Syrbodia

Another compare and contrast exercise.

Dan Simpson: Invade Syria? Insane
U.S. forces have started fighting Syrians at Iraq’s border. Can anybody say ‘Cambodia’?
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As I suspected six months ago, U.S. military and Bush administration civilian officials confirmed last week that U.S. forces have invaded Syria and engaged in combat with Syrian forces.

An unknown number of Syrians are acknowledged to have been killed; the number of Americans — if any — who have died in Syria so far has not yet been revealed by the U.S. sources, who by the way insist on remaining faceless and nameless.

The parallel with the Vietnam War, where a Nixon administration deeply involved in a losing war expanded the conflict — fruitlessly in the event — to neighboring Cambodia, is obvious. The end result was not changed in Vietnam; Cambodia itself was plunged into dangerous chaos, which climaxed in the killing fields, where an estimated 1 million Cambodians died as a result of internal conflict.

The End of the Beginning
Wretchard
The Belmont Club
October 15, 2005

(Speculation alert) I think most rational observers, however anti-American, must have by now come to the grudging conclusion that the insurgency is a lost cause in Iraq. As Athena at Terrorism Unveiled and Dan Darling pointed out in their analysis of the captured letter from Zawahiri to Zarqawi, the insurgency’s terror tactics have been a huge mistake from Day One. Athena puts summarizes Zawahiri’s message to Zarqawi eloquently. “His cowboy ways aren’t winning him any strategic alliances. And on the sectarian strife among Sunni Muslims, Zawahiri is basically saying ‘Drop it.’ “

. . .

While the situation in Iraq seemed doubtful, the US could not credibly address the Syrian issue because its Iraqi commitments precluded any action against Damascus. Now the Assad regime knows that US forces will not long be occupied in Iraq they are sweating bullets. Ironically the availability of US forces means that they will probably not have to be used in Syria. Newsweek Magazine claims that the US had considered launching cross-border operations against Iraqi insurgent targets Syria on October 1 — another publicly released telltale that US policy is ready to come out of the closet — but were dissuaded by Condoleeza Rice who argued that “diplomatic isolation is working against al-Assad, especially on the eve of a U.N. report that may blame Syria for the murder of Lebanese politician Rafik Hariri”. Diplomacy would not have been enough while the insurgency tied down America. With the insurgency fading fast, diplomacy may be enough.

Nobody knows what the future holds, but how can two opinions vary so dramatically about what’s going on right now? Hint: one opinion comes from a hopelessly biased political partisan.

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Russians Sellout Europe (and Themselves)

Russians help Iran with missile threat to Europe
By Con Coughlin
(Filed: 16/10/2005)

Former members of the Russian military have been secretly helping Iran to acquire technology needed to produce missiles capable of striking European capitals.

The Russians are acting as go-betweens with North Korea as part of a multi-million pound deal they negotiated between Teheran and Pyongyang in 2003. It has enabled Teheran to receive regular clandestine shipments of top secret missile technology, believed to be channelled through Russia.

Western intelligence officials believe that the technology will enable Iran to complete development of a missile with a range of 2,200 miles, capable of hitting much of Europe. It is designed to carry a 1.2-ton payload, sufficient for a basic nuclear device.

Iran puts radicals in charge of nuclear programme
By Philip Sherwell in Washington
(Filed: 09/10/2005)

Iran’s new hardline president has placed his country’s nuclear programme under the control of militant commanders of the Revolutionary Guards, the military’s most committed wing.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has launched a purge of moderates in national and provincial government since his election two months ago, has drafted in fellow radical revolutionaries to top administrative posts – a move that will heighten Western fears over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Many of the new power-brokers are veterans of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds (Jerusalem) Force, in which Mr Ahmadinejad held the rank of brigadier general. The unit is linked to a series of international terrorist attacks and the main backer of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

I suppose the Iranians will be needing those missles to dispose of the radioactive waste from their nuclear breeder power plants. You know, the ones they need because they don’t have enough oil, gas, or coal.

Could the Ruskies really be so short sighted? The same missles that can reach Paris or Berlin can also reach Moscow. What part of Beslan and Nalchik did they not understand?

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Moonbat Hero: Noam Chomsky

Chomsky named top intellectual: British poll

Chomsky was unimpressed with the honour, telling The Guardian newspaper that polls were something “I don’t pay a lot of attention to,” adding that “it was probably padded by some friends of mine.”

Probably? How else could someone with such a
deeply flawed view of economics who says patently ridiculous things like:

Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the (U.S.) media.

be voted “top intellectual” except by comrades who share his anti-American beliefs?

Here for example is one comrade who shares Chomsky’s delusion that we live in tyranny – a tyranny that somehow can’t seem to keep them from writing fulsome little turgid screeds:

Having made the assertion that the United States is evolving into an overt tyranny, I will turn to a question many readers have asked me by email. What do we do about it?

I want to start by quoting Noam Chomsky from his latest book, Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post 9/11 World:

“We have every option open to us, and have none of the problems that are faced by intellectuals in Turkey or campesinos in Brazil. We can do anything. But people here are trained to believe that there are easy answers, and it doesn’t work that way. If you want to do something, you have to be dedicated and committed to it day after day. Educational programs, organizing, activism. That’s the way things change. You want a magic key so you can go back to watching television tomorrow? It doesn’t exist.”

This is the same comrade who thinks Jihadi terror is all our fault. Oddly enough Chomsky and his followers, who have every option open to them, freely choose to undermine the system and traditions that have given them every option.

Is it possible to be a “top intellectual” without being intellectually honest? Read Dissecting Chomsky and Anti-Americanism and judge for yourself:

The United States has made mistakes, but those who would judge our behavior and our record should look to real historians and real historical contexts, not the fabricated conspiracies of Noam Chomsky and his ilk.

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hatewhitey

Racist’s Veto in Toledo


Ohio Residents Clash With Neo-Nazi Group
News and Wire Reports
Oct. 16, 2005

They got "exactly what they wanted," said Ford, who had urged the community to ignore the Nazis. He said the group goes from community to community spreading hatred and sparking fights.

"Based on the intelligence we received, that’s exactly what they do – they come into town and get people riled up," Ford told CNN. "I think that’s a very common technique."

Angry counter-protesters appeared to be hurling stones at Nazi members and police. Aerial videotape on CNN showed people setting fire to a business; they also used baseball bats to tear down fences and to break into area stores. The violence took place within a six- to eight-block area in the north Toledo neighborhood, Toledo police spokeswoman Capt. Diana Ruiz-Krause told CNN.

About 150 officers on horseback, bicycles and in riot gear attempted to quell the confusion. Officers showed "considerable restraint" despite having been hit with rocks and bottles for "considerable hours" Ford said.

"We could have made a couple hundred arrests," he said.

Should hate groups be allowed to assemble under protection of law?

What a strange question. Obviously hate groups who throw rocks and riot should not be allowed to assemble under protection of law.

There was no story on WET. There is no White Entertainment Television. But the following was at least less of a whitewash (pun intended):

Emergency Declared After Anti-Nazi Riots
Oct 16 12:27 AM US/Eastern
By JOHN SEEWER
Associated Press Writer
TOLEDO, Ohio

A crowd protesting a white supremacists’ march Saturday turned violent, throwing baseball-sized rocks at police, vandalizing vehicles and stores, and setting fire to a neighborhood bar, authorities said.

When Mayor Jack Ford and a local minister tried to calm the rioting, they were cursed for allowing the march, and Ford said a masked gang member threatened to shoot him.

At least 65 people were arrested and several police officers were injured before calm was restored about four hours later.

Ford blamed the rioting on gangs taking advantage of a volatile situation. He declared a state of emergency, set an 8 p.m. curfew through the weekend, and asked the Highway Patrol for help.

"It’s exactly what they wanted," Ford said of the group that planned the march, which was canceled because of the rioting.

. . .

When the rioting began, Ford tried to negotiate with those involved, but "they weren’t interested in that." He said people in the crowd swore at him and wanted to know why he was protecting the Nazis.

They were mostly "gang members who had real or imagined grievances and took it as an opportunity to speak in their own way," Ford said.

"I was chagrined that there were obvious mothers and children in the crowd with them," he said.

. . .

Keith White, a black resident, criticized city officials for allowing the march in the first place.

"They let them come here and expect this not to happen?" said White, 29.

That last comment – expressing an apparently common sentiment amongst the rioters – is what could be called the Racist’s Veto, a variation of the Ignoramus’s Veto, which is itself a variation of the Heckler’s Veto. The argument goes like this. Someone (in this case "Nazis") says something about race that gets you in such a lather that you riot, therefore the speech you object to should be forbidden. Of course in a democracy the proper response to an argument you don’t like is a reasoned counter-argument, not violence. Using intimidation to silence people who have something to say about race is, well, racist.

What does Mayor Ford think the gangs’ real grievances are? Is "an opportunity to speak in their own way" anything but a lame euphemism for "burning and looting"? A timeline of events shows the Nazis marched non-violently for less than 80 minutes and left, after which violent protesters began a senseless riot that 3 hours later was still out of control:

Many of the firefighters are wearing bulletproof vests. A black man, Sir Boston, 53, of Central Avenue, runs toward the police officers and pleads with them not to let the fire trucks in for their own safety just yet. He warns that five gangs have control of the Central and Mulberry intersection, and that firefighters are sure to be assaulted if they attempt to put out the blaze. Police move in, anyway, now determined to disperse the crowd with tear gas and a show of force.

Ironically the intolerant and racially motivated crowd made the Nazis’ point, ie. that whites aren’t safe walking through Toledo. Ford’s reaction is classic. Why give any creedence to the stated objective of the Nazi marchers when you can instead imagine an agenda that places the blame on them and absolves the rioters? One wonders if there is some fantasy world where pinko subversives and black supremacists also suffer this kind of reactionary violence whenever they spew their hate. You know, a world where the headlines read Emergency Declared After Anti-Pinko Riots or Ohio Residents Clash With Neo-Panthers Group and the focus is on how the Pinkos and the Allah-Lovin Brothas bring violence on themselves with their negative messages.

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Insufficient Postage

Zawahiri Letter Shows Iraq’s Importance to al-Qaeda’s Jihad
October 07, 2005

First, the letter shows the al-Qaeda leadership’s increasing sensitivity to public opinion. Zawahiri writes of the importance of popular support for al-Qaeda, and rebukes Zawahiri for the Iraq insurgency’s “brutal tactics — noting that hostages can just as effectively be killed with bullets rather than by beheading.” I’ve written before (most recently in the Weekly Standard) of al-Qaeda’s increased efforts to tailor their message to appeasement-minded Westerners. Apparently, Zawahiri has also given some thought to how he can bolster al-Qaeda’s image in the Muslim world.

Second, the letter shows Iraq’s current importance to al-Qaeda’s jihad.

Letter to Zarqawi

(Speculation alert) Implicit within Zawarhiri’s message is an admission that the insurgency is headed for defeat unless it changes it’s policies and thereby its fortunes. Al Qaeda must have viewed with mounting alarm the increasing numbers of Iraqi troops that the US can field against them. The campaigns against the Euphrates and Tigris lines and the seize and hold operations now in progress must be hurting them. Therefore, despite their theological antipathy for the Shi’ites it must have occurred to them that their car bombs, beheadings, outrages and gratuitous murders — all dutifully reported by a media thinking it might chill American resolve — were working against them; this brutality was driving the Shia and the Kurds into American arms. And now Zawahiri admits this policy may be leading to their defeat.

Seized Letter Outlines Al Qaeda Goals in Iraq
By Susan B. Glasser and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, October 12, 2005; A13

Al Qaeda’s top deputy urged the leader of his Iraq branch in July to prepare for the inevitable U.S. withdrawal by carrying out political as well as military actions, and he lectured him that he risked being shunned by an Islamic world angered over his gruesome and not “palatable” killings of fellow Muslims, according to an intercepted letter released yesterday by the U.S. government.

The 6,000-word letter from Osama bin Laden’s chief lieutenant, Ayman Zawahiri, to Iraqi insurgent leader Abu Musab Zarqawi amounts to a detailed portrait of al Qaeda’s long-term goals in Iraq and the Middle East, and includes a striking critique of how Zarqawi has gone about waging his war against not only U.S. troops but also Iraqi civilians. The letter was posted yesterday on the Web site of Director of National Intelligence John D. Negroponte — http://www.dni.gov — after senior intelligence officials released excerpts of it last week.

Zawahiri’s Advice

…we are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media…

Obviously Iraq is far from the senseless quagmire the Sheehanistas, Codepinkos, and miscellaneous naysayers argue it is. We’re fighting al Qaeda there. They know they can use the media to undermine us. They’re counting on a repeat of Vietnam. Woe to the pacifists, Crusader withdrawal won’t satisfy the Jihadis because the true goal of the Jihad is to restore the Caliphate.

P.S. Methinks the Jihadis doth protest too much.

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More On Bush’s Speech

Two critiques of Bush’s recent speech I commented on a few days ago. The first is relatively succinct:

Defining The Enemy
Posted 10/7/2005

Over and over, President Bush called the terrorists “Islamic radicals.” It was a stunning departure from his usual rhetoric marginalizing the religious aspect of the long-term threat America faces. In past speeches, Bush has described an otherwise amorphous enemy of “evil-doers” motivated by a rather nebulous thing called “evil ideology.”

With Thursday’s speech, he also abandoned his mantra that Islam is a “religion of peace.” He called it a “noble faith,” and left it at that.

The president could have gone even further to explain what motivates the terrorists. He left the impression they are all heretics distorting the idea of jihad and defiling their scripture. He said they were “driven by ambition.”

Yet self-immolation is the antithesis of earthly ambition. Suicide bombers are inspired not by earthly gain, but by the Quranic promise of endless carnal delights in paradise — rewards that are reserved for jihadists who “slay and are slain” battling the infidels in the name of Allah. No fewer than 26 chapters of the Quran deal with holy war and the rewards for martyrs, or shaheeds.

The unpleasant truth is, Muslim terrorists are getting all these terrible ideas — from violent jihad to self-immolation to even the beheadings we’ve seen in Pakistan and Iraq — straight out of the text of their holy book.

The second is a point by point rebuttal of Bush peppered with Iraq War skepticism far more rational than anything I’ve ever heard from anti-war leftists:

News & Views
by Srdja Trifkovic
Friday, October 07, 2005

These extremists distort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder against Christians and Jews and Hindus—and also against Muslims from other traditions, who they regard as heretics.

Contrary to what Mr. Bush seems to be suggesting, “the idea of jihad” does call for terrorist murder against Christians and Jews and Hindus and it is a distortion of that idea to suggest otherwise. “The idea of jihad” is a highly developed doctrine, theology, and legal system of mandatory violence against non-believers. It made Islam the first political ideology, already in Muhammad’s lifetime, to adopt terrorism as a systemic tool of policy, not as a temporary and unwelcome expedient.

Both via Jihad Watch.

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freeh_clinton

Clinton Asleep At The Wheel


Freeh decries Clinton’s ‘moral compass’
Clinton spokesman: Book ‘a total work of fiction’
Friday, October 7, 2005; Posted: 5:48 a.m. EDT (09:48 GMT)

In his upcoming book, “My FBI,” Freeh says Clinton failed to pressure Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah to let the FBI question suspects the kingdom had in custody.

“Bill Clinton raised the subject only to tell the crown prince that he understood the Saudis’ reluctance to cooperate and then he hit Abdullah up for a contribution to the Clinton library,” Freeh writes.

. . .

Jay Carson, Clinton’s spokesman, said Freeh “wasn’t even present for the meetings he describes. President Clinton repeatedly pressed the Saudis for cooperation on the Khobar Towers investigation and his pressure led to the eventual indictments.”

Clinton aides challenge claim by ex-FBI chief
By Howard Kurtz
The Washington Post

Under strong pressure from former President Clinton’s advisers, CBS’ “60 Minutes” has agreed to read a statement denying a charge being made on tonight’s program by former FBI Director Louis Freeh.

In the statement, Sandy Berger, Clinton’s national-security adviser, challenges Freeh’s assertion, also made in his new book, that Clinton failed to press Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah to cooperate with an investigation of the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers in that country, and used the occasion to ask for a contribution to his presidential library.

It’s a little strange how every mainstream news story about Freeh’s book and upcoming 60 Minutes appearance include, or are even dominated by, a pro-Clinton counter-point. The above articles are among the current top matches. Search Google or Yahoo and see for yourself.

It’s as if they wouldn’t report the story until they had some opposing points to print with it. Wouldn’t it be great if they did this every time? Unlike say how Richard Clarke, Paul O’Neill, and Dan Rather (speaking for Bill Burkett) got to sucker punch Bush on prime time TV during the 2004 presidential campaign.

The following article provides some counter-counter-point in support of Freeh.

How the Left Undermined America’s Security Before 9/11
By David Horowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | September 9, 2005

Underlying the Clinton security failure was the fact that the administration was made up of people who for 25 years had discounted or minimized the totalitarian threat, opposed America’s armed presence abroad, and consistently resisted the deployment of America’s military forces to halt Communist expansion. National Security Advisor Sandy Berger was himself a veteran of the Sixties “antiwar” movement, which abetted the Communist victories in Vietnam and Cambodia, and created the “Vietnam War syndrome” that made it so difficult afterwards for American presidents to deploy the nation’s military forces.

Berger had also been a member of “Peace Now,” the leftist movement seeking to pressure the Israeli government to make concessions to Yasser Arafat’s PLO terrorists. Clinton’s first National Security Advisor, Anthony Lake was a protégé of Berger, who had introduced him to Clinton. All three had met as activists in the 1972 McGovern presidential campaign, whose primary issue was opposition to the Vietnam War based on the view that the “arrogance of American power” was responsible for the conflict, rather than Communist aggression.

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What Causes Jihad?

Compare and contrast the following viewpoints. The first, from an article posted on Jihad Unspun written by an American “activist writer”, reviews all the popular arguments blaming everyone but the “terrorists” for terrorism:

MILLER: Viewing Terrorism Through A Different Lens
Oct 08, 2005
By Jason Miller

Why do the “terrorists” and other people of the Middle East hate us? The truth is much more complicated than George Bush’s disingenuous, propagandistic explanation to the American public. However, Bush’s assertion was accurate in one sense. When he said, “They hate what we see right here in this chamber,” he captured the true focus of the ire of the Arab world: the US government.

Since the internal combustion engine became an indispensable aspect of economic vitality, the United States government has invaded, exploited, manipulated and cheated Arab nations in its ongoing quest to purloin their precious oil. Preying upon internal strife and ongoing unrest amongst varying factions and sects of the Islamic faith, the US government has raped the people of the Middle East for decades. Terrorism is the symptom, not the disease. Acts of retaliation against the US are the result of victimized people attempting to thwart their over-powering, deceitful oppressors in Washington.

The second points out the elephant in the room:

Why Ask Why?
Terrorist attacks aren’t caused by any policy except that of the bombers themselves.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Oct. 3, 2005, at 8:00 AM PT

Never make the mistake of asking for rationality here. And never underestimate the power of theocratic propaganda. The fanatics look at the population of Bali and its foreign visitors and they see a load of Hindus selling drinks—often involving the presence of unchaperoned girls—to a load of Christians. That in itself is excuse enough for mayhem. They also see local Muslims following syncretic and tolerant forms of Islam, and they yearn to redeem them from this heresy and persuade them of the pure, desert-based truths of Salafism and Wahhabism.

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Politics + Technology = Nonsense at the Speed of Light