Iraqi interpreter to Totten: “Nuke Iraq”; Update: Maliki must go, says Time

posted at 12:10 pm on August 7, 2007 by Allahpundit

He’s half-joking. His point is that decades of Saddam has left the population psychologically unstable; without a steady hand to transition it and a stable environment in which to recover, they’re bound inevitably to eat each other alive. His Rx? Start with the basics — which, as we saw two days ago, aren’t all that basic in Iraq:

MJT: What’s it like out there now for the average Iraqi?

Hammer: If you give average Iraqis electricity right now it will be enough. This is the most important thing. Give them power for seven days in a row and there will be no fights…

Giving them electricity would reduce violence. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself what would happen to this Army base if the power was cut off forever and the soldiers had to spend the rest of their lives in Iraq. Do think think these soldiers would still behave normally

Iraqis are paid to set up IEDs. They do it so they can buy gas for their generator and cool off their house or leave the country. Their hands do this, not their minds.

TV is the most interesting thing to Iraqis. They learn everything from the TV. Right now they only have one hour of electricity every day. Do you know what they watch? Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera pushes them to fight. If they got TV the whole day they would watch many things. Their minds would be influenced by something other than terrorist propaganda.

That excerpt’s not going to get you to read the whole thing so let me quote this too. There’s much, much more along these lines:

MJT: What is the worst thing you have ever seen in this country.

Hammer: 60 guys from Al Qaeda kidnapped an interpreter’s sister. She had a baby boy, six months old. They raped her, all 60 guys. Then they cut her to pieces and threw her in the river. They left the six month baby boy to sleep in her blood.

We found him on a big farm south of Baghdad. All that was left was his legs and his shoes. The dogs ate him.

He tells Totten that if the U.S. pulls out and he can’t a Green Card, he’ll kill himself just to deny the Mahdi Army of killing him when the civil war starts and they find out he worked with the military. If you can sponsor him and his family or you know someone who can, there’s an e-mail address at the end of the post.

WaPo’s got a sneak preview today of what post-withdrawal Iraq might look like. The case study is Basra, the disintegration of which was noted by the Guardian three months ago; Steven Vincent, the art critic turned war correspondent, saw it coming two years ago and got a bullet in his head for his trouble. Follow that last link, by all means, and see what the Brits’ “sensitivity” about looking like occupiers produced. From WaPo:

But “it’s hard now to paint Basra as a success story,” said a senior U.S. official in Baghdad with long experience in the south. Instead, it has become a different model, one that U.S. officials with experience in the region are concerned will be replicated throughout the Iraqi Shiite homeland from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf. A recent series of war games commissioned by the Pentagon also warned of civil war among Shiites after a reduction in U.S. forces…

“The British have basically been defeated in the south,” a senior U.S. intelligence official said recently in Baghdad. They are abandoning their former headquarters at Basra Palace, where a recent official visitor from London described them as “surrounded like cowboys and Indians” by militia fighters…

Home to two-thirds of Iraq’s oil resources, Basra is the country’s sole dependable outlet for exporting oil, with a capacity of 1.8 million barrels a day. Much of Basra’s violence is “over who gets what cut from Iraq’s economic resources,” a U.S. Army strategist in Iraq said…

In the early years of Iraq’s occupation, British officials often disdained the U.S. use of armored patrols and heavily protected troops. The British approach of lightly armed foot patrols — copied from counterinsurgency operations in Northern Ireland — sought to avoid antagonizing the local population and encourage cooperation.

Note the bit about oil. Whichever militia emerges as dominant in the south is going to control most of it and, as with the power situation, they’re not going to be in any hurry to share it with Baghdad. SCIRI (a.k.a. SIIC) is already pushing for more autonomy for the region and some are talking about national partition; the Kurds would naturally be onboard with that idea, too. The holdout would be Sadr, whose base is in Sadr City, but if SCIRI was willing to cede to him control of Baghdad in return for Basra and promise him they’d try to meet his energy needs, who knows? Maybe he’d consider it. That leaves the Sunnis, who have no short-term means of producing energy and no reason to trust the Shiites in SCIRI if they offered them the same deal as Sadr vis-a-vis Anbar. I wonder if the Saudis wouldn’t step in at that point and hook them up with cheap crude in return for a little friendly influence in the area.

The point to take away from this is that there are no U.S. troops in the south and no British troops in any number worth mentioning anymore, so even if we can get Baghdad and Anbar under control, there’s almost bound to be a war going on somewhere in the country — i.e. the south — by the time we leave.

Update: Here’s a nice story. “The U.S. military says it believes that the Shia-led government in Baghdad is trying to cleanse the city of all Sunnis.”

Update: Following on that last update, a columnist for Time says it’s time pull the plunger on Maliki.

The resignations of Sunni and secular members of his cabinet only confirm what Iraqis have known for months, but the Bush administration has steadfastly refused to acknowledge: that Maliki is himself a hindrance to national reconciliation. Even his severest critics in Washington seem to think Maliki is guilty only of incompetence — that he lacks the political skills to bring together Iraq’s warring communities. But it’s not that he can’t reach out to the Sunnis: he just won’t.

A Shi’ite partisan, he has surrounded himself with a group of like-minded advisers and pursued policies that, far from healing the country’s sectarian wounds, have often aggravated them. While Maliki has himself been careful to act the conciliator, especially in conversations with President Bush and American politicians visiting Baghdad, his aides have repeatedly ridiculed and humiliated Sunni leaders, and ignored the advice of secular politicians.


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Lazarus on August 7, 2007 at 5:43 PM,

They are pretty much like abused children. They will take time to heal and may never recover but the young have a chance. Pulling out now is like adopting a trouble kid who has been abused and rejected then kicking them back to the street because the keep spilling milk on the carpets.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 5:46 PM

Esthier,

I’m pretty sure evil existed before Islam.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 5:47 PM

Of course it takes longer but your way is faster. Just gas them in the showers.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 5:43 PM

I disagree that the ideology needs to be killed. Clearly I don’t want the people killed either.

Just give me one proof that anyone has ever killed an ideology through any type of force of anything.

One point that I cannot state with any greater conviction: allowing for the unforgiveable monstrosity of institutionalized slavery of colonial America, if the Iraqis handed their country to men with one tenth the integrity, rationality, morality, and ability of our Founding Fathers, I would be their biggest cheerleader. Hell, I might even move there.

Lazarus on August 7, 2007 at 5:43 PM

That’s a disingenuous statement. By your logic, no man of integrity can be there.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 5:47 PM

Esthier,

I’m pretty sure evil existed before Islam.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 5:47 PM

That was sarcasm. Though I realize it is hard to tell the difference.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 5:48 PM

Baptist was burned at the stake for daring to disagree on nonkey issues in the Christian faith.

I’ve heard a stories about martyrs, those killed by other so-called Christians, who were about to die. They told one another, if it’s not unbearable, raise to fingers for the rest of us. And the first one did so, giving hope to the others condemned to die.

The issue is one of scale. At the height of the Reformation in England, roughly 260 Anglicans and Protestants were burned at the stake. Even in Germany when the Protestant and Catholic princes were putting down the peasant rebellions, only 50,000 people died. Contrast that with the Muslim occupation of India: some 80 million people died over a 500 year period. In terms of scale, Islam has always been at least a couple of orders of magnitude more violent. And it’s religious texts and interpretation support violence.

PRCalDude on August 7, 2007 at 5:48 PM

PRCalDude on August 7, 2007 at 5:48 PM

1. There are more people on earth today than there were back then.
2. Technology has made it easier to kill more people than it was back then.

You don’t think those two facts might be important when appreciating the scale of violence?

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 5:51 PM

Esthier,

I’m pretty sure evil existed before Islam.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 5:47 PM

It did, but Islam has made many enhancements.

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 5:51 PM

Islam is a powerless leaching culture that can neither produce anything nor create new ideas. They have survived off of the guilt, intimidation, or guilt tripping for centuries. They can only trick, bully, or shame you into laying down your arms and will. They do not have the power to conquer. Not now. Not ever.

The left and the ememies inside and outside such as socialists, dictators, and communists, are the ones who train islamists, give them money, give them weapons, give them intelligence, train them in tactics. Our own left emboldens them by dangling the carrot of submission in ront of them constantly.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 5:51 PM

Right. Because all evil in the world begins and ends with Islam.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 5:45 PM

Reductio ad absurdum.

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 5:52 PM

Here’s a quote about Islam from a brilliant and brave thinker.

Winston Churchill:

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science – the science against which it had vainly struggled – the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 5:55 PM

The left and the ememies inside and outside such as socialists, dictators, and communists, are the ones who train islamists, give them money, give them weapons, give them intelligence, train them in tactics. Our own left emboldens them by dangling the carrot of submission in ront of them constantly.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 5:51 PM

So then you agree that we have little to fear from Islam and much to fear from those who wish to use Islam, which is a handy tool.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 5:55 PM

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 5:42 PM

And how can “animals” do any of that?

They can’t. Hence my claim from the outset that they don’t want freedom and aren’t worth waiting for to get their act together. They are animals. We should get out and leave them to their own fate. If they, directly or indirectly, attack us, wipe them out.

Lazarus on August 7, 2007 at 5:57 PM

“We we have to stop pretending that Islam is a moral religion. It is profoundly immoral, and we should say so. The proof of its immorality is there in a hundred different ways, especially in its sharia laws. The treatment of Women, apostates, and its barbaric punishments for minor infractions of religious laws are an abomination and affront to the civilized world.

So why all the pretense? Are we afraid to offend them?

Our Judeo/Christian moral principles are by far superior to anything that passes as morality in Islam. It’s more than just making a choice to tell Muslims the truth about their twisted religion, It’s a moral obligation on our part to confront evil whenever we see it. If we don’t, we betray ourselves, and lead Muslims to believe we respect their perverse practices and beliefs.”

- Rational from JihadWatch

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 5:58 PM

Lazarus on August 7, 2007 at 5:57 PM

No one seems to recognize sarcasm here.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 5:59 PM

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 5:55 PM,

The problem is that we are not also vilifying the enablers as much as the Islamists. I believe both are equally dangerous because they are creating a hybrid monster. The Idealogies of Socialism, communism, and Theocracy will combine to pretty much align the entire world against the Ideas set forth in the Bill of Rights. This pretty much means the USA and it’s allies will be fighting almost the entire planet minus about 1.5 billion allies. 300 million + our allies against about just about everyone else. This will occur within 20 years if the current trends allow the Dems to take power.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:01 PM

Our Judeo/Christian moral principles are by far superior to anything that passes as morality in Islam. It’s more than just making a choice to tell Muslims the truth about their twisted religion, It’s a moral obligation on our part to confront evil whenever we see it. If we don’t, we betray ourselves, and lead Muslims to believe we respect their perverse practices and beliefs.”

- Rational from JihadWatch

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 5:58 PM

Why stop there? Why not confront all evil? Unwed mothers, drugs users, liars, the greedy, Rosie O’ Donald…?

I don’t recall any Muslims asking me to respect their beliefs. I only recall living in a country that allows for different beliefs.

Am I in the wrong group or aren’t we the same people who are against hate crimes because it criminalizes thought.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:02 PM

Why stop there? Why not confront all evil? Unwed mothers, drugs users, liars, the greedy, Rosie O’ Donald…?

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:02 PM

There you go again.

Reductio ad absurdum.

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 6:04 PM

Am I in the wrong group or aren’t we the same people who are against hate crimes because it criminalizes thought.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:02 PM

Islam is a hate crime.

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 6:05 PM

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 5:42 PM

It’s arrogant to place ourselves so much higher than Iraq, especially considering that we didn’t have to deal with Iran and the aftermath of being ruled by a dictator.

What an abominable disgrace to equate those Americans that fought for our independence with Iraqis. Our founders faced unprecedented odds against the ruthless tyranny of the British Crown. The RPG-toting cavemen of Arabia are nothing for Iraqis compared to what we faced in 1776.

How do you think Saddam and the Baathists got into power in the first place, if not for the outright support of the Iraqis? You are off the charts disguting and I’m done responding to you.

Lazarus on August 7, 2007 at 6:06 PM

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:01 PM

Of course. We’re the superpower, the one other power-hungry countries want to take down. It doesn’t matter how they do it only that they are working towards it.

Personally, I see Islam as much less threatening simply because the people are so passionate about their ideas that they often lack common sense.

Right now we’re a giant being bitten by mosquitoes. Though 9-11 was horrible, it’s really nothing compared to what we could do if we wanted, and so long as they appear harmless, we’ll treat them like ants; however, if or when they pull off something more substantial, or even just another 9-11, even the Left will want to retaliate, and we’ll be able to as well.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:07 PM

Why don’t you generate the electricity yourselves? Oh, that’s right, you’re animals. You should be nuked.

Lazarus on August 7, 2007 at 12:18 PM

The Lord said “Go forth, Lazarus!” And he came fifth and lost the race.

-James Joyce

aengus on August 7, 2007 at 6:09 PM

Our founders faced unprecedented odds against the ruthless tyranny of the British Crown. The RPG-toting cavemen of Arabia are nothing for Iraqis compared to what we faced in 1776.

That’s pure racism there.

The tyranny they faced was so great they decided to have a tea party. Yeah, America was really being run by a dictator.

You are off the charts disguting and I’m done responding to you.

Lazarus on August 7, 2007 at 6:06 PM

Fine by me. I don’t see how I benefit in communicating with racists.

The man this article is all about deserves citizenship in this country far more than you do. If I had it my way, I’d make the trade.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:10 PM

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:07 PM,

just another 9-11, even the Left will want to retaliate, and we’ll be able to as well.

We have extremely different points of view here. The left will help them. They are self-hating, self-destructive, they want’ to take down capitalism and individual freedom and property rights and suppress all ideas but their own. They always play the victim card and attack all strength and greatness in all forms.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:11 PM

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:11 PM

Maybe, but think back to the short time after September 11th. We were ALL united, not just in our loss but also in our anger and need for justice.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:14 PM

The following is by Hugh Fitzgerald, Robert Spencer’s “right hand guy” on JihadWatch:

“Why are they even attempting this? Not only is it likely to be fail,
but it is part of a policy that is likely to fail — making Iraq into a
unified state, with a civic-minded and informed and intelligent
citizenry, full of the hardworking and the prosperous who, therefore, will
offer Sunni Arab states a model of how to be, and everyone will be happy,
as for the first time in 1350 years, Muslims take no interest in much of
what Islam teaches, though as never before in history, despite their
clear military inferiority to Infidels, Muslims are now capable of
conducting the Jihad to spread Islam until it dominates, and Muslims rule,
in large parts of the non-Islamic historic West, through other
non-military means, through utilization of the Money Weapon, well-financed and
carefully-targeted Campaigns of Da’wa, and demographic conquest.

Meanwhile, at great cost — beginning with the $880 billion spent in
Iraq that is more than the total cost of all the wars, save World War II,
that the United States has ever fought, but also including loss of
life, and of limb, that might be acceptable, even at far higher levels, in
a war such as World War II, a war that made sense, but enrages because
the war in Iraq, for the goals stated, not only does not enhance
American security and that of its true allies, but worse, actually requires
the American soldiers to work to attain goals that, were they to be
achieved (they won’t be), would hinder rather than promote, the
exploitation of the very fissures within Iraq, sectarian and ethnic, which if not
opposed by the Americans, would inevitably lead to further divisions
and demoralization within the Camp of Islam, and that, in turn, can only
help the Americans and other Infidels in their own war of self-defense
— not a “war against terror” — against the Jihad that is a permanent
feature, not a temporary one (there is no “after Jihad,” pace Noah
Feldman, and Gilles Kepel, both of them as misguided guides to Islam as
can be imagined).

What is described in the article above shows the failure, by those in
Iraq, to think beyond Iraq, to think of Iraq only as one theater in the
war of self-defense against the Jihad. The United States has no stake
in bringing together Sunni and Shi’a. The Bush Administration, unable to
recognize its mistakes about Islam and about Iraq, appears determined
to continue to invest more and more, of money and material and men’s
lives — to pursue a wrong course. In this respect it reminds one of the
stubborn, crazed policy pursued during the hideous trench warfare of
World War I, for no reasons that made sense, but because, once the thing
started, no one could figure out how to stop it.

The generals who have, for the right reasons (not the zinni-ish line of
appeasement, but because the war aims in Iraq make no real sense, the
“mission” cannot be articulated by Bush because even to try to do so
would show up how misguided the whole thing is) opposed the war should
speak up. And those who are with tunnel vision thinking only of the “job
we have to do” right here in Baghdad are not serving the country well.

As for those who say things like “on average, insurgencies last about
ten years,” to them one can only reply: what would you think of someone
who self-assuredly proclaimed that “on average, American wars last an
average of 2.1 years” or “on average, wars around the world sinc 1500
have lasted about 13.16 years” or “on average, civil wars last about 3.7
years.”

You would see right away how vacuous and jejune are such remarks. But
for some reason, those “counterinsurgency experts” who make such
statements, and then as well think they are little-lawrence-of-arabias with
their knowledge of the “Sunni tribes” and their ability to really get to
know those sheikhs because they are aware of how to sit, and which hand
to use, and what formula to utter, and how to listen patiently as the
local Arab, who knows exactly how to manipulate the American army
officer who is under the impression that it is he, the American, who is
doing the manipulating, presents his wish-list for still more money, still
more of those nice advanced American weapons and, oh yes, some more
raids by American soldiers on that particular sheikh’s particular enemies,
whether or not they belong to Al Qaeda, which is not, pace Patraeus
and Bush, the only problem for there are a dozen different, mutually
hostile, constantly shifting in their allegiances groups in Iraq, but all
of them, in the end, consist of Muslims, and therefore none of them, in
end, can conceivably be won over, not their hearts, and not their
minds, to be real as opposed to temporary and feigned, friends of American
Infidels.

The article above makes one furious, and sad. Furious at the stupidity.
Sad for the troops, sad for the soldiers being asked to be there,
fighting for something, trying to do something in Iraq, that makes no sense
— none.”

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 6:19 PM

The article above makes one furious, and sad. Furious at the stupidity.
Sad for the troops, sad for the soldiers being asked to be there,
fighting for something, trying to do something in Iraq, that makes no sense
— none.”

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 6:19 PM

So Robert Spencer wants our guys to leave Iraq? That’s news to me.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:21 PM

If there is another attack. It will be on a symbol for the War on Terror will be designed to strengthen the growing rift between the Socialists, Centrists, and Conservatives in this country. Probably a major military base or political group. Most likley against conservatives.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:24 PM

So Robert Spencer wants our guys to leave Iraq? That’s news to me.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:21 PM

His “right hand man” does, in spades.

As for Robert Spencer, I do not know for sure, but suspect that he does.

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 6:25 PM

We should be there for 5-7 years minimum before even considering to leave. Bad idea!

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:27 PM

I don’t see them as being that sophisticated in their planned attacks. The ones that have been foiled were for airplanes, hospitals and a dance club.

A military base seems possible, but I don’t see how that would divide any of us. Maybe the Left is lying when they say it, but even they claim to support our troops; even if they are lying, they certainly feel the pressure to feel this way which is a statement about the general public.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:28 PM

We should be there for 5-7 years minimum before even considering to leave. Bad idea!

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:27 PM

I’d like it if it wouldn’t take that long, but we should be ashamed to leave before taking care of things. It’ll only prove that Vietnam wasn’t a fluke and that we’re a horrible ally to have.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:30 PM

So Robert Spencer wants our guys to leave Iraq? That’s news to me.

Evidently. He wrote an article in 2003 opposing the invasion before it began and has spent the last four years writing articles advising the US to withdraw. You should read his site regularly.

aengus on August 7, 2007 at 6:32 PM

As for Robert Spencer, I do not know for sure, but suspect that he does.

He absolutely does. He has written about it at length.

aengus on August 7, 2007 at 6:33 PM

I’d like it if it wouldn’t take that long, but we should be ashamed to leave before taking care of things. It’ll only prove that Vietnam wasn’t a fluke and that we’re a horrible ally to have.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:30 PM

How many tours do you want basically the same guys to do trying to “Nation Build” among Muslims?

Three?

Four?

Five?



Seven?

Eight?

Nine?

As far as Vietnam goes most guys who were there, were there once. Few more than twice.

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 6:34 PM

MB4, if you don’t mind me asking, what nick do you post under at jihadwatch?

aengus on August 7, 2007 at 6:34 PM

When we pull out there will be a complete collapse, and a swallow of of Iraq by Iran. Turkey will invade the north and Iraq will be parceled out. That will leave Russia and China in control of Iraq and Iran’s oil reserves and an extreme energy shortage for the West. No a good outcome. On top of this Radical Islam will have an entire region to use as a base.

We should leave Iraq and move to Iran and Syria in both directions at the same time. Then Take Mecca. The confront Russia and China for aiding and supporting the Conflict against the west. They have to pay a price for their unexcusable assistance

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:35 PM

You should read his site regularly.

aengus on August 7, 2007 at 6:32 PM

Regularly is easier said than done. I can only read so many blogs while at work.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:35 PM

Once we start with Iran, The Iraq insurgency will stop immediately.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:36 PM

As far as Vietnam goes most guys who were there, were there once. Few more than twice.

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 6:34 PM

Yeah that’s because we had a draft and lots of them died.

You think we should repeat that?

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:36 PM

Once we start with Iran, The Iraq insurgency will stop immediately.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:36 PM

Maybe, but if we actually go and attack Iran, we might start a more serious conflict, involving more than one country.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:37 PM

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:36 PM,

You think we should repeat that?

Thankfully, so far they are nothing alike as far as casualties and expense. The MSM likes to blow of the figure of something like 2 Billion a day. We spend that on food stamps in a day.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:38 PM

As for Robert Spencer, I do not know for sure, but suspect that he does.

He absolutely does. He has written about it at length.

aengus on August 7, 2007 at 6:33 PM

Thank you.

That is what I was pretty sure of, but did not want to say when I would be in effect speaking for someone else, what I was not certain of.

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 6:38 PM

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:37 PM,

we might start a more serious conflict, involving more than one country.

That is going to happen anyway. It might as well be on our terms instead of being forced in during other conditions later.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:40 PM

Regularly is easier said than done. I can only read so many blogs while at work.

Okay, sorry. I work from home and have a lot of time to read up on this stuff. I’d give you a link but the 2003 article is no longer at the site it originally appeared on.

Maybe, but if we actually go and attack Iran, we might start a more serious conflict, involving more than one country.

Yes that’s what I’m worried about. Will it be our Franz Ferdinand moment? If it wasn’t for the possible nuclear threat I would be dead set against attacking Iran. But better World War III than nuclear holocaust I say.

aengus on August 7, 2007 at 6:43 PM

MB4, if you don’t mind me asking, what nick do you post under at jihadwatch?

aengus on August 7, 2007 at 6:34 PM

I only comment there once in a while. Many commenters there are so good that I seldom find anything to add to what they have said. I comment there under the name of a specific animal.

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 6:45 PM

I only comment there once in a while. Many commenters there are so good that I seldom find anything to add to what they have said. I comment there under the name of a specific animal.

Ah, me too. I think I’ve commented there only twice. I was just wondering if you were a regular commenter.

aengus on August 7, 2007 at 6:47 PM

That would have killed us!

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:51 PM

Okay, sorry. I work from home and have a lot of time to read up on this stuff. I’d give you a link but the 2003 article is no longer at the site it originally appeared on.

I believe you.

But better World War III than nuclear holocaust I say.

aengus on August 7, 2007 at 6:43 PM

Some would argue that they’re the same. If we can make it through another World War without any nukes going off, then it’s a safe bet that they’ll never be used again by a country attacking another.

I mean there just isn’t much of a better reason for a country to use one.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:53 PM

aengus on August 7, 2007 at 6:43 PM

Try Archive.org’s Wayback Machine.

Egfrow on August 7, 2007 at 6:56 PM

Yeah that’s because we had a draft and lots of them died.

You think we should repeat that?

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:36 PM

Two-thirds of the then 1,500,000 man Army were enlistees (1,000,000 enlistees/ 500,000 draftees) compared to a U.S. Army of only about 500,000 now.

Even career for the duration Army usually only went twice and it was not in the big majority of cases because they were killed on their first tour.

There was much more shared sacrifice then, unlike now where is is basically the same guys going over and over again.

And no, like Robert Spencer and Hugh Fitzgerald, I do not want to do a rinse and repeat in Iraq.

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 6:57 PM

Two-thirds of the then 1,500,000 man Army were enlistees (1,000,000 enlistees/ 500,000 draftees) compared to a U.S. Army of only about 500,000 now.

And what else has changed since then? Oh, right, our military was cut to shreds.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 7:00 PM

And what else has changed since then? Oh, right, our military was cut to shreds.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 7:00 PM

I am not sure what you mean. I could speculate, but I would rather not.

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 7:03 PM

Follow that last link, by all means, and see what the Brits’ “sensitivity” about looking like occupiers produced.

Have I mentioned how cruel pity can be?

Kralizec on August 7, 2007 at 7:12 PM

So Robert Spencer wants our guys to leave Iraq? That’s news to me.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:21 PM

Everyone at JihadWatch does. Hugh Fitzgerald writes a missive about once a week on the subject.

PRCalDude on August 7, 2007 at 7:14 PM

Those on JihadWatch know Islam.

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 7:18 PM

1. There are more people on earth today than there were back then.
2. Technology has made it easier to kill more people than it was back then.

You don’t think those two facts might be important when appreciating the scale of violence?

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 5:51 PM

But this only makes my point. They were able to kill millions even back then, from the Arabs to Tamerlane. And Islam justified it.

PRCalDude on August 7, 2007 at 7:18 PM

Whichever militia emerges as dominant in the south is going to control most of it [oil] and, as with the power situation, they’re not going to be in any hurry to share it with Baghdad.

Baghdad as capital seems to be an anachronism founded in nostalgia for ancient greatness.

Kralizec on August 7, 2007 at 7:19 PM

Everyone at JihadWatch does ["wants our guys to leave Iraq]. Hugh Fitzgerald writes a missive about once a week on the subject.

PRCalDude on August 7, 2007 at 7:14 PM

If the Americans are going to bring Islam to heel, they should stay in the Dar al-Islam. If they’re not going to do so, it doesn’t seem to matter much whether they stay or go. At any rate, I think I need to start spending more time reading JihadWatch, inasmuch as they seem to take Islam seriously as a problem, thinking that Islam and muslims, as such, are threatening, not just this decade’s crop of good muslims.

Kralizec on August 7, 2007 at 7:42 PM

If the Americans are going to bring Islam to heel, they should stay in the Dar al-Islam. If they’re not going to do so, it doesn’t seem to matter much whether they stay or go. At any rate, I think I need to start spending more time reading JihadWatch, inasmuch as they seem to take Islam seriously as a problem, thinking that Islam and muslims, as such, are threatening, not just this decade’s crop of good muslims.

Kralizec on August 7, 2007 at 7:42 PM

Spencer et al advocate eliminating Muslim immigration, sealing the borders, and confronting the jihadist ideology of Islam head-on. All common sense things. They don’t see any benefit to the ‘invade Dar Al-Islam/invite Dar al-Islam’ strategy being employed by our elites.

PRCalDude on August 7, 2007 at 7:44 PM

Look, if Islam cannot evolve, then it will die, but if it can evolve humanity in general will benefit.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 3:37 PM

How many of us will die before Islam does – if it doesn’t evolve? How long do we wait?

To give Islam the benefit of the doubt, I have a theory: it seems a strange coincidence that Christianity had some of its own most turbulent – and least Christian – times right when it was about the same age as Islam is right now.

Maybe – and its a big maybe – maybe all religions go through some maturation process, and maybe in 700 years or so, Islam will be no more violent than mainstream Protestantism is today.

But, boy … even if I’m right, its sure going to suck for the rest of us while we sit around and wait for them to grow up and quit slaughtering people.

I did already admit that Islam is more susceptible to being used this way, especially in these post 9-11 times. I’m not even trying to say otherwise.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 3:50 PM

And here’s the problem with the above theory – and its the absolute crux of the issue. Why? Why exactly is Islam “more susceptible” as you put it?

Here’s the thing. Most people, especially on the Left, cling to one belief: all religions are pretty much the same, at least in terms of their effect on society, if not on the soul of the believer. In other words, most people will say that Judaism or Hinduism isn’t any worse than Christianity (setting aside for the moment the argument about who gets into Heaven and who doesn’t). Why? Because they all have certain core beliefs. Life is precious. Be good to each other. Treat others as you want to be treated. Don’t do evil. Be good to your family. Don’t kill or steal. Stuff like that.

We cling to that … but its a fiction. It has to be, logically. I’m guilty of it myself. I want desperately to think that Islam is morally (if not spiritually) no different than any other religion.

But it is a lie. It’s logically impossible to suggest that all groups are the same. We avoid admitting that because it scary – if we admit there are differences, we might make judgments. And judgments are so two centuries ago. Evil doesn’t exist anymore – its just bad child-rearing or poor nutrition.

But its not true, no matter how we pretend. Groups of people, belief systems, forms of government, are NOT all morally equivalent, no matter how fashionable the idea may be.

And you’re right: Islam IS more susceptible. Now tell me why.

I am no Islamic scholar and won’t hazard a guess. But there *does* seem to be some fundamental difference that leads to your increased “susceptibility.” It seems that the Koran both explicitly allows and in some cases suggests or commands behavior that is not only not allowed in any other mainstream religion – but is explicitly forbidden.

I guess my point is simple: if Islam at its core really is no different than Hinduism or Buddhism or Mormonism, then I guess it’ll outgrow its troubles when national and regional cultures get over their own political conflicts.

But what if that’s not true? What if Islam is *not* like other major religions? What if it doesn’t share those near universal tenets? Obviously millions of Muslims DO believe in a global jihad; obviously millions of Muslims think terrorism is justified by their faith.

The bottom line question: are they wrong and abusing their faith? Or are they being good followers of Muhammad?

We have to answer that question before we decide who and what we are actually at war with.

Professor Blather on August 7, 2007 at 7:57 PM

Everyone at JihadWatch does. Hugh Fitzgerald writes a missive about once a week on the subject.

PRCalDude on August 7, 2007 at 7:14 PM

I rarely read their site – could you give me a quick breakdown on what they say about the consequences of our withdrawal? Just leave and to Hell with it or what? Do they have ideas there?

Just curious. Thanks.

Professor Blather on August 7, 2007 at 7:59 PM

There have been so many mistakes made over so many years I gnash my teeth just thinking about it. What needs to be done won’t be politically acceptable until a city is destroyed. Until then, we do the best we can. Right now, the best we can do in (not for) Iraq is to provide security and give Iraqis an example.

The Kurds, at least, have seen the light. But that’s only temporary. Kurds who grew up in the west are just as prone to jihadism as the arabs. As long as muslims blame their failures on everything under the sun except the real problem, Islam itself, any gains made will be temporary.

Our main advantages are this:

One, Islam breeds incompetence. Tank divisions flying under a green flag are not going to be rolling into Dar al Harb anytime soon. Insurgent tactics are used by the weak, not the strong, and can only prevail against the enemies unwilling to do what it takes to win. They can’t beat us; we have to surrender to lose. Sadly, millions want us to do just that.

Two, Islam withers under oppression. It is the opposite of Christianity. Look at their definitions of martyrdom. A Christian martyr is one who is murdered for refusing to forsake his faith. A Muslim martyr is one who murders others for refusing to forsake their faith.

When the Spanish did unto the Moors as the Moors did unto them, the results spoke for themselves. The Spanish Inquisition was a corrupt, immoral, inuhumane, brutal, bloodthirsty affair, but it was far more moral and just than what the muslims had been doing for centuries. Muslims (and Jews, who’d made the same mistake they’ve made time and again by trying to sit out of a civil war, earning the wrath of both sides) were given a choice: leave Iberia or convert. Those who converted and then continued to practice islam were the ones who were persecuted.

Immoral, perhaps, but I shed no tears for them. Burning at the stake might be out of date, but no muslim should be in any position of power or authority. If they want the fruits of western thinking, they should learn the values that made them possible. If they want to stay true to the rantings of a theiving, murdering, raping, podophile, let them live in tents in the desert and oppress their goats.

Much that is now desert was once green. A great swath of this planet, from Morroco to Pakistan, has been devastated by centuries of negelct and outright vandalism. As Islam makes a wasteland of the mind, so it has made a wasteland of the land wherever it takes root. Once it is driven out, the land can be restored to it’s former glory.

As to why Iraq has such a mangled power grid, have any of you ever worked with muslims? One word, summing up a multitude of problems: Inshallah.

“When will you get the stuff we need?”

“Tommorow, inshallah.”

“That’s what you said yesterday, and the day before that, and the week before that, and the month before that, and we’re still waiting.”

“You expect us to deliver on our promises? Who do you think we are, westerners?”

ticticboom on August 7, 2007 at 8:02 PM

I rarely read their site – could you give me a quick breakdown on what they say about the consequences of our withdrawal? Just leave and to Hell with it or what? Do they have ideas there?

Just curious. Thanks.

Professor Blather on August 7, 2007 at 7:59 PM

They say that the prospects for Iraq are pretty bleak and that our best hope is to encourage infighting within the camp of Islam rather than discourage it. Hugh Fitzgerald writes the most about it, but we’re leaving sooner or later, and sooner is better.

PRCalDude on August 7, 2007 at 8:13 PM

And what else has changed since then? Oh, right, our military was cut to shreds.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 7:00 PM

Ok, let’s do some basic math here. 50,000+ Americans died in Vietnam from a force of roughly 1.5 million volunteers and draftees (assumed). That’s a 3.33333333333333333% death rate.

So far, Iraq has resulted in probably 3680 deaths out of roughly half a million troops. That’s a 0.00736 death rate. Not even 1%. What exactly were you getting at, Esthier?

Our military has not been “cut to shreds” since Vietnam. Not by a long shot.

I’ll leave it to you to clarify since my mind can’t coherently wrap around your statement. If I missed something, please expound.

American_Jihadist on August 7, 2007 at 8:46 PM

Just read the latest Michael Yon post. It’s about what I expected. Things get done only when an American is watching, although it sounds like some Iraqis are starting to get with the program. There’s hope, but reshaping culture takes years, and as long as Islam is allowed to fester, there is always the threat of backsliding, as is happening in Turkey.

ticticboom on August 7, 2007 at 9:01 PM

I find it pointless to argue with those that bristle at the concept that islam is a problem. They are so vested in the childhood concepts of religious and ethnic plurality and equality, that such a premise violates their liberal programming, indeed, offends their sensibilities.

Most people discard such childhood programming, early enough in life, out of respect of actual reality, when the world around us, and basic common sense, dictates it. Some, however, accept the ugly truth much later, the uglier – the later, and some never at all. For some, liberal orthodoxy never releases its grip on the mind, so depended it is upon its analgesic tenets for comfortable moral certitude.

Fortunately, there are few of those. Fortunate, for there is no one so blind and he who refuses to see.

jihadwatcher on August 7, 2007 at 9:19 PM

So far, Iraq has resulted in probably 3680 deaths out of roughly half a million troops. That’s a 0.00736 death rate. Not even 1%. What exactly were you getting at, Esthier?

American_Jihadist on August 7, 2007 at 8:46 PM

0.0076 0.76

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 10:12 PM

S/B 0.00736 0.736

MB4 on August 7, 2007 at 10:13 PM

Look, if Islam cannot evolve, then it will die, but if it can evolve humanity in general will benefit.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 3:37 PM

It does seem worthwhile to try, at least, to transfer evolutionary thinking to the problem of Islam, but your attempt appears to be just nonsense. For if it happens that muslims already have high reproductive fitness, just as Islam is now, then it doesn’t seem to be advantageous to muslims that their religion change. If reports are at all reliable, muslims do already have high reproductive fitness. Their women stay at home and stay pregnant. Many of their men are aggressive enough to risk warfare whenever it seems possible to extend or increase muslims’ power. It appears Islam is already very much what muslims need it to be. If that’s so, then Islam won’t “die” if it remains the same; it seems likely to go on spreading to more of the Earth unless it changes.

Instead, it seems to be Americans with traditional pieties who need to “evolve.” I have in mind not so much Christian or Jewish piety as left-liberal piety. It seems the Americans will have to return to the opinion that it’s important to be exclusive and selective regarding residency and citizenship. They will have to return to the opinion that motherhood and large families are good. They will have to stop pitying old men and women so much and demand to keep more of their money, untaxed, for their children. They will have to return to the opinion that some things are worth killing for; they will have to learn to honor men who rout their enemies. They will have to return to the opinion that some things are worth arguing for; they will have to learn to honor men who convert their enemies. Soldiers, religious missionaries, political missionaries (diplomats and artists), and economic missionaries (businessmen) will have to kill or convert muslims by the millions.

Esthier, if all this seems like “devolution” to you, it may be because you have some fixed opinion as to what biological evolution is, other than the natural selection of whatever has afforded the greatest reproductive fitness to some group. If we’re to apply evolutionary thinking at all to a religion or any other feature of a regime, it only seems reasonable to try to transfer the core concepts intact. Islam seems already to confer reproductive fitness by encouraging high birthrates, group loyalty, defeat of competitors, expansion of territory, and transfer of resources. Islam already seems much like a highly evolved predator or parasite. In terms of this biological simile, my hope for the Americans and their allies is that they, the host or prey, will mount a vigorous immune response or become, themselves, better predators.

Kralizec on August 7, 2007 at 10:33 PM

kralzec-

What he said goes double for me.

profitsbeard on August 7, 2007 at 10:51 PM

[I]f we actually go and attack Iran, we might start a more serious conflict, involving more than one country.

Esthier on August 7, 2007 at 6:37 PM

Esthier, the Americans are already in “a…serious conflict, involving more than one country.” If they actually go and destroy the governments of Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia; seize their oil, ports, and wealth; ransack their offices for their Rolodexes and files; interrogate the survivors; and then dismantle their networks worldwide; they might get some rest from that “serious conflict, involving more than one country.”

Esthier, do you know why I’m taking time to refute you? One reason is that it’s easy and fun; you’re my brain candy for the day. You’re a little more challenging than Nonfactor, but I’m still not breaking a sweat.

Kralizec

Kralizec on August 7, 2007 at 11:14 PM

What he said goes double for me.

profitsbeard on August 7, 2007 at 10:51 PM

Thanks for the favorable mention, profitsbeard. My comments seem to prompt few replies, for the most part, so I rely greatly on the few they do receive, for a perception they may be being read.

Kralizec on August 7, 2007 at 11:27 PM

Kralizec, sounds like good Czech ancestry. Pleasure to read your blog. I find similar good reading at Red State. This Esthier was properly ripped to shreds. A bit to inexperienced and not well read enough for this site. Thanks again. It’s always a pleasure to find others in this country that know what’s going on and, when the time comes, hopefully, will do the right thing to correct the situation.

countywolf on August 7, 2007 at 11:47 PM

Hey guys, I’ve been over here for a cumulative year working on a couple of power plants. Most of the locals I have gotten to know are courtious, intellegent, and respectful. They have their families and RISK THEIR LIVES each day they come to work with us. All they want is to be able to provide for their families and themselves a better life, without fear. They have to leave our secured area each day and run the gauntlet of bombs and bullets, we contractors have, as I put it, “an air-conditioned room in hell” to stay in.

I am doing a small part of a much larger job: giving to the decent Iraqis a chance of a better life. It is really up to their leaders to allow that to happen.

Texas Nick 77 on August 8, 2007 at 1:41 AM

Spc Steve on August 7, 2007 at 3:12 PM

Thank you for your service. And thank you for speaking up on this thread. As you can see, other than Esthier, mostly no one on this thread is interested in hearing anything good or positive about Iraqis that is contrary to their belief that the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.

Texas Nick 77 on August 8, 2007 at 1:41 AM

And thank you for speaking up too and doing your part to help Iraqis rebuild their lives. It’s going to take a long time and the help of people just like you for them to do that.

Esthier, I admire your guts for standing your ground.

I think this thread is really a poor reflection on Michelle and Hot Air.

Texas Gal on August 8, 2007 at 12:17 PM

I’m not sure if anyone actually reads archived stuff, but, my response to MB4′s comments following mine were to recheck my math. I still come up with:

Vietnam: 50,000 (or more but used as a baseline) deaths out of an approximate 1.5 million troops = .03333333333333
or 3.3% mortality rate.

Iraq ’03-present: 3680 (not confirmed, but was the worst case I found on the web) out of an approximate 500,000 troops = 0.00736 or slightly more than 7/10ths of 1% mortality rate.

Reported or suspected fatalities divided by number of troops yields the percentage.

MB4, your numbers would yield 76% and then 73.6% mortality rate in your subsequent posts. Clearly not accurate.

American_Jihadist on August 8, 2007 at 10:20 PM

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