TCS Daily

Sane Mutiny: The Coming Populist Revolt

By Arnold Kling - August 22, 2006 12:00 AM

"British holidaymakers staged an unprecedented mutiny -- refusing to allow their flight to take off until two men they feared were terrorists were forcibly removed.

The extraordinary scenes happened after some of the 150 passengers on a Malaga-Manchester flight overheard two men of Asian appearance apparently talking Arabic."
--The Daily Mail, August 20, 2006

I am not a pollster, but my sense is that there has been a shift in the popular mood in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel as a result of events this summer in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and London. I suspect that this is one of those eras where the political elites are out of touch with mass opinion. In this case, I think that the elites are mostly wrong, and I hope that they adjust.

Regarding the "mutiny" of the British airplane passengers, no doubt the elites are thinking, "Oh, what awful behavior on the part of passengers. They are ruining our effort to reassure Muslims that they face no discrimination."

Meanwhile, the people are thinking, "Look, the fact that you subject all passengers to the same humiliating searching and restrictions says that you have no idea who is dangerous and who is not. If you are that incompetent, then don't expect us to trust you when you tell us that a plane is safe."

The elites focused on hair gels and other liquids that were supposed tools of the plot. Everyone else noticed the ethnicity of the plotters. As James Joyner put it recently on TCS,

"Keeping passengers from taking nail clippers, toothpaste, and hair gel with them causes an inconvenience disproportionate to the infinitesimal gain in safety provided. Likewise, forcing people to arrive at the airport three hours early so they may stand in line to have their shoes checked for explosives is plainly silly.

It makes far more sense to harden targets and screen for likely terrorists than to treat all citizens as potential terrorists."

I suspect that the popular frustration is widespread. My guess is that popular sentiment is turning against elite opinions like these:

  • The world's Muslims share our desire for peace and democracy.
  • Equal-opportunity passenger screening at airports is a better policy than profiling.
  • The United Nations is the world's conscience and policeman.
  • The "international community" will deal with Iran's quest for nuclear weapons.
  • It is possible for the United States to bring about a constructive transformation of Middle East politics, either through diplomatic or military initiatives.

There are other ways in which elites have lost credibility. President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert are both guilty of exaggerating the success of military operations.

Excess partisanship in a time of war is very frustrating to the public. How can it be that essentially all Republican officials agree with the Bush Administration policies and procedures for monitoring phone conversations and essentially all Democrats disagree? Would a Democratic President really be following policies that are very different?

Finally, anyone who believes that "French co-operation" is anything but an oxymoron is an incurably senseless elitist. French peacekeeping forces in Lebanon were decimated without firing a shot. (Actually, it's worse than that. To be decimated is to lose ten percent of one's soldiers. France's expected contribution of 2000 soldiers was reduced by ninety percent; in addition, the French proceeded to deny that the UN resolution means what it says when it calls for the disarming of uniformed militias.)

Elite Theory vs. Popular Reality

One illustration of how elite theory can conflict with popular perceptions is the cover story on the September issue of The Atlantic, by James Fallows. The thesis of the article, which was written before the Lebanon war and the failure of the plot to blow up British airliners, is that the war on terror is over, and that we won. Despite the occasional plot or successful attack, we should declare victory, tone down the war rhetoric, and go about dealing with the world's trouble spots using conventional diplomacy. In a follow-up, Fallows argues that the break-up of the plot to blow up airliners shows that "it was police work, surveillance, and patient cultivation of sources that broke the airline bombing ring -- not speeches about a state of war."

A populist definition of victory would mean that governments that fund terror groups or use them as instruments of their foreign policy are brought down. A populist definition of victory might mean that Muslim clerics who urge young men to join the jihad are given the opportunity to experience the ecstasy of martyrdom themselves.

Failing to accept James Fallows' nuanced analysis, most people will not want to declare victory until they can once again board a plane without taking their shoes off. In fact, one might argue that we can really declare victory only when you can board a plane that has several dark-skinned male passengers speaking Arabic and not think twice about it.

Mobilize Social Scientists?

It is not just journalists who play the elitist game. In the Armed Forces Journal, retired major general Robert H. Scales says that in order to win modern war we need to mobilize social scientists.

"The military of the future must be able to go to war with enough cultural knowledge to thrive in an alien environment. Empathy will become a weapon. Soldiers must gain the ability to move comfortably among alien cultures, to establish trust and cement relationships that can be exploited in battle...

We are in for decades of psycho-social warfare. We must begin now to harness the potential of the social sciences in a manner not dissimilar to the Manhattan Project or the Apollo Project. Perhaps we will need to assemble an A team and build social science institutions similar to Los Alamos or the Kennedy Space Center."

I can hear Donald Rumsfeld saying, "You go to war with the social scientists you have." I am reminded of a neighborhood football game when I was in fourth grade, where all the neighborhood brainy kids were on one team, and the other team had Gary Bemis, my next-door neighbor who was big and tough. After Gary scored touchdowns the first five or six times he carried the ball, the parents declared the game over. My guess is that social scientists fighting Islamofascists would be like the brainy kids trying to stop Gary Bemis.

The elitist view is that we need to be more sensitive to other cultures and we must deal delicately with civilians whose hearts and minds we need to win over. I think that popular opinion is swinging toward the opposite conclusion.

Populist Responses

My sense is that popular opinion is likely to gravitate toward one of two positions.

    1. The Middle East is a hopeless cauldron of hatred. We should focus on homeland security, stay out of the Middle East, and have as little interaction with the Muslim world as possible; or
    2. A major war is inevitable, so that we need to get ready for it. Nothing else will stop Iranian aggression, and nothing else will stifle the funding, sponsoring, and glorification of terrorists.

In 2008, I believe that either a Republican running on (1) as a platform or a Democrat running on (2) as a platform could win broad bipartisan support. However, my guess is that the Democrats are likely to come closer to representing (1) in 2008, and as of now my sense is that (1) is more popular than (2).

In my own thinking, I tend to vacillate between (1) and (2). The advantage of (2) is that it helps align our interests with the UK and Israel, which are not in a position to adopt (1). The UK, with its larger and more radical Muslim population, necessarily is affected by international Muslim belligerence. For Israel, staying out of the Middle East is not an option.

The main prediction from this essay is that we will see an outbreak of popular frustration in the next few years. I think that many people are tired of political spin machines, diplomatic "solutions," and fancy intellectual models of the world that fail in practice. They long for a leader who talks straight and who can make the plays work on the field the way they were designed to work on the chalkboard.

The failures of elitist thinking will create an adverse environment for haughty, cerebral politicians such as Tony Blair or Benjamin Netanyahu. Instead, I expect more populist figures to emerge, which gives me considerable misgivings. I think that populist economics is mostly bad. If voters turn to populists on the issue of national security, my guess is that the economy will suffer for it.

But I think that the popular instinct is that the elites so far have not gotten it right on security and Islamic militancy. And in that regard, the popular instinct is right.

The author is a TCS Daily Contributing Editor.



But then there's (3)...
I say again... Why is there overreaction on the part of screeners and now apparently the public? They are demanding Safety and Security, and they are providing it the best way they can.

"Equal-opportunity passenger screening at airports is a better policy than profiling." Equal opportunity. The ACLUeless will be 1/2 way up your arse if you profile someone because they "look" like a terrorist. I disproved profiling, because the London bombers were 3rd gen londoners, and looked like everyone else.

Youo know what? You aren't losing any rights. You have your privacy. Nothing being done against the terrorists really effects you. Bush is using all of the tools at his disposal to combat the terrorists, and the wiretapping hadn't effected you at all. So, instead of fighting against the good guys because of an idiotic ideology, sit down, shut up and know that you are safe.

Fixing a mess
There is such a thing as leadership. Conservatives are whipping up anti Muslim racism (Coulter, Cheney, Falwell, Fox "News", ...) with terms like "Islamofascism". Republican neocons have created horrible messes in the middle east by invading Iraq (with too few troops, creating a civil war), egging on Israel, and refusing to negotiate with Iran.

The groundswell you feel is voters figuring out who is and is not good for America. Bush is at 36%.

Simplest Solution
The Simplest Solution to the airline travel woes, which would also be consistent with the original intent of the US Constitution would be to de-criminalize private discrimination.

Just allow the airlines (and ALL other businesses) to discriminate who is and is not allowed to do business with them, no questions asked.

Anti-muslim racism
What race are muslims?

I believe they span all races.

Islam means submission. In theory, it is the submission of the individual to Allah, who is supposed to be the same God of Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael and Jacob.

The Koran is also a constitution with self appointed leaders leading the faithful from mosques.

These leaders, like all politicians, want power and are using the religion to get that power.

Like the Holy Roman Empire over 500 years ago, Islam is in need of a reformation. It can come from within, like a Martin Luther or Calvin. Or, it can happen from without. If that reformation does not occur, there will be many Muslims and many non-Muslims dead. And those that survive will either have liberty or be forced to submit.

Re: Simplest Solution
So, it's official: TCSDaily, DCI Group, its clients and its backers, including ExxonMobil, Freddie Mac, General Motors Corporation, Gilead Sciences, McDonalds, Merck and PhRMA, don't like anyone who isn't white - and certainly don't want to do business with any of the 1 billion people in the Islamic world.

What a most peculiar PR company DCI Group is!

Clinton's mess
Somalia, Al Kobar, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, and Yemen.

Why don't we just make all muslim sew a little cresent into the clothing.
More people die on your roads then in terror put the issue into prepective.

Excellent over reaction!
>"More people die on your roads then in terror put the issue into prepective."

A car crash does not cause the deaths of 3,000 people and temporarily cripples the economy. Put that into perspective.

Who is to blame for the bad feelings generated towards Muslims (the religion, not the race)? Why, the Muslims of course!

The media and governmental talking heads can attempt to put a pretty face on Islam but story after story of Muslims calling for the death of America, Israel, the UK, Denmark, the West, etc., suicide bombings, beheadings, fatwas, and all the other violence being done by the followers of the "Religion of Peace".

Not to mention the studies of Muslims that show that a very high percentage endorse those tactics and that a great many consider themselves Muslims before they consider themselves citizens of their particular country.

The author hit the nail on the head. After awhile people see that a Islam isn't what the advertising said it was.

So get pissy and make sarcastic comments about putting little cresents on Muslims but the point is that sooner or later the Muslims are going to have to integrate with the rest of civilization. They will have to denounce the violence once and for all. They will have to give rights to their women. They will have to quit stoning homosexuals. They will have to live by the laws of the country they live in. They will have to accept the disrespect of Infidels as the disrespect the Prophet. That is just the way things are.

Otherwise we can do this for them.

I didn't realize NeaRNoaD spoke for everyone...
Especially not for TCSDaily, DCI Group, its clients and its backers, including ExxonMobil, Freddie Mac, General Motors Corporation, Gilead Sciences, McDonalds, Merck and PhRMA.

It seems to me that NeaRNoaD speaks for NeaRNoaD in a public forum. Shall we suggest that it's official that WayneRooney doesn't like anyone with a differing opinion? That he's a closed-minded wanker who obviously doesn't understand the concept of free and open discussion?

Of course not! I have no idea what kind of person you are in real life, but I do know for certain that, here, you speak only for yourself.

Or perhaps you are suggesting that TCSDaily should censor comments that disagree with a particular point of view...

An excellent article - but missing immigration - another point where elites don't get it
The starry eyed elites who believe in open borders the way fundamentalist Mohammedans believe in Sharia and dhimmitude for unbelievers are also fueling a populist backlash by refusing to recognize that the world of cheap travel and nearly free communications is fundamentally different from the world where immigrating was a major and usually irrevocable decision to leave family, loyalties and attachment to the old world behind.

What makes this guy think the West has a choice between 1 and 2?
What makes this guy think the West has a choice between 1 and 2?

Oh Marjon
Don't let little details like accuracy and specificity bother you when Liberal Goofball is on a rant.

Can't you just see John Belushi exhorting his frat buddies on with "was it over when the Germans bombed pearl harbor"?

Why don't we
Have you wear a Scarlet I?

For idiot.

The middle east has been a mess for decades.
They are now in much better shape, and for the first time in hundreds of years, the situation is getting better.

LG is po'd because good things are happening, and there's no way he can shift the credit to the Democrats, so his religion requires him to pretend that nothing good is happening.

you don't get it
It was possible for the elite to ignore those actions, so they never happened.

man, you can go off on paranoid tangents, can't you
One guy says we should legalize private discrimination, and suddenly you assume that everyone up to the president wants all non-whites to die.

This is what liberals do
Any utterance by someone they believe to be conservative, is proof positive that all conservatives feel the same way.

Rhampton is doing this all the time, digging up loony quotes, and declaring that secretly, all conservatives agree.

Funny thing is, if I were to do the same things with a group that they support, say blacks or gays, they would be to the first to declare such behavior to be unacceptable bigotry.

the war with Islam
I agree that we have no choice. If oil were not a critical resource in this century, we could all go home and let the Shia and Sunnis kill each other. We have to interact. Bush may have been wrong to think Arabs could rule themselves without tyrants. It was worth it to try. The left doesn't understand that we are in a war. The parallels with the 1930s are staggering. The big war is coming. That's what the retired military folks I know believe. I wish Bush would expand the army by another two divisions and I do agree that special forces need more Arabic speakers. Not to make friends, though.

worth the effort
If a big blowup does occur, Iraq and Afghanistan will be on the sidelines.
5 years ago, both would have been on the front lines against us.
That's a big improvement.

There is still a good chance that Iraq will come out of this a stable democracy.

Thanks to getting distracted by our brain dead anti-drug warriors, it looks like Afghanistan may be lost.

a good point - choice number one may no longer be an option
The inevitable spread of nuclear and biological weapons technologies make it make it necessary to require that all states and religions take responsibility for and control their nutcases.

Otherwise anyone in the world who wants to be safe will have to plan to control them.

Islamic Reformation
Like the Holy Roman Empire over 500 years ago, Islam is in need of a reformation. It can come from within, like a Martin Luther or Calvin. Or, it can happen from without. If that reformation does not occur, there will be many Muslims and many non-Muslims dead. And those that survive will either have liberty or be forced to submit.

I suppose one's view of the reformation depends on whether or not you subscribe to the five solas, however, Protestant states actually had a greater convergence of church and state than did the pre 1517 HRE. For example, Until a few decades ago, no one could marry without the permission of a Lutheran minister in one of the Scandanavian countries (Sweden, I believe). The UK rendered the church subject to the crown and its merger hardly allowed for choice.

Although the author and the article aren't in the archive that I can see, Edward Feser covered this subject on TCS several years ago, concluding that Islam has already had its "reformation", when the Caliphate was abolished. Interpretation of the faith is now up to Imams, Ayatollahs and the like. Every cleric is free to interpret the Koran and Hadith as he sees fit, Sola Korana? given the divergent opinions on various matters one can find in those texts, its not hard to find suras that suit one's desires.

"We reserve the right to refulse service to anyone for any reason"
Why not?

Edward Fesers Article: 12-04-03, look under other aricles by the author

there were over 15,000 murders stateside last year.
1.3 million abortions.

who really cares how many Muslims bight the dust if we crank up the energy being devoted to organised counter belligerence.

The Israelis are being quite civilised. France knows full well that half of its troops would end up in the Hague for war crimes.
Let the Germans rebuild their military. Let us get our NATO allies up to military speed.

We should put some frontier justice back into this frontier.

Wanted dead or alive $$

Bring back the bounty system.

Fixing a mess requires opening your eyes
LiberalGoodman accuses conservatives of "whipping up anti-Muslim racism ... with terms like 'Islamo-fascism' ".

I have a question for all the Leftist America-haters. How many attacks on the United States and its citizens in the last 20 years were launched by non-Muslims? Answer: zero. Oh, you object, what about Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols? Sorry, but Terry Nichols was a failed bombmaker until he was trained in the Philippines by militant Islamic MUSLIMs -- yes, Abu Sayyaf MUSLIM (Al Qaeda) terrorists.

By opening their eyes to look at reality, the American electorate now recognizes their enemy correctly as militant Islamists, Islamo-fascists, or my favorite descriptor Islamo-statists. No longer can the politically correct university professors, hate-America groups, U.S. State Dept., and cowardly politicians fool the American people with their stupid assertions that Islam is a religion of peace. The body count is now too high to fool the American people any longer. Politicians will ignore this fact at their peril.

Anti-Muslim Rascism
LiberalGoodman is a stupid as the name. Islam is a universal religion, with adherents of every flavor He made them. Liberals will say anything to marginalize those that differ with them. Liberals also have no respect for others. Iran has been pretty clear on its aims what is there to negociate? Maybe we can send liberalgoodman to find out for sure.

We may leave Iraq early, but if we do, the next action will be a lot more stern.

I disagree
The elites could ignore it because the public was inclined to ignore it - option 1. Military action was necessary to deal with terrorists during the 90's, but they hadn't hurt us badly enough for the public to support a war. After 9-11 we were ready for action. We have been safe long enough so people are ready to pretend there is no real problem again. The option 1 crowd wants to pretend we can wish the world away. When we feel safe, we don't want to take action. Most people are too cowardly to face the danger, so we'll pretend there is no real problemn whenever we can. That's where leadership comes in.

Speaking for myself...
I don't like limeys.

People die on roads by accident...
People are murdered by terrorists.

Yes, but...
I think the author means many people like option 1, not that it's a realistic option. Never mind oil, if we could somehow stop all economic interaction with Muslim countries, we would still have terrorists trying to kill us. That is the main problem with #1.

I think our policy will be shaped by events. Anyway we need to knock over the gov. of Iran. We don't need to occupy the country or determine the shape of their gov. as long as we stomp on the mullahs we will be good. If Iran is whipped, the Hezbos don't matter and the whole situation will improve. We have the resources to do it, but it will be painfull. Oil prices will go way up for a while as their exports are stopped due to blockade or bombing ( I leave out "sanctions" because I don't think that is possible). It would be better for Bush to wait for the election to force the issue, but the Iranians may take the intitiative.

Iran is the only major state sponsor for terrorism and they intend to nuke Israel and perhaps us as well. Their gov. is shaky and vulnerable, but the leaders seem to really believe this 12th imam crap and so are willing to take wild chances. We should try to take them down. If we ignore them, I think we'll still be forced into war against them under unfavorable circumstances.

Here is my 1938 analogy. France had a treaty with Czechoslovakia and Poland. They sold out the Czechs. The they stood by while Poland was conquered. Then they waited until the Germans attacked and fought AFTER their allies were taken out. They "gave peace a chance". They deserved to lose. If we dither, we deserve to lose.

it's all relative
More people die on the roads every year than are killed in crimes.
Therefore it makes no sense to fight crime.
Let's save money and lives by disbanding all police departments.

Islam and Reformation
I used to think that Islam just needed to go thru a Reformation/Renaissance like Martin Luther helped bring to Christianity in order to reconcile it with the Modern Age. Then I got to thinkin' that the catalyst for Martin Luther was not that he wished to make Christianity "current", rather that he thought the Catholic Church was corrupt and no longer representative of Jesus' intent. So essentially he was trying to get back to Christianity's roots . With that in mind, maybe Wahabbism IS the reformation of Islam.

Islam's problem seems to be that religion and politics are hoplessly conflated--and that is by Muhammed's design--which makes it impossible to reconcile with the secular nature of Western government.

Leadership was lacking in the 90s.
And in the 30s.

Option #1 is choosing not to choose
For the past 30 years we've been convinced that we could reason with Islamic terrorists. Or--even more foolishly—we convinced ourselves that they weren't really terrorists, that their “grievances” were legitimate.

Option #1 assumes, perversely, that after 30 years of increasing mayhem we can now ignore them. Since most Americans have studiously avoided learning anything beneath the headlines, Option #2’s time has not yet arrived. It seems obvious to me that eliminating the regime in Iran is necessary, if insufficient, to achieve a modicum of peace in the Middle East. Like a thousand lawyers on the bottom of the ocean it would be a good start.

Sloppy Thinking
1. The Middle East is a hopeless cauldron of hatred. We should focus on homeland security, stay out of the Middle East, and have as little interaction with the Muslim world as possible; or

By Middle East, are we including our "allies" like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, et al.?

How can we vacate the Middle East when we are beholden to Saudi Arabia for it's oil?

Would we stop paying the billions of dollars annually in foreign-aid? The same allies who gave-up anti-Israeli positions only because of the annual payments?

2. A major war is inevitable, so that we need to get ready for it. Nothing else will stop Iranian aggression, and nothing else will stifle the funding, sponsoring, and glorification of terrorists.

Suppose we "win" and reduce to rubble Iran's nuclear capabilities -- then what? Do you think we're going to turn Iran into a pro-west Democracy?

What's to prevent Pakistan from giving away it's nuclear weapons?

How does an Iranian defeat solve the problem of Palestinian refugees, The Right of Return, and the "ownership" of Jerusalem?

How does an Iranian defeat bring peace to the Middle East and security to Israel?

If we spent $100 billion finding out how to make energy from grass cuttings, or whatever, we could pull out of the region and let them kill one another. But we can't. I think Americans are getting a bit tired of PC approach to terrorism and in that I agree with the author completely. On the other hand, we do have friends in the region who rely on us, in addition to Israel. Do we abandon them to the tender mercies of Iran. I think not.

Only (2) if a nuke goes off
My own big fear is that (1) wins enough so that the US allows Iran to get nukes; and then one is used.

At which time, (2) populist, fight-win-kill-win-whatever-win kicks in.

It is a race between Iraq Sunni-Shia mutual toleration and functioning human rights orieted democracy, and Iran getting nukes.

Nukes seem to be in the lead.

Best tactic - avoid spending a lot of time in New York, Washington and the big coastal cities
It's often been the case that democracies fail to achieve concensus until the alarm goes off very rudely. And there is a certain logic to this since many problems do indeed go away on their own if ignored or contained for long enough. Iran could well be such a transitory problem given the long history of assassinations as a negotiating tool in that part of the world.

A nuclear explosion in one of our big cities would certainly be a rude alarm clock but it may well be what it takes to wake up the sleepers.

Should that happen any President who wants to avoid being run out of town on a rail will give the necessary orders to deal with all suspected originating countries in such a way as to set an example which will last a hundred years.

Sane Mutiny:
Ii believe the biggest problem we face in this nation is this: FAR, FAR too many Americans are apathetic! They depend on MSM for news - because that is what they are used to doing. Younger folks are turning to the internet - and some of us who are older are not satified with MSM, but far too many still do go to MSM for news - which is DANGEROUS! Even staunch conservatives (of which I know many) are reluctant or too lazy to research news stories in order to learn the truth.

And far too many people - young and old alike - respond with things like "I'm too busy to think about that right now." or "The government will be okay - it's just going to take some time."

In the meantime, America as we know it - or at least as I knew it when I was growing up - is disappearing! Because of what I call a Collective Coma of Complacency, those who immigrate here are trying to turn America into the nation from whence they came - INSTEAD of becoming America. So-called Conservative legislators have become so enamored of the POWER they have found in DC, they will do ANYTHING they have to to maintain that power - and to hell with what Americans want! More people have become dependent on this entitlement society, resulting in a loss of that strong, independent work ethic which made this nation so strong!

I fear that if American citizens don't wake from their apathy, in 20 years, we will no longer recognize the nation that was founded in 1776 - that nation in which immigrants came here and learned to BE AMERICANS! - and they were PROUD to call themselves AMERICANS - NOT Mexican-Americans, or Chinese Americans, and NOT anything else but AMERICANS!

What makes this guy think the West has a choice between 1 and 2?
If you ask that question, I do NOT think you read the article! Go back an re-read! That's one of the problems we are facing: People read into things whatever they want them to say.....
You can spin anything to say what you want it to....if you don't read with comprehension, then maybe you'd better ask someone to explain it for you!

Irish-Americans & Italian-Americans
What about Irish-Americans and Italian-Americans?

Founded in 1962, the Irish American Cultural Institute (IACI) is the leading Irish American cultural organization. The IACI is a federally recognized 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit national organization devoted to promoting an intelligent appreciation of Ireland and the role and contributions of the Irish in America. The IACI is strictly apolitical and nonsectarian, and is the only Irish American organization that has as its patron, The President of Ireland. Over the past four decades, the IACI has carved an honored place for the Irish dimension in American life. No comparable body has such an impressive track record of achievement and sustained programming.

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization serving as a major advocate in Washington, DC for nearly 25 million Italian Americans, raising the prominence of all things Italian in American culture and society, and making "Italian American" part of the national conversation.

Right on
If no business is prevented forcibly from this, many of the ills we face today will disappear in due course. By prohibiting private people from discriminating, the Government is essentially legislating morality for all.

Just as the slaves had rights even though the Government(s) of the day said they don't have any (rights), the private citizens of today have the right to discriminate, no matter how many people say otherwise.

And we ALL discriminate in our own way, in all spheres open for our discretion.

To discriminate is the essence of being human.

Who votes against making us less dependent on Mideast oil?
Earlier, I would have said Liberals, but recent votes tell me it is Liberals and NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) politicians of both parties.

Tonight's debate of Florida's candidates for Governor had all candidates from all parties declaring their opposition to off-shore drilling even though Cuba has granted China a drilling lease in the straits off the Florida Keys. [Sarcasm]Better to let the Commies make a profit than Conoco, Exxon-Mobil, or any American company.[End Sarcasm]

"...Islam is a religion of peace."
Yet, there are many Muslims who ARE peaceful.

Two minor incidents to add:
1) Palestineans dancing with joy at the images of September 11th.

2) Iraqi Sunnis cheerfully murder, burn, butcher and hang four American civillian contractors from a bridge.

So called elites didn't cause this
Do you recall that the public was ignoring Somalia, Khobar Towers and the rest? I certainly don't. These events were front page news and on everyone's minds, the same then as similar events are today.

The public overwhelmingly told Clinton they wanted our troops out of Somalia. And he complied. What other spin can you possibly put on it?

As for Khobar, our good friend and ally Saudi Arabia promptly rounded up and beheaded all the perps before anyone could detain and question them. These things were all very well known.

It is quite in tune with the character of the American people to not want foreign adventurism, and to believe it only brings us to grief. Thus adventures in unknown Somalia were very low on the average person's list of things to do. You might recall that Clinton's popularity figures before Somalia were in the 70's, and after he got the troops out they returned to the 70's.

These are things that normally motivate politicians. However Bush, with his popularity in the 30's, announces he's going to stay the course despite the disastrous unpopularity of that approach. So his numbers are going nowhere.

Public discontent
You might recall that it was Clinton who put troops into Somalia, and a discontented American public who forced him to take them back out.

As a matter of fact, remind me again how the Somalian anarchy was of interest to the United States.

Do a Google
Bush sent in troops to protect food aid.

Remember reporters shining lights on Marines as they conducted an amphib landing?

When the Black Hawk down incident occured, Clinton refused to allow the use of armor to protect the soldiers.

Islam - Religion of Terrorism Tolerance
Captcouv very correctly says, "Yet, there are many Muslims who ARE peaceful." I completely agree. Now, please explain the fact that these many peaceful Muslims are EITHER 1.) creating a deafening silence by their lack of public moral condemnation of(i.e. tolerance of) militant Islamists OR 2.) making excuses to provide cover for militant Islamists. For example, Muslim CAIR demanded removal of a Los Angeles billboard that identified Osama bin Laden as our enemy because this billboard was "offensive to Muslims". Not a single German-American citizen demanded removal of any caricature of Adolf Hitler during World War II.

misstatements about terrorist incidents
The Somalia media coverage was responsible for the food aid. The clans were stealing the food from the UN so Bush I sent troops in. Clinton added the nation building mission, then the attempt to capture Aidide and the clan leaders but did not provide enough troops and the Sec Def would not provide tanks as they would be "provacative." When the two Blackhawks were shot down, we had to ask the Pakistanis to loan us tanks for the rescue. Clinton cut and ran soon after.

The Khobar Towers bombers were captured by the Saudis. Louis Freeh, the FBI Director, asked Clinton to intercede with the Saudis to allow FBI agents to interview the bombers. Clinton promised to do so but never mentioned it to the Saudis. Freeh finally went to ex-president Bush and asked him to ask the Saudis. He did and they allowed FBI agents to interview the bombers. Clinton lied to Freeh and that was the end of any relationship they might have had. That story is in Freeh's book.

If you are going to try to defend your political heros, try to stick to the truth.

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