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September 11, 2004

Patriots Day, 2004.

The War Goes On.

There are those who think the proper response to this is the law enforcement response.

There are those who think the proper response to this is essentially, 'give 'em what they want'.

There are those who think that anything started by George Bush is evil, and to be resisted. Though if Bill Clinton had done the exact same thing - it would be a harsh, but necessary thing.

Today is the third anniversary. We went to war over this. We are at war over this. Was it worth the cost?

September 11.

Operation Enduring Freedom.

Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Perhaps we should take a moment, and see if there is any progress in the war.

Nicholas Packwood, the Pusillanimous Quaker in Canada, observes today:

Some say President Lincoln did not go to war to free the slaves. To those people I say, even if that were the whole of the story: so what? Millions were made free. Some say President Roosevelt found in Pearl Harbor a pretext for the war he sought with Germany. To those people I say, even if that were the whole of the story: so what? Millions were made free. Some say President Bush took September 11 and found the excuse he needed to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. To those people I say, even if that were the whole of the story: so what? Millions have been made free.

Some say the United States in President Lincoln's day was an imperfect democracy clouded by great social inequality. To those people I say, even if that were the whole of the story: so what? Better the greatest democracy of its day than slavery. Some say the United States in President Roosevelt's day was an imperfect democracy marred by racism and point to many instances of prejudice and inequity. To those people I say, even if that were the whole of the story: so what? Better the greatest democracy of its day than the death camps. Some say the United States of President Bush' day is an imperfect democracy of social and economic inequality. To those people I say, even if that is the whole of the story: so what? Better the greatest democracy in the history of the world than those who would take each of us with our every difference, our every disagreement, our every imperfection and put us all to the sword.

As Jack, at Random Fate oft observes: Who is the Enemy? We must Understand the Enemy. And we must understand what we are doing, and why.

Jack is correct. Who is the Enemy? I know who I believe it is: Militant Islamofacism. Wahabism. Not Islam, but Islamofacism. Just as the enemy in Germany was the National Socialists in power. But the German people allowed them to flourish, so they, while not usually the direct targets, also paid the price. So too have Muslims paid the price of allowing Islamofacism to flourish amongst them. Good for them that the Allied Militaries of this era are able to be so much more discrimininating than the Allied Militaries in 1941-45. Would that the Islamofacists were so discriminating. Instead, they target the weak, the helpless, the innocent, more often than not.

By their deeds shall ye know them.

Hence my personal battle cry: Wahabism Delenda Est!

Who is the Enemy?

One view is here, from John Keegan's book, The Iraq War.

For an alternative view - that of the Wahabists - check here. Match this view against their deeds.

"By Their Deeds Shall Ye Know Them!"

Part and parcel of this war is separating the Al-Qaeda-brand Wahabis from the rest of the Muslim world - which will in turn help the Muslims deal with it themselves. Just as we did with Nazi Germany, and Imperial Japan. Hopefully for everyone, it won't take the same level of pain it took to deal with the German and Japanese governments. Of course, complicating this is the fact that these guys aren't goverments, yet - though there are governments which support their aims, for whatever purposes.

So, are we having any success in cracking this nut? Yes.

From Ziauddin Sardar in the New Statesman:

Beslan and 9/11 are leading millions of Muslims to search their souls. Even clerics now question the harshest traditional laws and look for a more humane interpretation of their faith.

The Muslim world is changing. Three years after the atrocity of 9/11, it may be in the early stages of a reformation, albeit with a small "r". From Morocco to Indonesia, people are trying to develop a more contemporary and humane interpretation of Islam, and some countries are undergoing major transformations.

It's going to a long fight.

These may look like minor changes, but there are enormous implications to the board's implicit admission that Islamic law is not immutable. Certainly, it has set defenders of the pure faith at the throats of members of Muslims for Secular Democracy (MSD), who are campaigning for root-and-branch reform. "Remain in your senses," the conservative Urdu Times warned Javed Akhtar, the poet and Bollywood screenwriter who is MSD president. "The day is not far when you too will be counted among the infamous blasphemers such as Salman Rushdie."

Go read the whole thing. As this link may change over time - I've put the whole thing in the Flash Traffic.

Do we think these changes are being brought about simply because it was time? Or are these changes coming about because we ACTED. A couple of Tomahawks isn't acting. OEF and OIF are acting.

As Mansoor Ijaz points out in his piece in NRO:

Osama bin Laden's global vision — of jihadists crawling from the cracks in every enemy state to strike out at infidels with weapons of mass destruction — is drowning in a swamp of confusion among senior jihadists debating who to attack next, how to do it, and for whose benefit. In short, global jihad has turned on itself, and is being destroyed from within — one botched and more wretched attack at a time.

This is largely a function of the sacrifices made by our fallen heroes — the men and women of the U.S. armed forces, and their Coalition colleagues — in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Their courage and valor in conflict zones has battered the very thesis — that the enemy is too corrupt of mind, too decadent in spirit, and too weak of body to sustain the battle to victory — on which bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, have sent thousands of "martyrs" to their deaths.

Read the whole bit here.

There is reason for hope. And, precisely because we aren't employing the methods of WWII, it will still take time - more time than WWII took. Whoever is President on 24 January, 2005, the war will continue. The question is - will we remember that? Or will we just declare ourselves the winner and go back to the 90's approach?

Can Islam change? The Dead Want To Know.

I say yes - but the Wahabis and their fellow-travelers, like the medieval Catholic Church - are going to requre a knock on the head.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! where we dance: In Memoriam.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Sep 11, 2004 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: September 11th
» INCITE links with: The future depends on us
» Mamamontezz's Mental Rumpus Room links with: Exceptional Pieces.
» SlagleRock's Slaughterhouse links with: September 11, 2001

September 09, 2004

Time for a "Blue Ensign" Moment.

Why? Because the Aussie embassy in Jakarta was bombed.

And because Simon Sez:

I love that flag.

A little context is in order:

I've never been a fan of the Aussie flag, with its Union Jack. But I firmly believe in everything that flag stands for and why we need to defend those values from those that seek to destroy it. We can be thankful that (at least so far) it appears no Aussies have been seriously hurt or killed, but we must extend our deepest sympathies to those Indonesians that have. There will be a time for anger, but not yet.

I disagree, Simon. Now is the time for anger. Then, when the time comes to act, you can do so deliberately, judiciously, and coolly.

His whole post is here.

Hat tip to John.

On a related note: 'Raid on al Qaeda camp kills 55'

Arabs and Chechens were among those at the camp, officials said.

U.S. officials said the airstrikes wiped out a "terrorist training camp" and most of those killed are believed to have been Uzbek fighters. The officials said they do not believe any "big name" al Qaeda figures were present at the camp.

If accurate, good.

by John on Sep 09, 2004 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Simon World links with: Reactions and responses
» Ghost of a flea links with: Winston Review, No. 10
» Ghost of a flea links with: Winston Review, No. 10

Just another example of the importance of the 2nd Amendment.

Knowing how to use a pistol *can* save your life. All I have to say is - the dog needs to practice his aim. As for the human in the story... a$$hole.

Police: Puppy Shot Man Trying To Kill Dogs (NB: Good!)

POSTED: 7:02 am EDT September 9, 2004
UPDATED: 7:05 am EDT September 9, 2004

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- A man who was trying to shoot seven puppies was shot himself when one of the dogs made the .38-caliber revolver discharge, deputies said.

Jerry Allen Bradford, 37, of Pensacola, was charged with felony animal cruelty, the Escambia County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

Bradford was being treated at an undisclosed hospital for the gunshot wound to his wrist, said sheriff's Sgt. Ted Roy.

Bradford said he decided to shoot the 3-month-old puppies in the head because he couldn't find another home for the shepherd-mix dogs, according to the sheriff's office.

On Monday, he was holding two puppies, one in his arms and another in his left hand, when the dog in his hand wiggled and put its paw on the trigger, making the gun discharge, the sheriff's report said.

The revolver and a rifle were seized from the home, deputies said.

Deputies found three of the puppies in a shallow grave outside Bradford's home, Roy said. The other four appeared to be in good health and were taken by Escambia County Animal Control, which planned to make them available for adoption.

"That should never have to happen," said Bruce Rova, director of the Escambia County Animal Shelter. "There are so many options people have. We'll try to find them a new home."

by John on Sep 09, 2004 | Gun Rights

Speaking Truth to Power

As a former "Scorpion" and "Werewolf" in other words, an Observer-Controller at the National Training Center, I wholly endorse this little bit from Strategy Page today:

LEADERSHIP: Surviving Reality Drift

September 9, 2004: American military planners are trying to get ready for the next war, and they are sorely tempted to reorganize everything to refight the wars we are currently involved in. Some people never learn.

Historically, the best way to prepare for the next war is to be as ready as you can for just about everything. This means well trained troops, carefully selected leaders, and a lot of equipment you think you won’t need. Most of the time you’ll be wrong, but will end up better prepared than your opponent.

Over the last few decades, the American armed forces also developed an extremely powerful weapon, without really trying to. This we can call the “reality weapon.” Wars always open with everyone using unrealistic, unworkable and often fatal ideas developed through long years of peace.

Call that reality drift. The longer an army trains during peacetime conditions, the more doctrine drifts from the reality of combat. It's an ancient problem, that has been solved somewhat by NTC (the U.S. Army National Training Center). The aviators found similar wake-up calls in their Top Gun and Red Flag training programs. The navy has had a similar epiphany when they trained with Australian and Norwegian diesel-electric subs recently. The navy found that diesel-electric subs, manned by good crews, could do enormous damage to a carrier task force.

Unexpectedly, a major source of "combat experience" was obtained from the NTC training sessions. It took a few years before anyone realized this. But when data from NTC exercises didn't match the "theories", but did conform to "obsolete" World War II, experience, it was obvious that something was happening. But not everyone was convinced. As the old saying goes, "It may work in practice, but does it work in theory?”

But now there is Afghanistan and Iraq, which are providing practical experience that is again closer to what went on at NTC, than to theories that were being dreamed up by staff officers and pundits. So just keep in mind that reality is a slippery beast. Expect to have a hard time holding on to it. There were always be more attractive, and quite false, alternatives presented to you when there’s not a war going on.

As a 'Wolf (artillery O/C), I saw a promising career get derailed (not mine) because we were 'speaking truth to power' and telling the Field Artillery community that their home station training practices were making direct support artillery ineffective. Not a popular stance. We were right - and things changed, but not before the Old Guard had a ritual sacrifice.

Hoist the Red Ensign and let fly!

Nicholas Packwood of Ghost of a Flea and the Western Standard "The Shotgun" blog has gathered a group of of eclectic individuals who share a common value - that Canada, despite the efforts of the government thereat, is more than a collection of overly-polite scolds. Hearkening back to a Canada that could be a terrible foe when provoked, as the Germans learned at Vimy Ridge, Dieppe, and Juno Beach, and more recently, in Afghanistan.

Click the flag to meet the people who fly the flag Canada flew before the Maple Leaf - the Red Ensign! Ably hosted this week by Huck at Bumfonline.

by John on Sep 09, 2004 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» mypetjawa v. 2.0 (beta) links with: Blame Canada (Except Flea)

September 08, 2004

...the silence is deafening.

Jack at Random Fate points out an example of the 'tree dilemma'.

"If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?"

Jack's point being that just because we aren't hearing Arab/Muslim voices raised in protest and disgust at the events in Beslan last week doesn't mean they aren't there.

He links to a post at Amygdala on the subject (my sincere and foot-felt empathy on the damn gout thing, too), who, in addition to what he has found, links to Memri's list on the subject.

All of which is fine as far as it goes. There are the usual shibboleth's of "The Jews are behind it" in there as well. I was unable to determine from my reading - but how many of those denunciations are in the Arabic versions of those media outlets?

Perhaps more importantly, how many are being preached in the mosques? In the madrassas? Are muezzin's adding the condemnation to the call to prayer?

If it's mostly in the english-language versions, it's not enough, simply put. That is simply speaking what they want an outside audience to hear.

I will acknowledge there are voices in the wilderness.

Just call me Diogenes - and my lantern still hasn't found what I'm looking for in the muslim world.

Doesn't mean it isn't there, just as Jack suggests... it just means that it isn't prevalent, or prominently displayed.

As someone who has lost a few r/c aircraft... heart goes out to these fellows. Don't forget to watch the movies.

A jet-powered model B-52.

Hat tip to Ghost of a Flea, who has a nice post that neatly encapsulates why I blog - to beard the lions in their den.

You knew it was true...

...even without Sting to tell you - but the Russians (or Greeks living in Russia) love their children too.

Baldilocks also saves me the problem of re-addressing Bush's National Guard Service, since the press is bringing it up again in ways that clearly demonstrate they don't understand how the military works. Ipso est, they haven't internalized the German observation about fighting Americans: "They have a wonderful published doctrine - but they never follow it!"

Every now and then along comes an email...

...that makes it worth keeping it up.

I've just re-read your article on 2LT Leonard Cowherd for probably the fourth or fifth time and it still brings tears to my eyes(It amongst others like it are a good antidote to living too close to Albany's Anti-war central). If not for the efforts of you and others like you the true story would be living in a cardboard box under an underpass on I-890. Your article now brings to mind a comment someone made on another blog when some folk from different branches of service were ...preaching... the virtures of their own service (in good fun of course ;).

"There are no cheap plots at Arlington."

Keep up the Good work.


Since we just passed the 1000 dead mark for Operation Iraqi Freedom, perhaps it's time to refresh things and put a face on the news. You can read what Larry is talking about here. Read the lower post first.

For the record - I think the cost is worth it. And I want to continue the fight - but I want to fight the right fight, for the right reasons, against the right people, and not just blindly strike out.

Kinda like Jack of Random Fate says, here.

And in case you are wondering - I think Iraq is a good fight.

September 07, 2004

Ya better watch out.

Or Greyhawk's gonna kick yer booty. No secret balloting in Mudville! All votes will be counted - and non-voters will pay.

Of course, you can pay up front, too.

Will Russia's 9/11 result in a new full-time ally in the War on Terror?

Some people think so.

Already, Putin is getting the message. In an unprecedented burst of candor, he told the Russian people, "We were weak, and weak people are beaten." Already, he is reaching out a tentative hand, looking for help from us and from the Israelis. Israel will respond, generously, as long as the much-maligned Israeli Right retains its shaky hold on power, and we will too, as long as George W. Bush continues to lead us. And if you think Russia is too weak, corrupt, and divided to repay our generosity, think again. She looked that way in the early Forties too, but in the end, she fought fiercely, and made an essential contribution to our victory in World War II. World War III, the Cold War, is over. We won, and with Russia on our side, we will win what Norman Podhoretz rightly calls World War IV much more quickly than we would without her.

Barbara Lerner at NRO.

Who are we fighting?


The Beslan victims were not as numerous as ours — hundreds died, not thousands — but the national shock is comparable, because their suffering was so great and so prolonged, and because Russia's children were not collateral damage in this attack. They were the chosen victims of the global Islamic terror network, and all Russia watched in horror, day after day, as they were shot, stabbed, raped, and blown-up, along with their helpless parents and teachers, while other little ones perished in slow agony from thirst, dehydration, and heat stroke, inside a Russian school where the water fountains ran but dying captives were not allowed to drink anything but their own urine. Something like 1,200 Russians were subjected to this ordeal; more than a third — possibly as many as half — are dead, and most of the dead are children, crammed in on top of each other in an explosive-rigged basketball court in a stifling, sealed-up gymnasium in a school where the toilets worked too, but the victims were not allowed to use them. And while it is not yet clear exactly who all the 20-30 Islamist terrorists who tortured and killed these children were, it is as clear here as it was, early on, in Spain that local, homegrown terrorists are not the only ones involved in this carefully planned and viciously executed assault on all that civilized people hold dear. International Islamofascist barbarians with imperial designs masterminded the attack on the children of Beslan, and that has changed everything.

And, despite what many on the American Left seem to think - this is not how American soldiers act. It is not American Military and Political policy - and it is not our fault.

For those who think that we can't beat such fanatacism? How can we defeat people with such dedication? Such a willingness to die - and to kill their own who dissent?

Umar Sikoyev, a lawyer for a captured militant identified as Nur-Pashi Kulayev, said the band's leader did not tell them what their mission was and that after the seizure a fierce argument broke out in the band, with several objecting that taking children as hostages was wrong.

The raid's commander shot the dissidents' leader to death and then detonated the suicide belts worn by two women raiders by remote control to establish order in the band, Sikoyev told The Associated Press.

I can answer that. We've done it before.

Nazi Germany
Imperial Japan

And, as Dusty says, if the scales fall from our eyes... we can do it again.

It's a War people. Capital W war. These people make Baader-Meinhof look good. Hell, these people make the Shining Path look like vicious amateurs.

Wahabism Delenda Est. Root and branch. Leaf and twig.

As others have noted, the silence of 'moderate' Muslims is, well, deafening.

Much like the silence of the German people in 1939.

Beslan, USA.

Jonah Goldberg (yeah, THAT Jonah), in NRO this morning:

While driving cross country the missus and I keep wondering what would happen if a similar event took place in America. What if a K-12 school in Illinois or Texas was overrun with terrorists and hundreds of children were killed?

One possible difference between something like that there and here?

This is She Who Will Be Obeyed talking to my sister:

"If that happened at the High School (across the street from us), I'd be asking John to pass the ammunition."

She was dead serious. And can match the marksmanship to the words.

Had your Lileks lately?

If not - you should.

Angst-ridden leftists need not apply.

Why should you read this? So you understand what son of a Holocaust Survivor is so banal and self-absorbed as to warrant this simply excellent line:

Europe is only too happy to see a Jew smoke. They even built special places where they could do it together.

Now - you need the context, so go get it.

September 05, 2004

Background on Chechnya

Given the events in Beslan (as reported by Logic and Sanity) this week, and some of the more sordid details laid out by LaughingWolf (who isn't laughing right now) I thought I would provide a little backgrounder on Chechnya from the Foreign Policy Institute and Michael Radu. It's long, so it's down there in the Flash Traffic.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Sep 05, 2004 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» The Laughing Wolf links with: Beslan: Russian School Hostage Crisis Update/Aftermath
» Armies of Liberation links with: Add Your Heart

News from the front and rear.

First news from the front: Taliban 'Billy The Kid' Killed. Yay!

Roze Khan. His name means nothing to most Americans who have never heard it mentioned. But thousands of miles away from the United States, in the dry south of Afghanistan, it is a name that resonated across dirty brown mountains and remote, dusty villages, sometimes in fear, sometimes in awe...

...“He was like 'Billy the Kid' in these parts,” one American soldier told me, “We’ve been after him for more than two years and he’s escaped twice before so this feels really good.”

This story comes to us via Mike at Cold Fury - and you should read his post on the subject.

On the overseas journalism front, a journalist converts:

A popular definition of a Conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. In my case, it is a social liberal whose son announces out of the blue that he is joining the Army. My son's father is a Hollywood-based actor. If I look at childhood photographs of the boy, he is slumped asleep on airport trollies or wearing 10-sizes-too-big rapper trousers and obscene T-shirts. The Army was not a childhood

Coming stateside, a Brit reports on a US domestic issue - Bush v. Kerry. Nope, not what you're expecting.

...No doubt this journey was and remains profound and sincere, but it was also brilliant politics. Mr Bush has the good fortune to be considered stupid by his opponents, so they don't study him properly. What he has done is not stupid at all: he has found a way of embodying and uniting the different strands of conservatism in America...

...If he hadn't made a bit of a mess of the first 40 years of his life, he would not have been able to appeal to the American love of a story of sin, struggle and redemption. If he hadn't experienced this story as one of divine love, he would not have been able to speak the language that touches the hearts of a people 40 per cent of whom go to church "at least once a week"...

...Looked at in this way, I find the Bush story reassuring. It shows that Mr Bush is not the half-witted fanatic of the BBC's imagination. He is an absolutely mainstream figure in a country that has always gone very big on God and Mammon and does its best to see if the two can't achieve peaceful coexistence. It is a country that believes very deeply in freedom, but its idea of freedom is so strongly related to its sense of itself that, when it feels external threat, it reacts with unified fury.

Mr Bush has that uniquely American gift for reinventing yourself with perfect sincerity, whereas Mr Kerry's self-reinvention looks insincere. Since three years ago next Saturday, George W Bush has looked the natural leader of America. He still does.

Go read the whole bit. Interesting outsider's view of things.

The journalistic conversion story is here, from Sarah Sands, in The Telegraph.

Also from The Telegraph is the Bush story, by Charles Moore.

All of this crunchy goodness brought to my attention via the tireless efforts of CAPT H.

Update: After reading through this stuff, go vist Jack at Random Fate for another, slightly different, British view of President Bush. Note well Jack's lament at the end of his post.