The Right Wing Noise Machine’s Conflicting Nativist Narratives

The Right Wing Noise Machine’s Conflicting Nativist Narratives September 9, 2015

With respect to the humanitarian disaster in Europe, the very carefully architected narrative of the Right Wing Noise Machine is that this man had it coming because he was a scam artist and a parasite and that he stands for the thousands and thousands of other refugees who are likewise being painted as invaders, terrorists, scam artists, and terrorists.

Very simply, what is happening is this: that devastating photo of the child washed up on a beach created a propaganda problem for a Right Wing Noise Machine deeply complicit in creating this catastrophe.

Solution: weaponize the image by turning it against the refugees. And that strategy is working like a charm. All over the Rightwingosphere, the narrative is propagating as consumers of RWNM agitprop repeat the mantra: “That heartless bastard of a father! It’s not possible that he was a desperate man doing the best he could think of to get his family away from a region in which ISIS is uncomfortably close. No. The *first* thing we are to believe is that he is a grasping bully who regarded his children and wife as expendable–and they’re *all* like that. And no, there is nothing at *all* hinky about a concerted effort by a dedicatedly biased conservative media subculture whose very first response to that photo was, “How can we pull out the stops to damn and destroy a man who has just lost his family?” (In a similar way, there was nothing at all unusual or agenda-driven about the instantaneous rush by internet-fueled Encyclopedia Browns to smoke out the nefarious evils of the parents of Sandy Hook and figure out a way to blame them as the *real* culprits in the massacre. The motives of those who are “just asking questions” are always pure.)

Does that mean the guy who lost his family is a living saint? No. He may have lied, cheated and stolen to join the immense tide of human suffering currently fleeing the catastrophe our policies have done so much to help create. But guess what? That doesn’t mean he had this coming to him and it doesn’t mean he was unjustified in fleeing and it doesn’t mean there is anything sane or good about battening on him and crucifying him for the crime of being the father of the icon of this tragedy.

And it is the iconography that matters. Had his child’s body not been photographed and crystallized the horror of this event, the RWNM would have no interest in him at all. But because his baby is the icon, he must be destroyed and his child’s body weaponized, first against him, an ultimately against all the rest of the refugees. That’s the goal of the RWNM narrative. The purpose of the “This scumbag is a parasite” narrative is to apply it to all the rest of the refugees (or “so-called ‘refugees'” as the RWNM is intent on labeling them). And once that narrative is established, the goal is to make everybody who consumes RWNM propaganda a transmission vector for an entire narrative of contempt against a mass of desperate humanity, bent on ignoring the guidance of Pope Francis (aka “Francis the retarded” as one of my readers dubbed him yesterday).

Along with all this, of course, is the resurgence of the “demographic winter” narrative. It’s the Muslim Invasion of Europe and if we let these invaders in, then they will take over! The thought of evangelizing them never enters anybody’s head, of course. Only “retarded” Catholics like Francis think that Catholics should share their faith. Real Catholics know that the purpose of the Faith is to hide in a Fortress and curse the darkness, while fingering a dwindling supply of cultural treasures and hoping that somehow a contraceptive western culture of watery secularism will stay afloat. Evangelism is for Protestants.

So the threat is apparently Demographic Winter in Europe if Christians listen to the counsel of the gospel and show compassion to the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to the Right Wing Noise Machine. The desperate tide of humanity must be painted as Muslim invaders, parasites, scam artists, terrorists, and opportunists, seeking to overrun our genetic and culture stocks not as men, women, and children for whom Christ died. Got it. Narrative received.

But then we come to the US, where we are likewise hearing dark rumblings about the foreign invaders. John Zmirak, having labeled the Pope a tax-exempt celibate and a hysteric, indulges in one of the hoariest chestnuts of Know Nothing nativism to inform us that “the U.S. Catholic bish­ops” who speak about immi­gra­tion are guilty of “clear con­flict of inter­est.” Why? Because they are just “eager to refill the emp­ty­ing pews”. So suddenly, the issue is not Demographic Winter at all. When we are told about the dire threat of the Breeding Tide of Muslims washing against our shores, it turns out that “more Christians” isn’t *exactly* what we need. It’s more Christians who aren’t, you know, Latino. In fact, if the orgasmic lovers of Trumpkin ideology are to be believed, we can actually stand to get rid even of American *citizens* who are Christian–by the millions–and there won’t be any harm to our Christian demographics.

How the Right Wing Noise Machine proposes to resolve this massive cognitive dissonance I do not know. But for my part, I pray the Church will listen to Francis and not to the self-styled Real Catholics who call him “retarded” for extending grace, mercy, and love to people for whom Christ died.

"Well. Religion is interesting. :)"

Where Peter Is has a nice ..."
"But you're searching and questioning …. and, in Jack's experience, people without any sense of ..."

Where Peter Is has a nice ..."
"I'm very sorry to hear about your illness. Of course I hope the cancer never ..."

Where Peter Is has a nice ..."
"A "hard Brexit" will never happen. Britain will leave with a deal of some sort. ..."

Where Peter Is has a nice ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Catholic
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Varenius

    Come on, Mark, you are acting as if there’s no middle ground in this. One doesn’t have to be part of the extremists to have qualms about letting these refugees into Europe. Clearly they desperately need help right now, but what’s to be done with them next? What are the potential future consequences of what’s decided now? Thinking through such questions is just being sensible and in no way compromises one’s humanitarianism.

    • Tweck

      Thinking about what to do in the future makes wonderful sense, as long as we do what we should be doing and help those who need help now… now.

      It’s one thing to ask questions related to future consequences, but it’s another thing to use those questions as a shield to obstruct the process of helping those who are in need.

      • Varenius

        Of course. Nothing I said implies we should ignore the refugees’ immediate needs, it’s simply that misgivings about, say, permanently settling them in one’s country is not necessarily is sign of contempt or hard-heartedness. Likewise, heeding the Pope’s call to help them is not necessarily in contradiction to these concerns, despite what Mark’s “Right” is claiming.

        Hard-hearted contempt or uncritical embrace are not the only options.

        • Tweck

          Yeah, that makes complete sense. I guess from a lot of the reaction I’ve been seeing online, I’ve gotten the impression that many people reject the Pope’s call to action and throw up any number of things as excuses… from “they’re all Islamic terrorists and this is a trick,” to more reasonable ideas about the complexities involved… But yeah. I getcha.

          • People are always going to do that and it’s unfortunate.

            But it’s just as bad to try to shut down any nuanced discussion about what is happening by labeling it Anti-Papist-racist-right-wing-noise.

            Come on. It’s never black and white. If someone showed up wounded on your doorstep would you consider it a moral imperative to make them a permanent member of you family? *Must* you automatically assume that their motives are 100% trustworthy?

            There can be a middle ground. You can say we have a moral need to help this man, while still treating him with caution.

            What if millions of wounded people showed up on your doorstep?

  • It’s difficult to continue following Mark down this path. I don’t know his past, but it seems he was once in bed with the Right and now regrets his blind allegiance? I don’t identify with a specific party and am young enough to not have haunting past party affiliations. But…

    Mark where is your charity? Your opinions of anyone who leans right or votes republican have become increasingly caustic and angry.

    I agree with the general sentiment of most of what you say but the lack of love you blame on the right grows increasingly in your own tone when talking anything political and your black and white characterizations don’t help your credibility.

    Such posts are ever more close minded, uncharitable and stereotyping, painting everyone who disagrees with any policy opinion you have with a giant brush.

    • Alma Peregrina

      Independently of you being right about Mark’s lack of charity or not…

      … why are you not decrying a guy who just called the pope “Francis, the retarded”? It’s charitably worse than anything Mark has written.

      • Did I defend that anywhere? It is horrible to say such things. I do decry such sentiments and I’m glad Mark does too.

        The solution, however, is not to bunch every American who leans right into that category. Mark’s attitude recently has seemed to do that more and more recently.

        I may be wrong, but I’m simply trying to honestly let Mark know that his tone is turning me off from his blog and eroding my esteem of his apologetics. Which is a shame because I generally AGREE with Mark and respect his defense of the faith.

        • chezami

          I don’t bunch every American who leans right into that category, so your worries are over. I bunch a conservative media that *immediately* sets about constructing a narrative of contempt for refugees into that category and I warn consumers of such media not to become transmission vectors for the moral sickness that media is propagating.

          • [I don’t bunch every American who leans right into that category, so your worries are over.]

            Mark, and I mean this only to provide you thoughtful feedback, your recent post have certaintly *felt* that way to me.

            I may be totally alone in this, so feel free to ignore me. But, the tone I gotten is basically, if you’re conservative you’re a Catholic sham. If that’s not your intent, you’re not doing a good job of conveying that to *me*. But hey, I am not even a fraction of your audience , so maybe I’m the one who’s out of whack.

            • chezami

              I can’t help what you feel. But I would hope that my clear words to the contrary are sufficient for you to reject your subjective feelings in favor of the objective fact, straight from the horse’s mouth, of what I actually think.

  • Re_Actor
  • Re_Actor
  • I dropped by to see whether I was overreacting over the last time I came over (back when you were dividing the right into manichean racist and non racist enough wings). Sadly, you seem to not have changed much here.

    People who are desperately fleeing war get a lot of leeway in my book. People who made it to safety and are not willing to stay there but risk (and in this case lose) their families because they’re not patient enough for their paperwork to go through have much less sympathy from me. This has nothing to do with nativism. It’s just not responsible parenting and needs to be exposed and firmly discouraged where it is discovered. Not doing this sort of work leads to irresponsible rumors running through the refugee camps and, inevitably, more dead kids being washed up on beaches. In the US’ case, irresponsible rumors led to tens of thousands of children being sent up alone from central america in behavior that, if it were done domestically, would have been called child abuse.

    So whether or not there’s a political problem for any particular political movement, there’s a problem of saving lives by squashing dangerous tactics that unnecessarily risk lives and in this fight, you are part of the problem because all you see is the politics.

    Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

    If you’re in a humane refugee camp outside of the conflict zone, it is completely irresponsible to risk illegal travel to further destinations and that has to be quashed before the bodies start stacking up.

    Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?

    If some refugee dies, it’s important to find out what happened and to see if anybody’s lying or hiding irresponsible conduct that contributed to that death, just like such an investigation would happen with a native’s death.

    I have my differences with Pamela Geller (she’s an objectivist by the looks of it which usually means atheist) but she’s raising questions (admittedly not in the gentlest way) that need to be raised so that the situation doesn’t spin out of control and we end up with soldiers firing on a wall of desperate humanity that sweeps all before it.

    Uncontrolled mobs are dangerous. Structure has to be applied or people lose their lives. This is psychology. This is logistics. This is imposing rule of law. These refugees need to know that they will be processed either back home to a safe Syria or on to other destinations as they are arranged. There can be no third option in their minds without resulting in more funerals. I want a minimum of that. You seem to differ and think bashing the “right wing noise machine” is more important. That sort of politics first attitude disgusts me.

    • [That sort of politics first attitude disgusts me.]

      There is a lot wrong with a lot of things on the Right. But the answer isn’t political labeling. It is calling out specific ideas and charitably explaining why the are wrong. I know this approach is slower and harder, but it’s a lot better than calling everything you disagree with “right wing noise”

      • Some of us make it go a little faster by having credibility within the right. My recent blog post could be viewed as such an example. It’s called Beating Trump on Immigration, the Easy Way
        http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/49555.html

        I got a lot of pushback in comments but that mostly died down as I explained further.

    • Tweck

      I just think there are as many scenarios as there are refugees. Does it really matter “how” a person got into a desperate situation, once they’re in it, or does it matter if we lend a hand?

      It seems like people want to create a couple of molds and fit all the refugees into them. Like the guy posting the videos who thinks they’re an army of militant Islamic terrorists posing as refugees.

      • [Or does it matter if we lend a hand?]

        It matters *how* we lend a hand.

        [create a couple of molds and fit all the refugees into them.]
        Come on. There is no need for for molds or stereotype to be wary.

        If even a fraction of them are militant or have nefarious motives multiply that by millions of refugees, and it’s easy to see that letting everyone settle into countries with no background information, no documentation, no filters, there will be problems down the line.

        That doesn’t mean we don’t have to help. But there is something between “Screw them” and “let ’em all in now and don’t question anyone’s motives”

        That is the nuanced opinion, yet it seems the “mercy” crowd thinks its fitting to label it closed minded and stereotyping.

        • Tweck

          You make a lot of sense too. In fact, you pretty much summed up political attitudes world-wide. Rather than going to either/or extreme, we should be meeting in the middle and behaving rationally.

          Anyway, food for thought, and thank you!

      • Well, yes, it does matter how you get in a desperate situation. If you are a soldier and are given orders to infiltrate a refugee camp, recruit out of that camp, and commit violent acts on command, you can subsequently be hungry and thirsty and legitimately be desperate for your daily needs but ignoring the other facts is not correct, not just, and plain not safe.

        That isn’t to say that they’re all like that. Usually, such military infiltration is sub 1% of the population. It doesn’t have to be more than that to create a violent mess and a large stack of bodies. This isn’t an islam thing. Such problems happen in african refugee camps with disgusting regularity. The vast majority of innocent african refugees have to wait for the violent vipers to be exposed and removed from among them. Those military infiltrators at the same time are just as hungry and thirsty as the rest of the camp. Why is it somehow Europe’s fault that ISIS is running the same military playbook as the congolese and the rwandans?

        More on point, if you’re in a stable situation across an international border and objectively safe, abandoning that safety and putting yourself in a dangerous situation by choice has to be discouraged because tolerating such behavior over large numbers of people will lead to easily avoidable deaths. President Erdogan, if he actually said what I read in the linked material, is encouraging more refugee deaths by inappropriately assigning moral responsibility. I hope that he didn’t actually say that it’s Europe’s fault that this man left a turkish camp to embrace danger on the high seas.

        • Tweck

          Well, you do make some very good points.

    • Marthe Lépine

      What exactly makes you believe that refugee camps are safe and “stable” areas again? Some, maybe, but not most of them. I have a suggestion: Why not get a small group of “tourists” together and go and visit a few of them. If they come back alive, they then could tell us what the truth is about those camps. Plus: I myself, if I had children, would not particularly like to see them spend almost their entire childhood in a refugee camp while the paperwork was being processed (by those same government employees that many on the right like to describe as lazy and overpaid, with those huge retirement funds, because of – unions…)

      • In this particular case, the refugee camp they were supposed to be in was in Turkey. While there are refugee camps that are much less safe that exist, I don’t think you can credibly say that Turkey’s camps are in that sort of situation. The military in Turkey is pretty good about keeping the fighting on the other side of the border. Or have I missed something?

        For some other country, with a different refugee camp, I wouldn’t blame someone at all for moving along. Not this war, not this camp, and it’s not hard hearted to say so.

        • Marthe Lépine

          Thanks – Good reply. I must admit that I do not really know the detail of what is going on in Turkey, but you sound well informed.

          • I just did a sweep looking for Turkish violence towards refugees because, while I do read widely, I wasn’t that sure that I might not have missed something.

            I found it. There is some low level of harassment and violence in Turkey aimed at the refugees. It doesn’t appear state sponsored and the government seems to be responding appropriately to it. It does make me less sure of my position. I don’t want my pride to mislead others.

            The fact that he felt safe enough to return home for a funeral and wasn’t apparently interested in Erbil as a safe place that would take him in leads me to think that it’s probably that my position remains correct but my confidence level in that conclusion dropped a few notches. Turkish nativists simply aren’t making the news but bear watching.

            • Ken

              You make a good point that the father was able to return home and I don’t know the conditions of the refugee camps but I would think that they can’t be that great if people are willing to travel such long distances and taking such dangerous risks to get into Europe. It would seem if they are desperate enough to walk hundreds of miles the refugee camps can’t be that safe.

  • Re_Actor
    • Hey Re_Actor, don’t spam the thread. You can make your point better.

  • yan

    I guess I missed the ‘blaming of the father’ narrative [I don’t always have time for the talking heads], but I’ll take your word for it that it occurred…

    As for complicity in the death of this child on the part of the right-wing, I think you are right. Though, not the ‘right-wing’ alone. Obama also has pursued a policy of stoking civil war in Syria because we view the Middle East as a zero-sum game in which Russia or the US wins–and Syria is a Russian ally. The right-wing is responsible only to the extent that it would have wanted to do even more than Obama has done.

    And we can’t entirely blame the right-wing for Libya either, even though it was in favor of bombing there. That was still Obama’s doing. The right-wing only complained that there wasn’t enough bombing….yet today somehow, they are saying that Libya is Obama’s mess, as if they weren’t in favor of making more of a mess, if only the American people had been wise enough to return them to political office…..do they mean, if they were in charge, by God, it would be even messier?

    So with a left-wing like Obama on foreign policy, who needs a right-wing? It’s like yesterday’s pronouncement from Trump on Syria….he said we have to take in the Syrian refugees, because it’s a terrible humanitarian problem.

    Well, I totally agree with that. But then he goes on to say that there wouldn’t have been a refugee problem if only Obama had made good on his red line threat….yeah…..ok….so….the US military attacks Syria…..and there won’t be any refugees….I mean….kind of like Libya….no refugees coming from there…..nah….or Iraq….the war he was so presciently against, as he keeps telling us….there are no Iraqi refugees, are there…..nah…..

    So yeah…I don’t think we really need a right wing in regard to foreign policy–and the American people seem to agree with that, which is why we can’t really blame the right wing for what is going on in foreign policy. Beside the fact that the right wing is becoming insane and incoherent, the left wing is plenty evil already. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof…I guess I mean that, we don’t have so much of a right-wing problem as a, um, to coin a phrase, ‘war-wing’ problem.

    • Marthe Lépine

      You must have a very short memory… As if it was Obama who, in the first place, invaded Iraq, based on a lie, in order to satisfy that same right-wing’s taste for war and destruction. Combined with uncritical support of whatever Israel is doing, and some other matters related to oil (and maybe even the financial interests of the proverbial 1%, who knows?), the Middle East has been in turmoil for generations, and it started long before Obama was elected.

      • yan

        Holy cow…so, are you upset that I didn’t praise Obama on Syria and Libya, and didn’t sufficiently denigrate the right-wing? I obviously mistook the readership of this blog.

        Ok, I admit: I credit Obama for not starting all the problems in the Middle East. He didn’t invade Iraq. He made a treaty with Iran. He didn’t let Bibi wag the dog. And he avoided bombing Syria into the stone age. Are you happy now?

        Now, will you return the favor of using your reasonable mind to admit that Obama IS responsible for the following, and that these things are bad, even though they were done by your St. Obama: causing a coup d’etat in Ukraine and stoking a genocidal war against the E. Ukrainians; stoking civil war in Syria resulting so far in about 200,000 dead and who knows how many other casualties and refugees; bombing Libya and thereby creating a country ruled be Islamist gangs and al-queda; funding or permitting to fund the maniacs who are ISIS because he still thinks ‘Assad must go’–though, if Assad hadn’t been forced to fight a civil war that we stoked, he would, of course, not have had to ‘go’; backing the slaughter of the Yemenites by our wonderful Saudi friends [wonderful regime, that is–not nearly as bad as Assad! Assad has to go? Hah! They must stay forever!]

        I’ll give you one more since you seem to be a reflexive lefty: would the right wing have been worse, according to what they are saying they would do if they had the chance, than Obama in regard to any of the preceding? Oh, most definitely. Conceded in spades.

        Ok, your turn, Marthe my dear..holy cow…

        • Marthe Lépine

          St. Obama? Just because I pointed out that he was not responsible for all the ills in the world? What about the right wing’s St. Bush? Obama, and even Bush, have only been continuing the scandalous and evil traditions of your country’s foreign policies.

          • yan

            “St. Obama? Just because I pointed out that he was not responsible for all the ills in the world?”

            Did I write or imply Obama was responsible for all the ills of the world?

            “What about the right wing’s St. Bush?”

            What about it? Clearly I wasn’t praising the ‘right wing,’ which fairly characterizes Bush, so why even mention him?

            Further, why excuse Obama’s actions because of the history of the Middle East, but not Bush? Can only Obama be a ‘victim of history’?

            Finally, why insinuate that ‘since Bush was bad, Obama must be good’? If it’s America’s foreign policy which is to blame, why do you only hold Bush to account, but look to excuse Obama?

            Tear your mind away from obsessing about Bush and adoring Obama for a moment. I will ask you a second time: has Obama been bad on foreign policy in regard to the items I mentioned, or not?

          • Joseph

            He actually *is* responsible for perpetuating and worsening the situation by carrying the “W” torch. Why are people so blind? And you’re Canadian! Just like the Irish who think Obama is an Irishman from Offaly and can do no wrong! The media must be just as manipulative in Canada as it is in Europe… or maybe it’s Canadians and Europeans who are easily manipulated… one or the other. Obama is literally *no* different than “W”. If there is a difference, it’s that he continued Bush’s policies with a bit more vigor, zeal, and urgency. Note: When I say “Obama” and “W”, I mean their entire administration and their bipartisan support in the legislature and courts to continue the assault on human life (at all stages) through war and other means.

            • yan

              For some reason I don’t understand, Canada has been in the forefront of opposing Putin in Ukraine. That the US overthrew the gov’t there primarily in order to get NATO that much closer to Russia does not seem to have significantly registered there. I am baffled for the moment. Perhaps it is just difficult to dislodge perceptions of public leaders we like once the image, favorable or unfavorable, takes hold of our minds. I know in the past I have suffered from that malady.

              Obama made great first impressions on some people and those impressions are lasting, facts be damned.

              • Marthe Lépine

                If you want to understand the reason why Canada has been in the forefront of o pposing Putin in Ukraine, just take a few minutes and check our current election (try cbc.ca and peruse – e.g. don’t waste too much time – some of the comment threads): Canada’s current government has been quite different from its predecessors, to say the least…

                • yan

                  You didn’t supply a permalink. Surely you yourself can tell me the reason? Are you suggesting that a ‘conservative’ gov’t is a poodle of the US? But what about the many examples I have seen of anti-Putin writing in Canadian media? Surely these are not the result of a conspiracy of Canadian gov’t and media?

                  Seems to me something more is going on than just the Canadian gov’t being conservative. And, last I checked, your gov’t is selected by your people….so apparently, there were some ‘conservatives’ in Canada prior to the gov’t coming to power…so my perplexity remains.

        • orual’s kindred

          your St. Obama

          Marthe Lépine is no Obama supporter. Neither am I. Is it your position that criticism of your preferred political group only comes from partisans of the other party?

          • yan

            Certainly not. But if Marthe is not an Obama supporter, why did she jump into the conversation attempting to exonerate Obama from all responsibility for American intervention in the Middle East? And why, when asked, did she refuse to admit that Obama had any role in, or responsibility for, the catastrophes I mentioned? And why did she move immediately to attack Bush, when Bush hadn’t even been mentioned? That looks pretty partisan to me.

            But I understand that comboxes tend to exacerbate the phenomenon of jumping to conclusions. So, if I am mistaken about Marthe being a reflexive partisan [if she is an informed partisan, she is certainly entitled to be], I do apologize.

            • orual’s kindred

              I apologize for the late reply, I’ve had a bunch of stuff to take care of.

              I’m afraid she did not attempt “to exonerate Obama from all responsibility for American intervention in the Middle East.” She was referring to policies that started before Obama’s presidency, underscoring how those previous policies have affected and continue to affect the crisis in the Middle East. And it would seem that she is speaking not only of Bush. This comment in particular: Obama, and even Bush, have only been continuing the scandalous and evil traditions would seem to implicate groups and individuals who have been involved in the Middle East prior to both administrations.

              I rather think she leans more left than you do, but I cannot say she is a reflexive partisan. I actually find quite similar threads in what you and she have said. From what I can tell, she differed in stressing the gravity of the actions that were pursued before Obama took office. Your focus was the lack of change in the policies he now implements as president. And I hope she, in turn, acknowledges how you do admit complicity in the death of this child on the part of the right-wing. I also agree that comboxes tend to exacerbate the phenomenon of jumping to conclusions. I applaud you for your saying so, and applaud you for your apology.

      • Joseph

        Well, it *was* Obama that perpetuated the situation and made it worse, acting as GWB III.

      • AquinasMan

        So he gets a pass for throwing gasoline on the fire? (No pun intended) What kind of logic is that?

    • The right wing (at least the parts that I read regularly) wanted early intervention while there were still moderates around (i.e. not everybody had been radicalized by the brutalities of war) so that the country could possibly be put back together without genocide. I don’t find a lot of moderates around today, nor anybody spinning positive scenarios that work without major punitive violence to shock the losers into submission. There used to be really bad and less bad options in Syria. Today the choices are bad and more bad.

      • yan

        Yeah, right. And weren’t we told there were lots of ‘moderates’ in Libya? They also seem to have evaporated…or perhaps, you have been deceived about the existence of ‘moderates’ in the first place….ya think? You think there might be some motive to deceive the Uhmairicuhn people about the existence of large numbers of freedom-loving moderates in a country [Libya] that the US wants to take from the sphere of influence of its geopolitical rival, Russia? Were you alive in the 80’s by chance? You think this game plan is new?

        But Obama’s to blame because he didn’t fund the Syrian moderates enough…omg…I can’t believe you people. How the hell do you think ISIS came into existence….that’s our funding of ‘moderates’ in action….woops…um….maybe they weren’t really so moderate? Or maybe we really couldn’t care less at the time if they were moderate, so long as they could be our junk yard dog in that area of the world? But sometimes the junk yard dog breaks the leash….voila: ISIS.

        • We are on a multi-decade trip to a very dangerous place, where the technology in our trash heaps is sufficient to make WMD. If we arrive there with dead end-civilizations like Islam currently is in active control over better than a billion people then we are going to predictably lose cities.

          My preferred solution is to promote the least bad locals such as Sisi in Egypt who are willing to work to get Islam out of its rut and realistically attack the baseline problems like closing the gates of ijtihad. The polite form of address for these least bad people is called ‘moderate’. If you prefer a different term, let me know. I’m generally flexible on this sort of thing.

          Obama’s to blame because he pulled out of Iraq precipitously, destroyed US credibility by drawing and then denying drawing red lines, and continually doing the minimum necessary not to get mocked off the world stage. The tempo we are physically capable of doing bombing runs on is X. The tempo necessary for a reasonably quick victory is a fraction of X and the tempo we actually are running is a still smaller fraction of X. It is a rerun of Iraq/Iran where we made all the sides bleed.

          If you find that to your taste, I have no argument. It is very much not the Catholic way to run a war.

          • yan

            Actually, ‘multi-decade trip’ is probably a fair estimate, but who knows. They promised us we would be out of Iraq in a few months.

            Your presumption that we have to continue to fight Islamic radicals for the foreseeable future is predicated upon the continuation of an American foriegn policy which insists on interfering everywhere in the world in the name of ‘preserving the peace.’ The rest of the world, including the Islamic radicals, don’t see it that way. They just want us out.

            If we get out of the Middle East, the war on terror will be over. That’s another option, besides endless war, for you to consider as being a real, and moral, possible option.

            Obama pulled us out of Iraq precipitously–according to Dick Cheney. Obama campaigned on pulling out of Iraq and he did it. No matter how he did it, he would have been criticized, and you are just repeating a criticism that is not original. If you don’t like us pulling out of Iraq, blame the American people, not Obama.

            The neocons now begin to admit that for the Iraq venture to have worked, we would have to be there for 50 years. But that is not what the American people were told leading up to the war, and they have made it clear that they are not interested in being in Iraq for 50 years.

            Our interfering in the ME compounds our errors. Take your Egyptian example as illustrative of the general mess we make of things: first we supported the overthrow of Mubarak. Then we supported the overthrow of Morsi. The guy who is in charge now is probably worse than Mubarak was. Why did we have to get involved in the first place?

            Is Libya better off now?

            Is Syria?

            Is Iraq?

            Is the United States?

            Isn’t the status of these countries relevant to considering how we ought to do foreign policy in the world? I ask you as a Catholic….and as a human being.

            The ‘least bad locals’ theory has already been tried in Libya and Syria. There is no such thing. The people that are willing to fight and die are not mythical ‘least bad locals.’

            • Actually, fighting them is going to be their choice for the most part. Our obligation is not to accept dysfunctional, violent choices and to war when they seek to use violence in order to stop us from not accepting their dysfunctional, violent choices.

              It is unacceptable that converts in muslim lands have to live hidden lives to avoid being killed. It’s unacceptable that people who want to wear western clothes get hurt for it. It’s unacceptable to threaten or commit violence in response to ordinary lives lived in accord with a peaceful faith that is called to share a message with the world.

              The Garland, Texas terrorist attack was in response to an art contest. The contest was won by an atheist who left the muslim faith. Can you say, with a straight face, that absent US intervention in the ME, that art contest would have had a different outcome?

              I don’t hold much with Dick Cheney per se (I tend to fact check him) but you could detect the ‘pucker factor’ in Iraqi army sources as Obama decided to quickly pull out. Those reports I took very seriously. We were already pulling out in a phased way that preserved the victory of the surge and we were pulling out as fast as it was responsible to do. Obama accelerated the pre-existing draw down to an irresponsible speed. I don’t think the people of the US were generally making that kind of detailed judgment. That’s why we’re a republic and not a democracy.

              As for General Sisi, I suggest you read his January speech to the Ulema at Al Azhar. Here’s an excerpt and a transcript:

              http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/01/a_revolutionary_speech_ignored_by_the_msm.html

              That should adequately illustrate what I mean by least bad.

              I think that policy should have been very different with respect to both Syria and Libya. I am not happy with what happened in either country. We wasted a lot of opportunities in Iraq as well.

              Fundamentally, authoritarianism and totalitarianism infantilizes adults and infantilized adults with access to weapons of mass destruction are profoundly dangerous. They need to grow up like the East Europeans needed to grow up after the wall fell. Strategic regime change when used as a tool in that growing up process is legitimate. It’s a dangerous tool under any circumstances that should be used as sparingly as possible. In the end, these people need to grow up so that they can confront the world honestly and with their heads held high, something that they have not been able to do at least since Napoleon took Egypt.

              • yan

                I don’t care what the people of the Middle East do. I live in the United States. If they want to kill each other off, that’s on them. I am certainly not in favor of the United States dictating to their countries or their populations what is ‘acceptable’ or ‘unacceptable.’ Talk about infantilizing. Why is it any of our business? Why is it any of your business? Every country’s internal affairs is the business of the United States? Do you think the rest of the world agrees with that?

                Don’t you realize that our Game of Thrones makes it more likely that they are going to continue to kill each other, not less?

                You think it is our business to interfere in other countries because we need to cure the world of terrorism? You still don’t realize that it is our military bases all over the world which are the main cause of terrorism? That, and our overly one-sided support of Israel–which Obama has, for the first time in a long time, ratcheted down a bit, to his credit.

                The thing is, the rest of the world is less and less putting up with our unipolar ways. China and Russia are going to be legitimate world powers. There will be no unipower anyore. Our power is going to be reduced. By how much remains to be seen.

                But please, all the idealistic protestations to justify our policies in other countries….do you really think that idealism motivates the United States to interfere with other countries? You do realize that when we proclaim high-sounding motives, the rest of the world laughs at us, right? You realize that we act purely from our perceived self-interest: spreading the power and influence of the US and brooking no rival, don’t you?

                It is my contention that this perception of our national self-interest is not only erroneous but that it leads to completely immoral behavior in foreign policy. As a Catholic you should be particularly concerned about the latter, but also about the former.

                I mean, take Syria….’Assad must go…he is brutal to his own people.’ Omg…like Sisi, you mean? Or Myanmar, where there are mass graves? [Wasn’t that a ‘casus belli’ recently in, um, Kosovo?] Or Saudi Arabia? Why don’t the Saudis ‘have to go’? Come on…because they do our bidding. But Assad has to go….because he doesn’t. He stayed friendly with Iran and Russia, even though we said really nice things about him in public in order to win him over with carrots. So we stoked a civil war there, to provide this ostensible moral justification for bombing Syria. Thank God for Obama’s humanity showing up at least in that case. Actually, I credit the Pope. It was a miracle. He asked for prayers just before we were about to bomb them to smithereens. And out of John Kerry’s mouth came….a miracle! And out of Putin’s came another miracle! You think the Syrian refugee crisis is bad now, Lord Christ have mercy on us but it would have been far worse. Did we care about the suffering and death we were about to cause there? In the name of ‘freedom’ from Assad? We didn’t care at all.

                • I would suggest that you haven’t thought through Garland Texas. Two jihadi linked to ISIS shot up an awards ceremony for an art contest (ISIS preannounced the action). I don’t care how isolationist you are, no amount of foreign policy non-involvement ends up with the jihadists not trying to kill americans in Texas that day. The people there committed the crime of exercising their 1st amendment rights. They were not religiously sensitive about it and incurred a death sentence declared by a religious court.

                  Are you aware of the muslim court concept of jurisdiction? For the most part, they don’t have one. No foreign policy of the United States will give them one. The assertion of jurisdiction and the passing of court sentences of death and lesser punishments from foreign soil means that they are regularly imposing their system on us. This is not fixable by minding our own business.

                  You don’t have to argue with me that the left wing theory of “Responsibility to Protect” (RtP) is a bad idea. I agree wholeheartedly. That’s the policy you’re complaining about both with regard to Syria and Libya.

                  Iraq was a bit different because we were still at war with it (we only had an armistice) and the Iraqis regularly violated that by targeting and sometimes even firing on our planes. 9/11 reset the parameters of what was acceptable behavior and what was unacceptable provocation. So we withdrew from the ceasefire and the invasion of Iraq was on.

                  You have to go all the way back to 1991 with Saddam in control of Kuwait and engaging in military probes into Saudi Arabia before you get your first fulcrum point where we could avoid eventually invading Iraq. So, do you let Saddam take Arabia?

                  • yan

                    I don’t think Saddam would have taken Arabia. But let’s allow that he would have taken it. Yes, I am fine with that. I don’t care about Arabia and I don’t care about their oil. Let’s play this out.

                    So he takes Arabia and the price of oil goes up. Life becomes a bit more difficult for ordinary Americans. More research goes into alternative fuels. We drill for more oil nearer to us, possibly find new oil reserves. Yes, Saddam taking Arabia means nothing to me, the people I love, or my country.

                    Meanwhile, the neighbors of Iraq are getting very nervous. Iran probably most of all. Iraq and Iran are probably at war a moment after Iraq takes Arabia. I think they will be busy for quite some time. They will be busier for an even longer time if we fund one side and our geopolitical rivals fund the other side. [Which, by the way, I think would be bad.]

                    I have no desire to send Americans to die for the Arabians and I don’t see how it is in our real, as opposed to our perceived, interests, either short or long term.

                    Back to Garland–about which, actually, I have thought about a considerable bit. Yes, they were exercising their first amendment rights. But when you use fighting words, you can expect a fight.

                    “I don’t care how isolationist you are, no amount of foreign policy non-involvement ends up with the jihadists not trying to kill americans in Texas that day.”

                    I quite agree. I hope you agree that no amount of foreign policy INVOLVEMENT ends up with jihadists not trying to kill Americans in Texas that day, either.

                    “The assertion of jurisdiction and the passing of court sentences of death and lesser punishments from foreign soil means that they are regularly imposing their system on us. This is not fixable by minding our own business.”

                    I agree again. But, neither is it fixable by invading or trying to control muslim countries. That, in fact, exacerbates the problem, I believe.

                    • That’s a fair enough position to go all the way back to 1991. We would also not have had Al Queda on this alternate history branch so at least we would have had that.

                      We would have had a lot of dead people, mostly poor, who died because of the altered energy market but most of those wouldn’t be americans. Some of them would be though and likely more americans would die from high energy prices than died in those wars. According to the CDC cold already kills an average of 1260 a year in the US based on a death certificate study, two thirds of the total weather related death toll. The number is likely understated because it’ll miss a lot of deaths where cold is only an unlisted contributing factor. I don’t know how you rate that.

                      The problem with your position on fighting words is that you don’t seem to understand the incentive system you’re setting up. Eventually other religions will follow suit and the muslim imposition of a heckler’s veto will widen as has already happened elsewhere both in the US and in Europe. A predictable, slow motion descent into religious civil war is not an acceptable policy outcome for the US.

                    • yan

                      I don’t think you understand my position on fighting words, or on terrorism. If we prosecute terrorists, how have we set up some kind of incentive system? Did you think I was suggesting that just because fighting words foreseeably lead to violence that I was advocating that we overlook the violence?

                      Some muslims, not all, have a very serious belief about depictions of Mohammed. How does a civil respect for the conscience of these people amount to a heckler’s veto?

                      I am not talking about a legal respect. I do not in any way support any legal limitation on what Americans can say or draw about Islam or Mohammed. I am talking about the advisability of provoking people, nothing more.

                      Certain muslims, not all, will kill in order to uphold the honor of the prophet, according to their conscience. Again, that is their business. We should not tolerate murder, no matter the motive. So how is there a heckler’s veto?

                      Do you believe that new religions will begin to spring up and that Americans will be forced to self-censor to the extent that they cannot speak the truth according to their conscience? Why does that follow from…..from what….actually….I don’t know what you are inferring from my statement that it is wrong and stupid to provoke muslims for the sole purpose of demonstrating that when provoked, some of them will attempt to murder you. How exactly are we harmed when we refrain, as individuals, from insulting people’s most deeply held beliefs? Again, we don’t have to refrain….but why isn’t that the right thing to do?

                      So to the ‘people dying of cold’ objection to going to war to liberate Arabia from Saddam….ok….really? You ask me how I weigh that. How do you weigh it? How many people will die in that war? How many will die in the following occupation? Actually, we have some idea about the latter. How many refugees, who will die of many things, including cold, hunger, disease, and highway robbery? War always disproportionately affects the poor and vulnerable. What about sanctions instead–we also have a fair idea about how many would die from those.

                      So I don’t mean to say that the likelihood of a few more people dying of cold in the US until the price and availability of our energy resources reverts to pre-war levels is nothing. But it is close to nothing compared to the costs in human suffering involved in liberating Arabia. Now, what do you think?

                    • Fighting words is a legal doctrine with law enforcement penalties attached. It’s not something one simply has an opinion on without consequences. Now you seem to be saying you’re operating on your own private dictionary. Really?

                      Mostly I think that somebody’s going to blaspheme against Jesus in art at some point and draw a violent objector. Whether the violent objector will be christian or muslim is an open question. But at that point the vast mass of the news media will bray about how it has a chilling effect and how even christians must stand in solidarity with those who insult Jesus. Do you see the difference, the hypocrisy?

                      As for the people dying of cold objection, it’s just an illustration of just how deeply embedded oil is to the global economy. They’ll also be dying of hunger as the global economy collapses. Iraq will do all right of course. They’ll be rolling in money. But a lot of factories would have shut down and a lot of people will not be able to afford winter heating fuel. But I concede that it’s pretty difficult to estimate radical economic changes with accompanying death tolls 20+ years ago. You’re estimating low and I’m estimating high. You probably see deaths in the tens of thousands and I’m seeing deaths in tens of millions. Our different perspectives would be foreordained by the difference in death toll estimates.

                    • yan

                      You don’t have to lecture me on the law; I am quite familiar with 1st amendment law. If I realized you were a lawyer I would not have used the phrase in that way. I was using the phrase ‘fighting words’ in the colloquial sense, not the legal sense.

                      “But at that point the vast mass of the news media will bray about how it has a chilling effect and how even christians must stand in solidarity with those who insult Jesus. Do you see the difference, the hypocrisy?”

                      What ‘it’ are you referring to in ‘it has a chilling effect’?

                      There are and were lots of emergency oil reserves available for national emergencies; I believe your projection is quite unreasonable.

                      We have unending war in the ME right now; is that not an upward pressure on the price and availability of oil in the world? Why is it that if we let them fight themselves that is worse for the price of oil than if we get involved in fighting them?

                    • I am not a lawyer. I do understand how to read legalese, however. Fighting words, colloquially speaking, are protected speech that deserves legal protection just as much as any other protected first amendment speech. There is no need for legal protection of pleasant, popular speech. It is only the unpleasant, the unpopular, that needs legal protection. By according weight to a social doctrine of fighting words and putting such words in a 2nd class position, you’re degrading all of the free speech protections because you’re degrading the only place where they matter in a practical sense.

                      Private communication cannot, strictly speaking have what is known as a chilling effect. Confusing use of legal terms with a different definition are the closest you can get to it without getting elected to office though.

                      That winning entry wasn’t denigrating God. It wasn’t even insulting Mohammed in any conventional way. It was an atheist declaring independence from the muslim religious rule that you can’t draw Mohammed. That’s smack in the middle of the american tradition.

                      On to the strategic petroleum reserve which has a public inventory here:
                      http://www.spr.doe.gov/dir/dir.html

                      This amount (695M barrels) is 100 days supply at present use (6.95M barrels per day). If you think we’re going to replace the ME in the time the SPR will last, I think you have no idea of the physical difficulties.

                      Throughout this period, the major sources of ME oil continue to pump and in fact pump secretly over OPEC quota in order to fund their conflict. The KSA infrastructure is especially vulnerable to disruption which is why we positioned troops to keep the fighting away from all those vulnerable pieces of infrastructure. In the long run, there are more important reasons to involve ourselves in these conflicts but short term? Oil is important and in ways that most people would be surprised by.

                    • yan

                      “By according weight to a social doctrine of fighting words and putting such words in a 2nd class position, you’re degrading all of the free speech protections because you’re degrading the only place where they matter in a practical sense.”

                      Is this your way of saying that Mohammed-drawing cartoon contests are not all about bigoted assholery?

                      “Confusing use of legal terms with a different definition are the closest you can get to it without getting elected to office though.”

                      I don’t know what you are saying.

                      “That winning entry wasn’t denigrating God. It wasn’t even insulting Mohammed in any conventional way….That’s smack in the middle of the american tradition.”

                      The Piss Christ sculptor may not have thought he was insulting Christ. Should Christians therefore not have been offended? The Washington Redskins are smack in the middle of the American tradition but Indians hate it. So again, I am still waiting for your point. Do you want me to praise these people, is that it? Are you trying to justify your admiration of them or explain their social utility to me? Because I have honestly been trying to imagine what the social utility is in this case for awhile. I still don’t see it.

                      It seems to me the point is simply to say–and I am putting a charitable spin on it: ‘some Muslims will try to murder you if you draw their prophet! That’s bad!’ Ok, that’s true as to what some muslims will do; and I personally agree that is bad. But, don’t we already know this? So, why is it so important that it be repeated in such a public and provocative manner?

                      To be less charitable, I think maybe it is also saying: ‘ipso facto, Islam is a bad religion.’ And hey, I have no problem with religions having to compete in the marketplace of ideas. That’s a good thing. But, as a Christian, I don’t see how this helps aid ecumenical dialogue very much, so I don’t like it. It makes interreligious peace that much harder to attain. And as Catholics, peace is supposed to be our business.

                      I think one of the reasons Card. Bergoglio chose the name Francis for his pontificate was because St. Francis passionately and peacefully tried to convert the Muslims.

                    • Not all muslims agree with the extreme iconoclast interpretation of Islam that the attackers at Garland believe in though it is overwhelmingly popular. How much that popularity is enforced via acts of violence is unclear.

                      It’s not bigoted to say “muslims aren’t the boss of me”. I notice that you passed on the opportunity to actually comment on the drawing which is unobjectionable to most anybody except iconoclast muslims. Reasonable people wouldn’t be offended by an artist addressing his subject saying he draws him because he’s not allowed to draw him. Reasonable people are usually offended by urine. This is why public urination is a low level crime and public drawing is not.

                    • yan

                      “It’s not bigoted to say “muslims aren’t the boss of me”.”

                      You know very well that they are doing far more than saying that.

                      “I notice that you passed on the opportunity to actually comment on the drawing which is unobjectionable to most anybody except iconoclast muslims.”

                      No I didn’t pass. I said it was in good taste. See above. But again, what is your point? That iconoclast muslims are….iconoclast muslims? And so?

                      “Reasonable people wouldn’t be offended by an artist addressing his subject saying he draws him because he’s not allowed to draw him.”

                      We are not talking about ‘reasonable people’ but about sincere religious believers. Would ‘reasonable people’ be offended by feeding a piece of bread to dogs? But if Catholics believe the piece of bread in question to be a consecrated host, and therefore the body and blood, soul and divinity, of Jesus Christ, they will be deeply offended. Are they wrong and ‘unreasonable’ to be offended?

                      Are religious Jews unreasonable if they are offended when I offer them shrimp wrapped in bacon when they come to my house to eat?

                      So again, I am still waiting for your point. Immigration? War? 1st amendment fetish? What?

                    • Sorry, missed it when you said that. On what basis is the drawing in good taste? I agree with you but I suspect that we came to the same conclusion via two different roads.

                    • yan

                      Well, that particular drawing is making a purely political statement and is not mocking the prophet, really. But I seem to recall other drawings from the exhibit that were not so reverent.

                      Anyway, who cares. I’d be more interested in whether you now grasp and concede the premise that muslims have a religious conscience that is worthy of respect just as the religious conscience of a Christian or Jew is worthy of respect.

                      Well?

                    • There should be an equality of respect all around and equal resort to violence all around. Yes, muslims should be equal in the former. If it wasn’t clear to you until now that’s been my baseline position. But muslims have not “gotten with the program” and committed to developing a model of jurisdiction that allows them to work within the modern state system (westphalianism) and they persist in seating religious courts that claim universal jurisdiction and the right to commit violence.

                      They engage in intimidation and violence to make non-believers follow islamic rules regarding depictions of mohammed among other things. The campaigns are successful enough that we’ve internalized that it’s trouble when Mohammed is drawn and we should discourage it so the muslims don’t act unreasonably.

                      My ultimate complaint is about the intimidation and violence. If those would stop, the rest would resolve peacefully as we monotheists can all share in umbrage against outrage artists and atheists who commit sacrilege. We permit this so that we can get in close to them and reliably get frequent opportunities to spread the good word. That’s the tradeoff, a prudential judgment.

                    • yan

                      “There should be an equality of respect all around and equal resort to violence all around. Yes, muslims should be equal in the former. If it wasn’t clear to you until now that’s been my baseline position.”

                      Ok, let’s try this again. YOU said muslims are UNREASONABLE in simply BEING OFFENDED [I’m not talking about their RESPONSE. I’m talking about their taking offense. Their response is a separate issue] by their prophet being drawn. I gave examples of Christians and Jews being offended because of religious conscience. I assume at least that you think Christians are reasonable in being offended. So I ask you: do you now agree, contrary to what you formerly said, that muslims are REASONABLY offended by the drawing of their prophet?

                      ‘Yes’ or ‘no’ would be splendid.

                    • No, they are not unreasonable by being offended. That and 5 bucks will get you a grand mocha latte.

                      To fit your specific request, yes, they are reasonably offended, at least the 90%+ of muslims who are iconoclasts.

                    • yan

                      Thank you. I think I am going to get that latte now.

                    • yan

                      You think Muslims are going to ‘get with’ YOUR ‘program’?? No wonder you have to keep open the possibility of justifying endless war.

                      Muslims are muslims; they are not going to take dictation from us. If they want to try something new, like Ataturk did, fine and dandy. If not, they won’t.

                      If they come here, they have to live by our rules. If they can’t deal with the 1st amendment, they can leave. Murder is not an option. [Which does not mean the cartoon drawers were morally right, wise, or prudent.]

                      In their country, they can live however they like. Beheading is your thing? Sure man. France did that not so long ago; it was thought to be wonderfully progressive at the time.

                      If they think that, from their country, they can force their rules on us….well then…I laugh to myself. But what are they going to do about it? I think they are aware of the Tom Tancredo option.

                    • Yeah, I think that muslims who live in the US should get with the general program of the US which is non-violence in matters of religion and free entrance and exit from any faith.

                      If they are not going to go along with that, they should leave. If they will not leave there will be blood. I will not rejoice in it.

                    • yan

                      That’s fine with me. I think we agree on something.

                      But, we were not just discussing Muslims in the US, but Muslims generally all over the world ‘getting with the general program.’ And to say that we can invade countries to make them get with the program is another thing entirely.

                    • You persist in seeing a court set up in a foreign land to judge and when sentence is passed try to get people killed as not an invasion. In this really ugly dance of violence, setting up these courts is the first move. “Getting with the program” is signing up for the 1600s innovation that we all, in principle, mind our own knitting inside our own national borders. It’s called westphalianism. Where we differ on minding our own knitting is what to do when others poke their nose in and start shooting up our place or suborning our authorities (which is the most corrosive thing Saddam did).

                      We should ask politely, harangue, and name and shame before an invasion and there are several progressively less nice intermediate steps we should take as well that I will leave to your imagination. Invasion is the last thing on the list. However, when all the less risky and destructive alternatives are exhausted, you move to your last option because bondage under these thugs is a still less viable option.

                    • yan

                      Bondage requires more than bluster and threats. When the attempted bondage occurs, you and Mr. Adams can count on me to take up arms in defiance. Until then you’ll just have to take my word that I’m an American; but I’ve heard it said that discretion is the better part of valor.

                      When the Treaty of Westphalia was promulgated, the Pope declared it null and void using the most unequivocal language. Religious faith, or at least monotheistic faith, by its nature attempts to extend itself universally, since there can only be one ultimate truth. [Cardinal Ratzinger wrote eloquently about that in Truth and Tolerance.] It is no more fair or reasonable to expect Islam to give up its claims for universality than it is to expect Catholicism or evangelicalism to give up their claims. That is why religious dialogue is so important to help defuse the conflicts that tend to arise from conflicting and incommensurate claims to the allegiance and obedience of mankind.

                      Westphalianism is not the proper term to apply in reference to Islam, because, unlike in Christianity, in the case of Islam the juridical extension of faith is part of their faith. Although as a practical matter Christians used to think and act in that matter [and the Christian impulse in that direction still exists in many quarters both Catholic and Protestant], that was not a matter of Christian faith itself. Westphalianism was always a potential result for Christianity; it is not a potential result for Islam, and never has been.

                      Thus, the most we can hope for in regard to Islam is that they be dissuaded from using force in living out their faith.

                    • You’re at least 30 years too late on the taking up arms part. Iran has been sending death squads into the US since at least the 1980s. I only know of this because a good friend of mine from high school lived in a house that used to be occupied by a target of such a squad. It came up in conversation with a high school teacher of mine just by happenstance. He was also our basketball coach and we got back from an evening game and several of us were stranded. He drove us home and my friend was closest and got dropped off first. The teacher told the story of the nice iranian kid whose house was shot up when Tehran figured out who and where they were.

                      It was Garland, Texas without the Mohammed cartoons and shia instead of sunni but it was exactly the same lack of regard for borders. They had run crosswise of the Islamic revolution and the US border was just a line on a map.

                      So now that we’ve dealt with your fictitious bravado, let’s talk about discretion. Christianity is not naturally discreet. Christ would have not ended up on the cross were he to have been discreet.

                      Your discretion leads you into error. Islam does not have the upper hand here, neither politically, economically, culturally, nor militarily. It is our excessive discretion that has set in motion two processes that, when they meet, will lead to a bloodbath that will make the Iraq war look like a cakewalk.

                      The US, and indeed current Western elite are dissatisfying enough subgroups in their national polity that, when they’ve had enough, will elect a new leadership, a leadership without any discretion whatsoever, and perfectly ok with launching wars that do not come close to meeting the requirements of just war theory. They will be short, they will be sharp, and they will leave ruins where we’ve made the rubble bounce. They will not be very discriminate. But they will resolve the problem of islamic jihad for at least a century.

                      I would like to avoid that future which means that those people have to be satisfied to the extent that they do not rouse themselves to elect the second coming of Andrew Jackson. Trump is just a test run for them.

                      At the same time the muslims are pushing forward because the present leadership of the west is not resisting them as harshly as they expect. The two trends will eventually meet, and badly. And you will be shocked and appalled and never see your part in it. I, on the other hand, will just be appalled.

                    • yan

                      I can’t help feeling that this is just a complicated rendition of ‘Obama is weak!’ If you really think we are not doing what needs to be done, I ask you for the umpteenth time: please tell us what you think needs to be done that we are not doing right now.

                      You want to save us [and the poor Muslims] from incipient and inevitable apocalypse and us from becoming immoral monsters. Surely that is sufficient reason to share your actual strategy.

                      Otherwise, save the ‘weakness’ trope for the campaign trail.

                      One more thing: some say smoking weed decreases tendencies towards grandiosity. Others that it increases those tendencies. So, whatever your weed policy at the moment, may I suggest you change it to the opposite.

                    • Right now the DoD IG is running a probe investigating complaints by some 50 analysts that the intelligence is being cooked. Until the indictments start rolling I have no confidence to make specific plans. In general we should stop acting as if violations of our territory are no big deal if the aggressors are Muslim. The rest flows from there.

                    • yan

                      ‘The rest flows from there!’ Classic! Just shut up.

                    • Aww, I bet you’ve got an appropriate uniform in your closet for that attitude.

                      Literally, everybody who doesn’t have access to the ground level classified intel (and I don’t) has been misled. People are dying because of this and people are likely to go to jail as well and all you want to do is shame me into silence.

                      Classy.

                    • yan

                      LOLOLOL incredible! You are truly a space man. So, you can’t reveal your brilliant plan to us, because the CIA would get you! Ok, I get it now.

                    • Wow, you’re really aggressive about your misinterpretations at this point.

                      Everything we think we know about what is going on with ISIS is a lie. The DoD IG is officially looking to put people in jail for this. Since I don’t have access to the unaltered intel, anything I say at the present based on that falsified, cooked intel is almost certainly to be wrong. So I’m waiting for the dust to clear and hopefully get some actual information before I do detailed armchair quarterbacking.

                      Now spin like a dervish. It’s entertaining.

                    • yan

                      Yah, whatever. I have no idea what the hell you are talking about in this post. Anyway, it has nothing, nothing, nothing whatsoever to do with a strategy to respond to jihadism. No specifics about what Obama is doing, good or bad. We just know Obama is weak, thanks to you. I’d never heard that before, we are so grateful for your wisdom.

                    • Spin, spin, spin, my whirling obamabot dervish.

                    • yan

                      Ha! Ok, if you say so….not sure why you think that….I didn’t praise what he has done in Libya, Syria or Ukraine…I don’t like Obamacare…and I never voted for him…all I have done is point out that your criticism of his foreign policy is simply an echo of the Republican criticism, and without any substance.

                    • The job of the loyal opposition is to oppose. Something as complex as the ME has a lot of moving parts. The long term solution is to force Islam to grow up by taking away their “we get to violently oppress anyone who opposes us” rights and making them promulgate their arguments in a peaceful marketplace of ideas. The ideas will rise or fall on their own. Islam itself will only survive by successfully transitioning to handle modern life. It’s been trying to, and failing, for centuries. That’s a reform process that’s entirely Islam’s business and not mine. My business, and america’s starts when they assert jurisdiction over me/america and menace us if we dare exercise our rights, polite, rude, or anything in between.

                      The libertarian position is, ultimately, the correct one, but only if you are faithful to the part where we paste those who actually try to circumscribe our liberties. Too many libertarians develop blinders about muslim attempts to do that.

                    • yan

                      That’s really nice but I don’t think we really needed any more vague/commonplace generalities coming from you; nor did we need further pontification without your even adducing a single reason that we could publicly examine for its worth. But then again, you have led us to expect nothing else, so I can’t say I’m much disappointed anymore.

                    • Mike Petrik

                      By “we”, yan means yan. Perhaps she’s royalty.

                    • yan

                      Yes I am, so you may kiss my royal ass.

                    • You are free to pass my writing by. But I somehow suspect you won’t.

                    • yan

                      Yah, I won’t let pass the opportunity to comment that you have failed again to provide any substantial clarification, in order to underscore that you are completely full of crap.

                    • Are we in the “neener neener” phase of our discussion? What next, will you fart in my general direction?

                    • yan

                      ‘Neener neener’ phases are for such as have noodly arms to wave in the direction of their interlocutors; so feel free to enter that phase by yourself.

                      That being said, it is to be regretted that the march of technological advancement has not yet reached the stage where farting in your general direction may be given miraculous effectiveness through the WWW. You will have to await my arrival in your physical proximity before you experience something so singularly indelectable.

                    • Your word choice was “crap”. Go play at the little kids table. We’re done with serious conversation.

                    • yan

                      Because you are offended by the word ‘crap’?

                    • Because you won’t show me the respect I show you by avoiding that sort of language. Be assured that the temptation is frequently there on just about everybody who doesn’t work blue. You decided that you were a special flower and it was ok to use that language with me. Go bray with a different partner. It’s not like the Internet lacks for conversational mosh pits.

                    • yan

                      For someone that makes appropriate gestures with his noodly arms, you are quite a pretty lily.

                    • pants.

                    • yan

                      Wait…THE US ‘COOKS’ INTELLIGENCE???!!!

                    • The Bush administration was accused of this repeatedly, investigated, and cleared. Now about 50 intelligence analysts have blown the whistle, claiming the Obama administration is cooking the intelligence to make their war against ISIS look better than is actually true. The DoD IG is investigating.

                    • yan

                      Investigated and cleared? I know it is difficult for you to answer a simple question but: precisely which investigation are you referring to? That is a pertinent question.
                      Certainly you are familiar with the Downing Street memo?

                    • I’m certainly aware of the various conspiracy theories about the origin of the restart of the war in 2003. If you want to chew over 13 year old allegations one more time and ignore the open investigation that the Inspector General has launched based on the complaints of 50 currently serving defense analysts that improper manipulation is happening right now, you go do that, but with someone else.

                    • yan

                      Who is ignoring anything? Not me certainly. The existence of the IG investigation merely proves my contention that the US constantly lies when it comes to foreign policy. Whether Obama or Bush or a leprechaun is President makes no difference. Why should it, so long as our policy is world domination? That requires being on a war footing, forever. And the first casualty in war is always the truth.

                      It is you that brought up the IG investigation as a red herring because you couldn’t answer a simple question asked about a dozen times in different ways already, namely: what exactly should the US be doing differently in its foreign policy vis a vis the war on terror?

                      The outcome of the IG investigation is completely irrelevant to an answer to that question.

                      Your contention is that the extension of islamic jurisdiction without respect to borders somehow justifies….what? You will not say. All you will say is ‘Obama is weak.’ How novel.

                      That’s why I mock you for bringing up –twice now–the irrelevant IG investigation. Next you will cite the Pope’s statement to Raul Castro as a reason for not being able to answer how the US should wage its war on terror.

                      Your bait and switch is less sophisticated than 3 card monte.

                    • yan

                      The Downing Street memo is not a conspiracy theory or an allegation even. Calling it either of those things is completely untenable and totally misleading because the memo is a document, not a theory. But if I have learned anything about you during this time it is that you have enormous difficulty distinguishing between ideas and facts when the latter are inconvenient to the former, and when the former have sprung from your own stymied imagination.

                      But, you are not using the words ‘conspiracy’ or ‘allegation’ as a clumsy proxy to question the authenticity of the document, are you? Because that would truly be a conspiratorial perspective. Certainly no government has yet dared to deny its authenticity. That says a lot, considering that it often seems there is no lie that the US gov’t seems to be willing to undertake.

                      Recalling Susan Rice on Benghazi should be enough for any person with average abilities of perception to set aside all qualms about the unwillingness of the US gov’t to boldly lie as no one has lied before. So far I think that one holds the record for being so utterly premeditated and so confidently, plainly, unabashedly, continually, consistently, straightforwardly, and repeatedly asserted. I look forward to the next whopper as one who eagerly watches a phenomenally gifted athlete in the hope that he will be there to witness the moment when another record, thought unbreakable, is smashed to smithereens.

                    • yan

                      With someone else that will answer a straightforward question you mean. Because you didn’t answer my question as to which investigation of the Bush administration you were referring to. Are we by any chance sensing a theme here yet?

                    • Be my guest and go over that with someone else who is sucker enough to waste time rechewing that well digested story.

                      Have some tinfoil.

                    • yan

                      Third time: I am asking you about your assertion of an investigation. Still no reply?

                    • Find a different sucker.

                    • yan

                      You are the sucker that said the Bush administration was ‘accused of this repeatedly, investigated and cleared’ of cooking intelligence.

                      If you can’t or won’t back it up, you shouldn’t bring it up.

                    • yan

                      Oh good Lord. Woodward? Really?

                      ‘The retired general [i.e. Colin Powell] also faulted U.S. intelligence officers for lacking the “courage” to alert him that he was receiving bad data on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction ahead of his U.N. appearance.

                      “Why did no one stand up and speak out during the intense hours we worked on the speech?” the ex-secretary said. “Some of these same analysts later wrote books claiming they were shocked that I have relied on such deeply flawed evidence.”‘ http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/powell-blames-himself-iraqi-wmd-speech-un/

                      ‘Deeply flawed’. But, Bush didn’t know anything about the unreliability of his own intelligence? Highly implausible. But let’s pretend Bush just ‘didn’t know.’ If that is true, it’s only because 1-he didn’t want to know, because it didn’t matter, or 2-he was criminally incompetent.

                      I find 2- to be wholly unpersuasive. That leaves a] he knew, and lied, or b] he didn’t know, because he didn’t want to know, and stated as truth something he knew he didn’t know to be true, which is also a lie.

                      But Powell is ‘shocked.’ No, please Colin. Unless Bush knew, and kept the information from you too, so that you would be a more convincing liar, you cannot have been shocked. Keeping the truth about intelligence from someone that is about to tell the world the ostensible truth about something so that the picture presented misleads those who see it I would call the presentational aspect of ‘cooking.’

                      Or should I just say: http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a35226/bob-woodwards-jive-talking/

                    • Yes, highly implausible for anybody who hasn’t spent the time to actually look at the evidence. Woodward’s investigation identified a number of mistakes along the way. Saddam, we know now, ran an extensive intelligence operation to convince the Iranians he had a nuclear weapons program but it’s impossible to believe that he was successful in convincing more than the Iranians. This point is, I believe, where you and I part company. I think that the Iraqis were capable of doing so and, in fact, did so, which ended up with them being caught in a bind of their own making. You necessarily believe that the Iraqi effort did not convince US intelligence but that we pretended to be convinced to give us a casus belli. That’s an interesting theory but it tends to get pretty ugly once you actually try to prove it which is why the vast majority of “bush lied” advocates avoid like the plague trying to actually prove that the Iraqi intelligence operation did not fool the USA and the rest of the intelligence agencies in the West who also say that they were taken in by it.

                      Colin Powell knew that Scooter Libby was innocent and did nothing as the man was wrongfully convicted for lying about the Plame affair. Pardon me if I find his after the fact protestations about truth less than convincing at this point when we know that he covered up for Armitage for years. This is a man that does not particularly value truth and I find the idea that he set up his department to cater to that character flaw pretty convincing. I’m ashamed that I once thought the guy was qualified for the presidency.

                    • yan

                      And Mr. Powell’s motive [rather than, as you now assume, his character] for appearing to ‘come clean’ on the crappiness of the intelligence is…..?

                      I’m not sure what you are saying–you think it likely that Powell set things up to promote Bush’s lie, as I do? But then obviously, you would have to believe Bush lied.

                      Everyone in the Bush administration, including Bush [until he pardoned Libby] and Cheney, covered for Armitage; why then is Mr. Powell in particular singled out by you as being congenitally duplicitous for covering for Armitage?

                      Let Occam’s razor shave this stubborn beard that Bush ‘didn’t know’ or ‘made a mistake.’ That is preposterous, as it requires that we believe that Bush was an idiot, that Bush never really wanted to go to war, and that Bush did not have the proper tools to correctly evaluate the intelligence available to him. I have no persuasive evidence that any of those things are or were true.

                      Bush wanted to go to war, he needed a public justification, and he provided one. It’s simple, it’s elegant, it’s persuasive, it’s supported by credible evidence.

                    • Mike Petrik

                      I hope you use an electric razor, yan.

                      I do think that Bush wanted to enter Iraq as a first step into transforming the middle east. It was a horrible mistake. Even if one accepts the conceit that the average person in that part of the world wants a market economy and a constitutional republic, the process would have taken many decades — far exceeding the patience of the American people In other words Bush over-estimated both the Arabs and the Americans, and probably stupidly so. Overestimating the virtues of others is an achilles heel for idealists, and W was and still is an idealist.

                      So yes, he did what he wanted, which was predictably disastrous.

                      But the evidence relied upon as the warrant to do so was almost certainly believed by the Administration as well as by Congress. Saddam played a very dangerous game. He manufactured the evidence we relied on in order to spook the Iranians and didn’t trust us enough to tell us, possibly rightly so.

                    • yan

                      Straight razors when it comes to philosophy.

                      Well, I guess we disagree on the latter issue. Do you want to offer any credible evidence to support your opinion that Bush was a dupe on the intelligence front?

                    • yan

                      “the process would have taken many decades — far exceeding the patience of the American people. In other words Bush over-estimated both the Arabs and the Americans, and probably stupidly so.”

                      The required length of time for the ‘process’ being ‘decades’ seems to be the new consensus. But Bush and the administration all swore up and down that we would be in and out in a few months. They fired Shinseki for saying it would require more troops.

                      I ask you this: do you think Bush et al were really so stupid? Isn’t it much more likely that they knew what the actual price to pay would be, and that they lied about that to the American people because they knew the American people wouldn’t agree to a war that would last decades? Is the new consensus merely a result of hindsight being 20/20?

                      I don’t buy the ‘Bush is stupid’ thing. I never did.

                      Since leaving office, the few times Bush has spoken up on the issue of Iraq was to say: ‘leave the troops there.’ Did he really not know that would be necessary all along in order to fulfill his vision of remaking the ME? I think he knew. He just never wanted to say it.

                      So I agree that he miscalculated, to some extent, about the willingness of the American people to fullfill his vision. But he also lied to the American people in order to get them to go along with his vision in the first place. Once you are in, getting out before victory occurs is hard. I think he probably thought that the aversion to losing, coupled with a post 9/11 mindset, would keep the American people sufficiently motivated to remain there.

                      About that, he was quite wrong. And the neocons still can’t believe and can’t accept that they were wrong about that. They want back in, and they actually think they can nominate a Republican candidate and have a Republican president that wants to do that.

                      If their views end up dominating the Republican nomination process, the Repubicans will lose again.

                    • I am saying that Colin Powell possessed knowledge of the actual perpetrator of a crime and he protected the perpetrator and let Scooter Libby hang in the wind where Libby proceeded to trip up and earn himself several convictions. That speaks to the man’s character. His motivation was clear, tribal loyalty to a man who served to protect Colin Powell.

                      He was personally asked by the President, in his role as a high advisor to the President, to come forward with his knowledge. He did not.

                      Now the “crappiness of the intelligence” does not mean a lie. So what are we talking about, intelligence that was mistaken, poor quality, or cooked? They are not all the same thing.

                      The plain truth is that in that very same presidency, the wall between intelligence and law enforcement built up by the Clinton administration led to crucial knowledge not being passed on which had a material impact on the viability of the 9/11 plot. The builder of that wall, contrary to all good sense, ended up on the major investigating commission on the subject. Why you find it inconceivable that we hadn’t cleared out all the intelligence screw ups in the intervening two years is a mystery to me. I know of intelligence screw ups from that era that persisted long afterwards (muslims inside the intelligence pipeline who had ties to our enemies). Occam’s razor only works the way you want it to work if you ignore evidence in the public record. That’s not how an honest application of the tool is supposed to work.

                    • yan

                      Well, when you set the bar of the truth at the level of whether or not I find your version ‘inconceivable’, I know you are fighting a desperate rearguard action. There is, of course, almost nothing that I would rule out a priori as being ‘inconceivable’ [except for any contradiction of the teachings of the Church.] I thought we were trying to establish which theory is more likely to be true.

                      On the topic of Powell’s motivation, I asked about his motivation to reveal–if reveal he did, the truth–if truth it was, about the crappiness of the intelligence, since it was against his interest to do so. I don’t think his motive in protecting Armitage is really to the point, since, as I already stated, everyone was protecting Armitage. I doubt if Powell did anything different than most everyone else at the time. If he did, I still don’t think it is particularly material to the issue of his credibility about the Iraq WMD intelligence, and here’s why.

                      You want to focus on his character, based on that one incident, which speaks to a general characteristic, at best. In contrast I am asking about his motivation in this particular instance at the time he made his statement about the intelligence. The latter is more relevant to a speculative assertion of the former in any court of law, and for good reason: we don’t always act according to ‘character’ in any particular instance. But motives in a particular instance are admissible evidence where evidence of character is not admissible, even if the admission would otherwise be inadmissible hearsay.

                      In respect solely to what Powell said: he said in effect that the intelligence was crappy. That judgment could in reality be hiding many particular forms of mendacity. So, in answer to your question, at the least, the intelligence was crappy, and known to be crappy. Now, it was not presented that way to us. It was presented as reliable, certifiable truth that the American people could rely upon as they made their decision whether to support an invasion of Iraq. I would call that a conscious deception.

                      The deception becomes morally more culpable as the deception rises to the level of actually maybe being able to justify war. Just having chemical or bio weapons does not justify attacking Iraq. In my opinion, there has to be some element of imminence to justify attacking a country pre-emptively. Bush made this case to us very clearly in the famous 16 words. It actually made sense to say, ‘these people may have nuclear weapons soon and they are likely to use them on us or give them to terrorists that will use them on us. So we have to stop them before they do that.’ Now, that is still not Catholic just war, but it is closer than ‘Iraq has chemical weapons, thus we are justified in attacking.’ And after 9/11, the former rationale is much more persuasive.

                      Now, as it turns out, even though Plame didn’t have the knowledge to debunk the 16 words, that, actually, the 16 words have been debunked as based on a forgery; that the US has admitted to knowing at the time were highly suspect; but which they put into the speech anyway; and which they later admitted should not have been in the speech. Probably this means they knew all along that it was a lie, and probably they even had the Italian gov’t forge it. What other motive would Italy have for forging these documents? I don’t think they have ever clarified that. Why did they do it? But that is just speculation on my part.

                      So, I think when you use information to persuade the American people which, at the least, you know to be highly suspect, that is what you would legally call a reckless disregard for truth. That would get you convicted of defamation and punitive damages, just as much as a premeditated lie, because it is the functional equivalent of a premeditated lie. As with a premeditated lie, the moral guilt lies in ultimately not caring about what the actual truth is before you undertake a particular action which depends for its morality on the actual existence of that truth.

                      So to summarize: the premeditation was, at the least, in the decision to go to Iraq, and to use whatever information might be available, however flimsy [and most likely, consciously fabricated in some instances], to convince the American people that the decision would be morally justified. If people want to summarize that as saying ‘Bush lied, people died,’ then, vulgar as that is, it is the truth in a nutshell.

                    • The truth is you’re committed to a lack of charity that the Bush administration must have been lying about WMD. There’s nothing rear guard or desperate in insisting on truth and charity in a Catholic forum.

                      You get the legal standard wrong for conviction on libel unless you want to assert that Saddam Hussein was not a public person.

                      You also seem to have a curious case of amnesia as to the proposed causes of war that were proposed for the US to withdraw from its cease fire with Iraq.

                      The administration forwarded more than twenty separate causes of war for Iraq, the majority of whom held up once we got past the uncertainty and fog that any authoritarian/totalitarian regime puts up. Some of them even became more compelling once the files in Iraq were captured, such as the oil for food scandal. The WMD argument, in the end, mostly didn’t hold up (a small amount of chemical WMD was discovered in the end). It was never the only cause of war and wasn’t the cause of war that I found most convincing.

                      I remain satisfied that Iraq was a just war, though like all other wars it was filled with errors that made it longer and bloodier than it needed to be were the victors perfect. Bush lied, people died is not a truth.

                    • yan

                      Well, I think we have worn this thread out. I think you are wrong on multiple counts. I’m happy to leave it there.

                    • yan

                      So you think implementing a hit on Salmon Rushdie justifies what response exactly? You are, as always, short on particulars.

                      I should have personally volunteered to invade Iran, or what?

                    • I think you just demonstrated that you aren’t to be relied on.

                    • yan

                      If that’s what you think, you are an idiot.

                      Look at you. I bet the last time you won a contest of strength was a thumbwrestle with a little girl.

                    • And now the troll mask comes off. I’m waving my noodly arms at you with a context appropriate hand gesture.

                    • yan

                      I can’t see it, just like I can’t see anything concrete from you in anything you have written.

                    • And yet you don’t move on…

                      spin on my whirling dervish, spin on.

                    • yan

                      You are right, I can’t seem to stop pointing out that you have obstructed over a course of days pretending that you know something and then say nothing. It is frustrating but don’t worry, I am just about done.

                    • yan

                      “If you think we’re going to replace the ME in the time the SPR will last, I think you have no idea of the physical difficulties.”

                      Replace in 100 days? Hell no. But we can drive down the price somewhat. Whether there is war in the ME or not, there is no question that we have sufficient access to oil for our needs. As a Catholic, I think that means that you can’t use this kind of scarcity to justify war. It does not rise to the level of casus belli in quality, and it is not a proportional response. This is not the Allied blockade of Germany after WWI.

                    • If by drive down the price somewhat you mean reduce the skyrocketing price increase that would shock the world economy into depression, you would be right.

                      Iraq corrupted the world political system with the oil for food program. Even with the comparatively limited supply of oil he had to sell, he bought and sold politicians across the globe. Had he acquired Kuwait and KSA, his ability to use the oil weapon to reshape politics around the globe as he pleased would have led to a great deal more trouble than the simple presence or lack of oil in the USA.

                    • yan

                      Ok, I won’t argue with your rendition of history here. Let me just cut to the chase and ask this question: allowing that everything you said is true, does that rise to the level of casus belli under just war theory, or under any theory of realpolitic? Or is it only casus belli under a theory of neocon interventionism?

                      I’d appreciate a straight answer.

                    • Let’s see, invade two countries, check. We had a longtime understanding with the Saudis that we guaranteed their safety, check, the chances of success were very good, check and competently prosecuted, the upside outweighed the downside, ok that one we haven’t really nailed down adequately. I think that there’s a good catholic case for it but I find myself in a time shortage. Scott Eric Alt, so far as I can tell, is pretty much lying about John Zmirak and Mark Shea is supporting that lie. If you don’t mind waiting, I guess I can get back to one more rehash for the Catholic case for war, this time the 1991 one. It’s going to be a bit.

                    • yan

                      Well, didn’t you just do that? But if you could be more specific about which principles you think are involved [maybe you could just copy them from the catechism so we don’t have to dispute which principles are involved], and how the facts we agreed to for the purposes of this exercise satisfy each one, I guess I’ll wait.

                      So, that’s interesting. You think there was a Catholic case. I guess a fortiori there must be, to you, a realpolitik case.

                    • Nothing major in american politics goes forward without there being multiple cases. Reread federalist 10. It’s highly improbable that a durable majority will form that moves forward based on one case. Different factions form over different hobby horses and justification is no different than any other cause.

                    • yan

                      If you want to answer the question of whether just war theory is satisfied, you can just name the just war principles and then how the facts arguably satisfy each of them. Just:

                      1. Name the just war principles.
                      2. Show how the facts arguably satisfy each of them.
                      3. Provide your conclusion: just, or unjust?

                      And when you get around to it, I’ve asked you several times what your point is in bringing up Garland. What is the relevance of Garland to foreign policy considerations? Or is there some other relevance? I know you said noninterventionism wouldn’t solve a problem like Garland, and I agreed. So, what is the alternative you are suggestng that would solve it? Or is this sort of, ‘Garland shows they are bad, so invading their countries is justified’? I don’t want to put words in your mouth but you have had multiple opportunities to clarify the significance of Garland to FP and have not yet done so.

                    • I’ve done the just war work up a number of times before. I’m just tired and not up to searching for the previous n times I did this already.

                      The relevance of Garland to foreign policy is a matter of bigotry and invasion. We simply don’t take muslims seriously. When they assert court jurisdiction and attempt to physically enforce violent punishments, we don’t act as if it is the invasion it is. Garland is just one in a long line of incidents where muslims tried (and sometimes succeeded) to enforce a court judgment violently. These are courts that generally sit outside the US so it’s a matter of foreign policy.

                    • yan

                      Ok, so are you saying that because the court is outside the US that, in order to stop jihadism, we have to invade muslim countries? I feel like I am pulling teeth here.

                      I mean, you are not connecting your statements to policies or showing how they justify or suggest policies.

                      “We don’t take muslims seriously.” What does that mean? The US is sovereign; if muslims [which are not a country] want to enforce their ‘jurisdiction’ on the US, I think the best response is to ignore them like the next door neighbor’s child who is throwing a tantrum because I told him he can’t play with my son’s toys.

                      They can say and declaim whatever they want as far as I am concerned. I guess I agree that we shouldn’t take such people seriously.

                      What are you saying–you want to go into muslim countries and take over their judicial system?

                      “The relevance of Garland to foreign policy is a matter of bigotry and invasion.” I’m sorry, I just don’t even understand that sentence…

                    • You asked why these things are a matter of foreign policy. The answer is because the courts sit outside the United States. Whether we invade or not is a completely separate question. Invasion is, I believe, the last resort to such a problem.

                      If a group of people sets itself up to claim the United States or a portion thereof, creating institutions like courts to try people, the US generally reacts with armed men putting these people in jail and if they resist, killing them. We do not do this for muslim courts claiming jurisdiction over the US. Do you have any explanation why? Mine is that they just don’t take them seriously because they are muslims and thus congenital screw ups that can be ignored. That sentiment is bigotry.

                      Foreign courts claiming jurisdiction over the US with bailiffs enforcing these court decisions in the US is a species of invasion. Have I made myself more clear now?

                    • yan

                      Ok, you have convinced me that it is fair to categorize the fatwa problem as a matter of foreign policy.

                      In answer to your question as to why the US doesn’t necessarily ‘react with armed men’ to this particular foreign policy issue in the immediate instance of a declaration from an Islamic court, I would first remind you of your statement that foreign policy is resolved only as a last resort by military means. Primarily, foreign policy is carried out by State.

                      Second, I have to point out to you that there is a difference between, say, Utah Mormons or some cult trying to create its own jurisdiction in the US, and a court in a foreign territory purporting to extend its jurisdiction merely by decree. The difference is that the cult is already here on US soil, and is therefore subject to the territorial jurisdiction of the US at the time it attempts to create a new jurisdiction. The Islamic court by contrast is not subject to US jurisdiction at all; only its erstwhile ‘bailiffs’ as you put it, who act on territory subject to US jurisdiction, are subject to it. Since the court is not a government, and its ‘bailiffs’ not armies, calling this phenomenon a species of ‘invasion’ confuses things and invites the expectation of a disproportional response.

                      I know the neocons have confused the issue for us, but the territorial jurisdiction of the United States is NOT planet earth.

                      Thus, there is a serious difference between the legal justification for the use of force in each of the two cases. It is quite clear that the US may use force to keep its territory part of the US when those that would take away that territory are in the US. By contrast, it is not clear when the US may legally use force against those that claim to have jurisdiction over US territory, but who are not immediately subject to US territorial jurisdiction, are not a recognizable gov’t, and have not committed any overt act in furtherance of the claim. And that is why the US is justified in not reacting with ‘armed men’ in the first instance of a declaration by an Islamic court.

                    • The problem is that these foreign courts claim all adult male muslims as officers of their courts charged with enforcing the decisions. In the vast majority of the cases these muslims named either don’t know of the court’s existence or don’t agree to the role. But a few percent of muslims both know of these courts and try to enforce these decrees.

                      The analogies are not precise. No US court can order an army to invade but only bailiffs to restrain or arrest. An islamic court can order up a jihad complete with army. If you have a better set of words to describe this reality, let me know. I constantly search for them in a low priority effort because I’m absolutely aware of the weakness in terminology that you’re metaphorically beating me over the head with. But here we stand. I don’t have better words.

                      Just be aware that I’m judging your words not against my imperfect descriptive terms but against the actual reality of what these courts do. Saying that their bailiffs don’t constitute an invading army doesn’t work as well as you think it does. This sentence may clarify the difficulty. Nineteen Islamic bailiffs took down the twin tower and put a hole in the Pentagon.

                    • yan

                      Well, I see the difficulty here but I don’t see that the difficulty, whatever words we use to describe it, admits of being solved by any ideas that you have tentatively adduced or thought necessary to be reserved for our use.

                      Additionally, I don’t think you can ignore what I wrote in regard to why the US is justified in not treating the existence of fatwas in the same way as an invading army just because the difficulty remains or because terms describing the difficulty are not a perfect fit for the reality. The distinctions between an invading army and fatwas are quite relevant to how we decide to respond to fatwas. Certainly you should be able to see that, and that bigotry is not the reason for the decisions we have made in treating them differently.

                      After this discussion it now appears clearer than ever to me that disengagement from the ME is the best long term policy. No national interest requires us to be there, and disengagement is the best possible policy to prevent the issuing of fatwas against us.

                      If you think about it, the concept of fatwa jurisdiction is in practical effect little different than the presumption of the US to act in the world however it pleases. Our ideas and actions are actually quite similar. The scope is the same, and the self-righteous self-assurance is the same.

                      Their approach is a religious reflection of our cynical, brutal image. I wonder if that is merely a coincidence or yet another instance of a Muslim attempt to imitate, in some way, the West. Of course, jihadis would deny the latter, but I wonder.

                    • yan

                      Also still waiting to see your response to what I wrote earlier:

                      “I don’t care how isolationist you are, no amount of foreign policy non-involvement ends up with the jihadists not trying to kill americans in Texas that day.”

                      I quite agree. I hope you agree that no amount of foreign policy INVOLVEMENT ends up with jihadists not trying to kill Americans in Texas that day, either.

                      “The assertion of jurisdiction and the passing of court sentences of death and lesser punishments from foreign soil means that they are regularly imposing their system on us. This is not fixable by minding our own business.”

                      I agree again. But, neither is it fixable by invading or trying to control muslim countries. That, in fact, exacerbates the problem, I believe.

                    • Of course there’s a cure for jihadists attacking the US. It’s just that it’s profoundly anti-Catholic. The trick isn’t to not have jihadists attack the US. That formula is easy. The trick is to do it without the terror and genocide campaign in a way that’s consistent with Church teaching. That’s a lot harder.

                      It is utterly predictable that when the golden hour has passed and a millenarian muslim group (state or otherwise) gains nuclear weapons that there will be a genocide and elimination of muslims when the first non-muslim city goes up in a mushroom cloud. Unmoored from Christ, the logic is rather inescapable. I am interested in solving things before the golden hour we are in expires and we lose a city.

                    • yan

                      You have avoided my questions. The discussion was about American invasions. You say isolationism doesn’t prevent jihadism or the threat of muslim jurisdiction. I said war doesn’t prevent it either. Do you agree, or not?

                    • Clearly I don’t agree. The trivial case is nuclear war destroying the muslim world and a suppression of Islam. It would be the end of the republic if it happens but that doesn’t mean that it won’t happen.

                    • yan

                      At last! Thank you.

                      So you think the Tom Tancredo option, used pre-emptively, would eliminate jihadism? A billion Muslims, but that would be the end of jihad? Or, somehow, are you suggesting, that we could, as a matter of logistics, kill 1 billion Muslims?

                    • I think you’re going down the wrong road. You seem to think I approve. I don’t. Just because I don’t approve of genocide doesn’t mean that genocide can’t happen and that it’s not possible to predict with accuracy what are the conditions that would set off genocide.

                      I would prefer a victory that didn’t have so much fallout involved. I still seek it.

                    • yan

                      No, I understand you don’t approve–which does not mean you wouldn’t choose to do it anyway, if you thought it was a question of last resort. But you really think that a few choice nukes would end jihadism, and/or that it is possible to kill a billion Muslims scattered all over the planet.

                    • I think we live in a fallen world and have the technical skill. Don’t you?

                    • yan

                      Do we have the technical skill to kill scads and scads of Muslims? Certainly. You think that would be the cure for jihadism? I don’t think so at all. You would have to kill every last one. I’m not sure our skills in death-dealing, acute as they are, are sufficient to that task.

                      So, no. In addition to the immorality of it, about which we both agree, there is the futility of it.

                      I think the THREAT of nuclear annhilation is a deterrent against a nuke being used against us, because Muslims, like anyone else, rationally want to avoid being annhilated. [Yes, I believe Muslims are rational.] But I don’t think that actual USE of nukes is a cure for jihadism. Those are 2 different things.

                      I think you are mislead by the Japanese example. That is not analogous to the present situation because the population of Japan was tiny compared to the amount of Muslims in the world, and because that population was mostly confined to several small islands. Japan really could have suffered almost complete nuclear annhilation. Nuking all or most Muslims, on the other hand, in addition to being immoral, would be logistically nigh-impossible.

                      And, not to get too off topic here, but actually, it is controversial to assert that nukes were the actual reason for Japanese capitulation. After Hiroshima, the Russians quickly defeated and captured the last remaining Japanese army. Before that occurred, the army, which was the most influential force in determining the decision about whether to continue the war, was still in favor of continuing the war–even after Hiroshima.

                      Carpet bombing of Germany, it seems now generally acknowledged, also had little effect on German industry and none on morale to the extent of having an effect on the German desire to surrender.

                      Tokyo had been firebombed to ash previously and the Japanese were not deterred.

                      So, I think that in the case of the apparent Hobson’s choice between using immoral means to prosecute a war and winning, or using moral means and losing, that we have presented ourselves a false dilemma. Immoral means–e.g., indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations–in addition to being immoral, do not bring about military success.

                    • You are mistaken on the technical skills, badly mistaken.

                    • yan

                      Alright, educate me.

                      And as to the effectiveness of it? Am I mistaken about that as well?

                    • We no longer have a thuggee problem so it’s pretty effective. We don’t have a carthaginian problem either so it’s been effective for a very long time.

                      The hutus slaughtered how many tutsi with just machete and knife and you doubt we could do the same with much more effective weapons? I’m not interested in working out the logistics. That stopped being appealing after the first few times I did it as a teen and you aren’t paying me.

                    • yan

                      Good Lord, someone would pay you for what you write? I was trying to be charitable in engaging you.

                      Hutus and Tutsis are not analogous to a billion muslims all over the planet. Carthage was one overseas empire with a single headquarters, not a religion. Is that really the best you can do to dismiss my request to elucidate your ‘you are mistaken on the technical skills, badly mistaken.’

                      Good Lord I thought maybe you had some inside military knowledge. There are other people I can ask to check on your BS in that regard, but you don’t even have any BS. Go back to playing Risk, it suits your lack of curiousity about the real world.

                      Once again, you have nothing, so you evade. I am about through taking YOU seriously.

                    • Please, stop being charitable. You’re doing it very badly.

                    • yan

                      Yeah, great comeback. Thanks for all the substance again man.

                    • Let’s be honest, both of us are having fun at this point.

                    • yan

                      No, good night.

                    • And a good night to you.

                    • yan

                      “I am interested in solving things before the golden hour we are in expires and we lose a city.”

                      I know. But you have not clearly put any solutions on the table for discussion.

                    • I don’t have much of a discussion partner in this discussion. We don’t have enough common ground.

                    • yan

                      Maybe you could succinctly summarize what you think our differences are that are preventing you from putting forth concrete solutions.

                    • Mostly I’m not willing to invest the amount of time necessary because I don’t really believe you’re serious.

                    • yan

                      So I wasted all this time as a big joke, right.

                      This is just one more evasion on your part, my friend. You don’t have a clue what to do. All you have is a prognostication based on trends which you think carry some independent force. You write like a Hegelian both in your impenetrable style and in thinking that using broad brushstrokes excuses you from actually thinking through what the actual next step should be.

                      Thesis! Antithesis! Synthesis! Wow, everything is just how I predicted it would be….

                    • Ultimately, the Vatican has the key in its idea that christians need to have the liberty to evangelize in muslim countries without fear of jail or mob violence. They’re not too specific on how to accomplish this either.

                      I haven’t been called a hegelian in decades. As I recall, the last guy was blowing smoke too.

                    • yan

                      Oh wow! The Vatican has the key! That’s….totally different than anything you have said up to now. I won’t ask you to explain how that is the ‘key’ to anything, because I know from hard experience that is futile.

                      I didn’t say you are a Hegelian, but that you write like one. Loads of words, signifying nothing.

                    • yan

                      Thanks for saying that my approach to foreign policy would have prevented the rise of al-queda. That is a very generous judgment on your part. I think, however, that the maniacs would likely have found some other casus belli to justify their terror. Because of Afghanistan and Palestine, the timing was there, whether we pushed back Saddam from Kuwait or not.

                      But perhaps at least if we had stayed out of Iraq the first time their ire would have been directed at more local targets than the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Perhaps the ‘Arab Spring’ would have started 10 years earlier. Perhaps Chechnya would now be an independent republic. Who knows.

                      That’s why we should do our best to avoid pissing people off. You never know what fruit that will bear down the road. 1500 military bases all over the world pisses people off….

                    • The objective truth is periods with a military hegemon are light on great power war. As the hegemon’s position deteriorates, war resumes. Obama came to office determined to undermine our hegemonic position and now we’re reaping the whirlwind.

                    • yan

                      “The objective truth is periods with a military hegemon are light on great power war. As the hegemon’s position deteriorates, war resumes.”

                      That is historically true, prior to the nuclear era. But as for Obama, he is simply facing the reality of rising Russia and China. It is going to be a new world and we will have to adjust. Just dictating is not working and will not work. Even Nixon knew this day was coming and that’s why he went to China in the first place.

                      So drop the whole American exceptionalism hegemon thing. It is only going to piss people off, and China and Russia don’t care to take dictation from us. And they are not taking dictation from us. And they will respect us even less in the future if we continue with that silliness.

                      There is much more that could bind us together with Russia and China than should separate us. There is no need for us to be enemies.

                      Catholics have always been in favor of a brotherhood of nations. Why do Catholics now think Machiavelli is the only possible guide to international relations these days?

                      China and Russia are not interested in taking over the world. They already have most of Asia and half of Europe; what do they care about the rest of the world? If we want to go bankrupt maintaining our thalassocracy, they couldn’t care less–just so long as we give them some breathing room to flex their muscles near their immediate neighbors. Our thalassocracy means they don’t have to do so much as they would have to otherwise.

                      A wise American policy would keep us strong but we should keep much more to ourselves. The Cold War is over. Communism as a world threat is done. It’s time we started being a little more friendly. Obama has made some very modest, but very insufficient, steps in that direction. No wonder, with Republicans screaming at him every step of the way.

                    • antigon

                      As amply illustrated by the peaceful years preceding Obama’s ascension.
                      *
                      Unless you’re but talking through your hat again TM.

                    • The period of US military hegemony runs from 1989-2001. We’ve been in retreat as unchallenged hegemon since then. Go look up the numbers and you’ll see what I’m referring to.

                    • antigon

                      Leaving aside that Empires always provoke violent resistance, you’ve at least adjusted your penultimate post by noting that the current whirlwinds were not launched by Obama’s policies.
                      *
                      In fact they were launched by Bush Sr.’s bamboozling Saddam with the green light to invade Kuwait.

                    • FactsWillOut

                      The lack of Empire also provokes violent response.

                    • antigon

                      True enough, men are disposed to violence: whereupon the question becomes the goals of that violence. Perhaps fair to propose those of the current Empire not overly benevolent.

                    • FactsWillOut

                      The current Empire isn’t really an Empire, more like a facile imitation of an Empire, with all the funneling of resources from client states, but none of the law and order of Empire brought to client states.
                      What today passes for “Empire” is in fact just thuggery on a global scale.

                  • antigon

                    No, which could have been forestalled had the US Iraqi ambassador demurred about Saddam’s invading Kuwait. But the nasty bastard got suckered, leading to all the current fun.

                    • Joseph

                      Enlighten me. I have Chaldean friends who are currently living in Michigan that told me long ago that one of the reasons Saddam invaded Kuwait was because Kuwait was drilling horizontally across his border and into his oil fields.
                      .
                      His beef was with Kuwait, not with the entire region. He wanted to punish Kuwait (and spit at the US diplomats which were helping Kuwait goad him). Isn’t the theory that Saddam was a threat to the entire region demonstrably false?

                    • antigon

                      Briefly: Leaving aside those who argue Israel, Saddam was arguably the US government’s staunchest ally in the region. When in September ’80 the name Jimmy Carter provoked but mockery throughout the rest of the world, Saddam invaded Iran (who still had the hostages) to his rue on Jim’s behalf.
                      *
                      That alliance still held through the summer of ’90 when Saddam sought permission to invade Kuwait, which Iraq had always considered its own territory. For reasons yet to be explained or even much explored, Iraq’s US Ambassador did not demure, whence began the post-Communist Semitic wars that have to date politically defined the third millennium.

                    • yan

                      Subsidence was a fact and was without question was one of the public reasons given for the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. However, whether it was an actual reason for the invasion, or just an excuse for one, I don’t know. You could ask Saddam if he were alive.

                    • Yeah, pull the other one, it’s got bells.

                • Marthe Lépine

                  It seems that the US incentive to meddle in other countries’ internal affairs might have a lot to do with the presence of resources such as oil…

                  • yan

                    Ya think? But the need to control world oil resources is hardly our sole motive. In a word, there is no oil in Okinawa.

                  • Joseph

                    Does it? I wonder. The US is sitting on the largest oil reserve in the world and has tons of oil to spare in Alaska. I don’t think it’s over oil.

                • AquinasMan

                  If they want to kill each other off, that’s on them.”

                  Fine and well, except for the fact that every beheaded, baptized Christian is an attack on the Body of Christ. You can’t just plug your ears and close your eyes and pretend that geographical barriers eliminate the supernatural reality of Church unity.

                  In short, I’m glad the Church didn’t take the same approach when it came to evangelizing the New World. Evil not confronted will do what evil does, as it has done since time immemorial.

                  • yan

                    Got it–start another Crusade. Because that worked out so well the first time.

                    • Re_Actor

                      It got Spain back.

                    • yan

                      You know what….half a good point. But, that fight was by the Spanish, not on behalf of the Spanish. So, the Reconquista was a lot like…Muslims in the Middle East trying to kick out the U.S.

                    • Re_Actor

                      I daresay much of the debacle can be laid at the door of US meddling. That doesn’t mean Europe has a moral obligation to submit to significant demographic change.

                    • yan

                      That’s another half-good point. First, Europe does have a legal obligation to accept refugees. It would be fair for the US to take more refugees, as the US caused the problem. But so long as Europe is the US poodle, Europe is going to have to lump it.

                      However, just because someone else caused Europe’s problem doesn’t mean Europe has no moral obligation toward fellow human beings. Europe is still comprised of human beings, last I checked; and human beings, I have it on good authority, have moral obligations to other human beings–even those human beings who have problems not caused by Europe.

                    • Re_Actor

                      Europe does have a legal obligation to accept refugees.

                      Legal obligation? The European Union might believe it has such an obligation, but the European Union is not “Europe”. Dare one invoke the Maurrasian distinction between the pays légal and the pays réel?

                      Europe is still comprised of human beings, last I checked; and human beings, I have it on good authority, have moral obligations to other human beings

                      Unfortunately we live in a fallen world in which to do justice to one group of human beings sometimes means one has to deny it to another.

                      It sees to me that the primary obligation of the leaders of European nations is to ensure the peace and security of the European peoples. It is gratifying that the Saudis have fulfilled their natural obligations to their fellow Mohams to the extent of offering to bankroll the construction of some 200 mosques in Germany. All the same, I confess I don’t see how European ‘leaders’ have a moral obligation to facility such jaw-dropping horrors as this.

                      “Why not evangelise them?” cries Mark Shea. Well. apart from the awkward fact that any attempt at converting the local Mohams to Catholicism is likely to bring the wrath of the local bishop down upon one’s head, there is the heartbreaking reality that (in our fallen world) a shared faith is no guarantee of social harmony. After all, it was scant comfort to the Anglo-Saxons to know that the Normans were their fellow Catholics.

                    • Re_Actor

                      [oops — that should be “facilitate”]

                    • yan

                      “Dare one invoke the Maurrasian distinction between the pays légal and the pays réel?”

                      I suppose one may so dare.

                      “Unfortunately we live in a fallen world in which to do justice to one group of human beings sometimes means one has to deny it to another.”

                      True. But right Christian judgment does not permit ignoring the IMMEDIATE necessities of life of our fellow man because of a FUTURE fear that these fellows will turn our country into Dewsbury, does it? So, at a minimum–and setting aside the law for the moment–you must allow that refugee camps are a moral imperative for these people, no?

                    • Re_Actor

                      I would allow that, yes. Let the fit young men be sent packing and the women, children, elderly and infirm be provided with the necessities of life in suitable facilities until such time as they can be sent on their way.

                      I confess I have grave doubts that most of our current crop of nominal leaders have the wit or will to implement such a humane policy in such a way as to ensure the security of Europe. It seems more probable that they will be allowed to, in Angela Merkel’s words, “occupy and change” the nations in which they have been granted sanctuary.

                      If so, one may tentatively speculate that in a few decades Europe will most likely be either Mohammedan or fascist or a simmering balkanised stew of both. One would rather it were Christian, but one thing it won’t be is liberal.

                      I wonder if Merkel, Bergoglio et al have the faintest glimmering that their names will live in history as occasions of obloquy, much as Quisling was regarded in the years following the last world war — with the difference that their acquiescence in the displacement of ethnic Europeans will cause (is already causing) many to wonder whether the movement with which Quisling aligned himself was so bad after all.

                    • yan

                      “their acquiescence in the displacement of ethnic Europeans will cause (is already causing) many to wonder whether the movement with which Quisling aligned himself was so bad after all.”

                      Are you among the ‘many’? Me, no.

                      “Let the fit young men be sent packing”

                      Sorry; I thought you agreed that those with human needs ought to be cared for?

                      “Bergoglio”

                      U mean the Pope, right? Vicar of Christ?

                    • Re_Actor

                      Are you among the ‘many’? Me, no.

                      Me neither. The problem is, the present Western order claims, rightly or wrongly, to be the heir of the Allied cause that triumphed over the Axis powers. And it is this same present Western order that has presided over a catastrophic decline in manners and morals; is proving unable to secure its citizens’ peace and safety; and appears to be deliberately attempting to eradicate their various ethnic identities.

                      I thought you agreed that those with human needs ought to be cared for?

                      I would say that those crowds who contemptuously refuse food and water — because its packaging bears the symbol of the International Red Cross and is therefore ‘haram’ — can be legitimately considered invaders and treated accordingly.

                      U mean the Pope, right? Vicar of Christ?

                      Yeah, that’s the one. The current Vicar of Christ is not one to stand on ceremony: “Call me Jorge!”

                    • yan

                      If Orthodox Jews, claiming to be refugees from an Arab attack on Israel, refused bacon on Europe’s doorstep, would they be ‘invaders’? Your observation about the Western order having inherited the triumph of the Allied cause seems pertinent here….Some Europeans thought Jews were foreign invaders of the European body. Some still do. The Allies quite decisively, I think, thought otherwise. I agree with the Allies.

                      In the light of that history, the question of whether muslims should be considered to be foreign invaders for adhering to their particular cultural/religious dietary practices seems to have been conclusively answered, in the negative, on May 8, 1945.

                      I am just trying to parse out whether you are making value judgments here, or just making observations.

                    • Re_Actor

                      If Orthodox Jews, claiming to be refugees from an Arab attack on Israel, refused bacon on Europe’s doorstep, would they be ‘invaders’?

                      If there were sufficient Orthodox Jews to overwhelm European countries’ infrastructures; if their rejection of this hypothetical bacon took the form of seething mob anger rather than a respectful appeal; if their co-religionists already settled in Europe had displayed a propensity to coerce European minors into sex slavery; if there existed a powerful militant current in Orthodox Jewry whose adherents had committed atrocities on European soil — then yes. In my opinion.

                      Some Europeans thought Jews were foreign invaders of the European body.

                      Which Europeans did you have in mind? The Nazis?

                      Some still do. The Allies quite decisively, I think, thought otherwise. I agree with the Allies.

                      I don’t know if the fate of European Jews was foremost on the Allies’ minds as they fought to the death against the Axis.

                      In the light of that history, the question of whether muslims should be considered to be foreign invaders for adhering to their particular cultural/religious dietary practices seems to have been conclusively answered, in the negative, on May 8, 1945.

                      That’s a very problematic assertion.

                      I am just trying to parse out whether you are making value judgments here, or just making observations.

                      If you’re referring to my “observation about the Western order having inherited the triumph of the Allied cause”, then I’m just making observations. I hold no brief for Nazism or any related ideology. (Of course, I’m not a fan of the current Western order either.)

                    • Re_Actor
                    • Re_Actor
                    • yan

                      “Which Europeans did you have in mind? The Nazis?”

                      Certainly, but this wasn’t an idea that was only held by Nazis. They were just its most faithful adherents and the ones that applied the idea most efficiently and ruthlessly.

                      “I don’t know if the fate of European Jews was foremost on the Allies’ minds as they fought to the death against the Axis.”

                      Probably true. But it was a major consideration in the re-constitution of the world order after then, beginning at Nuremberg.

                      “(Of course, I’m not a fan of the current Western order either.)”

                      This is a very broad riposte. If it is too much to ask you to clarify within the context of a comment box, I understand.

                    • Re_Actor

                      this wasn’t an idea that was only held by Nazis. They were just its most faithful adherents and the ones that applied the idea most efficiently and ruthlessly.

                      As I’m sure you’re aware, traditionalist Catholics sometimes draw a distinction between ‘anti-Semitism’ (defined as pagan racial prejudice against Jews, whether expressed in scientific or mystical terminology) and ‘anti-Judaism’ (defined as a Christian oppositional stance to the religion of the rabbinites). Do you think that distinction is a valid one?

                      But it was a major consideration in the re-constitution of the world order after then, beginning at Nuremberg.

                      True.

                      “(Of course, I’m not a fan of the current Western order either.)”

                      This is a very broad riposte. If it is too much to ask you to clarify within the context of a comment box, I understand.

                      I suppose I would define my politics as old-time Catholic monarchism. (Only a progressive would be so irredeemably vulgar as to want to be on the winning side of history.) Tinged with escapist romantic nostalgia, naturally.

                    • yan

                      “As I’m sure you’re aware, traditionalist Catholics sometimes draw a distinction between ‘anti-Semitism’ (defined as pagan racial prejudice against Jews, whether expressed in scientific or mystical terminology) and ‘anti-Judaism’ (defined as a Christian oppositional stance to the religion of the rabbinites). Do you think that distinction is a valid one?”

                      It’s a valid distinction certainly, but I don’t see its applicability in this context. Why do you bring it up?

                      Moreover I think traditionalists demonstrate poor historical memory when they assert this doctrine. Lastly, this doctrine, to my mind, amounts to more than traditionalism, since it contradicts the authority of the Church as revealed in documents such as Nostra Aetate, Dignitatis Humanae, and several other important documents, such as We Remember, promulgated during the reign of St Pope John Paul II. These teachings are ostensible clarifications of the deposit of faith. The Church has rejected its former expressions of anti-judaism because they were uncharitable distortions of the fulness of truth. Thus, to reject Church teaching on this point willfully and definitively may risk putting oneself outside the bounds of the Catholic faith. That would make one not a traditionalist, but a schismatic.

                      As an aside, I say that it may be regrettable that the new teaching sometimes leads to attitudes of indifferentism and/or universalism in regard to religion, but that doesn’t make it right to clarify doctrine by adverting to hatred of judaism per se [as per the ‘traditionalists’], which leads in most cases to hatred of Jews, period.

                      “I suppose I would define my politics as old-time Catholic monarchism. (Only a progressive would be so irredeemably vulgar as to want to be on the winning side of history.) Tinged with escapist romantic nostalgia, naturally.”

                      That seems about right : )

                      Progressives are not the only ones that love winning above everything….for instance I was conversing with a Mao apologist recently. That Mao had committed horrible crimes was not big deal to him; he credited Mao with modernizing China. Sometimes you have to break a few eggs, etc., etc.

                    • yan

                      “If there were sufficient Orthodox Jews to overwhelm European countries’ infrastructures; if their rejection of this hypothetical bacon took the form of seething mob anger rather than a respectful appeal; if their co-religionists already settled in Europe had displayed a propensity to coerce European minors into sex slavery; if there existed a powerful militant current in Orthodox Jewry whose adherents had committed atrocities on European soil — then yes. In my opinion.”

                      Ok. I disagree. I don’t think you can say that because a small minority of a religious sect has perpetrated atrocities in a certain place that, therefore, a huge number of members of that sect constitute an invasion force. It’s unfair to paint the overwhelming majority with the same brush you use to paint the tiny minority of unfortunate murderers without any evidence that the huge majority threaten to do what the tiny minority has done.

                      Remember that according to the anti-Semites, the atrocities to be laid at the feet of ‘the Jews’ were far greater in both scope and magnitude than any puny terrorist act by muslims in Europe. The Jews, after all, were, according to the anti-Semites, summarily responsible for murderous bolshevism, which threatened to destroy the entire world much more credibly than a few muslim maniacs. The Jews were of course, according to the anti-Semites, also responsible for the control of world capital, by which means they were able to control the destiny of European peoples. And so on. There are always ready excuses available if you want to discriminate against minorities.

                      But you probably know all this. So, I have to question again whether or not you have some other reason for opposing the placement of Syrian refugees in Europe besides the reasons you have provided.

                    • Re_Actor

                      I don’t think you can say that because a small minority of a religious sect has perpetrated atrocities in a certain place that, therefore, a huge number of members of that sect constitute an invasion force. It’s unfair to paint the overwhelming majority with the same brush you use to paint the tiny minority of unfortunate murderers without any evidence that the huge majority threaten to do what the tiny minority has done.

                      In principle, I agree. Nevertheless, it seems to me that there is sufficient reason to feel disquiet at the prospect of large(r) numbers of Muslim immigrants settling in the West. I remember having an internet chat with a leftist who expressed the opinion that “Islamophobia” in the UK was really just a mask for racial antipathy towards brown-skinned Asians. But if that were the case, why are relations with Hindus or Sikhs not similarly fraught? If Islam is a convenient cloak to render racism semi-respectable, why do Hinduism and Sikhism not make equally convenient cloaks? Could it be that there’s “something about Islam”?

                      Remember that according to the anti-Semites, the atrocities to be laid at the feet of ‘the Jews’ were far greater in both scope and magnitude were far greater than any puny terrorist act by muslims in Europe. The Jews, after all, were, according to the anti-Semites, summarily responsible for murderous bolshevism, which threatened to destroy the entire world much more credibly than a few muslim maniacs. The Jews were of course, according to the anti-Semites, also responsible for the control of world capital, by which means they were able to control the destiny of European peoples. And so on. There are always ready excuses available if you want to discriminate against minorities.

                      That last sentence intrigues me. Are you suggesting that “the anti-Semites” (hardly a monolithic constituency) didn’t really believe their accusations against the Jews? That they just felt some kind of visceral hostility to a minority and sought specious rationalisations to justify it? If so, how would you account for the initial hostility?

                      I have to question again whether or not you have some other reason for opposing the placement of Syrian refugees in Europe besides the reasons you have provided.

                      I would have to say that even if every single Muslim immigrant were as law-abiding as the majority no doubt are, their presence in the West would still be undesirable. Regardless of how it compares to Bolshevism, Islam strikes me as a confident, assertive faith which stands a real chance of striking deep roots in a dechristianized West. Something will be hegemonic and nature abhors a vacuum. I don’t want to see that happen. Do you?

                    • yan

                      1. My limited knowledge of England nevertheless leads me to believe that relations with Indian Hindus and Sikhs and white people are, if not similarly fraught, still fraught with tension; so I think your leftist interlocutor has a point about racism being one of the factors motivating anti-islamism in the West. It’s certainly not the only factor, obviously, but it is one.

                      2. Anti-Semites, like everyone else, cannot always be 100% wrong about everything. If they were, there would be no appeal whatsoever for their views. So in answer to your question, I wasn’t trying to establish who-hit-who-first or why. Moreover, trying to work that out would be intensely problematic. Finally, I don’t think it matters. Minorities are by definition weaker than the majority. They are also different in some way; if not, they would not constitute a distinct group. These 2 facts are sufficient to understand that 1-minorities need special protection from majorities; and 2-that it is easy, without having any recourse to an actual rationale for it, for the majority to persecute minorities.

                      My point was: if we have rejected, most emphatically in the case of the Jews, the rationale that alleged group harms by minorities do not justify mistreatment or discrimination by the majority against those minorities, then why should we be excused from abjuring mistreatment of muslims?

                      We have done well to reject this rationale and I pray in the name of peace and love that we continue to do so.

                      3. I reject your premise that ‘something must be hegemonic.’ Christianity is not hegemonic in Europe; Islam need not be hegemonic there either. Europe is not only secular because it was formerly Christian; it is also secular, positively, because of the Enlightenment emphasis upon the use of human reason to order everything. This ‘faith in reason’ is what is ‘hegemonic’ in Europe. There are, of course, problems with that for Christians, Muslims, and every other faith; but the point here is that post-Enlightenment Europe is composed of pagans, a very few Christians, muslims, atheists, and so on, none of which have any serious prospect of becoming ‘hegemonic’ there, and the majority of which all accept, for purposes of the ordering of civil society and the law, the hegemony of Reason. It would take more than a few million muslim refugees of various levels of commitment to their inherited faith to overthrow that hegemon.

                    • Joseph

                      “If so, one may tentatively speculate that in a few decades Europe will most likely be either Mohammedan or fascist or a simmering balkanised stew of both. One would rather it were Christian, but one thing it won’t be is liberal.”
                      .
                      Well, Christianity, for the most part, is dead in Europe. It’s relegated to the *unpopular*. So, I’d say that it’s going to be a “balkanised stew of both”. Rest assured, it’s going to get nasty. A prediction that the EU would collapse made a year ago was rather reasonable… but I fear something like this will lead to that collapse much sooner than previously imagined. I don’t know how much the US media is covering the crisis here, but I can tell you that the anti-Muslim groups (because it’s really the Muslims that everyone fears… even the faux athiest majority) are gaining members in droves. It’s not going to be pretty when the hammer falls. That said, I hope to God that I’ll be eating my words.

                    • Artevelde

                      I tend to follow Maurras when he makes that distinction. I also think it was rather fitting and not a bit ironic that it was the pays réel that put him behind bars.

                    • Re_Actor

                      I find it more than a bit ironic that the current French republic (which one are we up to now? The fifth?) — which presumably regards the Revolution as its ideological ancestor and sees the État français as a monstrous aberration — is one in which the banlieues are war zones, true sons of the patrie are gunned down in the streets, and France’s chief rabbi advises Jews not to wear yarmulkas in public. I trust the French feel suitably enriched by the new vibrant diversity. As for M. Maurras, wherever he is now, I imagine his thin lips are twitching in a sardonic smile as he contemplates the scene.

                      . . .

                      “The army has made contingency plans for the ‘reappropriation of national territory’, meaning to win back control of neighbourhoods where the population become hostile to the security forces and where guns are easily obtainable, according to the source.”

                      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11826862/Airlines-told-to-expect-French-911-as-Hollande-warns-of-more-Islamist-violence.html

                    • Artevelde

                      I always imagined sardonic smiles only appear on the faces of those dearly departed among whom I hope not to dwell after my own demise. But that aside, let’s for the sake of argument assume that I share your concerns about a rising tide of Islam overwhelming Europe: why would that in any way make me think more kindly of a far right-wing ideology that – apart from the odd acute observation – mostly consists of spreading worship of a long list of people who were, in the words of Miguel de Unamuno, mental cripples who like to see their own nations reformed in their own negative image – that is, crippled and deformed.

                    • Re_Actor

                      I’m not suggesting you should think kindly of any such ideology. I suppose what I’m suggesting is that the weakness of the West in the face of resurgent Islam is due in large part to its adoption of an extreme form of liberalism characterised by self-loathing ethnomasochism and uncritical xenophilia — sometimes masquerading as Christian charity, sometimes not. It seems to me that the so-called radical right is just about the only force currently prepared to publicly stand against both Islam and modern liberalism, and is therefore well placed to increase its popular support in the current situation. That is not any sort of endorsement of the radical right, which I agree is often distasteful.

                    • Artevelde

                      And I wholeheartedly agree, but in this, as they say, the enemy of my enemy might not necessarily be my friend. And since you were the one who conjured up images of interbellum France, surely you’ll understand that, even though both groups might have shared similar views on some topics, the gap between those carrying the flag of Vichy and those carrying the Cross of Lorraine was a vast one.

                    • Re_Actor

                      the enemy of my enemy might not necessarily be my friend.

                      Absolutely. The neoreactionary slogan “no enemies on the right” strikes me as sheer folly. All I’m saying is that the best prophylactic against the wrong sort of right is … the right sort. Not leftism, whether secular or ecclesiastical.

                      even though both groups might have shared similar views on some topics, the gap between those carrying the flag of Vichy and those carrying the Cross of Lorraine was a vast one.

                      I remember reading an account of the Liberation by a French schoolchild who recalled how the classroom picture of Pétain was replaced by De Gaulle and how they henceforth had to sing ‘Général, nous voila…’!

                    • antigon

                      Doubtless naïve here, but, why Europe? Why not Turkey, Iran, Egypt, the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria?

                    • Joseph

                      1) The refugees don’t *want* to go to those countries as they pretty much know that they are completely unwanted, will be given no chance to thrive and prosper, and could potentially be walking right into the clutches of the same oppression that they are trying to flee.
                      2) Those countries have made it clear that they don’t want those refugees either, and have made it clear that if those refugees cross into their lands they will find out rather quickly how badly they aren’t wanted.
                      .
                      You’re right, it is their *moral* obligation… but since when did they have any morals? Everybody knows that the refugees will actually have a chance in Europe and that they probably won’t wind up dead or starving here. If the stranger comes knocking on our door, I don’t think it’s OK to tell them to turn back and go to a country where they aren’t welcome. It really is a Catch 22. Americans don’t understand because they are so far removed from the problem. It doesn’t affect them while the world does what it can to clean up their f*cking mess. It’s not easy to just simply accept the burden of helping so many refugees. Yes, we should, there is no doubt about it… but it’s much more difficult to come to grips with it when you actually have to *do* it and take the hit to your personal comfort and security rather than just angrily and self-righteously pound on a keyboard condemning everyone who is actually faced with that choice. American bloggers, in particular, have no right to tell anyone that they aren’t being Catholic for having doubt or struggling with the thought of “how are we going to support this flood of migrants” or “what about the security situation”. Americans are completely out of touch with this regard. They don’t know what it’s like and they will not know what it’s like. They’re too busy turning away desperate Central and South Americans and demonising Mexicans to have any say in how Europe should behave. F*cking hypocrites.

                    • yan

                      I don’t know why not. Seems to me they could and should accept refugees as well. But on the other hand, why not Europe, too?

                    • Joseph

                      If anyone has a *legal* obligation, it’s the United States. Those people are fleeing from the havoc the US wreaked upon their homelands and the army of orcs they created (referring to ISIS if you’re slow). But since we all know that the US is going to balk at that idea and only take a handful (while making themselves out to be the world’s benevolent heroes), guess what, it’s all going to fall on Europe.

                    • yan

                      Ok, but I don’t see how taking in a million or 2 million refugees among a population of 500 million Europeans constitutes ‘major demographic change.’ Do you?

                    • Re_Actor

                      I imagine it would depend how those few million (assuming they stay few) are distributed within Europe — which is, after all, a mosaic of states whose individual populations are far less than 500 million. And then how they are concentrated within an individual country.

                      If I were to wake up in, say, 1973 and seek out someone of the time with impeccable radical-progressive opinions and tell him that in the Year of Our Lord 2015 the most popular boys’ name in the UK would be Mohammed and that white ethnic Britons would constitute a minority of the population of London, he would stare at me as if I had two heads and angrily accuse me of irresponsible scaremongering and paranoid slippery-sloping.

                    • yan

                      So, basically, if they are distributed broadly, you have no problem with Europe taking in 1 or 2 million refugees, right? Or do you still have another reason for refusing….refugees…that you haven’t mentioned?

                    • Re_Actor

                      If those refugees are genuine refugees and if they are distributed sufficiently widely so as not to cause social or cultural dislocation by their presence, then sure.

                      Meanwhile, back in the real world, the encounter at the peripheries continues apace:

                      German authorities expect up to 1.5 million asylum seekers to arrive in Germany this year, the Bild daily said in a report to be published on Monday, up from a previous estimate of 800,000 to 1 million.

                      The authorities’ report also cited concerns that those who are granted asylum will bring their families over to Germany too, Bild said.

                      Given family structures in the Middle East, this would mean each individual from that region who is granted asylum bringing an average of four to eight family members over to Germany in due course, Bild quoted the report as saying.

                      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/05/germany-now-expects-up-to-15-mln-migrants-in-2015-report

              • yan

                The Garland terrorist attack was provoked. The event was well-publicized to encourage what actually happened–a terrorist attack. Don’t you remember what the Pope said about what will happen if you insult his mother? It’s still terrorism, but can’t you see that it was provoked? Can’t you see that the provokers are also in the wrong? That is not a justification for what the terrorist’s did; but can’t you see that the whole thing was avoidable?

                • May your chains rest lightly sir, but you are not an american.

                  • yan

                    Really? What does that mean?

                    • It’s a shorter (and gentler) version of a Sam Adams quote. Here’s the original in full:

                      If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

                    • yan

                      Oh, I see. If I am against provoking muslims, I am a traitor. The Pope too, apparently, so I feel myself to be in good company.

                    • The Pope is not an american. I think, however, that this statement by Pope Francis was poorly thought through.

                      I would be fascinated and horrified if he actually were put in that position. Certainly other bishops have been, and recently. There’s a band of topless ukrainian feminists that have been on the attack of late. Pope Francis has the advantage of the Swiss guard though.

                      As for you, I did not call you a traitor. I just said you were not an american. Treason is well defined as giving aid and comfort to america’s enemies and you do not do that.

                    • yan

                      Ok well, I am an American, so I don’t really know what you are talking about. If I am not a traitor, then I am not sure how I am not American. Maybe you just mean I am craven or something like that?

                      I am glad you are smarter than the Pope, btw. So many people are so much smarter than the Pope these days.

                    • I am saying that when someone wants to draw a cartoon making fun of the religion he has left and the response is to try to perpetrate a mass shooting, you don’t make excuses for the mass shooters.

                      Bosch Fawstin’s winning entry:

                      http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/05/06/exclusive-draw-muhammad-winner-on-growing-up-in-islam-and-defeating-the-jihad/

                    • yan

                      I wasn’t making excuses for them. I was providing an objective analysis of why it happened. Why do people like you refuse to see the difference between that and excusing it?

                      The point is to criticize the provocateurs, not excuse the provoked. That is necessary, since some people think the provocateurs are heroic or at least that they are plucky Americans for taking cheap shots at the holy person of someone else’s religion.

                      That is just bigoted assholery. I am delighted the 1st amendment protects most bigoted assholery but that doesn’t mean I am going to praise or pity the bigoted assholes when they provoke attempted murder–as they intended to do from the outset.

                    • I challenge you to do an actual analysis of the drawing in question (the winning entry) and how it is a “cheap shot” at the human dignity of Muhammed or a cheap shot at Islam. I already linked to an article which showed the drawing. You should have seen it by now.

                    • yan

                      Not the drawing itself, but the public nature of the competition. The drawing is in good taste and makes a valid [if trite] point. Of course, the murderers don’t care whether the drawing is in good taste or not.

                      I saw a t-shirt the other day with a confederate flag on it that had the same message: ‘Because you say I can’t.’

                      Ok fine. Free speech, I get it. So, where are we going with this discussion? I am still waiting for your point. Do you want to make a point about muslim immigration? Are you saying that because some muslims will murder people that draw their prophet, that we are justified or required to interfere in muslim countries? Or what?

    • Joseph

      Yep. The *left* is swift to blame the *right* when both hands are so obviously at fault for this mess.

      • yan

        And vice-versa, I’m afraid.

        • Joseph

          Maybe so, but pointing out that the *other* side is doing doesn’t exonerate you or give you the moral high ground. It just makes you look as despicable and stupid as your political rival. And that stupid left/right war is what allowed all of this to happen in the first place. While stupid Americans spat at each other from either side of the railroad tracks in a virtual slumber, their government created this whole situation. You’re all to blame, you’re all blind, the fact that you slid so easily into partisanship and were so easily lulled to sleep shows how utterly stupid and incapable you are as a nation. While the mindless sheep masses were fighting each other on blogs on a faux ideological level, Republican *and* Democrat executive/legislative branches followed the same exact course in unison, never wavering; the only ones who were resolute and with a plan… they worked perfectly together. The irony is that you idiots think that they *haven’t* been working together.

          • yan

            “Maybe so, but pointing out that the *other* side is doing doesn’t exonerate you or give you the moral high ground.”

            No, it doesn’t. I was just saying that the Right has been blaming the Left lately, just as the Left was blaming the Right formerly. This blame game is generally determined by….whichever party is in power at the moment.

            I quite agree that there is little if any substantial difference between the two parties on foreign policy. But, funny, the base of each party thinks that the 2 parties are radically different. So, in order to get elected, each party has to tailor its message to its base. Thus each party sounds different.

            But the actions are pretty much the same.

            And you are right, we are to blame as the electorate for not seeing this. Much of the media is to blame as well, I think, since they tend to echo the partisan line of whichever party they favor. [MSM Democrats, Fox and AM radio Republicans.]

  • ivan_the_mad

    “Trumpkin ideology” Mark, I’m sure Prince Caspian would object to the association of a good dwarf’s name in this manner (although like Thomas Trumpkin had to see to believe). Nikabrik, unfortunately, doesn’t lend itself so easily to your purposes; perhaps Trumplestiltskin?

    Yet not unrelated to Trumpkin and Thomas, the inconsistency between rejecting the foreigner, who is seen, but demanding welcome to the unborn, who is not, grows starker yet (while the sea rises higher).

  • Pete the Greek

    Perhaps no one in Europe thinks of evangelizing because the Faith is close to dead there, unfortunately.

    As for the crises, perhaps this gives us a great example of what happens when you perpetually dick around with other people’s countries. Maybe in the future we could leave other nations alone.

    Nah, we’ll never do that…

    • sean

      ah yes, of course, america’s fault. Is there any reason these muslim nations can’t open their doors

      (Saudi, Iran, etc)

      • Joseph

        Actually, it is America’s fault. The US government created, enabled, funded, armed the groups that inevitably formed ISIS. The US government set the stage in the Middle East with all of their faux Muslim Spring uprisings that created an environment where ISIS could thrive without threat or fear of defeat. The US continued to make excuses for ISIS/Al Qaeda because they were so hell bent on their final manipulative revolution to overthrow Assad to succeed and to *win* the proxy war against Russia.
        .
        Yes. The US is completely at fault… along with France, the UK, and Germany. Those countries should take in every single refugee. I find it rich that the EU is demanding that Ireland and other countries who had no part to play in this refugee crisis to take hundreds of thousands of the refugees they created because they are too xenophobic to do so themselves. They are at fault.
        .
        Yes. The other Muslim nations should take them in, but they didn’t cause the problem in the first place.

    • Alma Peregrina

      “As for the crises, perhaps this gives us a great example of what happens when you perpetually dick around with other people’s countries”

      Actually, that’s not the best lesson to be learnt at all. Sometimes, the USA *should* dick around other people’s countries. But the USA has a poor track record in discerning which dicking they should be doing or not.

      An evil overlord of cold-blooded fanatic assassins named Hitler is trying to conquer the world? Not our problem. Let’s stay isolationists until it comes to our shore…

      An evil empire of cold-blooded fanatic assassins named ISIS is trying to conquer the world? Not our problem.

      A puny dictator in Iraq is between us and our oil? A puny dictator in Lybia is between us and our oil? War it is!

      • Joseph

        The USA is world’s biggest international sociopath. They *only* dick around when there is a chance that they can use a situation for their own gain. They use their military for those ends like *disposable heroes* then toss them aside into poverty if they make it out alive. I’m seriously considering giving up my citizenship. I’m ashamed and there is no hope in the next crop of sociopath, bought off politicians vying for power. Same ‘ol, same ‘ol. The US needs to be removed from the UN and needs to be treated like outcasts by the international community. Banish them. They should never be allowed to engage in foreign policy again. They just destroy whatever they touch.

        • Alma Peregrina

          Dude, chill. Every single country has done bad things. Every single country wages war for their own political convenience. Or do you think that the EU and Russia are struggling with Crimea because they care a fig about people living there?

          On the other hand, if it weren’t for the USA, we would all be nazis right about now. Or communists, for that matter.

          If the USA disapears from the foreign policy theater, some other country will fill the power void left… and will in turn become “sociopathic”.

          As a non-american european, I don’t want the US to be kicked out of the UN. I want the US to do what every single country should do, and almost never a single country does… promote the common good, according to their capabilities.

          • Joseph

            Well, they haven’t for a very long time and unless a miracle takes place, they aren’t going to do a 180 overnight. They’re like an 18-wheeler that’s lost it’s brakes heading down a hill with a 40% grade. Their sin gyroscope has taken over where they are literally a generator for sin and destruction.
            .
            The US cannot be counted on to help in this crisis. They only want one thing: Assad removed. They don’t care about the Christians (which has been made clear), they don’t care about any human cost. Even if they had an epiphany and suddenly became holy overnight, they’ve totally lost all credibility. If they were involved, even in the slightest, with an effort to destroy ISIS (a child of their own making), they would have no allies from the people in the Middle East. The military forces of other nations could not operate safely and efficiently next to American forces (forces that are hated by even those they’d claim to be helping). Through their selfish and destructive foreign policy, they’ve made themselves more of an international liability than a help.
            .
            You don’t need to kiss their ass as a non-American European. Plus, you’ll need to lift your head above the state sponsored media to understand what’s going on with Crimea and the Ukraine (another disaster child of US foreign policy designed to agitate Russia). Yep, America was directly involved with the crap in the Ukraine, too!

            • yan

              Have patience and faith on Syria my friend. Putin may save the day yet again, as he did after the ‘red line’ was, allegedly, crossed. Pray, pray, pray.

              • Joseph

                Being an ex-pat, I never dreamed that I would actually end up saying that the US should be placed under sanctions by the UN and that Europe needs to improve their relationship with Russia and ally with them to purge the sickness that America wrought in the Middle East (without allowing the US to participate). Never! But, damn, the US government has lied about pretty much everything since as far back as I can remember… even as a child. And now? Their lies have been exposed for all to see for a crisis happening now! They actually are backed into the corner of having the privatised big media and the public media in the West to try their best to cover their tracks for them. And many of them have actually, at least, somewhat given up on hiding their shit anymore (like, ‘The Guardian’). They have *nothing* but swift propaganda and PR campaigns to protect them. They are in the worst position of weakness ever. Nobody trusts them anymore (except the idol worshippers – straight ticket Republicans/Democrats).
                .
                And who do you have running for President? A bunch of cardboard cut outs and f*cking crazy people! And everybody sees it! Next election, Kayne West is running, for God’s sake.
                .
                I feel so betrayed by my homeland, my mother, that it makes me sick.

            • falstaff77

              Yes it was the food the U.S. sent to Ukraine that provoked the Russian psychopath to invade Ukraine. US bastards. The U.S. probably killed the Russian opposition leader Boris for Vlad too.

              ttp://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/20/us-to-send-ukraine-18-million-in-food-health-shelt/

              I hold a special place in my heart for ex-pats who sit abroad running down their country.

        • Pete the Greek

          “They *only* dick around when there is a chance that they can use a situation for their own gain.”
          Oh! Here’s an amazing fact: THAT’S THE ONLY TIME ANY NATION EVER DICKS AROUND WITH ANOTHER COUNTRY. Don’t be naive.

          “The US needs to be removed from the UN and needs to be treated like outcasts by the international community.”
          – LOL!! Dude, we RUN the UN. We pay most of the bills. Personally, I’d love to see the UN thrown totally out of the US, as it draws us into far too much other crap that we shouldn’t be involved with.

          “They should never be allowed to engage in foreign policy again.”
          – Nah, that’s retarded. A sensible foreign policy built on trade and negotiations, would be optimal and just. We need to stop being the world’s policeman. Pull our forces out of Europe (if western Europe REALLY thinks Russia is a threat to them, let them levy taxes and raise their own armies or just negotiate. Otherwise to hell with them.) Pull out of Korea (they can take care of themselves, if they end up annihilating each other, not our problem). We could stop trying to play the Great Game with Russia in the Middle East and just let the place alone. Let the Russians screw it up next if they want.

          • Artevelde

            Or, as The Atlantic called it ”the Non-Return of American Isolationism”. It won’t happen, and the policeman analogy is only partially right. As a whole I judge American post-1900 interventionism as one of the most benevolent foreign policies ever undertaken by a great power, but we don’t live in a fairy world. It wouldn’t have been done if there weren’t any benefits.

          • Joseph

            Not sure if the policeman analogy works any more. Usually, we don’t associate proactively killing, destroying, intervening, allying with terrorists, etc. for one’s own benefit. I wish it was purely *policing* the world.

    • Joseph

      You’re right. The faith is pretty much dead here. Hopefully there will be revival at some point, but I have my doubts. Here in Ireland, it’s extremely popular to be openly anti-Catholic. It’s actually worse than the Southern US in the 80s. I don’t know how Ireland is going to recover. I don’t think they want to.

  • Joseph

    Temporary asylum for the refugees in the countries at fault for this whole debacle. Countries in the UN need to put together a military coalition *on the ground* to begin to eliminate ISIS, who are no better than the Nazis and are clearly committing genocide. This needs to be done *without* American involvement. It’s clear as day that the United States is the number one culprit for all things that went wrong in the Middle East and even so far as creating the ISIS threat in the first place. It’s also clear as day that Americans can’t do *anything* without ulterior motives. The US should actually be kicked out of the UN for war crimes and be left to f-ckin die a lonely, depressing death. Sanctions should be placed on the US for being such a social f-cking international retard. If Europeans had the balls to do anything without the US backing them, it should be now. Leave the US in the corner where it belongs, it doesn’t play nice when it comes to world affairs and is the biggest bully, gossip, and soul destroyer on the planet. Allow American troops who want to fight for a *good* cause for once to join some European legion (so long as they are untainted by the evil wishes of the US government… not disgusting puppets) instead of the sick, diseased Grima Wormtongue that they are currently fighting for.
    .
    Once ISIS is destroyed, force the US to cough up the cash to rebuild everything that they destroyed. Enact stiff austerity measures on the American people for squabbling like little brats in Internet chat rooms and worshiping their evil leaders instead of actually taking their government to task. Punish them for their complacency and laziness that led to this. Don’t allow any Americans to join in the reconstruction unless they swear independence from their evil government… don’t let any American NGOs get involved in reconstruction, they’re all infiltrated with State Department/CIA officials anyway.
    .
    America… you did this. Shame… shame… shame…

    • Ken

      The problem is that as horrible is as ISIS is the other alternatives are also really bad and dangerous. There’s a number of other terrorist groups there and the President of Syria is a sociopathic, scum bag who drops barrel bombs that are the equivalent of the Boston Marathon bombs on civilian targets. If we take out ISIS then there is going to be another awful group to fill the void or the president of Syria will be better able to roll over the other groups opposing him. It’s a total mess. I would love to see a coalition of nations join together and remove all these people unfortunately, it will require a long term nation building effort.

      • yan

        Saudi Arabia is dropping cluster bombs on Yemen right now. They behead apostates from Islam. They cut off the hands of thieves. They crush political dissent. They are as barbaric as ISIS and much worse than Assad. Should we institgate regime change there? Invade?

        Why the exclusive focus on Syria?

        If you are looking for an excuse to invade someone, you can always find one.

        • Ken

          Very good point. We could invade countries in Africa, North Korea etc… if it was just about attacking bad dictators.

          • yan

            If anyone thinks that US foreign policy is all about attacking bad dictators, he is seriously deluded.

            • Ken

              That’s what we’re told. Makes for great theatrics unfortunately it results in horrible consequences.

              • Joseph

                AMERICA! F*CK YEAH! FREEDOM IS THE ONLY F*CKIN WAY YEAH!
                .
                I’ve never appreciated the makers of Southpark more than I do right now. I didn’t like ‘Idiocracy’ when I watched it, but I may need to rethink my position on that. It appears the Mike Judge’s (Beavis and Butthead) creation was also prophetic. Funny how the people who made stupid shows like ‘Southpark’ and ‘Beavis and Butthead’ would end up being the ones who see the US for what it really is. They are basically the most intelligent Americans!

                • yan

                  “AMERICA! F*CK YEAH! FREEDOM IS THE ONLY F*CKIN WAY YEAH!”

                  LOL. Man, watch Idiocracy again; it is a classic. “Carl’s Jr. F— you, I’m eating.”

                  The future of our executive branch is some strange and unique American combination of Emperor Palpitine and President Camacho.

                  • Joseph

                    Honestly, you’re not far off from that! Kayne West is running for president in 2020! Donald Trump is running in 2016! Go team, go!

      • Joseph

        Assad isn’t a nominee for the most pleasant soft dictator in the world award, but I think you’re drinking the Kool-Aid a bit. It’s already been discovered through leaks that the huge *chemical weapons* attack that they tried to pin on Assad a couple of years ago was really the US working with it’s *rebel* allies trying to frame him to sway public opinion. Think WMD and Hussein sponsored Al Qaeda training bases in Iraq… yeah, it’s not beyond the evil US government I’m afraid.

        You should fear your own government, which is more wicked than any soft dictator in the Middle East.

        • Mike Petrik

          This must be breaking news. The official response of the Syrian government has never been that the Ghouta chemical attack did not occur. The evidence was too overwhelming for that. Instead it has always been that the attack was a false flag operation conducted by the insurgents against themselves in order to draw the US and EU into the conflict. No serious person believes them of course.

          • Joseph

            Actually, that’s what the MSM says that the alternative media was saying in order to make it sound as ridiculous as possible. You win the brainwashed sheeple award for your talent regurgitating what you’ve been told. Actually, the evidence, that was ignored for obvious reasons, points to the *rebels* who the US was supporting launching the attack on innocent people then claiming that Assad did it. The evidence also shows that they actually sourced the weapons from outside of Syria… and there is a possibility that source was from groups working with Americans… so there you go.

          • Joseph

            Please don’t tell me that you don’t actually think that it’s not possible that the *rebels*, who we now know abundantly well, would do such a thing as kill innocent people with chemical weapons for theatre? If that’s what you think, I’m sorry, there is no help for you. Not even the images shown by the MSM (because some they just can’t get away without showing and still retaining some sort of credibility with the public) accompanied with their continued apologies for Islam can hide the fact that those *rebels* are actually inhumane beasts with absolutely no respect for human life, history, or traditions. Those *rebels* were actually caught red handed blowing up a mosque on YouTube (because the guy who filmed it actually repented when he realised he was actually acting against Allah), the very mosque that the MSM reported was hit by American drones! Hahaha… and you’re going to pretend that they aren’t capable of killing innocent people for show? The same *rebels* that sold that now headless reporter to his murderers (you know, the one they spread all over the internet) even though he made it clear from the get-go that he *sympathised* with their cause? Seriously bro? Or, wait, lemme guess, you’re one of those who thinks that the video was a fake… right? That the reporter really wasn’t beheaded… right?

            Getoutahere

            • Mike Petrik

              Ah, a Manichean! See, bro, I never said that the rebels weren’t liars and villains. Both sides are odious. But the evidence of a false flag re the chemical attack is weak beyond measure.

              • Joseph

                So says the ever trustworthy Western MSM and the US government. But the witnesses on the ground and Russian intelligence tell a different tale. And they actually have more evidence to back their claim. Let the lullaby continue. Good night, my child.

                • prairiebunny

                  Give it up Mike.Joseph wins.He cited Russian intelligence to prove his case and Russian intelligence is everybody’s go to source for reliable information.

                  • Mike Petrik

                    Point well taken, PB. The poor man is so racked by hate for his own country and countrymen that he actually considers Putin credible. Probably a truther too.

                    • Joseph

                      Hehehe… a truther? Because there’s evidence that the US has lied about their support for Al Qaeda and their creation of ISIS (documented evidence)? Sorry, I’m not a truther, as much as you want to use that to discredit my argument. Seems to me that you and PB are so nationalist that you’re simply unwilling to accept that your government is loaded with evil liars. Sad, really.

                  • Joseph

                    Right. You probably believe that Putin shot down the plane over the Ukraine, too. So, you’re a Hillary Clinton fan, I guess… or just a fool who will only accept what the US government tells you to believe. If you’re the same person I’ve seen posting on this blog before, I believe that you are a rad trad right-wing nutter… so it must be the latter.

                    • prairiebunny

                      I admit that I was a bit unfair to you.Not only did you cite Russian intelligence but also unknown witnesses on the ground.If you can’t trust unknown witnesses who can you trust?

                    • Joseph

                      So, I guess that means you know the sources of the information that the American government has drip fed you through the boob tube? Because you’re implying that you *know* your sources (I guess that’s ABC, NBC, CNN, CBS, FOX, right?).

                    • Artevelde

                      I think everything we know clearly points at the plane being shot down by East-Ukrainian Pro-Moscow factions. Must have morphed from your friendly neighborhood Eurocommie into a right-wing nutter overnight.

                    • Joseph

                      Everything you’ve been *told* by sources that use American intelligence data. It’s so sad that, even after it’s been proven that the US government allied with a so-called sworn enemy and terrorist group (Al Qaeda), was directly involved with several Muslim Spring uprisings that paved the way for the explosion of Islamic extremism in the Middle East, and funded, armed, and trained what is now known as ISIS, it still have fanboys that will *only* believe what they tell them; who will *only* accept their version of events! It’s incredible!
                      .
                      What makes a Eurocommie, by the way. And how did I become a right-wing nutter because I’m not falling carefully into line with the official American narrative on everything they’re lying to us about. I think you’re confused and are left with nonsensical name-calling.

                    • Artevelde

                      *I* must have morphed. I assumed that would be clear enough. No name-calling on my part.

                    • Joseph

                      No, it’s not, really. Could you explain your insult to me, please? I’m neither a Eurocommie (I don’t know what that is) nor a right-wing nutter (if I were, I’d believe everything the US government says… even though they’ve been caught with their pants down repeatedly).

                    • Artvelde was tweaking me with the eurocommie bit and probably justifiably so. Your confusion problem is your own fault.

                  • yan

                    No, we should believe American intelligence. We know America, I mean Uhmairicuh, NEVER LIES.

        • falstaff77

          “already been discovered through leaks that the huge *chemical weapons* attack that they tried to pin on Assad a couple of years ago was really the US working with it’s *rebel* allies trying to frame him to sway public opinion”

          Let me guess. And the holocaust was Jewish and U.S. propaganda?

          • Joseph

            No, of course it wasn’t. Why would you assume that would be my position? Braindead much?

            • falstaff77

              Because otherwise there was indeed a great evil committed in the world not perpetrated by the US or ally and, well, with you world view on display, you can’t have that. Because you dismiss wide swaths of evidence available from many non-U.S. and even non-media based sources because they’re “infiltrated”, and embrace “leaks” instead which you don’t reference. Because upon challenge you ramble off to a tangent. Textbook holocaust denier candidate. So well done if you actually escaped the clutches of that particular, deliberate, myth.

              • Joseph

                Umm… it’s out even in the mainstream media, you dope. The information is there. It’s the alternative media that has exposed it and the mainstream media can no longer deny it. I know you wish it weren’t true and you could click your heels together three times saying ‘there’s no place like home’, but unfortunately for you, choosing to live in ignorance is no longer possible unless you lock yourself into a friggin’ closet and don’t do any reading.

  • Re_Actor
  • Re_Actor
  • Along with all this, of course, is the resurgence of the “demographic
    winter” narrative. It’s the Muslim Invasion of Europe and if we let these invaders in, then they will take over! The thought of evangelizing them never enters anybody’s head, of course. Only “retarded” Catholics like Francis think that Catholics should share their faith. Real Catholics know that the purpose of the Faith is to hide in a
    Fortress and curse the darkness, while fingering a dwindling supply of cultural treasures and hoping that somehow a contraceptive western culture of watery secularism will stay afloat. Evangelism is for Protestants.

    Turn down for what.