“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Time to Bury Lie of "Religion of Peace"- The Suicide Death of Islamic Honor.

Islam may have been the Religion of Peace for a while but as Noah Feldman pointed out in this past weekend's NY Times Magazine, one can no longer make that case. Beginning with the Armenian genocides and since the birth of Israel, Islam has been rewriting the laws of war to make suicide honorable, and to sanction the killing of women and children. He reminds the reader that one Imam has issued a Fatwa justifying a nuclear attack so long as it kills no more than ten thousand civilians.

Mr. Feldman says that Arab countries have not feared Israel's nuclear weapons but a nuclear Iran is frightening them especially in light the fact that many of them have been at odds with Shia Islam. Suicide bombing was unknown to Islam and the middle east prior to 1983 but:
Since then, suicide bombing has spread through the Muslim world with astonishing speed and on a surprising course. The vocabulary of martyrdom and sacrifice, the formal videotaped preconfession of faith, the technological tinkering to increase deadliness — all are now instantly recognizable to every Muslim. And as suicide bombing has penetrated Islamic cultural consciousness, its list of targets has steadily expanded. First the targets were American soldiers, then mostly Israelis, including women and children. From Lebanon and Israel, the technique of suicide bombing moved to Iraq, where the targets have included mosques and shrines, and the intended victims have mostly been Shiite Iraqis. The newest testing ground is Afghanistan, where both the perpetrators and the targets are orthodox Sunni Muslims. Not long ago, a bombing in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province, killed Muslims, including women, who were applying to go on pilgrimage to Mecca. Overall, the trend is definitively in the direction of Muslim-on-Muslim violence. By a conservative accounting, more than three times as many Iraqis have been killed by suicide bombings in the last 3 years as have Israelis in the last 10. Suicide bombing has become the archetype of Muslim violence — not just to frightened Westerners but also to Muslims themselves.

What makes suicide bombing especially relevant to the nuclear question is that, by design, it unsettles the theory of deterrence. When the suicide bomber dies in an attack, he means to send the message “You cannot stop me, because I am already willing to die.” To make the challenge to deterrence even more stark, a suicide bomber who blows up a market or a funeral gathering in Iraq or Afghanistan is willing to kill innocent bystanders, including fellow Muslims. According to the prevailing ideology of suicide bombing, these victims are subjected to an involuntary martyrdom that is no less glorious for being unintentional.

Feldman has written a long article, (nine pages) covering information which most readers of the Elephant Bar are already all familiar with. Hopefully, though, enough of the regular NY Times readers will read and understand the article and it's implications.

After I prepared this post, I was reading the previous one and saw that Ash had commented on the article noting that the violence had been condemned by Islamic clerics. That's true some have, and we should be grateful for that but as was pointed out, their's are little voices barely discernable in the din. One could also point out, that these moderate voices of Islam could well be among the first to be forever quieted by their more fundamentalist brothers.


  1. When the suicide bomber dies in an attack, he means to send the message “You cannot stop me, because I am already willing to die.”

    ... hold on, there is a way to stop this old trick ...

    After a suicide bombing occurs, a Syrian or Saudi Arabian or Iranian or Pakistani or Afghani (you get the idea) city is obliterated, just like bombing Dresden for making ball bearings.

    The West is not willing to do this?

    ... then we have lost already ...

  2. All Islamic terrorism, via suicide bomber, always has two things in common, an imam and a mosque. The Suicide bomber eliminates himself. That leaves two additional dots to be connected, orshall we say, "disconnected"?

  3. To date, tiger, the "West" will not associate the bomber with the populous. Until it does, it will continue to lose the War.

  4. The Nazis had a religion also and "high" priests.

    It's "deja vu all over again". We're still in the 1939 zone. Churchill hasn't arrived yet and the present-day "Roosevelt" will never wake up.

  5. Bushehr 1 the Iranian & Russian joint nuclear venture will be excempted from all UN sanctions levied against Iran.

  6. After a suicide bombing occurs, a Syrian or Saudi Arabian or Iranian or Pakistani or Afghani (you get the idea) city is obliterated, just like bombing Dresden for making ball bearings.

    The only thing Dresden had, besides a lot of cultural landmarks, was a railway switching yard which was rebuilt in the week after the bombing.

  7. I an only trust the historians, Teresita ...

    Either way the point is valid - you don't win the war by not fighting ...

    links on Dresden:

  8. sorry, the ball bearing plant was at Schweinfurt - still, Dresden was a legitimate target.

  9. Mr Rasmussen has Mr Webb up by five points, using the rufus method, that puts Mr Webb up by three. With but 8 days left.

    Fred Barnes says polling is tougher now than in the past. What with cell phones and such.

  10. I agree with you DR, I think Allen will lose. The idea that he was ever considered presidential material is scary.

  11. Let's start pig farms near the oil fields and follow it up with this bit of history. Then we do a pig drop on Syria and'll be WKRP's version of the Holiday Turkey Drop!

    Just before WWI, there were a number of terrorist attacks on the United States forces in the Philippines, by Muslim Extremists.

    So General Pershing captured 50 terrorists and had them tied to posts for execution. He then had his men bring in two pigs and slaughter them in front of the now horrified terrorists.

    Muslims detest pork because they believe that pigs are filthy animals. Some of them simply refuse to eat it, while others won't even touch pigs at all, nor any of their by-products. To them, eating or touching a pig, its meat, its blood, etc…, is to be barred from paradise (and those virgins) and doomed to hell.

    The soldiers then soaked their bullets in the pig's blood, and proceeded to execute 49 of the terrorists by firing squad. The soldiers then dug a hole, dumped in the terrorists' bodies and covered them in pig's blood, entrails, etc.

    They let the 50th man go.

    And for the next 42 years, there was not a single Muslim extremist attack anywhere in the world. Maybe it is time for this segment of history to repeat itself, maybe in Iraq?

  12. Really, duece, that's what interested me in Mr Allen's campaign, that he was on the Presidential short list.

    I'm not sure whether he'll hold the Senate seat or not, but anyone that would consider him Presidental timber was no carpenter

  13. I can't think of a dumber candidate than George Allen. If I think of one, I'll be back.

  14. This pig thing is a huge weak point in the suicide bombers arsenal.
    Why haven't we used what Sun Tsu would heartily endorse?
    Why not smear pig blood all over the roadsides to cut down on the IED's. Spray the streets, neighborhoods where the al Sadr gang hides.
    Use old C-47's and pig blood balloons to drop on "wedding parties"
    The possibilities are pregnant with pork, the other white meat!
    Pork grenades, CO2 guns with pork balls...lets have some fun with their fears.

  15. habu,
    I'm sure you saw that jumbo fire fighting tanker.
    Couple thousand gallons delivered with each run.

    It could rain pig blood upon whomever the Enemy is this week.

  16. Myself, I think it'd be great if Mr Steele wins in Maryland and Mr Ford, in TN.
    Put two people of color in the Senate, one on each side.
    That'd be a "good thing" for the Country.

  17. I like Steele. Ford is no Lincoln. He is no heavier on the chassis than Allen. I don't buy the color angle.

  18. Good chuckle:

    Here you go, habu
    blood on the tracks

    7:30 PM

  19. duece,
    It'd make for interesting "news".

    Guess we'll all know in a week and a day, how accurate the polls are.

  20. Frightening piece by Ledeen on the total ignorance and wrongheadedness in the Whitehouse.
    Iran & W... What does the president know, and when did he know it?

  21. DR,
    That's it...does he do weddings?

  22. Doug, I cannot understand and have thrown this idea out several times. Why not announce that "US will never use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear power"?

  23. Deuce,
    It fits beautifully with our Strategy of Never Intimidating anyone again, much less winning a war.
    Foreign Policy with a New Tone.

  24. Doug, I read the obverse side, get a nuclear weapon and you are a nuclear target. You get one shot and will never have the satisfaction of knowing about the outcome.

  25. Think of all the wasted Pixels at Belmont by the dreamers speculating on when the Fierce W would attack Iran!
    Habu is having Possumtater burrow him a hole to hide in.

  26. Ash,

    Re: NYT and Islam

    What is evident to anyone other than the most gullible Westerner is that what Muslims say to the West is not what is said in the Muslim media or by Muslim elites. Essentially, Muslims are duplicitous, lying trolls. And while I fully appreciate the reluctance of the NYT to sully its pristine record for objectivity by consulting with MEMRI, I would suggest to anyone interested in accuracy to do so.

    Obviously, you have forgotten that on 9/11 and in the days immediately following, Muslims elites were informing their publics that the attack was fomented by the Mossad and/or CIA to justify an attack on the Arab nation for the purpose of monopolizing petroleum product and distribution. Oh, and those conniving Jews working at the WTC were given a heads up and did not appear for work on 9/11. Ash, do you share these beliefs?

  27. re: Dreseden

    Dresden was a legitimate target because the Reich had not surrendered. Moreover, the Russians were proximate and needed an object lesson in Allied fire power. For the squeamish, stay out of the fight; war is not the Peace Corps.

  28. 2164...what a great stocking stuffer .. i just think the idea is workable..the Ruskies are using it..we've used it before...back to the future.

    DOUG...The Ledeen piece was good. Thanks..

    PossumTater wanys to take the Stearman to Montana so he can "breathe that free air". Somehow I can't see P-Tater as Snoopy...but we'll see. All I have to do is buy a Stearman. I'll take a Great Lakes, they were nice too.

    Great Lakes Biplane

  29. Ash,

    Look at the picture heading this thread. Now, find and report on something comparable in the West. That's the ticket: Roman Catholic bombladen alter boys. No more pederasty, that's for sure.

  30. Whit,
    I wanted to compliment you on the fine writing you've been doing. It is quality crafting of the English language with fact,not fiction, and veracity without vituperation.
    Good job and thanks.

  31. So now I have a literary critic critter and rug peer all in one.
    But he's a good watch possum.
    I can't wait for his antics tomorrow night.

    Halloween Tater Scares Kids Shitless!!

  32. Habu that Black Jack story about the pig blood is an urban legend. In other words, it's a load of hog wash, literally.

  33. Teresita,
    Your source of doubt por favor?

  34. Same question Rufus..cite me a source.

    Then perhaps the both of you can also tell me about the Sepoy Rebellion and how pig lard played no part in it.

  35. whit,

    re: "Hopefully, though, enough of the regular NY Times readers will read and understand the article and it's implications."

    Ever the eternal optimist, hey? ;-)

  36. Rufus,
    If it was researched to death you and Teresita can no doubt provide me with at least two reliable counter claims by historians.
    Trust but verify.

  37. T's right; it never happened. He fought the war in the philippines pretty much like we're fighting the war in Iraq. At least, they had the good sense to get rid of the .38, and go to the .45.

    At least he wasn't like Bush, all hat and no battle.

  38. Whatever the Army did in the Philippines seems to be in dispute. In the interest of pouring oil on the water, consider what the Army has been ordered not to do in TWAT.

    Army told Jewish ammo OK for training but not fighting Muslim guerrillas

    Army Told Not to Use Israeli Bullets in Iraq

    In retrospect it is a good thing those bullets were not used in TWAT. Had the US been so insensitive, why, the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns would have fallen into disarray.

    Teresita, you are onto something, I think.

  39. Damn, Bush has fought the whole damned world for three and a half years. How much battle do you need?

    I don't want him to fight the whole damn world, I just want him to kill the terrorists, not mollycoddle them with panties on their head and then turn them back over to Maliki, Molokai whatever the funk, on request.

  40. Two brothers arrested in Yemen on terrorism charges were targeted by ASIO before they left Australia, their lawyer says.

    They are among three Australians suspected of running guns for al-Qaeda were being taught at a university headed by Osama bin Laden's mentor.

    Suspect Brothers

  41. Thousands of tribespeople traveled from nearby villages to inspect Chingai's destroyed madrassa, many wailing and others chanting "Long live Islam." The blast leveled the building, tearing mattresses and scattering Islamic books, including copies of the Quran.

    "We heard helicopters flying in and then heard bombs," said one villager, Haji Youssef. "We were all saddened by what we have seen."

    Pakistan Strike

  42. Sam, your post on the two brothers is particularly worrisome to me. Many converts are zealots and they can be far less obvious in society. It also makes the lie about Islam being the religion of peace as their being converts takes away the rationale of their being long term grievances over discrimination.

    One thing is obvious: One terrorist always points tp one imam and one mosque. Islam is the bloody problem.

  43. Rufus,
    In your Urban Legends citation ther it is within an inch of the top, in RED LETTERS
    STATUS: UNDETERMINED ..the article goes on to say many things none of which offer a refutation of the occurance. In fact here's a quote from your citation.
    "We haven't eliminated ruling out the possibility that Pershing at some point chose to deal with a group of "Mohammedan fanatics" in a manner similar to the one described above, but so far all we've turned up are several different accounts and nothing that documents Pershing's involvement"
    That my friend is not evidence.
    In your second citation refuting my statement this appears:
    "Comments: I consulted Dr. Frank E. Vandiver, professor of history at Texas A&M University and author of "Black Jack: The Life and Times of John J. Pershing," to find out if there's any truth to the above, and he responded via email that in his opinion the story is apocryphal. "I never found any indication that it was true in extensive research on his Moro experiences," he wrote. "This kind of thing would have run completely against his character."

    "That in his OPINION (not researched fact,but OPINION)that the story was apocryphal."

    The story stands, you've given only opinion not fact.

  44. Rufus,
    Furthermore your own citations DO refer to an officer under Pershings command using the tactic, si it wasn't as if it did not ever occur.