’s economic and social theories (e.g., as Chavez is doing) become…Communists.

    The Fascists rulers during WWII were Franco, Mussolini, Stalin and the Japanese military, although Mussolini was a former communist who retained many of its goals. Only Stalin and Hitler espoused socialist principles – what he and his party espoused was a comprehensive and utopian economic, social and political theory designed to achieve “social justice”. Nazis were socialists both by definition and by their actions.

    The LA gangs, Crips and Bloods, were violently opposed to each other, too. Their battles were over turf. Nazis and Communists battled over turf in Germany, although Hitler and Stalin were allies at one point. Same thugs, different gang colors. Hitler was quite popular among U.S. Communists during the 1930s – right up until he invaded Mother Russia.

    I don’t quite understand why Lefties have such a problem with Hitler – was it because he lost? Because he attacked Russia? He fits quite well in the communist panoply of Great Leaders – people like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Jong-il and other communists, many of whom killed far more people that Hitler ever managed to do.

    If you want a clear eyed understanding of who and what the Nazis were about, read William Shirer’s “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” together with F. Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom”.

    With regard to your comments on Christianity, when “Old Testament Christians” and Jews start killing and bombing to spread and enforce their religious beliefs, you and I will stand shoulder to shoulder to oppose them. Until then, though, you and I will just have to continue to debate the merits of your moral and cultural relativism.

    We’ll have to postpone debates on the Old Testament until another time, although I would prefer to defer to a wise rabbi to support my case.

  30. If you want a clear eyed understanding of who and what the Nazis were about, read William Shirer’s “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”

    I read that book thirty or forty years ago. And I don’t think much of Hayek.

    On the difference between fascism and communism, you’re welcome to your opinions, but you should know that they are completely at odds with political science orthodoxy. Just about every introductory PoliSci textbook as a graph of left-wing and right wing that puts Nazism at the right end and Communism at the left end. The basic idea is that both extremes of the political spectrum are authoritarian, and they differ on their economic theories, which was certainly the case with Nazism and Communism. Moreover, a number of more advanced typologies (many of which use 2, 3, or more dimensions) always show Nazism far away from Communism except on such dimensions as authoritarianism, militarism, and so forth.

  31. That’s because the PoliSci types are ignorant, Ophichus. They assume that because Nazism was hostile to Communism, and vice versa, they were on opposite ends of the political spectrum. They were not. I’m sure you need no reminding that the “Z” in Nazi stands for “Socialism.”

  32. I see, Bookworm — you and Danny know more about political science than all those professionals. Don’t you think that’s a rather vainglorious claim?

    I’m sure you need no reminding that the “Z” in Nazi stands for “Socialism.”

    No you don’t, as I already mentioned it in my 10:35 AM post. And the DDR was the Deutches Demokratische Republik — so you think that they were democratic? Look at the policies, Bookworm, not the names. Nazi policy was in no wise socialistic. Did they take possession of the means of production? No way! Ever heard of the Messerschmidt 109, the Focke-Wulf 190, the Heinkel 111 or the Dornier 17? Those appellations were the names of the companies that built them. The Nazi regime worked with the existing businesses and took possession of almost nothing.

    Sheesh, guys, I’m getting really tired of reciting basic facts. Can’t you at least check your facts before you make these crazy claims?

  33. And that just explains who exactly who has dominated the agenda in “Political Science Orthodoxy”. I must have read the other “non-orthodox” books.

    So, by your own “orthodox” definition, the “extremes” in political structure are basically equivalent, except for how they differ on economics and other non-political variables. Now, that makes total sense!

    Actually, given that the roots of the Left (Nazi, Communist and Socialist) have their roots in Rousseau and the French revolution, I suppose you could argue that they really are pretty orthodox, rather than “progressive”, theories at this point. So, I will concede to you that point on “orthodoxy”.

    The political governance extremes of the spectrum are totalitarian dictatorships on one end and democracies of empowered individuals at the other.

    The economic extremes are controlled economies on one end and uncontrolled laissez-faire capitalism on the other.

    Social extremes consist of highly controlled social and behavioral structures on one end and free, unconstrained libertarian societies on the other.

    What’s so hard to understand?

    I certainly don’t understand why you wouldn’t think much of Hayek – after all, he and his fellow economists at the Vienna School of Economics were eloquent eyewitnesses to those times when Communists and Nazi’s battled over turf and he certainly was a highly accomplished fellow (Nobel Prize) who believed in economic and personal freedom…oh, wait…now I get it!

  34. Sheesh:

    Party spokesman Joseph Goebbels claimed in 1932 that the Nazi Party was a “workers’ party” and “on the side of labor and against finance”.[38] Hitler said of the Nazis: “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance.”[39] However, Hitler stated that Nazism “has nothing to do with Marxian Socialism… Marxism is anti-property; true Socialism is not.”[40] He stated “I absolutely insist on protecting private property… we must encourage private initiative”.[41] Nevertheless, he wanted property to be regulated to make sure “benefit to the community precedes benefit to the individual”.[42]

    Here’s an interesting article that expands on that same idea:

    The basis of the claim that Nazi Germany was capitalist was the fact that most industries in Nazi Germany appeared to be left in private hands.

    What [Ludwig von] Mises identified was that private ownership of the means of production existed in name only under the Nazis and that the actual substance of ownership of the means of production resided in the German government. For it was the German government and not the nominal private owners that exercised all of the substantive powers of ownership: it, not the nominal private owners, decided what was to be produced, in what quantity, by what methods, and to whom it was to be distributed, as well as what prices would be charged and what wages would be paid, and what dividends or other income the nominal private owners would be permitted to receive. The position of the alleged private owners, Mises showed, was reduced essentially to that of government pensioners.

    I didn’t say Nazism was Communism, Ophi, I said it was socialism — and Danny is right that socialism allows for private industry but subjects it to tight government control. It’s still to the Left of the political spectrum. Your faith in the professorial class in the soft sciences, and poli sci is a soft science, is as touching as your faith in the UN sponsored IPCC.

  35. Actually, seeing your last post and response to Bookworm, Ophi, you really need to re-read Shirer’s book. The Nazis did take control over production and dictated prices.

    The companies you cite only stayed independent as long as the accepted Nazi control over their governing boards and operations.

    Finally, it would be a shame if you were really to resort to hiding behind the skirts of others’ academic credentials instead of formulating your own arguments. Poly Sci is a social science, not a hard “data-based” science….much like other sciences such as psychology, sociology, women’s studies, gender studies, transgendered studies, Middle Eastern etc. The track record of the “Poly Sci” community has not exactly been stellar and its reputation as an ideological swamp is well deserved.

    You have done fine thus far, don’t blow it.

  36. The Nazis did take control over production and dictated prices

    You’re confusing wartime economic measures with peacetime economics. The Nazis did not take over any of the big companies (AFAIK) before the war. Once the war started, they started shifting everything to a war economy, which did in fact involve establishing price controls and dictating production quotas. The US did exactly the same thing, and I recall one essay I read comparing the two. It seems that the US went much further in controlling the American economy than the Nazis did in controlling the German economy. Moreover, most of the German economic controls were slapped onto foreign countries that Germany had conquered or annexed (such as the Skoda weapons works in Czechoslovakia).

    Moreover, the Nazis didn’t need to put their members on corporate boards — they were already there. The corporate fat cats loved the Nazis.

    Oh, here’s a cute tidbit: the Nazi control over their economy was so weak that right up into January of 1945 a small factory in Berlin continued churning out pianos. It was only in 1945 that somebody got around to them. Speer didn’t start working his miracles until 1943; indeed, it was Goebbel’s Stalingrad speech that set in motion the real transition of the German economy to a war economy.

    Finally, it would be a shame if you were really to resort to hiding behind the skirts of others’ academic credentials instead of formulating your own arguments.

    I’m not ‘hiding behind their skirts’. I’m citing them as experts far more credible than you and Bookworm.

  37. Serpent-Bearer:

    From your remarks I can only assume that you think Muslim violence, fascism, communism, and cannibalism are good things, and that by disliking them I am indefensible.

    You realize, of course, that you are therefore a monster?

  38. I really don’t think it matters what Op has read or not, Danny. Once you start in believing Leftist ideology, it becomes incorporated into your very soul and identity. After years, if not decades, the damage is pretty much permanent. People always had a choice, as Neo and Book did, to grow gradually and develop the necessary thinking skills and habits to counter Leftist ideology before it locks in permanently. Op either didn’t develop these abilities or hasn’t yet developed them. There’s always a chance, sure, but there is zero possibility of a fundamental philosophical belief changing right now. It takes psychological shock, true psychological shock, to penetrate the defenses people have surrounding their beliefs, Danny. Op has it set up so that whenever his beliefs are threatened too much, his mind tells him to avoid the dangerous stimuli. So he will call you a liar, or take the weak interpretation of your arguments, or simply shut you out in order to preserve his fragile. And make no mistake, the beliefs of Leftist ideology are extremely fragile.

  39. For example, take this to heart, if you wish.

    Next, I’ll take you to task for telling falsehoods. You wrote:

    And the Scandinavian countries are expressed as TOTALLY “homogenous and tolerant

    What I actually wrote was:

    ‘The problem is especially contentious in the Scandinavian countries because they are all homogeneous and tolerant.’

    Since you complain that my statements are all vague, I’ll offer you something that’s not vague: you’re a liar.

    -Op

    If Op will call you a liar just because of some technical difference in Scandinavian homogeneity, then what do you expect will be his standards when he tries to defend himself by declaring you in the wrong and him on the moral high ground? This is what will happen.

    I challenge you to produce any quote from me justifying that slander. Failing in the production of such evidence, an honorable man would retract the statement and apologize for it. However, if this vague statement:-Op

    Failing in the production of such evidence that he lied to Op, an honorable man would retract the statement and apologize for it.

    As op once said, there is nothing vague with the statement “you are a liar”. You owe Mike Devx an apology before you can start spouting your ridiculous posturing elsewhere, O.

    Look, if you have a case to make, then make it. If all you have to offer is childish mudslinging, do it at your nearest public playground.-Op

    Remember that? That was Op trying to defend himself, after calling someone else on another thread a “liar” just because Op didn’t like how things were going.

    As for improving society by applying reason, I remind you of the Founding Fathers, true children of the Age of Reason

    Op is obviously no Founding Father. If he was, would he believe in international law over American law?

  40. you and Danny know more about political science than all those professionals

    Danny and Bookworm have more common sense and wisdom in their combined minds than all of your organization put together, Op.

    That is because they, unlike you, can actually use both informal and formal logic without having to deal with cognitive dissonance.

  41. Sheesh, guys, I’m getting really tired of reciting basic facts. -Op

    For Op, reciting these basic facts mean that you are wrong and he is right. How that is a strong argument, not even Op knows.

    So in another thread on war time and peace time US fatalities, Op has to naturally deride and undermine Book’s facts and numbers because obviously. Book would be RIGHT if those facts were.. you know facts.

  42. I have the perfect term. Good facts. Op gives you good facts. Book gave us bad facts. Correct?

  43. Hmmm…how about CorrectFacts and FalseFacts? Good thrust!

  44. Goodthought and badthought have always been the basic underlining foundations from which doublethink works. Some things you can think of, while some things you are not allowed to think of.

  45. Just about every introductory PoliSci textbook as a graph of left-wing and right wing that puts Nazism at the right end and Communism at the left end.

    First time I read that, given the large amounts of stuff Op wrote. So I will address it in my own style and manner.

    It is definitely true that the Left, whether Political Scientist majors or not, see right wing nuts and Leftist whatevers as being composed of Nazis on the right and Communists on the Left. With Democratic Socialists being in the middle, straight down the middle as Keller would say.

    What people should consider is that this is the perfect Bermuda Triangle. There are three legs. First leg is Socialism, which started long before Communism. Socialism had its first instances of birth and life in the form of aristocratic patronage. The aristocrats held power, wealth, and status. In return for working for them and doing what they tell you to do, the aristocrats will grant you prestige, a stipence for your daily survival, and maybe even some wealth and land to go with being patronized.

    After all, there is a reason why “patronize” has these three definitions.

    1. to give (a store, restaurant, hotel, etc.) one’s regular patronage; trade with.

    2. to behave in an offensively condescending manner toward: a professor who patronizes his students.

    3. to act as a patron toward (an artist, institution, etc.); support.

    Support. Why does support evolved into the meaning of “offensively condescending”… like a professor (intellectual) who treats his students as inferiors? You know the reason, and even if you don’t, you soon will.

    Democratic socialism, or just regular socialism, simply takes patronage to the modern world. Using modern day bureacratic and government methods, we can create a system of patronage extending beyond a single continent, let alone a city-state.

    Communism was simply a logical outgrowth of socialism. Obviously there will be some dissatisfaction with the aristocrats and just as obviously you will have organizations crop up to take advantage of this state of injustice. Why else do you think Marx, Lenin, and company targeted the rich, the aristocrats, and the royalty? People had gotten fed up with aristocratic patronage and their condescending attitudes. Combine that with some promise of loot, women, and power, and you have a perfect recipe for social turmoil.

    Make no mistake; Communism hates Socialism. Although not as much as Communism hates Fascism. C hates S because S is too rich and decadent, as well as being too stupid by half. This is the structure by which useful idiots were created by Communist Russia to do damage in Socialist Europe and America. Socialists are only useful to the Communists up until the point where the Communists achieve power, then comes the purges. Look at Cuba for an example of Communism and Iran for a good example of Fascism. All those “intellectual” patrons had to be gotten rid of. Immediately. They were just too much trouble.

    Fascism is inherently martial in orientation. It was, after all, not Communist Stalin that invaded Fascist Germany. Fascists tend to be very greedy and they also tend to be very good at the martial prowess side of things. While Communists and Socialists have their own version and cadres of thugs that are willing and eager to do violence, none of them equals the organization and discipline to which Fascism brings to the game. Both Communists and Socialists hate Fascists precisely because fascists are powerful enough to kill wealthy patrons and rip off Communist party members on the dole. The fact that fascists are greedy doesn’t endear them to the commies or the socialists either.

    So there you have. The triangle of death. Socialists hating Fascists who hate Communists who hate Socialists, and all of them also hate each other if you recall.

    So let’s get back to the beginning, for a recap.

    Just about every introductory PoliSci textbook as a graph of left-wing and right wing that puts Nazism at the right end and Communism at the left end.-Op

    As people can clearly see, to a Socialist it would make perfect sense to have Nazism on the right and Communism on the left.

    Is there anything else to say? I don’t think so.

    (This has been your daily dose of Ymar’s philosophical analysis and socio-poli-historical flashbacks. Stay tuned to future episodes concerning the quest for the Holy Grail, as sought by Al “Defender of the Faith’ Gore.)

    Remember, bring out the inner child in you.

    And the Persians educate their children, beginning at five years old and going on till twenty, in three things only, in riding, in shooting, and in speaking the truth

    -Herodotus

    Preview for tomorrow’s episode:The Might of Aryans

    I am Dariush, the great king, the king of kings
    The king of many countries and many people
    The king of this expansive land,
    The son of Wishtaspa of Achaemenid,
    Persian, the son of a Persian,
    ‘Aryan’, from the Aryan race
    “From the Darius the Great’s Inscription in Naqshe-e-Rostam”

    *psst, this is your narator. Do you somehow think that the Aryan race somehow got mentioned in two fascist organizations, one in Germany and one in Persia/Iran, by coincidence? Quick, don’t tell the Iranians that they have the same ancestors as Hitler, it would give things away!!*

    Till Next Time

    (I Hope Danny and Book found this comment of interest. Variety is very important when arguing philosophy, after all)

  46. “As people can clearly see, to a Socialist it would make perfect sense to have Nazism on the right and Communism on the left.”

    Okay, that makes a lot of sense. I’ve never been able to follow the logic that puts Nazism on the right. But if a socialist envisions himself as the center…he therefore needs to array everyone else to either side of himself. Okay.

  47. Also the unique triangle geometry must be considered, Tap. Given that the Socialist leg of the triangle has Nazism on the right leg and Communism on the Left leg. Nazism doesn’t really care who is to their left or right because they are going to kill everybody and enslave them forcibly anyways. So what’s the point of talking about democracy and left vs right? Communists see everybody as capitalists, even socialists.

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