What’s a Strategy?

Well, we have no strategy, he says. I would bet a lot of money that I don’t have that the intelligence and defense communities, and maybe even the state department have some ideas and probably some full blown strategies but, he doesn’t like them. Why? Most likely because they consist of the military breaking some heads. Can’t go around breaking (even misguided) Muslim head, don’t you know.

Besides he’s advocated running away from Iraq for 10 years now, and managed to do it. For a while. But you know, and I know, and even David Cameron seems to know that evil must be confronted, and ISIS is evil. Godwin’s law be damned, it is every bit as evil as Nazi Germany was. Right now it is not that powerful but, if we let it fester it will be.

Here’s Cameron’s press conference. I’m far from his biggest fan but, at least he seems to have clue, and he’s not off fundraising somewhere, he’s actually doing his job.

 

We all know that a full blown plan isn’t put together, we expect that when the boss is on a continual vacation, but maybe it would be possible to do a bit of something instead of leaving town every couple days.

Islamophobia Part 3, Going on into the Maelstrom

156635-ISIS-large[This post was first published on 17 September 2012. It seems germane to publish it once more, noting that Islamophobia is defined as the irrational fear of Islam. It may be an obsolete term because I'm not sure that it is in any sense an irrational fear]

It seems that I have developed a Reputation for speaking plainly, without pretense, to you. I’m proud of that, I don’t deal here in political correctness or any other euphemisms. Why? Because they obfuscate the truth, and only the truth is relevant to making the proper decisions for ourselves. our communities, our countries, our civilization, and our world. You also know, as I do that Evil exists, it is the absence of good. OK, got that? Good, lets speak plainly and honestly here then. Dr. Delacroix whose articles we have been following here and here posted one on his own blog last week that is germane, it is entitled, Levelling with Muslims. I am going to use a couple of excerpts but I do want you to read it all.

Levelling with Muslims

The Obama administration, as did  to an extent the Bush administration before it, and now even Rep. candidate Romney, all persist in not levelling with the Muslims of the world. I have some readers in Muslims countries so I will do it myself. I hope they will pass the word.

1 Our government pretty much operates within the bounds of a short constitution written and adopted a long time ago. It’s not just a fiction as the world’s mental adolescents tend to believe. It’s a reality. The main word here is “bounds” imposed on government action.

2 Our constitution unambiguously protects blasphemy and blasphemers.

What separates our moral tradition in that area from Muslims  is not a little ditch as American governments and the pussy-footed State Department bureaucrats would sometimes have you believe. It’s a Grand Canyon. Read more of this post

A Time for War

A US flagAngelo Codevilla has thought, like most of us, about ISIS. Like most of us, also, he sees problems ahead. He also sees a path to victory, and victory is the only useful term in this context.

 If You Want To Stop ISIS, Here Is What It Will Take

The Islamic State’ video-dissemination of one of its goons beheading an American is an existential challenge from which we cannot afford to shrink. Until the Islamic State ISIS/ISIL/IS did that, it made sense for the U.S. government to help contain it because the Islamic world, which the IS threatens most directly, must destroy it sooner or later. But internetting that beheading was a gory declaration of America’s impotence—a dare-by-deed that is sure to move countless young persons around the globe to get in on killing us, anywhere they can. The longer the Islamic State survives, the more will take up its dare. Either we kill the IS, or we will deserve the wave of terrorism that will engulf us.

Killing the IS requires neither more nor less than waging war—not as the former administration waged its “war on terror,” nor by the current administration’s pinpricks, nor according to the too-clever-by-half stratagems taught in today’s politically correct military war colleges, but rather by war in the dictionary meaning of the word. To make war is to kill the spirit as well as the body of the enemy, so terribly as to make sure that it will not rise again, and that nobody will want to imitate it.

via If You Want To Stop ISIS, Here Is What It Will Take.

I think he is correct. We can denigrate the force of the murder of an American, if we choose but, to other people around the world, is was a taunting of an impotent country, essentially a bully kicking sand in our eyes. Most of us know about that, from either our experience, or friend’s experiences. We also know that it only ends when superior force is applied, thereby punishing that behavior.

But how does one apply that in international relations? Just as Mr. Codevilla says, or in other equally effective ways. We are the United States of America, nothing exists in this world without our (at least tacit) approval. Do we approve of this behavior? We do if we don’t respond properly.

The way its supposed to work for a global superpower, whether it’s a Roman Legionaire, or an American Marine, is this. That Marine walks down the gangplank of the ship, airplane, whatever, and the entire country cowers in fear. Why? Because the Americans are coming, and everybody know that they are either your best friends, or your worst enemies, and what are we? Have we done enough to earn their friendship.

Now granted, that’s a major change in how our elites think of us. It requires a pride in America’s past, and a belief in America’s future. Not the tendency to blame everything in the world on America (and Britain). Can they make that change? I have doubts. But there are plenty of Americans who can, perhaps that murder in the desert also marked a turning point in the life of the nation. Pearl Harbor saved us for a generation but, we started slipping back under the Nomenklatura‘s sway when we didn’t fight Korea to win, and further, much further, when we allowed our government to throw away our victories in Vietnam, and Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Much of this will be an air war, and it is ideal terrain for it. Interestingly, we won air superiority in about March 1944 of Europe, without it the invasion would have failed, we have never relinquished it.

Mr. Codevilla has here shown us one strategic plan, no doubt there are other viable options. But that doesn’t really matter, yet. What matters, as it always has, is will. Will to fight, will to persevere, and especially the will to win, not on points, as it were, but a complete, undeniable victory.

Ecclesiastes 3 King James Version (KJV)

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

And now, it has become a time for war, that in time there will be a time for victory, and then a time for peace,

all in their appointed hour.

Of War and Duty

The Colossus of Freedom

The Colossus of Freedom

And so, we come to it, don’t we, ISIS/ISIL/IS has decided they are at war with the United States, which isn’t much surprise. I’m confident that like the other enemies that have found us, such as Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, assorted Barbary Pirates, and a few others, their Hubris will eventually meet Nemesis. I was very angry this week when James Foley was murdered by this thuggish group of so-called terrorists.

I will further admit that my anger deepened as I learned that of all of what we call western civilization, only the United States and the United Kingdom do not pay ransom to these thugs for their captives. In fact, that is one of the major sources of their funding. We don’t because we know better.

But it is very important to make such decision not in anger but coldly and with calculation, and with recourse to prayer, and to our conscience. And so let us reflect on our duty to God, and to man.

The first foreign war of the United States was The First Barbary War which was fought because the Bashaw of Tripoli kept demanding tribute to leave our merchantmen alone. That was in 1801.

The Uk has even older experience, summed up this way

As always, Kipling nails it.

We have an incident from the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, in which an American, named Ion Perdicaris was kidnapped by a tribal leader known as the Raisuli who demanded ransom from the Bey of Algiers, by the time it was resolved the entire Atlantic Flotilla was in Algiers harbor, ready to do what, no one knows (or knew then, for that matter) but the point was made. Do not screw with Americans. I’m fairly certain that there are equivalent British incidents somewhere in the Levant. It’s a lesson that needs to be taught periodically, it seems.

Be that as it may, wise men usually believe people who tell them that their bands of thugs are at war with them. That’s true even if our State department teenage spokeschick doesn’t understand.

I hope (forlornly, most likely) that the government is as embarrassed at her nonsense as I am.

But in any case, these thugs, who claim to be a ‘State’ also claim to be at war with the United States of America. Incidentally, the blowhard who said he was going to fly the IS flag from the White House won’t be, he’s worm food now, courtesy of the United States.

But much more importantly can we, of the west, legitimately claim this is a war, and more, a just war? Well the source for that is St. Thomas Aquinas, in The Summa Theologica; Part II, Question 40. St. Thomas says this, in part:

I answer that, In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged. For it is not the business of a private individual to declare war, because he can seek for redress of his rights from the tribunal of his superior. Moreover it is not the business of a private individual to summon together the people, which has to be done in wartime. And as the care of the common weal is committed to those who are in authority, it is their business to watch over the common weal of the city, kingdom or province subject to them. And just as it is lawful for them to have recourse to the sword in defending that common weal against internal disturbances, when they punish evil-doers, according to the words of the Apostle (Rm. 13:4): “He beareth not the sword in vain: for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil”; so too, it is their business to have recourse to the sword of war in defending the common weal against external enemies. Hence it is said to those who are in authority (Ps. 81:4): “Rescue the poor: and deliver the needy out of the hand of the sinner”; and for this reason Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 75): “The natural order conducive to peace among mortals demands that the power to declare and counsel war should be in the hands of those who hold the supreme authority.”

Secondly, a just cause is required, namely that those who are attacked, should be attacked because they deserve it on account of some fault. Wherefore Augustine says (Questions. in Hept., qu. x, super Jos.): “A just war is wont to be described as one that avenges wrongs, when a nation or state has to be punished, for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects, or to restore what it has seized unjustly.”

Thirdly, it is necessary that the belligerents should have a rightful intention, so that they intend the advancement of good, or the avoidance of evil. Hence Augustine says (De Verb. Dom. [*The words quoted are to be found not in St. Augustine's works, but Can. Apud. Caus. xxiii, qu. 1]): “True religion looks upon as peaceful those wars that are waged not for motives of aggrandizement, or cruelty, but with the object of securing peace, of punishing evil-doers, and of uplifting the good.” For it may happen that the war is declared by the legitimate authority, and for a just cause, and yet be rendered unlawful through a wicked intention. Hence Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 74): “The passion for inflicting harm, the cruel thirst for vengeance, an unpacific and relentless spirit, the fever of revolt, the lust of power, and such like things, all these are rightly condemned in war.”

Seems pretty clear cut to me, as long as we are protecting (or attempting to, the victims of ISIS, we are fine, and I fail to see anything these folks have that we want enough to fight a war over.

I’ll readily grant that opinions over the second gulf war are divided, although I recognize that the way it worked out it would have been better not to fight it.

But that’s a reason not to attempt nation-building, not an excuse to shirk our duty to protect the weak. We have learned, or at least we should have, that we cannot, in a reasonable time, teach people how to build a western country. We accomplished it in the Philippines, Britain almost accomplished it in India (that might yet work out). But in all cases it is a very long drawn out process, requiring scores of years to centuries.

And in truth, it took us centuries to make the “rule of law’ work in our home countries, and we are again wondering if we shall have to fight a civil war for it.

The sad part is, that given our leadership in America, and maybe Britain as well (although Cameron sounds much better lately than Obama) we will likely have to wait until we have new leadership. That will have costs to our countries, and may have catastrophic cost to those who are neighbors of or conquered by IS. But our countries have never yet been ready for war when it came, and it has always cost us, and it has always cost innocent people but, it is the mark of peaceful people, I think.

Of Letters and Bombs

Taken hostage: Hayam has bravely spoken from her captivity to tell of the grim conditions - and her fears of what she may face

Taken hostage: Hayam has bravely spoken from her captivity to tell of the grim conditions – and her fears of what she may face

The Anglican Bishop of Leeds had sent a letter to the Prime Minister, my understanding is with the full knowledge and approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury. This is it.

Dear Prime Minister,

Iraq and IS

I am conscious of the speed at which events are moving in Iraq and Syria, and write recognising the complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges faced by the international community in responding to the crises in Syria and Iraq.

However, in common with many bishops and other correspondents here in the UK, I remain very concerned about the Government’s response to several issues. I write with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury to put these questions to you.

1. It appears that, in common with the United States and other partners, the UK is responding to events in a reactive way, and it is difficult to discern the strategic intentions behind this approach. Please can you tell me what is the overall strategy that holds together the UK Government’s response to both the humanitarian situation and what IS is actually doing in Syria and Iraq? Behind this question is the serious concern that we do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamist extremism as it is developing across the globe. Islamic State, Boko Haram and other groups represent particular manifestations of a global phenomenon, and it is not clear what our broader global strategy is – particularly insofar as the military, political, economic and humanitarian demands interconnect. The Church internationally must be a primary partner in addressing this complexity.

2. The focus by both politicians and media on the plight of the Yezidis has been notable and admirable. However, there has been increasing silence about the plight of tens of thousands of Christians who have been displaced, driven from cities and homelands, and who face a bleak future. Despite appalling persecution, they seem to have fallen from consciousness, and I wonder why. Does your Government have a coherent response to the plight of these huge numbers of Christians whose plight appears to be less regarded than that of others? Or are we simply reacting to the loudest media voice at any particular time?

3. As yet, there appears to have been no response to pleas for asylum provision to be made for those Christians (and other minorities) needing sanctuary from Iraq in the UK. I recognise that we do not wish to encourage Christians or other displaced and suffering people to leave their homeland – the consequences for those cultures and nations would be extremely detrimental at every level – but for some of them this will be the only recourse. The French and German governments have already made provision, but there has so far been only silence from the UK Government. Therefore, I ask for a response to the question of whether there is any intention to offer asylum to Iraqi migrants (as part of a holistic strategy to addressing the challenges of Iraq)?

4. Following on from this, I note that the Bishop of Coventry tabled a series of questions to HM Government in the House of Lords on Monday 28 July. All but two were answered on Monday 11 August. The outstanding questions included the following: “The Lord Bishop of Coventry to ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to resettling here in the UK a fair proportion of those displaced from ISIS controlled areas of Northern Iraq.” I would be grateful to know why this question has not so far been answered – something that causes me and colleagues some concern.

5. Underlying these concerns is the need for reassurance that a commitment to religious freedom will remain a priority for the Government, given the departure of ministers who championed this. Will the Foreign Secretary’s Human Rights Advisory Panel continue under the new Foreign Secretary? Is this not the time to appoint an Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom – which would demonstrate the Government’s serious commitment to developing an overarching strategy (backed by expertise) against Islamist extremism and violence?.

I look forward to your considered response to these pressing questions.

Yours sincerely,

The Rt Revd Nicholas Baines (The Bishop of Leeds)

Personally, I think a cc. to President Obama would have been in order, because it’s all true here as well.

You know it’s getting very bad out there when you start seeing stories like this from the £ Daily Mail

The call came in the early hours, the voice muffled, furtive and shaking with fear. ‘If they see me talking to someone they will kill me for sure, maybe kill all of us.’

This was Nisreen, a 17-year-old seized by the vicious Islamic State forces who have swept through Iraq and Syria spreading fear and panic.

She told how she was one of 96 Yazidi girls kidnapped when their towns and villages fell to the fanatics.

Now these teenagers wait in terror to be sold into slavery or forced into marriage with militant Islamists.

‘I know this exact number because I hear them talking,’ said Nisreen. ‘We are sure they have sold us. We do not fear for our lives but for our dignity as women.’

It was a brave phone call from a desperate woman.

The world has heard the hideous stories of refugees fleeing the jihadists but here, for the first time, was a voice from the other side: from a kidnap victim trapped in IS’s newly-won territory.

The husband of another teenage woman, heavily pregnant, held  captive by the IS told me how she would rather the US bombed her prison – with her inside – than be handed out like a piece of property to an extremist fighter.

She said: ‘Let those jets come to bomb us and save us from this situation by killing all of us.’ She added death would be a better fate than to ‘be forced off with a strange man.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2726894/Please-let-American-jets-bomb-prison-death-better-forced-strange-man-8-months-pregnant-captured-Islamic-thugs-waging-Sexual-Holy-War-one-woman-issues-heartrending-plea.html#ixzz3AfQbgswl

In fact the last time I can recall such stories they came from

Auschwitz, in 1944

Crossposted from The Conservative Citizen

Video Friday

Let’s start with Bill Whittle on Putin (Hint: he’s not a friend of freedom)

 

And Andrew Klavan explains income redistribution

 

Simplified a bit, he doesn’t account for the huge overhead involved but, he is correct.

Bill Whittle again on Robin Williams and 20 other very important people who died that day.

 

A few days ago, Sean Hannity interviewed PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and it’s here

 

And this, just to round out the day

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