Tag Archives: Islam

And somewhere Paul Wolfowitz is saying we can clean up this mess in Iraq quickly and easily and it won’t cost the price of a movie plus popcorn. For sure.

http://murfinsandburglars.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/auto-tune-news-bill-kristol-all-in.jpg?w=231&h=193

It’ll be easy. Honest.

Shamelessly do I copy/paste an entire post from Andrew Sullivan today since I just saw that battle-hardened warrior Bill Kristol on the teevee saying with a straight face what Sullivan recounts here. It was an utterly  hallucinatory experience.

Here’s Sullivan: What do you do with near-clinical fanatics who, in their own minds, never make mistakes and whose worldview remains intact even after it has been empirically dismantled in front of their eyes? In real life, you try and get them to get professional help.

In the case of those who only recently sent thousands of American servicemembers to their deaths in a utopian scheme to foment a democracy in a sectarian dictatorship, we have to merely endure their gall in even appearing in front of the cameras. But the extent of their pathology is deeper than one might expect. And so there is actually a seminar this fall, sponsored by the Hertog Foundation, which explores the origins of the terrible decision-making that led us into the worst foreign policy mistake since Vietnam. And the fair and balanced teaching team?

It will be led by Paul D. Wolfowitz, who served during the Persian Gulf War as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and as Deputy Secretary of Defense during the first years of the Iraq War, and by Lewis Libby, who served during the first war as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and during the Iraq War as Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Next spring: how the Iraq War spread human rights … by Donald Rumsfeld.

Most people are aware that relatively few of the architects of a war have fully acknowledged the extent of their error – let alone express remorse or even shame at the more than a hundred thousands civilian deaths their adventure incurred for a phony reason. No, all this time, they have been giving each other awards, lecturing congressmen and Senators, writing pieces in the Weekly Standard and the New Republic, being fellated by David Gregory, and sucking at the teet of the neocon welfare state, as if they had nothing to answer for, and nothing to explain.

Which, I suppose makes the following paragraph in Bill Kristol’s latest case for war less shocking than it should be:

Now is not the time to re-litigate either the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 or the decision to withdraw from it in 2011. The crisis is urgent, and it would be useful to focus on a path ahead rather than indulge in recriminations. All paths are now fraught with difficulties, including the path we recommend. But the alternatives of permitting a victory for al Qaeda and/or strengthening Iran would be disastrous.

But it is shocking; it is, in fact, an outrage, a shameless, disgusting abdication of all responsibility for the past combined with a sickening argument to do exactly the same fricking thing all over again. And yes, I’m not imagining. This is what these true know-nothing/learn-nothing fanatics want the US to do:

It would mean not merely conducting U.S. air strikes, but also accompanying those strikes with special operators, and perhaps regular U.S. military units, on the ground. This is the only chance we have to persuade Iraq’s Sunni Arabs that they have an alternative to joining up with al Qaeda or being at the mercy of government-backed and Iranian-backed death squads, and that we have not thrown in with the Iranians. It is also the only way to regain influence with the Iraqi government and to stabilize the Iraqi Security Forces on terms that would allow us to demand the demobilization of Shi’a militias and to move to limit Iranian influence and to create bargaining chips with Iran to insist on the withdrawal of their forces if and when the situation stabilizes.

What’s staggering is the maximalism of their goals and the lies they are insinuating into the discourse now, just as they did before.

Last time, you could ascribe it to fathomless ignorance. This time, they have no excuse. ISIS is not al Qaeda; it’s far worse in ways that even al Qaeda has noted undermine its cause rather than strengthen it. It may be strategically way over its head already. And the idea that the US has to fight both ISIS and Iran simultaneously is so unhinged and so self-evidently impossible to contain or control that only these feckless fools would even begin to suggest it. Having empowered Iran by dismantling Iraq, Kristol actually wants the US now to enter a live war against ISIS and the Quds forces. You begin to see how every military catastrophe can be used to justify the next catastrophe. It’s a perfect circle for the neocons’ goal of the unending war. I don’t know what to say about it really. It shocks in its solipsism; stuns in its surrealism; chills in its callousness and recklessness. So perhaps the only response is to republish what this charlatan was saying in 2003 in a tone utterly unchanged from his tone today, with a certainty which was just as faked then as it is now. Read carefully and remember he has recanted not a word of it:

February 2003 (from his book, “The War Over Iraq“):  According to one estimate, initially as many as 75,000 troops may be required to police the war’s aftermath, at a cost of $16 billion a year. As other countries’ forces arrive, and as Iraq rebuilds its economy and political system, that force could probably be drawn down to several thousand soldiers after a year or two.

February 24, 2003:  “Having defeated and then occupied Iraq, democratizing the country should not be too tall an order for the world’s sole superpower.”

March 5, 2003: “We’ll be vindicated when we discover the weapons of mass destruction.”

April 1 2003: “On this issue of the Shia in Iraq, I think there’s been a certain amount of, frankly, Terry, a kind of pop sociology in America that, you know, somehow the Shia can’t get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There’s almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq’s always been very secular.”

Yes, “always been very secular”. Always. Would you buy a used pamphlet from this man – let alone another full scale war in Iraq?

Who lost Iraq?

Who lost Iraq? Two views:

Fareed Zacharia says that first, above all, Nouri Al-Maliki lost it.

The prime minister and his ruling party have behaved like thugs, excluding the Sunnis from power, using the army, police forces and militias to terrorize their opponents. The insurgency the Maliki government faces today was utterly predictable because, in fact, it happened before. From 2003 onward, Iraq faced a Sunni insurgency that was finally tamped down by Gen. David Petraeus, who said explicitly at the time that the core element of his strategy was political, bringing Sunni tribes and militias into the fold. The surge’s success, he often noted, bought time for a real power-sharing deal in Iraq that would bring the Sunnis into the structure of the government. . .

But how did Maliki come to be prime minister of Iraq? He was the product of a series of momentous decisions made by the Bush administration. Having invaded Iraq with a small force — what the expert Tom Ricks called “the worst war plan in American history” — the administration needed to find local allies. It quickly decided to destroy Iraq’s Sunni ruling establishment and empower the hard-line Shiite religious parties that had opposed Saddam Hussein. This meant that a structure of Sunni power that had been in the area for centuries collapsed. These moves — to disband the army, dismantle the bureaucracy [Moe: thank you Paul Bremmer you creep] and purge Sunnis in general — might have been more consequential than the invasion itself.

Dexter Filkins, noting among other things that the border between Iraq and Syria has been erased, names three causes: 1) the Syrian war, and 2)  Al-Maliki, whose thuggery since the US withdrawal (which itself was necessitated in part by his absolute refusal to sign the usual Status of Forces Agreement to provide legal protections to remaining US Troops), and 3) . . .

Which brings us to the third reason. When the Americans invaded, in March, 2003, they destroyed the Iraqi state—its military, its bureaucracy, its police force, and most everything else that might hold a country together. They spent the next nine years trying to build a state to replace the one they crushed. By 2011, by any reasonable measure, the Americans had made a lot of headway but were not finished with the job . . .

Today, many Iraqis, including some close to Maliki, say that a small force of American soldiers—working in non-combat roles—would have provided a crucial stabilizing factor that is now missing from Iraq.

So Bush broke it and Obama left before it was finished (I’m surprised that Filkins beleives we could ever actually ‘finish’ it). By the way, Filkins is a war correspondent of the ‘old school’ and spent years in Iraq during the war and his book about that time, The Forever War, is just stunning.

 

Hate is just so damned lucrative these days

POSTED BY ORHAN

Chris Hedges has a long post at Truthdig describing the Muslim Menace industry, a group of right-wing organizations that bill themselves as “counterterrorism specialists and experts on the Muslim world”, and make big bucks indoctrinating US law enforcement and security agencies in the evils of Islam.

The indoctrination is done through seminars paid for with public funds and “preach that Islam is a terrorist religion, that an Islamic “fifth column” or “stealth jihad” is subverting the United States from within, that mainstream American Muslims have ties to terrorist groups, that Muslims use litigation, free speech and other legal means (something the trainers have nicknamed “Lawfare”) to advance the subversive Muslim agenda and that the goal of Muslims in the United States is to replace the Constitution with Islamic or Shariah law.”

Below is a sample of modern-day witch hunter and Christian fundamentalist Walid Shoebat, whose presentation is titled “The Jihad Mindset and How to Defeat It: Why We Want to Kill You.” According to Hedges, “Shoebat, who bills himself as a reformed terrorist and who speaks to law enforcement officials around the country, tells his listeners that mainstream Muslim organizations such as the Islamic Society of North America and the Council on American-Islamic Relations are terrorist fronts and that Islamists are by nature violent extremists and pedophiles.”

Here Shoebat explains to a group of extremely gullible Christians why the Mark of the Beast, usually referred to as 666, really means Muslims, who owe allegiance only to the Antichrist. The part that gets me is when he says “It’s so clear! The reverse of what you believe is what they believe. The antithesis of the Bible is what they believe in.” And Shoebat and his colleagues are spewing their racist garbage at taxpayer expense.

Where’s Hilary?

Via Digby, here’s what was printed in a newspaper of the conservative (nay, fundamentalist) Hasidic Jewish sect after the bin Laden capture. The paper does not publish pictures of women. (And they dealt with Golda Meir how?)


And here’s the picture seen in the rest of the world.

Many orthodox non-Hasidic Jewish women cover their hair, often wearing wigs perhaps  – as with my own experience below – to admit of submission.

As a young Catholic girl in church, I was required to wear head covering to, I assume, appear submissive.

Muslim women in many parts of the world are required to do the same and in ultra-orthordox societies to cover their faces and bodies as well. And we know that’s to show submission to their betters.

Religions – at least the monotheistic Abrahamic ones – don’t think much of the girls. Count me a feminist. And tell Mr.  Limbaugh of Palm Beach it isn’t over yet.

Does Glenn Beck know what good Americans did to Mormons?

1884 Mormon Massacre - one of many

I’ve posted before on the sorry history of American xenophobia – it’s such an old story. Looking at the recent hysteria about the NY mosque we can see it’s with us still – and just as misguided as ever. In his column today at The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof looks at some history.

“Perhaps the closest parallel to today’s hysteria about Islam is the 19th-century fear spread by the Know Nothing movement about “the Catholic menace.” . . .  there were whispering campaigns that presidents including Martin Van Buren and William McKinley were secretly working with the pope. . . . Critics warned that the pope was plotting to snatch the Mississippi Valley and secretly conspiring to overthrow American democracy. “Rome looks with wistful eye to domination of this broad land, a magnificent seat for a sovereign pontiff,” one writer cautioned.”

“In the 19th century, fears were stoked by books written by people who supposedly had “escaped” Catholicism. These books luridly recounted orgies between priests and nuns, girls kidnapped and held in secret dungeons, and networks of tunnels at convents to allow priests to rape nuns. One woman claiming to have been a priest’s sex slave wrote a “memoir” asserting that Catholics killed boys and ground them into sausage for sale. . . .  These kinds of stories inflamed a mob of patriots in 1834 to attack an Ursuline convent outside Boston and burn it down.”

As my grandmother used to say: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Mosque madness no more?

Have we moved on? Has my country found a new thing to label terrorist or a new thing to be very very afraid of? I just don’t spend enough time with talk radio or FOX news to know whether the tempest has finally blown over. In any case, it does need to wind down and move on because  – in our one-story-at-a-time media culture -  there’s a new game comin’ to town.

Some batshit crazy pastor here in my home state is organizing The First Annual Great American Quran Burning. On 9/11 apparently. In Indonesia counter protests are being organized. I hope there is a legal way to stop these clowns from building their bonfire. Incitement to riot? Isn’t that a crime? Does a resultant feared riot have to be local? How about incitement to cause a riot in Indonesia and other countries? (If you’d like to participate in this great American event, go here to get your own Quran to burn. Oh fun!)

Thinking of these things, it seemed to me a fine time to post Mayor Bloomberg‘s wonderful speech of a  month ago. (The transcript is here.) A very fine lesson in American history, in who we are, in what we stand for and in what actually is the right thing. I haven’t posted it before because it was ubiquitous. But now it seems appropriate.

Calling Mr. Bush, calling Mr. Bush

Dear President Bush:

I don’t like you. Never did. One reason is because you so deliberately played the dumbfuck regular guy when the cameras were on, as though that were a remotely appropriate image for the leader of the free world. Of course, you never were that dumb but you also weren’t well versed in history or philosophy which leaders should be. And that got us into a lot of trouble.

However, you did one thing right. After 9/11 you immediately saw the danger in pissing off a billion Muslims. Arab Muslims, Persian Muslims, American Muslims, Malaysian Muslims, Indonesian Muslims, Chinese Muslims, Indian Muslims . . . you got the point Mr. Bush. So you stepped up and spoke out in order to dampen primitive instincts which always rise up when an enemy is needed.

For some weeks now, it’s been time for you to speak out again. You haven’t (and now I have another reason not to like you). The leaders of your own party are playing footsie with very dangerous and simmering sentiments. They don’t say a word because they are cynical and opportunistic. But you’re retired now, never running for office again, and you owe us one. Step up and do the right thing.

It’s who we are

Blog friend Dave posted an interesting essay in June which I just came across while perusing his blog (my favored morning occupation while sipping my coffee after the swim – a blog a day keeps the narcissism away). His post was about the right’s misplaced celebration of the Founders  as unerring. Thinking of  today’s un-American kerfuffle about the Muslim center in lower Manhattan (I don’t use the term Ground Zero and I don’t know why. Must be the New Yorker in me.), I liked this bit :

Benjamin Franklin wrote in his essay “Tolerance”: “If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. These found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here [England] and in New England (America).”

We have always been the inspiring example to the rest of the world of what a tolerant society looks like – hundreds of millions have striven to be like us. I don’t ever want to see that – the best in us – go away. But many apparently do.

About that other mosque

You know, the one at The Pentagon. Funny - I haven’t heard right-wing outrage about that one. According to Salon:

Navy imam Chaplain Abuhena M. Saifulislam lifted his voice to God as he called to prayer more than 100 Department of Defense employees Monday at a celebration of Ramadan at the Pentagon.

God is most great, sang the lieutenant commander and Islamic leader, in Arabic, as iftar — the end of the daily fast began.

Uniformed military personnel, civilians and family members faced Mecca and knelt on adorned prayer rugs chanting their prayers in quiet invocation to Allah.

 The “ground zero mosque” story seems to be dying down, but nothing lays bare the absurdity of what we’ve just lived through quite so much as this Washington Times story, quoted above, from 2007.

Yes, Muslims have infiltrated the Pentagon for their nefarious, prayerful purposes — daring to practice their religion inside the building where 184 people died on Sept. 11, 2001.”

h/t Bill Tchakirides

As it always was

Well this is pretty disgusting. I followed a link and found this headline with some pix of Muslims praying on streets in NYC. No comment on that,  just on this headline.

DISGUSTING! OUTRAGEOUS! ASS-IN-THE-AIR MUSLIMS soiling the streets of Manhattan

I’m Irish. My paternal grandparents immigrated to NYC. Public moods were fed by the newspapers of the day, who loved to portray Irish as monkeys.  But, as Jews like to say of their own history, “The came to kill us; we beat them; let’s eat” (I love that).

Anyway, feast your eyes on these.

The one titled CONTRASTED FACES reads – on left – Florence Nightingale, and – on the right – Bridget McBrutish. Cute, eh? Here’s more:

Caption is IRISH MONKEY

How Arizona of them!

Suntanned women to be arrested under Islamic dress code

Really