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08 November 2014


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can be copied and pasted into notepad till typepad tidies up its code,


This text overflow happens
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Inserting next line by hitting
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of word is one solution to
this problem.


Indignation can be a vice. Do something, even if it is a statecraft equivalent of The Frankish Physician's Cure?

eighth paragraph at



Obama's Maroon Guards (harvard and stanford colors) are specialists in the Frankish approach.


We do not disagree. I'm all for reflection, caution & thinking ahead though as any moves
as are probable while knowing kenetic randomness
(or whatever you want to label the unknown as)can
& will most likely fog things up.

I agree military action is grave business,
however to use a cliché: analysis ain't paralysis.


Certainly I must ask myself how much racial,
cultural & religious responsibility am I to bear?

I realize that many cultures foster centuries old grievances that many in the west are oblivious of.

I can wander through my own genealogy, if I choose
& fixate there & nurture some old grievances if I choose. However I choose not to live that way. Every generation creates significant mistakes/sin/
karma to damn us all. We live in our own time & in that small allotment we must strive to do our best.


"When you and others in the West recoil in horror at videos and pictures of beheadings and killings, many in the region and beyond see them as payback for the mass killings of the 'shock and awe' bombings and invasions, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo,"

That's not the only reason in my humble opinion. A large part of hatred comes from the commonly held beliefs that dehumanize people who don't share the same creed. If it was just due to anti-colonial/ anti-occupation feelings, then very similar schadenfreude at the misery and peril of other local sub-groups and sects wouldn't exist or will be very minimal. One thing that I have noticed is that many who make argument about inhumanity and hegemony of west tend to feed on a heavy and halal diet of hegemonic aspirations against the rest of humanity. In short, it is evil bad inhumane to invade muslim lands, but telling your children wistfully about loss of Spain and other such projects before sleep is kosher.

A little bit of invasive shock therapy is in order for "ummah" in my very humble opinion.


" how much racial, cultural & religious responsibility am I to bear?"

A question people of Dresden must have asked around the middle of February 1945.


"a large part of hatred comes from the commonly held beliefs that dehumanize people who don't share the same creed."

How many names that people have for themselves translate as "The People." Not being quibbly.

it is innate -- a reflex. Ever notice how admirable qualities in others are attributed to our shared humanity, but their negatives are assigned to whatever feature of otherness is most prominent.


Analect 4-17. The Master said, "When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves."

Words to live by. I've condensed it to "Good? Introject! Bad? Introspect!"


The point is whether military action can achieve what you want it to achieve, and of course, not to mention the basic one whether the goal is achievable in the first place.

Think of declaring war on winter or a war on time, or speaking of it, a war on drugs, terror, being afraid in the dark or the consumption of liquor in the US.

Can you get used to it?
If not, is the goal achievable?
Is war the suitable tool?
Will it achieve the goal of victory?
Can you afford it?
Is it worth the expense?
If it takes longer, are you able to muster the will, forces and funds needed?

In project management they tell you that doing nothing is always one option. Depending on what you put your mind to, it may even be the most sensibel approach. It is also among the least popular options. IMO, the status quo is a most underappreciated thing.


The problem isn't so much the text as the URL which "breaks" Typepad's formatting.


FB Ali

Re Dubhaltec's comment -- and even otherwise:

I would highly recommend you use TinyURL. Go to:


Scroll down the page and you will see instructions on how to add the link to your toolbar. Once there, just a couple of clicks are needed to shorten any URL to a small, manageable size.


Easy for you to say. You're not the one living in a country where children die from drinking the water. Assuming your American you live in the country that bombed the water treatment plants. And that littered the place with depleted uranium the resulting cancer clusters particularly amongst children in southern governorates are horrific.

When asked about ½ million children dead as a result of sanctions Albright said that it was "worth it" - Remember that?

You said:

"I can wander through my own genealogy, if I choose & fixate there & nurture some old grievances if I choose. However I choose not to live that way."

There's nothing even remotely old about these grievances those children are recently dead or are in the process of it now. The pain and misery is being experienced by them and their parents now. The complete lack of awareness and empathy from people make comments such as yours is quite staggering and accounts in large measure for the hatred and contempt in which we in the wealthy and agressive western countries are held.


Farooq & rjj ,
I typed on
typepad. Didn't
copy n paste.


FB Ali,
thnx sir.


Babak Makkinejad,
"I think in the Cuban Missile Crisis, USSR backed down; we all owe a great debt to Nikita Khrushchev."

We owe great deal to our guardian angel (if there is a such being). My point is that leaders may have created this kind of situations but ultimately the decision may not depend on the leaders. For example during cuban crisis if the officers on the Soviet submarine B-59 decided to attack then Kennedy nor Khrushchev would have been able to back down. Or if lieutenant colonel Stanislav Petrov informed his superiors that US has launched a nuclear strike on USSR during 83 able archer situation.

" think nuclear weapons have prevented Pakistan to be gobbled up by India - for example.

Such weapons also have guaranteed state survival in Israel against conventional Arab armies."

And I agree, nuclear weapons are here and they will stay here. But having a gun for protection is one things. But keeping a loaded gun aimed at your foe, finger on the trigger, waiting for indication of a hostile move is another story. Specially if you go to the front gate of your foe's house with a aimed gun, then that would be a totally different story.

Although in Isreal's case I don't think arab armies would be able to successfully invade a US supported conventionally armed Israel.




Some present day research which underscore your point.


"Kahan conducted some ingenious experiments about the impact of political passion on people’s ability to think clearly. His conclusion, in Mooney’s words: partisanship “can even undermine our very basic reasoning skills…. [People] who are otherwise very good at math may totally flunk a problem that they would otherwise probably be able to solve, simply because giving the right answer goes against their political beliefs.” "


I agree. I must accept some national/cultural responsibility for the horrific consequences
of sanctions, bombardment & displacement of millions of innocents that has occurred as a result of the U.S. governments actions even when
I personally opposed many of those actions.

I watched in horror & disgust when I saw elderly
people carrying small children on their shoulders while wading through raw sewage up to their chests as a result of the destruction of water treatment plants. Footage by the way that aired once in the middle of the night. I was heartbroken when I found out sanctions against Iran, for example, included sanctions on medicines.

I was not in favor of the invasion of Iraq, although once U.S. troops are in theater I find
it difficult to voice opposition. I've been in many arguments with my fellow citizens about the horrible long term effects of depleted uranium. As for Madaline Albright, that's really a low blow, as I can't frankly think of one thing I liked about her tenure.

Were you at all disgusted at the sight of office workers jumping to their deaths from the Twin Towers to avoid burning to death? I take no joy in the death or torment of innocents no matter their race, ethnicity or religion. And there's not enough guilt you can hurl my way to make me
pardon/accept the genocide, slavery, religious persecution, mass rape, etc that's going on right now.


"Were you at all disgusted at the sight of office workers jumping to their deaths from the Twin Towers to avoid burning to death?"

Yes, I was. But what did the US do to right this wrong?

Going after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan made sense, attempting to rebuild the country in the West's image not so, and going after the Taleban - in effect declaring war on the Pashtun tribes (about 40 million people) - ebout equally not so.

And then? The US invaded Iraq to, grandiosely, 'transform the region' and 'drain the swamp' by remaking Iraq (and then Syria, and then Lebanon and then Tehran) so that, finally, Freedom™ would reign supreme in the rose petal strewn wake of the US liberators.

Sadly, Iraq was as a country utterly unreleated to Al Qaeda, and there really was no point in invading it over 9/11. As it went, the US then thoroughly and irreparably broke Iraq. The former Baathist and largely Sunni elite was completely cut out. The locals fell back to primary, sectarian loyalties.

The Shia majority elected a Shia government which instituted a sectarian police state. The Kurds did their thing, reviving Turkish fears of their irredentism. The US abandonded the Anbar tribes to the Iraqi Shia. Today, the old Baathists and Sunni support, in some part, ISIS, for, who else do they have?

And it is US influence that lies at the root of this odd alliance. It appears, that Islamists and Iraqi army were bonded together by the US, in US the administered prison Camp Bucca. When ISIS today shows considerable tactical skill, it is because of this.


There is a lesson about unintended consequences in all of this that largely went unheeded. I certainly believe that when I hear Bushmen blathering that ivading Iraq was the right thing to do, and tht they would do it all over again. Yes, because they are dolts who learned nothing and rather died than admitting error.

In Afghanistan the Pashtun tribes have absorbed the punishment the US inflicted on them and as soon as the US withdraw they'll revert to form and when they take Kabul again, one can hope that Khjarzai, venal as he is, won't share the inenviable fate of the late Najibullah. That one was an outrageous sight also, but alas, that appears to be the way of these people.

As Rudyard Kipling put it:

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

Najibullah was tortured and castrated before he was publicly hanged. Kipling's sage advice appears to contain timeless wisdom as far as Afghanistan is concerned.

The point is not what you are outraged about and how much so, but whether you can do somehing about it, and whether that what you think you can do works.

You perhaps remember that nice Kurdish soldier girl with the V sign and the AK that graced journal covers a couple weeks ago. A few days ago I saw an image of a gloating ISIS goon holding up what must have been her severed head. I don't even want to begin imagining what else they did to her, considering ISIS atitudes towards women in general. I didn't like that one bit.

I just doubt that bombing ISIS will changed anything about ISIS conduct, or bring the girl back to life.

So what is the US suppoosed to do. Kick their dog in frustration i.e. hit **something**, **anything**?

Like invading Iraq over 9/11 because they have jucier targets there and a real army to fight, unlike in featureless, dirt poor Afghanistan with the ever elusive Taleban?

The intense urge to do something is responsible for a lot of mischief that the US inflicted on the people of the Middle East during the last decade.

To crush ISIS the locals must act, and neither my country or yours are locals.

The only parties that can crush ISIS are the Turks and the Syrian government, and the former don't want to because they support ISIS and the latter must be regime changed according to DC consensus. The Kurds don't have the strength, yet. The Iraqis are a mess.

The Iranians support Syria and Iraq in that fight but won't invade openly, yet, because it would likely invite other neighbours to do the same, leading to an even worse, convoluted mess along the lines of the 30 year war, when all the neighbours fought it out in Germany, and killed, depending on area, between 25% and 40% of its population in the process - all in all about 8 million people.


What give me little hope for the Middle East to fare much better is that nobody today is more eager than the US to shredd the compromise that led to he end of the carnage in the thirty years war - the Peace of Westphalia, on which the international order of states is built.


FB Ali


It's not a personal issue. I don't think anyone is asking you or other Westerners to wear sackcloth and ashes for the actions of your countries. Nor should you accept or condone the excesses and atrocities being committed. (Though it is worth noting that the West does do that in the case of its friends and allies, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain etc).

Polk was not advocating military etc non-intervention by the West in the Muslim world on moral grounds but because such interventions rarely solve the problem and do create many more later on.

The issue of past actions by Western countries came up as an example of how time and human dynamics can change peoples for the better, and solve many of these issues.

Babak Makkinejad

And EU is there to supply and operate the shredder....

Lord Curzon

We also owe thanks to Messers Wynne and Penkovsky...

Charles I

Thanks FB. Notice how none of this seems to ever involve or affect China, just in the news announcing 200 soldiers for ebola work in Liberia?

w/r/t to the ducks picture, its really been so gray and rainy for months on end that the advent of snow really prettied things up imho.

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