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Miscellaneous

Fear and Terror in the New Century

08.14.06 | 21 Comments

I usually steer clear of politics on this blog. Actually, I usually steer clear of politics altogether. I find the whole thing pretty disgusting, and I truly believe that both sides are equally crooked, albeit possibly in different ways. The us-or-them mentality also conveniently squeezes out any third (or fourth, or fifth) options. Consequently, when I read a die-hard liberal or conservative lambasting the other side I just want grab that person and give them a vigorous shake in the hope that sudden brain swelling will cause them to get a clue. Or at least shut up.

The last presidential election was painful not because of who was elected, but because of all the BS in the year and half leading up to it. (For the record, I still participate in the democratic process. I voted Libertarian in the last presidential election.) I am absolutely dreading the next election, because it’s pretty clear there’s no escaping it. I’ll have to unsubscribe from 3/4 of the blogs I read, because even now more politics creep in than I care to read. You can’t turn on a tv, read a newspaper, or read a blog without getting someone’s opinion on why their side of choice is the only hope for humanity whereas the other side represents everything that is evil in the world. Fuck both “sides”. A box has sides. I just have principles, and both liberal and conservative politicians (and their fanatic faithful) break those on a regular basis.

Now that I have explained my intense dislike for politics, let’s move on to the news that sparked this. Late last week I read a blog post by George R. R. Martin in which he lamented the TSA’s restriction on liquids following the unveiling of the latest terrorist threat. First, let me directly counter that complaint. It would be an erosion of freedom if there was no evidence of terrorist intent to use such means to create a bomb. However, since we know they were going to try (regardless of whether the science behind it would have worked), it’s just freakin’ common sense. Not taking preventative measures would be like not boarding up the windows of your beach-front condo as the hurricane approaches because you don’t want to spoil your guests’ view.

That being said, Martin did make one point upon which I have been pondering. He mentioned that despite all the security precautions, he felt less safe now than when he was in his 20s. That got me thinking… is the threat from terrorism a greater threat than the communists posed during the cold war? I would argue that terrorists actually pose a much smaller threat than the threat we faced from the Soviet Union, yet the restrictions around our lives are greater than during that time. Granted, not all security measures are a result of 9/11. There’s a lot more visible and invisible regulation on our banking as a consequence of drug trafficking, and the same is true in other areas as well. But when you stop and consider the threat our country faced from the Soviet Union, a few hundred (or thousand) terrorists do NOT have the power to change the entire world in the way the Soviet Union did. Back then, the good old US of A was the only thing standing in the way of global communist domination. In an alternate reality, we are living in a world split between the Chinese and the Soviets. By comparison, even terrorists with a single nuclear warhead aren’t as great of a threat as what we faced 50 years ago.

However, the government would have you believe otherwise. Furthermore, the press gleefully buys into it because drama sells newspapers/airtime/pundit blog columns. That’s not only the nature of the press, but human nature. We focus on the exciting, and all too often lose sight of the big picture.

Now, I don’t want to over-downplay the threat from terrorism. They are a threat. They do have the potential to bring about great loss of life. They might have the power to disrupt our center of government. They might have the power to disrupt our energy infrastructure. However, they do not have the power to change the world… unless, in fear, we change it for them.

I strongly considered turning off the comments for this post for fear of this turning into a political arguement. (See above re: partisan politics). In the end I decided to leave comments open, but if someone makes me regret that decision I’ll shut it down. I don’t care if half a dozen of your favorite political pundits support your view. (See above re: partisan politics). The guidelines are simple: if the words liberal, conservative, democrat, or republican appear in any response, you’ve probably crossed the line.

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21 Comments

Comment by Neal5x5
2006-08-14 14:21:07

I’ll have to go along with the idea that current terrorist threat poses a risk of lesser quantity of damage than that posed by the Soviet Union and the Cold War. However, I think the liklihood of that damage occurring is much greater than that risk posed by the same Soviet Union and the Cold War. So, while the damage done by terrorists isn’t going to match the world-shattering damage a full-scale nuclear exchange would cause, it is more certain that some damage will occur somplace and to someone.

The best analogy I can think of is that of playing Russian Roulette. With the Cold War, it was a .357 held to our heads, but only one bullet in the cylinder. With the War on Terror, it’s a pellet gun, but there’s four out of six cylinders loaded and it’s pointed at our eye; not lethal, but highly unpleasant and it comes with some long-term consequences.

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Comment by Prest0
2006-08-14 14:27:43

I’d say that’s an apt analogy. With the cold war, it was pretty much all or nothing. Either we’d get nuked into cold winter, or… well, what we got.

 
 
Comment by Kyle
2006-08-14 14:55:40

I actually agree. Politics has gotten us into the mess to begin with, and both sides in this country refuse to see what has to be done.

In the Cold War, the US did the right thing, and basically took a stand that communism was evil, and was to be resisted at all costs. This was in response to naked aggression on the part of the Soviets since the end of WWII. The problem is that the Soviets were at least somewhat rational creatures. They didn’t want to see themselves destroyed in a nuclear war with the US. Terrorism is worse, because the proponents and advocates are perfectly willing to kill themselves to kill us. The Soviets had more weapons, but they didn’t ever WANT to use them. Not so the Islamo-fascists. Sticking our heads in the sand is foolish, as 9-11 should have taught us all.

There was a husband and wife arrested in Britain, they planned on taking their 6-month old baby on their suicide flight. They were going to use the baby bottle to get their liquid explosive onboard. The Soviets weren’t even that twisted. Tell me that isn’t more of a threat to our way of life than walled-up Communists.

Not once were we attacked on our own soil by the Communists. The Cuban Missle Crisis was as close as it came. It’s happened multiple times as the result of Islamo-fascism, now. So to say that Islamo-fascism is not as big or bigger of a threat is Pollyannish, to say the least. It’s even giving rise to homegrown terrorists, such as the Muslim who walked into a theater a month ago and killed five people. John Muhammed and Lee Malvo. The synagogue shooting last month. You’re probably going to see more of that, and I’d argue each event was even more sinister than the Soviet’s aggression in the Cold War.

And with the news today from the Middle East, I must disagree on a point. Terrorists do have the power to bring about change. The UN’s cease-fire, at the behest of Hezbollah, has brought about a stalemate, and a recognition of Hezbollah as a political power, as opposed to a violent militia. It would be akin to allowing Neo-Nazis to elect their own senators and represntavies to Congress. The terrorists have brought a screeching halt to their own destruction by way of applied pressure from a world that does not seem to realize Islam is against us all. So both directly and indirectly, they have changed the entire world.

Politics has nothing to do with it. Simply put, evil must be fought and destroyed. Politics has created this mess, because politicians worry about getting re-elected. A smart leader would have pre-emptively attacked Iran already, and held more in reserve if Syria got froggy ’till terrorism is no longer a threat. Politics be damned. Let’s get something done in the fight against evil. We can’t simply ignore it.

A few questions: Where does partisan politics end, and where does doing the right thing begin for you, exactly? If one side is saying the right things, in direct contrast to the other side, isn’t that one side more on the side of the angels than the other? The two aren’t ALWAYS mutually exclusive, though there’s a definite argument to be made otherwise.

Why do you think Islamo-facsim is NOT as big a threat as the Soviets?

And what would you have done? This isn’t working too well, I concur. But what’s the solution?? I know what I think is right, but what’s your take on it?? How do we keep ourselves safe and free to live our way of life?

Are we not forced on occasion to choose the lesser of two evils as far as politics goes?? You’ve made that point in the past. So where do we cut that off? Protest votes are all fine and good, but sometimes it cuts your nose off to spite your face.

I’m struggling with this stuff as well. Right now, I hate both parties, but one less than the other, truth be told. I think moral clarity will get us through when politics fail. Ultimately, one has to choose what is right and wrong, and follow those dictates.

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Comment by Prest0
2006-08-14 19:38:10

Why is Islamo-facism not as big a threat as the Soviets? Quiet simply because they don’t have the capacity for bringing about nuclear winter. Now I recognize that there are almost certainly terrorists trying to get their hands on a nuclear warhead. Worst-case scenario, what happens? If they nuke Washington it will certainly disrupt our country, but we can operate at the state/local level and re-elect national leaders. It won’t be the end of the USA. Even if they got their hands on 15 nukes and detonated them around the country simultaneously it would cause long-term havoc, but havoc from which we could recover. The USA would survive in some capacity. If all-out war had broken out with the Soviet Union, there’s a good chance it would have been not only the end of the US, but the end of humanity. Remember Mutually Aassured Ddestruction? Those terrorist attacks to which you referred are scary but highly localized– a far cry from MAD.

I’m not sure what the right combination of approaches to defeating this new threat is. I do know that squashing it the way you’d like simply isn’t practical for a variety of reasons. First, it’s called genocide and that’s a bad thing. Second, Islamo-facism isn’t limited to a particular geographic region. So what if you wipe the Iran off the map? What about Syria? What about Jorden? Okay, so you nuke the entire middle east (setting aside the impact on Israel). What about the Philippians? What about the families of all the dead who live in Europe and North America? Because that’s the third problem. Every time you use force to swipe at the enemy, you create incidental casualties that turn the survivors against you. We’re seeing that in Beruit. People who said that prior to the attacks they worked right alongside their neighbors in the Christian quarter without problems. Now, with a bombed building atop their loved ones they are mad as hell and ripe pickings for Hezbollah recruiters. I’m not saying Israel didn’t have a right to do what they did, but we have to recognize that sometimes our short term gains are more than negated by our long term fumbles.

In the end, I have to fall back on cultural imperialism. You have to turn the situation on its head and enact a true long-term (20-30+ year) strategy for turning the entire region–the entire culture–into dark skinned Americans. Now some of those short term steps within the bigger picture would be steps to protect ourselves from current terrorists. We also must infiltrate, subvert, and probably many cases close their training and recruiting grounds–their religious schools. Whether you work from within or set up more desirable schools to draw away students, we MUST stop the indoctrination of 2016’s terrorists. That’s the kind of long term vision we need.

Moving on, yes we’re forced to sometimes choose between two evils, and that’s the pity. Maybe, if we truly are choosing evil in either case, the moral thing to do is seek out other choices. But yes, being a part of the political process is about compromise. It’s doubtful you’ll find a single politician out there with whom you agree on every social and economic point. You almost certainly won’t find a political party with 100% congruence. (Even if you do, their actions probably won’t always coincide with their stated positions.) So we make choices. We decide which touchstones are most important to us. Do we vote for the candidate who supports education, or the one who supports a modernized energy infrastructure? The one who protects civil rights, or the one who takes a favorable stand on foreign trade? The things that are most important to you may not be the most important to me. So maybe you vote for one candidate and I vote for another, not because your candidate opposes mine on the issues that matter to you, but because he actively supports a different set of issues that only partially overlap.

Or maybe they’re both greaseballs who have good PR firms with calculated tactics for making their employer stand out.

 
 
Comment by Kyle
2006-08-14 23:46:19

It can be argued that as a gun owner, I am a danger to all my neighbors, because theoretically I could flip out and shoot at them. Am I a threat to them? Not in reality, because I’m not going to exercise that capacity. The crackhead bent on stealing for his next fix is more of a threat. I’ve got nicer guns, but that doesn’t make the cheap .22 in the hands of a rockhead less deadly to my neighbors when their door gets kicked in. The ability to do something is not necessarily a threat. The Soviets couldn’t, and didn’t exercise that power because ultimately it did them no good. Islamic terror is different. These people believe they go to heaven if they die killing us. Far different from the Soviet mentality. Misguided as they were, they were still rational about the whole thing. I thinkt they are more of a threat than the Soviets because they have the will to pull the trigger, even when it assures their own demise.

Unfortunately, I think we are going to find ourselves at war with the entire religion of Islam. So the only thing we can do is beat it into submission, just as we did the Japanese. We didn’t kill the entire culture to win that war, either. So your genocide argument is specious. It’s not necessary.

The so-called survivors in Beruit and elsewhere were against us before the Israelis rolled through there. Your’e not fostering any more hate and resentment than were already there. They might have worked side by side with their avowed enemy, but it wsa only a matter of time.

I’m not worried about a nuke in Washington. I’m worried about one in Houston, shutting down our oil refineries. I’m worried about one in New York and Chicago, obliterating our financial districts. The twin towers of 9-11 wee a symbolic attack. If they get serious, they could strike us hard enough to destroy us.

Again, nobody knows what would have happened with a Soviet nuclear strike. But we damn sure know what will happen with an Islamo-fascist nuke. And that’s more people dead than what the Soviets did. It’s a bit of an apples vs. oranges comparision.

Cutural imperialism is not possible in this situation. You hvea to take the entire culture back to the stone age and rebuild it. That’s going to require a military defeat.

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Comment by Prest0
2006-08-15 08:51:59

“The ability to do something is not necessarily a threat.”

What? Of COURSE it is. That’s the whole point. It’s called deterrence. You own guns for protection in the event that something bad happens, but also to deter someone from even trying. Same thing with a sign in the yard that says you have a security system or a bad-ass dog in the back yard. By your reasoning, putting nukes in Cuba wasn’t a threat to the US. After all, they didn’t use them.

It’s easy in hindsight to say that the Soviets weren’t a threat. But how many times did we come “this” close to firing off a missile because we thought they were about to do the same? Rational? They were terrified that we would attack them first. And many were taught from birth to hate us, to consider us evil. Sound familiar? Nobody knows what would have happened with a Soviet nuclear strike? Everybody knows what would have happened. The Day After. We’re talking about the total destruction of both the US and the Soviet Union, with radioactive fallout riding wind currents around the globe. If humanity had survived the long-term aftereffects at all, at the minimum it would have set us back 100 years.

How exactly do you envision carrying out a military defeat? A “decisive victory”, as we have previously discussed? We’re not talking about a country. We’re talking about a religion. A religion with followers on probably every continent (and I say probably only because Antarctica might be iffy), and in every major metropolitan city. Are you going to roll tanks into Houston and only bomb every third apartment? You’re suggesting the equivalent of militarily defeating the Catholics.

 
 
Comment by Kyle
2006-08-15 09:22:50

That’s exactly what it’s going to take. A military defeat, and it may very well come to street fighting in the US. In fact, our enemy trains for just that. It’s a horrible thought, but just because it’s a horrible thought doesn’t mean it won’t be a very harsh reality. We will be at war with the entire religion. We already are, we just haven’t been smart enough to realize it. I’m in the same boat: how do we fight something on that scale? Our reluctance to do so does not mean that we won’t have to do it, though.

Deterrence isn’t really the issue with gun ownership in a private home. I concede it is an abstract threat. A home invader runs a risk of getting shot, but there are plenty of people out there who don’t own guns. Gun owners aren’t branded with a scarlet letter, yet. Nobody knows what I have in my house, so how is that a deterrent except on the abstract level? It’s not.

I strongly disagree that ability does not equal threat. It’s the intention of the possessor that creates the realistic threat. It takes the threat from a conceptualized, abstract level and brings it into reality. I am no realistic threat to my neighbor. It’s not like I’m going to declare war and storm the fence into their backyard, or blow up their mini-van. Likewise, I don’t perceive my armed neighbor as a threat.

I never said the Soviets were not a threat. They WERE a realistic threat, which was countered and dealt with. Islam is going to have to be dealt with the same. It’s a threat of equal or greater magnitude than what the Soviets were, is all that I am saying. Probably greater, if you look at the number of followers, and their intention to do us harm even if it means their own deaths. In other words, it is no longer an abstract threat held at bay.

Its hostile intentions are well-documented, and the attacks have begun. They have fired the first shots, and have been doing so for roughly 1400 years.

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Comment by Prest0
2006-08-15 10:00:03

It won’t happen. They don’t fight wars. They fight insurrections. You’ll never mass them together for a decisive military defeat. The best you’d be able to do is round them up into concentration camps, and the day that happens is the day we’ve lost everything that makes the US worth fighting for.

 
 
Comment by Kyle
2006-08-15 11:55:19

Wait and see. It HAS to happen. That’s what we are going to have to do, I predict. On a footnote, watch THE SIEGE with Denzeil Washington and Bruce Willis. It might get this bad. It’s a very on-point movie about this very subject. Worth your time to NETFLIX it, one way or the other.

If that’s what it takes to save us, there may be no alternative.
And wouldn’t it be justified if indeed we are at war with the entire religion?? How else do we deal with domestic, homegrown terror??

There’s a great book called IN DEFENSE OF INTERNMENT, about the US concentration camps. It portrays things in a much different light than what we’ve seen and have been taught. Just because it’s bad doesn’t mean it wasn’t necessary, or quite as cruel as what has been portrayed.. There are sound reasons for doing something like this, and I don’t think we can rule it out as an option if it gets that bad.

Yeah, it shocks the conscience. But what alternative do we have?

Fighting the state sponsors of terrorism is one option. Take the fight to Syria and Iran in spades. Unless we just roll over and take it, you seem to have no other solutions to the problem at the moment. I’d like to avoid the camp thing, but there is only the state-sponsor foe to fight. The UN charter would allow us to do just that, under Article 51, we are allowed to make war on the state sponsor. That’s probably what we need to do.

What is your solution? Do we just wait for the nuke to hit? I understand your concerns, but you are not proposing any sort of solution that does any good right now. It seems foolish to not deal proactively with the problem before it gets any worse. We already know it’s bad.

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Comment by Prest0
2006-08-15 15:26:44

That’s where we differ. You’ve convinced yourself some kind of all-out World War III religious war is inevitable, but I don’t buy it. Many people figured the only way the US and the Soviet Union would break their stalemate would be through war. The idea that the Soviet Union would fall without a shot being fired would have been laughed out of Washington during the 50s and 60s.

I think you’re looking for an immediate solution, whereas I’m looking at a process that started on 9/12 and may not be complete for 50 years. My short-term steps? It involves doing a lot of what we’re doing now. Screening at airports, shipping ports, trains, and the like. Security for our energy infrasctructure. I’d be profiling. I’d be cranking up the propaganda machine into overdrive and pour out content that paints these so-called “martyrs” in a way that makes them distastful to other Muslims instead of heroes. I’d spread rumors that jihad makes you impotent, causes leprosy, and gives you AIDS. I’d be working overtime to get us the fuck off our dependence on foreign oil. If we’d really invested in alternative fuels 20 years ago then today we’d be giving the entire region the finger and shutting off their cash flow. I’d crack down on religous schools teaching hatred against the US, and back it up with more than stern words and a slap on the wrist. I’d get some of the Arab-Americans the CIA has been recruiting since 9/11 on the ground in the Middle East and set them up with their own mosques to counter the warmongers. And give them a small army of bodyguards to blow the brains out of any fanatic who thinks he’ll terrorize away the gospel of peace. Instead of pulling out of Iraq, I’d put another 100,000 troops–or more–on the ground like the former Chief of Staff Eric Ken Shinseki said three years ago. Instead Rumsfeld played politics, and Bush went right along with it. So now instead of establishing a beachhead of democracy that would infect the region, they managed to further destabilize an already volitile region and make it an even bigger breeding ground for terrorists. Thanks a lot, assholes.

Comment by Kyle
2006-08-15 16:00:05

OK, but there again, if we shut off their money, won’t that make them do what the Japanese did in WWII and go on the offensive? Turn off the money, you turn off the water, and a lot of nice golf courses in Riyad suddenly turn to sand again. They need us just as much as we need them.

Here’s my problem: Iraq was three separate countries, each controlled by Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites. So why do we expect them to get along when it took the Brits kicking the hell out of all of them to get them to behave, and Saddam gassing them to keep everyone in line? I think 3 countries out of one is a better solution. They all swarmed in after we took out Saddam.

How do you paint Martyrdom in a bad light when your holy texts tell you it’s the best thing you can possibly do? There’s the problem.

I agree on the profiling, it’s not like the Swedes have been bombing anybody lately. That’s really what I’m getting at: we have to do realistic stuff to keep ourselves safe until we actully get the source rooted out. How we do that remains to be seen.

Comment by Prest0
2006-08-15 16:28:46

I have no problem with splitting up Iraq. The problem, as I understand it, is that the big oil fields are only found in two of the three territories.

Our holy text says we’re supposed to stone adulterers and not eat goat or pig (and a lot of other stuff). It’s time to start actively supporting Islamic religious leaders who downplay martyrdom as an antiquated “easy out”, and start emphasizing other ways to get into heaven that require actually living a life of honesty and integrity.

 
Comment by Prest0
2006-08-15 16:41:38

As an addendum, I’d like to note something you said in the first paragraph. Currently, the Middle East needs our money as much as we need their oil. We also get oil from other sources like the Gulf, Venezuela, etc. They also sell oil to Europe, Russia, and China. I read somewhere that if China continues at their current level of industrialization and population growth, their need for oil will be even greater than ours by something like 2020. At that point (actually sooner) the Middle Eastern oil fields will be able to give us the finger, sell strictly to China, and leave us to scrounge for other energy sources. When that happens, we’ll be dreaming about the good old days of energy prices we’re experiencing now. If you want to worry about nation-wide threats, don’t worry about a dozen guys with a single nuke. Worry about what happens if we don’t find a means to get off our dependance on them before they ween themselves off of us. Time is on their side. We have to work at it. All they have to do is wait for China’s economy to finish maturing.

 
 
 
 
Comment by Neal5x5
2006-08-15 14:55:21

The problem with dealing with Islamic fascism (which is as apt a description as any) is that we’re a nation state, but we can’t point to other nation-states in a way that allows us to attack them and remove the problem. The most populous Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and others have prices on the heads of Bin Laden and the other terrorist leaders. However, these same nations are also the primary contributors and progenitors of terrorists because so many of the “man on the street” harbors such ill will that they choose to engage in murder. As someone once said, terrorism is the privitizaton of war, and the United States is a nation fighting what amounts to a private army without the restrictions placed on us. If we bomb a mosque in Saudi Arabia, killing off the mujahadeen inside, we face a response not the terrorists, but our supposed allies Saudi Arabia.

The way I see it, there are two solutions to this problem: either introduce and encourage intercene warefare between Sunni and Shi’a (something the terrorists want but would focus fighting on Islamic lands) or encourage the majority of Muslims to recognize the threat from within and eliminate the problem from within. Both are long-term solutions and require a lot of diplomatic fostering, and both run the risk of failure, but I don’t see any other alternatives that don’t involve the US facing 1 billion Muslims from Morrocco to Jakarta.

On a personal note, I am constantly in flux about my feelings toward Islam and Muslims. While I recognize that the terrorists are only a small percentage of the Muslim population, and all cultures produce murderers, the percentage of terrorists in Islam is still WAY in excess with other cultures. I want to be Christian and judge people individually by their actions and values, but I can’t say that it’s easy. I am on friendly terms with several Muslims, I’ve educated myself on Islam (both the history and the theology), and I’ve sought out the statements from the mosque in my area (which have been relatively moderate), but something still sticks in my craw about Islam. Maybe it was 9/11, maybe it was Beslan, maybe it’s just my personal failing, but it’s still there.

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Comment by Kyle
2006-08-16 09:45:03

You’re wrong about Christian holy text. Christians are not bound by the Old Testament (which is referred to the Old Covenant that God’s people have to keep–the Jewish people in other words) other than the ten commandments, which we’re doomed to screw up on as well. There was a New Covenant, and the old one is just used as an example that man alone cannot earn his salvation. Plus, the Old Testament was for a specific time in the development of God’s people. So don’t mischaracterize it wihtout a much better understanding of what the faith is all about. That’s an easy dodge that gets thrown in the face of Christians all the time, and it simply is incorrect.

Islam doesn’t have any sort of Messiah that’s come in to liberate them from impossible laws they couldn’t keep. So it’s a pretty big difference.

Find me a Islamic religious leader that DOES downplay martyrdom. Look hard, because people have been looking for a moderate on that score for about 1400 years. Let me know when you find one.

ANWAR drilling is going to have to happen, whether the shrub-cuddlers like it or not. And there are pretty good scenarios which indicate China will gear up to invade Russia to take what it needs in oil, eventually. Trading with the Chinese may not be in the Middle East’s best interest. Plus, where does a communist nation get funds to buy oil? Apparently from the West in some form or fashion.

I agree that we are going to have to further develop our energy resources to reduce dependence on Middle Eastern oil. No arguments there at all.

Neal’s comment touched on something: there is an unease I have about Muslims that has nothing to do with how they act. It’s what they believe. Their holy texts preach deceit to unbelievers to gain the advantage, so the whole religion could be fooling us. I don’t know. I want to live and let live, we all do. But is a live and let live going to work? Not when the other side is thinking live and let die, or live and kill and enslave.

I think its ridiculous to ignore somebody with a nuke sworn to cause death and destruction to us. We are developing alternative enrgy sources, more efficient cars, etc. since the market is now demanding it. We WILL beat that problem, I have no doubt. It doesn’t happen overnight, much like that your other post with the article bemoaning the lack of high speed techno goodies the government helped finance. Just because it gets funded doesn’t mean it’s going to be available tomorrow. Energy problems will be fixed, it just might not be tomorrow. Islamo-fascism is a more sticky issue.

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Comment by Prest0
2006-08-16 11:18:52

Alright, you got me. The old testament example was a dodge, and partly in jest. But the point I was trying to make, using an extreme example, is that the Bible tells us to do things we don’t always live up to. Why does the same not hold true of Muslims?

I typed a bunch of other stuff, but I deleted it. This thread has already eaten up too much time during my work day. I understand that your dislike of Muslims goes beyond what a small number of terrorists do. I don’t believe a full-out religious war in the streets is inevitable. I know you do, but we’ll just have to disagree.

This disucssion has gotten further and further from my simple, original statement: The Soviets posed a bigger threat during the cold war than terrorists do today. I STILL stand by that statement. No examles you’ve given have approached global nuclear winter or MAD. The threat was always there, and always very real. Rational or not, the Soviets would have defended themselves if they thought they were under attack. We came within something like 17 seconds of nuclear war in 1983 when they misread NATO’s annual Able Archer exercise as the real deal.

 
 
Comment by Kyle
2006-08-16 14:12:46

Whoa! Don’t label me a Muslim hater, “your dislike of Muslims…etc.” That’s almost an ad homenim attack. I don’t at all. I simply believe the problem is with the actual religion itself, and that makes the conflict inevitable, in my mind. I dislike what they do and what they are taught. The people are just people. I’ve got no problems with Hindus, Bhuddists, Mormons, etc., beyond a philisophical difference. I can co-exist, live and let live with pretty much anybody else, which is as it should be. But they aren’t taught in Sunday school to kill me, either.

I hope and pray it doesn’t go as far as what the evidence indicates. I don’t want it, but where is a viable alternative? To remove the threat, the religion has to be proven false. It’s like asking Christians to give up Jesus.

Yes, the soviets probably would have caused obliteration. No, the Muslims as of yet can’t obliterate us with nukes. But their threat is real, and probably more immediate because they’ve already declared their war.

The one small tactical nuke in New York would cause far more damage than the hundreds of Soviet warheads that never got launched.

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Comment by Prest0
2006-08-16 14:32:47

Whoa! Don’t label me a Muslim hater, “your dislike of Muslims…etc.” That’s almost an ad homenim attack. I don’t at all.

I apologize if I misinterpreted your remarks. As the conversation shifted from terrorists to Muslims, maybe I read more into your comments than was there.

 
 
Comment by Ed
2006-08-16 19:34:54

Well….modern IslamoFascists are Islamic, and they are not a small minority but a large percentage of Muslims in the world today. Read the Koran. See what Muhammad says regarding Jews and Christians. Read it for yourself and see what they say. There are plenty of translated versions online.

I also submit that even the “moderates” applaud when their “brothers” wreak havoc and death on Jews, Chrisitians, and any nation they believe has done them wrong the past 2000 years.

Finally, I’d just like to point out that Neal, Presto, and Kyle are all Liberal Republicans with Libertarian ideals who will bring America together, and will be uniters, not dividers. Together you shall usher in the age of peace!

LOL

okay, maybe not.

Just wanted to cross the line Preston set. I’m an arrogant Texan asshole afterall!!!

I think Texas should just secede and be done with it.

Ed

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Comment by Kyle
2006-08-17 14:02:49

Whoo-hoo! The Republic of Texas shall rise again! Sign me up.

Don’t know about the age of peace. Probably the age of pieces.

I posted a bit of an update over on cerebralmisfire. It’s got some interesting information along these lines, if anyone still cares and isn’t sick to death of the whole bloody thing.

 
 
2006-08-22 08:48:48

[…] And just to keep things from getting too serious around here, I bring you: a toilet-flushing cat.                          Trackback · […]

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