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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Question for your discussion: What will it take to militarize the West? 


I'm going "down the shore" today, so I'm asking you to answer a couple of questions in the comments while I'm lounging on Risden's Beach in Point Pleasant: What will it take to militarize the United States? What will it take to militarize Western Europe?

Background

The cumulative events of the last five years and the tortured choices we face in the Israeli-Hezbollah war have caused many on the hawkish right to believe that our failure to confront Islamic fascism in its various dimensions is condemning us to fight a huge war in the future. For these writers, it is the 1930s all over again, and we are making the same mistakes that the leaders of the West made in the fight againt European fascism. See, e.g., Cardinalpark's post earlier in the week, John Batchelor's disturbing essay in the New York Sun, and Michael Ledeen's "Five Minutes to Midnight" post at the Corner. There are countless other examples.

The problem, it seems to me, is that we are not ready to fight another major war. We have only a couple hundred thousand soldiers that we might deploy, and that would leave us totally exposed elsewhere. To do much more than we are doing now we need a bigger military and we need to spend a lot more money.

Now, it is clearly within our capacity to put many more men and women under arms. During World War II, we put 16,000,000 people into the military, about 13% of the population. Today, even adjusted for an older population, we could probably put 30,000,000 people under arms if our survival depended on it. A huge war in the Persian Gulf would not take that many soldiers, but it wouldn't surprise me if military planners said that we would need four or five million.

We obviously have the capability, if not the will, to expand our military massively if we decide the threat warrants it. However, we will only be able to do this if we substantially militarize our society. We will almost certainly need conscription, and we will need to spend a much larger share of our national income on defense. We will also need to make different investment decisions inside the economy. We would need to mobilize the home front to sustain support for the war. Life would change for everybody.


The assignment

So, if an existential war against Islamo-fascism is as inevitable as World War II became after the appeasement of the 1930s, what event would be necessary to motivate the United States to militarize its society and economy to fight that war? What event, if any, would militarize Western Europe?

Discuss in the comments or, if you have your own blog, link back. What will it take?

BONUS!: In addition to answer the question of this post in the comments below, consider taking the first TigerHawk opinion poll.


126 Comments:

By Blogger Mark, at Sat Aug 12, 11:06:00 AM:

Tigerhawk,

It's important to realize that in World War II the conflict was between powers possessing a similar level of economic development and technological sophistication. So, it was necessary for the United States to spend a huge proportion of the GDP on national defense. The US and its allies have huge military advantages over potential enemies. Thus, I don't believe there are many circumstances in which it would be necessary to "militarize" America's economy to the degree you mentioned.

Perhaps an exception to this would be a war with China. That might require a large mobilization. But, still, this seems unlikely given our level of military superiority over China and the fact that China's regime doesn't command deep support among its population.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sat Aug 12, 11:13:00 AM:

"So, if an existential war against Islamo-fascism is as inevitable as World War II became after the appeasement of the 1930s, what event would be necessary to motivate the United States to militarize its society and economy to fight that war? What event, if any, would militarize Western Europe?"

A mass casualty (and/or WMD) attack that could be linked to a state actor.

Alternatively, a series of smaller attacks that is also linked to a state actor.

Note the necessity of state actors in both cases. Without conventionally organized enemies, there is no reason to mobilize a large conventional force. What we have now is reasonably capable of handling unconventional warfare just dandy.  

By Blogger Dave Schuler, at Sat Aug 12, 11:20:00 AM:

I hope you're right, Dawnfire82. Recall that we've just seen a non-state actor go toe-to-toe with a first-rate military. I think that non-state actors are as able as states to recognize that equipment and training are necessary to achieve military victory. And there are plenty of non-states with the finances to make that a reality.  

By Blogger John P., at Sat Aug 12, 11:40:00 AM:

Several weeks ago I came to the conclusion that we need to have a universal draft by which I mean all, male and female, doing two years minimum of military service followed by an annual reserve commitment for several years. I told my 20 year old son as much after learning that he was toying with the idea of "moving" to Italy to avoid military service. He sees the draft being reinstituted. We had an interesting, mostly one sided conversation. I think I convinced him there were better alternatives particularly since the Islamofascists are closer to achieving their goals in Italy than in the U.S.

At any rate we need something on the order of what I understand the Swiss to have, weapons kept in the home, that sort of thing. Universal service would give everyone a vital stake and clearer understanding of national defense. It would go a long way towards defeating the indoctrination our people have been getting in the public education system for the past 30 years.

Will this happen? Not until we elect some real leaders. Bush and his people, have been a sore disappointment. Were Cheney at the top of the ticket we would be living in a different world now. Secy. Rice and her ilk are ascendant, unfortunately. As it is they are incapable in the extreme of communicating the issues in terms that will sell the people on the proper course of action.

I am watching Newt Gingrich. Now he can communicate and is busy capturing and holding the attention of a hopefully growing number of voters.

Two more things. We should get out of the U.N.; my congressman, John Carter, is in favor of this, by the way. And, we should give up pretty much on the western Europeans. They are more an impediment than anything else.

By the way, apropos of nothing in particular, I am a Vietnam vet.  

By Blogger Neil Sinhababu, at Sat Aug 12, 11:50:00 AM:

I don't see military force as the primary way to fight radical Islam. A better parallel than the Second World War is the Cold War, which ended because people in Communist countries gave up on Communism. Our duty is to hasten a similar process in Islamic countries through several decades of containment and cultural engagement. I'm not a huge Wesley Clark fan, but he has a wonderful article called Broken Engagement that lays out how this will happen.  

By Anonymous Mystery Meat, at Sat Aug 12, 12:03:00 PM:

What would militarize Europe? When Al-queda blew up the trains in Spain the response of a majority of the Spanish people was to capitulate and give them what they wanted. Al-Andalus is well on its way back to Muslim hands. The Germans have been deballed by the Nazi horror of WWII. Don't expect much from them. The native European population mostly lacks the will to resist. Politically, most European governments are happy to triangulate against us with the Muslim world. In a generation or two, Muslims will be a majority in many European states and will control the apparatus of government through the ballot box. So– what will wake up the Europeans? Nothing.

We are in the death of a thousand cuts mode. We keep on smoking cigarettes in the expectation that someone will discover a cheap and easy cure for cancer down the line.

Much of the Democratic Party and MSM actively oppose the war and go at Bush hammer and tongs.

Victor Davis Hanson recently had an article in National Review. He said he never understood the attitude of many people in Europe in 1938. How could they be so blind? But, due to recent events, now he does.

W. B. Yeats's poem "The Second Coming" is just as applicable now as it was in 1920 when it was written: "Things fall apart, the center cannot hold...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." Does this describe the current situation? Average people, the "center," are now mostly standing idly by.

The US of A? We have short attention spans. I think one reason we haven't been hit again since 9/11 is that the terrorists don't want us to awaken again. It's hard to see what other than the nuclear destruction of an American city would awaken us from our somnolent state.  

By Blogger sirius_sir, at Sat Aug 12, 12:30:00 PM:

In many ways, I do agree with the analogizing of the current period to the 1930s. But I also note a difference in that the aversion to confronting the threat in the 30s arose from the experience of loss from the previous war, the memory of which was still almost unbearably fresh and painful.

Our current aversion to facing down whatever threat may be arising (and even now there is debate, honest or not, on that score) seems to arise more from a misdirected sense of fair play than from any memory of hardship or loss. I think most Americans believe that, were we to pull out all the stops, our difficulties with Tehran could be, would be, over in milliseconds.

The practical outcome of such thinking is debillitating in two ways. First, having destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and perhaps experiencing residual guilt over that act, we do not wish ever to resort to such drastic action again. But second, we know we could resort to it if push came to shove, and so that knowledge makes unlikely the kind of vast militarizing of America once seen as necessary for our defense.

I guess the answer to the question What will it take to militarize the West? depends not only on whether or not but how we choose to fight back.

I'm not sure a majority of Americans are yet convinced we are in a fight for our lives. Name an event that will get us over that threshold and you will have the answer to the question of the day.  

By Blogger Baron Bodissey, at Sat Aug 12, 01:42:00 PM:

TigerHawk, I responded at our blog:

Gates of Vienna and many of its commenters believe that only another devastating attack on American soil will jar us out of our multicultural complacency. It may even take more than one such catastrophe.

As long as the vast majority of people are largely unaffected by Islamic terror, and as long as the major media are controlled by people who are actively inimical to America and its traditions, the population will not be mobilized to self-defense.

The blogosphere has gained influence in the last few years, but there is no way for it to break through the pro-appeasement propaganda that now saturates the airwaves and the print media.

If this were WW2, we wouldn’t be worrying about the feelings of Muslims, or castigating ourselves as racists for attempting to defend ourselves. We’d be girding our loins to defeat the Ragheads just as we battled the Nips and the Krauts to an unconditional surrender.

Admit it — you winced at my last sentence, didn’t you? That illustrates the depth and breadth of the problem we now face.

Read the rest here. I dug up some good graphics...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 02:31:00 PM:

Anthing less than a nuclear crater in a western city (US or NATO) would not motivate the population to mass mobilization. Nuclear retaliation sends a specific area back to the stone age, but would not solve the greater problem. Mass mobilization, invasion, occupation (colonization?), and maybe conversion to a peaceful religion would be the end result from a nuclear strike on a western city.  

By Blogger Zrinyi's Last Stand, at Sat Aug 12, 02:34:00 PM:

I think we should look less at Europe 1938 and more at the eastern Mediterranean circa 638. I would like to know how Islam erupted from being a small group of desert nomads- the most culturally degenerate guys on block- into the conquerors ofthe eastern Christian world. Syria, Egypt, North Africa, Anatolia, and Spain all fell in rapid succession to Islamic armies. What caused all those Christian people to lay down and be defeated? Did their religion dictate such a rejection of the material world that they preferred death and dhimmitude to resistance, or was their faith so weak that they easily converted? Again, 638 or 1938?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 02:45:00 PM:

The reason why the Byzantine Empire (a.k.a the Roman Empire) lost North Africa and Spain was their insistance on very narrow terms of worship. The Christian Coptic's of Egypt and Ethiopia, and the Chrisitan community of North Africa looked at the Byzantine Empire as a source of oppression. Dhimmi status was an improvement compared to the oppression meted out to Christian Heretics.

Only a 1/40th tax on Dhimmis? What would most of us do to reduce our tax rates to 2.5 percent?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 02:47:00 PM:

Our problem is that we lack the will to fight. All the media hype about how powerful Iran is, is garbage.

A conventional war with Iran would be no more difficult than the 1991 Gulf War against Saddam. Remember, Iran fought Saddam's Iraq for 8 years, from 1980-88, without being to overcome a statemate. Iran is NOT that tough.

However, due to Bush's poor communication, Americans think the Iraq War is a loss even after just 2600 deaths. We have been maneuvered into a position where we cannot wage a war longer than 6 weeks.

Here is a fascinating article about historical trends in warfare.  

By Anonymous Hinkle Goldfarb, at Sat Aug 12, 02:48:00 PM:

What will it take? A mass-casualty WMD attack, probably a nuke. Perhaps even a chemical or biological attack wouldn't wake us from our pleasant, Clintonesque slumber.

I don't think that mass conscription is necessary. Why? because a nuclear terrorist attack will demand a nuclear response, which doesn't per se invlove a large number of ground troops afterwards.  

By Blogger Nemesis, at Sat Aug 12, 02:50:00 PM:

Tiger Hawk,

My answer along with some commentary on the nature of the question itself is over at my blog. Something of a meander through technology, child-rearing, and China.

To those who think China may one day present a military threat to the US: between at least now and 2050, no way. The post has more [not much more but a bit.]

To zrinyi: how much do you really want to know and how much time do you have? Depending on your answer I can post the short version or recommend an excellent book. But of the options you mention, the answer in pretty much niether.  

By Blogger Father Martin Fox, at Sat Aug 12, 02:51:00 PM:

I may be wrong, but I think the American people could have been so mobilized, after September 11 -- and still could -- with the right leadership.

Most Americans understand enough: they know there's an enemy and they know its implacable. They need the right leadership.

But after 9/11, our president asked little of the American people. I think he asked folks to give blood, that's about it. No call for volunteers -- and maybe we didn't need them, didn't have a place for them. But if needed, we'll get them.

The Iraq war enjoys surprising support under the circumstances -- i.e., with little to inspire them or justify their confidence, they nonetheless generally want the U.S. to see it through. I do not believe a majority of Americans want us to abandon Iraq to disaster, however much most of us dislike how things have played out.

What Americans have been asked to do, they have done. They have given money when asked, gone along with changes in the law that might be problematic, and they have put up with inconveniences at airports and elsewhere. I think Americans can and will do more . . . if asked.  

By Blogger Matthias, at Sat Aug 12, 03:02:00 PM:

I agree with Anonymous on the US and Mystery Meat on Europe. Before 9/11 I thought deeply about what would wake my generation (I'm in my mid-20s) from its fairly lazy narcissism and I concluded that something like 9/11 was bound to happen and, when it did, it would be an earthquake to our society that would wake us up. It was. But there is a significant segment of the population that would just rather go back to sleep, thank you very much.

A nuclear attack is the only thing that would bring 80% of the US to the understanding of the kind of fight we are in. I don't think it would have to be on a US city, it could be in Israel or a major European city, but it would have to be huge (more than 10,000 dead, pictures of the mushroom cloud (not some wimpy dirty nuke), and all the media of utter destruction that would go along with that). I don't think it would have to come from a state: even if a terrorist group is responsible, people will understand that they had to have some governmental help in getting the nuke. However, even that would not rouse Europe, where (I think) they would ultimately prefer to be alive and under Sharia rule than muster up the effort to fight the tidal wave off.

The reason people are so unconcerned about it at the moment is because we're been living with the reality of bad men having nukes for decades, but those bad men have never used them and many in the US believe they never will. I get the feeling (the same way I got the feeling of a major attack on US soil 8 years ago) that it is only when Americans are convinced that bad men with nukes will use them (that is, when they actually use them) that they will bring to the table the determination to destroy such men. Unfortunately, I think that moment will come within the next 20 years.

Of course, this is almost all gut level pontification on my part, so I could be astoundingly wrong.  

By Blogger Mr. Snitch, at Sat Aug 12, 03:14:00 PM:

I agree with Neil Sinhababu. I also have to point out that the emphasis on numbers is misguided. What was the productive capacity of an average worker during the Civil War? During World War Two? Today? Likewise, what is the productive (destructive?) capacity of an average soldier today, as opposed to previous wars? Clearly, today's soldier gets a lot more done. As a few comic books and silly movies have pointed out, give a handful of men modern submachine guns, Kevlar suits and a few modern tools and watch them lay waste to the ancient Roman army.

Our infrastructure support, equipment and training give our soldiers a significant edge over most other armies. What we're fighting here is guerillas, not armies. We don't need sheer numbers. We need the smartest, best-equipped, and most dedicated people defending us.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 03:25:00 PM:

It might take an attack by a conventional army made of tanks and planes to militarize the west. It that case we may be conquered by Islam for not having the imagination necessary to concieve of a more insidious enemy.

The Islamist's best weapon is demographics and quiet persistence, peaceful corruption of democracy by lawfare and social activism. Fortunately for the west they do not understand this.

Terrorism is their biggest mistake. Enough attacks and the west will catch on. If we had a 9/11 every year many more people would understand.  

By Anonymous John Stephens, at Sat Aug 12, 03:32:00 PM:

After the surrender of Europe to Islam, their military age men will be conscripted into Janissary units for the invasion of North America (no need to ask what will happen to the women). So much for the militarization of Europe.

The militarization of the US will occur then, and not before.  

By Anonymous Pete, at Sat Aug 12, 03:41:00 PM:

I think the West will only tolerate X+1 as a response to a RIF attack. X being whatever level of destruction the RIF's employ. And by the "West" I don't necessarily include the average person-in-the-street. I mean the people who shape opinion. They've been playing for a tie since Diem was assassinated.

I think a civilian defense corps full of volunteers, guarding low to middle value targets, would have involved certainly a huge number of gun owners. If they needed me to watch a shopping mall or high school 1 day a week, how could I object.  

By Blogger williakz, at Sat Aug 12, 03:41:00 PM:

Let's look at something current - the "near miss" of in-flight bombs going off simultaneously resulting in some few thousand infidel deaths. If this sad event had in fact taken place, what would the American response be? What about the Brits?

Would we (US) be justified in bombing the "Asian" enclaves in England? Would we be justified in demanding the Brits line 'em up against the wall? How about lobbing something at Pakistan (nevermind what might be lobbed back)?

I don't believe a military response in the face of terrorist events is possible except in very limited special circumstances - Lebanon and Afghanistan come to mind. We will instead respond covertly with targeted deniable violence that modifies the behaviors of those with influence on terrorist operatives.

williak  

By Anonymous Kurt, Portland Oregon, at Sat Aug 12, 03:43:00 PM:

Would it not make more sense to have a series of X-prizes for the development of autonomous robotic systems (spiders, UAV, etc.) and use these to enhance the fighting capability of our military? These could be made modular with 3-D rapid prototyping systems that are themselves automated. This would allow rapid build-up using a minimal of human or financial resources.

Another alternative option to deploying 5 million people to the middle-east would be to use those same rapid prototyping factories (which could be based on carriers) to make lots of UAVs. Have the UAV powered by the same nuclear isotope generators that NASA uses on its space probes. Then deploy those UAVs over the middle-east to "laydown" a genetic designer vector to get rid of the enemy.

This stikes me as a far more cost effective approach for dealing the the existential problems of the middle-east than deploying 5 million people to fight a conventional war. I bet donuts to dollars that my second strategy could be implemented for less than $1 billion.  

By Blogger buck smith, at Sat Aug 12, 03:45:00 PM:

I think it is wise to avoid a draft. A volunteer army fights better than a conscript one. If a larger army is needed to win, the best way to get it is to send the US military to train some of the enemies of Islam at its periphery in Africa. I am thinking in particular in the Sudan. I would love to see those slave-trading a**holes get to know the army that ended Slavery in North America. We should train the target populations of the slavers and then go Shermanistic on Sudan then Somalia.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 03:53:00 PM:

Maybe we should look at our fiction!

According to allot of our fiction, a big issue is a nuclear bomb going off. If generated by a terrorist it drives us to war, or generated by the government for whatever reason to rally the country together and arm for war.

It is a very central theme of military fiction. Personally because I think Nuclear Weaponry is something that not only kills, but also irrationally scares people to the point they will act over and above a point they would before. Also the results from a nuclear blast would be there for years, a long, long term scare, making the area a place they can't even visit, and would fear to be around. That is something that would strike quite largely in soul of a nation.

But according to our fiction, it feels real. It feels like the potential to swing our nation into action would be directly related to a nuclear event on our soil.

Josh  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 03:54:00 PM:

I would be careful with the 1930's analogy, because it is Europe that is "appeasing" the US. The worst possible choice of words is calling extreme fundamentalist Islam "fascist". It is not fascist, it is theocratic. Fascist is when corporations take over the government, not religion. The US is closer to fascism than any Taliban.

What you fail to realize is that using state machinery to go after individuals ( terrorists ) creates a common sense of injustice that is easily exploited. Every civilian home we bomb, every civilian we kill, does nothing but legitimize our opposition and strengthen their political will.

What are the odds that the recent plot would not have developed if not for the brutal developments in Iraq?

War Hawks like to swat hornets nests and sell bug spray.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 04:07:00 PM:

After 9/11, everybody knows someone who knew someone who perished. If a major city were attacked with WMD, we would all know a casualty and many of us would lose family members. The corpses, laid end-to-end, would more than circle the globe. At that point, all of us would feel a direct threat to our families.

We would no longer talk about rebuilding countries, but rather about breaking them into tiny pieces and paving over what was left. Interestingly, this likely would not necessitate nuclear response. A draft would be quite likely. But we might not need it. Under these circumstances, there would be almost universal volunteer action as there was in WWII.  

By Blogger Jeremy, at Sat Aug 12, 04:09:00 PM:

It's never going to happen. Almost all of Europe and probably half of the US thinks the US is the problem, not the Islamic fascists. Western civilization is finished.  

By Blogger Charging Rhino, at Sat Aug 12, 04:25:00 PM:

"I don't think that words means what you think it means."-Inago Montoya

Fascism is NOT government by corporations. Robert O. Paxton defined it as ..."Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion." And classically it entrenches itself through social-welfare outreach similar to Hamas and Hezb'allah parallel to legitimate state-organs through the party apparatus.  

By Anonymous Unkawill, at Sat Aug 12, 04:42:00 PM:

Just put me in charge and all of this s**t would be over in one year, tops  

By Blogger John, at Sat Aug 12, 04:43:00 PM:

I don't think that the militarization of the West will ever happen. This is not the same nation as 1941.

In the event of a mass WMD attack, like the destruction of New York City by a terrorist nuke, fully 1/3 of the population (at least) would directly blame the US.

The Iraq War has almost drained our will to fight, and it's a very small war in comparison to WWII. The spirit is gone, and there is no substitute.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 04:46:00 PM:

"Fascist is when corporations take over the government, not religion. The US is closer to fascism than any Taliban."

This is utter bs. Fascism is assoicated with corporatism, not incorporated businesses.  

By Blogger ClearwaterConservative, at Sat Aug 12, 04:47:00 PM:

The US can not defeat these guys with guns. Never, ever. Regardless of how much we spend or how many US soldiers are lost they are not defeatable by military force.

It is going to require that moderate Muslims step up and tell Al Q that they will not allow this anymore.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 04:49:00 PM:

I am personally strongly pro-American and anti islamo-fascist. However, I do not see the need for a militarization of the West. As somebody already pointed out the islamo-fascists and the states that sponsor and aid them are not our equal in economic or military power; they are undeniably inferior in that respect. Where they are evidently “superior” to us is in their conviction in their righteousness. And this is the essence of our existential problem.
Why would I accept being deprived of my comforts, which militarization clearly implies, in order to fight “fairly” a technically inferior opponent? We certainly have the technical means and prowess of defeating islamo-fascist terrorism but we are unwilling to advocate their use because of a false sense of morality. I do not think that somebody in an existential fight has the luxury of applying a false sense of morality. It is my opinion that most people realize it and, maybe unconsciously, reach the conclusion that if our leaders do not advocate the use of all means at our disposal to defend ourselves, then the situation is not as grave as claimed.
Luc  

By Blogger Robert Schwartz, at Sat Aug 12, 04:58:00 PM:

When the NYTimes stops getting letters like this:

The Age of Terror, From Air Travel to Politics (9 Letters), August 12, 2006

To the Editor:
Re “Terror Plot Foiled; Airports Quickly Clamp Down” (front page, Aug. 11):
The actions of the British in stopping this bomb plot were classic examples of good international police work. President Bush touted this as part of the “war on terror,” but it apparently did not involve any army, navy or air force.
No bombs were dropped. No country was invaded. No one was killed, and nothing was destroyed.
It was effective, and it did not enrage millions as the invasion of Iraq has done. It was a police action, not an act of war.
The “war on terror” is not a war. President Bush calls it a war so that he can be a wartime president and claim to be a heroic protector of America, but this is bogus.
Terrorism cannot be fought with armies. They make things only worse.
Mr. President, bring the armies home and concentrate on good police work.
John Hilberry
New York, Aug. 11, 2006  

By Blogger Ben-G, at Sat Aug 12, 04:59:00 PM:

The point is not the mobilization and militarization of the "west". The point should be on the PR showing that we have the willing to act. That would make sense.  

By Anonymous Gordon, at Sat Aug 12, 05:01:00 PM:

I am not at all sure that the West can defend itself any longer. The vast majority of my friends regard the current conflict in the Middle East as part of a cycle of violence which can be ended by men of goodwill getting around a table and coming to some mutually beneficial agreement. The idea which I have expressed that in Lebanon the Israelis are killing Jihadis and that this is "good in itself and to be pursued for its own sake" they find totally incomprehensible.  

By Blogger Former Republican, at Sat Aug 12, 05:02:00 PM:

Charging Rhino, the core meaning of "fascist" derives from the German Nazis and the Italian fascists. They had several characteristics that the radical Islamists do not: they were racist; they were anti-religion; they had contempt for democracy; and they ignored the rule of law. Please consider the last Iranian presidential election: the winner was a surprise. Could such a thing have possibly happened in Hitler's Germany or Mussolini's Italy? And recognize that the Islamists' goal is (among other things) to establish sharia, which we may not like, but which nonetheless is a legal system. The jihadists are not similar enough to classical fascists for the label to be useful, except as propaganda. The reason people use "Islamo-Fascist" and similar terms is not because they think Iran, Hezbollah, etc., fit Paxton's description. It is because they want to short-circuit thinking, in the service of an agenda.  

By Blogger Kirk Parker, at Sat Aug 12, 05:05:00 PM:

Dave Schuler,

Re: "Recall that we've just seen a non-state actor go toe-to-toe with a first-rate military."

It's not really fair to call Hezbollah, with their universally-acknowledged Iranian ties, a "non-state" actor, is it?

Baron, no I didn't wince, but maybe that's just me. I do recall we shifted fairly easily from vilification of the enemy to rebuilding Germany and Japan, so that may explain my nonchalance: I don't really think such a presentation says much, if anything, about our supposed racism or anything else.

Anon, I hate taxes as much as the next guy, really I do. However, I do think it's fair to point out that, in exchange for their 2.5% jizya, they received essentially nothing in return. At least we have police departments, public water and roads, courts that we can access on an equal basis regardless of our religion, etc. etc.

Anon(2), is there perhaps an extra "not" somewhere in "What are the odds that the recent plot would not have developed if not for the brutal developments in Iraq"? If you do mean what I think you do, the answer is zero: the folks who planned that would have planned it even if Sadaam were still flying high.  

By Blogger luc, at Sat Aug 12, 05:19:00 PM:

Former republican: Sat Aug 12, 05:02:07 PM
You are only partially correct in that although I used the term islamo-fascist in my post I did it because it seems to be a term used to describe the group of terrorist, jihadi, etc that we are facing today, not because I have an agenda. As far as the characteristics of fascists you enumerated, the slamo-fascits, (for lack of a better term) have at least two of them: contempt for our form of democracy and anti-religion (the last I heard they condemned to death an Afghani which became Christian). ;)

Luc  

By Blogger mrsizer, at Sat Aug 12, 05:23:00 PM:

The question implies that the US needs to wake up. It _might_ not.

The only reason anyone cares about the Middle East is oil. If there were no oil there, we could simply quarantine them - no travel in or out. Think Africa. It's not exactly quarantined, but no one cares who is killing who because there is nothing in Africa that anyone wants.

There are many scenarios possible, although not necessarily likely, over the next 20 years that could make Middle Eastern oil worthless (not all oil, it's simply to useful, but reducing demand will result in a huge oversupply and since it is a commodity, we can buy from elsewhere).

Think about this one: NASA builds a space elevator instead of Space Shuttle 2. Cheap access to orbit. Solar power is useless on earth - efficiency too low, sun unreliable, requires too much space, etc... - but in space? No gravity means no supports. Gigantic solar panels are possible. We need robots that can weave high-tech ribbon to create the space elevator. Create robots that weave solar panels and just let them go. Ship up the pieces, automated construction. Send the power back down along the elevator ribbon. No need for oil - or nukes - for electricity.

Oil is a hydrocarbon. There's no reason it could not be produced biologically. How about bacteria that eat something and crap oil?

On our current course, it will take a nuke in an American city to wake up the US to the threat. Hopefully something, not necessarily either of the above, will happen that renders the threat irrelevant.

BTW: How much of use will come out of Europe after the Muslims take over? 50% of the work force will be removed. Those who are doing the taking over (not necessarily all Muslims) are not exactly the most productive of workers.

Just a different slant on things,  

By Blogger RebeccaH, at Sat Aug 12, 05:30:00 PM:

To militarize the West in order to confront the threat you are talking about would take a nuclear attack against a major Western city, probably London or New York. Nothing else will do it. I only hope it never comes to that.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 05:37:00 PM:

Someone in the comments wrote:

"What are the odds that the recent plot would not have developed if not for the brutal developments in Iraq?"

The fact that there are people in this country who think that sums up our entire problem in a nutshell.  

By Blogger Nicole, at Sat Aug 12, 05:40:00 PM:

Personally, I think "Mystery Meat" might have something there.

I recently read a book by Shelbe Steel called, "White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era" (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060578629). Shelby's thesis is that modern liberalism is driven by a philosophy of disassociation, or rather a philosophy of "I am not that," where "that" can stand for any human-driven evil you can imagine, including the past abuses of "militarism." Any philosphy based on the vigorous proof negatives, as Steele so wonderfully pointed out, leads to feedback loops of the once-powerful doing everything they can to empower the once-disenfranchised to the point of interdependence and ultimate destruction of all parties involved. The book uses U.S. race relations of the 1960s and 1970s as a concrete example of his discussion of modern liberal disassociation, hence the title. (Shelby's use of Civil Rights era dynamics is similar to the use of the changes in the nature modern warfare that Alvin and Heidi Toffler used in their book, "War and Anti-War," as a concrete example of the changes that an "information society" is having, and will have, upon human affairs in general.) Personally, after years of searching for why I have come to loathe modern liberalism (much to my own suprise), I think Steele has hit the nail on the head.

It may be that the only way to get our "military butts in gear" would be to first combat the politics of dissasociation. This, unfortunately, would entail changing the entire foundation upon which modern liberalism seems to be built.  

By Blogger Former Republican, at Sat Aug 12, 06:07:00 PM:

Luc-

You say that the Islamic radicals "have at least two of them: contempt for our form of democracy and anti-religion (the last I heard they condemned to death an Afghani which became Christian)"

The original fascisms of Germany and Italy had contempt for ALL forms of religion (except maybe the Odin cult in the case of the Nazis) and ALL forms of democracy.

One more point: the original fascists were highly nationalistic. Islamic radicals aren't. Yet another difference between them and the original fascists.

BTW, maybe you are right that Islamic radicals have contempt for "our form of democracy." But I know of no evidence for that. They regard any state not governed by Islamic law as inferior maybe illegitimate. Maybe that's what you mean. Whatever, their problem is not with democracy as such. As I pointed out in my original post, Iran has democratic institutions that are not shams.

Call them Islamofascists if you like. You might as well call them Islamo-Puritans. They are more like the Puritans than they are like the original fascists. Neither category fits. We're up against something different, and if we don't realize it, we're going to have problems. Actually, we are having problems, come to think of it.  

By Blogger DSmith, at Sat Aug 12, 06:16:00 PM:

Like any people, ours will not be roused until we feel it is an existential threat. Which may never happen. We may end up slowly boiled, like frogs.

But I think that unlikely. The Islamists are cocky if nothing else, and they will play their hand too soon and too violently. Their contempt for their opponents requires that they shame them, not just defeat them, and this will cause them to commit some powerful outrage.

For ourselves, we don't need to beat state actors, nor terrorists. What we need to do is destroy Islam. It has been a creed of violence and conquest since 624 and shows no signs of changing its nature. To make Germany stop we had to destroy Nazism, and destroy the idea of Aryan superiority. To make Japan stop we had to essentially destroy Shintoism, and completely disabuse them of the notion that they are a divine race. We have the same basic problem with Islam, and we will not solve it with less of a solution.

Spare me the "freedom of religion" stuff. It is not absolute. We don't allow the Aztecs to practice their religion in any meaningful way - no more human sacrifices. The great majority of religions of human history have practiced human sacrifice. That is now beyond the pale, and such religions are not tolerated, First Amendment notwithstanding. So too religions that cling to an idea of divine superiority and world conquest can no longer be tolerated. Period.

Islam Delenda Est  

By Anonymous Nostradamus, at Sat Aug 12, 06:25:00 PM:

It would take TWO nukes. Not one, but two to be detonated in America. Just one would solicit a huge response by us, but that response would be "forward" looking. A second blast would be grounds for declaring Martial Law in America, a suspension of "rights" to allow the kind of security procedures needed to screen EVERYTHING from written, financial and physical travel to be inspected, restricted and censored. No mail would be sent without being inspected. No containers recieved at ports. No vehicles entering cities without search. A total clampdown. People searched without notice. Publications scanned for "hidden messages". If two nukes went off, could we do it? You bet. Should we do it. No question, yes. And there would be more. Watch as many foriegn leaders get assassinated. Watch as many domestic "leaders" get rounded up and jailed for treason. (Murtha, Kennedy, Pelosi,and the like).Watch as foriegn cities begin to disappear beneath mushroom clouds and carpet-bombing. Watch as we suddenly wake up and no longer care about "collateral damage". ("Leave this city, because in 24-hours it will be reduced to rubble"). It's a shame it would take two nukes detonated here to do it. We should have done it on 9/12/01. No would care by now if we did.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 06:31:00 PM:

Neil Sinhababu, Unkawill, and Former Republican are all right, but left out one important demographic fact mitigating against mobilization: a very large share of the male population of military age is non-white, and many of them don't even speak English. They can hardly be expected to identify with American values, much less defend the US as it is currently constituted. If anything, they identify with the Muslims.

Our leaders constantly remind us that this is a fight against "evil", but is that really so? We think they are "evil", but a billion Muslims with a 1500-year history think WE are evil--so there!

Unless we start thinking of this conflict as nothing more than biological, like red and black ants fighting to the death on the sidewalk, we're finished. As such, we have to start thinking about a genocide option and how to execute it.  

By Blogger Frank in Florida, at Sat Aug 12, 06:34:00 PM:

I disagree with those who say that the loss of a US City would be "enough." Sorry, but all politics are local and Joe Average in Atlanta might cry over the loss of LA, but he would want to return to status quo ASAP.
It's not the death toll or dollar toll, it's the widespread application of the event(s) that might make them potent.
SCENARIO: I was blogging polling places during the last National Election for the (now closed) Command Post. The thought that grabbed me was that five car bombs outside five polling places in five different states would have disrupted the entire election provess. IF/WHEN the radical Islamists introduce car/body bombs across the US.. random booms...THEN, Joe will get pissed.
However, the reaction against a "stateless" enemy is likely to be 99% defensive. Two-factor authentication to get into a mall, UAVs patrolling suburbia, cameras everywhere. It's an ACLU nightmare (or.. since they are nothing when they are not complaining.. an ACLU wet dream).
Let the "terror" become widespread and random and our reaction will become militant. It's the GEOGRAPHIC NATURE of the terror, not the megadeaths.  

By Blogger Cogitatus Incognito, at Sat Aug 12, 06:49:00 PM:

Tigerhawk,

Getting back to your original question...unfortunately, if we use WW2 as our guide, the USA won't militarize even if our allies are attacked.

We did nothing overt when Hitler attacked Poland, France, what used to be called the Benelux countries, and even England itself. It was only after we were directly attacked by the Japanese that Roosevelt was able to muster enough public support to go after Germany with force.

So, sadly, if an islamist or Iranian nuke goes off in London I believe the US will not do anything to mobilize as a country. It's going to take a massive attack on our own soil before we wake up as a country.

Like many of the others here I think that until a nuke goes off in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas or Miami, only then we will rise up as a country and say "Do whatever it takes to exterminate every last one of the bastards".

And sadly, I've resigned myself to the idea that hundreds of thousands of my fellow citizens will die in such an attack within the next five to ten years.

Europe militarizing? I have no idea. Based on their past behavior, I can't imagine them mobilizing for anything. Based on that behavior I believe there is a 75% chance Europe is finished as a member of western civilization within what's left of my lifetime.

One need only look at Europe's behavior toward Israel in this latest outrage by Hezballah. You see there a picture of Europe's future with their own Islamofascists. Europe's leadership, media and intelligensia are shepparding the European population inexorably to their doom. Whom will the French appease when the Imams pass out antitank weapons in the Muslim slums?

The Other Mark  

By Blogger Dan Morgan, at Sat Aug 12, 06:51:00 PM:

Get ready to invade the world? I don't get it. In hindsight, given what we know now, we would have never invaded Iraq. So, seeing how Iraq is going - who would we want to invade next? Iran?

If need be, bomb the crap out of them. Take out every conceivable military or terrorist support facility. Bomb where the ruling Mullahs live. But why invade? A bunch of Americans would die, it would be an occupation nightmare, and it would cost a fortune.  

By Blogger yblitz, at Sat Aug 12, 07:06:00 PM:

The attitude of most people is greatly influenced by the main stream media. As an example, most do not understand Hezbollah started the war against Israel and that 2000 + rockets have been fired into Israel. The barrage of biased reporting and photos (many fake) lead the public to think that Israel is the aggressor rather than responding to rocket attacks on their civilian population. The first step in getting the public to recognize the general danger of the radical Islamic threat to our society would be to mount a campaign against the biased media in any way possible. Bloggers do a good job but that is apparently not enough. An informed public would be be more amenable to necessary and timely action against terrorist or rogue nation threats.

Another problem we have that gives our adversaries a huge advantage is asymmetric warfare. That is the tactic of mixing combatants and weaponry with civilan population as Hezbollah does. The restraint western nations use in dealing with terrorists mingled with civilians negates much of their technological advantage. Eventually we will need to declare that we will not adhere to Geneva Convention requirements when our adversary engages in asymmetric tactics.
When we do this civilians will try to remove themselves from battle zones or try to deny entry of combatants in their premisis. Lebanese apparantley approve of Hezbollah using them as shields and therefore are not innocent victims of Israel attacts on rocket launching sites (as the MSM would have you believe).  

By Blogger Mark, at Sat Aug 12, 07:12:00 PM:

If need be, bomb the crap out of them. Take out every conceivable military or terrorist support facility. Bomb where the ruling Mullahs live. But why invade?

If you take genocide (over and above what the US did to Germany and Japan during World War II) off the table, occupation and democratization is the only option.

After the American Civil War, the North attempted to "democratize" the American South by eliminating slavery and giving Blacks the right to vote. The intended result was to fundamentally change Southern society. (This wasn't the intent of the North when the war began, which was just to preserve the Union as it was in 1860, with slavery.)

Same for West Germany and Japan after World War II. The objective was to fundamentally change German society from a nation that started two World Wars in which millions were killed to a nation very similar to Belgium, France and even the United States.

Perhaps the real mistake we made in invading Iraq was not invading and occupying Iran also. Iran is arming, funding and training militias in Iraq and has been funding Hezbollah for decades. Iran is not a democracy, unless you think Saddam Hussain was democratically elected.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 07:17:00 PM:

To beat Islam, we'll have to impose a sense of defeat. We can't do that with our current style of fighting. If it comes to our survival (i.e., the West) verssu them, we need to re-think our approach to war.

Up tio now, we've been letting The Islamicists dictate our fighting style. We respond with precision and restraint, in part because we're have this mindset that because we're the good guys we don't want to appear over-bullying.

That needs to change. We should recast our response. Our stance should be, if you want to play with the big boys, you play by the big boys' rules. By this I mean a return to what we do best -- full-scale industrial war. As Sherman said, we should "make Georgia howl."

The Islamicists indulge in this low-level warfare, knowing we won't escalate out of some misplaced sense of fairness (or, as we have aseen in the latest Israeli fight, "proportionality"). Thw world has forgotten how awful real war truly is. We need to remind them.

Roto-till the bastards. Only then will they get the message. Only that way can we impose a sense of defeat and impose the kind of culture-wide epiphany necessary to stop them.  

By Blogger Mark, at Sat Aug 12, 07:18:00 PM:

How many would agree with the following:

The war against Islamo-fascism would be 95 percent over if the Iranian regime were either toppled by American military power or internally changed into a democratic state.  

By Blogger Nahanni, at Sat Aug 12, 07:19:00 PM:

It will all happen much too fast for militarization.

Unfortunately we are doomed. We have idiotarians who are blinded by petty politics and grasp onto the beliefs of September 10th like a child grasps his security blanket during a storm. These people will stop at nothing to tie our hands in the silken cords of appeasement, moral equivalcy and guilt. These idiotarians see the very people who want to slaughter them and all the rest of us as heroes-I am beginning to think it is their version of "suicide by cop". There is no point in even arguing with them anymore, they will have to learn the lesson the hard way now. That is if they survive long enought to benefit from it.

The only thing you can do is decide what you are going to do. Are you going to try to survive or not and then plan accordingly. You will have to get used to the fact that everything you know and love will be destroyed or drastically changed. Places you know will cease to exist, people you know will be dust in the wind.

A poster above quoted Yeats poem "The Second Coming". I will quote the last line of it...

"What rough beast, it's hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?  

By Blogger BigDirigible, at Sat Aug 12, 07:49:00 PM:

I don't think there is anything which will get Europe to militarize in time. Europe waited until too late last time - the good guys lost WW2 in Europe, and had to wait to be rescued by overwhelming forces from the New World and Asia. There may not be any rescue from outside, this time.

As for the US, I doubt that we will need serious militarization. Our enemies are not powerful. They are, however, relentless. The only way they can win is if their more powerful foes (that is, us) would rather give up than fight. That was Japan's formula for victory in the Pacific - the US could be clobbered in 1941, but would then settle down to the "new realities" in the area. Then, they guessed wrong. Now, it will take a revolution more than a militarization. The people who start shrieking about "profiling" when an obvious suspect is detained and questioned, those who insist on a double standard re terrorist victims and Western collateral damage, those who claim that it's not a war but a plot to enrich Halliburton - anyone spouting nonsense like this will have to be eliminated from public life, or marginalized. The current Democratic talking points have to become as irrelevant to American politics as, say, George Wallace was forty years ago. That will take a revolution in attitudes. No atrocity will rush it, even an atomic attack - it will take time. The change to be forced on the more homicidal Islamic cultures will also take time. The last 1400 years has knocked some of the edge off - Islam will never have another Saladin or Sulieman - but obviously there's still a problem, and we'll have to work at it a bit more. Fifty years, maybe. Newt Gingrich thinks more like 80.

How big a war will it eventually be? Will the destruction of Islam be required? I don't know - the jury is still out on that, and may be out for some time. The only good thing about that is that our response right now doesn't depend on the answer. Kill our enemies now - we know who they are, they're the sort who think that machine-gunning school kids is a legitimate form of political expression as long as they chant that God is Great while they do it. If we turn out to have a larger pool of enemies than we thought at first (ie, if exterminating the obvious ones "just encourages more terrorists"), then we keep doing it until they're gone. It would be Verdun on the grand scale. Expensive and grotesque, but better than the subjection of the West and extermination of all trace of Enlightenment liberalism. It would mean a pretty big pile of bodies in the end, but if it has to be done, let's start.

I think a militia system not unlike the Swiss model might help a great deal, would introduce some of the necessary attitudinal shifts, and could be implemented relatively inexpensively. And it should be enough to deal with the domestic portion of "all enemies, foreign and domestic". A concerted publicity and propaganda compaign to abandon the irrelevancies of Geneva and the Hague might be overdue, too. That might clue people in to the notion that this isn't a game.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 07:55:00 PM:

What was interesting about the 30's was the massive build up of hydro-electric power as part of the depression motivated work programs. The side benefit and perhaps a far-sighted direct reason for creating this infrastructure was the ability of these power facilities to drive aluminum smelters and facilitate the building of war materiel.

Rather than letting ourselves be caught even more flat footed than we already are, we should immediately start a crash program to build 150-200 nuclear reactors in five to ten years. (I even wrote to the white house/energy dept and a few congress critters back in 2001 and got BS for response) I also begged that fusion research be kicked up to the level of the manhatten project. The point is that when Iran does rattle its nuclear saber in the not too distant future we should be prepared to make the nuclear annihilation of Iran an economic non-event for the rest of the world.

If the islamo-fascists threaten to stop shipping oil we should be able to immediate bomb and utterly, completely, and permanently destroy their oil production capability. If they are going to play the game of threatenting to destroy our economy then they need to contemplate a fate from which they will never recover.

The oil producting countries know that technologically their days are numbered. It may be 40 years at the rate the academic pinheads move in the fusion research area but before the midpoint of this century oil will pretty much be exclusively used to produce petro-chemicals as opposed to being a fuel source. The bottom will will drop out of that market.

But by publically and demonstrably moving in the direction lessening our energy dependence on these islamo-fascists we send a powerful message. Would these thugs be more compliant when they realize their leverage is being eroded or will they panic and act precipitously fearing this may be their last chance to excercise their power? I think that either of these scenarios is better than letting them get better prepared to strike at us on our nickel. Do we need another excuse? I don't think so. And for the America haters no reason will ever be good enough.  

By Blogger Papa Ray, at Sat Aug 12, 07:57:00 PM:

I could spend a few hundred or thousand words but the answer is simple.

1. Enought Fear.
2. Same thing.

As far as the mechanics, it would take a lot of money and I'm talking bunches of zeros, and some time. We haven't even replaced the destroyed, damaged equipment from our current conflicts and we have worn out enough equipment to where they are having to get emergency equipment to get it all repaired.

People won't be interested in getting behind a war effort, or even paying for it for someone else to go and kill or die for their country.

Until they are afraid enough. Of course, some won't do anything but hide either behind words or in actuallity.

Me, I'm good, my backordered ammo came in finally and we "test fired" about 400 rounds today.

Worked really good.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Sat Aug 12, 08:16:00 PM:

Remember, Iran fought Saddam's Iraq for 8 years, from 1980-88, without being to overcome a statemate. Iran is NOT that tough

Today's Iran is not 1988 Iran. If you look at their current (known) rder of battle and focus of defense expenditures over the past 10 years, this will be obvious.

Yes, we could take them, but I suspect the casualties (primarily Naval) would make Iraq look like a bargain.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 08:32:00 PM:

Tigerhawk,

Americans are not mere extensions of the United States to live and serve at her whim. While Swiss, Germans, Croatians and other Europeans think this a grand idea, and already militarize their citizens to some extent, Americans generally believe people are individuals free to pursue their own ends at their own times. Are you committed to destroying this ideal?

Put more faith in the pack instead of the herd.

A Liberal  

By Blogger DEC, at Sat Aug 12, 08:51:00 PM:

TigerHawk said: "The problem, it seems to me, is that we are not ready to fight another major war."

Yes, but you don't have to control cities in the Middle East. You simply have to control the oil installations. Without oil money in the economies of the Middle East, your enemies won't be able to buy nuclear weapons or airplane tickets.

(And you might as well deduct all your military and security expenses from the oil profits. To the victor go the spoils)  

By Blogger Mark in Texas, at Sat Aug 12, 09:00:00 PM:

I don't see militarization being in the cards. Any provocation that would be great enough to conscript a large fraction of our population into military service would also be great enough to initiate a genocide against Islam.

The reason that most people don't use a sledge hammer to kill a mosquito is because it is tough on the walls and the furniture. However, we have lots of sledge hammers and where most of the mosquitos live it's not our walls or furniture. Since Islamic terrorists are so good at hiding among Muslim populations, our intelligence usually can't do any better than to say that an individual is in a particular city or in one of the villiages in a particular part of Pakistan's tribal areas. If we use nuclear weapons, that much intelligence is good enough.

If President Bush's compassionate nation building approach does not work, we probably won't have to kill all the Muslims just as we did not have to kill all of the Indians. But we will kill a lot of them.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 10:04:00 PM:

I swear I am going to vomit if I read one more Islamofascist apologist blame any current event on Bush or on Iraq. They will find an excuse for 9-11, for this plot, for ANYTHING. If we wake up one morning to find three of our cities blasted underneath mushroom clouds, these folk will STILL find a way to blame ourselves.

I call the opponent 'Islamofascist'. They are fascist due to oppresson and control of their entire population. We say 'Islamo' because they are completely theocratic. It used to be that the left hated fascism and theocracy. Now, I have no idea what they hate, except the U.S.A. and Western civilization itself.

What will it take before America gets serious about this war? It will take a nuclear bomb in another country that is directly tracable to Iran. Or it will take a nuclear bomb in our country, and it won't matter if it's tracable or not. We won't care, and we will be invested in punishment to such a degree that all our namby-pamby leftists will face a choice: join in, be quiet, or become evil insurgents themselves.  

By Blogger Jason, at Sat Aug 12, 10:11:00 PM:

What will it take?

10,000 dead American civilians on the mainland.

You'd think the number wouldn't have to be so high, but if we are where we are after 9/11, it seems that only something even more extreme will make people take things seriously.

If someone would have told me on 9/12/01 that the world would be so complacent, I would have thought that person was insane.  

By Anonymous Jack Shaftoe, at Sat Aug 12, 10:31:00 PM:

Everyone's thinking in terms which are far too grandiose here.

It wouldn't take a nuke.

In fact, I can think of two scenarios which would immediately put the West on a pretty stable war footing.

The scary thing is, either of these could happen at any time.

1. Waves of suicide bombings in America's hearland. Imagine the reaction of the Red State America if there was a bombing every few weeks in malls in the suburbs.

Everyone's talking about a state actor scenario. But that wouldn't truly militarize the West against Islamic fascism. True militarization will only come when we realize we're up against an ideology and not a state.

If the islamists hit the heartland with a series of persistent and unpredictable attacks, the war would be completely redefined into what it should have been all along: a war against islamic fascism.

2. A hit on the Vatican. Don't count it out. Iran has missiles with the range, and they're just crazy enough to do it. But the Church is the sleeping giant in this whole equation - the one entity that has not come to the table. Don't underestimate their power. We see the Church through the prism of the last few hundred years. But in a true fight for its survival?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 10:37:00 PM:

There is no need to mobilize the population with such avid Tigerhawk readers. You can join the fight yourself by calling Blackwater and signing up. American mercenaries are in high demand right now. Who needs 18 year old kids when we have experienced people right here?
You can find their telephone number on their web page. Just search for Blackwater USA.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 10:53:00 PM:

This is an excellent topic and one that more Americans should ponder. I am afraid that it will take a cataclysmic event to awaken us from our slumber. We are spoiled, fat and degenerate. We live in houses far bigger than we need, with three car garages and in home theaters. We eat too much, drink too much and think too little about how we got to this point. On September 12, 2001, the President and his Administration could have asked for much bolder action and much greater sacrifice. They did not. They did not want to spook the economy any more than it already had been. They wanted to rally us just enough to do the job at hand, but no more. Maybe this approach was for the best. But, in hindsight, I cannot help but think that we could have been better led in those fateful months.

Now we appear to be spent. To use a WWII analogy, it would be as if America and its Allies had evicted Germany from France and just stopped.

Militant Islam may lack the armies and weapons of the Nazis or the Japanese, but they certainly have the numbers (times ten), the fanaticism and the patience. In many ways, their strengths match-up perfectly against our weaknesses. We are a trusting, generous and tolerant people. They are cunning, ruthless and very familiar with our societal foibles. We must toughen up, adapt to their cunning and prepare for a long, painful struggle.

I am afraid that Israel's most recent experience proves how difficult it will be for the West to fight this battle. They are surrounded by hostile neighbors, under daily attack in forty percent of their landmass and have a neighboring leader threatening to wipe them off the map. Even so, there are peace rallies in Tel Aviv, members of the Kenesset decry the advance into Lebanon and their government cannot even agree on basic military strategy. If they cannot organize a defense under these circumstances, what hope do we have?

On a positive note, maybe we will win this by muddling through. A large number of people (Patton included) felt that America should have fought the Soviets in 1945 after the fall of the Nazis. In hindsight, while we would have likely won that war, it would have lasted years and consumed many, many more souls. In the end, who knows what America and the world would have looked like. We did not fight that war then, but fought a long, frustrating cold war to a successful conclusion. Maybe this struggle will end similarly. I for one hope so.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 10:59:00 PM:

If the US gets nuked:
Look for an extensive series of field tests of enhanced radiation weaponry throughout the oil-producing areas of the Middle-East.

And BTW, if our economy comes to a screeching halt, who in the hell is going to need Mid-East oil?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 11:03:00 PM:

We don't want to use enhanced radiation weapons in the Middle East. We will need that oil and not contaminated. Regular, old, mushroom-cloud-making, skin-and-eyeball-melting nukes will do just fine, thanks.  

By Blogger Paul Edwards, at Sat Aug 12, 11:19:00 PM:

There is no reason to mobilize 30 million Americans, unless you want to do something like conquer Europe and ram some horrible ideology down their throat. As it is, the ideology that America is spreading is rational, humanist, anti-subjugating government, something that many people in the target countries support.

Iran is one such example. There is no need to conquer Iran. There is only a need to make sure that NO-ONE is subjugating the Iranian people. This is a different sort of warfare - a war of liberation, and much fewer troops are needed. America is currently engaged in "military experiments", to see how little force is actually required to liberate people. Afghanistan was the ultimate in what can be achieved. Iraq took something like 60,000 troops 3 weeks to liberate. I suspect the Iranians will be staging a revolution as soon as the US arrives. The only way to find out is to try. Send in 40,000 troops and see what happens. If it doesn't work, pull them out and try again later with a higher number.

Dealing with the ideology of Islam is a separate issue. Let's assume for arguments sake that we want the problem over with quickly and decide genocide is the way to do it. The way to do that is what is already being done. Destroy the military capability of our enemies, one at a time, and once they are vulnerable, let the genocide begin. No options have been closed off with the "softly, softly" approach currently being used by Bush.

However, it is my opinion that we can de-Islamify/de-Nazify the Muslim countries via education. After we have demilitarized all the outstanding enemies, we can then give them a modern education, which includes a lot of self-criticism.

I pledge allegiance to use my brain to fight subjugation of my species - do you?

For more information see www.moatazilla.org  

By Anonymous Blues fan, at Sat Aug 12, 11:26:00 PM:

In a worst case scenario, the 9/11 attack could have killed 10,000 in NYC, and President Bush + Cheney would have been killed as Flight 93 flew into the White House. Such a staggering loss of life in NYC and a decapitating event on our government would have crashed the dollar and world wide economic markets would have collapsed. Paper money instantly worthless. Martial law would have been declared and the borders sealed. Muslims would be thrown in detention camps ala the Japanese in WWII. War would have been declared on the Muslism World.

Think how close we came to this 5 years ago. This is an existential threat folks, dont let any of the fools tell you otherwise.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Aug 12, 11:55:00 PM:

What event? For Europe, there isn't one - more attacks will only get them to fall over themselves to surrender even faster.

For America and its civilized allies, more than one nuclear attack by a known Islamist state such as Iran now or Pakistan, say, later on is the only thing (the only likely thing; I doubt we’ll get waves of suicide bombers or invading Islamic hordes) that I can think of that would do it. If we get bombed once, we’ll either lob a few bombs in their general direction or invade, change nothing important and go away again. If we get bombed by Brits, say, with nukes smuggled in from Allah-knows-where, it’s more likely to cause a civil war over who to blame than a world war.

“A constant thread that runs through France in the 1930s is the extreme factionalism, often resulting in more fear and distrust of other Frenchmen than of the rising external enemy.”(Photon Courier).
Canada, Australia, Japan, India and the US are almost where France was then. Europe is gone.  

By Blogger cakreiz, at Sun Aug 13, 12:33:00 AM:

Great post, Hawk; it's nice to see the flurry of comments. Simply, the shit's gotta hit the fan- a genocidal attack by Iran or its agents on Israel or another significant attack on the US (9/11 wasn't enough). Until then, we'll bide our time and hope it goes away. But once that Jacksonian impetus hits home, we'll be a most formidable foe. We're hugely underestimated in the Middle East.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 13, 12:44:00 AM:

Liberal,

Do you recall something called the Selective Service? Or something about "we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fourtunes, and our Sacred Honor"? I guess you are exactly as most of these posts have portrayed today's left wing. (I kinda get the feeling this is a fake post)

Anyhow, I agree it would take a major attack on the US mainland, but I would argue only after Israel has made some major (and futile) concessions to the Pallys and Hezbollah. That way there are no good excuses that any apologists can make.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 13, 12:58:00 AM:

Calm down, you pussies, don't soil yourselves thinking about Arabs taking over. I've been to Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East as a contractor (retired military) and I am amazed how scared people get.

Maybe my fear threshold is high, I spent 18 months in Iraq, but my take is those people can't find their ass with both hands, let alone conquer America or Europe, even assuming they want to.

Sheesh, at least "Red Dawn" and "Invasion USA" had some grounding in reality.

Think about this: maybe they think we're trying to grab their oil and stuff and force them to convert, maybe they feel we're threatening them.

Why would we want to militarize America?  

By Blogger DEC, at Sun Aug 13, 01:46:00 AM:

Anonymous: "I spent 18 months in Iraq, but my take is those people can't find their ass with both hands, let alone conquer America or Europe, even assuming they want to."

Yeah, well, the Iraqis are country folks. They are basically the Dukes of Hazzard and the Beverly Hillbillies of the Arab world.

Don't underestimate people in other Muslim societies. I have done business in Muslim cultures for 30 years. Many Arabs (and Persians) are very smart, very sophisticated.

The U.S. government underestimated Arabs for years. Then a small group of so-called "stupid" Arabs pulled off 9/11 brilliantly.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 13, 02:00:00 AM:

We don't need a WWII style mobilization. We can win this war if attitudes change here, and if we're clear about strategy. The federal budget needs to get reoriented away from wealth transfer and toward greater expenditure in the parts of government that are fighting this war and keeping us safe: defense, homeland security, intelligence, and energy. We don't need all the young men running to induction centers to join the services. We do need properly funded professionals who are empowered to carry the fight to the enemy via all means of national power: airstrikes, occupations, embargoes, blockades, freezing finances, media campaigns in Muslim countries to convince them that the problem is their own guys, diplomacy both public and private that emphasizes US strength, a fence on the southern border, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

I work on projects that would save lives in Iraq, if there were any dollars left over to fund them. There are none, and it's getting worse. The Air Force is going to cut about 40 thousand people (active, reserve, civilians) over the next few years because we can't afford to replace our aging airplanes with the budget we have and all current expenses. This country can afford a much larger effort to take on domestic and foreign terror cells, plus the states that fund and direct them. We're trying to do this war on the cheap, and it's costing lives. We need to mobilize Congress and the budget, not draftees.

Dr Ken  

By Blogger Paul Edwards, at Sun Aug 13, 02:19:00 AM:

Dr Ken, "We're trying to do this war on the cheap, and it's costing lives."

We need cheap wars so that the barrier for going to war is lowered. Iraq is the last war where there will be "significant" (have you seen the road toll?) numbers of US troops killed. For all the remaining countries, the old military can be reused instead of being disbanded. Iraq is the last "occupation". The rest will look more like Afghanistan, slowly (or not at all) disbanding the old military.  

By Blogger ed, at Sun Aug 13, 02:44:00 AM:

Hmmmm.

1. A nuclear attack on an American city.

or.

2. A Columbine-style assault on a shopping mall where hundreds of women and children die.

or.

3. A Columbine-style assault on a grade or elementary school where hundreds of very young to young children die.

...

In any of the above cases I fully expect private citizens will take it upon themselves to ethnically "clean" their neighborhoods, towns or cities. Americans have a lot of patience, but that would be the proverbial "straw". Once that patience is gone expect the American response to be extremely brutal all across the board to anyone and everyone that could remotely be involved.  

By Anonymous Kurt, Portland Oregon, at Sun Aug 13, 03:55:00 AM:

If we are going to have this kind of war, I suggest an all out war where nothing is held back.

First, nuclear bombardment of all of the middle-eastern cities. Second, laydown of anthrax (I recommend the use of bottox and sarin for this task) and any other kind of biological agents necessary to clean out the remaining human population. Sterilization plagues to ensure that the survivers are not able to reproduce.

After the existing populace is reduced/eliminated, you send in those 4-5 million drafties to "mop up" the remaining populace.

I believe it to be stupid to commit our troops (especially drafties instead of professional soldiers) to the middle-east without an initial softening using nuclear and/or biological agents.

Remember, the purpose of war is to eliminate the enemy while reducing friendly casualties to the minimum necessary to do the job.

If we are to have this existential war, I see no reason why we should hold back on use of the atomics and biologicals. We certainly have enough of these to do the job.

The real opportunity will be the post-war settlement opportunities in the newly-depopulated middle-east. The promise of new land for settlement could be used as a incentive to get young people to join the military to fight the war.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 13, 03:59:00 AM:

It isn't possible for America, to say nothing of Europe, to militarize, period. After WWII government spending didn't go down again to the prewar level, instead the "excess" money not needed for war was put in what could very loosly be called quality of life expenditures: Infrastructure, Education, Healthcare, Fundamental Research, and especially in Europe, Welfare.

The "slack" in the national economy that could be used during wartime isn't there anymore.

The government that tried would either be chucked out by political opportunists claiming the threat was fake or easily handled with some silver bullet solution "Do you vote for poverty and death, or do you vote for more money to you?" or simply disintegrate while the loud part of the people declared that "A nation that cant take care of its children (Government funded kindergartens!) doesn't *deserve* to exist!"

And they'll keep chanting that up until OBLs gang saws their heads off, because the pocket book is real but war and death is soooo 20th century.

Ursus Maritimus  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 13, 04:46:00 AM:

DEC, do the people you did business with indicate that they want to attack America? Probably not.

I've been around too: in addition to 18 months in Iraq, been to Jordan, Kuwait, Dubai, Oman, Bahrain, Morocco. I really did not get a strong impression that many people wanted to attack America.

Dr. Ken is right when he says that this fighting war on the cheap is just screwing things up. The USA really has not done much for the Iraqis in a material way, there are improvements like cell phones and satellite TV, but that is balanced against the huge loss of security and destructon of other infrastructure.

I really don't understand the wacky hysteria, the fear.

If this war had been handled correctly, it'd be over four years ago - could have got Bin Laden and wrapped up his network if the forces/resources had been committed. Instead they flailed around, started the fiasco in Iraq and seem to be determined to piss off the rest of the world against us.  

By Blogger Paul Edwards, at Sun Aug 13, 05:10:00 AM:

"If this war had been handled correctly, it'd be over four years ago - could have got Bin Laden and wrapped up his network if the forces/resources had been committed. Instead they flailed around, started the fiasco in Iraq and seem to be determined to piss off the rest of the world against us."

The war has been handled totally correctly. Getting Bin Laden is not a job for the army, it is a job for the police. The job of the army is to topple dictators. Because Bush has played his cards right, a minimal force was required to "conquer" Afghanistan. Bush has cleverly leveraged into available Afghan resources, pitting one set of Afghans (the majority who want Karzai in power as expressed by their democratic vote) versus the minority who want the Taliban in power. Iraq has been set up the same way.

That's the great thing about democracy - it requires minimal resources on our part to keep a democratically-elected head of state in power. You're thinking of the war in pure military terms, instead of looking at it from a geostrategic perspective, where our goal is to turn the rest of the world into rational, humanist, non-subjugating governments. After the governments have been changed we'll be in a position to turn the people into rational, humanist anti-subjugators, either via education or genocide.  

By Blogger LagunaDave, at Sun Aug 13, 07:45:00 AM:

Great post and comments.

I cannot really see a mass conscription army being sent overseas. That would imply a mass occupation, which I think is the opposite of what we want. Even after 10 9/11's, I don't think the US can muster the political will to sustain the equivalent of 10 Iraqs.

I think a containment strategy leveraging our unchallengable air and naval supremacy is probably more effective and sustainable. This would more or less divide the globe into an interconnected, civilized portion, and an isolated, renegade portion (=free fire zone).

First, we destroy any enemy conventional military technology or assets which could pose a threat to us (missiles, modern equipment and manufacturing facilities, professional military forces), and we keep it from being reacquired by sustained air operations and targeted commando raids.

Second, cordon off and blockade countries which do not cooperate fully and aggressively in eliminating the threat from terrorist organizations within their own borders.

In essence, you are either a fully-committed ally in the war on terror, or you are not part of the world economy. We negotiate separately with every government of relevance, and review the agreement every one or two years. We interdict all forms of international communication, transportation and commerce to and from countries that don't meet the minimum terms.

Oil is a problem with this strategy, of course, but if it were possible to recruit enough oil-producing countries, or develop sufficient alternative sources, it could be do-able.

The threat of massive oil interruption is one of the two threats the enemy routinely relies on (the other being suicidal, mass casualty terror attacks). It is assumed that this would cripple the world economy, but on the whole, we are vastly better equipped to fight and win an economic war than the enemy. While the economic damage would be substantial, it would not be irreversible, and we would remain the most robust and dynamic economic force in the world.

Seizing oil assets seems like a step in the wrong direction, since we do not really want or need to be on the ground in that part of the world. If a government will not police its own territory, we bomb them until they change their minds.

Ground power would be used surgically in this strategy, rather than to occupy large areas for extended periods of time. This would allow us to fight engagements on terms of our choosing, rather than the enemy's.

Since this strategy does not preclude the possibility of terrorist attacks even from countries that are completely responsible (e.g. Britain) we should also strengthen internal security measures in sensible and effective ways, including national identification cards and pro-active measures like the terrorist surveillance program, more thorough screening of high-risk individuals, and so on.  

By Blogger M. Simon, at Sun Aug 13, 08:16:00 AM:

I link here:

Are we at war yet?  

By Blogger M. Simon, at Sun Aug 13, 09:06:00 AM:

Anon (I love that nic) suggested that we build more nuke plants.

That will not solve our tranportation fuel problem.

In any case we have enough wind potential to supply 2X to 5X our current electrical needs. And the price at the best wind sites is equal to coal electricity. Plus as wind turbines get bigger the price will come down further.

We have enough coal to last us at least 200 years.

As to the problem of intermittancy of wind. The wind is always blowing somewhere. You have enough turbines and it averages out.  

By Blogger M. Simon, at Sun Aug 13, 09:10:00 AM:

What might help our liquid fuel problems?

Convert coal into liquid fuels. Extract oil from tar sands (the Canadians are already doing a good job).

Growing liquid fuels might help a little. It is not a full solution.  

By Blogger Paul Dietz, at Sun Aug 13, 09:21:00 AM:

All the "nuke 'em 'til they glow" comments are anger hormone driven. Chill, guys.

What is needed is to crash the price of oil. Iran feels invulnerable because they think we dare not interfere with their oil production. We need to get the world onto non-oil substitutes that will set a permanent, and low, ceiling on the market price of petroleum.

I find it instructive that Bush has pushed cellulosic ethanol. Turning the world's rain forests into energy plantations would make the arid middle east a true backwater.  

By Anonymous Thomas, at Sun Aug 13, 10:06:00 AM:

To have europe mobilize, an attack would need to happen on its homeland, If Iran or someone else is able to hit Israel with an attack that is very devastating I forsee every regional country jump on board to that they could all say they they were involved with the destruction of Israel, in doing so the mobilization of Islamo and Secluar Islamo countries will be massive I could see Turkey attempt to take back huge chunks of europe that were once under control of the Ottoman empire, i could see a Mobilzation then. What couldnt be done in the seiges of Vienna might be attempted again this time the immigrant street will hinder the governments of europe from being about to fully combat the invasion from the Islamo countries.
europeans will have a very hard time waging war.

Here in the US, if we get bogged down fighting in the MiddleEast because of some scenario and its of a large enough scale, do we allow Japan to Militarize again to prevent China from flexing its muscle in the pacific? We would have a draft if China starts wanting to expand to control more of the pacific region, because in order for that invasion to be successful China will have needed to attack our fleet in the pacific.

I know we will win, without a doubt, caualties will not be a concern at one point fighting the war will become that important.

I could even see ballistic Missles used on a consistent basis in the next large scale war.  

By Blogger Mark, at Sun Aug 13, 10:19:00 AM:

You know you have won the war when a large number within your opponent's ranks say, "What are we fighting for anyway?"

In 1989-1992 a significant number of Soviets said, "Why are we trying to hard to maintain control over Eastern Europe?"

Between 1860 and present day, an overwhelming majority of American White Southerners simply gave up on the idea of enforcing draconian codes of White supremacy.

In Great Britain the number of Catholics and Protestants willing to engage in terrorism has declined. Making money seems more rewarding than blowing people up.

I will leave to others to explain why people who were bitter enemies yesterday are trading partners today. But this is truly the key to winning the war against Islamo-fascism.

I think the war against Islamo-fascism would be over if we simply toppled Iran's regime and implemented democracy as we have in Afghanistan and Iraq.  

By Blogger geoffgo, at Sun Aug 13, 10:41:00 AM:

Mark's first post,

There are about 6M muslims in the US. If 10% are inclined by a war waged on a muslim country (like Iran) to become jihadis here at home, we might need more troops than you've considered.

Clearly, 600,000 evil-doers would overwhelm our internal security forces, and possibly even the armed citizenry. Even 1% (60,000) becoming John Mohammeds and Lee Malvos could shut down the country pretty fast.

In Britain, 25% support the jihad against their homeland. Will US muslims join us to fight the terrorists, or await the outcome, as they seem to do everywhere else? How will we know if they're really on our side, or just using hudna?

Would our police spend their time protecting the mosques, catching and jailing the perps, or killing them? Will the Dhimminicrats obstruct the efforts to create internment camps, and extradition procedures?

I ask only because "militarizing" the US population is all about the call-to-arms and inciting the will to fight, not resource allocation.

This is the elephant the "non-existant moderate muslims" fail to address at their increasing peril. Will C.A.I.R. still be allowed their bully pulpit?

And, just this type of situation will arise with the next sucessful strike by any muslim terror group on our homeland. I think we barely dodged that exact bullet with the thwarting of Bojinka II.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 13, 11:07:00 AM:

Anonymous,

The Selective Service is the means by which the United States can conscript men during times of war. I have signed the documents required by the Selective Service System, as I am sure most American liberal males have. Refusing to do so carries a hefty penalty.

The Declaration is a fine document, but what its ideals and sentiments have to do with militarization is beyond my meager thinking skills. The sentiments of the Founding Fathers was with Militias, and with conscripts drafted by the individual States, not with standing armies of professional soldiers. If you won't mind connecting the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with the ideal of militarization, I'd be much obliged.

A Liberal  

By Blogger Mark, at Sun Aug 13, 11:17:00 AM:

geoffgo,

There are about 6M muslims in the US. If 10% are inclined by a war waged on a muslim country (like Iran) to become jihadis here at home, we might need more troops than you've considered.

We can speculate about that 10 percent figure, of course. But the United States has already waged war against Afghanistan and Iraq, two majority Muslim nations. To be clear, the latter was led by a secular dictator.

But some predicted that the US would suffer more terrorist attacks in the US when we started striking Afghanistan in October 2001 and again in March 2003.

The fact of the matter is that the US has been heavily entangled with Muslim nations for a long time. We had a huge military presence in Saudi Arabia and that made Osama bin Laden mad. We bombed Iraq in the late 1990s during Operation Desert Fox.

Why hasn't this 10 percent of 2 percent of 6 million Muslims emerged to create chaos in America up until today despite all of our involvement in the Muslim world? Is it because while they might not agree with all of America's policies they don't want to be arrested?

Bottom line: Toppling Iran's regime and supporting a democratic regime in its place (as we did in Iraq) would result in ending the war on Islamo-fascism in our favor.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 13, 11:27:00 AM:

I agree emotionally and strategically with many posters. The problem I see is what will be the actions of the masters behind the jihadis ? ...

What will Russia and China do ?

Methinks take the opp to attack us  

By Blogger DEC, at Sun Aug 13, 11:30:00 AM:

Anonymous said: "DEC, do the people you did business with indicate that they want to attack America? Probably not."

My Arab friends already own a big chunk of America.  

By Anonymous The Other Alan, at Sun Aug 13, 11:56:00 AM:

Warmongering, plain and simple. There's a jihad problem out there for sure, but it won't be solved by militarization. We'll bankrupt ourselves this way and make no headway overall. We'll get to put a few heads up on poles to show our toughness while our soul melts away.  

By Blogger geoffgo, at Sun Aug 13, 12:13:00 PM:

Anon 10:53,

I for one don't want it to be "long and painful," to use your terms. I think the President's polling numbers are so low because many US citizens are sorely displeased with this go slow approach.

We have nukes as a last resort. Okay, what's the first resort? We'd rather not kill millions of Muslims, unless we must. So, what message can we send those apparently non-existent "moderate muslims" that disabuses them of those basic tenets of Islam, which we find so horrendous?

We desparately need Koran 2.0, before one of their terror wings forces us to consider the retaliatory "nuclur" option, which under the circumstances would be neither genocide nor mass-murder.

Who can create Koran 2.0? Muslim clerics and scholars. I've been advocating sending the most direct message to them, for 5 years.

Publish a list of the top 5,000 worst offending imams. Start 24/7 targeting, worldwide. Drones are our specialty.

Incite mass-SHUNNING by the ummah, in mosques, madrassas, gov't bldgs, private residences, vehicles and street corners everywhere. Make the ummah disassociate from the preachers of hate, by making it absolutely unsafe to do so.

Probably only take a few hundred Friday "terminations-with-predudice," before the imams decided as a group to convene and re-discover what old MO really meant.

It's the most humane, least expensive and fastest approach to achieving our objective.

Why do the responsible imams not have to pay? Freedom of religion?  

By Blogger elandadem, at Sun Aug 13, 02:05:00 PM:

If anyone things there is any hope of saving Western Europe, they are in dire need of drug testing. When you comtemplate the word "decadent" think of what Western Europe has become. What was the "Gates of Vienna" will soon be the "Shores of the Atlantic." It is time to "Cut and Run", from Europe.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 13, 02:11:00 PM:

DEC: I thought your Arab associates weren't too hot on establishing the worldwide Caliphate. Glad to see someone here who has some knowledge of the region.

The depressing thing about posts and comments like these is the deep well of ignorance from which they are drawn.

All these armchair genocidaires have no experience in the Middle East. Hell, most of them have probably never been to Europe.

I'll admit my biases, I like Arabs, excepting the ones who try to kill me, and think they have some legitimate grievances against the West. I don't see Islam as the unified force that these nutters do, I've listened to Sunni, Shia, Kurds, Iranians bad-mouth each other.

Paul Edwards: our goal is to turn the rest of the world into rational, humanist, non-subjugating governments. After the governments have been changed we'll be in a position to turn the people into rational, humanist anti-subjugators, either via education or genocide.

That's pretty conclusive evidence of insanity on your part.

At least you've excluded yourself from the class of "rational, humanist anti-subjugators," so why don't you do your part for the war and kill yourself now?

When I was working on democracy programs in Iraq, I had no idea it was to make the world safe for genocide - no wonder the Iraqis were suspicious of our motives, must have been reading blogs like this.

observer 5  

By Anonymous Lordhackamore, at Sun Aug 13, 02:54:00 PM:

Recall that the Eastern
Roman Empire by 1025 AD was
utterly secure, but by 1071 at
Manzikert they had their arses
handed to them. This happened
because their society quite
frankly softened, and from
Manzikert, with some recoveries,
they were rolled back for the
next three hundred years.


In China Mencius twisted
Confucian thought to advocate
total passivity, and the
Chinese were to pay for that
philosophy with ever more war
and conquest from without.

We had a shot in the US after
9/11, with an enormous upsurge
in willingness to help. Stephen
Flynn laid out in his book the
neat idea of the Federal Security
Reserve Board. Instead, Mass Man
is told to keep shopping, while
a tiny cohort of men fight in
faraway lands, ad we wonder why
the cynicism, the defeatism.  

By Blogger Scott, at Sun Aug 13, 04:01:00 PM:

Tigerhawk:

The last 100 comments had plenty of Venum, and two predictions of what it would take to mobilize 5 million to 30 million under arms.

While I don't think it would be limited to the Middle east, (I think Hugo, Vladimir, Jacque, and The Chinese Princelings, NORKY Elvis would act VERY Opportunistically, therefore we could be engaged in Tiawan, Korea, Vennezuela, Columbia, and our own borders)

WHAT WOULD IT TAKE ?

1) As the others, a nuclear attack. But since the Iranians work hand in glove with the RUSSIANS and the NORKS, it wouldn't be just one Nuke, it would be multiple.

Likely it would be multiple small nukes 200-400KT or VX attacks, to cripple/destroy 4 or 5 U.S. ports simultaneously, as well as one on London's Financial District, One on Wall Street, one each on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and likely one on "Anbar Province" Iraq, and an attempt on the Capitol in D.C. during a State of the Union Address.

Simultaneously, the Hezbollah cells would be activated as well as likely coordination with timing coordination with Al Qeda cells to cripple Air transportation, e.g. Strella missiles on airliners in major cities, And U.S. oil and refinery attacks, compounding with missile arrayed and fired through the Straits of Hormuz.

Embassy's attacked from Jarkata to Tehran, burned and hostages taken.
And Breslyn massacre seiges on our soil by Hezbo cells and that of the U.K.

Then the ultimatums start arriving from Tehran & Qom to Arab oil capitals to EU Capitals and the U.S. Perhaps To cease or cut oil deliveries to selected nations, or else, probably starting with U.S., Japan, & Germany.
Wouldn't doubt attacks on North Sea oil platforms either.

This would do it.

And I wouldn't expect it to be a long war.

Probably immediate nuclear retaliation against capitals and militaries of Offending parties, and fellow travelers, and Occupation of the oilfields. 1 year to mobilize, 1 year to fight, 30 years to occupy, try for war crimes then kill their leaders, exterminate the Fascist organizations, IRGC/Pasdaran, Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood, etc. re-write them a constitution, suppervise elections, leave U.S. military bases permanently in the areas of perdition.

Pax Americana

Econ-Scott  

By Anonymous Rich, at Sun Aug 13, 04:07:00 PM:

The current US defence budget is almost as much as the total GDP of Iran. And you think you aren't militarised enough?  

By Blogger Cogitatus Incognito, at Sun Aug 13, 04:51:00 PM:

Rich (from England or Canada) said: 'The current US defence budget is almost as much as the total GDP of Iran. And you think you aren't militarised enough?

Rich, you need to think these things through a little more deeply. The US defense budget protects the free world. Imagine a world without the US Navy ensuring freedom of the seas. You would have pirates from the Mediterranian to Japan. The costs of goods would be at least double.

Why do you think the EU and most of their member countries can get by with so little spent on their armed forces? The US defense budget subsidizes your social service budgets to the tune of billions. What thanks do we get? Guess the answer...

I could go on, but I'll spare you further embarrassment.  

By Anonymous Rich, at Sun Aug 13, 05:19:00 PM:

From England.

You may be interested to read my article Enemies at the Gate, which is admittedly a couple of years out of date but mostly still valid.  

By Blogger Sonic, at Sun Aug 13, 05:31:00 PM:

" I'm asking you to answer a couple of questions in the comments while I'm lounging on Risden's Beach in Point Pleasant"

Funniest comment ever!  

By Blogger Cogitatus Incognito, at Sun Aug 13, 05:48:00 PM:

Rich, I don't want to bog this thread down with off topic posts, but please, tell us all about the capabilities of that French aircraft carrier, about battle-readiness of the European forces and their ability to get to the fight (transport? who needs transport when we can ring up the Americans?).

Outside England could any western European country effectively defend itself if tiny Israel decided to invade their capital cities? I think not.

The EU may be able to deploy globaly around 2010-2015 about comparable in quality to the US forces...of 2006. By then we will have progressed at least one more generation in capability.

Sorry, but my original response stands. Global policing is expensive, but generates dollar benefits far beyond its cost. Despite the current turmiol in the world, there is relative stability and peace around the globe because most of the world understands US firepower. That relative peace and stability is why we shoulder that burden. We've done so since the 1940's and will continue to do so for hundreds of years to come.

We certainly don't mind partners helping out, whomever they may be, but, sorry, you don't get to a more peaceful world by cutting our defense budget.  

By Blogger Paul Edwards, at Sun Aug 13, 06:15:00 PM:

observer 5, "At least you've excluded yourself from the class of "rational, humanist anti-subjugators," so why don't you do your part for the war and kill yourself now?"

I am a rational, humanist, anti-subjugator. I am responding to an attack from dogmatic, non-humanist subjugators. I intend to eliminate the enemy to make the world safe for rational humanist non/anti-subjugators.

"When I was working on democracy programs in Iraq, I had no idea it was to make the world safe for genocide - no wonder the Iraqis were suspicious of our motives, must have been reading blogs like this."

The genocide option is still available for a quick fix to the problem. Just because we are "playing nice" at the moment doesn't mean we won't get nasty when Arabs start voting terrorists into power as they have done in "Palestine". You are dealing with a Nazified population. The problem is the people, not the government. Same as in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. I've just succinctly identified what the enemy ideology is, that needs to be defeated.  

By Blogger Scott, at Sun Aug 13, 09:22:00 PM:

To: Mark from England

From: Econ-Scott from California.

RE: Iran's GDP of 5.61 $ Billion & U.S. Defense Budget

You think too small, If you people straighten out your Screwed up Country's Nanny State, and quit pussy footing around wasting time & money on Islamists that hate you, want to gang rape your women, would just as soon kill you, and turn your Parliament into the Sharia Courts of justice, and just send them back whence they came,

You might be able to develop some econimic activity and Catch up to say ... California which had a Gross National Product of $1.057 Trillion in 1999 a 5% Growth rate and low unemployment so that today we're at $1.93 Trillion, (and about half the state is uninhabitable due to sheer mountains & some of the world's hottest deserts. California also produces 44% of the missiles for the U.S. Military, and most of the fighter jet technology, we also produce 27% of the energy.

Maybe England should become a state of the U.S., you'd have to write a State Constitution ...Finally. And the English you speak could be normalized. Then if London Caught A nuclear weapon, from Iran it would simply be easier to decalre war and fire Nukes in Response from Britania.

Oh and that little problem you have disarming the IRA, no problem, most of their weapons are legal in the U.S., arming your citizens would just be the bigger problem, but that's O.K. we manufacture fine weapons for private citizens, come on over and try some of mine.

We have a cute first grade teacher visiting us for this month -- from Cornwall, things are tracking nicely and she'll probably marry one of our sons next spring. She really likes the Guns and is interested in taking up shooting.

We're happy to oblige.

Mark, your country could spend more on it's proper defense if you got your Islamists off Welfare.

I know the jump to having the American Second Amendment could be difficult, so as an interim step you might want to try going neutral say ... like the Swiss. Every Able body male under 60 there is in the reserves and must keep his assault weapon plus 400 rounds of ammunition ready at home ... at his own expense.

When Iran Nuke's Picadilli --- Who you gonna call for help ?

Again .... (1917, 1941 .... 2007)

You all nearly bankrupted yourselves fighting the mighty Argentinians over the Fauklands .... Glad for the help in Basra tho ----

BTW -- When my people left Scotland in 1648 for America, they new WHY, Land, Religious FREEDOM from the State Church of England, and Economic Opportunity. Life is good here.

Think about it.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Sun Aug 13, 09:36:00 PM:

We don't want to use enhanced radiation weapons in the Middle East. We will need that oil and not contaminated.

Apparently you don't know what you're talking about. An "enhanced radiation" weapon's (aka neutron bomb) raison d'etre is to render infrastructure unscathed.

Here's a clue: an airburst at 5-7K' isn't going to "contaminate" oil thousands of feet below the ground. Trust me, the oil won't even feel it.  

By Blogger Jimmy K., at Sun Aug 13, 10:07:00 PM:

TigerHawk ask an interesting question and then leaves:
I'm going "down the shore" today, so I'm asking you to answer a couple of questions in the comments while I'm lounging on Risden's Beach in Point Pleasant: What will it take to militarize the United States? What will it take to militarize Western Europe?

* 1. A nuclear strike in the U.S., either a dirty bomb or regular nuke would do it.

* 2. A heavy duty Bio-attack, take out say 5,000 people.

* 3. $6 a gallon gas

* 4. Electing a Democrat as president. The Islamo-Facist will exploit the Democrats to such an extent that we in the U.S. will have no alternative but to elect another Texas War Monger to end Muslim civilization as they know it.  

By Blogger Scott, at Sun Aug 13, 11:25:00 PM:

To: Mark in The USA

From: Econ-Scott

RE: Sincere apologies for Mistaken ID

Sorry Mark. It is Apparent I should have addressed above to "Rich" from England.

First posting, Just getting the Hang of the addressee line-up.  

By Blogger Scott, at Sun Aug 13, 11:26:00 PM:

To: "Rich" from England

From: Econ-Scott from California.

RE: Iran's GDP of 5.61 $ Billion & U.S. Defense Budget

You think too small, If you people straighten out your Screwed up Country's Nanny State, and quit pussy footing around wasting time & money on Islamists that hate you, want to gang rape your women, would just as soon kill you, and turn your Parliament into the Sharia Courts of justice, and just send them back whence they came,

You might be able to develop some econimic activity and Catch up to say ... California which had a Gross National Product of $1.057 Trillion in 1999 a 5% Growth rate and low unemployment so that today we're at $1.93 Trillion, (and about half the state is uninhabitable due to sheer mountains & some of the world's hottest deserts. California also produces 44% of the missiles for the U.S. Military, and most of the fighter jet technology, we also produce 27% of the energy.

Maybe England should become a state of the U.S., you'd have to write a State Constitution ...Finally. And the English you speak could be normalized. Then if London Caught A nuclear weapon, from Iran it would simply be easier to decalre war and fire Nukes in Response from Britania.

Oh and that little problem you have disarming the IRA, no problem, most of their weapons are legal in the U.S., arming your citizens would just be the bigger problem, but that's O.K. we manufacture fine weapons for private citizens, come on over and try some of mine.

We have a cute first grade teacher visiting us for this month -- from Cornwall, things are tracking nicely and she'll probably marry one of our sons next spring. She really likes the Guns and is interested in taking up shooting.

We're happy to oblige.

Mark, your country could spend more on it's proper defense if you got your Islamists off Welfare.

I know the jump to having the American Second Amendment could be difficult, so as an interim step you might want to try going neutral say ... like the Swiss. Every Able body male under 60 there is in the reserves and must keep his assault weapon plus 400 rounds of ammunition ready at home ... at his own expense.

When Iran Nuke's Picadilli --- Who you gonna call for help ?

Again .... (1917, 1941 .... 2007)

You all nearly bankrupted yourselves fighting the mighty Argentinians over the Fauklands .... Glad for the help in Basra tho ----

BTW -- When my people left Scotland in 1648 for America, they new WHY, Land, Religious FREEDOM from the State Church of England, and Economic Opportunity. Life is good here.

Think about it.

By Scott, at Sun Aug 13, 09:22:43 PM  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Aug 14, 12:13:00 AM:

your saying he west isnt MILITARIZED??!?! BWAHAHAHA.. and the popes not catholic!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Aug 14, 12:52:00 AM:

Paul Edwards, you obviously have no effin' idea what you're talking about. Not only have obviously you never been to an Arab country, you've probably never talked to an Arab except across a convenience store counter.

Do you ever think that those people are "anti-subjugators" too, except that they don't want to be subjugated by what you want for the region?

I know the US has been pushing legal and economic reforms which have a profound effect on societies. Hell, even a lot of US states would have problems with the radical deregulation reforms being pushed in Iraq.

The whole world does not want to adopt Houston zoning and business regulation rules.

If they adopt protectionist economic rules, must they die?

If they prefer the souk to the Wal-Mart, must they die? If they impose rules for dress and decorum, ban alcohol, must they die?

If the Palestinians do not acquiese in the theft of the West Bank, if they resist, must they die?

Really, the "case for Israel" is not that strong morally. One hundred years ago Arabs were the huge majority in that land. It was handed over to settlers in the Balfour Declaration in 1916 and in 1948 by force majeure.


observer 5  

By Blogger Paul Edwards, at Mon Aug 14, 05:08:00 AM:

observer 5, "Not only have obviously you never been to an Arab country, you've probably never talked to an Arab except across a convenience store counter."

On the contrary, I've devoted my life to listening and talking to Arabs via their blogs, in an effort to psychoanalyze them to find out what would inspire them to fly planes into the WTC in an attempt to restore the caliphate. I wanted to be able to distinguish between good Arabs and bad Arabs so that we didn't need to kill them all. And the result of my investigation is that the bad Arabs are racist, religious bigots and subjugators. This is the ideological clash of our times.

"Do you ever think that those people are "anti-subjugators" too"

Yes, most Iraqis are anti-subjugators and non-subjugators which is why they welcomed being liberated and form long queues to join the new security forces.

"except that they don't want to be subjugated by what you want for the region?"

What I want for the region is to have rational, humanist, non-subjugating governments. Every human, including minorities, has a right to live under such a government. The Sunni minority have a right to not be enslaved by the Shiite majority.

"If they adopt protectionist economic rules, must they die?"

No, that is not a threat to the free world.

"If they prefer the souk to the Wal-Mart, must they die? If they impose rules for dress and decorum, ban alcohol, must they die?"

No and no. But if they restrict the freedom of speech necessary to complain about such rules, then yes. We need to ensure that Iraqis have access to outside ideas.

"If the Palestinians do not acquiese in the theft of the West Bank, if they resist, must they die?"

The West Bank was captured from JORDAN in a defensive war. It is now part of Israel. The "Palestinians" have no automatic right to carve a new country out of Israel. That is a matter for negotiation.

"Really, the "case for Israel" is not that strong morally. One hundred years ago Arabs were the huge majority in that land. It was handed over to settlers in the Balfour Declaration in 1916 and in 1948 by force majeure."

If you have any complaints about Britain's immigration policy, you should take it up with the British who were alive at the time. This has no relevance to modern-day Israelis who were born into a hostile environment and are fighting for their lives. Israel is a liberal democracy, part of the free world. "Palestine" on the other hand is full of racist, religious-bigotted, terrorist-supporting, non-humanist thugs. You are on the wrong side of the War on Terror. You will lose.  

By Blogger Tex the Pontificator, at Mon Aug 14, 11:24:00 AM:

I suggest perhaps nothing will move the Looney Left into reality. Two, three, or more nuclear bombs on American cities, and they will merely accuse the military or the amorphous "right" of engineering the crimes. In a society where so many believe in Elvis sightings, the question is how many will go along with such horsepuckey? I am not sanguine.  

By Blogger jtb-in-texas, at Mon Aug 14, 11:41:00 AM:

You might want to revisit your 13%/30 Million number based on the changing age demographics of our country between the 1940s and today.

You might also note that since we:

(a) teach our young people that they're an accident of evolution, not the height of God's Creation,

(b) encourage them to have high self esteem regardless of their actual performance, and

(c) currently require a higher standard to operate their equipment than that of Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation",

We might end up with an army with all of the capabilities of a drunken, unruly mob.

I'm in favor of having a 600-ship navy, 10 Divisions of Marines (5 Active, 5 Reserve), 50 Divisions of US Army (Mixed brigades of Active, Reserve, and Guard troops), and an Air Force that cows the Chinese. But I'm certain that none of us really want to pay for that.

And our selfish greed is THE impediment to maintaining a stroing nation.  

By Blogger geoffgo, at Mon Aug 14, 11:56:00 AM:

Observer 5,

Yes, that was an inappropriate use of the term genocide, because of all the baggage associated socio-politcal-historical inuendo.

He should have used irradication, or extermination, or total elimination, or mass-extinction, et al.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Aug 14, 12:16:00 PM:

I don't see any point in militarizing the West. We already have more firepower than we know what to do with. What we need, and don't have, is the political will to use it properly.

A more important question would be "What will it take for political correctness about Muslims to stop?"

At what point will the governments of the West have the political will to start shutting down guerrilla mosques, stop Muslim immigration, start profiling Muslims, and if necessary expel Muslim populations?

Personally, I don't think that point will ever arrive, regardless of any use of nukes by us or them.  

By Blogger geoffgo, at Mon Aug 14, 12:23:00 PM:

Econ Scott,

All the scenarios you describe can be accomplished. B^(

When Bojinka II was announced last week, one early report stood out for me. This report said the plan was to detonate over populated areas, on approach. NOT over the ocean!

While I appreciate the counter-claim (10 X 400, no evidence, no-closure, no one to strike back at, etc), I'm concerned about what might be "managed mis-information" of this caliber. Which, if leaked by the NYT, would be "turned" into something bad the administration has done, deflecting the anger toward Bush, away from the real issue.

So, if true, we're talking not about 4K deaths (only the last-time-flyers), then we're talking some large multiple of that number.

Why would the authorities deliberately confine the number of potential deaths to just 4K, if the plan was to kill many, many more infidels, with the youngest yet suicide-bomber aboard.

Perhaps because the authorities across the US are ill-perpared to deal with all those fires, in close proximity to mosques?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Aug 14, 01:04:00 PM:

The U.S. was able to "militarize" or ramp up for World War II mainly because of the huge industrial manufacturing base that was here at the time, which was able to be re-tooled for the war machine. Such a manufacturing base does not exist anymore. It moved over to China (shop your local Walmart!). Even if we could get the manpower, we could not equip them fast enough to provide a significant force.  

By Blogger geoffgo, at Mon Aug 14, 02:05:00 PM:

Anon 1:04,

The incompetence and ill-preparedness you attribute to the West is misplaced. Where have you been for the past 2 decades?

Going forward, I don't think we'll ever need above a 2M armed force, to work outside the CONUS. (At home, we can always resort to vigilantism.)

A change in the will of the Amercian people unleashes "network warfare" on the enemy. Woe be unto them, where ever they are. 24/7/365 forever, or the rest of their lives; whichever occurs first.

Robots and drones are easily manufactured (ever cheaper, smarter, longer range and more powerful) right here at home by a force of under 2,000,000, operated remotely by another force of 50,000, perhaps volunteers. Deputies, so to speak. 50,000 targeting missions every day.

Another 20,000 patriotic hackers will be enlisted to destroy the enemies' commerce, banking transactions, communications, etc. From now on, everthing will fail, including the media, in any country where we decline to nation-build. The new virtual-Letters-of-Marque, so to speak. Maybe with a "share" of the booty; unleash capitalism. Weaponize liberty. We haven't even started the anti-Muslim agit prop.

Phone systems. Did you realize that the IDF has prosecuted its 33 day war in Lebanon, leaving the landlines intact, so they could call all the residents to warn them to evacuate, from a pre-established database? A superior 411 than the Lebanese Phone Company, superimposed by another country!

These Islamofascists truly misunderestimate a West motivated to do them harm. Even when unilaterally imposed by a single Westernized nation.  

By Blogger Westhawk, at Mon Aug 14, 09:33:00 PM:

Very tardy, but here is our response:

Does the West need to mobilize for 'total war'?.

The answer? No.

Summary: the World War II model is obsolete and will not be used again. The U.S. has wisely chosen to protect itself with a small, professional, elite military. U.S. society needs to find other ways besides military service to allow the rest of society to 'serve' in the war.

Westhawk  

By Blogger Terry Crane, at Tue Aug 15, 10:29:00 PM:

Clear, defined, and acceptable model of who are "them" and who is with us.

What can facilitate it? Traditional "white" societies goiong down, say Sweden, Netherlands, or France.

What can delay the moment? Equally displeasing movements coming from another end, like Pat Buchanan etc.

Best way forward? Gradually restrict Islamist in our domainby legal means. Make pro-Palestinian propaganda illegal, take Government money from everything anti-Western, tax all their society, insist on compulsory "freedom curriculum" and Western dress code in everything tax-funded, etc. Vote on anti-Islamism platform.

the scenario is: (1) CAIR asks for asilumin Sweden, (2) Swedish farmers and engineers ask for asilum in US, (3) Americans vote for "us-them" policies  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Aug 15, 11:16:00 PM:

What will it take. First, you guys need to put down your GI Joes.
Your commander and chief wants to democratize them and you (his supporters) want to militarize us. Great.\
As for 9/11, It was not their smarts that pulled it off. It was incredible stupidity on our side. Just two facts, we knew they wanted to do this exact operation, and we knew they were going to flight schools to learn a part of aviation operation. If the govt. can't deal with that, they may want to have second thoughts about running World War 4 or is it 5. Seems World War 3 or 4, just went into cease fire.
You may also try strategy. Your man removed Saddam who could have easily been convinced to be our anti-Iranian puppet. Instead George will be remembered for giving Iraq to Iran.
What should have happened is Afghanistan should have been leveled; it is still in the questionable column. The Special Ops. community could have spent the next three years assasinating every bin-laden boy from here to Mecca. You would still have the terrorists quaking in their boots. Instead, George has Syria and Iran laughing at us.
You guys need to get out of your WAR GAME. We really don't need your help. YOu should see what the quality of the regular army is. It is a deadly serious business. Just look what happened to Tillman, and he was a Ranger, a quality force. Lord, we don't need you guys sending bullets over our heads. I know it is exciting to play war. Cheney is having a grand time now that he no longer has his azz anywhere near the front line. Let's face it, war is exciting and fun on some levels. It beats making energy policy by a mile to most men.
But boys, this is the real world; your days at the rifle range aint gonna prepare you for the reality, not by a mile.
Put down your arms and get on with your boring lives.  

By Blogger Paul Edwards, at Wed Aug 16, 03:53:00 AM:

Anonmymous, "Instead George will be remembered for giving Iraq to Iran."

That hasn't happened. And the point will be mute after Iran is liberated.

"What should have happened is Afghanistan should have been leveled"

Afghanistan came pre-levelled. Or did you want to annihilate the population? What's the point of annihilating the population when the majority of them were happy to vote for a moderate like Karzai?

"The Special Ops. community could have spent the next three years assasinating every bin-laden boy from here to Mecca."

Catching terrorists is a job for the police. The army's job is to make sure that the governments of every country are enthusiastically trying to round up terrorists.

"You would still have the terrorists quaking in their boots."

Terrorists are too stupid to quake. They've convinced themselves they can go to paradise if they are killed.

"Instead, George has Syria and Iran laughing at us."

Two countries that need to be toppled. They're on the "to do" list, what more do you want?  

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