Archive for September, 2004

Apologies

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004

Apologies to all my fans, but I’ve decided to turn comments off. I thought they would be a good idea, create dialog and all that, but it hasn’t workd out that way. Most of the comments are along the lines of you’re (me that is) crazy, you’re unspiritual, you’re mean, you like killing people, etc. Nobody seems interested in talking about the substance of the posts, or engaging in any kind of intelligent dialog about the opinions expressed therein. This is their right of course, but it’s been embarassing to me to be associated with the general low quality of the comments, and just kind of a drag generally. So I’m turning them off, which means I’ll probably lose all 4 of my readers, but I won’t have to waste my time reading them anymore. So my apologies to those precious few commentators that actually had something to say.

Vote for Kerry?

Tuesday, September 21st, 2004

This is the best case I’ve seen yet for voting for John Kerry (hat tip Instapundit).

Hawks and the Presidency

Here’s a quote:

“John Kerry is not interested in pre-emption now. But he is not in office. He is not responsible for the defense of the country today. He does not receive the same intelligence briefings as Bush, nor does he have advisors who suggest actual courses of action. He has campaign advisors, and they are completely different animals.

“Democrats will justifiably scoff if Bush wants to wage another pre-emptive war. But they won’t scoff if John Kerry does. They will sit up and take notice, and so will some people in Europe. Kerry can change the minds of skeptics. Bush can’t.”

It’s gonna get worse

Tuesday, September 21st, 2004

Things are going to get much worse in Iraq between now and the U.S. election, and between now and the Iraqi election in January. Things are going to get as bad as the combined efforts of all the global terrorist organizations and nations can possibly make them. We are in a real war against a real enemy, and this is crunch time. And we can’t expect much help from anyone.

Kerry has said that, if elected, he will pull out of Iraq. Our enemies will do whatever they can to help him get elected. And they will do whatever they can to prevent elections in Iraq. Here is some reading material:

Victor Davis Hanson

Michael Novak

Jonah Goldberg

Iraq the Model

I’m crazy for loving you

Sunday, September 19th, 2004

My friend, Rico is worried about my mental health. Here’s what he says:

“John,
“I was thinking last night and what got me was that you used to hold high opinion about certain ways of being, like praying and general love for your fellow man and woman…And you used to live in the same hippie commune as me and now you just feel like those times were a waste and/or you devalue the time you spent doing those activities…I feel like you have selectively decided that some parts of your life were a waste when you post all this war-like rhetoric here…I like to argue with you about it, but really I think it’s corrosive to your Spirit to carry on the way you do…There’s something phony about the way you portray yourself and your history…It’s sad and I think you should examine the whole of your life in a new light…It’s like some sort of neurotic attitude you have that makes you tear down or devalue parts of your life experience so you can be content in your war-like philosophy…I’m serious…I know you used to be so gung-ho about tipi ways and now you just shift gears to an old incarnation of rhetoric for argument’s sake…Does this make sense to you? I feel that we could be closer if you were more real with what goes on in your thought processes.

“Okay, brother, I mean it!”

This is a very common response. Whenever I say the word “war”, my friends start showing deep concern because I have obviously lost my mind. OK, here, Rico, is “what goes on in [my] thought processes”:

1. The United States was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. 3000 innocent people were murdered.

2. We are at war with a global, loose federation of terrorist organizations. Their avowed goal is to destroy, not only the U.S., but all of Western civilization.

3. Western civilization is good, and it is worth defending.

4. If we don’t defend ourselves by taking the fight to the enemy, we could quite possibly lose this war.

Does believing these things mean I am crazy? Is this evidence of deep-seated neurosis? We can disagree about tactics and strategy. We can disagree about whether terrorism is a serious threat. We can even disagree about whether war is ever justified. But how come whenever I say something that you disagree with, you avoid responding to anything I say, and start expressing sadness about my mental illness? I don’t do that to you. I just make sarcastic comments about your lack of a coherent argument.

More Excuses

Friday, September 17th, 2004

I finally get my DSL connection today so I won’t have to sit on the front porch and bootleg off the neighbor and get eaten by mosquitos, but we’re taking off this afternoon to go to a reunion of the Spring Hollow commune. So there probably won’t be any blogging for a few days.

And the answer is…

Friday, September 17th, 2004

Kuwait has never attacked its neighbors. Kuwait has never massacred its own citizens. Kuwait has never attempted to acquire chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. Kuwait has not been a sanctuary for terrorists. Kuwait has never tried to assassinate the President of the United States. Kuwait is not a threat to anyone. However, if some kind of democracy is successfully established in Iraq, which I admit is problematical, then the likelihoood of democracy spreading to Kuwait increases dramatically.

If, on the other hand, Iraq dissolves into civil war, which is quite possible, after all that’s what happened in the U.S., that would be bad, but not as bad as leaving Sadaam in power. As I have said before, if anyone has a better idea for dealing with the root causes of terrorism, than doing whatever it takes to foster democracy in the Middle East, I would love to hear it.

Here’s a good analysis of the military situation in Iraq. And here’s an excellent essay about why it would be a terrible idea to withdraw from Iraq.

What about Kuwait?

Thursday, September 16th, 2004

Here’s a serious question from michael o ( michaelogorman@hotmail.com / ):

“Nice to find your blog. I’m always interested in a dialog with you because I think the anti-war movement needs to answer many of these questions – how to support democracy abroad, what do we do about despots like Saddam, etc. They are not easy answers and people like easy answers, slogans, etc.

“But one question about democracy, John, if we (the US) was serious about democracy why didn’t we ask for it in Kuwait after 1991? That is one of the most oppressive, non-democratic societies in the world to anyone who is not part of the oil-class.”

My excuse

Tuesday, September 14th, 2004

We are in the process of moving to Murfreesboro. I won’t have an internet connection until Thursday. I am currently connecting by bootlegging off the next door neighbor’s unprotected wireless network, but the only way I can do it is to sit on the far end of the front porch with the laptop, and the mosquitos are brutal. Also, Candace was in an accident (she wasn’t hurt) that totaled our car, so we are very preoccupied. Blogging, therefore, is somewhat sporadic.

C’mon People Now

Tuesday, September 14th, 2004

If you want to argue with me, then argue with me. Here are the points that you need to respond to, simplified so you can’t miss them. So far nobody has said anything that is relevant.

1. Of course Iraq is a quagmire. The entire Middle East is a festering swamp that breeds terrorists like mosquitos.

2. Establishing a stable democracy in a region that has never known democracy is not a simple matter.

3. If anyone has a better idea for dealing with the root causes of terrorism, than doing whatever it takes to foster democracy in the Middle East, I would love to hear it.

4. John Kerry says he will pull out of Iraq during his first term. That’s not a good idea.

Iraq Is a Quagmire

Tuesday, September 7th, 2004

Of course Iraq is a quagmire. The entire Middle East is a festering swamp that breeds terrorists like mosquitos. If there were some way to avoid setting foot in it, I would be all in favor of it, as would all Americans. But we don’t have a choice. Until the swamp is drained, it will continue to fester and produce the psychotic death cult that threatens us and the entire civilized world.

Establishing a stable democracy in a region that has never known democracy is not a simple matter. It requires a huge cultural shift, and takes a long time. Look at American history. Aaron Burr, as did others, tried to set up his own kingdom out west, and later killed the Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, in a duel. The Whiskey Rebellion had to be put down by federal troops. There were bloody draft riots in New York City. We had a civil war that killed more Americans than any other war we have ever been in. Reconstruction spawned the KKK, a terrorist organization that was a serious threat until recently, and that still exists today. Democracy in the U.S. did not just spring into existence in 1776. It has had a long and bloody history. The culture of tolerance of diversity and respect for law and democratic institutions that we take for granted today, didn’t begin to look like a sure thing until at least 100 years after the revolution. And this is in a country imbued in the English tradition of the Magna Carta and John Locke.

I wish there were a quick fix. If anyone has a better idea for dealing with the root causes of terrorism, than doing whatever it takes to foster democracy in the Middle East, I would love to hear it. John Kerry says he will pull out of Iraq during his first term. That’s not a good idea.