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No, it really is not about Iraq or Palestine or Afghanistan…

There is a very interesting article in the Telegraph about middle class Islamic terrorism. For me the ‘money quote’ came from Ed Husain, a former member of the extremist Hizb ut-Tahir group.

Mr Husain, whose book, The Islamist, exposed the workings of Hizb ut-Tahir, is contemptuous of the idea that the latest plots were inspired by the West’s intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. “This is just an excuse. They reject Western culture full stop, not just ‘slags in night clubs’. They would have supported the bombing of Muslims attending the cinema in Cairo in the 1950s. They do not want Muslims to enjoy social freedoms. If it was not Iraq they would cite Chechnya. Or Palestine. These are angry men. Accommodation is not an option. It has to be containment or annihilation.”

That is what makes these people so different from the IRA or ETA or any of the West’s entirely indigenous terrorists: there can be no possible meeting of the minds or compromise or middle ground to be found with the current crop of Wahhabi inspired mass murderers. It really is them or us.

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74 comments to No, it really is not about Iraq or Palestine or Afghanistan…

  • Sam Duncan

    I’m reading Husain’s book at the moment, and I’d recommend it to everyone, even if you think you understand the threat. I did, but he does a very good job of explaining the background (far better than, for example, Michael Gove in Celsius 7/7 – although that’s still worth reading too – because Husain’s been there). I was unaware, for example, that not all radical Islamist groups are Wahabbist: Hizb sees the Saudi-backed sect as rather lightweight, in fact.

    One interesting thing that comes out is that it’s quite clear there are moderate Muslims, but they’re afraid to speak out, partly out of a misplaced sense of Muslim unity, partly simply through fear. I think there have been some small encouraging signs that this might be changing since the recent failed attacks.

    Islamism is certainly different to our indigenous terrorist groups, but it’s also encouraging to read that, just like them, the various groupings are as opposed to each other as they are to the West, although they do a better job of hiding it to the outside world.

  • ziz

    Well, there speaks the voice of reason . If you seek reading matter you could consider “out of the energy labyrinth” (lower case title) by David Howell (AKA Lord Howell if Guildford, DTI Tory Minister in 80’s. and Caroel Nakhle) ISBN 978 1 84511 538 8 pob : I B Tauris abt 2/3 weeks ago.

    Probablt the most logical and sane analysis of the problems causerd politically by energy security on a global scale and the faults of current UK FO policy and what might be done to improve the outlook for energy usage.

    ” …Utopian schemes for a worldwide scheme of carbon pricing, administered by stratospheric agencies , accountable to no-one …”

    ” …the UK by its compliance with US strategies has placed its foreign policy in a limbo and severely weakened its capcity to influence events….”

    Ultimately the struggle is about energy not visions of a universal caliphate (Hussein et al) and how to avoid / confront it (M Phillips and midget Gem Gove) – not a perfect book but contains a greta deal of sound information, realistic analysis and sound ideas for the UK … even TB in his last speech to the Nu Labour party conference called for ..

    “the most radical overhaul in energy policy for 50 years”

    Department of Trade and Industry published Energy Trends and Quarterly Energy Prices Trends today for the 1st Qtr of 2007 2 weeks ago …

    Here is a quick snapshot –

    – Q1 2007 Total indigenous UK production of crude oil and NGLs decreased 4.5 % on Q1 2006. (despite 4 new fields coming on stream)

    – Q1 2007 Total indigenous UK production of natural gas decreased by 16.8% on Q1 2006

    – Q1 2007 Total indigenous UK production of coal decreased by 27.9% on Q1 2006

    Total electricity generation from all renewable sources in 2006 was 18,133 GWh, 7.5 % up on 2005… approximately 3 % of all electricity generated.

  • I think that Ziz’s comment should be accompanied by shots of Cheyenne Mountain and ticker-tape read-outs showing the date and location like a bad American adventure film-oh wait, this could be a bad American adventure.

    Nice to see the IRA mentioned again.
    Of course, as the Soviet Union never really fell(just regenerated like Doctor Who) we never got to find out just how much of the Brighton Bombing was assisted and directed from Moscow.
    I wouldn’t be suprised if MI5 knew something never to be officially revealed.

  • Billll

    Has anyone noticed how much Islam resembles a franchise operation?
    In the original model an army of horse barbarians arrives at your citys gates, sets up camp, and loots, pillages, and burns the surrounding countryside while delivering the message to the better-defended city dwellers: “Submit or Die”. “Submit” generally means that your taxes will rise, and the address on the remittance check will change.
    Today one can have a franchise for such an operation: Open a mosque in a neighborhood, and loot, pillage and burn as much as the locals will allow, with the underlying message that if protection money (jizra) is paid or if everyone converts (10% to the mosque) the trouble will stop.

  • David Roberts

    No, its not anything to do with energy, either. Julian Lincoln Simon killed this dragon.

  • Ham

    I think Muslims have set of reasonable political grievances. And, indeed, there are people within the political system that debate those issues. The terrorists are an entirely different set of people. These are people who really believe that they will be transported to paradise the millisecond the pull that detonator cord. There is little hope to reason with them. Discuss foreign policy, by all means, but the only Muslims who you will appease are those who were reasonable enough in the first place to enter the dialogue. This does not include aspiring mass-murderers.

  • marc in calgary

    well it’s obvious, if the islamofacists are so bent on destruction, murder and the like, we ought to send in the Labour Party / NDP here in Canada, in its entireity to ahhh, “negotiate”.
    good luck with that kids.
    I’ll wait here.

  • Sam Duncan

    Ziz, I’m sure Howell and Nakhle’s book is perfectly reasonable. The trouble is, the Islamists aren’t. Husain should know; he was one. As far as I know, Lord Howell’s C of E.

  • N/A

    The “they hate our freedoms” explanation for 9/11 is ignorantly obnoxious. What f*****g freedoms? American military operations of the last century couldn’t possibly have anything to do with it? That is a ridiculous explanation? People all over the world just love having American military bases in their countries and propping up one despot after another? Of course the Americans can spread freedomanddemocracy at the point of a gun. How else could it be done?

  • tranio

    From Ottawa Citizen

    London & Glasgow
    One really has to wonder about the efficiency of the British National Health Service, after seeing how incompetently a group of Islamist doctors carried off their weekend car-bombing and fire-throwing attacks in London and Glasgow. Not one death; not even a successful suicide.

    We can thank the indiscretion of the British police for the information that the persons since rounded up were mostly doctors and laboratory technicians working for the NHS. “Of Asian origin.” Am I jumping to conclusions, by guessing that they were all fanatical Muslims? (That not one of them was a fanatical Methodist?)

    On the other hand, they seem to have been paid well — doctors often are. Two almost identical, incompetently rigged Mercedes were found outside London night clubs. From what I can make of media reports, “controlled explosions” had also to be carried out on a car about to be dispatched from a Glasgow mosque, and on three fire hydrants placed suspiciously (if also ludicrously) on the pavement outside a London tube station. The general configuration appears to be (once again) according to current Islamist practice in Iraq: the two-part explosion. Not simultaneous, in any given location, but successive. The first bomb kills as many people as possible, attracting onlookers and a rescue operation. The second kills as many of them as possible.

    Some parallel operation in Australia may also have been intended, judging from the urgency of police searches there. A man arrested at Brisbane airport, trying to flee to India, was a hospital registrar, recently arrived from England.

    The attack on the Glasgow airport leaves us still scratching our heads. An SUV was driven into a passenger terminal. Failing to get inside, its two riders then emerged, in flames, shouting “Allah! Allah!” — trying to hurl Molotov cocktails, before being wrestled to the ground by police. It sounded like the dress rehearsal for a Monty Python skit.

    And yet it was a brilliant success. For within minutes — just because this scene happened at an airport — new regulations were being posted around the world to search all air travellers in new, more expensive, more time-consuming, and more demeaning ways.

    In general, all these terror attempts were a brilliant success. The BBC and the rest of the British mainstream media immediately piped out sympathetic pieces about the poor beleaguered Muslim community, and aired demands for withdrawal from Iraq. In other words, exactly the publicity the Islamists wanted. And the new British prime minister, though he sounded firm and resolute, is understood to be looking for ways to get out of Tony Blair’s unpopular war.

    We can safely assume that the timing of the British terror attempts was intended to coincide with the change in government leadership, in exactly the same way as the terror hits on the Madrid railway system were timed for the Spanish general election in 2004. The tactic works. The terrorists successfully swung that election, to the party that would cut-and-run from Iraq. And had several hundred Britons been killed, as the NHS doctors intended, demands for British withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, in both the media and Parliament, would have been overwhelming.

    The problem with defeatism is that it leads to defeat — not to peace. Ask the Spaniards whose tour bus convoy was driven into by an exploding car in Yemen over the same weekend. At least, ask those who survived. They may well have thought they could safely visit that country’s archaeological sites, since Al Qaeda must appreciate the lengths to which Spain has gone to make herself inoffensive. But no: Al Qaeda considers not the behaviour of Spain, but the existence of Spain, to be offensive. Their propaganda is unambiguous: the terror will stop when “Al Andalus” returns to Shariah.

    It is ridiculous, to imagine that the West will somehow surrender to the Islamists, from fear of (often slapstick) terror attacks. Or even, from fear of the luckier terror strikes, that have happened, and are sure to happen again — for even a portable nuclear device, or packed biological weapon, is unlikely to kill more than a small proportion of a big city’s population. Life could go on.

    And yet, when one looks at the response to an attack in which there were no fatalities, the idea ceases to be ridiculous. For the prevailing view among our self-sainted elites, in media and government, is that we must always reward a terror strike with new concessions, and always retreat where the enemy confronts us. And among the deracinated urban masses who vote the latter into power, the demand is for safety, even at the price of slavery. This is perfectly expressed in the public outpouring of obeisance to Islam, after each Islamist hit.

    Such spineless whimpering is, in turn, a powerful inspiration to the more ardent Islamists, to try further terror strikes. We might as well unroll a huge banner, that reads, “Please! Hit us again!”

    David Warren

  • Dave

    If its not about Iraq, not about Afghanistan, not about anything else really other than the Islamic attempt to dominate the world howcome we weren’t attacked by Muslims 50, 100, 200, 400 years ago?

    ermm.. Whats changed?

  • Dusty

    [Posted by Dave at July 8, 2007 02:53 AM]

    Dave, you need to study more history.


    Much as I liked Mr Husain’s book and the accuracy of the point about the West’s freedoms being an anathema to the Islamists, I think that point, too, is a distraction.

    The lives of the inhabitants of the West could be unversally in tune with all the Islamist’s prescriptions on how to live, save one, that one being belief in Mohammed’s god, and that condition would be more than sufficient for them to continue the beheadings.

    This war is not about our keeping our freedoms, it is about keeping our souls.

  • veryretired

    Shannon Love at Chicagoboyz, and also here if I remember some of his comments, has pointed out that the real danger to the west is not the occasional hits by successful terrorist attacks, but the inability of the tranzi, chattering class elites to confront a group of people who simply ignore everything that is most important to the tranzis.

    There is no negotiation, no compromise, no debate, no room for reasoned discussion and carefully drafted agreements.

    Just as in that scene from “Independence Day”, when the young President finally confronts the alien invader and asks what it is they want, so we can negotiate, and the answer is” We want you to die”.

    Are the terrorists of AQ or any other group capable of great damage and destruction? Of course.

    But the real danger to the west is a governing elite that cannot admit the true nature of the adversary because to do so would entail rethinking their entire approach to how people operate and how things really work.

    Better to go down with their delusions intact than to address the true issues. Too bad they will take the rest of us with them, if they can.

  • When people talk about surrender, I always wonder what they’re talking about surrendering.

    Obviously, they don’t mean surrender in the sense that Japan or Germany surrendered in WWII, which involved occupation of their countries.

    There has never been talk of surrendering our armies in the field, and ordering them to lay down their arms, merely removing our armies from that field, and reassigning them to protect their own nations, instead of trying to protect one bunch of barbarians from another bunch of barbarians. So it can’t be this sort of surrender that is being discussed.

    Perhaps they are talking about surrendering something of value, as we surrender our money to the government to wage these absurd adventures.

    Maybe they mean surrendering our “right” to waste our money in attempting to impose democracy on those who do not want it? I’m willing to surrender that. I don’t want my money wasted in this fashion.

    Perhaps they include surrendering our “right” to govern countries where the governed do not consent to our government? I’m willing to surrender that. I don’t care what form of government is instituted outside my country. I am concerned only with the government inside my country.

    If these are the things that we are talking about surrendering, I’m all for it. I have no problem surrendering them, as I would have no problem surrendering a pile of dog shit in my front lawn to anyone who cared to come and claim it. Why? Because these are not things of value to me.

  • Chris Harper (Counting Cats)

    “howcome we weren’t attacked by Muslims 50, 100, 200, 400 years ago?”

    Um, a little knowledge of history might be nice.

    With the sole exception of the Malay world, Malaysia and Indonesia, all Islamic territory, including the Arabian Peninsula, (with the arguable exception of Medina), was obtained by force, by violence and threat. Peaceful conversion simply has seldom been a significant tool in the Islamic kit.

    The last time Europe faced significant threat of Islamic violence was at the Battle of Vienna, 1683. Although by then the Islamic world was already falling behind Western Civilisation in wealth, power and military capability, after this the discrepancy became so pronounced that it is only now that Islam has been able to recommence its traditional approach of saying either adopt the religion of peace or I will cut your f*****g head off.

    So, 50, 100, 200 years ago? No threats because they would have been laughed at. 400 years ago? They were at our throats, just as they had been when they used violence to take Damascus, Alexandria/Cairo, Constantinople, Antioch, Cathage and Jerusalem, the great heartlands of Christianity.

    And that is history.

  • We weren’t attacked?
    So why was Kosovo conquered in the middle ages?
    What is ‘Alhambra’ in Spain?
    Who killed general Gordon?
    What was the Battle of Taranto?
    What did the US Navy do about Berbary Pirates?

  • guy herbert

    That is what makes these people so different from the IRA or ETA or any of the West’s entirely indigenous terrorists:

    Er, no. It makes them different from the IRA or ETA, or the Tamil Tigers or the old-style PLO, or any number of nationalist terrorist groups anywhere in the world.

    But it makes them pretty much identical with indigenous Western and other terrorists such as Baader-Meinhof, SLA, THe Angry Brigade, the Una Bomber, Aum, usw – millennarian revolutionaries – or the cadres of more significant revolutionary outfits such as Bolshevism or fascism, or for that matter New Labour. They are privileged individuals with a chip, spoilt rich kids who want to remake the entire world to prove how significant and insighful they are, and thrilled by the company of violent psychopaths. It’s student politics with weapons.

    Hussain and (more) Hassan Butt are very worth reading, but they shouldn’t be taken as completely reliable narrators. Hussain in particular has a subtle but very post-modern line in victimhood: I-was-seduced-guv’nor.

  • While I’m at it, what were the Crusades?

  • Nick M

    Chris Harper,

    I would suggest that it was Lepanto really that was the beginning of the end for the Ottoman’s as a truly existential threat to the West. All it took at the Gates of Vienna was for the Europeans to act with a hint of common-purpose. Saved by the Poles.


    I’m a Brit. We’ve had US military bases on our lands for decades. Why has this never got me into a skirling rage? Well, why not? Possibly because they’ve brought jobs and money with them. Possibly because they’ve been used to bomb the likes of Saddam, the Taliban and Gadaffi and sundry very unpleasant characters (yes, Milosevic at the back there, that’s you). Possibly because the sensible new NATO countries really like having the Yanks too. I know the Japs occasionally create over Yokohama but they’d rapidly find themselves grateful the Kitty Hawk is stationed there if Comrade Kim decides to get interesting. And possibly just because the USAF exhibition at Duxford is grand. It’s really simple. The US isn’t occupying us, it’s more like having a mate kipping on your sofa, a mate who brought around a rather cheeky single-malt.

    “What fucking freedoms?” Well, I suggest you try being homosexual in Tehran, proselytising for Catholicism in Islamabad and, if female, not wearing a hijab in Riyadh. Upon your return, whatever portion of you remains intact can then answer that question. While you’re at it, you could try getting a beer in Yemen, tell the folk in Darfur to just stop and have a deeply stimulating discourse on the functions of the clitoris and why the application of a broken coke bottle to it is not advised by NICE with an Egyptian “wise woman” in some god-awful village in the hinterland.

    You would discover such freedoms! The freedom to be absolutely pig-ignorant, the freedom to be generally medieval, the freedom, indeed, to fuck goats*. So many freedoms frowned upon by Europeans and indeed our American cousins.

    I mean, how would I know? Perhaps the fucking of the goat is the most fun you can have with your pants down. I really wouldn’t know so oppressed am I that I’ve only ever done it with adult Homo sapiens sapiens.

    *As long as you pay a dowry to the owner (Somalia**) or when you slaughter your bleating lover you don’t sell the meat to your own village (Iran, Islamic Republic of – possibly apocryphal).

    **In Somalia, you fuck the goat, you bought it. Going rate is about USD50. Obviously, fucking your own goat is a cheaper option but what if you don’t own a goat? I don’t own a goat. What’s a guy meant to do? Well, possibly have consensual sex with an adult female of the same species. But then that would involve bunging her dad at least one goat. And that’s for an ugly one.

  • Chris Harper (Counting Cats)

    What did the US Navy do about Berbary Pirates?

    Pretty much the same thing that the British later did to Algiers.

    Anyone wants details? Go ask the Marine Corps, they’ll fill you in.

    After all, someone had to do something about the incessant Islamic African slave raids on Europe and America.

    what were the Crusades?

    Easy, a long delayed and half arsed attempt at self defense by the remaining rump of Christendom, left isolated and cut off at the edge of the world by the previous four hundred years of incessant violence by the Religion of Peace.

  • Chris Harper (Counting Cats)


    I would have said the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa was indicative of the Shape of Things to Come, even though the Reconquesta had already been going on for centuries it could have still been reversed up until this point. Afterwards it became unstoppable.

    Don’t forget, in the East although Christian lands ruled by Islam regained their freedom, previously Christian lands were never recovered. All we have ever achieved is to halt the advance.

  • Chris Harper (Counting Cats)

    I’ve only ever done it with adult Homo sapiens sapiens

    Poor bugger, you haven’t lived until you have done it Mahommed style, or Iranian Modern as I guess you could call it these days, but where ya gonna get a nine year old girl in this corrupt and immoral West?

    Although I guess even turning Muslim wouldn’t get you the chance to try Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.

  • Pa Annoyed

    “When people talk about surrender, I always wonder what they’re talking about surrendering.”

    Then I suggest you first start with ‘Reliance of the Traveller’, by Ibn Naqib al-Misri. This will give you a comprehensive and authoritative understanding of Islamic doctrine – including Jihad, Sharia, and the treatment proper to non-Muslims under their laws. You have to start with that one to be properly convinced, because it is written by Muslims, for Muslims, and fairly recently endorsed as conforming to current Muslim belief and practice by the highest Islamic authorities one can find.

    Once you’re persuaded that it isn’t all Islamophobic propaganda, read ‘Islam and Dhimmitude’ by Bat Ye’or, which documents the regulation, oppression, mistreatment, and ocasional massacres of the dhimma – non-Muslims living under Muslim law. You get to find out about the Devshirme, a form of taxation that I think would get even socialists upset.

    Then go to William Muir’s history of the Caliphate which will fill you in on some of those bits of history that they evidently left out at school. Do look out for for the adventures of Khalid bin Walid (popularly known and admired as the Sword of Allah) and the River of Blood incident – it’s a classic! There are many other colourful characters too. It’s mostly based on the classic Muslim history by al Tabari, which you can also obtain.

    There’s lots more. The Legacy of Jihad by Bostrom, Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq, The Haddith collections of Bukhari and Muslim dealing with the military campaigns of the Prophet, and the Koran and the Tafsir commentaries on it (Ibn Kathir is the most widely used by ordinary Muslims – there are other more specialist ones used by scholars), news sites like JihadWatch and Western Resistance, and so on.

    To ask what we might be surrendering is to have asked in 1938 what was so bad about Nazism, and if all it meant was an end to our meddling interference in European affairs, like stifling the German right to an army for self-defence, then ‘Well Done, Mr Chamberlain!’ You have to do the equivalent of reading Mein Kampf to understand. (A book still very popular in the Middle East, by the way, interestingly the title translates as something like ‘My Jihad’.)

    Considering the importance of the topic in current affairs, I’m continually fascinated by how little most people know about it, and yet how confidently they repeat what they have heard. It’s such a striking effect that I can’t help but wonder if there is something more behind it than common-or-garden pig ignorance; whether there are people (besides the Muslims and their Da’wa of course) who have made a deliberate effort to keep it out of our consciousness. I don’t see it as remotely possible the the politicians and diplomats don’t know all this, that they have been fooled too. Paranoia, no doubt – the real reason is that people aren’t really interested enough in learning stuff any more. They trust that if our guides and leaders had seen such a danger on the horizon, they would have told us.

    By the way, I’d be interested to hear if anyone does actually go and read the sources I recommend, or whether I’m wasting my time.

  • freeman too

    I am not sure the Dirty Mo lot actually hate our freedoms so much as resent the fact we won’t accept their limitations on life. We annoy them by having our own restrictions that don’t tally quite with theirs (and theirs are better because it’s so utterly final in many cases)

    One thing that should worry us however is the fact that though we may well lock up significant number of Islamopervs they won’t have changed their minds when they come out of HM prisons. If anything I expect they will rub shoulders (if not private parts) with others of their calling while inside and emerge even more determined to blast innocents into submission.

    A normal criminal might just say on release, “I’m not doing that again.” Sadly our homicidal “peace-lovers” (‘plastic explosives be upon him’) are likely to be even more suicidal than before. I fear we may, even if we get these lunatics behind bars for 20 years, merely be postponing their destiny for martyrdom as they yearn for those increasingly anxious 72 hot babes in heaven.

    Capital punishment for terrorists, whether successful or not? Please discuss.

  • Chris Harper (Counting Cats)

    Ya know, this site is erudite to the point of being scary.

    In all the years I have been lurking and/or commenting on sites on the net I have never found another where the contributors and commentators are as well informed, in as many areas, and where they are capable of expressing that knowledge as clearly and succinctly as happens here.

    Samizdata is unique. And I would HATE to be the target of the masses scorn of this lot.

  • Chris Harper (Counting Cats)

    Capital punishment for terrorists, whether successful or not?

    No, because they really do believe that Paradise awaits on death. Anyone who dies shaheed (martyr), acheives Paradise immediately, guaranteed. Everyone else must wait until the Day of Judgement, and then the outcome depends on the manner in which they lived their life; nothing is guaranteed.

    Islamism is a death cult, its adherents are not put off by capital punishment, they are guaranteed entry to the materialistic celestial brothel regardless.

    However, any Muslim buried with any component of a pig is forever forbidden Paradise, shaheed or not.

    And there people, is our solution. Take them at their word. Announce and implement a policy of burial in a pig skin shroud. Make it clear that according to their beliefs they will never, in all eternity, achieve Paradise.

    If they blow themselves up, fine. Even a finger dipped in pork fat will do the job.

  • Martin

    Al Qaeda, it should be remembered, were our allies in the 1980s, when we were arming them up to fight the Bolsheviki.

    Methinks they are probably a bit more pragmatic than their rants let on.

    We learn little from history though. We armed up and bankrolled the Bolsheviks in Moscow to fight the Huns in World War 2 only to find out that Uncle Joe was not really cuddly and was in fact a bigger swine than Hitler. We arm up and bankroll islamic maniacs and give them a decade of battle experience only to find out they are swine too. I hate communism, and the USSR was far more dangerous than Bin Laden’s acolytes are, but I really think covert intervention in Afghanistan was a blunder. The USSR would have still suffered large casualties in Afghanistan even if the West had not armed the Islamists, the USSR was in terminal decline long before the Afghan Invasion, and would have collapsed anyway.

    If this ‘war on terror’ ends and so-called ‘islamofascism’ is crushed, I wonder how long it will take before we find ourself stuck in another long war. And I bet the new enemy will be a former ‘ally’ we used against the Islamofascists. Considering that by the end of the ‘war on terror’ that civil liberties will be heavily curtailed and state economic controls will be rife, the men that rule us will also need another enemy to continue justifying such a state of affairs.

  • Nick M

    I was almost banned by Islamica Community Forums. I say “almost” because they went offline before I could reply to them and tell ’em where to stick it.

    Why? you wonder. Well, there are a great many things that can be held against Muhammed and some, indeed are controversial. Some quite possibly are slanders perpetrated by folk who would rather have a beer and a bacon sandwich than pray to a goddamn meteorite 5 times a day. But, there is one thing that no amount of airbrushing can remove from Islam. It was founded by a man who in his fifties had sex with a nine year old girl.

    Oh, he also had the Jews of Medina massacred and was responsible for sundry other outrages but let’s face it the muzzies acknowledge he screwed a nine-year old girl. I once dated a woman in her twenties with a 9 year old cousin. Well, shock, horror, she might have been a pretty little thing but I wanted the one with the Master’s degree and breasts (being, for my sins a normally constituted heterosexual male in my twenties). This little girl had a crush on me. Her brother ribbed her about it. She turned around and said to him that “I don’t love Nick, we’re just good friends”. I was lost for words with that one. Cute, kiddy anecdote isn’t it? Yes, but according to Sharia I could’ve had her.

    Screwing nine year olds isn’t even controversial in Islamic circles. Maybe it didn’t happen (afterall we are talking about someone who shuffled off his mortal coil in 732AD – and that’s a very long time ago). What matters is that the muslims believe that the most perfect human being who ever existed, the paradigmatic exemplar to us all, fucked a girl too young to menstruate or have pubic hair. Buddha sat under a tree thinking deep thoughts, Christ said “let’s be nice” and got hideously tortured to death when he was about the same age I am now but Muhammed fucked a nine year old. And no, I very much doubt it was generally considered “OK back then” because Muhammed was in his 50s and this wasn’t kiddies playing “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine”.

    He was, by any stretch, a prevert of the first water. And we’re supposed to take him seriously as the founder of a “great religion”? Well, tell ya what, I’ll come round to assorted members of the commentariat’s houses and mess with their pre-teen daughters. And ya know what? I’ll be righteously shot dead (or beaten senseless on this side of the pond).

    But this is real, this carries on. The female age of consent in the Islamic Republic of Iran is 9*. How could they make illegal something the Messenger himself boasted of?

    *The male age of consent is 15, unless you’re gay and then you’ll be bloody well hung. I have no idea about goats.

  • Chris Harper (Counting Cats)


    Were you aware that Ayshas father, Abu Bakr, had been acknowledged by Mohammad as being so close to him that they were brothers? This made him, in customary law if not in fact, Ayshas uncle. Because of this Abu Bakr was shocked and horrified when the Great Pervert asked for his daughter.

    Not only did Mohammad fuck a nine year old, but she was also his niece; he committed incest.

  • Chris Harper (Counting Cats)

    I have no idea about goats.

    I would have thought a nine year old goat would be getting to be a real nanny.

    Me? I think I would prefer a nice tender three year old. At least at that age it would be post pubescent.

  • RAB

    We armed up and bankrolled the Bolsheviks in Moscow to fight the Huns in World War 2

    Well in the spirit of erudition mentioned by Chris Harper ( he is so so right!!) I cant let that one stand Martin.
    I think you’ll find that it was the Germans who bankrolled the Bolsheviks in an attempt to take Russia out of the First World War so that Germany had one less front to fight on.
    Compared to the frightening intellegence always on display on this sight I am just a clever dog that does card tricks!

  • Martin

    RAB- So I suppose all those naval convoys that went from Britain to the USSR during WW2 were an illusion? I suppose all the money and weapons that Roosevelt handed over to Stalin were illusions too? What about all those nuclear secrets that Stalin got his hands on because Britain and America were packed with Soviet spies during WW2? We did arm up the USSR, and we gave them the means to build their empire in Eastern Europe.

  • Martin

    We also helped arm the Marxist terrorists that would go on to overrun China, North Korea, and Indochina.

  • Chris Harper (Counting Cats)


    Martin is right. In the first world war Germany financed the Bolshies as you say, but we financed them in the second, giving Stalin and his mates all sorts of help once Barbarossa started.

    A couple of decades had passed, but they were still bolshies.

  • RAB

    Yes I do beg your pardon Martin. It only goes to re-inforce Chris’s erudition remark though doesn’t it?
    The slightest error on SD will get you an instant correction from someone who really does know better!
    For my part, what confused my thinking was the word Bolshevik. I tend to only associate that with the immediate post revolution period. By the time we get to Stalin I tend to think Soviet, or just plain Commies.
    Tunnel vision. My mistake

  • N/A is blinded by his Americocentric views. I have often joked that the difference between American arrogance and British arrogance is the the British think they rule the world, whereas the Americans think they are the world. N/A cannot imagine anything happening anywhere that does not have the USA at its core. I ran into the same absurd thinking regarding the break up of Yugoslavia, as if the locals would not have managed to have a nice war of national dissolution if the US had (chose one) not gotten involved/gotten involved sooner.

    I often wonder how US actions explain Islamic terrorism in Chechnya, Thailand, Kenya, Philippines and all manner of places where the US is really not central to, well, anything really. But then to folks like N/A, the mere notion of the actions of the United States being anything less that central to everything damn near everywhere does not seem to compute. Anyway, I suppose it is easier to just blame Halliburton and BushMcHilter. N/A descends into absurdity when he asks “What f*****g freedoms?” I would love to send him to go live in Saudi Arabia (“our friends the Saudis”) for a few years so give him something to compare with. For all our flaws and the undeniably erosion of our civil liberties, we are vastly freer that the Islamic nutjobs want anyone to be.

    As for the wickedness of arming Stalin against Hilter, it was done for purely pragmatic reasons which are hard to fault: the Western allies would simply not have won WW2 against Nazi Germany if most of Germany’s resources were not deployed fighting in Russia. If the Soviets had collapsed in say 1943, D-Day in 1944 would not been possible and the strategic air war would have gone very differently.

    Plus, the notion that aiding Muslims in Afghanistan against the Soviets was aiding ‘Al Qaeda’ as it is currently understood does not really reflect reality. Clearly the Soviets were the enemy that mattered then. Was sending aid to Ahmed Shah Masood wrong? Clearly not, even in retrospect seeing as he was by far the biggest thorn in the side of the Taliban.

  • Martin

    Considering that Hitler did not have anything close to a decent surface navy that could have been used to invade Britain, and that Hitler had no way of attacking anywhere in the United States, and that the A-bomb was ready in 1945, I question whether it was really necessary to keep the one country on the planet that was worse than Nazi Germany in the war.

    All our ‘pragmatism ‘ achieved was to replace the German domination of Eastern Europe with the Soviet domination of Europe and replace the Japanese domination of East Asia with the Communist domination of East Asia. Hardly our ‘finest hour’. Likewise, our actions in Afghanistan in the 80s just led to a Soviet dominated Afghanistan being replaced by an Afghanistan ran by Islamic terrorists (formerly known in the west as freedom fighters).

  • Chris Harper (Counting Cats)

    Perrys comments highlight the absurdity of the propensity of some to blame all societies, or the worlds, ills on the actions of (whoever it is that is the lefts current bogeyman).

    This attitude in many ways confers subhuman status on whoevers behaviour it is that they are trying to justify or excuse.

    Only Maggie Thatcher, or George Bush, or Ronnie Regan, or the neocons are truly human because they are the only ones who are truly responsible for their own moral behaviour. The other, the rioter, the mugger, the criminal, the terrorist, are only reacting to the policies of the evil ones and therefore are not morally responsible.

    This is a vile defamation of these people, denying them the status of morally responsible actors, with motivations of their own.

  • Pa Annoyed


    Regarding the Islamic thing about pigs:

    “Koran 5.3: Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that on which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked, and the strangled (animal) and that beaten to death, and that killed by a fall and that killed by being smitten with the horn, and that which wild beasts have eaten, except what you slaughter, and what is sacrificed on stones set up (for idols) and that you divide by the arrows; that is a transgression. This day have those who disbelieve despaired of your religion, so fear them not, and fear Me. This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion; but whoever is compelled by hunger, not inclining willfully to sin, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

    See also Reliance of the Traveller section j16.7 where they explain that if forced by an enemy to eat something unlawful, you can legally do so to save yourself.

    Regarding burying the dead, I can’t find anything specifically on the situation you describe, although there are some related rulings. It is unlawful to wash Shaheed after death, unlike other Muslims, even if in a state of ritual impurity (Reliance section g4.20 – they’re supposed to be buried with their bloodied clothes still on them, presumably so God can see how hard they fought), and there is an extensive list of things considered unclean, pigs being one, but according to some Shia schools the touch of an unbeliever is another, (although Sunni scholars differ). Given the circumstances around many such burials, I don’t see it being an insurmountable problem for them. I expect it would be found highly offensive, though.

    Seriously, for anyone even vaguely interested in arguing Islam, ‘Reliance’ is utterly invaluable – it’s concise, well-organised, and quite readable; and it isn’t even very expensive. Amazon sell it, although I’m sure there are other places.

    And there’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when it slowly dawns on the rather arrogant member of Hizb ut Tahrir you’re arguing with that you know more about Islam than he does, and you’ve just caught him out in several major sins. It’s a feeling that is definitely worth the investment of a little time and effort. :-)

  • Nick M

    Well, yes, I have seen piccies of Spits and Hurricanes with red stars on ’em and they certainly didn’t belong to Her Majesty’s Royal Airforce. But, hell’s teeth this was force majeur. Hitler was a genuinely existential threat to what Churchill called “Christian Civilization”. Stalin was a category A bastard but he wasn’t exactly planning on invading England at the time. Churchill was beside himself with upset over the Cossacks he had to hand over to Uncle Joe at the end. Admittedly, I suspect they were somewhat more upset.

    Preaching to the converted here. I know that about Abu Bakr. What I don’t know is how anybody justifies it. 1.something billion people believe this guy was the most wonderful bloke who ever lived and his own exegesis* (the hadith) says that he was a real gent because he married a 6 year old and then had the good grace to wait another 3 years to consumate the “union” (it goes into details of little Aisha being taken from her swing to meet “The Messenger” because he’s ready – it makes me wanna puke. I mean if he’d shagged her when she was six he’d just be peadophile scum but to try and take credit for waiting those three years? What the hell does that make him?

    I mean, fuck me, I managed to cement ties with a Derbyshire based clan by marrying their 27 year old daughter. You know 27=3*9. I’m not against ol’ Mo because he was a pervert. Hell, Michael Barrymore is a pervert and I couldn’t give a flying one about him but Barrymore never claimed that he required veneration or that he’d produced the fundamental blue-print for all human-life for all time in every minute detail.

    And I mean every detail. The muzzies reckon the Koran contains all science (up to and including string theory and the existance of black holes) and, if you look at an online fatwa bank (and there are plenty) there are numerous tortuous descriptions of the correct Islamic way to shave pubic hair. Why “tortuous”? Well, you try describing it without using words like “pubus”, “labia” or “perineum”. Perhaps that’s why Big Mo preferred leetle girls. That or he was thoroughly depraved (but not a drinker) take your pick. Personally, I couldn’t give a toss. I do know that for 1400 years the bastards have been trying to destroy my civilisation. Yeah, you know the one. The civilization of Wiliam Shakespeare, John Locke, Isaac Newton… Need I go on?

    *Not technically an exegesis but near as damn it and I’ve got a fiver riding on Federer. So I have other things on my mind…

  • pa annoyed, I appreciate your post. I have been trying to find al Tabari. I do want to read for myself the acts of Mohammed, so as not to be accused of just “reading stuff off the internet” by some misguided beard.

  • Dave

    Yes Dusty its always good to learn more history. But my comment wasn’t clear I didn’t mean Muslims hadn’t attacked the ‘West’ before, I was talking about Britain and Muslims have played no part in the history of Britain except for the Islamic slave raiders but Britain was a small target for that compared to the rest of Europe, and since colonialism Britain met a few Muslims in on its travels, but the homeland of Britain didn’t have a Muslim presence. Therefore there was no risk of Jihad in Britain.

    Muslims were just as crazy 100, 200, 300 years ago as they are now, yet Britain was not attacked at home?

    Without mass-immigration of Muslims in the last 50 years Britain would have no threat at all from Jihad today within Britains borders.

    The problem isn’t about ideology, the Nazis would have been nothing without being in control of the most advanced and efficient military at the time, the Soviets would have been little without the Nuclear threat, Muslims would be no problem today if we hadn’t given them the ability to attack us by opening our borders to millions of them allowing them to attack us with low tech weaponry.

  • Pa Annoyed


    Go on to Amazon and do a search for “al Tabari”. But the bloody thing comes in 39 volumes, which could be a bit expensive for the casual reader, and a lot of them are hard to get. I’ve got 6 and 7 for the life story of Muhammad and have borrowed others, I’m planning to get the later ones eventually – but Muir gives a good summary for free, which so far has been sufficient for me. Don’t bother with the first few – they just repeat Biblical “history”, really badly. Start with vol 6.

    Contents list is here:

    By the way, Tabari got a lot of the story of Muhammad from various versions of ibn Ishaq (different ones from the only surviving versions we have today) and ibn Ishaq is often considered the most authoritative source on the prophet. The faithfreedom.org website has a translation.

    Thanks for the feedback. It’s appreciated.

  • Uain

    Chris Harper wrote;
    Capital punishment for terrorists, whether successful or not?

    No, because they really do believe that Paradise awaits on death.

    However, I would submit that the fact the islamist died at the hands of the infidel, under his laws would be a very effective deterent. Of course, it would need to be done on the appropriately (large) scale.

  • Considering that Hitler did not have anything close to a decent surface navy that could have been used to invade Britain,

    Hitler did not have to invade Britain to defeat Britain, he just had to win the U-boat war. Christ, don’t they teach any military history wherever it is you come from?

  • Martin

    Hitler never won the Uboat war either. That was largely wound up while Hitler still had troops in the USSR as well.

    Prior to the war, Doenitz predicted that Germany needed 1,000 U-boats to win a naval war against Britain. In 1939, they had a grand total of 40. Had Britain been smarter and not wasted ships in supplying Russia or defending colonial outposts in Asia (or defending ‘the empire’ full stop- we got most of our imported war material from the US and Latin America, not the Empire), and organized convoy systems better earlier on, the naval war would have been easier too.

  • Hitler never won the Uboat war either.

    And without D-Day, which most certainly depended on the USSR keeping Hitler busy, the U-Boat war would have entered an entirely new phase with the large scale introduction of the Type XXI U-boats, and they would still operating from the Atlantic bases in France rather than Northern Germany. And right about the same time we would have been loosing our air superiority to the German jets and all the other advanced designs that would not be in Russia because we did not send them assistance. And had Russia collapsed, petrol, oil and lubricants would not have been a problem for the Germans as they would have Baku.

    There is no upside to the Nazis surviving World War 2. Instead of a relatively backward totalitarian regime dominating half of Europe and much of Northern Asia, we would have had a regime with some of the world’s most advanced technology and the highest quality military bar none in control of all of Europe (the advanced bits) and much of Northern Asia.

  • Martin

    Was there any upside to the USSR surviving the war?

  • Martin

    You also forget that the only special weapon that ever mattered in the whole wart, the A-bomb, was an Allied weapon. Had the Nazi regime survived into August 1945, Berlin would have been destroyed, probably killing most of the Nazi leaders with it. The Nazis superweapons- jet bombers, V2s, rail guns etc were wasteful sideshows and they would have been better off spending the money on tanks and basic aircraft. The Nazis were at least a decade away from an A-bomb.

  • Dusty

    Dave, rereading your first comment in light of the second, it’s a good point. Apologies for the snark.

  • Nick M

    Your analysis of the whole “wart” as you put it is dubious*. The Nazi “super” weapons were completely irrelevant because they were beat by that point**. Dwight Eisenhower (surely a greater authority than you on WWII) listed the four principle weapons of allied victory as the Bazooka, the DC-3, the atom bomb and the Jeep. You got one, admittedly. We were never going to nuke Berlin (at least not after we crossed the Rhine).

    Do you actually know what a railgun is?

    *In anycase, give me a P-51D or a Tempest and I will whup your sorry Sturmvogel 9 times in the 10. You do appreciate that while the Stormbird could do 545mph it’s climb and acceleration were terrible. You must also therefore appreciate the Nazis accelerated the deployment of jets and rockets because they were critically short of aviation-grade petrol – especially for high-end supercharged engines.

    **Just a hint for next time. If the World’s top three powers are the United States of America, the Soviet Union and the British Empire don’t try and fight all three simultaneously. It ends in tears.

  • Paul Marks

    Martin is mistaken. Neither the United States or the United Kingdom armed Al Quaeda in the 1980’s – nor did they arm the Taliban. Indeed these groups did not really exist in the 1980’s, and the Taliban actually overturned the various resitance groups who had faught against the Soviets. The argument of “the students” being that these various groups had made a total mess of government and they would do better (although their real argument was greater fire power and organization).

    Of course Pakistan tended to divert any money it was given to the more radical groups. But Pakistan has been a mess since the Peoples Party took over in the early 1970’s (it was the secular socialist B. who closed the mission schools thus giving the Islamic schools their chance – he also nationalized everything in sight thus undermining the economy).

    As for O.B.L. himself – he gave money (rather than taking money).

    Rich Paul tries to redefine the word “surrender” to make it fluffy. Sadly those (both among the Sunni and the Shia) who interpret Islam to mean that the duty of a Muslim is to exterminate or enslave nonMuslims or moderate Muslims will not accept his redefinition of the word “surrender”. He will find that there are plenty of Muslims in the United States itself – and if the radicals win in the Middle East they will win in the American Muslim community also.

    As for “ruling other countries” – we do not. For example, if the government of Iraq (elected by the people of Iraq under a constitution written by Iraqis and voted for by the people of Iraq) asked for all Western forces to leave they would leave.

    Rich Paul have you considered (just considered) expressing disapproval of the “resistance” in Iraq which kills hundreds of innocent civilians every day. Even Murry Rothbard said it was wrong for anyone to target civilians, he did not say (although he may have acted as if he had said) “we should only attack the American side in time of war – the other side is blameless no matter what they do”.

    Dave asks why Muslims did not attack us centuries ago – they did. Why do you think that President Jefferson sent the Marines to North Africa?

    I am tired of people who do not check their facts and make statements about history without knowing any history. If libertarianism is going to collapse into Ron Paul style (it is not really Ron Paul himself – he is just repeating every piece of shit he gets fed) “we gave them the gas” then libertarianism is just going to turn into a tool of the left (just as the libertarians who joined such organizations as “Students for a Democratic Society” back in the 1960’s ended up just being a tool for the Marxists).

    I remind all concered that I opposed the judgement to go into Iraq and still think it was a mistake.

    It is this endless “death to America” stuff that gets on my nerves. That and the off the chart dishonest “no we do not hate America we just hate the government”.

    The isolationist faction of libertarians used to say “we are only against wars like Vietnam, if there was ever a direct attack on the United States itself we would be loyal”.

    It was hard to accept this line, considering that this faction even tried to blame the United States for Pearl Harbour, but 9/11 has shown it to be totally false.

    A direct attack on the United States, and the isolationist faction was propt and ready – propt and ready to attack the United States.

    Even in 2001 people at the Ludwig Von Mises Instute (and so on) was already trying to blame everything on the United States and comparing the campaign against the Taliban to the atomic bombing of Japanese cities (NO I am not making this up – I have documentary evidence if anyone is interested).

    So it was NOT about Iraq – it was death to America (no more and no less).

    And a political movement that always sides with the enemy in time of war is not going to get anywhere – and does not deserve to.

    That is why people did not listen over Iraq.

    If you ALWAYS say a campaign is wrong, no one will listen to you (even when a campaign IS a mistake).

  • Martin

    Since war is a collectivist and statist enterprise, I would say that the hawkish ‘libertarians’ are more the tool of the ‘left’.

    This is what the editor of The Nation had to say in 2002:
    “War’s mobilization of the populace against a shared threat also heightens social solidarity, while underscoring the need for government and other social institutions that transcend or replace the market…. In brief, Sept. 11 has made the idea of a public sector, and the society that it serves, attractive again.”

    Does that sound very ‘libertarian’?

    And although any collaboration between the left and libertarians ends in disaster, I would say the same is for any alliance between the ‘right’ and libertarians. Just look at the so-called Republican Revolution in 1994. Rather than reduce the size of the state, the GOP in the 12 years they ruled congress increased the size and scope of government.

  • Pa Annoyed


    War can be statist/collectivist, but it can be fought other ways too. Ask al Qaida. Or better, Clausewitz.

    Mobilisation against a shared threat is good, certainly better than letting the threat have its way unopposed. Many argue that this threat isn’t real or sufficient – but it’s unusual to see someone argue that even a genuine threat ought to be ignored.

    Social solidarity is very good. People coming together in voluntary cooperatives are what it is all about. It is only attempts to force cohesion that causes problems. Dealing with a shared problem is exactly the sort of thing needed to bond us together.

    I don’t see how war underscores any need for institutions to replace the market. The US army is of paid volunteers, and defence contractors make armaments mainly for money. The government are only in it as representatives of the people, with executive control, and to coordinate with foreign policy. You could do that more easily with small government than big.

    Procurement funded by taxes is more of a problem, but applies just as well in peacetime. In fact, a lot of the problems caused by the civilian bureaucratic cockups in peacetime get short-circuited and fixed in war, when operational requirements overide following procedure. You have to have a war every now and then to keep your capability from degrading under years of accumulated bureaucratic incompetence. Wars are enormously beneficial that way.

    You might be able to argue that in this specific case it has led to a strengthening of support for Statist government, but I don’t see that this is a general principle that necessarily follows from fighting wars. Maybe I’m missing something.

    The argument you put appears to be against all war, but wars in defence of liberty are necessary if liberty is not to die. I’ve previously quoted George Orwell on the topic, who said it well, but just for a change I think I’ll link instead to Roosevelt.

  • Martin

    ‘I don’t see how war underscores any need for institutions to replace the market.’

    Because every penny spent by the state is a penny robbed off the citizen that could have been probably put to better use in the private economy. Defences are required, yes. But the US government has a defense budget that is the size of Iran’s economy. The taxpayer is blatantly being swindled.

    ‘You have to have a war every now and then to keep your capability from degrading under years of accumulated bureaucratic incompetence. Wars are enormously beneficial that way.’

    I don’t think mass slaughter and wasted treasure can justify that. Your position in fact reeks of the old militarist rhetoric about war being good for purification. It was fascist shit 100 years ago and its fascist shit now.

    I think you’ll find few wars that are never accompanied by a suppression of political and economic liberty, and you will find few where these liberties were ever fully restored after the war. Government spending rarely returns to prewar levels too. ‘Temporary’ taxes never get repealed. ‘Temporary’ government agencies never go away. War is the best friend of the bureaucracy.

  • Martin

    And if you believe war is good to shake up bureaucracies, just look at how many new jobholders are feasting at the government trough since 9/11.

  • You also forget that the only special weapon that ever mattered in the whole wart, the A-bomb, was an Allied weapon.

    The most important but but far from the only one that mattered.

    Had the Nazi regime survived into August 1945, Berlin would have been destroyed, probably killing most of the Nazi leaders with it.

    Even if it did, that would not have ended the war if the Soviet Union was out of the picture. However a Hiroshima type bomb dropped on Berlin (not a wooden city) would almost certain not kill many Nazi leaders in their bunkers. Many HQs were under the great flak towers and only a direct hit with a small nuke would do for one of them, but o destroy as much of Berlin as possible it would probably be an airburst, which would minimise the bunker killing potential… and assuming no Soviet Union still in the fight in any meaningful way, that means no D-Day, and that means the entire Luftwaffe in home defence, no to mention all those 88’s in the AA role rather than shooting at T-34s, which probably also means no raids on distant targets like Berlin, A-Bomb or not. Also by mid year the Germans would be fielding centimetric radars comparable to the Allied ones (such as the ‘FuG 240 Berlin’ system), closing the gap in the high frequency war. So the RAF would be facing jet nightfighters like the Me-262 B with radars they could no longer jam and which were directed by an greatly improved GCI network (which moreover with no D-Day has not had the side ripped out of it). So how exactly is Berlin going to be nuked again?

    The Nazis superweapons- jet bombers, V2s, rail guns etc were wasteful sideshows

    You are correct about the rail guns, however the jet bombers was quite another story. Also the next generation of jet fighters and bombers would have been appearing by mid 1945 (and given that POL would no longer be a problem and the allied strategic air war would have been much harder, most likely their production would be sooner and faster that was the case historically). They already had a plan for a 1946 raid on New York with a jet bomber with the intent to drop…

    The Nazis were at least a decade away from an A-bomb.

    …a radiological bomb intended to poison millions. That was well within their technology. We can also safely assume that once the US A-bombs were dropped on Japan, the Germans would have redoubled their efforts to build their own. And quite apart from the intercontinental ranged jets, who do you think would have gotten a working ICBM first?

    Was there any upside to the USSR surviving the war?

    No, it was just the least worst choice on offer at the time because the Nazi regime was far more dangerous in the long run because it was more advanced technologically and socially.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Hitler never won the Uboat war either.

    He came bloody close. At one stage, the British merchant navy/others were losing thousands of tons of vital supplies per week. Had the Allies not cracked Enigma, developed sub-hunting sonars etc, we’d have been screwed, or so badly mauled that we would have had to sue for peace.

  • Paul Marks

    First of all I must apologize for missing out the letter “m” in prompt – how I managed this, I (as usual) have no idea.

    It is true that I asked Rich Paul, not Martin, to consider expressing some disapproval for the murder of hundreds of Muslim civilians, almost every day, by the “resistance” in Iraq – but it is unfortunate that Martin could not find it in his heart to do so.

    As for Republican victory in 1994 – there was some useful reform. For example, the welfare reform that stopped the growth of a vast welfare underclass in the United States.

    It is true that President Clinton managed to slip in a health care program “for the children” (in States like Minnesta it mostly goes to adults) that has grown (thanks to Comrade Bush) from a 4 billion Dollar program to a 70+ billion Dollar program (and will grow more if the new Democrat Congress gets its way).

    However, the Republicans who won in 1994 also wanted to reform Medicare – and President Clinton only managed to defeat them by the government shut down (for which the media blamed the Republican Congress).

    So it simply is not true that the Republican victory in Congress 1994 was worthless – the Republicans did not really lose their way till President Bush came to Washington. Had he been interested in rolling back government (rather than adding new programs like the Medicare extention and “no child left behind”) reform would have been possible.

    This shows how important it is to choose as a candidate for President someone who is intereted in entitlement program roll back (such as Fred Thompson) not someone who is interested in adding new entitlements (such as George Walker Bush or Mitt Romney). So the question should be not “what party is this person a member of”, but rather “what does this person believe”.

    As for Martin’s main point:

    YES war is the health of the state.

    However, you persist in thinking that 9/11 was somehow the fault of the United States, or that the war in Afghanistan was somehow optional.

    Had a card carrying Libertarian been President 9/11 would still have happened (it was planned before Bush was elected in November 2000) and there would still have had to have been war in Afghanistan. The policy of a gradual pull out from the Middle East was a BUSH policy (something Rothbardians choose to forget), but it became a dead duck when the United States was directly attacked. After that a policy of nonintervention in the Middle East was no longer an option (period).

    The war in Iraq might have been avoided, but not war in general.

    Please face the truth. The West has real enemies (who are NOT our enemies because of bad things that we have done), and peace and love are not an option at the moment.

    Should the enemy be defeated then pulling out of the Middle East again becomes an option, but pulling out at the moment is not an option (as such a victory for the forces of radical Islam, both Sunni and Shia, would lead them to seek fresh victories all over the world).

  • Nick M

    You touch on something I was thinking about earlier today. Anybody who thought any US President couldn’t but react to 9/11 with a toppling of the Taliban clearly has no idea about politics. It would’ve been like FDR merely sending a strongly worded letter to Tokyo following Pearl Harbour.

    I’m quite a reader of late Victorian/Edwardian fiction. What is amazing is quite how close some the anti-British rhetoric is from anarchists and the like in these to modern anti-Americanism. I somehow suspect that propaganda produced against the Roman Empire at it’s height would read very similarly.

  • Martin

    I would say that Bush never really made any real effort to go after Bin Laden. Look how many US troops were sent to Afghanistan compared to Iraq. Look at the reliance on using Afghan warlords of dubious loyalty who made a deal with Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives fleeing from Tora Bora. Look at how much more effort is being put into trying to get the Sunnis and Shiites to play nice in Baghdad compared to how much effort is being made to capture or kill Bin Laden. In Afghanistan itself , they now seem more bothered about fighting the war on drugs than fighting Al Qaeda.

    I supported going after Al Qaeda, but its become increasingly clear that the administration were more bothered about Iraq than Al Qaeda.

    ‘anti-British rhetoric is from anarchists’

    Probably justified considering how appallingly the British were acting in Africa at the time. Admittedly, nearly every European power was acting appallingly in Africa, but that doesn’t let Britain off the hook.

  • Martin

    ‘This shows how important it is to choose as a candidate for President someone who is intereted in entitlement program roll back (such as Fred Thompson) not someone who is interested in adding new entitlements (such as George Walker Bush or Mitt Romney). So the question should be not “what party is this person a member of”, but rather “what does this person believe’

    Fred Thompson acts like he is a superpatriot and staunchly pro-life. However, as a lobbyist, he lobbied on behalf of abortion rights groups and also on behalf of a Marxist, anti-American dictator named Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Makes Mr Romney’s flip flops seem rather benign.

  • I’m always interested in asking people who say that Bush should have gone after Osama in late 2001 . Exactly how they propose to have do it.

    At the time of the Tora Bora fight, which Martin does not mention but which people who claim Bush was not interested in Afghanistan (Like Obama) DO mention we had a total of two USMC battalions and one ranger battalion in the area. These units were fully engaged in the drive on Kandahar.

    Flying in an airborne brigade from Fort Bragg might have been possible if almost all other logistic operations in the area were shut down for at least two weeks. This would have cut USAF fighter support from the base in Kyrgystan by more than half.

    Also the terrain around Tora Bora is the worst possible place for a parachute drop. At least %50 casualties from landing on rocky mountainsides was to be expected.

    Bush’s options in Afghanistan were and still are, limited by geography and logistics.

  • Martin

    Yes, Bush’s options with regards to Afghanistan were so limited that he could spare a few hundred thousand troops to launch a full scale invasion and long-term occupation of Iraq.

  • Two years later. and still limited by geography and logistics.

    And the paratroops landed in nice soft Kurish dirt, instead of hard Afghan rocks.

  • Paul Marks

    Martin – you are using smear tactics.

    I mentioned Fred Thompson’s long term position on entitlements (a subject that he has been talking about for years) and you just change the subject to point at clients of his lobbying firm.

    As a matter of fact, in an ideal world, I would like Tom Tancredo to be President – but he has no chance of winning so (for people who have a vote – which I, quite rightly, do not) backing Fred Thompson seems sensible – on the basis of his policies, not on the basis of the client list of the firm.

    On Afghanistan:

    By the time of the invasion of Iraq O.B.L. was not even there (he was in Pakistan).

    So unless you are saying the troops should have been used to invade Pakistan (full scale war with a power whose atomic bombs were ready – unlike Saddam who just had a plan to have them in the future), what you are saying is beside the point.

    I also note that you again (in all your many comments) have not expressed any disapproval of the murder of hundreds of Muslim civilians a day by the “resistance” in Iraq.

    Is it really so difficult for you to do that?

  • Martin

    Well, terrorists would not be running amok in Iraq if we had never invaded the place. I don’t agree with what the terrorists are doing, but it is a consequence of a war that was completely unnecessary, and I think what US and British troops are up to there hardly warrants support. The war whoopers shout down dissent by saying we aren’t helpful to the troops, despite the fact that it was there grand idea to send all the troops to Iraq in the first place. If they wanted to help the troops, they would bring them all home now.

    And I don’t join in that much with the whole good vs evil mentality of the war because we have shown that we are more than willing to help Islamic terrorists when it suits us… Afghanistan in the 80s, Bosnia in the 90s, Kosovo in the 90s (we are still helping them in Kosovo today) etc etc. We accused Saddam Hussein of helping terrorists (and now accuse Syria and Iran), yet it was our ‘friends’ in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia that gave aid to the Taliban right up to 9/11, and Pakistan intelligence agencies still give help to Taliban and Al Qaida.

  • Pa Annoyed

    “Well, terrorists would not be running amok in Iraq if we had never invaded the place.”

    Of course they would. The Iraqi state supported terrorism, funded terrorists in several other countries, and sheltered wanted terrorists in its own. Arguably, the Baathists were terrorists, in the sense that they ruled by inspiring a terror of atrocities against their own civilians. It’s aims were expansionist and unfriendly to our interests, and it sought the weapons or terror it would need to exert its influence locally.

    “…but it is a consequence of a war…”

    No, it’s a consequence of an attempt to allow Middle Easterners to break free of the corrupt domination of dictators and theocrats, and to have the opportunity to choose more West-friendly values. The Islamists want the entire Middle East to continue its battle against the West, and to lose a large chunk to decency, liberty, and an end to insane hatred right in the heart of their territory is too much for them to bear. The war brought liberty (enough to start with, anyway), and it is the liberty of the Iraqi people that the terrorists fight.

    You can argue that we didn’t need to liberate Muslims and foreigners if you like, perhaps that they don’t deserve liberty. That’s a value judgement. But if they simply wanted us out, the easiest way to do that would be to stop fighting.

    The ultimate aims of the Islamists are well known, and they at least believe victory in Iraq is an important prize in that larger war. Many of our own military strategists do too.

    I’m pretty sure that you’re not going to be persuaded by any of that – anyone who uses the moral equivalence argument clearly has another agenda – but could you possibly be persuaded that we’ve seen all these arguments many times before, and that if we weren’t persuaded by them then, we’re not going to be any more impressed with them now? It might save a lot of time and annoyance all round.

  • Martin

    Unfriendly to American interests. Er, Mr Hussein was pretty useful to America when he was invading Iran. Donald Rumsfeld sure looked pretty pleased with Mr Hussein in 1983.

    And like I said, Western governments have been pretty happy to support islamic terrorists in the past. I repeat- Afghanistan in the 1980s, Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s.

    And I can’t see why it was okay to invade Iraq for supporting terrorists when our ‘friends’ in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kurdistan, and the Iraqi puppet regime all do it.

  • Pa Annoyed


    You still don’t address the point – attempting to divert the conversation with tu quoques.

    OK, yes it was and is wrong for us to have supported unpleasant governments, even against the even worse ones. It was a foreign policy mistake, which I believe should now be corrected. The only moral action would have been for us to go in ourselves, do the job professionally, and fix up a decent government that could stop it reverting the moment we left.

    In the case of 80s Afghanistan that would have started WWIII, and with a number of the others being proxies for the USSR, those could have easily escalated too. Morality plays second fiddle to practicality. But once the wall fell, there was a lot less excuse.

    Trouble is, we’ve got several international treaties, the corrupt UN, and a world of America-haters who would be straight on our backs if we did. Plus I don’t think we could afford it; economically, politically, or indeed morally. The West is founded on the spread of ideas, and those ideas are spreading – the military option is only to give us time for that to work. It should only be used in emergency cases where a collapse is imminent and it could feasibly do some good.

    So no, given a choice I would much rather invade Saudi Arabia than compromise with it, but given the practicalities of the situation that choice is not open. Perhaps later. ;-)

    Now, having agreed with you that the US was wrong to do deals with these nutters, will you, in turn, offer an unequivocal condemnation of Islamists trying to kill hundreds of Muslim schoolchildren in their attempt to turn the entire world into a totalitarian Shariah hellhole? No ‘buts’. No bringing the US or Israel or the British Empire into it. Just a plain and simple “they’re totally wrong with no excuse for it and I oppose them”?

  • Martin

    No, the moral action would have been to mind our own business more often. America sends troops to far too many places when no vital interest is at threat, get in entangling alliances with other nations and terrorists to suit special interests, and allow stupid idealists (humanitarian interventionists and neocons) that have never held a rifle in their lives run the foreign policy.

    I don’t think America should impose regime change anywhere. My point is that America should not have the cosy relationships it has with places like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Israel, Egypt, Korea, or even NATO countries. It should be friendly with them, but not so friendly that they are in the kind of entangling alliances that Washington and Jefferson correctly warned were evil.

    And I do oppose Al Qaeda. I just don’t slavishly support the ‘war on terror’ and Mr Bush’s Wilsonian/Jacobin crusade to impose ‘democracy’ everywhere at the barrel of the gun while simultaneously making the USA extremely unpopular abroad and on the road to fiscal and societal ruin at home. Americans should remember the advice of John Q Adams:

    ‘She (America) goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.’

    And they should start to ignore the demagogy of neocons and liberal interventionists. Even if their romantic beliefs in permanent wars against foreign monsters sounds tempting, they should remember that those folk won’t be the ones dying or paying for it. The demagogues that infest the palaces never are. No, it will the regular citizens who have to pay every penny and every life.

  • Pa Annoyed

    Didn’t think you would be able to! :-)

    The Chickenhawk argument? Oh dear. When the guy running this particular war used to be a fighter pilot? And most of those who will be fighting for it are also those who support it, because they can see the good it is doing?

    It is easy for you to ask that America abandon the people living under dictatorships when you yourself do not. If you want to run foreign policy that way, perhaps you should spend a few years as a dissident in North Korea or Iran first. When it is your blood spilled, or locked in prison for a decade or two, then you can tell us to be “friendly but not so friendly” with them.
    (I call it this the chickendove argument. Do you like it?! ;-) )

    And citing Jefferson, who himself sent military forces against the exact same ideology in the form of the Barbary pirates? Tch!

    Fiscal and societal ruin? Oh, you must mean the budget deficit! How much has it increased this year?

    The Monroe doctrine would have abandoned Europe in WWII, and indeed in the Cold War. I don’t know that that would be either practical or moral. My deepest thanks to Adams’ countrymen for rejecting his no-longer-relevant argument then. I hope they all regain the sense to know not to resurrect it now.

    I can see that this conversation isn’t going to go anywhere. They hardly ever do. But it’s been entertaining talking with you.

  • Martin

    Jefferson attacked the Barbary Pirates in retaliation. He never entertained any delusions about converting the pirates to democracy. He was a smart, realistic man. Not a a manifest idiot like Bush.

    The chicken hawks? I can name plenty: Tony Blair, Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, John Podhoretz, Michael Ledeen, Daniel Pipes, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, Francis Fukuyama, David Frum, Jonah Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer, Max Boot, Fred Barnes, Joe Lieberman, Rupert Murdoch, Robert Kagan, Donald Kagan, Michael Gove, Ramesh Ponnuru, Dinesh D’Souza etc etc

    If any of these warwhoopers have served in a war, please inform me.

    And I don’t think it is worth crusading for democracy in Iran or North Korea. Considering that all this crusading and war whooping is destroying liberty in the United States, it certainly is not worth it. It seems perverse that Americans have to become serfs to the FEDs so those poor Iraqis, Iranians, and North Koreans can be bombed into freedom. War is the health of the state. In fact Peter Hitchens said it very well:
    ‘There is nothing conservative about war. For at least the last century war has been the herald and handmaid of socialism and state control. It is the excuse for censorship, organized lying, regulation and taxation. It is paradise for the busybody and the nark. …’

    And that is why I care more about liberty at home than your moronic wish for a permanent war to spread democracy. It would wreck any democracy and liberty we have left at home completely. If you want to go abroad and shoot people to make them free, be my guest.

  • Paul Marks


    Plenty of people who have served in a war supported (and still support) the war in Iraq – so your “chicken hawk” argument is pointless.

    And plenty of people who have NOT served in a war thought the judgement to go in to Iraq in 2003 was mistaken – me, for example. Am I a “hawk chicken” what is the point of this?

    Whether someone who has served in combat is no guide to their opinions.

    For example, one of the best warriors in American history was General Butler of the Marine Corps – a sack full of medals and so on.

    He was also an arsehole, whose judgement on any political question (including when to use force and when not to use) it was utterly worthless.

    Other people who had a sack full of medals had good political judgement.

    Combat experience is not a guide to political judgement.

    However, you have now said you do not support the murder of hundreds of Iraqi civilians a day by the “resistance”.

    I asked you to make this clear and I am greatful that you have.

    I would have liked stronger language – but one can not have everything in life.