Friction can be a drag

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The struggle of good against evil: Evil wins

with 23 comments

In the good old days, it was easy to distinguish good from evil. Good was always on Gods side and the Devils work was left to the idle but the events of recent years have made me wonder if these sides have somehome switched. I mean, the amount of pain and suffering inflicted by so-called “believers” from all faiths on the peoples of this planet is overwhelming.

Firstly, we have the Bush and Blair crusade on Islam – the struggle of good against evil for the 21st century. You have Islamic factions defending their faith by “any means necessary”. Peodophile catholic priests protected by the Vatican. Aids epidemics worsened by ancient religious dogma.

The list is endless but my point is these so called believers don’t seem to be offering much in the way of love and respect. Has good switched sides and have the false prophets finally taken control?


Written by sanchezdemarcos

October 5, 2006 at 11:25 pm

23 Responses

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  1. I think it’s possible two interacting trends have created a vicious cycle.

    The first is that power and greed are corrupting and violent. Religion is often a blanket for more practical politics. Iraq isn’t about a crusade, it is about oil. And power, mass communication, and violent capacity has only increased. Religion is one of the few constructs that still resonate with people at a mass level.

    The second trend is that perhaps the moderate moral majority has simply abandoned the field to the extremists. Your basic liberal family is more likely to be agnostic, or new age spiritualist, athiest, or weekly Sunday attendee, and so the visible communication from religion reflects the remnant.

    The truly pious are likely to be quiet and withdrawn… so maybe the false prophets are running rampant, but it’s only because we’ve left it to them. Probably for good reason, who wants to be religious when it has been discredited by science, in particular Darwin, and who wants to be involved when we can live a perfectly materialistic consumer life without becoming involved?

    To encourage a virtuous cycle, the leadership needs to lead by example, needs to let go of personal greed and power, needs to encourage all of society to be involved in god consciousness, and needs to activate the tendencies of the moderate majority and reinvigorate both society, religion, and politics.

    Virtue is 20%, the moderate majority is 60% and the vicious are 20%, and whoever has power will lead the 60%…

    Here is some ancient wisdom from the Mahabharata, from Bhisma:

    Those men on earth who desire prosperity should first elect and crown a king for the protection of all. One that is honoured by his own people becomes an object of regard with his foes also, while one that is disregarded by his own is overridden by foes.

    Regarding those that are desirous of kingdom, there is no other eternal duty more obligatory than the protection (of subjects). The protection the king grants to his subjects upholds the world.

    The king should first subdue himself and then seek to subdue his foes. How should a king who has not been able to conquer his own self be able to conquer his foes? The conquest of the five senses is regarded as the conquest of self. The king that has succeeded in subduing his senses is competent to resist his foes.

    The four kinds of vices which the learned say are born of lust are: hunting, gambling, drinking, and sexual indulgence.

    The six faults born of wrath: Rudeness of speech, fierceness, severity of chastisement, infliction of pain on the body, suicide, and frustrating one’s own objects.

    The science of chastisement forces all men to the observance of the duties of their respective orders. Duly administered, it forces people to virtuous acts. When the four orders attend to their respective duties, when all wholesome barriers are maintained, when peace and happiness are made to flow from the science of chastisement, when the people become freed from all fear, and the three higher orders endeavour, according to their respective duties, to maintain harmony, know that men become truly happy at such times.


    October 9, 2006 at 9:29 am

  2. Poxinfinite: Can you point to any kings that meet your criteria of a good king? I agree that the benevolent dictator/king is great in theory but…
    It’s also the easiest thing for religious people to defend their religion by claiming that any of the bad things done in religions name are actually not ‘really’ religious…or have been perpetrated by ‘false prophets’.
    We dont need religion…we just need righteousness.
    Chairman: I would also suggest that the good/evil struggle has ALWAYS been ambiguous. We can’t be that bad or God would have sent something to smite us…a la Sodom & Gomorrah.


    October 11, 2006 at 3:35 pm

  3. You are mistaken “igotlife”. God did smite us. He gave us Dalston.


    October 11, 2006 at 3:38 pm

  4. surely you mean Hounslow?


    October 11, 2006 at 3:42 pm

  5. The War on Terror (stupid name) is not a crusade against Islam. If people would be willing to tell it like it is and not be afraid of the PC nazis then this misconception could be erased.

    The War is a war on Islamic Fundamentalism and the nutjobs who have hijacked Islam for their own ends.

    Wahhabism has perverted Islam and radicalized some Muslims – those whose battle cry is death to the infidels. There is no comparable faction within Christianity and if there were it would not be tolerated. Unfortunately the Saudis, who fund the bedrock of Wahabbism have no such qualms.


    November 10, 2006 at 3:22 pm

  6. Sorry Gipperfan but there are plenty of comparisons in US Christian groups. There IS an American Taliban…Jerry Falwell etc.
    I quote Gary Potter, President of Catholics for Christian Political Action:
    “When the Christian majority takes over this country, there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more talk of rights for homosexuals. After the the Christian majority takes control, pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil.”
    You what??
    Pastor Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church). When Martin Luther Kings widow dies: “God hates Facs & Fag-Enablers! Ergo, God hates Coretta Scott King and is now tormenting her with fire and brimstone where the worm never dies and the fire is never quenched, and the smoke of her torment ascendeth up for ever and ever.”
    You what??
    George Bush Snr: “No, I dont know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”
    Jefferson, Madison & Adams would be turning in their grave!!


    November 10, 2006 at 7:48 pm

  7. Where are Jerry Falwell’s terrorists? Who are they killing? Freedom of speech is one thing, but murdering innocent civilians is quite another.

    I am arguing that Islam has been perverted by these radicals and unless the moderate voices speak out long will it continue.

    Sensible Christians (and Muslims) do not align themselves with the hard liners, but in a free democracy these people do not have the same freedom to carry out their twisted ideals. This is not the case in the Middle East and that is what this War is about, the establishment of democracy.

    We can debate whether that is a worthy or possible goal, but to assert that this War is only about oil or is a Christian crusade negates any reasoned conversation.


    November 10, 2006 at 10:27 pm

  8. What is a terrorist? Someone who uses force to kill civilians to encourage obedience to that persons perspective.

    Why is war not terrorism? Actually war is terrorism by its nature. And it ALWAYS includes killing civilians or forcing them into flight. Military targets of course come first, but as our use of nukes on Japan showed, necessity is the real determination.

    Frankly, Saudi foreign policy is almost always real politic… and we are there for oil and cultural values and no other reason. You can try to arbitrarily erase those from the debate, but they are the tangible reasons we aren’t in the Congo etc.

    If we focus on your point that wahhabism is a fanaticall sect of Islam, and that it encourages violence, then we can also see that evangelical fanatical christians encourage violence. The difference is one does it through the state aparatus, the other is forced to go outside the state aparatus. This does not prove that they wouldn’t! It just means they don’t have to, yet. It is quite apparent that they would.


    November 14, 2006 at 3:10 pm

  9. Agree Poxinfinite!!!! Gipperfan is deluded. There is no war on terrorism, this was invented towards the latter stages of the conflict in Afghanistan to pave the way for Iraq and we all know what happened there.

    You are the kind of person who believed they had weapons of mass distruction and that they had something to do with alqaeda – whatever that is. Fact is Christian fundamentalism lives and breathes in the US, it supports the Jewish lobby and causes misery for most under developed countries around the world by choosing Republican cretins with small brains and large guns to run it’s affairs. Is it a coincidence that the states in the US with the highest rape and murder cases are also the most religious and Republican? I don’t think so.

    Don’t get me wrong, I hate islamic fundamentalism as much as the next man but Christian fundamentalism I find just as repulsive, more so when you think our taxes (Tony Blair using my hard earned cash to bomb innocent Iraqi’s in the name of freedom) are being spent on vendettas thought up by small minded morons.

    We all knew Rumsfeld and co were ignorant but only after all the idiots who took part in this elaborate theatre of war are dead will we really know the full extent of this flawed attempt to save the “Freedom loving” world from Islamic “terrorism”.


    November 15, 2006 at 6:10 pm

  10. I am the kind of person who knows that Saddam was paying $20k a go to Palestinian families willing to sell their children as suicide bombers.

    I am the kind of person, who along with the French, English, Germans, Clinton (when he bombed in 1998) and the entire UN (for what they are worth) knew that Saddam had WMD. The Kurds knew it too when he gassed them. Saddam’s generals had a pretty fair idea too before the war when they expected to be able to use them against the coalition.

    I am the kind of person who knows that Saddam financed the Al Qaeda member who mixed the chemicals for the 1993 bombing of the WTC. For what it’s worth though, I don’t care if Saddam had nothing to do with Al Qaeda. THe only link between this war and Al Qaeda was to make it, and other such terrorist causes, irrelevant.

    I am the kind of person who knows that amidst all the Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame debacle Saddam’s Envoy to the Vatican was in Nigeria negotiating to buy yellowcake.

    I am the kind of person who knows that Saddam had plans to build a nuclear bomb. The plans that the NY Times had kittens about because they were posted by some f*ckwit at the State Dept. on the internet.

    I am the kind of person who knows that a functioning and free democracy in the Middle East, acting as a beacon of hope, would make us all safer – Christians, Muslims, whatever religion.

    I am also the kind of person who believes that there are not enough troops on the ground in Iraq to do the job properly. Even if there were enough troops they would be hamstrung in putting down what is a tiny (no more than 10,000 strong) insurgency by those who cannot see past their Bush hatred and allow this war to be prosecuted with the absolute strength and decideness of purpose that is required.


    November 19, 2006 at 5:55 pm

  11. But all of that was shown to be lies?

    There were no WMD. Sadam had no links to Al Qaeda. The Nideria Yellow Cake story was bullshit. Iraq used mustard gas mixed with another chemical on the Iranians during the war Sadam started. These chemicals were provided by Germany and the USA, and we were actively supporting and encouraging him.

    Is it only WMD when it’s not us? Or potentially against us?

    Sadam wanted a nuke but that was dealt with, and he certainly didn’t want it to face the States, he wanted it to face Iran, and potentially Israel.

    The funds paid to the families of “martyr’s” are not funds for people to send their children to die… surely you don’t mind that we give a pension amount to the families of our own dead soldiers?

    From the list that you put forward I can only see that you have embraced every aspect of a particular view that is being broadcast at you. You seem to have intelligence, so I can only ask you to dig deeper and study more, look past the group control and see beyond the momentary information.

    The history of Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi, and our involvement there is complicated, and there are some horrible patterns of behaviour.

    This is not the first time we have been in Iraq or Afghanistan, and each time we said the same thing: we are here to liberate you, and we are being blocked by outsiders.

    I would ask you to read “The Great War for Civilisation” by Robert Fisk and then see what your perspective is.

    The best thing about this book is that he is unfair to everyone! He doesn’t hide behind being on a side. He simply tries to observe the truth. So each side accuses him of having an agenda on the side of the other. But there is clarity to be found in his words, in the horror of what he has seen, and in the history and the patterns that he reveals. This clarity only comes from letting go of being on a “side.”

    If you want to deny the suffering of the Palestinian people because there are extremists willing to blow themselves and others up, this ignores the voice of Palestinians who are against such acts, and also ignores the fundamentalists amongst the Israeli’s, such as the person who killed Rabin, the person who slaughtered the Palestinians in a Mosque and many many more…. never called terrorists… or colonialists…

    So, you’ll be tempted to answer back with a list of the reasons why Israel has to… and their greivances

    And I’ll answer with a list of why the Palestinians have to… and their list of greivances.

    We can go back and forth neither seeing the truth, that the very stories we pick up and the things we tell eachother are part of the elaborate problem. Part of a dialogue that is speaking through, not clearly listening, and justifying rather than solving.

    There will be no solution until Israel stops colonizing, and actually sets out to make a vulnerable peace, rather than a dominating peace. The domination won’t work, and yes, the rest of the world will then have to protect that vulnerability, but I don’t blame the Israeli’s for not wanting to take that risk. The world doesn’t stand up to the Palestinians, it didn’t really stand up for the Jews (we were not at war with Germany for repression of Jews- those acts began before the war.)

    Step back from nationalism, party affiliation, historical bias (which is on all sides), and reflect, what do you want to see in the world… and if it is peace, then it has to begin with an understanding that all human beings are human… and that some human beings have learnt to be disgusting, but we can’t use that to justify our own digusting behaviour. We really do need to look past our first reaction and act with honour, and not with lies.

    I’m really sorry you have embraced so many lies. Hopefully we can get past that.


    November 20, 2006 at 12:56 pm

  12. I’m going to have to ignore the “embraced so many lies” comment, because I honestly don’t know how to respond to it.

    Of course I want peace for the world, but history has proven that peace only lies through victory. We are better people, not because we are that way intrinsically. I truly believe that the majority of people are good and all want the same things – peace and prosperity and a better world for their children – however what makes us better is the system of government we live under.

    The ME is a breeding ground for terrorism because the people are repressed by the Islamofascist regimes that rule them. Those regimes cannot offer freedom and prosperity so they have to find something to blame for the conditions that their people must live under. In the case of the ME it is modernity and more specifically the modernity that is embodied by the “Great Satan” the USA, Israel and to a lesser extent Europe.

    Once a force that is external to the regime can be blamed for the people’s hardships then the fascist regime has a reason to be, to fight the enemy.

    We could withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan tomorrow, but that would merely embolden the terrorists (the same way it did when Clinton pulled out of Somalia). These people truly believe that all of Western civilisation must either be destroyed or converted to Sharia law.

    Think for a moment about all the terrorist acts that were committed against the West BEFORE 9/11 and BEFORE we were in Iraq. It is our very being that has caused this war, but until recently we refused to believe that we were in a war. It is only now that we have woken up and are fighting back.

    We have a right to defend ourselves and we always act with honour – we have chosen the most honourable course – to set the people free.

    If you believe that we are as bad as the Islamofascists then what hope is there?


    November 20, 2006 at 3:54 pm

  13. Ok, this is exactly the generalist kind of argument that I object to.

    For one thing no muslim nation in the modern ME has ever launched an attack on a Western Nation, or even threatened one.

    The Ottaman Empire of course. But in the Modern Era it was the west attacking and taking over Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Algeria etc.

    The threats against us the West from terrorists comes from our actions in their lands, not from our actions in our own lands. I challenge you to prove it is otherwise. Osama threatened America not because America is free and they hate freedom, but because America was in Saudi, their holy land.

    So that’s the first thing. They do not hate us for our freedom, they hate us for controlling their countries.

    Further, we are not there to free them and make them modern like ourselves. We are there to maintain a steady supply of oil. We only attack and overthrow dictators that have things we need.

    Further, we prefer to impose dictatorships that give us what we need, hence the Shah in Iran, Mubarak in Egypt, the house of Saud in Saudi Arabia…. The Algerian facists military government…

    We have no history of supporting freedom in the ME.

    Further, you believe we are the ultimate advancement of society, but for a muslim, being a muslim is the ultimate advacement of society, and so by default a Muslim nation would follow Sharia law, although other people’s of the book follow their own law. I don’t see people objecting to the Christian roots of many of our laws!!! why, because we came from a Christian people, who had no tolerance for even other Christians, something at least Muslim nations showed was possible.

    So 1) We are not fighting for their freedom. But we have attacked their lands to impose our needs for control.

    2) We support facists when they work for us.

    3) They do not hate us for our freedom, they believe in Islam, and they believe they should control their own countries without the serious and consistent, and in fact murderous imposition of our forces.

    Finally, you say we need to win and we need to not back down. But it is impossible to win by alienating an entire countries population. Iran, Algeria, Vietnam, Palestinian territories, Germany after the first world war, and now Iraq will prove this as absolute fact. You can only win a victory over a military force, but then must work with the local peoples as an equal.

    I do not distinguish between a terrorist attack and a military attack when the target or victims are civilian.

    I see absolutely no difference between an Algerian government death squad cutting Muslim throats, or guerrilla Muslim’s cutting secular throats. The same applies against American bombs.

    I do accept that the freedoms we uphold as a people, internally, is laudible, but when we don’t extend those same principles abroad, then we are exposed as hypocrites. And the sad fact is that abroad we are as bad as them.


    November 20, 2006 at 7:10 pm

  14. Sayyid Qutb, the godfather of Islamofascism wrote a work called “Milestones” while he was in prison in Eygpt, it is in the same vein as Lenin’s “What is to be done?”, a kind of manifesto for Islamists.
    The experience that radicalised him was a dance in Colorado in the 50’s. He saw “dancing naked legs, arms draped around the waists, chests met chests, lips met lips” and from this he decided that the American (Western) way of life was the mortal enemy of Islam. (Plagiarised badly and mostly from my dodgy memory, except for the direct quote about the dance, from The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright).

    What does this have to do with American troops in Saudi?

    Yes we are better, because our system says that you are free to practice your way of life just so long as it does no harm to anyone else, did someone not just post the Human Rights Act, can you post the Islamic equivalent that exists in Iran or Syria? The Islamofascists want us dead or facing Mecca. We don’t care what religion you practice just as long as that practice does not include killing us.

    This moral relativism argument really boils my p*ss. For heavens sake they say they attacked the Spanish because of something that happened 600 years ago? Forgive me if I’ve got that wrong, but it was a long time ago and really what blame can any reasonable person asign to those living today?


    November 21, 2006 at 5:35 am

  15. Should be moral equivalency, not relativism. Duh.


    November 21, 2006 at 5:51 am

  16. Do you really see no connection between the writings of Sayyid Qutb and US troops in Saudi?

    Isn’t that a bit blind?

    You keep arguing that Islam wants to destroy your way of life so therefore you need to destroy Islam’s way of life first.

    Pre-emptive strike.

    When in fact it is our soldiers in their holiest places… and their fear that their cultural treasures will be lost to our way of life.

    You have no respect for their culture, ideas, or practice. And it is because of this lack of respect that you see us invading their lands as perfectly decent, and an extremist fringe writer saying hos disgusting he finds western society suddenly represents an onslaught of Islam against you, ignoring the real political situation.

    I don’t care what history they draw on or we draw on, we could study all of this in the current moment.

    If your position is simply that we are superior, that there is a cultural war which we must win, and that justifies all means necessary, then you deserve your state of war. I only hope you someday feel the repercussions of your position properly, and don’t simply hide from a distance behind the technology and weapons of this nation.

    The people in the twin towers reaped the benefit of your position, and by the very logic that you espouse, they deserved it, as the people of Iraq deserve what they are now getting.

    It is much like the Israeli’s and Palestinians, they both deserve what they are getting because they have allowed the fringes to represent the moral majority, and in that representation neither has any justice, both commit murder and atrocity.

    Your arguments exist in those same fringes, you have embraced a position. Personally I don’t have a position to defend, I like the truth to be embraced, and I say down with all slaughter and lies and facism. It’s just a shame that’s not what the american or british governments are actually after, and their actions speak much louder than their words.


    November 21, 2006 at 11:43 am

  17. “You keep arguing that Islam wants to destroy your way of life so therefore you need to destroy Islam’s way of life first.”

    This is where you have missed my entire point. We (read functioning free democracies) do not want to destroy the Islamic way of life. 99.9% of Muslims do not want to destroy our way of life either. I want everyone to have the same freedoms and opportunities that I enjoy, those that allow me to live my life how I choose. To elect their leaders and to choose how their society will be governed and to kick those who choose to serve themselves before the people to the curb every few years.

    I cannot sit idly by and say, well these people do not deserve what I have because once upon a time we did something that was wrong. We choose expediency over what was right. Hypocrisy is not the greatest sin.

    If we pretend that we are not at war with a radicalised faction of Islamists then, not only do we condemn a large number of people to a live of oppression, but we also condemn ourselves to death.

    These people are not only attempting to wipe us out, they also readily murder other Muslims who do not follow their hijacked religion.

    “When in fact it is our soldiers in their holiest places… and their fear that their cultural treasures will be lost to our way of life.”

    And this is utter nonsense, it is the terrorists who treat the holy places without respect, using them and innocent civilians as shields. It was the terrorists who were enjoying the strip clubs of Florida prior to 9/11. The free market has no agenda aside from profit, for example Coca Cola would not open a bottling plant in Afghanistan unless there was a demand to fill. Very many of these terrorist leaders were educated in the West and that is where they became radicalised, it was the immersion in our society – not the imposition of our culture upon them which led them to believe that they are truly superior.

    Again I do not believe that any person or nationality is superior only the system of government.


    November 21, 2006 at 1:17 pm

  18. I’m not going to enter this discussion but I’d just like to say I’m enjoying it!


    November 21, 2006 at 2:49 pm

  19. So you believe this is a cultural war, while 90% of the ME believes it is a political, resource, and cultural war.

    If I talk to any of my Muslim friends, they see America as an oppressive imperialistic hypocrite taking on the duties formerly carried out by Britain to secure oil.

    It is quite apparent to them that the freedom America espouses is not for them, it’s history is not one of democracy, it’s use of the UN is duplicitous and has a double standard particularly in regard to Israel.

    I have no desire to give up my freedom of religion, or this democracy we are actually stripping away and weakening for this war on terror.

    We are involved in the ME only for oil, political necessity, and our own religious freakjobs who need Israel for the second coming of Christ.

    We are not there to defend our freedoms, to grant others freedoms, or to otherwise root out evil and uphold goodness.

    I don’t mind the political and economic imperatives, they benefit me directly, I just object to blindness, and the idea that we should somehow blame people for standing up for what they believe in and not simply bowing down to our consumerism.

    Things like visiting a strip joint make me laugh, it’s as likely to be true as not true, but the CIA loves to plant bull shit like that. All dictators or drug barons who get caught by America have a copy of Mein Kampf on their desk, all Fanatical Muslims leave copies of the Quran lying around etc etc.

    It’s irrelevant.

    The point is that America is lying to it’s own people about it’s reasons for invading Iraq. That is an asbolute fact, and you have bought all the lies.

    The point is that the historical engagement of america in the ME is one of supporting dictators, from the Shah to Saddam while they do our bidding, and helping them go to war and suppress and torture their own people.

    The point is that we are there for oil, not to protect your freedom. But maybe you see your freedom as being dependent on cheap oil, in which case you have bought into the consumer model of life, and again, I see no reason why others need to.

    You can’t call our soliers in their holiest places nonsense when it is a simple fact.

    You can’t say it was imersion in our culture that turned them against us when the entire political history of their countries is one long stream of American Imperialism and oppression.

    Deal with some facts please.


    November 21, 2006 at 4:16 pm

  20. Let’s take another approach, because this war for oil/war for democracy could go on forever more.

    We pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan and everywhere else we are maintaining bases in the Muslim world.

    What happens next?


    November 21, 2006 at 11:53 pm

  21. The argument was developing to the point where we had to suggest rather than critique.

    However, it does bring us back to whether it is war for oil or war for democracy…. because what is the purpose behind our pulling out?

    Lets just look at Afghanistan under the Taliban, and ignore al-Qaeda because the Taliban never attacked America, they had no desire to do so, and Osama was more about Palestine and Saudi.

    So in this hypothetical, they were repressive, but stabalising… and you can’t have democracy without first having stability, it’s a developmental thing. We were working with them, they were cutting down the opium production, and there was a possible pipeline through the country. I believe they would have stabilised Afghanistan in a repressive way, and an Islamic way, but that as they matured and grew, and as they faced no external enemy, they would have evolved towards a more moderate position. I’m certain of this actually. If you look at South America or Asia, the flow from dictatorship to democracy was not related to imposition, but internal developments. We could have encouraged it.

    The stability in Afghanistan would have led to greater stability in Pakistan.

    Iraq of course, now, will be split, but the Shia are decently strong, and may in fact, with the help of Iran, overwhelm the Sunni, which would leave a Kurdistan, and Iraq, and an Iran which are allies, with a small civil insurgency from the Sunni, funded by Saudi which is deeply afraid of the Shia revival (from Iran to Lebanon and over most of the oil areas, even in Saudi).

    However, as the revolution in Iran showed, these countries still have an incentive to sell oil, and they would still sell it. Iran hasn’t gone and become insane just because they are independent of America. You probably believe all the nuke hype, but keep in mind that the reactor was built by Russia, and no one wants to see them with nukes, and they claim they don’t want them. There are plenty of things we can do to keep nukes away from them, and perhaps with less of a threat they would stop playing these games. We force them into this game by the physical presence (and if you object to that, then remember their history… they know what America did to them last time- American’s don’t know.)

    So worst case scenario… well, actually there isn’t one in the short term from our withdrawl completely from the region.

    We end up with a new Shia block which we have already accepted. We end up with a defensive Saudi (but they are the most fanatical and they don’t fight their own wars anyways), we end up with less america hatred, and a resurgent Arab and Muslim realm which is what we have tried to suppress for a long time.

    In the medium term Israel would once again come under threat, and Turkey would face a revived and stronger kurdish revolt and probably go to war with Kurdistan.

    But it would actually all be a positive. We would keep our bases in the smaller gulf states and be prepared to stomp on anything too extreme, but we would encourage democracy and developments for womens equality from a position of friendship, rather than an imposition that raises animosity.

    I’d like to just clarify that this is our approach with Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi, and Kuwait… we encourage a dictatorship that maintains stability and doesn’t encourage women’s liberation etc.

    It’s better to encourage democracy even when it doesn’t go our way— and I think Hamas in Palestine, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and even the elections in Turkey show that Islam is more relevant to the populace who will vote for it. We need to stand by it. I believe we have finally begun to do well by Lebanon, standing back but staying involved, and even though we let he Israeli’s rampage, we also reigned them in this time. It’s a good example.

    And you?


    November 22, 2006 at 10:05 am

  22. A withdrawal will be viewed as a victory for the Islamofascists, America will be seen as weak, the West as an easy target and 9/11 will seem like a lovebite.

    Historically appeasement has never worked. North Korea for example, Albright and Clinton talked their arses off, gave them what they wanted in return for a promise not to develop nukes and Kim Jong Il said okey dokey and developed the nukes.

    Lebanon is not a good example, the country is run by Syria and Iran. It was looking positive with some making a stand for sovreignty until Hezbollah hijacked the country. Israel almost did the Lebanese a favour by wiping them out, until the left cried “no fair” to Israel defending itself. Israel has no desire to occupy Lebanon, because this would require them also taking on Syria, but a lot of good could have been achieved if Hezbollah had been effectively dealt with.
    Now an anti-Syrian leader has been assassinated and it looks ready to all kick-off again between Saniora’s government and the Syrian backed terrorists of Hezbollah.

    Anyone who speaks out against terrorist regimes is a target. Iran and Syria will do anything to stop the progress of democracy because freedom for their people means the loss of their despotic power. If we leave Iraq these regimes will be emboldened further and any hope for the people will be crushed.


    November 22, 2006 at 3:57 pm

  23. I must say I have been following this discussion closely and am enjoying it.

    My position is probably closer to Pox in that I don’t “believe the hype”. Perhaps watch Jon Stewarts Daily Show to see just how farcicle you view of middeleastern politics is. So you say “historically appeasement has never worked” and invading countries, imposing qwasi governments to get cheap energy does???? What does appeasement mean anyway? Some say our strategy with Saddam during late 90’s was one of appeasement, while he was secretly working away, building weapons of mass destruction and getting ready to “fire at london with 45 minutes”. This is a perfect example of appeasement working Gipperfan. He did not have weapons of mass destruction (even Colin Powell was very aware of this when he presented a load of lies to the UN) and had not invaded any neighbours since 1991 (Unlike Israel). My position is clear, I never believed this was a war on terror, Islam or anything else except “bush” family politics which essentially boil down to Oil.

    Putting that aside, you ask what now? Well not easy. Clearly, we need a more middle eastern approach (and by that I mean get the US out of the decision making process). Also, get other countries involved in cutting off the support they are providing the fighters on all sides. Swamp the area in troops, issue id cards, try and close ther borders, get Sunni’s and Shia’s round a table etc etc etc.

    In all honesty, I wish this would work but I can’t help thinking too little too late. This will run and run and the effects will be felt far and wide. I would also consider charges being brought against Bush and Blair. It may show the ME that we finally mean business, that we acknowledge these idiots took liberties and that we won’t let that go.

    …but in my heart of hearts, I think Iraq is fucked, the US are in more danger than before, ME is more volatile, Israel is weaker etc etc etc…Nice job boys!


    November 24, 2006 at 5:44 pm

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