Diary and Commentary
New Year Predictions
Writers---the Good, the Bad and the Ugly---have a habit around this time of reviewing the past year and making predictions about the coming one. I will do the same. First a review of le temps perdu.
I am not the type who wishes to repeat moments gone by. For one, I would never---never---want a return to my childhood. (And my high school years are best forgotten.) Getting to be one-half of a century old without death surprising me or a prison holding me has been tough enough. Besides, I like getting older and the experience and wisdom that comes with it---make that, should come with it. This year has been likewise. I would not wish to repeat it, though what I have lived through since the end of June has been nothing short of remarkable. God made it so, and kept me alive. Surely He is cooking something up, but so far there has been only hints of what is to come and how I am to serve Him in 2004. Stay tuned.
Now for the easy part, predicting 2004. In no particular order of importance (and at the risk of looking like a jackass come next year):
Bush will win re-election in a landslide. The economy has been raging---it added one trillion dollars to its GDP these past months---and unemployment is dropping steadily. The War on Terror is being won all over the globe, and even France and Germany and the rest of the Weasels are getting on board. Americans like and trust Bush though he drives pointy-headed elites in the US and Europe wild with envy and hatred.
The Democrat Party will continue on its path to self-destruction. We are seeing sort of a repeat of 1980 when Carter lost to Reagan, of 1984 when Reagan won all states save for Wisconsin, and of 1972 when McGovern was wiped out by Nixon. The Democrats are on the verge of nominating the absolutely unelectable Howard Dean. He has no program other than Bush-hating, and he has a dirty mouth to boot. The Democrats are little more then a bunch of competing interest groups--- sodomites, teachers, affirmative action lovers, and so on. The party has lost the South, most white males, most of the white females, most of the central states, probably California and Pennsylvania and are on the verge of losing much of the once reliably Democrat black and Latin vote. The Democrat Party holds conservative Christian ---many black and Latins are such, recall---in contempt and completely misunderstands the hold Christianity has on Americans. The Democrats have no chance, which is why they pander to their most bizarre and perverse leftist elements. Their convention will be a circus, and an entertaining one as well---proving once again that God has a sense of humor.
There will be war with Iran and Syria. For those of you who have been paying attention, the war on terror now has an established base smack dab in the middle of a very rough neighborhood, in Iraq to be precise. It borders both Iran and Syria. These terror regimes cannot be allowed to continue as they are or the war will be lost. Both sponsor world-wide terror, murder Jews where they can find them and spread WMDs throughout the globe. They must and will fall. Bush has been as clear on this as he has on everything else. To stop now with Iraq would be like stopping WW II after D-Day. Think strategically, please.
The `Culture Wars´ in the US will continue. The great issues of war and morality will continue to divide Americans, but not as wide as the media elites would have you think. Sodomite marriage, for example, is opposed by 70 per cent of Americans, as are most abortions---and both issues are supported by most of the Democrat Party`s power base. The tension between the Red States (Bush supporters) and Blue States (Gore supporters) will continue, but with the advantage going to the Red. It could not be otherwise, for the Red has gun owners, the military, most of the police, all of the South and conservative religious types. The Blue has...what? Hillary, Bill, Ted Kennedy, Dan Rather, Hollywood, San Francisco bartenders and Michael Jackson? Memo to Blue States: You lose. All of which leads to...
There will be a second Great Awakening in the US. America is becoming more conservative however one looks at the data. More and more high school kids are against abortion, favor sexual abstinence, and are coming out against the use of drugs. Most favor the military and think Bush---High Noon cowboy and all---is cool. The aging 60s generation is either dead, in prison or at the verge of retirement. Church attendance among conservative and orthodox groups is skyrocketing, even as the liberal ones---Methodist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian---are losing members to the Baptists, Evangelicals and (orthodox) Catholics. The message is that Americans are taking things doctrinal and supernatural more and more seriously.
Palestinians will continue to murder Israeli schoolchildren. This is a no-brainer. These monsters have no other program other than the killing of Jews.
Short takes (it is getting toward Miller Time): Pakistan`s Musharraf will be assassinated (pay attention to this potential world-shaker); Arafat will at last be brought to justice---of one type or another; NATO`s center will move east to Poland; Colin Powell will retire; North Korea will implode leading to an astronomical refugee problem for China and South Korea; the US military will add several new divisions; India and Israel will greatly strengthen their military and political ties, American high school students will take to blogging in a big way.
Now what should happen: Castro dies and takes Chavez with him, the UN disbands or moves to Paris, the EU disintegrates, Pope John Paul II hangs in there, the Catholic Church excommunicates most of the Jesuits, China becomes a Christian nation, Saddam keeps his long-waited appointment with the electric chair, I get a job.
Islam and World Conquest
World Headlines One
Moslems based in Libya seize US ships and hold their crews for ransom.
The US president sends the navy to blockade the Libyan coast and to bombard Libyan military installations.
US Marines then attack and take the Moslem capital.
When did this occur? In 1801 Moslem pirates based in Libya declared war upon the US because that fledgling nation refused to send more money for tribute. President Jefferson sent the military and the problem was solved. Thus the Marine Corps anthem, "...to the shores of Tripoli."
World Headlines Two
Islamic assassins murder in secret and in public an entire range of both Western and Moslem leaders.
Terrorist attacks on Western outposts are a continuous threat.
Suicide attacks are common.
Potential recruits are promised a life filled with virgins and wine after they die.
Bases of these fanatical killers were in Iran and Syria.
When did these events occur? The highly secretive group of Assassins (perhaps from the word hashish, as the moslem killers allegedly used the drug) was formed in Iran in the 1090s AD. These early Islamic fanatics sowed murder and terror throughout the Middle East. The sect was exterminated by the Mongols c. 1250 AD.
World Headlines Three
Fed up with Islamic attacks on Western cities, a coalition of Western nations froms to defeat the Moslems.
Surprisingly the Moslems suffer a catastophic, rapid and unexpected defeat,
leaving the entire world amazed at the Western victory.
When did these events occur? In 1571 a group of Western nations organized and commanded by Spain engaged the Turkish navy at Lepanto. The Moslem Turks were defeated and 30,000 Christian slaves were liberated. Cervantes fought in this battle.
You see my point. All of the above seem to have come from any newspaper of today. Now recall all of the reasons given by the those after 9/11 who were against the war on terror. "We were attacked because of American support of Israel!" shrieked some. Others sniffed that the US deserved the attack because of all of her meddling in the Middle East. Some claimed that Islam was only responding to Western imperialism and that Islamic grievances were thus justified.
Some History, please. All of the above events occured before the US had any interests in the Middle East, all were before the 1947 formation of the state of Israel, and all of the above Western military responses were defensive in nature and were the result of unprovoked Moslem attacks.
Some (more) History, please. From its foundation Islam began to attack the West long before the West had ever heard of anyone named Mohammed. Starting with the Byzantine Empire (c. 640 AD) Moslem armies began to raid and plunder Byzantine territory---all of which was Christian. Byzantium had just fought and won a 30 year war against Persia (another in the long struggle beteen Iran and Christianity) and was exhausted. Soon all of the territory of what we now call the Middle East and northern Africa was in Moslem hands. This area includes the modern nations of Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco---all once Christian and all except Israel now Moslem.
Islam did not stop, but invaded Christian Spain in 711 and penetrated into northern France. It was only the supreme military effort of Charles Martel (" the Hammer") and his Carolingian army of Christian soldiers at the battle of Tours in 732 that kept the Moslems out of Europe north of the Pyrenees. Christian Europe had had a very close call. Had Martel been defeated all of Europe might have become Islamic. The Moslems then fought the remaining Christians in Spain for over 700 years. Islam withdrew from Spain only in 1492.
(Historical note: We wonder how Spain could conquer the great Meso-American and Andean civilizations so quickly, easily and with such a paucity of soldiers and materièl. But tell me, what shape would your military be in if it had had to fight a ferocious and competent enemy for 700 years? Practice does indeed make perfect.)
Now for some perspective: From 626 AD until the the Crusades more than 500 years later Islam was mostly victorious everywhere, whether in Iberia, Africa or Asia. Her armies were seemingly invincible and her god unconquerable. But then came a check, the 1st Crusade, really the West`s first attempt at counter-attack. Many are those who mention the Crusades, and they usually do so to slander either the West or Catholicism. But the Crusades---in Spain, north Africa and the Levant---were nothing but an attempt by Christians to reclaim what had been Christian land. They also were what we would now call preemptive wars. Islam had made no secret of its desire to exterminate the West---as the Turkish sultan said, to "stable horses in the Vatican." He came close to doing this very thing. (And recall that al-Qaeda recently tried to bomb the Vatican. Once these guys get an idea in their heads it stays there.)
The Crusades petered out after 1250 or so, but by then Eastern Islam was engaged in a terrible and losing series of wars against the Mongols. The West had a breather---but not for long. The Mongol tide came and went, staying only in Russia. By the middle of the 13th century Islam, furnished with new blood from the ferocious and expansionist Ottoman Turks, once again began to assault the West. After the Fall of Constantinople (1453) which destroyed the Christian empire of Byzantium the Moslems controlled all of Anatolia (modern Turkey) and pushed into Eastern Europe, taking what is now Greece, Macedon, Albania and threatening Poland and Austria---and all were Christian lands. And twice the Turks were at the gates of Vienna. At the second seige (1683), by the way, the Moslems were aided by the French (you are not really surprised at this, are you?) and the West was saved by the Poles---who would continue to give the world examples of true heroism.
Thus the history of Islam---whatever the truth of its theological doctrines---was simply one of making unprovoked and imperialist war upon Christian lands, wars the Christians did not ask for and did not want. Why should we be surprised that these wars continue today? Islam is doing what it has always done. The West is responding as it always has. We have seen it all before. Truly, "there is nothing new under the sun."
The wars of Islam and the West are part of the ongoing struggle between East and West. It began at Marathon (490 BC) and continues today: Thermopylae, Salamis, Plataea, Arbela, the Punic Wars, the Mithradatic Wars, the wars of Rome and Parthia, the siege of Constantinople, Manzikert, the Crusades, Lepanto, the sieges of Vienna, Gallipoli...all are but episodes in this 2500 year-long war. Since 640 AD this long war of East against West has been waged by Islam. It will end when one side is utterly and permanently defeated and not before. Believe it, this is war. Close your eyes to it, deny it, blame and hate your own civilization and excuse the other---none of this will change a thing. Our enemies certainly are not deceived at all. They know this as war. All of their actions, their sermons, their writings and their political and military maneuverings are those of of a civilization at war. As I have written before, when civilizations go to war it is to the death. Rome and Carthage, Assyria and Chaldea, Macedon and Persia, the Allies and the Nazis, the US and the USSR: one ceases to exist. So either the West or radical Islam. Take your choice. Should I ask you what the world would look like if radical Islam is victorious?
(I wrote here as the word would look if radical Islam were triumphant.)
But "Live and Let live!" you say. Impossible, for radical Islam will not allow this. Wherever Islam has gone she has brought war. For her there are only two worlds, that of Islam (Dar es Salaam) and that of war (Dar el-Harb). Peace will come only when the entire world is Islam. In almost all of the wars being fought as I write these words one or both sides involve a Moslem group or nation. From the first Islam preyed upon the Arabs, then upon fellow Moslems---thus the Sunni - Shi´ite split. Then upon Christians, then Persians, then Hindus---and my God how Islam made war upon the Hindus! We read of cities of skulls, of walls of corpses, of towers constructed of human heads, in the Moslem invasions of Hindu lands. Any confusion now why India and Pakistan are for all intents and purposes at war still? And what of the Taliban´s destruction of Buddhist statues in Afghanistan? Radical Islam even makes war upon stones. And should I mention Islam`s war against the Jews? But Islam is also at war with itself---in Algeria, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, the Palestinian-occupied territories, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia we can see the awful slaughter of Moslem killing Moslem. In the fading light of of its long-gone glory, Islam is really at war with the entire world, with modernity itself. Recall that bin-Laden has many times expressed his desire to return the Islamic world to what it was 1000 years ago.
This is one of history`s tragedies, for Islamic civilization from 900 AD until 1200 was a shining glory, of a far higher order than that of Western Europe. The Moslem cities were gleaming metropolises of learning, science and the arts. Their governments were by and large humane and tolerant, and provided a haven for Jews in a hostile world. Their mosques were (and are) wonders of the world, their poetry and art hallmarks of refinement. All of that is gone now, save for what is left of their monuments and architecture. The poverty, ignorance, illiteracy, theological obscurantism, misogyny, violence, tyranny, envy and mind-boggling Jew-hatred one sees in the Islamic world today are a far cry from what once was a marvelously brilliant culture.
Please keep all of this in mind when those anti-war types begins their predictable and silly America and Western civilization-hating diatribe. There are many well-educated fools among them---Noam Chomsky, Gabriel García Márquez, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal and Howard Zinn all come to mind. But you do not have to be such a fool.
What If They Gave a War and Nobody Came?
The day before Christmas in Europe in 1914 was shaping up to be the worst since Napoleon`s retreat from Moscow. Huge armies faced off across cold and muddy trenches where hundreds of thousands had already marched to their deaths across a nightmarish `no-man`s land.´ Generals on both sides made ready to send their troops yet again into the face of the machine gun, the flame thrower and poison gas. Those in the trenches prepared to die. But then...
It was Christmas Eve, was it not? "Peace on Earth, Good WIll Toward Men", and so on. On December 24 the German soldiers put up thousands of little Christmas trees with candles right in front of the trenches facing the enemy not 70 yards away. They began to sing "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht." The English soldiers, curious, crawled out of their trenches to watch and listen. The Germans soliders ventured out to meet them. And there, on that long-ago Christmas Eve, enemy met enemy. They sang. They shook hands. Even some French soldiers joined in. They played football---everywhere the working class sport. (The officers on both sides were aristocrats, of course.) They shared cigarettes and food. They lamented that they had to fight and kill each other. There were cries of "No more war!" and "Enough of the killing!" They serenaded each other with Christmas carols. They exchanged letters and jokes.
Their generals were apoplectic. Why, how dare their troops not resume the slaughter? Threats to the soldiers of court marshals went unheeded. The soldiers on both sides simply laughed and fired over the heads of their enemies. Finally the generals rotated to the rear those soldiers who had been contaminated by Christmas. The new recruits had not experienced this Christmas Truce. The killing resumed.
If Hollywood made a movie out of this, no one would believe it. Yet it happened.
Remember all the worry that Islamic killers had hidden terror cells all over the US and that when given the word they would launch a devestating series of murderous attacks? Well, where are they? We keep hitting the terrorists all over the world and nothing happens in the US. Any deranged high school kid could grab a gun and wreak havoc at the nearest shopping mall, and those supposed hidden terror cells could do something similar. But they do not. Why? The obvious answer is that they have been rounded up. Surprise, surprise, the counter-terror measures of the Bush administration are working. (This is no time to get complacent though.)
Which city had more murders of all types last year, New York or Baghdad? Well guess what! (You figure it out.) In Philadelphia too. In 2003 there were 347 murders there. The US lost 327 last year to hostile fire in Iraq. Should we send in the Marines---to New York and Philly? (But Chicago tops the US in murder rates.)
The mad mullahs who run Iran are complaining and criticising the US over the earthquake relief she sent after the destruction of Bam. They accused the US of "meddling in Iranian affairs." But believe me, the US has not yet begun to meddle.
Has it ever occured to the terror masters that they will run out of killers long before the US runs out of bullets? But hey, keep sending them to Iraq, and the US military will keep sending them to their 72 virgins.
I am currently traveling around a lake where there are many Indigenous Mayan villages. There are some foreign tourist types here as well. Why, I ask, do they wear shorts? No local would think of such a thing! Why do these foreigners believe that the entire world has a desire to view their scrawny and hairy legs? (And that is to mention only the French women. And by the way, is not brassier a French invention?) Perhaps a little cultural sensitivity please would be in order.
Yesterday several in-bound Air France flights to the US---the ones that were not cancelled, that is---were tailed by American warplanes. Does this give you the creeps or what? Say you were a passenger on one of those flights and out your window you see those US fighters. You know immediately that if your flight is taken by terrorists that the American planes will shoot you down. Vacations in Paris, anyone?
Meet Lt. Colonel Allen B. West. He is FrontPage Magazine`s Man of the Year.
Lt. Col. West barely escaped a court-martial. You see, he was interrogating an Iraqi policeman suspected of aiding killers of US soldiers. The Iraqi refused to talk. Lt. Col. West pulled out his service revolver, shot off a round next to the Iraqi`s head, and threatened to kill him. The Iraqi told all. Attacks and killings of American servicemen in Lt. Col. West`s sector ceased. At his hearing West was asked if he would do it again. He said
"If it's about the lives of my men and their safety, I'd go through hell with a gasoline can," he said.
"But that's what's going on out there in the streets here, and that's how I feel about my boys," he told the hearing, held in one of Saddam Hussein's lavish palaces. "There is not a person in this room I would not sacrifice my life for."
After an unprecedented level of support from the American people Lt. Col. West was fined $5000 rather than court-martialed. Writes FrontPage:
"The disgraceful treatment of Col. Allen B. West by the U.S. Armed Forces is practically unforgivable.
In the midst of war, West did what was necessary to keep the troops committed to his charge from becoming
the latest headline detailing the Fedayeen's postwar sabotage. His interrogation was not nearly as vicious
as the tactics of Saddam's men in 1991, their savaging of POWs and raping of female captives.
This level of dedication, this commitment to preserving life, this steadfast commitment to bear any burden
to keep his troops safe, shows why West had been so highly decorated in his two decades in the service.
For his actions, he should have received high honors; instead, he was deprived of his job,
publicly humiliated and disowned by his own superiors."
One wonders which American families owe to Lt. Col. West the lives of their husbands or sons or brothers or uncles. Two of my former students, soldier Matt Verdugo and marine Grant Jensen, are right now serving in Iraq.
Those who would punish a man like West are idiots. I am ashamed that they are my countrymen. My advice to them is to go and join the French Army.
Peripatetic Lacustrine Perambulations
Or "walking thither and yon around a lake." I returned today from my latest hike. My original idea was to walk completely around Lake Atitlán, beginning at Panajachel ("Pana"). I described the varied attributes of this village here.
The walk was OK, but just.
The problem was that the further I moved around the lake, the more I ran into Euro-trash hippy types. It seems that they have slowly migrated from Panajachel to San Pedro and San Marcos. These villages have developed a local part---usually away from the lake---and a foreign part filled with the tatooed, the pierced, the scantily attired, the doped-up and dropped-out, the bra-less and law-less, the shirt-less and worthless, the clueless and the shoe-less. It is bad enough that I must witness this motley and malodorous throng on the streets of my home town of Portland, at Dean for President rallies and at Greenpeace reunions but I refuse to share my vacation with them.
I went counter-clockwise from Pana, staying at Indigenous villages along the way. By the time I reached San Pedro de la Laguna I had had enough of the foreign flotsam. I took a boat across the lake back to Pana, which now feels almost conservative in contrast to the other villages along the lake. I spent nine days in this region. I should add that there was good food and cold beer all along the route.
The language here was a dialect of Mayan which I can neither spell nor pronounce. Spanish is in second place. The language with which all the foreigners communicate to each other (besides marijuana) is English---the world`s true lingua franca.
So an Egyptian airliner crash yesterday killed 148, mostly French tourists. My, but the governments of France and Egypt were oh-so-very hasty in assigning the blame to "mechanical failure." The black box has yet to be discovered, radio communication tapes from the doomed plane have not been released, but France and Egypt already know the cause of the crash? This is not possible. Well...what if it was another terror strike? What would the supine France and corrupt Egypt do then? Remember that there are dozens of warships in the area where the plane went down. Surely their high-tech sensors picked up something. I wonder what? Trust me, this story is just getting started. Vacations to the the Pyramids, anyone?
Those Saudis are getting serious about the terror in their midsts. Squads of stick-wielding religious police---the "Authority for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice"---made unannounced raids to centers of vice and corruption. With their batons they slammed away at arms and legs, heads and shoulders, severly damaging whoever they encountered. Who was the object of their fury? Why, Barbie---as in Barbie Doll. Yep, these zealots smashed the helpless dolls at any toy store they could find. Their goal was to root out all elements of "Western corruption."
Stick-wielding Saudi religious police were raiding toy stores and gift shops in the desert kingdom to seize
anything related to the Western holiday season, including flowers, candles, stuffed animals,
Barbie dolls and other items considered evil.
So stuffed animals are evil? Wow, I didn`t know this! Thanks guys!
Was there anything else that got those religious police all riled up? Well, yes:
The police have also announced on their Web site bans on any products with trademarks that resemble a cross,
Star of David or Buddha statue. Just before Christmas they banned any shopkeeper from importing these items and
gave shopkeepers three months to clear the items out of their stores.
You go guys! But why Barbie?
One reason for banning Barbie is, according to Saudi ministry sources, a belief that Jews
own the American company that makes them, Mattel.
No one could make this stuff up.
Shades of Enemy at the Gates! The US military has gone for snipers in Irag in a big way:
Working in teams of two or three, Army snipers here in Iraq cloak themselves in the shadows of
empty city buildings or burrow into desert sands with camouflage suits, waiting to fell
guerrilla gunmen and their leaders with a single shot from as far as half a mile away.
As the counterinsurgency grinds into its ninth month, the Army is increasingly relying on snipers to protect infantry patrols sweeping through urban streets and alleyways, and to kill guerrilla leaders and disrupt their attacks.
"Properly employed, we can break the enemy's back," said Sergeant Davis, 25, who is from Murfreesboro, Tenn.
"Our main targets are their main command and control elements and other high-value targets."
Go for it.
Preemption in War and Law
Preemptive War is to strike before your enemy does rather than wait until he strikes you---as in 9/11, shall we say. It has been adopted as an official policy of the US military. Thus, the Americans are at work around the globe to prevent another terror strike against their homeland. The only way to do this is to go after the addresses of those who have vowed in word and deed to incinerate the West. Those places are Syria, Iran and other such vacation spots. There are those who are against such preemption, saying that it is neither fair nor moral.
I guess the US president should wait until a mushroom cloud appears over New York before he does anything about the Terror Masters. Would that be fair enough for them? Would they be satisfied by allowing millions of their countrymen to die just so they could boast of their lofty morals?
And if Israel adoprted such a policy she would cease to exist.
Such people might be fine folks, but they would make very poor generals---and worse presidents...
And terrible policemen. Is there a police department in the West that does not engage in preemptive crime fighting? Think of it: A serial killer is loose. The cops stand around and do...what? Why, they get out there and "round up the usual suspects" and do eons of spade work and thousands of interviews and go through oceans of files. All of this so as to preempt the killer before he can strike again.
That Ecclesiastes fellow had some thoughts that might come in handy. In chapter 3 we find in verse 1:
every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven...
And then in verse 8:
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
It is a time of war.
A Tale of Two Cities: Recently the Iranian city of Bam and the US city of San Francisco both suffered an earthquake measuring between 6.5 and 6.6 on the Richter scale. In Bam perhaps 40,000 were killed. In San Francisco less than 10. Why the disparity?
Let Thomas Sowell explain:
In one word, wealth.
Wealth enables homes, buildings and other structures to be built to withstand greater stresses.
Wealth permits the creation of modern transportation that can quickly carry people to medical facilities.
It enables those facilities to be equipped with more advanced medical apparatus and supplies,
and amply staffed with highly trained doctors and support staff.
Those who disdain wealth as crass materialism need to understand that wealth is one of the
biggest life-saving factors in the world. As an economist in India has pointed out, "95 percent of deaths
from natural hazards occur in poor countries."
But why is Iran not wealthy? It cannot be because of lack of resources, as she sits on one of the world's biggest oil deposits. So what do the mullahs who run Iran spend all their money on? Nuclear weapons, for one. A police-state and its associated internal represssion apparatus, for another. Exporting misery in the form of terror, for yet another. The Iranian people themselves are most definitely low down on the mullahs list of priorities.
I have a great idea: Let's go to Mars! Why not? No other nation can possibly contemplate such an adventure. Heck, we just landed the real version (this is an artist's conception) of this ridiculous looking contraption there:
The spaceshuttle has no romance to it---it is really nothing but a very sophisticated delivery van---and it has been too long since the US went to the moon, the first time bing 34 years ago. We can afford it. Every astronaut at NASA will line up to volunteer. How about by 2010? (And no, I do not want to go.)
How does one tell what is really going on in a foreign culture? One can start with reading the media of the region. For example, of all of those with opinions about the war on terror, how many read the Syrian and Egyptian press regularly? Or listen to Islamic sermons preached every Friday throughout the Middle East? Or read what the professional chattering classes there are talking about---I mean its journalists, professors and writers? All of these are in Arabic, of course. But there is a site that translates these things into English. It is called the Middle East Media Research Institue (MEMRI). Stop by for a look. You might be shocked, you might not like it, you might be horrified---but truth has that effect on us. You can start with the anti-Semitic cartoons if you can stomach them.
Iran Delenda Est
Now let me get this straight: Embassies bombed, the twin towers demolished, suicide killers roaming the Palestinian territories and Israel, Westerners afraid to travel on their own airliners, huge swaths of US territory declared off-limits to aircraft, Americans and Jews regularly murdered, airliners blasted out of the sky, terrorist action in the Philippines, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and many other such charming places, a looming nuclear threat in the Middle East, war in Afghanistan and Iraq---and all of this arranged by a bearded fanatic hiding in a cave and his accomplice whose most recent address was a spider hole.
Not likely. All of these have the hallmarks of a well-financed, competent and powerful intelligence organization with long-standing world wide contacts. In a word, there is a government behind it, a government that has made no secret of its desire to use nuclear weapons on both Israel and the US, a government that is as I write engaging US forces around the world, a government that is for all intents and purposes at war with the US, a government that is despised and hated and loathed by its own people. That government is Iran.
Michael Ledeen, author of the Terror Masters, writes
The Bam earthquake showed the Western world at its best (rescuers, doctors, money, medicine, and food
poured into Iran) and the mullahcracy at its worst (no national leader dared set foot in the disaster zone
for four days, and then only when the army and assorted thugs could protect the mullahs
against the rage of the locals). When some Americans prepared to leave, they were begged to remain.
The Iranians feel safer with us than with their own tyrants.
The thugs who rule Iran are afraid of their own people---but no surprise there. Ledeen continues:
Look again at the scenes in Bam. The destruction of that once fabulously beautiful city is a symbol of what the
regime has done to Iran, once a wealthy and prosperous and creative country. Look at the many reports
on the awful degradation of Iranian society, now leading the region in suicide and teenage prostitution,
its standard of living a pitiful shadow of what it was before the Islamic Revolution of 1979, its infrastructure
in tatters, its armed forces distrusted by the country's leaders, its students under virtual house arrest,
its newspapers and magazines silenced, its talented moviemakers and writers
and scientists and artists fleeing to the West whenever they see a crack in the nation's walls.
This year or early in the next one will see Bush ask the US Congress for a declaration of war with the government of Iran. Why not now? As Lincoln advised during the US Civil War, "One war at a time." Besides, with the current US force structure and a looming nuclear stand-off in North Korea, we cannot fight a war in Iraq and Iran at the same time. The reason is simple: we have not the manpower. Recall that Clinton reduced the strength of the military by 800,000 troops---and boy could we use these guys now!
The mullahs in Iran are hate-addled fanatics; they are not stupid. They believe that they can defeat the US given the right circumstances. What might these circumstances---what political scientists call "the corelation of forces"---be? In no particular order of importance:
1. Finance the killing in Iraq and Afghanistan of American servicemen. Revel in the fact that the American media will report every death. Keep the US busy and distracted in both places.
2. Move Hell and earth to get the basics of a nuclear weapon. Use contacts in North Korea and Pakistan to acquire enriched uranium.
3. Manipulate the world community. Convince it that Iran`s nuclear research is only for peaceful purposes.
4. Keep the Palestinians well-financed and Israel busy with suicide bombers.
5. Maintain close contacts with other terror states, such as Syria and Saudi Arabia. Strengthen ties with known terror organizations, such as Hamas and Hezbullah.
6. Silence all internal opposition to the regime. Control all media, murder likely trouble makers, and imprison others at random so as to increase the level of domestic terror and fear.
7. Use the UN and France as a lever against the US in the Middle East. Paint a picture of America as a meddler and as the cause of yet another war in the region. Create the facade of Iran as a regional stabilizer and peace-desiring nation.
8. Work with the shadowy Pakistani Intelligence networks (especially the ISI---Inter-Services Intelligence, which has kept its ties with al-Qaeda and what is left of the Taliban) to assassinate Musharraf and turn over all nuclear material to Iran.
Iran is doing all of these---and has been for years. Can the US defeat the mullahs. Of course. The only question is: At what cost to the American and Iranian peoples? Most certainly the US cannot defeat Iran using the tactics she used in Iraq. That is: maintain low civilian and military casualties while avoiding the destruction of Iranian infrastructure. This means that if war were to come tomorrow---and if Iran gets a nuclear device it will come quickly---the US would have little option other than to use tactical nuclear weapons. That, or suffer a defeat of scarcely imaginable strategic implications. A defeat by Iran would dwarf anything the US endured from Vietnam. No US president Republican or Democrat would allow---could allow---this to happen.
So the US needs time: time to get Iraq stabilized, time to increase her manpower, time to rest her military for the upcoming struggle. But time is something that Iran most certainly does not have. She must succeed before the US is ready for war. The race is on.
That struggle is coming, I assure you.
(Here was my assessment of the Iranian strategic problem last year.)
One ironic thing is---this in a region of the world that is full of ironies---that no matter what the mullahs do, they are all dead men. Their hatred has so consumed them that the only question remaining is whether they will bring Iran down to the inferno as well. They have launched their nation on a self-destructive course of war with America, a course from which they cannot retreat without falling from power. They know that if they fall they will be torn to pieces by the Iranian people themselves.
And this is the ace in the hole for the US, and perhaps the deciding factor of the war: the hatred the Iranian people feel toward the regime of the mullahs. Iranians are pro-American. We can use this. Leeden asks
why a people so demonstrably on our side, and so demonstrably worthy of freedom,
does not deserve our full support.
They do. They will get it.
One huge `X` factor: If there is another terror strike against America, then all bets are off. Bad news for Iranians. Bad news for Syrians. Bad news for Saudis. Bad news for Palestinians. Bad news for Americans. Bad news for the world.
And Speaking of Middle Eastern Ironies
Palestinian male homosexuals face torture and death at the hands of the Palestinian authorities. What can they do? Well, they can flee to Israel.
One 19-year-old runaway told Israel’s Channel One TV that the Al-Aksa Brigade, the terrorist wing
of the Palestinians’ mainstream Fatah movement, tried to pressure him into becoming
a suicide bomber to “purge his moral guilt.” He refused and fled to an Arab village in Israel’s Galilee region….
You see, Israel signed a 1951 UN human rights declaration that it would offer refuge to those persecuted for their sexual orientation.
But any Arab living in Israel is better off than he would be in any Arab country. Israeli Arabs are the only Arabs in the Middle East to be able to vote and express themselves without fear of murder or reprisal---and those in Iraq are not far behind.
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