Islamofascism: First they came for the Jews

By Victor David Hanson:
First the terrorists of the Middle East went after the Israelis. From 1967 we witnessed 40 years of bombers, child murdering, airline hijacking, suicide murdering, and gratuitous shooting. We in the West usually cried crocodile tears, and then came up with all sorts of reasons to allow such Middle Eastern killers a pass.


Read it all. Good parallel.


WoT: Complaints and Rebuttals

Nicely reviewed by victor Davis Hanson
The popular complaints:
Either we were unfairly tilting toward Israel, or had been unkind to Muslims. Perhaps, as Sen. Patty Murray intoned, we needed to match the good works of bin Laden to capture the hearts and minds of Muslim peoples.

The fable continues that the United States itself was united after the attack even during its preparations to retaliate in Afghanistan. But then George Bush took his eye off the ball. He let bin Laden escape, and worst of all, unilaterally and preemptively, went into secular Iraq — an unnecessary war for oil, hegemony, Israel, or Halliburton, something in Ted Kennedy's words "cooked up in Texas."

In any case, there was no connection between al Qaeda and Saddam, and thus terrorists only arrived in Iraq after we did.

That tale goes on. The Iraqi fiasco is now a hopeless quagmire. The terrorists are paying us back for it in places like London and Madrid.

Still worse, here at home we have lost many of our civil liberties to the Patriot Act and forsaken our values at Guantanamo Bay under the pretext of war. Nancy Pelosi could not understand the continued detentions in Guantanamo since the war in Afghanistan is in her eyes completely finished.

In this fable, we are not safer as a nation. George Bush's policies have increased the terror threat as we saw recently in the London bombing. We have now been at war longer than World War II. We still have no plan to defeat our enemies, and thus must set a timetable to withdraw from Iraq.

Islamic terrorism cannot be defeated militarily nor can democracy be "implanted by force." So it is time to return to seeing the terrorist killing as a criminal justice matter -- a tolerable nuisance addressed by writs and indictments, while we give more money to the Middle East and begin paying attention to the "root causes" of terror.

The factual responses:
Prior to 9/11, the United States had given an aggregate of over $50 billion to Egypt, and had allotted about the same amount of aid to Israel as to its frontline enemies. We had helped to save Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, Kuwait, and Afghanistan, and received little if any thanks for bombing Christian Europeans to finish in a matter of weeks what all the crack-pot jihadists had not done by flocking to the Balkans in a decade.

Long before Afghanistan and Iraq, bin Laden declared war on America in 1998, citing the U.N. embargo of Iraq and troops in Saudi Arabia; when those were no longer issues, he did not cease, but continued his murdering. He harbored a deep-seated contempt for Western values, even though he was eaten within by uncontrolled envy and felt empowered by years of appeasement after a series of attacks on our embassies, bases, ships, and buildings, both here and abroad.

Iraqi intelligence was involved with the first World Trade Center bombing, and its operatives met on occasion with those who were involved in al Qaeda operations. Every terrorist from Abu Abbas and Abu Nidal to Abdul Yasin and Abu al-Zarqawi found Baghdad the most hospitable place in the Middle East, which explains why a plan to assassinate George Bush Sr. was hatched from such a miasma.

Neither bin Laden nor his lieutenants are poor, but like the Hamas suicide bombers, Mohammed Atta, or the murderer of Daniel Pearl they are usually middle class and educated -- and are more likely to hate the West, it seems, the more they wanted to be part of it. The profile of the London bombers, when known, will prove the same.

The poor in South America or Africa are not murdering civilians in North America or Europe. The jihadists are not bombing Chinese for either their godless secularism or suppression of Muslim minorities. Indeed, bin Laden harbored more hatred for an America that stopped the Balkan holocaust of Muslims than for Slobodan Milosevic who started it.

There was only unity in this country between September 11 and October 6, when a large minority of Americans felt our victim status gave us for a golden moment the high ground. We forget now the furor over hitting back in Afghanistan -- a quagmire in the words of New York Times columnists R. W. Apple and Maureen Dowd; a "terrorist campaign" against Muslims according to Representative Cynthia McKinney; "a silent genocide" in Noam Chomsky's ranting.

Two thirds of al Qaeda's command is now captured or dead; bases in Afghanistan are lost. Saddam's intelligence will not be lending expertise to anyone and the Baghdad government won't welcome in terrorist masterminds.

In fact, thousands of brave Iraqi Muslims are now in a shooting war with wahhabi jihadists who, despite their carnage, are dying in droves as they flock to the Iraq.

A constitution is in place in Iraq; reform is spreading to Lebanon, the Gulf, and Egypt; and autocracies in Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Pakistan are apprehensive over a strange new American democratic zeal. Petroleum was returned to control of the Iraqi people, and the price has skyrocketed to the chagrin of American corporations.

There has been no repeat of September 11 so far. Killing jihadists abroad while arresting their sympathizers here at home has made it hard to replicate another 9/11-like attack.

The Patriot Act was far less intrusive than what Abraham Lincoln (suspension of habeas corpus), Woodrow Wilson (cf. the Espionage and Sedition Acts), or Franklin Roosevelt (forced internment) resorted to during past wars. So far America has suffered in Iraq .006 percent of the combat dead it lost in World War II, while not facing a conventional enemy against which it might turn its traditional technological and logistical advantages.

Unlike Gulf War I and the decade-long Iraqi cold war of embargos, stand-off bombing, and no-fly-zones, the United States has a comprehensive strategy both in the war against terror and to end a decade and a half of Iraqi strife: Kill terrorists abroad, depose theocratic and autocratic regimes that have either warred with the United States or harbored terrorists, and promote democracy to take away grievances that can be manipulated and turned against us.

Do read it all.


Community vs Individuals

For a healthy and vibrant society to grow, individual rights must be safeguarded. This includes the right to anonymity. But an individual’s rights must not exceed that of the community good and cannot transcend the law.
With regard to the Plame flame games, a law may have been violated, and trust in the government is questioned. The reporters must yield their anonymous sources.

For a healthy and vibrant society to grow, individual rights must be safeguarded. This includes the right to property. The community cannot trample on this right in the name of common good. There can be no common good when individuals are not secure of their possession.
With regard to the recent Kelo ruling by the Supreme Court, it was a travesty. This ruling needs to be revised.


W in the Times

I've never thought Bush an eloquent speaker. In fact i frequently laugh during his speeches because it sounded funny for some reason. But then i read this interview published in the British Times (HT New Sisyphus).
THE TIMES: Mr President, last night you mentioned the link between Iraq and 9/11, but there's evidence of Iraq becoming a haven for jihadists, there's been a CIA report which says that Iraq is in danger of... are you at risk of creating kind of more of the problems that actually led directly to...?

PRESIDENT BUSH: No. Quite the contrary. Where you win the war on terror is go to the battlefield and you take them off. And that's what they've done. They've said, Look, let's go fight. This is the place. And that was my point. My point is that there is an ideology of hatred, an ideology that's got a vision of a world where the extremists dictate the lives, dictate to millions of Muslims. They do want to topple governments in the Middle East. They do want us to withdraw. They're interested in exporting violence. After all, look at what happened after September 11 (2001). One way for your readers to understand what their vision is is to think about what life was like under the Taleban in Afghanistan.

So we made a decision to protect ourselves and remove Saddam Hussein. The jihadists made a decision to come into Iraq to fight us. For a reason. They know that if we're successful in Iraq, like we were in Afghanistan, that it'll be a serious blow to their ideology. General (John) Abizaid (Commander of US forces in the Middle East) told me something very early in this campaign I thought was very interesting. Very capable man. He's a Arab-American who I find to be a man of great depth and understanding. When we win in Afghanistan and Iraq, it's a beginning of the end. Talking about the war on terror. If we don't win here, it's the beginning of the beginning. And that's how I view it.

We learnt first-hand the nature of the war on terror on September 11. And last time I went to Europe I said many in Europe viewed September 11 as a tragic moment, but a moment. I view September 11 as an attack as a result of a larger war that changed how I view the world and how many other Americans view the world. It was one of the moments in history that changed outlook. So as long as I'm sitting here in this Oval Office, I will never forget the lessons of September 11, and that is that we are in a global war against cold-blooded killers.

And you are seeing that now being played out in Iraq, and we're going to win in Iraq and we're going to win because, one, we're going to find (Osama bin Laden) and bring him to justice, and two, we're going to train Iraqis so they can do the fighting. Iraqis don't want foreign fighters in their country, stopping the progress toward freedom. And the notion that people want to be free was validated by the over eight million people who voted.

Frankly, I rejected the intellectual elitism of some around the world who say, "Well, maybe certain people can't be free". I don't believe that. Of course I was labelled a, you know, blatant idealist.

But I am. Because I do believe people want to be free, regardless of their religion or where they are from. I do believe women should be empowered in the Middle East. I don't believe we ought to accept forms of government that ultimately create a hopelessness that then can be translated into jihadist violence. And I believe strongly that the ultimate way you defeat an ideology is with a better ideology. And history has proven that. Anyway, you got me going. Starting to give the whole speech again.

What struck me, now that i think about it, is that he really does believe what he says. Unlike so many post-modernists (in the aftermath of WW2) who believes that human actions can only cause harm, thus it would be better to suffer (especially better if someone elses does the suffering). W still believes that human actions can do substantial good for humanity. In fact, i now wonder if the reason i find W speechs so goofy at times is because he is almost naive about his faith in humanity. Stark in a world so cynical and crass. Which makes me glad for smiling and laughing at his speech. It is a good thing. I like the W.


Independence Day

For those whose service have been rendered
Glad you have returned
within arms of wives and husbands
surrounded by family and friends
in restful eternal remembrances

For those still rendering service
We await your welcomed return
to safe harbors you have created
on the city you have made bright
in the brotherhood of men further forged

For those who await your time to serve
The opportunity awaits only your will
all will be received greater than given
as free individuals united in humanity
interdependent on Independent day.


and consequences being discussed at Neo-Neocon.