Sunday, October 29, 2006

Multi-Culturalism Run Amuck

Fire of Liberty

According to this piece by Val MacQueen over at TCS Daily it seems like the folks in the UK are finding out that the devotion to the cult of "multi-culturalism" is creating more problems than good. Here's hoping that the public in the UK stands up and say enough is enough and finally find a way to rid themselves of the goobbledygook of "multi-culturalism."

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Why I'm Optimistic About Election Day

Fire of Liberty

I think this piece by National Review Online's Deroy Murdoch pretty much sums up why I'm still hoping the Republican's win the day come November 7th. While I'm a little miffed with spending I've got to give the Republicans props in national security, tax cuts, cutting the deficit in half well before 2009, 4.6% unemployment, low inflation rate, a border fence. Yes, we've got to work on winning the War on Terror, stopping nuclear proliferation, making tax cuts permanent thus expanding growth, and social security reform, appointing judges and Supreme Court Justices in the mold of Thomas, Scalia, Alito, and Roberts. If Pelosi, Murtha, Rangel, Waxman, Conyers, and their friends in the Senate become victorious this November such things will be lost. So if I really know the folks of this country then I forsee them entering the voting booth and voting Republican due to the fact that they like a dynamic economy and a safer America that the Republicans have delivered so far.

Offense Is The Best Option for Southern Afghanistan

Fire of Liberty

For the past month I've been reading various disturbing reports in the British press about how the British forces in various parts of Afghanistan have decided to take a more defensive posture and preferring to conduct humanitarian operations rather than continuing offensive operations against the remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. What's even more troubling is this most recent piece in The Times which notes that the Brit high command has instructed the Royal Marines commandos to stay entrenched in their bases in Lashkar Gah and Gereshk because they've received reports that suicide bombers itching to kill British and Afghan troops lurk outside their gates. Now it's understandable that suicide bombers are something to worry about but the fact that a highly trained and equipped military like the Royal Marines being holed up in there bases can't be that impressive marker of the Brits to the people in Southern Afghanistan. If the Brits want to find a way into the "hearts and minds" of the Afghan people then I suggest they continue to use all their assets at hand towards the fight against the remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda who remain on the Southern border regions of Afghanistan thus eliminating the threat and allowing the Brits a greater cushion in their ability to create safe development zones.

I guess they keep on forgetting that the best way to reach the "hearts and minds" of a tribal society that has a great regard to the strong warrior then they've have got to route out the enemy and show them you are committed to their security. Other parts of Afghanistan are doing just fine because the coalition routed the enemy and Southern Afghanistan can see the same if the Brits would stay on the offense. This failure to engage the enemy reminds me of the early half of the Civil War when George B. McClellan sat on the Eastern side of the Potomac River for months on end and continuing to refuse to go on the offensive because the conditions weren't right. Here's hoping the British commanders in Afghanistan get off their defensive posture real soon or they could be in a hell of a mess thus losing the favor or trust of the Afghan people. Failure shouldn't be an option especially for the storied Royal Marines.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Assimilation is the Trick To Preserving Western Civilization

Fire of Liberty

If Europe is going to preserve the Western tradition and prevent the future collapse of their nation-states then they've got to step up to the plate and knock aside the goobly-gook ideas of "multi-culturalism" and start pushing forward the even-headedness policies of assimilation which makes immigrants learning the language, laws and culture of their new country thus making them citizens of their new countries and not mere inhabitants. Well thankfully The Times has a good article that notes how the center-right government of Sweden has come to its senses with regards to the dangers of "multi-culturalism" by appointing Nyamko Sabuni(A moderate Muslim) as the Minister of New Intergration and Equality who upon being appointed has introduced a policy of assimilation upon the people of Sweden thus loosening the grip of Islamic fundamentalism on the new Muslim emigres. As I've noted time and time again, the only way that you're going to preserve your society from the massive onslaught of Islamic fundamentalism then these nations have got to push through no-nonsense assimilation policies as more moderate Muslims like Sabuni and Ayaan Hirsi Ali have got to stand up against these forces and say enough is enough. If these governments don't apply such policies and such individuals don't step up to the plate then the dam of Western Civilization could be destroyed by the forces of radical Islam in the near future.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lesson's on Tet

Fire of Liberty

As I woke up this morning and tuned into cable news and later this evening on CBS, I heard a lot about President Bush's interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos and how he referred to the events and environment revolving around Iraq is very similar to the Tet of 1968. Now while folks might think this is the President signaling defeat but in reality the commander-in-chief is noting that we're at a moment in which we are staying in the fight to achieve victory ,the insurgency is playing its part in changing the story.

By initiating deadlier violence the insurgency gives the media a "hell-in-the-handbasket" story to push on the American public which could provoke a change in politics thus in turn could become a moral win for the insurgency and the beginning of the end in our dignified fight in Iraq. Now while I've been on page with lessons of Tet, I figured that most people would like to read this more in debth look at what President Bush was talking about by looking at this great post by blogger Tiger Hawk. I for one hope that such a defeatist spirit doesn't become a reality in this nation because such will only embolden the enemy and make our time and struggle against Islamic fascism a far deadlier struggle.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fighting The Good Fight

Fire of Liberty

For those of you out their who don't know much about the 1956 Hungarian Revolution in which the students rose up against their Communist dictators, I recommend you read this commentary from the Seattle Times by Bruce Ramsey.

300 Million And Growing

Fire of Liberty

John Tierney, columnist at the NY Times, has a wonderful column which points why the environmental lobby and others should be wary of jumping to quick conclusions and pushing grand schemes on preventing such disaster because sometimes the solution is far more harmful than the perceived threat. Folks can say 300 million is far too many people but if you look at Europe and China(who fell under the spell of Paul Erhlich's "The Population Bomb.") and see that these countries are falling behind the replacement rate of 2.1%(Having to import workers outside of nation and culture or don't have enough mates for the male pop.)you soon discover that the 300 million number is not a figure to fret about but something to celebrate. So twenty years from now when the other countries begin to see their nations die a slow grey death, our older population will be resting happy and enjoying the fruits of their labor in a nation that remains a young and dynamic. I just hope folks take Tierney's words for heart and stop embracing ideas that cause more harm than good.

*Here's Jonah Goldberg's take on reaching 300 million folks.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Putting Kim Jong Il on a Diet

Fire of Liberty
Peter Worthington(A Korean War Vet at that) has a good column over at the Toronto Sun which notes that the sanctions on luxury and military goods going into North Korea might slow things down but would have a far lesser impact on the regime than a ban of humanitarian aid. Here's a look:
Even the U.S., which has banned trade and tourism for decades, is reluctant to embargo food and medical aid because the intention is to help ordinary people.

Humanitarian, not political. This concern shouldn't apply to North Korea, because Kim Jong Il's regime, like his father's before him, cares not a whit for the citizens trapped in the country. Food aid is diverted to sustain the army and the regime. What's left over trickles down to the people.

None of this is new, but still bears repeating.

Even though North Korea is a prime member of President George Bush's "Axis of Evil" club, the U.S. has provided more than $1 billion in aid over the last decade alone. Most of it has been food aid with no monitoring system.

Even China and South Korea, which are North Korea's greatest providers of food aid have no monitoring system in place. Defectors from North Korea over the years have testified that food aid goes to the army and the regime -- not the people.

It was only this year that the U.S. shut down its contribution to the Korean Energy Development Organization, which was set up to provide energy aid to the north in exchange for its halting its nuclear program. That was President Bill Clinton's administration being hoodwinked by Kim Jong Il.

There's now pressure to get President George W. Bush to enter into direct negotiations with North Korea, instead of multilateral negotiations that include China, Russia, South Korea and Japan.

Even in the Clinton days, the U.S. wisely resisted direct negotiations.


Face-to-face meetings work only when both parties are rational -- like the Gorbachev-Reagan meetings (which were also disputed, until they succeeded beyond the expectations of many). If North Korea and the U.S. held talks, the North could -- and inevitably would -- walk out and blame the U.S. for the breakdown, putting the U.S. on the defensive and eager to prove it was a good guy.

With six-party negotiations, all North Korea's neighbours share in decisions and experience the obstinacy and aberrant behaviour of the paranoid North.

The encouraging aspect of the UN's decision to punish North Korea, albeit ever so gently, is its unanimity -- a step towards greater harmony in the world body.

If the embargo were extended to prohibiting food aid, the North Korean regime could begin to implode -- something that may still happen if Kim Jong Il's health is as fragile as some claim.
I have to say that Worthington is spot on with this. It might look cruel in folk's eyes but I'd rather have the regime collapse by hungry soldiers turning on Kim Jong Il and his ilk than having to confront a nuclear armed North Korea rule by the Dear Leader. So here's hoping someone sees the light and enact more stingent sanctions(This might have to be unilateral or between states like the US, Japan, Australia, and South Korea.) on the Hermit Kingdom. As for now let's see how things conspire under the current sanction regime.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cutting Off The Hermit Kingdom's Cash

Fire of Liberty

During the past three days the commentariat has been putting forth various arguments on the very limited options that the US and other regional powers in Asia have in dealing with North Korea and its quest for nukes. While I'm in total agreement that a military solution is a non-starter at this time(I still think such a option should remain on the side of the table for safety's sake), I have to beg to differ with the folks who say sanctions won't work because North Korea and its citizens have little or nothing to sanction that will slow down or stop their activities. Now it's true that the everyday people of North Korea are starving and are forced to eat tree bark and leaves of grass but in all instances these sanctions would be applied to the upper echelon in Pyongyang who are the one's who run the show and have the most to lose from strict sanctions. Thankfully Richard Lloyd Perry provides a good overview in The Times(England) of how the higher ups within the politburo and Kim Jong Il clan use the proceeds from missile proliferation, drug trafficking, counterfeiting, skin trade, and various other black market enterprises to continue their wicked reign over the poor folks of North Korea as well as the quest for the bomb and its delivery system. Though we'll be hard pressed to fully clamp down on a lot of this illegal activity(Missile proliferation can be slowed by the Proliferation Security Initiative) we can still make it pretty darn hard on the regime by turning off their cash flow by shutting down various bank accounts, preventing them from holding or creating new accounts, as well as limiting the DPRK from all other sources of money within Asia. One only has to look at various news reports throughout the Asian/Pacific region(See here, here, here, here, here, and here.) that note how US, China, South Korea, Japan, and Australia and others have already placed a substantial strain on the Hermit Kingdom by freezing their various bank accounts.

Now while the DPRKs puffing up like a Blow Fish and blustering rhetoric have to be taken seriously( especially with their most recent nuclear test) I think we've got to continue to dry up North Korea's financial resources and let the regime fall into financial despair. While sanctions are just a fraction of what will be required to take down the regime(see my earlier post) I think this will provide us more bang for the buck and allow the regime to suffer much like the people have under their boot of totalitarianism. If the powers in Asia and the US keep the heat turned up on the regime we could see the end of this regime in the near future.

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Market Based Solution Towards Alternative Fuels

Fire of Liberty

Now here's a market based solution being pushed by the auto industry that will reduce our dependence of Middle Eastern oil that I'm willing to proudly support. I'm all for such remedies as long as the market, customers and the private sector are driving these solutions and the federal government steers clear with its mandates and restrictive controls being advocated by McCain, Kerry, and others. So I hope Ford, Chevy, and BMW great success in its production of hydrogen fueled autos. I think Hayek would be proud of such an enterprise.

Playing Hardball With the Hermit Kingdom

Fire of Liberty

With the confirmation that North Korea has successfully tested a nuclear weapon folks are wondering what steps we should take. Today this country has got to draw a strong line in the sand with North Korea and reassure them most definite that any thoughts of bilateral talks are a non-starter and that its time for a tightening of the all economic(finances and energy) and diplomatic screws on the regime. Someone who seems to have a firm grasp on what's needed to be done with North Korea is Josh Manchester(Blogs at The Adventures of Chester) who has enumerated in a timely piece over a TCS Daily that pretty much sums up a strategy that should becoming a common mantra within the US for dealing with the Hermit Kingdom. Here's a look at Manchester's game plan:
When the North prepped to test seven ballistic missiles this summer, two former Clinton administration officials issued a breathless warning: "if North Korea persists in its launch preparations, the United States should immediately make clear its intention to strike and destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched." Within their warning was an easy dismissal of the idea that such an act would start a regional war.

Instead, let's take a more calculating, sober view. These should be the steps forward as this crisis plays out:

1. Reinforce success. The Proliferation Security Initiative is working and is gradually causing a collapse of North Korean state power. Let's reinforce success by adding more money and capabilities to this effort to continue to speed the collapse of the North Korean state and force them to abandon their weapons program. Let's acknowledge that our current course is driving the North Koreans bonkers -- and then just ratchet up the pressure all the more, absolutely unfazed by their threats.

2. Add international legitimacy to the PSI. The PSI is basically an ad hoc group of nations that are voluntarily assisting the US in enforcing its own sanctions. UN Resolution 1695, enacted earlier this summer, "bans all UN member states from selling material or technology for missiles or weapons of mass destruction to North Korea and from receiving missiles, banned weapons or technology from Pyongyang." That's a good start. But why not take this up a notch, and offer a new resolution stating that any member nation that does engage in such trade with North Korea will immediately be referred to the Security Council for sanctions?

3. Encourage Japan not to go nuclear - yet. The only way that the six-parties will succeed in getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear program is if they all act in concert. When the North threatens a nuclear test, one of its hopes is that some of the six will overreact. A Japanese announcement to seek nuclear weapons would comprise one such overreaction, especially given the American ability to offer Japan assurance of a nuclear deterrent under its own nuclear umbrella. If Japan announces an intention to pursue nuclear weapons, then the six party talks may dissolve completely. It's very likely that South Korea and China see Japan as more of a threat than North Korea. Indeed, It should come as no surprise that the North made their announcement only days before the new Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is scheduled to visit both South Korea and China. The President might call him before he goes and read a line or two of Kipling: "If you can keep your head when all about you/ Are losing theirs..."

4. Begin a conversation domestically about a new nuclear doctrine. The Bush Doctrine, announced at West Point in 2002, promulgated a policy of preventive war should the US be threatened by terrorists or rogue states developing weapons of mass destruction. This doctrine needs a corollary of some kind, inspired by the principles of both non-proliferation and deterrence, which sets certain triggers for preemptive nuclear strikes against states that knowingly or not pass nuclear weapons material or know-how to terrorist organizations or other states. Elaborating such a position is beyond the scope of this article, but it's clear that no matter how robust policies like the PSI are, they are still largely defensive in nature, and at some point nuclear weapons, materials or knowhow could slip through. It would be best to attempt to curb this behavior from the get-go by offering severe disincentives for engaging in it.

Such a policy might sound drastic: destroy a state for shipping some nuclear materials? But at its formulation, mutually assured destruction was no less drastic and no less frightening. Consider reports that Iranian officials were present at Pyongyang's missile launches this summer. There's no reason to think they won't be eager observers of North Korea's test. It is just such exchanges in the shadows that most threaten the world's civilization and it's time to develop a policy that addresses them.
This latest test is just another example of what you get from North Korea. We've witnessed one to many times the North Koreans promising not to do one thing and then going ahead with it anyway and then we see the Chinese, South Koreans, Japanese, US, Russia going to North Korea hat in hand begging them to come back to the table for more talks and more promises that the break again. So let's push aside rewards for Kim Jong Il's bad behavior and shut the Hermit Kingdom down via sanctions and pushing through ideas like Josh Manchester noted above. Time is a wastin' and the world's not getting safer with North Korea running amuck.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Getting Under Al Qaida's Shell

Fire of Liberty
Austin Bay(Blogs at Strategy Page) has a good column over at Real Clear Politics which takes a close look at the various communications that have been going on between various members of Al Qaida and how these terrorists are becoming antsy and less confident because of the intensive fight that the US and its allies have thrust upon them. Here's a look at Bay's informative look on the activities of the terrorists:
Though war's doubt and uncertainty affect all sides, dictators and terrorists can control their "message." As a result, there is no balance to media portrayal of American doubt.

The American "narrative of doubt" plays into the business model of sensationalist media, which rely on hyperbolic and emotional display to attract an audience. (CNN's Anderson Cooper, with his "show rage" coverage of Hurricane Katrina, is an example.)

Which is why the rare glimpse, like Atiyah's letter to Zarqawi, is truly big news.

"The path is long and difficult," Atiyah writes, "and the enemy isn't easy, for he is great and numerous, and he can take quite a bit of punishment, as well." Atiyah's assessment seems to be a major change in tune and tone. Previous al-Qaida documents touted the Clinton administration's withdrawal from Somalia as the template for American action.

Atiyah adds that al-Qaida's leaders "wish that they had a way to talk to you (Zarqawi) ... however, they too are occupied with vicious enemies here (presumably in Pakistan). They are also weak, and we ask God that He strengthen them and mend their fractures."

Atiyah tells Zarqawi to contact him via a specific Internet site because of "the disruption that exists and the loss of communications." Releasing the letter thus reveals a potential source of new intelligence. Weigh that against what it says about the highly restricted lives of al-Qaida's leaders. Their jihadist cave life is dangerous, and their ability to command is severely curbed -- these men are besieged.

Al-Qaida's leaders also fear they are losing the war for hearts and minds. Atiyah senses a souring of "the hearts of the people toward us." Al-Qaida has long sanctioned the murder of Muslim opponents it labels "corrupt" and apostate. However, Atiyah indicates Zarqawi's terror in Iraq has backfired. Atiyah says killing the popular "corrupt" is "against all of the fundamentals of politics and leadership." He warns "against all acts that alienate."

But it may well be too late. and similar websites noticed in mid-2005 that al-Qaida and insurgent mass murder in Iraq had begun to turn Arab Muslim opinion against the terrorists.
The best option for us to do is be even more vigilant with our fight in order to force the terrorists to their knees.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Let's Concentrate On More Pressing Things

Fire of Liberty
I think Charles Krauthammer put the whole "Iraq makes us less safe" so we should "redeploy" nonsense to bed with his most recent column in the Washington Post. Here's a sample:
How important is Iraq in this calculus? The vaunted National Intelligence Estimate -- unspun -- offers a completely commonplace weighing of the relationship between terrorism and Iraq. On the one hand, the American presence does inspire some to join the worldwide jihad. On the other hand, success in the Iraq project would blunt the most fundamental enlistment tool for terrorism -- the political oppression in Arab lands that is deflected by cynical dictators and radical imams into murderous hatred of the West. Which is why the Bush democracy project embodies the greatest hope for a reduction of terrorism and why the NIE itself concludes that were the jihadists to fail in Iraq, their numbers would diminish.

It is an issue of time frame. The bombing of the Japanese home islands may have increased short-term recruiting for the kamikazes. But success in the Pacific War put a definitive end to the whole affair.

Moreover, does anyone imagine that had the jihadists in Iraq remained home they would now be tending petunias rather than plotting terror attacks? Omar Farouq, leader of al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, escaped from a U.S. prison in Afghanistan a year ago and was apparently drawn to the ``cause celebre'' in Iraq. Last month, he was killed by British troops in a firefight in Basra. In an audiotape released on Sept. 28, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq said that 4,000 of its recruits have been killed there since the American invasion. Like Omar Farouq and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, they went to Iraq to die in Iraq.

It is clear that one of the reasons we have gone an astonishing five years without a second attack on the American homeland is that the most dedicated and virulent jihadists have gone to Iraq to fight us, as was said during World War I, ``over there.''

Does the war in Iraq make us more or less safe today? And what about tomorrow? The fact is that no definitive answer is possible. Except for the following truism: During all wars we are by definition less safe -- and the surest way back to safety is victory.
Ah, It's always so fun to go to the Washington Post op/ed page every Friday to read such sage advice from Mr. Krauthammer.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Onward to Victory

Fire of Liberty

As of late I've been coming across a several articles and column questioning NATO and the US's ability to take on the remnants of the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and whether or not it's time to start making deals with or enemy in order to keep the country from going into chaos. Thankfully I've come across a great leader(editorial) in The Times which points out that we are on the verge of winning in Afghanistan as long as we keep on applying maximum force on the enemy and expanding our presence in the region. If we can show the Afghans that we're committed to winning by applying such force and helping them rebuild, we will cut our problems in half and will see victory in a far quicker pace compared to past counter-insurgency operations. Staying on the offensive and thinking ahead of the terrorists/insurgents is a must in winning the War on Terror and I think NATO would be well advised to take this leader to heart and as the surest way to achieve their goal in Afghanistan.

Rise of the Nanny State

Fire of Liberty

In an earlier post I brought up the fact that New York City's mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying his best to create a nanny state utopia that eliminates personal responsibility from citizens in an effort to make folks more healthy. Well according to this article in the D.C. Examiner it looks like former President Bill Clinton is also using his prestige as a former president to push through a similar effort within our school systems by pushing through an agreement in which snack-food vendors have to eliminate foods they offer to kids if their contents surpass a certain amount of sugar, sodium or various amounts of fat (Which includes that dreaded Trans-fat)in an effort to cut back on child obesity. Now while its all good and well to keep the health of our kids at a high level but the elimination of certain junk foods are not the solution. One solution is for the various to start removing all vending machines (Even if this means a loss of revenue to the school) from these schools thus eliminating all but the food in the lunch room(British PM Boris Johnson sums this up nicely in his most recent column in the Daily Telegraph) as well as reintroducing physical exercise to the curriculum thus making these kids get off their bums and do some sports, exercise and other things the don't seem to require kids to do. Another thing that this nanny state activism on behalf of President Clinton is that he fails to look at the main culprit of this is eating habits and exercise regiment of these kids which is a direct reflection on the parents who are the most important overseers of their children.

Former presidents can use their star-power to convince food companies to stop making certain foods but as long as the parents serve their children fast food and junk while keeping them glued to TVs watching Sponge-Bob Squarepants, Toonami as well as the continued playing of X-Box 360s and Playstations. Instead of letting them get fat and gaining bad habits the parents have got to be more hands on in what(More fruits, vegetables, fresh food, homemade not from a box) and how much they eat and they also need to keep them out of the house by turning them out in the yard to play(At least for country and suburban kids) or take them to a park, playground or a gym where they can run and burn off their fat thus preventing obesity. We can restrict food in the school all we want but the real root of the problem is with the adults who are raising these kids and allowing them to take on such traits and habits. Personal responsibility imbued on children by their parents is the best solution to child obesity rather the an encroaching nanny state with Bill Clinton, Hillary and Mayor Bloomberg.

It could work

Fire of Liberty

This is an interesting thought to ponder as you wait for the 7:45 p.m. kick-off of the TN vs. UGA game.

Three Cheers for PM John Howard

Fire of Liberty

Here's a shining example of why I'm proud to have Australia's Prime Minister John Howard on our side in our current War on Terror.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Green Lobby Doesn't Practice What They Preach

Fire of Liberty

One thing that bothers me the most about environmental elites like and the rest of the Green lobby is the way that they continue to tell America and the rest of the world to drive hybrids, use less electricity, or take less or no plane trips in order to prevent or slow down further global warming while at the same time they fail to practice what they preach. I'm all for individuals practicing their G-d given rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness but when individuals keep on infringing on our rights by promoting stringent regulations and policies in order to create their own global warming utopia but this going way too far for me a most others with a conservative/libertarian bent.

Happy Tenth B-Day FOX News

Fire of Liberty
Catherine Seipp has a good piece over at Politics Central which notes the achievement of Fox News reaching its tenth year and why more folks in America tune to FNS each and every day.

Gurkha Pride

Fire of Liberty
For a long time I've had a keen interest in the various special/expeditionary forces of the various militaries throughout the world. While most people are familiar with the stories and accolades of the Navy Seals, Delta Force, French Foreign Legion and the British SAS few tend to focus on the UK's Brigade of Gurkhas. Thankfully, Tom Coughlan has a excellent article in the Daily Telegraph on the tenacious fighting spirit of the Gurkhas and how they used this to their advantage put down an attack by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Here's a sample of what the Gurkhas have achieved:
One of the most dramatic engagements took place in the town of Nawzad, a key strategic post in southern Helmand.

The Gurkha commanders realised that trouble was brewing when the town centre emptied of civilians.

As night fell they heard the sounds of holes being chipped through the walls of the buildings close to their fortified ''platoon house", the town's police station. Then the sound of civilian electricity generators in the town abruptly ceased, so that in the silence approaching British helicopters could be heard sooner.

"We knew it was the calm before the storm. We sensed what was coming," said Major Dan Rex, 35, the Gurkhas' tall, softly spoken commander.

During the next 10 days, the 40 Gurkhas sent to Nawzad to hold the police station fought tenaciously to defend themselves as they were subjected to 28 attacks lasting one to six hours each, including five full scale efforts by hundreds of Taliban fighters to over-run their compound.

Senior British officers say it was one of a series of gruelling attritional sieges that have characterised the bloody first six months of the British deployment to Helmand.

They paid tribute to the courage displayed by the 110- man mixed force from the 1st and 2nd Gurkha Rifles, particularly those who fought so valiantly to defend the Nawzad police station.
Thank G-d for the Gurkhas and the many special forces/specialist units that take on our enemies and fight to preserve our freedoms.

*See here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for more on the Gurkhas.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Knowing Our Foes

Fire of Liberty
Throughout this summer I've been reading various debates on the blogosphere, various magazines, and foreign policy journals about whether or not "Islamic fascism" is an apt description of the enemy that we face in our War on Terror. Now while a lot of people within the various foreign policy circles seem to scoff at such a term and label it as being junior league, I think they're failing to take a deeper look at the bigger picture and realize that maybe "Islamic fascism" is a good term which sums up the individuals who afflict the Muslim world with death and chaos and preach death to the West. Thankfully the multi-talented historian Victor Davis Hanson has written a wonderful article over at National Review Online which lays out a good outline of the true metaphysics of radical Islam and how its modeled around the deadly and expansive ideology that reared its ugly head during the 1930's and 1940's. If you're looking for a great description of what we face then I recommend you read the whole piece but in the meantime here's a sample:
Third, while there is generic fascism, its variants naturally weave preexisting threads familiar to a culture at large. Hitler'’s brand cribbed together notions of German will, Aryanism, and the cult of the Ubermensch from Hegel, Nietzsche, and Spengler, with ample Nordic folk romance found from Wagner to Tacitus'’s Germania. Japanese militarism'’s racist creed, fanaticism, and sense of historical destiny were a motley synthesis of Bushido, Zen and Shinto Buddhism, emperor worship, and past samurai legends. Mussolini'’s fasces, and the idea of an indomitable Caesarian Duce (or Roman Dux), were a pathetic attempt to resurrect imperial Rome. So too Islamic fascism draws on the Koran, the career of Saladin, and the tracts of Nasserites, Baathists, and Muslim Brotherhood pamphleteers.

Fourth, just as it was idle in the middle of World War II to speculate how many Germans, Japanese, or Italians really accepted the silly hatred of Hitler, Mussolini, or Tojo, so too it is a vain enterprise to worry over how many Muslims follow or support al Qaeda, or, in contrast, how many in the Middle East actively resist Islamists.

Most people have no ideology, but simply accommodate themselves to the prevailing sense of an agenda'’s success or failure. Just as there weren'’t more than a dozen vocal critics of Hitler after the Wehrmacht finished off France in six weeks in June of 1940, so too there wasn'’t a Nazi to be found in June 1945 when Berlin lay in rubble.

It doesn'’t matter whether Middle Easterners actually accept the tenets of bin Laden'’s worldview —— not if they think he is on the ascendancy, can bring them a sense of restored pride, and humiliate the Jews and the West on the cheap. Bin Laden is no more eccentric or impotent than Hitler was in the late 1920s. Yet if he can claim that his martyrs forced the United States out of Afghanistan and Iraq, toppled a petrol sheikdom or two, and acquired its wealth and influence —— or if he got his hands on nuclear weapons and lorded it over appeasing Westerners — then he too, like the Fuhrer in the 1930s, will become untouchable. The same is true of IranĂ‚’s president Ahmadinejad.
Hopefully VDH's wonderful piece will give you greater insight of our enemy.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Horrors of Campaign Finance Reform

Fire of Liberty

With the election season at full speed, I thought I'd share with you this wonderful Newsweek piece by George Will that takes a look at the detrimental affects that the McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform has had on free speech and our right to petition and assemble. One place that these campaign finance reforms seems to be encroaching upon is talk radio. So for all you folks out there who enjoy listening to Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Bennett, Neal Boortz, Coast to Coast, Air America, syndicated shows as well as the various local/regional talk radio shows around the nation, I recommend you read Will's piece and become better informed about how this "do-gooder" law is becoming a new muzzle that various state, local, and interest groups use when folks like the above question a law or action they're about to enact. While folks might not like what talk radio hosts might say they've got to agree that as Americans they deserve the right to freely express such opinions. Thanks for folks like George Will and his fight for our freedom of speech.

A Good Step In Border Security

Fire of Liberty

This past Friday I sat up until 2:30 in the morning watching Congress pass various important pieces of legislation which included the Terrorist Detainment/Interrogation Bill, Defense Bill, Port Security Bill, as well as a bill that presents $1.2 billion in appropriations for the building of some 750 miles of double-layered fencing along our southern border. While the 750 mile fencing is not a comprehensive immigration bill that resolves the problem of the 12 million illegal immigrants who currently live here it's still a good start in the right direction in slowing down the flow of illegals thus providing us time to fully assimilate the people already here and lessening the financial burden(Welfare, Health Care, Education, Crime) on the various border states. Amongst the various MSM pieces I've read on the most recent passing of this bill, it seems that Martin Sieff, senior news analyst of United Press International, has written a good piece that rightly sums up why the building of such a wall can have a positive impact on slowing down the massive inflow of illegal immigrants on our southern border. Here's a sample:
Impressed by the Israeli example, India rapidly followed suit in building a security fence along the Line of Control in Kashmir. Indian security officials later said this fence cut the number of incursions by Islamist guerrillas operating from their havens in Pakistan by as much as 90 percent. The Indians have therefore pushed ahead with building another, even longer fence, around the nation of Bangladesh to cut back on Islamist guerrilla incursions from there.

Even Saudi Arabia has followed the Israeli example by building a massive security fence along its southern border with Yemen. Interestingly, the strategic purpose of the Saudi fence has much more in common with the U.S.-Mexico fence than with the Israeli one. The Israeli fence was built to choke off a vicious suicide bomber offensive against civilians. The Saudi fence, like the U.S. one, was built primarily to keep out a flood of illegal immigrants from a far poorer neighboring country to the south, and to prevent terrorist groups like al-Qaida from being able to funnel agents and weapons at will across the frontier.

In the long term, the success of the border fence will be determined by grand strategic developments on both sides of the Rio Grande. Continued stability and improved economic growth in Mexico will be the most important factor in cutting back illegal immigration pressures. And on the northern side, even if the current Bush administration and its deeply divided Republican Party will not crack down on the almost universal employment of illegal immigrants, state governments and future administrations may.

Either way, the current legislation does not appear to be designed to solve current problems so much as to alleviate them. It appears to be a measure designed to buy time. But time is often the most precious commodity any political measure can buy.
If it slows down this mass migration then the states will find a little relief and allow Congress more room to pound out a much need but properly written policy to figure out what to do with the folks who are here illegally.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Fight For Western Civilization

Fire of Liberty
I have to say that William F. Buckley Jr.'s makes an apt observation on why the most recent passage of the terrorist detainment/interrogation bill is a must in our current War on Islamic terrorism. While I recommend you read WFB's article in its entirety, I figured I'd share with you a part of the column which caught my eye:
Necessarily, with the intervention of the Supreme Court, we needed to come up with a vocabulary appropriate to the challenge. This, Congress has pretty much decided, can be effected by a new nomenclature. It would continue to give the U.S. military authority to detain suspects and to interrogate them vigorously, though not brutally, in the effort to contain the terrorist movement.

How is that movement relevant? "The question of offensive jihad is ... complex and controversial," writes Habeck. "The most widely respected Islamic authorities ... all assume that Muslims have a duty to spread the dominion of Islam, through military offensives, until it rules the world. By the 'dominion of Islam' these authorities did not mean that everyone in the world must convert to Islam, since they also affirmed that 'there is no compulsion in religion,' rather that every part of the Earth must come under Islamic governance and especially the rule of the sharia.

"Azzam's definition of offensive jihad (Azzam is the principal modern theorist of militant Islam) follows this traditional understanding of jihad, noting that it is a duty for the leader of the Muslims 'to assemble and send out an army unit into the land of war once or twice every year.'" The jihadist is obliged to perform with all available capabilities "until there remain only Muslims or people who submit to Islam."

The author reminds us that Azzam's explanation of offensive jihad is "a recounting of the interpretations of the most respected traditional Islamic authorities. To deny this fact would be to deny one of the main reasons that jihadis have gotten a hearing in so much of the Islamic world today."

It is clearly wrong to assume that every Muslim is a jihadist. But it is also wrong to assume that every jihadist is heretical to his faith; and we end with real questions about how to deal with real people whom we catch with gunpowder stains on their robes. We have gone through a conventional constitutional modification, in the evolution of our commitment to prevail over the jihadists, and we need not apologize for it.
It's always good to have the sage words of great insight of a conservative octogenarian during the silly season of mid-term elections.

*Also check out Mary Habeck's wonderful new book Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror to get an even greater understanding of the individuals that take up arms against the US and the whole of Western Civilization.