Friday, September 13, 2002

Rector, Rectum, what's the Difference?

Eugene Volokh is criticizing the brownshirts at Concordia for banning all Middle East-related speech, as he should be.

But he misses the point, the Rector isn't going to take any action against the rioters. He's going to wait for the whole thing to blow over, and he's banning these events to prevent the Jew-hating thugs from making the news again. If they pull any stunts like this again, the public might get upset and he might actually have to punish them.

Universities that don't prevent hateful riots in the first place are not universities likely to punish the perpetrators after the fact. Just look at SFSU, they did almost nothing.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Well, the whole flurry of individual attacks thing didn't happen

I doubt these dorks were from al Qaida or any other organization, so they would count as copycat terrorists (assuming they're guilty, which I heartily will). But three goofballs does not make for a big wave of terror.

I predicted there would be massive terror on a very small scale, and very little of it has actually happened, even on this anniversary. If there are enough deranged Muslims in England to throw a party like this in public, why aren't they out roaming the streets, looking for Jews and Americans to stab? Why haven't more of them built bombs and bought guns on the black market, to carry out horrendous attacks?

We know more than a handful of Muslims living in the West travelled to Afghanistan to fight on behalf of the Taliban, so there is no shortage of dedication on their part. Johnny bin Walker was outside the US when the attacks happened, but a few other Muslims went to Afghanistan after 9/11 in order to defend Mullah Omar's dystopia. Why didn't they stay here, buy a few rifles and shotguns, and do some real damage to America, instead of just becoming fodder for B-52s?

You might remember den Beste's post about soldiers and warriors, where warriors lost out to soldiers because they were focused on honor instead of efficiency. I think the answer is that these Muslims are ultra-religous, and it interferes with their thinking. Instead of fighting the war in the most efficient manner possible (as we did), they wanted to fight the war in a manner they thought would please Allah (and thus bring them victory).

Even they must think on some level the 9/11 attacks were wrongful, because instead of trying to emulate them, they went to fight in a normal shooting war, with trenches and lines and artillery. Obviously, there are a whole bunch of creeps who try to carry out terror attacks here (see the link in the first sentence of this post), but most of the fundamentalist Muslims must have thought shooting it out with American soldiers was they way to pursue Jihad. Johnny bin Walker, who could have been a very effective al-Qaida agent here chose to sign up with ordinary Taliban forces instead of training at an al-Qaida camp for terrorists.

Now the question is: 9/11 succeeded in hurting America, but shooting it out with American soldiers didn't. Are the fundamentalist Muslims going to see this as a sign of Allah's divine favor towards terrorism and against fighting conventional battles? Or are they going to see the Taliban's fall as a sign of divine disfavor with fundamentalism?

My guess is answer #2, because we won the war there and people tend to tag along behind winners. Even if the terrorists hit us again, even if they win a few battles, we will still be able to overcome them. Winning militarily will go hand-in-hand with winning politically.

(the sophisticated reader will notice how skillfully I turned a post about how I was wrong into a post calling for more violence and militarism. okay, I did it by accident)

Monday, September 09, 2002

Helen Thomas gets a Fisking

And she really deserves it, too.
In the early days after our siege, President George W. Bush found a sympathetic world anxious to help. Foreign leaders seemed willing to overlook his earlier appalling approach to foreign policy -- repudiating some environmental and collective security agreements. For a time, Bush became an internationalist in search of allies.

Soon, however, with his conservative advisers egging him on, he proclaimed a new doctrine that smacks of old imperialism -- that we have the right to strike militarily anywhere without provocation.
When did Bush immediately after 9/11 say anything other than that he was going after the terrorists? When did he trip-flop (triple flip-flop) from unilateralist-to-multilateralist-to-unilateralist-to-imperialist?

How does the policy of pre-emptively attacking our enemies constitute "imperialism?" We are not establishing colonies (we're establishing democracies), stealing resources (we're opening them up for the peoples' use), enslaving populations (we're setting them free from dictators and Shari'a). How broadly has the word "imperialism" been twisted, so that Bush's policy could possibly fall under its meaning? Why can't the far Left define a few of their pet words and use them accurately?

And why the "smacks of" qualifier? One could just as easily say Helen Thomas's political stance "smacks of treason," and it would be just as worthless. Political writers should strive to communicate effectively and be as precise as possible. Smacking is for rabble-rousing and partisan sniping, not for mature discourse with the other side. She doesn't write her columns to sway conservatives, they're written for people already in agreement with her.

This policy of preemption -- might is right -- is antithetical to what America has always stood for -- "magnanimity in victory," as Winston Churchill once put it, helping our former enemies and rejecting policies dictated by vengeance.
How is this policy which "smacks of old imperialism" now equal to "might is right?" How could anyone possibly get that idea? We don't believe we have the right to defend ourselves is predicated on our might--that's irrelevant, everyone has the right to defend themselves!

The part about "helping our former enemies," is especially laughable. We helped the Germans after WWII, but we didn't help or even spare the top Nazi officials. We are currently helping Afghan villages that were aligned with the Taliban at the beginning of the war, and even villages whose sympathies still lie with bin Laden (they just have to not shoot at Karzai's forces, and not give actual aid to the Taliban).

Since that fateful September day, we attacked Afghanistan and destroyed the inhumane Taliban regime, hoping to erect a democracy in its place.

Yet, I keep remembering Bush's ominous New Year's message. "This is the first war of the 21st century," he said. Is that any way to inspire the nation?
Bush is not supposed to give speeches for the sole purpose of inspiring us. That's part of his job, if he wants us to follow him, but he should also level with us. And he has done that, this war was different from previous wars, and the difference between future wars and wars of the 20th century will continue to increase. I think what Thomas is trying to say is that we should be more "inspired" by the idea of a 21st century without wars. Suffice to say, I am not "inspired" by the idea that a madman like Saddam could continue to rape, torture, and kill his subjects in the worst manner so long as he does it within his own borders. There are things worse than war.

Bush claims the terrorists are motivated by hostility to our freedom. Others see them impelled by religious zealotry.
Newsflash: the terrorists hate freedom for religious reasons, they think freedom is the opposite of "submission" (the literal English meaning of the Arabic word "Islam") and Democracy is the opposite of the Caliphate proscribed in the Koran. Of course, not all Muslims agree with Osama's interpretation (most don't). When Bush says they hate our freedom, he isn't playing word games or using dumbed-down politically correct language, he's just acknowledging a simple truth.

But the motivation for such virulent hatred obviously deserves more probing. And we need to hear what our government, which has interrogated so many suspects, has learned.
Maybe Helen could go visit a Saudi-sponsored madrassa (hopefully they will force her to don a burqa, saving us all a lot of ocular trauma). There she could learn all about Jews and Crusaders and the Zionist-eaters-of-Arab-children and the innocent martyr Osama bin Laden who was framed by the mossadciafbishinbetvaticanraytheon.

For a time, fear gripped children who saw on television the blazing ruins of the World Trade Center towers and one side of the Pentagon and soon learned that these scenes were not just a surreal horror movie.
But they're not afraid anymore. Time to move on, and forget about 9/11. We have more important things to do than dwell on the horror.

Many people of all ages found their natural self-confidence temporarily shattered. Significant segments of the population -- particularly Arabs and Muslims -- are viewed with suspicion: Stereotyping and racial profiling are back in style.
For some of us, it never went out of style (at least, with respect to defending our nation). I don't walk across the street just because I see a black person, I don't assume Hispanics are illiterate, or that Arabs are terrorists. But I wouldn't let my daughter ride to prom in a limo driven by an Arab Muslim I didn't know if he came to me and offered to do it for a really low price (that's sort of hypothetical, because I don't have a daughter, but sort of not-hypothetical, because Hesham Mohammed Hadayet made that offer to a Jewish man, who wisely declined).

Federal officials are more tightly scrutinizing would-be immigrants.
And the government is employing wholesale deportations, ruling out appeals to the courts by detainees found in violation of visa laws.
We have neither the time nor the resources to allow for endless legal challenges. And we've been burned often enough in the past allowing people to violate visa laws. If I recall correctly, some of the hijackers on 9/11 had overstayed their visas.

What other arrows do Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Attorney General John Ashcroft have in their quivers? Who or what might stop them? Maybe the courts will. They seem to be more combative as more constitutional rights are being set aside.

In this atmosphere, many Americans have become wary of dissent and criticism of the administration. Many Democrats, in particular, have lost their voices as the loyal opposition.
I will acknowledge there is an atmosphere of wariness towards dissent. I know, because I'm part of it, I'm wary of the motives of dissenters (although after delving deeper into their arguments, I've found most of them to be fundamentally decent people). But this atmosphere wasn't created by John Ashcroft, it was created by Osama bin Laden. It's amazing how she can claim Ashcroft is responsible for the fallout of 9/11. 3,000 people were murdered, and we're wary of people who don't support the president in taking action against preventing such an attack from occurring again (they want to take a radically different course of action, one that radical Muslims agree with, which makes us wary). We don't silence them, we don't harass them, we just look at 'em funny and Fisk their arguments and call them names like "appeasers."

I will also acknowledge that many Democrats have failed to act as the "loyal opposition." But that's a failure of their own character, not John Ashcroft's.

In the post-Sept. 11 era we have ventured into uncharted territory. But I don't believe we have to lose our traditional spirit of tolerance or undermine the primacy of our constitutional rights to win the war on terrorism.

In fact, if that happened, we would lose much more than we would gain.
But what's this, then? Is Helen really advocating we limit part of our constitution in order to make the country safer? Why does she feel comfortable clamping down on the Second Amdendment but not on the First (or Fourth, or whatever)? Could it be that she doesn't respect all of our constitutional rights, just the ones she likes?

P.S.: I don't think mandating background checks before gun sales violates the Second Amendment (I'm not a scholar on this issue, but it seems like a reasonable enough restriction), but it's well-known that Thomas wants far, far more gun control than just that. The fact she doesn't criticize Diaz, who wants to scrap the Second Amendment entirely, shows she has no respect for this portion of the constitution. Portraying him as a moderate only proves she isn't.

P.P.S.: that column contains the lie that Osama purchased a bunch of .50 caliber sniper rifles in America. In fact, they were purchased by the CIA, and donated to the Mujahedin, and it contains the misstatement that Diaz was a CIA agent.

Get Ready

The copycat attacks are coming.

Small groups and deranged individuals across the world will be attempting terror attacks soon.

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