Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Later : What We Have Learned

I don't want to argue about whether the ABC special was "fair" to Bill Clinton or not. Nor do I wish to dispute the closeness of any ties that Saddam may have had to 9/11. Instead, on the anniversery of this infamous day, I would like tell you the three most important geo-political lessons I have learned....

1) Terror is a tactic used by an enemy, not an enemy itself. You can't win a "war on terror" any more than you can a "war on poverty". You can't win a war on terror, only a war against a government that used terror on you.

2) Islam is not a religion of peace. It is in violent aggressive conflict with its neighbors anywhere in the world it has the strength to do so, be those neighbors Christians, Jews, Hindus, Secularits, or other Muslims. Not all faiths are equally peaceful, and it is time we quit the PC pretensions that they are. I am not saying every strain of Islam is facist, but that there are things about the root of Islam that promote Islam-fascism, just as there are things about Christianity that have produced tecnological progress and personal freedom.

3) When the government of a nation sponsors terrorist attacks against us, we should kill the leaders of that nation. Once that is done, it is not our business to rebuild that country, or to make that country into a Constitutional Republic like America. Foreign leaders should know that if they attack us, they will be dead. We may not stick around to try to rebuild the country in our image, but they will still be dead. Not all people are ready for freedom. They will only use it to go mad with hatred and vengence. A strongman who is a little benevolent is the best you can hope for until they gain more virtue. We should not feel too proud about this, as we are also in danger of losing our freedoms through lack of virtue.

Please feel free to add your insights on a day that belongs to all of us.

39 Comments:

Blogger rob_star said...

I agree with some of your premise, but a problem occurs to me. You are comparing Christianity with Islam in a misleading light. The culture of the Middle East is hundreds of years behind ours and to compare the two at present is as misleading as comparing money across decades without using Real Dollars. If you want to compare the peacefulness of the two religions, a better frame of reference would be to compare the practices of Christianity in the dark ages to that of the Islam of now. I think, using that comparison, you will find that neither of the two are "peaceful" religions.

4:48 PM, September 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You can't win a "war on terror" any more than you can a "war on poverty".

I think that is correct. You also cannot win a war against Satan. He will be a thorn in the side of mankind until the end. Still, it is a war that must be waged. How to wage it is a topic for debate.

As to Starr's comment, true Christianity is a religion of peace. It has been perverted from time to time due to wickedness of men, but following the true teachings of Christ only leads to peace.

As to point #3 if we kill the leader of a particular terror sponsoring nation how do we assure ourselves that the next "leader" will be "a strongman who is a little benevolent?"

5:10 PM, September 11, 2006  
Anonymous Mark Moore said...

Rob,

Even in the so-called "dark ages" Christiandom was a light to the world. The dark ages were dark because pagan barbarians overran the Roman Empire, whose population had been largely Saved. Once the barbarians got saved they went on to develop modern Europe.

Now if you meant to say "The Inquisition" then I will agree that that was a dark time for the church. About 1200 people were tortured over the course of a century or so. Not good, but considering how powerful the Christian nations were, they were very benevolent. Don't compare them to perfection, compare them to the Mongol Hordes, to Islam, to Communism, and all the other isms that have shed more blood than Christiandom.

When a Moslem makes wars of agression, he is acting in accordance with the life and teaching of the founder of his faith. When a Christain does so, he acts against the life and teaching of the Founder of his faith.

Attempts at moral equivelence must be rejected. Islam's problem is not that it is 600 years younger than Christianity, it is that it has not advanced in its thinking in 1,000 years.

8:01 PM, September 11, 2006  
Blogger Mr. Toast said...

"You also cannot win a war against Satan. He will be a thorn in the side of mankind until the end. Still, it is a war that must be waged. How to wage it is a topic for debate."

Hmmmm. Very good point.

I would reply that Satan is a constant, while terrorists are not so much so. The latter go long stints while leaving people alone, but they love a good long fight. We should strive to be inside of one of those stints, yet not turn away when punishment needs to be inflicted upon them.

I fully believe they need to be taught a lesson when they mess with us, but the impact of that lesson diminishes when we stick around after the battle and get picked off like fish in a barrel while, for example, trying to police the bickering tribes or rebuild their nation as a "democracy."

Therefore, I emphasize your comment "How to wage it is a topic for debate," as well as Mark's rule #3.

9:06 PM, September 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark, You left out the Crusades.... You know, save the Holy Land for the true religion and kill anyone who opposes you. Oh yeah, take anything you need along the way....cuz "We're on a mission from God"
I agree, Islam is 5-600 years behind......

9:46 PM, September 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A small problem with that comparison:
"Heretics" to the Catholic religion (i.e., Protestants) were also attacked by the Crusaders. The Crusades were a Catholic endeavor, not a Christian one.

10:03 PM, September 11, 2006  
Blogger terrymcdermott said...

My problem with the whole ordeal is that our troops are in a far away nation, and Congress did not make a formal decleration of war.

I am Pro-Israel, and never wish the see an Islamic Theocracy (or any other so called man-mad theocracy) in this world. But Congress should have done their job, after 9-11.

10:58 PM, September 11, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Yes, that part of the Crusades was an example of abuse. I am not arguing that there has never been abuse, just that it is out of character with the Founders life and practice. It is an abberation, while with Islam it is SOP.

I am not a Catholic, but for the other part of the Crusades I want to put in a plug for them. The Crusades were defensive, much like our own "war on terror". And like that one, mistakes were made. But they were the result of Islam overunning the Holy Land and denying Christian pilgrims access to the sites.

Don't believe anything you saw about the Crusades from the "Kingdom of Heaven" movie. I will have to look up my article showing that it was not only UNhistorical, it was ANTI-historical.

5:48 AM, September 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I would reply that Satan is a constant, while terrorists are not so much so. The latter go long stints while leaving people alone, but they love a good long fight. We should strive to be inside of one of those stints, yet not turn away when punishment needs to be inflicted upon them."

The Islam fascists are a constant menace to society. Their writings and their history proove that they are in it for the long haul. We can beat them back but they'll just retool and come back after us until we all convert to Islam or die. That is where they begin the negotiation, convert or die.


"Therefore, I emphasize your comment "How to wage it is a topic for debate," as well as Mark's rule #3."

If we "teach them a lesson" by going by Mark's rule #3 how do we assure ourselves that that the next "leader" will be "a strongman who is a little benevolent?" (as Mark stated)

6:33 AM, September 12, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

We cannot win a war against "Islam" with guns and bombs alone, as we have been trying to do. We have to win it with the Gospel. We have to dare to confront the cult. They will howl for a while, but that is because in their heart they know that blowing up children at a buss stop is not a ticket to a brotherel version of heaven, but Hell.

We have to dare to tell them what they know in their heart anyway. We have to witness the Gospel to them. You can't win a war of ideas with bullets. You have to have better ideas.

7:31 AM, September 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Gospel is very powerful, I concur. However, when you have the mindset of blowing up innocent people you are not ready to recieve the gospel. And when their goal is to convert us to Islam or kill us, how effective will the Gospel be to that kind of heart? And how do we begin the dialogue of converting them?

Also, I would still like to know how to implement "Mark's rule #3?"

I like your rule #3 but how would it be implemented? I also like the goal of converting them to Christ but HOW? I don't think either is feasible.

8:53 AM, September 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can not win a war on terror, provoking more war and terror.

The war on Terror is an illusion that the government of the USA and other world leaders want us to believe.

There is no proof that Osama had anything to do with 911 attacks, there is no proof that Sadam had anything to do with 911. But there is proof that bush knew about 911, there is proof that the bush family were associates of bin laden and that bin laden worked on the CIA.








cars

9:51 AM, September 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jimmy Carter, for weighing in and thank you for your brilliant appeasement policies that have worked so well throughout history. Now go back to sleep.

10:59 AM, September 12, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

You apply rule number three by getting out troops OUT of all the places there are sent to nation build, including Hati, the former Yugoslavia, and yes Iraq. That way you have to to effect regime change in any nation that dares sponsor a group that launches a terrorist attack on our soil.

As for the gospel, I am not talking about preaching the gospel for the terrorists to become Christians, though even their sins are not greater than God's ability to forgive. Rather I am talking about converting the general population. Then they would no longer send their kids to Madrassas to have their minds poisoned with hate. They would no longer keep silent while the Wahabis operated in their midst.

Chairman Mao said that guerrillas are like fish and the general population is the ocean in which they swim. Take away the ocean, the ability to move freely among the populace, and they are beaten.

11:49 AM, September 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So we remove all of our troops from these places. That would NOT stop them from hating us or devising plans to destroy us. They still would want to either convert us to Islam or kill us. I'm getting that from their own writings. Do you believe them or not?

If you do not believe them then you are naive. You are also honorable and honest. But if you believe that their hatred for us or their desire to kill us would diminish when we pull our troops, then you are naive. Until they destroy Israel and the U.S. they will never be satisfied.

If you believe them (that they want us converted or killed) then you would expect future attacks to occur. Under you plan, you would simply wait for them to attack before retaliating and removing the figure head at the top of the regime. Once he is removed, then you would remove all troops and await the next attack so that you could go in and remove the next regime. Then you would remove the troops once again and it would be a vicious cycle. Is that a workable plan?

That's how I see your scenario playing out in the real world. Why? Because these guys want us dead or converted to Islam. I ain't converting! You aint either! therefore, this never ending cycle is what your option would ultimately lead to.


"Rather I am talking about converting the general population. Then they would no longer send their kids to Madrassas to have their minds poisoned with hate. They would no longer keep silent while the Wahabis operated in their midst."

Good plan! How to implement when you pull all troops out of the region? (I'm not saying that troops are the best means of delivering the gospel message I'm just saying that with these extremists it's the only way I can think of) Once again you have high ideals. However, these particular ideals are not feasible in the real world. I wish they were though.

12:59 PM, September 12, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

"That would NOT stop them from hating us or devising plans to destroy us"

I believe them. They need to be under governments who understand that if they don't keep their fanatics from attacking us, that we will kill them (the government leaders). That is how we check them, not by doing it ourselves, except maybe air support if the compliant strongman needs a boost.

A lot of times these guys don't care about dying, but their leaders care. That is how we keep the idiots in check in Jordan and Egypt and other places.

1:25 PM, September 12, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

"But if you believe that their hatred for us or their desire to kill us would diminish when we pull our troops, then you are naive. Until they destroy Israel and the U.S. they will never be satisfied"

Some will never be satisfied, but there are also a lot of them that have engaged in attacks against our troops that would never have dreamed of going around the world to be a part of a suicide strike on American soil.

A lot of them are only killing us because we are in their country, as I would kill them if the shoe was on the other foot. We are killing enemies, but we are also making them because we are acting like an empire not a Republic.

1:28 PM, September 12, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

"Once he is removed, then you would remove all troops and await the next attack so that you could go in and remove the next regime. Then you would remove the troops once again and it would be a vicious cycle. Is that a workable plan?"

Is what we are doing now a workable plan? We are in a vicious cycle right now, because we are trying to rule viscious people with our civilized rules. Vicious people rate a vicious master. I don't want to be it.

Right now, my way is working fairly well in Pakistan. If he is alive, Osama may be in there, but he is contained. There is no doubt he wants to hurt us, but instead he can't move because the governmnet is not cooperating with him. A popular election would result in the terrorists winning, but we don't let them have a popular election. We back a strongman.

1:33 PM, September 12, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

"Good plan! How to implement when you pull all troops out of the region? (I'm not saying that troops are the best means of delivering the gospel message I'm just saying that with these extremists it's the only way I can think of)"

You don't expend American blood for the "Islamic Republic of Iraq" where Islam is the official state religion. You don't keep saying "Islam is a religion of peace". You start by doing something as simple as telling the truth. We are throwing the Christians that are already in Iraq to the wolves.

Saddam let the Christians be more than these guys. At last they are free to act on the hate and intolerence in their heart. If we back a strongman, we can back one who will not use the organs of the state to persecute Christians. The way we are doing it now, we are letting the moslem population use the organs of the state to deny Christians the protection of the law.

You can't FORCE Christianity on anyone, but you can proclaim it. Instead, our troops are ordered not to talk about it in order to offend our Muslim conquestees.

1:39 PM, September 12, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I think Islam is a rope of sand held togehter by abject terror. Five percent of the population has the rest cowed. If it is directly confronted, it will whither. If people were given freedom to leave it without repercussion, a lot would.

1:41 PM, September 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I believe them. They need to be under governments who understand that if they don't keep their fanatics from attacking us, that we will kill them (the government leaders). That is how we check them, not by doing it ourselves, except maybe air support if the compliant strongman needs a boost.

A lot of times these guys don't care about dying, but their leaders care. That is how we keep the idiots in check in Jordan and Egypt and other places."

Ok if the above is true (that this is the approach we use to keep JOrdan and Egypt in check) then I can see their relative peacefulness as evidence of your strategy working. But what evidence do you have to assert the above is true? I have never heard that we have issued threats that we will strike down the leaders of those nations if they don't control their fanatics.

6:39 PM, September 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A lot of them are only killing us because we are in their country, as I would kill them if the shoe was on the other foot. We are killing enemies, but we are also making them because we are acting like an empire not a Republic."

If you listen to the MSM they tell the same story you cited above. HOwever, many of the troops with boots on the ground don't see that way. You won't hear them on the MSM but when you do get a chance to hear them they tell a much different story than the one you recite above. I'm sure that the enemy can use our presence there to some degree as propaganda for recruiting but MAKE NO MISTAKE they hate us and want to kill us whether we are there or not. And how are we behaving like an empire? (my liberal college history professor used to say the same thing)

Have we laid taxes on the Iraqi's that are winding up in the U.S. treasury?

Are we colonizing Iraq and trying to turn it into America East?

Are we forcing any particular religion upon the Iraqi nation?

Are we denying them the right to vote for representatives of their own choosing?

Are we draining the nation of its natural resources for our own use without compensating them?

These are some of the characterstics I think of when I think of an empire (such as the Roman empire for example). To call the U.S. an empire or to say we are behaving as an empire is to bastardize the term.

Whether it works this time or not we are simply following the same model which DID work (with some obvious differences)after WWII.

6:53 PM, September 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You don't expend American blood for the "Islamic Republic of Iraq" where Islam is the official state religion. You don't keep saying "Islam is a religion of peace". You start by doing something as simple as telling the truth. We are throwing the Christians that are already in Iraq to the wolves.

Saddam let the Christians be more than these guys. At last they are free to act on the hate and intolerence in their heart. If we back a strongman, we can back one who will not use the organs of the state to persecute Christians. The way we are doing it now, we are letting the moslem population use the organs of the state to deny Christians the protection of the law."

I concur that the above is not a smart move.

It reminds me of early America in a way when the founders came together to draft the Constitution. They didn't deal with slavery. They let it be the law of the land in parts of the nation. They knew that if they said slavery could not exist that the nation would not ever have united. So they were simply silent on the subject for the most part. So they let the evil of slavery pass "for the greater good."

Maybe that is what our leaders are now thinking (at least along those lines). But whether it is or not it is a fooish policy.

6:58 PM, September 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think Islam is a rope of sand held togehter by abject terror. Five percent of the population has the rest cowed. If it is directly confronted, it will whither. If people were given freedom to leave it without repercussion, a lot would."

Your strategy does anything but "directly confront" Islam. It says stay over there and leave us along and if you want to continue to deny basic human freedoms that's ok with us. But if you attack us then we will kill your leaders and force regime change. Your strategy actually does anything but "directly confront" Islam, instead your strategy allows it to grow strong and prosper and get to the point of being extremely dangerous (i.e. Iran with a nuke!)

7:05 PM, September 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Is what we are doing now a workable plan? We are in a vicious cycle right now, because we are trying to rule viscious people with our civilized rules. Vicious people rate a vicious master. I don't want to be it.

Right now, my way is working fairly well in Pakistan. If he is alive, Osama may be in there, but he is contained. There is no doubt he wants to hurt us, but instead he can't move because the governmnet is not cooperating with him. A popular election would result in the terrorists winning, but we don't let them have a popular election. We back a strongman."

What is going on right is working in that we haven't been hit on our homeland since 9/11/01. We are engaging Al Queda in their back yard.

If we withdraw what will stop UBL (or someone of his ilk) from setting up shop in some cave such as he did before and launch a murderous attack on us.

It is easy to criticize many things about what is going on right now. But what is not easy to identify a "workable alternative."

Holes can be punched in any so called workable alternative because there is not a perfect solution or an easy answer in dealing with Islam fascists.

Another thing. If we pull out now we will look as we did when we pulled out of Somolia. UBL himself remarked that that was the point he knew we couldn't take casualties and that we were a paper tiger. That made us appear very weak. Our runnning from Somolia however did not make us safe did it?

If we run from Iraq it won't make us safe either.

7:11 PM, September 12, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

"I have never heard that we have issued threats that we will strike down the leaders of those nations if they don't control their fanatics."

OK, logical question, here goes:

First I suppose you do know that both, along with my other example Pakistan, ARE cracking down on their militants. That is a matter of record. The Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt and the Al-Quida sympathizesrs in Jordan and Pakistan are both being contained.

In the case of Jordan, we (the Brits) put that family in power in 1947 when the whole nation was created by the Brits "with the stroke of a pen". The west gives them almost all of their military hardware when most Arab nations get theirs from the former Soviet Union.

Same with Egypt, we are propping them up. Egypt is the second largest recipeint of US foriegn aid, much of it military equipment.

In those cases it is a fine line between buying them off and scaring them, but when you are propping them up like that, withdrawing the props is a threat.

And of course, there is no doubt that my scenario is being played out in Pakistan, where Gen. Mushariff led a coup against a more militant government with a more militant population and then became one of our "allies".

5:11 AM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

We don't issue press releases telling them that we will take them out if they don't contain their militants, we send them subtle messages through private channels and they get the message.

Before Saddam invaded Kuwait in 91 he asked out ambassador how we would feel if he invaded Kuwait. She gave a mild to wishy-washy answer that he interpreted as tacit permission, that we would not mind all that much. She messed up and thus so did he. It was a mis-communitcation that illustrates that even Saddam understood that rules before pride got the better of him.

5:15 AM, September 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are more informed than I on the communications that go on between the U.S. and the middle east and the internal workings.

If that truly is the way it works then I can see some wisdom in the approach.

That being the case then how do you transition the situation in Iraq to the favorable position we currently enjoy with those Arab nations?

Al-Queda is in Iraq praying to Allah that we leave asap so they can control it and set it up as a launching grounds for future terrorism.

How does picking up and leaving now assure us that it will arrive at the favorable position that we enjoy with those Arab nations you mentioned?

5:25 AM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

"Your strategy actually does anything but "directly confront" Islam, instead your strategy allows it to grow strong and prosper and get to the point of being extremely dangerous (i.e. Iran with a nuke!)"

No, my strategy is to divide and conquor using their own people to do most of the suppressing. My strategy is to empower a non-islamofacist segment of the population. My goal is the security of my country, not the imposition of an empire.

For all the talk of letting the Iraqia take over their own government, we seem unwilling to do so until they are made over in our image. But my main point is that you can't impose our form of government on a population that does not have the virtue to sustain it. You will have to occupy the country indefinitely.

You say my strategy does not confront Islam, but it is actually Bush's strategy that does not confront it, until recently when he dropped the "religion of peace" cannard and started using "Islamofacists". But then he backed off when muslims complained.

My strategy DOES directly confront Islamofacism becuase it names Islam as the enemy and expounds the superiority of Christianity. That is a bigger threat to the Mullahs of Iran than our over-stretched military unless we use our own nukes.

I don't want to nuke the Persians, who are a magnificent people who have contributed much to civilization before our current age in which almost all further progress was made by Christiandom.

If we were already out of Iraq and had used the troops to finish off the Taliban in Afganistan we would be in much better shape to face Iran or whatever government sponsors terrorsim against us. Unfortunately we have 10 times the troops in Iraq as in Afganistan even though Saddam also saw Al-Quida as a threat. Afganistan needed to be done, because they were sponsoring terrorism on American soil.

We are in too many places, trying to do too much, and as a result are not getting any of it done and emboldening our enemies. My way would not embolden our enemies. Staying around until the population resents us DOES.

5:31 AM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Ah, the old "cut and run" argument. We have been running the country for five years. Our military has done everything that military force can do. What it CANNOT do is impose virtue on the population, and virtue is what is required to sustain freedom.

Would you really have us over there spilling our blood and treasure until the average Iraqi was honest, brave, caring about their neighbor, and forgiving? Again, that is not a mission that can be attained by force of arms.

Perhaps if we sent missionairies with the soldiers we would at least be attacking the real problem, but we are actaully doing the opposite, telling even the troops not to offend Muslim sensibilities while they are shot dead in the name of Islam.

5:37 AM, September 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saddam also saw Al-Quida as a threat. Afganistan needed to be done, because they were sponsoring terrorism on American soil.

Is it not true that Saddam allowed A-Queda members into his country?

Is it not true that Saddam was a sponsor of terrorism (especially against Israel)? You almost make Saddam sound virtuous.


"Would you really have us over there spilling our blood and treasure until the average Iraqi was honest, brave, caring about their neighbor, and forgiving? Again, that is not a mission that can be attained by force of arms."


I don't like the situation over there right now. What I'm wanting is for a coherent workable alternative though before we change course. You still haven't explained how immediately pulling out would accomplish your "rule #3" of a strongman of our liking being in control.

By the way, I never said you wanted to "nuke the Persians."

8:13 AM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Saddam is not virtuous. He is a thug who does not belong in the government of a virtuous people. He belongs in the government over a nation of little Saddams or people who would be if they had the power. As to his connections with Al-Quida, everyone over there is a liar so it is impossible to know who to believe. The bottom line is that Saddam was not an Islamofacist- he was the old fashioned nationalist kind. He was mostly secular and saw the Shias and Al-Quida as a threat. Any contact he had was of the "keeping your enemies close" variety. He kept those people in line- a job we now have to do- for example Al-Sadr's father and brother were also Shia agitators, and Saddam had them both killed. Now we are in the sad position of either killing him ourselves or supporting him because his party got a lot of votes in the "free and fair" election.

I agree he encouraged terrorism against Israel with his cash payments to the families of "martyers" against that state. The Israelis would be fully justified in eliminating him. But he did not have that same offer for acts against us.

As for implementation of rule #3 it is pretty easy. You just do it the way Western powers have for decades. You take all the guys who are prominent and you ask them privately if they would like to be in charge. The one that demonstrates the most cooperative attitude gets intelligence, weapons, and funding before we hand him the keys. The oil companies sign the agreements with his "government". He gets the oil revenues to buy people off and he knows who to buy.

Part of the deal would be to let the Kurds do their own thing, so hopefully he could count on some help from them in keeping the idiots in line. What follows is a bloody civil war- a lot like we have now or would have if we did not have American troops in the country at a level of 1 Western Soldier for every 50 Iraqi males of military age. It may be a lot "hotter" war with us out of the business of keeping them from killing each other, but it would be over sooner so I don't think as much blood would be shed.

What will the result of the civil war be? Hopefully someone rational in charge, even if too stern for our tastes. Maybe it splits into three countries. Sad, and not in our interests, but ultimately not our business or our decision. The only thing we care about is that they be unwilling to sponsor terrorists acts against the U.S.

10:10 AM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger rob_star said...

Again, not much thinking outside the box here from the usual suspects. If you have mosquitos in your house and you go around all day killing them but never think to shut the window, have you accomplished anything? The root of the problem in this case is that we are funding BOTH sides of this war from our oil purchases. If we had real leadership, the president would step forward and say: We are going to cut our oil consumption by 60% over the next ten years by any means necessary.

To win this war, we have to bankrupt the enemy. The only thing our enemy has to sell for profit is oil, so why do we keep buying it? Because our leaders have no foresight nor intestinal fortitude or just plain old stupidity, take your pick. The enemy is trying to bankrupt the U.S. yet we keep funding the terrorists and their home countries through sheer idiocy.

Heil Bush

11:18 AM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Rob,

I like your thinking outside the box. What policies would you change to reduce our dependency on Islamic Oil?

11:37 AM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger rob_star said...

The first step would be to require all farm and transport trucks that use diesel fuel to use bio diesel which doesn't even require a conversion kit. Next, require passenger cars to get better gas mileage while phasing in a requirement over the course of several years for road vehicles to either burn bio diesel, ethanol, hybrid technology, or some future innovations from my proposed "space race" type endeavor from the scientific community.

We can win this idealogical war by starving these people to death. As I have stated before, these folks are hundreds of years behind us in social evolution. We are trying to force democracy onto a culture that doesn't even understand it yet. Take their revenue stream from them and force them to deal with their own problems over the course of say, the next 150 to 200 years. There are dictatorial governments and fundamentalist religions all over the world that we never hear from or have any problems out of because they DON'T HAVE ANY MONEY!

When you are wondering where your next meal is coming from, you don't have much time for jihad.

11:59 AM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Sounds like a reasonable step.

What about increasing domestic drilling, like in Alaska and off the coast of the US? (Assuming we can find someone more responsible than BP to conduct pipe maintenance!)

12:12 PM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger rob_star said...

Save the oil, we're going to need it for lubricants and plastics.

12:16 PM, September 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark,

I've been trying to determine why there is such a disagreement between us (two reasonable conservatives). I see merit in a lot of your points but something never added up to me. I think I've figured it out.

I think the mistake you make with your assertion that withdrawing now (from Iraq) is the best course of action is that your decision (for lack of a better phrase) is made in a vacuum.

In other words, if we were just starting this conflict in Iraq your method of dealing with it may have merit (I freely admit). But we have invested mucho resources into this effort of trying to transform Iraq. (let's not get bogged down on whether this is a wise strategy or not, you say it's not I say the jury is still out).

Therefore to go with your option #3 at this time would be to pull the plug when there is still a chance that what we started can be completed. The effect would be DEVASTATING to our image worldwide! The Iraqis that are counting on us (and there is a large number of descent people there that truly want freedom even if the media doesn't say so) to finish the job that we started. To withdraw now would be to turn our backs on those people and truly would generate tons of hatred for us. UBL would also rejoice. He and his ilk are trying to defeat us there. To suddenly withdraw would hand them victory on a silver platter and would give them a great opportunity to sieze control of Iraqs natural resources which would make them extremely more dangerous.

So to summarize I think you err when you don't consider the devastating side effects of our nation going back on its word. you only look at the side of the coin which says "if we leave we won't be there generating hatred" or "our boys should not be shedding their blood for this cause." These may be true statements. But if we pull out now, our credibility will be shattered beyond repair.

At some point you have to cut your losses. Sure. But I think we are far from that point.

History will be the true judge, as always.

7:39 AM, September 14, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I could tell you were a principled conservative because you did not resort to personal attacks as a first resort.

Really our difference of opinion boils down to this: You feel like if we invest enough blood and treasure we might succeed in imposing a functioning Republican form of government on the population even with their current level of virtue and current view of reality.

My opinion is that the task is unattainable by any level of force of arms until the people themselves get a view of the world consistent with self-government- we currently have 1 U.S. or Brit soildier for every 50 Iraqi males of military age. We could stay there for years, as we have in Afganistan, Yugoslavia, Hati, and many other places around the globe and still never impose the virtue required for self-government by force of arms.

You have to decide if my view is correct on that point or not. If it is, then what are we trying to salvage our "credibility" on? Are we trying to salvage our credibility that we can nation-build regardless of the character of the people of that nation? WE CAN"T HAVE THAT KIND OF CREDIBILITY! No one can.

The only credibility we can have by force of arms is that we can force regieme change on anyone who sponsors terrorism against us. To maintain that credibility, we need to quit attriting our military on impossible missions like nation-building in a place where the people have demonstrated no capacity for self rule.

10:16 AM, September 14, 2006  

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