Thursday, June 08, 2006

Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi Dead....God Is Great!

I awoke this morning to joyous news....our most nefarious enemy, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, has been eliminated by an air-strike on his supposed safe house near Bakubah. Iraqis are dancing in the streets. This terrorist and his minions have systematically orchestrated on an hourly basis acts of senseless violence; from the cruel beheading of our fellow citizen, Nick Berg, to innumerable assassinations and suicide/homicide bombings perpetrated against Iraqis.

We are stopping terrorism in Iraq. We have defeated symmetrical state sponsored terrorism in the utter defeat of Saddam Hussein. We are defeating asymmetrical terrorism with the death of Al-Zarqawi. The only front where we are still losing ground is the ultimate battleground...the place that Terrorism has most clearly in its cross-hairs; the will of America and the Western World. Terrorism's stated tactical and strategic goal is to defeat by dividing us politically from within. Why liberal educated political elites in America and elsewhere, those whose heads would be the first to roll should Islamofascism triumph, would willingly participate in the enemy's goal of divisiveness is amazing to me. Perhaps the day will come when they realize that the enemy is Islamic Terrorism and not either the Republicans or President Bush. However I'm not confused as to whom they, the Left, presently consider the foe worthy of their energy and bellicosity.

I'm Irish. One of the most despicable events in Irish history is the official condolences the President of Ireland, Eamon de Valera, sent to Eduard Hempel, the head of Germany's diplomatic corps in Ireland, upon the death of Adolf Hitler. It will be telling over the next couple days to watch for those who'll attempt to minimize the death of Al-Zaraqawi, and who'll spin this event in a multitude of subtle, distracting and misleading ways contributing to and encouraging divisiveness and by extension the very tactics of terrorism itself. We shall see who, if given the chance, would be willing to send condolences to Al Qaeda if they had a good address. Yesterday the US military, thanks to intelligence provided by Iraqis, had a good address and sent a clear message....and it wasn't condolences.


AnonymousOpinion said...

Congratulations to any and all soldiers who have faced the followers of this maniac!

Sammy said...

There will be no "rest in peace" for that infidel. Hallelujah.

Regarding your contribution to Diana Irey's campaign in Pennsylvania - the ONLY way we'll have leaders with the political will to go after terrorists is if WE ALL work to get them elected. Find out about your own state's summer and fall elections at Send a donation, slap on a bumper sticker, post a yard sign, write a letter to your local paper. GET INVOLVED. I hate politics, but we need to support our troops by making sure we elect leaders - both state and national - who support them.

yankeemom said...

Oh Happy Day! Raising a cup of joe to the Forces!!

Rob W said...


I must say I am disappointed again by your post. Not the part about the death of the criminal Zarqwai, but the part involving the political aspects of the U.S. reaction to his death.

Essentially what you are arguing is that to hold the positions I hold, I am a traitor. I don't like being called a traitor in my own country, a country I love, a country I have supported my entire life.

I think you might be able to understand my frustration if I explain it more clearly. I was opposed to this war from the get go. I'm one of those people who thinks the moral course is also the best course practically. I think it is immoral to attack a nation that is not attacking you, for the same reason that its wrong to attack a person who isn't attacking you. I think that it is the most practical course because most countries do not like to see countries being attacked without actual provocation. When the U.S. doesn't have allies, it becomes a lot harder to win. Its also morally wrong.

Don't get me wrong. I think that at this time in human history, war is unfortuantely as necessary as breathing or taxes. But not all wars are necessary. Afghanistan most certainly was. Iraq was not.

I'm not going to go over my case for that, I think others have done so more eloquently and more effectively than I ever could.

But I think that this war was wrong and the methods used to fight it have set us back rather than moved us forward.

Yet your post basically argues that for me to hold any position other than keep fighting the war the way it is amounts to treason:
"Why liberal educated political elites in America and elsewhere, those whose heads would be the first to roll should Islamofascism triumph, willingly participate in the enemy's goal of divisiveness is amazing to me."

Somehow, I am therfore a traitor for believing what I have always believed. In my own country, a country which is supposedly free. I hope that when you read these words, you can start to understand my frustration.

I think we need to look at solutions in Iraq that will allow us to salvage the best we can out of there.

Don't get me wrong, I think our troops are doing a fantastic job, with a few sad exceptions. But I also realize that war is politics by other means, as von Clausewitz said and I cannot see how continued application of military force in the way that we are doing now will provide us with the political victory in Iraq that we desperately need. In other words, the President has sent our troops to do a job which they really can't, not because they won't fight their hearts out, but because they aren't the right tool for the job.

I think that certain people have spent a lot of time and energy convincing people that I shouldn't have the ideas I have. I find it frustrating to be called a traitor in my own country and I think it is time that your side engage my side in real dialoge, instead of name throwing.

Now, to the substance of your post. First, I must acknowledge that you have spent time there, and I have not. That gives you an understanding in some ways that I do not have. But I also think it may cloud your judgment as well, because you are wrapped up emotionally with what the brave Marines that you witnessed were doing, and I can understand how its hard to think that what they are doing might not lead us to victory.

But in the end, I don't see how killing more insurgents will stop the insurgency. These people live there. Whether we agree with them politically or not, they are fighting for their very existence. As some one put it once, they live there and when we are gone they will still be living there.

I also think you oversimplfy the insurgency to a certain extent. Although Zarqwai and his bands of followers from other Arab countries are certainly Islamic fanatics, the vast majority of the Sunni insurgents want a less Islamic state than the current Shia dominated government. Its the Sunni insurgents' lack of commitment to democracy and reliance on violence in the political process which is the problem.

Unfortunately the government we have installed there is basically ready to join hands with Iran and create the type of Islamist state there. SCIRI and the Dawa party, two of the main factions, have militias that were trained in and are supplied and funded by Iran. They are setting up a more Islamist state than we can bear. Indeed, they are far more likely to set up an "Islamofacist" (whatever that catch-phrase means) state than the Sunni insurgents, who I'm sure want to go back to the sort of Baathist statism that existed before.

Iraq is supporting Iran in Iran's drive for nuclear capabilities. That's right, they are against us in key issues in the region. But for me to hold that we should have a change of course is of course, according to your view, traitorus.

Perhaps that's not what you mean, but I've heard the type of language you have chosen to use so much that I can't but help to wonder. Its time for a real dialog on these matters, not slogans and shouting.

Huntress said...

Rob W said "In other words, the President has sent our troops to do a job which they really can't, not because they won't fight their hearts out, but because they aren't the right tool for the job."

Now this comment alone Rob speaks volumes to how little you understand this enemy and lends credence to much of what Mike wrote.

What exactly Rob is the "Right Tool" in your well educated opinion??

I want a detailed outline of how to stop these madmen.

In Toronto, where I now live, less than 20 minutes as the crow flies, 17 arrests were made, preventing henious terrorist attacks against innocents sitting in the Eaton Center having lunch in the food court.

These madmen believe in the idealogy spewed forth by Bin Laden, the LATE Zarquawi..and whats even more interesting, they despise everything American liberals you think sitting around hand holding and trying to reason with them will prevent them from slitting your throat...blowing up YOUR busses and subways and malls!!

There is ONLY one right tool to fighing these madmen...and our soldiers are being held back from doing what they should be doing because LIBERALS are too candy ass to let them fight this war as it should be fought, instead of pandering to bullshit political liberal correctness!

When you lend support to our enemy with ridiculous excuses...and then lay claim that the Iraq war should never have happened..then you prove just how little you understand about our mission and our reason for removing saddam

You also seem to forget that it was LIBERALS ( DEMOCRATS) that were FURIOUS will Bill Clinton for NOT removing Saddam even if it meant the use of force.

The Boston Globe;s editors spoke for liberals and dems when they wrote that Clintons BIGGEST failure was NOT removing Saddam from power!!

Hypocrisy is the food of choice for liberals.

Samantha West said...

Rob W.

that war is politics by other means, as von Clausewitz said

Everything is politics. Church, war, humanitarian aide, everything has a political aspect to it. It is an natural as being human.

I always find it fascinating that liberal educated political elites conveniently fail to see that. Rob, you are not apolitical, your ideas are not apolitical, they are just of a different view of politics.

I think you should read a book called The Valor of Ignorance by Homer Lea, copyright 1901. For me it lent a perspective to war that few people on your side of politics can see. He did predict that we couldn't defend ourselves successfully against the Japanese. Thank God he couldn't consider advances in technology like the airplane, and failed to recongnize the intrepid character of our Marines, sailors, soldiers and airmen.

Alas, I fear you wouldn't give our leaders the credit for having the least bit of foresight, after all, they don't think like you, and thus they only act if there is some underhanded scheme afoot.

Also, I've been wanting to say this to someone like you for a long time. The Democrats are the real reason that George Bush was in elected President in the first place. NO, I'm not talking about Bill Clinton. I'm talking about Ann Richards, the former Democratic Governor of Texas. When she was up for re-election, and quite sure to win, she attacked the State's favorite Senator, Kay Bailey Hutchinson over a dry cleaning bill. That cost her the election and made George Bush Governor of Texas, putting him in position to become President. It was a petty, bullshit, mudslinging, tactic aimed at costing Kay her Senate seat. Well, guess that didn't work.

mdfay said...

To Rob W.

Traitor? That's a strong word; a word I didn't use. No name calling here my friend, so don't put words in my mouth when they are in fact your own. But, if the shoe fits, feel free to wear it.

We are at war with specific terrorists, the micro-situation, and we are at War with Terrorism, the macro-situation. The war on terrorists is exemplified by the Afghanistan mission. The
War on Terrorism is exemplified by the Iraq mission. Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda are terrorists. Saddam Hussein and his government were the number one state-sponsors of Terrorism in the world. He advocated and used Terrorism as a primary political methodology, both externally as illustrated by payments to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers in Israel, and internally as illustrated by mass graves of his southern Shittes and the use of chemical WMDs against his Kurdish minority. In the post 9/11 world Hussein was given ample opportunity take himself off the skyline and exit stage left much in the same way that Uganda's murderous megalomaniac Idi Amin was allowed to walk away into exile. He elected to stay bellicose and both overtly and covertly encourage the perception that he was in possession of and developing WMDs to both intimidate his neighbors and to prolong a food for oil program that was lining his pockets beyond his wildest dreams. He had to go.

You speak of the "right tools for the job". Well, let me tell you as one who's been there and done that what the right tool for the job's you Rob W. and your will....your willingness to tough it get past the easily digestable rationale for taking the war to the terrorists in Afghanistan and move on to the more abstract and less palatable reality behind taking the war to Terrorism in Iraq. The war in Iraq is taking the fight to the enemy both at the tactical level, witness the death of Zaraqawi, and at the strategic level, introducing democratic values and institutions. Afghanistan was easy stuff. Iraq is where the rubber meets the road. But without the will of the American people, your will Rob W., all will be for naught. The 20/20 hindsight of arm-chair quarterbacks and sunshine patriots do nothing for the guys out in the field wrestling with this new reality of world-wide warfighting called Terrorism. We're on the up-side of the learning curve on this one and the enemy is counting on us to slide back down rather than rise to the occasion. We, those struggling up the learning curve locking horns with the enemy as we push forward feel your hand on our belts.....what's it going to be Rob W.? A push or a tug? Right now all I feel is a tug.

Frustrated are you? Good, join the club. We're fighting a War on Terrorism....what, or who are you fighting? What about Islamofascism don't you get? Islamo-meaning the religion of Islam. Fascism-I give you the Wikipedi description: Fascism is a radical authoritarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, totalitarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-communisim and anti-liberalism.

Wake up Rob W., either to the fact that we're at war and it's a mean, dirty, imperfect piece of business afoot that requires your participation and perserverance; or wake up to who you really are in all of this. There's a reason phrases like "summer soldier and sunshine patriot" ring as true now as when Paine wrote them over 200 years ago. The left seems to have all kinds of ideas rattling around in their brains about the war but little or no stomach for fighting Terrorism; which at the end of the day is all that will matter.

Rob W said...


Its important that we look at all of the players in the War on Terror and in Iraq. I read that there are some 14 relatively large insurgent groups in Iraq. Some conduct attacks on civilians. Others do not. It is my understanding that much of our strategy in the past year has been based on driving a wedge between those groups.

In other words, some are terrorists, and some are not. Its also my understanding that most of the foreign fighters fell into the category of terrorists. We hoped to split the terrorists from the groups attacking U.S. troops in the hopes of getting the locals to come to the table and start making agreements to come into the new Iraq.

Thinking of all of these groups as all "madmen" and "terrorists" isn't going to work--indeed our own strategy is based on distinguishing these groups.

Unfortunately, it is not working. Three years after the war was supposedly over, we are still there fighting. We were told that the war would cost $50 billion. Its coming in somewhere around 5 times that much already, with no end in sight.

We are not winning, and the strategic outcome will be bad for us if we don't change course now.

People ask what I think we should do. I'm no expert, but here are a few things to thing about. First we need to talk about what our goals should be. I don't think the Administration says enough about this. We hear them say "a free and stable Iraq" without them telling us what that is. Here's what I think:

1. Reduction in political violence amongst Iraqis--no democracy can survive when Arab terror groups are striking civilians, Sunni insurgents are attacking U.S. troops, and Shia militiamen, mostly Iraqi army troops associated with the ruling parties, are killing Sunni civilians, especially in Baghdad.

2. A comprehensive solution for regulating and limiting Iranian influence in Iraq. They are buddy buddy with the ruling parties and the last thing we want is Iraqis given a political choice of Iranian-style democracy or anarchy.

3. A comprehensive solution to dividing the country's oil wealth amongst the people. Obviously the fights over money are usually the worst. Dealing with this issue up front will keep a civil war from breaking out.

4. A strong, unifying central government in Iraq. Without this, civil war becomes more likely.

So, here are some possible solutions

First, we must have an international conference with the main local players and the European Union. We need to stop the flow of Gulf Oil money and recruits to the insurgents and terrorists in Iraq. Only treaties that bind the local governments will have any effect on this. No treaty, no U.S. aid. The EU needs a level of investment on Iraq. Iran must be involved in this conference and must submit to having its presence in Iraq regulated and limited. They can't be allowed to continue to support the Shia militas that are carrying out murder against anyone with a Sunni name. The militas need to be broken up just as we have gone after the insurgents. No security solution is complete without this.
Finally, we need to make security better in Iraq. Unfortunately, if we are going to do this, it will require more troops. We may have to return to the draft if we cannot recruit enough. Its obvious that a chunk of the Iraqi security forces are acting as militiamen for individual parties and committing murder in the name of those groups behind the shield of their authority. Baghdad TV recently broacast a crawler across the bottom of the screen in which the Iraqi Ministry of Defense asked citizens not to stop at night if ordered to by Iraqi police and army units unless those units were accompanied by Coalition forces. That's a huge problem that we are doing nothing about. There will be no political solution in the country until that is stopped. Period.

Now, about what I said about being called a traitor. Your words were that liberals "willingly participate in the enemy's goal of divisiveness." That's calling me an enemy of my own country. In my own country. How is one supposed to have any type of rational discussion regarding this critical problem facing our country if my position is immediately set out as helping the enemy? And you wonder why the will of Americans to fight this war is waning? Remember 59% of us think the war was a mistake. Do you really think you are convincing anyone by saying that their views are helping the enemy?

Let me turn the tables a bit. I think that part of Osama's 9/11 plan was that he wanted us to go off the deep end and attack countries other than Afghanistan so that he could easily convince other Arabs that we are the evil people he says we are. I think that we fell into that trap. But what you haven't seen me do is say that conservatives "are willingly particpating in the enemy's goal" of getting us to overreact by supporting war against Saddam. That's because I'd be calling you an enemy of your own country.

Finally, I'd like to point out that no one has offered a response that went to the substance of my post regarding our war strategy. I think that's because its really hard to do so. Prove me wrong. Also, I'd like to see everyone else's plan for dealing with the problems there. I have some ideas--I haven't seen anything here other than the currently disasterous "keep doing the same thing."

Rob W said...

Don't call me a sunshine patriot either. You don't know the first thing about me or my patriotism. But your first response is to allege that somehow I am not a patriot because I don't agree with you. Is this how you are going to convince the American people to stay the course in Iraq? I'm certain if you think about it you will agree that perhaps the charged language you use isn't the best way to convince people that this is the right thing to do. You have stated that its the will of the American people that is the key ingredient here. How do you expect to convince the doubters, (now 60% of the U.S. population!) that you are right?

Let's assume in a thought experiment, that I am right and you are wrong. Who would be the sunshine patriot then? Repeatedly you fail to see that your own language is blocking you from doing the very thing you want to do, convince Americans that our course is good. Why is that?

Samantha West said...

Remember 59% of us think the war was a mistake.

As a general rule conservatives don't participate in polls, thus those numbers leave out a good deal of the population.

Finally, I'd like to point out that no one has offered a response that went to the substance of my post regarding our war strategy. I think that's because its really hard to do so. Prove me wrong.

I don't need to offer a response with a better plan, I support the one in place now. Why don't you prove us wrong? If you throw your whole hearted support behind the current plan, and you're right and it fails, then you have proven us wrong. Are you fearful that if you support the plan and it works, that somehow you will lose face?

By the way, this is Sam talking, not MD Fay. I don't even think you're a Sunshine Patriot. You are not a team player. The good of the nation means nothing to you as long as you get to be right. What galls me the most about you is that, in my opinion, not one ounce of your flesh or blood is worth a drop of sweat from any United States Marine, sailor, soldier or airman. Yet they would unfailingly die for your right to your opinion.

mdfay said...

Rob W., Your thoughts are articulate and well-reasoned. You certainly can talk the talk. Intellectually you are probably my superior in many ways. I have no illusions about convincing someone such as yourself of anything. The fact that you find this posting disappointing I should perhaps find as a bit of a compliment. The fact that you've taken it so personally is interesting and telling...but as you've said, I don't know you; so no pop-psychology about narcissistic projection from this jarhead.

I am a warrior poet....very old school. I walk the walk. I rejoice in the deaths of my enemies. That is part A of this post. I have no illusions as to who the enemy is and who, whether through acts of ommission or commission, are allied with them. That's part B. Have as much fun with that as you want. Take it as personal as you please. I have no doubt that Bin Laden knew that there would be folks such as yourself who would apply the divisive "deep end" rhetoric to our aggressively prosecuting a war against Terrorism. I'm sure he counted on it. And yes, the will of America is waning. Again I ask you, what have you done to steel our resolve? Where is your "talk" helping the "walk"?

I can say with some confidence that should our enemy prevail I will go down in the end with the barrel of my M-16 A4 glowing red hot. There will be others who will go down blindfolded on their knees in a stadium somewhere hoping desperately with final breaths that it'll be a shot to the back of the head and not a slow beheading. Oh yes, and praying that the Marines have landed somewhere very near.

Kris Battles said...

Rob W,

You said "First we need to talk about what our goals should be."
and you went into good detail about it, and I think you're right. I think the goals you catalog are almost identical to what the administration is wanting-but hasn't well-articulated-- which seems to be their weakest point.

Your goals:

"1. Reduction in political violence amongst Iraqis..."

Killing leaders like Al-Zarqawi does a lot to stop the violence amongst Iraqis. He was one of the main causes of sectarian violence, and his death goes a long way to restore order to Iraq. The majority of Iraqia and majority of the Muslim world disliked his sectarian violence. Iraqis want to live in peace without sectarian violence, and Zarqawi promoted it.

“2. A comprehensive solution for regulating and limiting Iranian influence in Iraq..."

This is the toughest one. We are currently negotiating with Iran, using Europe. We are also backing that talk with the real threat of economic and military penalties. We can currently do no more. I am afraid that the Shiite influence is something that is much deeper than political boundaries or governmental influences. The Syrian influence is also something very difficult to deal with, yet once again, unflagging resolve will win-out, as we break the will and political power of the insurgency.

“3. A comprehensive solution to dividing the country's oil wealth amongst the people...”

We are getting the oil industry in Iraq up to speed. Security is the big issue here, once again.

“4. A strong, unifying central government in Iraq. Without this, civil war becomes more likely.”

We’re doing that. Faster than history would dictate in such situations.

You also said

“But in the end, I don't see how killing more insurgents will stop the insurgency.”

Killing the insurgents will most definitely stop the insurgency—though in the short term it may stir the hornet’s nest and bring them out in the open.

Japan was an intensely martial nation, full of young men dedicated to war, to destroying American influence in the Pacific, and to subjugating the entire Pacific realm under their “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”.

It was only after we showed unfailing resolve to fight them to the end, that they surrendered—and it was only after we killed almost all of their fighters that the martial spirit left the nation. That was all we could do. Now Japan is prosperous, peace-loving and democratic.

We must show the same will and fighting spirit we showed back then, to ultimately succeed in Iraq and the region.

“These people live there. Whether we agree with them politically or not, they are fighting for their very existence.”

The Iraqi Sunni insurgency may be fighting for its existence, but once the Zarqawi’s and other foreigners are gone, and the political process gets further established, I believe they will return to the co-existence they enjoyed before.

The Iraqis may be tired of foreigners in their country, but they are especially fed up with foreign terrorists like Zarqawi, who are purposefully killing their people to stir up civil war.

Sorry for being so verbose, I just thought I'd respond to some of the things you said.

--KJ Battles

EdoRiver said...

"Dancing in the Streets"??? show me where you saw this. Who were they? Probably members of the Dulain tribe that Al-Zarquawi was stupid enough to alienate in Rhamadi when he blew up the police station there.

So it takes about 120,000 American soldiers, 3 years to kill one man? Sounds pretty efficient. So for his replacement, how long and how many deaths how many of my tax dollars (yeah, even though I live overseas I pay taxes); how many of my countrymen sick and injured is it gonna take to get the next guy?
Right, we have turned a corner....

That may be, but it seems like the key in getting the corner turned was to link with someone who spoke Arabic, and knew the culture. Common sense should say it sure doesn't take 120,000 soldiers 2500 deaths and billions of profit to feed Haliburton's bottom line to get to know a few Jordanian agents. But then again who is using common sense in staying in Iraq with 120,000 soldiers and spending $1 billion dollars a month to keep them fed and protected, housed, so they can drive around to get blown up? Some new kind of common sense.

EdoRiver said...

"to kill one man".
I neglected to say that in the PR campaign on the home front that inevitably every fight a democracy is involved in, "the One Man" is an important false mission, Hussain, Osamu, Al-Zarqawi, the names change but the PR battle always has to have a single villian with a keeps the masses' minds occupied with a sense of mission. All the better to create more cannon fodder.

Samantha West said...

You have all these complaints, what are you doing about them? Written to anyone in Congress or the Senate??? Organized people who feel the same as you to get the vote out???

Are you still living in Japan trying to get the stench of being an American off of you? I lived there in the 80's in a nice brand new home in Chitose on Hokkaido. Nearly married a Japanese man and I really loved the country and people. I also remember how they fought and violated the Geneva Convention during WWII. They were far more vicious in battle than the Nazi's. But, YOU don't know any history do you? Or maybe you have just forgotten WWII and Japan's role completely. To remember wouldn't suite you.

It's trite, but you're either part of the solution or your are part of the problem. There is no grey area. If you don't like the way the US is, then get your ass back over here and start fixing things. But you don't want to do that, you just want to bitch.


PS I support the mission and the troops.

EdoRiver said...

It's easy to see, why a typical japanese man would be "terrorized" by you after marriage ;-)
I'm not afraid to admit when I'm wrong. My wife tells me I usually am, I have taken actions.
1) I joined a religion that obligates its members to vote, but forbids members to join political parties. We are forbidden from participating in anything that is divisive to the basic unity of the community. Politics is as divisive as you can get. But, it's like a sport or game for some folks, isn't it? If so, then Iraq is what ulitmately happens in this "game" or "sport". Wasn't it VPChenny or Rumsfield that said something like the reason we're in Iraq is so we don't have to fight the terrorists in our own back yard?

2) I do put my money where my mouth and heart is. I donate to support specific NON political charities, like Plan International, a foster parent, world wide organization.

3) The phrase in the New Testament, Christ says, "To who much is given, much is expected" does not mean that the world or God, should expect the USA to be the world's policeman. I believe our obligation is spiritual more than political or material. I am in Japan because I chose to come here.

But what does man choose by his free will and what does man do because it is part of his destiny? I am an American in Japan, and will always be identified as such. Yet there is a wisdom in this circumstance. We are all part of one tree, one family.
The decision to invade Iraq, was part of God's will, and so was 9/11 part of God's will. George Bush or the terrorists or the White House may try to take credit for any and all these events. Nothing as major as these two events something that effects all of human society as much as these 2 events was caused or the latter results happen because of free will. I consider these as facts of life. We can't change the past. We can only try to modify the suffering we might inflict on ourselves or others. This is what prayers are for.

EdoRiver said...

"Japan was an intensely martial nation, full of young men dedicated to war, to destroying American influence in the Pacific, and to subjugating the entire Pacific realm under their “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”.

It was only after we showed unfailing resolve to fight them to the end, that they surrendered—and it was only after we killed almost all of their fighters that the martial spirit left the nation. That was all we could do. Now Japan is prosperous, peace-loving and democratic."

I will be glad to wrestle with anyone regarding Japanese history. I warn you though I have a pretty heafty library, if its quantities of different references that will change your mind.

But who, please tell me, has had their mind or beliefs changed because someone could out quote them? That person was probably on shaky psychological ground to begin with.

All my self-pride about my self-taught Japanese scholarship doesn't mean diddly.

A woman or man believes what they want to, for their own personal reasons. The truth is usually unknown or too complex to fit in many people's schemes about who is "right" and who is "wrong". I was going to give a lecture on the references to Japan here in this post, but I'll spare you. You've heard it all before and you (and I) choose the parts to believe and reject the parts that disagree. And this is pyschological "truth".

So why am I here? ;-) I'm here because, because Fire and Ice reminds me of my relatives whom I used to get in almost physical fights when I was a "youngster". There's something stubbornly familiar about Fire and Ice. that I guess I miss, in a way...

kris battles said...


I too have lived in a culture overseas, and can debate anyone on it. I lived in Haiti, and I learned a lot. One of the things I learned is that, no matter how much I learned about the culture, and no matter how well I learned the language, I will never truly understand their culture, nor be accepted as part of it, because to them I was a foreigner, a "Blanc".

About the Japan excerpts you quoted:

Do you deny that Japan was a martial nation?

Do you deny that they fought until their martial intentions were broken?

Do you deny that it was a strong American will that fought "through to absolute victory"? (not denying God's providence as well of course...)

I'm aware of the dissenters in Japan before and during the war, and that they finally had a say in Japan's direction, in convincing the government to surrender and end the war. Yet their influence had no strength until the might of the military faction was finally crushed. This is a matter of record, not simply of fancy or denial.

It is fantasy to say that Japan wasn't a military nation in the 20s, 30s and 40s, no matter what you could show me-- the vast weight of historical fact proves otherwise.

Japan TODAY is a strong, peace-loving nation, and this only proves the original point that perseverance and its "absolute victory" brought about the political will in Japan to change their course, their structure and their identity.

How can you possibly dismiss all of that and shrug it off as mere "psychological truth"?

You have lived in a different Japan-- your whole point of personal reference is post-war Japan.

My argument may have been a bit simply stated, but it was hardly untrue.


Samantha West said...

Mike is a seriously soulful artist whose work will no doubt stand the test of time, and many times these kinds of personalities see a way of life akin to yours. I think you have trouble reconciling Marine and artist because you think they are mutually exclusive and you feel a need to probe him to try and bring him to what you consider “his senses.”

It seems you can only embrace things you believe to be perfect, and so I find myself feeling abandoned by you because the United States is imperfect. Being American means that you must put forth a little effort every day doing the maintenance required to keep Her strong, and steady on the right path. The things you listed as “taking action” don’t do anything to improve what you consider to be a bankrupt political system. You know, you just can’t build something and then expect it to never need maintenance. You have to make contact with the politicians on issues that you feel strongly about, you have to vote and take part in the rearing of our living nation. You left us and refuse to do your part by claiming to eschew politics. Life is political, it doesn’t matter where you are; you cannot escape from the politics of the people, nation or religion you have chosen. If you don’t engage, with the intent to improve, what you feel is dysfunctional then you are nothing but a sycophant.

You assumed that my fiancé decided not to marry me. He died in a traffic accident in Tokyo before our big day, and I was seriously injured. His parents still stay with me when they are in Texas, which is several times a year for business. Had he lived, we would have eventually moved to California to run the branch of his family business in the States. He did so want his children to be born in American, and thus have the right to be American citizens, because the Japanese school system has no place for gifted children. He was absolutely sure that our children would be gifted. It was his positive, can-do attitude that I was attracted to; only death could stop him. Kind of like my Marines.

EdoRiver said...

1) sorry I get confused easily between this blog and "American Soldier" blog which I have commented more extensively on Japan. So I had some dots I thought I had connected but that was on another blog.

2) I am a self-taught "pundit". I will honestly say that my library was perhaps slightly better than or equal to a graduate student of Japanese history "or Asian history?"
Dang it I don't want to come back and eat crow for a second time on this blog ;-) So, let's just say I have read more than a few books on the subject...

Your comment:It was only after we showed unfailing resolve to fight them to the end, that they surrendered—and it was only after we killed almost all of their fighters that the martial spirit left the nation. That was all we could do. Now Japan is prosperous, peace-loving and democratic.

We must show the same will and fighting spirit we showed back then, to ultimately succeed in Iraq and the region."

the ultimate importance of your comment is how much transference you believe exists between defeating Japan and defeating the troublemakers in Iraq.

Simply I would say, "very little".
The layers of Japanese opinion are beneath the surface are always shifting...since I came here because of 9/11 and "the encouragement" of George W. Bush. There are a wealth of Japanese blogs that you can hear what I am saying. I have long ago discovered that I don't have anything particularly unique, EXCEPT. I do certainly believe I share a vision of where we should all go that the other Japanese pundits don't share. this is my unique insight. US has been big brother for a long time. And the times they are a changin. To extrapolate on what our relationship with Japan after WWII and now is a real mistake,

But, hey you are only using the situation as a metaphor for what can be accomplished in Iraq. I am really ignorant about Middle East history. I have only one great book, "Muhammad and the course of Islam", by Balyuzi of Oxford Univ., which I highly recommend. the scope is in its title. The depth is fairly detailed (~400 pages).

War releases the animal in anyone. Japanese culture shows a recognition of this point early on and an attempt to refine, control, channel that animal energy. The US culture has neither the time, the motivation, the cultural conditions, historical situation to do that. That game really changed because of the US Civil War.

Fire and Ice, is probably a scholar of sorts on military or Civil War history and he can probably attest to the end of the Gentleman's game of war gathered alot of momentum in the US from the Civil War, but it took longer for that lesson to cross the Atlantic to European operations.

think of this, Japanese history as an organized state or series of states is roughtly 1,500 years. the time since the end of WWII is only 60 years. Do you really think that the culture has changed or is changing significantly toward being a peaceful democratic country? Again the surface and the deeper waters are not the same. I see the same forms of blindness here that I see in the USA. It doesn't take too much for anyone to become a blind bullet or fist, or exploding vest, or kamikaze pilot. It seems you have some unstated belief that the US will always win out, and the foundation of that belief appears to be our previous "success" in WWII? Yet what happened in Korea and Vietnam? Would you say the US was successful there? Please speak of what Vietnam has taught us (I am interested in your lesson ;-) about success in Iraq.
With underlying regards,
Edo River