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    funny because it's true..., 2004-04-22 11:28:47 | Main | Narconews smells a coup in Bol..., 2004-04-26 14:43:20

    "If liberal hawks had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows":

    Armed Liberal spends an inordinate amount of time confusing the difference between violent extremists and general populations. Henley is suggesting that the US stop supporting occupations of Muslim countries, arming their tyrants, and complicating other people's problems. I doubt I'd agree with Jim on best practices of a disengagement policy, but notwithstanding Jim's libertarian machismo AL is just picking at a strawman. The distinction between the occupation of a country or cynically interfering in its domestic politics - the terrorists we're singularly concerned about predominately originate out of what I suppose the hawks think of as "democratically-minded" US-supported dictatorships: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco ("democratic" in the Israeli sense: a large unofficial population lives in refugee camps) etc. - and policing against stateless terrorists should be obvious. Getting past that it's hard to identify anything that retains substance.

    E.g. AL asks rhetorically what humiliations Henley had in mind, and all he comes up with are "battles in Andalusia and at the gates of Vienna". Pardon me, but if you're looking at the reasons Al Qaeda has widespread sympathy and this is all you come up with - glossing over the occupations of Western Sahara, Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, the presence of US military installations throughout the region, the US weapons used to repress Muslim populations given to autocrats who have no interest in reform, gradualist or otherwise - you need to go take that Palestinian studies course at Berkley.

    And a Palestinian studies course is not an American studies course. You take a steady stream of foreign students and show them how the American system works and they'll go create think tanks and astroturfing propaganda associations like everybody else. You change policy in the world's greatest democracy by buying off the nation's editorial boards and dumping a constant flow of steaming shit into the lap of the commons with the boob tube. Instead of another terror cell you get another ADL.

    Additional nitpicking: the "strong strain of self-hatred in the West" is not strong and may not even exist, whereas billions in military aid to Sharon and Mubarak every year is strong and certainly exists; Islamism becomes nationalist once it has a nation - Iran is Islamist, nationalist, and has never invaded anybody outside Kissinger's green light for the Shah to take Shatt al-Arab in '75; Israel is not a functioning democracy; Israel's security policies are not pro-Western; and if Israel can't stand on it's own two feet it can get out of the occupied territories and then we can help.

    Supporting Sharon's annexation of the West Bank is probably the greatest single threat to the national security of the United States, and now we're occupying Iraq. Having a stateless population living under American gun sites is no way to undermine stateless terror: going out and actively creating another one is pure lunacy. The easiest thing in the world would be to allow local elections to go forward and allow the Iraqis to build their own political solution. The CPA is a failure, military solutions solve nothing. If their elected leaders want our help with something they can ask and we can obey, but we simply haven't got the political capital to be telling anybody what to do: what little we had after invading Afghanistan and leaving that country to narcoterrorist warlords was squandered on this latest idiotic war.

:: posted by buermann @ 2004-04-22 17:16:15 CST | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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