Wednesday, November 7, 2007

News From The Snake Pit

Thanks to the kind support of our readers, we've been making some progress in the "Slithering Reptile" race at the 2007 Weblog Awards.

Having overtaken "Slow Cooker Recipes", we are now a distant second in our category (#48 of the 49), behind "Gus Van Horn".

Voting ends tomorrow. But at the moment, the site is down. So there's no point trying to vote now, even if you wanted to.

I've been reading fellow reptile Gus Van Horn a bit lately (and checking out some of the other slithering finalists too, as time has permitted) and I can see why he is so well thought-of. He's a bright guy who talks about a lot of interesting things, and there's a certain charm about him, as well.

From the cold point of view I've been watching for Gus to say what he thinks about American foreign policy (since I understand that a lot better than I understand some of the other things Gus talks about) and I think I've found it:
Even if Pakistan's military were a somewhat reliable ally, it can provide only a temporary holding action against chaos or an eventual Islamic totalitarian takeover of Pakistan. Pakistan's Islamic culture, whatever its British influences, is a poor foundation on which to build a society that respects individual rights to begin with and we see that the one thing that imposes a modicum of order is actually undercutting the growth of any social institutions that might aid a transition to such a society.

Since no matter how heavily-armed, a military cannot retain power without some other base of support, the military will eventually have to strike a deal with the Islamists to retain power should they continue growing in strength. The military is, ironically, helping them do just that!

President Bush's foreign policy -- which should have been named "'Democracy' by Fiat" -- has been shown to be disastrous whatever the means he has used to superimpose Western-looking institutions on fundamentally anti-Western societies. "Palestine" elected itself into a dictatorship after diplomacy brought about elections there. Iraq has no separation of religion and state and is gradually succumbing to Iranian influence even after we took it over militarily and rebuilt its infrastructure. And now, Pakistan, which we simply declared a Western ally, is looking very bad.

In every case, our foreign policy has been guided by the unrealistic assumption that people already want to be free and that this is alone enough to result in freedom, if given a chance. unfortunately, the ideas of the people in a society guide their actions, and if those ideas are antithetical to Western values, that society will not end up acting like a Western society in any meaningful way. The examples of "Palestine", Iraq, and Pakistan are showing this in spades.

The proper purpose of America's foreign policy is not to save people from the consequences of their own mistaken beliefs. It is to protect the lives of American citizens. I think it's time to abandon "Democracy" by Fiat and try something else.
The "try something else" links to “No Substitute for Victory”: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism, by John David Lewis at The Objective Standard, in which Lewis, advocating an attack on Iran, says (among other things):
It is obvious that the defeat of the Republicans in the 2006 mid-term elections was a repudiation of President Bush’s policies in this war. But it is more important to understand that President Bush has not mounted an offensive strategy, and that an offensive strategy is not the reason why American troops are dying in Iraq. There has been no drive to victory, only a string of casualties and the progressive discouragement of the American people. As a result, our primary enemy has been strengthened, and allowed to address the world as a leader just a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York City. (Imagine Hitler being granted this privilege.) Bush’s war strategy of non-war has resulted in a functional paralysis caused by our self-imposed failure to identify and confront open and avowed enemies.

What has been tried and has failed are the altruistic, pragmatic policies of an administration that is as desperate to appear tough as it is to avoid being tough. The Democrats—the party that won World War II by dropping two atomic bombs—have an opportunity to regain a position of moral stature before the American people.

Consider the Japanese -- and ask whether it would have been in our interest to have left the regime of 1945 in power, to continue preaching religious militarism and training kamikaze. The best thing Americans did for themselves (and, incidentally, the kindest thing for the Japanese) was to burn that regime to the ground. So it is today. The Islamic State -- Totalitarian Islam -- must go. And it is the moral responsibility of every American to demand it.
One of the most striking things about this noise from Lewis is the reduction of our options to two: "leave the regime of 1945 in power", or "burn that regime to the ground". As usual with analyses of this type, it either grossly minimizes or fails to mention a vast array of the most relevant historical facts, among them that Japan had already been trying to surrender; that the USA was already sizing up the USSR as its next enemy; that it wanted to frighten the Russians with a display of shock and awe; that Harry Truman was a foreign policy novice thrust into the most powerful office in the world and hoping to make his mark; that the hundreds of thousands of people obliterated in the nuclear attacks on Japan were no threat to us, nor was their government at the time ...

and on the other hand it minimizes or ignores a vast array of current facts, including but not limited to the fact that Iran is many years away from being able to make a single nuclear weapon; the real Iranian leadership (not the figurehead president) has declared a nuclear weapon against the principles of Islam; the Iranians have offered serious negotiations with the Bush administration, with many significant items on the table, and the Americans refused to even talk to them; and the fact that it's the USA who is the aggressor in the Middle East; and perhaps most important of all, the fact that provoking terrorism in order to have an enemy to fight against is part of the Pentagon's plan.

But all this complexity is too much to bear, so instead Lewis wraps himself in a flag and settles for the fatal false binary.

It's all or nothing. It's us or them.

Drop the bomb on them before they get one.

And Gus Van Horn gobbles it all up and spreads it around.

It's not ego that saddens me to trail such a blog by such a margin.


Meanwhile, I posted my most recent article about Keith Seffen and his allegedly published paper about the WTC "collapse" at 911 Blogger dot com, with instructive results.

The first couple of comments were very positive, but then the vipers came out, with distortion and ad hominem and innuendo, all very subtle, and all very well received. So now that post is toast, so to speak, regardless of its merits. What does this tell you about 911 Blogger dot com?

All of this is quite unworthy of discussion, in my opinion, but that's the news. Everything in the news these days is unworthy of discussion. And that's why we're here.

Or something like that.

Actually a bit of progress has been made on the Keith Seffen front and I hope to have another update for you shortly ... or even more accurately: I hope to have another update for you ever!

As always, your comments are invited.