Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Book Review: 1633

Note: I’m not in the business of reviewing books or being a book critic but I thought I might make mention of points I find commendable or objectionable in books I have recently read. Having said that do not expect a full and or traditional style review.

The basics are that 1633 is a continuation of 1632 in which the town of Grantville WV, c. 2001 finds itself transported temporally and spatially into central Germany in the middle of the Thirty Years War. Too many people to try and blend in and not enough to simply roll out the M1A1s and declare Europe US territory. The books touches on Predestination vs. Free Will – making a mockery of Predestination – but mainly deals with the personal interactions of the “up time” Americans and their new 17th century neighbors. The thing I noticed is the why the authors dealt with the American tendency to hold all life sacred while the European of the 17th century have a much more pragmatic world view. One German is lost in battle and the Americans want to make a shire while the family of the lost fighter is to our eyes cold to his loss. The book doesn’t get into the whys and wherefores of this as the authors assume the read intelligent to know how life is in the US now and understand that those growing up in a war torn Reformation era Europe are used to quick and violent deaths and I will make that same assumption.

What I did see was a sort of parallel between the differing world views on the value of a single humans life between the “up time” Americans and 17th century Europe and those of the West and Islam. We in the West are the up-timers to the brutal fatalistic view of Islam today. Just as the Reformation Europe had strong views on how God and predestined everyone’s life today Islam holds the same view. That Allah chooses our paths for us and we are helpless to fight against his will.

When a high speed cigarette boat – with homemade rocket launchers – is hit by a lucky shot from the Danish fleet it is decimating the Americans cry at the loss of their comrades while their 17th century allies lament the loss of the ship.

In the book for the Americans to make it they have to become as hard as those wishing to wipe them from the map. An allegory to Israel perhaps?

We need to learn the lessons that the Up-timers learned and while not forgetting our core values understand that we cannot stand around fretting over the potential loss of a deck hand while the boat is being taken form under our feet.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

We are going to fail in Iraq.

I am a big proponent of taking the war on terrorism into Iraq and stamping out Saddam’s terror factory. Big. Saddam was part of the Islamic terror machine. If you think that he wasn’t party to terrorism then you are deluding yourself. If you think we don’t have the right to go after barbarians then you are an idiot. If you think we should have left him alone to do his thing then you are the enemy. But I am a simple man for a more eloquent take and explanation check out Robert Kagan and William Kristol’s piece, “The Right War for the Right Reasons” over at the Weekly Standard. But what few want to address is the failure that is taking place there now.

A few uber hawks such as Victor Davis Hanson have mentioned part of the reason for the “resistance” in Iraq is the light touch the US military used in defeating the Baathists. Simply put a people won’t act defeated unless they feel defeated and while the average Iraqi just wants to get along with his life the Baathists and Islamists need to feel and be defeated. I’m hear to tell you if you think the military took it easy trying not to upset the rest of the world more than they already are then you better sit down when you hear about the “kid gloves the US is using now in the attempt to establish democracy.

English culture had been toying with the idea of self-rule since the Magna Carta in 1215. That means by the time things started to get real dicey with Parliament and ol’George III in the early 1770’s there was already over 500 years of influence – especially the local self-rule the colonialists had enjoyed which was necessitated by the distance from England – on the culture in America. The educated of the 18th century also had a love for the classics we would do well to mimic adding the influence of both Athenian democracy and the Roman Republic to the mix. And even with all that there where rebellions that needed the force of arms to squelch such and the Whiskey Rebellion, in fighting, interstate fighting (Ohio – Michigan War of 1837), constant threats to abandon the union and eventually the Civil War, one of the bloodiest wars in history. It was in this crucible of blood and fire that our democratic institutions where forged. Ours is a tempered nation. We do not have a fragile democracy. We do not need military coups to keep things running every few years when the elected leader starts to get a little odd like some “democracies”. We do not have military coups because the Joint Chiefs think they can get away with it like some “democracies”. We do not have political fighting resulting in an inept coalition government that changes every 4 months like some “democracies”.

Why? How do we just keep on chugging along? Why didn’t we fall apart and need military intervention during the constitutional crisis of the 2000 election? Americans believe in the system. We have now almost 700 years of some degree of self-rule, we learn about Athens and Rome, we have 227 years of independence and a form of government that has been tried, tested and proven worthy. For all the different political views we Americans hold the fact is we all have a deep belief and trust in the system and it is ingrained in us from birth.

What is ingrained in Muslims? In answering that question you will be able to see why the current soft touch approach being employed by the US is destined to fail.

First I will address by use of “Muslims” and not “Iraqis”. I say Muslims because the cold truth is they are the problem. Having said that some will write off what I have to say as the ramblings of a racist bigot or Isamlophobe or whatever the catchy term of the week is. There is a teeny tiny non-Muslim portion of the Iraqi population and they aren’t the ones trying to kill US soldiers and Iraqis trying to assist the US. Now there are two types of Muslims. There are the Islamists that believe full force in the tenants of aggressive Islamic ideology. They believe that it really is their duty to conquer the world and put everyone on Earth under the boot heel of Allah. They might not all carry guns and blow themselves up but they work in ways available to them to create that end. Then there are the CSM – Chicken Shit Muslims. These are Muslims that would happily live in peace with non-Muslims. They would like to see Iraqi and other Islamic dictatorships become free democracies. They would like a lot of things most of all to have the nut ball warmongering Islamists stop blowing things up and causing trouble but they do nothing. They sit cowering in their homes and do nothing. They simply allow the Islamists a free reign. They are a bunch a Chicken Shit’s. When Islamists murder and cheer the Chicken Shits say nothing. When Muslim converts in the US military try to give secrets to Al Quada the Chicken Shits say nothing. Sure there are a few MM’s or Modern Muslims that have been able to take the Koran and live peacefully in the west. Yes they do speak out against the Islamists and some even put the life on the line in serving our country but they are so few and so quiet they get drowned out by the deafening silence of the CSM’s so all that is left to hear is the insanity and hate of the Islamists.

Muslims in Iraq have 0 years of democratic influence in their culture. They view the west – Athenian democracy and the Roman Republic – and all in it as something to be crushed under Islam. Many imams have stated how Islam and western democracy are incompatible. What the Muslims do have is 1,400 years of repression under one dictatorial regime or another. They do have 1,400 years of learning how to not get hurt by those willing to kill for power. The vaunted Muslim street has never stood up and stopped a power hungry man or group from taking over. All they ask is to not be hurt in the process. This is the CSM way. They have no belief in our system, none what so ever.

They believe in hiding until the shooting stops and we have forgotten what it took to make our institutions strong. Simply creating a democratic org chart and filling it with people least likely to cause the Islamists, Kurds, Shias or Shiites to riot will not a functioning strong democracy make. It will be weak. It will be ineffectual and the CSM’s sitting in those org chart slots will happily man the tiller as the Islamists in their mists sink the ship without even attempting to turn on the bilge pumps.

The only way to create a democracy that can last in Iraq is wipe their culture. Beat then into nothing and rebuild them into a new nation just as the military takes a boy and builds him into a man. Iraq needs boot camp and we are giving them a weekend without TV. Democracy won’t work in Iraq unless we help them and letting the Islamists scare the provisional government into removing a high ranking official because she’s a women and it’s against the Koran is not helping them or us.

Rome only had to fight Carthage twice; I wonder how many times we will have to fight Iraq.

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