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JF

But when I went to Pakistan, I met young, educated, articulate people in their 20s and 30s who told me millions of Muslims around the world think we're seeking not to empower them but to dominate them. So we have to stop and we have to think.

They can't have been that educated to hold such views, but that leads to my next point. We've stopped and done enough thinking, it's clear that one cannot fight emotion with reason. We need to fight emotion with emotion. Against all the madrassas preaching hate, we need to set up our own propaganda efforts to demonize the Muslim extremists, and conveniently, one of the easiest ways to do this is to broadcast the atrocities committed around the world by followers of the "Religion of Peace." Only through sustained propaganda efforts will we be able to turn the tide, because there is no intellectual culture in the Muslim world capable of introspection.

But while we've won the wars it's been harder to win the peace.

Simply put, this is because wars fought half-heartedly cannot result in peace. When a country sends in a third of the forces necessary with only a quarter of the equipment needed, how can it expect overwhelming victory? I fear for Britain if it cuts its military expenditures even more. Its navy is already virtually non-existent, and its land forces are clearly suffering from lack of resources. As Britain is the last linchpin holding NATO together, perhaps this is a subtle strategy to destroy NATO.

From Burma to Zimbabwe we need to ensure all countries feel it's better to play by the rules rather than ignore them.

Read: "From Burma to Zimbabwe, we need to ensure all tinpot dictatorships are able to use multilaterla institutions to regularly humiliate the democratic West and shield their own atrocities from condemnation. I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more Human Rights Council!"

that is why the Reform Treaty abandons fundamental constitutional reform and offers clear protections for national sovereignty.

That's masterful doublespeak. I'll have to remember that line.

Mike H

"Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that it was very regrettable that there wasn't a global institution dedicated to protecting the environment. I predict that he and Mr Miliband - Environment Secretary before he became Foreign Secretary - will be proposing one very soon..."

It's a shame that Messrs Brown and Miliband don't think similarly about the protection of this country from the ravages of the EU and their legislative diarrohea.

Steevo

From his picture it certainly looks like he's a handsome young man with a plan, with a vision. He kinda reminds me of a Hollywood actor but I suspect he has better success with more followers.

So its up to the more enlightened, again, to understand Sharia law, Islamofascism, fanaticism, extremism or however its to be termed... even for good ole educated Muslims, like, say, doctors - in the UK responsible for terror and the second in command of al Qaeda. Utter subservience of women, killing of homosexuals and adulterers, and a fondness for Mohammad's 7th century and the rule of the sword - Milliband wants to roll over and reach out to them by giving more "empowerment" because they'll live in their own little world content, having nothing to do with us satisfied to kill, torture, subjugate and rule over their own.

Sounds like for his future world the UK might as well scrap the military altogether as he can have all the good intentions necessary... and there probably won't be wars to win like WWII anyway.

Greater faith in global institutions but he didn't mention the UN. Does that mean he has no faith in them? Or maybe they just need a heck of a lot more enlightenment in reaching out to empower the disgruntled.

davod

Just how much more do they think they can cut from the military.

Maduka

JF,

But when I went to Pakistan, I met young, educated, articulate people in their 20s and 30s who told me millions of Muslims around the world think we're seeking not to empower them but to dominate them. So we have to stop and we have to think.

You must understand that the perception of Western domination is real and it is not just a function of poor education.

It is not enough to accuse entire nations of rabid anti-americanism or brand entire groups of people as 'terrorists'.

We have a soft power deficit, perceptions are important. Why has the West, with all its resources (human and material), failed to effectively counter Al Jazeera?

Why can't the American Government have a 24 hour news channel like BBC world wide (which is not always pro-West)? The Voice of America and Radio Freedom worked splendidly during the Cold War.

JF

Maduka,

Why can't the American Government have a 24 hour news channel like BBC world wide (which is not always pro-West)? The Voice of America and Radio Freedom worked splendidly during the Cold War.

I couldn't agree with you more, we need to ramp up our propaganda efforts. I believe that the powers that be are in a state of denial, still believing that America is that "shining city on a hill" and what we are will speak for itself. The media war was been abandoned by the US government after WWII and never resumed for some inexplicable reason.

When President Hoover found out about America's first Cipher Bureau, used to break enemy codes, he infamously exclaimed, "Gentlemen do not read each other's mail" and shut it down, causing incalculable damage to American military preparedness. I believe we are in a similar moment where politicians (and perhaps the American people) are not ready to embrace what must be done to fully combat terrorist propaganda. And what must be done? Our own explicit propaganda effort.

Radio Sawa isn't going to cut it and is child's play compared to the propaganda efforts of Al Jazeera and the BBC. The one thing I look forward to with a Democratic president is the potential for a greater willingness to use the power of government to propagandize instead of passively relying on "the market" to sort things out. FDR did it (spineless though he was), but I'm not sure today's Democrats are up to the task. Time will tell.

It is not enough to accuse entire nations of rabid anti-americanism or brand entire groups of people as 'terrorists'.

I am not so sure. I am convinced that we are in a state of warfare far more similar to the pre-WWI era than the post-WWII era. That is, this war is total war, in which victory is the result of the total and utter destruction of the enemy's society, economy, and ability to conduct war, and finds itself supine and begging to surrender. Our enemy certainly views it that way in its jihadi fanaticism; we've been far more ambivalent so far. The question is, can the hatred they have for us be countered with just propaganda, or must it be countered with crushing force, as was the fanaticism of the Nazis?

Maduka

JF,

I am not so sure. I am convinced that we are in a state of warfare far more similar to the pre-WWI era than the post-WWII era. That is, this war is total war, in which victory is the result of the total and utter destruction of the enemy's society, economy, and ability to conduct war, and finds itself supine and begging to surrender. Our enemy certainly views it that way in its jihadi fanaticism; we've been far more ambivalent so far. The question is, can the hatred they have for us be countered with just propaganda, or must it be countered with crushing force, as was the fanaticism of the Nazis?

Let's be careful here.

The first question is, who do we define as the enemy? Is it 1.6 billion Muslims or Islamic terrorists?

In Iraq, who exactly are we fighting and why:

Are we
1. Fighting against Al Qaeda?
2. Fighting against the Sunnis
3. Fighting against Al Sadr
4. Fighting Al Sistani's people.
5. Fighting with the Sunnis against Al Qaeda?
6. Fighting with the Sunnis against Al Sadr?
7. Fighting with the Sunnis against Al Sadr and Iran.
8. Fighting for 'democracy'.
9. Fighting for 'freedom'.
10. Fighting to 'protect American interests'.

'Total War' is well and good, but I am afraid that we do not have the competence to wage it effectively.

We are not omnipotent, and the earlier we realise that, the better for us and our foreign policy.

The Nazi's had a fixed address, we could apply overwhelming force to that fixed address.

This enemy does not.

Terrorists swim in a sea of sympathisers. Some people in the Islamic World will always hate us - our task is to reduce that number.

We also must remember that the Islamic World is not limited to the Middle East. It extends to London, Paris, Deaborn, Frankfurt, Jakarta, Lagos and Islamabad.

Sometime in the near future, Western Politicians (France and Britain) will be unable to win elections without the 'Islamic vote'.

We cannot meaningfully engage with the Muslim World without taking a fresh and UNBIASED look at the Palestinian question.

We could take a cue from Cuba on how to win 'hearts and minds'. Cuba pioneered 'medical diplomacy'. Cuban doctors are all over the place in Latin America, South Africa, Mali and several poor countries around the world.

No wonder the left is resurgent in Latin America.

Heck, we need some 'sexy' revolutionary figures like Che and Subcommandante Marcos.
(Why does the left have all the 'sexy' revolutionaries, while the right only seems to throw up boring pot-bellied middle-aged men?).

atheling

The problem is Islam.

No amount of "sexing" things up, or propaganda wars will assuage fundamentalist Islam.

Religion must be fought with religion.

That's why Europe is succumbing to Islam now, unlike its triumph over it during the Crusades.

Steevo

Atheling, you are right on.

Maduka you should not read sources like the BBC to be so confused. Some of your statements are rather pathetic. Until you take reality and factual evidence seriously you'll continue to receive and throw tired and outdated curve balls.

Conservatives have much more answers than you. If you don't like them, how about your own solutions? You're not a fraud are you? I mean really... its easy for me to think of you as a most insidious person. A black man who should fully understand the injustices of the denial of human rights yet seeking to excuse and sympathize with ideology which guarantees just that. And you've been intent to cast doubt on every effort to counter this which is not from the Left, all the while you point your finger down as if to be superior. So, who are you if not your own self-serving bigot and racist forsaking so much that is right?

And if its too difficult to answer direct questions challenging what you're about: What do you know about Iraq?

I'll be very specific... OK?

Do you know if we're fighting al Qaeda? What sources have you chosen to rely on?
Do you know if we're fighting against the Sunnis? What sources have you chosen to rely on?
Do you know if we're fighting Al Sadr? What sources have you chosen to rely on?
Do you know if we're fighting Al Sistani's people? What sources have you chosen to rely on?
Do you know if we're fighting with the Sunnis against al Qaeda? What sources have you chosen to rely on?
Do you know if we're fighting with the Sunnis against Al Sadr? What sources have you chosen to rely on?
Do you know if we're fighting with the Sunnis against Al Sadr and Iran? What sources have you chosen to rely on?
Do you know if we're fighting for 'democracy'? What sources have you chosen to rely on?
Do you know if we're fighting for 'freedom'? What sources have you chosen to rely on?
Do you know if we're fighting to 'protect American interests'? What sources have you chosen to rely on?

There. Ten easy questions in response to ten convenient questions. I say convenient because you've managed to think up the number 10, ending with 'protect American interests'. ;-)

Are you forthright enough to account for your statements?

Maduka

Steevo,

I was asking questions. I never claimed to have the answers.

Atheling,

The best way to fight religion with religion is not through crusades, but through the work of missionaries.

But what religion will the West fight against Islam with? (It certainly won't be Christianity because Europe is solidly secular/agnostic/atheist)

Steevo

No Maduka. You will not expose yourself. You've justified 'answers' from the Left. The ideology of totalitarianism. You've sought to discredit everything from conservatives.

You can't answer me about Iraq either: because of your total ignorance or another slippery attempt to try and discredit our efforts there.

I believe you don't have an honest bone. Your response here is 100% lame. And I really believe many will see through you.

Steevo

COMMENT OVERWRITTEN BY THE EDITOR.

STEEVO: I'M UNWILLING TO INDULGE FURTHER PERSONAL ATTACKS ON OTHER VISITORS TO THIS SITE.

PLEASE ASK TOUGH QUESTIONS BUT DON'T LABEL PEOPLE IN MEAN-SPIRITED WAYS.

Steevo

Well Tim OK its your site. But I really don't know what you mean by mean-spirited. The consequences of people's judgements here are very serious. Should I be gentle and indirect yet imply the most dark judements? That's what I'm reading from them.

Even in the other forum the poster who addressed me started it. His intentions were not pleasant and had one purpose. But my response pointing that out and pointing out why I initially posted were censured.

Steevo

Sorry about that. I need to stand back a bit. You're a man I respect and genuinely like.

With certain people from time to time I know how they should be confronted because I know what they're about. I don't use profanity but I do make moral judgment on their motivations. Since its too heated for your desire of which I do appreciate I'll respectfully call it quits, at least for a while.

All the best to you and your nobel efforts...

Steve

Andy

"Why does the left have all the 'sexy' revolutionaries, while the right only seems to throw up boring pot-bellied middle-aged men?"

Day-to-day running of government is by its own nature boring! Making sure the sewers run properly is unglamorous and unsexy, but I'd rather them run by a competent boring middle-aged man than by a revolutionary.

The carping critics of the Left tend to gloss over things like these because for them they are not sexy enough. When asked "Well, what would you have done?" they never seem to have explicit, satisfactory or pragmatic answers, just unrelenting criticism. Good at asking questions, poor at giving answers.

I think this is one of the points Steevo was making, forcefully but not unfairly in my opinion.

I think this is one of the points Steevo was trying to make, forcefully but not unfairly in my opinion.

Andy

Sorry bout repeating myself at the end. Oops!

JF

Maduka,

I would define our enemy as the Muslim terrorists and any and all who provide them with material support. If the Sunnis in Iraq do not support them, then they are not our enemies. If the Shia of Iraq do not support them, then they are not our enemies. If the Muslims of Pakistan, Malaysia, or Indonesia do not support them, they are not our enemies. And indeed, the majority of these Muslim societies do not support Muslim terrorists beyond the usual puerile ranting against the US.

But for those societies that do provide material support, they should be devastated. See: Afghanistan, post-September 11.

I am not intimidated by 1.6 billion Muslims. The 800 million or so Westerners in the world hold the vast majority of the wealth and military power, and most importantly, the destructive power that a secular society which embraces science grants us. Victor Davis Hanson suggested as much in his book, Carnage and Culture.

Muslim culture is self-defeating in the long term. What Muslim country under Sharia is prosperous without the aid of oil? Indeed, even with oil, which such society would you argue is prosperous?

We cannot meaningfully engage with the Muslim World without taking a fresh and UNBIASED look at the Palestinian question.

Jordan is Palestine, period. Any other definition is just as arbitrary as any other definition, which means that nothing is owed to the "Palestinians" under any treaty. No one has ever answered the questions of why Jordan and Egypt (or the infamous "international community") never gave a second thought to an independent Palestine in the territories they occupied in 1948 and why there was no such thing as a distinct "Palestinian" identity until after 1967? The Palestinians are not ethnically, religiously, culturally, or linguistically distinct from their neighboring Arabs, so why should they have their own state?

In short, you're right: as soon as the Arab world is made to understand that their bias in favor of the "Palestinians" is one of the most destructive and counter-productive propaganda campaigns in modern history, this conflict will soon come to an end.

We could take a cue from Cuba on how to win 'hearts and minds'. Cuba pioneered 'medical diplomacy'. Cuban doctors are all over the place in Latin America, South Africa, Mali and several poor countries around the world.

No wonder the left is resurgent in Latin America.

Heck, we need some 'sexy' revolutionary figures like Che and Subcommandante Marcos.
(Why does the left have all the 'sexy' revolutionaries, while the right only seems to throw up boring pot-bellied middle-aged men?).

Is this a joke? How much do you really know about Cuba/Castro, Guevara, and Subcommandante Marcos? These leaders are "sexy" among the Left because the Left has a fetish for masochism. The more a totalitarian jails, tortures, and kills them (as did Castro, Guevara, Marcos, and virtually every other communist leader), the more the Left loves them. The Left demands big government because it secretly wants to be enslaved and have its life strictly regimented.

The Right has no equivalent because the Right doesn't suffer from similar mental disorders. And to be honest, I have yet to understand why fascism was ever considered to be a right-wing movement when it bears such a striking resemblance to totalitarian communism in practice.

mamapajamas

JF, indeed, when looked at as a circle instead of a left/right line, fascism is only a hair's breadth away from communism. Only the private ownership of businesses (under strict government control) separates the two in theory AND in practice. A political science prof I had back in the Neolithic Age (lol!) presented political/economic systems as a circle instead of the left-right line, and on his circle, anarchy was at the top of the circle, and totalitarianism at the bottom, capitalism on the right side, and socialism on the left. On his circle, communism and fascism were at the dead bottom, right next to each other. I think he was closer to the truth than the left-right line, though I haven't seen ANYthing that perfectly charts the conundrum of mixed entities.

Your comments on this topic are excellent :). Keep up the good work!

Nizhinsky

"In the 1940s and 50s we built international institutions to promote peace for a divided globe"

Interesting that Osborne raised this point, and of the need to move on. I recently saw a 1940s UN poster that boldly proclaimed "THE UNITED NATIONS FIGHT FOR FREEDOM". Sixty years later and we have seen that tragically the UN neither fights nor fights for freedom. It's interesting that the miltarism of the poster so contrasts with the UN's actual attitudes to such things.

You can see the poster here

Nizhinsky

JF and mamapajamas, you raise such good points!

As a person once of a left persuasion I can confirm confidantly that all you said is true. It really does stem from a very unhealthy state of mind and an ultimately destructive view of the world. Richard Pipes raised some excellent points on this in The Russian Revolution (1990) when writing on Lenin. The following resonated particularly with me:

"Ludwig von Mises thought that intellectuals gravitate towards anti-capitalist philosophies 'in order to render inaudible the inner voice that tells them that their failure is entirely their own fault'".

Lenin showed absolutely no interest in politics until he was expelled from university. Rather than blame himself, he ploughed through socialist literature endlessly when living a lonely and isolated existance at his mother's home until he convinced himself it was the system's fault, not his, and that ultimately it had to be smashed. It was never about 'the people' (which an abstraction with no connection to reality) - Marxism simply appealed to his hatred and destructive nature.
I can tell you that when I turned my life around this vile doctrine had no place in my life. I'm now a very happy Tory member :)

As for communism and fascism - Hayek wrote a whole chapter on 'The Socialist Roots of Nazism' in The Road To Serfdom!

atheling

Maduka:

Do you have a clue what the Muslims do to Christian missionaries in their countries?

Clue: They don't hold hands and sing kumbaya.

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