Monthly Archives: October 2006

This Year's French Car-BQ

France is preparing for a new car-BQ.

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No Luxury For Israelis

Israel will not depend on George Bush to disarm Iran.

In the Jerusalem Post, David Horovitz writes:

I was in the United States last week, and when I reminded several Jewish audiences of our prime minister’s public faith in their president’s capacity and intention to stop Iran, I was met only very occasionally with nods of agreement. The more common responses ranged from heavy skepticism to outright ridicule. “That’s just not going to happen,” said a wise Washington insider with half a lifetime’s experience in the US capital, a man whose opinions I respect in part because he is usually so much more reticent in giving them. Even a majority of US Jews would rather Bush not intervene militarily to prevent Iran getting the bomb, according to a new American Jewish Committee poll reported in the Post this week. (Charmingly, the survey indicated, a majority of similar proportions would back Israel taking military measures for the same goal.)

And it may be that Olmert, too, is coming to doubt the degree to which he can afford to rely on the US president’s undoubted good intentions. After all, the prime minister was uncharacteristically outspoken on the issue during his recent trip to Russia, warning the Iranians that “something will happen to them that they don’t want” if they proceeded with their nuclear program, stressing that Israel could not reconcile itself to a nuclear Teheran, and speaking of there coming “a time when you have to do damage control.”

With President Vladimir Putin alongside him, Olmert declared that “Israel does not have the luxury to allow the creation of a situation where a country like Iran has nonconventional potential. Israel can never abide this type of situation. For us, when the head of a country says he wants to destroy us, it does not sound like an empty declaration, but something we must prepare to prevent through all acceptable and possible ways.”

Waging War

A letter in today’s Wall Street Journal seconds the point Ralph Peters made yesterday in the New York Post. The Bush administration may be doing something in Iraq, but it is not waging war:

Forget ‘Plan B’ — Fight Hard and Win the War

In his Oct. 20 editorial-page commentary “Plan B,” Elliot A. Cohen states that all the alternatives to our current Plan A strategy that is not working in Iraq are “either wretched to contemplate or based on fantasy. . . .” But in the options noted for Plan B he does not list the only one that has consistently worked in situations like this: Increase the penalty we impose on our enemies and on the supporters of our enemies.

In effect, we need to be more brutal than the enemy and the Iraqi populace must be left no room for doubt as to which force is more lethal and more powerful and of which force it must be more afraid. As a university professor, my guess is that Prof. Cohen could not face his peers if he were to propose massive, withering, unrelenting, firebombing of all strongholds of resistance to the emergence of a democratic government in Iraq not controlled by terrorists. I would also guess this is the same reason the Bush administration, which is gratuitously accused of being war mongering, is also not actively engaged in the required brutality to win the war. For some reason our modern intellectuals and politicians believe human nature has evolved sufficiently so that uncomfortably brutal measures are not required to win a war.

But it was less than 65 years ago that we firebombed Dresden and other German cities where families lived; it was only 61 years ago that we used atomic weapons to avoid the deaths of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops and probably millions of Japanese civilians. The families currently living in Germany and Japan are undoubtedly better off for what we did and we should not forget that. And for those who would say at present we just don’t have the will to wage a sufficiently brutal campaign to win, I would say that in the end we will do it and we will win; the real question is will we do it now when only thousands will die, or will we delay until such time when millions may die.

Rick Geiger
Pittsford, N.Y.

Make War, Not Love

Ralph Peters writes that there is no political solution in Iraq, but there is a military one, and it isn’t too late to try:

The first thing we need to do is to kill Muqtada al-Sadr, who’s now a greater threat to our strategic goals than Osama bin Laden.

We should’ve killed him in 2003, when he first embarked upon his murder campaign. But our leaders were afraid of provoking riots.

Back then, the tumult might’ve lasted a week. Now we’ll face a serious uprising. So be it. When you put off paying war’s price, you pay compound interest in blood.

We must kill – not capture – Muqtada, then kill every gunman who comes out in the streets to avenge him.

Our policy of all-carrots-no-sticks has failed miserably. We delivered Iraq to zealots, gangsters and terrorists. Now our only hope is to prove that we mean business – that the era of peace, love and wasting American lives is over.

And after we’ve killed Muqtada and destroyed his Mahdi Army, we need to go after the Sunni insurgents. If we can’t leave a democracy behind, we should at least leave the corpses of our enemies.

The holier-than-thou response to this proposal is predictable: “We can’t kill our way out of this situation!” Well, boo-hoo. Friendly persuasion and billions of dollars haven’t done the job. Give therapeutic violence a chance.

Our soldiers and Marines are dying to protect a government whose members are scrambling to ally themselves with sectarian militias and insurgent factions. President Bush needs to face reality. The Maliki government is a failure.

There’s still a chance, if a slight one, that we can achieve a few of our goals in Iraq – if we let our troops make war, not love. But if our own leaders are unwilling to fight, it’s time to leave and let Iraqis fight each other.

Our president owes Iraq’s treacherous prime minister nothing. Get tough, or get out.

Another Victory for bin Laden?

Michael F. Scheuer, a 22-year veteran with the CIA, who created and served as the chief of the agency’s Osama bin Laden unit at the Counterterrorist Center, argues a Democratic majority will be another victory for Al Qaeda.

He writes:

If Americans vote for what sounds like sweet reason from the Democrats, bin Laden and company will rejoice. What they will hear is the death knell for any prospect of effective U.S. military resistance to militant Islam. With the Republicans out, the Islamists will be confident that Democrats will deliver the best of both worlds: less emphasis on military force and a rigid maintenance of U.S. foreign policies that are hated with passion and near-unanimity by 1.3 billion Muslims. If Osama approved of music, he would be whistling “Happy Days Are Here Again!”

…The combination of Democratic rhetoric and the indelible fact of the Clinton administration’s relentless refusal to try to kill bin Laden — preferring to protect its Arab, arms-buying buddies at the cost of American corpses — ensures that voters will receive what Clinton-era Democrats are best at giving: barely disguised pacifism that has and will continue to allow al-Qaeda and its allies to steadily destroy U.S. security.

Common Sense Down Under

The multiculturalism suicide pact.

From an editorial in the Australian:

…some Muslim women claim that the veil is a liberating force, or that it is an inherent part of their cultural identity. But no matter the justification, the question remains whether a practice with its roots and justification in medieval Arabia has a place in a postmodern secular society such as Australia. Religious beliefs are by definition sacred, and as much as possible they should be a private matter. But when an individual or a community feels that their personal practices should trump widely held values while also setting themselves apart, the question arises as to whether those people would not be more comfortable in a place where such behaviour is the norm.

At its heart is the question of where tolerance should end and the old adage, “When in Rome, do as the Romans”, should kick in. While tolerance is certainly a positive virtue that should be strived for, it cannot be a cultural suicide pact. A culture that is tolerant of those who are intolerant of its freedoms is ripe for destruction, and bit by bit will see all it values eroded. And radical Islam knows this. Just as an Australian wouldn’t go to Saudi Arabia to wear a bikini on the beach and drink beer in the corner pub, those who see the proper role of women as subservient, anonymous and under cover should not expect a postmodern secular democracy such as Britain or Australia to accommodate these beliefs.

The Queen

Saw the movie The Queen which depicts the crisis over Queen Elizabeth’s reaction to the death of Princess Diana, the “People’s Princess”, a phrase conjured up by Tony Blair’s political adviser who comes across in the film as a kind of Karl Rove without the integrity.

I thought the picture was terrific, especially since it wasn’t suffused with political correctness. Instead of a caricature you might expect, Elizabeth is portrayed as fully human and a woman embodying the distinctly untrendy qualities of courage, stoicism, and devotion to her country. Diana and her Oprahfied “people” are as ditsy and self-absorbed as you wouldn’t expect to see in a movie nowadays.

But I most enjoyed the portrayal of Tony Blair. As a thoroughly “modern” politician, Blair is instinctively scornful of what the Royal Family represents, but unlike his contemptuous wife (think a slightly more appealing Hillary, but who isn’t?), Blair possesses a core of integrity and decency that, unlike his with-it advisers and the rest of the teary British public, leads him to recognize a “high-tech lynching” when he sees it.

Anyway, it’s refreshing to watch a movie that doesn’t assume the transcendence of liberal dogma.

The Value of Ferocity

Ralph Peters on the military’s new politically correct counterinsurgency doctrine:

We’ve reached a fateful point when senior officers seek to evade war’s brute reality. Our leaders, in and out of uniform, must regain their moral courage. We can’t fight wars of any kind if the entire chain of command runs for cover every time an ambitious journalist cries, “War crime!” And sorry: Soccer balls are no substitute for bullets when you face fanatics willing to kill every child on the playing field.

In war, you don’t get points for good manners. It’s about winning. Victory forgives.

The new counterinsurgency doctrine recommends forbearance, patience, understanding, non-violent solutions and even outright passivity. Unfortunately, our enemies won’t sign up for a replay of the Summer of Love in San Francisco. We can’t treat hardcore terrorists like Halloween pranksters on mid-term break from prep school.

Where is the spirit of FDR and George C. Marshall, who recognized that the one unbearable possibility was for the free world to lose?

We discount the value of ferocity – as a practical tool and as a deterrent. But war’s immutable law – proven yet again in Iraq – is that those unwilling to pay the butcher’s bill up front will pay it with compound interest in the end.

The new counterinsurgency doctrine is dishonest and cowardly.

We don’t face half-hearted Marxists tired of living in the jungle, but religious zealots who behead prisoners to please their god and who torture captives by probing their skulls with electric drills. We’re confronted by hatreds born of blood and belief and madmen whose appetite for blood is insatiable.

And we’re afraid to fight.

The Only Difference

Mark Steyn on defending Israel:

I don’t really “defend”[Israel] on anything but utilitarian grounds: Every country in the region – Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia – dates as a sovereign state from 60-70 years ago. The only difference is that Israel has made a go of it. So should we have more states like Israel in the region or more like Syria? I don’t find that a hard question to answer. And the minute people start arguing about going back to the “1967 borders” or the “1948 armistice”, I figure why stop there? Why not go back to the 1922 settlement when the British Mandate of Palestine was created and rethink London’s decision to give 78% of the land to what’s now Jordan? If you propose that, folks think you’re nuts. But why should 40 or 60 year old lines on a map be up for perpetual renegotiation but 80 year old lines be considered inviolable?

Well, because one involves Jews and the other doesn’t. The oldest hatred didn’t get that way without an ability to adapt. Jews are hated for what they are – so, at any moment in history, whatever they are is what they’re hated for. For centuries in Europe, they were hated for being rootless cosmopolitan types. Now there are no rootless European Jews to hate, so they’re hated for being an illegitimate Middle Eastern nation-state. If the Zionist Entity were destroyed and the survivors forced to become perpetual cruise-line stewards plying the Caribbean, they’d be hated for that, too. The only difference now is that Jew-hatred is resurgent despite the full knowledge of where it ended up 60 years ago. Today, Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad openly urge the destruction of the Jews, and moderate Muslim leaders sit silently alongside them, and European media commentators take the side of the genocide-inciters, and UN bigwigs insist we negotiate with them. In the 1930s, the willingness of Europe not to see the implied end-point in those German citizenship laws left a moral stain on that continent. Seventy years on, it’s not implied, and the moral stain on us will be worse.

It Was You, Mohammed

Where is our Marlon Brando in the war against the Islamogangstas?

Mark Steyn writes:

When you see those Islamogangstas outside Westminster Cathedral in London shouting “Death to the Pope!” they’re behaving, in effect, like the union enforcers in On the Waterfront. To be sure, the union did a lot of good things, and a lot of good men were members, but it was the heavies who made the running. In Islam, the heavies make the running, and they’re demanding what comes very near to a closed shop in public discussion of their faith. So where is our Marlon Brando?

Step forward, Andrew Robb, parliamentary secretary to the Australian minister of immigration. Speaking to 100 A-list Aussie imams the other day, he told them to shove the victim mentality and quit trying to pass off all criticism as “Islamophobia”: “We live in a world of terrorism where evil acts are being regularly perpetrated in the name of your faith,” said Mr. Robb. “And because it is your faith that is being invoked as justification for these evil acts, it is your problem.”

Perhaps The New York Times would think Mr. Robb’s words as ill-advised as the Pope’s. But the Times and others in the secular West cannot even find a working language for their much cherished “dialogue.” One side seeks accommodation, the other seeks victory.