Tuesday, June 27, 2006

As if in answer to my last post

The New York Times once again undermines our ability to fight these fanatical freaks by disclosing details of another way we track them -- a way that has yielded results in captured terrorists as late as the middle of last year, and that's just ones we know about.

Now it's not just the Times fault. We apparently (although it's not surprising) have traitors in the government. I can name a couple off the top of my head (Murtha, Kerry). Inside traitors leaked classified information to the Times.

Once the Times got this information, though, they proceded to abuse it. Though warned not to publish -- and I think they absolutely knew what the implications were as far as aiding Al Quaeda et. al. -- they did it anyway.

This elicited some of the straightest talk I've ever heard from a government official -- Treasury Secretary John Snow (in a letter to executive editor Bill Keller ) :
You have defended your decision to compromise this program by asserting that "terror financiers know” our methods for tracking their funds and have already moved to other methods to send money. The fact that your editors believe themselves to be qualified to assess how terrorists are moving money betrays a breathtaking arrogance and a deep misunderstanding of this program and how it works. While terrorists are relying more heavily than before on cumbersome methods to move money, such as cash couriers, we have continued to see them using the formal financial system, which has made this particular program incredibly valuable.

Lastly, justifying this disclosure by citing the “public interest” in knowing information about this program means the paper has given itself free license to expose any covert activity that it happens to learn of - even those that are legally grounded, responsibly administered, independently overseen, and highly effective. Indeed, you have done so here.
[emphasis, mine]

Precicely! These. People. Ought. To. Be. Taken. Out. And. Shot. The whole arrogant lot of them. Maybe the New York Times will be Al Queda's next American target. Nah. Who'd destroy their best weapon?

Patterico has an excellent roundup of responses. He also has this excellent post.

Update: I watched Bush's reaction and response. I don't think I've ever seen him that angry before, and I don't blame him one bit. I'm sure the pompus presumtuousness of the leading compound question he was asked didn't help matters.

Tony Snow's was blunt and honest as well.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Protein Wisdom

I've been looking at the Protein Wisdom blog a bit lately. Never really looked at it much.

Frankly, it was depressing to read some of the lefty folks (trolls?) who try to argue with the guy's normal conservative following readers. I mean -- it seems like half of this country is suffering from a lack of understanding about what liberty is, what freedom is, what fairness is, what is right, what is wrong, and when it is right and when it is wrong.

I could go into a lengthy post about why I think this is, but not now. Suffice it to say, it's a bit un-nerving, though, and doesn't bode well for the continued existence of this Grand Experiment in Liberty we call America -- at least not in any recognizable form.

Anyway, I was reading comments on a post about the torture and death of our two guys over there over the weekend, and the arguments put forth by some lefty ... I don't know if they qualify as trolls or what... but anyway, the argument got back to the tired old "but we torture, too, so we're just as bad". Never mind the intellectual vaccuity it takes to actually believe that argument, and what it says about where such a person really believes.

But encouragingly, one of the readers (Defense Guy) put forward this comment which I found worth noting:

I will not subject those that must do the actual work of winning the war to a set of rules designed to make me feel better about it at greater risk to them.

That's definitely one to keep in the ole tobacco pouch for later pipe-sticking & smoking.

To which Pablo waxed Whittle-esque (an excellent way to wax):

Amen. There are scary bad men out there who are in the process of sorting out parts of this thing that we’ll never know about. Some of them are ours.

The sheepdog who guards the flock can never sink his teeth into the sheep. Only wolves would do that, not honorable dogs. But when the sheepdog is doing the worst part of his job, not watching over the flock but defending it from attacking wolves, he needs to use his teeth. Not for fun, and not because he likes the taste of wolf, but because it’s his job to do it and it needs to be done. It’s only because he’s so much like the wolf that he can even do the job. Every bite is not the same as every other. It is not all the same thing.

And Carin makes this excellent point:
The beauty of the liberal argument in regards to torture, is that unless we are perfect, we are as guilty as the other side. One incident of abuse -blaring headlines on every paper - means [to some people] that we are EXACTLY the same.

Others argue that in war moral high ground goes out the window. I get their point, but I personally wouldn't go that far.

On the other hand, when the enemy shows that their modus operandi is to screw practically all morality out of hand (that is, to actually use civlillians as fodder for the cause -- in other words, terrorism) I'm not so sure throwing normal moral high ground out the window (in the case of dealing with the enemy) is a bad thing because we can't have people like that walking the planet.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Cost of Cut & Run

Tony Blankley, from the Washington Times

It was 30 years ago when Congress last took the reigns of national war fighting. In August 1974, Richard Nixon had been scandalized and left office. The November 1974 election brought forth the "Watergate babies"; Congress filled with young anti-war Democrats. One of the first actions of the Watergate Congress was to vote to deny an appropriation of $800 million to pay for South Vietnamese military aid, including ammunition and spare parts. Historical records now reveal that five weeks after that vote, the North Vietnamese started planning their final offensive.

The morale of the South Vietnamese was broken by that symbolic congressional act of betrayal. The actual dollar cuts forced South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu to abandon the Central Highland in March 1975, leading to the collapse of our ally and the onset of genocide and police-state brutalities that killed more Asians than all the thousand days of the war did.

Today's Democratic proposals were attempted amendments to a military spending bill. History attempting to repeat itself?

What? The US Military is responsive to criticism?

Say it ain't SO! (is your whole liberal world view crumbling?)

From an LA Times editorial: The ACLU's Twisted Logic on Gitmo

To avoid future excesses, the Pentagon has considered scores of recommendations, and most of them have been implemented. All of this compares favorably with actions taken in past conflicts. Americans can justly take pride in their fighting men and women and in the Pentagon's civilian leadership. If the ACLU was hoping to prove otherwise, it failed.

More from David Warren

You really gotta read this guy. (from "The Great Divide")

Indeed, the most obvious contemporary way to distinguish between a “liberal” and a “conservative” is in their views on any passing spectacle of crime and punishment. The “liberal” instinctively identifies with the criminal, the “conservative” instinctively identifies with the victim. The liberal instinctively accuses the conservative of lacking compassion, or of wanting vengeance against the criminal, with whom the liberal has identified. The conservative instinctively remembers that the criminal showed no compassion to the victim with whom he identified.

The essay goes way deeper than that.

Would the media ever consider this?

The media so obsessed with the "all the deaths" America has caused in Iraq, (and by America they mean George W Bush) -- would probably never be so introspective as to consider this:
To an enemy who depends utterly on morale, in the absence of significant military abilities -- who has only such weaponry as he can rig or steal, and only such soldiers as he can recruit in secret; who has no secure territory to which he can retreat and regroup -- this constant and reliable support from the media is indispensable. Without it, the “resistance” in Iraq would have collapsed quickly, saving ten-thousands of lives; and the Afghan “resistance” would be in greater disarray (though it has the benefit of secure pasturage in remote tribal mountain fastnesses).

David Warren in the Ottowa Times

In their drive to drive us out (to save lives, right?) have they contributed significantly to the prolonging of the war? Might they have plenty of blood on their hands?

Liberals don't want Victory in Iraq. They want the defeat of George Bush. They don't give a damn about Iraqis.

Strategy For Success: Redeploy!

I was listening to Morning Edition on the way in this morning, and in the headline news there was a story on two competing democratic proposals ("resolutions") in Congress calling for a troop pullout from Iraq. They're amemendments to a military spending bill. First of all, the bills are non-binding, and second, they'll never pass. So basically, they're being brought up for the purpose of scoring more Bush Bashing highlights.

The one Kerry and Feingold are backing calls for a firm date -- July 1 of next year. Democrats opposed to setting a date have introduced another bill that calls for a phased withdrawal starting this year and a demand for the President to submit a plan for withdrawal by years end.

Jack Reid spouts on about a "phased redeployment" starting this year (see, that's not withdrawal, that's sending soldiers in Iraq somewhere besides Iraq. But it's not withdrawal) and about forcing the president to do the right thing. This of course means withdrawal. Reid talks about leaving Iraq with as much success as possible (victory is not possible) and about a "strategy for success". Which is starting to sound like Kerry's "I have a plan".

Levin, the second bill's sponsor, says that Bush "has not said that we do not have an open-ended committment in Iraq. The President has not said tat there will be further reductions, and redeployments of troops this year". He says the proposal is trying to get the president to say both.

It seems to me that to the Democrats, a "strategy for success" means "a strategy for leaving". Bush and the Republicans "Strategy for Success" is to defeat the enemy. At that point, we can start a strategy for "redeployment", or -- sorry, you're not fooling anyone, Democrats -- withdrawal.

If success = leaving, then of course, why not get on with it? But if success = a stable, democratic Iraq, then a strategy for success cannot include a plan for withdrawal. When I go in to fix the furnace, my strategy is to keep at it until the furnace is fixed. I don't need to tell my wife that I have a "strategy for success" and a "plan for withdrawal". She assumes success means the furnace is fixed, and she also assumes that when the furnace is fixed, I will withdraw from the furnace room without declaring a plan to do so.

But the democrats want to know "Where is the plan to get out of Iraq?"

Well here it is. When we and the Iraqis agree that they don't need us anymore to control the Islamist and Ba'athist "resistance", we'll send some boats and planes and our guys will get on them and they'll head home. See?

In the mean time, the strategy for success is to root out and kill the enemy, cut them off from their supplies and support until they are a) dead b) devoid of the will to fight, or c) devoid of the ability to fight. And it's working.

After Zarqawi, They're Losing

Zarqawi document found on a thumb drive in his pocket.

Read the first few paragraphs -- then notice Zarqawi's "strategy for success" -- which incidentally, does not include a plan for withdrawing from Iraq -- along with several reasons why our "strategy for success" should not include "redeployment" until the mission is accomplished (success).

The democrats pander to people who have a world view that we caused the war on Islamism, and that all we have to do is stop and it will stop (or, the more hard core think that we should just sit and reap our "just punishment" from the Islamists). Of course, in that world view, "success" means to stop fighting.

Stopping fighting is excactly the behavior that brought this war on in the first place. Bin Laden et. al. believe they brought the Soviet Union down. After declaring that the "more dangerous of the superpowers" had been defeated, that America would be a piece of cake because we lack the stomach for a fight. Somalia and other incidents like it "proved" that. I think they truly had hopes that 9/11 would bring about our surrender to Islam and/or Dihimmitude. Those who don't understand this vote for democrats, and democrats are pandering to these people. This pushes sensible democrats like Joe Lieberman out of what should be the core of that party to the fringe.

War is not a football game. It is a fight to the death There is no game clock. Demanding a game clock means demanding we tell the enemy when we'll stop fighting so that they can bide their time until then to move in for the kill.

More (better) at Captain's Quarters

Monday, June 19, 2006

Whittle's Back!

Worthwhile, as usual.

Go read Rafts.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hadji Girl

Don't know if you're up on the hoopla over a video of a Marine entertaining fellow troops with his guitar at Al Asad -- but it's (surprise surprise) been misrepresented (on purpose by CAIR) and at best misreported by much of the MSM and the left blogsphere who basically repeat and embellish CAIR's claims. CAIR paints it as a song about a marine gratuitously killing civilians... of course, anyone who goes and listens to the whole thing or reads the lyrics would immediately see that this is not the case at all.

It's a song about a marine who gets lured into an ambush by a pretty (pretty-eyed, I assume) Muslim girl, who takes him to a house where her father and brother (and little sister?) are waiting. They pull out their guns, and he pulls either her or her little sister in front of him. They open fire, he ducks behind the TV and "locks & loads" and quite justifiably wipes out these "civilians".

The only thing that should make anyone cringe at all would be when he "grabbed her little sister and pulled her in front of me" -- Of course, these people have no problem killing their own (especially women) or shielding themselves behind civilians -- I suppose the Marine could be fantasizing about having that trick available to him in his rules of engagement book. It's also quite possible that the idea was he "grabbed their little sister" -- meaning the girl who lured him into the ambush - it would make more sense since a) she would be right there, and b) no "little sister" was mentioned up to this point. I sing songs, too. Sometimes you screw up the lyrics when performing. Change "her" to "the" or "their" and any reservations I have at all vanish. And sometimes poetic license makes you change the lyrics to better fit the melody at the expense of the story.

This is a bunch of guys going out to face death every day and they have to decide in a split second if the person in front of them is an enemy or someone they're supposed to be protecting. This is them blowing off steam and trying to deal with it. Walk a mile in these men's shoes and then try criticizing them. I have no problems with this song in context.

I may just have to learn it. ;-)

Hadji Girl

I was out in the sands of Iraq
And we were under attack
And I, well, I didn't know where to go.
And the first think I could see was
Everybody's favorite Burger King
So I threw open the door and I hit the floor.
Then suddenly to my surprise
I looked up and I saw her eyes
And I knew it was love at first sight.
And she said

Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I can't understand what you're saying.
And she said
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I love you anyway.

Then she said that she wanted me to see.
She wanted me to go meet her family
But I, well, I couldn't figure out how to say no.
Cause I don't speak Arabic.
So, she took me down an old dirt trail.
And she pulled up to a side shanty
And she threw open the door and I hit the floor.
Cause her brother and her father shouted
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
They pulled out their AK's so I could see
And they said
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah

So I grabbed her little sister and pulled her in front of me.

As the bullets began to fly
The blood sprayed from between her eyes
And then I laughed maniacally
Then I hid behind the TV
And I locked and loaded my M-16
And I blew those little f***ers to eternity.
And I said

Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
They should have known they were f***ing with a Marine

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bush Visits Baghdad

Once again tipped off to this via Michelle

President Bush seeking to bolster support for Iraq's burgeoning goverment and U.S. war policy at home, made a surprise visit to Iraq on Tuesday ...

Yeah, that's obviously why he went. There couldn't possibly have been another reason. It was all a publicity stunt.

A head of state visiting another head of state where the two states have a mutual interest in the stabilization of the second state, and the first state has good bit of money, manpower, and blood invested in the cause? (not to mention the importance of the situation in stand in the War on Islamism).

It just doesn't make any SENSE, captain ... except for the publicity. That Bush. I'll tell you.

Kudos to Bush. That's the man I voted for.

Marine sings song - CAIR & Media up in arms

There's a video floating around showing a Marine entertaining some troops in Iraq. I imagine it was meant to stay with them and it was a chance for them to vent themselves to help deal with the stress and all to similar situations they are required to deal with every day. I watched/listened on Vent.

I had to lodge this complaint to the BBC after reading their "story" on the "probe" over the song.

Uh, listen to the WHOLE song and the story it tells and please report the entire context. The singer of the song is being manipulated by a pretty Muslim girl, and the killing begins AFTER the people around her pull out their AK-47's and he realizes he's been pulled into a trap.

These guys are under immense stress pressure as has been any soldier in any war. They need time and space to vent. They're not sitting in a coffee house in London discussing the evils of war, they are living it and being asked to make split-second decisions in deciding whether or not they are facing a "civilian" or an enemy pretending to be one. Leave them alone and let them do their jobs.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The bombs keep a' poundin' a rhythm through his brain

Zarqawi. 52 minutes, hopefully mostly pain-filled. Hopefully, with full knowledge of what befell him and who was responsible. And no, we didn't beat him to death (the story the AP ran with from an uncorroborated report to help paint us as bad, evil America), we bombed him to death. Not that it should matter anyway.

The Captain said everything I wanted to say on the subject:

Now that we have that information, perhaps someone can explain what the fuss was all about. Zarqawi never operated within the rules of war, and also did not surrender. When faced with such an enemy in the field, soldiers kill them rather than attempt an arrest. Had they discovered that Zarqawi had survived the explosion and could still present a danger, they would either shoot him or attempt to capture him, depending on their orders. If the latter was the case, the methods used to restrain Zarqawi would appear rough and violent -- and since this isn't a law-enforcement exercise, such tactics in handling an enemy would not be out of place.

Very well put, Captain.

Friday, June 09, 2006

So how many languages do we need to learn to speak?

Via Michelle Malkin --

So Joseph Vento, a third generation Italian who runs a Phili steakhouse posted a sign in his restaurant that says:


Note that it does not say "SPEAK ENGLISH ONLY IN THIS RESTAURANT". He's just demanding that you order in English.

Many think it's cool to go to a restaurant where you have to order in French, so they can show off their French to those at the table who don't speak it. And that's what most leftist activism is really about. A narcissistic urge to be seen morally preening in public to boost the ego.

This country was founded on the idea of Liberty -- which means, in part, that if I don't want to learn Swahili, I don't have to. And it means if I want to open a restaurant, I can. It also means that I still don't have to learn Swahili even if I do open a restaurant. Or, I could open a Swahili restaurant and insist that everyone order in Swahili. I may not stay in business very long, but that's because others have the liberty of going to whatever restaurant they choose. And most people, I'll bet, are going to avoid that one.

But the usual suspects want to force this man to take the sign down because it's xenophobic and racist (never mind that language != race).

Never mind that the Blessed First Amendment (which for some reason doesn't apply when anyone wants to say something that Leftists disagree with) says he can say whatever he wants. It's his property, his business, and he's welcomed to post whatever he likes inside and demand that customers follow his rules.

I have a question for the activists. How many languages are we to learn if we want to open a restaurant? After all, if we demand that people be allowed to order in Spanish as well as in English, then aren't we being just as "racist" by not insisting that people can expect to order in German, French, Arabic, Ukrainian, Slavic, Chinese, or the ever-popular Swahili?

If everyone who comes here learns 1 (one) language in addition to the one they already know, then we can all communicate effectively. That's a whole lot easier than everybody having to learn the list of politically correct languages du jour so that everyone can communicate. The language this nation has always conducted business in is English. The vast majority of us speak it fluently. This is not racism. It's practicality.

I'd like to bring up one last point. I note that organizations who are against liberty and democracy (ACLU, ANSWER, and other Communist fronts -- as well as Islamists) have a vested interest in pushing multiculturalism here in the United States. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for a multi-textured culture. But we need a few things to hold us together as a cohesive culture. United We Stand, Divided We Fall, remember that? The logical end to the kind of pure multiculturalism being demanded here is divisiveness. The only way to beat America is to divide us, and our enemies are getting better and better at it. Think about it.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Durka! Durka! Zarqawi is dead.

Rock on, guys.

Good work. Hopefully, he's joined his buddy Bin Laden in the infernal hereafter.

(somehow, I can't get "Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead" out of my head. Unfortunately, there are many more witches out there.)

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Better words than mine

Very good piece by Tony Blankley on RCP this morning, who is putting things much better than I have to this point:

if an American soldier, sailor, Marine or airman is found by a court martial made up of seasoned officers with a practical understanding of the exigencies of combat to have violated the standards of combat, he or she must face American military justice. But in time of war, there is no reason why military censorship should not be enforced to shroud the carrying out of justice from the eager eyes and ears of enemy propagandists -- domestic and foreign.

True, true. But he also gets to a point that you don't hear in all the head shaking and "tsk-tsk"-ing that's going on in the press:

It is commonplace to observe that since the dawn of man -- and currently -- in the crucible of battle, warriors sometimes cannot contain their emotions and their violent actions. It is amazing our troops act as civilized as they do in combat.

It is particularly commendable of our American troops that they willingly go into battle under such restrictive rules of engagement that they are required to constantly risk their own lives in order not to offend civilians/terrorists(?) until they are almost sure they are really combatants.

No other military force in history has been so tightly limited in its defensive actions. And probably no other military force has been sufficiently disciplined to maintain such restrictive rules in the heat of combat. God bless our troops -- if not necessarily the policy that so restricts them.

Also demonstrably true. Which brings us to another point -- the world, through the U.N., shakes its bony finger at ruthless dictators and regimes, writing resolution after resolution, "farting in their general direction" and, if the regime should fail to comply, send a "really, really" angry letter, in effect "taunting them a second time". Or third. Or fourth. Or seventeenth, as the case may be.

Then, prostesting loudly that anyone might consider actually doing something about it -- you know, backing up the resolutions with some teeth -- they largely step back and let the United States of America do the bulk of the extremely dirty work. And from the peanut gallery pontificate on how the dirty work of war reflects on us.

As I've said before -- show me this virtuous country, military, whatever -- that we should be emulating. Please include references to de-throned despots and large social wrongs they have directly addressed. We stick our neck out on behalf of the world while the world hacks away at our necks for doing it.

Finally, he really hits the nail on the head in one paragraph about the general disposition of the press:

To see the gleam in the eyes of reporters happily cackling on about "other possible incidents" -- about which they know not whether they even exist -- is to be filled with a fury that we have a system of journalism that permits people with such mentalities to poison the minds of the world with their malice.

Thank you, Tony. I couldn't have put it better myself.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Cool for me, but not for thee

Al Gore, in an interview with Grist magazine, doesn't see a problem for overstating a case ... when he's doing it.

Q: There's a lot of debate right now over the best way to communicate about global warming and get people motivated. Do you scare people or give them hope? What's the right mix?

Gore: I think the answer to that depends on where your audience's head is. In the United States of America, unfortunately we still live in a bubble of unreality. And the Category 5 denial is an enormous obstacle to any discussion of solutions. Nobody is interested in solutions if they don't think there's a problem. Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.

Wow. Isn't that excactly what he and others have accused Bush of doing over Iraq?

Crazy, no?

Friday, June 02, 2006

133,000 US Troops in Iraq

And what, 100? 50? 30? bad apples have been fingered? 500? (for those of you who will say there have been others that haven't been caught?)

And people out there want to use that endict the entire country's military -- even the entire country as genocidal, cocky, rampaging, imperialistic, anti-muslim cowboys?

Let's say there have been, including troops that have been rotated out, 150,000 US troops in Iraq over the last 3 years, and let's use that 500 number just for grins.

That would mean one third of one percent of our troops are bad apples. Let me repeat that. One THIRD of ONE PERCENT. 99.67% of them are good guys. Yet people scoff "it's about time they got some ethical training, maybe the President needs some, too!"

I know, that nasty math. Facts! Who needs 'em?

Maybe members of the press should be required to take Scientific Method 101 and some math classes before they pick up a pen. Most of the journalism students I knew in college -- and I knew many -- extolled the fact that the degree requires the least math -- indeed, many of them said that's why they chose it.

If BBC, CNN, Reuters, AP, hell, even Fox spent half of the energy they do on these scandalous stories on just say on one story a week on something our troops have done, gone out of their way -- to extend some kindness, to protect, and sometimes directly save the lives of Iraqi citizens, people on this planet might have an inkling of an idea of who Americans are and what this is really all about.

But that would be "cheerleading". And it wouldn't sell ads.

I've got news for them, they are cheerleading, but for the other side. That's doing nobody any good but the Islamists. And if you think that one third of one percent of our guys are evil, read up on sharia, dihimmitude, and watch a few beheading videos. That's who they're helping.

What, wanna go for 1,000? Ok, TWO thirds of ONE PERCENT! Ooooooh!

This stuff makes me mad enough to spit.

When guns are outlawed...

What will be next? I read there were ~7,700 handgun deaths in 2003 (as opposed to almost 43,000 automobile deaths).

It got me wondering -- do people actually think that those 7,700 people would be alive today if there were no guns?

People found ways to kill each other before guns. As a matter of fact, the Brits have figured that out and are outlawing knives as well. You're pretty much not allowed there to defend yourself with sticks or chains, either.

For the a rational explanation of why the second amendment is vital to our liberty, I urge you to read this excellent piece by Bill Whittle.

It would be useful to remind people that the primary founding principle of The United States of America was Liberty, not Democracy. Democracy is a tool to be used in reaching a concensus on some of the boundaries of Liberty -- but it was never meant, indeed much care was taken to prevent it from becoming -- a tool for the majority to exert their will on everyone.


This is far too funny.

(ht: the agitator)

Tactical Error

What makes errors like the Haditha story dangerous to the war in general is this:

Notice that in the past few days other allegations have suddenly come out of the Iraqi woodwork?

Not saying that this is the case, but how hard would it be for, say, "insurgents" whose tactics explicitly call for the killing of civilians to, say, kill some civilians and, oh, film the bodies and a burned out house, some blood, and bullet holes and say...
"The Americans did it?"
Just askin'. Before anyone jumps to any conclusions. Oops.

When some of ours do it, it is an anomaly and should justifiably be covered up for the time being for just this reason. Instead, it's being politicized in this country, and I imagine Islamists in Iraq would have no qualms about going along for the ride.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hate, and other labels

Paul Waldman over at TomPaine.com writes:

What do the flag-burning amendment, the gay marriage amendment, the immigration issue and the national language amendment have in common? It’s not just that they seek to solve “problems” that a month or two ago no one felt required urgent attention. The real common denominator is the lowest one: hatred. If you’ve got hatred in your heart, the GOP has a piece of legislation for you.
Yes. It's so simple. We don't have to discuss the merits or demerits of an issue if we can just label the "other side" as "haters".

Paul's article was linked by RealClearPolitics today. Paul would do well to read another article RCP linked yesterday by Dennis Pranger. In case you don't have time for the whole article, here's the crux of it.

Here is a list of terms liberals apply to virtually every idea or action with which they differ:

- Racist
- Sexist
- Homophobic
- Islamophobic
- Imperialist
- Bigoted
- Intolerant

And here is the list of one-word descriptions of what liberals are for:

- Peace
- Fairness
- Tolerance
- The poor
- The disenfranchised
- The environment

These two lists serve contemporary liberals in at least three ways.

First, they attack the motives of non-liberals and thereby morally dismiss the non-liberal person.

Second, these words make it easy to be a liberal -- essentially all one needs to do is to memorize this brief list and apply the right term to any idea or policy. That is one reason young people are more likely to be liberal -- they have not had the time or inclination to think issues through, but they know they oppose racism, imperialism and bigotry, and that they are for peace, tolerance and the environment.

Third, they make the liberal feel good about himself -- by opposing conservative ideas and policies, he is automatically opposing racism, bigotry, imperialism, etc.

How being against flag burning is about hatred, first of all, is extremely contorted logic. (by the way, I'm against flag burning, but I'm also against it being against the law to do it.) But the same people who call anti-flag burning "hate" would be quick to call the burning of a Mexican or Iranian flag "hate". Such double-standards smack of ... wait for it ... "hate" ;-) .

The immigration issue isn't "the immigration" issue. It's the "illegal immigration" issue. I've yet to find a conservative collegue who is "against" immigration. Many of them are immigrants themselves. To call it "hate" when all we ask is that laws be followed and those who break them not be rewarded for it is blatant misdirection.

The "National Language" issue makes sense, actually. Look anywhere in the world. Cohesive cultures speak a common language. Nobody's saying it should be against the law to speak Spanish or any other language. What we are saying is that being legally required to print signs and official documents in languages other than English leads us down a very expensive, both in cost and cohesiveness (note, that's the opposite of "divisiveness"). You want to get along in this country? We teach in English. Our signs and forms are in English. Learn it. That's not hate. It's sense.

Gay marriage? I've gone on record before saying legal unions between gay people should be defined and honored. However, marriage comes has, throughout most of history and culture, been defined as a union of people of opposite sexes. I could characterize attempts to re-define it as "hate" because it's at least as insulting to Christians and Muslims as the Muhammad "cartoons" were to many Muslims. Not that that should be the standard, but once again note the double-standard. People don't want it called the same thing because it is not the same thing and they hold marriage to be sacred in some form or another. They have their similarities, but they are demonstrably not the same thing. Why call it the same thing?

man + man <> man + woman

woman + woman <> man + woman

person + person ... a more inclusive category - use a different word

A square is a rectangle, but a rectangle isn't necessarily a square. A marriage is a legal union, but a legal union is not necessarily a marriage. I would venture to say that most people who believe homosexually is wrong take more offense to the re-definition of the word that describes and has described their unions than they to the practice itself -- kind of like me & flag burning.

If people would stop trying to re-define that word, the problem would largely go away.

However, Paul avoids discussing the merits and demerits of the issues by saying it's all about "hate", which makes him feel good about himself. And that dovetails nicely with my last post.

Penitential Narcissism

John Hinderaker at Powerline muses:

For reasons that are hard to understand, quite a few Americans seem to have lost the most basic ability to distinguish between friends and enemies.

I read a quote the other day in an online New Yorker article (yeah, who'da thunk?) that, to me, is a very good term to describe the illness that affects so much of the west.

The quote was from French (!) philosopher Alain Finkielkraut in praise of Oriana Fallaci for not being intimidated by thepenitential narcissism that makes the West guilty of even that which victimizes it.”

I've been mulling over for quite some time just how to describe this phenomenon, but the best I could come up with up to now is "holier than thou" which doesn't quite fit.

Penitential narcissism fits it to a "T". It describes the grotesque distortion of a couple of noble qualities -- introspection and self-criticism -- to the art of doing it for its own sake, or more precisely, to use introspection and self-criticism as tools to glorify one's self. "Look how self-critical I am! Aren't I noble?"

Mind you, it is the "collective" self that the individual is criticizing, allowing for an arm's length distancing from actual, personal blame. In this way, the narcissist can distance himself from the blame, but still be "self" critical by criticizing his culture or country. It is completely self-serving.

To quote the now infamous Jesse MacBeth, "Protesting makes me feel good."

Zealots on the religious right as well as those believers in the ideology of the left can both be guilty of this -- as a matter of fact, a search on the term comes up with this New Yorker article and a sermon from St. Paul's (Episcopal) Cathedral of the City (San Diego) warning against it.

Ash Wednesday and Lent are not just about having ashes placed upon our foreheads and beating our breasts in shame because of our great unworthiness. To leave things simply at that more often results in penitential narcissism.

Unfortunately, the afflicted typically can't see this sickness in themselves as they self-righteously parrot the propaganda of communist and islamist organizations who are only too happy to feed the egos of the penitentially narcissistic left.