Osama Bin Laden’s Long War

From his secure undisclosed location somewhere within the borders of Pakistan or Afghanistan Osama bin Laden again outlines to the world his vision of the Apocalypse through the magic of audiotape. He calls for a ‘Long War’ against the Western world and delivers a long list of litanies against the West in an attempt to rally Muslims to his cause. Osama bin Laden is in the Clash of Civilizations business and he sounds almost desperate in his zeal to bring one about. In this endeavor he has many in the West on his side.

Osama bin Laden attempts, in his latest audio rendition, to associate himself with any and all sources of possible grievances that he imagines Muslims may have. His mantra is, "Hate the West at all costs". He wants very much to be part of the global rise in Islamist extremism. He wants to channel local grievances in Muslim countries against Government oppression into an unified global movement against the West. He wants to combine the disparate acts of desperate men into a coordinated attack on the West and Western values. He wants his long war between Islam and the West where the ultimate casualty is reason. However, his murderous lunacy is laid bare when he suggests that Muslims in Sudan should oppose international peacekeepers who may be deployed in an attempt to end the genocide in Darfur. Muslims of the world take heed: Osama bin Laden would rather that hundreds of thousands of Muslims were slaughtered than support peacekeepers from the West.

We, and I mean the larger we, should deny Osama bin Laden his long war. We who are the American Government and people, the Muslim Governments and their people and the rest of the Western World have been culpable indirectly and in some instances directly in the rise of global Islamist extremism in general and the rise of Osama bin Laden in particular. Bin Laden is the evil stepchild of Pakistan’s seriously misguided Inter-services Intelligence Agency (ISI). With American Government support through the CIA, the ISI nurtured, armed and trained bin Laden and the rest of the Arab forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s to fend off the Soviet Union. We should also thank the ISI for their generous support of the Taliban and any and all extremist Islamist factions it could find around the world. The United States participated in the support of bin Laden and the rise of al Qaeda with full knowledge and understanding that this support of these radicals would lead to trouble for the United States in the future. When asked in 1998 after the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Africa if he had any regrets in sanctioning U.S. support for bin Laden and the Taliban, the ever confused and factually challenged Senator from Utah, the inimitable Orrin Hatch, replied that "It was worth it". I wonder if the Senator still feels that way now.

Osama bin Laden wants a long war with the West and in this wish he gets ample support from this Administration. This is a war of attrition that the United States cannot win. It is a war that will only lead to continued growth of extremism in both the East and the West. The logic of this long war is easily exploited by bin Laden on one side and by the ideologues on this side. The "us" and "them" rhetoric that it encourages is simplistic yet powerful in its ability to bring about the triumph of hate. Now is the time for men and women of reason to stand up and speak out against this slide into madness. We are caught in a twisted version of Hegel’s Master/Slave dialectic and we must break out if we are to triumph over it.

It seems to me that there is an alternative to this "us" and "them" logic and the dream that if we bomb Iraq, Iran and Syria somehow reason and Democracy will flower in place of extremism. Our current path, far from fostering Democracy and peace with the United States, is creating anger and resentment in the Middle East and the rest of the Muslim world. We are planting the seeds of future extremism by our actions today. We have neither the bombs nor the will enough to kill the new extremists faster than they are being created. So, I propose a different approach. I propose an approach that recognizes that the vast majority of the grievances in the Muslim world is not against the West but against the corrupt Governments that rule there. The United States is a target because of the support it provides these Governments and not because "they hate us for our freedom". Save the extremists and corrupt Governments that unwittingly fuel each other, all peoples of the world want freedom and security, so the notion that somehow the United States is hated because we are "free" is utter nonsense.

We can shorten bin Laden’s "Long War" and defeat him and his ideology by engaging in the new "war on terror" which should have the following components in equal measure:

  • We should end active support of regimes in the Muslim world that oppress their peoples, deny them fundamental freedoms, and officially sanction extremist teachings. Examples of such regimes include, first and foremost, Saudi Arabia (the head of the snake, if you will), Egypt and Pakistan. We give billions of dollars each year to these Governments to prop them up. In return, these Governments engage in the systematic abuse of their citizenry. Like any addict, they thrive on economic and military aid from the United States. Their elite line their pocketbooks on the backs of their people. Is anyone surprised why their peoples are attracted to violent ideologies that target these Governments and what they see as their far away master? It is time for the United States to cut these addicts off and demand better treatment of the masses. If anyone thinks that my suggestion is naive, I assure you that the withholding of a few billion dollars of aid to Egypt will have the effect of focusing the mind of Hosni Mubarak in a hurry. The benefit of shifting policy is tremendous. It has the effect of liberalizing these countries and the more important effect of cutting the legs of the oppression that breeds hate toward the United States.
  • We should support massive educational and economic development projects in Muslim countries. We should really drain the swamp instead of paying lip service to draining the swamp. There is no extremist ideology that can survive if the masses do not suffer from ignorance. Alleviating poverty and illiteracy are the two most important factors in combating extremism and the terrorism that so often follows.
  • We should take the fight to bin Laden and al Qaeda. No amount of education, economic assistance or other acts of compassion will rescue the few who will continue to stoke hatred wherever and whenever they can. We should deal with these individuals with impunity. We will be vastly aided in our effort to hunt down and destroy the remnants of al Qaeda by our other efforts at improving the lot of the masses. Bin Laden and al Qaeda will find themselves increasingly isolated and without support as our efforts to drain the swamp start to take effect.
  • Lastly the people of the Muslim world must join the struggle. They must join not in an "us" versus "them" sense. They must respond to actions by the United States to try to open up their Governments by not joining the ranks of the extremists but by putting internal pressure on their Governments. They must choose not between Islam and the West, but between Extremism and common sense.

The policy I have outlined above is obvious and has been suggested many times before – there is nothing new here. We do not need radical new ideas though, we simply need ideas that make sense. But I doubt that the current Administration in the United States has the will or the desire to change course to this new policy. They believe in bombs and not books. This is the "stay the course" Administration so any course correction is unlikely to occur. They have already set their course on the attack on Iran and I doubt anything as important as the dismantling of al Qaeda and Islamist Extremism will deter them from their chosen course. In any case, the efforts I outlined above require that the U.S. Administration have credibility with the Islamic world. This Administration has none. The change in policy may come when a new Administration comes to power in a thousand days. But as Arthur Schlesinger Jr. points out in his appeal today in The Washington Post, it promises to be a long Thousand Days.

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30 Responses to Osama Bin Laden’s Long War

  1. usnjay says:

    –”end active support of regimes in the Muslim world”
    –”We should support massive educational and economic development projects”
    These are directly contradictory. You can’t fund education in a oppressed country b/c the oppressors take the money and use it for their own purposes. In fact much of the money we give is for humanitarian aid.

    Alternatively, removing all funds also won’t solve the problem. Cutting off Cuba & Iraq just made their dictators stronger. Terrorism is caused by the poverty & oppression in the middle east, which is not caused by money the US does or doesn’t give. At most it’s a minor aggravating factor.

    So you can’t solve the terrorist problem with money.

    “We will be vastly aided . . . by our other efforts at improving the lot of the masses.”
    Here I agree. But how to do so? The US can’t afford to just pay for a nice new house for millions of middle easterners, even if those dictators allowed it, which of course they won’t b/c they need poverty to maintain control.

    The only long term solution for middle eastern violence is democracy and freedom. That is exactly the course the current administration is pursuing.
    usnjay

  2. How will democracy work if the masses are ignorant? They’ll just keep voting for extremists like Hamas! Which they did!

    Why do you think people in the USA and other western countries are able to speak out without using violence? It’s because they have brains. They had a proper education. They know how to think for THEMSELVES. They have many options to oppose anyone they disagree with. Having money also doesn’t hurt.

    These options do not exist in the poor countries. They are all run by corrupt governments and/or dictatorships. They don’t know who to trust. They don’t have many options to oppose these evils. Most of them don’t have an education, so what kind of weapons do they have?! That’s right guns, bombs, and other violent methods.

    It’s just like cartoons. The dumb bully always uses his fists while the the smart geek resorts to using his brain. The bully uses violence and the geek uses words. The bully is not educated and the geek is well versed.

    Even in real life in America. How many of the thugs in jail are educated properly? How many of them have post-secondary education? (I’m referin mainly to the violent criminals).

    Democracy only works when the voters are informed. When the voters are educated. When the voters can use their OWN brains for themselves.

    Dropping bombs in a country is not the way to entice these people to welcome democracy.

    Violence breeds violence.

  3. usnjay says:

    We didn’t drop bombs to entice the peaceful people, we dropped bombs to kill the oppressive people who were preventing the peaceful people from forming a free democracy.
    The bromide that violence breeds violence is historically false. The American revolution, American civil war, WWII & the first Iraq war are all proof that violence can stop further violence and oppression. The fact is that force used to oppose oppression is not only just, but sometimes the only path to peace.

  4. Mash says:

    usnjay, you give me so much to work with that I don’t know where to begin. First, for some facts about U.S. aid to these corrupt regimes. You suggest that most of the aid is humanitarian. You are incorrect. As an example. take Egypt where the US gives $1.3 billion a year in direct military aid to the Egyptian government and on average $815 million a year in economic assistance. Gee, I wonder what Hosni Mubarak does with all this military aid?

    The U.S. did not create the poverty in the Third World but it certainly does contribute in a big way in propping up the dictators in the Third World (especially the Muslim world). The hypocrasy in claiming that we are bringing about Democracy in Iraq while we hold out the thugs Musharaf and Mubarak as democratic reformers is too blatant to even debate.

    What makes you think that taking money and support away from these thugs won’t have an impact? The House of Saud would have very little staying power without American F-16s and American weapons. I am not suggesting sanctions. There is a huge difference between sanctions and tying up personal funds of these despots (almost all of which is held in foreign banks for obvious reasons).

    The United States has plenty of leverage in these countries and can force reforms as a condition for targeted and controlled aid. To suggest that we can only give lump sums of money and then watch dumbly while those funds are misused is naive. We have plenty of leverage in determine where and how our money is spent – the fact that we don’t care now as the money is used to line the pockets of despots is not the same as lack of power. We have simply chosen to fund these despots – we can just as easily choose not to.

    You say the long term solution is bringing “democracy” and “freedom” to the Middle East. On the surface I agree with you. I do think what needs to happen is the citizens need to be free from oppression from their “leaders”. But to argue that we can bomb a country into a democracy makes no sense. You state rather cavalierly:

    We didn’t drop bombs to entice the peaceful people, we dropped bombs to kill the oppressive people who were preventing the peaceful people from forming a free democracy.

    Can you please tell me the ratio between the dead oppressive people versus the dead peaceful people in Iraq? I am certain the dead peaceful people thank you for bringing their souls “freedom” from their bodies. I bet they are dipping their fingers into a lot of purple ink in the afterlife.

    We can have this theoretical argument about whether democracy can be imposed at the point of a gun, but we don’t need to. Take a look at Iraq today:

    • 30 to 60 people killed per day. That is more than was killed under Saddam.
    • ethnic cleansing
    • No security. American soldiers in Ramadi claim that if they stand still they are shot at.
    • Rampant corruption and looting
    • Islamists who are Iranian stooges in power
    • Destruction of the infrastructure

    If that is your brand of “democracy”, brother spare me the purple finger.

  5. dude says:

    mash, nice upgrades, the preview is a LIFE saver. but, some people are mathematically chalenged u know. ah, maybe thats the pt… =) hows about a spell check as well…

    long term solution is bringing “democracy” and “freedom” to the Middle East

    this is entirely my own belief, based on my own life experience, education, and study.research in third world development:

    democracy CANNOT be implemented in the m.e. using the western model. there just isnt the cultural infrastructure. the only serious democracy, if it can be called that, is egypt, and that regime is far from democratic.

    in countries with highly conscriptive cultures, there has to be an alternate model that takes into consideration peoples history. honestly, western style democracy cannot be implemented in muslim countries, with total freedom of choice, press, and belief.

  6. usnjay says:

    Egypt and Israel receive mostly military aid b/c they are the most democratic countries we have with which to work. But we also aid Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethopia, Jordan & others, which is almost entirely humanitarian. A lot of the aid to Egypt is tied to democratic reforms: http://arabist.net/archives/2005/04/12/wsj-on-mepi-in-egypt/

    That being said I do agree that you can never apply too much pressure for further freedoms.

  7. usnjay says:

    However, the choice between changing US aid policy and the invasion of Iraq with the end goal being the defeat of the Islamic extremists and their terrorism is a false choice. Iraq, even with its flaws, offers a plan and hope, while changing US aid offers none.

    First, if we gave Mubarak an ultimatum of to step aside and create a western democracy or lose all aid, he’d laugh.

    Second, we have almost no monetary leverage with the most other middle eastern countries. Your ideas for aid would have little to no effect on Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya, Palestine, etc.

    The US simply can’t afford to ‘buy’ democracy in the middle east. We can afford targeted military actions like Iraq. Until you can offer a real alternative which would defeat the Islamic extremists and prevent another 9/11, Iraq is the best option we have.

  8. Mash says:

    usnjay, I guess we are on that merry-go-round again. You believe somehow that there was no alternative to attacking Iraq. All evidence is to the contrary. You can choose to believe that Iraq was the best option and any other option doesnt seem to appeal to you.

    I can see that we have also done a bang up job of bringing democracy to Afghanistan. I am sure Abdul Rahman appreciated the kind of religous freedom we brought to Afghanistan. To suggest somehow that we have the power to bring democracy to the Middle East by bombing and that any other option is a non-starter is not consistent with reality.

    But, I surrender, I have been converted by your barrage. Let’s bomb the bastards. :)

  9. usnjay says:

    Mash:
    I’d certainly prefer another option, but I’ve yet to hear one. Do you think America can buy freedom for even one country, much less the entire middle east? In step one of your ‘new war on terror’ you say remove aid from Egypt & Pakistan, two of the most open countries in the region (though still autocratic), and in stage two you say increase aid. To whom would you give aid? Complete theocracies like Iran, or dictatorships like Libya?

    Of course Iraq is messy, it’s a war. That’s not ‘evidence’ of anything but the presence of an enemy who doesn’t want to lose power. America lost 6,600 men on D-Day. Maybe we should have just increased aid to Germany?

    If the Democrats had an alternative, they’d present it rather than continually attacking other’s solutions. They don’t. In the process of trying to win the next election they’ve become the terrorist’s propaganda machine.
    usnjay.

  10. Mash says:

    usnjay, I would hardly call Musharaf and Mubarak open.

    Iraq is messy. No doubt. You choose not to see an alternative – I can’t help you see one. You start from the premise that the Iraq war was a good thing. If that is your premise than all arguments must seem like attacks. Let us pick up this debate in 10 years and see where we are. Any discussion of the merits of our involvement in Iraq at this point is pointless if the beginning and end of your argument is that Iraq invasion was a good thing.

  11. TedB says:

    Nice upgrades Mr Mash. Sadly, my new job will not afford me much time to join the fray here
    :-(

    Usnjay, my friend, I enjoy our stimulating conversations. Very thought provoking as they cause me to hone my ideas against ones which I disagree with. Thank you.

    I take issue with your statement (9) that Egypt and Pakistan are open societies. Perhaps in comparison to Saudi Arabia or N Korea, but, not any “Western” democracy. The governments own and control all major media (TV & radio) in these countries and thus control the message heard. Opposition candidates are routinely jailed and/or harrassed. Outside the major city centers in Pakistan, vast areas are effectively beyond the control of the central government. Local leaders, who control the weapons, are in charge and they brook no dissent. This is where OBL finds succor from attack. It is why we have not caught him. Is this why we support Musharaf?

    In WWII, we fought not just an idea – fashism/nazism – we also fought known countries whoseleaders were the advocates of said ideas. Our civilian leadership had no tolerance for failure, and routinely replaced those who failed. Our current administration promotes failers and gives them medals of freedom.

    When the WWII ended, the defeated countries returned to democracy because they already had a history of democracy that had, sadly, been usurped by demigogues whose message was, to paraphrase, “…you are with us, or you are against us.” Japan, Germany, and Italy all had elected parlaments with varying degrees of control over policy. Perfect, no; but established, yes. These fledgling democracies were, in turn, supported by The Marshal Plan. A vast effort to rebuild and support the countries in question. We also had sufficient boots on the ground to disarm and control the populace. The citizens of these countries were also ground down by constant warfare and depravation. This was fertile ground for the seeds of prosperity we planted.

    Contrast that with what is happening today in Iraq and Afganistan. Insufficient troops to control the chaos; local army and police unable to function due to militia infiltration; much of the rebuilding money siphoned off for security concerns, corruption, and no bid contracts to multinational companies; and a massive amount of distrust amongst the warring parties – Sunni,Shia, Kurd; and a populace worn down by the aftermath of war and imposed chaos. Hardly fertile grounds for hope.

    Those who advocate a black/white universe, fail to see the complexity of gray which is the vast majority of history. The comfort of absolute good and absolute evil are overwhelmed by the mixed nebulous historical reality.

    I, Mash, and others have indeed offered ideas and solutions out of this bad box. Unfortunatly, you appear to routinely discount or dismiss our ideas without a clear reason why that makes sense to us. Your “solution” of more of the same, which is not working, is decidedly not the correct route. Almost any idea appears better, though they all should be openly debated amongst all affected parties. We should hold ourselves bound to their decisions, even if we disagree with them. Its their country after all.

  12. Mash says:

    Ted, I appreciate your valuable input and hope you will still be able visit. I’m still working on the smileys since they seem to cause a Javascript error on my browser.8-}

    And don’t forget to stay the course! %-(

  13. usnjay says:

    TedB,
    Thanks, I’m enjoying the discussion. :)
    I didn’t say Egypt and Pakistan were open, I said they were the most open of the region, though still autocratic.

    Ok, so you’re/Mash’s alternative is a “Marshall Plan” for the middle east.

    First, the Marshall plan was after the war, not in place of it. I doubt the Marshall plan would have worked in 1941, which is effectively what you’re suggesting.

    Second, how much? To actually buy a democracy would probably take a couple trillion $ per country. More if you want it to take effect quickly.

    Third, how long? Rebuilding Europe took decades, AFTER Hitler was defeated. That alone makes the idea impossible as an alternative, the Iraq war was to prevent another 9/11 NOW, as well as provide a long-term solution.

    Most importantly, Mash and you just said the two most democratic countries are too authoritarian to deserve aid. So who does the aid go to? The really hardcore dictatorships? Do you think they’ll just sit by & let America build non-religious schools, democratic institutions, thereby destroying their base of power? You can’t give aid to dictators who are primarily attacking America to get us out of their region so they can maintain their dictatorships.

    Finally, this is a nice theory, but it’s not one the Democrats who are now attacking the progress in Iraq have actually proposed. In the meantime they’ve attacked this administration & weakened our national resolve in a shameless attempt to garner votes.

    usnjay

  14. Mash says:

    usnjay, I like to think that I speak only for myself and not the Democrats :-”

    This is not an either/or proposition. You can squeeze the regimes and provide targeted aid at the same time. The US has many avenues to provide aid instead of handing it as a lump sum to the maximum leader (foreign aid does not work like that).

    You seem to ignore that the most oppressive regimes in the Muslim world are Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt. That should qualify them for a nice bombing campaign =d>

    Why give Egypt 1.3 billion dollars worth of military hardware? Why not force Mubarak into democratic reforms? Since you like the idea of invasion so much, why not bomb Mubarak into the afterlife if he won’t give up power?

    There are a zillion ways of forcing your will on another country well short of war. Its called “diplomacy” and some people in the past have been awfully good at it.

    But, I concede, as I did earlier, the most fun solution is to bomb bomb bomb. Strap me in coach, I’m ready to bomb bomb bomb 8-x

    (ok, I am still having fun with the smileys)

  15. dude says:

    usnjay. i am curious, r u from a muslim country, or even south asia, or anywhere in the developing world? have you lived for extensive period, i.e. not 6months or 2 yrs, longer, a lot longer, in these regions?

    i ask because some of the things you mention do not take into account the realities on the ground.

    islam took root in areas of the world that were highly autocratic to begin with, and had very ascriptive societies.

    this notion, though u seem to keep on going on about democrats for whatever reason, that u.s. brand, or for that matter western brand democracy will sprout in regions who do not have a history of popular institutions is mind bogling.

    if the US was in iraq for the next 100 years they would not turn into france or sweden or the u.k., they do not have the cultural infrastructure for it.

    but beyond every argument put forth, u are not interested in ‘discussion’, more so propogating ur rather narrow world view on the matter on the board. this does nto a discussion make. despite all attempts at others trying to logically showing you how some of ur views cannot be congruent with the realities at hand, u still keep on bringing up this administration and the democrats. yes, we get it, u likey present admin, and hatey democrats, but guess what, no one in the world much cares what ur party affiliation is if what ur saying does not mesh with whats going on.

    even in indonesia, democracy is volatile at best. in india, who has the 2nd largest muslim population, democracy has thrived because the country is multicultural and very diverse where the 2nd largest muslim population makes upa minority to the hindus, sikhs and others.

    in bangladesh any honest person would have to admit democracy never took hold (this happens when u assassinate the father of the country within 4 yrs of independence) who was followed by 2 despots and now 2 corrupt parties taking in turn to rape the country.

    egypt has a long history of violence against its citizenry as does pakistan. ksa is probably the most oppressive and ascriptive society of the lot. and yes, the US backs all three regimes, despite the rhetoric of spreading democratic ideals.

    doesnt seem to me u r interested in either discussion or admiting facts apparent to every reasonable person.

    rid the world of the sauds, US backed regimes in pk and egypt, and practice what u preach, then there can be talk of the US leading the charge of democratic reformation.

    until then, atleast realise what a lot of what u r saying is hypocritical at best, naive and narrow minded at worst.

    i dont run this blog, i dont have to play nice.

  16. usnjay says:

    Mash:
    Glad your on board!

    One of the many benefits of invading Iraq was it allowed us to NOT invade other countries. By creating a democracy in the center of the region, bordering many of those countries you mentioned, we put more pressure on them to reform than any amount of foreign aid – giving or withholding – ever could.

    In fact, the number of lives saved by the Iraq war will never be known. I believe had Bush done nothing, and a nuclear bomb had been detonated in a US city, the US would have invaded the middle east. ALL of it. from Saudi Arabia to Jordan. There would have been a huge military draft, we may have used nukes, and millions and millions of people would have died. That’s just my belief based on some military magazines and articles I read.

    As for killing Mubarak – you Lefties sure are violent! :P
    usnjay

  17. dude says:

    yes, i can see a musmroom haze already over some people.. i mean a mushroom cloud, not haze.. which would imply some sort of smoking of mushrooms..

    sorry, my mistake…

    many of us are right handed actually…:o

    :)>-

  18. Mash says:

    dude, I’m going to see about that spell check plugin for you! :d

    And I’m sending the DEA to your house :-c

    usnjay, there’s a new show on Faux called “When Liberals Attack!!!” >:)

    …and someone take these smileys away from me…please :-&

  19. dude says:

    ok, here’s the problem, if u forget to do ur math, the next page reminds u to do it. buttt, when u go back, ur text written w/ 2 furtive index fingers…

    is awl gone…. very sad. please be fixing.

    :o

  20. dude says:

    ahhh, faux…. could there be a better channel..

    yes, they all are, but its the only one that has the simpsons, family guy, american dad, and ofcourse, house… and one of the dodgy wife swap shows, which i am ashamed to say the wife and i indulge in… or is that abc?

  21. TedB says:

    dude

    Here here. Happened to me this afternoon.:-(

    I am all for your draft, usnjay. Draft all able bodied young adults. No exemptions. 2 year service.

    When the wealthy and powerful have their sons and daughters on the line, I believe the neocon impulse to war will be checked. The poor and powerless already make up the bulk of our military and will be little affected.

    As for invasions, when mushroom (calm yourself dude) clouds appear in Iran, will you finally believe Bush to be a madman? Or will you continue drinking the kool-aid and blame the victims of holocost.

    Our country lived a 50+ year cold war without resorting to armed, direct, conflict with the Soviets. The Soviets were a vast, powerful empire whose military rivaled ours. They were capable of incinerating not just a city, state or country, but the entire planet. You now advocate that we cower from the mere thought that someone may set off a small dirty bomb. Tragic, yes. End of us, no.

    Thomas Jefferson (I think) once said “Those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither.” We are currently trading our liberties for the illusion of security. Remember, I drove my car and we again were not attacked. This is an illustration of an illusion.

    A global war on terror is just that – global. There are no borders, no over there. Thus fighting them over there does not prevent them from fighting here. They just haven’t yet. I pray they won’t.

    Even if it makes Chimpy look good.

  22. TedB says:

    Mash

    I just read this article by Zbigniew Brzezinski in the Hearald Tribune. I thought you might like it. Very topical.

    http://www.iht.com/bin/print_ipub.php?file=/articles/2006/04/25/opinion/edzbig.php

    :)>-

  23. dude says:

    hey now, the ONLY musrooms i indulge in reg. 8oz 1.99 kind, and i does like those baby portabelas.. heh heh, so cute…

    TedB, goooddd, havent heard that in a while, sinc emoving to the US actually, IHT was/is a steadfast for those living inthe hinterlands of the world.. my personal fav was buchwalds and barry’s bits..

    back to the topic:

    The Soviets were a vast, powerful empire whose military rivaled ours.

    thats the pt isnt it, much easier to beat up on the small fry when u know they wont retaliate becasue u wipe them out, whether they are a threat or not.

    i said to someone a few years ago, this militanism and fundamentalism is a state of mind, like a desease. u cannot wipe it out, and u cannot fight it. kill one, and u create 10 sympathisers who hate u for beating up on the helpless, the little guy. destroy one despot, and u create the darkness, the humidity where mushrooms and other bacteria will grow, i.e. iraq.

    fight state of mind with state of mind, not big baseball bats to the head. fight this threat by persuading people why they are better off not joining up, why they are better of with religious tolerance and free mkt economies.

    some here are military in background, i am a son of a career diplomat, with a background in international business. i think economies, and i think diplomacy.

    though i fully support the ousting of the sauds.. because they are evil wankers… read blog linked…

  24. Mash says:

    Sorry about the spam check. I was getting too many spammers to moderate. The plugin is good except for that major flaw. I’ll look at the code tonight and see if I can fix it.

    TedB, thanks for the link. I marked it at work to read later but still haven’t gotten to it (my daughter and wife are monopolizing the computers – I am on my PDA now).

  25. Bengali Fob says:

    I don’t visit for a week and everything changes! I’m glad you decided to add the smileys! \:d/ I just got my wisdom teeth out… :d Not a great experience… :(( Can’t wait to get better and join these discussions.

  26. Mash says:

    Fob, I still have my wisdom teeth. My dentist wants them out, but they’re mine mine mine….moooohaaahhhaaaaaa! =)) Eat lots of ice cream :p

  27. That is really insightful. It presented me a few ideas and I’ll be placing them on my blog shortly. I’m bookmarking your site and I’ll be back again. Thank you again!

  28. Ryan Green says:

    the tv show American Dad is actually great.’`’

  29. blind dates says:

    Najo Mit des Bieres Hochgenuss,Wächst des Bauches Radius!

  30. oh well, American Dad is a nice tv series. my sixteen year old daughter just loves watching it ‘:;

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