Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Thursday, May 25, 2006

When in Doubt

When in Doubt, Blame the Mirror
© 2006, Ross Williams

Why does anyone still listen to this man? He's a rich-kid dilettante with no real skills, just a lot of family money and an ideology to die for. He played soldier once, but managed to avoid any real combat. He bought his way into faux-"leadership", but the brains of the outfit belong to someone else. He just provides a figurehead; he’s the carved wooden totem perched atop the org-chart, at which detractors and enemies take occasional aim.

How many think I'm talking about George Bush?

How many think I'm talking about any number of Democratic aspirants to the presidential yoke now worn by George Bush?[1]

Quit living in your navel; the world does not revolve around US partisan self-importance. I'm talking about Osama bin Laden. The guy whose talent lies solely in being born the son of a father who actually made money – a lot of it – in Saudi construction. Osama, proving that ungrateful children are ungrateful children the world over, spent his college tuition on ideological claptrap, studying under the King Abdulaziz version of Ward Churchill, and while getting his civil engineering and business administration degrees by default he picked up a substantial education in pan-islamist political correctness.

It’s this Mideast-brand of Save The Rainforest that bin Laden has been crusading under ever since, starting in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion. He used his family connections to create “charitable” organizations which could funnel money to “his” soldiers, some 12,000 of them – who were his only by dint of a paycheck. Essentially, bin Laden served the same purpose to the Afghan mujahideen as George Clooney serves to any western politically correct cause such as Global Warming: unknowledgeable and inexpert face-timer who panhandles the wealthy, and collects and cashes checks from donors. To describe either as anything but a money-funnel is a serious breach of reality.

The Afghan war against the Soviets ended just in time to volunteer his brigade to the services of the Saudi government to repulse the expansionist Hussein in 1990. But Saudi Arabia is not the ragtag nation-in-name-only that Afghanistan is, and the Saudis preferred to do things in a more traditional manner: by begging western nations for military intervention. This they did, and Osama, like every spurned lover in human history, declared war on his old flame and her new beau.

The simmering rebellion against the Saud family ruling Saudi Arabia for selling out to The West thus boiled over, and there was suddenly one more reason for Arabs and muslims to hate the cultural, economic and military center of The West, the United States. At this point, one more reason was overkill.

But overkill was exactly the plan. There is no shortage of islamist terror organizations which sees the ultimate source of their particular PC islamacy as being “the west” in general and the United States in particular. In fact, the list of islamist terror organizations which can draw a connection from, say, the Philippine heavy-handedness they struggle against to US puppet strings, or Israeli ditto to US ditto is pretty much identical to the list of islamist terror organizations.

Even the Chechen hotheads have said that the “real” reason for ending the Cold War was to free up the ex-Soviet military forces for the purpose of oppressing the muslim peoples of the southern ex-Soviet Union. Even they are blaming the US for Russian heavy-handedness.[2]

While all islamist terror organizations are willing to blame the US for their particular oppression, there aren’t many who have the paramilitary ability to do anything about it. This paramilitary ability is measured in terms of logistical support and technical competence. These are, in turn, acquired by means of cash. Cash was bin Laden’s only virtue. It takes a lot of money to run a military operation, even if it’s a highly efficient military operation – just ask the critics and quibbledicks in the American “loyal opposition” how they feel about the billions spent by the most efficient military in human history in just the past 6 years.

Running an inefficient military operation in a culture that thrives on graft, corruption, bribery and pocket-lining is an even more daunting task. It shouldn’t be too surprising that the Saudi government asked for western military assistance in driving out Saddam’s Raiders. The Saudis, for example, fought the Battle of Khafji virtually on their own, and even with US Marines inside the town[3] directing Saudi attacks, it took the Saudis two days and the addition of US artillery and air support to finally defeat the small Iraqi force. …as opposed to the US, British and French forces that took just over four days to defeat the entire Iraqi army.

Make that inefficient military operation a paramilitary operation, that is, “unofficial” and on the sly even with tacit permission, and you increase the inefficiency exponentially. Tacit permission must be bought.

And for those who want to whimper that western, and particularly American, military is rife with graft, corruption, bribery and pocket-lining, keep in mind that no matter how many misplaced decimal points you can find in Halliburton’s billing records, the US military-industrial complex is a miserly group of constipated, scrupulous and scroogean bookkeepers compared to the parallel institutions in the Arabic and islamist portions of the Middle East – legitimate or not-so.

Not only are pan-islamists inefficient from a strictly fiscal standpoint, but they are inefficient from a manpower perspective as well. Pan-islamist paramilitancy is not often driven by an overriding adherence to a cause, but by slavish devotion to personality, to tribe, or to clan. A particular militancy may be created in response to a cause – the US invasion of Iraq, for example – but over time the various competing militants find other things to squabble about, typically with each other, and those squabbles first overshadow and then overtake their original purpose. Iraqi militants are now largely devoted to Sunni/Shi’a sectarian pyrotechnics rather than driving the US out of their country. All in about three years.

Look for a brief moment, as well, at the groups which [claim to] serve the primary purpose of pushing Israel into the sea: Hamas and Fatah. There are others, most notably Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, but these will adequately serve.

Hamas and Fatah are based in the “occupied territories” of Gaza and the West Bank. If they would merge and operate a war of attrition against Israel even using the same tactics they employ today – crude bombs strapped to their waist – they could coordinate attacks, severely disrupt Israeli infrastructure, deplete its military forces and save their own money with which they could buy more guns, bullets and crude explosives. It is entirely possible to kill an otherwise healthy person by strapping him to an anthill … Israel is reasonably healthy and Palestine is [politely] viewed as an anthill.

But no. It’s more important for these pan-islamists to unnecessarily divide forces with a common stated purpose, line individual pockets, and waste their resources. As a result, when Hamas was elected to “govern” the Palestinians, the first thing they did was attack Fatah. And the Israelis watching this are biting their lower lip, trying not to laugh out loud. Israel’s survival to this point is due in no small part to the colossal incompetence of the Arab and muslim military mindset.

It was incompetence that attempted to blow up the World Trade Center with the same car bombs that work in Tel Aviv bar mitzvahs and Jerusalem’s sidewalk cafes. Um, Mr Civil Engineer, US skyscrapers are not made with the same brittle mud bricks used throughout the Middle East; a car bomb under a US high-rise will make a fire, kill some people, and make New York smell worse than it typically does, but the World Trade Center will stand.

D’oh! Back to the ol’ drawing board. The rich-kid civil engineer who knew enough civil engineering to make New York City smell bad joined forces with the cash-strapped but comparatively competent Egyptian doctor Ayman al-Zawahiri [recently of Islamic Jihad] to try it once again. Together, they concocted a plan to turn airplanes into makeshift guided missiles.

And when we use the word “together” here, we need to understand that the conversation went something like this:

Osama: I’ve been aiming at the infidel zionist-crusader United States for many years and have always missed…

Ayman: No need to explain; we have all seen this and you shame us.

Osama: …but I still want to beard the zionist lion in his den.

Ayman: Write me a blank check and give me the pick of your men, and I will get it done.

Many people think bin Laden was the mastermind behind 9-11. That’s as preposterous as calling George Clooney the scientific genius who hypothesized Global Warming. Bin Laden begs for donations and that’s the end of his talent; he merely funded 9-11.[4]

Through everything, though, bin Laden has a goal: ruin, emasculate, defeat and destroy the linchpin of current Western culture and influence, the United States – the scapegoat for the morose, petulant pan-islamist blamelayer. If this goal can be aided by embarrassing the US, and fomenting partisan political bickering, confusion and self-doubt, then that’s what he’ll do.

The US recently convicted Zacarias Moussaoui, the [occasionally] admitted “20th hijacker”, for his failed role in 9-11. Last night a website loaded an audio message, purportedly from bin Laden, declaring that Moussaoui was not involved in 9-11 at all[5], with bin Laden saying, essentially, “I should know, I made the personnel assignments.”

The purpose of the wooden figurehead of the most notorious terrorist group in the US-centric worldview is to cause some people in the US to say, “Ah-HA!! I knew the government didn’t know what it was doing when they put this guy on trial. See that, US Government? You’re incompetent!!” And in the ensuing confusion and self-doubt, the US may, for a fraction of a second, forget what it’s doing in Afghanistan and Iraq and every other place it is taking on pan-islamist militancy. At the very least, one group of American know-nothings is quibbling with the next.

We’re back once again to the basic question we had prior to invading Iraq: who are we willing to believe? The leaders of the US, who are politicians baldly manipulating the voters in order to get and keep a job? or foreign tyrants who have done in the past what our leaders are accusing them of doing now, and are just a general pain in the world’s ass besides?

And what did we seriously expect bin Laden to say? “Curses! Foiled again! I’ll get you next time, America!”? Reality is not the plot from Batman: The Movie XVII.

No matter who we put on trial for complicity in 9-11, bin Laden or al-Zawahiri [or both] will tell us that we’ve convicted the wrong guy, that the real guy is still out there, or non-existent, or both. If we capture bin Laden, al-Zawahiri will be on video the next day claiming that bin Laden isn’t the right guy; if we capture al-Zawahiri, bin Laden will do ditto.

In each, there will be groups of Americans willing to believe what people sworn to kill us say; these gullible Americans will demand official investigations into how we could have been so wrong, and some in Congress will be willing to lead the investigation. Our free press, sworn to uphold the principle of objective dichotomy[6] rather than the rational sniff-test, is always willing to give our enemies the benefit of the doubt they deny our own leaders.

Just because the Justice Department had enough evidence to put the guy on trial and he confessed anyway doesn’t necessarily mean he did it, and besides, we’ve got bin Laden himself saying the guy wasn’t involved. How much more do we need to question our own government?

Thus self-doubt is spread.

It shouldn’t make any difference. Zacarias Moussaoui is a terrorist. Whether or not he is the “20th hijacker” is more or less irrelevant. He confessed to being a terrorist, which satisfies our strictly legal requirements, and that makes him one of the folks we’re at war with; he’s in our custody and he’s not terrorizing us now. If we get a belly-full of conscience and let him go because bin Laden is sneering at us, what is this terrorist going to do? attack us the first chance he gets. Even if he fails because we’re watching him doubly close we’ve still wasted our time and resources to catch him again after we let him go for committing the wrong terrorism. Even if he fails because he’s borderline psychotic and that’s the only reason we caught him in the first place, we’ve again wasted our resources. On the off-chance he succeeds in some small act of terrorism against us, then it’s one small act that was unnecessary to endure.

Pan-islamists are trying to confuse us. They’re standing behind the bushes taunting us, daring us to play their game. Their game is, again, inefficiency, wasting resources, and in-fighting. If we play their game, the one they’ve perfected over millennia, they win.

[1] Not to mention names, but those who fit this description might be Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.
[2] It was this once-claimed conspiracy that served as the backdrop for a recent season of 24.
[3] they had been trapped by the invading Iraqis, but the Iraqis were too dumb to realize they were there
[4] And frankly, spending a lot of effort to capture bin Laden is more or less a waste of time, although it might be viewed in the same vein as catching Al Capone’s bookkeeper: it ultimately led to the downfall of the Capone dynasty in Chicago.
[5] http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/05/23/binladen.tape/index.html
[6] Objective Dichotomy: if the President says “2+2=4” he’s either right or he’s wrong, which makes it even odds either way, so we shouldn’t assume that the President is right; he’s just as likely to be wrong.


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