TCS Daily


World War What?

By James Pinkerton - July 25, 2006 12:00 AM

So is it World War Three yet? One of the smartest figures in American politics says that it's here -- the Big One. "This is World War III," Newt Gingrich told The Seattle Times last week. As they say in the South, that puts the hay down where the horse can get it.

The former Speaker of the House, architect of the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress, has been making the same point in other venues, too, such as Fox News; the meme even caught the eye of Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert. Yet lest anyone doubt that Gingrich himself is serious, he even published an article in Human Events, entitled "A Third World War." In Gingrich's mind, the deadly attacks -- "on an almost daily basis in Baghdad, and previous attacks in New York, Washington, London, Madrid, Bali, Beslan, Jerusalem, Istanbul, Sharm-el-Sheikh, New Delhi, Amman and many other cities" -- make the reality of world war unmistakable.

Gingrich's point is that the quicker we understand that we are in World War III, the quicker we will think about winning it. "The minute you use the language" of WW III, he told the Seattle newspaper, public opinion starts to shift; people then start saying, "OK, if we're in the third world war, which side do you think should win?"

But let's back up a bit. We might ask: Are we really in World War Three? Have we gone past the point of no peaceful return?

Here are five points to ponder about world wars, and rumors of world wars:

First, one of the hardest things to know about history is where you are in an historical epoch. For example, if you had been alive in Europe in 1337, hearing about Edward III's invasion of France, how could you have known what to call the latest outbreak of fighting? And who could have imagined that this fighting would still be raging 50 years later, in 1387? Only in the next century, the 15th , might you begin to think -- if you were still alive -- that perhaps that multi-decade conflict would some day be known as "The Hundred Years' War" -- although strictly speaking, it lasted for 116 years, all the way to 1453. Similar points could be made about the Thirty Years' War and the Seven Years' War; not only was the right name for them not clear until after they were over, but their true significance was not apparent until much later -- e.g. that the end of the Thirty Years' War spelled the end of wars of religion (at least in Europe, at least until recently), and that the end of the Seven Years' War spelled the end of French influence in North America, thus freeing the American colonists to think about their own independence.

In our own time, observers have struggled with the right word for the mostly peaceful, and yet always intense, struggle between the US and the Soviet Union after 1945. "Cold War" was the consensus term, but others begged to differ; in 1978, Alexander Solzhenitsyn suggested at a Harvard commencement that the US was, in fact, in the midst of World War Three, but that Americans, lulled by Kissingerian d├ętente, didn't recognize the truly desperate nature of the struggle. Two years later, the American people elected Ronald Reagan, who shared many of Solzhenitsyn's dire forebodings about the Soviets, and the Cold War took a new turn, even if it managed to stay cold.

After 9-11, pundits and others started groping around for a new phrase to describe the world situation. Just two days after the attacks, The New York Times' Thomas Friedman asked, "Does my country really understand that this is World War III?" In 2002, Commentary's Norman Podhoretz skipped ahead of Friedman, declaring that "the great struggle into which the United States was plunged by 9/11 can only be understood if we think of it as World War IV." (In Podhoretz's reckoning, the Cold War rates as World War III.) And just this month, Sean Hannity ventured that we are now in "World War Five."

But Gingrich, a smart man with a politician's gift for making complicated things simple, has chosen to go with "World War III." After all, in the minds of most Americans, the last world war was the one that ended in 1945. So if there's a new world war today, it's the third one.

Second, Gingrich, having laid claim to WW III as a concept, is now out to give history, and the Bush administration, a little shove. Taking the Republican president to task, Gingrich told The Seattle Times, "They haven't crossed the bridge of realizing this is a war." And if the Bush people did cross over to that new geopolitical realization, he continued, they would not even be thinking about pressuring Israel to ease up on its current Lebanon offensive, because America and its allies are in this world war in order to win, on all fronts. And so, the Georgian continued, if Washington and Jerusalem saw the situation clearly, "Israel wouldn't leave southern Lebanon as long as there was a single missile there. I would go in and clean them all out and I would announce that any Iranian airplane trying to bring missiles to re-supply them would be shot down. This idea that we have this one-sided war where the other team gets to plan how to kill us and we get to talk, is nuts."

Indeed, Gingrich's stance toward the Bush administration, these days, borders on ridicule. As he told The Washington Post, "We have accepted the lawyer-diplomatic fantasy that talking while North Korea builds bombs and missiles and talking while the Iranians build bombs and missiles is progress. Is the next stage for Condi to go dancing with Kim Jong Il? I am utterly puzzled."

It should be noted here that Gingrich, the fiery rhetorician, is also Gingrich, the ambitious politician. It is widely believed that he is running for president. And so perhaps, some suggest, he is heating up his rhetoric in order to heat up Republican primary voters in 2008. Some might further argue that Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria, and Iran, obnoxious as they are, don't exactly rate as superpowers. So it's hard, by this reckoning, to imagine fighting a full-fledged World War against third-rate players. Some might also venture that neoconservative hawks who supported the Iraq war, including Gingrich, might find it preferable to go "double or nothing" in the overall Middle East rather than to try to sort out the mess that's specific to Iraq. That is, on the theory that the best defense is a good offense, someone in Gingrich's shoes might prefer going on the military offensive, carrying the war to new fronts -- Beirut, Damascus, Tehran, Pyongyang -- rather than getting thrown on the political defensive, trying to explain what went wrong in Baghdad.

Moreover, in terms of Gingrich's political positioning, it's often wise for a hawk to play what might be called "The Churchill Card." What's that? Playing the Churchill Card means steadily issuing dire warnings about external threats. Churchill was proven right, of course, but worst-case scenario-izers are not always proven right. However, even when they are wrong, the issuers of dark tidings can always say, "I was right to point out the danger, indeed, my actions helped forestall the danger; I should at least get credit for thinking seriously about serious problems." And so it is with Gingrich in '08: Now, nobody can accuse him of not grappling with weighty matters. And parenthetically, we might add that the same stake-out-the-worst-case-scenario logic holds true for other concerns, such as, for example, global-warming; if the situation doesn't end up being as serious as the doomsayers insist it will be, the doomers will then pat themselves on their gloomy backs for preventing calamity.

Third, if this is a real world war, expect the era of big government to come back, and to come back with a vengeance. Federal spending went up seven-fold during World War One, and went up seven-fold again during World War Two. And of course, before the second war, Uncle Sam's budget had already been swollen by the New Deal, so the fiscal septupling meant that Washington swallowed up an astonishing 43.6 percent of GDP at the height of the war. Needless to say, taxes went way up, too: During World War I the top income tax rate soared to 77 percent; in World War II, it went to 94 percent.

Oh, and back then, there was a little thing called the draft. Even if our high-tech military is never hungry for manpower the way it was in WW 2 -- when more than 10 percent of Americans were in uniform -- as Thomas Donnelly has written, it's hard to imagine that we could fight Gingrich's WWIII with our current small military establishment.

Fourth, if this a true world war, the ugly issue of war crimes will arise -- and not just on a small scale, as, allegedly, in Haditha, Iraq. After the last World War, Gen. Curtis LeMay, who supervised much of the bombing of Germany and then Japan, was moved to observe that it was a good thing that the US had won, because if we had lost, the Allied firebombing of German cities would have been regarded as a war crime -- never mind that the Germans had started it.

So today, while most Americans are strongly in Israel's corner, most people around the world seem to be sympathizing with the Arabs. And so, fairly or not, the hulking institutions of international justice are clanking into place, ready to sit in judgment. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, has issued a statement in which she asserts that both sides in the Lebanon fighting could bear "personal criminal responsibility" for the cross-border attacks, "particularly those in a position of command and control." That is to say, in her mind, behind-the-lines politicians would not be exempt from potential prosecution.

But of course, neither Israel nor the US has much to worry about -- so long as we don't lose.

Which brings us to...

Fifth, if this is a true world war, expect the unexpected -- including the possibility of losing.

No, we aren't going to lose to the likes of Syria or Iran, although it's possible we could lose a city or two to a lucky (from their point of view) nuclear shot. Indeed, it's hard to imagine that any conflict worthy of the title "world war" would not feature nukes. After all, WWII ended with atomic blasts: Is it really plausible that the next big world war would de-escalate back down to pure conventionality?

Moreover, world wars, if they are true world wars, have a way of escalating beyond any reckoning. On June 28, 1914, the day that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand (man not band) was assassinated, few had any idea that WW I would erupt just five weeks later -- and, of course, nobody could have known that the fighting would come to be labeled as WW I.

So how might the current squareoff between the US and Israel, on the one side, and Hezbollah & Co., on the other, turn into a genuine planetary conflagration? Well, for example, Pakistan might choose against us. In fact, that country already looks a lot like an enemy: It is helping the neo-Taliban against us in Afghanistan, it is harboring, almost certainly, Osama Bin Laden, it has been in cahoots with Iran and North Korea. And last but definitely not least, it possesses some 75 atomic weapons -- even as many noisy Pakistanis are declaring that the entire Muslim Ummah should benefit from the existence of these Islamic Bombs. Oh, and did I mention a possible role for Russia? Or China? Now don't think of me as a defeatist; I would bet on the US to win Gingrich's WWIII. But of course, after that could come WW IV, and V, and on and on.

Moreover, in the spirit of lessons that might be learned from the Hundred Years' War, maybe the current conflict will stretch so far into the future that nobody's present-day crystal ball could offer the least bit of insight into things to come. It's worth noting that the best-remembered battle of the Hundred Years' War was at Agincourt, in 1415 -- the smashing English victory immortalized by Shakespeare -- and yet four decades later, when the fighting finally stopped, the French had won the war.

Newt Gingrich is always provocative, and with his PhD in history, he knows more about the past than just about any politician. But those of us listening to him should beware the power of a forceful argument, and be especially wary of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Because while Gingrich might have the power -- or more to the point, gain the power, if he were to win the White House in '08 -- to start WW III, he would almost certainly not also be in a position to guarantee its outcome.

The US enjoyed a "streak" in 20th century world wars -- two hot and one cold -- and that has left us, perhaps, feeling cocky about the outcome of next Big One. But perhaps caution is in order, because if there's one lesson history teaches us, it's that nothing lasts forever. All "streaks" come to an end, just as all things must pass.

James Pinkerton is TCS Daily's media critic.

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68 Comments

Bombast and hyperbole
No, it's not a world war, or anything like one. It is a war that only one side is militarily capable of conducting-- a war of the strong against the weak.

The only feature of this war a disinterested observer could see is that it is a military conquest of Arab lands on the part of Israel, the United States, the UK and Australia, with a cast of extras numbering in the dozens of troops.

And in this war the most spirited resistance from the Arab side have been numerous homemade bombs and a handful of missiles lobbed into Israel. On the other side I don't think there is a list anywhere long enough to enumerate all the weapons of death our side can bring to bear on the target population. So a world war? It's barely a brush fire.

One weapon the weak do have in their fight against the strong is acts of terror. So that's what they use. And these acts, in which they blow up handfuls of people in crowded bus stations or cafes, take casualties numbering in the hundreds each year. To consider it a war is a joke.

Now auto crashes-- that is a major cause of lethality, dwarfing anything we suffer from the GWOT.

If America and Israel were to withdraw from the Arab lands we would find things would quickly settle down and return to a peaceful norm. Unfortunately though, that would leave Israel nowhere, since all their lands are Arab lands.

Closest on Point #2
Gingrich seems to have come back on the scene with a vengeance earlier this year warning that the Republicans were going to lose the House in November. It struck me as very strange that (a) his reappearance on the scene seemed to dwarf Hastert and Company, who were embroiled in all sorts of messes, and (b) that he seemed so obviously right.

Right now, he's not positioning for a run for President. That will come later. Gingrich is about accomplishing small steps along the way and his sights are on this November's elections. He will either be the idea guy who saves the Republican Party again or he'll be the guy that was right about why they lose. He is campaigning locally for many Congressional candidates. Look for him to assess the chances for winning and putting his stamp on it after Labor Day with some kind of unified Republican agenda. Look for that agenda to be strong on the Islamofascism problem where we all agree and can beat up the Dems and weak on immigration, where there are significant splits within the ranks. Strong on domestic oil where we can beat up on the Dems and "theoretically" lower pump prices, weak on global warming, which will be out of voter's minds in early November.

Then, after positioning himself as either savior or as laser accurate critic, and having that political capital to expend, look for Gingrich to start thinking about 2008. I think he probably has to be the savior to displace Rudy as obvious front-runner. Rudy is seen as tough as nails under pressure with a compassionate, caring side. Gingrich will need a lot of great ideas to battle that.

Leadership
Good observation, Bosco. It's obviously time for the B team to come in, just like an Australian tag team wrestler whose partner is beginning to tire, when the administration's efforts are going off the tracks in Year Six, and the Republican congress is coming undone in unseemly differences of opinion. You can tell the A team is getting bleary.

It should be easy to beat the Dems. They haven't even gathered their wits yet-- although we see the beginnings of this now with the coming back to life of the DLC.

Vive le moderate middle. Maybe Hilary and Newt can conduct mock battles, like Hannity and Colmes, while the TV cameras roll and the real issues continue to fester unattended.

Re: Bombast and hyperbole
The so-called war on terror is just a device by Bush and Co to grab and exercise an unprecedented level of power. If Clinton had tried even a fraction of what Bush has attempted under any guise whatsoever - even a real world war - Gingrich and friends would have screamed blue murder.

The Bin Ladenite terrorists and friends remind me of the robot warriers of krikkit (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krikkit#Krikkit).

In the last 100 years or so - especially with the pervasiveness of radio and television - their eyes have been opened to a wide world that challenges their own prejudices of Islamic supremecy.

As they are unable to understand even the idea that any part of the world could in any way be better than their oh-so Godly part of the world, there's only one thing they can do: destroy it.

Unfortunately, their chosen method only underlines the essential point. With intelligent leadership, especially from the US, "Islamic terror" will fade as quickly as it arrived.

We will, however, have to wait until at least the next US elections for that.....


a perfect description of roy's debate style
So this whold war on terror thing is just another scheme by the evil west to steal the land and lives of arabs.

roy, you are pathetic.

What?
Sorry for interupting your interesting discussion on american polititians positioning themselves for whatever...

Is this war? -Yes, except from the point of view of "international law", it is. It involves every aspect of war and, as you know, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck...

Is this war global? -Yes, it involves several alliances lined up against the west. Iran controls Hezbollah and nowadays heavily influences Hamas. The Al-Qaeda is truly global with operations in many countries across the globe.

Is this not war because one party is stronger than the other? - No, think of Germany, Italy and Japan (and Russia) taking on the much stronger western world. Yet Germany and Japan came a long way, taking on one player at the time until they overreached and attacked Russia and the US. If we hessitate on the current issue, say handing victory to Iran by forcing a seise-fire on Israel, we will see Irans next move in no-time. Likewise, if we give up Iraq, then shurely Al-Qaeda an Iran will focuse elsewhere.

War it is. We may call it WW3 or we can choose the pre-Churcill path, but eventually, fight it we must. We would be wise to fight strong now, so that we don't invite mayhem upon us later on.

To pretend
as Newt Gingrich does that this is a world war is simply silly grandstanding. However, to pretend that this is American imperialism seeking conquest is equally silly.

In a very real sense, we are caught in the cross fire. The real target of the Islamists are the various governments of the middle east that they wish to overthrow and replace with fundamentalist regimes, i.e. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. To the extent that they wanted to create middle east regime change they have failed thus far. Unable to overthrow these regimes directly, they have attacked the United States and others in an attempt to compel a response.

Messy, dirty and violent certainly, but a world war? Hardly.

Bottom line?
It seems to me that a more important question than what to call it is what to do about it. On this, the brilliant PhD historian is less innovative. We should root out Hezbollah completely from Lebanon, down to the last rocket (does he say how to do this?) and shoot down Iranian planes carrying rockets (which ones?). Pinkerton seems to suggest doubling taxes and reinstating a universial draft -- like that would get Republicans elected.

This is a American Pandit`s good past time.
Those who predicating 3th world war , there may be many intention of these rascals.[1] Citizens of U.S. are by nature coward and feeble minded, fear them more is easy for future election, in past many scoundrels played same game.[2] spreading this rumour is advantages for warmongors,mulinational may produce a new game to make fool to people. [3] American Pundit are killing their time to entertain themself.
My firm belief, weapon manafacturer are interested in small war , they are intersted only sell of their weaponary. TERRORISTS OF DIFFERENT PART OF WORLD ARE THEIR BEST CONSUMERS THEY PAY HANDSOMWE PRICE.

We are doing nothing
about Lebanon, the Israelis are. They've closed the ports and airports, and now the army is back into southern Lebanon. Seems the Israelis have learned the value of foreign promises after they evacuated southern Lebanon the first time.

So what do you suggest they do? Continue to allow Hezbollah to bombard them with rockets? I notice that while you ask for ideas about what do do, you offer none yourself.

No Subject
Hey nulldotnet:

"War it is."

"...fight it we must."

Dude, are you Yoda?

And, c'mon, how can we even compare the likes of Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Q, et al., to powers like Germany and Japan? The latter actually had the biggest and most advanced fleet in the world after the Pearl Harbor bombings, and the former was on the cutting edge of technical progress. Whatever threats they may pose, they'll never loom as large as the Axis did. Characterizing them as such isn't helping your cause, and makes you guys look like demagogues.

Just wait til the election
Once we stop making them mad I think the problem will start to subside. A good start would be for the US to stay on its own side of the fence.

But it will take time.

I wish I shared your optimism about our choices in the 2008 election. Whichever way you cut it, the deal is that we'll be getting a choice of two, one from War Party A and one from War Party B. Peace candidates are considered to be unelectable.

Opining while missing the point
Mr. Pinkerton, "media critic", should stick to media interpretation. What was it that Gingrich actually said? He said (by way of paraphrase), "We have WWIII on our hands, and people better wake up!" Pinkerton's Trivial Pursuit of the 100 years' war and Shakespear is largely irrelevant as is his own hyperbolic speculation of outcomes...unless of course he compares himself to the bard in is own lack of perspicacity.

The message to all of us -- especially the ME generation -- is to simply pull our heads out of make-believe-land and see what is happening.

I recommend Mr. Pinkerton and some other commentators on this site review Frank Gaffney's piece published on JWR Today (http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/gaffney072506.asp) before prattling on about elections, second-guessed histories and the poor, defenseless, non-state islamists.

You get no argument from me
on this one. It's ridiculous overhyping by NG. But then, Pinkerton's written enough silliness on this site that it's scarcely surprising.

War of racists and xenophobs
Bin Laden and the rest are nothing more than the Islamic equivalent of the KKK,*****,Black Panthers,La Raza and every other empty headed hate/supremist group that we have marginalized in our society,the only real difference is they have a very secure base in their muslim countries that enable and support them with their own intolerant,xenophobic and anti anybody that ain't one of them laws.When Saudi Arabia and the rest stop executing people for converting from Islam and allow people to freely discuss religion and slide from one religion to another choosing what fits instead of forcing a "sin free" society according to Muslim muftis with barbaric punishment for the smallest infraction of religiously based laws then they can also be marginalized but of course that will never happen.

the only ones getting mad, are the ones who already hate us.
roy continues to let his emotions color what he let's his eye's see.

how many countries are involved?
The problem of Islamic extremism is world wide in scope.
Any solutions are going to have to be world wide in scope.

I concur with the label of world war, though I prefer world war four, not three.

The cold war was world war three.

americans are by nature cowardly and feeble minded????
Cleaning up your english a bit.

Tell that the Americans who make the products that run the world. From computers, to software, to heavy equipment.

Tell that to the Americans who are whipping the butts of the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why WWIII doesn't have to include nuclear weapons
In the article, James Pinkerton asked:

"After all, WWII ended with atomic blasts: Is it really plausible that the next big world war would de-escalate back down to pure conventionality?"

The answer to that question is yes, it is plausible.

The basis for this argument is to consider chemical weapons in WWI and WWII.

Chemical weapons were the WMD's of their day in the first WW and the start of the second WW.

They were routinely used in the first war, and never used, in battle, in the second. The use of chemical agents in the death camps by the Germans is not really the same thing as was done in WWI or how nuclear weapons were used in WWII.

All sides had stockpiles of some level and all sides were faced with dire situations where one could expect that every possible resource would be used to fend of defeat.

Yet no one used those chemical weapons. Why?

I would suggest that the weapons were not used because both sides had witnessed the horror that such weapons could produce, the level of damage, and the understanding that the enemy could deliver an equally devastating blow to their side.

As such, no one thought that the benefits that may be achieved by using these weapons outweighed the deficits that the open use would entail.

I would suggest that the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki produced a similar perception concerning nuclear weapons in the minds of world leaders, and this is why none of the various crises during the Cold War actually crossed the nuclear threshold.

In fact the only uses of chemical weapons since WWI were where one side had them and the other didn't, thus the specter of an equivalent response was not a realistic scenario.

Saddam, who had used chemical weapons before, did not use them in the Gulf War. Was this because he was concerned about potential chemical or nuclear response by the US?

Thus, should WWIII occur, it is quite possible that all sides will conclude that a nuclear, or chemical, exchange is not worth it and will refrain from launching the first strike.

So yes it is quite possible that the conflict will revert to a conventional one.

Now, to be clear, I am only suggesting that it is possible that this will occur, not certain. It is quite possible that any individual leader, on either side, will reach a conclusion that the use of a WMD is necessary and so order it.

Armed aggression
Let me just ask you this:

Are their armies occupying our lands, or are our armies occupying their lands?

WW4, 5 or 100...we still must win it
Leave it to liberals to debate whether it's WW3 or WW4 or not really a "war". While islamo-fascists are plotting to kill us (including you NY Times, LA Times, Katie Kouric, John Kerry, Hillary, bombs don't give liberal swine a pass) these fools are debating if it's appropriate to call it a world war.

Fine call it a banana for all I care, just win the damn thing.

occupation
They don't have armies.

Our armies aren't occupying anyone's land. Neither is Israel's.

Profits of war
That's certainly true, Ramesh. The Pentagon does have to sell its old weapons in order to afford all the new systems it wants. So we let mountains of last year's state of the art hardware go to other countries at bargain prices. Then when they get a new leader some times they end up in the hands of people we worry about. Look at Pakistan, for instance.

There was just an auction in fact of slightly used weapons and detection systems, that were sold to anyone by liquidators, at pennies on the dollar. No records were kept of the purchasers. A lot of the things would come in handy for terrorists.

Look at these neat things you can buy now. Chemical weapons supplies. Guns up to 200 mm. Torpedo launchers, depth charges, something they call "deception equipment". Sights, fire control systems, radar, gunnery and bombing components. Rockets, underwater mines (this would be cool in New York Harbor), torpedos, pyrotechnics and demolition materials. Propellant actuating devices. Surface explosives. I've hardly gotten started. Here's the list:

http://web.govliquidation.com/auction/search

W4ell named comment Wayne
Another counter culture ideologue making broad sweeping generalizations without evidence nor logic, just braying at the top of his lungs. It may hae escaped the notice of your rapier like mind that the Congress had to approve the presidents policies, unlike the Clintistas bombing allies like Serbia for no reason, committing troops to military adventures in the Balkans and Haiti that served no US national interest.

But at least we get a glimpse into the mind of another drug addled cretin with neither world experience or education telling us how to run the world without being able to name the capital of Canada. Off to the Koss kiddies were like minds bray at the full moon together.

Only Democrat Peace candidates can't be elected
Pre emptive surrender is a policy only sociocrats buy into.

Not a world war in the convention sense
We will fight no national states in a real fashion, but the war will be waged worldwide. From the UK to Indonesia, from Argentina to South Africa, from Norway to Canada. We will see national governments providing covert aid and assistance. We all ready know their are trans national groups that exchange intelligence, training, and funding. And if WMD are ever employed you could see a dramatic excalation in terms of violence.

Is Roy have delusions?
Why don't you tell us Roy. I don't think the answer is the Tenth Legion in Baghdad is it?

From someone who hides behind women
I wish I could claim to be part of a religion that boasts a 1,000 years of existence without progress! No other religion can make such a claim. No other religion can boast its god rewards them with us misery and poverty.

I wish I were a Muslim, I want to a feeble minded and as brave as a Muslim. Odd though that those monkeys the JOOOOOOS always crush the brave warriors of Allah. Why is that?

Sounds like the Democratic platform
Doubling taxes and a new draft. Sure to win the hearts and winds of sociocrats everywhere.

handful? arab lands?
I think that handful of rockets is now up to about 1500 or so. At what stage will you call it say, a few, several, lots of, etc?
Also re your comment about arab lands. Let's say that the terrorists win and take over all of Israel, as is their game plan. What you recommend they do with the jews there that did not come from Europe or anywhere else, because I think even you will admit that there have always been jews there? We all know what the hizb would do with them, right? Or do you think they would give them the same sort of rights as arabs in israel now have like members of parliment, etc?

land mines
I think it was you and princess Di and other wimpy liberals who have been advocating the elimination of land mines in the whole world, right? Now I'm waiting for all you guys to condem the hizbolah for laying land mines all over lebanon. But wait a minute...I must have been dreaming because I forgot that the anti-landmine freaks onley want THE GOOD GUYS not use land mines, but that you think it's quite all right for our enemies to use.

Win Against Whom
Especially given the fact that many of the enemies of the U.S. were once supported by the U.S., and many that are supposed to be enemies are friends. Forget about "liberal swines," just think about the fact that U.S. gives Most Favored Nation status to China.

The islamists are winning
Check out this essay for an interesting perspective of the issue discussed:

The Islamists are winning
David Selbourne

http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-magazine/features/23874/the-islamists-are-winning.thtml

No Subject
Yoda I am - Buddha are you... English my first language it isn't ;-)


You're forgetting modern technology and modern civilisation. Today it doesn't require 1500 airplanes to lay London in rubble. All that is required is a little tactical provess. Iran is rich in oilmoney, are all to happy to supply terror organisations with arms and may sone have nuclear weapons and/or biological weapons.

As a former military officer I can add that at least when it comes to Germany they were not the stronger part in the WW2, but they won initially anyway thanks to strategical and tactical superiority along with a certain laizez-faire-attitude on the part of continental european governments.

I'd however agree with you if your hidden message is that the most important theatre is not the battlefield but the civil development in muslim and arab countries. That however, does not make the battlefield unimportant.

Proxy
Sound argument, but we may face an exception here as Iran thinks that it can fight "proxy wars", this time through its Hezbollah outfit. Think of Iran handing Hezbollah or any other terror organisation a nuke that they use. How would the west respond? If we were not absolutely sure about Irans guilt? The entire worlds intelligence community had it wrong about Iraq, it seems. Are the Iranians so sure that we would respond nuclear that they would refrain from using it through a proxy?

Let's turn the page
There is not a chance the "terrorists" will ever take over Israel. You disregard the military mismatch between teenagers with rockets and a large state of the art military machine.

There is also not a chance Israel can defeat Hezbollah. Every family they blow apart in Beirut wins new recruits for them.

What I'm arguing is that a different approach is essential if anyone is ever to get any rest. You are stuck with a very low number of memes, each of which you feel very strongly about. And thinking about each of them in turn, as you've been doing, does not advance the conversation about where the conflict should go next.

A moral argument is defective when it claims justification on the grounds that the other guy, in their position, would be doing the same to them. How about just eliminating all arguments that require one group to have dominion over the others, and then concentrating on those arguments that entail power sharing in a community that contains Christians, Jews and Muslims? Isn't this supposed to be the Holy Land?

An imaginary conversation
Do you do this when you go to bed at night? I mean run over imaginary conversations in your mind, where the invariably astute Dietmar trounces the moronic stick figure creatures of the liberal left with comments like that? I think you do, since you're contriving both sides of this argument.

If you were to ask someone in the real world whether a given military entity should be laying land mines, I think they would say never. Because even if they signed an agreement saying every mine they laid would be charted and later deactivated, we all know what happens in war. They rarely ever get around to it later.

I'm thinking you wouldn't find very many people in the peace movement saying it was all right for Hezbollah to lay land mines.

teenagers with rockets?
roy, you are getting more delusional by the day.
Everyone who fights for Hezbollah is just a teenager? What happens when they grow up, do they come to their senses and get a real job????

Nobody, except your guys, is arguing that one group should have dominion over the others. Israel is and has always been willing to live in peace with it's neighbors. When your guys grow up, and are willing to do the same, then there will be peace. Until that time Israel will have to do whatever it takes to protect itself from a group that believes it has a divine right to rule over everyone else.

I imagine Roy said the same thing when the colonists declared independence
You can count on Roy for some amazing statement.

Birds of a feather flock together
Somehow one could guess Roy was as sane as the terrorist cheerleader.

I'm still trying to get over roy's claim
that Saddam was entitled to kill the women and children at Haditha, because some of the men from the village may have been involved in an assignation attempt.

Especially in light of roy's claims that Israel must not harm a single civilian in Lebanon, otherwise it will be guilty of war crimes.

Roy's fantasy land
Can you name one military that doesn't have stocks of mines Roy? One just depends on you for a reality based version of the world today.

Roy just loves terrorists
As do more than a few of the people who lack a moral compass here. When a society can't make a basic decision regarding what is acceptable and not, what is right and wrong, you are in trouble. Roy is just one of those people who are devote secularists who stand ready to man the ovens when a people's republic is declared.

Even Canada's military
has land mines, and Canada's foreign affairs minister was the silly idiot who proposed the international treaty in the first place.

Living in peace with one's neighbors
Israel encroaches.

Hezbollah may be just a wild bunch, but the Palestinians have to fight for their very existence. They are getting the death by inches treatment from Israel. They have tried trusting Israel, but the screws just continue to tighten. It has to be war, by Israel's decision.

I'm starting to believe that roy actually believes the c**p he's peddling
Israel has never encroached on anyone.
Israel has bent over backwards to promote peace, the palestinians refuse to accept peace.

The Israeli's leave Gaza. The palestinians use Gaza to launch rockets and raids. Israel responds.

Yet according to roy, Israel is at fault because they refuse to live peacefully.

The palestinians were offered a homeland, twice. First by the UN, then by Israel. Both times they refused the offer and decided they would rather die than suffer the humiliation of living peacefully alongside Jews.

The deaths of the palestinians is on their own head. They could have had peace, time and time again. But they chose war and now they are suffering the consequences of their choice.

I'm glad you asked
151 countries have signed and ratified the International Treaty to Ban Landmines. Among those countries who have not are the United States, Israel, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, China, Russia and both Koreas. We find ourselves in interesting company.

http://www.icbl.org/treaty/members

World War I
This is really World War I. The period from August 1914 thru November 1989 was really the 75 Year's War.

I fear that this war may exceed the 100 years war in length
...

Wow this is from someone deep in psychosis
I can guess how you saw the USSR in the cold war. This is really chutzpah.

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