Tuesday, 16 August 2005
There ARE Other Women In The World
Topic: Islamic Jihad
We have been focused the last few days on ONE solitary woman. Her grief, her complaints, her demands and her political agenda.
You know? There ARE other women in the world. We should not be distracted from THEIR just demand for our attention, aid and succor. For it is not the Media Event in Crawford where the real story of the War we are in is being played out.
It is in Iraq, Afghanistan, Holland Canada and even here.
Heed the words now of a DIFFERENT kind of woman than the one who is having her 15 minutes of media glory in Crawford,
Ms. Hirsi Ali, a member of the Dutch parliament for the Liberal Party, was born in Somalia. She took refuge in the Netherlands in 1992 to escape an arranged marriage, and has had armed bodyguards after receiving death threats from Muslim extremists. She writes at http://www.ayaanhirsiali.web-log.nl/
. Unfree Under Islam
Shariah endangers women's rights, from Iraq to Canada.
BY AYAAN HIRSI ALI
Tuesday, August 16, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT
In every society where family affairs are regulated according to instructions derived from the Shariah or Islamic law, women are disadvantaged. The injustices these women are exposed to in the name of Islam vary from extreme cruelty (forced marriages; imprisonment or death after rape) to grossly unfair treatment in matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance.
Muslim women across the world are caught in a terrible predicament. They aspire to live by their faith as best they can, but their faith robs them of their rights. Some women have found a way out of this dilemma in the principle of separation of organized religion and state affairs. They fight an uphill battle to achieve and hold on to their basic rights. Two cases demonstrate just how difficult that struggle can be, in the context of new as well as established democracies.
The first is the draft constitution of Iraq, now due next week. Iraqi women like Naghem Khadim, demonstrating on the streets of Najaf, are fighting to prevent an article from being put in the constitution that would establish that the legislature may make no laws that contradict Shariah edicts. The second case is the province of Ontario, in Canada. There, Muslim women led by Homa Arjomand, an activist of Iranian origin, are fighting--using the Canadian Charter of Rights--to keep Shariah from being applied as family law through a so-called Arbitration Act passed as law in Ontario in 1992.
It seems strange to associate the context of Canada with that of Iraq, but a closer look at the arguments used to reassure the demonstrating women in both countries reveals the similar ordeals that Muslim women in both countries must go through to secure their rights. It shows how their legitimate and serious worries are trivialized, and how vulnerable and alone they are. It shows how the Free World led by the U.S. went to war in Iraq, allegedly to bring liberty to Iraqis, and is compromising the basic rights of women in order to meet a random date. It shows how the theory of multiculturalism in Western liberal democracies is working against women in ethnic and religious minorities with misogynist practices. It shows the tenacity of many imams, mullahs and self-made Muslim radicals to subjugate women in the name of God. Most of all, it shows how many of those who consider themselves liberal or left-wing see their energy levels rise when it comes to Bush-bashing, but lose their voice when women's rights are threatened by religious obscurantism.
Hamam Hamoudi, the head of Iraq's constitution committee, refuses to discuss the article that worries the Muslim women. He also refused to put in the draft constitution that men and women have equal rights, creating a bizarre situation whereby the women had more rights under Saddam Hussein's regime than in post-Saddam Iraq. Mr. Hamoudi insists that women will have full economic and political rights, but the overwhelming evidence shows that when Shariah--which gives a husband complete control over his wife--is in place, women have little chance to exercise any political rights. Does Mr. Hamoudi realize that it took the removal of Saddam and the establishment of a multiparty democracy for men to vote, while if his draft constitution is ratified, women will need the permission of their husbands to step out of the house in order to mark their ballot? I thought that President Bush and all the allies who supported the Iraq war aspired to bring democracy and liberty to all Iraqis. Aren't Iraqi girls and women human enough to share in that dream?
Under Shariah, a girl becomes eligible for marriage from the moment she starts to menstruate. In countries where Islamic law is practiced, child-brides are common. Do the drafters of the constitution grasp what this will mean for the school curriculum of girls or the risks of miscarriages, maternal fatalities and infant deaths? These and other hazards that affect subjugated women are common phenomena in the 22 Arab-Islamic countries investigated in the Arab Human Development Report. An early marriage also means many children in an area of the world that is already overpopulated and poor.
The draft Iraqi bill of rights favors men in other respects, such as the right to marry up to four wives, and the right to an easy divorce, without the interference of a court, simply by repeating "I divorce you" in the presence of two male witnesses. A wife divorced in such a fashion will receive an allowance for a period of three months to one year, and after that period nothing. On the other hand, if a wife wants a divorce, she must go to court and prove that her husband does not meet her material needs, that he is infertile and that he is impotent. Once a divorce is finalized, if there are children, the custody of the children will automatically go to the father (for boys at age 7 and for girls from the start of menstruation). Inheritance based on the Shariah means that wives will get only a small portion of the property of their husbands and a sister will get half what her brother gets.
Canadian women are told that the Arbitration Act of 1992 was passed in order to provide citizens with the opportunity to resolve minor conflicts through mediation and thereby save valuable court time. They are reassured that Muslim women in Canada have nothing to fear because parties must enter into arbitration out of their free choice, and that there are enough limits to safeguard the rights of women. The Muslim women's arguments that "free choice" is relative when you are psychologically, financially and socially dependent on your family, clan or religious group seem to fall on deaf ears. The populations of battered Muslim women in "tolerant" Canada's women's shelters seem to be ignored. In Canada, battered Muslim women say that their husbands told them that it is a God-given right to hit them. If the current Iraqi constitution goes through, Iraqi wife-abusers will be able to add "It is my constitutional right to beat you."
An Iraqi constitution is necessary, and the need for urgency is apparent, but urgency is a bad argument for passing a bill that strips half the nation of its rights. In Ontario, minorities come first and individual women within minorities last, living as second-class citizens and suffering in silence.
Read and then, ponder, then answer the question posed by Patrick Henry.It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren (and sisters) are already in the field!
Why stand we here idle?
Monday, 15 August 2005
An Ace High Straight Flush, Beats A Queen High Hand
Topic: Iraq War
Quite some time ago, I got into a "disagreement" on a Netscape Discussion Board. It's too bad that since Compuserve took over the message boards there, that forum among others with several years of debates dropped into the world wide void.
In any case my opposite number was making a large production of an outfit called,VETERANS FOR PEACE
, he loudly proclaimed that they were the largest Anti-War Vet org and proof that the Veteran Community opposed the War.
SO, I checked out their website. At the time they were proudly proclaiming that their membership had rocketed to a whole 2500 members.
Say WHAT? I posted back that, there being some 25 MILLION Vets in the US, I could not see where 1/10 of 1/10 of One Percent had any moral claim to speak for the whole and while I was not going to make the claim that the entire Vet Community supported the War without consulting them, neither could this group, they could only speak for themselves and NOT the Veterans Community.
The exchange rapidly devolved into sputtering invective and ad hominem attacks. I, to paraphrase Alice's Restaurant, was obviously someone who likes to Eat Dead Burnt Bodies and KILL, KILL, KILL!
We have all been there on the internet at one time or another, hold up and mirror and show them how foolish they look uttering some ludicrous claim and all the ills of the world become YOUR fault
The point I wish to make is that the Anti-War Movement is holding a Queen high hand, now if we meander over to Chrenkoff
, you can see what a Ace high Straight Flush looks like.
"Maureen Dowd: "The moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute."
Don't argue and fuss, AGREE. Say of COURSE this is true and we should LISTEN to:
Lynn Kelly "I don't agree" with Sheehan's views,
said Lynn Kelly of Pitman, whose son, Marine Cpl. Sean P. Kelly, was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq in January.
Linda Ryan:"Marine Cpl. Marc T. Ryan, of Gloucester City, was killed in an explosion in Ramadi, Iraq in November.
"George Bush didn't kill her son, it's the evildoers who have no value of life who killed her son. "George Bush was my son's commander-in-chief. My son, Marc, totally believed in what he was doing," she said."
Thomas Zapp:Among those attending the pro-Bush rally was Thomas Zapp, of Richmond, Texas, whose 20-year-old son, Marine Lance Cpl. T.J. Zapp, was killed by a bomb in Iraq on Nov. 8, 2004
Zapp said that it was unfair for Sheehan to demand a
with the president when many parents of slain GIs, like himself, have not even had a single meeting.
"I have not met with President Bush," he told the Tribune-Herald.
"Why should she get to meet with President Bush again?"
Robert Hoffman:Motorcycles roared their engines Saturday to herald the funeral procession of Marine Sgt. Justin Hoffman, one of 14 Marines killed last week in the deadliest roadside bombing since U.S. troops invaded Iraq...
"'Freedom is not free' is a phrase we hear every day, but few of us understand what it means," Robert Hoffman said Saturday at his son's funeral in Powell, another Columbus suburb. "Justin and the Lima Company understood. They gave up their lives for it
Jim Boskovitch is the father of Corporal Jeff Boskovitch, one of five Marine snipers killed on Monday [8 August]. He says his family came to the vigil to support the troops still in Iraq.
I have only gone down part of the page, but why post anymore names here? You have drawn to an Ace High Straight Flush, are you going to discard and draw another card?
Just like 1/10 of 1/10 of One percent of Veterans could not speak for all 25 Million Vets, one parent cannot speak for all.
My personal thoughts are that we should not directly confront Mrs. Sheehan on any contradictions in her statements. It allows the other side to put on the Moral Armor of Righteous Indignation and accuse us of attacking the mother of a slain soldier. Remember in DailyKos it was suggested that Casey Sheehan's name never be mentioned, they wish to bury his memory and forget he was a Volunteer, who reenlisted
Instead let us go forth under this banner
The moral authority of parents who bury children killed in Iraq is absolute."
But let the other parents carry that banner as our vanguard. Let their own rally call be used against them.
Maureen Dowd may be a broken clock, but even a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day.
UPDATE OH My GOD! Mrs Sheehan's handlers have NO Idea what is heading towards them or how it is going to hit them
Just read this at Michelle Malkin
Meanwhile, Move America Forward has a new spot from the head of Marine Moms of America. They are also organizing a caravan of military families that will head to Crawford, Tx., to counter the anti-war circus.
No corporate jets for these grass-roots activists.
Can you think of anything more intimidating than a caravan of PO?d Marine Moms?
I mean for one thing they make no attempt to pass themselves off at Pacifists. and DailyKos was crowing about getting a herd of Moms after Bush? THEY are about to have a MMEF (Marine Mom Expeditionary Forces) land on their heads and kick the other end. ROTFLMAO
Sunday, 14 August 2005
Death of a Warrior
Topic: Iraq War
With so much exposure lately of one particular person who blames President Bush for the death of her son. It is best to reflect that not all families think of the War in that manner.
One such family includes the one which descends from Tshunka Witko. Chief Crazy Horse who helped defeat Lt. Col.George Armstrong Custer, at the
Battle of Greasy Creek (Little Big Horn).
For some of us who are descended from the First Nations, the Indian Wars were long ago and this also OUR Country and it has been attacked and must be defended. Sheldon Ray Hawk was a member of the
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. One of the things that first struck ME about this website was that the domain was tsalagi-atsilvsgi.net Tsalagi is one of the Ancient Names for the Cherokee in our original language which does not contain the sounds Ch or R.
Even though I am not Lakota, this website speaks also to me. I have duplicated part of it here, I encourage you to go read all of it listen to the music, and REFLECT. Sheldon's People did NOT feel his death was useless, He died as a WARRIOR
101st. Airborne Division
Fort Campbell Kentucky
21 year old PFC Sheldon Hawk Eagle, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River
was among the seventeen soldiers who were killed on Friday, November 14, 2003, in a
tragic crash between two U.S. helicopters in Northern Iraq, believed to have been
by enemy fire.
Sheldon Ray Hawk Eagle was carried to the Heart of
all that is, Paha Sapa, the Black Hills and laid to rest as
warrior with honor, dignity and respect.
His body was carried by a horse- drawn cart.
His coffin covered with a flag and eagle feathers.
A riderless horse draped with a red, white and blue
blanket waited with the horse drawn cart.
The horse, called a spirit horse will carry the warrior
swiftly to heaven. The horse wears an Eagle feather,
to represent Sheldon, for the thoughts of a man that should
rise as high as do the eagles and his sacrifice for his Nations.
It is the highest honor given to a warrior.
Sheldon descends from Tshunka Witko.
Chief Crazy Horse who helped defeat
Lt. Col.George Armstrong Custer, at the
Battle of Greasy Creek (Little Big Horn).
The riderless horse, with boots backward in the
stirrups symbolizing a fallen soldier.
Indian drums and honor songs welcomed the hero
to the sacred Paha Sapa, his final resting place.
As he was being buried, a Black Hawk helicopter flew
over the cemetery, lingered in the snowy hills.
It flew into the heart of all that is,
and was gone.
~~Somehow, it did not seem like enough.~~
The Above is only a small part of the whole, go HERE
for ALL of it.
Note my discovery of this website pre-dates my blogging days, at the time I sent the information to One-Hand-Clapping
as I recall he posted about it. The Gunner has a way with words if I can find that post I will link to it HERE
Not in MY Name
Topic: Iraq War
At First I thought about titling this post,Why They Need To Lose
or maybeWhy They HAVE to Lose
It contains a perfect and sordid example of why
I decided some of the thing said by the Left in control of the Democratic Party, I no longer wanted to be said in MY name.
Not that I paint the entire Party with the same tar brush, it contains many good decent sincere people and there IS hope for them, they can still wake up and become Neo-Cons.
But it is obvious that some on the Left side of the Political Aisle have diverged so far from what most Americans think, believe and feel, that they no longer realize the disgust some of us might feel, seeing their plans laid out in plain sight.
If you can stomach it, read through the following, after which I will detail my reactions and thoughts.
Framing Cindy Sheehan - we are making errors
Sat Aug 13th, 2005 at 06:56:05 PDT
We are making errors with references to Cindy Sheehan.
What are we trying to accomplish with promoting her?
1. Emphasizing her sacrifice.
2. Emphasizing her stating truth to power.
3. Emphasizing her plain speaking, clear statements.
4. Relate her vigil over her dead son to universal archetypes of all vigils over dead children killed by dictatorial rulers throughout all history.
My suggestions below:
* dataguy's diary :: ::
1. We should call her "Mother Sheehan". We should never call her Cindy; I don't know her. "Mother Sheehan" is her title, and expresses her ceremonial status as a bereaved mother, calling forth over the dead body of her son. She is not a person now, she is a mother, which is not an expression of her individuality, but rather the expression of her eternal character: the mother, the bringer of life who has been wronged by state power.
2. We should use the word "sacrifice". She has sacrificed the most precious thing a mother has, the life and promise of her child.
3. We should use the word "useless" frequently. The death of her son is a useless sacrifice, done for the vanity of the ruler.
4. We should not use the name of her son. Her son is a symbol of all sons who have been sacrificed for this useless and criminal war.
5. The term "vigil" should be used to describe the persons and their patient petition to the dictatorial ruler. It is a vigil over the body of the dead son, killed by the ruler for his own purposes.
6. The right will try to INDIVIDUALIZE and SPECIALIZE her complaint. We must try to make her cry the UNIVERSAL and ETERNAL cry of all mothers whose children have died at the whim of the tyrannical and dictatorial ruler, who has made the decision to push children to the front of the army for his own, useless purposes. We must seek to make this like funeral vigils over all time. This is not Mother Sheehan's vigil, this is a vigil over the dead son, killed by the ruler for his own selfish reasons.
7. If there are any persons who are theatre professionals at the Sheenan vigil, they should arrange things much more theatrically.
8. If I was there, I would not let Mother Sheehan talk to the press, but I would have her talk only through a spokesperson. In particular, I wouldnot allow her to argue with critics, and would allow no critics to approach her. Her dignity must be preserved. If lesser emissaries from the ruler arrive (C Rice, etc), these should not be allowed to speak to Mother Sheehan."
There you have it folks, FIRST Casey Sheehan must be forgotten and his name never used. Why? It is simple. This Nation no longer uses conscript troops to fight its Battles. Our men and women in uniform are all VOLUNTEERS. For various reasons they choose to serve, None are rounded up and forced to serve their country.
Casey Sheehan was such a person, In a website I often go to called Parkway Rest Stop Casey ( I will NOT allow this brave man's name to go unmentioned) is discussed.Posted by: Dan at August 12, 2005 12:39 AM
Casey enlisted in the Army in 2000. His mother did not sign the enlistment papers, he did. While on leave, Ms. Sheehan tried to convince him to go AWOL to Canada. Casey refused and told her that as much as he didn't want to go to Iraq, his buddies were there and he couldn't let them down.
We're all a little poorer for having lost Casey. He was a straight-up honest guy with a lot more integrity than his mother is displaying. Instead of honoring her own son's true character, she is making him out to be some sort of friggin idiot by stating that "he never imagined being involved in a combat situation." Any of us who have been in the military know that you would have to be a complete imbecile to believe that. You know from the moment you receive small arms training why they are teaching you to shoot (both sides). You can't help but notice almost every street sign on your base or post has the name of someone who died in a "combat situation." You may think it's not probable, but you know it's always possible.
I give Ms. Sheehan credit for having raised a son with the character to honor his fellow soldiers even while he knew it might cost him his life
Everyone handles grief differently, I will make no statement about Mrs. Sheehan's actions. But she is not the only American Mother who has lost a loved one in this conflict. Thousands have , some BEFORE out entry into Iraq. I lost a cousin in Beirut. His name was also Casey. But HE thought what he was doing MATTERED, my Cousin Casey thought serving his country MEANT something.
But these people on DailyKos? They want to forget and ignore that there was even a Man named Casey Sheehan, They want only a symbol that they can use theatrically. They want to take over and rewrite the Story of his life and just to make certain this is done with out mistakes?
They don't even want to
ALLOW HIS MOTHER TO SPEAK
She might not do it the way THEY want?
In our own Grief we often forget how much others Grieve. Iraq the Model has a touching message to Mrs. Sheehan on his website.
A message to Cindy Sheehan
I realize how tragic your loss is and I know how much pain there is crushing your heart and I know the darkness that suddenly came to wrap your life and wipe away your dreams and I do feel the heat of your tears that won't dry until you find the answers to your question; why you lost your loved one?
I have heard your story and I understand that you have the full right to ask people to stand by your side and support your cause. At the beginning I told myself, this is yet another woman who lost a piece of her heart and the questions of war, peace and why are killing her everyday. To be frank to you the first thing I thought of was like "why should I listen or care to answer when there are thousands of other women in America, Iraq and Afghanistan who lost a son or a husband or a brother??
But today I was looking at your picture and I saw in your eyes a persistence, a great pain and a torturing question; why?
I know how you feel Cindy, I lived among the same pains for 35 years but worse than that was the fear from losing our loved ones at any moment. Even while I'm writing these words to you there are feelings of fear, stress, and sadness that interrupt our lives all the time but in spite of all that I'm sticking hard to hope which if I didn't have I would have died years ago.
I won't post the entire message here. I want you to go to Iraq the Model and read what Mohammed wrote there. It may help to take the taste of the post in DailyKos out of your mouth.
He closes with these words.
Your son sacrificed his life for a very noble cause?No, he sacrificed himself for the most precious value in this existence; that is freedom.
His blood didn't go in vain; your son and our brethren are drawing a great example of selflessness.
God bless his free soul and God bless the souls of his comrades who are fighting evil.
God bless the souls of Iraqis who suffered and died for the sake of freedom.
God bless all the freedom lovers on earth.
Mrs. Sheehan is not the only American mother to lose a loved one in this struggle, Thousands have. Some of them lost them before this battle in what I think of as a Long and Bitter War.
As I stated before my family lost a member in Beirut. His name was Casey too. My Cousin thought what HE did had meaning. My family agrees. He is remembered, with honor and love.
THEY would like to extinguish the name and desires of Casey Sheehan. They want to rewrite the Story of his Life into a Tale of something USELESS instead of something that had MEANING!
THAT is why the need to lose in the political arena of this Country.
THAT is why they HAVE to lose.
That is why decent Americans must speak out against this sordid distortion of a Brave Man's Life and tell them.
NOT IN OUR NAME
Do you spit on this Brave Soldier's Memory!
Keep in mind this thought, this is their own words.
We should not use the name of her son.
His name is CASEY SHEEHAN and it shines BRIGHTLY with HONOR.
NEVER FORGET THIS
You can leave a message in memory of this soldier, and/or to the loved ones left behind.
This is a memorial page for Spc. Casey Sheehan. This is not a political forum nor Cindy Sheehan's personal message board. Any messages not directly related to Spc. Casey Sheehan are inappropriate for this website and will be removed or edited.
Saturday, 13 August 2005
When They Have No Ideas Of Their Own
Topic: Out of Flyover Land
I don't read DailyKos much, but at times I like to meander over to that website and be reminded WHY, a man whose Grandfather's name, was Stonewall Jackson Puckett, dropped a Party affiliation that had been unbroken in his family since the Dawn of the Republic and LEFT the Democratic Party.
It is really Sad in a way, I completely identified with Zell Miller, when he said in his speech, "I did not Leave the Democratic Party, they left me."
Here is what I found, that reminded me WHY I became what is called a Neo-Con
, while I am skeptical of a short term strategy that can deliver significant wins for Dems in the South, the medium and long term offer opportunities. But I think they come from the devolution strategy that Howard Dean is trying to execute, creating strong state Democratic parties that control their own local message. National branding still requires a national message and, more importantly, negative branding of the Republicans.
(emphasis added by me)
Like I say, it IS so SAD. JFK and some of the other GREAT names in the History of our Nation and the Democratic Party were never forced to resort to negative branding of the Republicans.
" as the most Important Part of their message.
The was a time the Democratic Party stood FOR something and instead of only AGAINST things, there was a time when it had Leaders who said things like
"Let every nation know
, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
This much we pledge—and more.
To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do—for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.
To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom—and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.
To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required—not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
I don't feel like I have to negative brand the Party of Kerry, Clinton, Pelosi and Dean, they have done a far better job than I ever could.
You want to know what I Stand FOR?
I stand for THIS
One If By Land
Two If By Sea
I want to thank everyone who has linked to me the last few weeks, it was a long climb up from Insignificant Microbe to Flippery Fish and I DO appreciate the help.
But today I want to ask for a favor for a blog that most would not think needs ecosystem help.Winds of Change
has always been one of my favorites and I just can not stand to see it a mere 15 links behind The Huffington Post.
So if you are linked to me or have just stumbled onto this site by accident, Please give them a look over if you have never been there and link them to your blog.
It might seem presumptuous for me trying to round up links for the 26th ranked blog in the blogsphere, but
as Kosovo's president, Ibrahim Rugov said to America when he gave his condolences and support after the Fall of the World Trade Tower: "We are small, but even small friends can be important."
I call my blog The Committees of Correspondence, because I DO think of the Blogs as the 21st Century Committees of Correspondence.
So ride forth with the message and come to the Aid of one of the Premier Committees, Winds of Change.
Friday, 12 August 2005
FLASH! US Government Triple X Website Uncovered.
Not a spoof site,
Like Whitehouse.com Answers.com tells the Story of that website
an Official US Government Website.
It's address is XXX.LANL.GOV
Thursday, 11 August 2005
You Might Be A Jacksonian American
Topic: Out of Flyover Land
My buddy Gabe and I were brainstorming some spinoffs of Jeff Foxworthy's You Might Be A Redneck
Jokes while on a smokebreak at work.
We call them You Might Be A Jacksonian American
You Might Be A Jacksonian American
If you think MREs taste good
You Might Be A Jacksonian American
If you think using the New York Times to line
the bottom of a cat litter box would be redundant
You Might Be A Jacksonian American
If you think the US should withdraw its forces
from Iraq, through Iran
You Might Be A Jacksonian American
If you think the saying "Speak softly
but carry a Big Stick" doesn't need
the "Speak softly"
You Might Be A Jacksonian American
If you look at the following cartoon
with an air of wistful regret.
I think I am going to call a contest, open until Sept 11, 2005, winner will get a teeshirt I picked up in St Petersburg, Russia. The above entries are disqualified. I will pick some neutral bloggers to vote on the winner.
Now if you really want to LEARN something about Jacksonian Americans, all kidding aside, there is no better place to start than
The Jacksonian Tradition by Walter Russell Mead
UPDATE Here are some jpgs of the prize. Now you CAN get them online from RussianLegacy.com
I got mine in a Bazaar in St Petersburg, Russia
I Don't WANT Bin Laden Caught
Topic: Islamic Jihad
That was a statement I made during my Holiday in Italy, that raised some eyebrows earlier this summer.
How did I get in Italy? Long story, but the short and sweet is, I went on a vacation with my girl friend who lives in St Petersburg.
No, not the warm one in Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico, the cooler St Petersburg, in Russia, on the Gulf of Finland. ;-)
She made all the arrangements with a Russian Excursion Tour Company. Made her getting a Visa to Italy much easier and she got us a GREAT deal. My company's credit Union sells Vacation Tour packages and what we paid fo the two of us was about what they charge for 1 and the last week we stayed in a Waldorf in Rimmini Italy.
That put me for one week, with 30 of 40 Russians, on a whirlwind, if this is Tuesday, this must be Naples type tour. My Russian skills are limited and except for my girlfriend, their English skills were a match. One couple had brought their teenage son who was studying English, so it turned out that one afternoon, though him, I and his father got into a conversation, on Life the Universe and Everything, including Politics.
With the state of the World these days of course the MidEast came up, but when I answered, "I Don't WANT Bin Laden Caught." to his query "Why have you not caught Bin Laden yet?", I did get some raised eyebrows.
I explained, If we capture or kill Bin Laden, he becomes a martyr and lives forever. Al-Qaeda is like a Hydra, cut off its head and it can grow a thousand new ones. But Bin Laden is an Old Man, someday, soon perhaps, he will die and then he is just another Old Man who died.
So no, I Don't WANT Bin Laden Caught, but I would like to USE him to locate and track and take out those underneath him the next generation of Al-Qaeda and the ones after that.
I want Ayman Al Zawahiri,Abu Mussab al Zarqawi, the ones at that level and below.
Everyone wants a Magic Bullet cure for the MidEast.
Take Bin Laden and its over and everyone can go home and leave the region to sink into oblivion.
Not going to work that way. Then you have the side who proclaim loudly that Bullets and Bombs won't fix things, and they have long involved arguments about what we should do INSTEAD, never even seeing that they suffer from the same tunnel vision, of which they accuse us.
Of COURSE Bullets and Bombs alone won't fix things, Passing Wind (my definition of diplomacy backed up with nothing but words) ALONE will not either.]
We never SAID they would. That side of the political dialog suffers from hearing impairment or reading impairment.
Here is what we SAID in the beginning
They hate what they see right here in this chamber -- a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.
Oh that statement was greeted with a lot of derision when President Bush made it. Except not by Al-Qaeda, they agreed with the President
al-Zarqawi declared his loyalty to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden last year. In a statement posted Sunday on Islamic Web sites, he said his group has "declared a bitter war against democracy and all those who seek to enact it," and he declared all Iraqi candidates and voters enemies of Islam.
"Democracy is also based on the right to choose your religion," he said, and that is "against the rule of God."
Contrast that to what America and President Bush believe
"There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom," Bush said. This is not simply a statement of idealism, however -- the War on Terror began as a war to ensure our own safety, after all. The President continued: "We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world. America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one." However, there's always room for idealism in a just war. Bush also reminded us that, "we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave."
We cannot expect this War to be anything like our past struggles, it will be far different and fought on many fronts, militarily, financially and spiritually.
Now this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat. Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
So No, I Don't WANT Bin Laden Caught. I do not want the Hydra suddenly headless to spring forth a thousand new ones. If I could locate Bin Laden, I would leave him to die as any man dies in his time. Because I do not think of these matters in terms of Revenge, Retribution, or Justice, as Legal matters where we hunt down the guilty and bring them before the Law.
I think of this as War, a Protracted Struggle where the goal is to Win, and make our enemies Dust with History.
So I would leave him in place, but if I knew that place I would USE him. For he is a connection to
Ayman Al Zawahiri,Abu Mussab al Zarqawi, the ones at that level and below. He is the Head they are the Heart. Cut off the Hydra's Head and new ones spring forth.
Cut out its Heart and it Dies.
After I finished talking about why I did not want Bin Laden caught, and what I DID want to see happen, they did not look surprised any more, they looked thoughtful.
If you want to hunt Tiger.
First tether the Goat.
Wednesday, 10 August 2005
The Paradigm Precipice
Topic: Islamic Jihad
"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries. " William Shakespeare
The source of the Tide in this famous quotation from
Julius Caesar is most often, some Catastrophic Event which shatters the manner in which a People perceive the World, for the term Paradigm, means simply, "A new way of looking at things.
Pearl Harbor was such a Catastrophic Event, and the Paradigm Shift it engendered created a Nation with a World View out of the previous isolationist US. A generation rode this Paradigm to political power, and as usual in times such as that, some got it and were lead on to fortune, and some didn't and
their lives were bound in shallows and in miseries.
Vietnam a generation later engendered yet another Paradigm Shift and as above some got it and some didn't, with much the same results as the generation of their Fathers.
The Destruction of the World Trade Towers was also a Catastrophic Event and it in its turn has created a NEW Paradigm Shift and is always the case, some get it and some don't.
This lack of vision has no definitive political bias. The Paradigm Shift of the Vietnam Era was driven by political forces from the Left, but some of them GET it.
Some of the former greatest spokesmen for the Left get it.
Adam Michnik gets it. In A View from the Left: We, the Traitors
he saysA German journalist published an article in the paper Die Tageszeitung in which he claimed that Vaclav Havel, Adam Michnik, and George Konrad, Europe's long-standing moral authorities, had suddenly become undiscriminating admirers of America.
I read that article with a twinge of nostalgia. Here we are, together again. Our three names were grouped to-gether for the first time by Timothy Garton Ash in his widely acclaimed essay nearly two decades ago. If I recall correctly, Havel and I were doing jail time then, and Konrad's books were banned from print in Hungary. Even though we did not meet very often, we maintained a common ground in our reflections on the worlds of values and of politics. We were united by a dream of freedom, a dream of a world infused with tolerance, hope, respect for human dignity, and a refusal of conformist silence in the face of evil.
Today, however, the primary threat is terrorism by Islamist fundamentalists. War has been declared against the democratic world. It is this world, whose sins and mistakes we know all too well, that we want to defend.
These are the reasons behind our absolute war on the terrorist, corrupt, intolerant regime of the despot from Baghdad. One cannot perceive totalitarian threats in George W. Bush's policies and at the same time defend Saddam Hussein. There are limits to absurdity, which should not be exceeded recklessly."
Christopher Hitchens gets it. In his statement on the Unite Against Terror Petition website
(which I was honored to sign) he says,
"Association with this statement and with many of its fellow-signatories involves two commitments. The first is the elementary duty of solidarity with true and authentic resistance movements within the Muslim world, such as the Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, who were fighting against Ba'athism and Talibanism (and the latent alliance between the two) long before any American or British government had woken up to the threat. It should go without saying that, though the suffering of their peoples was intense, neither Jalal Talabani nor Ahmed Shah Masoud ever considered letting off explosive devices at random in foreign capitals. I have my political and ideological differences with both groups, but these differences are between me and them, and are not mediated through acts of nihilistic murder.
My second commitment is equally elementary. The foreign policy of a democracy should be determined only at election times or by votes in Congress or Parliament. It is one hundred per cent unacceptable even to imply, let alone to assert, that a suicide-murderer or his apologists can by these means acquire the right to any say in how matters are decided.
Both of these observations, and indeed this very statement, would be redundant if it were not for the widespread cultural presence of a pseudo-Left, and an isolationist Right, both of whom have degenerated to the point where they regard jihadism as some form of "liberation theology". The old slogans are often the best, and "Death to Fascism" is life-affirming in these conditions.
Nick Cohen gets it, he says I still fight oppression and replies to his detractors on the Left
The liberals who say I have deserted the left should ask themselves where they stand on Islamism.
Some DON'T get it. Read the following on Instapundit
YOU’RE EITHER WITH US OR YOU’RE AGAINST US:
James Wolcott is beating up on liberal hawks (he singles out Roger L. Simon in particular) for making common cause with conservatives by supporting the Terror War:
The fact is that by subscribing to Bush's War on Terror and the invasion of Iraq with every corpuscle of your tired body you've made common cause with Republican conservatives, neoconservatives, and Christian fundamentalists who are dedicated to destroying those parcels of liberalism on which you stake your tiny claims of pride…Do you really think that conservative supremacy in the executive, congressional, and judicial branches of government means that gay rights and abortion rights will somehow be spared?.
UPDATE: On a related note, Harry Hatchett says many on today's anti-war left strikingly resemble right-wing nationalists and isolationists. It begs the question then. Who, really, are the new conservatives? I couldn't care less, personally, about being tainted with conservative cooties. But those who fear and loathe the idea might want to read Harry's essay.
Oh and for those who object to the anti-war left and the right wing nationalists being tarred with the same brush?
This quote from George Orwell fits that pretty well and shows us the concept is not anything news.
Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, "he that is not with me is against me". The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle,
, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security...In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted;in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism
My father was in the Navy. When I was a small boy, we lived on an Island in the Pacific, Midway.
I remember one of the things I liked to do was dive into a wave when it was just curling over. Done right, you could curl into a ball and it twirled you around and around. It was a lot of fun. Done wrong, missing the timing something quite different could happen.
The Wave SLAMMED you down on the beach floor. That could smart!
"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries. "
I do believe the Irrational Left and the Democratic Party is about to learn what "something different
could happen" means.
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