Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

 

A Few Things I’ve been Thinking About

  • Can you say "Third Party President?" Lamont the Cable Guy git's 'er done in the Connecticut primary. Think about this. A guy with no government experience other than being on his town council defeats one of the most accomplished Senators in US government, a man who 6 years ago was the Democratic candidate for Vice President. Lieberman's politics have not changed in the last 6 years; he's still a big liberal. He was defeated on one issue only; the war. Unlike most in the Democratic fold, he has not fallen into the coma of denial. The funny thing is that many in the Democratic Party are rejoicing in Joe's defeat, not realizing that they are alienating the vast centrist majority in their party that gave Clinton 8 years in office.

    If you want to know how the Democrats will do in 2008, take a quick look at the 2004 Dean campaign. YYYYEEEEAAAARRRGGGGGGG!
  • But Don't Call Them Terrorists Those terrorists that don't exist and pose no threat to the US so we should leave Iraq, ignore Iran, and tell Israel to leave those nice Hezbollah folks alone were just caught trying to pull another playful prank on the aviation industry. Those mischievous little scamps were caught trying to bring explosives onto planes so they could entertain the passengers with an in-flight fireworks show.
  • Media Bias Doesn't Exist And I'm currently Photoshopping the pictures I need to prove it!
  • Old Dictators Never Die They just go into the hospital and vanish from the view of mortal men. Fidel Castro is lunching with Osama bin Laden in hell right now, but we won't hear about it until Raul figures out how to make his temporary power permanent. After all, he doesn't want to fall in a bloody coup.

    Like the one his brother led.
  • Embracing MADnessWe read from some on the left that we shouldn't worry if Iran gets nuclear weapons because of the good old MAD doctrine of the Cold War. While it's nice to see that the left has finally realized the validity of the doctrine, and are willing to put it into practice, unfortunately, this isn't the Cold War. Here's the thing. MAD depends on two things. First, both sides have to realize that any nuclear exchange will result in both sides losing. Or as Joshua put it, "Strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?" Second, and this is key, both sides must believe that nuclear annihilation is a bad thing.

    Neither of these requirements exist when considering a nuclear Iran! In the first case, in order to respond to a nuclear attack, you must first be able to identify the origin of the attack. If terrorists exploded a nuclear device in New York Harbor, or in the middle of Tel Aviv, how will we know who to bomb? We've still got folks believing that Osama bin Laden had nothing to do with 9-11 for goodness sakes! Our friends in the Democratic Party have made it very clear that they will do everything in their power to acquiesce to any terrorist act, no matter how vile. Heck, an Muslim can go on the streets of a US city, gun down several Jewish women, loudly proclaim that he did so as a response to Israel's actions, and we debate on whether he was a terrorist or not!

    Come on people! Terrorists are defined by what they do, not who they are affiliated with. The guy targeted civilians in order to make a political point, and attempt to influence US policy. That's a text book definition of terrorism! But no, in America, we call him "troubled."

    In the second case, we have to remember that Jihadi's want to be martyrs. They want to die in the service of Allah. In the words of the late Richard Pryor, "They can't wait to get back to Allah. And take about 12 [expletive] with 'em." An apocalypse in the Middle East would suit them just fine. As long as Jews die and Israel is destroyed, they're happy.

    Think about that for awhile.

    There's a third factor at work as well. MAD also assumed that the two combatants would be unhampered by third parties. In the case of US v USSR, that was a valid assumption. There wasn't anyone else big enough to intervene. But let's suppose that Ahmadinejad gets his wish and Iran acquires a few nukes. He then follows through on his vow and lobs a couple at Tel Aviv. Israel will of course respond with its own nukes right? At least, they will if the first strike didn't take out their response capabilities.

    But what if Russia steps in and says that any Israeli nuclear reprisal will be answered with Russian nukes? What happens then? Does Israel launch anyway? Will we get involved, and tell Russia to back off or we'll respond? Or will we argue that the damage has already been done, there's already been too much bloodshed, and that we must "constructively engage both sides in a quest for a lasting peace?"

    I can see a scenario where Muslim extremists can launch a nuclear attack on a US ally, and the US will do exactly nothing about it, and if I can see it, then so can the Mad Mullahs.

    So much for MAD. Once again, the left is using the tactics of the last war to try and fight the current one.
  • He Has the Power! No, not He-Man; Joe Lieberman. Judging by the reaction of many Democrats to Lieberman's decision to run as a Democrat, either Joe must be like kryptonite to left wing whack jobs, or the Democratic Party in Connecticut must be a fragile thing indeed. Why else would the netroots be in such a frenzy, demanding Joe drop out and not run as an independent? Normally nobody worries about independent candidates; they never win. But if an independent Lieberman has the power to destroy the Democratic Party in Connecticut of all places, then what does that say about the strength of the party?


Now I'm off to take my licensing test!
Posted by Rich
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hey rich,
hope all's going well, that there haven't been any more unexpected hospital visits, and that your daughter's pregnancy is going along well.

a few points:

"Our friends in the Democratic Party have made it very clear that they will do everything in their power to acquiesce to any terrorist act, no matter how vile."

any examples?

"Heck, an Muslim can go on the streets of a US city, gun down several Jewish women, loudly proclaim that he did so as a response to Israel's actions, and we debate on whether he was a terrorist or not!"

when did this hyposthetical event occur, or the reaction?

name one democrat who does not believe that muslim extremists are a real threat. one. who doesn't think terrorism exists?

the point about a portable bomb is valid. what would prevent this? screening cargo coming into the u.s., protecting our borders, using our intelligence agencies to track shipments, money transfers to extremist organizations, etc etc. this is a no-brainer. yet somehow, 5 years after 9-11, all of these are woefully underutilized. republicans in control of all three branches, as well as our intelligence agencies, and yet the democrats are somehow still to blame.

"An apocalypse in the Middle East would suit them just fine. As long as Jews die and Israel is destroyed, they're happy."

yup.

now how do you feel about apocalyptic christians who also want jews to die so the messiah can return? how do you feel about those people being in high policy positions?

i've said it before, but our warmongering only radicalizes young muslims. if we keep this up, it will be ww3. and then we are all screwed.
Posted by howie  on  08/11  at  06:17 PM

i just found the article about the incident in seattle you were referencing. my bad.
Posted by howie  on  08/11  at  07:58 PM

No problem, Howie. It didn't get a lot of play. While it seems to me it would be a major story, our major media outlets disagree. I'll leave the reasons why they bury stories like this as an exercise for the reader.

And thanks for asking about the kids. Nope, no more trips to the hospital, so that's a good thing.

As for those who don't believe Islamic extremists represent a real threat, let's start with Micheal Moore. Add in Mr. Murtha. Take a trip through DU to find rank and file Dems who don't believe terrorism represents a threat. You could also list Cynthia McKinney among the members of our gov't who denied that Islamic terrorism was a threat to the US.

I like your ideas of how to protect the US from a portable bomb. Isn't it interesting though, how many of the ideas you suggest have been opposed by Democrats/liberals? (Tightening the borders, tracking money and shipments, etc.)

Here's what I find most interesting, by the way. You say that our warmongering is leading to WWIII. How is it that the violent acts of terrorist organizations, openly supported by States like Syria and Iran, don't get that credit from you? It's like blaming a fight on the kid who fights back instead of the one who threw the first punch.

In the latest case, Hezbollah, with the advance knowledge of the rest of the Lebanese government, and with the overt support of Syria and Iran, carried out an act of war against Israel, invading their territory, firing rockets at civilian targets, engaging a military unit, kidnapping 2 soldiers, and killing several more. Yet international opinion somehow blames Israel for responding to this act of war in a warlike fashion!

It simply boggles my mind. Israel did not pick this fight, and they bear no responsibility for stopping it.

As for apocalyptic Christians, I've heard people talk about them, but I've never actually met one, and I'm certain that there are none actively seeking nuclear weapons to kill Jews or anybody else for that matter. And you are certainly encouraged to name some names of those you consider to be in high gov't positions here in the US or anywhere for that matter.

It sounds remarkably like the moral equivalence argument some use to compare fundamental Islamists with fundamental Christians. I'll buy that argument the first time we start getting reports of fundamentalist Christians slitting the throats of reporters, or random victims they kidnap off the streets.

I don't judge folks by their religious beliefs; I judge them by their actions.

To answer your question more directly, if there was somebody in our government who actively supported the idea of bringing on the Apocalypse, a la Ahmadinejad, I'd want them out of power and in a rubber room as quickly as possible.
Posted by rich  on  08/11  at  09:55 PM

hey rich, sorry if you were waiting for an immediate reply. some thoughts:

i haven't found anything by murtha or mckinney that reinforces your position, other than their views that we are fighting this supposed war ineffectively. i don't personally troll the du, but i wouldn't be surprised that you found folks there who feel as such. free republic and little green footballs commentors are pretty easy pickings for far out opinion, too. and michael moore is as michael moore does. anyway, want to show me some substantial quotes?

"I like your ideas of how to protect the US from a portable bomb. Isn't it interesting though, how many of the ideas you suggest have been opposed by Democrats/liberals? (Tightening the borders, tracking money and shipments, etc.)"

well, we have a republican congress. they could pass these safety measures if they wanted to. too bad the concept of protecting citizens falls short of protecting corporate interests:

House panel pressured to defeat cargo inspection amendment <a href="http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0406/042506cdam2.htm" rel="nofollow">http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0406/042506cdam2.htm</a>

"In the latest case, Hezbollah, with the advance knowledge of the rest of the Lebanese government, and with the overt support of Syria and Iran, carried out an act of war against Israel, invading their territory, firing rockets at civilian targets, engaging a military unit, kidnapping 2 soldiers, and killing several more. Yet international opinion somehow blames Israel for responding to this act of war in a warlike fashion!
It simply boggles my mind. Israel did not pick this fight, and they bear no responsibility for stopping it."

so israel has carte blanche to keep going at this point? that will lead us down a dark and ugly road. can you say archduke franz ferdinand, anyone? i in no way condone the actions of hezbollah. they were rash and foolish (but there is no proof the lebanese govt knew or endorsed their attack). however, initially, they were only targeting the military--israel's response of attacking civilians is what prompted hezbollah's returning rocket fire. this is an example of how a disproportionate response ratchets up the situation. further, i feel like a broken record, but the actions of israel are adding fuel to the fire. you've likely seen his, but before the attacks, something like 17% of lebanese supported hezbollah, now something like 80% do. i'm sure their recruitment is at an all time high. you can't bomb terrorism away, it doesn't work like that.

and just for the record, israel has been in flagrant violation of multiple u.n. resolutions, for decades: <a href="http://www.jatonyc.org/UNresolutions.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.jatonyc.org/UNresolutions.html</a>

if they were iraq, we would've invaded ten times over by now, just for that. but instead, we just sent a new batch of weapons to them right after the lastest offensive began...

"As for apocalyptic Christians, I've heard people talk about them, but I've never actually met one, and I'm certain that there are none actively seeking nuclear weapons to kill Jews or anybody else for that matter. And you are certainly encouraged to name some names of those you consider to be in high gov't positions here in the US or anywhere for that matter."

"Bush White House checked with rapture Christians before latest Israel move"

<a href="http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0420,perlstein,53582,6.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0420,perlstein,53582,6.html</a>

not to mention scalia's dominionist rhetoric, general boykins claiming we're fighting satan, "justice sunday", focus on the family's inroads within the rnc, politicos affiliation with self proclaimed messiah sun young-moon and his washington times... anyway, here's a quote from an interview with dick armey a few years ago:

"Armey: We talk about the End Times, the day of Tribulation. Yes there seems to be, if you believe in Bible prophecy, there seems to be a great deal of the circumstances that was prophesised present at this time, and a lot of people believe that this is the time for that prophecy. They also believe that a free and a, what shall I say, well, Israel will be a consequence after those days of Tribulation, but that the whole world goes through a difficult time during those days of Tribulation.

q: Do you believe it?

a: Yes, I do.

q: Does the President of the United States believe it?

a: I believe he does."

there's more: <a href="http://blogs.salon.com/0003494/2006/08/14.html" rel="nofollow">http://blogs.salon.com/0003494/2006/08/14.html</a> (armey states, however, that they are not trying to encourage these "end times" through their actions.) actually, the blog post ends on a note that is supposed to mitigate my feelings--but truly, if these viewpoints are so extremist that they're not registering with politicians, why do politicians bother meeting with these kinds of people?

"It sounds remarkably like the moral equivalence argument some use to compare fundamental Islamists with fundamental Christians. I'll buy that argument the first time we start getting reports of fundamentalist Christians slitting the throats of reporters, or random victims they kidnap off the streets."

no, in the u.s., when reporters do something the right wing doesn't approve of, they merely get death threats and have all of their personal information posted online. y'know, for fun.

if what i linked to above is any indication, christian extremists don't have to go around slitting throats to make a point--they have political connections, which are far more useful. also, to inject some perspective, those actions of islamic extremists in iraq happened directly after news of the torture at abu ghraib first came out. i am not suggesting the response was appropriate--but in context, it can be understood as a reaction. acting like an animal encourages others to do the same. if rumsfeld and friends had taken the geneva conventions seriously, such reactions would likely not be occuring. then again, if they had taken geneva seriously, they wouldn't have invaded iraq in the first place, since it would constitute an offensive act of war...

out of curiosity, have you ever seen "battle of algiers"?

"I don't judge folks by their religious beliefs; I judge them by their actions."

fair enough. i try to be the same way.

"To answer your question more directly, if there was somebody in our government who actively supported the idea of bringing on the Apocalypse, a la Ahmadinejad, I'd want them out of power and in a rubber room as quickly as possible."

cool. i'll keep you posted.
Posted by howie  on  08/16  at  07:50 PM

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