TCS Daily

Root Canal

By Gregory Scoblete - October 16, 2006 12:00 AM

"I was ordered to fight the people until they say there is no god but Allah, and his prophet Muhammad.'' Bin Laden, November 2001

"Our message to you is clear, strong and final: There will be no salvation until you withdraw from our land, stop stealing our oil and resources and end support for infidel [Arab] rulers." - Ayman Al Zhawahiri

There is an old Buddhist parable about blind men asked to describe an elephant by feeling portions of its body to extrapolate the whole. One man holds the leg and concludes it's a pillar while another grabs the tusk and thinks it's a plough. Groping blindly, each man is able to describe a piece of the elephant but all fail to extrapolate correctly.

It has been five years since the September 11th terrorist attacks, and we are still struggling desperately to describe the elephant that is radical Islam. Nothing demonstrates this more clearly than the fierce reaction to the recently declassified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq and terrorism.

Democrats have seized on the report's language that Iraq has become a "cause celebre" for jihadists to damn the Bush administration for launching (and persisting in) an ill advised war. "Not only has the Iraq war distracted us from the fight against terrorism, it's made the fight even tougher," said Michigan Senator Carl Levin in a statement addressing the findings.

The president responded that it was "naïve" to argue that "going on the offensive" would endanger America.

But the release of the NIE and the debate it has sparked isn't really about Iraq. It's about the root causes of Islamic terrorism. Those who hold up the NIE's dire assessment of Iraq's impact on the jihadist movement ultimately believe that American policy is the main driver of Islamic radicalism. Those who question the NIE's assertions insist that the jihadist movement is less concerned with earthly grievances than with theology. The fact that there are still deep disagreements over this is a troubling reminder of the magnitude of the problem. It's not a matter of one side being right and the other wrong. We should worry because, in the end, they're both right.

Two Camps

The debate over root causes breaks down into roughly two camps but does not divide neatly along ideological lines.

In one camp are those, like the University of Chicago's Robert Pape and former CIA officer Michael Scheuer, who would nod approvingly at the NIE's bleak view of the Iraq war. They argue that radical Islam is striking out against the United States for what we do (and have done) in the Arab and Muslim world and not so much for "who we are" as freedom loving libertines. The Democrats have not fully endorsed this line, but with their insistence on the centrality of the Arab/Israeli peace process to counter-terrorism and their reaction to the NIE, they certainly hew closer to it than the GOP.

To Pape and Scheuer, our battle isn't ideological or apocalyptical, it's political. It is our occupation of Arab land, our desire for Middle Eastern hegemony, our generous aid to Israel, and our support for the Middle East's secular autocracies that have inflamed bin Laden and his acolytes. Writing in the National Interest on the fifth anniversary of 9/11 Scheuer scathingly observed that "U.S. national security is threatened by the Islamists because of what America does in the Muslim world, not because of its beliefs or lifestyle. In claiming the present war is based on the foe's hatred of freedom, U.S. leaders prove themselves either unschooled fools or liars."

That the terrorists deliberately kill themselves in shocking displays of ritualized brutality is not a testament to the power of the martyrdom ideology but, according to Pape, to its effectiveness at compelling democratic nations to submit.

"The central fact is that overwhelmingly suicide-terrorist attacks are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland. From Lebanon to Sri Lanka to Chechnya to Kashmir to the West Bank, every major suicide-terrorist campaign—over 95 percent of all the incidents—has had as its central objective to compel a democratic state to withdraw," Pape said in an interview with The American Conservative.

In a recent presentation to journalists, Pape noted that while al Qaeda's leadership may be seized by the goal of resurrecting the ancient caliphate, it draws its foot soldiers by appealing to earthly objectives - pushing Israel out of the Middle East, India from Kashmir, Russia from Chechnya, and the U.S. from Iraq. Most al Qaeda recruiting materials eschew talk of reestablishing the caliphate and focus instead on the indignities and death visited upon Muslims by the West. Reporting from Pape's conference, American Prospect writer Matthew Yglesias concluded "This is the stuff that, in al-Qaeda's judgment, needs to be emphasized to get people to sign up. This, then, is the real center of gravity of the al-Qaeda movement."

In the other camp are those, like Princeton Professor Bernard Lewis, Nation writer Paul Berman or Slate scribe Christopher Hitchens, who argue that radical Islam is less a reactionary force than a revolutionary one, spurred to violence by a totalitarian impulse that can brook no earthly concession short of global submission to its creed. U.S. policy may represent convenient bullet-points on an indictment, but a deeper, more ominous and potentially genocidal fundamentalism is the true root cause of Islamic terrorism.

Writing in the same anniversary installment of the National Interest, terrorism analyst and author Peter Bergen noted that:

"9/11 does have something to do with a particular reading of Islamic texts. In all the many discussions of the 'root causes' of Islamist terrorism, Islam is rarely, if ever, mentioned. This is surprising because if you asked Bin Laden what his war was about, he would answer that it's all about the defense of Islam...Bin Laden justifies his war based on a corpus of Muslim beliefs and can find enough ammunition in the Quran to give his war a patina of religious legitimacy...

"This is not something that apologists can simply wish away. This conviction that they are doing God's will frees Islamist terrorists to conduct mass-casualty attacks of the kind that secular terrorist groups historically never undertook"

Before they became relentless critics of the Bush administration, Clinton-era National Security Council counter-terrorism officials Steven Simon and Daniel Benjamin wrote The Age of Sacred Terror which claimed in no uncertain terms that al Qaeda was engaged in a "religious war" against the West. Bin Laden and his movement, they noted, drew inspiration from Islamic scholars - Ibn Taymiyya and Sayyid Qutb especially - who argued for the centrality of jihad in Muslim life and the need to violently purge the world of un-Islamic influences.

Historian Victor Davis Hanson, writing in National Review, wondered why, if Islamic terrorism was purely a response to American policies, it gained strength in the 1990s, when the U.S. was vigorously engaged in the Arab/Israeli peace process and came to the aid of Muslims in Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, and Kuwait.

The two camps not only cross ideological lines, but they're represented in the Bush administration's rhetoric and policies as well. The president has identified U.S. policy, specifically support for non-democratic Arab regimes, as an abettor of terrorism. Thus his "forward strategy of freedom" to undue 60 years of American-backed autocracy. Former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz defended the invasion of Iraq on the grounds that it allowed the U.S. to withdraw troops from Saudi Arabia, one of bin Laden's chief grievances. Indeed, the entire neoconservative argument for democratizing the Middle East is, at least tacitly, an acknowledgement that previous American policy was instrumental (however passively) in the rise of Islamic extremism.

Yet President Bush has been an equally dogged advocate of the "who we are" school, as his remarks over the NIE demonstrate. As early as September 20, 2001, in a joint speech to Congress, the president singled out a hatred for "free people" as one of the motivations behind the 9/11 attacks.

A Western Invention

This interpretative divide, however, is purely a Western invention, one that obscures more than it clarifies. The larger truth is that in Islam, especially in its more radical interpretations, politics and religion are indistinguishable - as Bernard Lewis observed in The Roots of Muslim Rage. This fusion ensures that political grievances become religious affronts that demand violently corrective action. It also explains why both camps in this debate draw copious support from the statements of bin Laden and other Islamic radicals. They are looking at two sides of the same coin.

As sociology professor Mark Gould noted, "there is an authentic Islamic tradition that partially explains the predisposition to the use of force, in jihad, that is diffused widely among contemporary Muslims... contemporary activities cannot be explained in purely situational terms: for example, that Muslims are simply reacting to external impingement on Muslim lands. While the specific form of their reaction may be situationally constituted, the reaction itself must, in part, be explained by the logic of Islamic religious conviction."

Why else would second generation British citizens of Pakistani descent desire their own death to compel their country to withdraw from... Iraq?

This fusion of ideology and politics was captured in a 2005 Congressional Research Service report on bin Laden: "his work with Arab militants in Afghanistan provided the theological and ideological basis for his belief in the desirability of puritanical Salafist Islamic reform in Muslim societies and the necessity of armed resistance in the face of perceived aggression — a concept Al Qaeda has since associated with a communally-binding Islamic principle known as 'defensive jihad.'" {Emphasis added.}

There is, then, a dangerous interplay between the political and spiritual in the Muslim world. Appreciating that radical Islam is a reaction against U.S. policies and an expression of implacable fundamentalism puts the U.S. in a difficult bind. We cannot address the dangers of fundamentalism without addressing the larger political context, but nor can we simply address the political context and hope that the fundamentalism will evaporate. They are symbiotic.

This is disturbing enough, but it gets worse. Not only does the U.S. have a limited ability to shape the theological battle that will ultimately discredit the fundamentalists, we have a limited ability to substantively alter the political environment as well. Despite the bickering over Iraq and the NIE, there is a broad bi-partisan consensus around maintaining the core policies that enrage the radicals.

A Democratic administration may withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, press Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians, or take the advice of Harvard's Stephen Walt and simply manage Middle Eastern affairs from afar, but the central pillars of U.S. policy that inflame Muslim opinion would endure. The U.S. will never sever ties with Israel and must remain committed to defending Gulf oil's transit to world markets through a mixture of military supremacy and the patronage of pliant autocrats. Indeed, any attempt to bring "peace" to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict would entail even greater subsidies to ever more autocrats, whose injustices and unpopular stances will continue to rile the Arab street.

But the Republicans and neoconservatives have no answer either. The insistence on political liberalization in the Middle East ignores their own rhetoric that Islamic terror is immune to politics. It also ignores the fact that some of the most committed jihadists hail from Europe, the cradle of Western liberalism. The U.S. has demonstrated in Iraq that it has a limited ability to shape institutions to its liking through military occupation. "Fighting them over there so we don't fight them over here" has always been a non-sequitur: the cellular and globalized structure of the terrorist threat means they can fight us anywhere they choose to blow themselves up.

This does not mean that different administrations with different ideas and policies can't effect change. Of course they can. But we must have an honest appreciation for how much we can do to address the "root causes" of Islamic terrorism within the realistic bounds of U.S. politics and interests. The committed jihadists willing to martyr themselves find moral authority for their violence in the religious edicts of radical clerics, but this small population swims in a larger sea of Muslim antipathy toward the West that is driven by political grievance. We can only address these grievances on the margins; the U.S. is committed to playing an active role in the affairs of the Middle East for a long time to come. The Arab world will always find something to dislike in our policies. And that's more than enough for bin Laden.

Gregory Scoblete is a senior editor at TWICE Magazine He writes regularly about technology and politics at



Very big chunck
to bight off.

Capitalism and secularism are conceptually discrete.

What we need are more commercial churches

turn the other cheeck and
render unto Cesar are about that which is beyond any one man's capacity to change.

Rendering unto God is about behavior.

Commie flashbacks...
Every time I hear a new statement from OBL or al-Zawahiri, I get flashbacks from the days of the Cold War. There, two ideologies that were absolutely and totally incompatible battled for the hearts and minds of the world. One of the chief weapons of communism was pretext. The commies regularly claimed that they had no desire to make war on us, that they were simply responding to Western imperialist aggression. Of course, they were lying. The end goal of communism was, and always had been, global revolution and domination.

Islamofascism has the same goal, they want to see the ummah encompass all of mankind. This is a goal inherent to the Islamic religion, as anyone who has read the Quran can tell you.* However, they use pretexts like our friendship with Israel and our stationing of troops in the Middle East to attract recruits. Infidels in the homeland tend to attract more recruits than nebulous goals of a worldwide ummah.

Once again, the same group of people is demanding that we pull back, that we avoid confrontation. The fact that liberals did not learn the lessons of the Cold War is no great surprise. Howeever, they are just as dangerous now as they were then. Liberals who do not recognize that Islamofascism cannot be appeased are either sniveling cowards or delusional morons, and need to be singled out as such. I think it is time for a new McCarthy. We need some Senator or Representative to take a stand and go after the traitors who leak classified information to the Times and the Post. We need somebody to say publicly what has been repressed out of politeness: If you are not with us in the War on Terror, you are stupid or spineless, and do not deserve a leadership position. We can disagree about the specific methods used and what sorts of controls need to be placed upon them, but the fact that we have to defeat Islamofascism, not run away from it, cannot be denied.

My question is, who will actually do it? I do not know of a single Senator or Representative out there who will have the testicular fortitude to actually do this. I would love to hear any suggestions my fellow TCS readers might have...

* Lest I be accused of hate speech, I would suggest two articles and one book. The two articles can both be found at the homepage of Jewish World Review. The book is called "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades." All three sources contain direct quotations from the Quran, and the book contains excerpts from the works of leading Islamic scholars that support the view that Islam and other religions are fundamentally incompatible, and that jihad is the duty of all believers.

painful root canal
Maybe the current islamofascists are suffering from the same pain as always. I recently heard a programme about how the american hero Thomas Jefferson, when he was in France, had a meeting with some important people, and one of the leaders of the barbary pirates was there too. J. asked him why they kept attacking an enslaving the new country of america's ships, when it was clear that the US had never done anythng at all to hurt them. Apparently the guy used the same old lame excuse of just following the Quran's orders of fighting and enslaving infidels. But apparently J. didn't agonize of this problem the way liberals now do. Nor did he take the position of the europeans of the time: appeasement. Instead he thought it would be a better idea to build up the navy and send them "to the shores of tripoli". Too bad he wasn't around now when we need him, instead of the likes of Mr. Rogers, nancy pelosi, and the phoney indian Churchill.

Re: Commie flashbacks...
I'm old enough to remember the cold war as well - there were a lot of pointless wars fought (mostly by proxy) which did no credit to 'the West' (ie: the US, Western Europe and various allies).

'Islamo-fascism', as you put it, however, is truly, truly poxy in terms of reach, power and influence compared to the USSR. Islamo-fascist states (of which I can think of only one real one, Taliban-led Afghanistan) also naturally tended towards poverty because of their desire to turn back the clock to c650-750. Hence, they cannot threaten in a conventional military manner in the way that proper fascism or any other political extreme could (unless you count Saudi Arabia as an I-F state).

Yet most muslims simply want what you or I want - a nice cushy lifestyle, a nice house that's just big enough, a reliable car, good education for the children, a government relatively free from corruption and nepotism, a reasonably free economy and so on.

So what is the answer? Look to the democratisation of Eastern Europe and the strong influence that the EU has brought to bear in all those countries. That so many have transitioned (however imperfectly) to reasonably well-functioning democracies is pretty amazing, whatever your take on the EU (take a look at Central Asia to see how a Soviet communist society should most likely have turned out).

This article rambles on a bit, but it does make a good point:,,1923384,00.html

Or to sum up my rambling point(s): Wisdom and intelligence trumps violent and stupid. OBL and friends are the latter, we should be the former.

Incidentally, McCarthy was a raging alcoholic, a polarising figure whose activities have a direct lineage back to the witch trials of the medieval times - you wanna go back there? You'd be in good company with the Islamo-fascists you condemn...

Koran is a Constitution
"The larger truth is that in Islam, especially in its more radical interpretations, politics and religion are indistinguishable "

The Koran is a Constitituion that is not subject to amendment or interpretation as a living document.

Islam may have one thing right, mixing religion and politics is powerful force.
Too bad so many in the West believe Christianity and Judism are more dangerous than Islam.

Root Canal
I'd just like to praise Mr Scobletes excellent summary of the debate on the root causes of contemporary Islamism. I'm already looking forward to his next piece of work.

Publius is correct about Islam.

Mr. Rooney you said "Islamo-fascist states (of which I can think of only one real one, Taliban-led Afghanistan)" and "Yet most muslims simply want what you or I want - a nice cushy lifestyle, a nice house that's just big enough, a reliable car, good education for the children, a government relatively free from corruption and nepotism, a reasonably free economy and so on."

Two points: First, a theocracy is just that. Its laws are under Islam and its goals are the same. There are many countries under Islam rule. I challenge you to move there and began to evanglize them with other religions. If you convert to Islam and then commit apostasy, they will take you to the town center, bury you in a hole up to your head, and then cut your head off. This happens every day. Give it a shot Mr. Rooney. Second, most Muslims (70%) cannot even read. They do not have the slightest idea about what freedom means. It is not in their thought process. It is only when they can "understand" that we have a chance. This will not happen on your or my watch. This is a militant religion; its goal is world domination, and Allah is the purpose. They will stick together no matter what. They simply do not understand what Americans do and they do not want too. They are very primitive people in Islam ruled countries and ruled by the elite who use them for their selfish goals. Incidentally, when is the last time you observed a Muslim demonstration against Islam outrageous behaviour even in the U.S.?

The biggest problem in this country is the politically correct and multi-cultural crowd (secular progressives)who are completely ignorant of Islam theology and beliefs. Only when a tank is rolling down the street towards their houses shooting projectiles at them will they wake up. We are faced with the same problem as we did with the Indians, that is, trying to communicate with someone who absolutely could not understand the strange message. We handled that terribly. America, wake up before the Muslims scare you into oblivion, and you surrender due to fear. In this country I am ashamed to admit, many persons are lazy and void of knowledge. Out of sight, out of mind. "Hopefully it will go away". That is not going to happen.

Root cause of conflict is self intest?
U.S.want cheap oil, Muslim want good price for their product. From 10th century both religions were fighting with each other only for selfinterst.

Why do Muslims and Hindus fight?

He did say we have been fighting for religon.

Land, Liberty, the same reason Protestants & Catholics struggled in Ireland.

Islamic Totalitarianism Flourishes Inside the U.S.
Publius Jr is quite correct. Commie and Islamic totalitarianism are united in their opposition to the Enlightenment and individual rights. Muslim totalitarian taxi drivers are protesting at the Minneapolis-St Paul Airport demanding that Sharia Law be adopted by Airport authorities so that they can, without penalty, refuse to drive (i.e. discriminate against) alcohol-carrying passengers because Sharia Law objects to alcohol.

Please notice that this imposition of Sharia Law has NOTHING to do with American troops violating Islamic soil. This Sharia imposition is all about Islamic conquest of American soil. This attempt to impose Sharia Law inside America's borders is just one of many anti-Enlightenment, cancer tumors growing slowly within the body politic of America that threaten our survival.

If we wanted cheap oil, we would have left Saddam in power.

talk about misguided posts
"Or to sum up my rambling point(s): Wisdom and intelligence trumps violent and stupid. OBL and friends are the latter, we should be the former."

your basic premise is false.

War and the will to do it trump ALL other human endeavors.

There is NO other answer, only the naive, ignorant or insane think otherwise

Fools like YOU that have some kind of fantasy about real life need to be kicked to the curb.

If you think even one ounce of "virtue" will bleed over from whatever it is that you think makes you cool into a struggle for your life, you are a prime candidate for a Darwin award.

Please take it as a sign of disgust with your attitude that most of us don’t join your insane flirtation with your/our own genocide.

BTW, everything you think you know about McCarthy is not just wrong, its a lie.

perspective please
A taxi driver engaging in freedom to refuse use of his car to a repugnant passenger is not the same thing as an imposition of a religious belief on someone else.

The cure for such narrow minded taxi drivers is to stop patronizing them. And to note them carefully and stop patronizing any business owned by folks like them.

Interesting of different post
"So what is the answer? Look to the democratisation of Eastern Europe and the strong influence that the EU has brought to bear in all those countries. That so many have transitioned (however imperfectly) to reasonably well-functioning democracies is pretty amazing, whatever your take on the EU (take a look at Central Asia to see how a Soviet communist society should most likely have turned out). "

I'm not sure what you are getting at with this.

I also have to question your failure to include Iran and Palestinian Gaza in your list of Islamo-facist countries.

at least he didn't blame everything on the Jews this time.

and besides Iran, which group of islamists HAS control of the oil?
What you are stating is a problem internal to Islam and the Arab lands, not a western issue.

Besides, name one MUZI country not getting market price for thier oil?

Oh, thats not good enough?

eat $hi! & die then, thats market forces at work, if you dont like it, come out under your REAL banner, communism.

Re: McCarthy
"BTW, everything you think you know about McCarthy is not just wrong, its a lie."

Well, he was an alcoholic, but that's irrelevant to the argument (i.e. ad hominem). There is no question at all that McCarthy was correct about communists in the Roosevelt and Truman administration (see the Venona papers e.g.). There is also no question that the MSM, particularly CBS' E.R. Murrow, did a hatchet job on McCarthy. How much of that he actually deserved is another question. Personally, I lean more toward's Ann Coulter's depiction (Treason) than Murrow's.

We all know the root cause

I wrote about it some time ago and there is nothing new:

No, it’s not the “wrong type” of Islam, Salafi Islam, that is the problem. Salafi just means the Islam of Mohammad (and the first few rightly guided Caliphs) … what other Islam is there?

No, it’s not our foreign policy … Muslims kill Buddhists in Thailand, Christians in Nigeria, Hindus in India, Jews in Israel, etc. They’ll always blame the victim. You can’t do enough to please a Muslim … don’t even try.

These are savages and we have got to face the harsh reality. You either avoid them or kill them. I’d prefer the former as much as possible but they sometimes insist on the latter. So be it!

in the end, venona cables show McCarthy was a HERO
Not the insane drunken scum the liberals would like you to believe.
Since EVERY single person he ever fingered as a commy turned out to be one...............

This is part and parcel of where the communest influence in American politics comes into play, they HAVE to keep this illusion and lie together forever or the cracks in their false version of history start to show.

this whole thing is about to come tumbling down since many in the secular humanest movement resent the **** out of their movement being co-opted by the communests.

If you will notice this rift between the take-over-commies & the orignal plateforms of the left leaning parties is starting to show, the Seirra club is the prime example.

The original Siera club emembers that were FOR the original plateform of the club, are fighting tooth & nail with the johnny come latelys that are pushing howie deans commy platform.

The original Sierra club members want NO population growth in order to take the stress off the wilds, the commies in the club are supporting the howie dean version of America which means massive ilegal immigration and population growth (not to mention low-brow turd wordlers who could NOT care less about the environment) just for the votes they think they will get as the recognised party of handouts & givaways.

so there is trouble in paradise in denver these days as the commies wrestle the true greens for the soul of the sierra club.

Islamic Totalitarianism in Minneapolis is Dangerous
This change in Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) policy is a major religious policy issue, not an isolated individual event as SullyA assumes. The full story can be read at:

Dr. Daniel Pipes exposes the upcoming cave-in to Sharia Law of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) at the Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota airports (MSP).

The policies of MAC require that any driver refusing to transport a passenger go to the back of a very long taxi line before they can get another fare. However, the Muslims don't want to be penalized for imposing Sharia Law on passengers who happen to be carrying a bottle of wine home for dinner so they have been appealing this policy for a decade.

MAC initially rejected the Muslims appeal, but now Muslim drivers make up 75% of the taxi drivers and MAC is preparing to cave-in.

From the column --

Patrick Hogan, an airport spokesman, said this issue has 'slowly grown over the years to the point that it's become a SIGNIFICANT CUSTOMER SERVICE ISSUE.'

"... MAC proposed a pragmatic solution: drivers unwilling to carry alcohol could get a special color light on their car roofs, signaling their views on alcohol to taxi starters and customers alike."

However, Dr. Pipes objects to MAC's pragmatic cave-in and rebuts --

"But on a societal level, the proposed solution has massive and worrisome implications. Namely, the two-light plan intrudes the Shari‘a, or Islamic law, with state sanction, into a mundane commercial transaction in Minnesota. A government authority thus sanctions a signal as to who does or does not follow Islamic law."

We wanted cheap AND SECURE oil, but oil nonetheless.

Http for VENONA Papers:
Basic information on the VENONA project:

The papers themselves:

Sen. Joseph McCarthy was an American hero, who was stuck in an impossible position. He knew who the communist agents were in the American government, because of the information revealed by the VENONA transcripts. However, he could not reveal how he obtained the information. He was forced to go through an elaborate charade to reveal each and every communist spy's identity. He deserves a statue in D.C., not public disgrace.

McCarthy a touchstone to understanding current reality.
The red pill/ blue pill divide in American politics stems from this era, if this forking of reality were to be challenged in a substantive way (I.E. a history professor stood up in a public interveiw and stated that the American poeple have been lied to about recent history) the Liberal/communest hold over 45% of Americans would loosen and we might stand a chance in this coming war.

either that or we have to start enforcing election laws the liberals distain, enforce them with REAL force for a change.

Why didn't we invade Saudi Arabia or Kuwait?
They have more oil and we could have obtained it much more easily. Why invade Iraq?

This war for oil nonsense is oh so stupid. As you say, if we wanted to steal oil wells we'd take the cheap oil in the lightly populated poorly defended countries you mentioned.

W is not tough enough
Some per centage of the US electorate is composed of cowardly fools who may get us killed. Too many don't want to make any effort to deal with danger until after the fact (or not even then - look at New Orleans, they STILL haven't rehearsed an evac plan. They knew the levees wouldn't hold if a storm was big enough.)

Bush should ream people left and right to find the traitors who "leak" state secrets and should persecute the hell out of the NYT for starters. The democrats complain that the Pres. is taking away our liberites. Look at FDR in WWII. Or better yet Wilson in WWI

Wilson misled us into a war of choice. I've been reading a book called "Norwegian Americans and the Politics of Dissent 1880-1924" by Lowell Soike. Minnesota Governor Burnquist was challenged in the gubenatorial primary by Charles Lindbergh (father of the aviator). Lindbergh was anti-war. When the Non-Partisan League invited the Gov. to speak he refused writing MN would have only two parties "one composed of loyalists and the other of disloyalists". I think he questioned their patriotism. ;>)

Meanwhile, Iowa outlawed the use of foreign languages in public places to include on the phone lines, in schools and in churches. The Bohemians of Cedar Rapids complained first and the Governor assured them his Language Proclomation was aimed at Germans. Some Danish immigrants complained too. Governor Harding in a 4th of July speech said the Danes "can never repay" what Iowa had done for them after they were "brought from the filth of Denmark". That you say...impolitic. The Gov. also said "Those who question my authority to issue the proclomation belong to a class who are always looking for trouble and opportunities to find fault and some are anxious, apparently, to give aid and comfort to the enemy".

Anti-foreign sentiment was much stronger then and civil rights were seriously (if temporarily) infringed. The country had not been attacked, however the war required a huge disruption in the country, there was conscription and there were huge casualties. When and if things really get rough in this war, there really WILL be a backlash.

I think we need more than just a history professor...
I agree that we need somebody to stand up and tell the truth about recent events, but I think we need somebody higher up than even a Senator. You might remember Rick Santorum telling the truth about WMD in Iraq, and noting that we did in fact find WMD and traces of their manufacture inside Iraq. That story was briefly discussed on a few FOX shows, and entirely unmentioned elsewhere. Unfortunately, I think the only person who can do it right now is the President. He made a start a little bit ago, going after the media and the Democrats for their stance on the GWOT and Iraq, but he seems to have stopped. Hopefully, he will begin again before the election...

Dangerous precedent...
This taxis issue is just one of a large number of examples of the West surrendering the principles upon which it has based its civllization in the face of Islamofascism. Take the Mohammed cartoon riots: The West apologized left and right for cartoons, and most major newspapers refused to run them out of fear of the Muslim reaction. Whatever happened to free speech? Why are these mainstream media sources so willing to destroy Christians and so afraid of Muslims?

Political correctness is te one force that could lose us this war if we don't get our act together...

Muslims and Hindu fight for economic reason,
This is clear many times. In partisaion time poor Muslims hated rich Hindu. Today Muslim of Kashmir hate Upper class Hindu because Hindu captured all power [economical as well as political]. Both are taking shelter of religion , because religion is very effective weapon to rose emotion,and most powerful midium to hate enemy.

Saddam refused to obey U.S.

Power is the motivator
Power and greed masked in religion is the key to radical islam. War and killing for the greater good has gone on since time began. The radical Muslims realize the money in the oil trade and wish to control it for their own selfish reasons. They picture themselves as Hugo Chavez someday.
Their agenda is easily spread among the uneducated and uninformed masses in the world, especially in the mideast. Hatred and intollerance rule the day in their teachings in mosques and Muslim schools. Early indoctrination is the key for the next generation of suicide bombers and murderers. The radical left in the world fail to speak out against radical islam out of fear but choose to mock Christians and Jews at will. If the Muslims ever gain power, the left will lose the most, first.

Re: Interesting of different post
My post was in response to PubliusJr's one entitled 'commie flashbacks'.

My point was simply this: In Eastern Europe, post-1989, countries were given a cultural choice - and for most, the invisible allure of the EU proved stronger than the more natural and likely course of rule either by kleptocracy or the military (given the monopoly of resources that Soviet-style communist countries concentrated in the hands of the few).

Of course, many abuses have taken place, but the desire to qualify for EU membership has been hugely positive.

In post-Soviet Central Asia, the states are all kleptocractic and Russia and the Russian system remains culturally the strongest pull - much stronger than either Arab or militant-Islamic influence.

People from that part of the world therefore either want to go (in this order) to:
1) US;
2) Europe;
3) Russia (the booby prize, but better than nothing).

In many cases, they absolutely hate their countries and the basket-cases they have become.

Don't underestimate the power of economics - it is far more influential than medievalism. Eastern Europe should be a combination of kleptocratic and/or military regimes, but the EU influence has helped pull the region to democracy (give or take the odd Yugoslavia). It can do the same in Turkey, if there is the will to do so.

That will provide a far more powerful model for democratic reform and fair government than any reactionary 'ism' spewed by any semi-literate, bile-filled, goat-poking imam from Waziristan.

I have faith in the power and rightness of Western civilisation - in the separation of power, an independent legal system, the principles of human rights, of trial by jury, of evidence-based criminal justice, open government, free expression, free scientific enquiry, the democratic secret ballot (provided the counting mechanism does actually count those ballots properly) etc.

It is something that we should stand up for louder and prouder given the challenges of the current age because they are right, they are proper and they are universal regardless of faith or culture.

Palestine, in my opinion, is a special case arising out of special circumstances (which is a whole new debate in itself), while Iran is theocratic rather than I-F (also IMO) and lacks even influence in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia's influence is far more malign, IMO, yet more far-reaching.

And if you've got this far: well done. I would never read a post this long and rambling.....

neither does anybody else
the Saudi's obey us, and give us cheap oil?

Coulter makes several good stabs at it
Her book "Treason" is a GREAT read on early communism in America (and our EU allies), puts the correct spin on McCarthy and is SO heavily annotated not ONE liberal DARED bring the book up to criticize.

The fact that the liberal establishment refuses to attack the Coulter book "treason" means it is considered too dangerous by them to take the chance of publicizing it by condemning it. This runs contrary to their normal MO these days so it points out how dangerous they believe it is to their power.

The last 40 pages or so in the back of the book are ALL bibliographic annotations. She researched this book and prepared it to defend itself without help.

This is why it is ignored by the Anne Coulter hating press, they HAVE read it & know it contains the seeds of their complete dismissal from relevance in American politics.

Agreed to a point
But isn't a Islamic based fascist style government "Islamo-fascist" in it's very nature? Thus, IMO, Iran qualifys.

I agree that economics can be huge and Saudi Arabia is, in many ways, a notable problem.

Actually, a lot of them went after Treason...
They just did not attack any of the information contained therin. You are absolutely right about this book, it contains nothing but solid research and does a great job revealing the truth about liberal treason and several historical figures like Joe MCCarthy and Whittaker Chambers.

The only criticism that the libs could offer was that they did not believe it was unpatriotic to criticize the President during time of war, and then point out that Roosevelt and Kennedy were Democrats, too. Nice try, guys...

So why do we have problems with Hugo Chavez?
He came over here and offered to sell cheap oil to the poorest of our citizens. We still stopped selling this Castro-wannabe guns. Why?

"We need some Senator or Representative to take a stand and go after the traitors who leak classified information to the Times and the Post. We need somebody to say publicly what has been repressed out of politeness: If you are not with us in the War on Terror, you are stupid or spineless, and do not deserve a leadership position."

I could not agree more. Since the President himself is an admitted leaker of classified information, who's own father said that anyone who leaks the name of an active CIA operative is "the most insidious form of traitor...", it made me wonder who's side he's really on. Considering the damage done to our international reputation, armed forces, fiscal well being, bloated federal government size, and spending habits that would make even the most jaded lefty blush, it isn't clear whether he's a so-called neocon, flaming liberal, Republican, or Democrat.

It made me wonder just how low the bar is set for acceptable performance of a Chief Executive these days. Now at least with the leaker/traitor measure outlined above, you clarified that, to you anyway, this presidents performance is unacceptable.

"The US will never sever ties with Israel and must remain committed to defending Gulf oil's transit to world markets through a mixture of military supremacy and the patronage of pliant autocrats."

I would like to refute these statements of G. Scoblete as obsolete:

1 The Gulf oil issue
This was indeed the policy of the former, petrol greedy rulers in charge behind the US presidency, who wanted to take total control of the Arab oil by exterminating all Arabs – a strategy that was intensely pursued by them until about the turn of the millenary, when 3rd World War was definitely called off by the new rulers.

The new rulers go it all for hydrogen!
But this is the most secret project of all times, so I prefer not to disclose its underground location, and you will see why hereafter. All I can tell is that after 25 years of development and construction the project comes close to achievement. Yet it has an Achilles' heel, i.e. the energy source which will consist of hundreds of square kilometers of solar panels that will not only make it totally visible, but also totally vulnerable. Sizing this weakness as an opportunity, the new US rulers have negotiated the right to clone the project against a comprehensive effort to prevent sabotage on it by one or more hostile Arab oil nations defending their energy supremacy. This is the real motivation of the invasion of the Near East. But this effort had to be preceded by an invasion of Iraq to retrieve and repatriate the arms of massive destruction secretly imported into Iraq by Bush Jr’s predecessors, including and foremost his own father, in order to make Saddam into the future treasoner and executioner of all Arabs, i.e. of all Semites (hence the fake reason invoked by Paul Wolfowitz – most probably one of the new rulers – that this invasion would be a good pretext to take US troops out of Saudi Arabia). Remember that Bush Jr. was scared by his perilous mission to the extent that he sent 1000 (one thousand) of his own inspectors to Iraq along with those of the UN to retrieve all this dirt, and in 2001 he even ordered 158 million doses of anti-pock vaccine from the British, i.e. from the very same who, from 1998 on – after the withdrawal of the UN inspectors – had secretly introduced an unknown number of mobile pock virus production plants into Iraq (hence the necessity for the massive participation of the British, as only they would best know where Saddam might have hidden these ominous biological AMD). Bush now pretending that there were no AMD is merely a comfortable lie, moreover since he is accusing his secret services). Maybe after old Bush’s death we will be told the truth.

2 The Israel issue
Knowing that Israel (since its foundation in 1904 just one year after the discovery of the then biggest oil resort in the north of today’s Iraq, and its actual installment in 1948) was intended to be an advanced military fortress in the arab oil region, it is pretty clear that since approximately 2000, the US are no more backing Israel ! The new rulers behind Bush Jr. (who wanted him as president only to do the dangerous job of retrieving the AMD, thus making him expiate the crimes of his own father) had managed to convince Sharon to let go the Gaza Strip. Yet they soon became aware that Sharon had given in only to swiftly compensate with huge new colonies elsewhere, so they probably decided to neutralize him with an overdose of blood-thinner. Much the same is likely to have happened to Arafat (who was secretly supported by the former US rulers to act as a sort of “sparring partner” to Israel by relentlessly throwing his terrorists against the Hebrew State, thereby creating an alibi for the Israelis to be heavily armed and practically in a permanent state of war) when the new rulers had unsuccessfully isolated him in Ramallah and therefore probably decided to poison him.

After all, what is really going on behind the scene is a source of great hope for a better future!

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