“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."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Fudamentalism in Oz - Hey, This ain't Africa.

Here's some news from down under where a Lebanese Muslim cleric has been feeling his "Jihad Brand" oats.
A radical Australian cleric drew widespread condemnation Thursday over a series of videos in which he encourages children to become martyrs for Islam and ridicules Jews as pigs.

Sheik Feiz Mohammed, head of the Global Islamic Youth Center in western Sydney, made the remarks on a series of video lectures for sale in Australia and overseas.

"We want to have children and offer them as soldiers defending Islam," the Australian-born cleric said in one video broadcast on Australian television.

The lectures were denounced as offensive by Australian government leaders and as not helpful by the head of the Islamic Friendship Association. The chief of the opposition Labor Party called them an incitement to terrorism.

In one video, the cleric said many parents were stopping their children from attending Islamic lessons for fear that they "might create a place in their hearts, the love, just a bit of love, of sacrificing their lives for Allah."

"Teach them this: There is nothing more beloved to me than wanting to die as a mujahid," or holy warrior, he added. "Put in their soft, tender hearts the zeal of jihad and a love of martyrdom."

He also ridicules Jews as pigs, snorting and saying they will go to hell.

The sheik, who has spent the past year living in Lebanon, was not immediately available to comment. Calls went unanswered Thursday at the youth center, a volunteer-run organization that sponsors pajama parties, pingpong matches and rock climbing expeditions for young Muslims.

How should a western society react to this? It's probably a good thing that he has been living in Lebanon for the past year. In the old days, the citizens would have taken the matter into their own hands if need be. Sheik Mohammed might have been horse whipped to within an inch of his life or worse. Long before his hatred reached these levels, he would have been tarred and feathered. But, in the good old days, they wouldn't have had the problem to begin with because they weren't so into multi-culti diversity as we are now.

Australia seems to have more tension with Islam than the United States but I suspect that it's only a matter of time before radicals everywhere become more emboldened to "speak truth to power." No doubt, the fundamentalists, flush with perceived victory in Iraq and Lebanon and overflowing with hubris, will push too far. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in the Mosques these days what with victories over the Great Satan and the little Satan. This hubris is not limited to Muslims. The rising anti-Americanism was recently manifest with a rocket attack on a US Embassy in Greece. Its troubling that Democrats and the American public seem not the least bit concerned with the aftermath of a perceived defeat in Iraq.

I hope that the FBI has their "flies on the walls" just as they did during the heady days of revolucion de Nicaragua (twenty eight years ago). The central American revolutionaries enjoyed a significant amount of support on American campuses and although it wasn't known at the time, the FBI apparently did too good a job of surveillance. Subsequently, as a reward for their vigilance, the FBI was neutered by a Democratic Congress. Let's hope that's been corrected, but remember the Dems could uncorrect the correction. They preach love, understanding and tolerance but Dennis Kucinich, with a House majority for less than a month, is already trying to bring back the Federal Communication Commission "Fairness Doctrine."

The political pendulum may have swung back to the left in the UK and the US but for now it seems as though the Australians are still somewhat sensible:
The sheik's remarks created a firestorm of condemnation Thursday.

Kevin Rudd, the opposition Labor Party leader, said the sheik should not return to Australia.

"These are appalling statements and they have no place in Australia," Rudd told reporters. "As I see it Sheik Mohammed's statements add up to incitement to terrorism."

A senior government minister, Kevin Andrews, agreed.
No, the Sheik should not return to Australia. For his own safety, he should stay in Lebanon where he will be more hospitably received.

The Howard government should try to find a way to keep him out of Australia but since that country is not in Africa, the government's hands may be tied by its own laws and it will most assuredly have a pack of "human rights groups" nipping at its heels.

But what should the people do? Don't answer that, it's rhetorical question.


  1. Sorry to be OT but this is indeed a wrinkle:

    WTF is this?

  2. That takes a lot of talent. The US seems to have two big vulnerabilities as a result on new and spreading missile technology. No defense for satellites and a lot of wishful thinking about aircraft carriers. (Getting rid of that International Star Trek Platform would be a good start. ) and replacing it with a Space Based Carrier Fleet.

  3. With $100 million USD flowing into the coffers of Fatah, is the PLO now a US & Israeli proxy?
    Or still on the enemies list?

    Or is it not the PLO, anymore. Has it really "grown" in moderation, while morphing to the PA, I guess. Ready for more negotiations, again.

    Give Peace a Chance, seems to be the Plan.

    Oh, that the Chicoms can hit a 5' square cube, up 500 miles in orbit, and destroy it via kinetic impact, now that's threading a needle.

    Eyes in the sky,
    until blinded by the might.

    Better know how to use a compass and read a map.

  4. Now Senator Warner(R) has decided that the "Surge" is folly. Introducing some type of nonbinding Resolution to voice disapproval of Mr Bush's "Plan".

    Some of his GOP brothers want an up or down vote on funding, but the Minority does not command the process.

    While in Iraq, Mr Gates says the surge will be over, the troops withdrawn by late summer, if all goes well.
    And if it does not, look for the GOP stalwarts to get their up or down vote, on funding.

  5. I think it means Iran is in the works to buy it so it can shoot down the satellite the russians helped Israel launch to keep an eye on the Mullahs. I guess they want to ensure a suprise for their nuclear tipped Shihabs.


  6. Why build a Space Carrier fleet, while our ocean borne fleet steams across the seas, with little visable effect.

    It is not the current weapons systems that are failing US. It is the Will to use the weapons in the pursuit of US Goals that has been diminished.

  7. 666?


  8. 666?


  9. Congress is a bunch of cowards. They won't have the guts to take any action, just talk. If they were to actually cut anything, all the responsibility would be theirs. Every troop killed would be their fault. Any terrorist attacks would be there fault. Everything that went wrong in Iraq would be the their fault.

    This is President Bush's fault, and he can fix it. (I am not saying that he will, since he appears to be incapable of change.) For years he has failed to consult his allies in Congress, including with this latest plan, and he did not make a serious effort to convince the people, or answer their questions.

  10. > Mr Gates says the surge will be over, the troops withdrawn by late summer, if all goes well.

    I hope he meant "withdraw to the outskirts of Baghdad", because according to the Kagan plan they need to stay at least 18 months. Otherwise the insurgents will just wait it out, and there won't be time to build up a police structure to resist them.

  11. US politics do not allow for a 18 month time line, wu.

    Mr Warner is no radical liberal, he is not a Bush Dementia sufferer.
    He has spent more time in Iraq than either Mr Bush or Mr Gates.
    He has been briefed. Coming to different conclusions.

    There never was unlimited time for the reformation of the Middle East, no matter who said what when.

    Now we are funding and arming terrorists, in Palistine. That is just one reason they claim it has to be a "Long War".

  12. Senator Warner is running for reelection, plus he has an extremely high opinion of himself.

    I haven't heard Warner's remarks, but the problem is that Iraq won't just go away. Almost everyone, including the Iraq Study Group, agrees that we can't just quickly withdraw.

    That's why what the Senate does is rather meaningless. They are going to make a political statement about one small factor in this whole political / military situation, the number of troops.

    Bush is right to ask them what the alternative is. None of the political people can answer, nor can they come to agreement. There are already at least four Senate resolutions being worked on.

  13. Ms Clinton laid out the Dems newest option, if in 120 to 180 days the Capital is not secure, because the Maliki Team cannot or did not perform to US specifications.

    We put all the players on a level field, withdrawing US support.

    Mr Maliki has stated from the beginning of his tenure, the main goal of his government was to control the Security Mission by Nov '07. It was his stated Goal when he took office, it still is.
    It has now become the US Goal, as well. The combined efforts will succeed, but the results on the ground will satisfy few in the US.
    On either side.

  14. > We put all the players on a level field, withdrawing US support.

    Thanks for the info. What Hillary said is incomplete though (and won't satisfy her own party & win the presidency for her).

    Do we withdraw from Iraq totally, leaving Al Qaeda in place and to build base camps? Do we defend the borders if countries like Saudia Arabia cross the borders to help one side or the other?

    What about all the promises we made to other countries, and the deals? Does Hillary and everyone in the Senate know about them, and which Americans might die if we break the deals? (Like countries cutting off intelligence information about terrorists?)

    It is just a political statement.

  15. Each Senator looks in the mirror and says "Hello, Mr./Ms. President" every morning, that is part of it. However another part of this is that President Bush runs over the members of his own party when it comes to the war, not even consulting them. The Republicans are saying that must stop. He is destroying their political futures as well as losing the war because of it.

    So I hope what will eventually come is that the President begins working with Republicans in Congress. They will tell him that he needs to start giving speeches which answer all the questions, sell the war, etc.

  16. "We need to find a redeployment strategy that maintains as much latent American strength as possible, but with minimal exposure. We say to Maliki: Let us down, and we dismantle the Green Zone, leave Baghdad and let you fend for yourself; we keep the airport and certain strategic bases in the area; we redeploy most of our forces to Kurdistan; we maintain a significant presence in Anbar province, where we are having success in our one-front war against al-Qaeda and the Baathists. Then we watch. You can have your Baghdad civil war without us. We will be around to pick up the pieces as best we can."
    A Plausible Plan B

  17. Krauthammer & Clinton.
    Two sides of the same plan.

    War is politics, wu.
    The politics of the possible

    Fought in the salons of DC, more so than the streets of Sadr City.
    It will be in DC that the outcome for US is decided.

    The Military has gotten the time frame General Casey outlined, to know if the US has succeeded in Iraq or not.
    Four to six months, he said, last November.
    Mr Bush said the "Stay the Course" has led to a condition of slow defeat, as opposed to accelerated defeat proposed by the Dems.

    Now Ms Clinton speaks like Mr Krauthammer and wu dismisses her out of hand.
    Coming to the political "middle" they are.

    FOX lady reports that Mr Gates said "out of the country", for what it's worth.

  18. Tigerhawk says Maliki has decided to Bet on Bush.

  19. Krauthammer just wants to put pressure on Maliki, not give up. Here is what Krauthammer said on TV last night, according to, a conservative site. Quoted in bold:

    KRAUTHAMMER: If it weren't for . . . American soldiers' blood, [Maliki would] be either in exile, in jail, or at the end of a noose. . . . Now this is his last chance. He knows it. And the surge will depend — I think American soldiers and Lieutenant General Petraeus who's going to be leading all this is extremely competent and he could succeed in the plan in Baghdad. . . .

    We can win the war. We can win this war, but it depends on Maliki. It's going to depend on what he does, what his brigades do and what he does in curtailing the Shiite death squads.

    If the 400 are released, that's going to show bad faith. But if he is going to hold the Mahdi army extremists and killers and thugs, that's a real step. We'll see in the next month or two if he's a serious partner. If he is, I think we can actually win the war. The real issue has been that ever since the Samara bombing and the formation of his government, he has not acted as an ally.

  20. > Now Ms Clinton speaks like Mr Krauthammer and wu dismisses her out of hand.

    Ms./Mrs. Clinton/Rodham/Clinton-Rodham, whatever she is using this month, will never win the Democratic Primary by suggesting that we will watch them fight their civil war, then pick up the pieces, like Krauthammer quoted above. That was President Bush's second choice, as he said, but they didn't think the world would stand by and watch the sectarian cleansing going on.

    The Far Left, Hillary's political base, wants to pull all the troops in Iraq home now, then begin political pressure to do the same in Afganistan. So Hillary needs to make a choice. For the rest of her party to make a serious choice will anger their voters either way. They win by being the opposition, saying Bush is bad but not how. All their voters can agree on that.

  21. If one assumes that his first assumption is correct, of which there is no evidence.
    "... Assuming that this guy, along with the numerous other Shiite goons arrested in the last few weeks, stays arrested, then we can take it as some evidence that Prime Minister al-Maliki has decided to bet everything on American success. ..."

    I'd bet these fellows are held, for six months or so. There may be one or two "senior" aides that get the axe, or the noose.

    The Mahdi Army is going to ground, they will lose a few folks to arrest and detention. Then the Iraqi Army and Police will target the Insurgents and it's infrastructure. As wu said yesterday, to a degree the entire civilian population are Insurgents.
    CLEAR HOLD Build
    The Iraqi Army will learn to CLEAR, at least

  22. The Iraqi Army will learn to CLEAR, at least

    Well, it's a START, Right?

  23. The "neo" Krauthammer suggests performance based standards and in theater redeployment if those standards are not met

    The Far Left Ms Clintion suggests performance based standards and redeployment if those standards are not met

    Not so great a distance to travel, to compromise on the definition of "Theater".

  24. Well, Surprise, Surprise; the lying fucking media completely misreported what Maliki said.

    Fucking Media! Fucking AP! Fucking Italians!

    Gateway Pundit

  25. If Sadr's group goes to ground, and the Sunni Insurgents really have a truce deal, then Baghdad will go quiet pretty easily, with just rogues and criminals, most of which will cut & run.

    Would the Democrats still say to pull out? How could they? After the Democrats screaming like Chicken Little that the sky was falling, the whole world see that Bush's plan works. The Democrats will be history, and hopefully Bush will have found a decent speech-writer by then.

    At that point Operation Baghdad can continue for 18 months like it is supposed to. Al-Sadr will need to make a choice whether to fight his way back in power or not.

    Either way it will be a political choice by the Iraqis. If the Iraqis want to move and fight elsewhere in Iraq, then they can do it. If they want to fight after the US passes control to them, if they want the Militias to take over, then they can do it.

    The thing is that they will see that they have a choice. Instead of just avenging yesterday's killings by the other side, they could stop fighting if they want to.

  26. Well, something's going on. We're on the "Offense," but our combat-generated "Fatalities" are down about 75%.

  27. al-Sadr can wait for US to leave, the Sunni cannot.
    It is they that will be "Cleared", by the Iraqi Army, in Phase II of the Maliki/Bush Plan.

    Al-Sadr and his militia are not suicide bombers, the Sunni are. Are there still Six Tribes or are they "down" to Four? Reports differ.

    As the Iranian reports at rufus's link about the AP, he makes the case that it's the KSA that is supporting instability, in Iraq.
    The Baathists and Wahabbists both being financed through Saudi back channels.

  28. “Reprehensibility” lies in the eye of the beholder. For example, I would find it reprehensible for Mary Ann to continually whine about being trapped in the quagmire of Gilligan’s Island, while never offering a plan of escape. Yes, Iraq may be a “shit sandwich”. But how is that more helpful than saying g = 9.81 m/s2 ? The hearer is left to respond, “And”, while the complainer, in self-satisfaction, can say, “You’ll see.” What will one “see”: whatever is the cause célèbre. How very convenient.

    How the United States got into Iraq is no more relevant (and less useful) now than how General Lee came to command the Army of Northern Virginia prior to the Seven Days’ Battle. What is important, in the words of Lee, is “How are we going to get at those people?” Well, for one thing, the apparent pending collapse of the petroleum market is a means to getting at the Iranians. The unrest in and around Kurdistan is the means by which to get Mr. Maliki to consider the possibility of the alliance and/or simultaneous withdrawal of both the Sunni and the Kurds from a federal Iraq. Everyday that Iran continues unmolested is a day the Saudis are forced to consider the moderation of Wahhabism. And the list goes on. What should be patently obvious to every thinking person is that the US cannot simply pickup its marbles and come home. Good grief, look at a map of the petroleum/gas reserves of the world. Yes, a “shit sandwich”, but for better or worse, it is our “shit sandwich”, for which we had better find a relatively satisfying condiment.

    Many diehard Republicans went from the deification of Mr. Bush on 6 November 2006 to the vilification of Senator Clinton on 7 November, 2006, without missing a beat. Here’s a clue: neither did nor will work. If the Republicans want to regain of the government, the selection of Mr. Martinez was probably not the best first step toward 2008. (Unless, the election is going to be held in Mexico.)

  29. DR,

    re: The Baathists and Wahabbists both being financed through Saudi back channels.

    That is cannot be! Why, that would mean the Saudis are not our "friends". Why, that could mean the Saudis are the enemies of the West, as demonstrated by Saudi financed international Wahhabism.

    At some point in the not too distant future, once Iran is back in the box, the United States must deal, once for all, with Saudi Arabia.

  30. > al-Sadr can wait for US to leave, the Sunni cannot.

    Why not? They seem in the same situation as Shiite militias. Some Sunni have put on white hats and are helping our Marines in Anbar, with some great successes like 3000 police. Others in the "mainsteam" Iraqi insurgency are rumored to want a truce, according to a couple of articles posted here in the past.

    The foreign al Qaeda will cease fire or die quickly, once they have no Iraqi supporters.

    Phase I is only in Baghdad, while other operations like the Anbar one continue. So a Phase II operation in Anbar, if such a thing happens, would come late in phase I or after it.

  31. Polipundit has some comments on Krauthammer's "Plan B".

  32. Comedy, wu, is your specialty
    " ... once they have no Iraqi supporters. ... "

    When frogs have wings.
    Even the Sunni, joining the Police, believe Mr Maliki, or any Shia for that matter, are mere frontmen for Iran.
    Whatever the reality, that is the perception. If an ethnicly cleared Baghdad is the Goal, the Iraqi Government has taken the first steps.
    The Iraqi Federals have to fill the security void created by the Mahdi cease fire. If they do not fill the void, taking on the Sunni based sectarian attackers, the Malaki Government will fall, from within and without.

    Seen this all before.

  33. Mr Kissinger well represents his Clients. Always has.
    He works for the Sauds, now.
    So take that into account when percieving his reality.

  34. Today, a top aide and media director named to al-Sadr named Sheik Abd al-Hadi al-Darraji was arrested, and in the past couple of weeks two others top commanders, Abu al-Sudour and Sahib al-Amiri, were killed.

    Look, this one guy might get released, But, those other two WILL STILL BE DEAD!

  35. Oh, that story was at Publius Pundit (on the Blogroll.)

  36. > Even the Sunni, joining the Police, believe Mr Maliki, or any Shia for that matter, are mere frontmen for Iran.

    What does that have to do with I said, "The foreign al Qaeda will cease fire or die quickly, once they have no Iraqi supporters"? All I am saying is that IF the Iraqi Sunnis don't want them around, then the foreign Al Qaeda will cease to be a problem.

    I would be the first to admit I don't have a clue what the final decision will be in Iraq, because it comes down to what the Iraqi players want.

    I assume that we are doing this because President Bush struck a deal which he thinks is good for the US. Bush would be insane to have us running this operation by ourselves, without any security guarantees from the big Iraqi players, and without any interest in peace from them. Operation Baghdad is a counterinsurgency tactic this is designed to be a step towards negotiated peace, not a one-shot to end the war.

    What percentage of the Sunni Insurgency agreed to the deal, and what did they agree to? Which of the Sunni Militia agreed to the deal, and what were the terms? What permissions were given about al-Sadr? What did he say?

    Most importanly, what did Sistani say, and what is the deal between Shiites? The US contacted him indirectly. Everybody keeps talking about Maliki, Maliki, Maliki, but Sistani could easily get Maliki removed, like the one before him. If Sistani has given the word that al-Sadr can be whacked if he gets outside some boundaries, then Maliki can't add any protection on top of that. Whatever the Shiite internal agreement is, Maliki is just enforcing it.

  37. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  38. This has been the norm. It must change. If the Congress wants to help our troops as well as prevent future criminal negligence, this policy is worthy of investigation.

    “Under the current, broken judicial system for detainees – the “catch and release” program where captured suspected insurgents are judged in U.S. military courts and are let go despite solid evidence of their guilt, the release rate is high, at about 50 percent. This causes a loss in confidence among the Iraqi people and a sag in morale among U.S. and Iraq troops, as the same fighters are released to conduct more attacks and intimidate those who fingered them. The detention facilities are derisively referred to as “Muj Universities” as the insurgents network in the jails.”

    Habbaniyah and the 3/3-1 Snake Eaters

  39. Live together, die alone

    One of the Mahdi Army commanders who spoke with the AP said the early warning was not ignored.

    "Our top leadership has told us to lay low and not confront the Americans. But if Sadr City is attacked, if civilians are hurt, we will ignore those orders and take matters in our own hands. We won't need orders from Sheik Muqtada (al-Sadr)," the midlevel commander said.

    Nice and easy, that does it. al-Sadr's control over the diffuse Shiite militias will gradually dissipate as security tightens; these independent breakaway militias will react almost instinctively to any form of aggression directed against them. That would draw them out and give away the positions of their fellow militiamen.

    The militiamen said al-Sadr himself had apparently gotten wind of the coming assault and ordered a reshuffling of the Mahdi Army command structure, transferring many leaders to new districts and firing others who were of suspect loyalty.

    Trimming of the Army structure, using Maliki's new initiative to purge disloyal, self-serving militias - does that equate to a more streamlined, sleeker militia force? Or is this the beginning of the end for al-Sadr as his paranoia impels him to purge internal elements? Perhaps we should be thinking of ways to infiltrate the higher command of the Mahdi Army, or at least entice them away from al-Sadr's leadership.

  40. Bobalharb said, "The reptile's agents seem to have uncovered some meaningful dirt on Obama--four years in an Islamic school in Indonesia in his youth, being raised my a muslim uncle. I hear a balloon popping."

    Where's the outrage in the media? Oh wait, Hillary is a donk.