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post #631 of 683 Old 02-15-2007
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As usual in such debates, the "he said, she said" tends to overwhelmed the larger issue that somebody feels they got screwed. I would think it appropriate to return to what I feel is the fundamental issue; the worldwide spread of Islamic fundamentalism via a jihadist mentality of implementation.

As previously expressed, I see no point to a continuance of the "stability" exhibited in the Middle East of the past 50 or so years. This so called stability has brought the world nothing but misery, not to mention the semi-permanent subjugation of the various indigenous peoples of the region. All of that may have been well and good as long as the USA's only concern was the continued existence of Israel. Oil itself is hardly the factor many woukld like to ascribe. The US has plenty of oil, if we possess the desire to drill and pump it, and the tar sands of Athabasca hold untold quantities un-tapped at current prices. No, the answer is that the Islamic world is fomenting a revolution that demands the submission of western culture. The front lines of this revolution are currently in the Middle East and Europe. Europe? Yup.

The EU is doing all it can to play Neville Chamberlin to an Islamic "Hitler" and pretending it is not the force that it is in reality. Imams in Britain proclaim that muslims there are a state within the state and that the existing state must be undermined and defeated. The past summer's Islamic riots in France promise to continue and give a preview of the Marshall Petain approach to the problem, to wit-if we surrender maybe they'll love us. Given the success of the French "ostrich" strategy in the past century perhaps they have a point, although if Iraq is controversial one can only wonder at the level of enthusiasm for pulling France's poulet out of the fire once again. Regardless, Europe is well on it's way to becoming an "Islamic continent". France is not assimilating the large number of Arabs they are taking in, and Britain is attempting, or attempting to believe, to assimilate them. Either way, the avowed leaders of the Islamic movement reject all western values and are working from within to replace western democracy and culture. This is not a mis-understanding. They know full well what they are about and have the requisite patience, if numbers alone will not suffice.

The United States is a different kettle of fish. Contrary to our mostly self-imposed image of cowboyism and unilateralism, there is no country more obsessed with it's world-wide image. No other world power has ever been so self-obsessed with the rightness or wrongness or it's actions. Hell, we're still appologizing for slavery and we put that behind us over a hundred years ago. There has never been a more self-introspective nation capable of imposing it's will upon the world than seen today. Roman legions would have crushed Iraq and put the boot to the rest of the Middle East being as how they were in the neighborhood anyways. This is of course our strength and our weakness. We cannot hope to make the world happy. They will call for action and then turn like un-grateful step children when they get it. So why should the US be involved? Well, one reason is that we are the only ones who can really do anything in a meaningful way. Maybe dis-arming Japan and Germany and subjugating their militaristic tendancies doesn't look so wise right about now, but regardless, we're the only real world power and to whom much is given, much is expected. The down-side to being the hyper-power is that we must act like adults. We cannot flit in and out of NATO, ala the French, and we have not the option of just with-drawing to our shores. As a serious player in a serious world we arer required to examine the other players with a flinty eye. The Belgians can make a mistake, we cannot. The enemy we face is deadly serious and it is easy to forget that while sitting in the drive thru line in our comfortable sedans while mulling the morning commute. It is our political leadership that is at fault for allowing us to obsess over astronauts in diapers, over- inflated nude model's death's, and the significance of the addition of a number of troops roughly equivalent to the take at a decent day at Disney World to the on-going conflict in Iraq. There are bigger fish to fry. All of history tells us that men with the will to power mean what they say. We have yet to resolve our mis-calculations of that very same dynamic occuring in the twentieth century. These people call us infidel. A quaint word not often encountered in modern times and easily dismissed as the musings of one not quite right. Dismissed much as the cognoscenti dismissed Reagan's labelling of the Soviet Union a "evil empire". How soon we forget the long twilight struggle endured to bring that disaster to an end. And while every form of revisionist history you'd like is available about the end of that totalitarian executioner of freedom and innocence one fact remains. It was the blood and treasure of one nation that was indispensible to the conclusion. Again, to whom much is given, much is expected. Once upon a time, political leaders of all stripes looked upon the Soviets in what they said and what they did and said, "this shall not stand".

Today our enemy holds little in terms of nation states, but then he does not intend to win the battle in a conventional way as between nations. He is determined to play upon the shock and horror that the western mind encounters when it sees innocent children blown to pieces in service of a cause. He is more than willing to exploit the cultural relativism that we find so entertaining on college campuses. And, of course he knows that deep down we don't really believe that he hates us for our way of life, that our culture is anathema to him. We go to bed, thinking that our culture has it's excesses, but deep down nobody really hates us. In the real world, when somebody says they hate you-you listen. When they say they hate you, and they have the means to harm you, you leave the outside lights on over night. When they blow up your boat, tell you they did it, and that it ain't over-you decide somebody better do something about the bastard. Irrespective of jurisprudence, the most effective way to deal with such an SOB is to either blow him up or make him so scared he doesn't dare cross you again. The US is, by fits and starts, on that path.

The significance of the Iraqi conflict is that we have it within reach to establish a self-governing country right in the heart of a region that has never enjoyed a nation-state with what we would regard as the most fundamental of liberties. And by doing so we will de-stabilize the entire region. There is great discontent within Iran; it's not been that long ago that Iranian's enjoyed far grerater freedoms than the last quarter century have allowed them. The governments of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, et al are sham dictatorships subjugating their peoples by either religous or secular means or a combination of both. Planting a free Iraq right in their midst would create great internal pressures within those nations and go a long way to putting dreams of a restored caliphate back where they belong in Arabian folklore. Regardless of our success or failure in Iraq, these men are not going to go quietly, but they can be dealt a serious, if not mortal, blow by our triumph. Unfortunately, while the century is yet young, it is apparent what struggle will define the twenty-first century and I find the prospect of defeating the Islamists in less time than it took to defeat communism unlikely.

Let us not talk of the rightness of our cause, it involves our mere survival. Let us talk not of our sacrifice, we have had to make little to date. September has not been a kind month in American history. On September 17, 1862 at Antietam Creek 25,000 Americans died in battle "trampling out the fruits of victory where the grapes of wrath are stored". That was sacrifice. May we pray that such will not be required, but that the will to prevail will not be found less evident.
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post #632 of 683 Old 02-15-2007
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God knows, it's easy to be cynical about government, but there's no reason why a nation shouldn't do what is both noble and in it's best interests. I believe the Iraq war is in our best interests because it is an integral part of the war against terrorism. While we're fighting that war, there's no good reason why we shouldn't also do something noble, and give the Iraqi people an opportunity for self-determination. If you think about it, in this case, doing the noble thing is also in our best interests, over the long term.

In fact, that very principle is what puts the lie to all the allegations that the US is just there to turn the Iraqis into puppets and to steal their oil, and for other unworthy reasons. If you think about it for two seconds, it's obvious that those actions would be contrary to our best interests.

Our image is suffering in the eyes of the world because people hostile to the US are spreading propaganda portraying our intentions as ignoble. Imagine how harmful it would be to the US if we would then turn around and steal Iraq's oil! We must continue to do what is both noble and in our best interests. We really have no choice.

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post #633 of 683 Old 02-15-2007
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Since we're making grand statements....

Wow, sailaway, I am not sure that it can be put any better than that. It's a shame you aren't a presidential speech writer. It's also a shame that our politicians and media can't show the masses the real big picture and put all of this in global and historical context. Our political leadership could have sold us OIF in those terms instead of seeking politically expedient excuses that pander to their voting blocs (they can't see beyond the next election). I was for the war in the beginning and I am for it now only because of exactly what sailaway said above (and also sailormon, pbzeer, shack, etc, etc - brilliant, btw). All it takes is just a tiny bit of critical thinking and a basic understanding of human history and human nature and much of this becomes quite clear. We are in Iraq to protect western civilization. The US is doing the dirty work that needs to be done as part of a much much larger geopolitical strategy of keeping the darkness at bay. We may be nearly universally unpopular for it but if we didn't do anything and the Middle East became the dreamed of caliphate and it's armies again marched across the free world we would be excoriated for not doing anything when we had the chance.

Then again, maybe they did try it that way in the beginning with the Axis of Evil. Much as I prefer him to the alternative, GWB is a poor leader. Gotta have those communication skills, people.

I also think that this goes much deeper than just terrorism or even Islamic fundamentalism. I think that we will be very soon engaging nations and not just the "shadowy entity" of Al Queda. The true enemy of the US is collectivism. Islamic fundamentalism promises a caliphate, which is all about redistribution of wealth and "social equality." Social equality being the effort to bring those on the bottom up by bringing those on the top down and in the case of Socialism, by force (Marx's words, not mine) - not exactly equal. Marx by any other name is still Marx. Look around the globe a little bit to some of our other most vocal detractors. Chavez, Ahmadinejad, and Kim Jong-il spring to mind. Even though Venezuela (and other emerging socialist regimes in Latin America) is heavily Christian and North Korea is ostensibly secular, the old saying goes, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." How many times have we heard about these three having little chats and trading stuff and making deals? They may not share religious ideology but they are certainly united in their strong dislike of the US and capitalism. What about China and Russia? Not exactly spooning up with good old Uncle Sam these days. But it's our "illegal war for oil" they all say. Chavez scares me the most because he seems to be the most charismatic and is well on his way to spreading "glorious revolution" throughout Latin America. The people who voted against Chavez were the educated, the property owners, and the business owners. Chavez promises agrarian reforms (ie., land for the landless), health care, and education to the bottom the socio-economic pyramid. It's popular. He is also using any excuse to nationalize private industry, yes, by force (read the latest news out of Venezuela, RE groceries, etc).

We've got a long road ahead of us and I believe that we are the ones with our heads in the sand. Alone, Iran and North Korea and Venezuela are but mildly unpleasant but not really important news items (to Americans anyway). Together, and with the allies they are gathering to their side, they are a big time threat and they don't like us one bit. Not only that, but they have declared innumerable times with much bravado that our days are numbered.

We can dream of a utopia where nobody gets mad at anybody else and where there is no prejudice or hate or war or swear words or child abuse or bad tipping, but we are humans and we have proven time and time again that even when we really try, there is always some a**hole in the bunch who doesn't want to play along. They must be dealt with.

And as far as global warming goes, it's a shakedown that has little to do with saving the world from climate catastrophe. In fact, it doesn't really matter what the climate is doing because none of the proposed solutions would do anything other than make everybody miserable and plunge us back into the economic dark ages. The climate will do as it will, warm or cold.

But don't take my word for it:

"[Kyoto] is about trying to create a level playing field for big businesses throughout the world." -- EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom, (quoted in the Independent, Mar. 19, 2002)

"Of course it’s about money, about rubles. They are trying to calculate how much [the Kyoto protocol] will give." -- Wallstrom, in response to Russian reluctance to ratify the protocol, (quoted by Reuters, May 12)

It's a worldwide con job to scare us into a global socialist collective. Sounds extreme but to me there can be no other ultimate goal of extreme measures like Kyoto, which will have a negative net affect on temperature increases over the next century. Is it really that far-fetched?

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post #634 of 683 Old 02-15-2007
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Originally Posted by captlar
I was opposed to going into Iraq. I was not convinced there was an immediate nuclear threat. I did not see the urgency in committing the US to war. I knew that once we went in, we could not get out. Today, looking at the military bases being built, I do not think we intended to get out. I guess I am an anti-war liberal.
captlar, tdw and idiens,

You make it sound like you were there. Like you have 1st hand knowledge of the ugliness, the frustration, the fatigue, hunger, the filth, the terror, and sometimes the good parts, the satisfaction of seeing a job well done. Or some kindness and humility displayed.
All you seem to think you know about the war is from the media. Do you honestly think the media knows all and tells all? Have you ever heard the advertising adage from a few years back “sex sells”? Well War sells now. The media pays big bucks to feel out which way the people are leaning. Have you seen the various polls, you know the telemarketers, the people with clipboards in the malls, the ability the see what programs you watch, the websites you surf with duration? Do you think that the information gathered just disappears, never to be seen again? . Then you really are not that bright and you and other like you tend to switch sides of the fence depending on which way the wind blows. I will bet that you even tend to have several favorite football teams, depending on who is winning and popular at the time don’t you?

Yes I saw 1st hand several holes dug up. They were archeologists there and do you have any idea what was in those holes? I was there and let me tell you what I saw. In one hole there were hundreds of adults later identified and females all dressed the bright and colorful clothes and all most all holding babies in their arms. All of them, babies too had a single hole in the back of the head. In the next hole there were the adult men, same colorful clothes and with a hole in the head. They were Kurds by the way. It seems like Saddam had a hard-on for them for whatever reason. Satellite imagery has pinpointed hundreds of the same sites. Do you think that made it to the mainstream media? No. Do you have any idea why not? Because that version of war will not sell. One more example if I may. We got many packages from people whom we did not even know. In lots of these packages we had lots of hard candy, sometimes plastic toys. Our crew chiefs would put together little bags of candy with toys inside. We would load these on the helicopter and during a mission we would look for a house or small village close to the course we were on during our mission. If we would see one on the horizon we would radio the other helo and he would fly cover, then as we approached we would look for kids outside. At 100-200” and 120 kts you still have a few seconds to see and let the crew chiefs know. As we got closer the crew chiefs would stick their heads out and drop these bags to these kids. We would not dare do that over populated areas for obvious reasons. I believe that if we even turned one kid then it was all worth it. Do you think that made it to the media?
You appear to be guilty of Monday Morning Quarterbacking, you know the sort who points fingers and says “They should have done this” or “If I were there it would have been different” well let me let you in on a little secret. IF YOU WERE NOT THERE THEN YOU DO NOT KNOW THEREFORE YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT NOR PRIVELEDGE TO SECOND GUESS NOR ASSOCIATE YOURSELF WITH THEM IF/WHEN IT IS POPULAR.
Just be aware that if this war is not to be fought there it will be fought in your home and mine. The choice is yours, if you do not stand behind our troops feel free to have the courage and fortitude to stand in front of them.

"Of every one hundred men, Ten shouldn't even be there, Eighty are nothing but targets, Nine are real fighters...We are lucky to have them...They make the battle.
Ah, but the One, One of them is a Warrior...and He will bring the others back."
- Hericletus (circa 500 B.C.)

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Please forgive me for this repost but I believe it is fitting here too....

By LTC (RET) Dave Grossman, RANGER, Ph.D., author of "On Killing."

Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:
"Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle,
productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This
is true.
Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the
aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.

Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent
crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record
rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which
means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.
Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation:
We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is
still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people
who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under
extreme provocation. They are sheep. I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep.
To me it is like the pretty, blue robin's egg. Inside it is soft and gooey
but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators. "Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial. "Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."
If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive
citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy
for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a
But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your
fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.
Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep,
wolves and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.
But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police
officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more
likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but
the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they
chose the path of denial.
The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the
wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.
Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that
there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them
where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our
airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa." Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog. The students, the victims, at
ColumbineHigh School were big, tough high school students and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door. Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel?
Remember how many times you heard the word hero? Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle.
The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the
sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.
Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep
pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on
September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said,"Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into
warrior hood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a
There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but
he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to
survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the
population. There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in
Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.
Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically
primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can
choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.
Seven months after the attack on
September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was
honored in his hometown of
Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall,
was the man on Flight 93 over
Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground. There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. -- Edmund Burke
Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of
police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep,
real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are
wolves. They didn't have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision. If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you.
If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But
if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must
make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.
For example, many officers carry their weapons in church. They are well
concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs. Anytime you go to some form of
religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in
your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an
individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre
you and your loved ones.

Continued on part two...

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I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the
break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The
other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I
asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"
Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was
carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would
probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and
would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their
cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic
accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.
Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often
their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog
quietly asks himself, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"
It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically
destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is
counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and
horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when
you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't
train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy.
Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically
survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and
horror at your moment of truth.
Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11
book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms
with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an
insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get
by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is
all the more unsettling."
Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in
small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level. And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes.
If you are a warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you
step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending
that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a
Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon,
and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to
yourself... "Baa."
This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy.
It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a
continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the
other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other.
Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in
America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and
degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing
is worth war is worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing
to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is
a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made so and
kept so by the exertions of men better than himself. -- John Stuart Mill

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post #637 of 683 Old 02-15-2007
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Great posts guys...I wish I could write like that! Instead I will cut and paste something I ran across today from Die Welt that I thought was especially appropriate for folks in Europe that feel like Idiens:

EUROPE - THY NAME IS COWARDICE (Commentary by Mathias Dapfner CEO, Axel Springer, AG)

A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe - your family
name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because
it's so terribly true.

Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their
lives, as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and
hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fough t, not bound to
toothless agreements.

Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in
the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe,
where for decades, inhuman suppressive, murderous governments were
glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.

Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in
Kosovo, and even though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we
Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when
finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into
Europe yet again, and do our work for us.

Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European Appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.

Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly
500,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murd er
machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace movement,
has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush... Even as it is
uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit
billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U.N. Oil-for-Food

And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of
appeasement. How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic
Fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really
should have a "Muslim Holiday" in Germany?

I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our (German)
Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare us from the wrath of
the fanatical Islamists. One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville
Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolph Hitler and
declaring Euro pean "Peace in our time".

What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of
systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our
free, open Western societies, and intent upon Western Civilization's utter

It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of
the great military conflicts of the last century - a conflict conducted
by an enemy that cannot be tamed by "tolerance" and "accommodation" but is
actually spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will
always be taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness. Only two recent
American Presidents had the courage needed for Anti-appeasement: Reagan
and Bush.

His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans
know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold Wa r,
freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and
virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on
moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against
Democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number
of years have passed.

In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic
self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal
society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same
playing field as the true great powers, America and China.

On the contrary - we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those "arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even (Germany's Interior
Minister) Otto Schily justifiably criticizes. Why?

Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic,
so devoid of a moral compass.

For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of
additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the
American economy - because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes
what is at stake - literally everything.

While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because
they seem too sure of their priorities, we
timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get
expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our
dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation... Or listen to TV pastors
preach about the need to "reach out to terrorists. To understand and

These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking
hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a
robber breaking into a neighbor's house.


Europe, thy name is Cowardice.
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post #638 of 683 Old 02-15-2007
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Shack, what I can't figure out is how the rubes think Bush and WMD's is any different from LBJ and the Gulf of Tonkin incident (1964, total fabrication) or 1915 and the sinking of the RMS Lusitania (according to both the US & UK, not carrying the munitions that were listed on her loading manifest).

Both, incidentally, Democrats not Republicans. Apparently the Democrats, as JFK, are simply better at looking innocent while misbehaving.
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post #639 of 683 Old 02-15-2007
Larus Marinus
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Originally Posted by Sailormon6
Osama bin Laden explained the origin of the term in his videotaped interview with journalist Tayseer Alouni in late October 2001:

"The name 'al-Qaeda' was established a long time ago by mere chance. The late Abu Ebeida El-Banashiri established the training camps for our mujahedeen against Russia's terrorism. We used to call the training camp al-Qaeda [meaning "the base" in English]. The name stayed."
I notice you didn't quote the next line from Wikipedia:
"An alternative theory, presented in the BBC film series "The Power of Nightmares", states that the name and concept of al-Qaeda was first used by the U.S. Department of Justice in January 2001, at the New York City trial of four men accused of the 1998 United States embassy bombings in East Africa. By alleging Osama bin Laden's leadership of the organization, it became possible to charge bin Laden in absentia with the crime using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as the RICO statutes."
Which is the one I was refering to, or the later official US one used in G-Bay, which implies a global organisation of much great magnitude than Bin Laden commands.
Take your pick and don't be so rude.
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post #640 of 683 Old 02-15-2007
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Interesting Idiens, how you always come up with an alternative that attempts to put the US position in a darker light. Also, how you skip right past the questions that would require an answer not found in the anti-war talking points.

Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.

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