It’s September 11

Has September 11 become a de facto grassroots holiday?  Do we need a day to remember the terrorist attacks in 2001 and to commemorate their victims?  Should it be officially recognized, like Memorial Day?  Or should we stop thinking about that nightmarish day and just move on?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Frankly I’d rather not remember it at all. I know of people who talked about even making it a national holiday and closing all federal offices. No thanks; I’d rather have “take your cat to work” day.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Frankly I’d rather not remember it at all. I know of people who talked about even making it a national holiday and closing all federal offices. No thanks; I’d rather have “take your cat to work” day.

  • Pete

    Well, good luck with the “stop thinking about that nightmarish day” thing.

  • Pete

    Well, good luck with the “stop thinking about that nightmarish day” thing.

  • #4 Kitty

    I think of it in terms opposite a holiday. People died for no other reason than they went to work. I honor the day by doing the same.

  • #4 Kitty

    I think of it in terms opposite a holiday. People died for no other reason than they went to work. I honor the day by doing the same.

  • Kathy

    My father-in-law was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. I think future Americans will look at Sept 11 as we today remember Pearl Harbor. But right now, the memory of Sept 11, for all of us, is still raw and vivid.

  • Kathy

    My father-in-law was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. I think future Americans will look at Sept 11 as we today remember Pearl Harbor. But right now, the memory of Sept 11, for all of us, is still raw and vivid.

  • Tom Hering

    We have an unimaginably huge national security industry, composed of government agencies and countless private contractors, that all depend on us vividly remembering that day. And we have a media that (for its own reasons) interviews dozens of “terrorism experts” every September 11, guaranteeing we remember. So I’m with Pete @ 2 on this one. We will always be at war with Eurasia.

  • Tom Hering

    We have an unimaginably huge national security industry, composed of government agencies and countless private contractors, that all depend on us vividly remembering that day. And we have a media that (for its own reasons) interviews dozens of “terrorism experts” every September 11, guaranteeing we remember. So I’m with Pete @ 2 on this one. We will always be at war with Eurasia.

  • NavyChaps

    @Tom #5 “We will always be at war with Eurasia.”

    Except in this case, Eurasia was and is clearly at war with us. Not only on 9/11/01 but for years before.

  • NavyChaps

    @Tom #5 “We will always be at war with Eurasia.”

    Except in this case, Eurasia was and is clearly at war with us. Not only on 9/11/01 but for years before.

  • Tom Hering

    NavyChaps @ 6, all of Eurasia? I seem to remember shifting alliances, i.e., supporting Eurasian leaders one day (including militarily) and fighting them the next. And I remember small factions attacking us, because we angered some Eurasians by messing in the affairs of all Eurasians. But I’m not sure I can trust my memory. I’ve heard, “We’re at war with Eurasia: therefore we’ve always been at war with Eurasia.” I’ve also heard, “The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.” So you may be right.

  • Tom Hering

    NavyChaps @ 6, all of Eurasia? I seem to remember shifting alliances, i.e., supporting Eurasian leaders one day (including militarily) and fighting them the next. And I remember small factions attacking us, because we angered some Eurasians by messing in the affairs of all Eurasians. But I’m not sure I can trust my memory. I’ve heard, “We’re at war with Eurasia: therefore we’ve always been at war with Eurasia.” I’ve also heard, “The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.” So you may be right.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, since Eurasia effectively comprises those territories ranging from Ireland to Japan, we have pretty much always been fighting them, except for Mexico, which we all know is a satellite proxy for Spanish ambition, and Canada which is/was just a minor provincial outpost of the vast and menacing British Empire.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, since Eurasia effectively comprises those territories ranging from Ireland to Japan, we have pretty much always been fighting them, except for Mexico, which we all know is a satellite proxy for Spanish ambition, and Canada which is/was just a minor provincial outpost of the vast and menacing British Empire.

  • SKPeterson

    By my post at 8 I am implying strongly that all of the Irish be deported. Quickly. Before we are overrun.

  • SKPeterson

    By my post at 8 I am implying strongly that all of the Irish be deported. Quickly. Before we are overrun.

  • Dan Kempin

    Tom, #7,

    So you really see 9/11 as just the fallout of bad political policy? Just the work of some factions? That’s all?

    Your allusion to 1984 is poignant and the moral is always apt, but the fact that enemies can be fabricated does not mean that all enemies ARE fabricated.

    I know we have been over this before, but it still shocks me a little to hear you process it like that.

  • Dan Kempin

    Tom, #7,

    So you really see 9/11 as just the fallout of bad political policy? Just the work of some factions? That’s all?

    Your allusion to 1984 is poignant and the moral is always apt, but the fact that enemies can be fabricated does not mean that all enemies ARE fabricated.

    I know we have been over this before, but it still shocks me a little to hear you process it like that.

  • Tom Hering

    Dan @ 10, 9/11 was the work of Osama bin Laden, who was angry at America for what it had done in his part of the world – covertly, culturally, and militarily. So, no, al Qaeda wasn’t a fabricated enemy. What was fabricated was the size and extent of the threat. What was fabricated was the level of response needed to meet the threat.

  • Tom Hering

    Dan @ 10, 9/11 was the work of Osama bin Laden, who was angry at America for what it had done in his part of the world – covertly, culturally, and militarily. So, no, al Qaeda wasn’t a fabricated enemy. What was fabricated was the size and extent of the threat. What was fabricated was the level of response needed to meet the threat.

  • Brodi

    Good questions Dr. Veith. I think the way we Americans understand memory and gratitude isn’t exactly the best way to do so. It seems that we have to make a big deal of something in order to feel absolved or in order to feel as if we’ve shown proper respect.

    I think a quote from the movie 300 is appropriate here. Speaking about the dead King Leonidas: “He did not wish tribute nor song, nor monuments, nor poems of war and valor. His wish was simple: ‘Remember us,’ he said to me.” The narrator is making an important point by suggesting that tribute, monuments, poems, war-songs, etc… aren’t necessarily “remembering.” I think they can help remembering, but I think they can also distract from the true purpose of remembrance.

    @#4 Kitty’s comment, comment #3 is a more appropriate act of remembrance than all the tears, monuments, and tributes we have for 9/11. A proper memory of someone shapes your life, your actions. They shouldn’t drive us to emotional frenzy or paralyze us in some kind of self-deprecating way of “because I didn’t die, I’m not as worthy.” So, like Kitty, I am going to work and continuing my day as I normally should, thanking God that I’m still here to do so.

  • Brodi

    Good questions Dr. Veith. I think the way we Americans understand memory and gratitude isn’t exactly the best way to do so. It seems that we have to make a big deal of something in order to feel absolved or in order to feel as if we’ve shown proper respect.

    I think a quote from the movie 300 is appropriate here. Speaking about the dead King Leonidas: “He did not wish tribute nor song, nor monuments, nor poems of war and valor. His wish was simple: ‘Remember us,’ he said to me.” The narrator is making an important point by suggesting that tribute, monuments, poems, war-songs, etc… aren’t necessarily “remembering.” I think they can help remembering, but I think they can also distract from the true purpose of remembrance.

    @#4 Kitty’s comment, comment #3 is a more appropriate act of remembrance than all the tears, monuments, and tributes we have for 9/11. A proper memory of someone shapes your life, your actions. They shouldn’t drive us to emotional frenzy or paralyze us in some kind of self-deprecating way of “because I didn’t die, I’m not as worthy.” So, like Kitty, I am going to work and continuing my day as I normally should, thanking God that I’m still here to do so.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Remember, remember,
    Eleventh September,
    Al-Qaida terrorist plot.
    It would be an error,
    If Al-Qaidar terror
    Should ever be forgot!

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Remember, remember,
    Eleventh September,
    Al-Qaida terrorist plot.
    It would be an error,
    If Al-Qaidar terror
    Should ever be forgot!

  • Mary

    As I think back to the horror I felt on that beautiful September day, I am reminded that my days are short on this earth. I am not in charge of how many of them I will have. They can be cut short in the blink of an eye. So how do I remember the day? In repentance for my many sins. Trusting in the fact that the days are in God’s hands not mine. Soon the LORD will return and for those of us in the true faith there will be no more sorrow, no more death, no more tears…..

  • Mary

    As I think back to the horror I felt on that beautiful September day, I am reminded that my days are short on this earth. I am not in charge of how many of them I will have. They can be cut short in the blink of an eye. So how do I remember the day? In repentance for my many sins. Trusting in the fact that the days are in God’s hands not mine. Soon the LORD will return and for those of us in the true faith there will be no more sorrow, no more death, no more tears…..

  • Tom Hering

    Amen and amen.

  • Tom Hering

    Amen and amen.

  • Diane

    I have a sister who works in NYC, mid-town, and she saw the second tower fall. She went home on the train that night sitting next to people covered with the dust of the buildings. We spoke on Sunday and she was watching 9/11 stuff on TV. I think for people living in the NYC area it will always be an event and remembrance.

  • Diane

    I have a sister who works in NYC, mid-town, and she saw the second tower fall. She went home on the train that night sitting next to people covered with the dust of the buildings. We spoke on Sunday and she was watching 9/11 stuff on TV. I think for people living in the NYC area it will always be an event and remembrance.

  • Carl Vehse

    @3: “People died for no other reason than they went to work.”

    The same can be said for December 7, 1941. Except that Congress declared war against those responsible for the attack in 1941. Congress did not do so in 2001.

  • Carl Vehse

    @3: “People died for no other reason than they went to work.”

    The same can be said for December 7, 1941. Except that Congress declared war against those responsible for the attack in 1941. Congress did not do so in 2001.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dan Kempin,

    …but 9/11 really was the fallout from bad public and foreign policy. And Tom nails it: the securitarian state we’ve established in the wake of 9/11 will ensure that we never forget the events of that day–every time we’re forced to disrobe at the airport, every time the President decides to assassinate an American citizen, every time we see an unmanned drone circling our public squares (coming soon to a police department near you!).

    To the topic at hand, I’m not sure that Pearl Harbor is a fitting analogue for 9/11. Yes, they share some superficial similarities: both were rare attacks on American soil, etc. But Pearl Harbor was followed by a “righteous” and victorious war/crusade that brought power and glory to the United States as we extinguished tyranny across the globe. The “fallout” from WWII inaugurated the American century. So goes the narrative, anyway.

    9/11 was followed by several messy and unpopular (and ongoing) campaigns in a god-forsaken corner of the world whose outcome is, at best, uncertain and whose benefits and justifications are increasingly indeterminate. Meanwhile, the economy has tanked, and, to put it simplistically, people are just more cynical regarding their government and their role in the world than they were under FDR in 1941. The decade following 9/11 has left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. 9/11 doesn’t really serve as a cohesive symbol for anything positive in the same way that Pearl Harbor did and does.

    And consider this: for the college freshmen I teach, their earliest political memory is 9/11. They were approximately 8 years old. 9/11 doesn’t mean much to them and, unlike Pearl Harbor, it has directly affected such a small proportion of the population (total war mobilization following 1941 vs. the skirmishes of our volunteer military + the victims themselves) that I think hindsight will reveal that 9/11, while of course deeply tragic, has been exaggerated in importance. It was an unpleasant blip between the Cold War (indeed, it was fallout from our involvement in the Cold War) and whatever more serious, structural problems come next.

    On the other hand, come to think of it, as the WWII generation dies off, how important is Pearl Harbor day? How many people below the age of, say, 55 commemorate the day? To frame the question more starkly, how many Americans today commemorate the Battle of Gettysburg?

  • Cincinnatus

    Dan Kempin,

    …but 9/11 really was the fallout from bad public and foreign policy. And Tom nails it: the securitarian state we’ve established in the wake of 9/11 will ensure that we never forget the events of that day–every time we’re forced to disrobe at the airport, every time the President decides to assassinate an American citizen, every time we see an unmanned drone circling our public squares (coming soon to a police department near you!).

    To the topic at hand, I’m not sure that Pearl Harbor is a fitting analogue for 9/11. Yes, they share some superficial similarities: both were rare attacks on American soil, etc. But Pearl Harbor was followed by a “righteous” and victorious war/crusade that brought power and glory to the United States as we extinguished tyranny across the globe. The “fallout” from WWII inaugurated the American century. So goes the narrative, anyway.

    9/11 was followed by several messy and unpopular (and ongoing) campaigns in a god-forsaken corner of the world whose outcome is, at best, uncertain and whose benefits and justifications are increasingly indeterminate. Meanwhile, the economy has tanked, and, to put it simplistically, people are just more cynical regarding their government and their role in the world than they were under FDR in 1941. The decade following 9/11 has left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. 9/11 doesn’t really serve as a cohesive symbol for anything positive in the same way that Pearl Harbor did and does.

    And consider this: for the college freshmen I teach, their earliest political memory is 9/11. They were approximately 8 years old. 9/11 doesn’t mean much to them and, unlike Pearl Harbor, it has directly affected such a small proportion of the population (total war mobilization following 1941 vs. the skirmishes of our volunteer military + the victims themselves) that I think hindsight will reveal that 9/11, while of course deeply tragic, has been exaggerated in importance. It was an unpleasant blip between the Cold War (indeed, it was fallout from our involvement in the Cold War) and whatever more serious, structural problems come next.

    On the other hand, come to think of it, as the WWII generation dies off, how important is Pearl Harbor day? How many people below the age of, say, 55 commemorate the day? To frame the question more starkly, how many Americans today commemorate the Battle of Gettysburg?

  • Cincinnatus

    Carl,

    So launching furious invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq–not to mention dozens of other smaller operations across the globe–doesn’t constitute a sufficient response to you? And against whom, exactly, ought we have declared war? We weren’t attacked by cohesive, identifiable entities (…like the ones we invaded).

  • Cincinnatus

    Carl,

    So launching furious invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq–not to mention dozens of other smaller operations across the globe–doesn’t constitute a sufficient response to you? And against whom, exactly, ought we have declared war? We weren’t attacked by cohesive, identifiable entities (…like the ones we invaded).

  • Carl Vehse

    How many Americans today remember May 7, 1915, or were taught about it in school?

  • Carl Vehse

    How many Americans today remember May 7, 1915, or were taught about it in school?

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Great question(s).

    I think that September 11 is our generation’s “Pearl Harbor Day” and even as that memory was and remained very fresh and very painful for decades to come, so will 9/11. We now understand, in some ways, the painful memory of Dec 7 for so many, for so very long.

    I think it is good to keep this day in our memories, but I’m not sure a National Holiday is appropriate. Then we would have reduced the event to another “day off” for most people, rather than a somber time to remember, reflect and ponder the meaning of the events of 9/11.

    I think, not sure how else to put it, making it a “Holiday” would cheapen the memory.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Great question(s).

    I think that September 11 is our generation’s “Pearl Harbor Day” and even as that memory was and remained very fresh and very painful for decades to come, so will 9/11. We now understand, in some ways, the painful memory of Dec 7 for so many, for so very long.

    I think it is good to keep this day in our memories, but I’m not sure a National Holiday is appropriate. Then we would have reduced the event to another “day off” for most people, rather than a somber time to remember, reflect and ponder the meaning of the events of 9/11.

    I think, not sure how else to put it, making it a “Holiday” would cheapen the memory.

  • Dan Kempin

    Cincinnatus, #18,

    That’s fine, viewed as a political event. I wouldn’t bother to argue with your analysis of the political response.

    But I resent, or am at least troubled, by reducing this to a political event. It was more than that.

    Personally, I grieve today not only for the victims of the attack, but especially for the poor, deceived young men who saw no other hope of redemption except to offer their own bodies in the profane sacrifice of murder/suicide.

    They didn’t fight for their country. They weren’t protesting American policy. They thought they were serving God.

    So it is politics, yes. But it is not JUST politics. And that, to me anyway, is what 9/11 represents: A visual and visceral revelation of the cost of false doctrine.

  • Dan Kempin

    Cincinnatus, #18,

    That’s fine, viewed as a political event. I wouldn’t bother to argue with your analysis of the political response.

    But I resent, or am at least troubled, by reducing this to a political event. It was more than that.

    Personally, I grieve today not only for the victims of the attack, but especially for the poor, deceived young men who saw no other hope of redemption except to offer their own bodies in the profane sacrifice of murder/suicide.

    They didn’t fight for their country. They weren’t protesting American policy. They thought they were serving God.

    So it is politics, yes. But it is not JUST politics. And that, to me anyway, is what 9/11 represents: A visual and visceral revelation of the cost of false doctrine.

  • Steve Billingsley

    At this point, I still can see the images in my mind of the second plane crashing into the WTC and the buildings coming down. I know it is 11 years, but it is still heart-wrenching to think about.

    I think it should be a day to remember the families of those who lost loved ones. There are plenty of days to re-litigate the foreign policy decisions that followed 9/11 – but I think the day itself is a day for solemn remembrance. I remember thinking in the days that followed that it was only a matter of time before the U.S. was attacked again. I wondered what would happen next. I was pastoring at the time and seriously considered volunteering for the military chaplaincy. I wondered if life would ever be the same again. Relative normalcy returned pretty quickly – but I think of people around the world or in times past whose lives were (and are) shaped and shattered by war. There is no guarantee that our future doesn’t hold something similar. I don’t want it to happen to be sure, but for at least one day a year – those thoughts move to the forefront of my mind. I have 3 young boys – will any of them ever serve as soldiers in a time of war – will any of them have their lives put at that kind of risk?

    A day of solemn remembrance is an appropriate way to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11. It reminds of us of the relative peace and safety that most of us have enjoyed and also that that peace and safety is fragile.

    I hope God’s peace surrounds those families who have lost loved ones on 9/11 and the days of war that followed (and continue).

  • Steve Billingsley

    At this point, I still can see the images in my mind of the second plane crashing into the WTC and the buildings coming down. I know it is 11 years, but it is still heart-wrenching to think about.

    I think it should be a day to remember the families of those who lost loved ones. There are plenty of days to re-litigate the foreign policy decisions that followed 9/11 – but I think the day itself is a day for solemn remembrance. I remember thinking in the days that followed that it was only a matter of time before the U.S. was attacked again. I wondered what would happen next. I was pastoring at the time and seriously considered volunteering for the military chaplaincy. I wondered if life would ever be the same again. Relative normalcy returned pretty quickly – but I think of people around the world or in times past whose lives were (and are) shaped and shattered by war. There is no guarantee that our future doesn’t hold something similar. I don’t want it to happen to be sure, but for at least one day a year – those thoughts move to the forefront of my mind. I have 3 young boys – will any of them ever serve as soldiers in a time of war – will any of them have their lives put at that kind of risk?

    A day of solemn remembrance is an appropriate way to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11. It reminds of us of the relative peace and safety that most of us have enjoyed and also that that peace and safety is fragile.

    I hope God’s peace surrounds those families who have lost loved ones on 9/11 and the days of war that followed (and continue).

  • Cincinnatus

    Dan Kempin,

    I didn’t say 9/11 was only about politics. In fact, I didn’t say it was a political event at all (though it was to some extent, of course). I said that the attacks of 9/11 were a direct response to American interventionist policies. It’s not exactly coincidental that these young men regarded America as the supreme enemy of God.

  • Cincinnatus

    Dan Kempin,

    I didn’t say 9/11 was only about politics. In fact, I didn’t say it was a political event at all (though it was to some extent, of course). I said that the attacks of 9/11 were a direct response to American interventionist policies. It’s not exactly coincidental that these young men regarded America as the supreme enemy of God.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Cincinnatus, your position on this is astoundingly simplistic.

    Unless and until the American people come to terms with the reality of militant Islam, we will never understand precisely what we are up against.

    If you think that isolationism from world events will prevent attacks on this nation, you are as foolish as were the leaders of the USA before WWI and WWII.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    Cincinnatus, your position on this is astoundingly simplistic.

    Unless and until the American people come to terms with the reality of militant Islam, we will never understand precisely what we are up against.

    If you think that isolationism from world events will prevent attacks on this nation, you are as foolish as were the leaders of the USA before WWI and WWII.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    I will also observe the irony of “Cincinnatus” making bold pronouncements while hiding behind a fake name. Not the kind of virtuous behavior of his name sake, to be certain.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    I will also observe the irony of “Cincinnatus” making bold pronouncements while hiding behind a fake name. Not the kind of virtuous behavior of his name sake, to be certain.

  • Cincinnatus

    Paul@25:

    It was abundantly clear what we were up against in 2001 (not Iraq, by the way). What are we “up against” now, 11 years later? Al Qaeda is no longer a threat. There are numerous terrorist organizations across the globe–most of them lacking the capability or interest to attack the United States–but we’re hurling billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded special forces and drones at them, so what exactly is the problem? What have we failed to “come to terms with”?

    Rev. McCain, your jingoistic rhetoric may have had its place in the months immediately following 9/11, but today you sound no less silly than a gristled Cold Warrior who still thinks the Russians are planning to invade West Germany.

    And really? You’re going to harp on my blog name again? How about this: Cincinnatus is my real name. I’m sure “Brodi” and “NavyChaps” and “#5 Kitty” are also using their real names. So were the authors of the Federalist Papers, as were almost all medieval composers.

  • Cincinnatus

    Paul@25:

    It was abundantly clear what we were up against in 2001 (not Iraq, by the way). What are we “up against” now, 11 years later? Al Qaeda is no longer a threat. There are numerous terrorist organizations across the globe–most of them lacking the capability or interest to attack the United States–but we’re hurling billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded special forces and drones at them, so what exactly is the problem? What have we failed to “come to terms with”?

    Rev. McCain, your jingoistic rhetoric may have had its place in the months immediately following 9/11, but today you sound no less silly than a gristled Cold Warrior who still thinks the Russians are planning to invade West Germany.

    And really? You’re going to harp on my blog name again? How about this: Cincinnatus is my real name. I’m sure “Brodi” and “NavyChaps” and “#5 Kitty” are also using their real names. So were the authors of the Federalist Papers, as were almost all medieval composers.

  • NavyChaps

    Anyone who believes that the “War with Eurasia” began with 9/11, and that it only began because of “bad” U.S. policy is fooling themselves. Beirut. TWA 800. Pan Am 103. World Trade Center 1993. Khobar Towers. East African Embassies. USS COLE. And that’s just a small list that doesn’t include individuals who were killed just for being available U.S. citizen or “western” targets. “Eurasia” is not and has NEVER been just Al Qaeda. And while a particular party was giving one another high-fives at a recent convention for the death of the former leader of that organization, his death has not ensured the death of the organization MUCH LESS the philosophy that still would kill EVERY last individual in that arena if given the opportunity! They are the enemy. Not because we declared them so, but because they declared themselves to be – and then ACTED on it.

    I recognize that I am a bit sensitive to this — I lost shipmates at the Pentagon. But the “move along, nothing to see here” attitude expressed by some who seem to believe that it really is all our fault for our “bad” geopolitics, or that if we just played nice with these folks they would leave us alone, is really quite depressing. And far too naïve about those who set themselves against our nation. Our “interventionist policies” did NOT create this enemy, nor cause 9/11 – that is simply a lie. Their enemy status comes as a result of implementation of their religious philosophy – not politics. Isolationism is a fool’s dream devoid of reality. So is world peace this side of Christ’s return.

    Those who pose the greatest threat to our nation’s security is a moving target. Allies vs. Axis? NATO vs. Warsaw Pact? True, we have not always allied ourselves with the upright and wholesome. We have done what seemed best at the time, given what was known at the time, in order to provide the greatest security of our nation’s interest at the time. While many fault our nation for supporting the pre-cursors of Al Qaeda while still engaged in the Cold War, most of those same individuals are more sanguine about our nation’s support for Soviet Union while engaged in WW II. Cincinnatus, do you blame our nation’s interventionist policies for over 20 million dead as a result of our ensuring that the Soviet Union didn’t collapse? I do not assume that our nation is pure and holy – either in geopolitical or domestic affairs. Just look at those who celebrated the murder of millions of unborn recently. But I do assume that the values of our nation are superior to the values of their philosophy. With all its challenges, freedom wins. Until the day we stop defending it from those who would, if given the chance, kill every one of us.

    Our duty today should be one of vocation – in each of the realms to which we have been called. Remember and pray. Go to work and serve your fellow man. Be active as a citizen in the preservation of our freedom. True, that gives much leeway. That is as it should be in the United States. You won’t find such latitude in the places where “Eurasia” is in charge.

  • NavyChaps

    Anyone who believes that the “War with Eurasia” began with 9/11, and that it only began because of “bad” U.S. policy is fooling themselves. Beirut. TWA 800. Pan Am 103. World Trade Center 1993. Khobar Towers. East African Embassies. USS COLE. And that’s just a small list that doesn’t include individuals who were killed just for being available U.S. citizen or “western” targets. “Eurasia” is not and has NEVER been just Al Qaeda. And while a particular party was giving one another high-fives at a recent convention for the death of the former leader of that organization, his death has not ensured the death of the organization MUCH LESS the philosophy that still would kill EVERY last individual in that arena if given the opportunity! They are the enemy. Not because we declared them so, but because they declared themselves to be – and then ACTED on it.

    I recognize that I am a bit sensitive to this — I lost shipmates at the Pentagon. But the “move along, nothing to see here” attitude expressed by some who seem to believe that it really is all our fault for our “bad” geopolitics, or that if we just played nice with these folks they would leave us alone, is really quite depressing. And far too naïve about those who set themselves against our nation. Our “interventionist policies” did NOT create this enemy, nor cause 9/11 – that is simply a lie. Their enemy status comes as a result of implementation of their religious philosophy – not politics. Isolationism is a fool’s dream devoid of reality. So is world peace this side of Christ’s return.

    Those who pose the greatest threat to our nation’s security is a moving target. Allies vs. Axis? NATO vs. Warsaw Pact? True, we have not always allied ourselves with the upright and wholesome. We have done what seemed best at the time, given what was known at the time, in order to provide the greatest security of our nation’s interest at the time. While many fault our nation for supporting the pre-cursors of Al Qaeda while still engaged in the Cold War, most of those same individuals are more sanguine about our nation’s support for Soviet Union while engaged in WW II. Cincinnatus, do you blame our nation’s interventionist policies for over 20 million dead as a result of our ensuring that the Soviet Union didn’t collapse? I do not assume that our nation is pure and holy – either in geopolitical or domestic affairs. Just look at those who celebrated the murder of millions of unborn recently. But I do assume that the values of our nation are superior to the values of their philosophy. With all its challenges, freedom wins. Until the day we stop defending it from those who would, if given the chance, kill every one of us.

    Our duty today should be one of vocation – in each of the realms to which we have been called. Remember and pray. Go to work and serve your fellow man. Be active as a citizen in the preservation of our freedom. True, that gives much leeway. That is as it should be in the United States. You won’t find such latitude in the places where “Eurasia” is in charge.

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps@28:

    This probably isn’t the place to ignite a debate over “blowback,” American foreign policy, or 9/11 geopolitics more generally. But I’d like to make one observation: Until the late 1960s, the United States was the most popular nation in the Middle East and the Arab world more generally. Fact.

    What do you suppose happened? Why is it the case that, starting a mere decade later, our diplomats were being held hostage in Iran, our civilian planes were being shot out of the sky, our domestic buildings exploded, our military installations assaulted? Is it merely because radical Islamists–and not all of these terrorists have been radical Islamists, by the way–are irrational savages who hated our freedom and power? If they’re irrational savages intent on violence for its own sake (or Allah’s sake), why didn’t they choose closer targets like, say, Europe or Russia or India or China? Why America?

    You don’t suppose it has anything to do with interfering (to put it mildly) in and manipulating the political affairs of the Arab world? With arming Israel for military actions that have not been entirely defensive? With exploiting their natural resources? With establishing and destroying brutal dictators at will (Saddam Hussein was our fault–directly; so was the regime change in Iran)? With bombing these countries from afar almost at will? With importing a culture of pornography and decadence that is a direct affront to their way of life? You don’t think that it was inevitable that arming a bunch of Afghani warlords known as the Taliban to combat the USSR would eventually come back to bite us? Why do you suppose that, in a few short decades, we’ve gone from being the most beloved to the most hated nation in the Middle East?

    Don’t get me wrong: I make no apologies whatsoever for the evil people who attacked us on 9/11. But this idea that a few militants randomly and incomprehensibly got it into their heads to attack innocent little America for no good reason except to please Allah is dangerously, dangerously naive. Why dangerous? Because we continue to operate on the assumption that imperialistic intervention has no tangible consequences. Another 9/11 is inevitable if we don’t change our policy.

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps@28:

    This probably isn’t the place to ignite a debate over “blowback,” American foreign policy, or 9/11 geopolitics more generally. But I’d like to make one observation: Until the late 1960s, the United States was the most popular nation in the Middle East and the Arab world more generally. Fact.

    What do you suppose happened? Why is it the case that, starting a mere decade later, our diplomats were being held hostage in Iran, our civilian planes were being shot out of the sky, our domestic buildings exploded, our military installations assaulted? Is it merely because radical Islamists–and not all of these terrorists have been radical Islamists, by the way–are irrational savages who hated our freedom and power? If they’re irrational savages intent on violence for its own sake (or Allah’s sake), why didn’t they choose closer targets like, say, Europe or Russia or India or China? Why America?

    You don’t suppose it has anything to do with interfering (to put it mildly) in and manipulating the political affairs of the Arab world? With arming Israel for military actions that have not been entirely defensive? With exploiting their natural resources? With establishing and destroying brutal dictators at will (Saddam Hussein was our fault–directly; so was the regime change in Iran)? With bombing these countries from afar almost at will? With importing a culture of pornography and decadence that is a direct affront to their way of life? You don’t think that it was inevitable that arming a bunch of Afghani warlords known as the Taliban to combat the USSR would eventually come back to bite us? Why do you suppose that, in a few short decades, we’ve gone from being the most beloved to the most hated nation in the Middle East?

    Don’t get me wrong: I make no apologies whatsoever for the evil people who attacked us on 9/11. But this idea that a few militants randomly and incomprehensibly got it into their heads to attack innocent little America for no good reason except to please Allah is dangerously, dangerously naive. Why dangerous? Because we continue to operate on the assumption that imperialistic intervention has no tangible consequences. Another 9/11 is inevitable if we don’t change our policy.

  • trotk

    Hear, hear!

  • trotk

    Hear, hear!

  • fjsteve

    Cincinnatus,

    “But this idea that a few militants randomly and incomprehensibly got it into their heads to attack innocent little America for no good reason except to please Allah is dangerously, dangerously naive. Why dangerous? Because we continue to operate on the assumption that imperialistic intervention has no tangible consequences. Another 9/11 is inevitable if we don’t change our policy.”

    Nor is the idea that a few militants attacked the US purely because of “imperialistic intervention” any less naive. Or the idea that if we take our toys and go home, they’ll leave us alone. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn from our past mistakes and take a different tact (presuming, perhaps naively, that those in power also believe they were mistakes). We must exert whatever influence we have left over regions of the world in which we have interest. There’s no other way around it. But “exertion” comes in many forms and I agree with you that some of the forms we’ve used in the past have been counter-productive (again, assuming war and strife weren’t the desired products) and sometimes flatly abhorrent.

  • fjsteve

    Cincinnatus,

    “But this idea that a few militants randomly and incomprehensibly got it into their heads to attack innocent little America for no good reason except to please Allah is dangerously, dangerously naive. Why dangerous? Because we continue to operate on the assumption that imperialistic intervention has no tangible consequences. Another 9/11 is inevitable if we don’t change our policy.”

    Nor is the idea that a few militants attacked the US purely because of “imperialistic intervention” any less naive. Or the idea that if we take our toys and go home, they’ll leave us alone. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn from our past mistakes and take a different tact (presuming, perhaps naively, that those in power also believe they were mistakes). We must exert whatever influence we have left over regions of the world in which we have interest. There’s no other way around it. But “exertion” comes in many forms and I agree with you that some of the forms we’ve used in the past have been counter-productive (again, assuming war and strife weren’t the desired products) and sometimes flatly abhorrent.

  • fjsteve

    However, regarding the OP, I tend to be with #4 Kitty but one qualification. If we are to honor the dead by doing what they tried to do that day, we need to do more than just go to work. Because many of those who died did more than just go to work. Those are the people who happened upon a horrific situation and, rather than run away, ran toward.

    It has been suggested that 9/11 be turned into a day of volunteer service. I don’t think that’s a bad idea. A day where people can look around at the bad situations and run toward. In that way, in a small way, I think to do “overcome evil with good.”

  • fjsteve

    However, regarding the OP, I tend to be with #4 Kitty but one qualification. If we are to honor the dead by doing what they tried to do that day, we need to do more than just go to work. Because many of those who died did more than just go to work. Those are the people who happened upon a horrific situation and, rather than run away, ran toward.

    It has been suggested that 9/11 be turned into a day of volunteer service. I don’t think that’s a bad idea. A day where people can look around at the bad situations and run toward. In that way, in a small way, I think to do “overcome evil with good.”

  • trotk

    fjsteve, why must we exert our influence? Why is this the only option? This assumption is certainly unproven, and probably unfounded.

  • trotk

    fjsteve, why must we exert our influence? Why is this the only option? This assumption is certainly unproven, and probably unfounded.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’d like to hear more from Paul “Brave” McCain (@26) about bravery on the Internet. I tried asking him about the topic on Facebook, but he had blocked me from commenting after I disagreed with him once. I tried posting a comment on his blog, as well, but he also refuses to publish my comments there, too, because I once questioned something he said.

    Anyhow, Paul, what’s your secret? How are you so brave online? It’s because you’re packing, isn’t it?

    (Also, on a side note, when you block people from disagreeing with you on your sites, do you make a little “Pew! Pew!” noise and pretend you’re shooting at their avatar? I like to imagine you do.)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’d like to hear more from Paul “Brave” McCain (@26) about bravery on the Internet. I tried asking him about the topic on Facebook, but he had blocked me from commenting after I disagreed with him once. I tried posting a comment on his blog, as well, but he also refuses to publish my comments there, too, because I once questioned something he said.

    Anyhow, Paul, what’s your secret? How are you so brave online? It’s because you’re packing, isn’t it?

    (Also, on a side note, when you block people from disagreeing with you on your sites, do you make a little “Pew! Pew!” noise and pretend you’re shooting at their avatar? I like to imagine you do.)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anyhow, September 11, like December 7, is a day that will live in infamy. But, like December 7, it will not live forever in people’s minds. December 7 isn’t terribly infamous among most of the population these days, and some day, the same will be said of September 11.

    Though I suppose September 11 has something of an edge because the date is right there in the way we’ve named the day. We did that with the Fourth of July, too. Maybe all our special civic days should lose their names and just be named after the calendar date?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anyhow, September 11, like December 7, is a day that will live in infamy. But, like December 7, it will not live forever in people’s minds. December 7 isn’t terribly infamous among most of the population these days, and some day, the same will be said of September 11.

    Though I suppose September 11 has something of an edge because the date is right there in the way we’ve named the day. We did that with the Fourth of July, too. Maybe all our special civic days should lose their names and just be named after the calendar date?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dan Kempin (@22), you said:

    I grieve today not only for the victims of the attack, but especially for the poor, deceived young men who saw no other hope of redemption except to offer their own bodies in the profane sacrifice of murder/suicide. They didn’t fight for their country. They weren’t protesting American policy. They thought they were serving God.

    Just curious: what makes you say they weren’t fighting “for their country”? True, they weren’t fighting as members of a formal army, carrying out a declaration of war from the head of state or whatever. But do you think they weren’t, in part, doing what they did for their countrymen, or even for their region of the world? Or for their families? Can we, for that matter, know that “American policy” wasn’t part of their calculations?

    I’m not disagreeing that religion was their prime motivator. It often is, when thoughts of self-sacrifice are involved — it’s hard to kill yourself for a cause without thoughts of a subsequent reward, which must necessarily be religious in nature.

    But, I wonder, do you think anyone in our country’s military ever “thought they were serving God” in killing this or that person, or even sacrificing their own life? I certainly heard not a few religious statements from members of our military as they went off to fight the wars that were, in theory, fought in reaction to this terrorist event. Is it possible there was some false doctrine in there, as well?

    Or is that just something Those People do?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Dan Kempin (@22), you said:

    I grieve today not only for the victims of the attack, but especially for the poor, deceived young men who saw no other hope of redemption except to offer their own bodies in the profane sacrifice of murder/suicide. They didn’t fight for their country. They weren’t protesting American policy. They thought they were serving God.

    Just curious: what makes you say they weren’t fighting “for their country”? True, they weren’t fighting as members of a formal army, carrying out a declaration of war from the head of state or whatever. But do you think they weren’t, in part, doing what they did for their countrymen, or even for their region of the world? Or for their families? Can we, for that matter, know that “American policy” wasn’t part of their calculations?

    I’m not disagreeing that religion was their prime motivator. It often is, when thoughts of self-sacrifice are involved — it’s hard to kill yourself for a cause without thoughts of a subsequent reward, which must necessarily be religious in nature.

    But, I wonder, do you think anyone in our country’s military ever “thought they were serving God” in killing this or that person, or even sacrificing their own life? I certainly heard not a few religious statements from members of our military as they went off to fight the wars that were, in theory, fought in reaction to this terrorist event. Is it possible there was some false doctrine in there, as well?

    Or is that just something Those People do?

  • DonS

    “Has September 11 become a de facto grassroots holiday?” — No. Or, no more so than December 7. It’s a day of remembrance, not a holiday.

    “Do we need a day to remember the terrorist attacks in 2001 and to commemorate their victims?” — Yes. In particular, the many families and friends who were horribly impacted and scarred by the events of that morning need to know that their fellow countrymen remember. Because they can’t forget.

    “Should it be officially recognized, like Memorial Day?” — No. Again, December 7 is not officially recognized. Those that died in uniform are honored on Memorial Day of course, just like all of our other brave military who died in service to their country.

    “Or should we stop thinking about that nightmarish day and just move on?” — Tell all of the affected families to just forget and move on. We need to remember, for them, and so that we do not become complacent again. Soon enough, as our generations die off, the day will recede into distant history.

  • DonS

    “Has September 11 become a de facto grassroots holiday?” — No. Or, no more so than December 7. It’s a day of remembrance, not a holiday.

    “Do we need a day to remember the terrorist attacks in 2001 and to commemorate their victims?” — Yes. In particular, the many families and friends who were horribly impacted and scarred by the events of that morning need to know that their fellow countrymen remember. Because they can’t forget.

    “Should it be officially recognized, like Memorial Day?” — No. Again, December 7 is not officially recognized. Those that died in uniform are honored on Memorial Day of course, just like all of our other brave military who died in service to their country.

    “Or should we stop thinking about that nightmarish day and just move on?” — Tell all of the affected families to just forget and move on. We need to remember, for them, and so that we do not become complacent again. Soon enough, as our generations die off, the day will recede into distant history.

  • fjsteve

    trotk, #33, because someone will and that someone probably won’t have the best interest of the US at heart.

  • fjsteve

    trotk, #33, because someone will and that someone probably won’t have the best interest of the US at heart.

  • trotk

    That is a terrible argument, fjsteve.

    Prove that someone will.
    Prove that the someone won’t have our best interests at heart.
    Prove that if we exert our influence it will engender a response that is in our best interests.

  • trotk

    That is a terrible argument, fjsteve.

    Prove that someone will.
    Prove that the someone won’t have our best interests at heart.
    Prove that if we exert our influence it will engender a response that is in our best interests.

  • Cincinnatus

    fjsteve@38:

    If China wants to embroil itself in interminable guerrilla wars against warlords and nomadic tribes in the deserts and mountains of central Asia, that’s quite all right with me. It would sure save us some blood and treasure–and international resentment. Personally, I’d rather that the average angry Arabic male make a habit of burning the flag of Red China rather than effigies of my people when enraged.

  • Cincinnatus

    fjsteve@38:

    If China wants to embroil itself in interminable guerrilla wars against warlords and nomadic tribes in the deserts and mountains of central Asia, that’s quite all right with me. It would sure save us some blood and treasure–and international resentment. Personally, I’d rather that the average angry Arabic male make a habit of burning the flag of Red China rather than effigies of my people when enraged.

  • trotk

    fjsteve, take, for example, Switzerland. Not much effort there to exert an influence. And guess what? No one is really exerting their influence in a way that harms Switzerland.

    Prove why the scenario works the way you says it does.

    Truly unprovoked attacks are really rare. What the US is dealing with are provoked attacks. Why is blowback so hard to accept?

  • trotk

    fjsteve, take, for example, Switzerland. Not much effort there to exert an influence. And guess what? No one is really exerting their influence in a way that harms Switzerland.

    Prove why the scenario works the way you says it does.

    Truly unprovoked attacks are really rare. What the US is dealing with are provoked attacks. Why is blowback so hard to accept?

  • NavyChaps

    Cincinnatus,
    It is easy to sit here today and say that our policies over the last 50 years created the change in Middle East opinion of the U.S.. In the late 60’s, most of the Arab world was controlled by dictators whom we supported in our efforts to hold back the USSR. Ideal? No. But as I stated in my previous post, you work with what you have at the time, in the attempt to do what you believe to be best for the nation.

    But you are wrong to suggest that the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood (and its ilk) and the popularity of Islamist teachings are a direct result of our intervention. That is far too simplistic. Islamist thought has always been there. Frankly, I think it was our support of the dictators that held them off so long. Does that make the Islamists angry at the U.S.? Perhaps. Maybe even probably. But when you subscribe to an Islamist ideology, you are going to hate America anyway. So, it doesn’t really matter. They would still be against the U.S. regardless. And by the way, most of those who loved America back in the 60’s have emigrated to America to avoid the death cult that is Islamism. It is the Islamists who have always hated us who remain.

    I know the Ronulans and other anti-Israel nuts like to argue that it is our support of Israel that is the proximate cause of all the world’s troubles. Don’t know if you fall into that category or not, and frankly don’t care. But I am unwilling to agree that Islamist culture is morally equivalent to U.S. culture or Israel’s culture. And contra the pathetic strawman you erected for me about “innocent little America,” this is not to say that the U.S. or Israel have always done the right things. But it is impossible to argue that a culture that inculcates their children with hatred and glorifies as martyrs those who murder should be given preferential (or even equal) treatment over the democracy that they seek to destroy. Is it cliché but true: if Israel laid down their arms today, they would cease to exist; and the opposite is not true. Besides, we could hang Israel out to dry and the Islamist’s opinion of us would not change. Neither would their desire to kill you. That’s reality. And that is why our nation continues to support Israel.

    Exploiting their natural resources? Please. By their control and use of their own resources, they have become wealthy and we have become beholden to them out of fear. Remember the gas lines of the 70’s? How about $4 a gallon today? If anyone is exploiting it, it is those within those nations and not us.

    You can argue that continued U.S. intervention in the world will cause another 9/11. That is a reasonable argument to be made. But I would argue that the failure of the U.S. to intervene will cause far more damage not only to the U.S. but around the world. The Islamists don’t want to live in peace. There is no pathetic “COEXIST” bumper sticker on their car, camel or VBIED. Because of our unique place in the world, the U.S. has the ability to do things that other nations cannot. Though many will disagree (you certainly have already), I believe it is our nation’s vocation to do those things that will promote freedom and peace in the world. Since we live in a fallen world, with those for whom violence is the preferred method of shaping their society, those goals are sometimes accomplished through the use or threat of force. I don’t like having to defend other nations who can’t or won’t step up and preserve freedom and peace. But then again, I don’t like having to defend Code Pink and their ilk so that they can protest against me, blame me for all the world’s ills, and rejoice in the harm they cause to our nation. But that is my vocation.

    So to answer trotk’s question of why we should exert our influence? Because evil must be withstood. If you fail to do so, your silence is agreement.

  • NavyChaps

    Cincinnatus,
    It is easy to sit here today and say that our policies over the last 50 years created the change in Middle East opinion of the U.S.. In the late 60’s, most of the Arab world was controlled by dictators whom we supported in our efforts to hold back the USSR. Ideal? No. But as I stated in my previous post, you work with what you have at the time, in the attempt to do what you believe to be best for the nation.

    But you are wrong to suggest that the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood (and its ilk) and the popularity of Islamist teachings are a direct result of our intervention. That is far too simplistic. Islamist thought has always been there. Frankly, I think it was our support of the dictators that held them off so long. Does that make the Islamists angry at the U.S.? Perhaps. Maybe even probably. But when you subscribe to an Islamist ideology, you are going to hate America anyway. So, it doesn’t really matter. They would still be against the U.S. regardless. And by the way, most of those who loved America back in the 60’s have emigrated to America to avoid the death cult that is Islamism. It is the Islamists who have always hated us who remain.

    I know the Ronulans and other anti-Israel nuts like to argue that it is our support of Israel that is the proximate cause of all the world’s troubles. Don’t know if you fall into that category or not, and frankly don’t care. But I am unwilling to agree that Islamist culture is morally equivalent to U.S. culture or Israel’s culture. And contra the pathetic strawman you erected for me about “innocent little America,” this is not to say that the U.S. or Israel have always done the right things. But it is impossible to argue that a culture that inculcates their children with hatred and glorifies as martyrs those who murder should be given preferential (or even equal) treatment over the democracy that they seek to destroy. Is it cliché but true: if Israel laid down their arms today, they would cease to exist; and the opposite is not true. Besides, we could hang Israel out to dry and the Islamist’s opinion of us would not change. Neither would their desire to kill you. That’s reality. And that is why our nation continues to support Israel.

    Exploiting their natural resources? Please. By their control and use of their own resources, they have become wealthy and we have become beholden to them out of fear. Remember the gas lines of the 70’s? How about $4 a gallon today? If anyone is exploiting it, it is those within those nations and not us.

    You can argue that continued U.S. intervention in the world will cause another 9/11. That is a reasonable argument to be made. But I would argue that the failure of the U.S. to intervene will cause far more damage not only to the U.S. but around the world. The Islamists don’t want to live in peace. There is no pathetic “COEXIST” bumper sticker on their car, camel or VBIED. Because of our unique place in the world, the U.S. has the ability to do things that other nations cannot. Though many will disagree (you certainly have already), I believe it is our nation’s vocation to do those things that will promote freedom and peace in the world. Since we live in a fallen world, with those for whom violence is the preferred method of shaping their society, those goals are sometimes accomplished through the use or threat of force. I don’t like having to defend other nations who can’t or won’t step up and preserve freedom and peace. But then again, I don’t like having to defend Code Pink and their ilk so that they can protest against me, blame me for all the world’s ills, and rejoice in the harm they cause to our nation. But that is my vocation.

    So to answer trotk’s question of why we should exert our influence? Because evil must be withstood. If you fail to do so, your silence is agreement.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    The stupidity and vapidity of Todd’s remark is all the evidence needed to explain why he was, and is, banned from my social networking sites. Some people just can’t take a hint, or get a clue.

    And as for the college professor making pronouncements about the dangers we face in the world today, pardon me if I disregard his remarks as that of yet another ivory tower egg head who has lost touch with reality.

    There are very evil people intend on killing you, me and every American they possibly can, day and night, 24/7/365. I thank God for the blessing of a strong military and wish them all success as they protect us.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    The stupidity and vapidity of Todd’s remark is all the evidence needed to explain why he was, and is, banned from my social networking sites. Some people just can’t take a hint, or get a clue.

    And as for the college professor making pronouncements about the dangers we face in the world today, pardon me if I disregard his remarks as that of yet another ivory tower egg head who has lost touch with reality.

    There are very evil people intend on killing you, me and every American they possibly can, day and night, 24/7/365. I thank God for the blessing of a strong military and wish them all success as they protect us.

  • Cincinnatus

    Paul T. McCain@43:

    Why refer to me as “the college professor”? My real name is Cincinnatus, as I already told you. Why don’t you believe me? Most people on the internet use their real names when commenting on informal blogs. This is why “Klassie Kraalogies” posts under his real name rather than some fake avatar like “Stan Smith.” A truly courageous internet hero. tODD uses his real name as well, obviously–it’s even spelled that way. “FWS,” “NavyChaps,” “trotk,” “#4 Kitty”–we’re all using our real names. Because we’re not cowards, Paul.

    Let me ask you: Is Paul really your name? Be honest, “Paul.” I get the suspicion that your name might really be something like “Abdullah al-Muhammed.” You’re probably posting from a cave in Pakistan, aren’t you? Coward. Out yourself! Your employer probably won’t mind if you’re posting praises to America when you should be shooting RPG’s at Chinooks. Only craven fools and “ivory tower egg heads who have lost touch with reality” use avatars on the internet. Or when they’re writing the Federalist Papers, etc.

  • Cincinnatus

    Paul T. McCain@43:

    Why refer to me as “the college professor”? My real name is Cincinnatus, as I already told you. Why don’t you believe me? Most people on the internet use their real names when commenting on informal blogs. This is why “Klassie Kraalogies” posts under his real name rather than some fake avatar like “Stan Smith.” A truly courageous internet hero. tODD uses his real name as well, obviously–it’s even spelled that way. “FWS,” “NavyChaps,” “trotk,” “#4 Kitty”–we’re all using our real names. Because we’re not cowards, Paul.

    Let me ask you: Is Paul really your name? Be honest, “Paul.” I get the suspicion that your name might really be something like “Abdullah al-Muhammed.” You’re probably posting from a cave in Pakistan, aren’t you? Coward. Out yourself! Your employer probably won’t mind if you’re posting praises to America when you should be shooting RPG’s at Chinooks. Only craven fools and “ivory tower egg heads who have lost touch with reality” use avatars on the internet. Or when they’re writing the Federalist Papers, etc.

  • Grace

    September 11th should not become a holiday. However it will NEVER be forgotten, NEVER, no more than December 7th 1941 will be forgotten.

    The first time I flew to Honolulu, I went to Punch Bowl. There I stood, looking down where the ships and all the lives were hit, it was the most riviting moment, filled with great sadness. How could anyone forget such a disaster. It’s no different for 9-11, it will always be remembered.

    I would hate to see this become a National holiday. It’s not a holiday sort of day, it’s sad!

  • Grace

    September 11th should not become a holiday. However it will NEVER be forgotten, NEVER, no more than December 7th 1941 will be forgotten.

    The first time I flew to Honolulu, I went to Punch Bowl. There I stood, looking down where the ships and all the lives were hit, it was the most riviting moment, filled with great sadness. How could anyone forget such a disaster. It’s no different for 9-11, it will always be remembered.

    I would hate to see this become a National holiday. It’s not a holiday sort of day, it’s sad!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    NavyChaps (@42), you seem to have missed one of Cincinnatus’ main points, and in so doing, have (apparently) unintentionally propagated the notion that we have always been at war with Islam.

    Islamist thought has always been there. … But when you subscribe to an Islamist ideology, you are going to hate America anyway. So, it doesn’t really matter. They would still be against the U.S. regardless.

    As Cincinnatus noted, the Muslim world did not always “hate America anyway”. Something changed. Yes, Islam has been there for a long, long time, and it has produced its radicals in that time. But somehow, that didn’t stop that region from generally thinking highly of us. Until the past 50 years or so. We have not always been seen as the archenemy of that region. Your pat answers do not take this into account.

    It is the Islamists who have always hated us who remain.

    Oh good grief. Right, certainly none of the Muslim radicals have emigrated to America. None of them can be found operating questionable “charity” operations here. Are you serious?! For heaven’s sake, my hometown in Texas has known a few terrorist-funding Muslims in its time.

    Likewise, it’s not hard to disprove your theory that only the radicals have stayed in the Middle East. You have an odd grasp of the reasons behind emigration.

    By their control and use of their own resources, they have become wealthy and we have become beholden to them out of fear.

    Um, who has become wealthy? All of them? That might be news to, well, almost everyone over there. Maybe they’re upset about that? And maybe the select few who are getting fat and rich from all that oil money just might be stirring up the anti-American sentiments of the teeming masses, just so they won’t rise up against the oligarchs? Maybe?

    The Islamists don’t want to live in peace.

    What, none of them? Is that true for all Muslims? Even the ones apparently living peacefully in our country? Does your argument make any distinction between Muslims, or do they all act and think of one accord?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    NavyChaps (@42), you seem to have missed one of Cincinnatus’ main points, and in so doing, have (apparently) unintentionally propagated the notion that we have always been at war with Islam.

    Islamist thought has always been there. … But when you subscribe to an Islamist ideology, you are going to hate America anyway. So, it doesn’t really matter. They would still be against the U.S. regardless.

    As Cincinnatus noted, the Muslim world did not always “hate America anyway”. Something changed. Yes, Islam has been there for a long, long time, and it has produced its radicals in that time. But somehow, that didn’t stop that region from generally thinking highly of us. Until the past 50 years or so. We have not always been seen as the archenemy of that region. Your pat answers do not take this into account.

    It is the Islamists who have always hated us who remain.

    Oh good grief. Right, certainly none of the Muslim radicals have emigrated to America. None of them can be found operating questionable “charity” operations here. Are you serious?! For heaven’s sake, my hometown in Texas has known a few terrorist-funding Muslims in its time.

    Likewise, it’s not hard to disprove your theory that only the radicals have stayed in the Middle East. You have an odd grasp of the reasons behind emigration.

    By their control and use of their own resources, they have become wealthy and we have become beholden to them out of fear.

    Um, who has become wealthy? All of them? That might be news to, well, almost everyone over there. Maybe they’re upset about that? And maybe the select few who are getting fat and rich from all that oil money just might be stirring up the anti-American sentiments of the teeming masses, just so they won’t rise up against the oligarchs? Maybe?

    The Islamists don’t want to live in peace.

    What, none of them? Is that true for all Muslims? Even the ones apparently living peacefully in our country? Does your argument make any distinction between Muslims, or do they all act and think of one accord?

  • trotk

    It is interesting to me that the entire interventionist argument rests on the assumption that those people will do something bad, and so we must interfere first.

    Why are so many otherwise freedom-loving people comfortable with preemptive action? Why are war-hawks and neocons comfortable doing to others what we would go to war over if someone did it to us?

    I cannot understand how proponents of freedom here are willing to take the freedom and lives of others over there so casually. No wonder they hate us.

  • trotk

    It is interesting to me that the entire interventionist argument rests on the assumption that those people will do something bad, and so we must interfere first.

    Why are so many otherwise freedom-loving people comfortable with preemptive action? Why are war-hawks and neocons comfortable doing to others what we would go to war over if someone did it to us?

    I cannot understand how proponents of freedom here are willing to take the freedom and lives of others over there so casually. No wonder they hate us.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    NavyChaps (@42), I also wish you had connected the dots from the beginning of your comment to the end. You concluded:

    So to answer trotk’s question of why we should exert our influence? Because evil must be withstood.

    But let’s go back to your opening paragraph:

    In the late 60’s, most of the Arab world was controlled by dictators whom we supported in our efforts to hold back the USSR. Ideal? No.

    Hmm. So, in an attempt to “withstand” the evil of the USSR, we compromised our own ideals and supported the overthrow of governments — even democratic ones. Or we at least supported tyrants, anyhow. And this resulted in the current evil, which now must be withstood.

    Of course, in the course of our “war on terror”, we have continued our habit of buddying up with repressive, totalitarian regimes. But, you know, ideals are one thing, and withstanding evil is another. So what if these current compromises lead to yet more evil? We’ll just withstand those, too, when they (inevitably) come around.

    We’ll just keep withstanding evil, because we have to. And, maybe some day, when all the evil is gone, we can get back to our ideals. But not now. For now, we must withstand evil wherever it occurs. And if that creates a fertile ground for more evil, we’ll withstand that too. All the way down.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    NavyChaps (@42), I also wish you had connected the dots from the beginning of your comment to the end. You concluded:

    So to answer trotk’s question of why we should exert our influence? Because evil must be withstood.

    But let’s go back to your opening paragraph:

    In the late 60’s, most of the Arab world was controlled by dictators whom we supported in our efforts to hold back the USSR. Ideal? No.

    Hmm. So, in an attempt to “withstand” the evil of the USSR, we compromised our own ideals and supported the overthrow of governments — even democratic ones. Or we at least supported tyrants, anyhow. And this resulted in the current evil, which now must be withstood.

    Of course, in the course of our “war on terror”, we have continued our habit of buddying up with repressive, totalitarian regimes. But, you know, ideals are one thing, and withstanding evil is another. So what if these current compromises lead to yet more evil? We’ll just withstand those, too, when they (inevitably) come around.

    We’ll just keep withstanding evil, because we have to. And, maybe some day, when all the evil is gone, we can get back to our ideals. But not now. For now, we must withstand evil wherever it occurs. And if that creates a fertile ground for more evil, we’ll withstand that too. All the way down.

  • Tom Hering

    Who knows? We could have 21st century conflicts that cause us to forget 9/11, because it will pale in comparison. Actually, I’m quite sure we will. We might even be dragged (by an ally) into something major – and nuclear – before this November.

  • Tom Hering

    Who knows? We could have 21st century conflicts that cause us to forget 9/11, because it will pale in comparison. Actually, I’m quite sure we will. We might even be dragged (by an ally) into something major – and nuclear – before this November.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@49:

    At first I was like: “Heh, that’s some nice but indeterminate hyperbole.”

    And then I was like: “Gee, Iran. He might be right.”

    Sobering thoughts! That said, I suspect Obama (not to mention Romney) wants to save any nuclear fun for after the election.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@49:

    At first I was like: “Heh, that’s some nice but indeterminate hyperbole.”

    And then I was like: “Gee, Iran. He might be right.”

    Sobering thoughts! That said, I suspect Obama (not to mention Romney) wants to save any nuclear fun for after the election.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Paul Tiberius McCain (@43 — I don’t know why you’re trying to hide your true identity with that middle initial), why … a reply? For me? I thought it was beneath your high status in the LCMS to even think about people like me (and all the others you’ve banned for disagreeing with you). You are, after all, reverend. And for obvious reasons.

    But I liked your ad hominem crack at the “ivory tower egg head”! Yeah, stupid professors! Good thing the LCMS doesn’t have any of those. Or, at least, that you’ve never learned anything from any of them.

    Anyhow, who needs the military? We’ve got you, Paul! Pew! Pew!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Paul Tiberius McCain (@43 — I don’t know why you’re trying to hide your true identity with that middle initial), why … a reply? For me? I thought it was beneath your high status in the LCMS to even think about people like me (and all the others you’ve banned for disagreeing with you). You are, after all, reverend. And for obvious reasons.

    But I liked your ad hominem crack at the “ivory tower egg head”! Yeah, stupid professors! Good thing the LCMS doesn’t have any of those. Or, at least, that you’ve never learned anything from any of them.

    Anyhow, who needs the military? We’ve got you, Paul! Pew! Pew!

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    > I suspect Obama … wants to save any nuclear
    > fun for after the election.

    Yes. That’s when he’ll have more “latitude.”

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    > I suspect Obama … wants to save any nuclear
    > fun for after the election.

    Yes. That’s when he’ll have more “latitude.”

  • Tom Hering

    Oh dang. It wasn’t too long ago that I listened to some fascinating arguments for why Israel must strike Iran by October at the latest. Now I can’t remember them. I hate getting old.

    While I understand Israel’s desire to neuter Iran, I wonder if we underestimate Iran as an enemy. Certainly they’ve seen an Israeli strike coming for a long time now, and have prepared for it, in terms of retaliation. I suspect they have an international network of retaliation set up, and that a fair portion of it will take place on our soil. But that’s just a thought that I have on bad days. Age again.

  • Tom Hering

    Oh dang. It wasn’t too long ago that I listened to some fascinating arguments for why Israel must strike Iran by October at the latest. Now I can’t remember them. I hate getting old.

    While I understand Israel’s desire to neuter Iran, I wonder if we underestimate Iran as an enemy. Certainly they’ve seen an Israeli strike coming for a long time now, and have prepared for it, in terms of retaliation. I suspect they have an international network of retaliation set up, and that a fair portion of it will take place on our soil. But that’s just a thought that I have on bad days. Age again.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Wow this thread went south.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Wow this thread went south.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@53:

    Really? I don’t perceive Iran as much of a threat to America at all, unless they intend to sell their nuclear materials to terrorist groups (not at all unlikely). They don’t possess the capacity to strike American soil or to invade our shores.

    What they present is a direct threat to Israel. Iran is thus Israel’s business, and I couldn’t give one fig if Israel decides to strike preemptively or to embroil itself in a total war with Iran.

    But wait! Since America is the world’s policeman, it’s our job to “protect Israel” and “ensure stability in the Middle East,” so we “have” to intervene in any such conflict, right?

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@53:

    Really? I don’t perceive Iran as much of a threat to America at all, unless they intend to sell their nuclear materials to terrorist groups (not at all unlikely). They don’t possess the capacity to strike American soil or to invade our shores.

    What they present is a direct threat to Israel. Iran is thus Israel’s business, and I couldn’t give one fig if Israel decides to strike preemptively or to embroil itself in a total war with Iran.

    But wait! Since America is the world’s policeman, it’s our job to “protect Israel” and “ensure stability in the Middle East,” so we “have” to intervene in any such conflict, right?

  • NavyChaps

    tODD,
    It seems I need to write between the lines as well as the lines.
    No. We have not always been at war with Islam. We are not now.

    But Islamist thought HAS always been “at war” with us; whether you or Cincinnatus want to acknowledge it or not. The USSR may have been our ally in WWII, but their philosophy was at war with us. As their power grew, their ability to act increased as well. It is not purely a regional thing. For most of the past century, we are talking about philosophies of non-state actors. As they grew in influence, they have taken over nations. Why did they grow in influence? NOT purely because of our actions, though I’m certain that it is a factor. My frustration with Cincinnatus’ and your strawmen is that you ascribe the blame to us. I ascribe the blame to their philosophy which wants to kill us anyway while allowing them to blame everyone else for their misery, be “godly”, and reestablish the glory days of Islam. Is that empowering and enticing? Can it be focused specifically on the U.S. who supports the dictator at the moment? Sure. But that doesn’t change the fact that their philosophy wanted you and me dead before our support of the dictator.

    Emigrated. Strawman alert. Do I really need to add the word “most” to clarify? Do you really think that I would argue that the Islamists have not also emigrated here in an effort to use our freedoms against us? Please. I know you want to blame the U.S., I get that.

    Likewise, those who remain…did I say “only?” Didn’t see it in my re-read. Must be another strawman. Ok, fine, you’re right. Not ALL who remain. Which I know first hand having actually been there and worked side-by-side with Muslims whom I respect for their willingness to fight against Islamism. Though I weep for their lack of faith in Jesus Christ, I acknowledge that they are men of great courage who would like to return to the way that it was years ago. But I understand. You want to blame the U.S. Ok. Fine.

    Wealth. You’re right about that. But it is “funny” that when the Islamists “rise up against the oligarchs,” just like the proletariat of old, it has the same result. The people get poorer and a different oligarch arises. No guillotines perhaps, but plenty of death to any who would resist. Why anti-American? You have to have someone to blame. They agree with you.

    Regardless, the question is always, “What is in our nation’s best interest?” Many will argue we should become isolationists; including appeasing the Islamists and ignoring Israel. They believe that our inaction will cause the world to love us again. The argument I have made, along with others, is that this view is woefully naïve and inadequate to protect U.S. interests in the world AND that it would lead to increased conflict. I don’t want the world to love the U.S., I want the world to respect the U.S. In the motto of the First Marine Division: No Greater Friend, No Worse Enemy.

    You can argue that we should not support any unsavory characters in the world. I understand the point. Sadly, the question becomes one of which is the lesser of two evils. Is that a compromise of our values. Probably. Is it necessary. Certainly. Again, Stalin anyone? Idealistic? No. Realistic? Yes. And yeah, sometimes an old friend becomes my new enemy. Because unlike trotk’s utopian world, I believe that sinful man acts in his own best interest. Same for nations. But what is the alternative? Isolationism? That is foolishness. It is not a neutral position; it does far more damage than good.

    Bottom line: I’m not going to change your mind because you have decided that its all America’s fault. You’re not going to change my mind because I’ve decided that Islamist philosophy is to blame.

    But as I alluded to above, isn’t it great that we can have a disagreement on public policy? You won’t find such arguments where the Islamists rule.

  • NavyChaps

    tODD,
    It seems I need to write between the lines as well as the lines.
    No. We have not always been at war with Islam. We are not now.

    But Islamist thought HAS always been “at war” with us; whether you or Cincinnatus want to acknowledge it or not. The USSR may have been our ally in WWII, but their philosophy was at war with us. As their power grew, their ability to act increased as well. It is not purely a regional thing. For most of the past century, we are talking about philosophies of non-state actors. As they grew in influence, they have taken over nations. Why did they grow in influence? NOT purely because of our actions, though I’m certain that it is a factor. My frustration with Cincinnatus’ and your strawmen is that you ascribe the blame to us. I ascribe the blame to their philosophy which wants to kill us anyway while allowing them to blame everyone else for their misery, be “godly”, and reestablish the glory days of Islam. Is that empowering and enticing? Can it be focused specifically on the U.S. who supports the dictator at the moment? Sure. But that doesn’t change the fact that their philosophy wanted you and me dead before our support of the dictator.

    Emigrated. Strawman alert. Do I really need to add the word “most” to clarify? Do you really think that I would argue that the Islamists have not also emigrated here in an effort to use our freedoms against us? Please. I know you want to blame the U.S., I get that.

    Likewise, those who remain…did I say “only?” Didn’t see it in my re-read. Must be another strawman. Ok, fine, you’re right. Not ALL who remain. Which I know first hand having actually been there and worked side-by-side with Muslims whom I respect for their willingness to fight against Islamism. Though I weep for their lack of faith in Jesus Christ, I acknowledge that they are men of great courage who would like to return to the way that it was years ago. But I understand. You want to blame the U.S. Ok. Fine.

    Wealth. You’re right about that. But it is “funny” that when the Islamists “rise up against the oligarchs,” just like the proletariat of old, it has the same result. The people get poorer and a different oligarch arises. No guillotines perhaps, but plenty of death to any who would resist. Why anti-American? You have to have someone to blame. They agree with you.

    Regardless, the question is always, “What is in our nation’s best interest?” Many will argue we should become isolationists; including appeasing the Islamists and ignoring Israel. They believe that our inaction will cause the world to love us again. The argument I have made, along with others, is that this view is woefully naïve and inadequate to protect U.S. interests in the world AND that it would lead to increased conflict. I don’t want the world to love the U.S., I want the world to respect the U.S. In the motto of the First Marine Division: No Greater Friend, No Worse Enemy.

    You can argue that we should not support any unsavory characters in the world. I understand the point. Sadly, the question becomes one of which is the lesser of two evils. Is that a compromise of our values. Probably. Is it necessary. Certainly. Again, Stalin anyone? Idealistic? No. Realistic? Yes. And yeah, sometimes an old friend becomes my new enemy. Because unlike trotk’s utopian world, I believe that sinful man acts in his own best interest. Same for nations. But what is the alternative? Isolationism? That is foolishness. It is not a neutral position; it does far more damage than good.

    Bottom line: I’m not going to change your mind because you have decided that its all America’s fault. You’re not going to change my mind because I’ve decided that Islamist philosophy is to blame.

    But as I alluded to above, isn’t it great that we can have a disagreement on public policy? You won’t find such arguments where the Islamists rule.

  • fjsteve

    trotk, #39,

    I can point to a few examples in the last 100 years. Japanese incursions in east and southeast Asia, German incursions in central Europe, Soviet incursions in central Asia, Chinese incursions in southeast Asia. Of course, if you go back a few hundred years there are quite a few more examples. Basically, there’s a reason why there are very few truly neutral countries in the world.

    #47

    It is interesting to me that the entire interventionist argument rests on the assumption that those people will do something bad, and so we must interfere first.

    Wait, aren’t all laws based on the idea that people will do something bad? If we assume our own citizens won’t act in the best interest of our society unless governed by laws, why would we assume other countries would do the same? I would love nothing more than to imagine with John Lennon a world with no borders because everyone agrees and nobody ever does anything bad. That’s not going to happen.

    Why are so many otherwise freedom-loving people comfortable with preemptive action? Why are war-hawks and neocons comfortable doing to others what we would go to war over if someone did it to us?

    I’m not sure if this was directed at me but please note that I never said anything about war or restricting the freedoms of other countries’ citizens. I made it clear that exerting out influence could take make forms. These could include trade agreements, arms agreements, opening diplomatic channels, etc. We have decidedly taken more aggressive and covert approaches in the past–like assassinations, death squads, sham elections, etc–with which I disagree. But I adamantly disagree that these are the only ways we can exert our influence.

  • fjsteve

    trotk, #39,

    I can point to a few examples in the last 100 years. Japanese incursions in east and southeast Asia, German incursions in central Europe, Soviet incursions in central Asia, Chinese incursions in southeast Asia. Of course, if you go back a few hundred years there are quite a few more examples. Basically, there’s a reason why there are very few truly neutral countries in the world.

    #47

    It is interesting to me that the entire interventionist argument rests on the assumption that those people will do something bad, and so we must interfere first.

    Wait, aren’t all laws based on the idea that people will do something bad? If we assume our own citizens won’t act in the best interest of our society unless governed by laws, why would we assume other countries would do the same? I would love nothing more than to imagine with John Lennon a world with no borders because everyone agrees and nobody ever does anything bad. That’s not going to happen.

    Why are so many otherwise freedom-loving people comfortable with preemptive action? Why are war-hawks and neocons comfortable doing to others what we would go to war over if someone did it to us?

    I’m not sure if this was directed at me but please note that I never said anything about war or restricting the freedoms of other countries’ citizens. I made it clear that exerting out influence could take make forms. These could include trade agreements, arms agreements, opening diplomatic channels, etc. We have decidedly taken more aggressive and covert approaches in the past–like assassinations, death squads, sham elections, etc–with which I disagree. But I adamantly disagree that these are the only ways we can exert our influence.

  • trotk

    NavyChaps, make no mistake. I am not naive, nor do I live in a utopian world. I understand that there are evil people, evil religions, and nations bent on hurting others. I also think that America should act in its best interests.

    I just happen to believe that it is in America’s best interests to stay the hell out of other countries’ business. You gain fewer enemies when you do so.

    I am all for a first class military, and I, too, want the respect of the world. This occurs when we only interfere when we have to, like when a country attacks us or an ally. If we or an ally are attacked, then obliterate the enemy (not the region the enemy happened to come from). And then get out. Meddling in the internal governmental affairs of foreign nations is stupid and arrogant.

  • trotk

    NavyChaps, make no mistake. I am not naive, nor do I live in a utopian world. I understand that there are evil people, evil religions, and nations bent on hurting others. I also think that America should act in its best interests.

    I just happen to believe that it is in America’s best interests to stay the hell out of other countries’ business. You gain fewer enemies when you do so.

    I am all for a first class military, and I, too, want the respect of the world. This occurs when we only interfere when we have to, like when a country attacks us or an ally. If we or an ally are attacked, then obliterate the enemy (not the region the enemy happened to come from). And then get out. Meddling in the internal governmental affairs of foreign nations is stupid and arrogant.

  • trotk

    fjsteve, if you want to limit our exertions of influence to setting an example, trading with people, or having a powerful military, then great, I am in agreement with you, at least in theory. The problem is that our method of exerting influence has been to be a policeman for other nations. Before we do anything outside the borders of our nation, we should ask what sort of blowback it will cause and ask ourselves if it is worth it.

    As for your argument that someone will exert an influence, so what? Let those countries sort it out. Unless they attack us or an ally, what business is it of ours?

    Additionally, you missed my point. I know that the law is based on the assumption that people will do evil things, but unlike the law, which comes into play after the crime, our international action has been preemptive.

  • trotk

    fjsteve, if you want to limit our exertions of influence to setting an example, trading with people, or having a powerful military, then great, I am in agreement with you, at least in theory. The problem is that our method of exerting influence has been to be a policeman for other nations. Before we do anything outside the borders of our nation, we should ask what sort of blowback it will cause and ask ourselves if it is worth it.

    As for your argument that someone will exert an influence, so what? Let those countries sort it out. Unless they attack us or an ally, what business is it of ours?

    Additionally, you missed my point. I know that the law is based on the assumption that people will do evil things, but unlike the law, which comes into play after the crime, our international action has been preemptive.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus @ 55, I didn’t say they’d invade us in retaliation, or launch intercontinental missiles in retaliation, or employ nuclear weapons in retaliation. I just said they’d retaliate, and I suspect they’re prepared to. There are some nasty ways of doing it other than the above. This is where it would be appropriate to remember 9/11.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus @ 55, I didn’t say they’d invade us in retaliation, or launch intercontinental missiles in retaliation, or employ nuclear weapons in retaliation. I just said they’d retaliate, and I suspect they’re prepared to. There are some nasty ways of doing it other than the above. This is where it would be appropriate to remember 9/11.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    old war w/ the same enemy-
    Barbary (pirates) – muslim- tribute-20% of the new U.S. GDP–
    Jefferson – had enough- sent the new U S Marines- (shores of Tripoli anyone)–
    Madison finished the job–
    now we give billions (tribute) to places like Pakistan–
    have them release the Dr that helped us get OBL- or nor more Billions—and that is just one venue of U S Tribute—to muslim ‘pirates’..
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    old war w/ the same enemy-
    Barbary (pirates) – muslim- tribute-20% of the new U.S. GDP–
    Jefferson – had enough- sent the new U S Marines- (shores of Tripoli anyone)–
    Madison finished the job–
    now we give billions (tribute) to places like Pakistan–
    have them release the Dr that helped us get OBL- or nor more Billions—and that is just one venue of U S Tribute—to muslim ‘pirates’..
    C-CS

  • Cincinnatus

    C-Christian Soldier@61:

    …I have no idea what you just said. In English perhaps?

  • Cincinnatus

    C-Christian Soldier@61:

    …I have no idea what you just said. In English perhaps?

  • NavyChaps

    trotk @58,
    Appreciate the clarification. Especially the point about there being evil actors on the world stage. I’m not certain that point would be universally accepted without moral equivalence.

    I think that our point of disagreement then would be the departure line for staying “out of other countries’ business.” We live in an integrated world where things that at first glance have little to do with us, in fact directly impact our nation. For example, Cincinnatus @55 doesn’t care whether Israel attacks Iran or not. I assume (which is very dangerous, I know) that his lack of concern is because he believes the conflict doesn’t involve the U.S. and therefore isn’t our problem. However I would argue that the U.S. has a vital national interest in the potential conflict and all its ramifications. As fjsteve wrote, the exerting of influence can take many forms. The use of force is one of those. However the inability to apply force often prohibits the ability to utilize “softer” forms of influence with any effect.

  • NavyChaps

    trotk @58,
    Appreciate the clarification. Especially the point about there being evil actors on the world stage. I’m not certain that point would be universally accepted without moral equivalence.

    I think that our point of disagreement then would be the departure line for staying “out of other countries’ business.” We live in an integrated world where things that at first glance have little to do with us, in fact directly impact our nation. For example, Cincinnatus @55 doesn’t care whether Israel attacks Iran or not. I assume (which is very dangerous, I know) that his lack of concern is because he believes the conflict doesn’t involve the U.S. and therefore isn’t our problem. However I would argue that the U.S. has a vital national interest in the potential conflict and all its ramifications. As fjsteve wrote, the exerting of influence can take many forms. The use of force is one of those. However the inability to apply force often prohibits the ability to utilize “softer” forms of influence with any effect.

  • Tom Hering

    I’ll take a stab at translation, Cincinnatus: this country’s been kissin’ mooslim butt since day one, and now has it’s face buried in their cheeks. “Aaarrgh! Them what dies will be the lucky ones, infidel!”

  • Tom Hering

    I’ll take a stab at translation, Cincinnatus: this country’s been kissin’ mooslim butt since day one, and now has it’s face buried in their cheeks. “Aaarrgh! Them what dies will be the lucky ones, infidel!”

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps@63:

    It’s pointless–and hardly a counterargument to mine–to note that you “would argue that the U.S. has a vital national interest in the potential conflict” between Israel and Iran if you neglect or fail to specify what, exactly, those “vital interests” are. I honestly can’t think of any truly vital interests at stake in such a conflict, but I could be missing something.

    I definitely have no love for Iran, but that in itself doesn’t justify an attack or dictate that we need to take a particular “side.” With the possible exception of World War II, most international conflicts aren’t between “good guys” and “bad guys,” but between two amoral counterposed parties with conflictual claims. This applies to Iran: they have tangible, “vital” national interests at stake in doing what they do. Israel does to. It’s entirely unclear that any of those interests are shared with or in conflict with the United States, though.

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps@63:

    It’s pointless–and hardly a counterargument to mine–to note that you “would argue that the U.S. has a vital national interest in the potential conflict” between Israel and Iran if you neglect or fail to specify what, exactly, those “vital interests” are. I honestly can’t think of any truly vital interests at stake in such a conflict, but I could be missing something.

    I definitely have no love for Iran, but that in itself doesn’t justify an attack or dictate that we need to take a particular “side.” With the possible exception of World War II, most international conflicts aren’t between “good guys” and “bad guys,” but between two amoral counterposed parties with conflictual claims. This applies to Iran: they have tangible, “vital” national interests at stake in doing what they do. Israel does to. It’s entirely unclear that any of those interests are shared with or in conflict with the United States, though.

  • NavyChaps

    Cincinnatus,
    Frankly I’m stunned that the vital interest isn’t patently obvious, for a shootin’ war there will have a substantial impact on our nation (particularly the economy, but also in terms of our ability to engage with other regional nations on a host of issues — and not just oil — as if that’s a terrible thing). So yeah, if you don’t see it, you’re missing something.

    I see also that you are of the Iran = Israel moral equivalence camp. This, frankly, I cannot understand, as I mentioned above @42. True, Iran has state interests. Sadly, all of them involve terror and destruction of our peaceful ally in the region. Once again, Iran (or any other neighboring state) could lay down ALL their arms and Israel would not attack them. The suggest converse to be true is simply delusional. Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, not just in the Middle East, but worldwide. I fail to see the moral (or amoral) equivalence. But maybe I’m just missing something.

  • NavyChaps

    Cincinnatus,
    Frankly I’m stunned that the vital interest isn’t patently obvious, for a shootin’ war there will have a substantial impact on our nation (particularly the economy, but also in terms of our ability to engage with other regional nations on a host of issues — and not just oil — as if that’s a terrible thing). So yeah, if you don’t see it, you’re missing something.

    I see also that you are of the Iran = Israel moral equivalence camp. This, frankly, I cannot understand, as I mentioned above @42. True, Iran has state interests. Sadly, all of them involve terror and destruction of our peaceful ally in the region. Once again, Iran (or any other neighboring state) could lay down ALL their arms and Israel would not attack them. The suggest converse to be true is simply delusional. Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism, not just in the Middle East, but worldwide. I fail to see the moral (or amoral) equivalence. But maybe I’m just missing something.

  • NavyChaps

    And before tODD jumps on me with the “ALL” in paragraph 2 @66, that’s a rhetorical device — not a strawman — I don’t actually think that those are their ONLY interests.

  • NavyChaps

    And before tODD jumps on me with the “ALL” in paragraph 2 @66, that’s a rhetorical device — not a strawman — I don’t actually think that those are their ONLY interests.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Cincinnatus @ 65

    I’ve pretty much stayed out of the back and forth here – but regarding a possible Israeli strike against an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

    If Iran actually possessed a nuclear weapon and unless prevented from doing so would use said weapon to genocidal effect against Israel (an intent that their government has never been particularly shy about expressing) – are you saying the US has no national interest in taking sides in such a scenario? Really?

    I have no desire for the US to preemptively strike Iran (and I think it is likely the Israel will eventually will) – but how exactly does a possible Iranian nuclear strike against Israel serve Iran’s national interest in any sane way? Israel preemptively striking Iran to prevent such an attack is quite plausibly in their national interest (I am not saying that they absolutely have to do so, it is not clear to me exactly how close Iran is to possessing a nuclear weapon and what capacity they have to effectively deliver such a weapon). But exactly how would it be in the US national interest to sit back and watch an Iranian nuclear strike against Israel?

    I am not big on an adventurous, interventionist US foreign policy – I think we would be better served by a more modest policy that focuses on fewer, more vital interests. But in the case of a potential nuclear genocide – it is in the US national interest that such a genocide not take place. It frankly is in the interest of every nation in the world that isn’t categorically insane.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Cincinnatus @ 65

    I’ve pretty much stayed out of the back and forth here – but regarding a possible Israeli strike against an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

    If Iran actually possessed a nuclear weapon and unless prevented from doing so would use said weapon to genocidal effect against Israel (an intent that their government has never been particularly shy about expressing) – are you saying the US has no national interest in taking sides in such a scenario? Really?

    I have no desire for the US to preemptively strike Iran (and I think it is likely the Israel will eventually will) – but how exactly does a possible Iranian nuclear strike against Israel serve Iran’s national interest in any sane way? Israel preemptively striking Iran to prevent such an attack is quite plausibly in their national interest (I am not saying that they absolutely have to do so, it is not clear to me exactly how close Iran is to possessing a nuclear weapon and what capacity they have to effectively deliver such a weapon). But exactly how would it be in the US national interest to sit back and watch an Iranian nuclear strike against Israel?

    I am not big on an adventurous, interventionist US foreign policy – I think we would be better served by a more modest policy that focuses on fewer, more vital interests. But in the case of a potential nuclear genocide – it is in the US national interest that such a genocide not take place. It frankly is in the interest of every nation in the world that isn’t categorically insane.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Wow, as a foreigner, I’d rather stay out of this one. Well, at least out of the foreign policy wars, though my opinion is made up on that one.

    I should note though, Todd, that Paul has been banned from at least one other “group blog” for his repeated bad behaviour. Maybe McCain should quit the campaign :)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Wow, as a foreigner, I’d rather stay out of this one. Well, at least out of the foreign policy wars, though my opinion is made up on that one.

    I should note though, Todd, that Paul has been banned from at least one other “group blog” for his repeated bad behaviour. Maybe McCain should quit the campaign :)

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps@67:

    Sorry, you still haven’t clarified what, exactly, are the vital American interests at stake in an Iran/Israel conflict. Beating me over the head for my “ignorance” is not constitute the sort of clarification I’m seeking. In fact, the interests are not obvious to me–nor to myriads of others who are not enthusiastic about the idea of another Middle Eastern war. Meanwhile, since when has Iran used “terror” and “destruction” against Israel? The only shootin’ goin’ on in that region right now is between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Steve Billingsley@68:

    No, I’m not keen on the idea of Iran having nuclear weapons. Right now, they don’t have them. If they did, they utterly lack the capacity to use them against the United States. Even so, it’s in our interests to keep the nuclear club closed to new members. Therefore, I wouldn’t be opposed to a surgical strike against nuclear facilities. But, since Israel is the one whose vital interests–i.e., existential viability–are at stake, why not let them do it? They’ve been wanting to do it for ages, but I suppose if they can manipulate us into doing it–and taking the fallout from it–that would be better, right? For Israel, I mean.

    But when you say this, I have to laugh:

    [H]ow exactly does a possible Iranian nuclear strike against Israel serve Iran’s national interest in any sane way?

    Hold up. When was this ever an issue? For anyone? So far as I know, Iran isn’t planning a nuclear strike against anyone–for reasons you imply. Here’s why Iran wants nukes: because a) Israel has them and because b) American military installations are located near basically every Iranian national border. In other words, Iran wants the kind of leverage that only nukes can provide. Put yourself in Iran’s place: What if Canada were a hostile power (as Israel is to Iran) and possessed nuclear weapons, presumably aimed at us. Imagine that the world’s superpower–say, China–were funding Canada’s military and building military installations all along the Canadian and Mexican borders. Gee, do you think we might want some kind of leverage? Realpolitik, man. Iran’s no less rational than Israel or Russia when it comes to decisions like this.

    Anyway, Iran isn’t going to launch a preemptive strike against Israel. But suppose that they did. You ask, “How would it be in the US national interest to sit back and watch?”

    Wrong question. You should be asking, “How would it be in the US national interest to involve ourselves in an active nuclear war between two minor Middle Easter states?” Since hundreds of thousands of American’s at least would certainly die if such a conflict were to escalate, this question should be easy for you to answer. Since the fact of Israel seems to be clouding your judgment, Pakistan and Indian have been on the brink of nuclear war for some time now. Why wouldn’t we sit back and watch? Why on earth would we send troops or launch a few ICBMs of our own?

    Preventing two nations who hate each other from destroying themselves–an issue you’re rhetorically frontloading by labeling “genocide”–doesn’t constitute a national interest, in my view. In fact, that’s why George Washington counseled non-intervention in the first place, and his successors praised the fact that we’re thousands of miles removed from the rest of the world. Let them destroy each other. Unless the nukes are aimed at us, why get involved?

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps@67:

    Sorry, you still haven’t clarified what, exactly, are the vital American interests at stake in an Iran/Israel conflict. Beating me over the head for my “ignorance” is not constitute the sort of clarification I’m seeking. In fact, the interests are not obvious to me–nor to myriads of others who are not enthusiastic about the idea of another Middle Eastern war. Meanwhile, since when has Iran used “terror” and “destruction” against Israel? The only shootin’ goin’ on in that region right now is between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Steve Billingsley@68:

    No, I’m not keen on the idea of Iran having nuclear weapons. Right now, they don’t have them. If they did, they utterly lack the capacity to use them against the United States. Even so, it’s in our interests to keep the nuclear club closed to new members. Therefore, I wouldn’t be opposed to a surgical strike against nuclear facilities. But, since Israel is the one whose vital interests–i.e., existential viability–are at stake, why not let them do it? They’ve been wanting to do it for ages, but I suppose if they can manipulate us into doing it–and taking the fallout from it–that would be better, right? For Israel, I mean.

    But when you say this, I have to laugh:

    [H]ow exactly does a possible Iranian nuclear strike against Israel serve Iran’s national interest in any sane way?

    Hold up. When was this ever an issue? For anyone? So far as I know, Iran isn’t planning a nuclear strike against anyone–for reasons you imply. Here’s why Iran wants nukes: because a) Israel has them and because b) American military installations are located near basically every Iranian national border. In other words, Iran wants the kind of leverage that only nukes can provide. Put yourself in Iran’s place: What if Canada were a hostile power (as Israel is to Iran) and possessed nuclear weapons, presumably aimed at us. Imagine that the world’s superpower–say, China–were funding Canada’s military and building military installations all along the Canadian and Mexican borders. Gee, do you think we might want some kind of leverage? Realpolitik, man. Iran’s no less rational than Israel or Russia when it comes to decisions like this.

    Anyway, Iran isn’t going to launch a preemptive strike against Israel. But suppose that they did. You ask, “How would it be in the US national interest to sit back and watch?”

    Wrong question. You should be asking, “How would it be in the US national interest to involve ourselves in an active nuclear war between two minor Middle Easter states?” Since hundreds of thousands of American’s at least would certainly die if such a conflict were to escalate, this question should be easy for you to answer. Since the fact of Israel seems to be clouding your judgment, Pakistan and Indian have been on the brink of nuclear war for some time now. Why wouldn’t we sit back and watch? Why on earth would we send troops or launch a few ICBMs of our own?

    Preventing two nations who hate each other from destroying themselves–an issue you’re rhetorically frontloading by labeling “genocide”–doesn’t constitute a national interest, in my view. In fact, that’s why George Washington counseled non-intervention in the first place, and his successors praised the fact that we’re thousands of miles removed from the rest of the world. Let them destroy each other. Unless the nukes are aimed at us, why get involved?

  • SKPeterson

    The U.S. does have two natural allies in the Middle East, and oddly, neither begins with the letters Israel, Egypt or Saudi Arabia. They are (drumroll please) Turkey and Iran.

    But that is just the opinion of one particular ivory tower resident.

    My name, btw, is not, nor e’er been SKPeterson. Peterson’s are too busy plotting the disappearances of their spouses to be able to comment.

  • SKPeterson

    The U.S. does have two natural allies in the Middle East, and oddly, neither begins with the letters Israel, Egypt or Saudi Arabia. They are (drumroll please) Turkey and Iran.

    But that is just the opinion of one particular ivory tower resident.

    My name, btw, is not, nor e’er been SKPeterson. Peterson’s are too busy plotting the disappearances of their spouses to be able to comment.

  • Tom Hering
  • Tom Hering
  • SKPeterson

    One further note. If you are going to argue that policies are either in the national interest, or not, please articulate precisely what those interests are. Simply stating “X policy is in our national interest” I’d sure like to know what that interest is.

  • SKPeterson

    One further note. If you are going to argue that policies are either in the national interest, or not, please articulate precisely what those interests are. Simply stating “X policy is in our national interest” I’d sure like to know what that interest is.

  • Dan Kempin

    tODD, #36,

    I was surprised to see your take on my remarks. I don’t think I engage in a lot of “Those People” rhetoric. Perhaps I do.

    At any rate you ask, “what makes you say they weren’t fighting for their country?”

    I thought I had acknowledged that politics played a role. My point was that the dynamic of deeper significance is the teaching of Islam. I didn’t say that American policy wasn’t part of their calculations. And I don’t think that “religion was their prime motivator.” It wasn’t “religion,” it was Islam.

    I’m certainly willing to confess my own sins and the faults of my country, if that is your concern. (One can hardly boast about the integrity of a nation that preserves the practice of murdering children as a mother’s “right.”) So yes, I have a lot of problems with our politics, globally and domestically. And there is plenty of false doctrine to go around as well, not the least of which is found in our two candidates for president: One who espouses a false claim upon Christianity, and one who espouses Christianity while contradicting the Word of God in profound ways.

    I do not see 9/11 as a primarily political event. It is a visual and visceral reminder of the consequence of false doctrine, as are the ovens at Dachau, the charnel houses of the Khmer Rouge, the accounts of the crusades, and the Assyrian victory stele. Do you disagree with that, or were you hearing something else in what I wrote?

  • Dan Kempin

    tODD, #36,

    I was surprised to see your take on my remarks. I don’t think I engage in a lot of “Those People” rhetoric. Perhaps I do.

    At any rate you ask, “what makes you say they weren’t fighting for their country?”

    I thought I had acknowledged that politics played a role. My point was that the dynamic of deeper significance is the teaching of Islam. I didn’t say that American policy wasn’t part of their calculations. And I don’t think that “religion was their prime motivator.” It wasn’t “religion,” it was Islam.

    I’m certainly willing to confess my own sins and the faults of my country, if that is your concern. (One can hardly boast about the integrity of a nation that preserves the practice of murdering children as a mother’s “right.”) So yes, I have a lot of problems with our politics, globally and domestically. And there is plenty of false doctrine to go around as well, not the least of which is found in our two candidates for president: One who espouses a false claim upon Christianity, and one who espouses Christianity while contradicting the Word of God in profound ways.

    I do not see 9/11 as a primarily political event. It is a visual and visceral reminder of the consequence of false doctrine, as are the ovens at Dachau, the charnel houses of the Khmer Rouge, the accounts of the crusades, and the Assyrian victory stele. Do you disagree with that, or were you hearing something else in what I wrote?

  • trotk

    SK(Disappearing wife) @73:

    Exactly!

    And saying “it is in our interest because they are a powerful ally!” Doesn’t prove it is in our interest. I do believe we should honor our commitments to allies, but it might be against our immediate interests to do so. It may serve the long term interest of making our allies trust us, but in the short run, it may run counter to many other interests we have.

  • trotk

    SK(Disappearing wife) @73:

    Exactly!

    And saying “it is in our interest because they are a powerful ally!” Doesn’t prove it is in our interest. I do believe we should honor our commitments to allies, but it might be against our immediate interests to do so. It may serve the long term interest of making our allies trust us, but in the short run, it may run counter to many other interests we have.

  • Cincinnatus

    trotk@75:

    Obviously, trotk, taking Israel’s side no matter what is in our interest because Jews.

  • Cincinnatus

    trotk@75:

    Obviously, trotk, taking Israel’s side no matter what is in our interest because Jews.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    NavyChaps (@56), for someone complaining about straw men, your comment wasn’t exactly immune to them. I don’t know who you imagine you’re talking to.

    Islamist thought HAS always been “at war” with us; whether you or Cincinnatus want to acknowledge it or not.

    Care to define “at war” for me? Because I find that language less than useful as far as clarity goes. I also wouldn’t mind if you told me what “Islamist” means to you. Because certainly not all interpretations of Islam “wanted you and me dead before our support of the dictator.”

    NOT purely because of our actions, though I’m certain that it is a factor. My frustration with Cincinnatus’ and your strawmen is that you ascribe the blame to us.

    In my opinion, your sloppiness with words lends itself to what you subsequently complain about as straw-man arguments. Your frustration is that I “ascribe the blame to us”, even as you also ascribe the blame to us — yes, partially. As do I.

    My point (and, I suspect, Cincinnatus’ as well, but I’m sure he can speak for himself) is that, yes, we are partially to blame here. That is to say, we are not innocent. You admit as much. And then go on to repeatedly (and annoyingly) assert that, “I know you want to blame the U.S., I get that.” No, you don’t get it. Honestly, how can you write things like that (or worse, like this: “you have decided that its all America’s fault.”) and yet complain about straw-man arguments? What rubbish.

    Many will argue we should become isolationists; including appeasing the Islamists and ignoring Israel.

    (Really, you wrote that, and you complained about straw men?) Anyhow, you know what an “isolationist” is? It’s someone who disagrees with you on foreign policy. Apparently. Because I don’t see anyone here actually arguing for true isolationism. But I guess if I don’t support all the wars you favor, I’m an isolationist? And “appeasing the Islamists” — well, yes, I see many here clamoring for that. Like when Cincinnatus suggested that Iran and Israel duke it out among themselves. Pure appeasement, that. Personally, I think our President should hand deliver chocolate eclairs and a pre-approved credit card to every newborn Islamist baby. As was made implicit in all my previous comments. Apparently.

    …this view is woefully naïve and inadequate to protect U.S. interests in the world…

    What interests are those, again?

    Anyhow, given what we now know about the USSR’s sustainability, can you really argue that it was imperative, prior to its collapse, that we support the Mujahideen in Afghanistan (because, you know, to not support them would = “isolationism” and, of course, be tantamount to appeasing the Communists)? Or, hindsight being what it is, can you maybe see that it would have ultimately been in our best interest to simply not get involved over there at all, given the ultimate collapse of the USSR? If you can’t agree, then what is your case for why supporting the Mujahideen was still the best idea? If you can agree, then, well, you’re an appeasing isolationist, obviously.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    NavyChaps (@56), for someone complaining about straw men, your comment wasn’t exactly immune to them. I don’t know who you imagine you’re talking to.

    Islamist thought HAS always been “at war” with us; whether you or Cincinnatus want to acknowledge it or not.

    Care to define “at war” for me? Because I find that language less than useful as far as clarity goes. I also wouldn’t mind if you told me what “Islamist” means to you. Because certainly not all interpretations of Islam “wanted you and me dead before our support of the dictator.”

    NOT purely because of our actions, though I’m certain that it is a factor. My frustration with Cincinnatus’ and your strawmen is that you ascribe the blame to us.

    In my opinion, your sloppiness with words lends itself to what you subsequently complain about as straw-man arguments. Your frustration is that I “ascribe the blame to us”, even as you also ascribe the blame to us — yes, partially. As do I.

    My point (and, I suspect, Cincinnatus’ as well, but I’m sure he can speak for himself) is that, yes, we are partially to blame here. That is to say, we are not innocent. You admit as much. And then go on to repeatedly (and annoyingly) assert that, “I know you want to blame the U.S., I get that.” No, you don’t get it. Honestly, how can you write things like that (or worse, like this: “you have decided that its all America’s fault.”) and yet complain about straw-man arguments? What rubbish.

    Many will argue we should become isolationists; including appeasing the Islamists and ignoring Israel.

    (Really, you wrote that, and you complained about straw men?) Anyhow, you know what an “isolationist” is? It’s someone who disagrees with you on foreign policy. Apparently. Because I don’t see anyone here actually arguing for true isolationism. But I guess if I don’t support all the wars you favor, I’m an isolationist? And “appeasing the Islamists” — well, yes, I see many here clamoring for that. Like when Cincinnatus suggested that Iran and Israel duke it out among themselves. Pure appeasement, that. Personally, I think our President should hand deliver chocolate eclairs and a pre-approved credit card to every newborn Islamist baby. As was made implicit in all my previous comments. Apparently.

    …this view is woefully naïve and inadequate to protect U.S. interests in the world…

    What interests are those, again?

    Anyhow, given what we now know about the USSR’s sustainability, can you really argue that it was imperative, prior to its collapse, that we support the Mujahideen in Afghanistan (because, you know, to not support them would = “isolationism” and, of course, be tantamount to appeasing the Communists)? Or, hindsight being what it is, can you maybe see that it would have ultimately been in our best interest to simply not get involved over there at all, given the ultimate collapse of the USSR? If you can’t agree, then what is your case for why supporting the Mujahideen was still the best idea? If you can agree, then, well, you’re an appeasing isolationist, obviously.

  • P.C.

    NavyChaps,

    You have made many excellent national security and strategic points and rebuttals to the “preppies” on this blog, whom through your service to God and Country (and I suspect, Corps) daily protect us from a myriad of threats that they are not aware of and will never know. For the most part, their conjecturing with their fellow “know it alls” fails the reality test because, for one thing, they have never laid foot in a combat zone, much less served along side our Muslim allies throughout the world. Their rebuttal will be that they don’t have to have had those experiences to come to their opinions and that is, perhaps, correct but it sure would make their assumptions more valid if they had those experiences first hand.

    11 Septermber 2001 will long be remembered for generations just like 7 December 1941. No need to make it a federal holiday since Memorial Day and Veterans Day are already set aside to remember and honor those that have served in our military and in many cases have given their lives for our freedoms. The key is to never forget much less belittle that sacrifice.

    Anyway, thank you for your service to our military personnel and their families. Semper Fidelis.

  • P.C.

    NavyChaps,

    You have made many excellent national security and strategic points and rebuttals to the “preppies” on this blog, whom through your service to God and Country (and I suspect, Corps) daily protect us from a myriad of threats that they are not aware of and will never know. For the most part, their conjecturing with their fellow “know it alls” fails the reality test because, for one thing, they have never laid foot in a combat zone, much less served along side our Muslim allies throughout the world. Their rebuttal will be that they don’t have to have had those experiences to come to their opinions and that is, perhaps, correct but it sure would make their assumptions more valid if they had those experiences first hand.

    11 Septermber 2001 will long be remembered for generations just like 7 December 1941. No need to make it a federal holiday since Memorial Day and Veterans Day are already set aside to remember and honor those that have served in our military and in many cases have given their lives for our freedoms. The key is to never forget much less belittle that sacrifice.

    Anyway, thank you for your service to our military personnel and their families. Semper Fidelis.

  • Cincinnatus

    P.C.,

    What a nice comment! Clearly you and NavyChaps are made for each other. I can recommend some great restaurants nearby if you’d like to make it a date.

  • Cincinnatus

    P.C.,

    What a nice comment! Clearly you and NavyChaps are made for each other. I can recommend some great restaurants nearby if you’d like to make it a date.

  • P.C.

    Cincinnatus,

    Truth hurts, professor. I’m just glad that my daughters are out of college so they aren’t poisoned by your blah, blah, blah. But, pass on the restaurant recommendations. I’m always willing to try out some different chow and will consider it an honor to take the Chaplain and any service member to dinner. Perhaps you should too.

  • P.C.

    Cincinnatus,

    Truth hurts, professor. I’m just glad that my daughters are out of college so they aren’t poisoned by your blah, blah, blah. But, pass on the restaurant recommendations. I’m always willing to try out some different chow and will consider it an honor to take the Chaplain and any service member to dinner. Perhaps you should too.

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @ 79

    Another mindless attempt, at a CHEAP SHOT – but not surprising!

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @ 79

    Another mindless attempt, at a CHEAP SHOT – but not surprising!

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace,

    Yes, admittedly it was a cheap shot. But so are the quips from P.C. and others attempting to impugn my argument by attacking my character and profession. Where I’m from, we call that an ad hominem–a logical fallacy.

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace,

    Yes, admittedly it was a cheap shot. But so are the quips from P.C. and others attempting to impugn my argument by attacking my character and profession. Where I’m from, we call that an ad hominem–a logical fallacy.

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus

    You’re so wrapped up in “ad hominem” I doubt you know how to use it properly anymore. All too often logic and reason are discareded by you, as you emotionally attack another commenter. And I do mean EMOTIONAL!

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus

    You’re so wrapped up in “ad hominem” I doubt you know how to use it properly anymore. All too often logic and reason are discareded by you, as you emotionally attack another commenter. And I do mean EMOTIONAL!

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace@83:

    Generally, Grace, when you divert the argument by claiming that someone doesn’t understand the meaning of a perfectly ordinary and commonly-used term, it means you are the one who doesn’t know what the word means. Allow me to assist you: An ad hominem (meaning in Latin “to the man”) attack is the logical fallacy whereby one attempts to undermine or “disprove” the truth of an opponent’s argument by attacking the character or some other personal attribute of one’s opponent (rather than the argument itself).

    An example of an ad hominem fallacy would be just about every comment you’ve ever posted on this blog.

    Other examples would include P.C.’s claim that my geopolitical arguments are invalid because I’m a professor (I’m actually not, but far be it from me to get in the way of his delightful fallacies) or because I’ve never “served alongside our Muslim allies” (??) in the Marine Corps (???). Clearly, my advanced degrees in political science do not qualify me to speak knowledgeably of political affairs in the eyes of P.C. NavyChaps is a fount of unadulterated truth because he served at some point in some branch of the military, excusing him from the responsibility to provide evidence for his claims or to avoid erecting straw men.

    Still other examples of the ad hominem would include Rev. Paul Tiberius McCain’s–i.e., Abdullah al-Muhammed’s–claim that I am somehow cowardly, therefore invalidating any arguments I make without actually addressing any of the argument I make. (Notable instances of the McCain variation on the ad hominem: “You use an avatar, therefore nothing you say is true!” Or, even better, “You probably don’t even carry a gun at all times, therefore your arguments are false!” Yes, these are actual claims that McCain has made.)

    Does that clear things up for you? The more you know, I guess.

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace@83:

    Generally, Grace, when you divert the argument by claiming that someone doesn’t understand the meaning of a perfectly ordinary and commonly-used term, it means you are the one who doesn’t know what the word means. Allow me to assist you: An ad hominem (meaning in Latin “to the man”) attack is the logical fallacy whereby one attempts to undermine or “disprove” the truth of an opponent’s argument by attacking the character or some other personal attribute of one’s opponent (rather than the argument itself).

    An example of an ad hominem fallacy would be just about every comment you’ve ever posted on this blog.

    Other examples would include P.C.’s claim that my geopolitical arguments are invalid because I’m a professor (I’m actually not, but far be it from me to get in the way of his delightful fallacies) or because I’ve never “served alongside our Muslim allies” (??) in the Marine Corps (???). Clearly, my advanced degrees in political science do not qualify me to speak knowledgeably of political affairs in the eyes of P.C. NavyChaps is a fount of unadulterated truth because he served at some point in some branch of the military, excusing him from the responsibility to provide evidence for his claims or to avoid erecting straw men.

    Still other examples of the ad hominem would include Rev. Paul Tiberius McCain’s–i.e., Abdullah al-Muhammed’s–claim that I am somehow cowardly, therefore invalidating any arguments I make without actually addressing any of the argument I make. (Notable instances of the McCain variation on the ad hominem: “You use an avatar, therefore nothing you say is true!” Or, even better, “You probably don’t even carry a gun at all times, therefore your arguments are false!” Yes, these are actual claims that McCain has made.)

    Does that clear things up for you? The more you know, I guess.

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus

    I rarely read your drivel any longer. I marvel at the juvenile way in which you attack others, and then sniff when anyone disagrees with you, claiming “ad hominem” –

    As for your profession, I doubt that gives you the right to behave the way you have, with your “ad hominem” as your typical excuse.

    I believe almost everyone on this blog knows the definition of “ad hominem” Cincinnatus, no need to spin your keyboard giving out your rendition.

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus

    I rarely read your drivel any longer. I marvel at the juvenile way in which you attack others, and then sniff when anyone disagrees with you, claiming “ad hominem” –

    As for your profession, I doubt that gives you the right to behave the way you have, with your “ad hominem” as your typical excuse.

    I believe almost everyone on this blog knows the definition of “ad hominem” Cincinnatus, no need to spin your keyboard giving out your rendition.

  • NavyChaps

    P.C., ooh rah! Thanks.

    Since it hasn’t been mentioned yet, has anyone been watching the news today? Notice the Black Flag? Seems the AQ supporters aren’t mostly dead yet. Odd how that supposedly defunct and/or neutered organization seems to keep resurrecting itself.

    But to the point, what exactly did the U.S. do to cause today’s attacks? To the Dhimmi, it was caused because someone, who is not a representative of the U.S. or our policy, offended the sensibilities of those in Egypt and Libya. So the answer of the Dhimmi is to blame the U.S. and apologize. Pathetic. Unworthy of the freedom that has cost the lives of our citizens. When does the apology stop? When do we get to hold these miscreants accountable? When will they stop blaming the U.S. for their own problems? When will they grow up, stop acting like petulant children and grow thicker skins? As I recall, we didn’t do anything to prop up the dictator in Egypt who was keeping the Islamists at bay when the oh-so-wonderful Arab Spring arose. You’d think that they might be grateful given that we didn’t fly over there and bomb the crap out of them.

    I don’t care if they are offended. That is their problem, not mine. Their offense does not give cause to limit the freedom of speech in our nation. But if they attack our nation because they are offended, then they have made the problem mine and my solution to that problem is not going to have nice apologetic words attached to it (except those colorful words written on the bombs by Sailors and Marines).

    They just violated sovereign U.S. soil today. An act of war. Think anything will come of it? Feckless. Weak. If you don’t stand up to the bully, he will continue to hit you. We just let them hit us. Again. And we’re supposed to apologize to minimize the body count? How’s that working out?

    Which brings me back around to Dr. Veith’s exit question: “Or should we stop thinking about that nightmarish day and just move on?” Do any of you think that the enemy (and yes, those who attacked today are the enemy given their action) will let us stop thinking about this nightmarish day? Given our pathetic response today, my bet is no.

  • NavyChaps

    P.C., ooh rah! Thanks.

    Since it hasn’t been mentioned yet, has anyone been watching the news today? Notice the Black Flag? Seems the AQ supporters aren’t mostly dead yet. Odd how that supposedly defunct and/or neutered organization seems to keep resurrecting itself.

    But to the point, what exactly did the U.S. do to cause today’s attacks? To the Dhimmi, it was caused because someone, who is not a representative of the U.S. or our policy, offended the sensibilities of those in Egypt and Libya. So the answer of the Dhimmi is to blame the U.S. and apologize. Pathetic. Unworthy of the freedom that has cost the lives of our citizens. When does the apology stop? When do we get to hold these miscreants accountable? When will they stop blaming the U.S. for their own problems? When will they grow up, stop acting like petulant children and grow thicker skins? As I recall, we didn’t do anything to prop up the dictator in Egypt who was keeping the Islamists at bay when the oh-so-wonderful Arab Spring arose. You’d think that they might be grateful given that we didn’t fly over there and bomb the crap out of them.

    I don’t care if they are offended. That is their problem, not mine. Their offense does not give cause to limit the freedom of speech in our nation. But if they attack our nation because they are offended, then they have made the problem mine and my solution to that problem is not going to have nice apologetic words attached to it (except those colorful words written on the bombs by Sailors and Marines).

    They just violated sovereign U.S. soil today. An act of war. Think anything will come of it? Feckless. Weak. If you don’t stand up to the bully, he will continue to hit you. We just let them hit us. Again. And we’re supposed to apologize to minimize the body count? How’s that working out?

    Which brings me back around to Dr. Veith’s exit question: “Or should we stop thinking about that nightmarish day and just move on?” Do any of you think that the enemy (and yes, those who attacked today are the enemy given their action) will let us stop thinking about this nightmarish day? Given our pathetic response today, my bet is no.

  • Grace

    NavyChaps

    I saw the reports about the black flag. The front page of DRUDGE today and tonight, makes one wonder what our country will be like a year from today:

    http://www.drudgereport.com/

    Blessings

  • Grace

    NavyChaps

    I saw the reports about the black flag. The front page of DRUDGE today and tonight, makes one wonder what our country will be like a year from today:

    http://www.drudgereport.com/

    Blessings

  • P.C.

    Cin,

    You stated, “NavyChaps is a fount of unadulterated truth because he served at some point in some branch of the military.” SOME branch in the military just happens to be the U.S. Navy. That’s why he signs his name NavyChaps. Advanced political science degrees? Geez, I now critique like tODD. Sorry.

  • P.C.

    Cin,

    You stated, “NavyChaps is a fount of unadulterated truth because he served at some point in some branch of the military.” SOME branch in the military just happens to be the U.S. Navy. That’s why he signs his name NavyChaps. Advanced political science degrees? Geez, I now critique like tODD. Sorry.

  • Grace

    - – Advanced political science degrees?” :lol:

    Great catch!

  • Grace

    - – Advanced political science degrees?” :lol:

    Great catch!

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps@86:

    My. It seems you haven’t used the interval since your last comment to brush up on your critical thinking skills. Let’s see where you’ve gone wrong this time:

    First, let it be known that I agree with you to a point: the State Department’s response to the vandalism against our Egyptian embassy was dismal. It even included the words “We’re sorry we hurt your religious feelings.” Enough said.

    That’s where I have to stop agreeing with your comment, though.

    Seems the AQ supporters aren’t mostly dead yet. Odd how that supposedly defunct and/or neutered organization seems to keep resurrecting itself.

    Totally! Al Quaeda is absolutely a clear and present danger to the United States. Why, in 11 years they’ve escalated their tactics from hijacking commercial airliners and blowing up skyscrapers on American soil to gathering in small mobs to vandalize flagpoles in the desert! Their organization is complex, and this vandalism is but a bitter foretaste of their plot to destroy America. And, boy, if today didn’t prove they can do it!

    To the Dhimmi . . .

    I assume you’re referring to our President here? Stay classy…

    Now, I’m going to combine two of your statements:

    To the Dhimmi, it was caused because someone, who is not a representative of the U.S. or our policy, offended the sensibilities of those in Egypt and Libya . . . When does the apology stop? When do we get to hold these miscreants accountable? . . . But if they attack our nation because they are offended, then they have made the problem mine and my solution to that problem is not going to have nice apologetic words attached to it . . . They just violated sovereign U.S. soil today. An act of war.

    In case it isn’t clear upon reading, these remarks are incoherent–i.e., they contradict each other. On the one hand, you consider it absurd that these “miscreants” took the actions of a private American citizen as representative of official American government policy. So far so good: I agree with you, though political ideologues are seldom known for making subtle distinctions (how many times have you taken the words of an extremist Democrat voter as representative of that Party as a whole?).

    But then you argue that we should retaliate–presumably violently, maybe with “shock and awe”–against this so-called “act of war.” So it was absurd that these private Egyptian citizens took umbrage against a private American citizen. Let me repeat that: private Egyptian citizens. Not representative of their government or official Egyptian policy. In your own words, it was inconceivable that these private citizens took action against the American government in response to a private action. So, clearly, the most logical American response to these private citizens is to consider their vandalism an “act of war” (i.e., an official legal category) and retaliate against the Egyptian government. Clearly. I’m glad you hold America to the same high moral standards to which you subject Egypt. This mob of youths constitutes a “bully,” a powerful threat to the world’s only superpower. We should destroy them with all our military might, with the vengeance of a thousand burning suns. Nothing could possibly go wrong, and the justification is obvious. Even though, you know, no one was killed today; in fact, nothing really “warlike” actually happened. To be perfectly clear, there was no “body count” today, so I don’t really think we need to launch another invasion to “minimize” a non-existent body-count.

    But wait! There’s more:

    As I recall, we didn’t do anything to prop up the dictator in Egypt who was keeping the Islamists at bay when the oh-so-wonderful Arab Spring arose.

    Yeah, about that. Actually, the United States funded, armed, and supported Hosni Mubarek’s regime for about three decades. In other words, you couldn’t possibly be more wrong on this point. So if the Islamists hated the brutal dictator who “kept them at bay” during those three decades, it shouldn’t be difficult to understand why they might also harbor some resentment against the United States. It really shouldn’t.

    And finally:

    Do any of you think that the enemy (and yes, those who attacked today are the enemy given their action) will let us stop thinking about this nightmarish day?

    Who is the enemy these days? Even the Defense Department can no longer answer that question. In the months following 9/11, it was clearly Al Quaeda. Then it was Iraq. But now what? “Terrorism”? “Islamists”? Who? And what obvious danger do any of them present to actual, vital American interests? This is a request for clarification, not a critique. You have a habit of using jingoistic but imprecise rhetoric.

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps@86:

    My. It seems you haven’t used the interval since your last comment to brush up on your critical thinking skills. Let’s see where you’ve gone wrong this time:

    First, let it be known that I agree with you to a point: the State Department’s response to the vandalism against our Egyptian embassy was dismal. It even included the words “We’re sorry we hurt your religious feelings.” Enough said.

    That’s where I have to stop agreeing with your comment, though.

    Seems the AQ supporters aren’t mostly dead yet. Odd how that supposedly defunct and/or neutered organization seems to keep resurrecting itself.

    Totally! Al Quaeda is absolutely a clear and present danger to the United States. Why, in 11 years they’ve escalated their tactics from hijacking commercial airliners and blowing up skyscrapers on American soil to gathering in small mobs to vandalize flagpoles in the desert! Their organization is complex, and this vandalism is but a bitter foretaste of their plot to destroy America. And, boy, if today didn’t prove they can do it!

    To the Dhimmi . . .

    I assume you’re referring to our President here? Stay classy…

    Now, I’m going to combine two of your statements:

    To the Dhimmi, it was caused because someone, who is not a representative of the U.S. or our policy, offended the sensibilities of those in Egypt and Libya . . . When does the apology stop? When do we get to hold these miscreants accountable? . . . But if they attack our nation because they are offended, then they have made the problem mine and my solution to that problem is not going to have nice apologetic words attached to it . . . They just violated sovereign U.S. soil today. An act of war.

    In case it isn’t clear upon reading, these remarks are incoherent–i.e., they contradict each other. On the one hand, you consider it absurd that these “miscreants” took the actions of a private American citizen as representative of official American government policy. So far so good: I agree with you, though political ideologues are seldom known for making subtle distinctions (how many times have you taken the words of an extremist Democrat voter as representative of that Party as a whole?).

    But then you argue that we should retaliate–presumably violently, maybe with “shock and awe”–against this so-called “act of war.” So it was absurd that these private Egyptian citizens took umbrage against a private American citizen. Let me repeat that: private Egyptian citizens. Not representative of their government or official Egyptian policy. In your own words, it was inconceivable that these private citizens took action against the American government in response to a private action. So, clearly, the most logical American response to these private citizens is to consider their vandalism an “act of war” (i.e., an official legal category) and retaliate against the Egyptian government. Clearly. I’m glad you hold America to the same high moral standards to which you subject Egypt. This mob of youths constitutes a “bully,” a powerful threat to the world’s only superpower. We should destroy them with all our military might, with the vengeance of a thousand burning suns. Nothing could possibly go wrong, and the justification is obvious. Even though, you know, no one was killed today; in fact, nothing really “warlike” actually happened. To be perfectly clear, there was no “body count” today, so I don’t really think we need to launch another invasion to “minimize” a non-existent body-count.

    But wait! There’s more:

    As I recall, we didn’t do anything to prop up the dictator in Egypt who was keeping the Islamists at bay when the oh-so-wonderful Arab Spring arose.

    Yeah, about that. Actually, the United States funded, armed, and supported Hosni Mubarek’s regime for about three decades. In other words, you couldn’t possibly be more wrong on this point. So if the Islamists hated the brutal dictator who “kept them at bay” during those three decades, it shouldn’t be difficult to understand why they might also harbor some resentment against the United States. It really shouldn’t.

    And finally:

    Do any of you think that the enemy (and yes, those who attacked today are the enemy given their action) will let us stop thinking about this nightmarish day?

    Who is the enemy these days? Even the Defense Department can no longer answer that question. In the months following 9/11, it was clearly Al Quaeda. Then it was Iraq. But now what? “Terrorism”? “Islamists”? Who? And what obvious danger do any of them present to actual, vital American interests? This is a request for clarification, not a critique. You have a habit of using jingoistic but imprecise rhetoric.

  • Tom Hering

    I’m gonna make some more popcorn. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    I’m gonna make some more popcorn. :-D

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Wait, I thought he called himself “NavyChaps” because of his preference for dark blue leggings.

    Was I wrong about that?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Wait, I thought he called himself “NavyChaps” because of his preference for dark blue leggings.

    Was I wrong about that?

  • NavyChaps

    Ah, good morning Cincinnatus! As I sat down at work with my coffee and breakfast, I was heartened to find your very thoughtful and measured response to my post from last night. It has been a busy morning for the past 2 hours, so it has taken me a bit to reply, but I believe I owe you that. Let me say that I particularly appreciate the opening graph in which you call into question my critical thinking skills. I guess I should just be grateful that you didn’t directly call me stupid. But then again, that would not be…ahem…classy.

    Next to your assumption about “the Dhimmi”. Your assumption could not be more wrong. Though I disagree with most of the President’s policies and do not wish to see him reelected, I am (as far as I am aware) always respectful of him. I call him “the President” or “President Obama.” If my wording was unclear and suggested otherwise, I most sincerely apologize. As for your encouragement to “stay classy”, I will assume that you meant those words the manner in which I would like to receive them – as opposed to the manner in which that phrase is commonly used on the internet. And I entreat you to also receive them in that manner as I offer you a reciprocal encouragement.

    I’m glad that you agree that the State Department’s response was inadequate. There will be far too many people who would want to go even further to placate those who were offended. But it is this response that is typical of the Dhimmi – for clarification – non-Muslims who are granted the privilege of living under Islam as second-class citizens. The Dhimmi are those who always apologize for a perceived offense rather than demand an apology from those who have committed violence. They are those who kowtow to the traitorous CAIR and similar organizations. I don’t suggest that the President is a Dhimmi at all. But apparently a staffer in the Egyptian Embassy is.

    Your snarky comment about how impotent AQ has become really makes my point. The reason they are significantly less potent now is that we have taken strong action against them around the world. But these actions in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere are symptomatic of a much stronger movement, not limited to AQ, that has not ceased to be a problem simply because OBL is dead. These militants, not vandals, are not “youths” any more than Sandra Fluke is a “youth.” They are adults and, if you understand the Middle East, you know that they are controlled by one of two powers – one soft and one hard. The soft power is (in Egypt) the Muslim Brotherhood. Do not be fooled – if the clerics said disperse, the crowd would disperse. Granted it would be out of fear for what the MB would do to them or their family, but they would disperse. The hard power is the Egyptian Security Forces. They would show up with guns and tell the crowd to disperse and they would do so. Neither of those powers acted yesterday. As such, both those powers have given their approval to the militants.

    Oh, and by the way, yes, there was a body count. Not in Egypt, but in Libya.

    I understand that you think that any force would be inappropriate in these situations. That’s fine; you don’t have to live there. But when you take away the threat of force, you place our diplomats and embassy staffs at greater risk than is appropriate. Yes, we should use escalation of force standards. But as the final escalation, if the first row of those who scaled the walls fell back because the Marines took them out, it would give pause to the rest of the miscreants AND more importantly, would send a critical message to other militants around the world that we will defend our territory and people. Too severe you say? Maybe. But tell that to those in Libya. And those who are likely to suffer a similar fate in the future. The problem is that we have been placed in a situation where these bad actors expect that there will be no response. This is not new, but it has accelerated in recent years. It is very easy to be a brave militant when you know the other side won’t shoot.

    Finally, thank you so much for the jingoistic accusation. I really appreciate the level-headed discourse. Please note that at no time did I accuse you of unpatriotic language. Wrong. Naïve. Yes. Unpatriotic, no. It is not jingoistic to believe that the U.S. is the greatest force for freedom and peace in the world. You may disagree with that belief (likely). But that doesn’t make you anti-American. Just wrong.

    I’ve got duty and I’m done. Have a blessed day.+

  • NavyChaps

    Ah, good morning Cincinnatus! As I sat down at work with my coffee and breakfast, I was heartened to find your very thoughtful and measured response to my post from last night. It has been a busy morning for the past 2 hours, so it has taken me a bit to reply, but I believe I owe you that. Let me say that I particularly appreciate the opening graph in which you call into question my critical thinking skills. I guess I should just be grateful that you didn’t directly call me stupid. But then again, that would not be…ahem…classy.

    Next to your assumption about “the Dhimmi”. Your assumption could not be more wrong. Though I disagree with most of the President’s policies and do not wish to see him reelected, I am (as far as I am aware) always respectful of him. I call him “the President” or “President Obama.” If my wording was unclear and suggested otherwise, I most sincerely apologize. As for your encouragement to “stay classy”, I will assume that you meant those words the manner in which I would like to receive them – as opposed to the manner in which that phrase is commonly used on the internet. And I entreat you to also receive them in that manner as I offer you a reciprocal encouragement.

    I’m glad that you agree that the State Department’s response was inadequate. There will be far too many people who would want to go even further to placate those who were offended. But it is this response that is typical of the Dhimmi – for clarification – non-Muslims who are granted the privilege of living under Islam as second-class citizens. The Dhimmi are those who always apologize for a perceived offense rather than demand an apology from those who have committed violence. They are those who kowtow to the traitorous CAIR and similar organizations. I don’t suggest that the President is a Dhimmi at all. But apparently a staffer in the Egyptian Embassy is.

    Your snarky comment about how impotent AQ has become really makes my point. The reason they are significantly less potent now is that we have taken strong action against them around the world. But these actions in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere are symptomatic of a much stronger movement, not limited to AQ, that has not ceased to be a problem simply because OBL is dead. These militants, not vandals, are not “youths” any more than Sandra Fluke is a “youth.” They are adults and, if you understand the Middle East, you know that they are controlled by one of two powers – one soft and one hard. The soft power is (in Egypt) the Muslim Brotherhood. Do not be fooled – if the clerics said disperse, the crowd would disperse. Granted it would be out of fear for what the MB would do to them or their family, but they would disperse. The hard power is the Egyptian Security Forces. They would show up with guns and tell the crowd to disperse and they would do so. Neither of those powers acted yesterday. As such, both those powers have given their approval to the militants.

    Oh, and by the way, yes, there was a body count. Not in Egypt, but in Libya.

    I understand that you think that any force would be inappropriate in these situations. That’s fine; you don’t have to live there. But when you take away the threat of force, you place our diplomats and embassy staffs at greater risk than is appropriate. Yes, we should use escalation of force standards. But as the final escalation, if the first row of those who scaled the walls fell back because the Marines took them out, it would give pause to the rest of the miscreants AND more importantly, would send a critical message to other militants around the world that we will defend our territory and people. Too severe you say? Maybe. But tell that to those in Libya. And those who are likely to suffer a similar fate in the future. The problem is that we have been placed in a situation where these bad actors expect that there will be no response. This is not new, but it has accelerated in recent years. It is very easy to be a brave militant when you know the other side won’t shoot.

    Finally, thank you so much for the jingoistic accusation. I really appreciate the level-headed discourse. Please note that at no time did I accuse you of unpatriotic language. Wrong. Naïve. Yes. Unpatriotic, no. It is not jingoistic to believe that the U.S. is the greatest force for freedom and peace in the world. You may disagree with that belief (likely). But that doesn’t make you anti-American. Just wrong.

    I’ve got duty and I’m done. Have a blessed day.+

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps:

    1) Apologies for misconstruing your reference to the Dhimmi. When reading your comment, it seemed obviously applied to the President. It still seems that way on a fresh reading, but that’s apparently not what you intended. Not that it’s any more acceptable to label a State Department officer with an ethnic semi-slur…

    2) Yes, AQ is essentially impotent now because we took strong action against them. I never disputed this claim, nor do I disapprove of our campaign against AQ. What I do disapprove of–and have for 10 years–is using our grievances against AQ as an excuse to intervene in the affairs–most notably those of Iraq–of dozens of other nations across the globe, at the cost of trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives. Furthermore. AQ is, as we both agree, impotent now. Victory of such obvious nature is usually cause for concluding a campaign and moving on to the next thing. God knows why you want to keep the rhetoric up.

    And God knows how your analogy to Sandra Fluke is supposed to work. Gadzooks, it’s time to double the size of our military! AQ is as dangerous as a single Georgetown law school student whining about contraceptives!

    3) We were talking about–you were talking about Libya. It’s not helpful to shift the terms of discussion to meet your needs. Yes, if there had been a “body count” in Egypt, as in Libya, then armed defense, if not retaliation, would absolutely be warranted. An all-out state of war declared against Egypt? No, and I’ve already explained why you’ve contradicted your own logic on this point.

    But you proceed with more straw men: I never said that the “threat of force” is inappropriate in any or all circumstances, etc.

    4) Jingoism: I do not think that word means what you think it means. It most certainly does not mean “unpatriotic.” You’re definitely patriotic–in my view, too patriotic. Jingoism refers to chauvinistic, hostile rhetoric–usually in the context of geopolitics. E.g., “AMERICA IS THE GREATEST FORCE FOR FREEDOM IN THE WORLD SO WE’LL PUT A BOOT IN YOUR ASS WITH OUR BOMBS IF YOU BURN OUR FLAG!!!11!”

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps:

    1) Apologies for misconstruing your reference to the Dhimmi. When reading your comment, it seemed obviously applied to the President. It still seems that way on a fresh reading, but that’s apparently not what you intended. Not that it’s any more acceptable to label a State Department officer with an ethnic semi-slur…

    2) Yes, AQ is essentially impotent now because we took strong action against them. I never disputed this claim, nor do I disapprove of our campaign against AQ. What I do disapprove of–and have for 10 years–is using our grievances against AQ as an excuse to intervene in the affairs–most notably those of Iraq–of dozens of other nations across the globe, at the cost of trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives. Furthermore. AQ is, as we both agree, impotent now. Victory of such obvious nature is usually cause for concluding a campaign and moving on to the next thing. God knows why you want to keep the rhetoric up.

    And God knows how your analogy to Sandra Fluke is supposed to work. Gadzooks, it’s time to double the size of our military! AQ is as dangerous as a single Georgetown law school student whining about contraceptives!

    3) We were talking about–you were talking about Libya. It’s not helpful to shift the terms of discussion to meet your needs. Yes, if there had been a “body count” in Egypt, as in Libya, then armed defense, if not retaliation, would absolutely be warranted. An all-out state of war declared against Egypt? No, and I’ve already explained why you’ve contradicted your own logic on this point.

    But you proceed with more straw men: I never said that the “threat of force” is inappropriate in any or all circumstances, etc.

    4) Jingoism: I do not think that word means what you think it means. It most certainly does not mean “unpatriotic.” You’re definitely patriotic–in my view, too patriotic. Jingoism refers to chauvinistic, hostile rhetoric–usually in the context of geopolitics. E.g., “AMERICA IS THE GREATEST FORCE FOR FREEDOM IN THE WORLD SO WE’LL PUT A BOOT IN YOUR ASS WITH OUR BOMBS IF YOU BURN OUR FLAG!!!11!”

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Jingoism: It derives from events during the Russo-Turkish war – here is the Wikipedia excerpt:

    The chorus of a song by G. H. MacDermott (singer) and G. W. Hunt (songwriter) commonly sung in British pubs and music halls around the time of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) gave birth to the term. The lyrics had the chorus:

    We don’t want to fight but by Jingo if we do
    We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too
    We’ve fought the Bear before, and while we’re Britons true
    The Russians shall not have Constantinople.

    It thus derives from overt nationalism expressed imperialistic tendencies, ie, interfering in others affairs for your own prestige / perceived benefit. But it has also come to imply the sort of nationalism which downgrades others – ie, the wrong sort of national pride.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Jingoism: It derives from events during the Russo-Turkish war – here is the Wikipedia excerpt:

    The chorus of a song by G. H. MacDermott (singer) and G. W. Hunt (songwriter) commonly sung in British pubs and music halls around the time of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) gave birth to the term. The lyrics had the chorus:

    We don’t want to fight but by Jingo if we do
    We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too
    We’ve fought the Bear before, and while we’re Britons true
    The Russians shall not have Constantinople.

    It thus derives from overt nationalism expressed imperialistic tendencies, ie, interfering in others affairs for your own prestige / perceived benefit. But it has also come to imply the sort of nationalism which downgrades others – ie, the wrong sort of national pride.

  • NavyChaps

    Cincinnatus,
    1. Dhimmi isn’t ethnic. It is a descriptive term for those who are willing to live as second class citizens under Islam.
    2. Glad you agree AQ was actually a threat. Sadly you dont seem to understand that they in fact continue to pose a threat to our national interests (of course you don’t have the same list of national interests that I do, so that may be the sticking point there). But even sadder that you can’t see that the world continues to be a dangerous place with shifting threats. AQ has NOT always been the excuse. But you might argue that Islamism has been.
    2a. Islamists Militants are frequently called “youths” by the press (and in this case you). Likewise Sandra Fluke has been considered a “youth” since she is a “student”. Point was that neither are “youths”, but adults who are fully responsible for their words and deeds. But, I’ll grant perhaps a less than clear syllogism.
    3. I was talking about all the events of yesterday. And might I point out that there has been little response from our side – particularly in Libya. That said, I am encouraged that the President of Libya has condemned the murder and promised justice. We shall see. Please note the silence in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood is calling the shots. They are Islamists and, I believe, they have clearly demonstrated that they are our enemy.
    4. Good grief. Please read. I completely understood the term Jingoism as representing an inappropriate level of national pride; and that you “accuse” me of said horror. My point was that despite your personal attack on me, I did not call you the opposite: unpatriotic or anti-American, ie: someone who displays antipathy toward this nation.

    All that said, it will be very interesting to see what the President says today and what actions he orders to prevent more “protests” by “youths” from violating our national sovereignty or threatening the lives of our people.

  • NavyChaps

    Cincinnatus,
    1. Dhimmi isn’t ethnic. It is a descriptive term for those who are willing to live as second class citizens under Islam.
    2. Glad you agree AQ was actually a threat. Sadly you dont seem to understand that they in fact continue to pose a threat to our national interests (of course you don’t have the same list of national interests that I do, so that may be the sticking point there). But even sadder that you can’t see that the world continues to be a dangerous place with shifting threats. AQ has NOT always been the excuse. But you might argue that Islamism has been.
    2a. Islamists Militants are frequently called “youths” by the press (and in this case you). Likewise Sandra Fluke has been considered a “youth” since she is a “student”. Point was that neither are “youths”, but adults who are fully responsible for their words and deeds. But, I’ll grant perhaps a less than clear syllogism.
    3. I was talking about all the events of yesterday. And might I point out that there has been little response from our side – particularly in Libya. That said, I am encouraged that the President of Libya has condemned the murder and promised justice. We shall see. Please note the silence in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood is calling the shots. They are Islamists and, I believe, they have clearly demonstrated that they are our enemy.
    4. Good grief. Please read. I completely understood the term Jingoism as representing an inappropriate level of national pride; and that you “accuse” me of said horror. My point was that despite your personal attack on me, I did not call you the opposite: unpatriotic or anti-American, ie: someone who displays antipathy toward this nation.

    All that said, it will be very interesting to see what the President says today and what actions he orders to prevent more “protests” by “youths” from violating our national sovereignty or threatening the lives of our people.

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps:

    1) You’re nit-picking on the Dhimmi issue. The point is that I don’t understand your what Dhimmis have to do with anything at issue here. America isn’t even close to being anything like a Muslim state, officially or otherwise, so whether or not American citizens want to be “Dhimmis” is rather irrelevant. Meanwhile, American diplomats in Muslim states like Egypt are already something worse than second-class citizens–they’re not citizens at all! Nor should they be. The task of a diplomat is not to assert his superiority over or even his equality with the citizens in the country where he resides. [To foreclose the inevitable straw man, I am not endorsing yesterday's mob violence; I'm only trying to demonstrate that your rhetoric is, once again, off-point.]

    2) When did I ever say that the world “isn’t a dangerous place with shifting threats”? Honestly, I don’t know anyone who isn’t aware that the world is an unstable, dangerous place. You’re the one harping on last decade’s enemy (AQ), so apparently you are the one who is unaware of that “shifting threats” part of geopolitics.

    Meanwhile, when you say that “AQ has not always been the excuse,” I don’t know what you’re talking about, as I never said anything of the kind. On the other hand, it’s factually untrue to claim that “Islamism has been” [always the excuse]–the excuse for endless military invention, I assume. Um, no. It hasn’t. Islamism has only been a tangible threat to American lives for about 20 years, before which we were more worried about a little nation called the USSR. Today, Islamism as an international threat is fading: it’s increasingly unpopular among actual Muslims, and it’s flagship organizations–e.g., the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban–are increasingly nationalistic and inward-looking, not internationalist and imperialist (as was AQ).

    2a) I really don’t understand your point here. Sandra Fluke, I hope you now realize, was a laughable red herring. The mob that stormed the embassy? If that’s your idea of an organized, lethal international threat, then, well–ha. The streets of Chicago are apparently more dangerous than the contemporary incarnation of AQ. The mob was composed of disaffected, angry youths. This isn’t to excuse them, but to remind you that they weren’t, say, the second Coming of OBL or Kruschev.

    3) I have nothing to say here, except to repeat that the Muslim Brotherhood, according to friends of mine who are scholars on Middle Eastern affairs, is now a nationalist group, not an international threat in the slightest. Sure, they’re dangerous to their own people, but that’s not my/our problem.

    4) Accusing someone of jingoism is not a “horror.” It means you used chauvinistic, hyperbolic rhetoric to justify militaristic actions. For example, your irrelevant claim that “America is the greatest force for freedom in the world” apparently means that we should declare war on Egypt and Libya because a mob of angry villages (basically) committed crimes that can and should be prosecuted through the criminal justice system; you would rather escalate the problem into an international incident worthy of yet another foreign war, apparently.

    Moreover, while I appreciate that now you’re willing to take all kinds of personal umbrage, I have lodged no “personal attacks” against you. Claiming that your arguments lack a sufficient level of critical analysis and nuance is not a personal attack. Claiming that certain of your statements ring of jingoism and chauvinism is not a personal attack. Here are examples of personal attacks: calling someone a “coward,” “emotional,” or an “egg-head.” Interestingly enough, these–which constitute the bulk of the personal attacks in this thread–have been directed at me, not you. I don’t know you, so I have no interest in attacking your character or personage.

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps:

    1) You’re nit-picking on the Dhimmi issue. The point is that I don’t understand your what Dhimmis have to do with anything at issue here. America isn’t even close to being anything like a Muslim state, officially or otherwise, so whether or not American citizens want to be “Dhimmis” is rather irrelevant. Meanwhile, American diplomats in Muslim states like Egypt are already something worse than second-class citizens–they’re not citizens at all! Nor should they be. The task of a diplomat is not to assert his superiority over or even his equality with the citizens in the country where he resides. [To foreclose the inevitable straw man, I am not endorsing yesterday's mob violence; I'm only trying to demonstrate that your rhetoric is, once again, off-point.]

    2) When did I ever say that the world “isn’t a dangerous place with shifting threats”? Honestly, I don’t know anyone who isn’t aware that the world is an unstable, dangerous place. You’re the one harping on last decade’s enemy (AQ), so apparently you are the one who is unaware of that “shifting threats” part of geopolitics.

    Meanwhile, when you say that “AQ has not always been the excuse,” I don’t know what you’re talking about, as I never said anything of the kind. On the other hand, it’s factually untrue to claim that “Islamism has been” [always the excuse]–the excuse for endless military invention, I assume. Um, no. It hasn’t. Islamism has only been a tangible threat to American lives for about 20 years, before which we were more worried about a little nation called the USSR. Today, Islamism as an international threat is fading: it’s increasingly unpopular among actual Muslims, and it’s flagship organizations–e.g., the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban–are increasingly nationalistic and inward-looking, not internationalist and imperialist (as was AQ).

    2a) I really don’t understand your point here. Sandra Fluke, I hope you now realize, was a laughable red herring. The mob that stormed the embassy? If that’s your idea of an organized, lethal international threat, then, well–ha. The streets of Chicago are apparently more dangerous than the contemporary incarnation of AQ. The mob was composed of disaffected, angry youths. This isn’t to excuse them, but to remind you that they weren’t, say, the second Coming of OBL or Kruschev.

    3) I have nothing to say here, except to repeat that the Muslim Brotherhood, according to friends of mine who are scholars on Middle Eastern affairs, is now a nationalist group, not an international threat in the slightest. Sure, they’re dangerous to their own people, but that’s not my/our problem.

    4) Accusing someone of jingoism is not a “horror.” It means you used chauvinistic, hyperbolic rhetoric to justify militaristic actions. For example, your irrelevant claim that “America is the greatest force for freedom in the world” apparently means that we should declare war on Egypt and Libya because a mob of angry villages (basically) committed crimes that can and should be prosecuted through the criminal justice system; you would rather escalate the problem into an international incident worthy of yet another foreign war, apparently.

    Moreover, while I appreciate that now you’re willing to take all kinds of personal umbrage, I have lodged no “personal attacks” against you. Claiming that your arguments lack a sufficient level of critical analysis and nuance is not a personal attack. Claiming that certain of your statements ring of jingoism and chauvinism is not a personal attack. Here are examples of personal attacks: calling someone a “coward,” “emotional,” or an “egg-head.” Interestingly enough, these–which constitute the bulk of the personal attacks in this thread–have been directed at me, not you. I don’t know you, so I have no interest in attacking your character or personage.

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps:

    Thought you might appreciate this: http://imgur.com/a/tlCyI

    Matters are usually more nuanced than we seem to think. If that makes me an egghead, so be it.

  • Cincinnatus

    NavyChaps:

    Thought you might appreciate this: http://imgur.com/a/tlCyI

    Matters are usually more nuanced than we seem to think. If that makes me an egghead, so be it.


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