Saturday, September 29, 2007
1. The terrorists states that have the end goal of destroying the west have to be dealt with by the use of FORCE and first on the list is IRAN. We have to confront it militarily not with sanctions and meetings. Remember Hitler. And if you don't know your history read up on WWII.
2. The path toward Nationalized Health Care a la Hillary has to be given the definitive blow of death otherwise it will end up a reality of our lives. If you don't know anything about this issue study what's going on in Canada or any other country with a nationalized system of health care.
3. Our system of public schools have to be totally dismantled and a breath of freedom and entrepreneurial spirit injected into this area. Our kids are graduating without even having a sense of what America is all about and what being American means. Our history and the major events of World History is a dark void cave in the minds of our young. And as the saying goes we are doomed to repeat our mistakes if we don't pass on that knowledge.
To learn more about these issues there is no better place to start than at
The Objective Standard.
"Why is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad so eager to speak at American universities and, it turns out, to host dinner parties for leading American journalists and academics? He knows that what most disarms the West is the illusion that tyrants and dictators are really reasonable fellows, to whom the proper response is dialogue and diplomatic persuasion.
"The Iranian regime particularly needs to convey that impression now, because their whole strategy is to drag out negotiations and diplomacy with the West long enough to give them time to acquire nuclear weapons.
"In short, they know they can have free reign to achieve their goals through force only if we agree to limit ourselves to achieving our goals through persuasion and diplomacy. "
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
"...who regard the realm of ideas as a kind of mental game detached for any concrete meaning—rather than a real-world struggle with life-and-death consequences."
The message we should all get from Hitler is that HE SAID WHAT HE WAS GOING TO DO AND HE DID IT. The West did not believe him and we paid the price in blood and treasure. Will we do a repeat of the appeasement of 60 years ago? If Mr. Bollinger is any signpost it would seem - yes.
New York Post: 25September2007 by Arthur Herman
"Abject, squalid, shameless" is how Winston Churchill described the resolution passed by Oxford University's prestigious Debating Union in 1933 - the year Adolf Hitler came to power
And Columbia's event, like the 1933 Oxford resolution, sent (to quote Churchill again) a "very disquieting and disgusting message" to friends and enemies alike.
President Bollinger argues that a university is above all a forum for hearing conflicting views and opinions - as if Ahmadinejad were some controversial social theorist, not the leader of the world's leading sponsor of terrorism. In other words, this is a matter of "free speech."
Yet the real issue is not about words but actions - actions with consequences in an ongoing conflict in which American soldiers are being killed and Iranian dissidents are being beaten and tortured every day. And what Bollinger's actions (as opposed to his words) reveal is that Columbia somehow considers itself neutral ground in the War on Terror.
The left in this country concluded long ago that this is not a war between Islamic extremist fascism and Western civilization, but a fight between Islamic "militants" and President Bush. The events of 9/11 never changed the left/liberal view that the real menace to world peace is the Bush administration and what Sen. J. William Fulbright used to call "the arrogance of American power" - much as British leftists in the early '30s assumed that the real cause of war wasn't men like Hitler or Mussolini, but capitalism and arms merchants.
One of the signs outside yesterday's events summed this view up nicely: "We refuse to choose between Islamic fundamentalism and American imperialism."
In short, too many men and women at Columbia (and on other U.S. campuses) see the War on Terror as something that they are free to judge and criticize as if it doesn't involve them.
Just as President Bush has the right to make his case, so the reasoning goes (yet when was the last time an administration official was given a major public forum at Columbia?), fairness demands that Ahmadinejad have the same right.
The left assumes this neutral posture puts them in the middle and keeps them safe. In fact, it leaves them nowhere.
Because what is actually at stake is whether these United States can stand together to condemn the head of a state that sponsors terrorism around the world and is killing American soldiers in Iraq, to send a signal to the people of Iran (and of Iraq) that we will stand firm against a corrupt and murderous Islamo-fascist regime.
Adolf Hitler got the clear message of the 1933 Oxford Union debate: We will not oppose you. Regardless of Bollinger's "tough questions" yesterday, Ahmadinejad the Iranian president is bound to use his speech to a hall of "open-minded" Americans as a major public-relations victory - and to see it as a clear sign that his enemy is divided at its heart.
As Churchill said, "There is no place for compromise in war. That invaluable process only means that soldiers are shot because their leaders in council and camp are unable to resolve."
He added, "In war the clouds never blow over; they gather unceasingly and fall in thunderbolts." It was the falling thunderbolts of Nazi bombs that finally convinced the appeasers of the '30s that they had been wrong. New York City has already gone through its Blitz. What more will it take before Bollinger and his cohorts admit their squalid mistake?
Thursday, September 20, 2007
But Bollinger is going to be tough - wow - I'm sure all of America is impressed with this foolish man's manliness. Is it any wonder that our Universities are no longer bastions of learning and thought? That is why we now have so many think tanks. Our universities do not know the difference between evil and good, right and wrong, or people worth listening to.
Inviting this man to such a "prestigious" university is cavorting with evil and there is only one result: the debasing of Columbia and the aggrandisement of this thug dictator.
Who was it that said:
"IN ANY COMPROMISE BETWEEN FOOD AND POISON, IT IS ONLY DEATH THAT CAN WIN. IN ANY COMPROMISE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL, IT IS ONLY EVIL THAT CAN PROFIT."
"The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles."
Friday, September 14, 2007
Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.
S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Vir-ginia, a distinguished research professor at George Mason University, and president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project. He performed his undergraduate studies at Ohio State University and earned his Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University. He was the founding dean of the School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences at the University of Miami, the founding director of the U.S. National Weather Satellite Service, and served for five years as vice chairman of the U.S. National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere. Dr. Singer has written or edited over a dozen books and mono-graphs, including, most recently, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years.
The following is adapted from a lecture delivered on the Hillsdale College campus on June 30, 2007, during a seminar entitled “Economics and the Environment,” sponsored by the Charles R. and Kathleen K. Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence.
IN THE PAST few years there has been increasing concern about global climate change on the part of the media, politicians, and the public. It has been stimulated by the idea that human activities may influence global climate adversely and that therefore corrective action is required on the part of governments. Recent evidence suggests that this concern is misplaced. Human activities are not influencing the global climate in a perceptible way. Climate will continue to change, as it always has in the past, warming and cooling on different time scales and for different reasons, regardless of human action. I would also argue that—should it occur—a modest warming would be on the whole beneficial.
This is not to say that we don’t face a serious problem. But the problem is political. Because of the mistaken idea that governments can and must do something about climate, pressures are building that have the potential of distorting energy policies in a way that will severely damage national economies, decrease standards of living, and increase poverty. This misdi-rection of resources will adversely affect human health and welfare in industrialized nations, and even more in developing nations. Thus it could well lead to increased social tensions within nations and conflict between them.
If not for this economic and political damage, one might consider the present concern about climate change nothing more than just another environmentalist fad, like the Alar apple scare or the global cooling fears of the 1970s. Given that so much is at stake, how-ever, it is essential that people better understand the issue.
The most fundamental question is scientific: Is the observed warming of the past 30 years due to natural causes or are human activities a main or even a contributing factor?
At first glance, it is quite plausible that humans could be responsible for warming the cli-mate. After all, the burning of fossil fuels to generate energy releases large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The CO2 level has been increasing steadily since the beginning of the industrial revolution and is now 35 percent higher than it was 200 years ago. Also, we know from direct measurements that CO2 is a “greenhouse gas” which strongly absorbs infrared (heat) radiation. So the idea that burning fossil fuels causes an enhanced “greenhouse effect” needs to be taken seriously.
But in seeking to understand recent warming, we also have to consider the natural factors that have regularly warmed the climate prior to the industrial revolution and, indeed, prior to any human presence on the earth. After all, the geological record shows a persistent 1,500-year cycle of warming and cooling extending back at least one million years.
In identifying the burning of fossil fuels as the chief cause of warming today, many politicians and environmental activists simply appeal to a so-called “scientific consensus.” There are two things wrong with this. First, there is no such consensus: An increasing number of climate scientists are raising serious questions about the political rush to judgment on this issue. For example, the widely touted “consensus” of 2,500 scientists on the United Nations Intergov-ernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an illusion: Most of the panelists have no scien-tific qualifications, and many of the others object to some part of the IPCC’s report. The As-sociated Press reported recently that only 52 climate scientists contributed to the report’s “Summary for Policymakers.”
Likewise, only about a dozen members of the governing board voted on the “consensus statement” on climate change by the American Meteorological Society (AMS). Rank and file AMS scientists never had a say, which is why so many of them are now openly rebelling. Estimates of skepticism within the AMS regarding man-made global warming are well over 50 percent.
The second reason not to rely on a “scientific consensus” in these matters is that this is not how science works. After all, scientific advances customarily come from a minority of scientists who challenge the majority view—or even just a single person (think of Galileo or Einstein). Science proceeds by the scientific method and draws conclusions based on evidence, not on a show of hands.
But aren’t glaciers melting? Isn’t sea ice shrinking? Yes, but that’s not proof for human-caused warming. Any kind of warming, whether natural or human-caused, will melt ice. To assert that melting glaciers prove human causation is just bad logic.
What about the fact that carbon dioxide levels are increasing at the same time tempera-tures are rising? That’s an interesting correlation; but as every scientist knows, correlation is not causation. During much of the last century the climate was cooling while CO2 levels were rising. And we should note that the climate has not warmed in the past eight years, even though greenhouse gas levels have increased rapidly.
What about the fact—as cited by, among others, those who produced the IPCC report—that every major greenhouse computer model (there are two dozen or so) shows a large tem-perature increase due to human burning of fossil fuels? Fortunately, there is a scientific way of testing these models to see whether current warming is due to a man-made greenhouse effect. It involves comparing the actual or observed pattern of warming with the warming pattern predicted by or calculated from the models. Essentially, we try to see if the “finger-prints” match—“fingerprints” meaning the rates of warming at different latitudes and alti-tudes.
For instance, theoretically, greenhouse warming in the tropics should register at increas-ingly high rates as one moves from the surface of the earth up into the atmosphere, peak-ing at about six miles above the earth’s surface. At that point, the level should be greater than at the surface by about a factor of three and quite pronounced, according to all the computer models. In reality, however, there is no increase at all. In fact, the data from bal-loon-borne radiosondes show the very opposite: a slight decrease in warming over the equator.
The fact that the observed and predicted patterns of warming don’t match indicates that the man-made greenhouse contribution to current temperature change is insignificant. This fact emerges from data and graphs collected in the Climate Change Science Program Re-port 1.1, published by the federal government in April 2006 (see www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/default.htm). It is remarkable and puzzling that few have noticed this disparity between observed and predicted patterns of warming and drawn the obvious scientific conclusion.
What explains why greenhouse computer models predict temperature trends that are so much larger than those observed? The answer lies in the proper evaluation of feedback within the models. Remember that in addition to carbon dioxide, the real atmosphere con-tains water vapor, the most powerful greenhouse gas. Every one of the climate models calculates a significant positive feedback from water vapor—i.e., a feedback that amplifies the warming effect of the CO2 increase by an average factor of two or three. But it is quite possible that the water vapor feedback is negative rather than positive and thereby re-duces the effect of increased CO2.
There are several ways this might occur. For example, when increased CO2 produces a warming of the ocean, a higher rate of evaporation might lead to more humidity and cloudi-ness (provided the atmosphere contains a sufficient number of cloud condensation nuclei). These low clouds reflect incoming solar radiation back into space and thereby cool the earth. Climate researchers have discovered other possible feedbacks and are busy evaluat-ing which ones enhance and which diminish the effect of increasing CO2.
Natural Causes of Warming
A quite different question, but scientifically interesting, has to do with the natural factors influencing climate. This is a big topic about which much has been written. Natural factors include continental drift and mountain-building, changes in the Earth’s orbit, volcanic erup-tions, and solar variability. Different factors operate on different time scales. But on a time scale important for human experience—a scale of decades, let’s say—solar variability may be the most important.
Solar influence can manifest itself in different ways: fluctuations of solar irradiance (total energy), which has been measured in satellites and related to the sunspot cycle; variability of the ultraviolet portion of the solar spectrum, which in turn affects the amount of ozone in the stratosphere; and variations in the solar wind that modulate the intensity of cosmic rays (which, upon impact into the earth’s atmosphere, produce cloud condensation nuclei, affect-ing cloudiness and thus climate).
Scientists have been able to trace the impact of the sun on past climate using proxy data (since thermometers are relatively modern). A conventional proxy for temperature is the ratio of the heavy isotope of oxygen, Oxygen-18, to the most common form, Oxygen-16.
A paper published in Nature in 2001 describes the Oxygen-18 data (reflecting temperature) from a stalagmite in a cave in Oman, covering a period of over 3,000 years. It also shows corresponding Carbon-14 data, which are directly related to the intensity of cosmic rays striking the earth’s atmosphere. One sees there a remarkably detailed correlation, almost on a year-by-year basis. While such research cannot establish the detailed mechanism of cli-mate change, the causal connection is quite clear: Since the stalagmite temperature cannot affect the sun, it is the sun that affects climate.
If this line of reasoning is correct, human-caused increases in the CO2 level are quite insignifi-cant to climate change. Natural causes of climate change, for their part, cannot be controlled by man. They are unstoppable. Several policy consequences would follow from this simple fact:
> Regulation of CO2 emissions is pointless and even counterproductive, in that no matter what kind of mitigation scheme is used, such regulation is hugely expensive.
> The development of non-fossil fuel energy sources, like ethanol and hydrogen, might be counterproductive, given that they have to be manufactured, often with the investment of great amounts of ordinary energy. Nor do they offer much reduction in oil imports.
> Wind power and solar power become less attractive, being uneconomic and requiring huge subsidies.
> Substituting natural gas for coal in electricity generation makes less sense for the same reasons.
None of this is intended to argue against energy conservation. On the contrary, conserving energy reduces waste, saves money, and lowers energy prices—irrespective of what one may believe about global warming.
Science vs. Hysteria
You will note that this has been a rational discussion. We asked the important question of whether there is appreciable man-made warming today. We presented evidence that indi-cates there is not, thereby suggesting that attempts by governments to control green-house-gas emissions are pointless and unwise. Nevertheless, we have state governors calling for CO2 emissions limits on cars; we have city mayors calling for mandatory CO2 controls; we have the Supreme Court declaring CO2 a pollutant that may have to be regu-lated; we have every industrialized nation (with the exception of the U.S. and Australia) signed on to the Kyoto Protocol; and we have ongoing international demands for even more stringent controls when Kyoto expires in 2012. What’s going on here?
To begin, perhaps even some of the advocates of these anti-warming policies are not so seri-ous about them, as seen in a feature of the Kyoto Protocol called the Clean Development Mechanism, which allows a CO2 emitter—i.e., an energy user—to support a fanciful CO2 re-duction scheme in developing nations in exchange for the right to keep on emitting CO2 un-abated. “Emission trading” among those countries that have ratified Kyoto allows for the sale of certificates of unused emission quotas. In many cases, the initial quota was simply given away by governments to power companies and other entities, which in turn collect a windfall fee from consumers. All of this has become a huge financial racket that could someday make the UN’s “Oil for Food” scandal in Iraq seem minor by comparison. Even more fraudulent, these schemes do not reduce total CO2 emissions—not even in theory.
It is also worth noting that tens of thousands of interested persons benefit directly from the global warming scare—at the expense of the ordinary consumer. Environmental or-ganizations globally, such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Defense Fund, have raked in billions of dollars. Multi-billion-dollar government subsidies for useless mitigation schemes are large and growing. Emission trading programs will soon reach the $100 billion a year level, with large fees paid to brokers and those who operate the scams. In other words, many people have discovered they can benefit from climate scares and have formed an entrenched interest. Of course, there are also many sincere believers in an impending global warming catastrophe, spurred on in their fears by the growing number of one-sided books, movies, and media coverage.
The irony is that a slightly warmer climate with more carbon dioxide is in many ways bene-ficial rather than damaging. Economic studies have demonstrated that a modest warming and higher CO2 levels will increase GNP and raise standards of living, primarily by improving agriculture and forestry. It’s a well-known fact that CO2 is plant food and essential to the growth of crops and trees—and ultimately to the well-being of animals and humans.
You wouldn’t know it from Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, but there are many upsides to global warming: Northern homes could save on heating fuel. Canadian farmers could har-vest bumper crops. Greenland may become awash in cod and oil riches. Shippers could count on an Arctic shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific. Forests may expand.
Mongolia could become an economic superpower. This is all speculative, even a little face-tious. But still, might there be a silver lining for the frigid regions of Canada and Russia? “It’s not that there won’t be bad things happening in those countries,” economics professor Robert O. Mendelsohn of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies says. “But the idea is that they will get such large gains, especially in agriculture, that they will be bigger than the losses.” Mendelsohn has looked at how gross domestic product around the world would be affected under different warming scenarios through 2100. Canada and Russia tend to come out as clear gainers, as does much of northern Europe and Mongolia, largely be-cause of projected increases in agricultural production.
To repeat a point made at the beginning: Climate has been changing cyclically for at least a million years and has shown huge variations over geological time. Human beings have adapted well, and will continue to do so.
* * *
The nations of the world face many difficult problems. Many have societal problems like pov-erty, disease, lack of sanitation, and shortage of clean water. There are grave security prob-lems arising from global terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Any of these problems are vastly more important than the imaginary problem of man-made global warm-ing. It is a great shame that so many of our resources are being diverted from real problems to this non-problem. Perhaps in ten or 20 years this will become apparent to everyone, par-ticularly if the climate should stop warming (as it has for eight years now) or even begin to cool.
We can only trust that reason will prevail in the face of an onslaught of propaganda like Al Gore’s movie and despite the incessant misinformation generated by the media. To-day, the imposed costs are still modest, and mostly hidden in taxes and in charges for electricity and motor fuels. If the scaremongers have their way, these costs will become enormous. But I believe that sound science and good sense will prevail in the face of irrational and scientifically baseless climate fears.
Ayn Rand Institute Press Release
How to Truly Defeat OPEC
September 13, 2007
Irvine, CA--After some verbal wrangling between OPEC and Western countries over oil production, in which OPEC officials argued that "there is enough crude in the market," and in which the West claimed that oil production should increase to lower prices, OPEC has decided to allow a 2 percent increase in oil production.
"While some in the West might consider this a victory," said Alex Epstein, a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, "every day that OPEC continues to wield such power over us is a loss. It is taken for granted that this despicable cartel of looter regimes who allow no truly private enterprise in oil, can manipulate our energy future on a whim. But such a state of affairs is completely unnecessary; it is a product of U.S. environmental regulations that strangle domestic energy production.
"In a free energy market, the response of competing producers to OPEC-influenced high prices would be to eagerly cultivate new oil sources in America--such as the many untapped sources of oil in Alaska and on America's coastlines--and to vigorously seek to produce truly practical alternative sources of energy, such as coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. Such actions would drive oil and energy prices down, and with them OPEC's ability to manipulate prices.
"However, thanks to environmentalist policies, America's energy market is anything but free. In the name of preserving pristine nature at human expense, our government has rendered huge oil and natural gas deposits off-limits, has strangled coal production for decades, and has demonized and practically prohibited the pursuit of nuclear power.
"It is only because America has for decades throttled domestic energy producers that the looting dictators of OPEC continue to wield major influence over our energy supplies. It is time for America to liberate itself from the shackles of OPEC by liberating energy production from the shackles of environmentalist policies."
Thursday, September 13, 2007
In understanding the present warming trend, it is absolutely essential to learn more about climate change in the distant past -- or at least during the last 1,000 years. But many scientists, particularly younger ones, prefer to work only with data collected after 1975, when satellite data became available. With only 30 years worth of data, their results are little more than climatological snapshots of what is really a slow, long-term process. The latest accurate satellite images of sea ice distribution in the Arctic Ocean today can be obtained by clicking on a computer screen; but it is impossible to obtain such quality data for periods before 1975.
It is for this reason that only a minority of scientists are studying natural climate change, including multi-decadal oscillations and centurial climate change, which is the true realm of climatology. These areas have not been priorities for the IPCC.
They should be. During winter, England's Thames River would once freeze solid. This occurred on and off between 1400 and 1800 during a period called the "Little Ice Age" when temperatures dropped by as much as 1.5 degrees Celsius, which came after the medieval warm period around 1000. The anomaly of the Little Ice Age corrected itself, of course, through something called rebounding. The rebounding rate is estimated at 0.5 degrees Celsius per century. Since our present warming rate is roughly 0.6 degrees Celsius per century, the greenhouse effect caused by CO2 may represent only a 0.1 degree Celsius increase in temperature over the course of a century.
There is no doubt that global warming is in progress. But much of it can be attributed to the rebounding effect from the Little Ice Age. Recovering from a cool period is, of course, warming -- but it is nothing to panic about. Ice core data from the Greenland ice sheet show many periodic warming and cooling periods during the last 10,000 years. The present warming phase is far from the warmest.
It appears to me that so many people (dishonest ones?) have so much invested in this global warming hoax that rational people are going to have to stand up and be heard so that we're not bankrupted in this charade.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Osama bin Laden in his latest ranting mouths typical anti-American, Leftist stuff. We were just infidels before but now we're also the cause of global warming and sub-prime mortgages. Huh?
All I know is that when the good compromises with evil only evil can profit. As Ayn Rand once wrote:
"The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles."
"Evil, not value, is an absence and a negation, evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from us."
Al Qaeda, Bin Laden and the rest of these maniacs are the evil of our time. Hitler was the evil of his time and almost accomplished his goal of European domination because there were leaders in America and Britain who could not see what this man truly was: a monster of Evil.
Let us not repeat the same mistake of doing nothing. We must recognize and fight evil when we see it: with or without the Democrats. We will win if we realize that this evil of our time.
Friday, September 07, 2007
"Al Qaeda is an organization pursuing an ideology. Both the organization and the ideology must be defeated. Just as, in the Cold War, the contest between the United States and its allies and the Soviet Union and its captive nations was the real-world manifestation of an ideological struggle, so today, the global war on terror is a real-world contest between the United States and its allies and al Qaeda and its enablers. We can hope to defeat the ideology only by defeating its champion, al Qaeda.
"Al Qaeda's ideology is the lineal descendant of a school of thought articulated most compellingly by the Egyptian revolutionary Sayyid Qutb in the 1950s and 1960s, with an admixture of Wahhabism, Deobandi thought, or simple, mainstream Sunni chauvinism, depending on where and by what group it is propounded.
"Qutb blended a radical interpretation of Muslim theology with the Marxism-Leninism and anticolonial fervor of the Egypt of his day to produce an Islamic revolutionary movement. He argued that the secularism and licentious (by his extreme standards) behavior of most Muslims was destroying the true faith and returning the Islamic world to the state of jahiliyyah, or ignorance of the word of God, which prevailed before Muhammad. The growing secularism of Muslim states particularly bothered him. According to his interpretation, God alone has the power to make laws and to judge. When men make laws and judge each other according to secular criteria, they are usurping God's prerogatives. All who obey such leaders, according to Qutb, are treating their leaders as gods and therefore are guilty of the worst sin--polytheism. Thus they are--and this is the key point--not true Muslims, but unbelievers, regardless of whether they otherwise obey Muslim law and practice.
"But al Qaeda was only part of the story in Afghanistan. The Taliban forces that seized power in 1994 imposed a radical interpretation of Islam upon the population and attacked the symbols of other religions in a country that had traditionally tolerated different faiths and diverse practices. Like their AQI counterparts today, the Taliban tended to be ill-educated, violent, and radical. And they were just as necessary to sustaining al Qaeda in Afghanistan as the Iraqi foot soldiers of AQI have been to supporting that movement. Bin Laden provided essential support, both military and financial, to put the Taliban in power and keep it there. In return, the Taliban allowed him to operate with impunity and protected him from foreign intervention. The war began in 2001 when Taliban leader Mullah Omar refused to yield the al Qaeda members responsible for 9/11 even though the Taliban itself had not been involved in the attacks.
"Afghanistan's extremist thugs and misfits, once in power, facilitated the foreign-led al Qaeda's training, planning, and preparation for attacks against Western targets around the world, including the attacks on two U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, the attack on the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, and 9/11. In return, al Qaeda's foreign fighters fiercely defended the Taliban regime when U.S. forces attacked in 2001, even forming up in conventional battle lines against America's Afghan allies supported by U.S. Special Forces and airpower...
"...we must break free of a consensus about how to fight the terrorists that has been growing steadily since 9/11 which emphasizes "small footprints," working exclusively through local partners, and avoiding conventional operations to protect populations. In some cases, traditional counterinsurgency operations using conventional forces are the only way to defeat this 21st--century foe. Muslims can dislike al Qaeda, reject takfirism, and desire peace, yet still be unable to defend themselves alone against the terrorists. In such cases, our assistance, suitably adapted to the realities on the ground, can enable Muslims who hate what the takfiris are doing to their religion and their people--the overwhelming majority of Muslims--to succeed. Helping them is the best way to rid the world of this scourge."
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
"Muslim Opinion" Be Damned: Hatred of America is Irrational and Undeserved
BY ALEX EPSTEIN
Op-Ed from the AYN RAND INSTITUTE
To listen to most of our foreign-policy commentators, the biggest problem facing America today, six years after 9/11, is the fact that many Muslims are mad at us.
"Whatever one's views on the [Iraq] war," writes a New York Times columnist, "thoughtful Americans need to consider . . . the bitter anger that it has provoked among Muslims around the world." In response to the Abu Ghraib scandal several years ago, Ted Kennedy lamented, "We have become the most hated nation in the world, as a result of this disastrous policy in the prisons." Muslim anger over America's support of Israel, we are told, is a major cause of anti-American terrorism.
We face, these commentators say, a crisis of "Muslim opinion." We must, they say, win the "hearts and minds" of angry Muslims by heaping public affection on Islam, by shutting down Guantanamo, by being more "evenhanded" between free Israel and the terrorist Palestinian Authority--and certainly by avoiding any new military action in the Muslim world. If we fail to win over "Muslim opinion," we are told, we will drive even more to become terrorists.
All of this evades one blatant truth: the hatred being heaped on America is irrational and undeserved. Consider the issue of treatment of POWs. Many Muslims are up in arms about the treatment of prisoners of war in Iraq and at Guantanamo--many of whom were captured on battlefields trying to kill Americans. Yet these same Muslims are silent about the summary convictions and torture--real torture, with electric drills and vats of acid--that are official policy and daily practice throughout the Middle East.
Or consider "Muslim opinion" over the U.S. handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which the United States is accused of not being "hard enough" on Israel--a free nation with laws that protect all citizens, Jew and Arab alike--for Israel's supposed mistreatment of Palestinians. Yet "Muslim opinion" reveres the Palestinian Authority, a brutal dictatorship that deprives Palestinians of every basic freedom, keeps them in unspeakable poverty, and routinely tortures and executes peaceful dissenters.
So-called Muslim opinion is not the unanimous and just consensus that its seekers pretend. It is the irrational and unjust opinion of the world's worst Muslims: Islamists and their legions of "moderate" supporters and sympathizers. These people oppose us not because of any legitimate grievances against America, but because they are steeped in a fundamentalist interpretation of their religion--one that views America's freedom, prosperity, and pursuit of worldly pleasures as the height of depravity. They do not seek respect for the rights of the individual (Muslim or non-Muslim), they seek a world in which the rights of all are sacrificed to the dictates of Islam.
The proper response to Islamists and their supporters is to identify them as our ideological and political enemies--and dispense justice accordingly. In the case of our militant enemies, we must kill or demoralize them--especially those regimes that support terrorism and fuel the Islamist movement; as for the rest, we must politically ignore them and intellectually discredit them, while proudly arguing for the superiority of Americanism. Such a policy would make us safe, expose Islamic anti-Americanism as irrational and immoral, and embolden the better Muslims to support our ideals and emulate our ways.
President Bush, like most politicians and intellectuals, has taken the opposite approach to "Muslim opinion": appeasement. Instead of identifying anti-American Muslims as ideological enemies to be discredited, he has appealed to their sensibilities and met their demands--e.g., sacrificing American soldiers to save Iraqi civilians and mosques. Instead of seeking to crush the Islamists by defeating the causes they fight for--such as Islamic world domination and the destruction of Israel--he has appeased those causes, declaring Islam a "great religion" and rewarding the Palestinian terrorist Jihad with a promised Palestinian state. Instead of destroying terrorist regimes that wage war against the West--including, most notably, Iran--he has sought their "cooperation" and even cast some as coalition partners.
Such measures have rewarded our enemy for waging physical and spiritual war against us. Condemn America, they have learned, and American leaders will praise your ideals and meet your demands. Attack America via terrorist proxy, terrorist states and movements have been taught, and America will neither blame you nor destroy you, but redouble its efforts to buy your love.
Every attempt to appease "Muslim opinion" preserves, promotes, and emboldens our enemies. Every concession to angry Muslim mobs gives hope to the Islamist cause. Every day we allow terrorist regimes to exist gives their minions time to execute the next Sept. 11. America needs honest leadership with the courage to identify and defeat our enemies--"Muslim opinion" be damned.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
A short statement that packs a lot of punch:
Exploit the Earth of Die. I love it because it's true. Every single creature on earth from the lowliest worm to the highest mammal has to exploit his environment in order to survive. Man is no different except in the fact that we can think about the best way to do the exploitation.
This coffee mug can be purchased at www.theobjectivestandard.com
Saturday, September 01, 2007
How to Solve America's Terrorism Problem in 5 Easy Steps Posted by Craig Biddle at 12:20 PM
Here is how America could solve her terrorism problem in 5 easy steps:
1. Stop sacrificing American soldiers to bring "freedom" to savages in Iraq. Pull our soldiers out of that hell hole, and let the savages have their civil war. ( Iraq is not and never was the main source of terrorism against America. Iran and Saudi Arabia are.)
2. Declare war on Iran.
3. Obliterate, from high altitude and long distance, all known Iranian military assets, all Iranian government buildings, all Iranian mosques and madrassahs, and the residences of all Iranian leaders, imams, clerics, and government officials. Hit these targets when they are most likely to be occupied (e.g., mosques during the day and residences at night). Do not send soldiers in on foot, except as necessary to identify targets or gather intelligence. We do not need to send soldiers in on foot to fight, and it would be immoral to do so. We have many big missiles, fast planes, and good bombs, and we should use these liberally while building bigger, faster, and better ones. (As to innocent non-Americans, such as Iranian children, who would be killed in such a campaign, they are not properly the concern of our government. Nor would their deaths be the fault of our government. Such deaths are always the fault of the force-initiating regime—and of those who in any way support or enable it—whose actions necessitate such retaliatory measures.)
4. Airdrop leaflets across the Middle East explaining: "From now on, this is how America will respond to any and all threats to her citizens or allies. We look forward to the time when you decide to civilize yourselves, stop taking religion seriously, renounce the initiation of physical force, recognize the principle of individual rights, establish rule of law, and join the free world. Until then, we will be watching you from way up in the sky—higher even than Allah, by means of technology He cannot fathom—and if we see anything that we so much as feel might conceivably pose even a remote threat either to America or to our allies, we will annihilate it and everything in its proximity without further warning."
5. Notify the regime in Saudi Arabia that it got lucky and has the option of not being obliterated; that we are prepared instead to seize "its" oil fields and sell them to private industry, in part to pay for the campaign against Iran, and in part to return the fields to private industry where they belong; that it has 24 hours to turn the fields over to our agents; and that if it fails to comply or ignites the fields or does anything to thwart our program, its leaders, like those of Iran, will meet Allah sooner than later.
If we took these (or similar) measures, our terrorism problem would be solved. Sure, there would still be a few isolated instances of terrorism here and there in months and years to come; this much is inevitable given how long we have permitted the Islamists to plan and plot and establish cells. But, so long as we follow through as indicated above and immediately destroy anything that we think looks even remotely threatening, state sponsorship of terrorism against America would be over; the major threat to our lives would be gone.
Of course, we will not take such measures any time soon. Altruism will not let us. We will not take such measures until there is widespread understanding of the moral rightness of doing so—that is, until a substantial number of Americans understand that self-interest is moral and self-sacrifice is evil—and we are a long way from that. But such measures are morally correct—they are what we should do—and everyone who understands that they are should say so loudly and clearly. By placing such actions on the table for discussion, we create an opportunity to explain why they are morally correct—and that is what Americans (and westerners in general) most desperately need to learn.
Meanwhile, the man who is partly responsible for this re-opening of the Vietnam War debate, historian Mark Moyar, chimes in with a defense of his thesis that the Vietnam War was both winnable and in America's interests.
I haven't linked recently to any updates about the implosion of the Palestinian "Suicide Bomb Society," because it has all been more of the same. But here's a report that is new—and even more dreadful. Faced with a disaster brought upon them by the religious fanatics of Hamas, the Palestinians are turning to the guidance of…an even more radical Islamist organization, Hizb ut-Tahrir.
But of course, religion is supposed to have many spiritual consolations for the miserable and suffering. It is supposed to fill a spiritual void left by the prevailing secularism of the modern world—right? Except that it turns out it is the most ardent religious believers who actually feel a spiritual void, as revealed by the release of Mother Theresa's private letters, in which she confessed to feeling spiritual "dryness," "darkness," "loneliness," and "torture"—and feeling this, not momentarily, but for decades—even as she proclaimed publicly that "Christ is in our hearts."
But don't worry, says Jesuit priest James Martin in the New York Times: all Christian saints have felt "the 'dark night,' the time when a person feels completely abandoned by God."
As an atheist who believes in the reality of this world and of natural law—and who is thus surrounded every moment of the day by a flood of evidence for the things he believes in—I have never had occasion to feel this kind of metaphysical emptiness and doubt. So much for the superior spiritual consolations of religion.—RWT