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  1. I think that only one-half of the cartoon depiction (the right-hand side) is accurate.

    I would show a few US servicemen guarding the Islamic person (with blue ink dripping from his fingers) trying to vote at the ballot box on the left.

    Without the presence of some civilizing force such as the Americans, the Iraqis would fall back into the deadly hands of Islamic rule.

    The forces of evil that want to destroy schools, hospitals and stone women to death are omnipresent in Iraq as they are in most Islamic countries.

    Remove the western influence and give the Iraqi people a choice between a Taliban-style charismatic leader and a person who wants to seriously battle terrorism and anarchy, they would vote for the Taliban; that is my impression.

  2. Totalitarianism has a long history in Islamic countries. Few are even partly free as we know freedom in the West.

    Al Qaeda philosophy is theocratic and nihilist. It is animated by a love of death and it rejects free institutions and the right to differing opinions.

    The problem with democracy in much of the Arab World is that it would quickly bring Islamofascists to power. There are no democrats waiting in the wings. My impression is Iraq’s democracy has so far managed to keep extremist factions from turning it to their advantage. No guarantee exists this will not be different in the future.

    To keep that from happening, a long-term American presence is essential. Changing a culture based on the rule of the gun and a winner take all mentality to one rooted in the rule of law and a respect for the rights of others is a long-term project. This is precisely why Al Qaeda seeks to disrupt this transition. A freer and more stable Middle East is not fertile soil for fanatics and thugs with guns to shoot their way to power.

    Time will tell if the gains from The Surge will solidify or if they will be another Middle Eastern desert mirage.

  3. Yamit, your angry reaction to my comment is practically racist.

    Granted Iraqis and Arabs having lived in societies ruled by dictators, know little of democracy other then what their rulers tell them. They are pretty much immersed in their own cultural beliefs, values and perceptions. In a number of respects, Islamic culture and beliefs are incompatible with Western culture and beliefs. In some cases those incompatibilities rise to the level of being antithetical.

    Still, in this information age more information about democracy and in particular the freedoms democracy affords, have been getting through.

    The result is that we are witnessing the first signs in a number of Muslim nations, such as Iraq and Iran that the people of those nations are wanting change that while not necessarily giving them democracy, gives them more freedom and less repressive rule then they have had.

    I remind you that with the Iraqis with the protection of America formed their new government as weak as it was and remains to this day, many Iraqis put their lives on the line when they lined up for police and other government jobs. In spite of Iraqi radicals bombing, murdering and maiming many Iraqis who stood in those lines, still Iraqis came and stood in line and spoke out against the murdering radical Islamists in their midst.

    I remind you as well that there are signs in Iran of disenchantment with the Iranian theocracy and a growing desire for a society more free and less subjugated by theocratic repression.

    There is still a huge gap remaining however between what these disenchanted Muslims want for their themselves, their society and from their government on the one hand and democracy on the other.

    Pres. Bush’s policy to democratize the Middle East is having some small effects in that part of the world, but if the Middle East were to turn to true democracy, that will take a generation or more for that to happen.

    Neither America nor the entire West can wait a generation or more for the Muslim nations of the world to transform into democracies, if they ever do, because radical Islam poses a clear, present and immediate threat to the safety and wellbeing of Westerners and their way of life as well as to Muslims who disagree with the beliefs and agenda of radical Islam. In fact, many more Muslims have been murdered and maimed by radical Islamists then Westerners.

    It was with these thoughts in mind that I made the statement I did that you reacted so strongly and angrily against.

    I stand by my statement which finds support in a number of facts, circumstances and reasons, some of which I have mentioned to you.

  4. The surge Norman is Bullshit the Americans hve not enough boots on the ground to do the Job. Not enough Arabic speakers tio know what the hell is going on around them and do not really have the support of the Iraqi people who would prefer a sadistic Sadam to American Bungling. America has fire power for destruction but neither the culture nor stamina to be occupiers of peoples they don’t understand nor care to understand as the gulf between cultures is a wide as infinity.

  5. America can’t rebuild Iraq for the Iraqis. And isn’t going to. At the end of the day, after dealing with Al Qaeda, Iraq’s future is a job for the Iraqis. America is a superpower but unlike the Romans, America is in no mood to run another country. My guess is America will keep boots on the ground in Iraq because it is too important to cede to Bin Laden, not because America is interested in the internal house-keeping arrangements there. In the long run, its really immaterial what government Iraq has as long as it is pro-American. That is the important thing in the prism of Middle East politics.

  6. In Iraq like any Muslim country either you control 10% or you lose it. Niddle East like a Church Bazzar buying and selling under canopy of Religion. Your suggestion of being pro American? what ever that means today? With the cold war you had a defined adversary. Who do you define today Al Queda is an Idea with a leadership structure but the idea being pure Islam won’t wither with the end of Osama it might even get stronger in such a case! Iraq should have been exploited to get Syria and Iran. Totally wasted effort as America will loose and and Islam will be encouraged to move to new heights and ambitions. These terorists mostly State sponsored come from within and from out all speak same language all know the territory all have clear and defined objectives; all know that they will win. You can’t Bomb and ideology, but you can control a country and rule it with an iron fist. Be proactive and preemptive with all neighboring states to Iraq. Lwr Iraqi Oil pay for the cost ..A terrorist organization only spending maybe a few millions of dollars has forced America and the west to spend trillions.. Even America is not that rich as to allow this to go on/.. I think the economics will break American resolve long before stabilization and friendly govt. can be put in place

  7. What America’s experience in Iraq has shown is that in spite of some and perhaps even the majority of Iraqis not wishing to be governed by radical Islamists, the radical Islamists are too many and too powerful so that once America pulls out, they very likely will take over control of Iraq.

    America is desperate to get out of Iraq and one way or another, with or without face saving they will leave Iraq within the next year. If America withdraws its forces, leaving behind a small presence in Iraq, that presence will be insufficient to keep the radical Islamist wolves from taking over.

  8. What America’s experience in Iraq has shown is that in spite of some and perhaps even the majority of Iraqis not wishing to be governed by radical Islamists, the radical Islamists are too many and too powerful so that once America pulls out, they very likely will take over control of Iraq.

    Bill where did you glean this bit of Bullshit> Arabs do not seek freedom its like asking a blind man from birth to describe color! He knows the word but has no conception of what it is. They are comfortable with what they know within the context of their own culture period! Nobody expects to be loved and they exist in a 2 faced culture the public one and the private one and you or I as a stranger can never know which face they are presenting at any given moment!

    Never never believe westerners views of cultures and societies they have little or no direct knowledge of!

  9. The Arabs say one thing to outsiders and another thing to their own people. You can never know exactly what they intend to do. Middle Eastern culture is very different from the one in the West. Its built more on informal ties and baksheesh than on Western rules of formal relationships and impartial strict to rule dynamics. This difference in outlook and way of doing things leave Westerners bewildered.

    The real trouble begins when we think our philosophy and governing methods transfer over easily to their societies. It doesn’t. That is why democracy has failed to take root in the Arab World because it doesn’t mesh very well with a culture in which there is very little national identification. The Arab thinks first of his family, the cleric at the local mosque, the tribe and then the nation in that order. Most Arab countries are not real nations but just arbitrarily cartographical creations put together by the colonial powers. If Iraq was a real country, the Americans’ job of putting together a functioning government would been a lot less difficult to accomplish.

  10. It is racist only in the arrogant and pompous fools who think with a fanatical religious belief that they have the ultimate sanity and truth on their side with absolutely no idea of what he is talking about.

    These people have been around for thousands of years and have managed to exist and survive in very difficult circumstances. Very communal people with customs and traditions of behavior you could only dream about.

    Your advocacy of non defined concept of Democracy borders if not exceeding on fanaticism. Democracy is not for everyone and since they have been around and interacting since the beginning of time who the hell are you to tell them what to believe and how to think? It is quite possible that your American experiment will be judged to have failed as forces are mobilizing to usurp American hegemony in the world. The Jury is still out on this one! What they want is a job decent pay and food in their bellies and to be left alone from pompous ignoramus’s . The Iraqi People didn’t ask for America to come in and tell them how to live. This dictator or that is of little consequence to these people as concept of Nationhood is as alien to them as is Democracy. They are Tribal, clannish and family centered, they have their own religion , language, history, culture and personal needs /. None of what I just listed conforms to Your idea of what is best for them but in this context who the hell are you?

    The Iraqi people never threatened you wanted to dominate you , impose their culture or even religion on you and they are in Iraq and so are your countrymen.

    If there is racism here I don’t think it is coming from my side have a look in the mirror

  11. Yamit, you are losing it and running off at the mouth.

    I have not as you suggest advocated that Bush’s policy to democratize the Middle East is a wise one. In fact I have noted frequently and did above that it is foolish for there is a lot more to democracy then a few freedoms and elections.

    Saying that there are signs that some democratic notions are getting through to the people of the Middle East is a far cry from saying there is a mass grass roots movement to demand democracy and making Islam and Islamic culture compatible with non-Muslim faiths and cultures.

    I just don’t get your anger at all and childish tit for tat nonesensical suggestion that to see a racist I should look in the mirror.

    Tell me, are you going through your second childhood?

  12. Mr. Narvey I would draw your attention to the following quotes in your comment #10 I will Itemize:

    Yamit, your angry reaction to my comment is practically racist

    What is practically racist in what I said?

    Granted Iraqis and Arabs having lived in societies ruled by dictators, know little of democracy other then what their rulers tell them. They are pretty much immersed in their own cultural beliefs, values and perceptions. In a number of respects, Islamic culture and beliefs are incompatible with Western culture and beliefs. In some cases those incompatibilities rise to the level of being antithetical.

    You say many things here 1 Your idea of Democracy is superior to theirs. Your culture is superior to theirs.
    Their culture not compatible and even antithical to yours? 2 So what you are still saying that yours is best and everyone should conform to what you deem best. This is not aroganse? you keep harping that they and I would assume everybody else in the world should also fit your concepts of political and cultural conformity? Again pompous and arrogant! You make assumptions with no basis and nothing to support them except wide general and sometimes conflicting statements. For your information the Iraqi people are the most educated and technically advanced of all Arab countries. They had a solid middle class of entrepreneurs. Good universities even under Saddam and internal tribal , religious, and clan conflicts have been going on since the beginning of recoded time. They had the most advanced civilization in the ancient world and still maintain some of its properties. But that is not really my point here, what I am trying to say is that you are making here a lot of value judgments and in so many words saying that your views and culture are superior, Really? 50% of your society are supporting Psychiatrists, crime, drugs, nihilism, exploitation of the strong against the weak, etc. etc. What do you really know of other cultures or societies other than the one you presently reside in ?

    How many countries and differnt cultures have you lived in? Where do you derive such haughty high minded self opinionated opinions of yourself?

    Still, in this information age more information about democracy and in particular the freedoms democracy affords, have been getting through.

    Here you go again pushing Democracy like a religious true believer!

    I remind you as well that there are signs in Iran of disenchantment with the Iranian theocracy and a growing desire for a society more free and less subjugated by theocratic repression.

    where did you read this? how would you know what the real reasons are for any internal dissent? How many Americans are opposed to bush and his policies? If I were living in a diffrent culture what conclusions should I draw from this dissatisfaction?

    Pres. Bush’s policy to democratize the Middle East is having some small effects in that part of the world, but if the Middle East were to turn to true democracy, that will take a generation or more for that to happen.

    Still pushing here the Democracy button and decrying that it is not going according to hoped for time table!

    Neither America nor the entire West can wait a generation or more for the Muslim nations of the world to transform into democracies, if they ever do, because radical Islam poses a clear, present and immediate threat to the safety and wellbeing of Westerners and their way of life as well as to Muslims who disagree with the beliefs and agenda of radical Islam.

    Here you say a lot of words and say nothing! West can’t wait —— Finish the thought to its conclusion; Or what? Iraq poses a threat? Radicals threaten those against ? thats an Oxymoron! You make here assumptions their are Muslims who oppose or disagree with what you term radical and most experts call them main stream. I have yet to meet a Muslim or Arab who does not at least sympathize with militant Islam even if they are not actively involved in violence , at least not yet.

    In fact, many more Muslims have been murdered and maimed by radical Islamists then Westerners.

    and finally you say heh guys we are not so bad as after all they killed more of their own than we did! I can’t believe you said that or believe what you are saying. In this part of the world their dictator is preferable to yours. They can kill each other with impunity its all in the family so to speak but they will resent like hell if your guys are doing the killing as you and your Democracy and phony culture is more hatred by them than a hundred Saddam’s! Saddam was one of them , you are not for an Arab that counts for 99%. to them!

  13. The Muslim world was exposed to colonization in the 18th, 19th and 20th century by Britain and other western countries and yet they always fell back onto their Islamic roots. The East Indians also had the same kind of exposure to colonization and yet they eagerly adopted democracy, mixing their rich Hindu culture with a healthy democratic and mostly peaceful political process. The Indians adopted, adapted and learned some good institutional, educational and constitutional practices from the west.

    I have no doubt that Iraq will sink back into depravity once the US withdraws – and I agree with Bill that as soon as they do so, they will feel more at home with systems based on corruption, Islamic radicalism, war and bloodshed. The people who have the guns and the power in Islamic societies are always the lowest life forms. Unfortunately there will be a lot more terrorists and weapons left behind from the coalition and weapons/jihadists pouring in from Saudi, Iran, Syria and perhaps Russia too.

    The US went into Iraq not to win but to win the hearts and minds that were hungrier for hard cash and jihad than they were for any lessons in civility and compassion. The west allowed itself to be duped. The US would have been better off taking out their infrastructure of Iraq and then leaving immediately to pursue other terror targets in the region, including Iran. It is a mistake to commit troops rather than keep bombing their military assets and government assets back to the stone age (a place in time where they feel a certain comfort level and where we would also feel safer and more secure knowing that they can no longer threaten civilized countries).

  14. Yamit, why so formal?

    I see you have now switched gears and have resorted to disingenuous bullshit characterizations of what I have said. Quite pathetic on your part Yamit.

    You say as regards my simple comment that some aspects of democractic values are reaching some in the Middle East that I am:

    pushing Democracy like a religious true believer!

    You ignore that I have not been pushing for democratizing the Middle East, for the simple reason that in my view democracy is not compatible with Islamic religous, political and social culture, norms and values, at least not now and not for the foreseeable future.

    And again as regards my comment that it will take a generation or more for democracy to come to the Middle East, if it comes at all, you say derisively:

    Still pushing here the Democracy button and decrying that it is not going according to hoped for time table!

    Again, you are inventing things to attack views that are not mine.

    You speak of my culture as if it is different then yours. Are you not living in a Western minded society with Western Judeo-Christian culture, values and norms?

    What nonsense.

    Finally you accuse me of being pompous and arrogant for believing in the superiority of my Western culture.

    If you are an ardent died in the wool multiculturalist who believes every culture is of equal value, which contributes equally to society and to the world and each culture including beliefs is entitled to equal respect, then I can see where my beliefs may offend you.

    You have however already distinguished yourself as a believer that the Islamic religion and culture is the lowest because in your view it incites hatred and intolerance for non-Muslims, especially Jews first and Christians a close second and from there calls on their faithful adherents to conquer and destroy Jews and Christians and those not destroyed to dominate them and force them to live as dhimmis under the Muslim yoke.

    What a hypocrite you are!

    I do believe in the superiority of Western culture for myself and I am not embarrased to say that.

    Certain Western multiculturalists who enjoy all the benefits of the Western culture like to wear their multicultural universal humanistic values on their sleeves and proclaim Western culture is no better then any other culture. Note however just how hypocritical these multiculturalists are for the other cultures they proclaim are every bit as good and equal to their own Western culture, they might choose to visit such culture for a short while, but they never would choose to live there.

    These multiculturalist hypocrites are just too damned embarrased to say that the culture they live in is the best for them.

    That said, I am certain Muslims in the Middle East who have known only Muslim culture would be quick to say that their culture is superior to all. The radical Islamists however not only hold to the belief that their culture and religion is superior to all others, they want the whole world to be Islamic.

    What I have advocated for, not that you would have noticed is that the West should adopt a live and let live policy with the Muslim world. That would mean each cultural society can do what they want within their own lands without interference from the other and without doing anything to harm the other culture. The only meaningful interaction between the Muslim and non-Muslim world would be economic and commercial relationships for their mutual benefit.

    I am not interested in converting the Muslim Middle East to democracy, which I have made clear repeatedly, again not that you would want to admit. I have advocated for the West to open their eyes to the existential threat Islamic radicalism poses and take all measures necessary to protect the West from that depraved faith and the culture it engenders and if that means making all out war to rid the world of Islamic radicalism, so be it.

    I know that happens to be pretty much what you think too Yamit, but I am sure in your zeal to somehow show me up, you will find something else in what I said that you can twist beyond sanity so that you can appear to have something to criticize me for.

    Yanit, your big problem is that you are completely intolerant of any view that goes beyond saying who the good guys are, ie. Israelis, at least those that think like you and the bad guys, being the Palestinians, radical Islam and their liberal and left wing non-Muslim useful idiots.

    I do try to go further to discuss things in a broader context with a view to discussing why there are these problems and what can be done about it.

    Because I do not stick to your blinkered view that it is enough to badmouth the bad guys, your intolerance for any other view leaves you incenced and vengeful. Unfortunately, I have given you no basis in reality to attack my views or me personally as you have, so you invent new realities in order to vent your spleen at me.

    With your last salvo in your post #13, it is clear to anyone reading your nonsense that you have completely gone over the deep end.

  15. Bill, How kind you are, heh this is New Years lets call a truce9Hudna( for a day and pick up on Wedn. I don’t have the head for it and I have a party to go to soon Ok have a good day!!

  16. Agreed.

    Starting Wednesday though Yamit, I invite you to take issue with whatever I am saying, but please deal only with what I am saying. I am sure there must be enough fodder in what I do say that you can deal with just that.

    I am all for a good and even tough debate, but I would like to keep it bone fide and respectful.

    And yes, I do wish you a very Happy and healthy New year as I do to all at Israpundit.

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