Actions, Words, yadda yadda

So we’re still in Afghanistan after a decade.
We invaded Iraq, which is now verging on a religious civil war.
We have repeatedly violated Pakistani sovereignty.
We vetoed Palestinian statehood.
We’re talking about bombing Iran.
And John McCain publicly advocated bombing Syria.

So why do those Mooslims still hate us so damn much?

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About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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50 Responses to Actions, Words, yadda yadda

  1. P.J. Pinky says:

    The idea that some sense can be made of the hodgepodge that has been made of the Middle East by fixing this and fixing that ever since oil was discovered to be such an important product some one hundred yearrs ago or so, is plain stupid.

  2. D. C. Sessions says:

    No gratitude. But then what would you expect from a bunch of heathen savages?

  3. They hate us because we are free.

  4. P.J. Pinky says:

    Heathen savages? Hate us because we are free?

    What horse shit!!

  5. The idea of a “religious civil war” seems to ascribe an irrational barbarism to the participants. Really aren’t all civil wars just fights between various in-groups for some (often created by fiat by do-gooders) political prize? Either we’re totally incompetent or we plan for these things to happen. Group X plus Group Y plus arbitrary political prize equals civil war.

  6. Scott Hanley says:

    Well, we have to stop Iran because they can’t control their violent tendencies, y’know.

  7. Errr….I meant to say “sarcasm.”

  8. Let’s address these statements one at a time:

    1. We rescued the Afghans from the bloody Taliban regime.
    2. We liberated the Iraqi people and removed a genocidal dictator who shot at our Freedom Planes.
    3. We bomb Pakistan to protect our troops, who are protecting the Afghans, who gave refuge to al-Qaeda, who killed the cat, that ate the rat, that lived in the house that Jamal built.
    4. There is no such objective thing as a Palestinian people. They are a figment of the postmodern, leftist, feminist, nihilist, hedonist imagination.
    5. You, Sir, are an anti-Semite
    6. You, Sir, are objectively an anti-Semite

    And Muslims are ungrateful because Islam is inherently violent, anti-Western, and anti-Freedom.

  9. P.J. Pinky says:

    In the same sense that “the Palestinian people are a figment of the postmodern, leftist, feminist, nihilist, hedonist imagination,{ we all are the figment of some prior imagination. The Founding Fathers for example. I’m so happy they had such active imaginaitons.

    Any political philosopher worth his or her salt would know that.
    .
    .

  10. Lance says:

    The Taliban did harbor al-Qaeda and was warned to cough up Bin Laden or else.

    Let’s try to keep an historical perspective. The trade towers were still smoldering and Bin Laden was gloating.

    I am nigh on an isolationist when it comes to invading foreign countries but the Taliban and al-qaeda dictated the response. They had just attacked New York and killed thousands of Americans. That was an act of war and called for an appropriate military response.

    Now a separate question is whether the response was bungled and whether there is any reason to keep throwing money and lives at Afghanistan but let’s not play Monday morning QB and pretend that sanctions or international pressure was going to do anything about the situation.

    Speaking of QB’s we’re in mourning here in Indy after the press conference announcing the end of the Peyton Manning era.

  11. AMW says:

    I am nigh on an isolationist when it comes to invading foreign countries but the Taliban and al-qaeda dictated the response. They had just attacked New York and killed thousands of Americans. That was an act of war and called for an appropriate military response.

    I suspect we could have just as easily invaded, kicked the crap out of AQ, declared victory and left in about 12 months. Instead we turned it into a nation-building exercise.

  12. AMW says:

    Prof. Hawk,

    Reading your post I didn’t know whether to split my sides laughing or invoke Poe’s Law.

    So I’m doing both.

  13. James Hanley says:

    Lance,
    I’m not objecting to the original invasion of Afghanistan.
    And don’t worry–the second coming of Peyton Christ is in a manger in Palo Alto even as we speak.

    AMW,
    That’s a better response than any I could think of. Good on ya.

  14. AMW says:

    I see that the good professor is our own Dr. X. I hope he shows up as his alter ego more often.

  15. When it took us just twelve or fifteen guys to finally kill Bin Laden, it seems a bit heavy-handed in retrospect to have spent all the blood and treasure to win all those hearts and minds. My .02.

  16. P.J.: I should apologize for my comment to you. All I meant to say was that I didn’t really believe muslims hate us for our freedom.

  17. James Hanley says:

    Ah, good one, Sir X-a-lot. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that comment, but I loved #3 from the get go.

  18. Lance says:

    AMW,

    I suspect we could have just as easily invaded, kicked the crap out of AQ, declared victory and left in about 12 months. Instead we turned it into a nation-building exercise.

    Agreed.

    The Lance Doctrine would involve letting our possible foreign adversaries know that if you fuck with us (by which I mean actual attacks on Americans) we are coming to destroy you and we aren’t going to be staying to clean things up.

  19. Lance says:

    James Hanley,

    …don’t worry–the second coming of Peyton Christ is in a manger in Palo Alto even as we speak.

    Maybe so, but it’s going to be rough to see Peyton in another team’s jersey.

  20. Dr X says:

    I was just feeling a little Straussian during lunch today.

  21. James Hanleyk says:

    Lance–I wonder how long he’ll actually play, though. Last I heard, his neck was still pretty iffy. More than seeing him in another team’s jersey I fret we’ll see him in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the neck down.

    Dr. X–“Freedom planes” may be the most Straussian phrasing ever.

  22. Lance says:

    To the mysterious James Hanleyk,

    In one of the few well researched and insightful local TV news pieces I can remember Channel 13 News presented a surgeon who actually performs the fusion surgery that was performed on Peyton. Although he wasn’t Peyton’s Surgeon he has performed the surgery on over twenty NFL players.

    He gave a detailed description of the procedure and said that when healed properly the two fused vertebrae will actually be stronger and less prone to injury than two normal vertebrae. While this can limit flexibility by a few degrees they will in effect be reinforced with a stainless steel plate that prevents them from moving independently and makes them stronger than a normal vertebrae.

    He quoted figures that over 90% of the recipients of the surgery recover well enough to resume their NFL careers and that they play an average of three more years in the NFL. And he mentioned that this includes players that play contact positions like running back, linebacker, defensive end etc. Which is pretty good considering that the average NFL career is like three and a half years.

    I wish Peyton nothing but the best and I’m sure he will be playing again this year.

    My fear is that he will end his career in ignominy, walking off the field, doing that “shucks shoot” head shake, after a first round play-off loss in a gaudy red and white uniform with a freaking cartoon Cardinal on the side.

  23. Lance says:

    That last line should end “…freaking cartoon Cardinal on the side of his helmet.”

  24. James Hanley says:

    Lance,

    But what I’ve heard is that it wasn’t fully healing. That’s the part that worries me. If I was a GM, I’d make sure several independent doctors gave the go-ahead, and I’d still put some clauses in the contract, even if that meant I missed out on him.

    Yeah, it’s a shame how Favre’s career ended. And he had an even sillier cartoon on his helmet.

  25. Lance says:

    Speaking as an isolationist can someone tell me why that is a bad thing?

    How is minding your own business unrealistic and counterproductive exactly?

  26. James Hanley says:

    Lance, what are you referring back to? I’m trying to make sense of Manning cartoon cardinals and isolationism, and I’m just not getting anywhere.

  27. Dr X says:

    The Lance Doctrine would involve letting our possible foreign adversaries know that if you fuck with us (by which I mean actual attacks on Americans) we are coming to destroy you and we aren’t going to be staying to clean things up.

    Well far from feeling qualified to comment, I’ll venture this much anyway: it seems to me that peaceful rebuilding has only happened after the other side has been annihilated, exhausted, demoralized and thoroughly dispirited. I sometimes wonder if there isn’t a counterproductive dimension to waging a military campaign in which the civilian population feels entitled not be hurt because we keep assuring them that we’re not there to hurt them. Afterward they just seem to feel justifiably furious with us that we weren’t nice enough.

    I know, that sounds nasty and it may be a false impression on my part as well as nasty sentiment.

    Thoughts?

  28. Lance says:

    James Hanley,

    I say we send Seal Team 6 to Colts headquarters on W. 56th Street. Perform a “rendition” on Jim Irsay (I’m thinking Uzbekistan , I hear Islam Karimov is a HUGE colts fan) and “persuade” him to re-tender the 26 million to Peyton.

    If he refuses?

    Well, can you say “regime change”?

  29. Lance says:

    Dr X.

    I would tend to agree but the folks in Germany and Japan seem to be our buddies now so I guess in theory it could work.

    Ironically we bombed the snot out of civilian targets in both countries (Christ we nuked two cities in Japan) where as we have taken great, if not totally successful, care to avoid killing civilians in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Go figure.

  30. Troublesome Frog says:

    I think Dr X makes an interesting point. I much prefer the modern concept of minimal damage over the old-school warfare with village burning and sowing the fields with salt, but it may be that it’s incompatible with taking over and rebuilding afterward.

    Ideally, going to war is done to stop some sort of activity that you don’t like. After it stops, you call it a day. That can be often be done without a lot of destruction. Doing the type of rebuilding we’ve tried to do essentially requires the loser to accept the victor as unconditional dictator and like it. The military defeat threshold for, “Don’t violate my airspace,” has to be much lower than it is for, “You are now my subjects and will obey me unconditionally (but I promise to leave some day).”

    Looking at our recent history, I’m going to guess that the net benefit of our benevolent government engineering experiments would not be worth the net cost of beating the civilian population into numb submission.

  31. D.A. Ridgely says:

    I’d add “Help keep the medieval regime of ‘Our Good Friends,’ the Saudis propped up for the sake of ‘stability'” to Mr. Hanley’s original list. Then again, as we all know, the U.S. doesn’t really give a rodent’s hindquarters about whether Muslims like us. U.S. policy regarding the Middle East for at least the last 50 years can be summed up in six words: Israel stays, keep the oil flowing.

  32. Lance says:

    D.A. Ridgely,

    “Help keep the medieval regime of ‘Our Good Friends,’ the Saudis propped up for the sake of ‘stability’”

    I agree that this addendum fits well with the other items on the list. But it would be hard to imagine that the region would have been improved had we allowed, say, Saddam Hussein to invade the whole of the Arabian Peninsula.

    No doubt the major oil companies could have formed mutually profitable arrangements with Sadam, as they have with the Royal Saudi family, and the price of oil might actually be lower, but I doubt that the lives of the millions of people that would have come under the heel of Sadam would have been improved.

    Israel stays, keep the oil flowing.

    While I understand that this comment was crafted as a brief and biting commentary, I find it to be overly simplistic and unsupported.

    If we invaded Iraq to keep the “oil flowing” it has been an abject failure since even if Iraq’s oil production was returned to it’s pre-war levels it would take decades to make up for the oil that was out of the market over the last twenty plus years.

    As to Israel, the US relationship with Israel has waxed and waned and been characterized by a long series of complex developments that do not lend themselves to such a simple analysis.

  33. James Hanley says:

    As to Israel, the US relationship with Israel has waxed and waned and been characterized by a long series of complex developments that do not lend themselves to such a simple analysis.

    Rejection of Palestinian independence is sufficient, I think, to demonstrate that “Israel stays” is succinct, rather than simplistic. And whether intentionally or inadvertently, President Obama could hardly have been more insulting to Palestinians if he had shoved bacon down their throats when he said (paraphrased) “You can’t just declare independence, you have to negotiate it,” because the Palestinians know damn well Israel never had to negotiate its independence, and when it just declared it the U.S. recognized it in less than 15 minutes.

  34. Lance says:

    James Hanley,

    Fair enough, but what exactly is the alternative to “Israel stays”?

    Israel goes?

    Should the US agree to this proposition?

  35. P.J. says:

    Netanyahoo is about to reach the rolling boil. We can hope that the Administration will be able to cool that crazy yahoo down to a slow simmer. There is a strong push in Israel to gain hegemony over the Middle East.
    Some people live in very strange worlds.

  36. Lance says:

    It seems almost certain that Israel, under the leadership of Netanyahu, will use military action to attempt to destroy Iran’s nuclear program.

    While “pre-emptive” military action is typically hard to justify, morally and practically, what exactly is the downside for Israel? Fear that it will make them unpopular with their neighboring Arab states? UN opprobrium?

    Since even Egypt is now openly hostile towards Israel, after the fall of Mubarak, and the UN is always a US veto away from turning on them, they have little to lose in terms of international support.

    And they are hardly alone in the region in dreading a nuclear armed Iran. It is commonly believed that the Saudis and some other Gulf states have quietly granted use of their airspace for any potential air strikes.

    What’s the down side for them exactly?

    Some sources claim that Iran is not close to building an actual deliverable nuclear weapon. If you were Netanyahu would you wait until they were?

  37. I can imagine a few possible downsides to Israel, although these downsides are based on the answers to some questions about which I am too ignorant:

    1. An attack on Iran might exacerbate the already anti-Israel feeling that exists in Egypt. (Question: how firmly is the anti-Israel feeling established in Egypt right now, and can it go the other way?)

    2. An attack on Iran might goad the Iranians into retaliating.

    3. An attack might fail. (I have heard that Israel does not have the capability to carry out the attacks successfully.)

    4. An attack on Iran might only delay the day of reckoning; if this is true, . (I have heard that an attack, if it’s successful, would delay the development of a bomb only by a few years, and that Iran would pursue further development in areas that are more attack proof.)

    Again, I don’t know how true are the assumptions I base these points on. But they seem to be possible downsides for Israel if it chooses to attack.

  38. Dr X says:

    Now add: “Soldier probably gone mad commits mass murder.”

  39. Lance says:

    Maybe president Rick Santorum can arrange to get the Israelis the Arc of the Covenant. They can carry it up to Iran’s nuclear facility and then go in to see how close they are to completion of a nuclear weapon.

    (I visited the site of the chapel in Axum where the Ethiopian Orthodox church claims it is housed. I wanted to go inside and open it to see if my face would get melted off, but there is some old dude, Abba Tesfa Mariam, inside that is the only person allowed to see it and he hasn’t left the grounds of the building since he was 15.)

    Them “I”-ranians may be able to build the bomb but I’d like to see them close the “Arc of the Covenant” gap! (Said in my best Gen. Buck Turgidson gum chewing, manic drawl.)

  40. James Hanley says:

    Fair enough, but what exactly is the alternative to “Israel stays”?

    Israel goes?

    Should the US agree to this proposition?

    I’m afraid I don’t understand the basis of this question. I never suggested there should be any alternative to “Israel stays.”

  41. P.J. says:

    What, if anything, has anyone learned about the U.S. Army Sgt. who murdered 16 Afghan civilians in a shooting spree overnight.

    How is that going to impact the mission in Afghanistan?
    .

  42. Lance says:

    James Hanley,

    I’m afraid I don’t understand the basis of this question. I never suggested there should be any alternative to “Israel stays.”

    D.A. Ridgely suggested “Israel stays” as an addendum to your list of injustices that the US had perpetrated on “Mooslims” and you followed up with why this was a reasonable characterization because of the way the US was stymieing the Palestinians efforts for a Palestinian state.

    I took this to mean that you placed “Israel stays” on the list with the other grievances.

    Sorry if I misinterpreted your remark. Perhaps it was just a response to my claim that D.A. Ridgely’s comment was “simplistic and unsupported”.

  43. Dr X says:

    What, if anything, has anyone learned about the U.S. Army Sgt. who murdered 16 Afghan civilians in a shooting spree overnight.

    Report is that he did three tours in Iraq before starting in Afghanistan. Supposedly suffered a “mild” TBI and then cleared for return to service. Also reported that he was having marital troubles related to his tours, but these early reports are often inaccurate.

    Heard a guy interviewed today. He said he was serving at the same base and asked to see someone from Behavioral Medicine because he was suffering symptoms of PTSD. Request denied. He was given some meds and sent back out.

  44. Lance says:

    It is horrific to think of a US soldier going on a killing spree. I understand the outrage of the Afghan people at being told we are there to protect them and then having a soldier kill sixteen civilians, including women and children.

    Maybe it’s time to call this one a wrap.

  45. James HanleyJ says:

    Lance,
    I took this to mean that you placed “Israel stays” on the list with the other grievances.
    Sorry if I misinterpreted your remark. Perhaps it was just a response to my claim that D.A. Ridgely’s comment was “simplistic and unsupported”.

    Ah, got it. Actually it was just a response to that claim. I think the Israel stays claim is that simple. Simply, we’re going to stand on that claim, come hell or high water, no matter how much Israel pisses us off. And simply, certain people will include that on the list of grievances. I thought about putting it on there, but didn’t want to give the impression I don’t support our ensurance of Israel’s continued existence. I do. But I also think our foolishness in playing obvious favorites with them, with a blatant double-standard, justifies a lot of anger at us.

  46. Lance says:

    James Hanley,

    I do. But I also think our foolishness in playing obvious favorites with them, with a blatant double-standard, justifies a lot of anger at us.

    Yeah, I agree. It seems politically unpalatable, by both parties, to criticize Israel or act in a balanced way between Israel and the Palestinians.

  47. P.J. says:

    I haven’t read every comment in this thread; but, it seems there’s a lot of support for the Israeli stance in the middle east.
    .
    I belong to that growing minority that wants to see the Israeli leadership held responsible for the crimes being committed against the native peoples as they blatantly swallow up more and more real estate.
    .
    What gives them the standing to get away with this aggressive behavior? Are we being held to a standared established in the Bible?
    .

  48. James HanleyJ says:

    Speaking only for myself, I only support Israel’s continued existence and independence, not its policies.

    It’s much the same as how I feel about the United States.

  49. D.A. Ridgely says:

    Lance wrote:

    “D.A. Ridgely suggested “Israel stays” as an addendum to your list of injustices that the US had perpetrated on “Mooslims” and you followed up with why this was a reasonable characterization because of the way the US was stymieing the Palestinians efforts for a Palestinian state.”

    No, I wrote that U.S. support for the House of Saud should be added to the list. I then, by way of a coda, offered my summary of U.S. foreign policy regarding the Middle East.

    I’m sure many Muslim and/or Arab states in that region do consider U.S. support for Israel to be high on their list of grievances if not at its top, but most of the rest of that list includes justifiable grievances. U.S. support for the continued existence of Israel, per se, is not a justifiable grievance. Whether and to what extent the U.S. supports any particular Israeli policy or act resultingly belongs on the list is another matter, one that should be decided on a case by case basis.

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