Ancient Enemies

From November last year, Analysis of the other roots of Jihad that lie beyond hate of Israel and the US, such as tribal nationalism, economics, expansionism, class envy, and of course which particular sect is most Muslim, and therefor tops the caliphate. The Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb ut Tahrir, Al Qaeda, and other Jihadist groups are experts at leveraging these flaws in the Muslim world to their benefit.

In conflict resistless each toil they endur’d
Till their foes shrunk dismay’d from the war’s desolation.
And pale beam’d the crescent, its splendor obscur’d
By the light of the star-spangl’d flag of our nation.

– Francis Scott Key 

guards.jpgThe tribes of Araby and the tribes of Persia have fought since times ancient. When Alexander conquered Egypt the Arabs flung open town gates and flogged the Persians out as he passed for the Persians were more hated than the new conquerers.

Today we see no change — Sunni and Shia are again at odds for ascendency in the Middle East, egged on by prideful despots. As one power rises the other will fall; both held fast in hatred and enthralled to tyranny.

Occasionally there are interlopers in their internecine wars, the Greeks, the Jews, The Romans, The Americans; but when it comes to precedence of place their pride feels its greatest sting when their ancient tribal enemy rises above them.

We are at such at time again – and in four countries the strife between these ancient enemies threatens to overthrow stability and four existing governments. The pattern of these struggles remains constant throughout history — the land always ruled by tyrants, opposed by rebellious mystics wrapping themselves in twisted religion who are abetted by the neighboring tribes driven by timeless emnity.

Centuries ago the west freed themselves from rulers tied to deity with the Magna Carta and many bloody that birthed modern liberty, the Reformation, and the Renaissance. In Islamic lands there’s been no reformation, no declaration of individual rights, no rendering unto Ceasar. Instead it’s the dictator, the monarch, the tyrant, the despot tied to Allah who still rules.

When rule is based on Allah’s will, and all are slaves to the state and Allah both, then government is weak, for it takes little to convince ignorant slaves that you know Allah’s will better perhaps than the current ruler. All the despotic kingdoms and dictatorships of the Middle East are like feathers upon the sand, awaiting the deathwind of the next religious fanatic.

In Pakistan and Afghanistan we see two parliamentary governments under attack by Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their political arm, the MMA. The MMA, upset with passage of the Women’s protection bill, threatens to resign and disable the weak parliamentary government in Pakistan ruled by the party of Musharraf. Musharraf in turn recently escaped three attempts to assassinate him. Neighboring states aid the terrorists, Iran, India, and of course both Pakistan and Afghanistan agitate against each other.

In Lebanon we see fledgeling democracy being throttled by the political thugs of Hizb’Allah, who are also threatening to resign from parliamentary government and hold the citizens of Lebanon hostage. A head of state was assassinated, and Hamas is aided by neighboring states.

In Iraq we see the Sadrists threatening resignation, and holding the fledgling Iraqi democracy hostage, egged on by Al Qaeda. Many heads of state have been assassinated, and the Mahdi Armies are aided by neighboring states.

In Palestine we see Fatah and Hamas near civil war, with no real ruling authority. Thanks to the Israelis, the Hamas and FATAH factions don’t have to assassinate each other – a tip to the IDF gains them what they need. Hamas and FATAH are aided by neighboring states.

In each case above you glimpse the ancient emnity and you see tactics exactly the same. You see a political arm backed by a terrorist militia, aided and abetted by neighboring tyrants and madmen. Do you wonder that the tactics are the same, the timing the same, and the aim the same? You really shouldn’t.

By pointing to external enemies these tyrants survive, they externalize all problems and make others the reason for the dirt, dust, death, and despair in their lands. They point to America and Israel as the great satans; for there really are two enemies more ancient even than these and they side with one, while America and Israel side with the other.

Liberty must always oppose tyranny, freedom must always oppose slavery. And so you have it that America has fought at least three wars against these tyrants. The first was at the birth of our nation, and below you see the first famous song written by Francis Scott Key:

“Warrior’s Return”

When the warrior returns from the battle afar
To the home and the country he was nobly defended,
Oh! Warm by the welcome to gladden his ear,
And loud be the Joys that his perils are ended!
In the full tide of song, let his fame roll along.
To the feast-flowing board let us gratefully throng.
Where mixt with the olive the laurel shall wave
And form a bright wreath for the brow of the brave.
Columbians a band of thy brothers behold!
Who claim their reward in they heart’s warm emotion:
When thy cause, when thy honour urg’d onward the bold,
In vain frown’d the desert; in vain rag’d the ocean.
To a far distant shore to the battle’s wild roar
They rush’d they fair fame and thy right to secure.
Then mixt with the olive the laurel shall wave,
And form a bright wreath for the brow of the brave.
In conflict resistless each toil they endur’d
Till their foes shrunk dismay’d from the war’s desolation:
And pale beam’d the Crescent, its splendor obscured
By the light of the star-spangled flag of our nation.
Where each flaming star gleam’d a meteor of war,
And the turban’d heads bowed to the terrible glare.
Then mixt with the olive the laurel shall wave,
And form a bright wreath for the brow of the brave.
Our fathers who stand on the summit of fame,
Shall exultingly hear, of their sons, the proud story,
How their young bosoms glow’d with the patriot flame,
How they fought, how they fell, in the midst of their glory.
How triumphant they rode, o’er the wandering flood,
And stain’d the blue waters with infidel blood;
How mixt with the olive the laurel did wave,
And form a bright wreath for the brow of the brave.
Then welcome the warrior return’d from afar,
To the home and the country he so nobly defended.
Let the thanks due to valor now gladden his ear,
And loud be the joy that his perils are ended.
In the full tide of song, let his fame roll along.
To the feast-flowing board let us gratefully throng.
Where mixt with the live the laurel shall wave
And form a bright wreath for the brow of the brave.
New York Evening Post, January 9, 1806, Boston Independent Chronicle, December 30, 1805

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Walter Tevis, from who I borrowed some phrasing above, Walter originally wrote:

“My life is light, like a feather upon the back of my hand awaiting the deathwind.”

Norm Podhoretz Let me Down

Norm’s arguments about the apocalyptic nature of the Iranian mullahocracy are understood by those informed, but like the Spanish Inquistion nobody who’s an average American ever expects the Persian Apocalypse.

As you can see by my sidebar I am a Rudy Guiliani supporter – one of his foreign policy advisors is Norman Podhoretz, also someone whose views I support. Norm is going to have to get quicker on his feet however. Here he debates with Fareed Zakaria, who makes a seemingly clear argument that Norm failed to counter well.

You cannot sound-bite attack arguments like this with Chamberlin arguments — instead you must destroy the case in total, not with ad hominem comparison but instead with clear facts. There are many that Norm could have marshalled, but failed to. 

Here is the transcript of the segment with “Jihad Judy” Woodruff, (sorry, that’s my Mom’s nickname for her,) Norman Podhoretz, and Fareed Zakaria, please read and follow to my thoughts  below the segment. The lead-in was a pastiche of fact and opinion on the potential of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons: Continue reading “Norm Podhoretz Let me Down”

Kuwait to Buy Patriot Missiles

raytheon-patriot-missile-facility-test-equipment-bg.jpgIn a good strategic move Kuwait will be purchasing Patriot missiles from the US. While I normally do not like it when advanced technology armaments are sold to foreign nations, this case is different. Patriots are defensive technologies, and the more nations who have Patriots and like technologies then the less threat Nuclear and other ICBM threats are. This is a good move to ensure commerce and allies are not threatened.

Iran lies just across the Gulf, and has not only made continual threats to interupt shipping; they have blocked the Strait of Hormuz in the past.

From Space War:

Kuwait is to buy an unspecified number of Patriot missiles from the United States, Defence Minister Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah told the state news agency KUNA on Friday. Sheikh Jaber, responding to questions about Washington’s sale of arms to Gulf allies, said “Kuwait has signed deals, not for airplanes, but for materiel such as ships and Patriot missiles.”He did not give any further details.

In July, the United States announced plans for a series of arms deals worth at least 20 billion dollars (14.6 billion euros) with Saudi Arabia and five other oil-rich Gulf states.

The deals are aimed at shoring up US allies in the Middle East and countering “a more aggressive Iran”, as one administration official put it.