Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Heads Still Placed Firmly In The Sand

One of my favorite movie lines ever is the line from The Usual Suspects, in which Verbal Kint, speaking of mystery villain Keyser Soze, remarks that "the greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he didn't exist." Apparently, even if he came out and told them, some people still wouldn't believe. Consider this from Christopher Hitchens:

Over the past few months, I have been debating Roman Catholics who differ from their Eastern Orthodox brethren on the nature of the Trinity, Protestants who are willing to quarrel bitterly with one another about election and predestination, with Jews who cannot concur about a covenant with God, and with Muslims who harbor bitter disagreements over the discrepant interpretations of the Quran. Arcane as these disputes may seem, and much as I relish seeing the faithful fight among themselves, the believers are models of lucidity when compared to the hair-splitting secularists who cannot accept that al-Qaida in Mesopotamia is a branch of al-Qaida itself.

Now, there is obvious religion-bashing going on this statement (we're all aware of Hitchens' God-hatred), but the highlighted part appears to be tragically true. Some people just don't get it, and they continue to abide under the most idiotic of assumptions.

Read the whole thing, but check out another excerpt:

We can not only deny the clones of Bin Ladenism a military victory in Iraq, we can also discredit them in the process and in the eyes (and with the help) of a Muslim people who have seen them up close. We can do this, moreover, in a keystone state of the Arab world that guards a chokepoint—the Gulf—in the global economy. As with the case of Afghanistan—where several provinces are currently on a knife-edge between an elected government that at least tries for schools and vaccinations, and the forces of uttermost darkness that seek to negate such things—the struggle will take all our nerve and all our intelligence. But who can argue that it is not the same battle in both cases, and who dares to say that it is not worth fighting?

Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and regrettably others, who ought to know better.

HT: Instapundit


QJ said...


I respectfully disagree.

Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, Ron Paul, and the others are correct in their opinions. US historical meddling in the affairs of the Muslim world instigated the hostilities that we are facing now. Why doesn’t Canada and Mexico suffer the same hostilities from Muslim terrorists as we do?

IMO, we cannot fight terrorists with a standing Army or by occupying foreign lands. This fight must be fought with human and electronic intelligence information backed up by a quick/mobile strike force such as covert & special operation forces.

The 9/11 attacks were treacherous acts of terrorism, but the Bush administration, the U.S. foreign policy establishment, and the American media act as if they were the beginning of history. Only in religion and quantum physics are there events without cause. Most Americans are unaware of their government's history of unnecessary and profligate meddling in the affairs of countries throughout the Middle East. For their own safety and security, Americans cannot continue to ignore that the Islamist venom resulting in 9/11 was rooted in this U.S. interventionist and quasi-imperial foreign policy.

Non-Muslim intervention in and occupation of Muslim lands has driven Islamist violence in Chechnya, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan (during both the Soviet and current U.S. occupations), and Lebanon (during Israeli invasions and the U.S. nation-building mission during the Reagan administration). The U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf initially motivated bin Laden to strike U.S. targets, eventually resulting in the horror of 9/11.

Instead of perpetuating the myth that the United States is at war with fanatics who have a reflexive hatred of America, the Bush Administration and Congress could better spend their time examining the real motivator for such terrorism, U.S FOREIGN POLICY.
And, they could better spend their time recommending a policy of military restraint in the Middle East to reduce the chances of terrorist attacks at home.

Osama bin Laden does try to kill both soldiers and civilians and is justifiably deemed a vicious terrorist. His real objective is not to dominate all countries by fomenting an Islamist revolution. If bin Laden had this as a genuine goal, it would be laughable to think that he could get any significant public support in Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, or Hindu countries for a revolution to convert them to draconian Islamic rule. In fact, his officially stated goal of recreating a caliphate that would put all of the diverse Islamic countries under one ruler is preposterous enough on its own.

Despite bin Laden's inflated rhetoric, his real aims, which are also supported by many mainstream Muslims, are to remove a non-Muslim military presence from Islamic lands and compel the United States to stop supporting what bin Laden sees as corrupt regimes in the Middle East. Most mainstream Muslims, however, reject bin Laden's despicable means of targeting civilians to achieve his goals.

DaveG said...

Yes, well, root causes aside, we can't just turn our backs and walk away without getting hammered.

Smoking may have been the root cause of your cancer, but that doesn't mean you don't treat the symptoms.

If your suggestion is complete isolationism, then you have to accept the nearly complete loss of privacy and civil rights that it would take to protect ourselves at home. At a minimum, the ACLU is going to have something to say about that.

And, as a taxpayer, I would also insist that all of the billions od dollars spent on foreign aid be immediately ceased to those countries that find our involvement so ire-provoking.

Tsunami? Earthquake? Famine? Epidemic? Tough luck, Bubba.

Oil? Well, you may want to go back to living in a grass hut and foraging for food, but that idea is going to be mighty unpopular with the American Idol crowd. Survivor is only fun on TV, not to live. Unless and until the NIMBY-Greens get out of the way of nuclear power and/or domestic drilling/refining, you have to face the fact that oil is an absolute necessity, and that we need to do what it takes to protect access to it.

qj said...

Concerning Iraq, either you’re for the war, or you’re with the isolationists. According to the continuing the war effort crowd, responsible criticism comes from within the first faction, whereas defeatism, hindsight, and second-guessing come from the latter. In the real world, the choice is much more complex than simply between the reckless and militant interventionism of the Bush Administration forced democracy policy and the head-in-the-sand posture of isolationism. Setting up the isolationist straw man was a cynical tactic used to frame the debate over Iraq, not a serious characterization of a real position on foreign policy.

True enough, there are a few on the national stage who embrace something akin to isolationism. However, there is little groundswell at the grassroots for this worldview and almost no genuine isolationism in Congress or the punditocracy.

In reality, there is a wide spectrum of views on America’s role in the world, and it is not adequately characterized by Bush supporters vs. isolationist’s dichotomy. Many believe that the Bush administration’s definition of the national interest is absurdly broad; for instance, when the President claims that the security of Americans is contingent on the end of tyranny in our world. But the disagreement is not based on a desire to retrench ourselves in some walled commune, avoiding the world around us and ignoring the perils there. It is not isolation that is sought, but a more discriminating view of the national interest. Non-Intervention does mean Isolation.


“Oil? Well, you may want to go back to living in a grass hut and foraging for food….you have to face the fact that oil is an absolute necessity, and that we need to do what it takes to protect access to it.”

If this was true, then every country in the free world would be in Iraq fighting, or at least giving us money to help fund the fight. Yes, oil is important. However, regardless of a US pullout, oil producing countries in the region will continue to produce oil. It’s the only money maker they got and this is undeniably a fact. Right now, the oil producing countries are financing the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan, and this is another undeniable fact. Therefore, after our forces pullout, these financiers will see no need to continue providing aid to them.

BTW, I am a Geo-Libertarian or The Geo-Libertarian viewpoint includes free trade without protectionism. Consequently, you have to have international economic relations to satisfy this point.