Thank you, Ann Coulter

March 4, 2007

I cannot tell you how grateful I am re:  your comments on John Edwards, for so graphically revealing the mean-spirited biases and outright phobias that fuel the diatribes which allow you and your ilk their moments in the spotlight.  You would be laughable, if it weren’t for the fact that you and your arrogant, hate-filled contemporaries have been in the spotlight far too long.  With your over-inflated egos, double standards of behavior and complete lack of compassion for those less fortunate for yourself, you have once again demonstrated the dangers of the insidious, fascistic extremism you tout under the guise of conservatism.  Like so many of your progenitors, you begin by dismissing any point of view other than your own, graduate to dehumanizing those who would dare challenge you and finally move to intimidate and frighten the uniformed with your pseudo-intellectual fear-mongering claptrap to convince them of the superiority of your vision for America.  I’ve read about you and your kind before, Ann.  The book was entitled:  “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William L. Shirer.  I suggest that you read it as a warning on the dangers of arrogance, egoism and extremism in politics, particularly those of the Right.  Free speech may allow you to the liberty to speak your mind, but it does not give you license to dehumanize another person, whatever their beliefs.  A belief in conservatism is fine as long as it does not generate into fascism.  In your world there seems to be no respect for even the simple decencies of debate.  Please, read my suggestion, take a course on the meaning and intent of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and, take a stab at Emily Post while you’re at it.  Those of us that believe in manners and courteous discourse could stand to hear less of you for a while, and you could probably do with a break from yourself as well.   

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The Myth of Nation Building and the Limits to US Power

February 24, 2007

Forget about blaming Dubya, Dick or Don; Jalal, Nouri or Hamid.  To think that democracy can be imposed on any nation by force of arms is the ultimate contradiction, and we should not be in the least bit suprised that that our visions of democracy have failed to take root in the soil of the Iraq and Afghanistan.  If blame is to be assigned then it belongs to all of us because in our desire to take justified retaliatory action after 9/11, we ignored the lessons learned at such great cost in Lebanon, Somalia, Yugoslavia and Haiti.  We gave our leadership a blank check to repeat the mistakes of the past and the final payment will be beyond comprehension if we continue on our present course.  Until we understand that the sources that power our democracy will only be effective elsewhere when they do not threaten the social and cultural underpinnings of the nations with which we interact, we will win neither victory against terror, nor allies in the struggle.    Our history has continually demonstrated that “nation building” is a task far beyond the scope of American good will or power.  For all of our good intentions and the military, political and economic power the United States possesses, the failure to understand the dynamics driving the jihadists has caused us to misconstrue the nature of civilization’s enemy and allowed them to disguise themselves as fighters against the religious and economic imperialism of the West. 

We are in a fight to preserve simple human decency, a far greater goal than the protection of oil fields or the toppling of a petty dictator.  Until that is how are actions are percieved, the menace that could have been better contained with a much lower cost in blood, treasure and prestige will continue to grow and our efforts to combat it with military strength will be as fruitless as battle with the mythical Hydra, that grew two heads for everyone that was struck off.  If the agendas of all of the involved players continue to become more radicalized and inflexible, then we will truly have World War Three, a conflict where no distinction will be made between combatants and non-combatants and terror will rule the world.     This is a conflict that will swallow all, We must recapture the moral high ground that was ours to claim after September 11, 2001.  We must stop squandering the good will and alliances we nurtured in the post-WWII era, and create new alliances with all nations that stand for the fundamental rights of man.  forged prior to the first war with
Iraq and our unilateral actions have only complicated the process of recovering that prestige and support.  The continued presence of Western ground troops in Iraq and
Afghanistan has given rise to the perception that they are foreign occupiers warring against Islam.  From the view of most Afghans, the coalition’s continued presence has become the same as the Soviet occupation of the 1980’s, and the Kharzai government is as much a puppet of the West as the Kamal government was a puppet of the Soviets.  As long as this perception exists, the Taliban and al Queda need merely portray themselves as religious patriots to gain a never-ending stream of adherents with time to develop more sophisticated attack strategies for internal use or export.  The dynamics driving the secular violence in Iraq are essentially the same as what happened when
Yugoslavia disintegrated after the death of Tito.  Like Tito, Saddam was a master at playing off one group against another, using each to restrain the other.  Once his influence was removed, the suppressed hatreds of decades have now come to the surface.  The simple, harsh reality is that our forces are caught up in a civil war of vengeance, hated by all sides and unable to stop the actions of any.
 

The situation in both nations has deteriorated to the point where there is no solution that will result in the
United States extricating itself without further damage to its prestige.  However, to not accept this reality and continue the conflict so there can be the pretense of a face saving withdrawal would be the most criminal of all acts that any administration cleaning up this mess could commit.  The arguments that we “must stay the course” or pursue a “new way forward” ring hollow as the death tolls mount.  Those that gave the ultimate sacrifice are beyond caring, those who must grieve their loss will not be assuaged by further deaths, those who are willing to serve should have a clear reason for doing so.  There is no dishonor in facing the truth.  Let us demonstrate our honor by doing so, re-evaluating who and what are the common enemy of civilized society and creating a coalition of nations based on human decency rather than political expediencies, to meet the threat.

The simple truth is that only the forces of capable of overcoming the increasingly radicalized momentum of the jihadists are the Muslimmoderation within the Muslim world  The Myth ofNation
Building:  Why Did Everyone Else Sit on the Sidelines?

I already made the promise that I would give advance notice when I knew my biases would come out.  Now is one of those times.  I have my biggest issue with the Saudis.  It is not because most of the 9/11 hijackers came to the
US on Saudi passports and it’s not because Osama bin Laden’s family lives there.  I’ve never trusted the Saudis, and I suspect that our various administrations have felt the same way, but have made some questionable compromises for economic reasons. 

Earlier, I made the argument that we should have expected and demanded far more from the moderate Gulf States, if for no better reason than the survival of their own governments (skins) are far more at risk if the rising tide of fundamentalism is allowed to effectively challenge their rule, or
Iran becomes the predominant force in the region.  At the outset of this conflict, all the moderate Arab states had to say that whatever differences they had with any other nation or people on earth, what happened to the innocents on 9/11 broke all the laws of human decency, and as such, could not be condoned by any faith

I have never suffered from the illusion that a common bond of friendship or shared political visions is the driving force behind our relations with the moderate
Gulf States.  The issue is oil, oil and nothing but oil.  Frankly, the greed and cowardice of the Saudis disturbs me far more than the ravings of Iranian President Ahmadinejad.  Here we have a regime that has purchased hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons from the West, has one of the best trained military forces in the region, is the home of the two most revered sites in all Islam, has the most stable government and could do the most to curb aggression by more radicalized states and groups in the region.  Under the circumstances, I surprised that the Saudis are so reluctant to choose what side of the fence they are going to sit down on.  Their excuse that they can only tacitly assist us so as to not offend the more sensitive elements of Saudi society is it is an issue of tacitly assisting s to   has the most at risk and not only refuses to publicly condemn the violence simply on moral grounds, but provides us with the minimum of logistical support  

After Western coalition forces toppled the Taliban and Saddam, Western coalition troops should have been removed and replaced by a joint force of peacekeepers culled from the moderate Muslim states of the
Middle East and the Southeast Asian Rim.