What’s Wrong with the World

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Vive la France!

Jihadists have again besieged Paris, loosing upon that great city a cacophony of gunfire and slaughter at some six different locations. This included one especially depraved operation at a concert hall, reminiscent of the 2002 massacre at the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow, carried out by Chechen jihadists.

Let us have none of the slinking cant which suggests that this perfidy does not arise out of the authentic doctrines of the Islamic religion. “By their fruits ye shall know them.” The rottenness of this particular fruit exceeds the most capacious power of verbal description.

Liberals in the West will now begin scrambling for scapegoats, as in January they comforted themselves with blaming provocative cartoonists and Jews. Prominent draftsmen will discern new ways to elucidate how any criticism, let alone righteous denunciation, of treacherous gunmen who fill the Parisian evening with hot lead, amounts to “punching down.” Academics will commence to clamber over one another to preen their relativistic ennui over the whole unpleasantness.

The enervation of the West by such relativism will, alas, very likely be evident in virtually every statement by leaders such as Francois Hollande, David Cameron, and Barack Obama, the latter a man who not so long ago promulgated the canon that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” In his first statement on the Paris slaughter, Obama waved around the “universal values” phrase that refutes itself, since Islam (a huge part of the world) does not share them.

Meanwhile, Angela Merkel should resign forthwith, and leave Germany at least the chance to be ruled by sensible and patriotic people.

Whether any of the American GOP candidates will display the nerve to dispense with the usual emollient modifiers, and castigate the dogmas and traditions of Islam as such, remains to be seen. Senator Cruz has taken a solid first step.

The less said about our Democratic Party’s cowering from reality, the better — except to notice that the candidate after that Party’s own heart, though grudgingly subdued by its cynical mind, waited just over 24 hours before using the massacre of Parisians as props in his climate change fantasy. Bernie Sanders should resign from the US Senate and leave public life.

(Lest you think us overly partisan, let it be noted that seven years ago we had a GOP candidate for president, said to be a warhawk, whose habit was to pile up the insulating modifiers to the point of absurdity: “violent radical Islamic extremism” and suchlike; the administration of the man who defeated him drops even that faintest whisper of reality by reducing the denunciation to pure abstraction: “violent extremism.”)

The sustained energy of liberalism, we predict, will instead find its spring in outrage at anyone who talks sense on the Islamic religion — who declares, for instance, that its doctrines are sunk in bellicosity and its proselytizing customs upheld by bloodlust and rapine; or who dares to recommend against filling Europe up with yet more alienated Islamic immigrants. Indeed, right now the leading candidate (according to recent polls) for the French presidency in 2017, Marine Le Pen, is actually on trial for “Islamophobia.” This asinine portmanteau affixes a Greek word to the Arabic in order to indicate irrational fear, but we may justly ask whether anyone in Paris, upon hearing the Arabic war cries, could conceive of any fear of Islam that was not perfectly rational.

But even rational fear should give way to burning indignation, and a determination to arrest the influence, in the West, of Islam where it now legally resides; and to decisively prevent any further augmentation of that influence by the arrival of new Muslims. In a word, the West should proscribe all Islamic immigration which aims at permanent residency, without qualification. Even temporary business travelers or tourists should be asked, on pain of perjury, to renounce jihad, sharia, and dhimma, before being permitted into our countries. There are dozens of Islamic nations in this world, some of them enormously prosperous and not unlovely; Muslims may be encouraged to vacation in those places instead.

Next, it is time to ask whether we men of the West should get serious about making war on Islamic State: Not pinprick airstrikes and trifling raids, but total war that ends with the destruction of this State’s capital assets, dismemberment of its civil society, humiliation of its leaders, and annihilation of its army.

The best thing about Islamic State’s fielding a real army, which features infantry, armor and artillery, is that we can destroy it. Though subject to some strain, from terror, battle, social engineering, and want of political leadership, our American military is still magnificent at destroying armies.

Here is the opportunity to make the Caliphatists and their Jihad taste American steel and American unit superiority. Several US Army armored divisions, a few well-supported Marine Combat Brigades, abundant Special Forces unfettered by enfeebling engagement restrictions, along with Turkish forces firmly checking Islamic State’s northern border, could crush assuredly crush this menace.

Or possibly we could take a page out of Vladimir Putin’s playbook and just quietly replace valiant but materially malnourished Kurdish irregulars with American front-line units, armed to the teeth and backed by close air support.

The next best thing is that Islamic State is still so recent upon the land, that there is no immediate stinging retort of, “So, what about after that?”

That rejoinder, with all its defiant challenge, surely loomed before us, and was never properly answered, to our discomfiture and loss, when the Iraq War began in 2003. Bereft of foresight in the beginning, and perseverance at the end, we have come to this pass where the Jihad has carved out of the decaying periphery of the pseudo-democracy we established, and some fragments cast off from the Syrian civil war, a functional state, and pronounced it a Caliphate.

That is where we are. This Caliphate is, with barbarian sincerity, organized on principles of Jihad. Its rule means, in law and statute, death for the defying infidel, and degradation, servitude, expropriation, in a word, dhimma, for the submitting one. Its rule also means a flocking to its colors of all those, around the wide distempered world, who profess this creed and mean to act on it.

But we can destroy it. By means of our soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen, should they find succor in able diplomacy securing key alliances, and sustainable support from home, we can smash Islamic State to pieces. We shall have to persevere through losses, because ISIS will not go quietly; but as General Patton put it, we can make the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

Whether such a course of hardheaded action remains available to us, given our spiritual and moral exhaustion, compounded by our philosophical confusion, is a difficult and distressing question to consider. But we should not forget that the French, as recently as 2013, put their soldiers in the field against Islam, with modest success, in Mali. A Jihadist uprising was forcibly subdued there.

Replicating even that modest success in Mesopotamia and the Levant will require vastly more resources and a profounder commitment. Right now Islamic State proceeds undeterred with incubating the kind of coordinated terror and mayhem we saw in Paris. To say it is intolerable is to lapse into understatement that verges on the profane. But the might of Western arms, even in our decadence, is not inconsiderable.

Very serious consideration should be given to concerted military effort to eradicate Islamic State.

victory.jpg

Jan Sobieski delivering his declaration of victory to Pope Innocent XI

-- The Editors

Comments (101)

I recently became aware of this Atlantic article from March 2015 which analyzes the problems in detail.
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/03/what-isis-really-wants/384980/

"Thus, what is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy." - Sun Tzu

Please report any Westerners-with-spine sightings.

Bernie Sanders' remarks are sensible.

Well, in fact, I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something that I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely and led to the rise of al Qaeda and to ISIS.

The stress on Jihad lets off the Western complicity too easily. It is the NATO ally, Turkey, that is bombing Kurds. It is the another US ally KSA that has funded both AQ and IS. Not to forget gun-running from Libya, directly sponsored by American agencies.

The stress on Jihad lets off the Western complicity too easily.

I think what you really mean is that the stress on Jihad isn't what you'd write about in an editorial of your own, which would be much more concerned with apportioning blame to Western defense and intelligence services for the blood on the streets of Paris. That's not the purpose of our editorial, which responds to the jihad as we find it at this moment.

It's been over ten years since the invasion of Iraq, and some antediluvian socialist's rumination on current events--cynically crafted, as was his comment about her "damn emails," to shore up the former Secretary at exactly her weakest spot at that particular moment--is not our main, or even secondary, or even tertiary, concern. Whether the West is complicit in anything and everything done by its Muslim "NATO ally," and whether Sanders is right to apportion to the War in Iraq any blame for "the rise of al-Qaeda" (which had taken place outside of Iraq, a decade earlier) are both open to serious doubt, and well beside the point anyway. I doubt you'll find many defenders of US policy in Libya, or with respect to the KSA, or even of the application of the democratic peace thesis in Iraq on this web page.

What you'll find is a concern to beat back and contain the Jihad, to destroy it by force wherever prudence and necessity demand it, and to halt its advance through migration, lawfare, and the work of international institutions. I weary of being told that Jihad is a mere distraction from the Really Important Issues, which presumably include re-litigating US policy toward the Shah of Iran.

And what use is this concern to beat back and contain the Jihad if one's policy continues to be incoherent?
Excerpt for Trump, all Republicans candidates deplored recent Russian action against the IS and assorted Jihadists. What does it say about the conservatism, actually existing?
Many Republican candidates desired to implement no-flight zone over Syria against Russia, along with Secretary Clinton.
It would actually seem that the President is actually the most sane here. He certainly is better than all prominent Republicans, saving Trump.

It is not only the socialists that are saying so. Peter Hitchens today:

let us not forget that Islamist terror has grown in strength and reach, not diminished, since we embarked on our supposedly benevolent interventions in the Muslim world. The Iraq invasion, the Afghan intervention, the wild and brainless enthusiasm with which we greeted the disastrous ‘Arab Spring’, the supposedly humanitarian interference in Libya which turned it into a failed state, the aid and comfort we gave to the rebellion in Syria. Not only have these things failed to prevent terror. They have visited a violent chaos on the whole Muslim world, in which fanatical and grisly death cults thrive and prosper.

"concerted military effort to eradicate Islamic State"
And intervene in the Shia-Sunni war on the Shia side? Against the wishes of the world-wide Sunni majority? Against Turkey, KSA and Qatar? Not to mention 5 million Sunnis in France alone plus similar number of Turk Sunnis in Germany and 3-4 million in UK.

And plus decades of managing Shia-Sunni struggle in Syria, Iraq, Yemen etc etc.

What does it say about the conservatism, actually existing?

That none of the Republican runners are conservative.

Next question?

Stop attributing to conservatism what Republicans, especially mainstream Republicans, are doing. They ain't conservatives. What's "actually existing" is that most of the Republicans who feel able to throw their hat in the ring have been - to one degree or another - co-opted by the liberalista system so that they tend to default to the less rabidly leftist portion of the liberal agenda.

Since that agenda is largely responsible for the incoherence you are pointing to, from George G.W. Bush forward, it says nothing at all about conservatism.

The stress on Jihad lets off the Western complicity too easily. It is the NATO ally, Turkey, that is bombing Kurds. It is the another US ally KSA that has funded both AQ and IS

You keep using that word "ally" like it means "membership in" with respect to the West and its complicity. By that logic, the US is complicit in every spat that Colombia and Venezuela have because the US and Colombia have close relations.

And what use is this concern to beat back and contain the Jihad if one's policy continues to be incoherent? Excerpt for Trump, all Republicans candidates deplored recent Russian action against the IS and assorted Jihadists. What does it say about the conservatism, actually existing?

Good God, man, why must you continually bring up the stupidity of Republican candidate X or Democrat policy Y as though there is anything in the editorial that recommends continuing incoherent or bad policies? As though it contained any endorsement or even implicit acceptance of bad policy in Libya or elsewhere? What is the relevance of all this caviling, except to suggest that all proposals involving the use of weapons by Western defense and intelligence services are bound to be identical?

If that's what you believe, you have nothing useful to add. If, further, you believe that to fight ANY Sunni Muslim organization is to "fight on behalf of the Shia," and will be seen exactly that way by every Sunni Muslim walking the earth, then you've the strategic sense of a fourth grader.

It is possible to fight ISIS militarily without repeating the mistakes and folly of the past, and there has been nothing wise or humanitarian about the President's insouciance to its rise and the bloody violence that it is inflicting. It is, of course, possible to do nothing at all, which has the dubious appeal of being tidy and simple, and of containing no actual behavior on the part of the West on which to blame the Jihad's existence. But sitting on one's hands has policy consequences as well, and if you'e ready to suggest more than that, then I'd like to hear it.

I support the main post's statement that the time has come to take military action against ISIS, which has fortunately made it convenient by fielding an actual army instead of hiding under mountains like Al Qaeda. Nor does the recommendation of military action amount to a recommendation of endless "nation-building" activities thereafter, though the distinction is often lost nowadays. Moreover, stopping the incredible influx of refugees and migrants does not even require foreign military action, and that is the other part of our suggestion.

It may be relevant here to drop in this link:

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6838/germany-migration-health-crisis

In a previous thread a left-wing commentator positively scoffed at the idea that there were any negative health repercussions to the invasion being welcome into Germany. And that's in addition to the near certainty that there are more terrorists out there mingling with the others who are flowing in.

My hat is off to the various state governors who are sounding a note of minimal sanity in response to Friday's attack and backing off on their previous feckless willingness to relocate thousands of Syrians, whom the Obama administration is in accelerated fashion fecklessly taking into the U.S., in their states.

A ground war against ISIS is going to be extremely ugly. In fact, we should expect the non-Sunni Muslims and other factions to commit genocide against the Sunni Arabs of Iraq in retaliation for the majority of them giving support in some form to ISIS. Make no mistake of that. What ISIS has done is absolutely, completely unforgivable without God working in the hearts of the other factions. Those who have suffered total deprivation, watched their women enslaved, seen their children tortured, raped and murdered and so much more will not hesitate to butcher any Sunni who even so much as utters the slightest kind word of anything related to ISIS if and when ISIS falls.

Bernie Sanders' remarks are sensible.

His remarks were disgraceful. They arise out of a culpable ignorance that disqualifies him from public respect. He, like so many Americans and Europeans, knows almost nothing concrete about Islamic doctrine, tradition, or history. Lacking any notion of the antiquity of these things, he plunges into the debilitating folly of supposing that the Jihad appeared as a consequence of Western provocation. For the Left, the history of Islamic militancy dates from the Carter Administration.

As it happens, we may recommend to Sen. Sanders the work of two French scholars of the 20th century: Charles Emmanuel Dufourcq and Paul Fregosi. The barest perusal of their books would immediately disabuse the old Green Mountain State fool of his asinine notions.

Are the reports true that Obama is specifically banning Christian refugees from joining the influx and that he also intends to deport Chaldean Christian refugees that managed to reach California?

This is what I'm able to find on the claim that Obama's state dept. refuses to designate Christians as refugees, and the "rationale" for it:

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/228670-no-room-in-america-for-christian-refugees

Also relevant to De Gaulle's question, and somewhat more recent:

https://www.yahoo.com/politics/u-s-weighs-genocide-label-1298023405674550.html
(Reports that the Obama admin is moving to declare Yazidis *but not Christians* to be fleeing "genocide" in Iraq.)

https://philosproject.org/state-department-says-no-to-iraqi-christians/
Reports that the U.S. state department categorically refuses to support Iraqi Christians qua victims of religious persecution.

Mike T,
Turkey is a NATO member and that implies, if I am not mistaken, an attack on Turkey carries implications on other NATO members.
American forces are based in Qatar; certainly, Qatar is an American ally in a precise sense, not in the vague sense of 'belonging to the West' but a military ally.

I do not see how West could carry out an annihilating war against IS, against the wishes of its important regional allies. Not to mention other Western allies such as PM Cameron who had declared that Assad must go. In their own self-interest, Israelis too appear to prefer dealing with IS rather than the Shia axis. Would America go against Israel too?

This is reminiscent of how all European powers were convinced that Hitler must be dealt with but the contradictory self-interests of the various parties precluded an effective response to Nazi aggression.

there has been nothing wise or humanitarian about the President's insouciance
He has let the Russians operate against IS and other jihadists, against the instinctive desire of GOP men/ hardliners that wanted to impose no-fly zone against Russians.
It is possible to fight ISIS militarily without repeating the mistakes and folly of the past
But is it probable? Who is going to lead this fight? GOP hardliners? who want to bomb, no matter whom? who would rather needle Russians, in season or out of season.

It is easy to say that we want a war to annihilation. But America is so trapped in its misalliances. Other nations, Russia or France would seem to have greater freedom of action.

Not one of the leading GOP contenders has served one day in the military, and this experience deficit could be one reason that they sometimes substitute the foolish pacifism and appeasement of the Left for foolish saber-rattling. The Republican candidates’ near-lock-step support for a Syrian no-fly zone (with the notable exceptions of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump) reflects the worst sort of strategic thinking. Chris Christie’s vow to shoot down Russian planes if they violate such a no-fly zone was an embarrassment.
David French at NRO.

Is it really wise to embark on new wars at this particular instant? There would seem to be a dangerous leadership deficit.

American politicians still don’t understand our enemy, still don’t understand the capabilities and limitations of the American military, and — worst of all — they still seem unwilling to learn

Conrad Black has proposed:

This expedition (to exterminate IS) should be followed by a Turkey-Egypt-Iran-Saudi Arabia Conference, under the cosponsorship of the traditional great powers, to divide Syria and Iraq between them and ensure an autonomous Kurdish state; to put an end to Iranian meddling in Lebanon and Gaza; to recognize a Palestinian state with realistic borders and a right of return to Palestine and not Israel.

So, the key lies in the ME and not in the West. And it is doubtful that ME powers are, at present, peace-minded.
On Syrian refugees:

The Syrian refugees, especially the very large proportion of them who are Christians, are unlikely to be jihadists, and it ill behooves this country, which, with the best of intentions, smashed up much of the Middle East, to accept only a numerically contemptible token of the refugees of its ill-considered policy there.

BI,

Turkey has a long-running war with various Kurdish groups. It should come as no surprise to you that they have escalated it in light of this new conflict. From their perspective, if they lose, they lose about 1/3 of their territory. They would also back down if we had a division or two involved with the Kurds in a ground war because the last thing the Turks want is to risk an attack the kills a large number of NATO troops. Their position with the EU is precarious; botching an assault on the Kurds that leads to the risk of armed conflict with the largest member of NATO would give Europe everything it needs to kick them to the curb.

Wouldn't Conrad Black's proposal compound our alliance-heavy set of constraints, rather than simplify matters? Wouldn't it be just another example of Woodrow Wilson with Czechoslovakia & Yugoslavia, and Bush with Iraq? Isn't it a matter of hubris to think the "great powers" can force the regional powers to "settle" things, given the multiple times that has been tried and failed?

Pat Buchanan has long contended that the fall of Saddam in conjunction with the weakening of Assad has created a power vacuum. The Iraq War was an absolute mistake and it led to great suffering for our Christian brethren. I mean, the second man of Iraq, Tariq Aziz was a Chaldean Catholic.

Regardless, what I took away from these attacks is that the primary enemy is NOT muslims but the treacherous scum who let muslims into Western lands and the traitors who've brow-beated us for months to take in Muslims (like Bertoglio and lots of Christians and all liberals), or the ones who covered up horrible Islamic crimes (the entire government of Britain from Prime Minister to lowly cop).

Look at this article by Kristor: http://orthosphere.org/2015/11/17/the-verdict-of-paris/

"In that contest, the last thing we’ll need to worry about is the Muslims. They’ll all have fled at our berserker rage, whom we have not already wiped out"

Once the West gets it's collective spine, the Muslims will be easily crushed and Islam will go dormant once more, if it doesn't completely die out.

I'm absolutely certain that the Paris attacks are going to be a radicalizing factor. The leftist media likes to talk about how America or the West radicalizes Muslims, but the reality is that the vice versa is going to happen now.

I know for a fact that I can't wait until the Muslims pay for their actions. They must leave.

"Wouldn't it be just another example of Woodrow Wilson with Czechoslovakia & Yugoslavia, and Bush with Iraq? Isn't it a matter of hubris to think the "great powers" can force the regional powers to "settle" things, given the multiple times that has been tried and failed?"

The problem is that we let stupid ideologies get in the way of practical reasons. Would the world be a better place today if both Milosevic and Saddam Hussain were supported by the U.S.? Yes, yes it would.

But generally I would agree, we should have stayed out of it. Both Milosevic and Hussain seemed to have everything under control

Paul J Cella,

culpable ignorance that disqualifies him from public respect.

Unlike the GOP men's reflexive anti-Russianism? IS it any less dangerous than reflexive appeasement of the Left?
From American Conservative:

Fiorina vows not even to talk to Putin, Carson and Christie seem almost anxious to shoot down a few Russian planes, Bush wants a declaration of war

Tony wrote:

they tend to default to the less rabidly leftist portion of the liberal agenda.

"they" meaning the GOP candidates. But I do not understand what is leftist about anti-Russianism? They are not appealing to the Left, they are making themselves agreeable to the GOP voters. So, what they do say tells us about the GOP voters.

Sage,

why must you continually bring up the stupidity of Republican candidate X

Because these are the people who will lead America in case of war.

Well, at this point I would say that the GOP Voters are composed of many distinct groups. Establishment republicans are basically "Rockefeller Republicans", typical Northern Republican Liberals. It is in places like Texas where there is a real rank and file conservatism influencing the party.

As for American policy, I find it truly strange that so many people still have hope that the "freedom loving rebels" take over, but that is the main thrust behind criticism of Russia's bombing raids. I am afraid it is time for us to ignore the short term potential of groups like the Free Syrian Army, but not all would agree with me, I am afraid.

Unlike the GOP men's reflexive anti-Russianism? IS it any less dangerous than reflexive appeasement of the Left?

From American Conservative:

BI, enough with the anti-Russianism already. The GOP - a largely rightward leaning liberal organization - is not getting praised here. The anti-Russianism is not being praised here. Russia is not a significant cause or obstacle to what happened in Paris. Even if the US had not frowned on Russian bombing in Syria, ISIS would still exist. Not that Russia's bombing is going to take out ISIS any time soon anyway:

The Telegraph:

A Hizbollah-backed advance would fit the pattern of Russian air-strikes, which have predominantly targeted those rebels not aligned to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant who currently present the gravest threat on the ground to core regime territory.

The Daily Beast:

What’s weird and alarming about the Russian contingent [of jets] is that it’s not really optimal for attacking lightly armed insurgent fighters. Surface-to-air missiles are only good for destroying enemy aircraft, which Syrian rebels do not possess. And Su-30’s are best suited for tangling with other high-tech forces.

Like US forces, not like ISIS troops.

What’s weird and alarming about the Russian contingent [of jets] is that it’s not really optimal for attacking lightly armed insurgent fighters. Surface-to-air missiles are only good for destroying enemy aircraft, which Syrian rebels do not possess. And Su-30’s are best suited for tangling with other high-tech forces.

Like US forces, not like ISIS troops.

Like both. The mistake the daily beast made was in not understanding that some of those Russian weapons are perfect if your goal is to terrorize a population that has hitherto given aid and comfort to such a nasty group as ISIS. This daily beast article puts in perspective. ISIS is also coming to grips with the fact that Syria is practically in Russia's backyard as far as their air force and navy are concerned, and that means Russia's air force can start flying constant sorties from Russian soil as the need arises. This could turn sideways in a hurry for both ISIS and the US if the Russians feel the need. Russia could probably move 20k ground troops to Syria in less than 24 hours if we pushed their hand.

Unlike the GOP men's reflexive anti-Russianism? IS it any less dangerous than reflexive appeasement of the Left?

BI, your hobby-horsing grows ever more tiresome. The only mention of Russia in the Editorial was a reference to a previous Islamic raid that struck Moscow, over ten years ago, and had some similarity to the massacre in Paris. Of the very few references to GOP politicians, most were emphatically critical.

Incisively, Sage has identified you basic objection here: we didn't write the editorial that you wished to write. Internet space is functionally free. Go ahead and write your editorial; no one will even begrudge you for quoting or linking to it here in the comments.

In point of fact, Sanders and the Dems' refusal to think clearly on Islamic terror is orders of magnitude more dangerous and deluded that GOP anti-Russianism, which is, to the extent that it influences thinking, more anachronistic than reflexive. Generations are changing rapidly, but the GOPs leading lights are still by and large men who came of age under Cold War conditions.

For myself, I would be quite content to let the old Franco-Russian diplomatic traditions uphold a working coalition of armed aggression against Islamic State; though I am not insensate to the dangers of projection of Russian military might.

Paul,

It looks like you'll get your wish with respect to Russian/Franco cooperation:

"Russia on Tuesday said that it was coordinating with the French military in sharply ratcheting up attacks on Syrian territory, especially areas held by the Islamic State, as the government for the first time acknowledged that a bomb had destroyed a Russian charter jet that crashed more than two weeks ago in Egypt."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/18/world/europe/russia-plane-crash-bomb.html?ref=europe

So far the Russians seem focused on protecting Assad, but assuming they are serious about cooperating with the French (and the West) then they could do some real damage to ISIS. Let's hope so.

In point of fact, Sanders and the Dems' refusal to think clearly on Islamic terror is orders of magnitude more dangerous and deluded that GOP anti-Russianism, which is, to the extent that it influences thinking

It certainly depends on the context. Anyone calling for a no fly zone over Syria is as deluded as Sanders. The first Russian jet that gets shot down by US forces will see those Russian bomber wings headed into Iraq to cluster bomb our assets, and I would wager that the Iranians would have no problem letting Russian tankers use their airspace so the Russians could attack our naval forces in Qatar.

And FYI, the Russians have the most state of the art anti-ship missiles out there. They have stuff that is credibly believed can probably sink a carrier. All it takes is for one of their jets to get a lucky shot into a carrier battle group and they've just inflicted 4k-5k casualties on the US Navy.

"Unlike the GOP men's reflexive anti-Russianism? IS it any less dangerous than reflexive appeasement of the Left?"

Illiaci, the modern Left also hates Putin and Russia because Putin is unapologetically right-wing. I just hope that the coming Trumpist Regime will rise and change our view of Russia so we can align with Russia and Syria to crush ISIS.

"I would wager that the Iranians would have no problem letting Russian tankers use their airspace so the Russians could attack our naval forces in Qatar."

I can't wait to see Qatar fall. But I hope we come to our senses and ally with Russia and Syria in destroying the Gulf states.

BI's comments always interest me. His instinct in these matters seems sound (even if he does not quite recognize when to quit).

My view is not unlike BI's. Barack Obama has on the whole been a better president than George W. Bush was, and—I suspect—a much better president than John McCain would have been, and maybe a better president than a Rubio or Christie would be. An American conservative need not be wholly dissatisfied with Mr. Obama's administration. (The word conservative has rather lost its practical descriptive power, has it not, since few of us seem to agree any more as to what the word means; but the word still does possess a proper meaning for those who can discern it. Russell Kirk ably teaches the meaning.)

Mr. Obama has been our least warlike president since Ronald Reagan. If so few of the wars we Americans have since 1850 fought have been in our interest to fight, then one may be rather pleased with Mr. Obama's peace policy.

It does not much bother me that heathen in distant lands should slaughter one another. Those are people about whom I know little and wish to know less. (I gather that Lydia believes that such slaughter should bother me, and maybe she is right; but I remain at any rate little moved. A parsimonious rule of subsidiarity is the rule for me.) What bothers me is that the blood—ours or theirs, especially ours, but too theirs—should stain our hands.

I have never been unsympathetic to Pontius Pilate, nor has Palm Sunday's yearly recurrence yet taught me unsympathy. With respect to the Islamic State however, my country does not bear Pilate's burden of responsibility, for Caesar has not charged us to govern. Yes, I would gladly wash my hands of it.

I do not of course speak for BI in any of this, for he has spoken for himself. Notwithstanding, it was an even hundred years ago that Russia and France together battled imperial Germany. Today, Russia and France together begin to battle the Islamic State. The parallel is perhaps strained, for the Islamic State is not imperial Germany, but there is this: the U.S. should have stayed out of Russia's and France's war a hundred years ago; the U.S. probably can stay out of their war today. The U.S. ought to stay out. This is not our fight.

I am for the 10th Crusade, and vive la France indeed, but this is not our fight.

Dems' refusal to think clearly on Islamic terror

Is this refusal not in American or even Anglospheric tradition?
Only a generation ago, The Afghan jihadists were being hailed as freedom-figthers. Their (American-funded) victory led to the end of Afghan secularism and exit of the Hindu minority. Connivance at Pakistani nuclear bomb may turn out to be more consequent. Did Reagan Administration think clearly on Islamic terror?

I wonder how it can be asserted that Republicans are thinking clearly on Islamic terror. If they did, why would they support or even lead anti-Assad campaign? Is Assad implicated in any Islamic terror?

Paul Cella,
The editorial called for a total war , surely a matter of utmost gravity and something not even called after 9/11 attacks. I pointed out that the editorial did not take due note, save in the most oblique fashion, of two matters deserving of serious consideration
1) Strategic jam that America finds itself in that by itself excludes any kind of total war.
2) Serious leadership deficit on both sides of the aisle showing the degree of strategic confusion that should alert any thoughtful person that this is precisely not the time to launch total wars.

These are not my observations but virtually the consensus of the conservative press.

To call for total wars in this fashion gives ammunition to those that believe that the Right is naturally bellicose and jumps at the first opportunity to bomb.

"It does not much bother me that heathen in distant lands should slaughter one another. Those are people about whom I know little and wish to know less. (I gather that Lydia believes that such slaughter should bother me, and maybe she is right; but I remain at any rate little moved. A parsimonious rule of subsidiarity is the rule for me.) What bothers me is that the blood—ours or theirs, especially ours, but too theirs—should stain our hands."

The real issue is that it's not just "heathens" dying there (btw, Muslims are not heathens, they're heretics), our Christian brethren are dying there. Most Christians in America don't know this but there are Christians in the Middle East (not for long of course thanks to Dubya) and they are not just devout Christians but high quality people in general.

This became our fight the moment the first Christian women there got raped and the first Christian man there got murdered.

As for heathens, I support Assad the Alawite (which is a Monophysite Christian heresy, which is not a heresy as serious as say Islam or Mormonism. It's more on the level of Semi-Arianism) in his struggle against ISIS scum.

the Alawite (which is a Monophysite Christian heresy, which is not a heresy as serious as say Islam or Mormonism. It's more on the level of Semi-Arianism)

Alawites are a Muslim sect, not Christians.

If so few of the wars we Americans have since 1850 fought have been in our interest to fight, then one may be rather pleased with Mr. Obama's peace policy.

Howard, let me ask you this: Tom Jefferson is usually held up as one of our early forbears of the libertarian streak of "live and let live", and "don't get the federal government involved in things it isn't supposed to do". And yet under his administration we sought out the Barbary pirates (and their state supporters) and, by force of arms, compelled them to leave Americans operating abroad alone. Was this the appropriate kind of use of force, or was that foreign meddling and federal over-achieving?

I am for the 10th Crusade, and vive la France indeed, but this is not our fight.

The Crusades were started by western powers in part because the Muslims were attacking Christians in the ME and killing, torturing, enslaving, and oppressing them. ISIS is doing the same. ISIS is also exporting its violence to the west. On what basis do you support the 10th crusade but not fighting ISIS, then?

What bothers me is that the blood—ours or theirs, especially ours, but too theirs—should stain our hands.

ISIS has declared that they will take violence to the infidel Americans ("We will raise the flag of Allah in the White House") and the West generally, and has actually done so to the French in Paris. Do you mean to say that when an avowed enemy declares war on you and violently engages your allies, you CAN'T consider yourself charged to operate with violence because they haven't _yet_ directly attacked you? You have to wait for an ACTUAL attack on your own territory to consider that "Caesar has charged us to" at least take the fight to them? A declared war against us is usually considered sufficient basis to be "charged" with the task of responding, even with armed violence. It is the benighted milquetoast appeasers of the last 100 years, who (among other idiocies) have attempted to "outlaw" war, who have attempted to morph the concepts of war so that even a declaration of war is treated merely as a negotiating stance at the bargaining table. Men of honor do not speak and act so.

Which doesn't, of itself, imply that open, full war against ISIS by America is the prudent course. Maybe, maybe not. It implies that open, full war is a legitimate, moral tool in the toolbox.

BI's comments always interest me. His instinct in these matters seems sound

Really? BI believes that nations are figments of the imagination, that borders are meaningless lines drawn by figments of the imagination, and that wars of conquest to grab land are morally legitimate. He doesn't allow for the natural moral law, to him all law is positive human law.

Is Assad implicated in any Islamic terror?

Yes, it is. The Syrian Assad regime was added to the list of "state supporters of terrorism" in 1979. They have their hands in several terror groups, particularly Hezbollah.

These are not my observations but virtually the consensus of the conservative press.

You mean, like "The American Conservative (sic)" That liberal rag?

I wonder how it can be asserted that Republicans are thinking clearly on Islamic terror.

I wonder how it can be asserted that we are asserting here the Republicans are thinking clearly on Islamic terror. The only thing asserted was this, and it is distinctly NOT a ringing endorsement of Republicans' clear thinking on ISIS:

Whether any of the American GOP candidates will display the nerve to dispense with the usual emollient modifiers, and castigate the dogmas and traditions of Islam as such, remains to be seen. Senator Cruz has taken a solid first step.

A "first step" in holding off on continued receipt of Muslim Syrian immigrants does not constitute a complete strategy, nor "clear thinking" over the whole issue, but it is a solid first step.

Popehat has a hilarious post that brutally mocks Merkel and the pro-"bring 'em all in" side.

Tony, thank you for the lively reply! My counterreply is too long, since answers are longer than questions, but you can read such parts as interest you. You write:

BI's comments always interest me. His instinct in these matters seems sound.
Really? BI believes that nations are figments of the imagination, that borders are meaningless lines drawn by figments of the imagination, and that wars of conquest to grab land are morally legitimate. He doesn't allow for the natural moral law, to him all law is positive human law.

I once served several years as an adjunct instructor at a state U. A hundred students would sit in the hall, invariably among whom one student would repeatedly insist on arguing with me in front of the whole class, in my judgment wasting lecture time. This was frustrating. The experience taught me something, though. I learned that the other 99 students did not much mind the disruption; they just stopped taking notes and spectated, watching to see who would win the debate.

Today, you are the instructor, BI is the one student, and I am the spectator; so naturally, I can appreciate BI better than you.

If you want to know, BI has not persuaded me regarding any of the specific points you list (though he comes close to persuading me re wars of conquest). BI is no Thomist; I am. BI does however usefully counterweight the occasional rhetorical or philosophical excesses of some of the editors. This is my view.

It may interest you to hear that you editors (whom I did and still do admire) overbalanced me against voting for Barack Obama in 2008. WWwtW was the decisive influence there, if you can believe it; and I have mildly regretted my vote almost since that moment, for I should have voted Obama in '08. So, yes, when BI now points out that Mr. Obama has not been such a poor president, after all, when he observes that American conservatives could have done worse, why, naturally, I tend to agree.

Howard, let me ask you this: Tom Jefferson is usually held up as one of our early forbears of the libertarian streak of "live and let live", and "don't get the federal government involved in things it isn't supposed to do". And yet under his administration we sought out the Barbary pirates (and their state supporters) and, by force of arms, compelled them to leave Americans operating abroad alone. Was this the appropriate kind of use of force, or was that foreign meddling and federal over-achieving?

Appropriate, as far as I know. Mr. Jefferson did well.

Whether I be a libertarian may or may not be relevant, but since you mention it, I do not think that I am much of a libertarian. (Had you been sufficiently bored to pay excruciatingly close attention to Jake's colloquy with me several months ago, you might even already recognize my authoritarian streak.)

The Crusades were started by western powers in part because the Muslims were attacking Christians in the ME and killing, torturing, enslaving, and oppressing them. ISIS is doing the same. ISIS is also exporting its violence to the west. On what basis do you support the 10th crusade but not fighting ISIS, then?

On the basis that my country, the United States, which once unwisely smashed Hitler to make the world safe for Stalin, which now celebrates sodomy, which lacks the moral sense to distinguish between Christian refugees and Muslim jihadis, is in no wise competent to lead, join or even regard the 10th crusade. Having passed military age (during which age I did wear my country's uniform), a father of six, I am unable to prosecute the 10th crusade alone, but only with my country. I am Catholic; my country is and has always been Protestant. If the crusade were to come during this generation, then how could my country ever lead it?

No, the Cold War was our war to fight. We fought the Cold War and—by grace, by perseverance, and by the eventual goodwill of our foes—we won. The 10th crusade is largely for others to fight; and even were it not so, now is not our time.

ISIS has declared that they will take violence to the infidel Americans ("We will raise the flag of Allah in the White House") and the West generally, and has actually done so to the French in Paris. Do you mean to say that when an avowed enemy declares war on you and violently engages your allies, you CAN'T consider yourself charged to operate with violence because they haven't _yet_ directly attacked you? You have to wait for an ACTUAL attack on your own territory to consider that "Caesar has charged us to" at least take the fight to them? A declared war against us is usually considered sufficient basis to be "charged" with the task of responding, even with armed violence. It is the benighted milquetoast appeasers of the last 100 years, who (among other idiocies) have attempted to "outlaw" war, who have attempted to morph the concepts of war so that even a declaration of war is treated merely as a negotiating stance at the bargaining table. Men of honor do not speak and act so.

Quite right. In principle, I should not wait for an actual attack, but would rather proceed as you suggest.

Fortunately, ISIS is not long for this world, I guess. True believers in their Satanical revelation, they seem to think that they can take on Russia with the right hand and, simultaneously, France with the left. In this, ISIS is delusional.

If we were serious about ISIS and her ilk, anyway, would we not have halted Muslim immigration forthwith from Sept. 11, 2001? Since we did not do and have still not done that, is it wrong of me to disbelieve that my country has a serious purpose in Mesopotamia and the Levant, except perhaps to shoot down a Russian jet fighter and thus maybe to start World War III? And if Russia is the Third Rome, then how would World War III stop ISIS, anyway? It would not be the 10th crusade, but more like the 4th.

Which doesn't, of itself, imply that open, full war against ISIS by America is the prudent course. Maybe, maybe not. It implies that open, full war is a legitimate, moral tool in the toolbox.

Fair enough. Good point.

Thanks for the questions.

Mr. Harrison,

What always amazes me about so-called conservatives (or authoritarians!) who think Obama has some sort of 'conservative' track record to hang their hat on is that one can only say such a thing by putting foreign policy in a very special silo (one that says it is important not to have Americans dying in the Middle-East/Afghanistan for any reason) and ignores everything else Obama did domestically that was so far from any sort of conservative principal that it makes your head spin.

I guess when it comes to foreign policy versus domestic policy, YMMV.

Meanwhile, I certainly agree with your lament about Muslim immigration and this blog has written some excellent pieces on the folly of American policy with respect to Islam (something both parties are guilty of, lately especially President Obama.)

I'm just curious though -- what do you think of wise and prudent President Obama's foreign policy vis a vis drones, Libya, training Syrian "moderates", supporting the Saudis in Yemen, escalating the war in Afghanistan (and then admittedly de-escalating the same war), etc. In other words, for a guy who didn't want to get the U.S. involved in Middle-East/Afghanistan fighting, he sure seems to have gotten involved in quite a bit of fighting and killing over there.

then how would World War III stop ISIS, anyway? It would not be the 10th crusade, but more like the 4th.

With about 60% of Americans polled agreeing with Putin's editorial in our media about Syria, I think a lot of Americans would blame our government if the Russians lost a jet and retaliated in a way that killed a lot of our troops over there. Most Americans believe that the Russians are actually doing what we should be doing.

Jeffrey S.:

My answer is not half as interesting as your question. Since you have asked, though, the answer follows.

Someone may have said that Barack Obama were wise and prudent, but I would not have said it. I would especially not have chosen the adjective "wise." I would however say that Mr. Obama is not bloodthirsty, innovates little in foreign policy, and seems reluctant to send troops under his command to their deaths. I like these.

Regarding Mr. Obama's domestic policy, I am unable treat that in a blog comment of Vive la France! It wants a whole blog, rather; and even then I doubt that I could do justice to so broad a topic. But yes, you are right: overall, I feel that domestic policy could easily have been worse.

I'm just curious though -- what do you think of wise and prudent President Obama's foreign policy vis a vis drones, Libya, training Syrian "moderates", supporting the Saudis in Yemen, escalating the war in Afghanistan (and then admittedly de-escalating the same war), etc. In other words, for a guy who didn't want to get the U.S. involved in Middle-East/Afghanistan fighting, he sure seems to have gotten involved in quite a bit of fighting and killing over there.

I do not know. Mr. Obama had few attractive alternatives available of which I am aware, so one is reluctant to criticize. In 2008, I recognized as political posturing (as you too probably did) the specific distinction then-Senator Obama drew between Iraq and Afghanistan, but Mr. Obama seems as president to have got the policy more or less right.

There is much to be said for caution. Not everything, but much. Even Mr. Obama's mistakes (and we all make mistakes; he struck Libya, for example) have not been too bad for us, because he had approached them with caution. I like that.

Troops under Mr. Obama's command got bin Laden. This is not nothing.

Something bothers me about the drones. Not sure what it is. The drone policy has a plausible rationale on the surface, but feels to me somehow wrong. If we had a sane immigration policy, would we even need the drones?

The policy regarding Syrian "moderates" is just terrible, of course. Its bad results were predictable and were predicted. I wish that Mr. Obama had asked your advice before implementing it.

Afghan operations had switched from a necessary punitive action to a failed experiment in democracy before Mr. Obama took office. I am not sure that Mr. Obama had any attractive alternative available there.

I have no opinion regarding Yemen, but might learn one, if you wished to teach it.

Let me emphasize, nonetheless: Mr. Obama tries hard not to get our troops killed, and tries also to keep the blood of foreigners off our troops' hands. I do not know exactly why he does this, but that he does it is important to me. How should I not be pleased?

"Alawites are a Muslim sect, not Christians."

Technically they are not Muslim, they've "Islamicized" on the surface just to get Muslims off their backs but the Sunnis and Shias still want to exterminate them. They are Monophysites not Muslims.

Minus HJH's simpering fawning for Obama, he is right on the fact that fighting ISIS with the present state of affairs is going to be impossible. It will be hard to fight ISIS unless we take back our nations by taking control of the state.

The answer towards ISIS and Muslims is going to have to be one of extreme brutality. They only attack us like this because they know that we are not going to fight back in any way that matters to them and because of their enablers within our midst.

We get rid of the traitors first then we can get the Muslims.

Btw, Obama has a terrible record on foreign policy. Not as bad as Bush but not good enough to make up for all the other stupid crap he pulls.

Ajax,

I know this is Paul's post, but this talk of "traitors" grates -- our opponents on the Left are many things including foolish, misguided, wrong, insane, evil, etc. But the word "traitor" has a specific meaning and unless you think individual leftists are collaborating with the enemy and should be rounded up and brought to trial (sort of like we did when CAIR was named as one of the more than 300 unindicted co-conspirators of the Holy Land Foundation in their prosecution, although in the case of CAIR, they remained unindicted) please don't use that loaded word. We imprison and/or execute traitors when we bring them to justice -- is that what you want to do with roughly half of the American population that supports liberal ideas?

Harrison,

Your answer to me is fair, but kind of shocking -- I find it hard to imagine a worse domestic policy in recent memory (one would have to go back to LBJ and then FDR to think of another President who so expanded the welfare/regulatory state -- not to mention Obama's terrible Supreme Court picks and his Justice Department's rather strange priorities: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/426307/obama-justice-department-bias)

I can also appreciate your strong desire to see our soldiers stay away from foreign conflict, especially after the eight years of war under Bush. Nevertheless, one can lament "nation-building" and foreign meddling and still wish that our troops were used to bring justice to those who would harm the U.S. For example, imagine an alternative reality in which Bush simply gave an ultimatum to the Taliban and when they refused, we went into Afghanistan, deposed their government, warned them we'd do it again if they crawled out of their caves, and went home (maybe with a few troops around to hunt bin Laden.) Perhaps we left it to the Pakistanis (with a strong warning that we would not tolerate them putting the Taliban back in power) to support a new government -- but we let the warlords over there figure out how to govern their own country without our help, knowing only that they would be bombed out of power if they let the Taliban back into the government.

There might be other ways to project force and seek justice when Americans are hurt or threatened; I think you should consider the idea that just because Bush used the military in X, Y, and Z ways doesn't mean we can't think about using it in A, B, and C ways which might be more effective (and get less of our troops killed!)

Anyway, thanks for the dialogue.

BI believes that nations are figments of the imagination, that borders are meaningless lines drawn by figments of the imagination, and that wars of conquest to grab land are morally legitimate. He doesn't allow for the natural moral law, to him all law is positive human law.

An absurd mischaracterization of my views. My issue is with the dream of a cast-iron logic that puts an end to contradictions and disputes between ourselves and others which I call the dream of Crystal Palace and which I find the existing American Conservatism to be particularly fond of.

Thus, reason has a role but might has a role too.

borders are meaningless lines drawn by figments of the imagination,

They are lines drawn by might, not reason or natural law.

wars of conquest to grab land are morally legitimate
Conquest is not illegitimate per se. and conquest is not theft.
all law is positive human law.
Private property in land can exist only in a state of law.

My approbation of the President is not general but is specific to the single point--that not heeding the outcry of the GOP men, he did not start a contest with the Russians over the Syrian air space.

I am astonished and a touch mortified to learn that Mr. Harrison voted on the basis of W4 arguments. The gentleman flatters us.

But I still must say that what he should really regret is his regret of voting against Barack Obama.

Leaving that matter aside, however, one is left to wonder if, based on the principles Mr. Harrison eloquently espouses, any historical military or national leader could command his support for a war to defeat Jihadist powers.

Godfrey, Raymond and Baldwin led and won the First Crusade, setting up Latin Kingdoms in the Middle East. They were believing Catholics but they were mean, rough and ruthless men. Their methods were often scarcely distinguishable from the Muslims they fought.

Moreover, en route they immediately treated Greek Christians to a kind of pillage and rapine that makes whatever the supposedly godless Americans have done in Iraq and Afghanistan look fairly mild in comparison. Someone mentioned Tariq Aziz. It would be as if Gen. Tommy Franks, before rolling into Iraq in 2003, had launched dozens SOF raids to kidnap all of Aziz's family, along with any other Christian family of influence they could find, in order to brutally exploit that leverage against Iraq's regime. It was worse, even: since the Greeks were actually the ones pleading for Frankish help and found their sons held hostage.

During the Third Crusade, Richard the Lionhearted was once blown off course at sea and found himself near Cyprus, so he figured, what the hell, I'll just conquer these Byzantine punks instead, and move on to Tyre later. Given the strategic value of that island, there was solid military sense in this. And indeed, that particular Cypriot ruler probably deserved it, having spent the prior few years despoiling his own people, and having kidnapped Richard's kin.

Or again, Don John of Austria learned his skills as a military commander in some of the cruelest, most merciless and bloodiest battles you can imagine: the Moorish revolts in southern Spain. He fought for a Catholic Spainish regime that applied torture to virtually every aspect of war-fighting policy: against Calvinists, Moors, Jews, Catholic dissenters, Englishmen, etc.

Now, of course I reject the ignorant modern superstitions against the Crusades. At base, these were just wars; wars to reclaim that which was savagely taken by malevolent powers. The Pope was right to lend even the Vatican's aid to most of these expeditions. But make no mistake: these were ferocious and bloodthirsty endeavors which, as all wars must, made ample use of unprincipled and rapacious men. For numerous crusaders it was not at all about regaining the Holy Land, but merely gaining land -- wherever it could be gained -- for themselves. Pure wars of personal conquest.

So if we lay it down as a principle, that the American military's officer corps, enlisted leadership, and political commanders today, cannot be trusted, morally, to carry out a war of defense against Jihadist aggressive, I have a hard time seeing how these heroes of old can be cheered or their military operations endorsed.

In the end, it's not actually possible for human beings to wage wars that are uncorrupted by that lawless desire for acquisition which resides in the sinful hearts of men. I've written before that perhaps the only large-scale war that even approached to the level of honorable conduct was the American Civil War; and I need only mention the name Sherman to illustrate how distant even that extraordinarily gentlemenly war was from perfection.

The presence of strategic confusion, the absence of clear-eyed leadership, the want of honor and moral restraint: these are facts of every war, and always will be, until our Lord returns in glory to bring final justice to the world.

"Ajax,

I know this is Paul's post, but this talk of "traitors" grates -- our opponents on the Left are many things including foolish, misguided, wrong, insane, evil, etc. But the word "traitor" has a specific meaning and unless you think individual leftists are collaborating with the enemy and should be rounded up and brought to trial (sort of like we did when CAIR was named as one of the more than 300 unindicted co-conspirators of the Holy Land Foundation in their prosecution, although in the case of CAIR, they remained unindicted) please don't use that loaded word. We imprison and/or execute traitors when we bring them to justice -- is that what you want to do with roughly half of the American population that supports liberal ideas?"

You don't think supporting an invasion in our lands constitutes treachery? For all I care, the "Pope" Bertoglio is just as much as to blame, if not more for killing 158+ people and injuring 600+ for his treachery in brow-beating countries in Europe to take in these serpents while they were raping and murdering and exterminating our Christian brethren in the ME. He showed more "compassion" for this filthy group of cutthroats than he did for the Christians in the ME. That tells me all I need to know about him.

Muslims are gonna muslim, I didn't expect any less from them. The real enemy are the people who brought them here and forced them upon us.

As for the part of the population that supports liberal ideas, let's be honest, the masses are idiotic and are mostly signalling for status. If Islam, Communism, or Fascism/Nazism was in vogue, the masses would support that as well. Most people don't have the ability to think critically. Once we establish power and authority and start being the "cool" ones, they'll fall inline, the masses are reactive and responsive, not proactive. It's always a small minority that determines the direction of a nation (or set of nations), that's how it is now and that's how it's always going to be. Ever heard of Thomas Carlyle's Great Man Theory?

The real traitors are the elements in the media, academia, and yes, within the Church. Right now we can't punish them for their treachery but we can atleast point our fingers right at them and call them out. Even now they are still advocating for more and more and trying to minimize role Islam played in these attacks (don't you know that ISIS isn't Muslim or that not ALL Muslims are like that, just 95% of them?). This is unacceptable and who knows how much of the population will turn because of this.

Also, people who self-identify as liberals are only 20% of the population. Non-liberals will vote Democrat, just look at the Union guys. Do you think they like immigrants (legal, illegal, Muslim or non-Muslim), or gays, or any of the other Cultural Bolshevik pets-of-the-month? Of course not.

I will repeat, this would NOT have happened if they hadn't brought these Saracen savages in our countries. They either know better or should have known better and I could care less. They brought them here. Notice how there are no such attacks in Hungary, Romania or other parts of Eastern Europe. Why do you think that is?

I do not know the history of the Saracen immigration into France but surely a large number of them dates from 50's and 60's when they were brought in to help solve labor shortages.
I do not see how media, academia or the Church can be blamed for them.

If anything, it is the 19C imperialism that was instrumental in bringing subject people to the imperial metropolises. Wasn't it historically inevitable? Rome was full of Jews once Rome conquered Judea.

Jeff,

I know this is Paul's post, but this talk of "traitors" grates -- our opponents on the Left are many things including foolish, misguided, wrong, insane, evil, etc. But the word "traitor" has a specific meaning and unless you think individual leftists are collaborating with the enemy and should be rounded up and brought to trial (sort of like we did when CAIR was named as one of the more than 300 unindicted co-conspirators of the Holy Land Foundation in their prosecution, although in the case of CAIR, they remained unindicted) please don't use that loaded word. We imprison and/or execute traitors when we bring them to justice -- is that what you want to do with roughly half of the American population that supports liberal ideas?

Treason only has a narrow definition in our system of law as it currently stands. That doesn't force us to consider them less traitorous simply because the Constitution says one thing and the English language holds a much broader meaning. If your spouse or close friend betrays you in a grave situation, they are a traitor to you. The Constitution has no quarrel with you regarding them as such.

Reading the rhetoric of many of these folks, it's obvious that older liberals (ex of the JFK variety) would despise them as well for their open disgust and even hatred of their own people and way of life. It is not a foolishness, it is evil. As I have said before challenging Lydia on why we should harbor no desire to protect these people it's quite simple. They are some of the most evil folks you'll ever meet short of mass murderers. Just as one of many examples, in Europe they are pressuring women who are violently raped by migrants to not report the crime for the sake of "the cause."

I can't speak for Ajax, but I would absolutely have no intrinsic problem with a radicalized German government hauling a few of those activists out, putting them up against the wall and giving them a horizontal 21 gun salute. I might quibble with them about due process, but I wouldn't hold the pretense that there's any value on this side of eternity to men who so openly hate their own that they would prefer to see a woman gang raped than to see foreigners no longer flood their streets.

On the basis that my country, the United States, which once unwisely smashed Hitler to make the world safe for Stalin,

Nonsense. We smashed Hitler,and then Roosevelt made eastern Europe safe for Stalin. There is every reason to consider that without our help and the Western Front, Hitler would have beaten Stalin and then taken Britain, then the Middle East, much of Africa, and then who knows? In any case, while it might have been Roosevelt's dream to leave Stalin a clear shot in Europe, it was no part of America's in engaging that war.

which now celebrates sodomy, which lacks the moral sense to distinguish between Christian refugees and Muslim jihadis, is in no wise competent to lead, join or even regard the 10th crusade.

There is no need for a man to be free of vice in order to use force to defend himself from unjust aggression, or even to use force to defend someone else. The pervert who stands up to a bully raping a woman and attacks him isn't doing something wrong. We don't have to be morally clear-sighted enough to correctly judge between which kinds of immigrants to accept and which kind to reject, in order to JUSTLY take war to people crucifying Christians and others, raping and enslaving women, and using military might to expand their empire. Sure, it would be better if we were moral enough to repudiate sodomy and to distinguish different immigrants, but neither of those are necessary conditions for the moral insight needed to justly wage war on ISIS.

Tony,

The Directory of the FBI testified under oath that we have no means to actually vet the refugees from Syria. His exact phrasing was something to the effect of "we can run queries on them until the cows come home, but we don't actually have any data on them." So at least with this particular situation, there is no prudent reason to just open the flood gates in the name of mercy. Even if we were the most morally upright people on Earth, we'd still not have the ability to actually screen out the bad apples. In fact, Comey's comments make it clear that we don't even have a marginal fighting chance of doing so.

Just war is red herring. The question is competence as HJH wrote.
And America's record post-WW2 is dismal enough. Except for a little Grenada, there has been no victory. And for the present crew in charge, their strategic sense is widely reviled by the conservatives. Then, it is amazing that the same conservatives would want consequential wars to be launched under the charge of the same crew.

We smashed Hitler,and then Roosevelt made eastern Europe safe for Stalin

Perhaps the present crew could out-do Roosevelt. Is it really wise to trust them to launch total wars, no less?

BI,

Korea: success.
Vietnam: only a failure because LBJ would not authorize us to cross into North Vietnam in force and take Hanoi. In fact, we left on our terms because of Operation Linebacker forcing the North to submit to our terms.
Persian Gulf War: a devastating success.
Initial phases of Iraq and Afghanistan: successful.

The reason we failed in Iraq and Afghanistan was mission creep combined with a failure to understand the restraints on the probability for success in the expanded mission. Afghanistan was a lost cause because we were and are unwilling to invade the NW territory and annihilate the Taliban and its supporters. Iraq was a failure because the Bush Administration fired any general that raised the issue of pacification and counter-insurgency early on.

We have had no military failures since WWII. We have had a stunning number of foreign policy political failures that involved the military. The military did its job quite well.

Mike T,

Good points about the American military -- there was also Panama.

Meanwhile, we just disagree fundamentally about how to deal with political opponents in your country that are pursuing evil actions (e.g. you don't think passing laws giving women the right to kill their unborn babies is evil?) I think you are very misguided and not thinking in a clear-headed manner on this issue -- society would descend into anarchy and a violent struggle for power (and nothing else) if we simply defined those who betrayed conservative principles as traitors to their country.

There is a reason we try and use the political process, persuasion, laws, and then police action against our foes.

"I do not know the history of the Saracen immigration into France but surely a large number of them dates from 50's and 60's when they were brought in to help solve labor shortages.
I do not see how media, academia or the Church can be blamed for them.

If anything, it is the 19C imperialism that was instrumental in bringing subject people to the imperial metropolises. Wasn't it historically inevitable? Rome was full of Jews once Rome conquered Judea."

First off, I am talking about the Syrian "refugees". Second off, there was a group called the Charles Martel Group that committed violent action against the French government for doing this and there were many assassination attempts on Charles de Gaulle's life due to his idiocy.

But you bring up a very good point. I forgot to mention capitalists, like the ones here in America trying to flood America with cheap illegal labor so that they don't have to pay native American workers a half-decent wage.

Society is descending right now into the beginnings of a violent power struggle. It simply has the formalism of legal process behind it and the left isn't as comfortably situated as they need to be to really begin bringing the apparatus of the state to bear on us. The assaults on businesses and schools we've seen are only the beginning. The immigration and refugee waves are threatening to fundamentally alter what remains of the fabric of Western societies. It's gotten so bad that Sweden is actually on the verge of giving one of their most right wing parties (to the right of Trump on immigration) over 25% of the vote.

Jeff,

if we simply defined those who betrayed conservative principles as traitors to their country.

Anyone who tells a woman to not go to the police lest her rape charge bring unwanted attention on the violent ways of a large number of immigrants has a loyalty that is clearly not with their own people and nation. If you think that is merely a "conservative issue," then I don't know what to tell you. To me, that is one of the basest and deranged forms of treason one can commit.

Mike T,

"To me, that is one of the basest and deranged forms of treason one can commit." We just have to agree to disagree. I would use many different words to describe such a person (who "tells a woman to not go to the police...") but traitor just doesn't come to mind -- unless you continue to insist that anyone who doesn't agree with your political principles is a traitor.

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

the primary enemy is NOT muslims but the treacherous scum who let muslims into Western lands and the traitors who've brow-beated us for months to take in Muslims [Ajax]
I know this is Paul's post, but this talk of "traitors" grates -- our opponents on the Left are many things including foolish, misguided, wrong, insane, evil, etc. But the word "traitor" has a specific meaning and unless you think individual leftists are collaborating with the enemy and should be rounded up and brought to trial [Jeff]
You don't think supporting an invasion in our lands constitutes treachery? ... The real traitors are the elements in the media, academia, and yes, within the Church. Right now we can't punish them for their treachery but we can atleast point our fingers right at them and call them out. [Ajax]
Treason only has a narrow definition in our system of law as it currently stands. That doesn't force us to consider them less traitorous simply because the Constitution says one thing and the English language holds a much broader meaning. If your spouse or close friend betrays you in a grave situation, they are a traitor to you. The Constitution has no quarrel with you regarding them as such. [Mike T]

The problem with this, I think, is one of language. Mike T is quite right that there are other forms of treachery than the legally punishable sort. But Jeff is quite right that when we are talking about actions we can and should take in the political sphere, we need to be limiting ourselves to treason defined carefully, not loosely.

Here, I think, is the underlying issue that is goading Mike and Ajax: in some circles, especially liberal ones, there is little or nothing that any more corresponds to a recognizable common good to which they would attest their fealty, their love, their loyalty, by which actions against that good would be universally understood to be disloyal treachery. I pointed out a symptom of this problem in my July 4 post,
http://whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2014/07/exceptional_america.html , some liberals don't even like to be considered patriots. More are squishy about it.

What can you do with such people? How can you maintain a common polity if they are unwilling to recognize explicitly a common good of that polity?

Even more telling, I think, even among those who account themselves citizens of a polity which is devoted to a common good, is that many people (and this includes vast swatches of non-liberals, too) could not articulate a common good that others would agree is common or good. For instance, many liberals would immediately put "diversity" and "tolerance" right at the top of the list of features denoting a good polity. Most conservatives, and people who have just plain been burned by "victims" claims of intolerance would look askance at that even qualifying for the list, much less being at the top. (One problem with these specific items is the insight of perceiving something that is a fundamental good AS SUCH instead of a means to good.)

I would hazard a suggestion, then: the likelihood of succeeding in finding a compatible life with those who formally repudiate such a thing as a polity, and a common good, is so low as to justify a political solution. Don't call it treason, but make them a buy-sell offer they cannot refuse: "your vision of living in peace and mine are incompatible. One of us is leaving. Either you, or me, whichever has fewer votes." Their attitude has the effect of treason without meeting the formal definition of treason, but is politically significant nonetheless.

As to the second category, which is much larger, the problem is also more intractable. We can't "vote someone off the island" when their understanding of the common good isn't the same as ours. It would be better if there were SOME method of reducing the discrepancies - other than just arguing unpersuasively for another 2 generations, that is. Voting is supposed to be one partial mechanism for it, but it is a gradually failing mechanism: different groups become increasingly unpersuaded that the other groups intend the good of the country in any MEANINGFUL sense, when those groups hold the reins. That undermines consensual democracy, which requires going along with the majority even when you don't agree because that's better overall than (literal) fighting for control of the government. As we get closer and closer to groups being unconvinced that "going along" with those jerks in the majority IS actually better than fighting, the closer we come to democratic meltdown.

(Even aside from legal definitions) It isn't treason in the political sense to have such a distorted understanding of the common good that you aim your efforts at things which - in actuality - damage the common good. The notion of treason requires a conscious choice to undermine the good of the polity, roughly speaking. When a person in charge held such a distorted understanding of the common good, in former times, we had the (somewhat cold) comfort that even so, deep down and for the most part he still held "the important things" in common with us, so we could tolerate (for a time) the mischance that this dumb bloke was making things worse. But when you are convinced that the dumb bloke LITERALLY wants to re-make America into a place you would detest, because it LITERALLY would enshrine as major principles things that you are convinced are bad, how can you tolerate his (no longer mischance but fully intended) aims? How do you wait out your shot at regaining the majority, when his re-making of America is to re-write the meaning of a majority (Obama & Co pushing for illegal aliens to vote)?

So, is it treason to aim for these changes to America, making her a moral disaster? In a way it is, but not in the political sense. It is, rather, a kind of treason in the moral sense: a treachery against the moral order, of allowing yourself to be conformed to a "political vision" that distorts moral reality by willfully adhering to what you want rather than what is the good properly. It is the moral treason of the plebes of Rome demanding bread and circuses of Caesar knowing full well they have no just cause for it. It is the moral treason of the Jacobins demanding still more heads after the actual perpetrators of malfeasance were long dead.

Here, I think, is the underlying issue that is goading Mike and Ajax: in some circles, especially liberal ones, there is little or nothing that any more corresponds to a recognizable common good to which they would attest their fealty, their love, their loyalty, by which actions against that good would be universally understood to be disloyal treachery.

Even more than that, there is a virulent hostility toward their own. I find it bizarre that Jeff insists that my rape example is something about a political principle, when in fact it goes to a matter of morality that transcends politics. When your politics require you to twist a rape victim's arm to not seek justice because you are afraid it would redound very badly toward the reputation of her rapists' identity group, you have crossed a very serious line. This is not a matter of difference in opinion, but a rejection of basic morality and justice.

My view of the future is not far from Vox Day's on this. That is, we are seeing major changes that point toward a future in which mass migration and internal cultural changes come together to create the perfect opportunity and justification for the rise of very radical elements.

Tony,

"There is every reason to consider that without our help and the Western Front, Hitler would have beaten Stalin and then taken Britain, then the Middle East, much of Africa, and then who knows? In any case, while it might have been Roosevelt's dream to leave Stalin a clear shot in Europe, it was no part of America's in engaging that war."

It's obvious you have no understanding of history. I mean, this is how they explained it to me in elementary school i.e. "Hitler wanted to take over the world!" and "Hitler wanted to kill everyone who wasn't blue and blonde!".

Hitler was an incompetent, meth and neurosyphilis-addled idiot who the other Right Wingers in Germany despised and Operation Barbarossa was an absolutely idiotic move. Hitler could not have taken over the Soviet Union considering that the German military was not up to par. They had great fighting men as did Japan but unfortunately war is not about warriorhood or fighting skill or honor anymore but about firepower. The late great General George Patton, when asked about the war said "Yeah, I think we all know who one the war. The artillery!".

But Hitler's vision of the world wasn't "I'm gonna take over the World!". In his vision, Germany takes all of France, Central Europe and Eastern Europe, Italy takes parts of Southern Europe and all of North Africa, Japan takes all of Asia, Britain gets the seas, Switzerland stays independent, Spain and Portugal keep their overseas colonies, and America takes over the Americas.

So no, Hitler wouldn't have taken over the world. And more importantly, you ignore the fact that the National Socialists were hated by traditional right-wingers like the Wehrmacht, the Revolutionary Right (like Oswald Spengler, Ersnt Junger and Edgar Julius Jung), Left-Wing Nationalists (like the Brothers Strasser), the Traditional Monarchist Right (like Paul von Hindenburg), as well as Catholics (like Claus Von Stauffenberg) and Confessional Protestants. Von Stauffenberg was responsible for the July 20th Plot and even in the case of Axis victory, there would have been a ten-sided Right Wing Civil War in Germany. And let's not forget about the right-wing nationalist Poles and Frenchmen (like Georges Valois) who didn't like being taken over by a foreign power even if that meant Germans.

The National Socialist regime was ultimately as sustainable as the Soviet Union. Nazism and fascism both have intrinsic problems which made the unsustainable. Were they a great counter to Bolshevism and Cultural Marxism? Yes.

"Treason only has a narrow definition in our system of law as it currently stands. That doesn't force us to consider them less traitorous simply because the Constitution says one thing and the English language holds a much broader meaning. If your spouse or close friend betrays you in a grave situation, they are a traitor to you. The Constitution has no quarrel with you regarding them as such.

Reading the rhetoric of many of these folks, it's obvious that older liberals (ex of the JFK variety) would despise them as well for their open disgust and even hatred of their own people and way of life. It is not a foolishness, it is evil. As I have said before challenging Lydia on why we should harbor no desire to protect these people it's quite simple. They are some of the most evil folks you'll ever meet short of mass murderers. Just as one of many examples, in Europe they are pressuring women who are violently raped by migrants to not report the crime for the sake of "the cause.""

Yes, Jeff doesn't seem to understand my definition of "liberal" are those people who care about OUR deserving poor (key word: deserving), OUR American workers, OUR American farmers and who believe in social safety. In fact, that makes ME a liberal. I'm not going to hide it, I'm a bleeding heart gushy liberal but I am a highly selective bleeding heart because I have a brain. I don't bleed for everyone and when it comes to Muslims and the like, my heart goes cold and hardens. These people are NOT traitors, they are our friends, our country men, our poor folks who are down on their luck, and our workers and farmers who are the backbone of our nation.

Cultural Marxists on the other are absolutely treacherous, subversive scum. Once again, they did this to us. They brought Muslims over here. To refuse to call it as it is, is nothing short of absolutely weak. They are the true enemy. Those people would not have died, those other people would not have gotten injured (I'll bet some of those poor people lost limbs thanks to the Saracen savage scum) if the Syrian Camp-of-the-Saints "refugees" Saracens were NOT in Paris. Once again, why is Eastern Europe not have this problem? Because they don't have traitors in power and deal with them promptly.

The Constitutional definition of treason is highly lack. These people are traitors to the nation, I can't believe how this is not obvious.

"I can't speak for Ajax, but I would absolutely have no intrinsic problem with a radicalized German government hauling a few of those activists out, putting them up against the wall and giving them a horizontal 21 gun salute. I might quibble with them about due process, but I wouldn't hold the pretense that there's any value on this side of eternity to men who so openly hate their own that they would prefer to see a woman gang raped than to see foreigners no longer flood their streets."

My quibbles with that include the fact you said "German" instead of "Western" and you talk about using the firing squad on them. The firing squad is the honor given to soldiers that have to be executed, not to treacherous scum. They don't deserve that.

In times of crisis like this, when our Christian women in Europe and the Middle East are getting gang-raped by savages and our Christian brothers in the Middle East are being slaughtered and crucified and the traitors in our midst are letting in these animals in so more women can be enriched with rich Islamic diversity, due process can be suspended.

The worst part is gang-rapes have already happened in Europe. And just like in Rottherdam, these people are covering it up/ignoring it. That is EVIL. That is treachery.

"unless you continue to insist that anyone who doesn't agree with your political principles is a traitor."

This is not political this is civilizational and national. I don't see how can't seem to understand that bringing in these "people" counts as treason.

How do you not understand this simple concept?

"“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’"

Likewise, unfortunately you don't seem to understand the definition of a treasonous act. It doesn't mean disagreement politically. If you want to build a bridge with tax money and I want to use it build a road that doesn't make either of us traitors and we have a mere political disagreement.

However, if you want to bring in thousands of dangerous Saracens into my country whom you either know are dangerous or should know are dangerous and I don't, you are committing treason.

Tony, thanks for understanding. America is not a piece of paper, it's not an idea, it's a living breathing nation that holds to the a piece of paper named the Constitution and happens to hold to the ideals of freedom and liberty. If the American character dies out and the American people with it or before it, then America ceases to exist if it claims to adhere to the Constitution or to the ideals of Freedom and Liberty. And this goes even more so for countries in the Old World.


People who flood our nations with hostile aliens and who actively try to undermine the moral fabric of our nation are traitors through and through.

I'm sorry if I have been a bit disrespectful towards you, I haven't never felt such an acute burning anger until I heard about the Paris attacks.

Jeffery, do you support the John Birchers and McCarthy for trying to root out Communists in the media and academia and even our government? I do, because political freedom has it's limits and when a group decides to change the character of a nation, they are committing treason.

Btw, this is Wayne Allensworth of Chronicles talking about a certain group of people (HINT: Not Scots-Irish) who tends to vote Democrat but are now rebelling: https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/the-wall-street-journal-states-the-obvious-on-working-class-whites/

These people are liberal but are not treacherous Cultural Bolshevist swine. They are our country men. And they are angry. And they are tired of being dumped on a party and singled out as the root of all evil and of being called privileged by some rich AA/nepotism black/Jew lesbian professor while they barely have jobs since crony capitalists sent half to China and gave the other half to illegals that are streaming through the borders.

These are not our enemies. They don't want Muslims here.

you have crossed a very serious line. This is not a matter of difference in opinion, but a rejection of basic morality and justice.

Sure, but is it done consciously in order to damage the polity / common good?

Ajax,

Your intemperate language continues ("due process can be suspended") -- I suggest you think long and hard about what you wish for when you find that liberals hold the reigns of power and you are being rounded up for the "xenophobe" camp.

"This is not political this is civilizational and national. I don't see how can't seem to understand that bringing in these "people" counts as treason.

How do you not understand this simple concept?"

I don't understand because I think you are wrong. I'm a hard-line immigration restrictionist -- but I just don't think that those who disagree with me are traitors because that's not how I think of political disagreements and no matter how many times you stamp your feet and shout the decision to bring in X number of immigrant group A, B, or C is a political one. It may have additional moral implications (as most political decisions do -- see my prior mention of abortion) but that doesn't change its character. I also think that as a Christian it is my duty to fight my enemies with love. That doesn't mean there aren't additional tools in the toolbox, but the minute I start dehumanizing them with words like "treacherous, subversive scum" I think not acting Christ like, even in his angry moments (Matthew 23.)

Communists in the United States, especially those who supported the Soviet Union, were indeed traitors as they were working directly for a foreign power and/or wanted to overthrow the duly elected constitutional government in place and they were totally fine with using violence if necessary. I'm glad we executed the Rosenbergs -- they were indeed traitors to our nation.

As I said to Mike T, I'm afraid we are going to have to simply agree to disagree.

Sure, but is it done consciously in order to damage the polity / common good?

Were American Communists, working for the Soviet Union prior to the Cold War traitors or did their lack of a conscious desire to damage the common good change anything?

Communists in the United States, especially those who supported the Soviet Union, were indeed traitors as they were working directly for a foreign power and/or wanted to overthrow the duly elected constitutional government in place and they were totally fine with using violence if necessary. I'm glad we executed the Rosenbergs -- they were indeed traitors to our nation.

Now we have men and women who are actively working for the benefit of a foreign people with a culture that is hostile to their own, to bring them in in droves, and eventually dilute the society to the point where the whole of society and government makes major shifts. It is not revolutionary violence, but it is the same goal of bringing down the old order.

Your intemperate language continues ("due process can be suspended") -- I suggest you think long and hard about what you wish for when you find that liberals hold the reigns of power and you are being rounded up for the "xenophobe" camp.

Jeff, they're already persecuting people for holding different views. The nature of the game is changing before your very eyes. The left increasingly no longer believes in pluralism and tolerance. Continuing to treat them like it's the 1950s and liberals are generally willing to let people live and let live is just ignoring reality. They're sparring full contact while most of our side is pretending that this is a no or light contact dojo.

Jeff and Tony,

This is about where I see the world heading over the next 10 years or so. You can thank all of the smarmy and smug establishment politicians, the mainstream media and similar groups for forcing us down this path.

Well, it's a little off-topic, but I am going to indulge just a bit.

But Hitler's vision of the world wasn't "I'm gonna take over the World!". In his vision, Germany takes all of France, Central Europe and Eastern Europe, Italy takes parts of Southern Europe and all of North Africa, ...

Sure, that was his original plan. Original plans tend to get changed. Italy couldn't keep up its part, Germany took over Italy AND North Africa...

Hitler was an incompetent, meth and neurosyphilis-addled idiot...

We agree, he was an addled maniac. You could never count on his plans NOT CHANGING. You could, especially, never count on his conquests feeling like they were "enough". Especially when quieting all those other factions depended on wars and success. He was nuts, remember?

Hitler could not have taken over the Soviet Union considering that the German military was not up to par.

This is unhistorical and speculative. Hitler, in spite of his incompetencies, came close to knocking Stalin on his ass by kicking over Moscow and Leningrad, and thus causing a political implosion in Russia and kicking Russia out of the war. Hitler fought Russia on 3 axes of thrust, and made significant strategic errors. As a result he could not complete any one of the three. If he had consolidated on only 2, and had avoided even just 2 of his 3 biggest errors, he probably would have succeeded in taking at least one of Leningrad or Moscow, if not both (If he had knocked out Leningrad early, almost the entire north would have been neutralized and he could have focused the rest of his war farther south). If he had moved one month earlier, it is far more probable that Moscow would have fallen before winter set in. And there is simply no way of knowing how likely it was for Stalin to survive politically in such a case, he might have weathered it but not certainly. Just as Hitler had political problems, so did Stalin.

but unfortunately war is not about warriorhood or fighting skill or honor anymore but about firepower.

Yeah, but the point is that Germany could and did focus enough firepower, for 7 months, to ALMOST knock Russia out of the race. It doesn't matter about TOTAL firepower, if you lose the capacity to focus your firepower before you bring the reserves to bear. War is political as well as firepower: someone has to decide to direct the power.

"that liberals hold the reigns of power and you are being rounded up for the "xenophobe" camp."

I'm aware. Do you not think that the Left couldn't care less about the rights of dissenters? I've seen them go roughshod on the rights of dissenters numerous times for the last few years.

The difference is that I am right and like Tony said, I am on the side of the common good.

"I don't understand because I think you are wrong. I'm a hard-line immigration restrictionist -- but I just don't think that those who disagree with me are traitors because that's not how I think of political disagreements and no matter how many times you stamp your feet and shout the decision to bring in X number of immigrant group A, B, or C is a political one."

I may be stamping my feet but atleast I am not enabling a treacherous group by not call them what they are. Muslims are our enemies, they are aiding them. What is that called again?

"I also think that as a Christian it is my duty to fight my enemies with love. That doesn't mean there aren't additional tools in the toolbox,

"but the minute I start dehumanizing them with words like "treacherous, subversive scum" I think not acting Christ like, even in his angry moments (Matthew 23.)"

What Christ are you talking about again? Because this is the Christ I know:

Matthew 12:34:

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

John 8:44:

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies

Mark 9:42:

"If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in me--to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea."

Christ on His return:

Matthew 10:34-35:

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword"

Interesting how your version of Christ doesn't sound like the fiery, thunderous and heroic God I know.

Yes, Christ is compassionate but even His compassion runs dry. And it seems pretty "dehumanizing" to call a people a "brood of vipers" or that they are "of their father the devil".

Don't geld Christ. Besides, does He not send His enemies to burn forever in eternal Hell?

Plus, if you love your enemies so much, go ahead and say something nice about child-molesting, gang-raping, suicide-bombing Muzzies. Practice what you preach, show them some "compassion". I know I don't have so I don't. But you claim you love your enemies. Prove it. Say one thing nice or kind about them.

At the same time remember that compassion for the wolf is a distinct lack of compassion for the lambs. Jesus loves the lambs and the shepherds, I don't think He shows much love for the wolves.

And that reminds me, Satan your ultimate enemy, and he too like Muslims and Cultural Marxists are fallen. Do you love Satan as well? Do you think God does?

So really, spare me this prattle about loving your enemies and let's just focus on fighting them and winning.

"Communists in the United States, especially those who supported the Soviet Union, were indeed traitors as they were working directly for a foreign power and/or wanted to overthrow the duly elected constitutional government in place and they were totally fine with using violence if necessary. "

And yet their perverted children, the Cultural Marxists are not traitors? Walk me through that logic.

Tony, I believe the best scenario for Germany, the West and the world as a whole would be an Axis victory with the right-wing and nationalist dissidents throwing out the Nazis (the Wehrmacht was planning to do this after the war) and keeping a traditional order in Germany as opposed to a Soviet one, or the modern Cultural Marxist one, or the Nazi one.

But it can't be said enough, Hitler was not just an idiot but evil. His gratuitous murder of the Poles and other Slavs is nothing short of evil. He didn't attack the Soviet Union to liberate those under the Iron Curtain but to enslave them himself.

But the best scenario would have been the Wehrmacht and it's political allies winning out on top in Germany after the end of the War.

Btw, I just realized, Jeff, you did not rebuke me for the "horrible" things I said about Muslims like you did for what I said about Cultural Marxists.

So what that means is that you are either fine with Cultural Marxists and support them OR that you are fine with "Islamaphobia". So where exactly is your love for the Islamic enemy? You don't seem to have any love for them.

Atleast I'm honest. I don't have any delusions of pretension of loving my enemies. If I loved them, they wouldn't be my enemies now would they?

Ajax,

You say, "Interesting how your version of Christ doesn't sound like the fiery, thunderous and heroic God I know."

I didn't quote a single passage from the NT on Christ commanding us to forgive/love our enemies, but you can find those passages on your own if you so choose. I pray that the Islamic world comes to know Christ -- I don't know how religious you are but I'll pray for you as well.

http://freenortherner.com/2015/11/20/le-petite-mort/

FreeNortherner's treatment of the subject is bang on

Mike T
Military success is just ONE part of Victory.
And what good military success is if the military fights for the enemy ?

Total war against Jihadists if not combined with even a partial war against their domestic enablers equates Total defeat.

I guess Ajax has no friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, partners, clients or fellow parishioners, who vote Democrats and subscribe to foolish liberalism; or if he does he'd just as soon see them stand up at the wall while he reads imprecations at them from Scripture. Interesting life he must have, bereft of all human connection with anyone who, say, thinks it right that America take in Syrian refugees.

For myself, some in my own family are liberal Democrats. My best man, my oldest friend from home; my grandmother was a liberal; my brother is engaged to a liberal; more than fifty percent of my aunts and uncles. That's just off the top of my head.

Ajax's brand of Christian conservatism would, I guess, have me break fellowship with these people, curse the hour I ever loved them, and wish them ill until the end of my days.

But since that's not Christian conservatism at all, but actually bitter, impious madness, I'm going to interpret Ajax's ridiculous outbursts as a sublimated expression of the boiling fury that I myself share, concerning the treachery we saw in Paris and the rancorous petulance we saw from our President.

However, and I want to be perfectly clear about this, THIS WILL BE THE LAST CHARITABLE INTERPRETATION OF SUCH OUTBURSTS.

And BI, you can go pound rocks as well.

Not only have you, in this very thread, praised a President who reserved more righteous indignation for Americans who are skeptical of his Operation Refugee Sanctimony, than he did for men who one week ago were tearing apart Parisians with automatic rifles; you have now insinuated that the proper thing to do wage "partial war" against "domestic enablers," you know, like the President you praised for his wisdom and moderation.

There is something about the Jihad that really leaves certain Western men, liberals and paleocons, mostly, unable combine reason and patriotism with any kind of equipoise.

"I didn't quote a single passage from the NT on Christ commanding us to forgive/love our enemies, but you can find those passages on your own if you so choose. "

I know about those passages but I'll forgive them after I defeat them.

But you see how Christ "dehumanized" people? I think calling a group of people the spawn of the Devil or a brood of vipers would be considered "dehumanizing". I don't feel bad about doing it myself because He did it.

"I pray that the Islamic world comes to know Christ"

But I pray for their crushing defeat first and the complete return of ALL Christian lands back into our hands including parts of Western Europe and Britain, North Africa, Egypt, the Levant (including the Holy Land), Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and parts of the Balkans especially Kosovo.

And to be perfectly honest, I will forgive them the moment they unrape all of the women they've raped in Europe, Britain, and the Middle East.

Killing is one thing, St. Paul himself was also a killer, but rape is a sin so grave it calls out to heaven for vengeance. And gang-rape is even worse.

" I don't know how religious you are but I'll pray for you as well."

Well, I hope you are being sincere, because if you are I truly appreciate your prayers *

* I say this because I have enough experience with Church folk who use "I'll pray for you" as a sort of passive aggressive insult. If you read the Bible, Christ was all about active aggression.

"I guess Ajax has no friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, partners, clients or fellow parishioners, who vote Democrats and subscribe to foolish liberalism; or if he does he'd just as soon see them stand up at the wall while he reads imprecations at them from Scripture. Interesting life he must have, bereft of all human connection with anyone who, say, thinks it right that America take in Syrian refugees."

I do, but once again I am not talking about them. They too will follow along with the leading opinion because that's how most people are.

I'm talking about the high-ranking members in the media, academia, government and the churches that support this.

"But since that's not Christian conservatism at all, but actually bitter, impious madness, I'm going to interpret Ajax's ridiculous outbursts as a sublimated expression of the boiling fury that I myself share, concerning the treachery we saw in Paris and the rancorous petulance we saw from our President.

However, and I want to be perfectly clear about this, THIS WILL BE THE LAST CHARITABLE INTERPRETATION OF SUCH OUTBURSTS."

LOL as if ALL CAPS doesn't constitute a ridiculous outburst.

Look, one of my best friends is liberal while most are apolitical and a few are hard right (no cuckservatives amongst my rank). Hell, I even have a Muslim friend. You don't see me making excuses for Muslims because of my one and only Muslim friend.

There is such a thing as intellectual integrity.

Once again, we're not talking about your average elite-wannabe liberal but your actual member of the hostile elite. The elite-wannabes will follow the will of whatever elite is in charge due to their extreme conformist instincts.

"or if he does he'd just as soon see them stand up at the wall while he reads imprecations at them from Scripture."

I didn't notice this little jab. I only quoted Scripture since Jeff brought Jesus into this conversation. We could have left Him out of this, but once we brought Him in, I might as well quote some of the words from His mouth, no?

"Interesting life he must have, bereft of all human connection with anyone who, say, thinks it right that America take in Syrian refugees."

I wish all of my friends had common sense but unfortunately some of them are blind bleeding hearts (mostly the Christian women I know) and I really can't fault women for caring. It's a good instinct but it works best in familial and communal contexts not in national or global ones.

Ajax, the point is that we all have brassbound liberals that we nonetheless respect, love and admire: cousins, old friends, siblings, wives, you name it. Upbraiding Jeff because he won't call such people traitors, enemies, vipers, Satan's spawn is pernicious and unhinged -- comportment unbefitting of Christians or conservatives.

Also, at no prior point did you make any clear distinction between normal liberals and "high-ranking members in the media, academia, government and the churches," which you now pretend was always clear.

Horseapples. Your contribution to this thread has primarily consisted in eliding such distinctions and castigating about half of America has driven by traitorous ideas, for which they deserve severe punishment. It aint gonna work to now play the game that you only meant the elite leaders and propagandists, not the poor proletarians themselves. For instance, you said, without any qualification, "if you want to bring in thousands of dangerous Saracens into my country . . . you are committing treason." Later on your congratulated yourself for your candor: "At least I'm honest. I don't have any delusions of [or?] pretension of loving my enemies. If I loved them, they wouldn't be my enemies now would they?"

So again I'm left to wonder at a guy who claims he loves no one who favors a liberal immigration policy, or who just can't bear to face the facts about Islam, or who has idly and unthinkingly embraced a lot of Marxist cant.

I'll let you in on a little secret: filling themselves up with bad ideas and working diligently never to face hard facts is what human beings do. We excel at this stuff. But a basic principle of conservatism for me has always been this: ideas are real things, potent things, but they are not more real than men.

What is set before us is a long, tedious, exacting, onerous, formidable task of moral persuasion. We have to show people who really don't want to hear it, over and over and over, that where Islam is, there its wicked doctrines will be, and there Jihadist terrorism will be. We have to seize on these detestable acts of treachery to educate, convince, confute; we have to encourage righteous indignation, clear thinking, bold statement of fact.

Ajax, when you spoke of that "acute burning anger" when you "heard about the Paris attacks," I entirely sympathize. It was the most honest and most humane thing you've ever said at this blog. And the loss of that capacity for righteous anger is one of our country's major disabilities.

Nevertheless, you have got to watch your words. Your intemperance has already resulted in numerous egregious accusations and even more reckless insinuations. Knock it off.

At least I'm honest. I don't have any delusions of pretension of loving my enemies. If I loved them, they wouldn't be my enemies now would they?

Well, at least you're honest, Ajax.

Look, one of my best friends is liberal while most are apolitical and a few are hard right (no cuckservatives amongst my rank). Hell, I even have a Muslim friend. You don't see me making excuses for Muslims because of my one and only Muslim friend.

Wait, I thought wanting Muslims here in America was traitorous. But you have a Muslim friend? Being a friend means wanting them around, doesn't it? Or maybe you are just a "friend", not really a friend? Or maybe you don't mind a few Muslims being here? I'm confused. Do you want your friend to just go away, permanently? Or, should we accept into America only Muslims who already have a friend here?

Back to "they wouldn't be my enemies, would they?" Let's make a distinction: someone can love you, but you don't love them back. Unrequited love, it's called. Or, someone can hate you, but you don't hate them back. I guess it would be called unrequited hate!? So, we have Jesus Christ, here, who was hated by the Pharisees and the chief priests, and by the Roman soldiers who hated him because here they went to all this trouble to torture him beyond human endurance, and still "he opened not his mouth". But even though they hated him, he didn't hate them back. He, instead, forgave them even while being tortured and murdered. "Love your enemies, and do good to those who hate you" is possible because you are not forced to hate people just because they hate you. You control yourself, they don't.

Second distinction: You can fight a war against people you don't hate. Christian kings, once upon a time, exhorted their soldiers to kill the enemy without hating them. Just as, on a more personal level: I could forgive a brother for bringing drugs into my home, but still not receive him into my home again. I could forgive him and still ACT on the fact that his behavior is detrimental to me. I could still work against his wishes. Likewise, if the Muslims are trying to bring down my civilization, I can wage war against them without hating them. I can kill every one of them as needs killing, bomb their military installations, destroy their capacity to project force, even (if that's what it takes) wipe out every adult male who thinks and wishes to comply with "the prophet's" message of taking violence to non-Muslims - all without hating them.

So, no: the fact that they hate me means they have chosen to be enemies to me, it does not mean I hate them or that I have to hate them in order to handle killing them as needed.

Which, by the way, represents the 2 responses I think Christians should be making in the face of an actual terrorist attack on them: every young man, ages 18 through 25 or so, should immediately run at the terrorists to take them out. Yes, most of you will be killed - so? Attack, don't wait to be killed passively. Second: every feeble old man and woman with no plausible chance of escaping the rifle sights should stand up and directly call on Christ, loudly. If you are _going_ to die for being considered a Christian by enemies of Christ, you might as well stand up and TAKE CREDIT for being a Christian. In some instances Christ will decide to step in and prevent the terrorist from succeeding.

Military success is just ONE part of Victory.

You said this:

And America's record post-WW2 is dismal enough. Except for a little Grenada, there has been no victory.

Korea is a victory. It accomplished all of its stated goals by preserving the status quo and South Korea is tremendously successful today. Vietnam ended on our terms and the south didn't fall until later and mainly because South Vietnam was not prepared to fight that war on its own. The Persian Gulf War accomplished all of its objectives to the letter. As I said, the reason why Afghanistan and Iraq were failures was entirely because of political objectives layered on top of the military ones by people who didn't pay much attention to any inconvenient fact, military, historical or otherwise, about their political objectives.

So no, dismal doesn't describe it at all. It is merely becoming dismal because of the nature of our political class.

Paul,

Upbraiding Jeff because he won't call such people traitors, enemies, vipers, Satan's spawn is pernicious and unhinged -- comportment unbefitting of Christians or conservatives.

To be a bit fair to Ajax, Jeff doesn't seem willing to call my more extreme examples traitorous either. Even, for instance, activists who openly despise (by stated words, not inference of their beliefs) their own society and arm-twist native born rape victims to not testify against immigrant rapists lest that testimony be used against the rapists' ethnic group viz a viz immigration policy.

Now, I haven't followed Ajax's comments enough to know if he is drawing a sufficient distinction or one at all between ordinary, reasonable liberals and social justice warriors. He may not, but Jeff's responses have been a bit perplexing in their own right.

The reason that distinction is important is that ordinary, reasonable liberals are simply not that far down the rabbit hole. They might excoriate you for "collective judgment" in questioning the immigration, but they would absolutely agree that even suggesting that a rape victim feel obligated to not report to the police is a disgusting and unjust act. Hell, many of them might even agree that it is quite plainly morally treasonous even if they are fine with immigration because reasonable people can see that that sort of disloyalty to one's own is just intrinsically depraved.

Atleast I'm honest. I don't have any delusions of pretension of loving my enemies. If I loved them, they wouldn't be my enemies now would they?

Honesty about disobedience is an admission of disobedience.

Christ said to love your enemies. If you admit that you're disobeying Him you really have no justification to lecture people on the best way to follow Him.

One thing I'll had here is a superb epigram by Chesterton: Something to the effect of, "Christ told us to love our enemies; he never said don't have any."

"Wait, I thought wanting Muslims here in America was traitorous. But you have a Muslim friend? Being a friend means wanting them around, doesn't it? Or maybe you are just a "friend", not really a friend? Or maybe you don't mind a few Muslims being here? I'm confused. Do you want your friend to just go away, permanently? Or, should we accept into America only Muslims who already have a friend here?"

I like the rabbinical logic you're using here, trying to play "gotcha!" with every single line. You've been taught well.

My "Muslim" friend is as Muslim as Saddam Hussein which is to say, not at all, he's just of Muslim descent. I acknowledge that he is a creature as rare as the honest, loyal Jew. And both of those rare types do exist but I'm not going to base policy around either because I know that exceptions do not make the rule.

Of course, accommodations can always be made for the exemplary minority of a minority, I am a Spenglerian in every way.

"Honesty about disobedience is an admission of disobedience."

Yeah, like how confessing sin is an admission of sin. What are you, a tool?

"If you admit that you're disobeying Him you really have no justification to lecture people on the best way to follow Him."

Malcolm, I have the ability to acknowledge the fact that I have a weakness in this area. I didn't bring up Christ since people who bring up Christ in matters based on the common good of the nation tend to be charlatans (case in point, Pope Benedict Arnold), Jeff or Tony brought up Christ. And if Christ supported Fr. Torquemada's unceremonious expulsion of the Muslims and the Jews, His sworn enemies, from Spain, I don't see any reason why He wouldn't support the same in America.

As for you, plank, eye. You don't even have the decency to admit your weaknesses (which is lying in it of itself) and yet you bloviate about the matter yourself, over and over.

In the end, how about those solutions? I'm guessing the whole point of this site is to basically complain impotently and bitterly about stuff you have no real intention of changing, amirite?

"To be a bit fair to Ajax, Jeff doesn't seem willing to call my more extreme examples traitorous either. Even, for instance, activists who openly despise (by stated words, not inference of their beliefs) their own society and arm-twist native born rape victims to not testify against immigrant rapists lest that testimony be used against the rapists' ethnic group viz a viz immigration policy.

Now, I haven't followed Ajax's comments enough to know if he is drawing a sufficient distinction or one at all between ordinary, reasonable liberals and social justice warriors. He may not, but Jeff's responses have been a bit perplexing in their own right"

There are those reasonable good-faith liberals who are one step away from being mugged by reality (I'm guessing we were all this guy at one point) and there are the extreme examples whom neither Cella, Jeff, or Tony seem to want to call out as traitors.

I have the former types as friends and I know in the end, when the zeitgeist shifts rightward, they will as well.

"Ajax, when you spoke of that "acute burning anger" when you "heard about the Paris attacks," I entirely sympathize. It was the most honest and most humane thing you've ever said at this blog. And the loss of that capacity for righteous anger is one of our country's major disabilities."

Maybe, just maybe, rousing and incendiary words might fire up the populace (like those of Fr. Coughlin)? In the words of Yeats, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." It's time to make the Silent Majority roar with rage once more and nagging at them like neurotic schoolmarms is definitely not the best option. Just look at Trump vs Jeb or Romney.

"Nevertheless, you have got to watch your words. Your intemperance has already resulted in numerous egregious accusations and even more reckless insinuations. Knock it off."

From who?

I like the rabbinical logic you're using here, trying to play "gotcha!" with every single line.

Fair enough. It was a rhetorical ploy, at least in approximation comparable to your own rhetorical approach.

I too have a "Muslim" friend. Well, actually, "friend" would be closer, at least he is an acquaintance with whom I am on cordial terms. But certes, his "Muslim" character needs the scare-quotes, for he knowingly does not practice Muslim law even in the particulars that would be unobjectionable to Americans.

And I suspect that a good many in America are "Muslims" of one stripe or another. Some more so, some less. After all, of the millions of Muslims here (somewhere between 2 and 3 million, perhaps?), less than 100 have actively sought to kill people here out of jihad.

There are those reasonable good-faith liberals who are one step away from being mugged by reality (I'm guessing we were all this guy at one point) and there are the extreme examples whom neither Cella, Jeff, or Tony seem to want to call out as traitors.

But no, you have mistaken our thesis. THERE ARE INDEED traitors. Those who will harm to our country, and have acted to bring that about, are traitors. Some of the extreme liberal stripe do actively detest America, and knowingly work to bring her down because of what she is. These are traitors. Among these are those who protest against borders, or who protest against immigration standards that would keep out the riff-raff who cannot but hurt America. They do these things because they perceive doing so will damage America.

But the number of liberals who consciously desire harm to America as such is quite modest. Much larger is the crowd of liberals THINK to change certain unpalatable (to them) features of America, not consciously aware of the fact that the features they detest are part of what makes America to be herself, are integral to her nature or her essential goodness. Surely you would agree that applying the name "traitor" to the latter group extends the sense of "treason" in such a way as to soften its gravity. For surely, the gravity of wanting what will have the effect of damaging America is a lesser degree than the evil of wanting America damaged.

Even if someone is actively seeking to harm America through political policies, the word "traitor" used for that person is somewhat metaphoric, not literal as defined in, e.g., the Constitution.

Beyond that, even if one's political enemies are genuinely ill-intentioned, it is dark and wrong to wish for them to be murdered, to take schadenfreude in their being attacked by kooks or killed or raped by jihadis, or to incite violence or threats of violence against them. Unfortunately the language of "traitors" against political opponents is being used in the context of justifying or taking pleasure in that sort of attitude and those sorts of behaviors.

This thread is so old that new comments in it will be read by few. If this comment is read by few, then at worst it does little harm, so here goes.

Tony writes:

What always amazes me about so-called conservatives (or authoritarians!) who think Obama has some sort of 'conservative' track record to hang their hat on is that one can only say such a thing by- putting foreign policy in a very special silo (one that says it is important not to have Americans dying in the Middle-East/Afghanistan for any reason) and ignores everything else Obama did domestically that was so far from any sort of conservative principal that it makes your head spin.

I guess when it comes to foreign policy versus domestic policy, YMMV.

Paul writes:

But I still must say that what [Howard] should really regret is his regret of voting against Barack Obama.

It is hard to summon enthusiasm to defend Barack Obama's record as president. A Republican, I do not like and have never liked Mr. Obama, so I did not argue against Tony and Paul at the time. However, my view remains that Mr. Obama has (despite himself) not been too bad a president, that he has probably indeed been our best president since George H. W. Bush.

My view does not make Tony or Paul wrong, but it does reveal a difference of emphasis between them and me. Perhaps explanation is due.

I shall condense the explanation as much as I can, but seven years of Mr. Obama's presidency leave a lot to remark on, some good, some bad, as follows. The first two points below will establish me as a sort of pro-choice racist, which will hardly endear me to readers here; but be patient. There is a method to my development.

  1. Sanctity of life. I am weaker on this point than Tony or Paul, but weaker because I am (by my own lights) stronger on the sanctity of the family. One is extremely reluctant to admit state authority to interfere with one's own family, and consequently, correspondingly reluctant to admit state authority to interfere with another's family, even where abortion may be involved. Within my family, I am pro-life; without my family, in the context of the debased society we now have, I am left to be pro-choice. Such questions are not wholly new. The plebian woman of ancient Rome who once exposed her infant did so in circumstances you and I can barely appreciate. Even that which is malum in se is not always a matter of overriding, universal concern. Subsidiarity obtains. Moreover, is abortion—as voluntarily ordered by women unrelated to you and me upon their own children—is such abortion eugenic or dysgenic (I do not know which), or do none of us care? Do baby boys forcibly saved from abortion inherit their mothers' dispositions to kill? If so, then 20 years later, whom do those boys kill, and whom do those boys leave to grieve the killed? May one not ask? In any case, is Malthus is not right? One must be careful in asking such questions for reasons Chesterton has explained (and Chesterton, whom I love, would agree with Tony and Paul not me), yet I lack easy answers. For these reasons, I am loth to join in any indiscriminate attempt to coerce an unwilling, fornicating culture to accept the general suppression of abortion at this time.

    Incidentally, some of us speak as though we forget that the president of the United States is not necessarily the nation's principal mover of abortion law. There are appointments to the Supreme Court, and these are important, and I will address them below, but there is more to it than that. At any rate, like many Americans, I do not greatly oppose the Obama presidency on grounds of the sanctity of life.

  2. Race. How shall I put this? I do not like blacks very much, and never have. When even the best of the blacks merely conform to Western civilizational norms, when they contribute so little, what's to like? I'll (psuedonymously) own the insult du jour: "racist," "racialist," "race realist," "white supremacist," whatever, I don't care. At any rate, Mr. Obama began his first day in office with a clear demerit in my book for being black. That demerit is still there, but it means that the Henry Louis Gates and Trayvon Martin debacles subsequently affected me less than it affected fellow conservatives. My expectations were lower. What mainly surprises me is that Mr. Obama has not been even more unfair to white Americans than he has been.
  3. Feminism. Standing on the rightward antifeminist flank of his disgustingly leftist sodomizer's club of a political party, Mr. Obama is at heart no feminist. Neither have been his several predecessors after Ford and Carter, really, which has made us forget how much worse we could have had it in the interim. The leader of a feminist party, Mr. Obama has cynically used feminism from time to time but, relatively speaking, has he been so bad?
  4. Performance as commander in chief. I don't know. Mr. Obama seems somewhat uncomfortable as a military and naval commander; and his administration's admission of women to combat roles has been disappointing, though Mr. Obama did not start that movement. However, one heartily approves of Mr. Obama's consistent reluctance to get troops under his command killed, which has been the most pleasant surprise of the Obama presidency.
  5. Sodomy. Er, …, fags. Rainbows used to mean Noah and the ark. Can't exactly blame Obama for World War G, though. What a strange world in which we live!
  6. The Constitution. Mr. Obama's misuse of executive orders is not commendable. However, he didn't shred the Constitution. By degrees from the days of FDR, the Constitution had already been shredded. Taken as a body, Mr. Obama's executive orders chiefly demonstrate the fundamental caution of the man.
  7. Caution. Mr. Obama is a Fabian's Fabian. If you have got to have a socialist as president, this is the kind you want.
  8. Competence. Mr. Obama seems to share with many black men an uncanny ability to mimic the external appearance of intelligent behavior. Of course, Mr. Obama's IQ must stand well over 100, only nowhere near the 150 his demeanor suggests. What Mr. Obama lacks in raw intelligence, he fails to make up in experience. In short, yes, he is incompetent. His caution in this context therefore means a lot.
  9. Family. Mr. Obama seems, like me, to be happily married to his first wife, devoted to his family to a normal degree and in a normal way. One does not wish to make too much of this, but it is not nothing.
  10. Obamacare. I am biased on this one, so you may discount my view, insofar as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) happens to have substantially improved my own health-insurance position. I had expected bad results, yet have so far seen mostly good results. I have become cautiously, provisionally pro-ACA.
  11. Ferguson, Mo. This was troubling. Mr. Obama should have fired Attorney General Eric Holder for egregious federal meddling in a local police matter, costing innocent citizens tens of millions of dollars in hard-earned property value, and probably inspiring the slaying of some policemen across the nation. I will indeed strongly demerit Mr. Obama for this. Holder was allowed to stay too long.
  12. Budget deficits. Perpetual deficits are of course a foolish model on which to structure a federal budget, even in a fiat-currency economy, so Mr. Obama earns no praise from me here. However, I still have the quaint understanding that federal spending is, under our Constitution, principally the responsibility of Congress. Also, like Paul (if I recall), I once believed that perpetual deficits would sink the dollar and boost inflation. That never happened, and it has been seven years, so I now find it hard to be as critical as I would otherwise have been.
  13. The Supreme Court. Justice Sotomayor is an obvious embarrassment to the court, but then George H. W. Bush gave us Justice Souter, didn't he? Justice Kagan is a standard liberal judge. Since we are probably doomed to have some standard liberal judges on the Court, I cannot see that Kagan is worse than the others: she's a good fit for the court's smart Jewish clique, a clique which represents an improvement over the dim liberal judges of the 1970s. But, yes, Sotomayor was a really bad choice: demerit Obama on that one. (By the way, since no one can mention the Supreme Court in the conservosphere these days without causing the name of John G. Roberts, Jr., to be taken in vain, I say that am 100 percent for the chief justice. The question really, really is not whether conservatives dislike a couple of Justice Roberts' opinions, but whether Justice Roberts' opinions are worthy of the great Anglo-Saxon tradition of Coke and Blackstone. Before you concur with conservatives ganging up on Roberts, read his controversial opinions for yourself. It's fun; Roberts is a good writer, much better than the typical circuit-court judge or member of a regulatory appeals board. If legal erudition can be understood by the sufficiently intelligent citizen, and it can be, then Roberts' opinions and the dissents thereto are not a bad place for the citizen to start his study.)
  14. Planned Parenthood. Gruesome. On this point, I agree with practically everyone else here: Regarding the positive state sponsorship of the destruction of new life, Mr. Obama is the worst president ever.
  15. Foreign policy. To avert World War III is important to me. Not to send our boys to die in foreign wars is important to me. Mr. Obama's foreign policy is better, much better, than any since Ronald Reagan's.
  16. Iranian nukes. Could Republicans be any more confused about this? Iran is no natural foe of the United States. Iranian nukes are bad, but threaten Russia more than us. But then, post-Soviet Russia too is no natural foe of the United States. If we really wanted to halt Iranian nukes (which halting is a very good idea, badly executed), then we should have let the Russians take the lead in the effort, starting 10 or 20 years ago. I think that Donald Trump has successfully made his correct point regarding the "$150 billion" and the "four prisoners," but Mr. Trump also thinks that we should get along with Vladimir Putin, which is the only likely way in the long run to halt Iranian nukes.
  17. American nukes. None launched. So far, so good.
  18. Bin Laden. Got him.
  19. Israel. I wish Israel well, but on about the same level as I wish Japan well, or Estonia. I do not understand why Mr. Obama seems comparatively hostile to Israel, but then I have not paid attention, because I do not especially care.
  20. Iraq. Was there ever a good answer to Iraq? I doubt it.
  21. Afghanistan. One is inclined to fault Mr. Obama for continuing George W. Bush's Afghan nation-building experiment, until one remembers that one is equally inclined to fault Mr. Obama for not continuing George W. Bush's Iraqi nation-building experiment. Was there ever a good answer to Afghanistan? Answer: Yes, move in during 2001, kill people, break things, get out during 2002. We forgot to get out. After forgetting, was there a good answer to Afghanistan? I doubt it.
  22. Syria. Good job. Mr. Obama made a mistake, drew a red line, swallowed his pride, and declined to invade. The last president who swallowed his pride like that was Ronald Reagan, Beirut. Well done.
  23. Libya, Egypt, etc. No president is perfect. Mr. Obama seems to have taken a bit of bad advice, then moved to limit the damage. Americans should not be so arrogant, so self-important, as to believe that the course of events in those countries was chiefly of our moving. Bombing Khaddafhi, or Qadafi, or whatever is the politically correct spelling of the week, was a mistake, but an understandable one, cheered on and goaded by warmongering Congressional Republicans. I find little in Mr. Obama to fault.

  • Immigration. Mr. Obama is bad on immigration, but since Eisenhower and Kennedy, which president has not been bad on immigration? In 2009 and in the lame-duck session of 2010, Mr. Obama had clear chances to force immigration liberalization through Congress. He did not do it. Why not? I do not know, but actions (in this case, lack of actions) matter.
  • The birth certificate. Since Mr. Obama was, as I am satisfied, in fact born in Hawaii, this is a very small matter. However, I believe that the way Mr. Obama handled the Birther controversy was cynical and cruel, and was disrespectful to voters who had not supported him. That it took a sheriff from Arizona, of all places, to get to the bottom of the controversy is discreditable to the Obama administration, an administration which—by forthrightly answering a few, simple, legitimate questions—could have spared tens of thousands of genuinely concerned Americans unneccessary worry. Besides the birth certificate, there seems to have been an apparent problem with Mr. Obama's Social Security number (though it remains unclear to me why this number should have been public knowledge in the first place). Again, a good answer for this seems to exist, but rather than just to give the answer, Mr. Obama preferred to taunt concerned Americans with the question. Not good. Not a big deal, but not good.
  • So much will do to go on with. If enough readers look at my comment (I do not say, read it), someone will inevitably resolve the contradictions my comment provokes in his own thought by mislabeling me a liberal, which is funny. Or maybe they'll just lump me with Bedarz (which is fine; I like Bedarz). The point though is this: We have a two-party system in which Democrats must sometimes win. As Democrats go, we have had and will have worse than Obama, such as Clinton (though even he was better than the hapless George W. Bush), LBJ and Wilson. As Democrats go, we've had better, such as Carter, Kennedy and Truman. So, at worst, Mr. Obama ranks around, or a bit below, the median Democratic president for me. I mean, he's no Grover Cleveland, but he's not so bad, really, is he? He is better than John McCain, at any rate: much better. That was the alternative, don't forget.

    So there. If you have read all this, then I suppose that you are almost the only one!—which suits me, since Mr. Obama's lack of overall horribleness is not a favorite topic of mine, nor one I greatly care to debate. I am not so self-important as to suppose that many readers of this blog care why I believe what I believe, but I do have my reasons for ambivalence toward Mr. Obama, as you see. Mr. Obama is who he is. We've had worse. On the whole, I don't much complain.

    Thanks for the audience.

    Jeffrey S., did I just mislabel your remarks as Tony's? Pardon.

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