August 2, 2005

The Sacrifice and the Reckoning: Sleepwalking

"We haven't had a real-time nuclear demo since Japan, 1945, and that was with one of the prototypes. We've never had a real-time nuclear demo live on TV, but it is on their scheduling. What we can't face is that the next time, many more than 3,000 will die and a lot of the dead will be our children. Just what do you think our mood will be the morning after they slaughter not only thousands of adults at their desks like they did on the 11th, but thousands of our children as well?"
-- In conversation, July, 2004

THE RUTHLESS DEDICATION OF OUR ENEMIES TO OUR DESTRUCTION was written across our sky with two pillars of flame and smoke in our largest city. We've seen that dedication continue, punctuated by car bombs, mortars, and random attacks against our soldiers. We've seen it continue in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Spain, Russia, Italy and England.

Our unluckiest citizens have had their heads severed from their bodies as pilot episodes of what promises to be a long running reality television series in which American heads are held up, to our horror and for the delight of those many millions that support those that take the heads. The message beyond this madness is that they

would be pleased to extend this television series to 300 million beheadings in which each of us would have his "star" turn. Our enemy has not yet taken a woman or a child for a beheading, but both clearly on their programming schedule.

All these things we know. We know the nature and goals of our enemy well. Our army is at the ready and in the field. And yet we hesitate.

We hesitate because we believe our search for a moderate, modern outcome will somehow determine what actions our ancient enemy will pursue. We are a foolish people grown fat and fearful during the long peace.

We stay our hand and hobble our warriors and walk on wrapped in our suburban slumber.

The party in power shambles about speaking in color codes and hushed words of warning. The party that yearns for power prates of peace and retreat.

We are soothed on the days when our media feeds us only thick streams of pap concerning grisly murders of obscure women by their husbands, the latest fornication festivals of the lightly talented in music and the cinema, and estimates of how long a woman famous for finger-bowls will spend in jail. We are relieved because the media's relentless focus on the tripe and detritus of our culture tells us that the day of the sacrifice is not to be this day.

And so we dream on. We imagine that the cliff is not really directly in our path, believing on some persistent level that merrily, merrily our life is but a dream, rather than a somnambulant march through the gates of history that is all too real and, for as yet unknown thousands of us, all too lethal.

But this world is not a dream and our awakening will be into nightmare.

Although we would pray the nightmare will dissolve into the dawn, we will not be spared it. And since we will not be spared, we must begin to prepare. To do so we need a clearer understanding of what will happen to us, and what we will do to the world and our nation in the days and years that come after.

Let us then try to wake for a brief instant to see what we might see and hear what we might hear when our screams and those of our children finally shake us from this sleep.

"Either way it will be a close-run thing..."

While I knew we would slumber again, I did not foresee we would, in our deepening drowse, begin sleepwalking towards the precipice,
driven like some blinded herd by the outriders of hate, while lulled by those among us that were motivated only by their ambition to restore, their abiding nostalgia for, a world lost forever in New York on the morning of September 11. Yet here we are, ambling towards that cliff.

Though the edge of the precipice looms ahead, we can also see, beyond a gap of unknown width, a far side that promises safety and a road that leads on to the uplands. It is not known if the crevasse can be bridged in time; if the whole enterprise will be forced to leap and gain the other side or, falling short, plunge down to a place where death would again draft millions into its legions as it had done so efficiently in the 20th century.

Either way, it will be a "close run thing." Either way, death will demand his tithe. In our slumbering summer of 2004, it is only a question of how many and when.

It is not, as it was in the summer of 2001, a pleasant sleep for us. It is a troubled, somnambulistic, half-waking state that holds us. From within the trance some of us see the world about us as some landscape by Hieronymus Bosch passed through a Photoshop video filter in all its stark, mad and burning fury.

Others see, dimly, the
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Still others perceive, in their mutually shared hallucinations, that the present President is cojoined Hitler and Antichrist, that his continued rule means the final end of their century long experiment with advancing the mass over the man. To reverse the clock, they will stop at nothing, even if it means the death of their nation, in order to advance the nations they worship as "United." They see themselves as "citizens of the world" even though large swathes of that world are dedicated to their death and the death of their treasured 'lifestyles' above all else.

Their counterparts in the current administration who possess the actual legitimacy of government, seek to sooth our fears and to "manage" the nightmare with money, calibrated risk, and careful diplomacy. They are the people of process and, as before, their half-measures only doom us. If 3,000 murdered citizens did not instill in them a lasting and steely resolve, it is not known what 1,000,000 murders would achieve.

The Un-Elected, Self-Appointed Illegitimate Shadow Government

Others whose institutions are self-appointed, self-selected, unelected and utterly without legitimacy -- whose institutions are at best a gift of the founders and maintained by the people in exchange for truth and loyalty to the Republic that permits them to exist -- seek daily to sacrifice that Republic by turning away from truth, advancing appeasement, and discarding their loyalty in exchange for circulation, ratings, posh dinner parties with celebrities of dubious distinction, and sabbatical years in quaint European towns and villages.

All these factions in aggregate form but a small, if powerful, portion of the sleepwalkers. The rest of us, that in November will decide upon our direction,
see only distant, mildly disconcerting images:

  • A bomb blast far away with the faces of our young dead appearing for five seconds on one evening's news broadcast;
  • An aircraft interior of flag-draped coffins containing nobody that we know;
  • A strange, bearded Satanic Gandhi forever picking his way down a rocky slope;
  • A severed American head held by a hand and dangled, skittering, in the choppy stream of a Web broadcast.
  • These things trouble their sleep but do not wake them. Instead, they sleep on, shambling towards the cliff with us and, if they speak at all, it is to discuss and decide not the fate of their nation, but who should become the next American Idol.

    The sleepers stumble on in their dumb show and the cliff draws ever nearer. Within the multitudes some have come awake and send up their alarms to little notice and less effect. At most they rouse only those nearby, but they are few, separated by large distances, and their echoed alarms are unheeded.

    Soon it will be too late to stop before the edge is reached. There will be neither time nor space to turn away.

    The one small chance remaining will lie in getting all of us to move together, to move faster towards the edge in the hope that most can leap the gap and land safely on the far side.

    To do that, to gain enough speed, means that the sleepwalkers must be awakened -- but ours is a deep sleep, a drugged sleep, the sleep of the long peace. Mere voices raised in warning will not avail us.

    A flash as bright as the sun upon the earth...

    What might wake us -- when we have finally dreamed too long and drifted too far to stop or to turn aside -- is a flash as bright as the sun on earth, a sound louder and deeper than any thunder ever heard upon the land, and the screams of many thousands of our countrymen dying. And this time not just our men and our women at work or unlucky in the air, but many of our children as well. What might wake us is coming down, by the day, to the worst thing; an act of human sacrifice performed upon us by our enemies -- the murder of one of our cities.

    That our enemies are preparing such a sacrifice has long been known. That they will, if left intact and undisturbed, murder at least one of our cities is a fact of future history; a fact many of us prefer to obscure from the rest of us for reasons that cannot be comprehended.

    The myths told to us by our illegitimate media government are just that, myths; are worse than that, lies. Lies that will kill thousands of us in our beds, at our desks, in our schools, parks, and playgrounds. All these things are known and yet we must, we are told, hesitate, denounce aggression and offer ourselves up meekly.

    Why? Because although we know this will happen we do not know the how, the where or the when. We only know the what and the why and the who. This is, according to our unelected and illegitimate government of opinion, reason enough to do little or nothing. For this self-appointed and monolithic media government does not seek for our safety, but for our story, and for that they must wait for the how, where, when.

    To the self-selected media monolith existing outside of any form of national loyalty while reaping the benefits of our Constitution, the opportunity to cover the death of one of our cities is more compelling than letting it live. And they believe that, in the wake of this disaster and the disasters that follow after, their magic media shield will save them from retribution; that the people will always see them as guardians and never as traitors. For, in advance of the death of the city, none of what they do will be seen as treason. Still there will be the aftermath when many of today's sunny social standards will be swept aside.

    Not on the day of our city's death, but on the day after...

    It is not known is which city will be murdered, nor when and how it will be killed. It is not known is whether even the death of a city will rouse the deeper sleepers, although it is widely believed that it will. Beyond that another, even darker unknown awaits us. What will happen across the world should such a shock awake us all at once, not on the day of our city's death but on the day after -- and the days to come after the day after?

    During the long cold war, both sides had the power to destroy many of the world's cities many times over, but the day for that never arrived. It was, during those years, our policy to never be the first to strike at our enemy's cities, but only to promise an overwhelming response. This "no first strike' policy is still, if not our present posture, at least our historic default. But when we have our city killed, then we will find our nation in the position of being the one who was struck first. Policy, politics and the people will then line up behind the option of the overwhelming response. The selection of targets will not be ruled by our present leaders habit of daintiness, but by a nation awakened into a state of readiness and willingness for total war. Of this we dare not speak, even though we know the plans are made and the target coordinates already given.

    "We are here. Akaba is there. It is only a matter of going."
    -- Lawrence of Arabia

    Several years ago we came awake briefly as 3,000 of us were slaughtered at our desks on a bright September morning. For some time after we were united in our horror, mourning and anger. For almost 18 months we stayed awake enough to roll back some of the gains we had freely given our mortal enemies during the long peace. For awhile we prevailed even if we could never quite reconcile ourselves and our image of ourselves with the sterner measures necessary to eradicate the enemy.

    Their Ancient Intellectual Insanity

    As the fresh horror faded and the images of the burning towers were no longer allowed to remind us, many among us reverted to their ancient intellectual insanity.

    They proclaimed that the enemy who had sworn to destroy them root and branch was not an enemy at all, but only a misunderstood and oppressed people that, offered love, understanding, compassion, tolerance and control of the world's oil supply, would consent to kill no more and retire quietly to some distant picturesque desert -- an indigenous people pursuing the colorful old ways.

    This faction among us grew and came to believe -- had never ceased to believe -- that our enemy had a value worth preserving even if it meant our own destruction. They believed that respecting and leaving their lands would render them harmless to others and themselves. Instead we would give them our gift, we would raise the sign of democracy.

    It mattered not that the enemy told them, in escalating words and deeds across decades, that his goal was to convert and kill them all. They heard this as saying he only wanted to be left alone. He gave them death by fire and decapitation and they responded with "What is wrong with peace, love and understanding?"

    This bankrupt mantra, or one of its infinite variations, is now repeated and repeated from multiple sources without and within the mass of the sleepwalkers until many actually begin to believe its soothing promise and drift back into their trance of "if only..." and "What can we give them to make them leave us alone?" Indeed, they sleep with us, but their sleep is even deeper and it is a drugged sleep.

    The preparations for the sacrifice continue...

    Meanwhile, the enemy's preparations for the sacrifice of our designated city continue with only minimal disruption and delay. All eyes and forces are trained abroad since few can muster the courage to look about them here at home. All believe that the sacrifice will happen, but most cannot bear to contemplate it. An evil few among us even actively look forward to it as a final proof of the corruption of this nation that has nurtured within them the freedom to despise it.

    Why those among us that hate what we are hate us is not really knowable, nor need we be concerned for the pathological. Perhaps they believe that they will, should our enemies prevail, gain some sort of prestige or power. While it is much more likely that they would be the first to be put to the sword, they will not be a factor in what is to come. After the killing of the city, what they are will become, at last, clear to the rest of us. This summer it is, it would seem, still both profitable and popular to be a quisling. It will not be so on the day after.

    Our enemies' instruments of war that will be used to kill our city are either already hidden within or close to our land, or stored within one of the surviving nations hostile to our existence awaiting transshipment to the target. The specific nation that creates these instruments of our destruction may not be known, but the group of nations is.

    Our enemies' programs to purchase or manufacture other weapons of mass destruction continue around the globe at an ever faster pace, hidden behind a screen of the usual international commissions, and a bodyguard of fresh denials heaped on the mountain of yesterday's lies. The authors of these denials and lies are also known.

    Our enemies' dispersed cells of suicidal agents continue to thrive within our cities, protected and sheltered by their relatives, neighbors and fellow travelers that we have graciously assumed to be "moderate" and "loyal." They move among us, clad in their false histories, secure in the knowledge that our own institutionalized rules of decency decree that having the appearance of a suspect group is the surest protection against being suspect. But this is a but a temporary quirk of our society and subject to rapid revision.

    Our enemies' efforts to recruit from within our criminal and psychotic classes increase as his chief organizing tool, his "religion," is welcomed into our prisons, and allowed to flourish as a means of keeping those prisons quiet. And it does, as any place in which men undertake the serious study and planning of wholesale death becomes quiet.

    All these things we all know. All these things we all see. That one of our cities will die we all accept.

    None of these things awaken us. In this deepening night we have made a dark bargain with ourselves to let a city die. All we are doing now is waiting on the Event.

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    Posted by Vanderleun at August 2, 2005 11:56 PM | TrackBack
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    "It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

    Current preparations for a nuclear event are totally inadequate. Anyone who wants to survive the next few years needs to take responsibility for his own survival. That means taking common sense precautions, including having enough food, water, money and other supplies to survive an extended period of social chaos. Having a Kearny Fallout Meter, which can be built for a few dollars with local hardware supplies, could also be a lifesaver.

    Posted by: Philomathean at August 3, 2005 8:21 AM

    Al-Qaeda's MO changes but their signature is consistent: multiple simultaneous attacks. By this logic I would expect The Base to destroy two cities, not one, when the morning comes.

    Posted by: Ghost of a flea at August 4, 2005 9:52 AM

    When that tragic day arrives I doubt that the left will wake to the sad reality with anything more than we've seen thus far. They've so bought into the "It's Bush's fault" demagougery that it's become a pathology. Admitting they were wrong to oppose stronger measures would be tantamount to admitting that the blood of innocents is on their hands.

    And the rest of us have allowed a bunch of handringers to handcuff effective actions necessary to prevent such calamity.

    The only solution I can see is to galvanize solid electoral support behind the President and I don't see that happening.

    Posted by: Mike on Hilton Head Island at August 4, 2005 10:36 PM

    If we can win this war by democratizing one or two countries and thus see the rest of the muslim world reformed, so be it. If Iraqis and Afghanis can foster rule of law, and free themselves from a culture of shame, repression, and despotism, and thus achieve a relationship that reflects at least mutual respect, that would be good.

    I don't think we have the time. I really don't.

    If the Arabs/muslims Don't Get It, not too far down the road I see a world where the survivors piss themselves at the sound of jet engines in the distance. A cordoned world where what is left of Islam lives shunned totally by the rest of the world, fenced away from their only marketable commodity. Returned to the desert they came from, where they can be free to preach hate and practice tribal barbarism without the fuel of petrodollars to spread their infection across the world.

    There are a billion of them, yes. But that's only a number. We've designed our machines of war to deal with larger ones than that. The Japanese were ready to die to the last man - right up until the realization that there would in fact be no honorable combat but merely extermination as an end to the conflict.

    We need to impress the jihadis with the same reality. I accept the probability that they aren't wired sufficiently to grasp the concept. That is their affair.

    The price we will pay - besides our city or cities - will be a brutal, one-on-one demarcation between those who understand the nature of man, and those whose wishes otherwise rule their lives.

    It's heartbreaking. We don't have to wait for a city. We could pull our sword out just a little and make some points that would be impossible to misunderstand. The next time Iranians or Syrians fill the street to uulate and burn flags in celebration of the latest decapitation, why not pay them a visit via our Air Force? I'd pay good money to see a Reuters picture of thousands Palestinian savages running for their lives from a pair of A10's working a street in Ramallah. I really would. Everybody should choose a side. If they choose the enemy, let them know there is a price.

    How about we inform Syria and Iraq that their forces (and population) have forty eight hours to fall back thirty kilometers from the Iraq border? Then kill whoever doesn't move. Flatten the towns. Occupy the ground. And wait. And warn them that the cordon will expand if resistance continues.

    We have literally hundreds of Saudi diplomats roaming our country. We should PNG all but about a dozen of them. Yesterday. And close any Saudi funded madrassa operating on our soil. We'll end up saving lives in the long run. The life expectancy of a muslim in America after a WMD attack will be right up there with that of a mayfly.

    This "strong horse" shit offends me on a visceral level. Our armed forces aren't designed to win hearts and minds, and we shouldn't ask them to. Our civility and forebearance are nothing but weapons in the hands of our enemies - especially the ones among us, in media and what is left of the Left. We need to break the language barrier - speak in terms they understand. We need to make it abundantly clear that we understand the stakes. To the hilt, to the end, and with no remorse.

    The enemy leadership publicly proclaim their objective: nothing less than the end of western civilization. Tens of thousands of followers fill the streets to support them. Why don't we take them at their word?

    It would be nice to end the conflict with a few nice words over tea between the new Pope of Reformed Islam and the leaders of the rest of the world.

    I rather think the final chapter will be written by this century's Charles Martel. A year or a decade later than it should be, but that will probably be how this ends.

    Posted by: TmjUtah at August 5, 2005 12:18 AM


    I think your comments are exactly accurate. I advocated nuking Mecca and Medina in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. To me, that would have been a proportional response--their two most important cities in exchange for ours. And it would have put every Muslim in the world on notice that if you f*ck with America we will make you wish you had never been born. It would have greatly clarified matters.

    "Strong horse" indeed.

    I also noted the Palestinians dancing in the streets that day and thought they should have been machine-gunned.

    Having said all that, I have to give the Bush Administration credit. Their idea of attempting to squelch terrorism by spreading democracy in the Muslim world is indeed a noble cause. It's certainly saner and more peaceful that any of my ideas. The coalition soldiers who have given their lives in this effort have not done so in vain. If it succeeds, Bush should go down in history as one of our greatest Presidents.

    It is certainly worth a try. But if it fails, then the gloves will have to come off.

    The life expectancy of a muslim in America after a WMD attack will be right up there with that of a mayfly.

    Truer words were never spoken. But the shit will really hit the fan if the PC government tries to prosecute patriotic Americans for "hate crimes" when we do our duty and kill the enemy.

    Posted by: rickl at August 5, 2005 5:00 PM

    Time was, I would have limited my wrath to the organizers and perpetrators of Black Tuesday. Today, I'm leaning toward the radical position: the conviction that Islam is too violent and uncompromising an ideology for freedom to share a planet with.

    I profoundly hope that's wrong...but I hope with even greater fervor that, should it prove right, the government of these United States will act upon it with all the power it commands.

    We shall see. Gerard is correct; as matters stand, an American city is doomed to die. There's no reason to believe that matters will be altered until one does.


    Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at August 7, 2005 1:02 PM

    "It was, during those years, our policy to never be the first to strike at our enemy's cities, but only to promise an overwhelming response."

    Are you sure? didn't we have nuclear peace treaties with western europe? that we would defend them with nuclear weapons even in the case of conventional attack?

    Posted by: actus at August 8, 2005 10:21 AM


    Yes, we were prepared to use nulcear weapons in defense of Western Europe, tactical nuclear weapons not strategic. These nukes were either for 155mm howitzers or Honest John rockets.

    I was a part of HHB Division Artillery, 3rd Armored division, 72-75. Our mission was to plug the Fulda Gap. The Soviets were expected to advance 100km per day. we routinely engaged in war games that had us using tactical nukes on about the 3rd day (and we expected the Soviets to respond in kind). The goal was to slow the Soviet advance until rinforcements arrived from the US.

    Posted by: nobody important at August 9, 2005 7:51 AM

    nobody -

    Any Soviet attack was going to open with chemical attacks and tactical nukes (via FROG and standoff air) at NATO marshalling, logistics, and comms facilities. by the eighties we had just about reconfigured our NBC delivery to nukes only. Operating in an NBC environment is actually more dangerous than in a nuclear environment, and deadlier by far to civilian populations.

    Right up until the death of the bear the Sovs kept their NBC and nuke assets (rocket forces, decontamination units, stockpiles) spun up as much as they were able.

    It was the stationing of Pershings in West Germany that finally made the Sovs realize their option to fight and win a land war in Europe was gone. They never could compete on blue water, either... but it was the realization that even with their tremendous superiority in numbers they would still be unable to conduct an offensive fast enough to prevent REFORGER from working, or even keep the conflict limited to the theater.

    FWIW, I was an artilleryman myself back then. We trained to survive chemical attacks, and deliver nukes.

    rickl -

    I haven't advocated nuking anyone. Yet. Especially any symbolic targets.

    My aims are simpler. Ten thousand maniacs dancing in the street in celebration of a murdered American?

    I reckon they'd be happy holding the knife if given the chance, since they went to the trouble of taking time off from their busy and fulfilling lives to dance in the street. They've chosen a side.

    I don't really care that they treat their women and kids like slaves. Or that they are incapable of advancing the human condition via technological or philosophical pursuits. Or that they've spent the last century busily retrenching into a vicious tribal existence while the rest of the world has largely democratized, more or less.

    I'm not even perturbed that they don't like me, or the rest of western civilization.

    I'm a product of a society based on the rule of law. What they think is their affair. What they practice as religion, or how they wish to worship, is their affair, too - I can think of nothing more basic to individual freedom than personally respecting the choices of others in their pursuit of happiness.

    Right up to the point where their fist meets my nose. We are long beyond that point, and the agenda and commitment on the part of a sizeable contingent of people who declare their muslim faith as license to kill are perfectly transparent to just about anyone who has watched TV, read papers, or spent most of their time not in caves for the last few decades.

    Unless you are Juan Cole, or any Democrat left of Zell Miller, of course...

    I am not interested in symbols. I'm not even committed to winning any kind of debate of the merits of the respective cultures in conflict here. You don't debate with killers; the conflict we face leaves no room for a negotiated solution with the players involved at this time.

    I just want my family to live in freedom, and the best way to make that happen is to recognise the threat and deal with it with the resources at our disposal. Unlike the jihadis who write checks for or steal their weapons, we have quite a closet full of options to choose from. And we citizens do pull the trigger on our arsenal, sooner or later.

    Chicago rules apply. They will, anyway. I share Gerard's fear that we will continue to futz around until we take a hit orders of magnitude worse than 9/11. Then we'll see what a nation of free men does when it finally wakes up.

    Posted by: TmjUtah at August 9, 2005 2:30 PM

    The previously unknown mineral "Trinitite" was discovered 16 July 1945 on a patch of desert formerly known (in Spanish) as "The Dead Man's Journey". When and on what patch of desert will "Islamite" be discovered?

    Posted by: Tresho at August 9, 2005 10:33 PM

    No Sleepwalking here. We are ready and prepared.

    Jenny Hatch

    Posted by: Jenny Hatch at August 10, 2005 2:27 PM

    nobody, TmjUtah - King of Battle, baby!

    Philomathean - that fallout meter design looks straighforward enough that not even I could screw it up. I'm also going to start on a bug-out box this weekend.

    Gerard - you've convinced me (actually, I'm a bit embarrassed that I needed to be convinced).

    Posted by: Chris of Dangerous Logic at August 12, 2005 10:11 AM

    Gerard wrote: "Our enemy has not yet taken a woman or a child for a beheading."

    Technically no, but the murder of Margaret Hassan and the Beslan massacre indicates our enemies don't hold to those standards when the women and children aren't theirs.

    Posted by: tagryn at August 12, 2005 11:48 AM
    N.B.: Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged

    Your essay is appalling, as are the comments of those cheering you on. I'm afraid the "stupidity limits" here are much too relaxed.

    Posted by: feh! at August 17, 2005 12:24 PM

    Quod erat demonstrandum.

    Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at August 17, 2005 1:00 PM

    Wow, just sleep-walking in from James Wolcott's site. What a wake-up call. You guys are nuts.

    Just saying.

    Don't let yourself get stampeded by these fevered dreams. Stand tough but live a little. Don't be such overwrought chickenshits.

    Posted by: wetzel at August 17, 2005 1:12 PM

    Sigh. I had hoped for worthier opponents than those generated by a barren VF hack, who lacks both the moral fiber and the intellectual courage to accept comments, but you have to take what you can get.

    Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at August 17, 2005 1:26 PM

    Yikes. If this is an example of humanity's survivors, the dead will envy each other.

    Posted by: Envy the Dead at August 17, 2005 1:49 PM

    Truly fevered dreams. Some I share. I remember thinking, on 9/12/01, that there are millions of sealed containers heading for our ports. In one of them, floating up the Houston ship channel, might be a nuke. Thanks to the Bush administration, that is now impossible.

    Posted by: Dr S at August 17, 2005 2:38 PM

    I have a question for the author of the essay and his many cheerleaders. In what way are you morally superior than the most brutal of the terrorists? I would like a SERIOUS argument based on any religious, ethical, or philosophical value system you desire. If you argue that you care more for innocent human life or the rule of law than the terrorists I will know that you are just sociopathic clowns who are to be taken seriously only as potential murderers.

    Posted by: Juan Gewanfri at August 17, 2005 2:46 PM

    So if I write a mock-biblical screed on strong border defense and isolationism, do I get to have that adopted as our foreign policy too?

    Posted by: Jape at August 17, 2005 2:53 PM

    Evidently a red state mindset in a blue state location yields this sort of turgid, self-important purple prose. Pity.

    Posted by: Declan at August 17, 2005 3:29 PM

    What a hoot.

    Do you do kid's birthday parties too?

    Posted by: nominal plumage at August 17, 2005 4:38 PM

    Quod erat demonstrandum.



    Well that proves it, then.

    Posted by: nomina plumage at August 17, 2005 4:40 PM

    'Then we'll see what a nation of free men does when it finally wakes up.'

    It heads down to Walmart for some cheap plastic consumer goods, in all probability.

    Posted by: nominal plumage at August 17, 2005 4:41 PM

    We are all proud, DAMNED proud, to see exactly what your estimate of your fellow citizens is. After all, what is a comment stream without a slam on Wal Mart. Nothing at all.

    Still, I do wish there would be some new successful American innovation for the left to slam. Wal Mart is so Von Dutch, don't you know.

    Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at August 17, 2005 4:48 PM

    You are not my fellow citizens.

    Successful American innovation? Borrowing cheap credit from your main strategic competitor so you can then buy back from them the goods they make might be an innovation, I grant.

    It's certainly an innovative way to go into debt to the country which seems to be growing rather large in your rear view window.

    Posted by: nominal plumage at August 17, 2005 5:07 PM

    All Americans, born or naturalized, are indeed your fellow citizens. That's simply the simple fact. Alas, neither you nor any one else gets to choose who is in and who is out. That system of government is commonly called "Totalitarianism" in all its many manifestations.

    I regret that you were evidently absent during those classes that instructed you in civics and the American way and system.

    As to successful companies, that game is commonly known as capitalism and any one or any number can play. It is a serious game in which only the past and not the future can be known. This is demonstrated daily in that other great American institution, the stock market.

    Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at August 17, 2005 5:24 PM

    Stepping out now for steak and martini's at a dreadful capitalist restaurant in Dana Point.

    Play nice.

    Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at August 17, 2005 5:28 PM

    "All Americans, born or naturalized, are indeed your fellow citizens. That's simply the simple fact."

    Well, it may 'simply' be a 'simple' fact indeed. Pity that it's completely incorrect.

    "I regret that you were evidently absent during those classes that instructed you in civics and the American way and system."

    Yes I was absent, given that I live in a different country. Strange that, how the great importance of a grounding in American 'civics' seems to have escaped the importance of my teachers...


    Thank you for demonstrating that other great American tradition of complete self-absorption, Mr van Helsing.

    "It is a serious game in which only the past and not the future can be known."

    I'm sorry - are you channelling Deepak Chopra? I seem to hear an echo.

    Posted by: nominal plumage at August 17, 2005 5:32 PM

    Oh who really has the time to deal with all of this nonsense? Get yourselves a copy of Civ III and work out your frustration by nuking all the toy Muslim cities you want. After that you might want to try reading a book or two. If you're really ambitious, you could learn Arabic, and find out what a bunch of tools you really are.

    Posted by: Harvey Kessell at August 17, 2005 5:33 PM

    I like this site. It's all like "the edge of the precipce looms" and "one of our cities will die"...then "oh, i'll be on vacation till the 15th."

    Posted by: dai at August 17, 2005 5:44 PM

    "I advocated nuking Mecca and Medina in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. To me, that would have been a proportional response"

    "Today, I'm leaning toward the radical position: the conviction that Islam is too violent and uncompromising an ideology for freedom to share a planet with."

    Do any of you ever look in the mirror? Can it really be your goal to be a self-parody of those you hate?

    The attempted complete destruction of those you fear for the sake of security. Cluestick: It's been tried repeatedly for several thousand years and it tends to backfire rather unpleasently . . . and you want to think this time it will work? No wonder you worship Bush; The blind leading the naked.

    If there's a difference between Islamic Jihadists and the American far-right (as illistrated above), other than specific dieties, it escapes me.

    Posted by: Thumb at August 17, 2005 7:29 PM

    Please allow me to commend the author and all like-minded contributers on their dedication to ridding the world of Islamic extremism vis a vis this glorious crusade into Mesopotamia. To spend your certainly too-few off hours in Iraq hunched over an armoured ThinkPad, expounding on the Gospel According To George, is indeed an act of unparalleled patriotism. It is so refreshing to hear from those who are actually on the front lines because, quite frankly, I am getting sick and tired of listening to armchair warriors, safely ensconced in the comfort of their own (oh, let's say...Oval?) offices disparaging the Appeasement Doctrine of such cowards as Max Cleland, John Kerry and Paul Hackett. (Bring 'em on, indeed.) I am glad to see that the old axiom of "Sign up or shut up" hit home with you, since the passion in your writings leads me to conclude that you have fearlessly followed in the steadfast footsteps of Generals Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Coulter, Malkin and Hannity. May you return to a grateful nation with a steely resolve, a lapel full of gleaming medals, and at least one of your limbs still attached to your miserable little chickenhawk torsos. God Bless America. Amen.

    Posted by: DKV at August 17, 2005 8:23 PM

    Hello wingnuts from sunny Australia. We have wingnuts too, but they are a pale imitation of the original and the best. Best democracy, best freedom, best wingnuts - it figures.

    Keep fiddling while Rome burns; and throw a little gas on the flame while you can still afford it.

    Posted by: Glenn Condell at August 18, 2005 1:14 AM

    "Our ancient enemy"? What are you talking about fella? Islamic people? Iraqis? Al Qaeda? What?

    I would point out that none of these are ancient enemies of the American people so you are either just dead wrong or don't express yourself well in the melodramatic neo-victorian prose style you have chosen to rant in.

    None of the above-mentioned hate the American people or America or as the Thief in Chief says "our freedom." They hate the policies of our state that are in alliance with dictators in their own lands and with our multi-national corporate masters who exploit their people and in the case of Iraq they hate the illegal and unjustified invasion of their country.

    We can do much to reduce or eliminate terrorism by simply making some wise decisions that are not based on greed.

    Posted by: Lee at August 18, 2005 6:56 AM

    You're insane.

    It never dawns on you that all of this terrorism and cheering and car bombs going off daily is blowback for our policies in the Middle East?

    You're a barbarian, with an ache to commit mass murder. We've already 'shocked-and-awed' Iraq. A country which has NEVER threatened the United States.

    Someone mentioned the rule of law. I'll believe it when Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et. al. are in the Hague.

    Posted by: CatsPjs at August 18, 2005 7:52 AM


    Posted by: stormy at August 18, 2005 10:43 AM

    "The life expectancy of a muslim in America after a WMD attack will be right up there with that of a mayfly."

    You're a lunatic, and I suspect you have a gun. Please tell me where you live so I can avoid that place.

    Posted by: ap at August 18, 2005 11:31 AM

    Apparently, the difference between Islamic jihadists and the farthest-out of the American right is that the jihadists are actually willing to fight for their beliefs. This nauseating call to pre-emptive mass murder is so typical of the Chickenhawk right -- America faces the most hideous enemy in history and those bastards on the Left are ignoring the problem or aiding our enemies. Urgent action must be taken immediately or we're all doomed... somebody else should go do it. I mean, I'd love to go to war, but I'm busy right now, typing. See? But really, if I weren't so busy, I'd show those troops what it means to be a hero. I'd be saving America single-handedly.

    You want to protect America from enemies? Great, go do it. There are recruiters in every city. Hell, you can probably even sign up on line.

    Posted by: William Rabkin at August 18, 2005 1:06 PM

    Kill em all and let God sort em out! All the muslims must die, but we will not undignify their mass murder by decapitating them, oh no. That would be to act like them. As long as we have a hairs breadth of difference between our abominations and theirs, then we are superior. Their vaporizing deaths in thermonuclear blasts should sufficiently prove to the world that we are the moral betters, by God!

    Because I have fevered dreams that "they" will at any moment kill me or my family, I am in my rights to hunt down and kill "them" and their families. That is the law of the bible and of the constitution, thank God.

    When we are done killing all the Mohamedans, then we can still cleansing our country of those who oppose said killing. We must bring democracy to the world!

    Posted by: Sane American at August 18, 2005 1:51 PM

    I happened upon this site via a link on another blog. This is truly frightening. Americans, presumably, advocating action that is totalitarianism at best, fascism at worst. Imposing our will on other cultures and societies?

    Have we forgotten the sins of the early 20th century when the Nazis attempted the same in Europe and northern Africa?

    Perhaps we should simply skip the next few elections and declare the president our new king. We can eliminate the Congress and the Supreme Court.

    We can purge the country of all dissidents, deport or kill any non-white Americans, and start our world invasion. It's brilliant! Who needs diversity, anyway? If we all looked and acted the same, life would be so much easier!

    Call me when you lunatics decide to start the apocalypse.

    Posted by: ilikedemocracy at August 18, 2005 1:58 PM

    Can we just put all these fundamentalist right wing American freakshows and fundanmentalist Al Queda fanatics in a cage match together and air it on pay per view? Maybe we could just remove the citizenry of Iraq and our armed forces and stage it there?

    Or is the danger that they would come to realize that they have so much in common that they would become friends, what with their mutual love of random murder of civilians to satisfy their endless bloodlust, their belief in the preeminence of theocracies over democracies, their disdain for due process, rule of law, and an independent judiciary, and their general megolomania and paranoia?

    If the only difference is that one group favors AK-47's and the other AR-15's, and one prefers beheading and the other nuking, is that really so big a difference?

    Posted by: Sane American at August 18, 2005 2:03 PM

    What's up with the overtly Nazi theme of this site?

    Posted by: little green johnson at August 18, 2005 2:34 PM

    "I remember thinking, on 9/12/01, that there are millions of sealed containers heading for our ports. In one of them, floating up the Houston ship channel, might be a nuke. Thanks to the Bush administration, that is now impossible."

    While I hope that you are correct, it's optimistic in the extreme. What steps has the Bush administration taken to improve port security?

    * Withdrew from the anti-ballistic missile treaty
    * Invaded Iraq, but fail to secure munition sites
    * Under-funded programs in the former Soviet Union proven to be effective in securing fissionable materials
    * Over-committed troops (especially National Guard units) in the elective war against Iraq
    * Rolled back regulations and/or enforcement thereof as political payback to domestic chemical and energy companies
    * Of the $18 billion awarded to state and local governments for homeland defense, only $600 million went to port security (as of February 2005). The Coast Guard estimates that full security measures would cost over $5 billion. Meanwhile, we've spent over $200 billion attempting to 'secure Iraq'.
    * From "The Container Security Initiative was developed to allow US inspectors to screen high-risk shipping containers at major foreign ports before they are loaded in ships bound for America." An excellent start, but not 100%. And far from 'impossible' to sneak something in.

    But anyway, hope you're right.

    Posted by: yagi at August 18, 2005 4:43 PM

    Note to all the lefty-types, sputtering at the idea of America responding if the enemy hits us with WMD:

    If they nuke us, it will be total war. Like Rome vs. Carthage. That is sad, but obvious.

    I think Bush chose a highly moral course after 9/11. Rather than wipe out all Muslims, he decided to help them reform by overthrowing two of their worst governments and setting up democracys. Will it work? Time will tell. But I think it is worth attempting.

    It will certainly be difficult. Have travelled extensively in the Middle East, I am familiar with the pathological mindset that is all too commonplace there (everything is the fault of the West and/or the Jews). Sadly, attempts at reform are harmed by the constant drumbeat of the Western left's own delusions (e.g. Bush only invaded Afghanistan to build a pipeline) which are adopted by the radical Islamists more and more.

    Posted by: Jay at August 18, 2005 6:01 PM

    Why can't any of you rightwing fascists spell?
    Democracys? Is that like monkeys? And you wonder
    why we liberals are so elitist, so full of contempt for the mouthbreathers among us? Democracys. That's why.

    Posted by: DKV at August 18, 2005 7:00 PM

    Sory. U be lait. T parrty wuz yestiday. Butt u b plenty smarttt, brainz. So otay. Diluth!

    Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at August 18, 2005 7:06 PM

    My word, Gerard, you've certainly triggered the ire of the lunatic Left! It speaks well of the clarity and force of your statement that the moonbats should be swarming thus. Keep up the good work.

    Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at August 19, 2005 3:42 AM

    My word, Gerald, that silly lunatic left that believes slaughtering millions of civilians is wrong is certainly irate about you. What moral relativists! Silly moonbats. We are hard at work spreading "democracys" to the dirty pagan brown people, at least the ones we don't shoot on sight, nuke or rape in our prisons. It speaks well of the clarity and force of your statement that all people with a conscience are shocked and appalled at your inhumanity to man. Good work!

    Posted by: Sane American at August 19, 2005 8:04 AM

    I guess some people never learned to think in hypothetical terms. The whole point of Gerard's essay (perhaps in fact his site) is to make people think about the aftermath of a nuclear event in one of our cities. His concern is predicated on his observations of our responses to an attack upon our citizenry which, in it's scope and intent, was certainly designed to kill as many people as possible, regardless of their age, sex, religion or combatant status. Perhaps you recall it, it was in all the papers.

    I will be most interested in the responses of many of the commenters here IF a nuclear event is staged in the U.S. Somehow I don't think they will be too concerned with international treaties and self-constructed moral quandries. Apparently they have forgotten their uneasiness immediately following 9/11, when almost everyone expected another, more horrific attack at any time. Many of us have not, and have been thinking about how uneasy the nation will be after it's citizens have been nuked.

    If we never explore the limits of our self-proclaimed enemies' admitted goals, then we will be much more likely to strike out blindly and very, very harshly when they achieve them. Believe it or not, most wingnuts would like to avoid living in a future where the United States is responsible for slaughtering 1 billion people. But then, why think about possible grim futures when the present can be rationalized to suit certain utopian ideals?

    Posted by: Chris at August 19, 2005 8:20 AM

    Chris: well said.

    Posted by: tagryn at August 19, 2005 9:17 AM

    Here's the deal-- 9/11 was synthetic terror manufactured by the US government. US intelligence agencies knew exactly what was going to happen on 9/11 and let it happen in order to pursue their geopolitical agenda. Note, I am not blaming Bush for this, though he is certainly guilty of covering-up US government involvement in 9/11. In any case, we will only be nuked by "Al Qaeda" if the US government decides that is necessary to promote another war. Personally, I wouldn't worry about that too much. You should really turn your attention to those in the US government who facilitated the 9/11 attacks-- particularly those who stood down the US air force and those who brought down the twin towers with controlled demolitions.

    Both conservatives and liberals need to wake up to these facts.

    Posted by: Spooked at August 19, 2005 9:19 AM

    Sorry, but that's much too insane even for me.

    Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at August 19, 2005 9:54 AM

    Good lord, the 101st keyboard commandoes are going "nukular" now? Nuke 'em all, that'll fix the problem? If this damned war is so important, and you're in such a bloodlust, why are you here, and not in Iraq?

    Posted by: David at August 19, 2005 12:21 PM

    Please seek professional help before you hurt someone or yourself.

    Posted by: dr.shrink at August 19, 2005 7:15 PM

    I never seriously expected any wingnut on this blog to answer my question "in what way are you morally superior to the terrorists?" That would have required some tiny bit of intellectual courage.
    Your cowardice is trumped only by your supreme moral relativeness, uber-political correctness, and blind embrace of big government.

    Posted by: Juan Gewanfri at August 19, 2005 10:52 PM

    Okay, Juan. Here's your answer. Terrorists intentionally target civilians, or non-combatants. Their aim in doing so is to induce the larger population to acquiese to their demands by their demonstrated willingness to commit any and all atrocities, anywhere, anytime, totally at random. They will blow up women, children, dogs and cats. They simply don't care. If you believe that women and children are legitimate targets, then you need to explain why that is.

    The United States uses it's military forces in conventional ways, that is, they target combatants, those who can defend themselves. At great risk to themselves, our military avoids civilian casualties whenever possible. As munitions have become more precise, so has our willingness to use them. As a society we no longer tolerate indiscriminate applications of force because our capabilities are so much higher.

    Let's look at it this way. If someone picks a fight with us, we leave the bar, go outside in the parking lot, and wait for our adversary to take his best shot. A terrorist will wait for you to leave, and then kill someone else at random, preferrably the barmaid. The hope is to get you so rattled that you will never leave the bar, allowing them the run of the parking lot.

    Bottom line, we avoid killing those who can't defend themselves whenever possible, even if it costs us our own soldiers. Terrorists don't give a shit who or how many they kill, as long as they make a statement.

    Posted by: Chris at August 20, 2005 4:52 AM

    "Between 8,789 and 10,638 civilians have died since war began March 19, 2003, according to one group of British and American researchers that surveys media reports and eyewitness accounts."

    I've scanned about for iraq & afghan civlians killed since. This is a good source about the difficulties of counting the innocents killed.

    Posted by: Apathetic at August 20, 2005 7:11 AM

    Chris - not to mention the *causes* each side is fighting for. In our case, things like liberty, democratic representation, women's rights, freedom of religion, etc. In the Islamists' case, we're talking things like universal sharia, oppression of women, restoration of the Caliphate, suppression of any religion but Wahhabist Islam, and so on. You merely need look at al-Qaeda's writings & how Afghanistan was ruled by the Taliban to see what our enemies want.

    Between the two, I know which side needs to win.

    Apathetic - Morally, the intent of an act is at least as important as its outcome. Bombings which accidentally kill civilians & the death of innocents who get caught in a firefight aren't the same as detonating car bombs in crowds of civilians and blowing up the Red Cross and UN headquarters. The Coalition's actions in Iraq don't even equate to the Allied operations at the end of WWII; were we operating at that level, you've have seen B-52s pounding Fallujah into the ground with nothing but rubble left afterwards. We may eventually get to that point, for example if Gerard's scenario comes to pass, but let's not mistake the current situation for total war. We're not close to it, yet.

    Posted by: tagryn at August 20, 2005 7:33 AM

    Interesting discussion. Problem is the right support ed Saddam in his Iran Crusade. You are just a windbag.

    Posted by: Friendly Fire at August 20, 2005 10:31 AM

    Ah yes, and time was forever frozen at that precise moment.

    Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at August 20, 2005 10:55 AM

    Guys, guys!
    We need both right wing crazies and left wing crazies in America -- don't you guys read Hegel?

    This website is clearly for the sometimes impotent white male suburbans, who are worried we aren't getting down enough on the dune coons. But these guys are also the dudes who go fight -- we need them!

    Other websites are clearly for the chickenshit lefties who couldn't fight a wet dish rag, and who are personal cowards -- but these dudes are often right about our country going too far in its grim Manichaen fights (see Vietnam). We need these left wing pussies, too!

    As the two sides fight, we get a synthesis ofthe truth ..i.e. we'll kick Arab ass, but not too much.

    Really, folks, Marx was wrong about many things, but not about historical criticism. From thesis and anti-thesis, we get...the American army!

    Now you white guy right wingers go masturbate with your fake AK 47's, and you left winger pussies go get bitch-slapped by your hairy legged wives who earn more than you.

    Meanwhile, we all support our brave dudes overseas -- they're the true heroes!

    We're all Americans!

    A Kansan Republican

    Posted by: Kansas Republican at August 20, 2005 3:02 PM

    Thanks, tagryn. Most people have no idea how strategic bombing was carried out in WWII and how it is carried out now. And a great deal of people have no idea what our enemies have been saying, or they don't believe them. But then again, they aren't responsible for the American people, are they?

    I didn't get my fake AK-47. I have to whack off with a fake Schmeisser, but it's old school.

    Posted by: Chris at August 20, 2005 6:13 PM

    Thanks for answering a question I never asked. intentional vs unintential killing of civilians.

    My question was why are those who advocate the killing of hundreds of thousands of brown skinned muslim civilians morally superior to those who supported the killing of 3000 predominately white skinned christians on 9/11?

    Posted by: Juan Gewanfri at August 20, 2005 6:21 PM

    "We eventually become that which we most despise."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "We should kill anybody who looks at us funny, and anybody who might look like them, and anybody who wears funny hats as well! We have to defend ourselves against people who would do to us what we are planning to do to them!" American inDigestion

    The definition of right wing loony appears to be a certain denial of irony, rejection of empathy, and antipathy towards the practice of Christianity with a corresponding dedication to the most heinous acts of the Old Testament.

    Posted by: boing!!! at August 20, 2005 6:36 PM

    We're certainly glad you cleared that up. We were beginning to wonder.

    Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at August 20, 2005 6:38 PM

    Gerard's essay isn't *advocating*, it's *predicting*...and warning.

    Others have raised similar concerns.

    But it's the old analogical problem of the owls vs. the roosters. For many, "it is still dead of night," and resent having their sleep disturbed by the warner's calls for awakening.

    Posted by: tagryn at August 20, 2005 7:10 PM

    Thank you for clarifying a point that seems to have eluded many here in their rush to screed.

    Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at August 20, 2005 8:40 PM

    -- [Removed for excess frothing...]

    Posted by: Juan Gewanfri at August 20, 2005 8:56 PM

    -- [ Removed for excess frothing] --

    Posted by: product of vietnam at August 20, 2005 9:01 PM

    PoV: Ad hominems add nothing constructive to the conversation.

    Posted by: tagryn at August 20, 2005 9:24 PM

    hey, here's a trivia question:

    which nation is the only country in the world to kill thousands of human beings in an instant when they exploded a nuclear weapon over a densely populated urban area? (hint: this nation did it twice.)

    sooo.... isn't it a little bit misguided to claim the moral high ground about matters of nuclear devastation?

    let me understand: are you saying we should live our lives in fear of a horrific attack on American soil, because so many people around the world are afraid of us attacking them? that we should fear a terroristic nuclear attack because our policies and wars the world over have created so many possibly vengeful young men who might be willing to give Old Glory a little tasta her own medicine?

    or is it just because it's a freaky idea?

    well, regardless, when does a violent cycle become no longer sustainable? after bomb number one or the retributive bomb number two? circular destruction -- nah, nothing to be a-feared'f 'bout that. not 'specially 'cuz we're the ones who's got the most nukes, eh?

    Posted by: libertied at August 22, 2005 12:24 AM

    If you pose a question that Political Correctness Enforcer Gerard is afraid to answer, he will delete it and ban further posts from you. You will become an online non-person:
    Like an inconvenient photo of a dissident in the former Soviet Union: Doctored faster than it takes his Mom to say "There there Sweetie, don't listen to those mean people." after he runs to her in tears.
    Consider yourselves warned
    Counsel for J.G.

    Posted by: the front at August 22, 2005 1:46 PM

    It seems you have, as have others, mistaken this comments section for a UseNet message board. Wrong.

    My place. My rules. Be good. Be cool. Try not to drool on the furniture or be gone.

    Arbitrary? Why yes, I am.

    Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at August 22, 2005 2:12 PM

    I note that your remark, except for the curious "counsel for J.G.," exceeds neither the obscenity or stupidity limits. Welcome my boy.

    Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at August 22, 2005 2:13 PM

    The unspoken assumption of the people who consider this discussion hateful or racist is that things will never get any worse; that the WTC, as bad as it was, was the end rather than the beginning. I hope they're right, but there is absolutely no such guarantee. The professed goal of Al Qaeda is to destroy at least one, preferably several, American cities with WMD's. There are enormous sums of money and effort being expended to make this a reality. The scenario described here is one where they have successfully accomplished this dream. The point of this essay is that "religion of peace" denial about the nature of Islamism would not survive such an attack.

    Lee: the "ancient enemy" referred to is Islam, which at one point controlled a large part of Europe, Spain included. (Or "Andalusia", as Bin Laden refers to it.) The Islamic world was at war with the West centuries before the existence of Israel, or multinational corporations, or of the United States. Why should this history be relevant to us? Because it is relevant to Bin Laden and to the millions throughout the Muslim world who sympathize with him. Why do you think Bin Laden rants about "Crusaders?" Why has Bin Laden demanded that all European territory formerly occupied by the Muslims be returned to their control? The Islamists obviously have no hope of making this happen by conventional military means, but they apparently believe they have a chance of making it happen through terrorism and subversion.

    Nor do I believe that our dealings with repressive Arab governments are the root of this hatred. Where did all those repressive Arab leaders come from? The assorted tyrants of the Middle East are the products of their own societies and of the hates, fears and inadequacies of those societies. If the Islamic culture and worldview are so benign and compatible with democracy and pluralism, why is there no Muslim majority society (with the possible exception of Turkey) which is fully democratic? And if rage about repressive Arab leaders is the root of Islamism, why is this ideology so prevalent among French, British, and Scandanavian Muslims? Why the surge of Islamic separatism in the Netherlands? Is the Netherlands "repressive"? Do European Muslims believe that there is more freedom in Tehran than in Amsterdam?

    Much of the criticism posted here seems based on a lack of historical awareness and on blissful denial about contemporary Islamic ideology.

    Posted by: Milo at August 26, 2005 9:55 PM

    Indeed it is and as such can be discarded as a testimony to the failure of the educational system to require a working knowledge of history as well as some insight into the self. It also merely reinforces the premise of sleepwalking.

    Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at August 26, 2005 10:12 PM
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