Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The IDF question...

I don't understand the IDF. Their strategy makes no sense to me. It seems that they are only making military decisions, purely decisions of what to blow up that might have some military value, as if this were some abstract war game exercise. They don't seem to have the slightest damn clue about the political aspect of what they're doing. Targets are struck that only anger all the Lebanese, hurt all the Lebanese, without much consideration of who is Hezbollah and who is not. And those strikes have a minimal damage to Hezbollah.

I would have drawn a line on the map and said, this is Hezbollahstan, this is Lebanon. Lebanon won't be harmed, but Hebollahstan we're going to destroy. Everyone would have known what the political stakes are. I wouldn't have struck anywhere in Beirut...it only enrages Israel's possible allies. Plus, this 'airstrikes and artillery' strategy stinks. I know they want to keep the casualties among the IDF to a minimum, and they're afraid of a reprise of 1982. But this just makes no sense, because it doesn't do much hurt to Nasrallah, gives him major propaganda victories, and screws Israel's diplomatic options.

Why not wait a week before striking, to try to engage the Lebanese government and any available opponent of HA? Let them know, either you send the soldiers back, or help us fight HA, or else. I think alliances could have been formed, and if the Lebanese refused to help fight HA, then they would have been culpable and Israel would have had political cover to strike anywhere they wanted.

There is such tremendous hypocrisy amongst all the critics of the IDF, though. Words get thrown around, like genocide and war crimes, and ruthlessness and savagery, that are just so much bullshit. People who hardly blink at the crimes of the Janjaweed, who hardly make room on their newspapers for the crimes of the Sudanese, can't stop yowling when Israel kills a few hundred Lebanese in a war they didn't start. HA is a civilian army, with no clear distinction between civilian militia, soldiers, and citizens. They use civilian towns to launch attacks deliberately in order to create dead children, which they use as propaganda. Dead children are part of the HA war plan. They want their own kids to die to use as weapons against the Israelis. You can see this in Nasrallah's attitude towards the Arab kids he murdered in Nazareth. They're martyrs, so it's no trouble that they're dead. Don't worry about it. HA is a death cult.

Ask yourself this question: If we let Saddam out of his cell and gave him control of the IDF, and told him 'Destroy Hezbollah' then how long would HA last? A month? So let's stop the B.S. about how Israel can't defeat them. They could do it easily, but they're restrained by moral considerations.

Answer this question. An army is coming to town. You can't fight them, can't defeat them. But you get to choose who they are. Would you choose:

A) The Janjaweed
B) The old Iraqi Republican Guard
C) The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps
D) The Taliban
E) The IDF

If you would choose any other than the IDF, you're insane and irrationally filled with hatred of Jews. If you would choose the IDF, and you're making all sorts of crazy accusations about how the IDF is totally immoral, ruthless, heartless, beastly, Nazi-like, and so forth, then shut the fuck up.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Why are the Islamists in control?

Why is it that the various Islamists have control of the streets in Baghdad? Why are they waging their shadow civil war under the noses of the Coalition and the elected Iraqi government?

I am increasingly depressed by what I read in the Iraqi blogs: everyone who can is running away. The shadow civil war goes on without much interference from the government, with a few exceptions, like the two recent raids by the police on the Mahdi army, with U.S. backup. Zarqawi is dead, but the Mujahadeen Shura Council still controls whole neighborhoods and cities, forcing people to stay inside and give up on life except for mere existence.

I once read an account of the civil war in Bosnia. Croats, Muslims and Serbs all had a common observation: it only took a savage and violent minority to drag everybody into a civil war. Once you've seen a few friends or family members die at the hands of the 'other' you have no choice but to arm yourself and avoid all contact with the 'other' even though y0u may have no common desire for war.

Of course I don't know what the percentages are. How many Shia really support the Mahdi Army? How many only support them out of fear of the Sunni Shura Council, and vice versa, of course, for the Sunni?

When you look at this post by Iraq the Model, you have to think that there must be a significant population on both sides that doesn't want this, but are dragged into it by the thugs. But they clearly have no power, the people writing on these message boards. They are Internet fighters only. The real power lays in the hands of the thugs.

And regarding the recent craziness: how many Lebanese Shia really support Hezbollah, and how many merely have no choice since they live under their rule? Somehow I doubt those Hezbollah fucks tolerate any other kind of political movement in their areas of control. (I should point out here that I make no distinctions between the Badr militia, the Mahdi militia, the Hezbollah militia, and so forth. They're all the same, they have the same methods, same fascist agenda, same sponsor: Iran)

We have a good idea just how many Israelis don't support current policy. That's because they're free to organize and air their opinions. But we have no idea about the Muslim side, except for a handful of English blogs.

The thing that drives me crazy about the situation in Iraq is that the government, which theoretically represents the will of the people, can't control the militias because they don't have a monopoly on force. It drives me insane that we've had three years to build an army and police and this is what we've got to show for it. In three years between 1941-44, the U.S. raised over a hundred divisions. Yet we can't raise six or seven Iraqi divisions to control the country? Why is it that Moqtada Sadr can raise an army of thousands and control huge swaths of urban landscape, but we can't raise a single effective division? One reason I can think of is awful: only his followers are really willing to fight, and all the other Iraqis either won't fight, or support the civil war. I hope the real reason is our simple incompetence in recruiting and equipping and training an army.

Recently I saw that a new Iraqi armored brigade is being formed, using old cast-off Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers! Why? We shouldn't be arming them with old T-55 tanks and expect them to fight, we're just setting them up for failure. The Iraqi people will never have any faith in the government, or democracy, if the streets aren't brought under control.

There is no excuse. The world's superpower should be able in three damned years to build an army that can fight off Moqtada Sadr! He did it rapidly, so why can't we?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Arab Imperialism, part 2

Since I wrote the last post, I've thought a bit more about the remarkable fact that Islam was born in conquest. Why is this outstanding characteristic of Islam so little remarked upon? Name one other religion, any at all, that was founded, developed and spread widely in the context of imperial conquest. I can't think of any. Other religions had their imperial ambitions and imperial periods, but they always had to wait many centuries before those impulses could be realized in full. No other political philosophy really had its imperial period right from the very beginning. Almost every ideology I can think of had to wait, bide its time, go through a long period of development before it struck for military power...

With the single exception of fascism. Like Islam, fascism only had to wait a decade or two to reach actual political power, absolute power within its own state, followed swiftly by astonishing military conquest. Like Islam, fascism is a powerfully emotional, irrational, mystical, all-encompassing theory of Everything, a dogma that controls minds and states absolutely. The essential political nature of Islam is so widely overlooked. It is not merely just another religion. When anyone criticizes Islam, that person receives an avalanche of crap on his head because to criticize religion is out of bounds. I don't really care about Islam as a religion. If you want to believe that some seventh-century warlord had a chat with an angel in a cave, that's your business. I don't care. It's the political, social and legal theories of Islam that I oppose completely. Islam is not just a religion, it is a theory of government, of society, of law, of everything. That's why it is appropriate to speak of Islamic fascists, or Islamo-fascism.

Islam was created and developed during the foundation and expansion of the Arab Empire. Empire and Islam go together like bread and butter. It is nearly impossible to separate the one from the other. The Koran, the Sunna, the Hadith, these things were all developed and written and explicated during the times of the empire's establishment and expansion. Of course much of what is in them justifies and encourages imperialism, both in temporal power and culture. That period of cultural and political imperialism, because it was so successful, fostered a gigantic, unwieldy superiority complex. Islam must be supreme, it cannot abide competitors. All others must submit, must accept a secondary position. No permanent co-existence on equal terms is possible.

Of course, the central tenet of multiculturalism is that separate communities will maintain their unique cultures, while accepting the idea of permanent, peaceful, co-existence. This is why the growth of Islamic communities in the West is so dangerous. Islam cannot and will never accomodate the one overriding ideal of multiculturalism. Islam will allow other cultures and other religions, but only under the shadow of Islamic law and power, that is, as dhimmis. Islam will never accept the existence of other theories of government, especially not the theory of secular democracy, with the separation of religion and state. No man-made law can be tolerated; it must be replaced with the legislation of God himself, the shariah.

Of course many Muslims do not wish to live under an Islamic imperial government. Many want Islam to remain a religion of private life, and stay out of government. It is a natural human desire to be free of compulsion, to make decisions and live life freely. The trouble is that their numbers are, I think, smaller than those who want Islam to have, at the very least, a large role in public life and law. I don't see how Islam can ever be content to let go of its stranglehold on temporal power, or how it can ever be convinced to give up dreams of conquest, as it was a religion of wordly power, a religion of the conquistador, right from the very start.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Arab Imperialism

Here's a fun task: sometime sit down and try to make a list of all the people and nations who have not come under attack at some point from Anglo-Saxons. It's not a very long list. So far I've only been able to come up with Mongols, Khazaks, and Uighurs. Perhaps there are some others in the depths of other continents that can't be reached by boat.

As an Anglo-Saxon myself, it's a little difficult to think clearly about the imperial expansions of my conquistador ancestors. I wouldn't be living where I am with the power and wealth my civilization enjoys without it. I'm also in a limbo because I'm from the first generation, back in the 1970s, to get a broader outlook on Anglo-Saxon Imperialism. My parents generation, and all those before, were fed an all-glory, all-the-time version of history, a fierce triumphalism of the English-speaking peoples, How The West Was Won, and all that. Unfortunately by the time I came along, a silly dualism had taken over. Instead of a realistic view of these matters, when I was growing up the dominant view was Those Evil English and their Horrible European Cousins. One would have thought that Imperialism was invented by Europe and the world was a happy place until we came along and oppressed everyone, destroying the happy dark peoples and of course the whole thing started with The Evil Crusades.

My father was outraged by this sudden about-face and so were a lot of his contemporaries. We were revising history and dishonoring our ancestors, blah blah blah. Luckily as I've gotten older I've learned a habit of viewing people as homo sapiens, and not English or French or whatever, and have learned to remember the instincts we all have in common.

Anyway, remember that Imperialism only got a bad rap in the West very recently, within the last few generations. At the beginning of the First World War they still spoke openly of the imperial expansion they hoped to achieve. (By the end, they still sought imperial expansion but had learned to cloak it in public relations b.s.)

What has this got to do with Arab and Muslim Imperialism? The trouble is that hardly anyone recognizes that there is such a thing. Islamic Imperialism somehow gets a pass for the reason that it is sacred history. No one wants to admit how it is that so many formerly Christian lands became Islamic. Where did all the Christians of the East go? How is it that so many Christian nations have disappeared, apparently forever? (And Hindu, and Buddhist, and pagan--pagans are people too, you monotheists out there.) Bad as English conquest and colonization was, we didn't destroy their past and their culture, force them to speak English and face towards London to bow five times a day.

Can Arabs and Muslims ever be honest about the jihad? I don't see that they can. It's been hard enough for the Anglo-Saxons to do it, without the added burden of considering the whole business of empire-building a holy task from God himself. How can anyone critisize Muhammad or the Wrongly Guided Caliphs for their conquests, their murders, their mass murders, their burning, raping, looting, pillaging and mass enslavements? And their forced conversions? I know, I know, Islam forbids forced conversion. Don't make me smack you for stupidity. When the options given the conquered are death, heavy taxes, or conversion, that is what any sensible person calls conversion by force.

Can the Arabs, Turks, and other Muslims ever learn to honestly critisize the Jihad? Is there any way to be clear-sighted when these things are Sacred History? Can anyone say anything true about Islamic Imperialism when they won't even admit that it is imperialsim, and continue to view it as virtuous and holy?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Shi'ite Arabs of Iraq

Since I wrote a post complaining about the Sunni Arabs of Iraq, in which I compared them to the racist whites of the post-Civil War South and compared the Sunni terrorists to the Ku Klux Klan, it’s only fair to point out the abysmal failures of the Shi’ites.

I do not know where the idea came from that Shi’ites are allies of Uncle Sam. Before the rise of Al Qaeda, almost every major terrorist attack and a host of minor ones were carried out by Shi’ites, mostly by Hezbollah and the Iranians. (The only major terrorist attacks I can think of that were carried out by anyone else were the bombings by Libya.) Why did anyone think that the Iraqi Shi’ites would be our friends? Especially, why did anyone think it wise to ally with Iraqi Shi’ite political parties that spent the Saddam years in Iran?

The Shi’ite political parties are all Iranian-trained, -armed, and –financed terrorist organizations. They all have private armies that are the real law in much of Iraq. The police seem to be mere adjuncts of the Shi’a thugs. They carry out organized campaigns of assassination against anyone who opposes them, and are now rounding up Sunnis at random for torture and murder. I doubt they’ve managed to kill any actual Sunni jihadis, mostly they kill ordinary people, like the pet shop owner I recently read about. Unfortunately I can’t remember the exact link, but the thugs, most likely the Mahdi Army, took this Sunni man who raised pet birds right out of his shop, and he turned up dead with holes drilled in him. His Shi’ite friends tried to stop them but were threatened themselves. He was a man who raised nightingales for a living, but the mere fact that he was Sunni got him murdered.

Read Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. The same thing that happened in Iran has happened in Iraq: Islamic fascists have taken over by the simple methods of murder and terror. The first blog posting I ever read was Salam Pax’s last, where I first learned of Moqtada Sadr and the Mahdi Army. They are thugs, thugs, thugs, he wrote. Help us, he wrote. They are, but we haven’t. America fights Sunni terrorists to help Shi’ite terrorists hold on to political power.

Maybe I’ll write soon about the Kurdish political parties, which are basically the Sopranos and the Corleones fighting to see who’ll own what turf.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Denmark Forever

I haven't said anything about this issue because it has been flogged to death, but there are several things I've come to doubt about the Great Danish Cartoon Blasphemy:

1. The people who keep calling for "dialogue" and "mutual respect and understanding" and similar phrases are simple-minded. Their knee-jerk calls for round-table yip-yap imply that there is some conflict to be worked out, some deal that can be negotiated or compromised, some misunderstanding that can be cleared up. But there is nothing to misunderstand. There can be no halfway measures here and there can be no mutual understanding. Free speech in the Liberal West is non-negotiable. Punishments for the imaginary crime of blasphemy in Totalitarian Islam are non-negotiable. There is nothing to talk about. The only options are victory for Free Speech or for Sharia Law. There are people in the West who, while they mean well, cannot understand that some things cannot be solved by open-hearted discussion. Imagine if you will, some of these people calling for "mutual respect and dialogue to solve our problems with the National Socialist German Workers Party" and you'll see how pointless such friendly chitchat will be with the Islamic Fascists. Try to sit down with Moqtada Sadr and come to a mutual understanding about blasphemy and see how long you live.

The values of the West and the values of Political Islamists are mutually incompatible, and the differences between them can only be solved by blood and iron.

2. The moderate or free-thinking Muslims who claim not to understand why the various newspapers felt it was necessary to do this. They're "offended" because the cartoons are racist, or paint all Muslims as terrorists, or whatever. First, Islam is not a race. Second, the bomb-turban cartoon doesn't necessarily imply that all Muslims are terrorists. I see it as pointing out that Islamic terrorists are only imitating the violent career of Muhammad, who was a warlord and terrorist and assassin himself. If you are a Westernized Muslim who does not understand why the cartoons were posted, dig up poor old Theo Van Gogh and he'll explain it to you. Or dig up Asma bint Marwan. Or the Banu Qurayza. Or if you can locate Ayaan Hirsi Ali, she'll explain it all for you.

3. The "spontaneous" protests stink of rent-a-mobs. For example, does anyone believe that the Syrian protests that lead to the destruction of embassies were not orchestrated? No one so much as spits on the sidewalk in Syria without the secret police noticing, so how did a mob manage to destroy those embassies and the Syrian police state not be involved?

4. The selective outrage of the Muhammadan Fascists. Did any of them protest four years ago when the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem was occupied by jihadists and hostages were held? Wasn't this a blasphemy against one of the prophets of Islam?

Quote for this Post: "I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it." -- Voltaire

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine, Mr. Hitoshi Igarishi!

Today is the seventeenth anniversary of the death threat made by Ruhollah Khoemeini against Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses. What's forgotten is that the contract killing threat was also made against anyone who was ''knowingly'' involved in the publication of the book. A number of people were badly injured by lunatic Islamists because of the book. An Italian, Ettore Capriolo was stabbed, a Norwegian, William Nygaard, was shot. A Turk who translated the book was attacked at a poetry festival and the hotel he was in burned down, killing scores of people who probably had nothing to do with the whole thing. The Japanese translator was killed and his murderer, as far as I know, was never discovered. Hitoshi Igarishi, a professor, was stabbed to death in his office, probably by a Shi'ite immigrant or student. Disgustingly, Japanese Muslims applauded the murder. (There are Japanese Muslims?)

Criticism of Islam is still difficult, and critics still have to live in fear, even in the West. Self-censorship is everywhere. Witness the cowardice of so many mainstream media who will not republish the Danish Muhammad Cartoons. Those who criticize Muhammad or Islam have to publish under assumed names, as Ibn Warraq does. Rushdie is still to this day keeping a relatively low profile, though I think he's no longer under police protection.

Let's remember that Rushdie survived, but many Iranians did not. The mullah regime murdered numerous dissidents overseas, who lived in Western countries. Also, let's not forget the many writers, artists, poets, journalists and so forth who lived under the mullah thug regime, who disappeared into the mullah's prisons and torture chambers, and were never heard from again, or who were found murdered in their houses. In particular, remember Ali Dashti, who wrote a skeptical, honest assessment of Muhammad's career, and died for it in the prisons of the faithful Muslims.

Seventeen years, and the West still doesn't take the threat from the Islamists seriously, and millions of decent Muslims must live in fear in their own countries, and the apologists keep right on telling us not to worry. Happy Valentine's Day, Mr. Igarishi!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Sunni Arabs of Iraq

I've been trying to cast around for a useful metaphor to describe what I think of the Sunnis and their terrorist ways. Finally the idea of the Ku Klux Klan and the Reconstruction period after the American Civil War appeared to me. I've been reading about the Civil War lately (and neglecting my Middle East Reading Project) and the parallels between Southern Christian Whites and Iraqi Sunni Arabs struck me.

Both Whites and Sunnis had been the top class of society for centuries. Both had preyed upon, economically exploited, sexually assaulted, mass murdered, kidnapped, excluded, and in short dominated the lower-tier groups. Both White Christians and Sunni Arabs lost their utter dominance because they lost a war with the American Federal Government. Both were completely unwilling to accept their former victims as equal citizens. Both had a culture and a theology that told them that they were naturally superior, that they had a right to rule over their lessers, and killing their lessers in order to preserve their power was not a crime. The Sunnis have formed Al-Qaeda, Ansar Al-Sunna, and many other thug organizations to murder and terrorize their former subjects, in an attempt to keep their dominant position; The Southern Christians formed the terrorist Ku Klux Klan, to murder blacks, officials, police, schoolteachers, and so forth, in order to return to power.

Sadly, in the long run, the Ku Klux Klan was successful, in part because the American Federal Army and Government were sympathetic to whites-only rule. Northerners didn't want blacks to become equal citizens either. The Sunni Arabs don't have that advantage. But they do have numerous sympathetic neighbors, Sunnis who also don't want Shiites or Kurds or Christians or non-Arabs to acquire equal rights or political power. Arabs must rule and they'll kill anyone necessary to keep it that way.

I should say here that the Arabs I have met are the most racist people I have ever known. I used to think that the Japanese were the most racist and xenophobic people I knew, but then the Arabs dropped them to number two. Perhaps this is because practically every Arab I've met is a Saudi?

It took more than a century to break the power of the Ku Klux Klan as a terrorist organization. Those ignorant thugs are still around of course, but they have nothing like the power and prestige and legitimacy they had just forty years ago. I don't think the Sunni Arabs have that kind of time to come to their senses.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Muslims vs. Catholics

Where I live, I am surrounded by Spanish Catholics. A large, beautiful 19th Century Catholic Cathedral rises majestically not far from my home and twenty minutes down the road is the White Dove of the Desert, the original Spanish mission built in the 17th Century. My best friends are a Spanish Catholic and an Irish Catholic, and ironically the Spanish man married an Irish Catholic woman, while the Irish boy married a Spanish Catholic girl from Mexico.

Why is this significant? I'm an English-speaking man, baptised in a Reformed Church (or "Protestant" if you prefer) and I'm descended from the English, Scots, Dutch and Danish, violently anti-Catholic nations of the Reformation.

Four to five centuries ago, my friends would have tied me to a stake and set me on fire. All because I'm an English Reformist (although I have rejected Christianity long ago.) If I had awoken in 1606 to find myself surrounded by Spanish Catholics, as I did this morning, I would have had a desperate struggle to escape with my skin intact. It's really quite a remarkable fact that I can live among them safely. So common is peace between Catholics and other Christians that no one notices anymore, but it is really quite an amazing fact if you look at it with an historical viewpoint.

Why bring this up? Because I've been thinking about the old wars of religion and Muslims. The population of Muslims in Arizona grows. I can't help but feel uneasy about it. When I look at their behavior in Iraq, the way they murder each other over sectarian diffences, they seem like Sixteenth Century Christians, ready to kill anyone who doesn't follow their religion. When I look at Muslim-majority societies, at the way they treat each other, the way they treat their non-Muslim minorities (dhimmis, inferiors under the law, second-class citizens), I see a bunch of medieval Christians. I wouldn't want medieval Christians living in my neighborhood. I wouldn't feel safe. There would be no way to "negotiate" with such people, no way to compromise for mutual understanding. It couldn't be done; their inflexible religious dogma permitted only one solution: domination. Tolerance simply doesn't exist for those convinced of their superiority. I can live safely among Catholics, but if I woke up tomorrow surrounded by Muslims, I would move out.

I know this sounds "bigoted" and "prejudiced" but let me protest: I know perfectly decent Muslims of whom I am not afraid. But they're all either bloggers or professionals--English speakers, educated people. I don't think they represent the majority at all. The majority displays a violent intolerance of other religions. They are completely incapable of self-criticism or accepting criticism from others. Doubts about their doctrines are blasphemous and punished with death. Their so-called "peace" with the Peoples of the Book is the peace of the tyrant over the subject. Dhimmis lives and property are never safe. Crimes against dhimmis committed by Muslims go unpunished. A dhimmi lives a life similar to a black person in the old American South.

I don't want Muslims here until they undergo a major transformation into modern societies. I don't want Tucson to be subjected to the riots and murders we see in France. I don't want one of our artists murdered the way Theo Van Gogh was by a Muslim angry over "blasphemy." If I want to voice my skepticism, my doubts about Islam, if I want to say what I really think of Muhammad, I don't want to look over my shoulder for some lunatic with a gun. I am no fan of racism or bigotry or prejudice, but facts are facts. Every time I see a group of women plodding along in the heat in their hijab here in Arizona, I feel fear. A shadow passes over the sun. A medieval darkness gathers.