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Foley Killers Hanged
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Page 4: Opinion
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Views on the reaction to Freedom of Expression or ReFreedom of Ignorance?
By Fazal Amin Beg

very long personal opinion essay deleted.

This is not the first such piece submitted to Rantburg and authored by F.A. Beg. Earlier submissions were deleted without being posted - including the other 2 submitted today.

Please note that Rantburg is not the place for regular submissions of very long personal opinion pieces authored by the submitter (or by some 3rd person who may differ from the submitter when that person is not a well known and well respected commentator on public affairs).

You clearly have many things you wish to contribute to the general discussion about Muslim and Western cultures. May I suggest you look at Blogspot or other places where you can publish a weblog of your own? An occasional link to a specific article at your own weblog may be appropriate and useful here if it adds a new point of view to a current discussion. But not entire personal essays, please.
Posted by: Grating Gruns3185 || 03/12/2006 13:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10793 views] Top|| File under:

Dhimmitude: Steyn Banned In Britain
Mark Steyn’s column is no longer available in the British press; according to the Guardian’s Lionel Shriver, Steyn has now been dropped from both the Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator. (Hat tip: Tim Blair.)

And there’s very little doubt that it’s because of his clear-headed, uncompromising writing about Islam.

his latest:

Media shockingly ignorant of Muslims among us
Posted by: Frank G || 03/12/2006 20:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Refer to the censorship phenomenon as: Murder Chill. UK editors and publishers and writers do not feel safe. Polls after the 7-7 atrocity revealed 6% open UK Muslim support for the massacres, and 37% support for the "goals" expressed by the terrorists. Murder Chill prevented the Blair government from implementing stronger internal security measures. Why is this happening? Political correctitude makes compulsory expressed belief in the dogma of the inherent peacefulness of Muslims. And use of the political process to promote the fact that stronger measures must be taken against the jihadis in our midst, will result in murder threats. Fear of our Muslims has reduced democratically elected politicians to surrogate enforcers of perverse sharia "blasphemy" laws, in contempt of constitutional protection guaranteeing freedom of speech. Western Constitutions are at least partly, nullified.

In France, a populist movement - "Blue Revolution" - is arising against the Jihadi-Occupation of their country, and their "collabo" dhimmis. The inclusion of retired military officers in the movement reveals a belief in the absolute impotence of besieged civil authorities, in face of Muslim aggression. Could there be a coup in France? I wouldn't bet against it there, or anywhere where Murder Chill is obliterating liberty.
Posted by: Listen To Dogs || 03/12/2006 21:20 Comments || Top||

The sign says:
Islam will not make the law in France
Posted by: Thromort Spotle9087 || 03/12/2006 22:29 Comments || Top||

Power and Weakness
By Robert Kagan
It is time to stop pretending that Europeans and Americans share a common view of the world, or even that they occupy the same world. On the all-important question of power — the efficacy of power, the morality of power, the desirability of power — American and European perspectives are diverging. Europe is turning away from power, or to put it a little differently, it is moving beyond power into a self-contained world of laws and rules and transnational negotiation and cooperation. It is entering a post-historical paradise of peace and relative prosperity, the realization of Kant’s “Perpetual Peace.” The United States, meanwhile, remains mired in history, exercising power in the anarchic Hobbesian world where international laws and rules are unreliable and where true security and the defense and promotion of a liberal order still depend on the possession and use of military might. That is why on major strategic and international questions today, Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus: They agree on little and understand one another less and less. And this state of affairs is not transitory — the product of one American election or one catastrophic event. The reasons for the transatlantic divide are deep, long in development, and likely to endure. When it comes to setting national priorities, determining threats, defining challenges, and fashioning and implementing foreign and defense policies, the United States and Europe have parted ways.

It is easier to see the contrast as an American living in Europe. Europeans are more conscious of the growing differences, perhaps because they fear them more. European intellectuals are nearly unanimous in the conviction that Americans and Europeans no longer share a common “strategic culture.” The European caricature at its most extreme depicts an America dominated by a “culture of death,” its warlike temperament the natural product of a violent society where every man has a gun and the death penalty reigns. But even those who do not make this crude link agree there are profound differences in the way the United States and Europe conduct foreign policy.

The United States, they argue, resorts to force more quickly and, compared with Europe, is less patient with diplomacy. Americans generally see the world divided between good and evil, between friends and enemies, while Europeans see a more complex picture. When confronting real or potential adversaries, Americans generally favor policies of coercion rather than persuasion, emphasizing punitive sanctions over inducements to better behavior, the stick over the carrot. Americans tend to seek finality in international affairs: They want problems solved, threats eliminated. And, of course, Americans increasingly tend toward unilateralism in international affairs. They are less inclined to act through international institutions such as the United Nations, less inclined to work cooperatively with other nations to pursue common goals, more skeptical about international law, and more willing to operate outside its strictures when they deem it necessary, or even merely useful.1
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: john || 03/12/2006 16:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The only difference between US 'power' and EU 'weakness' is will. And US will is not all that strong any more. If Europe had the will to be powerful it could be so. Instead the native European families are breeding themselves out of existence. They not only lack will as nations, they lack it as individuals.
This is all a problem of lack of self-esteem. Ironic that the result of all the liberal efforts to keep from damaging the self-esteem of the precious one child per family may instead have destroyed it.
Posted by: Glenmore || 03/12/2006 20:26 Comments || Top||

#2  NATO didn't hurt either. We should pull out entirely and make bilateral agreements as advisable. Right now, I'd limit that to UK, Poland and Denmark. The rest of them should be kicked out of the house to earn a living on their own. We need to get out of NATO before their militaries go dhimmi.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/12/2006 20:40 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Can Islam live with the rest of the World?
But Mr Bush was staking his bet on the assumption that the Islamists were not speaking for Islam; that the world’s Muslims long for modernity; that they are themselves repelled by the violence of the terrorists; that, most significantly, Islam is in its nature a religion that can be “internalized”, like the world’s other great religions, and that the traditional Islamic aspiration to conjoin worldly political with otherworldly spiritual authority had somehow gone away.

The question, “But what if they are not?” was never seriously raised, because it could not be raised behind the mud curtain of political correctness that has descended over the Western academy and intelligentsia. “Ideas have consequences”, and the idea that Islam imagines itself in a fundamental, physical conflict with everything outside of itself, is an idea with which people in the contemporary West are morally and intellectually incapable of coming to terms. Hence our continuing surprise at everything from bar-bombings in Bali, to riots in France, to the Danish cartoon apoplexy.

My own views on the issue have been aloof. More precisely, they have been infected with cowardice. I am so “post-modern” myself that I, too, find it almost impossible to think through the corollaries from our world’s hardest fact. And that fact is: the post-Christian West is out of its depth with Islam.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/12/2006 14:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10799 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No. One of them simply has to go.
Posted by: Cloth Snatch4013 || 03/12/2006 15:36 Comments || Top||

#2  The rest of the World can't.
Posted by: gromgoru || 03/12/2006 16:19 Comments || Top||

#3  No
Posted by: 3dc || 03/12/2006 16:36 Comments || Top||

#4  interesting it's from David Warren, he's been a weathervane lately...finally showing some spine?
Posted by: Frank G || 03/12/2006 16:40 Comments || Top||

#5  It's pretty clear that The Rest of the World should pack up and leave Mo's Planet - Mo doesn't have the tech to do it.
Posted by: Cloth Snatch4013 || 03/12/2006 16:42 Comments || Top||

#6  I mean, Geez, they haven't even figured out the lunar cycle, yet...

"To howl or not to howl, that is the question."
Posted by: Cloth Snatch4013 || 03/12/2006 16:48 Comments || Top||

#7  Interesting fellow.

This is an opinion journalist; a committed Catholic who is honestly trying to reconcile his religion and his humanity with the fact that a sister religion is, (or has become) a force for evil and oppression.

Good luck.
Posted by: mhw || 03/12/2006 17:20 Comments || Top||

#8  Can Islam live with the rest of the World?

Of course it can; it just has to want to.

But so far, we've not done a very good job done a disgustingly pathetic job at planting the notion, in the Islamic world, that getting along peaceably with the West is something they are simply going to have to do, or perish.

Au contraire: the ummah seem to have the idea firmly in mind that it is we who will have to get along with them, on their terms exclusively; witness the Danish Cartoon Debacle, and the headlong, neurotic rush of Western governments to prevent-- even at the cost of our most fundamental freedoms-- any action which might give offense to Muslims.

Somehow, if we are to prevail, this issue is simply going to have to be forced; it will not go away. Somehow, the Islamic world is going to have to be told, "Back off!", in a way it just can't ignore; in a way that will force it to accept, with utter finality, that for us, "submission to the will of God" will NEVER mean "submission to the will of Mullah."

But do we have the balls to force the issue? Warren isn't too sure we do:

"...the idea that Islam imagines itself in a fundamental, physical conflict with everything outside of itself, is an idea with which people in the contemporary West are morally and intellectually incapable of coming to terms."

Maybe we are. Maybe we aren't.

But THAT, not the one Warren poses in the title to this piece, is the real question: have postmodernism, multiculturalism, cultural relativism, nonjudgementalism, and political correctness so rotted the West that we can no longer summon the will to prevail against an ideological force like Islam? Or do we still have what it takes to turn back the tide?

THAT is the real question.

Posted by: Dave D. || 03/12/2006 17:33 Comments || Top||

#9  Well said, Dave D.

It's smart to take a moment and re-summarize every so often... a fresh compass reading.

They've already placed their bets on "No, the West hasn't the stomach to oppose us." The "moderates" are happy to wait around on the sideline to see who's winning - and since the info stream says it's the bad guys, they're continuing to offer support on the QT and occasionally join in the fun to prove how pious they are.

The unholy alliance between Islam, a who's who of our sworn enemies - a modern collection of failed ideologies, and our internal cadre of self-haters and power junkies makes this a seminal moment.

Since saying more, graphically describing the choices, gets the "sinktrap" here, I'll leave it at that.

Thank you for your excellent comment. :}
Posted by: Cloth Snatch4013 || 03/12/2006 18:17 Comments || Top||

#10  Question: what is the common element:

Muslims murdering Jews in Israel
Muslims murdering Christians in Africa and Europe
Muslims murdering Hindus in India
Muslims murdering Muslims in Iraq
Muslims murdering Ba'hai in Iran
Muslims murdering Budhists in Thailand and Bali

Answer(MSM): I don't know!!
Posted by: DMFD || 03/12/2006 18:36 Comments || Top||

#11  "Since saying more, graphically describing the choices, gets the "sinktrap" here, I'll leave it at that."

Yes, I noticed; the recent epidemic of "acute redactivitis" is why I haven't been around here much lately. :-(

We need to discuss unpleasant things, one of which is the question, "Do we have any hope whatsoever of mounting a successful defense against the aggression of imperialistic, radical Islam, without first dealing forcibly-- brutally, even-- with the forces of moral disarmament in our own culture?"

Increasingly, I have been suspecting the answer is "No."

If so, that has dire implications-- like civil war.

Posted by: Dave D. || 03/12/2006 18:41 Comments || Top||

#12  Can't speak for the other mods, but I have no problem with listing the choices we face in clear-eyed language. At some point tho, IMO, the way in which some have phrased those choices degrades the conversation a whole lot. It's one thing to write that we need to confront Islam face on, no hold barred. It's another to revel in the idea of 1.5 billion muslims dying.

It's because we've seen the erosion of discussion threads here, often due to trolls, but sometimes just due to accelerating rhetoric, that Comments may be redacted for trolling, violation of standards of good manners, or plain stupidity

At least redacted comments can be viewed in the sinktrap, for those so inclined. It wasn't too long ago that some RB regulars were demanding the outright ban of several commenters.

It's a balancing act.

You guys ought to see some of the stuff that never makes it to the Rantburg pages - submissions from neo-Nazis and/or Islamofascist supporters, for instance. The mods occasionally have to wade through all sorts of ... effluvia.

Of which Dave D.'s comments have never to my memory been a part. Wish you were here more, Dave. The choices we faced ARE stark - and it's gonna be hard enough to sift through them with (relatively) sober language, plus the obligatory RB snark and creative pics.
Posted by: lotp || 03/12/2006 19:15 Comments || Top||

#13  Indeed.

"With all due respect, we already knew that the morlocks live underground."

Yes, terrible. Untrue, unwarranted, unPC, unacceptable. I see your point.

The other two (as of this moment) are even more outrageous and evil. Effluent, indeed! Wish we could see him so we could dis his wardrobe and really hurt him.

Lol, I think I smell warm apple pie!
Posted by: Cloth Snatch4013 || 03/12/2006 19:37 Comments || Top||

#14  This is a superb essay - that hits the nail right on the thumb.

I have this nightmarish image of how this can all distill down to "crunch time".

The bad guys - somehow - manage to get two small nuclear weapons into the USA. One "safely" positioned in a big metro area (my guess - Los Angeles, or maybe San Francisco/ San Jose), plus another one located in a more sparsely settled area - my guess: Las Vegas.

Then, a shawdowy annoucement from Islamacist spokesman XXX comes out saying "we will strike a blow against you on Monday morning, Date DDD" - and on that date, Las Vegas goes up in a big fireball.

Then - arch bad guy XXX again makse an announcement - "there is another bomb, and it is in a hugely populated area, and unless the US government follows our demands, we will set that one off as well."

In this scenario, what does the US Government do? There is no clearly defined actor to strike back against. We have sustained a nuclear attack, with an almost assured second attack imminent - and there is no nation-state to bargain with. It is a situation where a US President must - literally - bargain with the Devil - with the Devil holding all the cards. And - the leverage of such nuclear blackmail bestows virtually unending power upon the Devil. The only way for the US to extract itself is to LET the Devil blow off bomb #2- reducing the population of the US by 1% or more.

If my feared scenario is not technically feasible in 2006, then how about 2016 - or 2026? The Devil has all the time in the world. Every day, radical Islam is doing everything possible to amass as much raw power as it can. Islam IS in total war with non-Islam.

It is unrealistic to believe that radical Islam will - for some reason - decline to go after the ultimate power weapon. And - it is naiive to think that the technology to do so can be kept out of the hands of the Islamacists forever. What Pakistan and Iran can do, well-funded Islamic zealots can do - eventually.

State-controlled nukes are one thing - their use on the world stage would amount to national "suicide by cop." But such weapons in the hands of a non nation-state actor is probably the ultimate danger - the worst possible threat to America.

As is alreday recognized at top levels - "the bad guys only have to get lucky once".

How do you defang a 1.2 billion headed serpent? I honestly don't know - but I suspect that it is going to take lopping off a LOT of those heads. 'Not a very attractive approach, on the world stage - but a neccesary one.

As long as radical Islamic nut cases can SEE the ring of power, just beyond their grasp, they will be inspired to stretch, to reach that ring. Only when they have been bludgeoned back across the tracks, to the far side of town - to where they can only make out the location of the ring, way off in the distance - only then will they maybe focus on improving their local habitation, instead of focusing on tearing down the rich neighbor's house.

If I am one of the bad guys, and I have control of the nuclear 'Djinn', what I want is FOUR bombs. One to get the attention of the infidels, a second to punish them SEVERELY if they do not bow down to me, and the other two to take out Washington and New York, if they continue to defy me.

Connecting all the dots, the ongoing nuclear weapons program in Iran - overseen by maniacal super-zealots - is the biggest threat to modern western civilization in over 300 years. It is not because it will make the nation-state of Iran particularly dangerous - but because it is almost certain to bring closer the day when non-state-actor Islam becomes a rogue nuclear power.

I sure hope that I am wrong about the "doomsday" scenario.
Posted by: Lone Ranger || 03/12/2006 20:28 Comments || Top||

#15  Oh you are soooo asking for it, LR!

Excellent... Your scenario is perfectly plausible. Many have said that it would take another big hit, or three, to get us to accept the hard reality that we must shed the state-oriented view of the conflict - to think asymmetrically to match the threat. Some have been so bold as to suggest we would actually have to change our shorts a few times along the way. Seems likely to me - and you've given a sterling example of how that could come to pass. This is a deathmatch between ideologies.

Thanks, LR. An eye-opener of the first order.
Posted by: Cloth Snatch4013 || 03/12/2006 21:02 Comments || Top||

#16  "At least redacted comments can be viewed in the sinktrap, for those so inclined."

I viewed today's haul. None-- and I mean **ABSOLUTELY** none-- of those comments deserved to be put there. The two people who wrote those three comments have both been around here for months. They have both contributed comments in past threads which **ARE** worth reading, and therefore deserve to be treated better than that. They do **NOT** deserve to be insulted, like some damn whacko intruder barging in here from the DU fever swamps, by having their comments deleted and replaced by a supercilious, finger-wagging message just because you find those comments too extreme for your liking.

I often wonder: do you have any idea how damned insulting it is, to treat someone that way??? I don't think you do. Because you're not just insulting the person whose comments you've redacted-- you're insulting everyone who's ever had similar thoughts, too. Which is probably most of us.

"The mods occasionally have to wade through all sorts of ... effluvia. Of which Dave D.'s comments have never to my memory been a part."

Lately, MANY of the comments I've seen in the Sinktrap are comments I might very well have made myself in a moment of spluttering rage or frustration. In fact, some of them are a lot like comments I actually have made here from time to time in the past, in less guarded moments.

But now, I often see such comments arbitrarily deleted; apparently, they cross some "line" into some vague and fluid realm of "incorrectness" which I cannot fathom. Certainly, none of the comments redacted today "reveled in the idea of 1.5 billion muslims dying."

"Wish you were here more, Dave."

You've got exactly **ZERO** chance of seeing very much of me here so long as you continue trying to take all the "Rant" out of Rantburg.

Want more thoughtful, articulate people participating here? Then lose this nannyish "Thought Police" act and concentrate instead on doing a **MUCH** better job at keeping the 'Burg free of people who behave in a disruptive manner (left-wing moonbat trollery, obsessive "Death Match" off-topic debating, etc.).

And stop with the explanations, please; I'm not interested anymore. It's not my web site, I have no right to demand that it be run any particular way, so I do the only thing I can do: vote with my feet.

Posted by: Dave D. || 03/12/2006 21:06 Comments || Top||

#17  Uh oh. I said deathmatch.

I'm toast.
Posted by: Cloth Snatch4013 || 03/12/2006 21:18 Comments || Top||

#18  Connecting all the dots, the ongoing nuclear weapons program in Iran - overseen by maniacal super-zealots - is the biggest threat to modern western civilization in over 300 years. It is not because it will make the nation-state of Iran particularly dangerous - but because it is almost certain to bring closer the day when non-state-actor Islam becomes a rogue nuclear power.

For my part, I'm not quite ready to say 'Islam' above. Substitute 'Islamacists', though, and I agree fully.
Posted by: lotp || 03/12/2006 21:26 Comments || Top||

#19  Uh oh. I said deathmatch. I'm toast.

And that's before we even wheel out the wiretaps / data mining / Evil NeoCon Plots™ / Gitmo-3-square-meals-a-day-with-exercise-period torture sessions ...

oh, wait - wrong group. Fred hasn't implemented that software module yet ... LOL
Posted by: lotp || 03/12/2006 21:31 Comments || Top||

#20  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distinction_without_a_difference
Posted by: Cloth Snatch4013 || 03/12/2006 21:36 Comments || Top||

#21  "For my part, I'm not quite ready to say 'Islam' above. Substitute 'Islamacists', though, and I agree fully."

"For my part, I'm not quite ready to say 'Nazi' above. Substitute 'Nazi fanatics', though, and I agree fully."

So, where did all the Nazis go after 1945? Argentina?
Posted by: Darrell || 03/12/2006 21:37 Comments || Top||

#22  Distinction_without_a_difference

yes, that's the crux isn't it? Whether that distinction is a real one? And if it is real right now, is that something that will persist?

A lot of people are becoming convinced there is no distinction, or that it won't hold up. And that may in fact be true.

I guess for my part I'm not quite that certain. What I am sure of is that we need to push back HARD against the visible Islamacists, against the encroachment of sharia, against the honor rapes and beheadings and other barbaric atrocities being done in the name of Islam.

And then we'll see whether Islam = Islamacist by the reaction we get.
Posted by: lotp || 03/12/2006 21:43 Comments || Top||

#23  And I'm not too thrilled about nukes in the hands of Iran's leaders, either. I doubt that we will pursue the "glassy surface" option there, though, short of a massive attack that overtly comes from them. Strategic nuclear attack carries with it some pretty heavy downsides, only some of which would directly affect our troops in Iraq.

But that's certainly one reason Iran wants to keep Iraq destabilized. Our troops there are at least a partial security blanket for the MMs.
Posted by: lotp || 03/12/2006 21:47 Comments || Top||

#24  HHHHHHHHHHHmmmmmmmmmm, so iff I understand the Muslim arguments and propositions correctly, as example France = Denmark, etal will have State(s)-within-a-State where either local Muslim councils govern/rule; or else the national Govt does not interfere wid local Council regs and decisions. The national Govt however, does continue to $$$ each Muslim canton-SubState - SWITZERLAND,as e.g., in addition to its offic recognized five organz Cantons. also has soverign independent Muslim cantons within each one national Canton, which the main Govt must $$$ suppor. For the sake of cost(s)-efficiency, the main Govt. will have to centralize and bureacratize everything and anything. i.e. "socialize" and engage in wilful universal deficit budgeting. ERGO THE RADICAL-ACTIVIST MUSLIM DEMANDS > RADDIES ARE NOT GOD/FAITH-BASED LEFTIES/MARXISTS/BOLSHEVIKS???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/12/2006 23:13 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Raw Meat for Rantburgers
Old Europe Tries To Sugarcoat Its Condescension
Finding Unity On Terrorism

By Wolfgang Ischinger [German ambassador to the U.S.]

When I presented my credentials to President Bush in the summer of 2001, the Atlantic was quiet. The risks confronting the transatlantic community appeared to be few, well defined and manageable. As a new ambassador in Washington, I expected to find enough time to refresh my pilot's license.

Then came Sept. 11. At first the traumatic events of that day appeared to bring the West together. NATO took the initiative to invoke Article 5, the defense clause of the North Atlantic Treaty, for the first time in the 50-year history of the alliance. Shortly thereafter, the German government took a step unprecedented in postwar history by dispatching troops abroad, to Afghanistan. The transatlantic community defined our shared objectives as pursuing international terrorism, and denying terrorists safe haven in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Today, as we continue to pursue these objectives, an even more complex challenge confronts us: radical Islam and the likelihood of even greater terrorist threats and a potential for escalating political, cultural and religious tension between the West on the one hand and the Muslim world on the other.

The situation is particularly serious because security threats and instability in the greater Middle East have continued to grow. In Iraq, terrorist violence remains widespread, along with civil strife and sectarian political division, with no good end in sight. In Iran, hope for a negotiated settlement regarding that country's nuclear ambitions has become uncertain. The future of the international nonproliferation regime is at risk; a Shiite nuclear capability might lead to Sunni nuclear ambitions. At the same time, Iran appears to be the principal beneficiary of growing Shiite influence in the region, adding a new element of regional instability.

The dream of transforming the entire region by getting rid of Saddam Hussein and creating democracy through elections has turned out to be elusive. In Iraq, Iran, Egypt and the Palestinian territories, recent elections have actually tended to strengthen radical political groups. While the very holding of elections in Iraq and the Palestinian territories is a success, these developments have so far not contributed to regional stability -- on the contrary.

Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is difficult, after the Hamas victory, to imagine how a negotiating process leading to the proposed two-state solution can be conducted and concluded in the near term.

In short, there is more than enough fuel available in the region to further stoke the radical fire. What is new is that the battleground of this emerging larger conflict will most likely not be in the continental United States, as was the case on Sept. 11, but rather in the European-Mediterranean space: Europe, or Europe's back yard.

What is also new is the element of personal fear beginning to descend upon Europeans -- as it descended upon Americans on Sept. 11. This is the fear inspired not only by terrorist train bombings in London and Madrid but by political assassinations in the Netherlands and, more recently, the dramatic escalation of the cartoon controversy in Denmark. It is the fear of being personally threatened. Europe would cease to be the Europe we know, love and admire, if its people came to fear that insisting on their values and their way of life might put their safety and lives at risk.

Will Europeans and Americans find a common answer to this challenge? Some appear all too willing to speak of the "clash of civilizations" as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Some in Europe might wish to go so far as to identify America's war in Iraq as the source of all problems, and some might prefer to dissociate themselves from a common transatlantic position, believing that the battlefield would then shift away from Europe. In America, the old prejudice against a weak Europe with inefficient leadership, unable or unwilling to defend itself and to deal with the issue of Muslim integration, might be reinforced.

How, then, should we move forward? Here are three simple thoughts:

· First, no serious effort has been undertaken to create a security structure for the Middle East -- the most volatile and, because of its oil resources, most important of all regions. Incorporating Israel into NATO, as has recently been proposed, would satisfy neither Israel's security needs nor those of the West. It would only exacerbate tension between NATO and the Arab world. Instead, an effective regional security arrangement would need to take into account the interests of Israel as well as those of Iran and the Arab countries, and it would need to be led and supported by the United States, Europe and Russia. As has recently been suggested, the U.N. Security Council might provide a framework for the elaboration of such an arrangement.

· Second, as repeatedly suggested by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NATO's role as the central forum for discussing and deciding transatlantic security issues should be strengthened. Europeans should make clear their desire for America to remain a European power. Those in Europe who believe that the European Union would be in a better position to develop its own defense policy if it were weaned from American military support are unwittingly playing into the hands of American isolationists -- to the detriment of European security. And those in Europe who continue to believe Europe should define its security policy independently from the United States have failed to understand that such an approach would inevitably divide the European Union.

· Third, the West -- as a political and moral concept -- must remain united. This is about more than just NATO, the European Union and free trade -- it is about the legacy of the European Enlightenment. Opposing absolutism, and believing in people's ability to create self-balancing and self-regulating, just, relativist and secular political systems: That is the Enlightenment's gift to the world, and it continues to be the West's promise.

But the West can lead only if it in turn is led responsibly by the United States as the only superpower, and if it can reoccupy the all-important moral high ground, which has, in the eyes of many, largely been lost in the course of post-Sept. 11 events. One reason for this may be that we are not united on the issue of war and peace. Are we at war, as the United States claims, or are we just fighting terrorism, as Europeans believe? This is a fundamental political issue with the potential to either unite or split the West.

Many people in other parts of the world doubt whether our struggle against terrorism and for freedom, democracy and human rights is a struggle worth joining, a struggle with which they can or should identify. If we, the Western countries, are being measured by a higher standard than others, we should accept that and lead by example.

This is therefore the central challenge for the West in 2006: how to regain the moral high ground. Not winning the war - heavens no! The pursuit of post-Enlightenment ideals requires us to demonstrate that even as we fight terrorism we are prepared to take into account the interests of the global community, of all those whose cooperation we seek, whose values and culture we respect, and whose development and prosperity we support.

We must refuse to see that as a false choice despite evidence to the contrary; we must refuse to pit one religion against all of the others another. Define "must" The choice is between absolutism and relativism, between totalitarianism and the liberty dignity of the individual. That is the post-Enlightenment lesson the West can offer, and it is a legacy worth defending.

As I prepare to leave Washington for London, one thing is clear: There will be even less time in the future to take flying lessons. We're too busy studying shari'a law now.

The writer ended his tour as Germany's ambassador to the United States yesterday.
Posted by: ryuge || 03/12/2006 07:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10800 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The writer ended his tour as Germany's ambassador to the United States yesterday
Not a day too soon.... thanks for the heaping helping of dripping condescension, Ambassador. Don't let the doorknob hit you on the ass on the way out.
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 03/12/2006 9:18 Comments || Top||

#2  This is therefore the central challenge for the West in 2006: how to regain the moral high ground.

Yeah, that critical moral high ground. Can't act all sanctimonious and shit unless you ocuppy it.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 03/12/2006 10:40 Comments || Top||

#3  There is so much rubbish and outrage in this piece that one hardly knows where to start.
Posted by: Jules || 03/12/2006 11:13 Comments || Top||

#4  actually if you take out the prescriptions that depend on wishful thinking, the moral preening and the diplospeak weaseling, this man has said essentially nothing at all

and took several hundred words to do it
Posted by: mhw || 03/12/2006 11:16 Comments || Top||

#5  Stockholm syndrome
Posted by: DMFD || 03/12/2006 12:16 Comments || Top||

#6  Well, being able to say nothing with thousands of words is the essential diplomatic skill. As far as that goes this fellow is a complete professional.
Posted by: buwaya || 03/12/2006 13:20 Comments || Top||

#7  Is this the same Germ Amb who hosted a dinner and lectured the reporter on eeevil Americans?

Or is this a different arrogant gutless Germ Amb?
Posted by: Cloth Snatch4013 || 03/12/2006 15:41 Comments || Top||

#8  I was okay with it until he got to his "three simple thoughts". I much prefer Bush and Cheney's simple thoughts to his drivel.

"...the legacy of the European Enlightenment..."
A look at European history since their 18th century enlightenment is not comforting, especially German history. I prefer the legacy of American enlightenment myself, thank you very much.
Posted by: Darrell || 03/12/2006 16:04 Comments || Top||

#9  "The pursuit of post-Enlightenment ideals "

Like the French Revolution, Napoleonism, communism, fascism, modern day suicidal soft-core socialism, multiculturalism, evangelical atheism, fundamentalist humanism, and post-modernism?

The real ideals of the Enlightenment have rested here in the U. S. (with some notable exceptions) for more than two centuries now.

Who is this Euro trying to kid? Moral high ground my ass - this guy and his fellow travellers wouldn't know what the moral high ground was if it reached out and bit them on their noses.
Posted by: no mo uro || 03/12/2006 18:29 Comments || Top||

#10  Thanks for your kind service, gnadige Herr.

(Yes, I know enough Deutsch to realize I am not being nice.....)
Posted by: Desert Blondie || 03/12/2006 22:22 Comments || Top||

#11  All those polysybillic words strung together make me wanna puke. Can you spell puke? BBh
Posted by: Skidmark || 03/12/2006 22:26 Comments || Top||

#12  As O'REILLY and other Conservative commentators have argued, America power is economic i.e. we want your money and business, NOT your God(s) or your identity. However, imperfect or defective, this precept of Americana/Americanism ican serve as a valid basis for globalism and even for idealist Utopianism. However, as OR, etal. also
state, in paraphrase, THE RADICAL- OR ULTRA/HARD-LEFT THAT CURR CONTROLS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY ULTIMATELY WANTS AMERICA TO GIVE UP ITS SOVEREIGNTY AND BE GOVERNED BY A GROUP OF WORLD STATES, A GROUP WHICH IN ALL LIKELIHOOD WILL BE ANTI-AMERICAN IN NATURE, AND END UP BEING DOMINATED BY RUSSIA-CHINA BY VIRTUE OF THE LATTER TWO NATIONS' MILITARY-GEOPOL CAPABILITIES VV THE USA-NATO/WEST. This means that in the LT any US-achieved, post-WOT world order is to be modified and handed over to nations whom will only give, at best, some but not great or substantive, consideration to the desires of the American people, AND THAT POLITICIANS, BUREAUCRATS, POLICRATS AND GOVERNMENTISTS - LOCAL, STATE, NATIONAL, and EXTRA-NATIOHAL - WILL INEVITABLY DECIDE AMERICA'S POLICIES AND DESTINY, NOT ITS PEOPLE NOR ITS VOTERS. Americans can fight and die for an Empire America is not allowed to govern in its own right. Lefties = Radical Muslims = want to destroy the good/best things in life they have in return for what is worse or hated, and as long as someone else, not they, gets the blame and the bills. Rather than understand why it didn't work, or work to change, their answer to make everything in the world as defective whether necessary or not.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/12/2006 23:37 Comments || Top||

An open letter to Congress on the US-India nuclear agreement
An open letter to the Members of Congress from a group of eminent scholars, diplomats and former US Government officials calling for an endorsement of the India- US civil nuclear cooperation agreement.

Washington, DC
March 10, 2006

The Administration will soon present to the Congress a request for action to implement the agreement between President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh providing for civilian nuclear cooperation with India. The signatories to this letter urge your support for the necessary legislation. This recommendation is based on our extensive experience and expertise relating to non-proliferation policy, security issues in Asia, the domestic economic and political environment in India and India-U.S. relations.

Congress should support the agreement to promote U.S. strategic interests, U.S. non-proliferation goals, U.S. energy security and global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions leading to global warming. Failure to implement it would be a body blow to the development of the strong relationship with India so important to achieving U.S. goals in Asia and beyond. We present herewith the case for the agreement and our response to the arguments put forward in Congressional testimony by critics of the accord.

As Mohammed El Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said following the President’s visit to New Delhi, “this agreement is an important step towards satisfying India’s growing need for energy. It would also bring India closer as an important partner in the non-proliferation regime… It would be a step forward toward universalization of the international safeguards regime.”
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: john || 03/12/2006 16:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The India package may be one of the boldest, best moves in the Condi-Bush alliance. Solid gold.
Posted by: Captain America || 03/12/2006 17:46 Comments || Top||

India Is Not a Precedent
Circumstances Justify the 'Double Standard' of Our Nuclear Deal

Imagine a huge nation, a huge democracy, increasingly prosperous, increasingly powerful and increasingly sympathetic to the ideological and strategic objectives of the United States and its democratic allies around the world. Imagine that this powerful, prosperous, democratic nation sits on the same continent with Russia and China, two huge geopolitical problems waiting to happen. Imagine that this nation possesses a navy capable of helping patrol strategically vital waterways and a military force capable of acting as a deterrent against powerful neighbors. Finally, imagine that this nation, despite its power, has no record of using it for aggressive purposes but has been a remarkably peaceful and often constructive member of the global community.

Would we or would we not want to have the closest possible relationship, partnership, even alliance with such a country as we head into an uncertain future?

The answer, as Bismarck would have said, is a no-brainer. That is why earlier this month the Bush administration made a deal with this nation, India, to provide it with civilian nuclear technology. In the process, the administration effectively let India off the hook for its decades-old nuclear weapons program and made an exception to its otherwise strict refusal to provide civilian nuclear technology to nations that do not abide by certain international guidelines. The result, critics have asserted, is that other nations may be encouraged to follow India's path and that the nuclear nonproliferation "regime" has therefore been damaged.

No doubt it has been damaged. But the question is whether the benefits outweigh the costs. I will leave to others the matter of whether this deal will really encourage, say, Brazil or South Africa to resume nuclear weapons programs they long ago abandoned, though I'm inclined to doubt it. The bigger question likely to consume endless hours of hearings on Capitol Hill in coming weeks is what effect the deal will have on the problem of Iran. Some will argue that the Indian nuclear deal harms efforts to halt Iran's nuclear weapons program because it erects a double standard: We are willing to let India do what we are not willing to let Iran do.

The question is interesting in theory. In the real world, it's not that interesting. The notion that the Indian deal will set back prospects for a diplomatic deal with Iran assumes that such prospects exist. All available evidence suggests otherwise. The Iranian government appears committed to building nuclear weapons and will not be deterred by threats -- except possibly the threat of removal by military means -- or won over by blandishments. It has risked international isolation and economic sanctions and even the remote threat of U.S. air and missile strikes to keep its program going. Are we supposed to believe that the main obstacle standing in the way of a happy resolution to the Iranian nuclear crisis is now the Indian deal?

As for double standards, yes, we have double standards. The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty erected a gargantuan double standard. It declared that possession of the world's most devastating and militarily decisive weapons would be limited to the five nations that already possessed them. And this was a particularly mindless kind of double standard, since membership in the nuclear "club" was not based on justice or morality or strategic judgment or politics but simply on circumstance: Whoever had figured out how to build nuclear weapons by 1968 was in. At least our double standard for India makes strategic, diplomatic, ideological and political sense.

Nor should we delude ourselves that the nuclear double standard has been preserved over the years by a treaty. If other nations have denied themselves nuclear weapons programs it is because (a) they did not believe they needed them, (b) they did not have the wherewithal to build them or (c) they feared punishment at the hands of the nuclear powers if they tried to build them. To the degree that nonproliferation has succeeded, it has been due less to the treaty than to the concerted actions of the nuclear powers. And to the degree that it has failed, that is also due to the actions of the nuclear powers, which provided materials and technologies to states such as Pakistan, North Korea and Iran.

In fact, the nonproliferation "regime" may now be collapsing. That doesn't mean we should precipitously abandon it. We have an interest in slowing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the nonproliferation regime remains one tool of persuasion. But as in the past, and as always in international affairs, there must be some adjustment to reality. One aspect of the present reality is that India has long been a nuclear power, and this deal doesn't make it more of one. Another part of the present reality is that North Korea and Iran are probably going to be nuclear powers, too, and in any case the nonproliferation "regime" is not going to stop them.

Were Congress somehow to reject the administration's deal in some effort to maintain a consistent principle on nonproliferation, it would have no effect on Iran's decisions. But that futile gesture would have a devastating effect on U.S. relations with India. In our less-than-ideal world, where, we are often told, America needs good friends and allies, that would be a terrible bargain.

Robert Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund, writes a monthly column for The Post.
Posted by: john || 03/12/2006 10:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  There are three practical considerations for who should be a veto power on the UNSC. They must be an economic power; a military power capable of projecting their military far beyond their own borders; and have the willingness to use their military both for the UN, and themselves, unilaterally.

In other words, a veto is based not on their ability to help the UN, but by their ability and determination to go it alone, despite what the UN wants. To be respected, they must also be able to threaten.

This being said, India and Japan each deserve a veto, but only if they can project their forces and threaten others with them.

The UNSC will never volunteer a new seat, it must be forced, by circumstances, to grant one.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/12/2006 15:03 Comments || Top||

If You Knew Me By Now...
If You Knew Me By Now...

Isn't the Indian Muslim's right to protest valid? Why then a silent admonishment?

Indian Muslims are a bewildered, angry and hurt lot. They can’t understand the sharp reactions to the large-scale protests they took part in recent weeks. It’s not the reaction of the Hindutva forces that has alarmed them. What many Muslims find insulting is the suggestion that they should not have protested in such large numbers as it was against the national current and smacked of religious mobilisation.

Sociologist Imtiaz Ahmad believes such responses reveal the metamorphosis of the Hindu liberal. "There are clear double standards here. On the one hand, you keep telling Muslims to come into the mainstream. When they believe they have a stake in the country and the right to protest, then why are you upset?" He also points out that contrary to popular perception, Muslims did take part in protests organised by various Left and secular organisations.

Maulana Mehmood Madani, of the Jamait-e-Ulema-e-Hind which mobilised about a lakh people in New Delhi on the eve of the George Bush visit, goes to lengths to say his rally was largely addressed by non-Muslims. "I had approached the Left to have a joint rally. They suggested we protest on two consecutive days." There’s another detail: Madani’s organisation restricted their show to the Ramlila grounds as they were told that not more than 5,000 people would be given permission to march. The next day, at least 15,000 marched from Ramlila grounds to Jantar Mantar during the Left rally. The suspicion is that the Delhi administration was uncomfortable with the prospect of too many Muslims gathering at one spot.

Muslims are now asking whether the sight of hundreds of skull caps and beards upsets people. Says Masoom Moradabadi, editor of Urdu paper Khabardar: "If Hindus respond emotionally to certain issues, don’t Muslims have the same right? Are we being told that we should know our place? Clearly, many people don’t want us to have the same rights." He also believes the backlash has surprised the community. Again there is a fear of being cornered.

There is also the other sensitive issue linked to every Muslim debate—the charge that the community is anti-national because there is a concept of an international Muslim congregation. In Parliament, BJP MPs accused Muslims of trying to instigate "another Khilafat movement". Many Muslims simply can’t understand why the majority community remains insensitive to their anguish over the brutalities in Iraq and other Muslim countries. It is not the nuclear deal that the community is protesting; it is George Bush they have a problem with. It is mischievous to blur the boundary.

Educated Muslims are also angry with the suggestion that they should "speak out". What do they want us to say, asks Ahmad—"that we don’t have the right to protest?" Liberals and conservatives alike point out that every worthwhile Muslim organisation has condemned the intemperate utterances of a UP minister, the Lucknow violence and the Varanasi blasts. Yet they are told again and again to speak out. Kamal Farooqi of the Muslim Personal Law Board says: "I have serious objections to this. No one has the right to tell me my safety lies in being scared and quiet." Yet, Muslims have learnt that every time they become vocal, a heavy price is exacted.
Posted by: john || 03/12/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [10794 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Fascinating backlash from India.

George W Bush is long gone, the protests had no effect on his visit, but the muslim protestors themselves are under attack.

The communists began these protests with support from their darlings in the Indian media who did tight shots to mask just how small the numbers were.

Having failed, they joined with the muslims. Now you had tens of thousands. The mobs however had no time for anti-capitalist diatribe. They were protesting Denmark, Iraq, Palestine...

But the backlash was not long in coming... the majority of Indians see these protests and ask ... is it acceptable behavior when an invited head of state visits to call him a dog? To prevent an address to the parliament?

They ask .. who are these bearded mullahs? Where the hell did they come from? How come they look like Pakistanis? Why don't they protest when jihadis kill civilians in Jammu and Kashmir? Why don't they protest the terror war launched by Pakistan against their homeland India in which tens of thousands of innocents have died? Why don't they protest the bombings of train stations and temples?

They note the identification with pan-islamic causes and ask .. of what relevance are these things to India? Why are they attacking foreign policies that are to the benefit of Indian security? Are these muslim protestors loyal citizens?

Posted by: john || 03/12/2006 6:35 Comments || Top||

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Fri 2006-03-10
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Thu 2006-03-09
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Mon 2006-03-06
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Fri 2006-03-03
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