Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fred, Ron & The Kingfish

There is some very good news for Fred Thompson coming out of the polls. According to the latest LA Times/Bloomberg poll and a Rasmussen poll, Fred is now in a statistical dead heat for the lead in the Republican primaries with Rudy Giuliani. This is an amazing feat given that Fred has not yet entered the race.

Fred is enjoying immense popularity in large part because he is the closest thing to a Reagan conservative in - or soon to be in - the Republican field. And to add to his mystique, Fred also enjoys some obvious similarities to Ronald Reagan. Like Reagan, Fred is a successful actor with exceptional communication skills. Indeed, Fred quite often comes across with the same down home clarity and optimism that was the hallmark of Reagan. And like Reagan, Fred has been consistent in sounding the themes of social conservativism, small government and a strong national defense. These are the things that make the hearts of the conservative base go all a-twitter. And they are the same things that make Democrats pop awake at 3 a.m., covered in sweat and screaming.

Thus, it is no suprise that Democrats have already begun penning the poison. Left wing pundit Richard Cohen recently wrote such a missive, positing that Fred is no Reagan. Cohen's rather unusual arguments strongly suggest that the left is going to have a lot of trouble attacking Fred.

Cohen's first argument - an argument that could only arise out of the far left - is that Fred is psychologically far too normal to be President. According to Cohen, "the presidency that Thompson now seeks is not won by the normal, the average, the ordinary, but by people fueled by an explosive combination of overriding ambition and charming megalomania." While the crop of Democratics seeking the presidency all seem to satisfy Cohen's psychological prerequisite, Fred does not. But for some strange reason, I do not think that most people outside of the very hard left will see Fred Thompson's psychological equilibrium as a disqualifying factor.

In another argument, Cohen takes Fred Thompson to task because, during Fred's eight years as a Senator from Tennessee, Fred did not propose a bevy of new laws to which his name would be attached. This is yet another criticism that could only come from the far left. What was it that Reagen said about the left's proclivity for legislation? “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” It would seem Fred, in doing none of the above, went a ways towards establishing his credentials as a small government conservative.

If the far left keeps up attacks like these on Fred Thompson, and if as seems likely Fred maintains the "big mo" that now has him statistically tied for the lead in the polls with Giuliani, Fred may shortly find himself in a very enviable position indeed. In fact, he may find himself in that position once occupied by the "Kingfish," Huey Long, who opined shortly before an election, "the only way I can lose is if they find me in bed with a dead girl or a live boy." Let's hope Fred stays out of the bed - and starts running.

-- And if you missed it, here is Fred on The Tonight Show last night




(H/T Hillbilly Politics)

17 comments:

ChairmanMao said...

How is Fred a conservative Godsend? Hes being backed by alot of former Bush backers. Thats not a good sign if we want someone different then Bush. Secondly, how is Fred more a Reagan conservative then Ron Paul, who was actually a friend of Reagan and one of the few people to originally endorse him.

scott said...

Some Bush supporters backing Fred is hardly the kiss of death. As to Ron Paul, he is not a conservative. He is a libertarian with some truly outlandish views - i.e., the US was responsible for 9-11 and that we should return to the gold standard seem particularly out there. I do like Ron Paul, but he is not today a Reagen conservative by any stretch.

Anonymous said...

Fred is an actor known to be the laziest politician in DC.

He stayed out of the debates to avoid showing how dumb he is.

Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate that is not a NEOCON sock puppet. I understand supporting liberty, upholding the Constjavascript:void(0)
Publish Your Commentitution and liberty is "outlandish" to some.

scott said...

Jimmy Carter was likely the hardest working President that we ever had - and certainly the worst in the 20th century. Reagen's opponents tried to tag him as lazy also. Yet Reagen was certainly one of the best President's of the 20th century. You're going to have to come up with some better argruments - to the extent you can call tagging someone with the label lazy a argument.

Ron Paul & Neocon sock puppet? Liking Ron Paul is one thing - tagging the rest of the crowd with the label "necon sock puppet" - well, I strongly suspect you are from the far left side of the aisle to begin with.

The second paragraph of your argument is unintelligible if you would care to correct it.

ChairmanMao said...

Scott please state where Dr. Paul said that the US was responsible for 911

scott said...

Certainly. The first republican debate - Ron Paul indicated that 9-11 happened because we were mucking about in the mid-east in the years prior.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuX73Ixqtbg

Jason said...

I'll admit that Thompson is the most normal candidate in the GOP field--and, for that, he should at least be considered by Republicans.
However, it fascinates me beyond belief that there are still Republicans who have deluded themselves into believing that a pro-war candidate can possibly win the election.
Sure, the Demoncrats aren't going to end the war immediately--the fact remains, though, that they will win the election unless the GOP chooses someone who will.
Of course, there is only one GOP candidate who has been against this war from the start. He doesn't believe the people of America caused 9/11, he believes that if you step on someone's toes for 50+ years and ignore their pleas for you to stop, you shouldn't be surprised when they clinch their fist and punch you, as hard as they can, in the back of the head.
Deny it all you want--this is exactly what happened. We can continue to pretend to be innocent victims, or we can accept responsibility for the actions of our government.
It's like your mother always told you--the bee won't sting you if you leave the bee alone. It's more afraid of you than you are of it.
We stood up to Russia, a real threat, and never had to murder thousands of innocent people. The "Islamic Extremists" are weak, poor, and unorganized, especially compared to our military. Why are we pretending that they are a serious threat?
America was never "terrorized" by anyone in the middle east until after we put troops on their soil. The solution seems simple.
If they hate us because of our freedoms, they're winning, because we're less free today than we were six years ago. If they're trying to make us fear them, they're winning, because we are so scared we're giving up our founding principles for security and safety.
If they just want us to leave their land--then why don't we just leave?
Oh, oil. I forgot. Billions of dollars for defense contractors--I forgot. More power for the government--domestic and international--I forgot.
I thought we were a moral country. I thought we were a brave people. We're acting like cowering children. Grow some balls America. Wake up.
Don't fear the poor, desperate, uneducated "terrorists." Fear the people who have convinced us to follow them down the road to Fascism. Fear the people who have taught us to be suspicious of our neighbors. Fear the people who have convinced a once proud and independent nation that it is acceptable to torture, to detain without a trial, and to kill tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of innocent people in the name of liberation and freedom. Don't forget to pour out your water and take your shoes off before you get on that plane though. "If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." --Samuel Adams

ChairmanMao said...

To make sure we are on the same page I believe your speaking of the South Carolina debate, correct me if Im wrong. Here's my stream of analysis, feel free to tell me if im incorrect.
The first relevant issue is, "Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us?". This is refering to the fatwa(might not be correct name of it) that Bin Laden issued several years ago. "They attack us because we've been over there" this is an opinion the average person could have after reading the fatwa, correct? The next part comes after Mr Golers question of "Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attack, sir?". Dr Paul responds, "I'm suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it". In my opinion this comes from the idea of know thy enemy. Mr. Giuliani then responds with his assertion that we invited the attacks.
I have a few questions for you now Scott.
1. Of the evidence I presented did I analyze something incorrectly.
2. Did the evidence I presented indicate that Ron Paul said that 911 happened because we were mucking around in Iraq. Which because do you mean? Are you using the same because as "The Civil War happened because of slavery" which points to the institute of slavery as the cause of the civil war?
3.Did I leave anything significant out?
4. Not to bust your balls but point out to me where Ron Paul says, "the US was responsible for 9-11".
5. Just for a fun tangent several CIA agents agree and show evidence that blowback is a legitimate theory (if you want proof ill get it) do you disagree with this theory? If so what evidence is your opinion based off of?

billm99uk said...

Uh oh, Scott! You've upset the Ron Paul supporters club. This could get messy, very messy...

scott said...

It would seem that I have indeed, Bill. To Jason and the Chairman, I apologize but have been away from the keyboard and have to jump off again now for a few more hours - the real world calls. But I will respond in full tonight. And thank you for your comments.

ChairmanMao said...

Scott I must say I was extremely suprised to see that you are this blogs author. I have only seen one other blog where the author was willing to discuss challenges to their stated opinion. I must say I am quite impressed.

scott said...

Jason: We fundamentally disagree on most of your points.

1. I do not believe that the last election was a referendum on the war as much as it was a referendum on the incredibly poor job that Republicans were doing overall. They had become wholly unmoored from their small government roots.

2. I know what the polls of a 1,000 Americans here or there say that the war is unpopular. I put little trust in polls. The only “survey” that counts is of the entire populace on election day. In between then and now, popular opinion is swayed by many things. The anti-war sentiment of today as to Iraq is the product of relentless attacks by the left, a media that has been largely complicit, and a failure to center the debate:

a. The term “anti-war” is actually a misnomer. The Democrats do not want out of all wars. They seem to want to fight on in Afghanistan, and to begin to fight in the Sudan. They only want out of Iraq because that is “Bush’s war.” Their reasoning, repeated ad infinitum, is that Bush lied to get us into the war, it is a morally inappropriate war, and we should leave rather then spend the manpower and money we need to succeed.

b. The media’s coverage of the war in Iraq has been so one sided as to be laughable. I invite you to browse through my archives for some of the posts analyzing their coverage. It is no wonder that the majority of the populace, fed on that type of coverage, is soured on the war. For example, see http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/06/washington-post-gives-only-negative.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/nyt-spinning-out-of-control-in.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/05/tale-of-two-iraqs.html And there are many more posts on the topic.

c. The media is also complicit in another instance. Whether we should or should not have gone into Iraq is a question for historians and philosophers at this point. It has no bearing on the single question that matters – what will be the costs and consequences of leaving Iraq before it is stablized and a viable country? That question is being completely ignored by the media and the Democrats at this point. Nor, to my knowledge, has Ron Paul addressed it. But unless the Democrats are able to end the war soon, it will be a question that will be forced before the public between now and the 08 election. As to what those consequences may be – please see http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/incalculable-cost-of-surrender.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/05/bernard-lewis-on-arab-reactions-cost-of.html and http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/05/former-sen-bob-kerry-on-democrats-iraq.html

3. To believe that we in the West are somehow the cause of the Islamic aggression totally misaprehends the history of Islam and truly underestimates just how existential is the threat - whether we have troops in the Middle East or not. If you look only during the past century, you are missing the totality of the picture. The modern incarnation of radical Islam is nothing more then the same beast that has been attacking the West since about 700 A.D. I would suggest that you read any book written by Bernard Lewis since 1990 (he's been publishing since 1945, but the one's from 1990 onward are most up to date. He is the nation’s, if not the world’s, preeminent Orientalist Or see http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/03/islam-history-and-defunding-un.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/03/prof-lewis-speaks-on-islam-mid-east.html and http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/03/professor-benard-lewis-now-ninety-years.html And don’t miss Fred Thompson’s discussion of our nation’s very first war – a 14 year conflict with the Islamist pirates of the Barbary Coast - http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/05/fred-on-our-first-14-year-war-with.html. I strongly suggest you go to MEMRI.ORG and start analyzing precisely what is being said by the Islamists. Or you can start here - http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/deconstructing-radical-wahhabi-islamist.html. As you consider these, know that threat to America from Islam is actually eclipsed by the threat to Europe and the UK from Islam. See http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/05/fjordman-on-islamization-of-uk-european.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/islamicization-of-europe.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/islamicization-of-europe.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/perfect-islamic-storm-part-ii.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/will-sarkozy-france-lead-europe-around.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/perfect-islamic-storm-part-iii.html

4. Jason, with all due respect, your suggestion that, because we did not engage the Russians means we can face down the Islamists also without firing a shot, and further, that because Islamists are far less organized, they are not an existential threat of great importance, is dangerously, if not suicidally, sophomoric. One, Russia never attacked us or came across the German border because they were quite aware that they might well be wiped off the map. Radical Islamists do not operate with that same logic. See http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008768 . Two, that the Islamists lack organization is certainly not something that has or will prevent them from doing untold damage. Looking beyond the 18 Islamists who killed near 3,000 on 9-11, the fact is that it will only take a few Islamists to succeed in performing the jihadists wet dream of unleashing a nuclear weapon in the West, if not in America. According to our nation’ highest law enforcement officer, it is only a matter of time before the jihadis are able to acquire fissle material and a nuclear weapon. See http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/06/fbi-director-says-only-matter-of-time.html . To defeat the Islamists threat means that we have to fight it on several different levels to stop the damage and break the ideologies – salafi / wahhabi / deobandi / khomeinist – that animate radical Islam. On one level, we must attack them and, at all costs, keep them from being able to regain the offensive. Two, we must attack them on an ideological level. See http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/former-terrorist-speaks-out-in-wsj.html and http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/03/islam-history-and-defunding-un.html This is not a conflict that will end in our lifetimes - unless we surrender. The Islamists will not surrender, they can only be defeated. If you want to understand the mindset we need to fight the Islamists, please see here http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/we-need-fdr-back.html


5. Denigrating the fact that we are in the Middle East because of oil is, I think, a trifle unrealistic, to put it very tactfully. Oil is completely bound up in the entire economy of the modern world. Yes, of course we are in the Middle East to insure the free flow of oil. We are acting in our own self interest. That is what people and nations do. To give you an example, I will assume you are gainfully employed. What you are suggesting, that we should not be involved in the Middle East solely for oil, would be the individual equivalent of saying that you should only do volunteer work. Even beyond that analogy, if you do not like our government today, think how much you’ll like them when the economy tanks and the world head towards depression as the price of oil quadruples from its present high when Saudi Arabia is taken over by the Wahhabists.

scott said...

To Chairmanmao:

One, thanks for your kind compliment. If I were not prepared to debate my positions, I wouldn't write them in the first place. By the same token, I like to debate them because I invariably learn something new each time. So, as I said earlier, I thank you for your comments - in addition to the compliment.

To address your comment:


1. You are a little short on your analysis, I think. To recap what Ron Paul said, he first responded to the question of why we were attacked by radical Islamists by stating, to paraphrase:
a. Have you read why they say they attacked us?
b. We have been over “there”
c. We had been bombing Iraq for ten years
d. We are building bases in the Middle East
Then when asked does he mean we invited 9-11, RP does not disagree, instead he says
e. “they” are delighted we are over there because it makes it easier to attack us
f. Iran took hostages in 1979 because we led a coup there in 1953. This is “blowback” according to the CIA

2. Based on the above, it is pretty clear Ron Paul has informed himself of the Middle East by reading some fatwahs, presumably bin Laden’s if not others, and some unknown books from former CIA officers. I will assume that the books are those by Michael Scheurer. He does not seem to have any grasp at all of the history and dogma of Islam, and Wahhabi / Salafi Islam in particular. Ron Paul believes that we should not be in the Middle East, and the only reason we were attacked was because we were physically over there and interacting in Middle Eastern politics since 1990.

3. If you are asking did Ron Paul use the magic words “we invited 9-11,” no he did not. However, given that he did not deny it when specifically asked, and given that he responded to both questions put to him with a series of reasons why it is understandable that we were attacked on 9-11, I think it would be highly disingenuous to assert that Ron Paul did anything short of affirmatively indicating then we invited 9-11.

4. Before addressing blowback, I would reiterate what I said in paragraph 3 to Jason: To believe that we in the West are somehow the cause of the Islamic aggression totally misaprehends the history of Islam and truly underestimates just how existential is the threat - whether we have troops in the Middle East or not. If you look only during the past century, you are missing the totality of the picture. The modern incarnation of radical Islam is nothing more then the same beast that has been attacking the West since about 700 A.D. I would suggest that you read any book written by Bernard Lewis since 1990 (he's been publishing since 1945, but the one's from 1990 onward are most up to date.) He is the nation’s, if not the world’s, preeminent Orientalist Or see http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/03/islam-history-and-defunding-un.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/03/prof-lewis-speaks-on-islam-mid-east.html and http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/03/professor-benard-lewis-now-ninety-years.html And don’t miss Fred Thompson’s discussion of our nation’s very first war – a 14 year conflict with the Islamist pirates of the Barbary Coast - http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/05/fred-on-our-first-14-year-war-with.html. I strongly suggest you go to MEMRI.ORG and start analyzing precisely what is being said by the Islamists. Or you can start here - http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/deconstructing-radical-wahhabi-islamist.html. As you consider these, know that threat to America from Islam is actually eclipsed by the threat to Europe and the UK from Islam. See http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/05/fjordman-on-islamization-of-uk-european.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/islamicization-of-europe.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/islamicization-of-europe.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/perfect-islamic-storm-part-ii.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/will-sarkozy-france-lead-europe-around.html http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/04/perfect-islamic-storm-part-iii.html

5. We are in the Gulf because we have the interests of our economy and the world’s economy to protect. Those are very good and valid reasons to be there. Should we leave because an organization – not a nation state but an outlaw organization – does not want us there? If we are going to predicate our foreign policy on such things, we will have no foreign policy at all. There will always be someone to object. Should we pull out of Columbia and stop our support because Castro and Chavez object?

6. The goal of radical Islamists is to see Sharia law spread the world over. Their goals are directly antithetical to the goals of secular democracy. The two cannot coexist under the same moon. One will eventually emerge as the winner, and one will be left to the dustbin of history. I for one am not willing to surrender the middle east to the radical Islamists who form a very well financed and very well armed minority of Muslims. The claim by bin Laden and Zawahiri that they are glad that we are over there because it is easier to target us is nonsensical. We have lost 3,400 me in Iraq. In terms of killed and captured, we are decimating the ranks of al Qaeda at a rate something close to 20 or more to 1. You can rest assured bin Laden would much rather be sitting in a house in Afghanistan planning their next assault against a soft target in Washington then having to face our military while they move from hiding place to hiding place.

7. The term “blowback,” is used by the CIA as shorthand for “unintended consequences.” Every act - and every failure to act - has “blowback.” Would we be safer if we had not attacked Iraq. Bob Kerry doesn’t think so, and neither did most Congressional Democrats through the end of 2005. http://towncommons.blogspot.com/2007/05/former-sen-bob-kerry-on-democrats-iraq.html The argument that our attack on Iraq has alone caused a great recruitment drive is a bit disingenuous. One, please explain to me how the recruitment drive would differ in the slightest if we had only invaded Afghanistan? Two, bin Laden knows a great truth. People back a winning horse. If the Islamists believe that they are winning, recruitment will increase and the Islamists will be emboldened. This is true for al Qaeda just as it is true for Iran. If we pull out of Iraq and al Qaeda and Iran can both claim a victory – recruitment will go through the roof and the Islamists, now believing that they have defeated the US by Allah’s will and that their vile jihadi traditions are truly God’s promise, they will be emboldened as never before. The “blowback” from anything that can be perceived as an American defeat will make the costs to stabilize Iraq look like chump change, I believe.

Jason said...

Scott,

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I don't usually post comments to blogs because I don't usually like the unproductive, emotional bickering that usually erupts. It's good to find some civility--and I apologize for any abrasiveness in my first post.

I just want to make a couple of quick points, then I must retire from this discussion:

1: Yes, the republicans have completely left their traditions and principles behind. And yes, of the "main stream" candidates, to me, Thompson is probably the most palatable. However, while I share your distrust of polls, and I agree that part of the problem is the lack of principled conservatism, I do believe that ending this war is a major concern for more than 70% of the population.

2: You are right--"anti-war" is a misnomer with regard to democrats. They are pro-war, they always have been, and they want out of this one simply because it is the anti-Bush stance.

3: Media bias regarding the war is in the eye of the beholder. I'd say, from my perspective, that all of the coverage has been pro-war, in that the press refuses to actually cover the war at all. Republicans like to tell us that the media never talks about the progress--while that may be true, I'm tired of the "talk" altogether. Where are the pictures? Why is the true nature of this war being censored? The American people are being shielded from facing reality. We should be seeing videos of dead soldiers and Iraqis. We should be seeing the flag-draped coffins, the soldiers laughing as they kill "insurgents," and we should be seeing the rockets take down American helicopters. It's sad... It's disgusting... but there is a simple solution.
These are the facts of what's going on. If they make us angry, or sad, or afraid, it's time we face up to it. We are being allowed to ignore it, and the media isn't doing it's job. All we get is talk. Sure, most of it is negative--but the truth about war is rarely good.

4: You're also right that whether we should have gone into Iraq is a question for philosophers. But I think it's time we put a philosopher in office. Ron Paul spoke out about this war before it started, and he predicted to the letter what would likely happen. Philosophers and historians guide us. They tech us principles and lessons to help us move into the future. The founders were historians and philosophers. Ron Paul is a philosopher and historian. The war in Iraq was a mistake. What to do now should be based on that fact. We should acknowledge our responsibilities, where they lie, we should apologize for our mistakes, and we should begin an honest, serious open dialog.
I understand that most of the right believe that "these people" cannot be reasoned with. That may be true. But at least the rest of the world, including many muslims, would not have reason to hate us or stand against us.
Continuing this war helps recruit our enemies--ending it would do the opposite. It would make recruiting more difficult. And if we are attacked again, and we respond rationally, it will be even more difficult. Eventually the threat would fall away because no one would support the effort. As it is, recruiting couldn't be better for the terrorists--although I here recruiting for the US armed forces isn't going so well... I wonder why.

5: We in the west are not the cause of islamic agression in general, but we are the reason it has been pointed toward us. It is foreign intervention that brought the weapons--it is foreign intervention that created the borders--and it is foreign intervention that brought most of the tyrannical governments of the last 100 years that these people have had to live with. Western influence has not created islamic irrationality--but it has certainly created the danger islam now poses to the west.

6: If we leave the middle east I seriously doubt that there will be a muslim threat to face. They want us out. They hate us because we are running their lives and their land, and regardless of whether we (you and I) believe this is about oil -- they do--therefore, to them, this is about oil. We should leave, even if it's with a strict understanding that we are willing to come back--because everything else has been tried and there is, at a minimum, reason to believe that it may work. Besides, we simply can't afford the wars. We're going broke. The dollar is on it's way out the door, and when the world decides to stop trading in dollars, our economy collapses.

Please take the time to read the following, from March of 2003:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul76.html

It's quite long--but Dr. Paul does a much better job explaining his position than I do.

Thanks!

ChairmanMao said...

1. Good point, he did not outright disagree. On debate technicalities it could legitimately be argued that he agrees with Mr. Golers statement.
2."He does not seem to have any grasp at all of the history and dogma of Islam, and Wahhabi / Salafi Islam in particular." I disagree with this. I believe he knows about this but doesn't believe we should treat them differently then any other international concern. Also so we avoid getting into any problems with this later Im not saying Ron Paul believes we should forget the past, instead I believe Ron Paul doenst think we should change our principles in how we treat the enemy based on the enemy.

Also, for the second part of your statement I dont think Ron Paul believes the only reason they attacked us was us messing around in Iraq. He has stated the original problem on our part was when we overthrew the Shah. This made them more inclined to attack us.

As a side note I'm meeting Dr. Paul tomorrow so I'll ask him if he is aware of the history of Islam.

3. Disagree with him saying we invited the attacks but see 1. After the debate in an interview with Sean Hannity he explains his position further. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ4IW0Y_7WYins

4.I have looked into some of the history of Islam but not enough, I'll check out some of those links later. Islam isn't really my specialty(I'll bet you'll never guess what is :) ) but heres my short analysis. I would say the most succesful fight against islam with islam being the cause of a war was in Spain against the Moors. The accomplishment of a clear objective with a decisive purpose is something the present "war" is lacking and why the battle against the Moors was so succesful. Also in my opinion the only two ways to defeat... islam that poses a threat to the west is either a muslim Martin Luthor or to slowly destroy their culture. For the Martin Luthor issue I dont think the US can do much to speed that along. With the destruction of their culture I believe that is something that will take a good long time. The process of subverting their culture was going quite well before the Ayatollah took over and I believe if we hadn't of over thrown the Shah we wouldnt be having problems with them today. I read a fascinating autobiography on this once but its gonna take me awhile to remember the name. In summation whether an active US presence can positively affect the region is debatable I believe a lasting solution can only be reached passively destroying their culture over a number of years.

5. You kinda got side tracked there. But, the subject you bring up is interesting. I believe if all the money we spent policing Iraq went into research for alternative sources of fuel we could make the bastards irrelevant in a much shorter time. Once we lose economic interest in the region by making their oil less relevant we can let them go back to killing each other. On the point of whether we should leave because an orginization wants us to isnt the issue. We've cleared Iraq of most of the local terrorist. The problem is the orginization we need to kill isnt stationed in Iraq anymore. So the troops are sitting around policing Iraq while the orginization send operatives out to kill them.

6.I addressed part of that above but where is the idea that being in Iraq hurts Osama coming from. The only way to defeat Osama is to defeat his agenda. The radical Islam mentality isnt based on self preservation its based on forwarding their agenda. Killing their troops doesnt weaken their agenda it only weakens their ability to carry it out. To solve their problem we need to destroy and demean their agenda. To me, that seems the best way to stop the Islamic Terrorists for good.

7. The difference between the attack against the terrorist forces in Afghanistan and Iraq is that with Afghanistan we went after a single military target, Al Qaeda. I dont know if the numbers for the increase of terrorist recruitment exist, but, I think the arguement that going after that single military target that we could prove was responsible for the attacks of 911 didnt give the terrorists as good of a recruitment drive as our current actions in Iraq.

The next part gets tricky because it delves more into how to fight an unconventional war. I personally have always favored the Douglas Macarthur school of war. If your opponent can match you in one war dont fight that war, fight a different one. The current war against terrorism appears to be a pushing match, we kill them, they kill us. Personally I think thats a very stupid way to fight. We need to make them irrelevant and win the war of culture. We need to make their oil irrelevant, we need to make them appear as barbarians to the entire war, and we need to destroy them utterly each time they attack us. The American military has proven effective at accomplishing single tasks like destroying Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. If we continue to only attack the terrorist when we are attacked then leave we retain the moral high ground. Destroying their agenda and their culture is a war we definetly can win but not by these absurd conventional war tacttics currently being used.

scott said...

To Jason & Chairman, thanks for your responses. Wanted to draft a response by tonight but fell asleep. Will respond by tommorow nigh.

And Chairman, I'll bite, what is your specialty. I would have to guess you're specialty is the Far East from your chosen screen name.

ChairmanMao said...

My specialty is Chinese Communism, specifically the life of Mao Zedong. I am trying to bridge into the modern history of Taiwan and the ancient history of Thailand.

 

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