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Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday morning debate topic 


This single sentence, from Claire Berlinski's outstanding Menace In Europe, contains much to argue about.

When in doubt about the proper orientation of your moral compass, point it away from the people who want to behead you.

Discuss, particularly with reference to the next sentence:
If al Qaeda is disturbed by the presence of British troops in Iraq, this is a sign that the troops are where they should be.

Let me add that there are at least two levels on which one might take issue with both statements -- the general, and with regard to the actual facts on the ground.

Release the hounds.

35 Comments:

By Blogger Habu, at Fri Mar 16, 11:43:00 AM:

In 2002 Pat Buchanan published "Death of the West" regarding the population replacement rate lagging far behind those countries not considered civilized.
Since that publication much of the discussion of Islam in Europe and elsewhere have focused on the same thing. None however gave any acknowledgement to Mr. Buchanan'a work because he is persona non grata with the intelligensia. None the less the fat is in the fire.
Menace in Europe sounds like a good addition to the already sounded tocsin. It sounds as though the author Claire Berlinski has simply added another ring to the bell.
Europe is a mess, probably beyond saving unless a good many Sarkozy's are elected on the Continent and a force removal of Islamics begins.
And why do Europeans hate America? We always point out that we saved them, Marshall Planned them back to economic viability but we erred in providing too much of an umbrella for defense and castrated their sovereignty. That allowed them to fall easily into the featherbed of socialism. I don't care how much you help a nation you can't make eunuchs out of them and yourself go on to domination without jealousy and hatred developing. And it did.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 16, 12:49:00 PM:

I was under the impression that al Qaeda were quite happy that British troops were in Iraq, since it a) plays to the peanut gallery regarding their "western imperialism" vibe, b) enables them to use that vibe to get more recruits and c) gives them some boffo targets for shooting, bombing and the like?

BTW I'm not in favour of withdrawal, but I'm aware that our presence contributes to the pathology in the middle east.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Fri Mar 16, 12:56:00 PM:

The whole conflict reminds me of my childhood. At one point, I lived a mile from a farmer. Two of my classmates cut his fences, forcing him to spend two days rounding up his bulls and cows from suburban neighborhoods. In front of my house, the farmer chased a bull down the road. A few minutes later, the bull chased the farmer up the road.  

By Blogger Habu, at Fri Mar 16, 01:15:00 PM:

The most interesting conundrum developing but not yet materialized, which will change all the dynamics currently in play will be the explosion in the USA of a nuclear device.
I have neither heard nor read any responsible scientists,historians,intelligence people, or thinking person that do believes it will NOT happen.
China is militarinzing space,(thanks to the secrets for campaign cash gambit Clinton orchestrated) a bit behind the western curve but they've joined the fray. Russia I am confident is there also.
We of course, have developed and deployed nano satellites to destroy our adversaries satellites Ours also have rain down nuclear capability. It's gett'n real sporty worldwide as well as spacewise.
Europe is now a drag on those who desire to preserve the relative freedoms we still enjoy. They are the wounded wildebeest in the herd that the pride of islamic lions have chosen for their next meal and will thus buy us some time, but the declination of the USA's moral compass better be spot on when the nuke goes off and the citizenry should be prepared to defend against the enemy within.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Fri Mar 16, 01:30:00 PM:

We did not "castrate" European sovereignty. That they did it to themselves, then entered into the retarded EU to underscore the point that they considered national sovereignty an obsolete notion anyway.

That stupid actions can have real consequences will be a hard lesson for them. Perhaps fatal.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Fri Mar 16, 01:48:00 PM:

This comment has been removed by the author.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Fri Mar 16, 01:51:00 PM:

Purple Avenger: "We did not 'castrate' European sovereignty. That they did it to themselves..."

This seems to be a trend all over the world. According to a Japanese newspaper several months ago, a Japanese man had a sex-change operation to please his lesbian girlfriend.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Fri Mar 16, 02:08:00 PM:

Although not in specific reference to anything posted here, just because your opponent dislikes something doesn't de-facto make it a good idea for you to continue doing it. It's not inconceivable that they have a legitimate greivance or two.

"What, you don't like this? I'll do it double!" is playground politics.  

By Blogger Habu, at Fri Mar 16, 02:09:00 PM:

PA,
The fact is that Europe was turned into a continent of eunuchs long long before the EU.
They fully acquiesced to our protective might immediately after WWII because they knew they had no choice vis a vis the Soviet agression and the US sellout at Yalta.
That over the decades they never demanded of their populations the rearming and self defense of their own territory made them our bitches, which they gladly accepted since it freed their budgets of the burden of defense and allowed their balls to become raisins.
The EU was and is a desparate attempt at greater economic clout. It is proving a failure and the only aspect of lost soverienty is the border less crossing one may make sans passport. The economic strictures encompassed in the EU have become Gumby like in there application the rifts are widening. The EU will eventually fail completely.

But make no mistake Europe lost her colonial empires and their balls immediately after WWII.  

By Blogger Habu, at Fri Mar 16, 02:17:00 PM:

Dawnfire82..

"It's not inconceivable that they have a legitimate greivance or two."

I will grant every part of that.

However,it always comes down to power, who has it, and who doesn't.
And if you don't have it your legitimate reasons are as powerful as the paper signed by Neville Chamblerlain and Adolf Hitler over the Sudetenland.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Fri Mar 16, 03:04:00 PM:

"Adolph Hitler"

Godwin's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."  

By Blogger Habu, at Fri Mar 16, 03:09:00 PM:

Dawnfire82,

"What, you don't like this? I'll do it double!" is playground politics.

One more observation. I will continue with the WWII theme as it seems so apropos.
England and France didn't like Hitler's "lurking" over every territory in Europe that had a German in it. They said so but continued to capitulate.

Hitler in essence said " You don't like this, I'll do it double." And he did.
I will leave it to you to decide if the 50 million plus who died in that war thought it was playground politics.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Fri Mar 16, 03:10:00 PM:

That over the decades they never demanded of their populations the rearming and self defense of their own territory made them our bitches, which they gladly accepted since it freed their budgets of the burden of defense and allowed their balls to become raisins.

IOW - they did it to themselves.

If you're trying to gen up sympathy here because they were morons, you'll not find much with me.  

By Blogger Habu, at Fri Mar 16, 03:23:00 PM:

DEC...

He was Time magazines Man of the Year in 1938. He was in all the papers for a long time and used quite often in conversation and scholarship.
Lots of people have even heard of him.
I agree though and think that we should switch to another who tried to take over the world and killed millions. That Bavarian brat is getting tiresome but he makes, when used in the proper context,a great example of the uses and misuses of power.
Can we get by using Himmler?

We could go the other way and use Genghis Khan but then I wouldn't get to use Neville Chamberlain.  

By Blogger Habu, at Fri Mar 16, 03:30:00 PM:

PA,

I must have miscommunicated my meaning for I have NO,ZERO,ZIP,NADA, sympathy for the Euros.
Apologies if I didn't state my position clearly.
No they had every opportunity to get back to pride of nation and honor and self defense and instead they all went on vacation at our expense.
And now they won't honor their NATO commitments. Nope no sympathy here.  

By Blogger Habu, at Fri Mar 16, 03:37:00 PM:

Tigerhawk,
I looked at the reviews on Amazon last night about General Rupert Smith's "Utility of Force".

I really sounds great...how's it so far in your opinion? Is it as good a read as the reviews say it is?  

By Blogger PossumTater, at Fri Mar 16, 03:44:00 PM:

Mr TigerHawk,
I don't git much reed'n dun cause down here in da bog da pages get all stuck up.

But I sees yo just dun read da entire book, Trumps Forshaken.

Howja like it? were it a gud'un?
thanks  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Fri Mar 16, 04:38:00 PM:

This comment has been removed by the author.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Fri Mar 16, 04:43:00 PM:

Habu1: "We could go the other way and use Genghis Khan..."

Don't use Genghis Khan. In some ways, he started globalization by linking isolated civilizations.

As an international trader, I like some things about Genghis Khan. Many international businessmen are Khan men.  

By Blogger allen, at Fri Mar 16, 07:07:00 PM:

DEC,

re: Khan men

Now, I don't care who ya are; that there is funny.
___Larry the Cable Guy (more or less)  

By Blogger Habu, at Fri Mar 16, 08:01:00 PM:

DEC,
I gotta go with Allen on that. that was funny. Wry, which I enjoy immensely.

I can now be wiser in my speaking with international businessmen about GK and his influence on bring different endeavors together.
Bravo Sir!  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Fri Mar 16, 08:08:00 PM:

Thank you, gentlemen.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Fri Mar 16, 08:34:00 PM:

Habu1 - The Utility of Force is very interesting, but it is hardcover and not an incredibly easy read, so I'm schlepping it around when I travel.

Possumtater - Triumph Forsaken is outstanding. If every reporter in the country read it before writing about Iraq, we would have very different news coverage of that war.

DEC -- I, certainly, Khan appreciate your sense of humor.  

By Blogger PossumTater, at Fri Mar 16, 08:46:00 PM:

TigerHawk hits from way downtown, all net.

But isn't that the way. Sometimes you Khan and other times you Kant.  

By Blogger allen, at Fri Mar 16, 09:11:00 PM:

I Kahnt take anymore!  

By Blogger allen, at Fri Mar 16, 10:08:00 PM:

On an altogether serious note, see:
Link  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Mar 16, 11:58:00 PM:

I still don't see any issues raised with Berlinski's assertion that decisions about what is right or moral should be made when in doubt with reference to opposition to those wishing to behead you.

I also don't see any arguments against Berlinksi's assertion that British troops should remain in Iraq because AQ opposes it.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sat Mar 17, 12:56:00 AM:

Habu,

That's a false analogy, and points off for the implied moral indignation. The Germans' expansionistic policies were manifestations of their own state ideology, not purposeful attempts to irritate Britain and France, and they were always quite clear about it and pursued those goals in logical and effective ways.

Ref: Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William Shirer. But only like, the 1st quarter.  

By Blogger Habu, at Sat Mar 17, 01:54:00 AM:

Dawnfire82,

Well if we want to get technical let me state first that in logic all analogies are false. Better to frame it as an example.
And somehow you must believe that even as an example that Hitler continued to push the envelope until he had more than doubled his threats and territory, for to deny that is to deny his conquest of the continent. The example holds.
The Germans expansionistic policies etc...excuse me but they weren't the Germans, they were Adolf Hitler's policies as outlined in Mein Kampf. Mr. Shirer points this out in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
It is true that at the beginning of Hitlers power grabs he had directed that if any resistence was encountered from the French that the German Army was to halt. This order was given because of Hitlers trepidation that his army was not prepared to fight the French. No resistence came from the French so he continued to roll through Czechland. He soon discovered that the French Army was a shell and he could do what he wanted on the continent. He did not want to fight the Brits, which he had to do after he attacked France. Game on and 50 million lives later he was defeated.
Which I might add is amazing in light of the fact that we had the Enigma machine and Blechtley Hall was decoding all of his messages and battle orders. In fact Albert Speer had war production at it's highest levels when germany was a bombed out country.
But alas like Napoleon the Russian winters took care of Herr Hitler's dreams of Lebensraum.  

By Blogger Habu, at Sat Mar 17, 01:56:00 AM:

Allen,
Koan you can take it.  

By Blogger Habu, at Sat Mar 17, 02:14:00 AM:

"Against the advice of his more cautious commanders, Hitler ordered his army to march into the Rhineland, in an operation codenamed Winter Exercise, on the morning of 7 March. The new Luftwaffe fighter aircraft made their first public display, while the SS-Leibstandarte (Hitler's bodyguard regiment) provided the advance guard. The Wehrmacht was ordered to retreat immediately should French forces move to oppose the occupation. The French General Staff refused to act unless partial mobilization was ordered, a request the French Cabinet refused. Thus, the French Army, one of the largest in the world at that time, stood by and did nothing. That evening the F├╝hrer made a gloating speech to a packed Reichstag. The occupation had been an enormous risk, which only a man as driven as Hitler would have taken. The German Army had mustered only one division, a mere three battalions of which had actually crossed the Rhine. If the worst had occurred, only a few brigades could have reinforced these minute forces. The French, on the other hand, with their Polish and Czech allies, could have immediately fielded 90 divisions and brought up reserves of 100 more.

Hitler had become the undisputed demigod of European fascism. He now became even more confident and began to look at the absorption of the other Germanic territories, which led to what has been euphemistically called the "flower wars".


Soldiers of the Austrian Army, preceded by a swastika flag, march through the streets of Vienna on15 March 1938 following the Anschluss (Union) with Germany. Most German-speaking Austrians supported the idea of union with Nazi Germany.
Enlarge image "

http://www.germanwarmachine.com/hitlersforeignlegions/theneworder.htm  

By Blogger allen, at Sat Mar 17, 02:16:00 AM:

habu_1,

Kahn I ever!
;-D  

By Blogger allen, at Sat Mar 17, 03:00:00 AM:

Unless I am very much mistaken, Berlinski spends much of her working life in France. Perhaps, like many Francophiles, she is more infatuated with France as a repository of Western culture than are the French themselves. Hence, her sensitivity to the erosion she sees from unassimilated (unassimilatable) Muslim immigration. Whether her comments bear close scrutiny may be less important than those comments being the song of the parakeet in the coalmine.

Does anything above come close to answering the questions posed? No. But the hour is late and, after decades of trying, one is left to wonder if there is an answer that will suffice to address both the desire for justice and the need to survive.  

By Blogger Consul-At-Arms, at Sat Mar 17, 11:33:00 PM:

I've quoted you and linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2007/03/re-friday-morning-debate-topic.html  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sun Mar 18, 04:49:00 PM:

But the example doesn't fit.

"The Germans expansionistic policies etc...excuse me but they weren't the Germans, they were Adolf Hitler's policies as outlined in Mein Kampf."

Rubbish. Mein Kampf outsold the bible in Germany for years. The abolition of democracy was passed and Hitler was granted supreme power by a majority vote in the Reichstagg. (441 to 84, actually) His ideas were not secret. In fact, one of the major criticisms of world leaders of the time is that they couldn't plead ignorance. He wrote about his plans and published them, he gave speeches about them, and crowds of tens of thousands cheered and heiled.

Hitler didn't come to power in a coup (his one little coup attempt in Bavaria failed and landed him in prison) and he was solidly supported by almost the entire country up until the end of the war. Painting World War II in Europe as the unfortunate schemes of a crazy man without the approval of the German people as a whole is politically correct revisionism, though I'm sure the Germans now prefer that interpretation.

From RaFot3rdR, p.200 of my copy: "The street gangs," in the words of Alan Bullock, "had seized control of the resources of a great modern state, the gutter had come to power." But, as Hitler never ceased to boast, legally, by an overwhelming majority of Parliament. The Germans had no one but themselves to blame.

From p.201: The one-party totalitarian State had been achieved with scarcely a ripple of opposition or defiance, and within four months after the Reichstag had abdicated its democratic responsibilites.

While the decisions were not theirs, (the German populace) the ideas and plans were loudly and proudly proclaimed by the Nazis at every available opportunity. All those millions who voted for them and marched for them and donated money knew exactly what they were trying to achieve.

And, to tie it back to the original point, those aims had nothing to do with the desires of England and France. That they (sort of) opposed them is incidental.

"Which I might add is amazing in light of the fact that we had the Enigma machine and Blechtley Hall was decoding all of his messages and battle orders."

It wasn't quite as simple as that, and non-Polish breaking of the Enigma even kick off until 1940. The little glimmer of light that allowed the Allies to break them at all was obtained from the Poles, who got *that* from a French spy some years before. Ref: The Code Book, Singh.  

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