Friday, January 20, 2006

The Caliphate

[All emphases by Always On Watch]

From "Reunified Islam: Unlikely but Not Entirely Radical: Restoration of Caliphate, Attacked by Bush, Resonates With Mainstream Muslims," front-page article in the January 14, 2006 edition of the Washington Post (The same article, a lenghty one, is also here):
"ISTANBUL -- The plan was to fly a hijacked plane into a national landmark on live television. The year was 1998, the country was Turkey, and the rented plane ended up grounded by weather. Court records show the Islamic extremist who planned to commandeer the cockpit did not actually know how to fly.

"But if the audacious scheme prefigured Sept. 11, 2001, it also highlighted a cause that, seven years later, President Bush has used to define the war against terrorism. What the ill-prepared Turkish plotters told investigators they aimed to do was strike a dramatic blow toward reviving Islam's caliphate, the institution that had nominally governed the world's Muslims for nearly all of the almost 1,400 years since the death of the prophet Muhammad.

"The goal of reuniting Muslims under a single flag stands at the heart of the radical Islamic ideology Bush has warned of repeatedly in recent major speeches on terrorism. In language evoking the Cold War, Bush has cast the conflict in Iraq as the pivotal battleground in a larger contest between advocates of freedom and those who seek to establish "a totalitarian Islamic empire reaching from Spain to Indonesia."
Radical Islam uses violence and terror attacks as the means of establishing an Islamic empire, sometimes referred to as the caliphate. Indeed, Al Qaeda used the term "The Voice of the Caliphate" as the name of the Internet newscast in which Osama bin Laden praised the 9/11 attacks.

But according to the Washington Post, both radicals and moderates share a common fondness for the utopian ideal of the caliphate:
"Yet the caliphate is also esteemed by many ordinary Muslims. For most, its revival is not an urgent concern. Public opinion polls show immediate issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and discrimination rank as more pressing. But Muslims regard themselves as members of the umma, or community of believers, that forms the heart of Islam. And as earthly head of that community, the caliph is cherished both as memory and ideal, interviews indicate.

"That reservoir of respect represents a risk for the Bush administration as it addresses an issue closely watched by a global Islamic population estimated at 1.2 billion...."
The article goes on to explain the history of the caliphate. Disputes as to who should be the caliph, referred to in other sources as the successor to Mohammad and Allah's viceroy on earth, arose and caused the division between Sunnis and Shi'ites. The last caliph was Abdulmecid Efendi, who fell from power upon the establishment of the modern nation of Turkey in 1924. Kemal Ataturk, the military leader who led the revolution against Efendi, emphasized that a governmental system should be sovereign and imported France's idea that the state's rule of law should trump religious law. The Turks won self-rule, and portions of the former caliphate were divided up among European nations. This dividing up was not well received by many Muslims, who saw the break-up of the caliphate as a cause of the decline of Islamic nations. In 1953, as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, arose Hizb ut-Tahrir, a group which officially renounces violence, advocates working toward the establishment of the caliphate by subverting national governments.

Membership in Hizb ut-Tahrir, often considered as moderate on the Islamic spectrum, appears to be increasing and claims to be active in forty countries, including Denmark:
"The chorus of 'Allahu akbar!' -- God is great -- was led by ardent young Europeans, a handful of converts in an attentive audience segregated by gender: fashionably dressed young men on the right, women in head scarves on the left.

"For four hours they heard Hizb ut-Tahrir's disciplined, intensely argued belief that the Muslim world lost its moorings when it imported not only scientific advances from the West, but also systems such as nationalism and democracy that emerged at the same time. In a series of 22 volumes on sale beside the podium, and in weekly discussions, the group sketches an alternative governing system it believes lies embedded in the Koran and the teachings of the prophet.

"The system includes a caliphate, revived after national governments are subverted by Hizb ut-Tahrir members working in their highest levels...

"'Bush is saying they would establish a caliphate from Spain to Indonesia,' said Abdullatif, the group's spokesman in Copenhagen. 'The establishment of the caliphate will come by those who work hard.' He said Hizb ut-Tahrir members in Iraq were working to coax a united front with insurgent groups.

"As the Hizb ut-Tahrir meeting in Copenhagen broke for evening prayers, Muziz Abdullah, an affable native of Lebanon, surveyed a hall still with standing-room only. 'Ten years ago, when I started, it was totally unrealistic to think there could be a caliphate,' he said. 'But now, people believe it could happen in a few years.'"
Is the Islamic concept of the caliphate widespread in Islam? Consider these words from Serge Trifkovic's The Sword of the Prophet:
"To whatever political entity a Muslim believer may belong--to the Arab world of North Africa and the Middle East, to the nation-states of Iran or Central Asia, to the hybrid entities of Pakistan and indonesia, to the international protectorates of Bosnia and Kosovo, or to the liberal democracies of the West--he is first and foremost the citizen of Islam, and belongs morally, spiritually, and intellectually, and in principle totally, to the world of belief of which Muhammad is the Prophet, and Mecca is the capital.

"This is not, of course, true for every Muslim but it is true of every true Muslim; it is the central worldly demand of Islam." (page 7).

"Islam starts with a simple profession of a simple faith. It ends by demanding complete, total, absolute allegiance of each individual to Muhammad and his successors. Anything less is disbelief, punishable by eternal torment..." (page 207)
Individual Muslims interviewed for the above Washington Post article expressed a yearning for the good old days, the restoration of the caliphate ruled by a successor to Mohammed. If the goal of Islam is to establish the caliphate, is the major difference between radical Islam and moderate Islam a matter of using different means to reach the same goal?

On January 20, 2006, a Diana West commentary appeared in the Washington Times. An excerpt from "Silence That Speaks Volumes":
"...[A] bombshell dropped out of an early January interview conducted by radio host Hugh Hewitt with Father Joseph D. Fessio, SJ, a friend and former student of the pope. Father Fessio recounted the pope's words on the key problem facing Islamic reform this way: 'In the Islamic tradition, God has given His word to Mohammed, but it's an eternal word. It's not Mohammed's word. It's there for eternity the way it is. There's no possibility of adapting it or interpreting it.' Father Fessio continued, elaborating not on how many ratings stars the pope thinks some biopic should get, but rather on the pope's theological assessment of a historically warring religion with a billion-plus followers, some notorious number of whom are now at war with the West. According to his friend, the pope believes there's no way to change Islam because there's no way to reinterpret the Koran — i.e., change Koranic teachings on infidels, women, polygamy, penal codes and other markers of Islamic law — in such a way as to propel Islam into happy coexistence with modernity."
Are we standing before an abyss which we cannot comprehend and refuse to admit the very existence of?


At 1/20/2006 8:14 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Iran Watch,
I think that it's time for the verbal attacks to subside. At least, I hope so because I feel that what I've posted here merits some serious consideration.

Of late, I've been working on three articles. They are pretty well finished now, and this article is the first of a related series.

At 1/20/2006 8:22 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

The caliphate is a worldwide and totalitarian concept, of course. When I read the WaPo article cited here, it really hit me hard that "average" Muslims so yearn for the caliphate. Most of us think of Turkey as a modern Muslim state, but the author of the WaPo article found the utopian dream there as well.

Infighting among Muslim tribes is a tradition which goes all the way back to the beginning of Islam. But tribes sometimes unite to face a common enemy. And many Muslim leaders of the last fifty years or so have plainly stated who the enemy is.

At 1/20/2006 8:38 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

And Muslims are the only megalomaniacs who want to rule the entire planet too, huh?

No, but at the moment the Islamist movement is quite strong, I think. The Muslim Brotherhood receives a lot of publicity (or notoriety, if you prefer), and Hizb ut-Tahrir is a 1950's offshoot thereof. A lot of people (probably not you) associate the idea of the caliphate with OBL, but actually the idea did not originate with him. I've learned that most people seem to think that the idea of Islamic domination dates back to the 1979 hostage situation in Iran or to the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut. But the roots go deeper that those events.

Libya will be required to redeem itself to the Muslim world and the only redemption available is helping anihilate Israel.

Very possible. According to Kenneth Timmerman--and others too--all sects of Islam have common ground in their hatred of the Jews.

And Turkey? Some Islamists decry Turkey's association with the West. And as pointed out in this article, Hizb ut-Tahrir claims to hold sway in Turkey, as well as in 39 other countries. The meeting cited in this WaPo article took place in Copenhagen, but the organization's influence is not limited to Denmark.

At 1/20/2006 8:39 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Forgot to mention...Thank you for sticking to the topic. I appreciate it!

At 1/20/2006 9:25 PM, Blogger Lyn said...

The Wide Awakes are a diverse group of like-minded individuals who have formed an alliance both to propagate conservative views...This roundup at Bloggin' Outloud features Always on Watch, Uncivil Rights, TMH, TWC, Part-time Pundit and The Discerning Texan.

At 1/20/2006 9:25 PM, Blogger elmers brother said...

AOW, this was very very interesting. Your reference to 1979 is also interesting. I read this. Here is a portion.

According to Bediuzzaman, the Mahdi Will Be on Duty during the Fifteenth Islamic Century:

In his explanations, Bediuzzaman pointed to the beginning of the fifteenth Islamic century as the time of Mahdi's advent. In one of his explanations, Bediuzzaman relates that Mahdi will come 1,400 years after the Blessed Period.

"Why did the Companions of the Prophet with their vigilant hearts and keen sight, who had been taught all the details of the hereafter, suppose a fact that would occur one thousand four hundred years later to be close to their century, as though their ideas had deviated a thousand years from the truth?" (The Words, 'The Twenty-fourth Word: Third Branch)

As Bediuzzaman stated: "one thousand four hundred years later to be close to their century" is the beginning of the fifteenth century, that is, the years 1979-1980 (of the Gregorian calendar). (ring a bell - Ayatollah Khomeini took over)

At 1/20/2006 11:00 PM, Blogger Jason Pappas said...

A good summary of the Islamic idea of a Caliphate. There's not much more to add.

It's quite amazing that Ataturk ended the caliphate and it is interesting how important this concept is to devout Muslims. I don't think many in the West can really understand this because most will say "just read your holy books and practice your religion." Devout Muslims just can’t find that satisfying. If the religion is inherently political, then we can see the great anger over the end of the Caliphate. In my mind this just cements the idea that Islam isn't able to just be a personal private religion.

Caroline had some good remarks on my blog about the utopian nature of Islam and the Caliphate. The idea that Islam will conquer the world, Dar al-Harb; and when that happens there will be peace everywhere as everyone obeys Islam. She points out the similarity to communism. There too we see the doctrine of a world united by communism and the belief of a coming heaven on earth. I remember reading bizarre dreams by Trotsky and others about how the new (soviet) man would have the intellect of an Aristotle or Goethe. These fantasies are indeed fantastic.

I remember how silly it seemed to tell communists "why don't you just go live on a commune or kibbutz?" You just knew they’d always find some reason to claim that capitalism anywhere meant that communism couldn’t succeed. They just couldn’t see communal living as a private consensual matter and more than Islam can be seen as a private religion.

And like Islam, the penalty for leaving communism (like scaling the Berlin Wall) was death. The Caliph seems more like the Fuhrer. Germans wanted to submit to a Fuhrer as hard as it seems to us. And communism winds up with a dictator in practice. I believe we are seeing the rise and revival of a totalitarian ideology as dangerous as anything we’ve seen in the 20th century.

At 1/21/2006 12:32 AM, Blogger Kiddo said...

Excellent summary and commentary. I often find it strange that muslims I have spoken with and known as well as those who write on the web so frequently refer to the Turks as the true enemies of Islam. I have heard many muslims rant about the Ottoman Empire and what it wrought on Dar al Islam, as well as ranting against Ataturk and his secular state. They have so much rage, and so much of it is aimed at us but has it's roots much deeper down. They are the same regarding La Reconquista and Israel. Any past slight to their "honor" must live on as a state of constant rage, yet the rage is always aimed at whoever the most convenient target at the time is. Enter us Americans.

Oh and by the way, if Osama is out there reading this, NO, I do NOT accept your truce.

At 1/21/2006 6:38 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Pim's Ghost,
Thank you for stopping by.

You said, They have so much rage, and so much of it is aimed at us but has it's roots much deeper down. They are the same regarding La Reconquista and Israel. Any past slight to their "honor" must live on as a state of constant rage...

Have you ever read Patai's The Arab Mind? The book, written in the 1970's, has a section on linguistics and explains some peculiarities of verb tenses. Arabic doesn't have a past tense in the same sense as English. Of course, the language of the Koran is Arabic. Language shapes thinking, as I discovered when I had Arabic speakers in my ESL classes; they couldn't grasp the meaning of past tense and even had trouble understanding the concept of future tense. If there's no putting aside of past events, regarded as humiliating, then the feud is on--forever.

The sense of honor which you mentions plays in as well--and heavily.

I have heard many muslims rant about the Ottoman Empire and what it wrought on Dar al Islam, as well as ranting against Ataturk and his secular state.

Yes, I've heard the same. But here's my question. Why the two apparently conflicting views? Or is it that the desire for the caliphate is the governing factor in the dispute? Could it be that those who rant against the Ottoman Empire are resentful of its interference in establishing a lasting caliphate, and that those who support the Ottoman Empire resent the failure of a caliphate because that failure interfered with the furtherance of Dar al-Islam?

What first put me onto this caliphate business was OBL's comment, a few years ago. He referred to "the Andalusian atrocity," basically over and done with, at least in my mind, in 1492, when the Moors were driven out of Grenada.

At 1/21/2006 6:56 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Good to see you here! And thank you for the compliment about my synopsis of the concept of the caliphate. Lots more is involved, of course. The Caliph does indeed have parallels with the concept of Fuhrer. Is that why the Mahdi of Jerusalem had an affinity for Hitler? Along with hatred of the Jews, too, of course.

If the religion is inherently political, then we can see the great anger over the end of the Caliphate. In my mind this just cements the idea that Islam isn't able to just be a personal private religion.

This is important! I know that you've posted extensively on this topic at your own blog.

And what alarmed me in the WaPo article was the information that "ordinary Muslims" so adhere to the concept of the worldwide caliphate. The Bush administration has painted a different picture, hasn't it?

Can the caliphate be compatible with the freedoms so prized by Westerners, or must the caliphate, of necessity, be a Shari'a-law system?

Everything in your comment here is significant. But this resonates with me:
Caroline had some good remarks on my blog about the utopian nature of Islam and the Caliphate. The idea that Islam will conquer the world, Dar al-Harb; and when that happens there will be peace everywhere as everyone obeys Islam.

Yes, the Islamic definition of "peace" is the whole world under the banner of Islam. The Western definition of "peace" is different. Sometimes I think of policy debate and the importance of having the same definitions so as to fulfill the stock issue of topicality. A bit off the track here, but I think that issue of topicality also applies to OBL's latest offer of a "truce." Does "truce" mean the same thing to OBL and it means to us? I don't think so. My same logic applies to "peace."

We see the same totalitarian and utopian concept as in Communism. And the struggle aspect is apparent in both ideologies as well.

At 1/21/2006 7:04 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Samwich: China and Russia both have large Muslim populations.

The "Pearl Harbor" of the 21st century is at the doorsteps.

Do the Muslim populations in those two countries also subscribe to the establishment of the caliphate? I would guess so.

You also mentioned oil dollars. Some feel that our oil dollars fund terrorism. Do our dollars also help to fund the movement to establish the caliphate?

Good point about the oil products needed to transport that coal.

You know, the discovery of the oil reserves in the Middle East contributed in a major way to the resurgence of Islamism. And the Western world runs on oil! Back when I was in college, several courses focused on the danger of that dependence on oil, but solely for environmental reasons. Now we have other reasons to decry that dependence on oil.

OBL and others of his ilk have spoken of economic jihad. Buying oil from the Middle East is part of that kind of jihad, IMO.

At 1/21/2006 7:08 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

March 20th? I don't want to turn comments here into a huge discussion of finances. But could you, once again, explain your reasoning for that date? Apologies if I've overlooked your reasoning for that date.

At 1/21/2006 7:09 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Elmer's Brother,
I want to read that link before I respond. But right now, I have to dash off to work. Also, we're expecting springlike temps today, so I hope to get outside for a while.

So, I'll bow out for a while.

At 1/21/2006 8:40 AM, Blogger Epaminondas said...

The Calipahte is about one thing only

FATAH, conquest to bring Islamic peace. Thus the ultimate imperialism is joined to religion. Pure conquest is good.

It's just that simple.

At 1/21/2006 9:21 AM, Blogger LA Sunset said...


Another good job here.

The Caliphate that was broken up at the end of WWI, did not have the oil revenues to support it. At least not like today. That is the biggest problem of today's world, the oil money that finances this crap is not something we can do a lot about at this time.

Until we can come up with an alternative source of fuel in the world, these people are going to have plenty of money to finance their carnage.

At 1/21/2006 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


A very informative post. Thankyou. I suspect that Islamic dreams of a world caliphate are in many ways similar to secular UN dreams of one world government dominated by "human rights" laws... like to the right to food, shelter, eternal life (free medical), and unlimited pleasure and entertainment without ever having to work.

Damn all utopianists!


At 1/21/2006 11:10 AM, Blogger beakerkin said...

Farmer John

I think that is a constant theme of my blog.

The dirty little secret is that there are plenty of divisions that divide Islam. There is an Iran vs Saudi Rivalry that endangers all of us. Osama wants to overthrow the Saudis and Iran will aid him.
Hezbollah is the Iranian wing of the insanity. Iran has been careful to keep the madness of Hezbollah as confined to the Mid East as possible.

Taking out Saudi Arabia and placing a Hashemite on the throne makes sense.

At 1/21/2006 2:49 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Elmer's Brother,
I'm one of those "mathmatically challenged" people--I much prefer words to numbers--but even I could follow what seems to me to approach the occultism of numerology.

If Ahmadinejad is perceived as the long-awaited mahdi and if a large proportion of Muslims adheres to the belief in that expectation, the West is in deep, deep trouble. As I see it, extremism (on-the-march zealotry, to my way of thinking) is of the most serious of dangers, particularly if nuclear weaponry is a factor.

Here's something to lose sleep over: Is is possible that radical Islamists, very zealous in believing in the will of Allah, believe they can destroy the West and remain free of harm? Ahmadinejad claims to have been given some kind of vision when he addressed the U.N. I'm not clear on the details thereof, and I know that many just said to themselves, "Nut job!" But what if the problem goes deeper than the ambitions of a nut job?

At 1/21/2006 3:08 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Thank you for providing the specifics about March 20. I may have mentioned this before...According to news reports yesterday, Iran is pulling its money out of the European banks and putting it into Iranian institutions; many commentators felt that this move has been a way for Iran to insulate itself against any sanctions imposed as the West scrambles to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Then, today, I heard how dependent Europe is on Iranian oil. So, your forecast may be correct, if that March 20 demand is made.

This is economic war and yes we are funding terrorism and the establishment of the Caliphate with oil revenue.

Agreed! And what is the way out? Or is this checkmate?

At 1/21/2006 3:33 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I don't see any alternative source of energy coming soon. Most average Americans are more worried about the latest edition of Play Station, X-Box, or whatever the preferred form of entertainment.

Meanwhile the economic jihad continues, with the dollars we pay for petroleum products and even for goods we buy (The manufacture of most goods is dependent on petroleum).

See this for information about the buying up of America.

As I watch the news while I type this in, I see the talking heads lining up to discuss the latest OBL audiotape. Sure, terrorist attacks are serious events, and even speculation about one can cause the stock markets to tank.

Meanwhile, our dollars paid out for OPEC oil are funding the movement to establish the caliphate.

And we should remember that the purpose of jihad is to advance the establishment of that caliphate. Terrorist attacks, as spectacular as they are, are not ends in and of themselves. Rather, these attacks are the means to a very specific end--and just one way of achieving the goal.

At 1/21/2006 3:45 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Iran Watch,
Yes, the caliphate is a kind of utopian dream (Never forget that the Muslim claim on Palestine springs from a vision of MTP) and, like all such impossibilities, never successful in the first place. Nevertheless, the yearning is still strong. Islamic leaders see to it that the idea of the caliphate is propagated to their followers.

Ahmadinejad, the topic at your blog, is a propagator too. And he has a messiah complex as well. He bases his mission on prophecies in the Koran and the ahadith. Others here have commented on this more eruditely than I can.

The worst of the dictators and megalomaniacal tyrants in the world have had that same mentality, which is not limited to Islam(ism). Check ancient and modern history for the proof.

But in today's world, it is Islamist ideology which is the threat, IMO. And the caliphate is certainly a part of that ideology. I say again that what alarms me is that "average" Muslims also seem to have that yearning for the caliphate.

This might seem unrelated, but here goes....Why did Custer get defeated at Little Big Horn? The tribes united. Could that same kind of lining up be happening right now in the Middle East, under the yearning for the caliphate?

At 1/21/2006 4:17 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Pim's Ghost: Oh and by the way, if Osama is out there reading this, NO, I do NOT accept your truce.

Now, there's a thought. OBL reading my blog! My guess is that he doesn't like what I have to say.

At 1/21/2006 4:23 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

FJ: Islamic dreams of a world caliphate are in many ways similar to secular UN dreams of one world government...

Utopian dreams are a delusion. The idea of the wonderful and Allah-blest caliphate is another of those delusions. And the lengths to which these dreamers will go pose danger for all of us.

At 1/21/2006 4:27 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Yes, your blog debunks utopian ideas with good doses of reality.

Used to be, those divisions among Muslims provided some protection for the West. But with the arrival of the modern age of technology, and with it the weaponry, and the almighty oil dollars, the level of danger is topping the meter.

At 1/21/2006 4:28 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Yes, you answered my questions very well. I'll be watching March 20th.

At 1/21/2006 4:34 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Eyes: I can tell you from my experience with local muslims, they ADORE Amjadindwhatever.

I haven't recently spoken to any local Muslims. But a few years before 9/11, a UAE neighbor of mine told me that he supported Saddam Hussein. This neighbor grew up here in the U.S. and was married to an American citizen of Hispanic descent, but maintained his UAE citizenship. I was stunned at his passion about supporting Saddam. He grew red-faced with anger at the United States, where he had fared so well financially. That was our last conversation; he left for UAE shortly thereafter, never to return.

And I couldn't even blame his outburst on boozing. He wasn't drinking at the time.

At 1/21/2006 5:31 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Excellent synopsis of the Caliphate, AlwaysOnWatch!

Whilst they're cock-a-hoop with oil money, they'll never give up on this concept. The only way to clip their wings is to cut off their excessive revenue, and, as I said in my book, The Dawning of a New Dark Age, starve them of the oxygen they need to survive and thrive. To do this, we need to find, and stick to, an alternative to the fossil fuel, oil.

Until that happens, we are whistling into the wind!

At 1/21/2006 8:03 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

From the FPM article you recommended:

...Suicide bombings in Israel had developed into a bloody and lucrative industry for Palestinians who carried out 39 attacks in 2002. But, since Israel began constructing its anti-terrorist fence, the Palestinian human-bomb industry has been reduced to bankruptcy by producing only 11 attacks in more than two years.

Honor killing, on the other hand – which has always been an integral aspect of Palestinian life – began gathering momentum. With horrifying zest, weapon-wielding fathers, brothers, uncles and sometimes mothers, hunt down their daughters and sisters and commit shocking acts of violence for real and imagined immoral transgressions.

The Arab motivation for murdering their own daughters flows from the same cultural wellspring that produces suicide bombers. The defensive form of honor, called "ird"...

Recently in Gaza and the West Bank, Hamas has defined a new role for itself in guarding the morality of young Muslim women. A group of men who identified itself as a Hamas “morality squad” attacked 19-year-old Yousra al-Azam after she had sat at the beach with her husband-to-be and another couple. She was shot in the head and died in the street as her murderers beat her with batons. The growing influence of Hamas with its fundamentalist interpretations of Islamic law is concerning women’s groups, which fear it will gain power and moral legitimacy in the coming elections....

According to Dr Shalhoub-Kevorkian, a criminologist from Hebrew University, the real figures are much higher with almost all murders in the West Bank and Gaza most likely to be honor killings. In a two-year period between 1996 and 1998, Shalhoub-Kevorkian uncovered 234 suspicious deaths in the West Bank alone, which she believes were honor killings. Palestinian police do not record these deaths as murder but as deaths due to "fate and destiny.”...

In Britain, there is no physical barrier separating people and no Jewish government to blame for the dilemmas of the Muslim community. Yet a sharp increase in Islamic honor killings has been reported since the July 7 London bombings, last year.

Nazir Afzal, director of Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service, told Reuters, there has been at least a “dozen honor killings in the country in the past year.” This, he claims, is just a glimpse of the real problem. “There are other crimes, like rape, abduction and physical violence...”

At 1/21/2006 8:06 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Back in the first days after 9/11, much was made of the importance of cutting off funds to terrorists. And I recognize that much has been done in that regard. Nevertheless, economic factors fund terrorism. And this evening, on the news, one commentator said that OBL has loads of money to help him to stay in hiding.

Yes, we need that alternative fuel. But, again, I don't know of a concerted move to get that done. Maybe I'm wrong.

At 1/21/2006 8:14 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Many of those yearning for the caliphate say that it's a distant dream. Others see it coming more quickly than they had thought.

According to one timeline which Elmer's Brother provided in an earlier comment here, the establshment of the caliphate is about 50 years away, I think. Of course, that date is according to certain interpretations.

The infighting among tribals does not work in their favor, of course, as you pointed out. But I see a movement trying to curb that infighting. Whether or not such a union will ever occur is doubtful, especially as one studies the history of Islam because most of the previous attempts at union have failed.

But what may be different today is twofold:
1. The oil-supply issue.
2. WMD's or other powerful weapons.

At 1/21/2006 8:17 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

The Diana West commentary to which I referred in this blog article touched upon the matter of immigration in its final paragraphs. But I didn't quote that material. You might want to go back to the link in my article and read all of West's piece.

ship all muslims back to the ME

In America, how can that be done, constitutionally speaking?

At 1/21/2006 8:37 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

You mentioned Islamic peace. According to the Koran, there can be no peace until the world is Dar al-Islam.

Islamic definitions and our definitions sometimes widely differ. See Differing Definitions, in which I discuss divergent meanings of "innocent" and "peace."

At 1/22/2006 12:57 AM, Blogger City Troll said...

Great post

Now lets go blow up Mecca.

I say that only half joking we are in a battle that we in the west don't like to look at in the sense that it is a holy war. Not on our half but on the others.

To fight a holy war with a people who do not and will not declare war on a religion is the difficulty more on our part than theirs.

They can always fall back on the martyr role we can't and won't. We fight for justice and security. The only thing that we can do is to remove their ability to create their caliphate.

If that means killing their leaders and removing their ability to make war we can and are in the process of doing just that.

What if it means we need to go that extra step? Should we blow up Mecca? Should we go even further. Will the otherside heap larger and larger attrocities on us that cause us to respond in kind? If they Nuke Israel or NY what will be our response? If the bomb goes off here in the US the response will be emmense. The desert will be turned to glass and if it does not escalate from there the radiation will cause globall problems that are unimaginable.

The Russians understood this so we played chess with them for 5 decades. This group has no concept of how we think or who we are.

We walk the razors edge at this point in world history. If these fanatics are allowed to or achieve the detenation of a nuke the world ends as we all know it.

At 1/22/2006 8:02 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

City Troll,
You've made several good points, and I'll focus on a few.

We walk the razors edge at this point in world history.

I know that many such times have occurred throughout history. Yet the great destruction to which you referred in your comment has never happened; the development of nuclear weapons raises the stakes, however.

Yes, there have been atrocities aplenty, from ancient times to the Third Reich and Stalin's regime, just to name two. And mankind's pattern has often been to refuse to confront the perpetrators until the situation has cost thousand or millions of lives, or until the very fabric of a free society has reached the point of an imminent threat.

we are in a battle that we in the west don't like to look at in the sense that it is a holy war.
I've had some other people make this same comment to me, though not here at this particular thread. The West has an aversion--an abhorrence, even a moral objection amounting to refusal to participate--to the concept of holy or religious war. America so values the concept of freedom of religion that this esteem may be blinding us to the deeper ideology of the enemy we face. OBL sees himself as a priest of Allah, so dresses (According to Islamic tradition, different colors have different meanings, somewhat akin to the Western concept of the colors on the heraldic crests), and even expounds upon the religious aspect of his attacks.

In this century and in the last, if not further back, the official stand of the West is that we do not engage in a religious war.

But as I see it, these Islamists view the conflict as a religious one on their part, or at least dress up their ambitions in religious trappings. The big question is whether or not the majority of Muslims view the conflict the same way as the Islamists.

The only thing that we can do is to remove their ability to create their caliphate.

What it will take to remove that ability is something which my heart has a hard time accepting. The cost in human life goes against my values system. But letting the caliphate take over the world will also destroy the system which allows me to embrace the values I so esteem.

If the bomb goes off here in the US the response will be emmense. The desert will be turned to glass and if it does not escalate from there the radiation will cause globall problems that are unimaginable.

The Russians understood this so we played chess with them for 5 decades. This group has no concept of how we think or who we are.

More than not understanding us. The Islamists don't value life in the same way Western society does. Certainly the Soviets didn't value human life, but they wanted to stay alive. That desire for self-presevation was common ground. I see the Islamist leaders wanting to save their own lives (Notice OBL's duck-and-cover mentality), but the suicide bombers themselves have no hestitation in sacrificing their lives in the cause. Is there a way to convince potential jihadists that they are doing more harm than good? Or how about this? Is there a way to force these Islamist warriors to value human life? If Mecca were to be destroyed, would that destruction discredit their beliefs system or only light a hotter fire of fanaticism? Discrediting a beliefs system is much harder than discreding a political system.

Yesterday, I was briefly discussing this posting with one of my clients, who said, "It's a different culture." Yes, that is so, but I'm not sure that an understanding of how those differences impact us is pervasive in the Western world. We Westerners have become used to multiculturalism, and some of that multiculturalism fractures the fabric of society's culture. But what if two cultures which are incompatible are locked in a death struggle? There's a lot more at stake here than appreciating ethnic foods and different kinds of music.

At 1/22/2006 8:36 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

About the last economic forecast you left, the one with the clock...

I'm truly a newcomer to foreign influence on our economy. Your scenario seems plausible to me. But what do I know? However, I do recall that the Great Depression was worldwide, so I understand that no nation's economy operates in a vacuum.

My intuition tells me that we're in serious economic trouble, a kind of trouble we've never before faced. Shame on me, but before 9/11, I rarely read the world-news section of the newspaper. I always thought, "What's going on over there doesn't have much to do with me." Stupid, huh? Even arrogant, to think that America stands on its own.

I agree that no President in memory has taken the proper action to avert the kind of meltdown you've predicted. Lack of foresight? Ties to the oil industry? Lining one's own pockets? All three, I think. Outright conspiracy against the United States? I'm not that much of a cynic, but I know that we may disagree there.

Any military action against Iran will result in a military response from China AND Russia AND Iran AND the muslim world at large.

This could account for what amounts to apparent paralysis on the part of the Western world today. A statesman, if one can be found, doesn't want to take the risk of such a conflict. A politician wants to preserve his power and his career.

Our main vulnerability is "Economic Vulnerablility" and that is where the main attack will begin.
The "Pearl Harbor" of the 21st Century is at the doorstep.

For all my concern about terrorist attacks, I see those attacks as nibbling away--barring a nuclear attack, of course.

The clock is ticking. Are we engaging here in doomsaying? Yes, but doomsaying can sometimes be accurate.

The doomsayers in the 1930's, the criers against Hitler, were disregarded.

At 1/22/2006 8:39 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I just saw this: Harvesting Ted Kennedy's hot air could power the US Senate building.


I'll go back later today and read your comment about alternative sources of energy.

At 1/22/2006 9:23 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

From Samwich's recent link

Tehran plans nuclear weapon test by March

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Tehran is planning a nuclear weapons test before the Iranian New Year on March 20, 2006 says a group opposed to the regime in Tehran.

The Foundation for Democracy citing sources in the U.S and Iran offered no further information.

The FDI quotes sources in Iran that the high command of the Revolutionary Guards Air Force have issued new orders to Shahab-3 missile units, ordering them to move mobile missile launchers every 24 hours in view of a potential pre-emptive strike by the U.S. or Israel. The order was issued Tuesday, Jan. 16.

The group says the launchers move only at night, and have been instructed to change their positions "in a radius of 30 to 35 kilometers." Prior to the new orders the Shahab-3 units changed position on a weekly basis. Advance Shahab-3 units have been positioned in Kermanshah and Hamadan province, within striking distance of Israel. Reserve mobile launchers have been moved to Esfahan and Fars province.

At 1/22/2006 9:41 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Samwich is right.


At 1/22/2006 9:51 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Bassizzzt: We are more afraid of what others may think in the world about us even more than we are concerned about our own security.

Yes, that's the situation today. Multiculturalism and pc, carried to the nth degree.

And at what cost?

At 1/22/2006 11:33 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

During his administration, Reagan was focused on Communism. I don't believe that he understood the larger significance of what happened in Lebanon during his administration. Would he have understood the significance of 9/11, had he just taken office in 2001? I think so.

BTW, I left that same UPI link and article over at your site while you were here at mine. LOL.

I agree that Israel will very likely strike Iran before March. But how diasporic are those nuke plants in Iran? Mohammed El-Baradei said last week in Newsweek that he has concerns as to what may have gone on covertly in Iran. It's an interview article and is available here. Give it a read, folks!

At 1/22/2006 12:57 PM, Blogger David Schantz said...

I'm running late, seams to be the story of the past two months for me. I got to go to work at 1500 today. I'll check the links when I get home.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic

At 1/22/2006 1:34 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

City Troll

I think I am the only one who recongnizes your Avatar from the Uncle Creepy Comics of Warren circa 1980.

Nuking Mecca is not as good as invading and returning the throne to the Hashemites.

At 1/22/2006 2:01 PM, Blogger maccusgermanis said...

You referred to a "concerted effort" to find alternative energy, but do the efforts really need to be concerted? Much of the magic of America, I feel, is in the robustness of our innovation. Samwich pointed out several alternatives that are currently unmarketable. Take heart that alternative energies are already fully developed, but un sellable in this current market, a market that is rapidly changing. Of course the bad news being that energy costs will stabilize at prices well above current costs, but please do not fall for the ruse that government intervention will fix this.

The most dangerous thing I see on the global political horizon, is that things will get far better before getting worse. There are things I don't like about our president (spends money, ROP) but I don't believe anyone would suggest that he is unwilling to take unilateral action against Iran (with Iraqi nationals getting credit) when it becomes necessary. Rather, I expect Iran to be dealt with and Iraq and Afghanistan to be wildly successful republics. The three states rising our hopes for freedom in the Middle East. But without Islam being expressly confronted and vanquished, these "more" democratic republics may serve the same incubative role as the Persian Empire. Islam will never create a weapon capable of sustained combat against the west, but given (unwittingly) such a weapon by freedom loving Iraqis, Islam will not hesitate in its use.

I fear that our efforts will prove integral to the rebuilding of the Caliphate but I do not disparage our course for it is the least of evils.

At 1/22/2006 2:27 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

You've twice mentioned the Hashemites, so I'm providing some information.

From Wikipedia, because that source is so convenient, though I know that it can be an impeachable source:

Hashemite (Arabic هاشمي) traditionally refers to those belonging to the Banu Hashim, or "clan of Hashem", a clan within the larger Quraish tribe. It also refers to an Arab dynasty whose original strength stemmed from the network of tribal alliances and blood loyalties in the Hejaz region of Arabia, along the Red Sea.

The Hashemites trace their ancestry from Hashim ibn Abd al-Manaf (died c.510 AD), the great-grandfather of Muhammad. The early history of the Hashemites saw them in a continuous struggle against the Umayyads for control over who would be the caliph or successor to Muhammad. The Umayyads were of the same tribe as the Hashemites, but a different clan. This rivalry eventually would lead to the split between the Sunni and Shia. After the overthrow of the Umayyads, the Abbasids would present themselves as representatives of the Hashemites, as they claimed descent from Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, an uncle of Muhammad.

From the 10th century onwards, the Sharif (religious leader) of Mecca and its Emir was by traditional agreement a Hashemite. Before World War I, Hussein ibn Ali of the Hashemite Dhawu-'Awn clan ruled the Hejaz on behalf of the Ottoman sultan. For some time it had been the practice of the Sublime Porte to appoint the Emir of Mecca from among a select group of candidates. In 1908, Hussein bin Ali was appointed Emir of Mecca. He found himself increasingly at odds with the Young Turks in control at Istanbul, while he strove to secure his family's position as hereditary Emirs. Between 1917 and 1924, after the collapse of Ottoman power, he ruled an independent Hejaz, of which he proclaimed himself king, with the tacit support of the British Foreign Office. His supporters are sometimes referred to as "Sharifians" or the "Sharifian party". His chief rival in the Arabian peninsula was the king of the highlanders on the highland of Najd named Ibn Saud, who annexed the Hejaz in 1925 and set his own son, Faysal bin Abdelaziz Al Saud, as governor. The region was later incorporated into Saudi Arabia.

Hussein bin Ali had five sons: Ali, who briefly succeeded to the throne of Hejaz before its loss to the Saud family; Abdullah, who later became the king of Transjordan, and whose descendants have ruled that kingdom, now known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, ever since; Faisal, who became King of Iraq; Prince Zeid, who became a claimant to the throne of Iraq when his brother's grandson was overthrown in a coup in 1958; and Hassan, who died at a young age.

Maybe some commenters will have something to say about your idea, Beak. I've got to grade some book reports!

At 1/22/2006 5:27 PM, Blogger Esther said...

GREAT post, AOW! Keep trumpeting this. It's so important to help people to wake up to what's going on.

At 1/22/2006 6:00 PM, Blogger City Troll said...

Tehran plans nuclear weapon test by March

BOMB THEM NOW!!! to hell with the consequences.

Beak.. You are right my avatar is Uncle Creepy over the last year your the first one to recognize it.
I just always loved his sneering Grin LOL, and I haven't been able to find a troll picture with character.

At 1/22/2006 7:35 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

The point of my blog article is that radical Muslims and moderate Muslims share the desire for the utopian caliphate. Generally, most people associate the idea of establishing the caliphate as exclusive to radical Islam. And that common ground predates the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, as indicated in the cited WaPo article.

Corollary: Perhaps the reason that moderate Muslims are not streaming forth to take back their faith is that they, too, adhere to the utopian idea aforementioned.

Comments here have explored lots of aspects which may relate to that yearning for the caliphate. Thus, lots of comments here about Iran too.

Did you catch the interview with El-Baradei last week as published in Newsweek?

Excerpt from that interview:

ELBARADEI: For the last three years we have been doing intensive verification in Iran, and even after three years I am not yet in a position to make a judgment on the peaceful nature of the [nuclear] program. We still need to assure ourselves through access to documents, individuals [and] locations that we have seen all that we ought to see and that there is nothing fishy, if you like, about the program.

INTERVIEWER: At one site called Lavizan, facilities were bulldozed by Iran before you could look at them, and you weren't allowed to run tests in the area.
ELBARADEI: We clearly need to take environmental samplings from some of the equipment that used to be in Lavizan. We need to interview some of the people who have been engaged in Lavizan. We have [also] gotten some information about some modification of their missiles that could have some relationship to the nuclear program. So, we need to clarify all these things. It is very specific. They know what we want to do, and they just have to go and do it. I'm making it very clear right now that I cannot extend the deadline, which is ... March 6....

INTERVIEWER: Do you have any indication that there is some other completely separate Iranian nuclear-weapons program?
ELBARADEI: No, we don't. But I won't exclude that possibility.

INTERVIEWER: What if the Iranians are just buying time for their bomb building?
ELBARADEI: That's why I said we are coming to the litmus test in the next few weeks. Diplomacy is not just talking. Diplomacy has to be backed by pressure and, in extreme cases, by force. We have rules. We have to do everything possible to uphold the rules through conviction. If not, then you impose them. Of course, this has to be the last resort, but sometimes you have to do it....

Now, Duck, I agree with you that the divisions among Muslims may well prevent the establishment of the caliphate. So, I hope you're right that it won't happen. But historically speaking, lots of bad stuff has happened in pursuit of establishing the caliphate--and is still happening, I think.

At 1/22/2006 8:39 PM, Blogger LA Sunset said...

I think that Mr. Ducky is right in a sense when he says that Islam is too divided for a Caliphate to exist now. But I would also say that the goal does not change just because the means to reach that goal are not available, at any given point in time. What driven individuals (and groups) do is continue to seek the resources to achieve that goal.

The rank and file Muslims that live in Muslim countries, know only that there was a caliphate at one time and that is the ultimate objective of the vast majority of Muslims everywhere, for the future. How they get there is another story. What they do when they get there is of little use to them now. All they care about is getting there, they believe they can work out the details of the leadership after the common enemies are disposed of.

The Iranian government would love nothing more than to unite all Muslims (both Sunni and Shiites)to destroy Israel, first. If they can be the ones to bring Israel down with nukes, if they can be the catalyst of that happening; they feel they will be in a position to drive the train further.

Then after that is accomplished, it is their hope that they can destroy the west. Europe and the U.S. would be next in their sights. Europe is particularly vulnerable, as we have seen recently.

That would leave China and the rest of Eastern Asia backed into a corner. Many in Asia do not count radical Islam as a threat in this day and age. They have yet to be affected by jihad, so they feel they have no real dog in the fight. In essence, they are hoping the lion eats them last. But even if the lion does eat someone last, they fact remains that someone will still get eaten.

So, what China needs to understand is, if they do not count this threat as pertinent to them, they will soemday be left to fight an empowered and emboldened enemy that just brought down the west and will then look to bring down the east, destroying all of that deep, rich oriental culture that has existed there for a few thousand years.

So what's the answer?

Stop them before they get to Israel.

At 1/22/2006 9:33 PM, Blogger Dan Zaremba said...

"But according to the Washington Post, both radicals and moderates share a common fondness for the utopian ideal of the caliphate:"

Naturally, this is the core of the Islamic faith - establishment of Dhar al Islam under one Caliph.
The only serious diffrence between Sunnis and Shia's in this respect is how the top title is acquired and how it should be called.
Caliph vs. great Imam. the most deserving vs. inherited because of the bloodline.

At 1/22/2006 9:57 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

I've been hearing World War Three was just over the next sunrise since I was old enough to spit on a Communist flag.

Let it come or stop boring me with it. Nobody is going to get into a shooting match over Iran's nuclear capabilities being taken out.

So we'll look for the next apocalyptic vision, and laugh at it too.

At 1/22/2006 10:39 PM, Blogger Pastorius said...

I thought Samwich's comment about the economics of oil, Iran, Euros and American dollars was one of the most interesting of a very interesting bunch of comments.

Unfortunately, once again, I am late to the party. However, I do want to ask AOW, what do you think can be done. Jason Pappas said that Muslims are similar to Communists in that they are not content to practice their Islam/Communism in peace by themselves, but naturally, have to make it a political movement. This is where the danger comes from.

Ok, then, as with Communism, the answer is to cut off its head. The head of Communism was the Soviet Union. We destroyed that.

We must cut off the head of the Worldwide Islamic Jihad. What is the head? It is the oil-producing fundamentalist nations; Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, etc.

We must make war on these nations (we don't have time for a Cold War approach), and we must destroy their regimes, and then, set about remaking their societies, the way we did to Japan and Germany after WWII.

That's my answer. What is everyone elses answer?

At 1/23/2006 12:47 AM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

If you can buy three lollipops for one dollar, how many can you buy with one Swiss Franc?

Answer: Two, because no one sells partial lollipops.

Suck away.

At 1/23/2006 7:06 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

You're not all that late. This posting will stay up for at least one more day.

AOW, what do you think can be done.

I understand your military approach--defeat the enemy and remake the societies. I'm not sure that remaking is possible, however. Will attacking those nations you mentioned serve to unite other Muslims as they see the attacks as attacks on all of Islam? That aspect is sort of mentioned in the WaPo/MSNBC article: some Muslims interviewed feel that our wars on Afghanistan and Iraq are wars against all of Islam.

Samwich makes many valid points. In my words, the economic jihad is moving apace. And for all the horrors which terrorist attacks wreak, they are tactics, not the goal. The goal is the establishment of Dar al-Islam. Now, yearning for the utopian caliphate is a feeling, not a plan of action. And I see different plans of action to accomplish the goal--jihadism, as in terror attacks, is one of them. But not the only plan of action, IMO.

One reason that the attack plan of which you speak may not be seriously entertained is the consequence of disrupting the oil supply. The fact is that our economy is petroleum-based.

Now, will the military defeat you speak of serve to discredit "the will of Allah," that Muslim mindset? IMO, that mindset enables Muslims not to oppose Wahhabism and also enables them not to "come into" the 21st Century.

I guess that I was truly broadsided by that WaPo/MSNBC article because the article makes clear that the yearning for the caliphate is not exclusive to Wahhabism.

Off to work now.

At 1/23/2006 9:43 AM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

An oil / natural gas pipeline across Afghanistan?

Good grief Samwich you really are dumber than I thought you were. And this is no mere feat because I've long considered you easily outsmarted by a pine cone. But damn. An oil / natural gas pipeline across Afghanistan?



You did know that even the United States doesn't have oil / natural gas pipelines running up a mountainside and down the other right? You know why we (and everyone else in the world) don't build pipelines over mountain ranges you?

Physics. The pressure required to push oil uphill through piping is enormous. Guess what happens to that on the other side? Oil running downhill through piping will have even more pressure which would have to vented down to keep the lines from bursting, and pumped back up to get it up to enough pressure to get it over the next mountain. Building a complex series of scaffolding to keep the pipeline running parallel and straight across the mountaintops would possibly work, except who'd be stupid enough to build 2,500 feet high of scaffolding in a valley for a pipeline between mountain peaks. Scaffolding that could fail, would be hard to access in the event of a pipeline break, and would be so expensive that the cost of building and maintaining it would never be recouped by oil sales.

No, Samwich, a pipeline across Afghanistan's mountains is both economically unfeasible AND bone-head ignorant of the laws of physics stupid.

So, when you're counting up your "fiat valueless shit the federal reserve prints" and telling us how "rich" you are (don't forget a Vietnam reference either), be wary of people trying to tell you about pipelines in Afghanistan.

It's a myth.

At 1/23/2006 9:52 AM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

The above applies to liquified natural gas also. No oil company in the world is going to risk a pipeline through mountains.


They like to make money.

At 1/23/2006 10:05 AM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

I'm resisting the urge to say "Ethiopia" to Mussolini.

Look at a map of the Middle East.

Where can the United States strike from basing in Iraq?

At 1/23/2006 10:44 AM, Blogger Σ. Alexander said...


Back to your subject again--Islam!

Can they establish the caliphate? I doubt it. In the real world, Muslim confront each other--nation-state to nation state, class to class, ethnic group to ethnic group, sect to sect, and so on. It is an illusion to build the Islamic community under single caliph.

As long as they keep themselves loyal to the Koran, Muslims face desperate gaps between political reality and religious idealism.

At 1/23/2006 10:46 AM, Blogger Pastorius said...

Samwich is a belligerent commenter when he is responding to many other commenters here. I don't know why he does that. He makes himself look silly. But, his comments about economics are intelligent.

Here's the thing; Russia and China are our real enemies in this war. Islamism is only the proxy. Russia and China have brilliantly conceived of a way to make the Middle East their military.

That's a good thing, because we can not go up against those nations directly anyway. Nuclear war would break out, and the whole Earth would be destroyed.

AOW, we definately can win this war, if we cut off the head of the Islamic world. If we take out the regimes of the oil-producing nations, they will have no money to build nuclear weapons, and then the best they can do is fly planes into buildings. That is an enemy that does not pose a mortal threat to us.

See what I mean?

At 1/23/2006 10:47 AM, Blogger Pastorius said...

Why don't you start your own blog, instead of raging on other peoples blogs. I would read you, even if I don't agree with some of what you say.

At 1/23/2006 11:15 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Always On Watch:

Yes, we need that alternative fuel. But, again, I don't know of a concerted move to get that done. Maybe I'm wrong.

You're not wrong. There is no concerted effort to replace the use of oil with anything else. The problem is that there are too many people lining their pockets from the oil deals that are made behind the scenes, and the spin-off deals from them. What incentive is there for a politician or businessman to utilize other forms of fuel?

Greed is bringing the West down step by step! Greed will be the downfall of our civilization, it seems. Fat cats don't like being put on meagre rations! They all adopt the 'I'm all right, Jack' attitude. They don't care about the survival of the West, as long as they stay fat and comfortable!

At 1/23/2006 12:10 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Yes, back to my usual topic. 9/11 deeply affected me. I'm still trying to understand. It's been my quest since 9/11.

Because I so value your objective opinion, I'm posting most of your comment here:

Can they establish the caliphate? I doubt it. In the real world, Muslim confront each other--nation-state to nation state, class to class, ethnic group to ethnic group, sect to sect, and so on. It is an illusion to build the Islamic community under single caliph.

As long as they keep themselves loyal to the Koran, Muslims face desperate gaps between political reality and religious idealism.

That last sentence, which I've bolded, is a profound statement! Can those "gaps" you speak of be closed? Pastorius has stated his position as to how to force the closing of such gaps.

You are in Japan, I believe. Maybe you have additional perspective on what Pastorius has said. He has spoken of using devastating military defeat in order to remake a nation. How do you perceive that idea?

Also, I agree that the restoration of the caliphate is a delusion. How dangerous an illusion is it? I agree that a caliphate cannot stand because of the many divisions you mentioned. But does the desire to establish a caliphate pose a serious danger to other civilizations?

At 1/23/2006 12:33 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Russia and China are our real enemies in this war. Islamism is only the proxy. Russia and China have brilliantly conceived of a way to make the Middle East their military.

How widely held is that belief?

we definately can win this war, if we cut off the head of the Islamic world. If we take out the regimes of the oil-producing nations, they will have no money to build nuclear weapons...

Yes, this sounds good in theory. And I'm not saying I disagree. But the economic repercussions to the West, even if only temporary repercussions, seems not to be something which politicians are willing to risk.

Mark pointed out the element of greed: Greed is bringing the West down step by step! Greed will be the downfall of our civilization, it seems....They don't care about the survival of the West, as long as they stay fat and comfortable!

Samwich has said something similar in different words.

Money and power--the pursuit of these is the story of human history.

At 1/23/2006 12:36 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

No oil company in the world is going to risk a pipeline through mountains.
Sounds right to me. But what do I know?

Where can the United States strike from basing in Iraq?

Lots of places, if the base can be made secure.

At 1/23/2006 12:41 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I haven't read through all your comments here, but this jumped out at me: "Those who control the oil routes out of central Asia will impact all future direction and quantities of flow and the distribution of revenues from new production".

Energy expert James Dorian in Oil and Gas Journal on Sep 10, 2001

Sounds familiar because the control of trade routes in the late 15th Century led to Columbus's venture. But with the West's dependence on oil, times are different now. Know what I mean?

At 1/23/2006 12:46 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...


The phone company has been working on my telephone line. Yes, I'm on primitive dial-up. Boo hoo!

For a time today, I had no Internet connection, and I may again lose my connection when the phone company returns--hopefully to effect the final repair.

If I suddenly fall silent for a period of time, it will be because I have no connection or because I'm at work.

At 1/23/2006 12:57 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

A quick response here before I head off to my second shift of work and before I lose my Internet connection...

He [GWB] has shown backbone, but only to the media pimps that pull the political strings in this country.

Saudi is the main money tit that funds this war against us.

I've frequently railed against the Saudi connection. But usually my rants have been in comments. Later this week, I'll touch upon the Saudi connection in another article, though the focus won't be Saudi per se.

On 9/12/01, I spoke to a Middle Eastern colleague at work. This fellow had fled Iran around the time that Khomeini took power. I asked him, "And what about Saudi?"

His reply: "The Sauds are America's friend only as long as Saudi can sell oil to America. When the oil runs out, look out!"

At the time, I knew what amounted to nothing about the Middle East. But the man's words come back to me now, with frequency.

I have read several articles about how Saudi funds institutions here in the United States. That funding dates from at least the early 1990's.

At 1/23/2006 2:46 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

Not at all, Mussolini. I'm just disputing that Saudi Arabia is #1 at terrorist financing.

I'd say they're a close second behind Iran.

At 1/23/2006 4:13 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...


I see your point on the Saudi / Wahabbi madrassahs in Pakistan, and the ideological aspect of Islam.

But Iranian funding goes not just to Hamas, but also Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon. Which in turn are linked to militants in North Africa and in the Pacific Rim. And South America. Not just money and theology. Guns. Rockets. Bombs.

Iran has been playing a dangerous game with the West for almost 30 years now.

Game over in 6 months, tops.

At 1/23/2006 4:33 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

Why would I want to read a Samwich blog? Aren't there enough self-made financial whiz anti-American Vietnam snipers opining from their mom's basement on the internet already?

At 1/23/2006 5:26 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

From a January 21, 2006 commentary by Victor Davis Hanson:

...Mr. Ahmadinejad also grasps that there are millions of highly educated but cynical Westerners who see nothing much exceptional about their own culture. So if democratic America has nuclear weapons, why not theocratic Iran? "Your arsenals are full to the brim, yet when it's the turn of a nation such as mine to develop peaceful nuclear technology you object and resort to threats."

Moreover, he knows how Western relativism works. So who is to say what are "facts" or "true" -- given the tendency of the powerful to "construct" their own narratives and call the result "history"? Was not the Holocaust exaggerated, or perhaps even fabricated, as mere jails became "death camps" through a trick of language to take over Palestinian land?

We laugh at all this as absurd. We should not.

Money, oil and threats have brought the Iranian theocrats to the very threshold of a nuclear arsenal. Their uncanny diagnosis of Western malaise has now convinced them that they can carefully fabricate a Holocaust-free reality in which Muslims are the victims and Jews the aggressors deserving of punishment. And thus Mr. Ahmadinejad's righteously aggrieved (and nuclear) Iran can, after "hundreds of years of war," finally set things right in the Middle East....

The caliphate?

At 1/23/2006 6:41 PM, Blogger kender said...

So chocolate consumption is directly related to a bad economy?


Please, do dazzle us with another little known factoid that us "mainstream suckers don't know squat about".

Did you know that the price of raw silk is directly related to the ability of silkworm farmers to deduct silkworm feed from their taxes? Yeah....and that silkworm farmers the world over are attempting to buy Dupont and other chemical manufacturers in an ill fated attempt to quash the making of all nylon?

I can make stuff up too.....doesn't mean it's valid.

At 1/23/2006 7:48 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...


Please tell us your magical chocolate economic trend theory is a product of your concerted effort to convince everyone you come into contact with that you're a moron.

And that you don't really believe it.


Oh God, you're serious aren't you?

At 1/23/2006 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Facinating...your article as well as these comments. Time to think about doing that IRAN WATCH blogburst we talked about awhile ago. Really.
I'll email you with some thoughts.

At 1/23/2006 8:00 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

How did we get to eating plans? I scroll to the bottom of the comments here, and we're off on an interesting tangent. So I'll just toss in my two cents.

The Atkins Diet helps some people to achieve weight loss. But I developed a bone spur while on the diet, and so did one of my friends. I wonder if we should have been taking a supplement of some type. My friend and I went on the diet back before all the particulars were published.

Last year, another friend of mine lost a lot of pounds by avoiding "anything white."

The best diet I was ever on--and I need to resume it now, really--was the Diet Center Diet. It's balanced and keeps blood sugars from rocketing by encouraging six small meals instead of three larger ones. I've heard the the DCD is similar to the South Beach Diet, but I don't know for sure.

Whatever the eating plan, drinking a reasonable amount of water is important, I think.

Most people eat WAY too much!

Kender mentioned, with some understandable cynicism, So chocolate consumption is directly related to a bad economy? I doubt that stats will prove that, but I could be wrong.

I'm not a chocoholic, but on 9/11, I ate a whole box of Oreos. Flight or fight, I suppose. I know lots of other people who did something similar. A friend of mine loaded up on pound cake with almond icing. LOL.

Remember DHS's go bags? Wasn't chocolate recommended?

Was the consumption of chocolate consumption up during the Great Depresssion?

At 1/23/2006 8:20 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Saudi pours a lot of bucks into Islamic schools here in the United States; Ahmed Abu Ali graduated from one such school, the Islamic Saudi Academy. I wrote a piece about ISA here. And you know, of course, about the millions from the Saudi prince--for Harvard and for Georgetown University, and the article is here.

Saudi bucks pouring in is also true for mosques and Islamic centers unaffiliated with universities.. I've read that CAIR receives Saudi funds. Some of the funding for all of the above may be indirect.

I've also noticed that several large developers in the U.S. are owned by Saudis.

Game [with Iran] over in 6 months, tops.

I hope you're right there.

Of course, Iran has been funding Hamas and Hezbollah. How much does Iran fund organizations in the United States?

At 1/23/2006 8:28 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Islam is real and is already in a town near you.


And not just Islam, but Wahhabism. See
the Wahhabi Corridor, so very close to our nation's capital.

At 1/23/2006 8:38 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Maccus Germanis,
Take heart that alternative energies are already fully developed, but un sellable in this current market...

I've heard that alternatives are ready, but I don't see them being implemented. Now, once the price of petroleum really goes through the roof, those alternatives may really come into play.

I do not advocate government intervention.

I fear that our efforts will prove integral to the rebuilding of the Caliphate

Some Muslims have so mentioned.

On the other hand, the caliphate is a utopian dream, as I've said many times. I don't believe that it can be established. But if the definition of radical Islam is so entertwined with the idea of the caliphate, then GWB might be using the wrong definition for radical Islam.

Shari'a law--not there's something to include in the definition, I think. Yet many Muslims say that Shari'a law is compatible with democracy. I don't see it.

At 1/23/2006 8:42 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

This site is relatively new but keeps a good account. A good place to start for sources, IMO.

At 1/23/2006 8:42 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

How much does Iran fund organizations in the United States?

Ask their largest recipient of funds, the Democratic Party.

At 1/23/2006 8:51 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

The willingness to do anything in pursuit of an unachievable caliphate is nearly as dangerous as the caliphate itself. At least, that's what I think.

Did you catch this quote from the Diana West commentary? the pope believes there's no way to change Islam because there's no way to reinterpret the Koran — i.e., change Koranic teachings on infidels, women, polygamy, penal codes and other markers of Islamic law — in such a way as to propel Islam into happy coexistence with modernity

I'm not Catholic, but the pope's assessment is alarming. The lack of open discussion in the media is also disturbing.

At 1/23/2006 8:55 PM, Blogger maccusgermanis said...

I notice references to "greed" and "fat cats" with the most practical outlook on greed being from Mussolini. I feel I have met the fat greedy chocolate hording cats, and they are we. Alternative energies are at this very time technologically possible. So we should all make some hooch for our scootin', but that it is still more convenient and cost effective to buy petrol from the "fat cats". BTW, I like PPP for a hedged play in the Alberta sands.

I agree with several sentiments here that Islam in its current state can not rebuild the Caliphate, but what of the reformed Islam that some long for? And what if the Caliphate is not built by that, but another name, (like a secular mid-east trading union)badge engineered by a democratic Jihadist takeover.

Islam will not be defeated by "cutting off" of percieved heads. The ideas espoused by OBL are quite old and will be dusted off, even by the homegrown likes of Johnny Wallker, until the last existing page of the koran is destroyed. More practically we must be unrelenting in our denoucement of Islam, even after muslims decide to play nice. And they will decide to play nice because this war is already logistically won. And keep in mind that the Muslims themselves are those most in need of liberation from this muderous cult.

At 1/23/2006 9:05 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Somewhere back in this stream of comments you referred to all the time it takes you maintain a blog. You got that right! Hehehe. Maybe I should change my name to "Always Online."

Unsellable mostly because the fossil oil industry has a 100 year old production and distribution infrastructure in place and operating profitably.

Yes, yes, yes! I was going to say something like that but couldn't get my thoughts well enough organized. The internal- combustion engine, for example?

I don't want to give up my Mustang convertible, that's for sure!

If there's a huge crash, who will be able to afford the new alternative-fuel vehicles? You will, I guess. But I'm thinking about the general population, already up to their ears in debt. A cutoff of oil or a really exorbitant price for a gallon of gasoline would send the price of alternative-fuel vehicles through the roof.

I've heard that one reason that clean-fuel vehicles are not popular is they can't be easily made into a race vehicle--at least not in the same way that the internal-combustion engine can. These CF vehicles don't compete as well on the drag strip. What I'm saying here is not important to some people, of course. The bigger picture is the infrastructure to which you referred.

At 1/23/2006 9:18 PM, Blogger maccusgermanis said...

Thanks for the response I had missed it just now while posting.

I disagree. Shar'ia is not uncompatible with what has been called mob-ocracy but the combination will be a horror. And nothing like what we had intended to leave in Iraq.

Concerning alternative energies, I am invested in a maker of a component of hybrid and electric automobiles (MXWL) and it has taught be many valuable lessons (like patience). The component (ultracapacitors) are just to costly but the company is making improvements in manufacturing and rising gas prices make the hybrid investment more agreeable to consumers.

Concerning clean racers,
Is that
or this
fast enough for you?

At 1/23/2006 9:38 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...


It's been a long day.

Off to bed now.

Thanks to everyone for this great discussion. Continue on if you like, and I'll catch up as I can.

At 1/24/2006 12:01 AM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

I'm an unapolegetically American exceptionalist rightish-leaning libertarian / conservative. I believe the United States of America have the best federal governmental form on the planet, and that other nations would be better off scrapping their inferior attempts at government, aligning their constitutions with ours, and appealing to our Congress
for statehood.

Most of my voting life has been split between the Libertarian Party at the local level, and the Republican Party at the state and federal levels. 2004 was my first straight GOP ticket top to bottom. I don't think there actually exists a point in US history when voting for a Democrat was a defensibly rational act. Unlike Samwich, I do see a difference between the two main political parties in America. And while the Republican Party isn't as boldly conservative as I'd like it to be, they're as "right-wing" in the center as the ever-leftward marching Uncle Ho Democrats default them to be.

At 1/24/2006 12:08 AM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

beamishshitstain, the oil cartel wishes to express it's gratitutde for paying taxes which built the main supply road through Afghanistan. The proposed oil pipeline route has the road needed for oil tank trucks to transport Caspian Basin oil to shipping seaports.

Well, they're welcome, I guess. Tell them the stealth cloaking field concealing its existence from realtime satellite imagery was overkill.

Don't tell them there are no seaports in Afghanistan. They'll flip.

At 1/24/2006 1:17 AM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

Wow Samwich, I didn't realize you were a such a "varied" reader. Lew Rockwell and the World Socialists websites?

Do they have libraries in Utah?

At 1/24/2006 1:39 AM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

Do they have libraries in Washington? Ever seen the inside of one? Those colorful flappy things on their shelves are called "books."

Start in the science section. If there was a profitable way to ship oil and natural gas over hundreds of miles across mountainous terrain in trucks, from the Caspian Basin to any port in Pakistan, nobody would do it because those trucks would have to be of a fuel efficiency currently impossible with petroleum products.

So your "pipeline" of trucks fantasy is just as implausible as your literal roller coaster of pipelines running through mountains fantasy is.

You have trouble thinking in 3 dimensions, I see.

At 1/24/2006 1:52 AM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/24/2006 1:56 AM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

So we're at war for an oil pipeline that isn't going to come because after kicking those nice Taliban kids' asses for not letting us do it, somebody got a slide rule out and figured out the laws of physics haven't changed?

Samwich, please. Get to a doctor and have him check your head for brain waves. (Yes, there are supposed to be some in there.)

At 1/24/2006 7:12 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I haven't yet read through all the comments since I went to bed last night. But in scanning through the comments, I saw this: For AOW: This has to be your finest post ever, brilliant work, you have captivated the minds of all here.

Thank you for the compliment.

Now, back to checking what commenters here have said.

At 1/24/2006 7:24 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Maccus Germanis,
Thank you for the links about brining CF vehicles up to speed on the drag strip (Pardon my pun). I don't run down the strip, but my husband likes to from time to time.

My father had a working garage, so since my childhood, I've been "in love" with the internal-combustion engine. It's hard for me to imagine its demise.

At 1/24/2006 7:32 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

If we're forced to change fuel systems, I'm sure some enterprising American would invent a retro for fuel-burners.

Yes, I rather imagine so. But with almost every customization we've made to our Mustang, we've had glitchees to work out. Early retrofits for CF vehicles would do the same, IMO.

It's hard to imagine a drastic change in all of our oil-dependent industries. But, to use a cliche, "Necessity is the mother of invention."

I also think that changing our industries would have unforeseeable repercussions on our economy. Do I have faith that our economy would survive? Yes, but the social order would change.

The social order may change anyway. We live in unpredictable and volatile times. Maybe I'm too much of a worrier, but maybe not.

At 1/24/2006 7:47 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

We live in the greatest nation of the planet. Despite her faults, I love America.

From day one of the founding of our nation, there has been an intense struggle between those who favor a strong central government and those who don't. The Articles of Confederation were a failure, thus leading to federalism as constructed in our Constitution. How far away from the Founders' intentions have we moved? The Founders, of course, were well aware of potential abuses of power, but they couldn't have foreseen the situation today, the increased federalism which, IMO, FDR (and to a certain extent, Woodrow Wilson, too) advanced. And certainly the technological developments in the last 50 years have increased the power of federalism as the federal government has moved further into what originally was the sphere of the states--i.e., entitlements programs.

I don't know a thing about the pipeline discussion which has been going on here. As I've said before, pre-9/11, I didn't pay much attention to what went on outside the United States. And truth be told, I focused on local matters instead of national ones. Pre-9/11, the closest attention I paid to matters oversease was when we had to line up for gasoline in the 1970's, but even then, I didn't realize the matters of international economics.

9/11 forced me to realize that international affairs can directly impact me, so here I am--in the blogosphere.

At 1/24/2006 7:50 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I will go back and read the info from the links you provided--when I get the chance. I work today.

My two laws of history:

1. It all comes down to the money, money and power being the same thing.

2. Never trust any politician.

My view of history is influenced by my religious beliefs. Man is a fallen creature and cannot be trusted.

So, I'm a cynic, I guess, in layman's terms.

At 1/24/2006 8:46 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Of the links you posted, I could access only the Lew Rockwell one. I read that specific article and a few more as well.

I checked the list of columnists and noticed a wide variety there, including Anne Applebaum, Richard Cohen, Gary North, and Thomas Sowell (to name just a few).

Why that wide range of columnists with apparently different ideologies?

At 1/24/2006 10:33 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

In your previous comment, you touched on what I refer to as the evils of a two-party system. IMO, when one party achieves political victory, the other party adjusts, which is to say tries to find what got the victorious party elected and pander to that issue (or those issues).

I think you're right about the big picture: On a macro scale, the right wants to liberalize the market and the people to run on freedom and not regulation. The left wants to shape the country into the socialist forms it so admires in the European models with strictly limited freedoms and excessive state-run regulation.

Whatever happened to the 9th and 10th Constitutional amendments?

Greed seems to have overcome the higher ideals which our Founders espoused and so believed in. "A republic, if you can keep it"--Franklin's words, I believe--come back to me right now.

At 1/24/2006 10:50 AM, Blogger Jason Pappas said...

Lew Rockwell is one of the key players on the anti-war libertarian right (along with Justin Raimondo.) The Islamic threat has split the libertarians into two camps. The anti-war camp isn’t always clear but they virtually believe we shouldn’t fight the enemy until they are amassed at our border. Only when the enemy throws a punch are you entitled to throw one back … and in your house. I’ve argued with a number of prominent anti-war libertarians who believe in a utopian dream that no one will bother us here, if we don’t bother them there. To justify this dream they have to blame everything on America just like the far left.

I like to think of myself as a muscular libertarian: libertarian at home but strong in fighting the enemy when need requires it. Like Jefferson, sometimes you have to chase those Barbary pirates on their turf. Otherwise, I wish we’d stay out of Haiti, Liberia, Serbia, Panama, Granada, Columbia, etc. (Except for intel agencies.) I wish those people well but we can’t run the world. Besides, how can we convey the message that we’ll leave you alone if you leave us alone … and yet be in almost every country on earth! I see a non-interventionist approach in the vast majority of the world complementing an aggressive approach in responding to the jihadist threat.

This is more of a disposition and not a worked out foreign policy. It’s a general skepticism of our getting too involved with internal matters in foreign lands.

At 1/24/2006 12:35 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

Let me point out something I feel needs to be addressed.

First Samwich "informs" us that the secret nefarious reason why we've deployed some troops to Afghanistan is so we can snake a pipeline from the Caspian Basin over hundreds of miles of mountains through either Iran or Turkmenistan, and then over hundreds of miles of mountains through Afghanistan and Pakistan to a port in the Indian Ocean.

When I shot down this fantasy as physics-defying ridiculousness, Samwich claimed that the "pipeline" was actually a road that has been built for trucks to carry oil along the same route mentioned above. So now we've devolved from a mythical human engineering marvel pumping (using world standard gph rates) 2,500,000 gallons of oil per hour over several hundreds (actually closer to thousands) of miles of mountains, to a "road" for a single truck to carry 10,000 gallons at a time (one way) this distance. Add as many trucks to the convoy as you'd like, you're not going to make a dent in the infeasibility of this fantasy.
The even greater financial infeasibility of the pipeline-that-became-a-built-road fantasy pales in comparison when I pointed out that no such road has been built.

Then it became a conspiracy grandiose scheme to defraud the American taxpayer.

No, no Samwich. You said a road was BUILT. Where is it?

I half expect Samwich to next tell us the Apollo moon landings were faked with technology acquired from the Roswell UFO crash.

I fully expect everyone else to realize Samwich is a blithering idiot.

At 1/24/2006 1:09 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...


So we've built a road that doesn't exist so mythical Gog / Magog troops that want to make war on Israel can get from the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean?

I thought Americans were supposed to be horrible at geography?

At 1/24/2006 4:21 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

I'm just following Samwich's ruminations to their "logical" conclusion - oil companies want to get at the Caspian Basin so bad that they've conspired to make it seem like Islamic terrorism is a threat so we can go fight a war upon innocent people there to secure ground for a pipeline or road across 3 or 4 countries as an investment scam to get at America's worthless fiat tax dollars. September 11th must have been some inside job planned out by the guys who were killed in the Pentagon attack.

What combination of illegal pharmaceuticals makes that make sense?

At 1/24/2006 4:35 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...


A proposed natural gas pipe line with multiple terminals throughout Afghanistan would create infrastructure to support Afghans and possibly export some of Afghanistan's limited natural gas resources to its neighbors. It wouldn't carry oil from the Caspian Sea through 3 countries to Pakistan.

That plan, a modernization dream for Afghanistan's economy, has not been "built," and the leftists who enjoy contriving ways to create human suffering have distorted the modest proposal of heating Afghan homes in the winter into a transnational oil grab targeting an oil field 2 countries away.

There is lots of confusion of issues and stupidity inside Samwich's regurgitation of socialist garbage.

At 1/24/2006 8:53 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

Roads have been built in Afghanistan, but not for a trans-national pipeline.

The socialism I was refering to was that of the sources in most of Samwich's links to prove his conspiracy theory. Whatever political leanings Samwich's finger in the wind has, it appears he's reliant on the hallucinations of leftist kooks and crackpot "libertarians."

Color me unimpressed with Samwich's concept of reality.

At 1/24/2006 9:00 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

a general skepticism of our getting too involved with internal matters in foreign lands.

As in George Washington's caution about foreign entanglements.

But we're tied up into countries all over the world now.

And we are not insulated from harm. The pond is much smaller now, and our borders are porous.

At 1/24/2006 9:08 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Discerning fact from fantasy or speculation is hard for me to do when I know little about the topic being discussed, i.e., roads and pipelines in Afghanistan.

I know that hidden agendas exist because I see the msm participate in that activity all the time. And, of course, conspiracy theories proliferate about all sorts of topics.

At 1/25/2006 12:25 AM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...


The idea that the ulterior motive behind toppling the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was to build a pipeline has been a discredited leftist canard since the first time some nitwit uttered it over 4 years ago.

It's simply ridiculous, and about as ridiculous as saying we toppled Saddam Hussein for oil - oil that Saddam Hussein was perfectly willing to sell if the UN dropped sanctions.

Predictibly, everyone will hawk up to take out Iran and its nuclear ambitions, and once that's began, the leftoids will contradict themselves and cry about it. Some will seek solace in the mad anti-American rambings of socialists and dingbat "libertarians."

Lather, rinse, repeat.

At 1/25/2006 7:41 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Before the comments here, I hadn't heard anything about any such pipeline. Then again, I wasn't watching foreign affairs at the time the story first appeared.

At 1/25/2006 7:50 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

From the January 24, 2006 Washington Post (I have the hard copy in hand):

"An Iraqi Muslim cleric who leads a major Shi'ite militia pledged to come to the defense of neighboring Iran if it were attacked, aides to the cleric, Moqtada Sadr, said Monday....

"'If there was an attack on Iran, even a limited military strike, this would provoke anger through the entire Muslim world...,' said Joseph Cirincione, an Iraq and nuclear weapons expert with the Carnegia Endowmnet for International Peace in Washington...."

Muslim unity again?

At 1/25/2006 8:38 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

From Tony Blankley :

...theories arising to explain Iran's possible motives. Strategic Forecasting Inc. (Stratfor), the highly regarded Texas-based strategic analysis group, has recently presented a completely different theory.

In their view, Iran's move is all about Iran's place in the Islamic firmament -- and particularly her seeking pride of place over Al Qaeda as the leader of radical Islam.

Does this theory have something to do with the caliphate dream?

At 1/25/2006 8:41 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Early-morning news today, here in the D.C. area:

Arlington County will be conducting drills, using bomb sirens like those used during the Cold War.

Not comforting, folks!

At 1/25/2006 9:36 AM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...


Oh I assure you, the pipeline story was never "big news" because it wasn't news at all. Leftists pushed it as the "real reason" for attacking Afghanistan (as opposed to toppling a regime harboring those who planned the 9/11 attacks) and there was never anything in fact to hang the conspiracy theory on.

Only babbling idiots cling to the story now.

At 1/26/2006 8:58 AM, Blogger Σ. Alexander said...


I would like to reply to your questions.

1. He has spoken of using devastating military defeat in order to remake a nation. How do you perceive that idea?

Whether it works depends on other factors. For example, postwar regime changes in Germany and Japan were successful, because there was democracy or democratic movement in both countries. Germany was under the Weimar democracy. There was Taisho democracy movement in Japan. The allies’ occupation reinvigorated prewar democracy or democratic movements in both countries.
Therefore, it is necessary for the US to find good partners in target states. In the Islam world, there are democracy activists and local empowerment organizations. Just as it happened in Ukraine, the West can sponsor them.
War is one of the means, but this must be coupled with other ways. It is not recommendable to impose a sense of inferiority to losers. Germany, Japan, and Ukraine are good examples.

2. Does the desire to establish a caliphate pose a serious danger to other civilizations?

In my view, it is not the desire itself, but movements lead by radical Muslims pose a serious threat to other civilizations. History tells us about it. The Abbas caliphate collapsed in the middle age, and caliphs handed political leadership to sultans. In other words, it is not religious authority but real political power that governs the country. Since then, none of the rulers in the Islamic world tried to establish a realm under a single caliph.
Leaders of current nation-states do not dream of building a caliphate Islamic union. Some states like Iran are theocratic. But Shiite Imam reigns only over Iranians, not over Sunni Muslims.
Terrorists cherish “excessively idealistic” values. This is a real danger to other civilizations. Of course, leaders of nation-states pose “realist” dangers to the world, like developing nuclear weapons.

At 1/26/2006 3:44 PM, Blogger (((Thought Criminal))) said...

Of course I wear a tin foil hat, and I pity those fools who think aluminum foil will keep them safe.

At 1/26/2006 10:08 PM, Blogger Jason Pappas said...

AOW, I have to send you this gem on the Caliphate written by Martin Kramer. Kramer, a student of Bernard Lewis, takes on Juan Cole who is a professor spreading the usual propaganda to take advantage of America's ignorance of Islam. That Cole has tenure is obscene. In any case, the errors are absurd. Kramer regularly fisks Cole.

I thought this would be a good "quiz" for those who read your article. Find the errors in Cole and check Kramer for the answers.

Regards as always, Jason.

At 1/27/2006 1:17 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Thanks for that link.

I may indeed have to post another article on the caliphate. Maybe Jason's link, provided just above your comment, will give me the info I need to start a new thread.

At 1/27/2006 1:36 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Great link!

At 1/27/2006 6:39 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I meant a new thread on the idea that bloggers could be spied on.

Oops! I misunderstood you. Sorry. I filed that link you provided.

Sometimes Samwich visits this site, which also has a related forum.

I think the results in Palestine illustrate the problems with the Arab people getting together on anything.

Yep! Clans, tribes, divisions--all those.


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