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Tilting at Windmills

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December 28, 2006

ETHNIC CLEANSING 'SAD BUT TRANQUILIZING'?.... When it comes to the war in Iraq, George Will has not always been entirely unreasonable. He's denounced neocons, and in a surprisingly hard-hitting 2004 column, described the war as "untenable," compared it to Vietnam, and said the war could "unmake" Bush's presidency.

With this in mind, I was a little startled to see this Crooks & Liars clip of Will from Sunday's "This Week" on ABC. Will said:

"Baghdad is the problem and while we debate what to do about Baghdad, the Shiites are changing the facts on the ground in Baghdad through incremental, not at all stealthy, rather rapid ethnic cleansing so we may get a monochrome Baghdad out of this, which would be sad but perhaps tranquilizing."

The whole transcript is not available online, but to offer some context, the roundtable discussion was addressing the likelihood of an escalation, with as many as 30,000 additional troops in Iraq. Melinda Henneberger, from the Huffington Post, had just commented on the potential problems with the strategy, including her take that "this is only going to escalate the problem in Baghdad." It prompted Will to make his "sad but perhaps tranquilizing" remark.

I've been trying to come up with some explanation for what in the world Will was talking about here, but I'm afraid I'm at a bit of a loss. Watching the video, it certainly sounded as if Will was characterizing ethnic cleansing in Baghdad as having an upside.

One could argue, I suppose, that there will be "tranquility" when one side of a conflict finishes annihilating their rivals. A widespread massacre, once complete, can do wonders for producing a degree of serenity. But in what moral universe does that make it preferable?

Will might find it helpful to clarify these remarks sometime soon.

Steve Benen 9:48 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (79)

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...and the most tranquil of all will be the dead.

harrison

Posted by: harrison on December 28, 2006 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, Steve. It ticks me off when conservatives pretend that every observation of reality is a moral judgement, and it ticks me off when you do it too.

Posted by: Wagster on December 28, 2006 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

A year ago there were 183,000 coalition troops in Iraq.

Now there are 158,000, or 25,000 less.

So if we surge some 20,000 to 30,000 additional troops into Iraq all it does is take us back to where we were a year ago.

If we did not succeed with 183,000 troops a year ago why would any rational person expect us to succeed with 183,000 troops next year?

Posted by: spencer on December 28, 2006 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

I think he's simply stating the obvious. By the time we get around to deciding on what to do and then implementing what to do, the Shiites will be done with their dirty business. And they'll be less fighting when they are through.

I didn't take it as an endorsement of the outcome. No different than a doctor diagnosing cancer and telling you that you'll be dead (and I suppose also noting that you won't have to worry about paying off your mortgage or something like that).

Posted by: Chuck on December 28, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

A widespread massacre, once complete, can do wonders for producing a degree of serenity.

not that i enjoy defending Will, but it sounds like he's saying exactly the same thing you just said, and with the same amount of resignation and dark humor. "tranquil", just like your "serenity", are sardonic.

Posted by: cleek on December 28, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

oops. "are sardonic" = "is sardonic". obviously.

Posted by: cleek on December 28, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Well, do recall that there was extensive ethnic cleansing AFTER World War II - large, forced population shifts (e.g., of Germans out of Czechoslovakia). The population mixes had been a source of friction in the years before the war (e.g., the German population of Czechoslovakia was used by Hitler as an excuse to take over the Sudetenland), and the reduction of population mix after the war was intended as "tranqulizing."

I don't like George Will much, but the fact that his remark may offend does not mean it is without truth.

Posted by: McCord on December 28, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Well, of course he's endorsing genocide - that's been the real point since Day One.

Doesn't anyone remember how rabidly the wingnuts opposed intervention in Bosnia and Kosova? That's because it was a Democratic president trying to STOP genocide. Their unswerving support of permanent war in the Middle East is because it's a Republican "president" trying to ACHIEVE genocide.

Allowing a Shiite "cleansing" of Sunnis in Baghdad will draw Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and probably even Egypt into the cataclysm.

C'mon, y'all! These are dirty brown sub-humans who worship Satan and have been stealing our oil for 80 years.

The sooner they're all dead, the sooner we can forget about stupid alternative energy and crown the Usurper "Decider for Life."

Posted by: Yellow Dog on December 28, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Read Christopher Hitchen's last column. He notes there is a strategic pattern to last month's car bombings in Baghdad - the Shia are trying to clear a path in order to unite the Shia south of the country with their neighborhoods in the city. Population transfers are ugly, but not as ugly as civil war; look at Lebanon, the Balkins, India/Pakistan, etc.

Posted by: minion of rove on December 28, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Reminds me of a sci-fi novel--whose title & author I'm sure I will remember immediately post posting--in which children, granted a wish by aliens, are told, that yes, the aliens can assure world peace, they've done peace on a thousand worlds. They simply identify those whose loyalty to their tribe exceeds their devotion to the good of the planet and eliminate them. World peace inevitably follows.

Posted by: Quarkster on December 28, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Tribalism Sucks.

It likely had survival value for particular genetic 'constructs' during our early evolution... but with plentiful nukes and bio-weapons it's gonna take this planet out.

Dunno if humans are going to evolve quickly enough to make it through this stage. Right now it looks like they are headed the other direction.

Posted by: Buford on December 28, 2006 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Will is endorsing your solution to the Iraq problem. He has been a "realist" since the beginning. Let them kill each other and hope they don't get on another airliner and kill more of us. Isn't that your policy ? Why complain when Will signs on ?

Posted by: Mike K on December 28, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Remember these are the same people who lionize Pinochet. Republicans have no real moral principles. They value orderly markets above all. If you can ensure orderly markets that preserve inequality, then break as many eggs as it takes with their blessing.

Posted by: The Fool on December 28, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

The force of the Shiite militias appears to be directed entirely at the Sunnis, seemingly for revenge.

The Sunni insurgency, however, seems to be targeted both against the Shiites themselves, in an attempt to quell their advance (and out of pure hatred), and at random Iraqis in general, to destabilize the new Shiite-dominated government.

Will may see the Shiites simply as the lesser of two evils.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on December 28, 2006 at 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Why, old George sounds positively detached and disenchanted with the notion of ethnic cleansing. These are dirty, unpleasant things that he would just as soon sniff at and turn away from.

What do you expect? The details of how things actually get done merely mess up his otherwise perfect little world.

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 28, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

The pompous pedant Will thinks that by using big words he is communicating big ideas, but he is wrong. He is a little weenie of a man, with little weenie ideas. I would be willing to bet he has a little weenie in his pants, as well. "Monochrome"? Does he think Sunnis and Shiites are different colors??

Anyway, let's ask what the mission of these 30,000 additional soldiers is going to be? Are they just going to be tasked with walking or driving around Baghdad in Humvees, waiting for an insurgent to shoot at them or set off an IED that maims or kills them? If so, expect the American body count to go up significantly and for this "surge" to accomplish absolutely shit. We are just providing the insurgents with more targets. Maybe we should paint bullseyes on their helmets or stitch them on their backs, too.

Or, are we planning to take on the Shiite militias, primarily al-Sadr's Mahti army, head-on? If so, expect the body count to go even higher than under the first option. We could be talking about hundreds of more American casualties because those bastards are well-armed (we helped arm them) and ornery. Even if we slaughtered all 60,000 of them, it wouldn't buy us lasting pace, since the relatives of the dead soldiers will just take up arms and we will have a new militia to fight. Further, we will alienated a significant majority of the population and confirmed our role as bloodthirsty occupiers.

Neither alternative seems particularly appealing to me, unless there is something I am not understanding about what we hope to accomplish?? Why is the Democratic leadership in Congress not asking these same questions?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on December 28, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you're just stuck on quaint pre-9/11 ideas like morality. Didn't you get the memo that all Americans were supposed to wet themselves in fear and give up on archaic notion like morality, privacy and human rights?

Posted by: Sonny on December 28, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you're just stuck on quaint pre-9/11 ideas like morality.

Kevin who?

Steve Benen wrote the post. Check the by-line!

AAAAAAAAAARRRRGH!

Posted by: Pale Rider on December 28, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

Oops, OK Steve.

Posted by: Sonny on December 28, 2006 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Ethnic cleansing by the forcible removal of a population to another location, such as described following the end of WWII is one matter, however, "ethnic cleansing" by killing is a completely different matter.

Oh, yes, Doc Mikey, all of those Iraqis who boarded those planes on 9/11. Your Frederick's of Hollywood garter belt a little tight this AM?

And, yes a bit of "tranquility" did descend upon Munich and Berlin following the change in department and jewelry store "ownership" in the 30s.

Perhaps some "ethnic cleansing" of the punditry in the Beltway could bring some sense of "Tranquility Base" to the area.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on December 28, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe, in Will's view, it is inevitable that Iraqis will continue killing each other. Because that can't be avoided, Will thinks that the endpoint of ethnic cleansing, at the very least, will stop the bloodshed. The argument would be that the termination of widespread murder is better than its continuation.

Also, part of the problem is with the term. I hate the term "ethnic cleansing." That's because it can mean "successful genocide," but also "the process of killing along ethnic lines," but also "moving people along ethnic lines." If an area becomes ethnically homogeneous because of mass murder, that's ethnic cleansing; if the same area becomes ethnically homogeneous because of, say, people moving away, that's ethnic cleansing, too.

So it's possible that ethnic killing was only ancillary to Will's point. Maybe, he thinks, the ethnic groups will separate themselves -- a phenomenon which, absurdly, is given the same label as genocide.

Posted by: Smirkles on December 28, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not the biggest Will fan (though I prefer him over most conservative writers by a good mile), but I didn't get that ethnic cleansing is what he was hoping for, just a statement of fact. That said, throwing around these ideas casually is a bad idea, as there's plenty of people in the U.S. that could begin thinking its a great idea, an easy solution to all our problems.

Posted by: Matthew Cooley on December 28, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

What's the big deal? He said it was sad. There's your insight into his morality. He also pointed out the obvious, that once done, things would quiet down. There's your realism.

If it's a civil war, it will go on until one side is vanquished (ala our South) or hard barriers and lines are put up between the sides (North/South Korea). Or the third party forces the others to "play nice" (current situation, and also the role Syria played in Lebanon).

Posted by: Red State Mike on December 28, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

"I would be willing to bet he has a little weenie in his pants, as well." - some Moron


Nothing like male potty comparisons to make a point.

Posted by: paula on December 28, 2006 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

I still think there is a distinction between population transfers and ethnic cleansing. The Sunni's brought this on themselves [much as the Germans did] with their embrace of al Qaida and terrorism for the first three years of our occupation.

Posted by: minion on December 28, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with Smirkles. 'Ethnic cleansing' does not necessarily equate to 'massacre'. My understanding is that the ethnic groups are becoming segregated around Baghdad (mostly due to the threat of violence, to be sure). In this context 'ethnic cleansing' is a combination of killing and driving out the other groups. That's still a bad thing, but not quite so bad as a holocaust.

Posted by: Shag on December 28, 2006 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

George has a few philosophies set in stone. No argument, evidence or result will persuade him away.

There are some issues where Will continues to beat the same old drum. The unconstituionality of McCain-Feingold for one. The sovereignity of America, for another.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on December 28, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

And John Holmes was Einstein?

Posted by: stupid git on December 28, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.

Posted by: theophylact on December 28, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder just how tranquil things will become. Wasn't Baghdad the seat of the the old Caliphate that the radical Sunnis want to restore?

Posted by: Mo MacArbie on December 28, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

We have to remember that this is not "ethnic cleansing" that is going on over there. The two sides that are fighting are not of different ethnicities. They are the same. What is happening is a war of religions. It would be the same as if the catholic church in the US started trying to wipe out the Mormons. They have different ideologies, not ethnicities. Now I agree with minion in that the Sunnis did sort of bring this on themselves. They were upset because they were thrown out of power and didnt like it. They couldnt really take out their frustrations on the US so they started a terrorist campaign and took it out on the Shias. Now it is blowing up in their faces. They are facing genocide do to their own actions. But the Shias need to forget about retribution and move on with rebuilding.
That wont happen though, because as much as they say they are all about peace, their history shows that they are just as savage as any other group throughout history. Look what happened when the pope said that their religion was violent. Instead of protesting peaceably...they showed their dislike of being called violent by rioting and showing violence. It is their culture. Their religion preaches peace, but their culture survives by violence. To quote someone"I didnt mean to get off on a rant here, this is just my opinion, I could be wrong"

Posted by: Dan on December 28, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

It is their culture. Their religion preaches peace, but their culture survives by violence.

how many Iraqis has the US killed so far ?

Posted by: cleek on December 28, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

I think Will is on to something. Think of all the poor people killing themselves in the inner cities of the United States? If we just pull out all of the police and all public supports, they will all just kill themselves. All of the East St. Louis-es and the Newarks of the world will become ever so much more tranquil. We could still even use the term "ethnic cleansing" to describe this as a bonus!

Thank you evah so much, oh great white pundit guys of DC!

Posted by: fugitive on December 28, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

The conflict between the Shi'a and Sunni of Iraq was fated to escalate into sectarian massacres as soon as the US crossed the Iraqi border and began its invasion and occupation. The historical dominance of the (assumed) minority, wealthy Sunnis over the (assumed) majority, poor Shi'a was broken and the competition for scarce national resources was begun. Those of us observing the competition dislike the violence, sectarian division and 'cleansing,' but only totalitarian terror and mass murder can stop it, which would seem to be counter-productive. The US public, although not opposed to invasion and occupation, is opposed to waging the kind of brutal anti-insurgency required to subdue the population the way Saddam did. The US may not even have the necessary personel to successfully perform mass subjugation anyway. I do not know the context of Will's comments, but the sectarian violence in Iraq is unpleasant to observe and even more unpleasant to realize we, the US, cannot really do anything to mitigate it accept choose sides and help one side subdue the other.

It is also unpleasant to recognize that the Iraqi sectarian violence is a direct consequence of our invasion, which is to realize one is impotent to affect one's government or the power of sectarian identity. In order to escape that realization, Mr. Will accepts the tranquility that only mass murder can bring.

"All we can do now is sit in a darkened room and listen to a little girl cry."
Eary Fifties TV science fiction drama.

Posted by: Brojo on December 28, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

George Will: Baghdad is the problem...

No it’s not. This is a typical, clipped, know-it-all George Will statement. As Juan Cole points out (see his recent top 10 myths), the Lancet survey found that levels of violence in the rest of the country are similar to that in Baghdad. Seems people who know the region and people who actually spent time on the ground gathering data via a rigorous methodology disagree with Will.

George Will: ...the Shiites are changing the facts on the ground in Baghdad through incremental, not at all stealthy, rather rapid ethnic cleansing so we may get a monochrome Baghdad out of this, which would be sad but perhaps tranquilizing.

That’s hardly the entire story, is it? To the extent that the Shiites are changing the facts on the ground, they are doing it with the help of the United States. But how long will we continue to help them? For a limited time only. What happens when we leave? Who knows, but things will be decided without our “help”.

Posted by: jackohearts on December 28, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone know where I can find a video of Bush's press conference on Dec 21 2006?

I heard a clip on the radio, and it sounded like he was totally wasted on mad-dog. I really want to see the whole thing, but nobody has youtubed it yet.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on December 28, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

It is their culture. Their religion preaches peace, but their culture survives by violence.
Posted by: Dan

I think you're confusing them with christians.

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Mickey Kaus suggests that instead of letting this process be accomplished by IEDs and militias, why not provide financial incentives/compensation to those that want to move? I still think if we had provided enough security at the beginning the better angels of their nature might have led to a different outcome: I thought Ayatolla Sistani deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for advocating forebearance for two years while the Sunnis were killing Shia. If it's too far gone, why not try to minimize the bloodshed in the future?

Posted by: minion on December 28, 2006 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Population transfers are ugly, but not as ugly as civil war; look at Lebanon, the Balkins, India/Pakistan, etc.
Posted by: minion of rove on December 28, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

It's absolutely true that the entire region of south central and south west asia has had mass population migrations for thousands of years. From when the first civilization in Mesopotamia was established, when it fell to nomadic raiders from the north, to the establishment of Babylon, to various invasions by Persia, to Babylon's forced migration of the Jews when they conquered Israel, to the Mongol invasions. It's just been one huge clusterfuck of ethnic cleansing after another, for thousands of years. And these examples are all pre-Islam!

I favor a dialog about forced migrations. I've said before that there are only three solutions to the Iraq problem. Force migration of the Sunnis (to Jordan? to Saudi Arabia?), Genocide of Sunnis, or one million US troops for at least 20 years to keep the peace, allow them to build a secure future together so that they are all stakeholders in their common destiny.

The Forced migration of Sunnis - give them the choice to stay and die at the hands of the Shiites they've been oppressing for the past 30 years, or get on a bus and move to someplace safe. It's the most humane option. I also happen to think that the Palestinians should be offered the same - how many more decades do these poor people have to be used as pawns? Cash reparations can be made, their children can be educated and given jobs. All far less expensive than blowing them up.

Of course, it's also vital that we hold the neocons responsible for what they've done. (ie. war-crimes trials, and massive institutional discrediting of their evil philosophy).

It's not a "right" solution. But it seems like the "least wrong" solution available.

Let me tell you, genocide sucks. My sister-in-law is of an ethnicity called "Wendish". They are from a country in Eastern Europe called Lusatia. They speak their own language, Sorbian, today, spoken by as few as 50,000 people. They have their own unique architectural style, and their own religious sect, which has evolved to "Missouri Synod Lutheranism". They are the descendants from the ancient "barbarian" tribes of Vandals. The Nazis nearly exterminated them, then after that, the Soviets. (to be fair, the Soviets did a forced migration, and diaspora, as part of a program to mix ethnicities; to dilute tribalist loyalties, and build nationalist loyalties). A group of them migrated to Texas, and built a settlement there. They've pretty much thrived there.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on December 28, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Population transfers are ugly, but not as ugly as civil war"

If forced migrations work so well, why are the Palestinians still so pissed off?

Posted by: DMoore on December 28, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

If forced migrations work so well, why are the Palestinians still so pissed off?
Posted by: DMoore on December 28, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

They weren't migrated far enough away.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on December 28, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Enforced 'migration' is a Stalinist policy, as Extradite Rumsfeld seems to know from familial experience. I think the Sunnis, Shiites, Palestinians and Sorbians would rather stay and fight. The only way to 'promote' this kind of migration is with overwhelming force. Since the fighting between the sectarian factions will probably kill less people and destroy less property and not be done by the US, the choice between the lesser of two evils is to let the domestic antagonists sort it out themselves instead of imposing something worse. Imposing something worse has already been done with Bush's Invasion and Occupation to rid the Iraqis of their dictator.

Posted by: Brojo on December 28, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Iraqi sectarian violence is a direct consequence of our invasion

The violence is the direct consequence of various Islamic whackjobs killing people. This is a direct consequence of Islam.

Check out Victor Davis Hanson today for a short summary of why things in the always chaotic and violent world of the Middle East are not as bad as they seem. The Iranian whackjob got his head handed to him in recent elections and the nuts in Palestine are fighting each other more than they are fighting the jews.

Also lost in Iraq is the tremendous success of Kurdistan. Safe and incredibly prosperous this new homeland has been a magnet for Kurds in the region and the population has been surging ever since Saddam had been deposed. The 3.5M - 4M Kurdish population then is now close to 6M and in several years could easily exceed 10M. Saddam butchered over 100,000 innocent Kurds with many using chemical weapons. Their economy is booming and their militia very strong. They are using this period while Iraqi Arabs kill each other in a religious war to transition to a stable strong democracy easily able to defend themselves. Kurdistan will become another Israel and the most successful muslim nation in the world.

Posted by: rdw on December 28, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Imposing something worse has already been done with Bush's Invasion and Occupation to rid the Iraqis of their dictator.

Not even close as the prosperous Kurds would explain. So would the majority of Shites outside Baghdad where the economy is also booming.

The ethnic cleansing has been occuring for well over a year and Baghdad is already resegregating. Will's point was that once the Shite and Sunni separate they will from naturally defensible borders protected by their respective militias and enforced by the Army.

The Shites and Kurds would prefer this knowing they've got the oil and once the Sunni are isolated they gain all the tactical advantages.

Posted by: rdw on December 28, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Crooks & Liars is making too much out of Will comments, and so are you. What he said is perfectly accurate, and doesn't imply or even suggest approval. Ethnic cleansing is proceeding rapidly in Iraq, and any "surge" will probably prove too late (not to mention too little) to prevent it. He ventured--not predicted--only that violence would "perhaps" die down as Baghdad becomes more segregated.

I don't mean this as a blanket defense of Will--his columns are sometimes quite unfair to those with whom he disagrees, to the point of intellectual dishonesty. But he has written a number of columns eviscerating the Bush administration--and not just about Iraq, and not just recently.

Posted by: Matt on December 28, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, it's also vital that we hold the neocons responsible for what they've done

You are so far out of your league. You don't have a clue. There are no war crimes and the heavy lifting has already been done.

Consider Israel-Palestine. The liberal approach of negotiating with terrorists has been so thoroughly discredited the Oslo accords rank up there with Neville Chamberlains great diplomatic success.

Today we have a booming Israel with a dynamic economy and a very effective security fence. The Israeli's are safe and totally isloated from the Palestinains. The Palestinains are probably the worst society in the world. They are killing each other and have no prospects for peace. They are totally inept economically and isolted not just from Israel but tightly restricted from Eqypt as well.

Israel is by far the most properous nation in the region and for 4 years by far the fastest growing with burgeoning trade. They are the most skilled in anti-terror tactics and technology and have been using this skill to leverage major trade relations with India, Eastern Europe, Russia and other nations.

Israel has been working closely with the USA, India and Japan especially on drone, missle and anti-missle, targeting and other military technologies much to the advantage of each partner. We face the same threats. The beauty of the security fence is it allows Israel to leverage it's detection, spying and targeting skills to minimize the threat to it's population from suicide bombers and focus along with these leading Democracies on larger threats.

The fact is Palestine, thanks to the neocons, has become a non-issue. They are killing each other, and becoming weaker while Israel and it's allies use the time to grow stronger. Palestines backers in Western Europe, finally recognizing their failures in backing Arafat, and with their own weak economies can hardly keep aid levels at previous levels.

Palestine is isolated, weaker and in choas. Israel is much stronger and much safer. Time is on Israel's side.

Posted by: rdw on December 28, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

I think you're confusing them with christians.

As Samuel P Huntington proved in his famous book, "The Clash of Civilizations" th borders of Islam are bloody. Much to the chagrin of his fellow PC Historians on the Harvard faculty and elsewhere when they questioned is 'racism' he did not go splineless. Rather he reproduced his maps and challenged them to a debate. As expected, he's still waiting. It's been over a decade.

Sam has the data and he's not PC.

The borders of Islam ARE bloody.

Posted by: rdw on December 28, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK
The borders of Islam ARE bloody.

In the first place, Islam is not an entity that has borders. Ascribing properties to non-existent things like "the borders of Islam" is nonsense.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 28, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

No one said forced migrations are any fun. It's better than chaos, though, and with the right financial incentives the pain could be mitigated.

Posted by: minion on December 28, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

No one said forced migrations are any fun. It's better than chaos, though, and with the right financial incentives the pain could be mitigated.
Posted by: minion

why, we could march them all the way to oklahoma ... call it thr Trail of Burkhas, or something.

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Damn! Nads beat me to it.

(Do you get the notion that if we were working together, the rest of the staff might be right terrified?)

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 28, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

The sarcasm alone would destroy their delicate souls.

Posted by: Nads on December 28, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

I do not consider it a productive week if I have not reduced one Royal Nitwit to tears.

(That was my position, anyway, before I went to a strictly PRN hospital schedule).

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 28, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

As Samuel P Huntington proved in his famous book

Professor Huntington cannot even follow his own advice. When he was with State he supported apartheid S. Africa. Huntington should have known, if he read his book, that the overwhelming majority of Africans were going to eventually run their country, yet he supported the apartheid regime.

Posted by: Brojo on December 28, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

In the first place, Islam is not an entity that has borders. Ascribing properties to non-existent things like "the borders of Islam" is nonsense.

Refusing to recognize the obvious is political correctness at it's most spineless. Samuel was not referring to legal borders but cultural borders. His book is the Clash of Civilizations. It is not the Clash of Nations.

That you refuse to deal with the thesis is typical of you. Too bad ignoring facts doesn't make them go away. Otherwise liberals would be the worlds great problem solvers.

The borders of Islam ARE are very bloody as we know in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and, as your liberal peers are about to find out, in Western Europe.

They've been ignoring it all along. Now they're starting to move out. They might not talk about it but they're starting to get it.

Posted by: rdw on December 28, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Ethnic cleansing by the forcible removal of a population to another location, such as described following the end of WWII is one matter, however, 'ethnic cleansing' by killing is a completely different matter."
__________________

Well, I'm a bit confused, which is not an uncommon state for me here. Are we wrong for staying closely engaged in Bagdad in order to put a damper on violence and ethnic cleansing, or would we be wrong to redeploy to safer areas in the country and allow it to take place?

If ethnic cleansing is our goal, then why is President Bush so adamantly against moving out of the way?

If it is so important to prevent ethnic cleansing, then why do folks want us to withdraw?

Posted by: Trashhauler on December 28, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Refusing to recognize the obvious is political correctness at it's most spineless. Samuel was not referring to legal borders but cultural borders.

Islam isn't a culture, its a religion which interacts with many cultures. And, still, it doesn't have borders.

His book is the Clash of Civilizations. It is not the Clash of Nations.

Islam is not a distinct civilization, any more than it is a distinct culture. There was a time when Islam was tightly bound to particular cultures and civilizations, that is increasing not the case in the modern world. And Islam still doesn't have borders.

That you refuse to deal with the thesis is typical of you.

As I've yet to see any proponent of Huntington's work even present a remotely coherent description of its thesis, I see nothing to deal with. I will confess to lacking the requisite interest to explore Huntington on my own, since as yet no one has provided me with any reason to do want to do so.

The borders of Islam ARE are very bloody as we know in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and, as your liberal peers are about to find out, in Western Europe.

Even if Islam had borders, it would be pretty hard to describe, say, Iraq as on those borders.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 28, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Professor Huntington cannot even follow his own advice

What advice? What does that have to do with the Borders of Islam? Either they are bloody or they are not. This isn't rocket science. Maps are real easy to make. Wars are real easy to plot.

Posted by: rdw on December 28, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK
Are we wrong for staying closely engaged in Bagdad in order to put a damper on violence and ethnic cleansing, or would we be wrong to redeploy to safer areas in the country and allow it to take place?

Our staying "closely engaged" is not, from any evidence, putting a damper on violence and ethnic cleansing. It may even be encouraging and accelerating it.

Like many defenders of the continuation of the war in Iraq, you simply assume, without evidence, that our presence is, in fact, doing some good.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 28, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

I agree with rdw. Palestinians are destroying eachother. As Napoleon himself says: "When your enemy is making a mistake, let him."

The Iraqi economy, except lone blot Baghdad, is booming.

You can't tell now, but the face of the Middle East will be changed in a few more years.

Posted by: egbert on December 28, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Islam isn't a culture, its a religion which interacts with many cultures. And, still, it doesn't have borders.

Islam absoloutely has borders and they run red with blood. This discussion is very old having started in depth in academia in the early 90's and it continues today.

here's a clip from amazon:

post-Cold War politics emphasize ethnic nationalism over ideology; the lack of leading "core states" hampers the growth of Latin America and the world of Islam. Most controversial will be Huntington's tough-minded view of Islam. Not only does he point out that Muslim countries are involved in far more intergroup violence than others, he argues that the West should worry not about Islamic fundamentalism but about Islam itself, "a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power." While Huntington notes that the war in Bosnia hardened into an ethno-religious clash, he downplays the possibility that such splintering could have been avoided

more from wikipedia

Huntington believed that while the age of ideology had ended, the world had only reverted to a normal state of affairs characterized by cultural conflict. In his thesis, he argued that the primary axis of conflict in the future would be along cultural and religious lines. As an extension, he posits that the concept of different civilizations, as the highest rank of cultural identity, will become increasingly useful in analyzing the potential for conflict

still more

Due to an enormous response and the solidification of his views, Huntington later expanded the thesis in his 1996 book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.

All these historical and modern factors combined, Huntington wrote briefly in his Foreign Affairs article and in much more detail in his 1996 book, would lead to a bloody clash between the Islamic and Western civilizations

There's much more to clip but if you were interested you would have looked up the book by now on wikipedia. You are a liberal. You are not capable of acknowledging anything so politically incorrect. Serious discussion isn't possible. You need to define your world to keep such facts out.

Many of your European friends have their heads even further up their asses. But not all. In several nations the most popular boys name in the larger cities is Mohammad. Coincidently, it's these same nations seeing net emigration for the 1st time in 50 years. OK, it's not coincidental. They do have a clue. They just won't talk about it.

Even the French are getting a clue. The borders within France aren't especially bloody but they're awfully smokey. Deny it all you wish Chris. It's still just as red.


Posted by: rdw on December 28, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

You are a liberal. You are not capable of acknowledging anything so politically incorrect. Serious discussion isn't possible. You need to define your world to keep such facts out.

YOU are a conservative.

YOU are not capable of acknowledging anything that encroaches on your preconceived notions, so serious discussion isn't possible.

YOU need to insulate yourself from reality at all costs.

Posted by: Feh on December 28, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Even if Islam had borders, it would be pretty hard to describe, say, Iraq as on those borders.

Not at all. Among the data Samuel listed to prove his point regarding the bloodlust of Islam is the amount of violence within islam

from amazon:

Not only does he point out that Muslim countries are involved in far more intergroup violence than others

As I said, Ignore all you will. The fact remains approx 75% of non-state conflicts involve Islam. It's listed. Iraq's current religious war, which excludes the Kurds, it between Sunni Arabs and Shite Arabs. This is a religious war. Since we know the only religion that has such wars is Islam we know it's an Islamic war.

BTW: This debate started with Samuel's response to Francis Fukayama's The End of History. Each book is very famous as is the continuing debate. I guess they'll just have to continue it without you.

Posted by: rdw on December 28, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen is shocked, SHOCKED to hear George Will point out that getting out of Iraq would bring about ethnic cleansing.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on December 28, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

rdw writes: The violence is the direct consequence of various Islamic whackjobs killing people. This is a direct consequence of Islam.

Then later in the same post: Also lost in Iraq is the tremendous success of Kurdistan....Kurdistan will become another Israel and the most successful muslim nation in the world.

I can only shake my head. Thanks to Islam, non-Kurdish Iraq is hopeless. But, those amazing Kurdish muslims are flourishing.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on December 28, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely wrote:

"Our staying "closely engaged" is not, from any evidence, putting a damper on violence and ethnic cleansing. It may even be encouraging and accelerating it."
_______________________

Oh, please, cm, wher's the evidence that your statement is true? Or is this simply another of your kneejerk reactions to anything I post?

Of course, our close engagement serves as a dampener on greater violence. Without our presence, the enthnic murders and fighting could proceed quite openly, a la Rwanda. We respond quickly to suppress any such activity as soon as we hear of it, certainly more quickly than we can if we redeploy farther away from Bagdad.

I am neither for, nor against, the war in Iraq. One might as well be against the weather. At this point, it is not like we have a choice. We are in a war and must find the best course to follow. If disengagement is that course, then we must decide how to do it in such a manner as to best serve the interests of our country and our allies. Like all opponents of US policy, you presume that our presence can never do any good.

But even you can't stretch logic so far as to condemn the President for not doing enough to prevent ethnic cleansing, while at the same time condemn him for not withdrawing so that he could do even less to prevent it.

Posted by: Trashhauler on December 28, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

But, those amazing Kurdish muslims are flourishing.

Is it really that hard? Since it obviously is hard for you I'll help. Whackjob is another term for fundamentalist. Not every muslim is crazy with bloodlust. Most estimates are between 5% and 10% are killers with more fully supportive. But a majority still want it all to end and live in peace. They are embarrased by Islams massive dysfunction. They know, as you know, there hasn't been a single remotely important contribution to science by Islam in 400 years. They are a failed civilization.

For example most Iranians are quite peaceful. The mad mullahs who run the show. They're mad. Hezbollah - crazies. Hamas, Al Qaeda, etal, crazies. Much of Pakistan and Palestine - crazy. The Kurds - sane. Jordians - sane. Turks - sane.

The Kurds are modeling themselves after the West especially Israel. They are democratic and have an open economy. They are booming, peaceful and stable BECAUSE they are more Western than Islamic in terms of their democratic principals.

Posted by: rdw on December 28, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK
The fact remains approx 75% of non-state conflicts involve Islam.

Um, so? Look, nonstate conflicts have throughout most of the industrial period been more common in developing areas than more developed areas (development and stability reinforce each other), nonstate conflicts almost always involve cultural, ethnic, or ideological identity; Islam's geographical spread covers much of the presently developing world, and as an identity it has features of cultural and ideological indentity and often has a local correlation to racial or ethnic divisions, as well.

That it is in some way involved in lots of nonstate conflicts is hardly surprising.


Posted by: cmdicely on December 28, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK
Oh, please, cm, wher's the evidence that your statement is true?

The evidence that my statement that there is no evidence that the US presence is containing violence is true? The evidence for that is in the absence of evidence presented by those, like you, making claims premised on the unsupported assumption that it that presence is containing violence.

Of course, our close engagement serves as a dampener on greater violence.

That's not evidence, its assertion.

Without our presence, the enthnic murders and fighting could proceed quite openly, a la Rwanda.

As descriptions (and photographs) have been posted of in threads here in the recent past, ethnic murders and fighting are proceeding quite openly and methodically, with posted written warnings and deadlines given to evacuate areas claimed by one faction or the other, followed through by the violence promised.

We respond quickly to suppress any such activity as soon as we hear of it,

Evidence that we do respond quickly? Evidence that it does any good?

certainly more quickly than we can if we redeploy farther away from Bagdad.

Which would be important if the question was about our potential response time, rather than our actual effectiveness.

I am neither for, nor against, the war in Iraq.

This is clearly untrue.

One might as well be against the weather. At this point, it is not like we have a choice.

We certainly have a choice.

We are in a war and must find the best course to follow. If disengagement is that course, then we must decide how to do it in such a manner as to best serve the interests of our country and our allies. Like all opponents of US policy, you presume that our presence can never do any good.

I presume no such thing. I presume that sacrificing lives must be justified by strong reason to believe that it is producing or will produce a benefit that justifies the cost, not by the mere assumption that it is or will. And I see no such strong reason presented by the supporters of continuation of the present war, or by those who abandon responsibility by claiming that its continuation is not a choice at all.

But even you can't stretch logic so far as to condemn the President for not doing enough to prevent ethnic cleansing, while at the same time condemn him for not withdrawing so that he could do even less to prevent it.

I certainly can if I believe, as many in Iraq, both Sunni and Shi'a, claim to be the case, that the US presence itself is an accelerant of the violence, and that withdrawing would not do "less to prevent it", but more.

Posted by: cmdicely on December 28, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Look, nonstate conflicts have throughout most of the industrial period been more common in developing areas than more developed areas

So why is Islam still developing?

Posted by: rdw on December 28, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

That it is in some way involved in lots of nonstate conflicts is hardly surprising.

So why is the rest of the 'developing' world so much more peaceful?

Your 'denial' is comical and entirely consistent. Facts are not PC and are easily listed. We know where the worlds many hotspots are and we know the parties. Islam is almost always one of the parties, sometimes both.

Say goodbye to Western Europe my friend. You are going to see what political correctness will do for a culture. They're not even going to defned themselves.

Posted by: rdw on December 28, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

both Sunni and Shi'a, claim to be the case, that the US presence itself is an accelerant of the violence, and that withdrawing would not do "less to prevent it", but more.

The argument is a scam. Islam is bloody all over the world. Sunni insurgents are not butchering innocent Shites because American soldiers are standing down the street. Shite terrorists are not butchering innocent Sunnis because American soldiers are standing down the street.

This is not more, or less, than an Islamic holy war. It is the fault of radical Islam. It is not the caused be any other factor or groups. This is purely an Islamic event.

It is time for the US to remove ALL of their troops from harms way and let Islam finish their killing. This isn't anything new and it will continue to happen as long as Islam remains a primative society and radical sunni, shite and wahabbi (sic) sects exist. If they need to kill, let them kill each other.

Posted by: rdw on December 28, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

The argument is a scam. Christianity is bloody all over the world. Catholic insurgents are not butchering innocent Protestants because British soldiers are standing down the street. Protestant terrorists are not butchering innocent Catholics because British soldiers are standing down the street.

This is not more, or less, than an Christian holy war. It is the fault of radical fundementalists It is not the caused be any other factor or groups. This is purely a Christian event.

It is time for the British to remove ALL of their troops from harms way and let Christians finish their killing. This isn't anything new and it will continue to happen as long as Christians remains a primative [sic] society and radical Protestant and Catholic(sic) sects exist. If they need to kill, let them kill each other.

Posted by: Buford on December 28, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

This has been floated by rightwing thinktanks for the past year. As in the past, they are moving the goalposts to give them a position where they can say what is happening is the best of all possible worlds. What we have is ethnic cleansing, so you either say ethnic cleansing isn't happening, or you say it's a good thing. Otherwise, you fucked up.

So, this is the new talking point. Just as our strategy went from finding WMD to Democracy, to stability, to fighting them there so we don't fight them here, it's now about releasing tension. Why we have to take part in this tension release basically comes down to the fact that we have to claim credit for the "tranquility" the emerges.

But, reality teaches us other lessons about ethnic cleansing. Killing people tends to foster resentment. The entire center of Africa is now in a war due to the spill over of the stress release in Rwanda. People have been trying to wipe the Kurds out of the gene pool for centuries, and they're still around causing problems. The only ethnic cleansing I can think of that actually worked is the American Indian.

Posted by: Memekiller on December 28, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

As much as I'd like to bandy words with you tonight, cmdicely, I regret that I cannot. I am entering hospital tomorrow for spinal surgery and there is much to do tonight. Unfortunately, the recovery period is expected to be quite long. With luck, I'll be back on this forum in a month or so.

Until that time, please take pity on the poor internet wanderers. ::grin::

Adieu.

Posted by: Trashhauler on December 28, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Wow - Trashhauler, good luck. I hope all goes well. I, for one, will miss you while you're gone.

Enjoy the fentanyl.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 28, 2006 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks much, GC. I've written my will, given my son medical power of attorney, signed up as an organ donor, and have been given the sacrament of the sick. Tonight I pack my bags, pay my bills and clean up a little around here.

Really, I'm not too concerned. The thing constricting my spinal cord has been affecting my arms and legs for some time now and I'm getting a bit tired of the hassle. I'm having it done at Barnes-Jewish in St Louis by a professor of neursurgery at Wash U (my son is on the staff, there) and then it's off to some rehab facility until I can walk again. I hope. Keep your fingers crossed. And I'll accept any spare prayers anyone cares to give.

See ya, folks.

Posted by: Trashhauler on December 28, 2006 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

So we are sort-of neighbors...I'm in KC, as you probably know. (I'm no stranger to Whiteman's commissary).

I'll be keeping a good thought for you and I know you are in good hands. I know the facility and the University. Both are top-knotch. Yo9u are in good hands. Best advice I can give you is to watch the lab tech like a hawk when they do the bloodwork and make sure the tube they draw for the bloodbank is labeled according to protocol (that will be the tall tube with the lavender top).

Tell your son to pop on and let us you're status (or feel free to have him email me if you aren't one for public pronouncements).

Again, keeping a good thought for you. Spines are a bigger deal than my lousy knees.

Posted by: Global Citizen on December 28, 2006 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Christianity is bloody all over the world.

Yep! You're sane

Posted by: rdw on December 29, 2006 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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