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There is a strong meme in the world, spread by a very clever man, that the umma can be restored, the insults of invasion, domination and dismissal remedied, and Islam continue on its course of redeeming the world.

The UN, NATO and world courts cannot act quickly enough to stop its spread. BECAUSE the legal methods will not work, extralegal methods must be used, and that is the basis I argue on, not some utopian ideal.

True, it would be nice if Bin Laden hadn't _, and Russians hadn't _, and the UN had _ (fill in the blanks.) but here we are with a trillion dollars worth of weapons and a billion angry people who think we're dissing them.

Rather than dither, and compromise spinelessly, the US is acting. We're in an existential situation. It's easy for Europeans to explain to the cop on the beat that he's being too crude in his remedies, but he's working in the rough neighborhood their tragedy of the commons created.

It's at this point I realize how very small tweaks to a viewpoint can change it from liberal to reactionary.

I like neither. But these facts don't have liberal bias. For too long the liberals have presumed a Blank Slate. They prescribed, and acted (when they acted at all) as if promises of ponies would make everyone nice.

Now, we're dealing with the fallout. A little bit of bloodymindedness would have been a help, but now we're going to need a big hit of bloodymindedness.

Rwanda, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Kashmir, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Phillipines, ... on and on. Ponies for everyone. You betcha.

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by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Thu Dec 24th, 2009 at 04:06:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ormondotvos:
There is a strong meme in the world, spread by a very clever man, that the umma can be restored, the insults of invasion, domination and dismissal remedied, and Islam continue on its course of redeeming the world.

The UN, NATO and world courts cannot act quickly enough to stop its spread.

The only way that sort of works is by lumping together a multitude of local movements and people with local grievances into one monolithic islamofascistic whole. In other words by making things up.

ormondotvos:

We're in an existential situation.

That being?

ormondotvos:

Now, we're dealing with the fallout. A little bit of bloodymindedness would have been a help, but now we're going to need a big hit of bloodymindedness.

Are you seriously suggesting that the US lacked bloodymindedness?

by generic on Thu Dec 24th, 2009 at 10:20:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"lumping together a multitude of local movements and people with local grievances into one monolithic islamofascistic whole."

Worked for the colonies of Great Britain in 1776.
Worked for Hitler. Works for Bin Laden. Worked for Martin Luther. Not Islamofascism, but gathering the unhappy into a large screaming suicidal mass doesn't seem that hard. Sarah Palin comes to mind.

The real question is the level of grievance: poverty, education, health, hope. Tamin Aswary is good on this.

"Existential situation?"

Perhaps you missed the combination of energy prices, crashed housing market, bleeding of the economy into the world police force and don't forget total lifestyle greed that's dismantling the USA.

Which segues nicely into bloodymindedness. Not by the USA, but by Europe, which has sunk into impotence and dependency as its political correctness causes serious floundering about culture, ethnicity, and immigration.

Unwilling to make the effort to preserve its various national ethnicities, and unwilling to take a stand about what culture really is, and what it's based on, it's setting itself up for a battle of civilizations in each major city slum, and some entire nations.

Bloodymindedness has a meaning for me: it's the ability to act instead of denying the pressure of time in reality. The opposite is dithering, of course.

Sometimes you have to make up your mind. Israel comes to mind.

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by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Thu Dec 24th, 2009 at 10:29:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you really know about Europe? Where do you get your information? The kind of doom scenario of civilisation-clash battles for towns and entire countries is straight out of the US ultra-neocon playbook and is a delirious specious narrative. Do you have any credible sources?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 25th, 2009 at 02:11:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
about the need (and possibility) of mobilizing large chunks of the population today, this:


Europe, which has sunk into impotence and dependency as its political correctness causes serious floundering about culture, ethnicity, and immigration.

Unwilling to make the effort to preserve its various national ethnicities, and unwilling to take a stand about what culture really is, and what it's based on, it's setting itself up for a battle of civilizations in each major city slum, and some entire nations.

is the kind of silly [Europe.Is.Doomed™ Alert] talk that we spend a lot of time debunking here on ET and it's a pity you feel the need to bring such hopelessly wrong concepts here.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 25th, 2009 at 06:11:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps you missed the combination of energy prices, crashed housing market, bleeding of the economy into the world police force and don't forget total lifestyle greed that's dismantling the USA.

No, I think we just missed the connection between all those - largely self-inflicted - issues and your putative existential threat from brown people with home-made bombs.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Dec 31st, 2009 at 01:03:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]

We're in an existential situation. It's easy for Europeans to explain to the cop on the beat that he's being too crude in his remedies, but he's working in the rough neighborhood their tragedy of the commons created.

Terrorism is not an existential threat. In terms of actual damage, it ranks rather far below many things that we could solve at least partly and yet have no problems living with or treating as statistics... As a political tool, it's only effective in so far as we overreact to it.

The "cop on the beat" mindset is, to a large extent, the biggest danger we face.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 25th, 2009 at 06:15:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi, Jerome. We met you at YearlyKos.

Sorry to offend, but I speak my mind. I note that the dismissing isn't on a factual basis, but by reference to the constant "refutation" so I guess someone will supply a link to the FAQ about how everything is all right. The banlieus, slums, Turkey v. secular, Hungary, British racism, Germany v guest workers, Italy v itself, Spain v ETA, right wing parties springing up. And the global economic interactions seem to be hovering on the edge.

What I see in Europe, and yes, I've visited, is the same political paralysis of analysis I see in Berkeley and San Francisco, which I've been actively following since 1960.

Yes, technical solutions are wonderful, but Copenhagen wasn't very hopeful, and we're reacting, not pro-acting, and in that situation, you're possibly doing a holding action until chaos throws you a curve ball you can't hit.

It's not that Europe doesn't mean well. It's that after a certain level of governmental funk is reached, the malleable mob turns to the Man on the White Horse. I'd love to follow Candide, but reality has been my guide so far.

I guess the applicable quote is Adlai Stevenson, who, when someone from an election crowd yelled out "All us intellectuals will vote for you, Adlai!" quipped back:

"Yes, but I need more than 20%!"

So I'm always looking for that insight into the mob that translates all these wonderful ideas into legislation that beats the shortsighted corporations. It's always Golem we're battling, it seems.

Merry Christmas. Keep up the good work. Maybe my kid will be installing windmills soon. Be more fun than fighting in Iraq...

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by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Fri Dec 25th, 2009 at 02:19:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're certainly welcome to speak your mind. If you've been paying any attention to ET over the past five years, you already know this is exactly what we do.

I say "if", however, because frankly, it doesn't look like you've been paying much attention to what we have been discussing here.

I'd hate to be rude on Christmas , but I hope you won't mind if I'm being blunt here.

You know as well as we do that there's no such thing as "the FAQ about how everything is all right": if you've been paying any attention, you know we have never shied away from the issues you listed, quite the opposite.

What we take exception to, is the characterization of an impotent Europe that is lazily letting itself slide into a phantasmagorical "clash of civilization" and other alleged failures to protect our "ethnicities" and cultures, while America, at least is supposedly acting instead of dithering.

This is European extreme right language and is now being regurgitated by the mainstream right in an attempt to stroke their electoral good fortunes. As afew and Jerome said, this is also straight out of the neo-con playbook.

But this is only one minor point: the main point is, and you'll have to read part of my French here, that this is complete bullshit.

And as for the American Exceptionalism schitck, America-is-acting-while-Europe-is-dithering: peuh-leease...

How pray tell has America's action been part of the solution instead of part of the problem? How about stopping digging first?

The standard here is that you demonstrate your allegations; the burden of the proof is squarely on you.

We tend to respect people who know what they are talking about (and this is a reason, BTW, why Jerome has built a loyal following on DK). On the other hand, people who show up and start talking authoritatively about Europe while unwittingly showing how they don't know jack are to expect some pushback.

What I'm trying to say here is that I'm afraid you've really made an ass of yourself. And that's too bad because you've started an interesting discussion. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

by Bernard (bernard) on Fri Dec 25th, 2009 at 06:19:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dismissive and trollish. Happy New Year.

You answered NO point.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sun Dec 27th, 2009 at 07:52:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No intent to be trollish here: the strong language is aimed at your arguments, not your person.

However, your statements and opinions are absolutely fair game: you exposed some views that several of us dismissed as long debunked and discredited neo-con vulgate. So, please, let me ask you again: Would you care to demonstrate?

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Dec 28th, 2009 at 03:21:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spain v ETA
Please elaborate.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Dec 28th, 2009 at 05:31:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Government of Spain has been involved in a long-running campaign against the separatist and terrorist organization ETA ("Basque Homeland and Freedom"), founded in 1959 in opposition to Franco and dedicated to promoting Basque independence through violent means. They consider themselves a guerrilla organization while they are listed as a terrorist organization by both the European Union and the United States on their respective watchlists. The current nationalist-led Basque Autonomous government does not endorse ETA's nationalist violence, which has caused over 800 deaths in the past 40 years. wikipedia

It has to be noted that almost in any Spanish jail there is a group of ETA prisoners, as the number of ETA prisoners makes it difficult to disperse them.

Under Article 509 suspected terrorists are subject to being held "incommunicado" for up to thirteen days, during which they have no contact with the outside world other than through the court appointed lawyer, including informing their family of their arrest, consultation with private lawyers or examination by a physician other than the coroners. In comparison the habeas corpus term for other suspects is three days.

In January 2009, ETA threatened that engineers, senior technicians and executives of companies involved in the construction of the high-speed train line would be targets for assassination as well.

Sounds like fun.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 04:29:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And this is supposed to be the end of civilisation or something?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 05:34:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

(source: Spanish Ministry of the Interior, linked from wikipedia)

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 06:13:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
La izquierda radical fía su supervivencia a que ETA asuma la propuesta de Alsasua. El CorreoThe [Basque Nationalist] radical left depends for its survival on ETA accepting the Alsasua proposal - El Correo
Un sector de sus bases baraja distanciarse de la banda si prosigue con la actividad violentaA sector of their base is considering distancing itself from the gang (sic) is it continues its violent activity.
......
La izquierda radical es consciente de que su supervivencia política depende del éxito o el fracaso de la conocida como iniciativa de Alsasua. Alejada de las instituciones después de sucesivas ilegalizaciones, sus dirigentes reconocen que la situación es complicada y que la presión policial y judicial, incluida la resolución del Tribunal de Derechos Humanos de Estrasburgo que ratificó la proscripción de Batasuna, les ha hecho «mucho daño». Los problemas organizativos, la falta de movilización y los cambios en la sociedad, azuzados por una fuerte contestación ante el fracaso de los dos últimos procesos de paz, les han empujado a la búsqueda de un «cambio de ciclo». Más aún si se tiene en cuenta el avance de Aralar en los últimos comicios. The radical left is aware that its political survival depends on the success or failure of the so-called Alsasua initiative. Excluded from [political] institutions after successive illegalizations, its leaders admit that the situation is complicated and that police and judicial pressure, including the resolution by the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg which ratified the outlawing of Batasuna, has 'hurt a lot'. Organizational problems, lack of [popular] mobilization and changes in society, spurred by the failure of the last two peace processes, has pushed [radical leaders] to the search for a 'change of cycle'. Even more taking into account the advance of [independentist, anti-ETA political party] Aralar in the latest elections.


En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 06:28:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they are listed as a terrorist organization by both the European Union and the United States on their respective watchlists.

Those lists are compiled by legislative or executive bodies and not subject to judicial review. As such, they are statements of political preference rather than statements of fact.

Any given organisation on the lists may or may not be a terrorist outfit (and ETA probably is, along with what's left of the IRA). But its presence on the lists does not in and of itself tell you anything about it. Except that it has attracted the ire of the US State Department.

(For those keeping score of such matters, the Basques are overwhelmingly Catholic, when they are religiously affiliated at all.)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Dec 31st, 2009 at 01:16:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is actualy very good.

The War Nerd: Basques My Ass! (The Exile, March 11 2004)

The ETA is a good example of what I call "boutique terrorism." It's the kind of war where the rebels kill a few carefully-picked people a year, usually local government officials or cops, just to remind the locals that they're still around and get a little free publicity for their "cause." The Corsican separatists are the same kind of pitiful wimps, and the IRA isn't much better. In about 30 years of "war" against the English, the IRA killed about 1,300 people. That's 40-odd people per year. Less than a three-day weekend kill total for Los Angeles. The only reason these Irish wimps have such a big bad rep is that the British hype them so much, just because don't want to admit they had so much trouble with a neighborhood possie of illiterate drunks.

These aren't armies -- they're little ethnic gangs, like Crips for white guys with a grudge and a lot of free time on their hands. Even the Spanish police, who do their best to hype the ETA the same way the British do the IRA, admit that there are only a few dozen guys active in the ETA.

In this kind of war, the rebels go way out of their way to see that they only hit the right people. Spain is a rich Western country, with lots of videocameras wandering around. The last thing the ETA wants is to lose the propaganda war by shredding a bunch of civilians. They'd rather do nothing than deal with bad publicity like that. So they spend months and months setting up some poor Spanish Guardia Civil cop or pro-Spanish Basque politician, then hit him when they're sure nobody else will get hurt. They mess up sometimes -- these aren't the brightest guys in the world -- but the whole notion they'd set off a dozen no-warning bombs in the Madrid train system was just totally ridiculous.



En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jan 1st, 2010 at 07:35:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I don't think the illiterate jab is on target: I'm pretty sure at least some of the IRA had read their Hegel and Marx, for example.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jan 1st, 2010 at 07:39:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BECAUSE the legal methods will not work, extralegal methods must be used

So extralegal measures are justified in every case where the legal measures would not work as intended or desired? No tradeoff is required between the magnitude of the illegality and the magnitude of the problem you are attempting to deal with? No consideration is required of the actual, empirical effectiveness of the extralegal measures proposed?

If you want to start me down that primrose path, then I'm afraid we're going to part ways, politically speaking, before we even get to the substance.

We're in an existential situation.

Last month, private automobiles killed approximately 3000 Europeans, and a comparable number of Americans.

Over the last ten years, private bombs killed approximately 3000 Europeans and Americans.

If terrorism is an existential threat, why is are commuters still permitted a personal automobile?

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Dec 31st, 2009 at 01:00:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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