Monday, October 31, 2005

The Carnival of the Armchair Generals

The Virtual Armchair GeneralLast Friday’s open-forum post, Confronting the Enemy, provoked a lot of interesting commentary. People argued and disagreed, yet remained civil, which is always a prerequisite for a good discussion.

The theme questions of the topic were “Does violent jihad represent the essence of the religion of Islam?” and the corollary “Is the existence of the ‘moderate Muslim’ possible?

We’re all on the same team, but different people are proposing different strategies for the game. Some favor a Hail-Mary play (peggy); some want to throw a bomb into the end zone (El Jefe Maximo); others want to hand off to the fullback and bust a hole straight down the middle (Bill and Heloise).

I’ve divided the different strategies into three broad groups: Moral High Ground, Divide and Conquer, and Fierce Guard Dogs. Cato, who inspired the thread but didn’t contribute, is most definitely a Moral High Ground person. Some of the commenters didn’t seem to fit in any of the groups, but those I could classify are listed below:
Moral High Ground   Divide and Conquer   Fierce Guard Dogs
a4g  bordergal  Bill
Clouse  Jesse Clark  El Jefe Maximo
Jason_Pappas  PD111  Gryffilion
Old School    Heloise
Papa Bear    JoeC
peggy    Papa Ray

And now for some samples from the three groups.

Moral High Ground

     The truth is our greatest weapon. We should only resort to other means if our free speech to protest against islam were threatened by the powers that be and then it is our right as citizens to fight those powers. The average muslim person should never have to worry about our intentions towards their persons or families or property or businesses or prayer centers as long they abide by the laws of our land.
If we keep to the high ground, we should with time be able to turn things around. The first idea we must get across with meticulous care is this: It is possible to oppose islam without bearing hatred towards all those who believe it and everyone should be able to freely and openly dispute the ideas and beliefs of others by right as long as they dont call for violence against the other group in an indiscriminate way that would hurt peaceable folks.
A big problem with islam and muslims is that they do not understand this. They equate open rejection of their beliefs as hatred and bigotry mainly because their own leaders encourage them to do so by their example. But coming as they do from their original environment which is devoid of the hurly-burly of true democracy and liberty, they are easily mislead to shut their ears to the “bigots” who dislike all muslims and are encouraged to dismiss all criticism of their religion as ignorant. If we happen to think that islam is the worst idea for a religion there ever was but have no inclination to hate those who believe in it then we have to distinguish ourselves from the true haters by our conduct, by our charity and hospitality towards all.
I have no fear of islam being able to win the battle of ideas once it ceases its current childish and violent tactics. It is easy to see which side has formed a successful civilization from its internal resources and which side will have to be forced by pressure from without to behave in a civilized manner.
     If Islam is inherently bloodthirsty, and Christianity not— so what? Whether the distributions of killers and lovers among adherents are titled “devout” or “lax” matters little, because the distribution curves will remain largely the same despite the titles.
So the answer to Islam is not peculiar to Islam— and probably not particularly profound.
What has worked in the past to allow man to crawl out of his filthy hole for a few fleeting moments? We are fortunately living in the greatest example in history.
Work to create environments where people can take charge of their own lives. Free markets. Political participation.
Will this “reform” Islam? Or will it merely precipitate the conversion of quite a few muslims to the more sanity-friendly Christianity?
Either way, I think it doesn’t matter. For the outcome will be the same.
     There are peaceful moslims. In the main, they are peaceful, secularist and law abiding where ever they live. Among them live the enemy, using these peace folks as a shield and cover. They are usually careful to not expose themselves even to their neighbours. The problem with islam is being able to discern the friend from the enemy. Here is where it is the responsiblity of the moslims to police themselves and be law abiding by turning in those among them with the intent of breaking our laws. This should already be in place, and sadly I don’t think much of this is happening yet. It is with apprehension that I see our moslims being taken down in this country whether they are innocent or complicit if we suffer another bad attack. As posted above, telling the truth, shining the light in dark places and straight line communications should be our first line weapons of choice against those who use islam as their reason for total control globally.
Divide and Conquer

Jesse Clark:
I think it’s also important to understand all of Islam. This is not just some great monolithic religion in which all its believers adhere to the same tenets. It is as divided as Chrisitanity or Judaism.
There is more division than just Sunni and Shi’a, and there is more than just the Qur’an. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of Hadith out there. Moderate Muslims accept only a few (by comparison) to the more radical and fundamentalist groups, who accept great numbers of Hadith as accurate.
There is not just one Sahri’a. There are four. Four seperate schools of thought on how to apply Islamic Law. They range from the moderate and quite liberal Hanafi to the radical Hanbali, which states that the Qur’an must be applied without interpretation or question. There is no reason, or ‘ijtihad’ to be made in discerning the law, as there is in the other three schools. Hanbali is the source of the Wahhabism the so often makes headlines. Yet Hanbali is followed by less than 5% of all Muslims worldwide.
And I haven’t even begun to talk about Sufism.
It is important to not see Muslims as homogenous. Yes, there is an extremely violent sect of Islam. Yes, we need to completely annihilate them before they annihilate us. But the moderate Muslims should not be viewed as accessories to their crimes. If we are to defeat our true enemy within Islam, we will need their help.
     Now it is true that some muslims are peacable enough. Yet it has to borne in mind that some very peaceful muslims, to the utter surprise and shock of their friends and family, have become shaheeds. There is also demographics to consider. Muslim representatives will always use muslim numbers to extract further dhimmification.
There is no need to think of a “war of civilisatations”. A separation is far better and humane then considering Three Conjecture scenarios, just so to prove that all cultures can live together. It is a recognition that all cultures cannot live under the tent of multiculturalism. It is a recognition that some cultures, islam in this case, is not yet ready to embrace plurality and tolerance.In the future that may come about, but in the meantime, the whole excercise is getting fraught with danger for all mankind.
Fierce Guard Dogs

El Jefe Maximo:
    Given that what you say is correct, I don’t see much alternative to the reimposition of a species of at least indirect colonial control over much of the Muslim world, coupled with mass expulsions or detention of dangerous persons within the west.
The main feature would be a type of interdiction or blockade in the form of bans on the movement of persons out of the interdicted countries (i.e. prohibition of passenger air and sea travel), and denial of access to employment, residence and education in the west. Traffic back and forth would be solely financial and commerical. The Muslim world is afforded access to the imports it may need from the west in exchange for access to oil and raw materials, without major movements of population.
Some mechanism would need to be in place to adjudicate requests for individualized exceptions/waivers of the ban.
Allied to this would need to be a propaganda and education effort -- essentially a promise to remove the interdiction/blockade when the Muslim world espouses “civilized values.”
All of this administered not by the UN or anything like it, but by a commission directly answerable to the governments of the great powers (i.e. US, Japan, China, India, Europe/(UK seperate?) and probably Brazil).
This whole scheme would permit a substantial degree of liberty to exist outside the interdicted area, and for trade and commerce to go on, but would doubtless take a traumatic shock to the west before imposition of any such thing would be considered. Unfortunately, I suspect that our enemies will in time supply the necessary shock. Establishment of this system would require a major war.
Essentially, it turns the Muslim world, involuntarily, into pre-Meiji Japan, to enter its Meiji stage, probably on a regional basis, as it shows it can.
    We need to wake up to the fact that going to war means suspending our “civil rights” and that the constitution is going to be “shredded.” We can comfort ourselves that our citizen volunteers and elected citizens will restore those rights and “tape” the constitution back as good as new after we’ve kicked the enemy’s ass.
For all the hand-wringing about profiling and deportations and internment camps, try reading a solid analysis of the Reconstruction after the Civil War. Then come back and tell me that deporting is so horrible comapred to the absolute tyranny, abrogation of the Bill of Rights, and nullity of the constitution that the people of the South suffered under for YEARS. Being forced to vote a certain way or not being admitted back into the union as citizens? Doesn’t that sound like one of the most horrifying crimes that can be perpetrated on a supposedly “free” citizenry?
I’ll take internment camps any day. FDR was an ass, but he was right to be cautious with the camps.
     The icons of islam, beside the koran, are the shrines in mecca of the black metorite and the magic well, zamzam, where believers go on pilgrimage. Their belief is that allah will always protect these shrines. Just today, a muslim said this on Jihad/DhimmiWatch.
If the icons are destroyed, then allah is not omniscient and islam has no god. The shock to the mind of the muslim would be so great as to render them inactice or at the least confused and extremely disillusioned, for what is there to fight for now?
*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

I tend towards the “Moral High Ground” camp, but the “Divide and Conquer” people make sense. Also, my emotions make me root for the “Fierce Guard Dogs.” In fact, looking at them from the Freudian viewpoint, the three categories could be matched up with the Superego, Ego, and Id.

But I’d like to look at what’s politically feasible, and not just at what we wish would happen. Jefe and Bill, I could be with you 100%, but what you’re talking about can’t happen in our current political context.

And the current political context does matter. If we’re going to backseat-drive the auto politic, we have to take into account the road conditions, how bald our tires are, and how many horses we have under the hood. If we have a major terrorist attack next week that kills 100,000 people, the political context changes dramatically. Then the system becomes chaotic, mathematically speaking, and hence unpredictable. All bets are off.

So, if we want to argue, let’s assume the political context stays more or less the same for the next couple of years, i.e.:

1. Terrorist attacks that kill American civilians remain sporadic and minor.

2. The situation in Iraq stays the same, with security improving slowly but steadily.

3. Musharraf manages to stay in power.

4. Boy Assad remains damaged but hangs on in Damascus. The mullahs don’t get any openly revealed nukes. North Korea continues to heel for the Chinese.

5. The lily-livered craven gonadally-challenged cowards in Congress continue their pork-driven profligate ways at least through the 2006 elections.

6. The EU and the UN continue to undermine, anklebite, obstruct, and otherwise interfere with the Coalition.

7. The price of oil doesn’t fluctuate more than 25% in either direction.

8. But the mujahideen continue planning jihad, amassing firepower, and indoctrinating in the madrassas, all funded by the Saudis.

So those are the ground rules. You’re in the Administration making policy, and those are your political constraints. No fair invoking any deus ex machina. What course would you attempt to follow in an attempt to deal with the Great Islamic Jihad?

If you post on this in your own blog, let me know and I’ll link here.

On your marks… Get set… Argue!


JoeC is glad to be a Fierce Guard Dog, and has weighed in on his blog at The Gates of Vienna, Redux.

Thunder Pig has joined the task force with Introducing...Armchair General Thunder Pig?!?

Jesse Clark has his take up at Armchair Generals Conference - WWIV Edition.

Always on Watch recommends a new anti-jihad British blog called A New Dark Age Is Dawning. He takes on Prince Charles, aka Prince Dhimmi, which is good enough for me.

I borrowed the graphic at the top of this post from The Virtual Armchair General, which is a site that you’ll want to visit, because Patrick Wilson is the “Exclusive Provider of Unique Wargames and Collectible Miniatures & Accessories.” Right up Jefe’s alley.


goesh said...

I always miss the 'brawls', though the civil nature of the debate on this topic fits the top-notch quality of this forum(blog). Good hosts=good guests. You can enter my name in the fierce watch-dog group, maybe you could start a 4th group - the rabid group, and put me at the top of the list.

citizen_us said...

A great post, Baron.
In a continually high-caliber blog.

Glad you included me in "Fierce Guard Dogs." I am certain that is far better than "Porch Poodle!"

The biggest reason I continue to post in comments here is the disconnection between reality and fantasy that the world seems to embrace.

Fact: Islam is stating, repeatedly, that they desire OUR death.
Not just a couple of Muslims. Thousands. Maybe even hundred of thousands, bordering on millions.
These icons of "Peace and Tolerance", are minutes away from obtaining or building nuclear weapons.

Most of the world, in a sedated stupor, says "hush little one, it will be okay."

When they (islam) succeed with their desire to wipe the physical country of Israel off the map of the world, will enough people care? Will there be an outcry of rage and revenge?

I think we are in for some very dark days.

Nukes in the hands of fanatics. Fanatics that are enabled by the inability of Politically Correct governments to identify their fanaticism.
Nukes, enabled by a former superpower like Russia, with technical and monetary assistance given in the hope of receiving more "Oil."

The worldwideMedia fiasco. They are unwilling, unable, uncooperative in naming the enemy all of humanity faces.

Will history show that freedom of the press led to the largest enslavement of peoples the world had heretofore ever known?

I am STILL waiting to hear the "great outcry" of Moderate Muslims against terrorism and radical Islam.

I won't be holding my breath.

Devout Islam = Radical Islam.
Or acceptance thereof.

Always On Watch said...

I think that I missed this discussion because of all my car trouble on Friday (three flat tires in less than 24 hours).

Too bad! But I'll go back and do some reading.

I think that I might be a guard dog, though--even if I don't always post about the dangers of Islam and sometimes put up a humorous post. Right now I'm really angry about two things: the cancellation of the Senate hearings on Saudi's influence on mosques in the United States (posted on that one this past Saturday) and Prince Charles's new mission as the UK apologist for Islam.

As a teacher of homeschoolers, I have the opportunity to share lots of points about Islam, and you can bet that I'm at it all the time. I've lost a few clients because of my stand. So be it.

PS: Pardon me for doing this...I'd like to recommend a UK blog @

Libra Bunda (A New Dark Age Is Dawning) is not my site. It is, however, a good one and relatively new. He needs some encouragement, I think.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Looking at what's "politically feasible" as opposed to what we wish would happen. Oh, I quite agree Baron. The things I think we will have to do are NOT politically feasible at present...and there are other storms out there too...China, India etc., etc.

I think our enemies will see to our politically feasible problem. Meanwhile, I'd like to see us get to work on defining spheres of influence with the other powers, inasmuch as those can be negotiated. Meantime, we have to do what we can do...but someday...WOOF.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Thinking more on your parameters...I think they're all more or less well taken...but a couple more things need consideration.

One great bit of luck we have had so far is that other great powers have not, so far as we can determine, attempted to use the Islamic Jihad as a stalking horse for their own purposes. However, I don't think they will remain immune from this temptation much longer.

Taiwan is going to return to the motherland, by hook or by crook -- you can count on it. Morever, I can see no set of circumstances under which the US will not have serious difficulties with China and other powers over access to energy.

Europe has its own reasons for rivalry with us also.

Given that this is the case, I can very easily see a certain power, or powers, attempting to use the Jihad against us. We must combat the Jihad with this possibility in mind, at the same time preparing for a resumption of Great Power rivalries.

What we need, of course, is to expand our dealings with anglosphere countries, and seek new alliances with India, Japan, and probably Russia, and to tell NATO to take a hike.

Going to blog on all this this week, if I can find the time.

X said...

I'm fairly certain that the EU will try and use the global jihad as some sort of propganda, at the very least. They're already starting to do that now,, making continual references to how the evil Bush has somehow single-handedly brought the terrorism down on our heads.

If the US manages to break the green lobby then there's potentially a huge energy resource sitting out in the deserts of Australia, which has the single largest known deposit of realtively accessible uranium. At the moment they aren't mining it much - their own green lobby seems to think it's a bad idea, but there are politicians talking about it over there right now. They're even saying that the waste should be brought back and sorted in spent mines there, which makes sense. Australia is geologically almost dead. If the US is serious about reducing its dependence of foreigjn oil, then adopting more nuclear power is the way to go. The new pebble-bed reactors are theoretically incapable of catastrophic meltdown.

I think that an energy policy that cuts out the middle east, and perhaps takes advantage of potential finds in Siberia, almost completely unexplored in terms of oil and mineral wealth - joint-exploitation of which might bring the russians over to our side - is the single biggest means we have of reducing the Islamist threat.

Papa Ray said...

I would suggest reading this before armoring up and locking and loading. The comments are even better, read those for sure.

Information and a keyboard make terrible weapons or poor unreasoned reading, The Infomation is the ammo, so load up and proceed...with caution or with abandon.

I'll put my 2cents in later.

Papa Ray

goesh said...

I would institute maximum attention and resources to developing our green energy reserves. I have been reading where canola oil can, with very little modification, be used in diesel engines. Oil revenues are funding terrorism, we all know that, so cut it off.

Militarily, I would invoke total war on terrorism and consider human resources, the potential for jihadic recruitment,support and funding, as viable targets. We could start with carpet bombing the Bekkah valley in Lebanon and gaza...well, some napalm in Jarkarta might not hurt either. The nice thing about being in the rabid category is you don't have to listen to arguments filled with reason and hope. When the monolith of religious dominance, islam, will not reform itself and not temper its zealotry, it is safe to assume that only one side can remain standing, and at the cost of near total devastation of the other side. In light of the resources of technology, education and money available to the islamic monolith, it has not altered its course. We are alerted to only an increase in attacks and the pursuit of nuclear weapons by a fundamentalist oligarchy that hangs people for their sexual preference and advocates eradicating another nation because of its religious orientation. We are faced with fabulous wealth that funds this extremism while their own women can't even vote or drive a car. We we are to hold out for reason, logic, good will, diplomacy, and understanding, with selective military action being the last resort? The sheep will bleat their same tired mantra as their heads are being sawed off with a dull knife. The cry of allah akbahr is the last thing they will hear.

goesh said...

- and I read in a FOX news article that in Iran, 300 men and women volunteered to be suicide bombers against Israel after the Prez made his statement about Israel needing to be obliterated. Maybe a couple of them can make it to crowded shopping malls here at christmas time, the great infidel holiday in the land of the great satan. Boy! That would give jolly old St. Nick an ulcer, eh? What the heck, if jihadis can hijack airliners with box cutters they sure ought to be able to learn Spanish and come up from the south bearing 'gifts' with which to spread the glad tidings of islam. Ol' al jazeera would plaster that one all over the planet in about 20 seconds. "Today the glorious martyrs of islam killed the pagan god santa claus in 3 cities near the Mexicna border. Many infidels devoted to their pagan god and slavishly buying material goods to celebrate the event were sent to judgment as well".

Baron Bodissey said...

peggy -- actually, what you said was: "I have no fear of islam being able to win the battle of ideas once it ceases its current childish and violent tactics."

That makes complete sense to me, but if you want to change the wording, let me know. I couldn't find anything that looks exactly like what you mention here.

citizen_us said...

peggy said...
I just wish I had written it a little differently. When I read the sentence again this morning I thought that it didnt come out as strong as I wanted. Islam cannot win the war of ideas with the West if the fight is on level ground. I'll be happy as long as that is understood as my position.

The playing field will NEVER be level, Peggy.
Islam fights from Heaven. You cannot change that fact, for devout Muslims.

There is no higher place than heaven.

Muslims have no need for a level field. They, according to their Qu'ran, are gods chosen ones.

There is no "high ground" that we can occupy, in regards to Islam.

We will win, or they will win, by the sword.

Redneck Texan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Baron Bodissey said...

Bill, you're not using my assumptions, you're revising them. Hmmm. Yours could be right. But just for fun, what would happen under mine?

Most important (for this thread at least) is what's politically possible.

I agree that we're almost certain to get Hillary in 2006. That's why my scenario cuts off before then -- stop before the nightmare begins.

Redneck Texan said...

Civility is a prerequisite?....darn, thats certainly limits the effectiveness of otherwise sound tactics.

Our insistence on civility is factored heavily in our enemy's plans for our demise.

They would never have attacked us in the first place had we not exposed that inherent weakness of our doctrine to them.

Civility has certainly never been a prerequisite for victory until recently...I wish it was just a blogosphere thing, but its not.

Its odd that the keepers of the Islamic dream chose this point in history to revive their aggressive moves. No doubt advances in technology have made it easier to take the battle to our turf, but still they made no attempt to infiltrate and instigate trouble in Europe while Hitler and Stalin were in charge of counter-terrorism planning. I am not promoting their doctrine, just observing its effect.

Now, thanks to our insistence on civility they can exploit the loopholes in our doctrine that allow them to crash our borders, become a voting block, and demand representation that reflects their cultural values and needs, at the expense of the fabric of our society. And to deport them all back to the ____hole they came from would violate our sense of modern day civility.

Of course its difficult to poke fun at the Europeans when we too have fallen voluntary victims of our civility as well. I have recently become a minority in my beloved state, and I feel that is directly related to the decision we made to order the Texas Rangers to stop shooting every Mexican invader they came across.

There was nothing civil about the way our ancestors carved our great nation out of this continent....modern notions of civility have come at an expensive price for all of us I guess.

Thomas von der Trave said...

Who is this Cato of whom you speak? I thought I was he.

Baron Bodissey said...

Goesh, you're not sticking to the ground rules. Key phrase: politically feasible. Your courses of action may be eminently sensible. But if you were president and gave the orders for them, they would not be carried out. One or more of various processes would prevent you: impeachment, resignation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and/or SecDef, de-funding of ALL military operations by Congress, etc.,etc.

That's why I don't just want to talk about what we think would be best, just about what would be the best possible.

Baron Bodissey said...

Redneck, I mean civility here. Not in the war.

It's a version of "Champagne for my real friends, real pain for my sham friends."

Baron Bodissey said...

Cato the Elder -- we now have another commenter, just plain "Cato".

Perhaps he is "The Younger"? i.e. the unintended fruit of your misspent youth...

Baron Bodissey said...

a4g -- re JF funding. It's more the other way round. They engage in welfare fraud etc in this country and then send the money to the Sheikh in Pakistan.

Baron Bodissey said...

I deliberately left out one factor from my list of contextual assumptions: the condition of our borders, and our attitude towards immigration. I thought one of y'all might pick up on it.

I think that's one area where we could effect massive change before '08. The public is overwhelmingly in favor of controlling immigration.

The political difficulties come from:

1. Corporations that profit from the vast hordes of Hispanic helots now doing our low-status labor, and
2. The PC/Multiculti/Race Grievance lobby, which can make our cowardly leaders run for cover like rabbits.

But I think the task is doable. And it starts in the Republican primaries.

Open to the floor for discussion.

Bobby Coggins said...

Well, for better or worse, I went ahead and posted.
Let me know if I'm attempting to go too much in detail.

Thomas von der Trave said...

Baron, I was afraid something like this might catch up to me sooner or later. Guess I should be expecting a claim for back child support sometime soon, eh?

Baron Bodissey said...

a4g --

Commenter mika at Belmont Club had an interesting quote the other day:

"In its active participle form of gha-zi- ("one who takes part in a gha-ziya"), the word is technical term for a Muslim frontier/march warrior whose constant attacks against a neighboring infidel power open the way for the expansion of Islam."

Cambridge History of Islam, p. 283

"Gha-zi- warriors depended upon plunder for their livelihood, and were prone to brigandage and sedition in times of peace. The corporations into which they organized themselves attracted adventurers, zealots, and religious and political dissidents of all ethnicities."

This is the pool of people that the Great Jihad is drawing on -- disaffected folks who are generally inclined towards thuggery, ciminality, brigandage, and mayhem. The jihad is what suits them to a "T" -- the rules are simple, the code is strict and manly, honor is paramount, and -- most important -- they get to be very, very violent.

Hence the recruitment in the behavioral sink of the American prison system.

It makes sense to view John Allen Muhammad and Richard Reid as gha-zis.

blert said...

It is inevitable that the course of action will be a confused muddle.

America is unable to name the enemy beyond 'radical islam' because it is essential to keep the war controlled.

That soft, fuzzy focus will make crisp, strong military action unusual and controversial.

Divide and survive is the only path to a paced conflict.

It is commonly believed that we can eliminate the Arab oil weapon by alternatives. This is totally false. Oil is freely traded while at sea. It is cheapest liquid energy now and for many years to come.

As a thought experiment: If we were to shift to higher cost alternatives then that handicap would be on us alone. China would be advantaged. Further we would consume the Arab oil, now indirectly, by importing what it produced.

The only way to take the oil weapon away from the Arabs is to seize their wells.

If that Rubicon were crossed the whole world would be furious -- but helpless. Now our hand would be on the global tap.

I suspect that the resolution of this conflict will come when that sin is committed.

Our excuse: the KSA and Iran are conducting religious war against us.

Iranian nukes with KSA penetration agents (JF)would be the end of us.

Our enemies are not unhinged, just staggeringly ruthless. The intention is to backpack nukes into critical nodes and let loose all in one go. It is intended to be a five minute war of no-notice obliteration.

All of the talk about Taiwan is code talk in China for USA. America is too powerful to be explicitly named.

All of the talk about Israel is code talk in the Ummah for USA. America is too powerful to be explicitly named.

Everyone who is against us can never say so.

Right now we have a commercial war with France that is killing their economy. Look at their red wine industry.

We have a hot war, by proxy with Syria and Iran.

We have China using the Ummah as a stalking horse. So much better to use an enemy to smash another enemy. China has been called to account on their Nork sock puppet. Keep in mind that these loose nuke programs were started before Deng. There are some rabid anti-American ranters still in the PLA.

I named his conflict WWIV September 11, 2001. I figured we were under attack even before the second airliner.

Considering the belated 4th hyjack who can believe that the scheme was ONLY four jumbo jets? That would leave too many targets untouched. I suspect that some of the teams flaked out, and just walked away.

Redneck Texan said...

Well Baron the ground rules you have set, which I agree are reality based constraints, leave us with few options that deviate too far from the current inefficient reactive path.

If I was CnC I would drop the pretense of this not being a holy war, and would make a regular habit out of pointing out the violent tenets incorporated into the religion of peace's doctrine, which in itself might get me run out of office. But if I survived telling the American public the truth they don't want to hear, I would then attempt to publicly expose the house of Saud's role in spreading Wahabism into western societies. And then I would attempt to reduce the Islamic Clergy's appetite for the global expansion of their corrupt ideology by overtly targeting them regardless the political borders from within which they spew their hate filled rhetoric. And every attack by Islamic Cultural warriors on America would cost them a holy site.

But that small dose of reality would probably be too great for me to survive in our inherently self-destructive political structure.

I think, like others here have suggested, that the political constraints you have imposed on our arguments are inevitably subject to change at some undetermined point in the future. I don't see us remaining helpless Jihadi fodder for the remainder of the century, and I don't foresee us preventing them from escalating the holy war before they are in a position to seriously threaten the continuance of our way of life. I am afraid its going to take the big one here, or maybe several of them, before the political dynamics allow a victory to be a feasible option on our part. It may just be wishful thinking to assume we can mount a conflict resolving response after they finally blow our arrogant high ground out from underneath us, but thats what I am basing my hopes on.

While your constraints accurately reflect the current limitations we have imposed on ourselves, there are of course other possible scenarios that don't require an politically hamstrung American president to resolve.

The American people could take matters into their own hands (cough), and bypass the legislative limitations we have imposed on ourselves, and eliminate the domestic threats and obstacles to victory that can never be eliminated Constitutionally. Its happened before and it might be rather short-sighted to assume it cant happen again....just needs a sustained catalyst such as empty grocery store shelves which could be caused by any number of events. We may have become too lazy to demand good governance but we are all still seven meals from barbarism.

But a more likely path to conflict resolution might lie in the hands of the leaders of other nations that are not as hamstrung by a bitterly divided populace as any American president would be. The Israelis and Russians both have a button labeled "enough is enough", and they are both more likely to be the initial recipients of the Islamists final provocation than we are. Stands to reason they might be more likely to discard political limitations than we are as well.

But that was an excellent thought provoking question you posed. It drives home that we are destined to allow our enemy do decide when this is over.

Papa Ray said...

I had halloween duty tonight plus I got to reading the comments over at the Belmont Club on a thread fighting the war with Iran or not fighting the war with Iran.

I did find something that goes with this tread.

This speech by Khamenei gives you an idea of his soft toned sharp tongue that is heard in Iran. Since he is THE TOP DOG and controls everything in the country, it might be wise to hear what he says. His "President" is a nobody in a new job that he has no experience and evidently no talent for.

He (Khamenei) is the one that I want to know alot about. He is the one calling the shots.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Bobby Coggins said...

My major concern is that nothing short of tens of thousands of Americans dead will allow us to significantly change course in our conduct of the war. Even sept 11th didn't uncork the nukes. So, in my opinion, we creep along like we are, slowly steering our nation on its course.
I think the nest major move will be by the jihadis, on their own or acting as proxy for Iran or Syria; or Israel attempts to take out the Iranian threat. At that point, all bets are off.

Baron Bodissey said...

donkatsu -- I've been watching the situation in Turkey. It's very important, because of Turkey's attempt to join the EU. I'll be posting on it eventually.

Baron Bodissey said...

peggy -- There are people who consider the Moral High Ground position to be a wussified cop-out. I'm not one of them, but I can see the merits of the "Fierce Guard Dog" position.

I don't think I've misread you, because you're very clear about meeting force with force.

All 3 positions are necessary for proper political functioning. We're really arguing about is what the judicious mixture is.

Really, you ought to open up "peggyblog" so you could post and people could comment over there. You write well, and very clearly. We'd blogroll you.

Papa Ray said...

Here is another serpents voice from a while back.

Notice the certainty of his tone, the clarity of his message.

Then look what comes from our leaders, our media.

We have a big problem, and what is worse, no one seems to know or care.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Engineer-Poet said...

Of course, all of this comes down to energy; if we didn't need what the KSA et al. were peddling, they would be powerless and their ideology discredited.

I've said it before and I'll say it again (wordy sumbitch that I am):  Energy is a neglected front in this war, and technology is our best weapon.  What most people don't recognize is that oil is already very expensive compared to the alternatives.  Regular gas at $2.249 run through an engine at 17% efficiency costs 35.8¢/kWh at the crankshaft.

We've got a metric buttload of alternatives if we start using our brains.  Some of them are almost trivial improvements over what we're using now, like a hybrid car with some extra batteries that you charge when you get home at night.  Little things like that can eliminate up to 80% of gasoline consumption.

Unless I'm really, awfully wrong, Illinois could get all its electricity and run all its cars on grass.  No joke.

We could whip China by the simple expedient of quitting WTO, going "eco" along with Europe and not letting anyone into our new trade group unless they greened up too.  China doesn't have the land to do it, and without being able to export to us they're screwed.

Baron Bodissey said...

Ah, but Engineer-Poet, the cutting-off of China is not politically feasible -- the interests arrayed against such a move would strangle any attempt to do so in the Congress.

We can curb China at the margins -- by preventing them from importing certain of our goods, and keeping them from buying into certain strategic industries. The things which the Clinton Administration so signally failed to do, and which Canada is failing to do even now.

Engineer-Poet said...

Would a "greenhouse tax" on all Chinese goods imported to the US and Europe (and Canada, if it followed along as it did with Kyoto) just be fiddling at the margin?

I bet it would cause enormous pain over there.  However, we'd have to pull out of WTO first.  This would be much easier to do if we did it in concert with the EU and formed a new trade bloc.

I see lots of people denouncing environmentalism as damaging to the US.  It can be used that way, but the other edge of that sword is at least as sharp.

Papa Ray said...

Here is a worth while post at alwaysonwatch blog. Read the comments while your there.

Nine Danger Signs--Or Is It Ten, Now That The Senate Has Canceled Scheduled Hearings?

p.s. I sent eighteen emails today to Texas pols and told them that they had better start taking care of the nations business and stop fighting among themselves.

Fat chance...

Papa Ray
West Texas

Engineer-Poet said...

Great read, Papa Ray (and thanks, AOW).

Since you're in Texas, I took a look at the potential non-oil energy yield from Texas.  It's a mighty sunny place (Austin chased me out of there with the August heat) but the wind power is cheaper to get to and VERY impressive.

Take a look at this wind resource map.  From the class 4-6 territory, there's enough wind to satisfy 123% of Texas's electricity requirements (something I suspected after witnessing an afternoon in McAllen); if you include the class 3, you're up to 371% (860 BILLION kWh/year, or more than 20% of total US consumption in 2004).

Looking at total Texas energy consumption (which unfortunately ends in 2001, and is only an estimate) I note that Texas consumed 1.34 quadrillion BTU of gasoline and 0.695 quad of distillate fuel oil (diesel) in the latest year on record.  If we assume 17% efficiency for the gasoline and 35% for the diesel, that's 471 trillion BTU of energy delivered, or 138 billion kWh.  When you add that and the 386 billion kWh generated in 2002, it looks like Texas has enough wind alone to tell OPEC to go to hell, leave its remaining oil in the ground, and export plenty to other states.

As Bruce Sterling (one of those commielib Austinites) said, "WE'VE STRUCK WIND".