Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Will Iraq Degenerate Into Civil War?

Following the February 22, 2006 attack on the mosque in Samarra, Iraq, many doomsayers have been speaking of the possible eruption of all-out civil war, primarily between Sunnis and Shi'ites. So far, full-blown civil war has not erupted, but whether or not it will is not yet definitive. And maybe the situation in Iraq is not as dire as first seems.

Nevertheless, many believe that an internal conflict in Iraq would be a disaster and a clear indication that U.S. efforts there have failed. Daniel Pipes takes a different view.

From a February 28, 2006 article entitled "Civil War in Iraq?":
"...Dazzled by the examples of post-World War II Germany and Japan – whose transformations in retrospect increasingly appear to have been one-time achievements – [President Bush]committed troops in the pursuit of creating a 'free and democratic Iraq.' This noble aim was inspired by the best of America's idealism.

"But nobility of purpose did not suffice for rehabilitating Iraq, as I predicted already in April 2003. Iraqis, a predominantly Muslim population newly liberated from their totalitarian dungeon, were disinclined to follow the American example; for their part, the American people lacked a deep interest in the welfare of Iraq. This combination of forces guarantees the coalition cannot impose its will on 26 million Iraqis.

"...I cheer the goal of a 'free and democratic Iraq,' but the time has come to acknowledge that the coalition's achievement will be limited to destroying tyranny, not sponsoring its replacement. There is nothing ignoble about this limited achievement, which remains a landmark of international sanitation. It would be especially unfortunate if aiming too high spoils that attainment and thereby renders future interventions less likely. The benefits of eliminating Saddam's rule must not be forgotten in the distress of not creating a successful new Iraq....

"Civil war in Iraq, in short, would be a humanitarian tragedy but not a strategic one."
In his article, Mr. Pipes discusses the implications of civil war in Iraq. Read the entire article, and decide for yourself if his points are valid.

48 Comments:

At 2/28/2006 10:42 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

AOW,
Splitting Iraq into three diffrent states is just a matter of time.
Of course the Kurdish part will become a part of a greater Kurdish State as Turkey will not be able to mantain the existing status quo forever.

It's not as much sectarian but tribal differences, which makes the whole deal impossible to accomplish.
As for the "democracy" ideals - it has never been achieved without a total changes to the existing legal system, which the current US administration totally ignored.
Bty allowing Sharia to become incorporated not only to the Iraqi legal system but to the constitution it is "good bye" to democracy as we would like to see.

 
At 3/01/2006 2:16 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Will Iraq Degenerate Into Civil War?

No.

 
At 3/01/2006 6:51 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Beamish,
So you see what's recently happened in Iraq as a flare-up which will cool down?

 
At 3/01/2006 7:23 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Missing Link said, Bty allowing Sharia to become incorporated not only to the Iraqi legal system but to the constitution it is "good bye" to democracy as we would like to see.

Shari'a law is certainly not in keeping with Western ideals as far as Western democracy is concerned.

So, this question comes to my mind: Is it inevitable for democracy in Iraq to be more like the democracy which brought Hamas to power in Gaza and West Bank?

Many Westerners cannot imagine that people will choose a system with less freedom than that which we hold so dear, and certainly GWB believes that the choice is clear: freedom or enslavement. But it seems that some prefer another way. Is that preference because of lack of experience with the joys of freedom--or something else?

Certainly, freedom in Latin America has a different "flavor," so to speak. Is something similar happening in the Middle East? If so, how dangerous for the rest of the world? The ports deal seems to be--on one level, at least--an attempt for the U.S. to prove to the rest of the world a willingness to accept an Arab nation as a viable ally. We've already seen the political divisions caused by the proposed ports deal.

One reason for the fall in GWB's approval-ratings may relate to what we see from Iraq on our TV screens every night. The tone of many of these media reports is almost one of gloating. I don't hear any incisive analysis as to the underlying ideology of recent events in Iraq, however.

Yesterday, Negroponte warned that the conflict going on right now in Iraq between Sunnis and Shi'ites could spread across the entire Middle East. And, of course, if the U.S. (aka "The Great Satan") steps in to squelch the present sectarian conflict in Iraq, that stepping in will likely be perceived as a war against all of Islam, a concept which the Bush administration has tried very hard to prevent as the perception.

 
At 3/01/2006 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iraq "degenerating" into civil war is merely a leftist media front designed to sway public opinion over the war in general.

In other words, it's not going to happen.

 
At 3/01/2006 11:26 AM, Blogger John Sobieski said...

I don't see civil war as a bad thing for the West. Best for them to kill each other than kill us. Don't we want Islam to destroy itself? I do.

 
At 3/01/2006 11:50 AM, Blogger Jason_Pappas said...

I don’t know how things will turn out in the end for the Iraqi people but trying to measure progress against utopian standards leads to undue cynicism, defeatism, and hopelessness. There are many different outcomes that are agreeable from our standpoint. The big question is: what will the Shiites do with their power once they feel confident they can hold on to it? From a short-term standpoint, if they don’t sponsor foreign terror (against us infidels) we’ve succeeded in getting across the main point: you don’t want us as an enemy.

 
At 3/01/2006 12:09 PM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

agree with John here.....I don't see civil war as a bad thing for the West. Best for them to kill each other than kill us. !!!

 
At 3/01/2006 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say that now that we KNOW democracy has failed, we turn Iraq into a Papal State by giving it to the Pope.

because Nobody expects....

the Spanish Inquisition!

-FJ

 
At 3/01/2006 1:33 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Looks like we have a tiger by the tail.

I think a larger more important question is whether we will do penance for what we have wrought in Iraq.

Or do you consider our invasion "godly", AOW?

 
At 3/01/2006 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Penance, mr ducky?

For doing G-d's work? You can't have it BOTH Ways.

If it's true, as you say, we believe our work to be heavenly sanctioned, shouldn't you be asking us what REWARD's we expect to receive from heaven?

-FJ

 
At 3/01/2006 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, if the terrorists get all the virgins, that must means we get all the loose women? Woooo-Hoooo!

btw - You are right. No good deed goes unpunished. Just look what happened to St. Joan.

-FJ

 
At 3/01/2006 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If I am not in G_d's Grace, may G_d put me there; and if I am, may G_d so keep me!"

-FJ

 
At 3/01/2006 2:13 PM, Blogger David Schantz said...

Daniel Pipes said, "The bombing on February 22 of the Askariya shrine in Samarra, Iraq was a tragedy, but it was not an American or coalition tragedy". Attacks like this or a Civil War may not be an American/coalition tragedy but they will put or keep American/coalition troops at risk.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

 
At 3/01/2006 2:29 PM, Anonymous Mustang said...

I think a civil war in Iraq is a foregone conclusion, and of course it will be a "holy" war. It has been overdue for many years; the only thing that has kept it from happening so far is a strong dictator like Saddam. When it does, the US and coalition should wash their hands of the entire mess. We (Americans) must not take sides on an issue that pits one fanatical group against another and the only possible "win-win" situation here would be if all Shi'ites killed all Sunnis and only the Kurds were left.

For years I have advocated that the only true solution to Middle Eastern problems is to inform the Ethiopians that Arabs were good to eat and then stand back and watch. As usual, Washington has not heeded my advice.

 
At 3/01/2006 2:31 PM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

Truthfully..I thought this was inevetable. Iraq will eventually become three autonomous regions and a terrorist training ground.

 
At 3/01/2006 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

theological questions for a Catholic Worker from a schismatic...

1) Does baptism by fire absolve one of the need to perform penance in a combat zone?

2) Does helping to rebuild and restore the country you invade count towards performing penance, or must one say a "Hail Mary" before every act of restitution in order for it to count?

3) Who is the proper agent for interfaith acts of absolution, a priest, or an imam? Can a rabbi do it?

4) What act of contrition should I perform during absolution?

5) If I never confess my sins, is performing a penance appropriate? I mean, don't I have to classify and order them from mortal to venial? Do you have the right list so we don't miss any?

6) Is there any time limit on the performance of penance?

7) Who, exactly, should perform confession and penance? The President? The Congress? Or does each citizen have to make a separate one?

-FJ

 
At 3/01/2006 3:03 PM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

Anyone who pays any attention knows i've been a strong Bush supporter.
The Cost of War is set to reach $251 billion March 31, 2006.
Money well spent??
Wouldn't guarding our southern border or stopping countries like Iran with imminent WMD's been a better value?

 
At 3/01/2006 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Iraqi's will move past this period of civil unrest...

insha'allah.

Si no, ojala, nosotros podremos.

-FJ

 
At 3/01/2006 4:00 PM, Blogger C-Mom said...

Amen to protecting our boarders! I don't mind going into the Middle East to do what's right, but I hate it when politicians whine about boarder protection being too expensive when we spend so much abroad, both on military action and foreign aid!

We have a Coast Guard, why not take that money and institue a Boarder Guard? (And I'm talkin' military, not INS.)

 
At 3/01/2006 4:06 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

No Farmer, if you have no contrition then confession and penance are pointless.

You always remind me of that line from Graham Greene's "The Quiet American".

"He walked around like a leper without a bell and staff, never meaning to do harm."

Of course events now make it impossible to plead ignorance so you will have to atone.

 
At 3/01/2006 4:32 PM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

Actually we have c-mom, the US Border Patrol, an understaffed, underfundedand out-resourced division of Customs. Customs and Immigration now form ICE, a barely functioning dept. of Homeland Security.
Which party is suposed to be against giant bureaucracies?

 
At 3/01/2006 6:01 PM, Blogger Kyle said...

Short answer, No.

 
At 3/01/2006 8:17 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Ducky,
do you consider our invasion "godly", AOW?

No, but certainly jihadists see their actions as Godly. They view the conflict as a holy war.

Also, the Sunnis see their attack on the Samarra mosque as part of a holy war, and the Shi'ites also see their retaliation as a holy act.

 
At 3/01/2006 8:29 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I don't know if civil war is inevitable, but I see it as a strong possibility--overdue, as Mustang said.

I don't believe that the Bush administration realized in advance how deep the sectarian divisions run--had a simplistic view, IMO.

Furthermore, I don't see that democracy in Iraq is doing anything to alleviate that sectarianism. However, if the various divisions realize that continuation of the never-ending feud truly jeopardizes their very survival, will such a realization bring them to their senses? A recent article in Newsweek used the term "staring into the abyss." The article also made this statement:

"What U.S. authorities hope is that existential fear will act as a bonding agent."

Somehow, I have my doubts about that. Nevertheless, the sense of honor, common to all Islamic sects, could work to prevent an outbreak of full-blown civil war. And there is always the possibility that the sects could unite to oppose the U.S.; that kind of unity might resonate throughout the Middle East and would be one of the worst of developments.

What dismays me is how much the Left wants our efforts in Iraq to fail.

 
At 3/01/2006 11:41 PM, Blogger Mike's America said...

"Penance" for what we did in Iraq?

You mean like stopping the mass graves and systemic state murder which makes the current difficulties look like a picnic?

Yeah... guess I don't doing that penance as long as the idiots that opposed this keystone strategy in Iraq will be held accountable for the deaths of a million people, men, women and children killed by Saddam.

Meanwhile... No civil war! All these years the lefty no-nothings have been bleating about a civil war. And still no civil war.

I agree with Jason: " trying to measure progress against utopian standards leads to undue cynicism, defeatism, and hopelessness."

 
At 3/02/2006 7:56 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

An excerpt from today's Washington Post, a commentary by Lee Kaplan, We Can't Force Democracy: Creating Normality Is the Real Mideast Challenge:

The whiff of incipient anarchy in Iraq in recent days has provided a prospect so terrifying as to concentrate the minds of Republicans and Democrats, Iraq's sectarian political factions, and even the media. Staring over the abyss, only the irresponsible few appear distracted by partisan advantage. In that sense alone, the bombing of the golden dome in Samarra may serve a useful purpose. For the fundamental nightmare of the new century is the breakdown of order, something that the American experience offers precious little wisdom in dealing with.

President Bush has posited that the American experience with democracy is urgently useful to the wider world. True, but there is another side of the coin: that America basically inherited its institutions from the Anglo-Saxon tradition and thus its experience over 230 years has been about limiting despotic power rather than creating power from scratch. Because order is something we've taken for granted, anarchy is not something we've feared. But in many parts of the world, the experience has been the opposite, and so is the challenge: how to create legitimate, functioning institutions in utterly barren landscapes.

"[B]efore the names of Just and Unjust can have place, there must be some coercive power," Thomas Hobbes wrote in "Leviathan." Without something or somebody to monopolize the use of force and decide right from wrong, no man is safe from another and there can be no freedom for anyone. Physical security remains the primary human freedom. And so the fact that a state is despotic does not necessarily make it immoral. That is the essential fact of the Middle East that those intent on enforcing democracy abroad forget....

In the case of Iraq, the state under Saddam Hussein was so cruel and oppressive it bore little relationship to all these other dictatorships. Because under Hussein anybody could and in fact did disappear in the middle of the night and was tortured in the most horrific manner, the Baathist state constituted a form of anarchy masquerading as tyranny. The decision to remove him was defensible, while not providential. The portrait of Iraq that has emerged since his fall reveals him as the Hobbesian nemesis who may have kept in check an even greater anarchy than the kind that obtained under his rule....

Globalization and other dynamic forces will continue to rid the world of dictatorships. Political change is nothing we need to force upon people; it's something that will happen anyway. What we have to work toward -- for which peoples with historical experiences different from ours will be grateful -- is not democracy but normality. Stabilizing newly democratic regimes, and easing the development path of undemocratic ones, should be the goal for our military and diplomatic establishments. The more cautious we are in a world already in the throes of tumultuous upheaval, the more we'll achieve.


Kaplan draws a bit of contrast between Afghanistan and Iraq. Whatever's one position on the question posited by my blog article, the Kaplan commentary is worth consideration, IMO.

In the same edition of the WaPo, George F. Will's commentary Rhetoric of Unreality: Where Is Iraq After Nearly 3 Years of War? said this:

...Almost three years after the invasion, it is still not certain whether, or in what sense, Iraq is a nation. And after two elections and a referendum on its constitution, Iraq barely has a government. A defining attribute of a government is that it has a monopoly on the legitimate exercise of violence. That attribute is incompatible with the existence of private militias of the sort that maraud in Iraq....

When violence surges, if U.S. forces take the lead in suppressing it they delay the day when Iraqi forces will be competent. If U.S. forces hold back, they are blamed by an Iraqi population that is being infantilized by displacing all responsibilities onto the American occupation....


The part I bolded is the conundrum, as far as I'm concerned.

 
At 3/02/2006 9:14 AM, Blogger Mark said...

From the start, talking about bringing democracy to Iraq was nonsense; now, hoping to avoid civil war there is a pipe-dream!

This has nothing to do with left or right politics; rather, it has to do with being realistic.

For a democracy to function properly, there must be a distinct separation of the political from the sacred. Islam, the predominant religion in Iraq, recognizes no such separation; indeed, it abhors such a separation!

Further, one of the prerequisites of a fully-functioning democracy is a well-educated, literate electorate. No such electorate exists in Iraq.

Democracy is seen - rightly - as a Western form of government by Muslims. In the Middle East today, all things Western are generally despised. I remember many years ago that many Muslims I worked with expressed no desire to import democratic ideas into the Arab world, for they saw democracy as the architect of so many evils, evils such as pornography, homosexuality, promiscuity, children born out of wedlock, etc. So can we assume that these people really want to see democracy in their own backyard?

But more than this: As I have said so many times before, democracy and Islam are immiscible: in the one, all power rests with the people, and filters up; in the other, all power rests with Allah, and filters down! How can this circle be squared, even with the best will in the world?

Call Saddam Hussein what you will, and believe me, I was no fan of his, but one thing has to be conceded: He kept order in Iraq! The American and British governments can now see, from first-hand experience, just how difficult it is to achieve order there. Moreover, by weakening Iraq, we have created a power-vacuum, and in so doing, we have strengthened the Iranian state by default.

Saddam Hussein killed many of his people, even by gassing them in Halabja. Crimes such as this were crimes of enormous proportions. But have we faired any better, even though our intentions have been far nobler. How many have been killed in Iraq since the start of this war?

As to whether civil war can be avoided there, it is doubtful. The Sunnis and Shiahs hate each other with a passion. Before the war, the Sunnis were in control of the country; now, the Shiahs are to be 'in control', with the Sunnis relegated to playing second fiddle. Do we really believe that the Sunnis will take this lying down? Aren't we all being a little hopeful, perhaps even naïve, to believe that this scenario is going to play out peacefully?

I have said all along that it would have been far better for the US and the UK to have paid rather more attention to protecting, and even strengthening, our democracies at home in the face of the growing population of Muslims in the US and the UK, and spend a little less time worrying about bringing democracy to the Middle East.

One very important point has been missed by our governments. They worried so much - or at least that's what they told us - about Saddam Hussein possessing WMD's, and Saddam being 'in' with Osama bin Laden. What they didn't tell us is that OBL and his band of terrorists are furious with the West in no small part because America, and to a lesser extent Britain, prop up the very régime he and his 'colleagues' despise: the Saudi royal family - a family which robs the ordinary Saudis of their rightful share of the windfall from oil.

Perhaps more would have been achieved to ensure the safety of the Americaan people if the carpet had been pulled from under the royal family's feet!

Oh, and by the way: 15 out of the 19 men that flew those planes into the Twin Towers were Saudis, not Iraqis. As I recall, there wasn't an Iraqi amongst them! So how logical was it for the US and the UK to go into Iraq in the first place?

By the way, there is much merit in John Sobieski's viewpoint, too. Perhaps we should just let them destroy themselves from within. If they are busy fighting amongst themselves, then they'll have less time to worry about what the West is up to!

 
At 3/02/2006 9:22 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

AOW,

There will be no "civil war" in Iraq, despite the myopic mainstream media's desire for one, and despite the Iranian-backed terrorists trying to delegitimize Iraqi Shia leaders by destroying Shia Islam's holiest sites in Iraq to give legitimacy to the Iranian Shia leaders. I guess you could say there's a "civil war" going on between Iraqi and Iranian Shia leaders, but across Iraq, it's not going to happen.

 
At 3/02/2006 10:13 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

AOW, why do you say the left wants our efforts in iraq to fail?

The primary position of the left is that the efforts had no defined mission and no opportunity to succeed.

You are dealing with a couple issues here:

1. Sending in troops to either replace Sunni autocracy with Shi'a autocracy or creating a state loyal to Iran and paying half a trillion for the privilege is asinine.

2. It's time that the assorted dinosaurs and trogs who think that agressive military force can be effective in the contemporary world be asked to leave the room and let the adults take charge.


We have visited suffering on a people that was already suffering for no good reason. We have undertaken a war that has one possible winner, Iran.

It's time to admit that when Bushie pulled his Mission Accomplished that the right really did think this was over. As the doctrine of logical consequences starts to demonstrate that we got hosed I would expect them to start living the life of the mind instead of clinging to emotions as they generally do.

 
At 3/02/2006 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But mr. ducky....

Iran is next, and Syria is "on deck".

-FJ

ps - I wonder how Mustafa Kemal managed to succeed where George W. Bush failed. Oh, that's right, he was a real chef who didn't mind breaking a few eggs. So much for putting the adults in charge. Remember Smyrna? LOL!

 
At 3/02/2006 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw ducky,

How successful have the grownups been in Sudan? After 50 years of "liberal" intervention there, you'd think it would be a paradise by now. But I suspect they're still "dialoguing", that's why nothing's been settled yet. These things do take time.

-FJ

 
At 3/02/2006 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xenophon, "Cyropedia"...

Cyrus did indeed eclipse all other monarchs, before or since, and I include not only those who have inherited their power, but those who have won empire by their own exertions. How far he surpassed them all may be felt if we remember that no Scythian, although the Scythians are reckoned by their myriads, has ever succeeded in dominating a foreign nation; indeed the Scythian would be well content could he but keep his government unbroken over his own tribe and people. The same is true of the Thracians and the Illyrians, and indeed of all other nations within our ken; in Europe, at any rate, their condition is even now one of independence, and of such separation as would seem to be permanent. Now this was the state in which Cyrus found the tribes and peoples of Asia when, at the head of a small Persian force, he started on his career. The Medes and the Hyrcanians accepted his leadership willingly, but it was through conquest that he won Syria, Assyria, Arabia, Cappadocia, the two Phrygias, Lydia, Caria, Phoenicia, and Babylonia. Then he established his rule over the Bactrians, Indians, and Cilicians, over the Sakians, Paphlagonians, and Magadidians, over a host of other tribes the very names of which defy the memory of the chronicler; and last of all he brought the Hellenes in Asia beneath his sway, and by a descent on the seaboard Cyprus and Egypt also.

It is obvious that among this congeries of nations few, if any, could have spoken the same language as himself, or understood one another, but none the less Cyrus was able so to penetrate that vast extent of country by the sheer terror of his personality that the inhabitants were prostrate before him: not one of them dared lift hand against him. And yet he was able, at the same time, to inspire them all with so deep a desire to please him and win his favour that all they asked was to be guided by his judgment and his alone. Thus he knit to himself a complex of nationalities so vast that it would have taxed a man's endurance merely to traverse his empire in any one direction, east or west or south or north, from the palace which was its centre. For ourselves, considering his title to our admiration proved, we set ourselves to inquire what his parentage might have been and his natural parts, and how he was trained and brought up to attain so high a pitch of excellence in the government of men. And all we could learn from others about him or felt we might infer for ourselves we will here endeavour to set forth.


-FJ

 
At 3/02/2006 1:05 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Why is it that in EVERY CASE IN HISTORY that Ducky's "adults" (aka dipshit leftist Democrats) were in charge of American foreign and military policy, civilians were targeted and bombed indiscriminately, a tyrant was placed in power, and the nation affected is STILL FUCKED UP?

North Korea? Vietnam? Haiti?

"Operation: RESTORE DEMOCRACY," President Clinton's last gasp at having his administration known for something other than being synonymous with incompetence, was a complete and utter failure.

Sit down kids. Let Republicans show you how to promote democracy.

 
At 3/02/2006 3:04 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Farmer, got any more straw men?

We got a plank shoved up our butts in Iraq, pure and simple. We've really got Iran shaking. They're laughing so hard they're pissing themselves.

You don't understand the difference between Kamal's internal revolt and an invasion? Really, there's no excuse.

Beamish, why do you link Haiti with the left? That tragedy has been going on for some time. Rent a copy of Jonathon Demme's "The Agronomist". Very good overview. Things were never great when Dems were in power but when the Repubs were in the killing really ramped up. I would like to hear what you have to say. It's a situation with no apparent resolution but if you have some solid idea (tough for R's I know) I'd like to read them.

North Korea? I assume you are upset that we didn't do a large scale saturation bombing and kill a half million. You really are a silly little piggy.

Vietnam was another bipartisan affair. Eisenhower got involved, kennedy wanted to be macho. Yea, big mistake.

I note that you don't mention the transition of South Korea and Taiwan to representative democracies during Clinton's administration.

Of course you don't.

 
At 3/02/2006 10:32 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

I note that you don't mention the transition of South Korea and Taiwan to representative democracies during Clinton's administration.

Well, Ducky, one thing's for sure. Your eyes work. Have your brain take notes.

Clinton had nothing to do with any transitions in South Korea and Taiwan. He was too busy giving North Korea a nuclear weapons program complete with breeder reactors and transfering military tech to China to quid pro quo their contributions to his Presidential campaigns.

In a tradition that dates back to Andrew Jackson, Democrats in the White House make becoming the worst US President in American history their number one priority. Clinton managed to bomb the shit out of nine different countries, most of them for no apparent reason, and in eight years still couldn't claim the title Carter took from Lyndon Brainless Johnson. He was incompetent even when he was trying to be incompetent.

I link Haiti with the left because Bill Clinton is a leftist, and was the President that put Aristide back in power and disarmed the Haitian people after the Haitian people took up arms to throw him out for not stepping down after losing an election. Calling the operation "Restore Democracy" was a farce. "Democrat" Presidents HATE democracy. Which is why they'll always seem to trip over themselves to run help a fellow tyrannical dictator. But even in this, Clinton couldn't match Jimmy Carter's record of helping 14 countries become communist states.

As far as North Korea, Truman couldn't be expected to follow through in a war against fellow Commies, could he?

Of course not.

 
At 3/03/2006 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ducky,

I wonder if the Armenians could tell the difference between and invasion and a rebellion and a genocide.

-FJ

 
At 3/03/2006 9:46 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Beamish,
In a tradition that dates back to Andrew Jackson, Democrats in the White House make becoming the worst US President in American history their number one priority.

Seems that way to me, too.

 
At 3/03/2006 9:48 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

FJ,
I wonder if the Armenians could tell the difference between and invasion and a rebellion and a genocide.

One of my voice teachers, way back when, was of Armenian descent. She could barely talk about the genocide in her country. Most of her family perished therein. The lady was SO grateful to be here in the United States. I never heard her say a word of criticism about the world's standing by and letting the tragedy happen, but I've often wondered what her thoughts were on that.

 
At 3/03/2006 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

24 July 1909 German Ambassador in Athens Wangenheim to Chancellor Bulow quoting Turkish Prime Minister Sefker Pasha: "The Turks have decided upon a war of extermination against their Christian subjects."

26 July 1909 Sefker Pasha visited Patriarch Ioakeim III and tells him: "we will cut off your heads, we will make you disappear. It is either you or us who will survive."

14 May 1914 Official document from Talaat Bey Minister of the Interior to Prefect of Smyrna: The Greeks, who are Ottoman subjects, and form the majority of inhabitants in your district, take advantage of the circumstances in order to provoke a revolutionary current, favourable to the intervention of the Great Powers. Consequently, it is urgently necessary that the Greeks occupying the coast-line of Asia Minor be compelled to evacuate their villages and install themselves in the vilayets of Erzerum and Chaldea. If they should refuse to be transported to the appointed places, kindly give instructions to our Moslem brothers, so that they shall induce the Greeks, through excesses of all sorts, to leave their native places of their own accord. Do not forget to obtain, in such cases, from the emigrants certificates stating that they leave their homes on their own initiative, so that we shall not have political complications ensuing from their displacement.

31 July 1915 German priest J. Lepsius: "The anti-Greek and anti-Armenian persecutions are two phases of one programme - the extermination of the Christian element from Turkey.

16 July 1916 German Consul Kuchhoff from Amisos to Berlin: "The entire Greek population of Sinope and the coastal region of the county of Kastanome has been exiled. Exile and extermination in Turkish are the same, for whoever is not murdered, will die from hunger or illness."

30 November 1916 Austrian consul at Amisos Kwiatkowski to Austria Foreign Minister Baron Burian: "on 26 November Rafet Bey told me: "we must finish off the Greeks as we did with the Armenians . . . on 28 November. Rafet Bey told me: "today I sent squads to the interior to kill every Greek on sight." I fear for the elimination of the entire Greek population and a repeat of what occurred last year" (meaning the Armenian genocide).

13 December 1916 German Ambassador Kuhlman to Chancellor Hollweg in Berlin: "Consuls Bergfeld in Samsun and Schede in Kerasun report of displacement of local population and murders. Prisoners are not kept. Villages reduced to ashes. Greek refugee families consisting mostly of women and children being marched from the coasts to Sebasteia. The need is great."

19 December 1916 Austrian Ambassador to Turkey Pallavicini to Vienna lists the villages in the region of Amisos that were being burnt to the ground and their inhabitants raped, murdered or dispersed.

20 January 1917 Austrian Ambassador Pallavicini: "the situation for the displaced is desperate. Death awaits them all. I spoke to the Grand Vizier and told him that it would be sad if the persecution of the Greek element took the same scope and dimension as the Armenia persecution. The Grand Vizier promised that he would influence Talaat Bey and Emver Pasha."

31 January 1917 Austrian Chancellor Hollweg's report: ". . . the indications are that the Turks plan to eliminate the Greek element as enemies of the state, as they did earlier with the Armenians. The strategy implemented by the Turks is of displacing people to the interior without taking measures for their survival by exposing them to death, hunger and illness. The abandoned homes are then looted and burnt or destroyed. Whatever was done to the Armenians is being repeated with the Greeks.

Thus, by government decree 1,500,000 Armenians and 300,000 Pontian Greeks were annihilated through exile, starvation, cold, illness, slaughter, murder, gallows, axe, and fire. Those who survived fled never to return. The Pontians now lie scattered all over the world as a result of the genocide and their unique history, language (the dialect is a valuable link between ancient and modern Greek), and culture are endangered and face extinction.


-FJ

 
At 3/03/2006 12:41 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

AOW,

You know my stance against Democrats. Those anti-Constitutional racist bastards are all about destroying America any and all ways they can. Even more so with the ingrained institutional bitterness that comes from losing a Civil War intented to do just that.

 
At 3/03/2006 12:46 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

FJ,

What ever happened to the Seven Churches that Christ dictated letters to in the Book of Revelation?

 
At 3/03/2006 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Western sources (Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908) estimated that shortly before World War I Smyrna had a population of at least 300,000, of whom 150,000 were Greeks. There were also numerous Jews and Armenians and almost 10,000 European Catholics.

Of course, today we know Smyrna as the Turkish "Pearl of the Aegean", city of Izmir.

-FJ

Secuk (Ephesus), Bergama (Pergamom), Akhisar (Thyatira), Alesehir (Philadelphia), and Denizli (Laodicea) are now Turkish cities... and the seventh, Sardis, is now "ruins". ;-0

but then, you already knew that, didn't you beamish!

 
At 3/03/2006 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mr. ducky,

I think the Sudanese "janjaweed" just got Talaat Bey's memo (see above). The Islamic mail system isn't all that efficient. I don't suppose you grown ups have read it yet though.

-FJ

 
At 3/03/2006 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, the grownups looked at Darfur and decided, nope, no genocide. Must be some kind of "internal revolt"...that is rapidly turning into an "invasion"... of Chad, that is.

-FJ

 
At 3/03/2006 10:04 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I wonder how stable Ghana is these days?

 
At 3/04/2006 2:13 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

FJ,

but then, you already knew that, didn't you beamish!

what will really twist your noodle is tracking the history of Christianity in those cities, with the 2nd and 3rd chapters of the book of the Revelation to follow along with.

 
At 8/15/2006 2:03 AM, Anonymous Wendi said...

I am sure you have heard the song "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club but have you ever given much thought to its meaning? While on Earth, you are living in a world of reincarnation which is governed by the law of karma. Karma begins to propel you as Soul on a personal journey through the universe. Karma ends when you have reached enlightenment and fully realise that this physical reality and the Universe itself is just an illusion. When you reach a state of knowingness that there is but One all pervading essence and that essence or consciousness is You!
So what is Karma and how does it work? While in the illusion you have a soul. This soul lives past, present, and future lives. To grow in love, joy, and awareness, you reincarnate into a series of physical bodies to experience different existences. This road leads to the experiences of being both sexes, all races, religions, and ethnic types throughout many lifetimes.
Karma in its simplicist terms can be described by the biblical statement "as you sow, so also shall you reap". Karma is the principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, total cosmic justice and personal responsibility. It brings 'good' experiences as well as 'bad' - a debt must be repaid and a blessing rewarded.

A more indepth esoteric look at karma gives us the following distinctions: Sanchita Karma: the accumulated result of all your actions from all your past lifetimes. This is your total cosmic debt. Every moment of every day either you are adding to it or you are reducing this cosmic debt. Prarabdha Karma: the portion of your "sanchita" karma being worked on in the present life. If you work down your agreed upon debt in this lifetime, then more past debts surface to be worked on. Agami Karma: the portion of actions in the present life that add to your "sanchita" karma. If you fail to work off your debt, then more debts are added to "sanchita" karma and are sent to future lives. Kriyamana Karma: daily, instant karma created in this life that is worked off immediately. These are debts that are created and worked off - ie. you do wrong, you get caught and you spend time in jail.
As a soul, you experience a constant cycle of births and deaths with a series of bodies for the purpose of experiencing this illusionary world gaining spiritual insights into your own true nature until the totality of all experiences show you Who you really are - the I AM! Until you have learned, you will find that pretending that the rules of karma do not exist or trying to escape the consequences of your actions is futile.
Although it may often "feel" like punishment, the purpose of karma is to teach not to punish. Often the way we learn is to endure the same type of suffering that we have inflicted on others and also rexperience circumstances until we learn to change our thinking and attitudes.

We are all here to learn lessons as spiritual beings in human form. These lessons are designed to help us grow into greater levels of love, joy, and awareness. They teach us our true nature of love. Where we do not choose love, show forgiveness, teach tolerance, or display compassion, karma intervenes to put us back on the path of these lessons. Quite simply, the only way to achieve a state of karmic balance is to be love.
Before you incarnated into your present personality, you agreed to put yourself in the path of all that is you need to learn. Once you got here, you agreed to forget this. Karma is impersonal and has the same effect for everyone. It is completely fair in its workings and it is predictable - "do onto others as you would have them do unto you" is a way to ensure peace and tranquillity in your own life as well as the lives of those you come into contact with. The law of karma is predictable - "as you sow, so shall you reap" what is done to you is the net result of what you have done to others!
Karma gives you the opportunity at every moment to become a better person than you are and to open up to the realization that you are the master of your own fate.

The goal of karma is to give you all the experiences that you need to evolve into greater levels of love, joy, awareness, and responsibility. Karma teaches that you are totally responsible for the circumstances of your life. They keep you on the straight and narrow until you have mastered your vehicle and can ride freely on your own. Once you understand that you are the master of your own circumstances and that everything you experience is a direct result of your past actions due to your thinking and emotional responses you can overcome its seeming negative effects by creating only 'good' karma.
Karma forces us to look beyond ourselves (oneness) so that we can see ourselves as we truly are Whole, Complete, at One with everything. Once we truly understand ourselves, we can see our divinity and our unity with all life.
Karma drives us to service. Love means service. Once you accept total responsibility for your life, you see yourself as a soul in service to God. Once you do, you become a fully realized being, allowing God to experience the illusion through you.
Belief in karma and an understanding of its workings will lead you to a life of bliss. Only your own deeds can hinder you. Until the time comes when we release ourselves from our own self-imposed shackles of limitation and fully understand who and what we are we will live under the mantle of karma. So until that day why not create some wonderful experiences for ourselves by "doing onto others, as we would have them do unto us". personal-development.info

 

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