Friday, September 29, 2006
This is an excellent interview that I found on Pedestrian Infidel. A French guy, even! His ideas and theories go hand-in-hand with Haim Harari's teachings, but I like the way this guy takes everything a bit further beyond the PC barrier. Very gutsy and very insightful. I'd like to see his film...
The Psychology Behind Islamic Suicide Bombings
On July 15, 2005, MSNBC's "Connected" program discussed the July 7th London attacks. One of the guests was Pierre Rehov, a French documentary filmmaker who has filmed six documentaries on the intifada by going undercover in the Palestinian areas. Pierre's upcoming film, "Suicide Killers," is based on interviews that he conducted with the families of suicide bombers and would-be bombers in an attempt to find out why they do it. Pierre agreed to a request for a Q&A interview here about his work on the new film.
Q - What inspired you to produce "Suicide Killers," your seventh film?
A - I started working with victims of suicide attacks to make a film on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) when I became fascinated with the personalities of those who had committed those crimes, as they were described again and again by their victims. Especially the fact that suicide bombers are all smiling one second before they blow themselves up.
Q - Why is this film especially important?
A - People don't understand the devastating culture behind this unbelievable phenomenon. My film is not politically correct because it addresses the real problem, showing the real face of Islam. It points the finger against a culture of hatred in which the uneducated are brainwashed to a level where their only solution in life becomes to kill themselves and kill others in the name of a God whose word, as transmitted by other men, has become their only certitude.
Q - What insights did you gain from making this film? What do you know that other experts do not know?
A - I came to the conclusion that we are facing a neurosis at the level of an entire civilization. Most neuroses have in common a dramatic event, generally linked to an unacceptable sexual behavior. In this case, we are talking of kids living all their lives in pure frustration, with no opportunity to experience sex, love, tenderness or even understanding from the opposite sex. The separation between men and women in Islam is absolute. So is contempt toward women, who are totally dominated by men. This leads to a situation of pure anxiety, in which normal behavior is not possible. It is no coincidence that suicide killers are mostly young men dominated subconsciously by an overwhelming libido that they not only cannot satisfy but are afraid of, as if it is the work of the devil. Since Islam describes heaven as a place where everything on Earth will finally be allowed, and promises 72 virgins to those frustrated kids, killing others and killing themselves to reach this redemption becomes their only solution.
Q - What was it like to interview would-be suicide bombers, their families and survivors of suicide bombings?
A - It was a fascinating and a terrifying experience. You are dealing with seemingly normal people with very nice manners who have their own logic, which to a certain extent can make sense since they are so convinced that what they say is true. It is like dealing with pure craziness, like interviewing people in an asylum, since what they say, is for them, the absolute truth. I hear a mother saying "Thank God, my son is dead." Her son had became a shaheed, a martyr, which for her was a greater source of pride than if he had became an engineer, a doctor or a winner of the Nobel Prize. This system of values works completely backwards since their interpretation of Islam worships death much more than life. You are facing people whose only dream, only achievement goal is to fulfill what they believe to be their destiny, namely to be a Shaheed or the family of a shaheed. They (Muslims) don't see the innocent being killed, they only see the impure that they have to destroy.
Q - You say suicide bombers experience a moment of absolute power, beyond punishment. Is death the ultimate power?
A - Not death as an end, but death as a door opener to the after life. They are seeking the reward that God has promised them. They work for God, the ultimate authority, above all human laws. They therefore experience this single delusional second of absolute power, where nothing bad can ever happen to them, since they become God's sword.
Q - Is there a suicide bomber personality profile? Describe the psychopathology.
A - Generally kids between 15 and 25 bearing a lot of complexes, generally inferiority complexes. They must have been fed with religion. They usually have a lack of developed personality. Usually they are impressionable idealists. In the western world they would easily have become drug addicts, but not criminals. Interestingly, they are not criminals since they don't see good and evil the same way that we do. If they had been raised in an Occidental culture, they would have hated violence. But they constantly battle against their own death anxiety. The only solution to this deep-seated pathology is to be willing to die and be rewarded in the afterlife in Paradise.
Q - Are suicide bombers principally motivated by religious conviction?
A - Yes, it is their only conviction. They don't act to gain a territory or to find freedom or even dignity. They only follow Allah, the supreme judge, and what He tells them to do.
Q - Do all Muslims interpret jihad and martyrdom in the same way?
A - All Muslim believers believe that, ultimately, Islam will prevail on earth. They believe this is the only true religion and there is no room, in their mind, for interpretation. The main difference between moderate Muslims and extremists is that moderate Muslims don't think they will see the absolute victory of Islam during their lifetime, therefore they respect other beliefs. The extremists believe that the fulfillment of the Prophecy of Islam and ruling the entire world as described in the Koran, is for today. Each victory of Bin Laden convinces 20 million moderate Muslims to become extremists.
Q - Describe the culture that manufactures suicide bombers.
A - Oppression, lack of freedom, brain washing, organized poverty, placing God in charge of daily life, total separation between men and women, forbidding sex, giving women no power whatsoever, and placing men in charge of family honor, which is mainly connected to their women's behavior.
Q - What socio-economic forces support the perpetuation of suicide bombings?
A - Muslim charity is usually a cover for supporting terrorist organizations. But one has also to look at countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran, which are also supporting the same organizations through different networks. The ironic thing in the case of Palestinian suicide bombers is that most of the money comes through financial support from the Occidental world, donated to a culture that utterly hates and rejects the West (mainly symbolized by Israel).
Q - Is there a financial support network for the families of the suicide bombers? If so, who is paying them and how does that affect the decision?
A - There used to be a financial incentive in the days of Saddam Hussein ($25,000 per family) and Yasser Arafat (smaller amounts), but these days are gone. It is a mistake to believe that these families would sacrifice their children for money. Although, the children themselves who are very attached to their families, might find in this financial support another reason to become suicide bombers. It is like buying a life insurance policy and then committing suicide.
Q - Why are so many suicide bombers young men?
A - As discussed above, libido is paramount. Also ego, because this is a sure way to become a hero. The shaheeds are the cowboys or the firemen of Islam. Shaheed is a positively reinforced value in this culture. And what kid has never dreamed of becoming a cowboy or a fireman?
Q - What role does the U.N. play in the terrorist equation?
A - The U.N. is in the hands of Arab countries and third world or ex-communist countries. Their hands are tied. The U.N. has condemned Israel more than any other country in the world, including the regime of Castro, Idi Amin or Kaddahfi. By behaving this way, the U.N. leaves a door open by not openly condemning terrorist organizations. In addition, through UNRWA, the U.N. is directly tied to terror organizations such as Hamas, representing 65 percent of their apparatus in the so-called Palestinian refugee camps. As a support to Arab countries, the U.N. has maintained Palestinians in camps with the hope to "return" into Israel for more than 50 years, therefore making it impossible to settle those populations, which still live in deplorable conditions. Four hundred million dollars are spent every year, mainly financed by U.S. taxes, to support 23,000 employees of UNRWA, many of whom belong to terrorist organizations (see Congressman Eric Cantor on this subject, and in my film "Hostages of Hatred").
Q - You say that a suicide bomber is a 'stupid bomb and a smart bomb' simultaneously. Explain what you mean.
A - Unlike an electronic device, a suicide killer has until the last second the capacity to change his mind. In reality, he is nothing but a platform representing interests which are not his, but he doesn't know it.
Q - How can we put an end to the madness of suicide bombings and terrorism in general?
A - Stop being politically correct and stop believing that this culture is a victim of ours. Radical Islamism today is nothing but a new form of Naziism. Nobody was trying to justify or excuse Hitler in the 1930s. We had to defeat him in order to make peace one day with the German people.
Q - Are these men traveling outside their native areas in large numbers? Based on your research, would you predict that we are beginning to see a new wave of suicide bombings outside the Middle East?
A - Every successful terror attack is considered a victory by the radical Islamists. Everywhere Islam expands there is regional conflict. Right now, there are thousands of candidates for martyrdom lining up in training camps in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Inside Europe, hundreds of illegal mosques are preparing the next step of brain washing to lost young men who cannot find a satisfying identity in the Occidental world. Israel is much more prepared for this than the rest of the world will ever be. Yes, there will be more suicide killings in Europe and the U.S. Sadly, this is only the beginning.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
This is a great piece- packed with common sense information, and perfectly concise. I always tell people that there were two wars in Iraq- the first was to oust Saddam (we won it in three weeks) and the second (and much more difficult) was to prevent the terrorists from coming in and filling the power vacuum. This guy argues that there are in, in fact, FIVE wars in Iraq, and after further review- I agree with him.
America's five Iraq wars
September 21, 2006
America has fought five wars in Iraq -- not merely one. And we’ve won or are winning four of them. Winning the last war, however, is all that counts. To cut and run now would leave America less safe than when we started.
War One: Battling Saddam. The United States waged war in Iraq for one reason -- to remove Saddam from power. This was really a continuation of Desert Storm. After all, we halted the first Gulf War based on a host of promises that Saddam made but never kept. Few doubt that the United States, the peoples of the Middle East, and especially the Iraqis are better off with the Butcher of Baghdad swept from power.
War Two: Combating chaos. Despite the scenes of rioting that arose when the regime collapsed, America and its coalition partners managed to quickly avert a wide-scale humanitarian crisis. Although Iraq was (and is) hardly a danger-free zone, there was no mass starvation, floods of refuges, or disease outbreaks that usually accompany the aftermath of conflict.
War Three: Confronting al Qaeda. In the wake of the war, lacking any real success elsewhere in the world, transnational terrorists leapt into the vacuum in Iraq. In the first years following the collapse of the regime, they accounted for the lion’s share of murdering -- killing primarily innocent Iraqis. Even insurgent groups within Iraq that initially cooperated with al Qaeda in Iraq soured on the indiscriminant slaughter. Indeed, al Zawahiri (bin Laden’s deputy) warned that the terrorism in Iraq was alienating Muslims both inside and outside the country from the cause of al Qaeda. Arguably, al Qaeda has lost in Iraq. Its most senior leadership has been killed or captured. Its popularity is low. And it no longer commands a significant following among the Iraqi insurgents.
War Four: Handling the Sunni insurgency. The Sunni minority in Iraq largely abstained from the political process established to form a legitimate government. Democracy went on without them. Led by the other major groups, the Shia and the Kurds, the Iraqis wrote a constitution, held a series of successful elections, and seated an interim government. A Sunni insurgency first rose up to forestall the march of democracy. That failed. The insurgents then tried to force more compromises on the government. Over the last year, it appeared that key Sunni leaders were giving up on the insurgency and were increasingly interested in negotiating a more equitable seat at the table and resolving key power-sharing issues.
War Five: Fighting the proxy war. Unfortunately for the United States, the wavering of the Sunni insurgency coincided with a decided increase in attacks by Shia militias. These provocations have resulted in an increasing cycle of retaliatory sectarian strikes between Sunnis and Shias, as well as concerted efforts to kill more American soldiers using more deadly and accurate improvised explosive devices. This latest war may be the toughest to win because its principal authors are probably not inside Iraq. They are in Iran.The most recent uptick in violence in Iraq parallels closely U.N. efforts to pressure Iran to give up its nuclear programs. Instability serves Iran’s purposes well. It diverts attention from the issue and undermines U.S. interests in the region.
There is a good deal of evidence to make this case. Weapons and funds to fuel the Shia insurgency are coming across the border from Iran. In addition, Hezbollah, Iran’s stooge in Lebanon, initiated a violent confrontation with Israel which also has shifted the focus away from what Iran’s mullahs are up to.
Cutting and running in the face of this latest threat would yield only one result: It would empower Iran and make its radical government more aggressive, more reckless and more dangerous. That’s obviously not in America’s interest.
What the United States needs to do is finish the job in Iraq -- and that means strengthening Iraq’s security forces so they can handle the insurgency. At the same time, it needs to focus on the other threats to regional stability -- helping empower the Lebanese government to disarm and defang Hezbollah and marshalling the international community to isolate and punish Iran for its adventurism.
That way, we can ensure that War Five ends the same way the first four did.
James Carafano is Senior Research Fellow for National Security and Homeland Security at The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org), and author of the new book “G.I. Ingenuity.”
Distributed nationally on the McClathy Tribune wire
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
This is an old classic that made it's way around the internet a few years ago. Not sure who wrote it, but it's right on...
The Hollywood group is at it again. Holding anti-war rallies, screaming about the Bush Administration, running ads in major newspapers, defaming the President and his Cabinet every chance they get, to anyone and everyone who will listen. They publicly defile them and call them names like "stupid," "morons," and "idiots." Jessica Lange went so far as to tell a crowd in Spain that she hates President Bush and is embarrassed to be an American. So, just how ignorant are these people who are running the country? Let's look at the biographies of these "stupid," "ignorant," "moronic" leaders, and then at the celebrities who are castigating them:
President George W. Bush: Received a Bachelors Degree from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He served as an F-102 pilot for the Texas Air National Guard. He began his career in the oil and gas business in Midland in 1975 and worked in the energy industry until 1986. He was elected Governor on November 8, 1994, with 53.5 percent of the vote. In a historic reelection victory, he became the first Texas Governor to be elected to consecutive four-year terms on November 3, 1998, winning 68.6 percent of the vote. In 1998 Governor Bush won 49 percent of the Hispanic vote, 27 percent of the African-American vote, 27 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of women. He won more Texas counties, 240 of 254, than any modern Republican other that Richard Nixon in 1972 and is the first Republican gubernatorial candidate to win the heavily Hispanic and Democratic border counties of El Paso, Cameron and Hidalgo.
Vice President Dick Cheney earned a B.A. in 1965 and a M.A. in 1966, both in political science. Two years later, he won an American Political Science Association congressional fellowship. One of Vice President Cheney's primary duties is to share with individuals, members of Congress and foreign leaders, President Bush's vision to strengthen our economy, secure our homeland and win the War on Terrorism. In his official role as President of the Senate, Vice President Cheney regularly goes to Capitol Hill to meet with Senators and members of the House of Representatives to work on the Administration's legislative goals. In his travels as Vice President, he has seen first hand the great demands the war on terrorism is placing on the men and women of our military, and he is proud of the tremendous job they are doing for the United States of America.
Secretary of State Colin Powell was educated in the New York City public schools, graduating from the City College of New York (CCNY), where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in geology. He also participated in ROTC at CCNY and received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in June 1958. His further academic achievements include a Master of Business Administration Degree from George Washington University. Secretary Powell is the recipient of numerous U.S. and foreign military awards and decorations. Secretary Powell's civilian awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President's Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. Several schools and other institutions have been named in his honor and he holds honorary degrees from universities and colleges across the country.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld: attended Princeton University on Scholarship (AB, 1954) and served in the U.S. Navy (1954-57) as a Naval aviator; Congressional Assistant to Rep. Robert Griffin (R-MI), 1957-59; U.S. Representative, Illinois, 1962-69; Assistant to the President, Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, Director of the Cost of Living Council, 1969-74; U.S. Ambassador to NATO, 1973-74; head of Presidential Transition Team, 1974; Assistant to the President, Director of White House Office of Operations, White House Chief of Staff, 1974-77; Secretary of Defense, 1975-77.
Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge was raised in a working class family in veterans' public housing in Erie. He earned a scholarship to Harvard, graduating with honors in 1967. After his first year at The Dickinson School of Law, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as an infantry staff sergeant in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star for Valor. After returning to Pennsylvania, he earned his Law Degree and was in private practice before becoming Assistant District Attorney in Erie County. He was elected to Congress in 1982. He was the first enlisted Vietnam combat veteran elected to the U.S. House, and was overwhelmingly reelected six times.
National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice earned her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver in 1974; her Master's from the University of Notre Dame in 1975; and her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1981. (Note: Rice enrolled at the University of Denver at the age of 15, graduating at 19 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science (Cum Laude). She earned a Master's Degree at the University of Notre Dame and a Doctorate from the University of Denver's Graduate School of International Studies. Both of her advanced degrees are also in Political Science.) She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Morehouse College in 1991, the University of Alabama in 1994, and the University of Notre Dame in 1995. At Stanford, she has been a member of the Center for International Security and Arms Control, a Senior Fellow of the Institute for International Studies, and a Fellow (by courtesy) of the Hoover Institution. Her books include Germany Unified and Europe Transformed (1995) with Philip Zelikow, The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin, and Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984). She also has written numerous articles on Soviet and East European foreign and defense policy, and has addressed audiences in settings ranging from the U.S. Ambassador's Residence in Moscow to the Commonwealth Club to the 1992 and 2000 Republican National Conventions. From 1989 through March 1991, the period of German reunification and the final days of the Soviet Union, she served in the Bush Administration as Director, and then Senior Director, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council, and a Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, she served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1997, she served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender — Integrated Training in the Military. She was a member of the boards of directors for the Chevron Corporation, the Charles Schwab Corporation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the University of Notre Dame, the International Advisory Council of J.P. Morgan and the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors. She was a Founding Board member of the Center for a New Generation, an educational support fund for schools in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, California and was Vice President of the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula. In addition, her past board service has encompassed such organizations as Transamerica Corporation, Hewlett Packard, the Carnegie Corporation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Rand Corporation, the National Council for Soviet and East European Studies, the Mid-Peninsula Urban Coalition and KQED, public broadcasting for San Francisco. Born November 14, 1954 in Birmingham, Alabama, she earned her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver in 1974; her Master's from the University of Notre Dame in 1975; and her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1981. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Morehouse College in 1991, the University of Alabama in 1994, and the University of Notre Dame in 1995. She resides in Washington, D.C.
So who are these celebrities? What is their education? What is their experience in affairs of State or in National Security? While I will defend to the death their right to express their opinions, I think that if they are going to call into question the intelligence of our leaders, we should also have all the facts on their educations and background:
Barbra Streisand: Completed high school
Career: Singing and acting
Cher: Dropped out of school in 9th grade.
Career: Singing and acting
Martin Sheen: Flunked exam to enter University of Dayton.
Jessica Lange: Dropped out college mid-freshman year.
Alec Baldwin: Dropped out of George Washington U. after scandal
Julia Roberts: Completed high school
Sean Penn: Completed High school
Susan Sarandon: Degree in Drama from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Career: Acting
Ed Asner: Completed High school
George Clooney: Dropped out of University of Kentucky
Michael Moore: Dropped out first year University of Michigan.
Career: Movie Director
Sarah Jessica Parker: Completed High School
Jennifer Anniston: Completed High School
Mike Farrell: Completed High school
Janeane Garofelo: Dropped out of College.
Career: Stand up comedienne
Larry Hagman: Attended Bard College for one year.
Mel Gibson: Quit college because one of his professors was Jewish
Career: Jew hater (OK, I just slipped this one in there. I made it up. Sort of- 2Slick)
While comparing the education and experience of these two groups, we should also remember that President Bush and his cabinet are briefed daily, even hourly, on the War on Terror and threats to our security. They are privy to information gathered around the world concerning the Middle East, the threats to America, the intentions of terrorists and terrorist-supporting governments. They are in constant communication with the CIA, the FBI, Interpol, NATO, The United Nations, our own military, and that of our allies around the world.
We cannot simply believe that we have full knowledge of the threats because we watch CNN!!
We cannot believe that we are in any way as informed as our leaders. These celebrities have no intelligence-gathering agents, no fact-finding groups, no insight into the minds of those who would destroy our country. They only have a deep seated hatred for all things Republican. By nature, and no one knows quite why, the Hollywood elitists detest Conservative views and anything that supports or uplifts the United States of America. The silence was deafening from the Left when Bill Clinton bombed a pharmaceutical factory outside of Khartoum, or when he attacked the Bosnian Serbs in 1995 and 1999. He bombed Serbia itself to get Slobodan Milosevic out of Kosovo, and not a single peace rally was held. When our Rangers were ambushed in Somalia and 18 young American lives were lost, not a peep was heard from Hollywood.
The ultimate irony is that many of these celebrities have made a shambles of their own lives, with drug abuse, alcoholism, numerous marriages and divorces, scrapes with the law, publicized temper tantrums, etc. How dare they pretend to know what is best for an entire nation! What is even more bizarre is how many people in this country will listen and accept their views, simply because they liked them in a certain movie, or have fond memories of an old television sitcom!
It is time for us, as citizens of the United States, to educate ourselves about the world around us. If future generations are going to enjoy the freedoms that our forefathers bequeathed us, if they are ever to know peace in their own country and their world, to live without fear of terrorism striking in their own cities, we must assure that this nation remains strong. We must make certain that those who would destroy us are made aware of the severe consequences that will befall them. Yes, it is a wonderful dream to sit down with dictators and terrorists and join hands, singing Cumbaya and talking of world peace. But it is not real.
We did not stop Adolf Hitler from taking over the entire continent of Europe by simply talking to him. We sent our best and brightest, with the strength and determination that this Country is known for, and defeated the Nazi regime.
President John F. Kennedy did not stop the Soviet ships from unloading their nuclear missiles in Cuba in 1962 with mere words. He stopped them with action, and threat of immediate war if the ships did not turn around.
We did not end the Cold War with conferences. It ended with the strong belief of President Ronald Reagan... PEACE through STRENGTH.
Critics will say "How dare you suggest that someone is stupid just because they didn't go to college!!!" And that's crap. That's not what this essay suggests. At all. Yes, there are very brilliant people who never went to college. Harry S Truman is one example. On the flip side, Jimmy Carter went to the Naval Academy (not a bad school, but not as great as West Point), and he's dumber than a box of hammers. There will always be exceptions and stand-outs- ronald Reagan was an actor, and he became one of the greatest Presidents ever. Of course, he started out as a Democrat, but grew wiser as he got older. But seriously- this essay does a great job of pinning credentials to the loudest (and least informed)voices in Hollywood. Nice job, whoever wrote it.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
I know- stupid question, right? But here's the reason I ask- I was watching Fox News this past Sunday morning when all that stuff with the Pope and angry Muslims was going on, and one of the Fox newsies (didn't catch her name) began the broadcast with:
"A nun shot dead in Somalia, and the Pope's words might be to blame. Hello everyone, I'm so and so and this is Fox News...."
I'm not kidding- she really said that. I'm not trying to single out Fox News here- it happens all the time with every major news outlet. If the person (I use the word loosely) who shot that nun were to have written the intro to that newscast, I ask you- how different would it have been from what she actually read? Not much different, I would guess. The killer probably would have dropped the words "might be," but it would have otherwise sounded exactly the same. I don't think I've seen such a clear cut example of our own media being used by terrorists as a propagnada weapon. It really is amazing. What she said is absolutely no different that starting off a newscast with:
"A suicide car bomb killed fourteen people in Baghdad this morning, and the U.S. humanitarian efforts in Iraq might be to blame."
"Radical Islamic extremists beheaded an American civilian and posted it on the internet, and our own President Bush might be to blame."
Am I the only one who sees the danger in this?
Believe me, Fox News is NOT trying to push a terrorist agenda. I don't even believe that the other network and cable news outlets are trying to push a Democratic Party agenda (okay, maybe CBS a little bit). I think every media outlet in America is merely doing what every red-blooded American company is trying to do- make a buck!!! It's capitalism, stupid!
It sounds better when they blame the Pope for murdering a nun, doesn't it? Isn't that a tantalizing way to start a broadcast?
Isn't it hard to flip the channel when they suggest that maybe- just maybe- our own President is ordering U.S. troops to play "Walk the Dog" with a bunch of terrorists in Abu Ghraib?
How about the hot air-filled talking head who says stuff like "we've been creating more terrorists ever since we started fighting them. Before we decided to fight back, everything was just peachy keen. You know, and embassy here, a USS Cole there, a few buildings in some major U.S. cities- no big deal. But now we've made them angry! And French people hate us! Bad Mr. Bush!"
Or what about the time when our President and his band of thugs endangered the life of a CIA agent in order to get back at her and her husband for being so mean to Republicans!?!? Holy Moly! Ben Affleck informed me that they shoot people on the battlefield for that sort of thing! Wow, man- Ben must have all kinds of war experience and he must know a whole heck of a lot about spy stuff, what with all his play-acting and stuff. But I digress...
So, yes, it all may be a total crock of BS, but it sure gets our attention, doesn't it?!?!? And it stirs the pot, and gets people fired up and angry, and it generates all kinds of debate, and it gets ratings and sells newspapers, and the money just keeps flowing in...
The obvious problem with all this- the terrorists know exactly how capitalism works. And they know how our media works. And we are absolutely powerless to stop them. Our only hope is to somehow be smart enough to see through our own BS.
Ever since I returned from Iraq, I've been asked the age old question, "Why don't we ever hear about the progress being made over there? How come we never get the good news?" The sad (but true) answer to this question- you don't really want to hear it. You think you do, but you don't. Everybody's always screaming about the "biased" media, and everyone's always lamenting about sensationalism trumping the facts, and blah blah blah- but the numbers don't lie, people.
How many of you would watch the Fox News special about power grid reconstruction efforts in Mosul? Yeah. Well. Not too exciting, huh?
Okay, now which of you would watch the special report about the suicide bomber who killed 4 American soldiers and 20 children who were giving them candy? Yep, that'll get your attention.
Are you going to watch the 2-hour special that takes you through the entire start-to-finish construction of the newly-formed Iraqi government? No. You're not going to watch that. And you're not going to read about it in tomorrow's Washington Post. Stop arguing with me- you have no interest in that stuff. But I promise you, it's the most important thing that's happening over there...
The terrorists know what you're going to watch. So do the suits at the news bureaus. The media isn't all that biased, ladies and gentlemen- they just want your money.
Even if it means in-your-face reporting on every single terrorist act that takes place in any part of the world at any given time.
Even if it means regurgitating a nun-killer's talking points. Verbatim.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
I've been working my way through a list of emails that I had left unattended for well over a year- and I found some pretty fun ones. Before I get to the featured item, I'd just like to say thanks for all the nice well-wishes and kind words- it's much appreciated, and I apologize for taking so long to write back. Most of the emails I get are really nice and thoughtful. And then I get some like this:
----- Original Message ----
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 9:42:34 PM
Heard about mil blogs. your name came up. just what i expected. im not a lefty. im a veteran of our last big war on the dark skinned poor - in central america. you seem to be a part of the machine. a muscle fiber in the corporate bicep that is "redifining" american power in central asia. you are rewarded by your "fortune 500" job. horde those green backs captain before that corporate bicep outsources your ass and you find yourself teaching government classes at a community college.
xo our knight in shining gunship
or does 2slick refer to medivac?
Don't bother trying to send this person an email- the address is no longer valid. I tried to send him a response that went like this:
Cool. Thanks for checking out my site.
I think I'll start by telling you something that your parents probably told you a long time ago, but you just never liked to hear- people who are "anti-establishment" tend to be people who were soundly rejected by said "establishment." They're the ones who got beat up in school because they were always trying to be the center of attention- but never had any good reason to command said attention. Not typically the sharpest bulbs in the drawer- but really convinced that they were so much smarter than everyone else. Simply put- "anti-establishment" people (like you) are the ones that most "normal" people try so very hard to avoid.
Seriously, man- I'm sorry that nobody likes you or wants to hire you. Keep blaming "the man" for all your problems, and maybe your pain and suffering will begin to subside. Maybe- just maybe- the good people of the world will see how you've been wronged, and maybe everyone will line up to apologize to you. I know that would be really AWESOME for you!
Me? I'm just going to keep "redefining" American power with my corporate biceps while I step all over the poor dark-skinned people. You just sit there and think about what an awful and terrible person I am- I'm certain that will make you happy. See how thoughtful I am?
Seriously, though- you're right. You're not a lefty. You're just a run-of-the-mill fraud. A sad and pathetic loser who never got enough hugs.
Just what I expected....
P.S.: What's wrong with teaching government classes at a community college? Is teaching not an honorable profession? I happen to have a great deal of respect for teachers, and I certainly appreciate all the ones who taught me...
I love getting emails from these clowns!
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I guess I have to admit that a small part of me hopes that John Kerry does run again in '08. It's a little twisted, but it really was fun to see a glory-chasing self-serving traitor get what was coming to him right there on the world stage. And now I read this hilarious interview where he says that he's now "prepared to kick their ass from one end of America to the other." Oh, man I can't wait to see that!!!! Yeah, this time he'll really nail 'em! Go get 'em, Johnny!!!!
John O'Neill's response was priceless:
It is a little difficult to imagine Kerry (“I voted for it before I voted against it”) kicking the most decorated living serviceman, Bud Day, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, or our salty commander, Adm. Roy Hoffman, anywhere. Perhaps Kerry had in mind using a “Rice Fanny Grenade” as he did by mistake on himself shortly before leaving Vietnam. If so, based on the record, he is in far more danger than anyone else.
Kerry and his friends certainly seem to show much greater anger and hatred toward us than toward the murderous al Qaeda terrorists.
Reminds me- my wife is always asking me to post my thoughts on the left's current obsession with blaming all the world's problems on Republicans instead of terrorists. I had always planned to write something about it, but then I read Pam Foster's now-famous letter and I knew that I would never be able to say it better- so here goes:
WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS?
Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001? Were people from all over the world, mostly Americans, not brutally murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan, across the Potomac from our nation's capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania?
Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they?
And I'm supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was "desecrated" when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet? Well, I don't. I don't care at all.
I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11.
I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere possession of which is a crime in Saudi Arabia.
I'll care when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi tells the world he is sorry for hacking off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.
I'll care when the cowardly so-called "insurgents" in Iraq come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.
I'll care when the mindless zealots, who blow themselves up in search of nirvana, care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs.
I'll care when the American media stops pretending that their First Amendment liberties are somehow derived from international law instead of the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights.
In the meantime, when I hear a story about a brave marine roughing up an Iraqi terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don't care.
When I see a fuzzy photo of a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners who have been humiliated in what amounts to a college hazing incident, rest assured that I don't care.
When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank that I don't care.
When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and fed "special" food that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that his holy book is being "mishandled," you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts that I don't care.
And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled "Koran" and other times "Quran." Well, Jimmy Crack Corn and ---- you guessed it - - - I don't care ! ! ! ! !
Then it goes on to say "please forward to all your friends" and yadda yadda. I didn't even bother to snopes it, but it was supposedly written by "Pam Foster of Pamela Foster and Associates in Atlanta. She's been in business since 1980 doing interior design and home planning." Maybe she wrote it, maybe she didn't. Either way, you can bet your holy head scarves that I simply do not care who wrote it. It's awesome no matter what.
I have not, do not, and damn most certainly will not ever support the idea that terrorists should be protected by the Geneva Convention. The Geneva Convention needs to be "reconvened" and the international community needs to accept and deal with the fact that Islamic Militants are out there chopping off heads and blowing up school busses. The Geneva Convention means absolutely nothing to them- so come up with a plan for dealing with these animals and fix the problem.
When I hear people like Colin Powell say that we need to be nice to them in order to protect our own soldiers from harm, I feel like smacking him in the head with a rockfish. General Powell, with all due respect- are out of your freaking mind???? Do you honestly believe that these disgusting viruses will respond to our kind treatment with kindness? Trust me on this one, my 4-star friend- any soldiers captured by these sick thugs are damn near certain to suffer a fate worse than you or I could ever imagine- the terrorists have proven this time and time again. Stop kidding yourself. Your foolish banter is only serving to embolden them. You should seriously know better...
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I guess it's been a long while since I've put anything on this site- I'm still trying to shake off some of the cobwebs around here...
I read a recent interview with Cindy Sheehan- she says that she wants to build a "Center for Peace" or something in Crawford, Texas. It's her attempt at making sure that war never happens again. The interviewer asked her why she would build it in Crawford, and Cindy said that it wouldn't be in a big city because blah blah words whatever blah blah. Not sure what she was talking about and I REALLY don't care.
If I were interviewing her, I would have asked why she wasn't building a "Center for Peace" in Iran or maybe adjacent to one of Saudi Arabia's many madrasses. The answer, of course, is that if she tried to do that she would quickly find that it's hard to get any work done when your head is no longer attached to your body.
So please, Cindy, build your "Center for Peace" in Crawford, Texas. I'm sure that would have prevented 9/11 had you thought to do that 6 years ago. Oh, the missed opportunities! Tell you what, Cindy- while you build your "Center for Peace" in Texas, I'm going to start construction on "2Slick's Obesity Prevention and Weight Control Clinic" in the middle of Ethiopia.
So I was perusing Drudge this morning, and I found an excellent letter that was written by Josh Bolten, and I think it deserves mass dissemination:
Dear Senator Reid:
Thank you for your September 4 letter to the President. I am responding on his behalf.
A useful discussion of what we need to do in Iraq requires an accurate and fair-minded description of our current policy: As the President has explained, our goal is an Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself, and sustain itself. In order to achieve this goal, we are pursuing a strategy along three main tracks -- political, economic, and security. Along each of these tracks, we are constantly adjusting our tactics to meet conditions on the ground. We have witnessed both successes and setbacks along the way, which is the story of every war that has been waged and won.
Your letter recites four elements of a proposed “new direction” in Iraq. Three of those elements reflect well-established Administration policy; the fourth is dangerously misguided.
First, you propose "transitioning the U.S. mission in Iraq to counter-terrorism, training, logistics and force protection." That is what we are now doing, and have been doing for several years. Our efforts to train the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) have evolved and accelerated over the past three years. Our military has had substantial success in building the Iraqi Army -- and increasingly we have seen the Iraqi Army take the lead in fighting the enemies of a free Iraq. The Iraqi Security Forces still must rely on U.S. support, both in direct combat and especially in key combat support functions. But any fair-minded reading of the current situation must recognize that the ISF are unquestionably more capable and shouldering a greater portion of the burden than a year ago -- and because of the extraordinary efforts of the United States military, we expect they will become increasingly capable with each passing month. Your recommendation that we focus on counter-terrorism training and operations -- which is the most demanding task facing our troops -- tracks not only with our policy but also our understanding, as well as the understanding of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, that Iraq is a central front in the war against terror.
Second, your letter proposes "working with Iraqi leaders to disarm the militias and to develop a broad-based and sustainable political settlement, including amending the Constitution to achieve a fair sharing of power and resources." You are once again urging that the Bush Administration adopt an approach that has not only been embraced, but is now being executed. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is pursuing a national reconciliation project. It is an undertaking that (a) was devised by the Iraqis; (b) has the support of the United States, our coalition partners and the United Nations; and (c) is now being implemented. Further, in Iraq's political evolution, the Sunnis, who boycotted the first Iraq election, are now much more involved in the political process. Prime Minister Maliki is head of a free government that represents all communities in Iraq for the first time in that nation's history. It is in the context of this broad-based, unity government, and the lasting national compact that government is pursuing, that the Iraqis will consider what amendments might be required to the constitution that the Iraqi people adopted last year. On the matter of disarming militias: that is precisely what Prime Minister al-Maliki is working to do. Indeed, Coalition leaders are working with him and his ministers to devise and implement a program to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate members of militias and other illegal armed groups.
Third, your letter calls for "convening an international conference and contact group to support a political settlement in Iraq, to preserve Iraq's sovereignty, and to revitalize the stalled economic reconstruction and rebuilding effort." The International Compact for Iraq, launched recently by the sovereign Iraqi government and the United Nations, is the best way to work with regional and international partners to make substantial economic progress in Iraq, help revitalize the economic reconstruction and rebuilding of that nation, and support a fair and just political settlement in Iraq -- all while preserving Iraqi sovereignty. This effort is well under way, it has momentum, and I urge you to support it. Three of the key proposals found in your letter, then, are already reflected in current U.S. and Iraqi policy in the region.
On the fourth element of your proposed “new direction,” however, we do disagree strongly. Our strategy calls for redeploying troops from Iraq as conditions on the ground allow, when the Iraqi Security Forces are capable of defending their nation, and when our military commanders believe the time is right. Your proposal is driven by none of these factors; instead, it would have U.S. forces begin withdrawing from Iraq by the end of the year, without regard to the conditions on the ground. Because your letter lacks specifics, it is difficult to determine exactly what is contemplated by the “phased redeployment” you propose. (One such proposal, advanced by Representative Murtha, a signatory to your letter, suggested that U.S. forces should be redeployed as a “quick reaction force” to Okinawa, which is nearly 5,000 miles from Baghdad). Regardless of the specifics you envision by “phased redeployment,” any premature withdrawal of U.S forces would have disastrous consequences for America’s security. Such a policy would embolden our terrorist enemies; betray the hopes of the Iraqi people; lead to a terrorist state in control of huge oil reserves; shatter the confidence our regional allies have in America; undermine the spread of democracy in the Middle East; and mean the sacrifices of American troops would have been in vain. This “new direction” would lead to a crippling defeat for America and a staggering victory for Islamic extremists. That is not a direction this President will follow. The President is being guided by a commitment to victory -- and that plan, in turn, is being driven by the counsel and recommendations of our military commanders in the region.
Finally, your letter calls for replacing Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. We strongly disagree.
Secretary Rumsfeld is an honorable and able public servant. Under his leadership, the United States Armed Forces and our allies have overthrown two brutal tyrannies and liberated more than 50 million people. Al Qaeda has suffered tremendous blows. Secretary Rumsfeld has pursued vigorously the President’s vision for a transformed U.S. military. And he has played a lead role in forging and implementing many of the policies you now recommend in Iraq. Secretary Rumsfeld retains the full confidence of the President.
We appreciate your stated interest in working with the Administration on policies that honor the sacrifice of our troops and promote our national security, which we believe can be accomplished only through victory in this central front in the War on Terror.
Joshua B. Bolten
Chief of Staff
Now that's a great letter...
Friday, April 07, 2006
Wow, you people really are coming by here to see what 's going on. I'm amazed and flattered and humbled and everything in between. Thanks, I hope you'll continue to drop by...
I heard there was some big uproar about illegal immigration last week? I missed it all- you see, I was vacationing in Mexico. And guess what (I'm not joking)- President Bush was there, too. It was in all the Mexican newspapers, and I know because I can read espanol. For the record- Mexico is really amazing. Wow.
But I digress...
Sometimes I think I'm the only person in America who thought the War on Terror was going to be tough one.
I never thought that we shouldn't fight it.
I never thought that we couldn't win it.
I just thought that it was going to be a tough struggle.
Why? I don't know- maybe because there are so many people out there who are more than willing to blow themselves up in order to enjoy a night out with some virgins that they'll never meet, or even worse- recruit others to blow themselves up for some "cause" that seems to involve enslaving women and chopping people's heads off for the simple act of intellectual noncompliance.
Yes, there will always be a pool of poor young teens looking for glory; mentally retarded "outcasts"; "disgraced" women seeking redemption after having the audacity to entice someone to rape them; even "normal" people who are just too plain stupid to figure out that if "martyrdom" was really such a cool thing, people like bin Laden and Zarqawi would be doing it too!
Lots of them out there- lots and lots.
And how prepared were we for this war before 9/11? Here's a hint. Almost 5 years later, we're STILL postured for that big showdown with the Soviets. If those commies ever decided to cross that line in Germany, we'll have more than enough troops to fight 'em off, dammit!
So yes, I was pretty sure this would be a tough one.
People are surprised by a lot of things, but I think the thing that surprises me most is that here we are going on 5 years since 9/11, and number of American troops lost in combat has yet to surpass the number of innocent lives that were taken from us on that one day that we all remember so clearly. We do remember what happened, right? Just checking.
I always thought that the one of the most important keys to winning this thing was to understand what we're up against- sooner than later. We still don't fully comprehend what this enemy is and how we're supposed to fight it, but I think our old friend and my former Commanding General, LTG David Petreaus, is leading the way to understanding. Check this out:
Observations from Soldiering in Iraq
1."Do not try to do too much with your own hands."
2. Act quickly, because every Army of liberation has a half-life.
3. Money is ammunition. (This is so true- capitalism can really put a dagger through the terrorist's hearts -2Slick)
4. Increasing the number of stakeholders is critical to success.
5. Analyze "costs and benefits" before each operation.
6. Intelligence is the key to success.
7. Everyone must do nation-building.
8. Help build institutions, not just units.
9. Cultural awareness is a force multiplier.
10. Success in a counterinsurgency requires more than just military 0perations.
11. Ultimate success depends on local leaders.
12. Remember the strategic corporals and strategic lieutenants.
13. There is no substitute for flexible, adaptable leaders.
14. A leader's most important task is to set the right tone.
Read the whole thing, because this guy knows what the hell he's talking about...
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Since it's been such a long time since I've even visited my own site, I decided to check the stat tracker to see if anyone was even poking round here anymore. I was astonished to find that this site still draws about 100 visitors a day- mostly people following links to archived posts from yesteryear. I noticed a huge spike a few days ago, so I decided to check into it. Seems that my old friend Jennifer Loven caused another commotion- this one her biggest yet. I saw the article on Yahoo! News last weekend while I was browsing through my handy dandy handheld. The headline left me no doubt that I was about to read a Jennifer Loven article- it said something like "Bush Using Straw Man Arguments in Speeches." Sounded very much like the unforgettable "Bush Twists Kerry's Words on Iraq."
My favorite part of her latest hit piece:
"There are some really decent people," the president said earlier this year, "who believe that the federal government ought to be the decider of health care ... for all people."
Of course, hardly anyone in mainstream political debate has made such assertions.
"Of course," she says. Because we all know that Bush is such a conniving and deceitful liar and anything he tries to push on us is total crap.
He typically then says he "strongly disagrees" conveniently knocking down a straw man of his own making.
"Conveniently." Jennifer, you absolutely must be kidding here, right? Are you seriously trying to play this off as news? This is a sarcastic and vindictive opinion piece and nothing more. The AP is now officially the media's worst joke.
And when she writes, "Bush routinely is criticized for dressing up events with a too-rosy glow," she must be referring to another one of her own legendary hit pieces- Bush Paints Rosy Picture of Iraq Situation. She's literally using her prior opinions in place of facts for her new opinion piece! And the AP lets her get away with it.
Well, kids- it looks like the cat's really out of the bag this time. I just found a story about her latest work of art through Drudge- AP Article on Bush Called Out as Hit Piece...
It mentions her marriage to a former Clinton aide and all that good stuff. Not a bad article really. For me, it was nice to see Jennifer Loven being scrutinized on a bigger stage than Powerline. She finally made it big.
It'll be interesting to see if the AP attempts to garner some sort of credibility by firing her or apologizing in some way. Don't hold your breath.